It’s very exciting to announce our first Iconic Toronto event of 2022. For 4 years we have led photo walk meetups as Tdot Shots. Now we are evolving to co-promote the events as Iconic Toronto.
Interested in this photo walk and walking tour? You can buy a ticket at our new events site: Tdot Events
Please join us on July 17 as we explore downtown Toronto’s many public art sculptures and installations. Our walking tour also covers culture, history and architecture. We welcome everyone. We are photographers, creatives, educators and city lovers.
Let’s take a wee look at some of our favourite artworks and spots for the upcoming walk. Here we go.
Union Station and Front St.
Generally speaking, the centre of Toronto so far as business and transportation goes, is the couple blocks adjacent Union Station, where the city’s financial district sits beside the grand Union Station. We start our walking tour in this incredible part of downtown Toronto.
We start out walking tour at the iconic and breathtaking Union Station, one of the more important Beaux Arts style buildings in the city.
Monument to Multiculturalism
The sculpture outside the station, adjacent the clock, is a fine modernist ode to the concept of multiculturalism, one of the foundations of Canadian society.
Queen St. West, City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square
After the financial district we head to City Hall, where we view some great public art including sculpture and modern signage. Here are a couple of highlights:
Henry Moore’s The Archer
Is this sculpture out of place in the heart of the city? Regardless of the intent of the artist, Toronto is home to a vat collection of Henry Moore pieces and one of the most iconic sits outside City Hall.
The 3D Toronto Sign
One of the most tourist friendly aspects of Nathan Phillips Square, the sign is a genuine piece of art when it’s wrapped. We’ll discuss the various wraps it has had and what the future of the wrapping may look like.
AGO, Grange Park and Chinatown
At the end of our tour we visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, Grange Park and Chinatown. An urban oasis, the block where the AGO sits offers multiple sculptures including another Henry Moore. Take a peek at the mighty stilted AGO building, a truly iconic part of the academic and architectural landscape of the downtown west.
Located at the corner of University Ave and Queen St. West, this lovely historic building has a beautiful ground, including a distinctive iron fence.
We stop by the Sharp Centre for Design, a funky black and white tabletop design atop multiple colourful steel legs. With 6,000 students, OCAD U is an important part of the art and design culture of downtown Toronto.
Photo Walk meets Walking Tour
Though we started as a photography meetup group, our events have broadened to incorporate local culture and history. We still offer free events for photographers but our paid events go beyond the basics and offer insights in the format of a walking tour. Though many of us call ourselves photographers, you don’t need to have a professional camera – just bring a smartphone, comfortable shoes and your curiosity. Our friendly group is supportive and offer creative tips on framing your shots.
About Your Guide and Fellow Photographer
Mike Simpson is a designer and educator from Toronto. He is the owners of Tdot.com, and has long supported creators and creative events in the city. Follow his Insta: @tdot_mike
Register for the tour with Mike via our new site: Tdot Events
Did you Know? (Toronto Trivia)
Toronto bike rings
According to the city website, “Toronto’s bike ring has an iconic presence on the City’s streets and a history that dates back to the 1980s.” We will see a few of these beauties on our walking tour! They make amazing photo frames!
In Toronto, the TTC and University of Toronto installed their own post and rings for the bicycle parking that can be found on campus and around subway stations. There are also original designs of the rings outside the ROM aka Royal Ontario Museum (at Bloor and Queen’s Park). It’s a true Toronto orginal.
Tdot Shots and Iconic Toronto are creative projects by Mike Simpson. Iconic Toronto has many events planned throughout 2022-2023.
Many thanks to those who inspired this photo walk and walking tour, including our contributor Donna Chong, whose images are found throughout this article.
Read Donna’s article on Toronto Public Art at tdotshots.com.