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It’s still there

Both the sculpture and Ben viccari’s 2007 post about it are still in place. The sculpture, by Michael Irving, stands on the corner of his front yard on Rhodes Avenue, just north of Gerrard Street East. Its purpose is to bring public awareness to the subject of child abuse.

Left: Michael Irving. Right, the late Ben Viccari inspects the sculpture

Sandy Zwyer wrote and asked about the original post, so I decided to bring it back mention of it.

Grange Park: An improvement

I choose the word “improvement” rather than “success”. Grange Park is a grassy park with trees, plantings and sidewalks. It’s nice, not remarkable.

Moving the Henry Moore piece from it’s former location at the corner of Dundas and McCaul is an improvement. There are sites where Moore’s Large Two Forms might look even better, but at least it is in a more natural setting. Now you can walk all the way around it and see how well conceived the sculpture is, from every angle.


 I wish I could say something kind about William Pye‘s new fountain, called Aquaverde. Well, I can, actually. It makes good splashy sounds, which is an important thing for fountains to do on hot, sunny days.

Here’s another view, showing the stone sluiceway that delivers water to the shiny bowl and pouring lips.

Flashy and splashy.

Cathy He: Class act

I like the King’s Diner on Kingston Road even more, now. When high school boys stiffed owner Cathy He for the price of the breakfasts they’d eaten by running off without paying, she responded with exceptional grace and maturity.

Rather than call in police, she simply asked the kids to come in and apologize. Her note in the diner window makes clear that she knows who the culprits are and has their pictures from security cameras, as well as witnesses. She knows their school, too.

But, easy as it would be to catch them, Cathy He also understands that these are kids. Rather than sic the law on them, she is offering them a life lesson. Kind and wise.

Hey, Ian … we are due for another all-day breakfast, aren’t we? Let’s go and congratulate Cathy on her good sense.

Textile Museum never disappoints

There are still a couple of weeks to catch two worthwhile exhibits, one Mexican, one Japanese. Textile Museum of Canada


 Huichol yarn paintings by José Benitez Sánchez are the stars of the show. They are shamanistic, visionary works of incredibly rich colour. The closest thing I can think of in European art is stained glass in cathedrals. The purpose is spiritual in both cases.

Peyote plays a role in the art of the Huicholes, but it is hardly the casual, recreational drug use of our society. Use of hallucinogenics is highly ritualized and accompanied by physical sacrifice and deprivation.

Surfaces are completely filled with detail and pattern, expressing the horror vacuii (fear of empty space) characteristic of this kind of art in many cultures. I don’t think it is really an expression of fear, but one of world view … that everything is alive and the universe is full. There is no void.


 What a great idea is was to have a Japanese textile exhibit on at the same time as the Huicholes art. We see colours and motifs used in radically different ways. Japanese craftsmanship is meticulous and complex. The use of colour spans a much wider gamut that in the Huichol pieces; just as bright and with even more golden glitter sometimes, but also muted and restrained.

Japanese design has both pattern AND void, playing off one another. Both Huichol and Japanese artists draw from a deep and sustaining well of repsect and admiration for the natural world.

Monarchs and milkweed

A nanosecond later, this butterfly would have opened its wings and delivered the conventional shot we’ve all seen. Timing is everything.

Photo by Danica

There were lots of monarch butterflies visiting the ample supply of milkweed along the Beach boardwalk today. Nice to see, after worries last year that they were in decline.

Mine was bashful.

Never mind. We understand. We have provided foster care.

These two shed their cocoons at our place and sat around for and hour or two until their new wings hardened enough to fly. That was 3 years ago … a few generations.

Eyesore or activation?

The buzzword for businesses along the beachfront is activation. Some will like this container full of rental paddleboards, others won’t.

As with so many things, I fall somewhere in between. I don’t mind activating the boardwalk with a few amenities to make a day at the beach more fun, but installing businesses can be done well or poorly.