Toronto Islands – FIGMENT art event

Okay, I went to this event way back in July. But my summer (and early fall) was so crazy busy that this is the first time I’ve really had a chance to make an entry about that day.

Toronto has a bunch of cool little islands not too far from shore. “The island community is considered to be the largest urban car-free community in North America, although some service vehicles are permitted. Access to the Islands is by ferry, including the City of Toronto ferries operating from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay Street, or by water taxis.”

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Click on the photo for a much larger image!

Here is the dock we disembarked at:

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Soon after you get off the ferry, you might see this sign…

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…which gives you a clue to the type of day you are about to have.

The Toronto Islands form what is basically a huge, interconnected park – with no cars permitted. Some people do live there, but the houses are in a small area and hidden away. What I saw was the type of environment that a lot of people would like to live in – a beautiful, calm, natural setting…..just a few minutes away (but it seemed like worlds away) from a major urban metropolis.

I went to the Islands to see a large-scale outdoor interactive art event called FIGMENT. Here is an explanation of it:

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You could add to the chalk art on the bridge as you entered the event.

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…um, does anyone know what this sign means?

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I found out that it’s really fun to throw paintballs at a large canvas…even if my aim was a little (or a lot) off at first (sorry, random person walking about 20 metres behind the canvas). My friend (pictured here) was a little better at it than I was.

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Next we got a chance to play the “Conundrum,” which was a canoe with a skin stretched over it for drumming. The artist is David Hynes. It was really fun to create beats with both friends and total strangers.

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Just in front of the Conundrum, we could see a million-dollar view of the Toronto skyline.

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You could also join this….BikeArt contraption? I think you can jump on it and play percussion instruments.

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Here’s a photo of my favourite exhibit of the day.

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What it was was basically a bunch of large pieces of fabric tied together, in rows. It was sort of like a little maze. For some reason, being in the middle of it with the wind blowing the fabric around you was very calming and relaxing.

You could also make your own theatre:

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I wanted to try it, but some little girl was commandeering the whole thing and I wasn’t quite ready to join her brigade 🙂

Across the path, we discovered this….

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It would “run” in place if you turned the crank.

Beside it was this series of colourful pendulums. Again, if you turned a crank they would sway back and forth. It was strangely hypnotizing.

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Centre Island also has a charming little place called Far Enough Farm.

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You could see a full-sized pig up close…

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…or pet one of these cute miniature ones.

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Far Enough Farm is free, but they do ask for a donation if you want to pet this zebu (a species of miniature cow from Southeast Asia).  Apparently they are as friendly as dogs and will even go for walks with you. This one was very used to being petted and told how cute it is all day long while lying on a very comfortable straw bed.

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Every farm needs a mean-looking barn cat 🙂

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…and a few ducks with ducklings.

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Back at the art exhibits, we found this strange (but cool) tea party.

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The Islands have very nice beaches as well, including one nude beach (Hanlan’s Point). How scandalous :-0

Pictured here is Centre Island Beach.

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Here is Gibraltar Point Beach, which is without a doubt the most picturesque.

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Centre Island also features some beautiful gardens.

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The sun was setting…

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..and back on Olympic Island, FIGMENT arranged for us all to see a circus show for FREE!

Below is our charming Master of Ceremonies, Sketchy the Clown.

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We were treated to many outstanding acts including a trapeze performer,

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an aerial silks artist,

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a hoop performer (excuse the blurry photo – she was spinning pretty quickly),

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and some fire performers.

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As we headed back towards the mainland after the show, this sight awaited us.

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In my opinion, the Toronto Islands are a little bit like heaven!

Stay tuned!

Sources: Toronto Islands info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Islands

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