Local Discoveries, as part of ArtworxTO
Tour #3 – Water Ways
Time: 1.5 hours walking
Living close to the lake makes east enders particularly conscious of our relationship to water and waterways. All along Queen East, and down to Lake Ontario, explore murals that take on the theme of water and our relationship to the landscape where we find ourselves. Starting at the Queen St. bridge, we begin this route with the words, “The river I step in is not the river I stand in.” What do those words mean to you? What is your connection to the waterways of Toronto?
This tour is approximately 5km long, and may take around an hour and a half walking (faster if you hop on and off the famous 501 streetcar).
HOW TO ACCESS ON MOBILE:
- Download the Driftscape App on your mobile device
- Search “EastEndArts” (all one word) in the top search feature
- Click on the Water Ways Tour, which starts where Queen St. East and the Don Valley Parkway cross on the map (at the Queen St. Bridge)
- Click “Start Tour” in the bottom right, and start your tour!
HOW TO ACCESS ON DESKTOP:
- Click HERE to access the Driftscape Web App for this tour
- Click “Start the Tour” and begin!
- Go Back to the Main ArtworxTO Local Discoveries web page
- See the corresponding FOOD TOUR #3 – Water Ways
- Check out Public Art Tour #1 – Danforth Love
- Check out Public Art Tour #2 – Around the World
- ArtSkool Education Guides for Local Discoveries
THE ART TOUR:
Stop 1 – Queen St. East Bridge across the Don River
Art Title: Time and a Clock – Part 1
Year Created: 1995
Artist: Eldon Garnet
This route starts at the iconic Queen St Bridge, crossing the Don River, and features one of East Toronto’s most famous works of art. “Time and a Clock” by Eldon Garnet begins with the quote that adorns the top of this bridge, and the entrance to east Toronto: “The River I step in is not the River I stand in”. As you travel along Queen east exploring more public art, hold this phrase in your mind and consider what it means to you.
Stop 2 – 650 Queen St. East
‘Tkaranto Past/ Tkaranto Future’ mural was painted in 2017 by artists Isaac Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie. They developed the mural concept by collaborating with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. Check out this video interview below with lead artist Isaac Odinamaad to learn more.
Stop 3 – Joel Weeks Park
Art Title: Echo
Year Created: 2015
Artist: Mary Anne Barkhouse
Just north of Queen East you’ll find Joel Weeks Park featuring Mary Anne Barkhouse’s statues of Canadian Wildlife – there’s a fox, a beaver, and perhaps most infamously, four squirrels worshipping a giant acorn. Barkhouse’s work is whimsical and reminds us of our proximity to the natural world. Asked once why the squirrels are worshipping a giant nut, Mary Anne responded, “Why wouldn’t they?”
Stop 4 – 1 Munro St.
Art Title: Riverside Sports Heritage & Legacy Mural
Year Created: 2014 & 2015
Artist: Monica Wickeler
The Don River and the communities close to it have a long history of sport, going back to Toronto’s first Baseball diamond in Sunlight Park and the rowing and curling that once took place every winter on the frozen river. Painted with a beautiful aged patina, this mural weaves together the history of sport on the river with the historical topography of Riverside and the Don River area. Let’s hear from the artist herself! Watch the video below.
Stop 5 – Alleyway behind Queen and Munro
Art Title: Girls Mural Camp 2020 & 2021
Year Created: 2020 & 2021
Artists: GMC Youth Artists
Art Title: Women Paint Riverside Laneway
Year Created: 2021
Artists: Bareket Kezwer, Cedar-Eve, Claire Browne, Haenahhh, Hello Kirsten, Jacquie Comrie, Julia Prajza, Margaret Cresswell, Merryn Connelly-Miller, Mo Thunder, Monica Wickeler, Moonlight Murals Collective, Scarbrite x Memengwaa Kwe Originals, Shawna Howe, Victoria Day, Wandy Cheng
One of East End Arts’ signature annual programs is Girls Mural Camp, where local youth work with professional artists Monica Wickeler and Bareket Kezwer to learn how to create a mural of their own! This laneway is home to GMC murals from 2020 and 2021. You can learn more from the video below.
In 2021, in addition to Girls Mural Camp, the same laneway was transformed by 19 female and gender marginal artists as part of Women Paint Riverside. This project explored the theme “Currents of Change” and the powerful transformation that is underway at the mouth of the Don River.
Stop 6 – Broadview and Queen St. East
Art Title: Alquimia
Year Created: 2019
Artist: Jacquie Comrie
‘Alquimia’ (Spanish for ‘alchemy’) is a mural in a semi-abstract style. Paying homage to the Riverside neighbourhood, the mural is an interpretation of the quote “This river I step in is not the river I stand in” that speaks of the inevitable nature of all things: alchemy and change. “Everything moves. Everything transforms into something else. It is a connection to the past while celebrating its future, progress and growth of the community,” said artist Jacquie Comrie.
Art Title: Time and a Clock – Part 2
Year Created: 1995
Artist: Eldon Garnet
Also at the intersection of Broadview and Queen Street look down and you will notice stainless steel checker plate, 19″ high letters; four expressions dealing with time; embedded in the sidewalk at four corners: TOO SOON FREE FROM TIME; TIME IS MONEY: MONEY IS TIME; BETTER LATE THAN NEVER; TIME=DISTANCE X VELOCITY.
As you move along this tour travelling east along Queen St, consider: how do you feel about time? How does this relationship to time inflect your daily life, versus your worldview in a broader sense? How is it different now than it was five years ago?
Stop 7 – Queen St. East at Saulter St.
Art Title: Riverside Pollinator Mural
Year Created: 2016
Artist: Nick Sweetman
Nick Sweetman’s work all across the city explores the role of nature, and especially the pollinators that we share our landscape with. This four story high mural also recalls the history of the building on which we find it, former home to a watchmaker. Check out the video below of Nick Sweetman discussing the mural!
Stop 8 – Jimmie Simpson Park
Art Title: Time and a Clock Part 3
Year Created: 1995
Artist: Eldon Garnet
Beside the Jimmy Simpson Park we come to the last in the Time and a Clock Series: four stainless steel pennants, four declarations of time, a lyrical poem, one word per pole: COURSING, DISAPPEARING, TREMBLING, RETURNING.
The text in this work is written for a metropolis of readers who may read one word today at one site, or the next day the entire text at the three sites. The words fly by us as we fly past them. It is in parts, read in parts; never at one place at one time. It is text in flux. How does this sense of motion and movement connect to ideas around water for you?
Stop 9 – Booth St., just south of Queen St. East
Art Title: Seven Grandfathers
Year Created: 2021
Artist: Phillip Cote
Have you found the colourful mural painted in the Woodland Style of the Anishnaabe? This mural represents the Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Anishnaabe. Each animal represents a Grandfather Teaching in the Anishinaabe culture: Love — Eagle; Respect – Buffalo; Wisdom – Beaver; Bravery – Bear; Honesty – Raven; Humility – Wolf, and Truth – Turtle. These teachings are a foundation for living a full and healthy life. Philip Cote, the artist who created this mural, is also a storyteller, a knowledge keeper, and an activist.
Stop 10 – Laneway running south of Queen St. East, from Logan Ave. to Morse St.
Art Title: Laneway Park-ing
Year Created: 2021
Artist: The Laneway Project (featuring Gosia Komorski)
In the laneway south of Queen off of Logan, you’ll find the next piece on this stop in our Water Ways tour, and another transformed laneway. The pandemic has highlighted how important green spaces are in providing opportunities for Torontonians to connect with nature and each other. Parks are our most common green spaces, but public laneways also provide a hidden opportunity to introduce nature and community space near our homes, schools and shops. How does walking through this laneway make you feel, compared to one without the vibrant colours?
Stop 11 – 955 Queen St. East
Art Title: The Drug Users’ Memorial Project
Year Created: 2012
Artist: Rocky Dobey
The Drug Users’ Memorial Project was established in 2010 as a remembrance, healing and community arts initiative to build an 8 foot copper flame monument to commemorate community members and loved ones who have died due to the war on drugs. The monument was planned and conceptualized with direction from local metal artist and printmaker Rocky Dobey.
In 2012, the 8 foot copper monument was erected thanks to the generous financial assistance from the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, local band “Fucked Up” and other local artists. Community members gathered weekly to engrave copper panels which cover the monument with images, words and symbols that express feelings of loss, sadness and outrage related to the on-going war on drugs.
Stop 12 – Queen St. East and Pape Ave.
Art Title: Untitled at 1054 Queen St. E (Cask Music)
Year Created: 2015
Artist: Jimmy Chiale
Art Title: Untitled at 1015 Queen St. E (Anvil Jewelry)
Year Created: 2018
Have you found the mural facing the parking lot at the corner of Queen and Pape? How about the one across the street from it and a little further down at 1015 Queen East? You may recognize the work of both artists on this stop on our tour – Runt’s work (seen here at 1015 Queen) is featured on the iconic west end venue Lee’s Palace, and many other playful locations throughout the city. Across the street you’ll see another playful colourful work by artist Jimmy Chiale. Both artists use bright colours and busy designs to animate walls with a sense of play and excitement.
Stop 13 – Queen St. East and Jones Ave.
Art Title: Leslieville Mural
Year Created: 2016
Artist: Elicser Elliott
One of the neighbourhood’s most iconic and beloved murals, this work by Elicser Elliot, has become a symbol of the community. The mural theme “In days of yore, on Leslieville shore, put down your phone and daydream under a Maple Tree” pays homage to the past, present and future of Leslieville by depicting a typical Leslievillian, contemplating the future, while resting under a giant maple tree. Check out the video below for more info.
Stop 14 – 1401 Queen St. East
Art Title: Leslieville Mural #2
Year Created: 2017
Artist: Dmitry Bondarenko
The mural depicts human habitation of the Leslieville area throughout history, beginning with the original pre-settler communities such as the Anishanabe, and Wendat tribes and concluding in the post-industrial, present-day neighbourhood. Created by illustrator and comic artist Dmitry Dondarenko, and installed with dynamic neon lights proclaiming Leslieville, this placemaking mural sits on the edge of a TTC yard and a garden centre – a perfect metaphor for the place we find ourselves between the metropolis and the lake.
This area has undergone massive transformations, but has always been a place of peaceful gathering. How can we continue to respect this sense of peace, and invite newcomers to our communities as part of the ever-growing community that finds our home on the shores of Lake Ontario?
Stop 15 – 1555 Queen St. East
What makes a place home? What are the stories and images that you carry with you when things change? What makes this community special? These are the questions we asked as this site undergoes massive change. As part of the new development and revitalization plan for the Queen Street East and Coxwell Avenue area, Applegrove Community Complex, East End Arts, Toronto Community Housing Corporation, Context Development and RioCan Living collaborated with people who lived at this site, the Don Summerville Buildings, on a Heritage Preservation project. During a series of workshops led by local photographer Diana Nazareth, and a community story collection process where community members interviewed one another to share the stories of the buildings that had been their home for many years, and finally with graphic designer and muralist Caitlin Taguibao weaving it all together to create the construction hoarding that will surround the site of the redevelopment, this work recalls the past, and looks to the future.
Stop 16 – Eastern Ave. and Woodward Rd.
Art Title: Wallnoize
Year Created: 2020
Artists: Coordinated by Cruz1, featuring various artists
In the summer of 2020 nearly 100 artists contributed to this spectacular installation of murals all celebrating water and the life it gives to our community. Check out the video below from a few of the artists involved!
Stop 17 – Beach Skateboard Park, Coxwell and Lakeshore
The connection between graffiti, street art, and skateboarding goes back decades, and so when the city of Toronto installed a skatepark in Ashbridges Bay park, it only made sense to have some of the city’s best street artists give it some colour! Do you recognize any of the artists or styles shown on this stop? Tag us and them in your photos!
It’s around a 20 minute walk to the next stop, but it’s along the beach! Cross Lake Shore Blvd at Coxwell Ave, and follow Ashbridges Bay Park Rd, to the Martin Goodman Trail. Follow the trail out onto the beach. Walk past the pool and past the tennis courts until you reach the foot of Kew Gardens Park.
Stop 18 – Kew Beach, between Lee Ave. and Leuty Ave.
The Leuty Boat House (not the Leuty Lifeguard Station on the Beach) at Kew Beach is being celebrated and reimagined by two phenomenal BIPOC artists who you may recognize from earlier on this tour! Jacquie Comrie and Chief Lady Bird transform this iconic Beaches location with murals on each interior side!
ARTSKOOL EDUCATION GUIDES!
ArtSkool Education Guides offer kids and kids at heart an additional fun way to engage with our public-facing programs, and learn something new! There are five editions in total, each complementing a different East End Arts program. Inside each guide you’ll find fun activities for kids, interesting facts and history lessons, and so much more. Print off your guide, put on your running shoes, and go set off on an adventure with your family and friends to check out some cool public art in your neighbourhood!
You can download the Local Discoveries Tour #3 Guide HERE and print it at home. Alternatively, you can find ArtSkool Guides available at the front desk of all east Toronto libraries from Broadview to Victoria Park!
To access all of the ArtSkool Guides, visit HERE. ArtSkool packages are a part of ArtworxTO. ArtSkool educational material has been created by Marietta Fox, while ArtSkool design and illustrations were completed by Chelsea Virginia.
Local Discoveries is part of #ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022 and a Signature Project of the City of Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot.
ABOUT CULTURAL HOTSPOT
The Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on arts, culture and community in Toronto’s outside-the-core neighbourhoods through workshops, exhibits, activities, and experiences. This City of Toronto and partner-produced initiative features Signature Partnership Projects and SPARK Projects that and provide opportunities for community members to participate in the arts. Youth mentorship and employment is a component of Cultural Hotspot programming. Since its inception in 2014, the Cultural Hotspot has highlighted Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York, East York/East End and York. In 2022, the Cultural Hotspot moves to a hyperlocal model with a focus on Little Jamaica and the Golden Mile.