Beach Hill Ice Masters shine

Hockey net, Fairmont Park rink. Plywood boards are a thing of the past.

After a couple of almost impossibly warm winters, the Ice Masters finally got the temperatures they’ve been waiting for. The guys who do this volunteer service certainly took full advantage of the opportunity. The hockey rink is a jaw-dropper and that’s not all. Alongside, there’s a nice, big skating surface. Well done, gentlemen!

I saw a few kids skating when I went by in the afternoon, but decided to return for night shots, just after suppertime. A few early birds were already there. Many more were arriving as I left. Perfect ice.

Shadow Girl at GAS

I estimate about 30 guests for the free showing in English. 15 watched in Spanish, the night before.

Gerrard Art Space teamed up with the Toronto Public Library to put on an unforgettable event last night … the showing of Maria Teresa Larrain’s film Shadow Girl.

The filmmaker wanted a community showing and was present to answer questions. She received repeated rounds of applause for her award-winning work. Nine international award, so far.

Shadow Girl is about Maria Teresa’s loss of vision, late in life, due to a hereditary condition. One of her intended subjects, a blind street merchant in her native Chile, insisted that she include herself. How wise he was.

A first-person POV permits us inside the emotional struggle that goes with late onset blindness … loss of dignity, fear of poverty, separation from the sighted world … not to mention battles with bureaucracy. There is a synopsis of the film here.

More than a documentary, Shadow Girl is a work of art. Larrain and her crew succeed in showing us the effects of blindness visually, working illustrative distortions into the story seamlessly. She creates tension, then perfectly timed relief, as she takes our vision away (beautifully) and then returns it to us. It is brilliantly done.

When I see Maria Teresa in our neighbourhood Bazaar (she lives close by), I will see a strong, determined woman with the poise and posture of a flamenco dancer. I will look right past the white cane, to admire and respect the artist behind it.

Federal offence

I was surprised to see this statement in a Toronto Star article today:
“Canada Post agreed to stop its trucks from invading the lanes after Ashley singled out the Crown corporation.”

Traffic officer Kyle Ashley still off duty, after tweet-shaming bike lane abusers.

I took this photo the other night, too late to capture the cyclist that Danica had seen forced from the bike lane by the parked truck.

Made by Other People

It amazes me that so many people around here say “No” when I ask if they’ve seen the wonderful videos Made by Other People (Rated “Mature”).

Craven Road is one of my faves, but I have posted it before, so let’s sample D’License To Grill, set in the Bazaar on Gerrard Street.

See George (contains salty language), interviewed at the corner of Beach Hill’s main intersection, 4 years ago. Start at Episode One. They are short.

The George clips come from a longer video that commemorates the now-defunct Jimmy’s Place, a Beach Hill dive bar that folded not long ago. The location is now Zante Bistro, with new owners and clientele. It’s completely renovated, but the old bar has been preserved.

Have a look. Ruby Tuesdays is still open, at the corner of Woodbine and Gerrard.

Corley Avenue progress reports

Some readers are following developments of two houses on Corley avenue. The first, an innovative build that began with a special foundation technique. The pied à terre uses only the space formerly occupied by a double garage. With the stucco now on, it’s becoming rather elegant.

For handy reference, here’s the lot before building began.

Finally, progress on the Corley “half house”

Nearly two years after a basement-lowering went wrong, new foundations are going in where half of the semi-detached building had to be removed. The side that wasn’t demolished had to be evacuated, so two families were displaced. I can only guess that insurance claims and responsibilities had to be sorted out before repairs and reconstruction could begin.

I’ve been following the story since it started. Nice to see some action. Now I am curious to see what will replace the missing side.

Documentary evidence …

… of a great day in our remarkable neighbourhood. We started at the Beach Hill Bake-O-Rama.

There was a good turnout, we got our 2018 membership for the BNHA, sold Danica’s Christmas loaves, caught up with neighbours’ news and bought some meringue cookies to take home. It looks like the 4-hour event was a success and probably raised a worthwhile amount for this year’s Out of the Cold program.

I rushed off, not to miss Jodi Wheeler’s Open House at the Blue Crow Gallery. By the time I got there, 10 minutes before the 3:00 wind-up, most of the attendees had already departed. Actually that made it easier to look around at the wide variety of arts, crafts and jewellery items.

The gallery looks smart and well-organized, which it is, but don’t let that intimidate you. Many of the prices are surprisingly modest and the atmosphere is friendly and informal.

Next I went across and up the street to Gerrard Art Space, where the annual Members’ Show reception was just starting. I was the first guest to arrive, in fact. I met and talked with artist Jyne Greenley for the first time. She’s a longtime member and I’ve seen her work on a number of occasions. Today I learned a little about her techniques and interest in creating her own pigments from natural raw materials.

Had a nice chat with Elizabeth Forrest, too. She has some prints on display, that I like very much.

The day wasn’t over. Andrew Horne was throwing a party at the Flying Pony … but that needs its own post.

Karen Franzen and Friends

We made it to both studios for the Karen Franzen and Friends Holiday Show and there’s no way I can show you everything there is to see. Paintings, jewellery, glass work, drawings pottery sculpture, hand woven baskets, textile rope fibre art … amazing things, beautifully crafted.

The best thing to do is go over on the weekend and see for yourself. My snapshots don’t do justice but here are some websites that do. Karen Leslie Hall (paintings), Kate MacMillan (jewellery), Sandra Pim (fibre art). They are at Studio 2.

Karen Franzen will show you her ceramics at Studio 1 and tell you about the many other creative things her friends have on display. Hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at both places, Saturday and Sunday.


Tokyo’s big sig

I didn’t read or recognize this huge, but fleeting signature until today, although I took the photo last summer.

There is an endless cat and mouse game playing itself out on a wall leading to the Woodbine rail overpass. Taggers love it and city crews are constantly painting over their efforts, using a variety of different coloured greys.

When the city  provides a fresh canvas, taggers quickly fill it up again. I snapped this one because it was unusually large and ambitious, but I was not yet familiar with Tokyo’s “face”, so didn’t recognize the author. Better observation would have spelled out the answer, although The K isn’t particularly well resolved. I like the top loops. Whimsical.

This one was painted out faster than most, probably because of it’s size. If Marietta Fox wants a copy for the Tokyo collection she made, I’ll send her a high resolution copy. Maybe she caught it herself, but it was up so briefy, maybe not.

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