Don’t miss these upcoming events in May! Two exciting back-to-back events featuring the life and work of local artist Clara Isabella Harris (1887-1975), resident of 23 Valleyview Gardens in the Baby Point community. Detailed information is below. To learn more about the biography of the artist, please visit the Notable Residents page on this website under the History category or visit www.claraharrisart.com (link below).
Event #2: Doors Open weekend 2017 (May 27 and 28) open 10am-4.30pm each day, Lambton House and Montgomery’s Inn
Captured on Canvas
Exploring our past through the work of Clara Harris
Clara Harris (1887-1975) studied at the Ontario College of Art and had connections to many well-known Canadian artists of the early twentieth century. While she is little known today much of her work captures a southern Ontario that has been transformed by domestic and industrial development. Many of her paintings specifically relate to the landscape of York and Etobicoke and provide a unique historical record of the largely rural nature of the area in the early twentieth century. In doing so it offers the opportunity to visually demonstrate the great changes that have taken place since Confederation in the Canadian landscape, and how the arts have helped to tell the story of Canada’s evolution.
This project consists of two exhibitions: the first, Captured on Canvas, to be held at Lambton House and Montgomery’s Inn over the Doors Open weekend will use original works by Clara Harris. At Lambton House paintings by Harris will be joined by other items relating to her including her diary and sketchbook. At the Inn Harris’ works will be displayed alongside contemporary photographs of the same views, which will first be displayed in a second exhibition, Captured on Camera, featuring a series of now and then images, with the modern day photographs taken by students Krystyna Poremba and Georgia Mackay from Etobicoke School of the Arts. These pairings of Harris paintings and contemporary photography will reveal the vastly changed landscape of York and Etobicoke and provoke a conversation of how Canada has been transformed over the last 150 years by urban growth. There will be an accompanying pamphlet showing the locations represented in the paintings and photographs, including brief details about the paintings, the artist and the two venues.
Captured on Canvas, with original works by Clara Harris will be staged over the Doors Open weekend 2017 (May 27 and 28) and open 10am-4.30pm each day. The students’ contemporary photographs of the urban landscape will be displayed at the Inn throughout May, as the exhibition Captured on Camera, coinciding, but not part of the Toronto Contact photography festival.
The Story Behind the Baby Point Heritage Foundation
Founded in early 2010, the Baby Point Heritage Foundation (BPHF) began as a collaboration of neighbours with common interests and a shared goal: to preserve and protect the built heritage of this exceptionally unique neighbourhood. Concerned by interest in demolishing or radically modifying the exterior of homes and streetscape in Baby Point, and catalysed into action by the proposed demolition of a heritage Arts & Crafts home, the group decided to form the BPHF with the view to educate and inform residents and the public of the heritage of the neighbourhood, which is historically, architecturally and archaeologically significant to the history of the City of Toronto, to the province of Ontario, and to Canada.
The Foundation was formally incorporated in August, 2010 as a non-profit, federally-charted organization.
The focus of BPHF efforts involve three core interests:
• to educate and inform residents and the public of the heritage of the neighbourhood, which is historically, architecturally and archaeologically significant to the history of both Ontario and Canada
• through education and awareness programs, help foster local interest in maintaining Baby Point’s historical atmosphere and architectural integrity
• to make application to the City of Toronto for designation of Baby Point as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD) as laid out in a formal submission