Suburban subjective

Making art of Toronto suburban archipelago


Toronto has plenty of unused spaces crying out for creative reuse – and artists ready to go to work on them. Let’s hope they’re inspired by The Leona Drive Project.

On a North York cul-de-sac, post-war bungalows awaiting demolition get a loving sendoff, transformed into site-specific artworks. Curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow and commissioned by York U’s Public Access Collective and L.O.T.

Experiments in Urban Research, artist including Richard Fung, Daniel Borins + Jennifer Marman, Oliver Husain, Kim Tomczak and Lisa Steele, Ryan Livingstone and others meditate on the meaning of the suburbia in indoor and outdoor installations.

Archivists present a history of the properties in the backyard, and a film of a psychic contacting the energies of deceased residents screens in a shed. Students from Claude Watson Arts Program at nearby Earl Haig Secondary worked with artist/mentors to redo one house exterior.

For the opening on Friday (October 23), a free bus shuttles art-goers from Art Toronto at the Convention Centre (7:45 pm) and upArt at the Gladstone (8 pm), and a Pleasure Dome film screening happens at the site at 9 pm.

Local councillor John Filion hosts a panel entitled Re-imagining The Future Of Toronto’s Inner Suburbs on October 28, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at North York Central Library. And for the October 31 closing, a 50s-themed Halloween party is planned.

Illustrations below: Daniel Borins + Jennifer Marman’s homage to the Etobicoke house where cars crashed into the living room on two separate occasions.

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Kim Tomczak and Lisa Steele’s Terminus TV antenna work.

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