Monday, April 20, 2015

Explore Toronto: Coupland Celebrates Canadian Heroes at Canoe Landing Park!

Toronto's Canoe Landing Park and Public Art Installations Review

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a walking art tour organized by MOCCA and led by Betty Ann Jordan from Art InSite and Ben Mills from Public Art Management. The tour explored various public art installations near the Gardiner expressway that included several installations designed by Douglas Coupland. I have always known that Toronto has alot of public art (I walk by several every day), but I really had no idea of the amount of amazing art by world renowned artists are on display for free, throughout the city.

Bobbers, 2009 by Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, CN Tower, water, splash
Bobber Plaza, 2009
Art tours and guided city walks are a great way to learn more about Toronto and all it has to offer. MOCCA's Douglas Coupland Tour packed in so many amazing art installations, that for this post I'm going to focus on one of my favourite outdoor spaces in Toronto from the tour - Canoe Landing Park.

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, tom thomson's red, gardiner expressway

Tom Thomson's Canoe, 2009 overlooking Gardiner Expressway
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, Iceberg, benches, tom thomson's, red
Tom Thomson's Canoe, 2009 and Iceberg Benches, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour,  iceberg benches
Iceberg Benches, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, tom thomson's red
Tom Thomson's Canoe, 2009
The 8 acre park was opened in 2009 and is apart of Concord CityPlace and is located on Fort York Boulevard between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue. If you have ever driven on the Gardiner Expressway, you may have spotted the giant red canoe overlooking the Gardiner. Tom Thomson's Canoe, 2009 is located at the top of a large bluff, made from approximately 20 000 dump truck loads of evacuated fill from the park, which were diverted from landfills. Tom Thomson's Canoe is also one of Toronto's most notorious makeout spots (there were used condoms strewn about when I visited). Near the red canoe are two Iceberg Benches, 2009 that resemble icebergs (duh). The red canoe and benches were designed by famed Canadian artist Douglas Coupland, who's exhibition just finished at MOCCA and has an exhibition still running at ROM until April 19, 2015. Coupland created all the art installations in the park which includes Bobber Plaza, 2009 (a water splash park resembling fishing bobbers) and Beaver Dam, 2009 (the water is of course turned off until the summer). Beaver Dam doesn't look anything like the pictures I've seen of it. It did have white branches that light up but not when I visited last week. These installations surrounded the theme of the life and times of the Group of Seven painters (a favourite theme of Couplands').

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, Bobber Plaza, Beaver Dam
Bobber Plaza, 2009 and Beaver Dam, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, bobber plaza

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walk tour, beaver dam
Beaver Dam, 2009 (Now)
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, beaver dam
Beaver Dam, 2009 (Before, date unknown)
The final group of art installations, called Terry Fox Miracle Mile, 2009, is located around the perimeter of the park. It consists of a series of ten photographic billboards displaying mementos of Terry Fox's run with placards near the base explaining the significance of each photograph. Small faded maple leaves mark the path of the Miracle Mile which ends with a cast of the heart-shaped stone that Terry's brother picked up at the spot Terry ended his run in Thunder Bay called A Touchstone, 2009. Two laps of the Terry Fox Miracle Mile equals one mile. Unfortunately, a spot of the Miracle Mile is behind fence (part of the park is under development by the City of Toronto), so I couldn't quite follow the Miracle Mile path without squeezing through the wire fencing (which I'm sure I wasn't supposed to do).

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, terry fox, miracle mile
Run with a Fox from Terry Fox Miracle Mile, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, Terry Fox, Miracle Mile
Terry Fox Miracle Mile, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, CN Tower
Toronto, Ontario from Terry Fox Miracle Mile, 2009
Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour, terry fox, miracle mile, a touchstone
A Touchstone, 2009
Aside from the fantastic art, Canoe Landing also has a playing field, a water fountain, great views, and lots of open spaces perfect for a picnic. There is also plenty of public art installations in the neighbourhood surrounding the park that I will post about soon. I thoroughly enjoyed the walking tour! I was introduced and reacquainted with so many art installations on that I will be posting about soon so stay tuned for future Public Art and Explore Toronto posts!

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour,

Douglas Coupland at Canoe Landing Park in Toronto, culture, public, installation, ciyplace artspace, art, artmatters, urban, fishing, ontario, canada, MOCCA, walking, tour,
 
P.s!: MOCCA hosts several events throughout the year that are open to the general public. And if you want to join a walking tour to learn more about Toronto, Jane's Walk hosts several walking tours throughout the year and their annual Jane's Walk Festival runs May 1 - 3, 2015 with thousands of walks in hundreds of communities across the globe!

P.s,
Melanie!

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