We rediscovered a new disheveled Toronto in the wintry spring, while sprinting from Downtown to Uptown and back. Modernism intersected old-world charm evident in the sites we visited.
Sprinting between University Avenue, Dundas Square and Spadina Avenue gave us a fresh view of modern Toronto.
The Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres were certainly something to marvel with their ornate stacked theaters and romantic ambiance, resembling that of a garden. This type of double-decker theater is the only one left of its kind in the world. The ladies powder room was one of my favorites, displaying the make-up, garment, and other items worn in the early 1900s. Queen Street and the Distillery District were also quaint and attractive locations. Interactive art was present in every corner. Queen Street was practically an open air museum, with graffiti and cool 3-D art protruding from building walls. The Distillery District had unique abstract and sculptural pieces in its studios. You could not help but want to touch each artwork.
I was also impressed by the extensive shoe collection from around the world at the Bata Shoe Museum. Every floor took me on a journey of discovery from primitive shoes to the modern day footwear in different cultures. At the same time, the museum opened up the dialogue on the topic of beauty and how society from different regions in the world define beauty. How does one mold themselves to fit within the criteria of their society? As the exhibit showed, the standards for beauty in different cultures and past eras varied greatly.
In terms of architecture, Frank Gehry’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Grange Park district had an appealing interior design that included a huge sculptural spiral staircase and numerous glass windows. As for the exterior architecture, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), created by Frank Darling and John A. Pearson, contained interesting geometrical shapes, like crystals.