A couple of weeks ago, Owen, Trystan and I visited the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Frank Gehry addition is quite stunning and Alun has expressed an interest in architecture so I invited Alun to go to Toronto with me to check it out.
After dropping Trystan and his cousins at Canoe and Kayak camp and Owen at Golf Camp, Michael dropped Alun and me at the GO station. I am not sure if I have ever been on the GO Train before. If I have it was certainly a long time ago. The train arrived on time and was fairly empty as it was the last train into Toronto from Brampton for the day. All day, two way GO Train service from Brampton to Toronto has been talked about for many years, but as yet is still a pipe dream.
We decided to visit the Bata Shoe Museum first. It is a lovely little museum on Bloor Street at St. George. It is also of interest to someone interested in architecture as it had to fit on a small, oddly shaped, corner lot. When viewed from across the street it resembles a giant shoe box. We got off the GO Train at the Bloor station and transferred to the subway station on Dundas West. One of the sights I love when walking around Toronto is the exuberant street art. We saw this on construction hording at the train station.
We have been to the Bata Shoe museum several times over the years. When we were there I told Alun that I used to get my shoes at the Bata Shoe stores when I was young, but that Bata no longer operated in Canada. He asked me what had happened but I wasn’t sure. I googled it when I got home and found that although Bata doesn’t operate in Canada any more it is still a large international company with over 30,000 employees operating in more than 50 countries. When Thomas Bata left Czechoslovakia in 1939 because of the fear of war he came to Canada and continued in the family business of shoe making. The town of Batawa was named for this family. Shoes are no longer manufactured there. Thomas’s wife, Sonja, collected shoes for decades and realized her dream of creating a world-class shoe museum when the family built the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.
We had lunch at Over Easy which is across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum. Alun had French toast and I had a wonderful wrap with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, mixed greens and goat cheese. Yummy.
Across from the museum was a condo with wonderful balcony boxes of plants across the front from bottom to top.
I took Alun to Yorkville to show him the controversial (in 1993) Muskoka rock that weighed 700 tonnes and cost a million dollars. The first thing he wanted to do was climb it. It’s a great little park and would be very different without the rock.
After that we walked down Philosopher’s Walk between the Royal Ontario Museum and the Royal Conservatory through the University of Toronto and then onto the Art Gallery.
I love the Henry Moore sculptures out front and the fact that one can touch and climb on them.
The glass front of the Gehry addition makes for great reflections.
Alun loved the south staircase and took photographs of the details to add into a design project he is doing for his IB program.
We both enjoyed the Group of Seven galleries. I particularly like the frame on this painting. We asked for the gallery trading cards and found four of the five including one that Trystan, Owen and I had missed.
Once we finished inside we headed outside to Grange Park so he could see the original brick home that housed the Gallery and the massive Gehry addition as well as the wonderful Ontario College of Art and Design building adjacent to the Gallery.
On John Street the northbound lanes were temporarily blocked off for a linear park. Great idea.
We walked south so I could show him Shangri-La, the Trump building, Commerce Court and Brookfield Place. By then we were quite hungry so we grabbed dinner at Marche in Brookfield Place. We missed all the afternoon GO Trains so grabbed a GO bus home. Michael met us at the station.
What a great day.