Jimi Hendrix Sculpture Garden in Toronto. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira
What is that?: Toronto sculptures explained is a new series looking at a different sculpture in the city every week. Have you seen a piece of public art in your daily commute and wondered what it was about? Me too … so I’ve decided that I’d learn a little bit more about my own city and share it with you.
Making one’s way down Spadina is always a trip among worlds.
Spadina Road, just north of Eglinton in Forest Hill, is a quiet residential route leading up to a castle.
Once past Casa Loma, several neighbourhoods await. Coming up next is The Annex with its coffee and books, the University of Toronto also with its coffee and books, and cheese mongers and vintage shops at Kensington Market. There are dumplings and street food stands at Chinatown, music and restaurants in the Entertainment District, CityPlace with its dog parks and condos, and finally, the lake, with its wavy decks and tall ships.
It’s no wonder I missed this sculpture garden for nearly 38 years.
The Jimi Hendrix Sculpture Garden is hidden in an alley at 736 Spadina Ave., just south of Bloor between a condo and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre.
The sculpture is two hands holding each other, called “People Helping People,” designed by sculptor Al Green in 1990. The condo developer, who is the sculptor’s son, reportedly loves Hendrix’s music, thus the garden’s name.
When I visited the sculpture, the unfortunate word “THUG” had been written on it.
The art on the wall of the condo, a plaque reads, was reproduced by the Green’s mould from the facades of the Victorian homes, which were built circa 1890, which occupied the site until 2004.
Trees stand and fruit hangs in front of the mould, almost hiding it from view.