22 August 2016 – Who needs the Loch Ness Monster? We have our very own mutant fish, right here in the Don River.
Oh, all right, beside the Don River.
I don’t know that he, specifically, awaits me downstream, but I do anticipate art-by-the-Don, as I drop down from the Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge to join the trail heading south to Lake Ontario.
A powerful reminder: Bridgepoint Hospital there on the east bank, with its Bill Lishman sculptures tumbling down the river-side terrace.
I can’t, from here, see the sculptures with my physical eye, but my mental eye conjures them once more. (You can conjure them with this link to my December post, Artful Flows the Don.)
Some traditional graffiti art under the Gerrard St. bridge — framed & enhanced by reflections in the river itself.
Then again, who needs graffiti?
River reflections make art all by themselves.
I promise you: this image is right-side-up. That buff-colour horizontal line at the top is the far bank of the river; the greenery bottom-left is right at my feet; everything in between is converging reflections from a playful sky.
More not-amazing graffiti under bridges as I go, ho-hum, yawn.
I perk up again south of Queen Street, with this view westward through various bridge underpinnings to the edge of — I’m pretty sure — Underpass Park. Major-fine murals & graffiti in there!
This means I’m approaching Don Landing, and access to the West Don Lands Park, once toxic wasteland, now wonderful. This takes me off-river — but hey, this is my walk, right? I can divert if I want to.
Up the stairs to Corktown Common, the playground at the park’s high point of land. Full of parents & kiddies — here a dad carrying off his toddler after patiently pushing her in one of those bucket swings for ages. (I know, I’ve been sitting under a tree watching.) They leave, but another little girl has already claimed a seat, and a young boy is fast approaching.
It’s all charming, but I find myself most charmed by the water-fountain arrangements. First, that they exist, because I am thirsty and appreciate free, pure water.
And, second, that there is tri-level water for everyone: the Big People fountain, the Little People fountain, and the Doggie water bowl bolted into position on the ground.
Back to the Lower Don trail, and on to that mutant fish, just a little farther south.
I cannot find an artist’s signature. Sorry!
Then, just north of Lake Shore Blvd. East, I hit more expressway trestles & more art. Memory clicks in: I came by here in spring, when the artists were first beginning to lay on base coats.
Well! Look at it now …
The fish is the work of an artist that’s new to me. Correction: two artists, known as PA System.
Next up, girl with green hair, by MC Baldassari, someone I’m beginning to appreciate a lot.
And then girl with black hair, by EGR — so distinctive! Once you’ve seen her work, you always know it.
Right here, trails diverge east & west. I could head farther east, on to Ashbridge’s Bay, but I choose west instead, starting to loop back through woodland toward home.
One last art installation to amuse me as I go. Very urban-art. Very downtown.
Oh, those shopping carts. They do get around. (And so much for the vaunted “wheels-will lock” technology.)
I eventually emerge from the trails, pick up Cherry St., and cut north-west through the Distillery District.
Where, to my amazement and no doubt yours, I do not stop for a latte.