A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘ocad

[PHOTO] Four photos looking south from the top of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Friday was a foggy and misty day in Toronto, cloud softening skylines. I thought the weather entirely appropriate for my outing to catch Impressionism in the Age of Industry, actually, what with how works in that genre so often featured fogs and mists.

Seen looking south over Grange Park (1) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey

Seen looking south over Grange Park (2) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #ocad #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey

Seen looking south over Grange Park (3) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #ocad #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey #green

Seen looking south over Grange Park (4) #toronto #artgalleryofontario  #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey #steel

Written by Randy McDonald

April 28, 2019 at 7:45 am

[PHOTO] Fourteen photos of the new Grange Park in Toronto

I was alerted earlier this week by the likes of blogTO to the fact that renovations in Toronto’s Grange Park had been completed. Walking over there with a friend after catching the Monday night performance of The Seat Next To The King, we concluded that the work was a success. This marvelous green space in the heart of Toronto, with the Art Gallery of Ontario and its Georgian Grange Manor and Frank Gehry wing of glass blue titanium to the north and OCAD University with its simple stunning Sharp Centre for Design to the east, the refurbished Grange is a relaxing friendly place for people to walk and recharge. The Henry Moore sculptures, Two Large Forms, relocated here from their former location at Dundas and McCaul amid some controversy last year, belong here–indeed, surrounded by organic forms of all sizes and scales, they arguably look better than they did directly on the street.

Entering the Grange Park


Along the promenade

Tower through trees

Towards the AGO


Playing amid fountains



Grange and stairs

Stairs above

Playing on the green grass

Henry Moore, Two Large Forms

Beneath tall trees

Written by Randy McDonald

July 12, 2017 at 8:00 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Japanese influence is seeping into downtown Toronto”

One interesting thing about this trend, as described by the Toronto Star‘s Karon Liu, is that I’m not aware of this being accompanied by extra immigration. Any Japanese diaspora to downtown Toronto is substantially one of culture, not people.

“This is the guy on the bag,” I say, pointing at 68-year-old Tetsushi Mizokami to the people queuing outside Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake shop, next to the Toronto Coach Terminal on Bay Street, on a rainy Friday evening. Some smile out of politeness, others ignore us and just want to get inside. For a guy whose desserts — and the white paper bag it comes in — reached trophy status since the Uncle Tetsu shop opened a year ago, I would have thought cheesecake groupies would flock to him.

The soft-spoken Mizokami was in town in April to oversee the opening of his third Toronto spot, a sit-down restaurant called Uncle Tetsu’s Angel Cafe just east of University Ave. on Dundas St. W. It’s akin to a Japanese maid café where servers are dressed in cosplay maid uniforms — some of whom perform choreographed dance numbers to Japanese pop hits on a mini-stage in the dining room. The restaurateur already has plans to open a fourth restaurant, this time focusing on ramen with tomato and seafood-based broths, and he wants to keep it within walking distance of his three other shops.

“The number one location is maybe Dundas and Yonge, but it is very difficult to get that location. Second choice is Bay St. and Dundas because it is easy for beginner (businesses),” he says.

Over the last year or two, one-by-one Japanese eateries opened up along Dundas St. W. between Bay and St. Patrick Sts., creating a new culinary destination that Toronto food enthusiasts are dubbing Little Japan.

The strip, smack between Ryerson University and OCAD, reminds Mizokami of his hometown of Fukuoka in the southwest part of Japan where, in the ’70s, he managed more than a dozen restaurants catering to the youths from the nearby university.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Ontario announces $27-million for rebuild of Toronto’s OCAD University”

I am all for the adventuresome architecture implied by Alex Bozikovic’s article in The Globe and Mail.

The province will direct $27-million toward a rebuilding of OCAD University’s downtown Toronto campus that would give the institution long-awaited upgrades to its facilities and a new and improved public face.

The new funding was announced Tuesday by Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. It will go toward the cost of what the university calls its Creative City Campus project. This is a series of additions, renovations and expansions to the complex of buildings along McCaul Street, next to the Art Gallery of Ontario, that houses most of the university.

The initiative, with a budget of roughly $60-million in total, will add 55,000 square feet of new area and make improvements to 94,700 square feet of existing space, with a focus on studios and social spaces for students.

It is the biggest set of changes to the campus since the school’s Sharp Centre for Design – the dramatic box-on-stilts by British architect Will Alsop – transformed the campus in 2004.

In interviews Monday, both the minister and the university’s president, Sara Diamond, stressed the civic character of the project. “This is going to be quite something for not only the university, but quite significant for the city of Toronto,” Mr. Moridi said. “The area is going to be transformed by this.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 13, 2016 at 5:41 pm

[PHOTO] Under the Sharp Centre for Design

The Sharp Centre for Design, a 2004 expansion of OCAD University further south on McCaul Street between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West, is one of the most striking buildings in Toronto. The Sharp Centre consists of a box four storeys off the ground, supported by a series of differently-coloured pillars positioned at different angles to the Earth. The tabletop analogy provided by Wikipedia works as well as any. This way, OCAD has more space while vital park and pedestrian space is kept.

Under the Sharp Centre for Design (1)

Under the Sharp Centre for Design (2)

Written by Randy McDonald

January 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm