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Hendeles at The Power Plant

Ydessa Hendeles is a Canadian artist, curator and philanthropist who is showing her works from the past decade in a large retrospective at The Power Plant. The show ends on September 4th, and is well worth a trip to Toronto’s Harbourfront.


 As a curator, Hendeles arranges and displays things. As an artist, she does the same thing. Her medium is the tableau vivant … and money … because the things she arranges are costly … large collections of unusual antiques. Unlike most artists, Ydessa Hendeles has money.

Danica and I are familiar with her work, due to past visits to her unusual Art Foundation, prior to its closure in 2012. This retrospective is similarly dark, theatrical, quirky and eery. The curator of her show in London said he wouldn’t use the word creepy, but I would.


 To “read” the intentions of Hendeles’ tableaux, you need written words as well as observation. Feeling their expression is more direct and, for me, better. Hendeles makes me feel sad … not sad like the nightly news … a quieter, deeper sad. Hers is a grim vision, both touching and disturbing.

Here is a short video, showing the way the toy car enlargement works. A propellor emerges from the front and wings come out on the sides. An airplane tail is part of the body. A flying car in a glass cage.

I also show you the Gustave Doré print enlargements framed on the wall. They illustrate Coleridge’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. You remember … the guy who shot the albatross and was forced to wear it around his neck.

Teaser got me

I was sorry to see the Rebellion Gallery and Art Academy close in the Bazaar. Kid-oriented, it added interest and colour to the street. Will the new tenant do the same?


 As you see, the teaser window paper isn’t any help. Neither was the under-construction web page … another teaser. I pressed on. Answer in the Comments, below.

Let’s go, No Frills

After what seems to me like an exquisitely slow demolition, it looks like the site might be approaching a construction stage. You can see right through to the plywood hoarding on Coxwell. The people give a sense of scale.

If a new building goes up as slowly as the old one came down, we won’t be shopping there this year. BUT … it IS possible to throw up big box stores very quickly. The Loblaws near Victoria Park and Gerrard seemed to spring up overnight.

Maybe that open-by-Christmas rumour still has merit. Would be nice.

Wishing luck to Shamrock Bowl

If the 50s-style 5 pin bowling alley above Goodlife Fitness on Coxwell is leased to the right operator, it may come back to life … and I really hope it does. [Story in Beach Metro News]

Not only is it in an excellent state of preservation, it can provide exercise for all ages, lots of fun and a social gathering place that’s a change from cafés.

Danica and I got to bowl a few balls during a Shamrock Bowl Doors Open event a few years ago. I loved knocking things over and having them picked up by machine. I could feel the muscles in the back of my legs afterwards, too. Good stretching.

I couldn’t help noticing a compositional similarity between the Beach Metro photo and Nighthawks, Edward Hopper’s iconic 1942 classic.

Fresh paint under the Gardiner

Under the Gardiner Expressway, near Cherry Street/Lakeshore crosswalks. There’s more to come, judging by the scissor lifts still on site. Best access in by bicycle.

We loved Desire Lines

Desire Lines is an arts show in a warehouse on Lakeshore. Admission is free and it’s there until September 3rd. Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s one of those “you have to be there” things.

There are two kinds of space inside the building … a decommissioned condo showroom and a behind-the-scenes warehouse space. Let’s start up front.


These slide shows only give you a tiny look at all there is to see, touch and discover. Not everything photographs well, but why should it? You’re supposed to go there, not look at pictures. Think live concert versus radio listening.

The artists chosen to participate in this show have done an amazing job. Hats off the curators Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta, who were on hand to welcome us and answer questions. Thank you, Layne, for your Akimbo tip.


 Bear with me for 3 more pictures. I’ve always liked the way painted-out windows look so flat and even on the sunny side and so wonderfully streaky on the inside. These are from the building that holds the Desire Lines show.

Nice, eh?

Thank you for watching,

Reporting from Queen’s Quay

We rode our bikes down to see an art show nearby, but when we tried to go for coffee and a sandwich first, we found that Waterfront Loblaws was our best bet! Toronto needs more cafés east of Yonge.

To be fair, it’s still a construction zone around here, with all of the condos going up. Maybe when the dust settles, a few more street amenities will open up.

Here come the Woodbine bike lanes

Work has progressed from O’Connor to Danforth, so that the new lane configurations can already be used. Bollards (standing lane dividers) still haven’t been installed, but they will be, along some stretches.


 There will be confusion (and danger) for at least the first few weeks, while everyone learns the new rules. For example, I didn’t know why the bike lanes are marked as “diamond lanes”, thinking that diamond lanes were for cars with at least two people aboard. Wrong.

This page explains: “The diamond symbol is the symbol for a “reserved” lane. The diamond symbol next to the bicycle symbol means that the restriction on the lane is that the lane can be used by bicycles only.

I’m not sure what some diagonally-barred double lines mean at side street intersections, but I’m guessing that they might be sections where bollards will be installed soon. We’ll see.

Anyway, the new lines are already sketched onto the Beach Hill part of Woodbine, so it won’t be long before the finished route is in place. I hope it won’t be the traffic nightmare that some predict. Maybe drivers confined to a single lane will simply give up their lane-jockeying and traffic will flow more easily. That seems to have happened on Dundas, after bicycle lanes were introduced. A little slower, but a lot saner.