This winter at the Toronto Beaches they hosted something really cool: art installations around the lifeguard stands, called Winter Stations. 2016’s theme was Freeze/Thaw, which went very well with our very fake winter this year. Some weeks we were at -20 (almost never), and then shot up to 5. The installations
The theme of Freeze / Thaw asks designers and artists to respond to the changing climactic conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter. Designs may anticipate the coming spring or refuse to yield, reminding us December is only a few months behind and will return again. They may highlight a static moment or phase in our winter. Perhaps, most significantly, designs have the opportunity to observe, reflect or contrast the immediate waterfront landscape with its banks of snow and frozen ice. To this end, they should expect to be playful and provocative, creatively utilizing materials and site to inform concepts that echo the freeze / thaw narrative and will engage the public.
It was a lot of fun walking around the various pieces, climbing into them, looking at the crazy construction, and waiting for dogs to stop peeing on them so I could get a good shot.
This structure uses Grip metal to keep it all together. When the snow melts on it, the structure will create fog at -20*. Unfortunately it was about 0 for us, so we didn’t get to experience that.
While it looks like the Death Star, it’s not. You can climb inside and be nestled in layers of fur which has been attached to the sphere’s inner walls. It’s pretty warm.
When I saw this, I immediately thought of tiddlywinks. Turns out the stars are supposed to be snow crystals and are supposed to mimic the transition between freeze and thaw. People were taking the ice crystals and throwing them up on top, which served to depict how the structure would change during the thaw and then re-freeze.
This structure is a floating cube of ropes. You can climb the guard chair inside to view the landscape.
After our walk we went to Sky Blue Sandwiches and I had a phenomenal pesto, cheese, pepper, and avocado sandwich.