Learn About the Meaning Behind the Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future Mural

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) has a new mural which is set to launch on August 27th with a public celebration featuring Indigenous music, dance, and food!  Learn more about the meaning behind the mural art through this blog and come see if for yourself by celebrating with us!

Lead artist Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie, developed the mural concept by collaborating with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. The mural moves beyond animating the walls of Woodgreen Services’ 650 Queen Street East location, by rooting the area’s history.

??????????????

Mural Artists (left to right): Odinamaad, Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie

 

RiversideBIA_2017MuralFull

The mural embodies that Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place: first, for Indigenous nations for travel, trade, hunting and fishing, and in present day, for people who come here from around the globe to gather on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land. Odinamaad and Chief Lady Bird shared the meaning behind the mural images:

The West-Facing Wall

IMG_4952
Floral
IMG_4926

Floral designs reference Anishinaabe woodland style painting, quill work on birch bark boxes and beadwork on friendship bags; also a symbol of feminine energy, growth and nurturing. Bead work is a placework marker of where different First Nations are from.

Otter
IMG_4942

The otter is from the Ojibwe Creation Story of Turtle Island, symbolizing where everything began, the origins of the land that we are on and the sacrifices by the animals.  In that first story, the otter is a symbol of “Survivance”, representing how Indigenous peoples are staying rooted in the face of colonialism, and how art is another form of surviving, and sharing first stories.

Fish
IMG_4943

The fish is a main form of sustenance for Indigenous peoples; and also a reference to the fish fences, also called Weirs or Mnjikaning, in Chief Lady Bird’s community of Rama First Nations and many other communities.

Water
IMG_4944

Water is life; symbol of the three rivers in Tkaranto and the many underground rivers which have been hidden by development; it’s also a symbol of honouring the clean water we have here in Tkaranto, which many Indigenous communities do not have and there are calls to change this as access to clean water is a basic human right.

Sky Domes
IMG_4946

These ‘sky domes’ were included at the request of a local First Nations resident for whom they held special significance in her culture. Sky domes are Haudenosaunee designs, which honour the sky world from where life became.

 

 Eagle
IMG_4944

The eagle offers guidance; a symbol of connection to healing and communication with the spirit world.  Mural artist Chief Lady Bird is from the Eagle Clan.

 

Bear
IMG_4945

The bear is a reference to the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) constellation representing  self-sacrifice and annual cycles of renewal .

 

Half Moon/Half Grandmother
IMG_4948

 Reference to the ‘moon grandmother’ who has 13 cycles, teaching us how to live and what to do each month.

Lady Slipper
IMG_4949

A symbol of persistence to care for people as it is a reference to the story of Lady slipper: a young girl who went to fetch medicine for her people. On her journey her feet became frozen and bleeding. She passed away but where her blood fell lady slipper flowers grew in the spring, becoming a source of medicine for her people.

Woman + Child
IMG_4951

The baby in this depiction is strapped into a cradleboard which is a traditional protective baby-carrier that safeguards the infant and makes them able to be placed at eye level so they can see and experience the structure, ownership and learnings within the family; references a different viewpoint, as well as creation of bonds between peoples.

Spirit Connection
20170817_124221

The west wall has an overarching spirit connection (yellow lines) starting from the cradle board that links back throughout the mural; symbolic of a prayer toward the next generation of youth.

 

The South-Facing Wall

IMG_4961

Birch Bark Baskets
IMG_4953

Birch bark baskets are used for many purposes such as drying fish, and safekeeping berries, and are used around river sides in communities; a symbol of abundance where there is unity.

Thunder Birds
IMG_4956

The thunder birds protect us and bring cleansing with the rain, keeping dark spirits down; they symbolize clashes with underwater forces.

Rabbit
IMG_4954

The Trickster ‘nanaboozhoo’ is a benevolent being, sometimes taking the form of a rabbit, the co-creator of everything; ‘boozho’ is also a greeting for ‘I see you’, acknowledging and giving credit to the creators

Eagle Feather
IMG_4959

The eagle feather is the highest honour you can receive, based on contribution to the community, given from one Indigenous person to another. The Tkaranto skyline provides a contemporary connection whereby the feather becomes your medicine and symbolizes the enduring Indigenous presence here in Tkaranto.

Read the full artists’ statement about the mural:

Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place. First, for Indigenous nations who have gathered here to travel, trade, hunt and fish. And now, in present day, for people to gather here from around the globe on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land.

The land has always been known to guide us physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Through this holistic lifestyle our ancestors are able to guide us through struggles and instill teachings and guidance to help us find the kindness in our path and hearts to heal ourselves and find balance. As a people, we are hurting. There are many young people suffering from depression as a repercussion of the continued effects of colonialism. In addition, there is both a water crisis and suicide epidemic impacting many First Nations communities within Canada. With all of this in mind, this mural aims to foster pride and hope and depicts hopeful metaphors alongside historic symbols surrounding our urban dwelling, such as the eagle feather – a sacred item for our people.

Public art that positively represents First Nations histories, contemporary living and imagined futures, is a way for us to smudge positive energy over our communities. This mural integrates traditional practices of this area, such as the use of fish racks, star knowledge and matriarchal family structures. By sharing this imagery with the people of Toronto, we are all able to keep the true history of Canada alive and acknowledge the enduring Indigenous presence on this land. Traditionally, this bounty was shared. This is what we are trying to do right now; exhibiting and sharing the bounty of Indigenous energy and culture – making space for Indigenous youth to have a voice and retrace their ancestors’ way of life.

Public art that shares Indigenous stories not only shares this history with our own peoples, but it also enables us to share with others as well. We hope to move toward a healthier and more holistic future that respects mother nature in a more sustainable manner so that we can provide for future generations like our ancestors did before us.

Thank you to Mural Supporters

This is a Cultural Hotspot SPARK project made possible in part by the Government of Canada,  City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, the Government of Ontario, and Riverside BIA.  Thank you also to Woodgreen Community Services  and Sherwin Williams.

Get to Know the Artists Behind Riverside’s New Mural: Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future

Toronto’s Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) has a new mural which is set to launch on August 27th with a public celebration featuring Indigenous music, dance, and food!  Get to know the artists who brought the mural to life and come meet them by celebrating with us!

Lead artist Odinamaad, in partnership with Chief Lady Bird and Dave Monday Oguorie, developed the mural concept by collaborating with Traditional Wisdom Keeper, Philip Cote and youth participants from Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. The mural moves beyond animating the walls of Woodgreen Services’ 650 Queen Street East location, by rooting the area’s history.

20170719_163404

Mural Artists (Left to right): Isaac Weber, Nancy King and Dave Monday Oguorie

 

The mural embodies that Tkaranto has always been considered a meeting place: first, for Indigenous nations for travel, trade, hunting and fishing, and in present day, for people who come here from around the globe to gather on the traditional territories of those who first occupied the land.

“Public art that positively represents First Nations histories, contemporary living and imagined futures, is a way for us to smudge positive energy over our communities. This mural integrates traditional practices of this area, such as the use of fish racks, star knowledge and matriarchal family structures. By sharing this imagery with the people of Toronto, we are all able to keep the true history of Canada alive and acknowledge the enduring Indigenous presence on this land,” says lead mural artist, Odinamaad.

About the Artists

??????????????

Isaac Weber (Odinamaad – Turning Wind)

Lead mural artist for ‘Tkaranto Past/Tkaranto Future’, Isaac Weber or Odinamaad (Turning Wind) is a street and fine artist from the Ojibwa Turtle Clan. He has collaborated on several mural projects in Toronto, including Underpass Park, and has previously lived in Toronto’s East End. Isaac Weber is of Moorish and Anishinawbe descent and is committed to being a strong role model and representative for his community. He is well known in Toronto, Vancouver, and the Netherlands street art communities. In 2015, he was awarded the senior arts category award at Aboriginal Arts & Stories, a Historica Canada initiative. With over 12 years of painting workshop facilitation and life painting experience, his practice involves working to uplift and support the community’s younger generation to collectively bring back the richness carried within spirits, tradition, and craft.

 

Portrait-Nancy

Nancy King (Ogimaakwebnes – Chief Lady Bird)

Nancy King is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird. She has completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and has been exhibiting her work since she was 14 years old. Through her art practice, she strives to look to the past to help her navigate her Anishinaabe identity whilst living in an urban space as well as advocate for Indigenous representation as an integral aspect of Canada’s national identity. She addresses the complexity of identity through the use of contemporary painting techniques; woodlands style imagery, photography, digital manipulation and traditional Indigenous craft materials and often works with at-risk youth to ensure knowledge and skill sharing/development.

Come meet them by celebrating with us on August 27th! 

To celebrate the official launch of the mural’s completion, the public is invited to join in the outdoor festivities to view and celebrate the new mural on August 27th, including Traditional hand-drum songs by Shandra Spears Bombay, Hoop Dancing by Nimkii Osawamick, a Medicine Pouch craft workshop, along with opening remarks by Traditional Wisdom Keeper Philip Cote, the Mural Artists, and local representatives. There will also be cake and refreshments from Indigenous caterer Suzanne Smoke and Dark Horse Espresso to add to the festivities!
Thanks to the key partners who supported this project: the Government of Canada, City of Toronto, StreetARToronto, the Government of Ontario, and Riverside BIA. Thank you also to Woodgreen Community Services and Sherwin Williams.

Saulter Street Brewery is Open for Business!

Saulter Street Brewery became the second brewery in Riverside when it opened its doors on Friday August 4th. It’s in a bit of a hidden spot but once you walk south on Lewis Street and through the path (east side about halfway down) you’ll discover it’s well work the trek.

20170804_153357 20170804_153348

A Czech-style Pilsner called Riverside Pilsner (!!) is the the flagship offering from founder John Sterling and brewer Peter Kufeldt, who plan to also offer small batch experimental beers in the future that can only be found in their onsite tap room.  The brewery includes a 20 hectolitre brewhouse, 40-seat tap room, and retail store.

20170804_153600
Check out their website and Facebook for hours and upcoming happenings! Cheers!

IMG_20170804_163319_297

 

Welcome to the Neighbourhood: Barefoot Beauty & East Toronto Foot Care

Barefoot Beauty and East Toronto Foot Care are Riverside’s newest healthcare and wellness spots. They boast two separate businesses offering complimentary services  – conveniently under one roof at 643 Queen Street East!

20170802_133542 20170802_133427

At Barefoot Beauty they offer an environment-friendly and healthier alternative to traditional manicure and pedicure salons by swapping out traditional footbaths for luxurious hot towel wraps to soften skin and relax tired feet, using natural/organic care products such as 5-free nail polishes, and cleaning all tools in a medical-grade sterilizing autoclave.

Owner and head chiropodist, Emily Stock, was inspired to offer a safer and cleaner nail service experience after years of seeing patients come in to her clinic with infections picked up from traditional nail salons.  Frustrated with this unnecessary exposure and risk to her patients, Emily set out to create a space that offers luxurious, high quality manicure and pedicure services without the risk of picking up infections or being exposed to toxic ingredients.

20170802_133149 20170802_133242

At East Toronto Foot Care, chiropodist Emily Stock offers a wide variety of treatment options to address patient foot care needs. From routine nail and skin care to management of foot pain (i.e., foot mobilization, shoe modifications, custom foot orthotics), they offer numerous solutions to managing patient foot concerns in an effective way that works with the patient’s lifestyle.

20170802_133359

“We are so excited to be in the Riverside neighbourhood! We feel so welcomed and part of the community already,” says Emily,  “There aren’t many options for medical foot care in this area of town and we feel honoured to be able to provide that service to our neighbours.”

Stop by their shop at 643 Queen Street East to say hi and check out their wonderful selection of natural care and home products in the retail section. If you feel like pampering yourself, stick around for a Pure Luxe pedicure featuring an invigorating exfoliating scrub, relaxing hot towel wrap, and luxurious extended massage. Finish off with a high shine buff or an application of 5-free Bio Seaweed Gel (a healthier gel option that lasts 2 weeks or more with regular wear) to round out the experience.

Go to www.barefootbeauty.ca to see a full list of their services and prices and be sure to follow them on Instagram @barefootbeautynails and on Facebook to see their latest promotions and products.

Check out www.easttorontofootcare.com or email them at info@easttorontofootcare.com to see how they can help you with all your foot care needs!

Riverside Patio Blog: Where to drink and dine alfresco in Riverside

With 11 restaurant and cafe patios in Toronto’s vibrant Riverside neighbourhood, there is plenty of room to enjoy the outdoors city-slicker style. Whether you’re a night hawk out for a night cap, an early bird after eggs-Benny, a day drinker, day dreamer, vegetarian, meatlover who loves footfall or someone who loves to sip lattes and people watch – this cozy neighbourhood has you made in the shade when it comes to enjoying the city sunny-side up or under an umbrella on a patio.  Riverside offers the very best of Toronto’s food, wine, coffee, and views so get out, grab a refresher and enjoy this heatwave while it lasts.

This blog gives you a sneak peek of each patio – ordered from west to east on the map – and find out what makes each unique. To make for easy reading, what makes each patio unique is summed up in one word, right off the bat. So read on, then go check them out for yourself!

riversidemap-2017-Patios

1. Il Ponte / Mediterranean

625 Queen St E. | 416-778-0404 | ilponte.ca

riverside-blog-patios-ilponte

Located at the very western limits of Riverside on the south side of Queen East beside the DVP, Il Ponte boasts a patio worth visiting just to see the sunset. This west facing terrace is the perfect place to relax with a glass of wine and a Margherita pizza after a long day.

2. Cannonball Coffee and Bar /  Hidden

641 Queen St. E | 416-463-0500 | facebook.com/thecannonball641

riverside-blog-patios-cannonball

Keep your eyes to the sky on the south side of Queen East, just west of Carroll, and you’ll see a quirky white sign featuring a once-bitten slice of bread and a cup of coffee. Past the magazines and laptops in this cozy cafe, you’ll enter an outdoor oasis in the middle of the city. Surrounded by trees and protected by shade, this patio is perfect for afternoon beers and a good book. In the evenings you’ll often find a livelier crowd out back where live music happens after sundown.

3. Dark Horse Espresso Bar / Vibrant

630 Queen St. E | 647-436-3460 | darkhorseespresso.com

riverside-blog-patios-darkhorse

If you’d like to take your doggy on a date, head to Dark Horse Espresso Bar at the corner of Queen and Carroll. This vibrant patio makes for a perfect pit-stop to warm up or cool off (or wake up) with a beverage in Riverside, especially if you’ve just walked over the bridge. The spacious east facing patio offers a variety of seating options including a giant bench that begs for company and a couple of pillows.

4. Aft Kitchen + Bar / Woodsy

686 Queen St. E | 647-346-1541 | aftbar.com

riverside-blog-patios-aft

Aft’s secluded back patio is where country meets city in Riverside. You’ll find an outdoor bar, a BBQ (usually fired up) and lots of meat on the menu. Located just west of Queen East and Broadview on the north side, it’s an ideal spot to dig into some smoked ribs and catch up on the latest in Toronto sports on a hot summer day.

5. The Broadview Hotel / Views

106 Broadview Ave. | 416-686-9199 | thebroadviewhotel.ca

riverside-patios-broadview broadview

The latest and greatest addition to Riverside’s outdoor dining scene is The Broadview Hotel’s stunning rooftop terrace. Located seven stories above Queen East and Broadview, this patio offers one-of-a-kind panoramic views of Toronto all under the sun, the moon and the spell of a soothing botanical vibe.

6. The Opera House Grill & Patio / Sociable!

737 Queen St. E. | 647-343-7022 | theoperahousetoronto.com

riverside-blog-patios-operahouse

A great spot for people-watching and relaxing, the Opera House Grill patio is where to go for Greek poutine and a glass of wine on those summer evenings when you just don’t want to cook. Located at the corner of Queen and Lewis, this patio is super chill, especially on afternoons when you’re just want a latte and free Wifi.

7. Chez Nous Wine Bar / European!

798 Queen St. E | 647-909-7208 | cheznouswinebar.com

riverside-patios-cheznous

Enjoy the rest of Ontario’s summer evenings with the best in Ontario wines on a European style patio at Chez Nous Wine Bar. Located at the corner of Queen East and Boulton, this cozy east-facing patio makes for a perfect date night, especially for sparking, white, red, and rose wine lovers.

8. Boxcar Social / Hip

4 Boulton Ave. | 647-344-4530 | boxcarsocial.ca

riverside-blog-patios-boxcar

While it’s less patio and more two large beautiful benches with an eastern exposure, Boxcar Social’s Boulton Street patio makes for a relaxing place to sit with a cup of coffee and a savoury snack and watch a more residential version of Toronto go by. Dogs definitely welcome.

9. Mazz Japanese Bistro / Cozy

806 Queen St. E | 647-347-8744 | mazzbistro.com

riverside-blog-patios-mazzbistro

Eat your sushi and sashimi al fresco. You’d never guess that one of the most charming patios in Riverside is located behind the teeny tiny Mazz Japanese Bistro on Queen East near Boulton. From the street, this restaurant comes across sleek and posh but the patio out back has garden party vibes.

10. Tabule / LIVELY

810 Queen St. E | 416-465-2500 | tabule.ca

riverside-blog-patios-tabule

Located on Queen East just west of De Grassi St, Tabule’s colourful back patio is a summertime hotspot, always packed with a lively crowd, with friendly service and the best middle eastern cuisine in Toronto. The patio is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner, and late night drinks.

11. Bonjour Brioche /  SHADED

812 Queen St. E. | 416-406-1250 | bonjourbrioche.com

Bonjour Brioche

Located at the corner of Queen East and De Grassi, this french bakery dishes out the best in brunch and a shaded patio perfect for people watching. Covered by trees and offering a nice breeze, you sometimes forget you are in the middle of the city, especially on weekdays. On weekends you may need to stand in line first for a seat. During winter months, the heated patio makes for a cozy spot to enjoy brunch.

Know a great Riverside patio that we’ve missed? Let us know! 

Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood.