My print Riverside, was taken in the East End of Toronto, specifically on Queen St E. over the Don River, looking up at the seafoam green iron bridge that sits over the river.
Growing up in the Beaches and currently residing in Leslieville, I will acknowledge my bias to the east end full stop. For me, this bridge has been and always will be a symbol of returning to my happy place. Venturing West for work, friends or other, means I always need to come home, and passing under this bridge has always solidified that for me.
Most meaningful to me is the message in all caps cut out of metal and framed as the top of the bridge. In 1999, it was added along with a clock as part of an initiative to reinvent this part of the city.
THIS RIVER I STEP IN IS NOT THE RIVER I STAND IN
Quite iconic, this bridge (also known as the Queen Street Viaduct) represents the gate to the east, an invisible threshold you cross into the land of plenty. Built in 1911, it's one of only a small number of Truss bridges in Toronto. Here is it during construction.
From the series Time and a Clock, Eldon Garnet amongst others were artists that contributed their work into three permanent art installations. This was part of the last nineties push to revitalize this area of Toronto. You can see the other two pieces by heading to either Queen and Broadview and observing the metal letters embedded into the sidewalk corners, or to Jimmie Simpson Park and looking up at the metal flag pieces installed on the North side of the street.
This bridge can connect you along Queen Street, either by bike, car, foot, or streetcar, it also is the start of King St - a road that originates here (or terminates depending on your perspective). I think the most amazing part of the connections is the ability to take a set of stairs down from street level to be along the river, where you can either head north to follow the meandering river up to Brickworks, or head south and head to Corktown Common or Cherry Street.
For me the phrase scrawled over this bridge is one that provokes thought. It has become somewhat of a life mantra for me during darker times, and ultimately conveys the fluid nature of life and the ability to display resilience. The river you dip your toe into and first feel the riverbed on the soles of your feet, will not always be the one you stand tall in.