Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Shoreline Commemorative in Toronto

Once upon a time the edge of Lake Ontario cut through what would become Church Street, just north of the Esplanade. The spot was marked with a work of art as part of a development in 2014. You can find other markers of the past limits of the waters of the Great Lake throughout Toronto, like the one in nearby Distillery District.

From the artist's website, "Shoreline Commemorative by artist-architect Paul Raff is a public artwork commissioned by Concert Properties for their urban boutique residential development The Berczy. The artwork’s location, south of Front Street on the west side of Church Street, was the site of Lake Ontario’s shoreline for thousands of years. The artwork has a sculpted limestone base evoking the original topography of the city’s edge. Its focus is a glowing glass orb set on a bronze tripod, which acts as a dense glass rendition of the line separating sky and water. The tripod reminds passerbys of the surveyors’ instrumentation of the line of sight, an important tool in creating the city. The brick wall to the south is inscribed with the text: “For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario’s shoreline. This brick wall stands where water and land met, with a vista horizon.” These elements, as an ensemble, present a summary of the experience of being on the shoreline with the horizon view open to open water, an experience formerly available at this exact location."

The inscription reads "For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario's shoreline. This brickwall stands where water and land met, with a vista of horizon"

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