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What's up with the rooftop figures at King & Portland?

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 24, 2014

toronto spoke clubRiders on the King streetcar would have been hard pressed to miss the two 7-metre figures swinging their legs over the northeast corner of King and Portland this week. The giant nylon spinnaker cloth figures by Alberta artist Max Streicher were commissioned by the Spoke Club, one of the tenants of the King West building, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the members-only club.

Titled "Ascending Giants," the inflatable pieces are accompanied inside by another installation called "Giant Babies," which, you guessed it, consists of massive infants.

Cultural Director of the Spoke Club Raji Aujla says the giant men symbolize the past and future direction of the business. "Every month we're trying to commemorate a certain industry so this month we're commemorating visual art," she says. "We took [co-founder] Galen Weston's original vision for the club, and it was very humble and very small in Toronto, so that's what the babies represented. The giants outside are where we'd like to go in the next 10 years."

"They're kind of like a bouncy house, you can see them breathing when you're up close to them."

The figures are down at the moment due to high winds but will be returning with better weather until March 31.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo by alanaleehagedorn on Instagram.



Henri Mahal / January 24, 2014 at 02:40 pm
Amazing Artwork right across the street from our office! We will be posting a quick review on these oversize statues our website on monday. Check it out! Video Production Toronto
Borte / January 24, 2014 at 02:51 pm
I must say with their heads roughly the size of a streetcar windshield they have to be more like 11 or 12 feet.

Regardless, terrific snowball targets!
rudy / January 24, 2014 at 03:33 pm
i'd like to know what happened to the ten-foot-high bust of lenin at gerrard just east of woodbine
rudy replying to a comment from rudy / January 24, 2014 at 03:40 pm
never mind, i found it...
Peter / January 24, 2014 at 04:17 pm
Did you mean 7 metres?
Julia / January 24, 2014 at 04:21 pm
They look like the Greendale Human Beings mascot
Sculptures of Rob & Doug / January 24, 2014 at 06:18 pm
Anatomically correct, too.
Matt / January 24, 2014 at 06:28 pm
A private members club co-founded by a billionaire describes itself as "very humble"??
newearthling / January 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm
I am wondering why they didn't commission a Toronto artist?
Stupid guy / January 26, 2014 at 12:25 am
I ride the King St car everyday and I've never seen these.
Doug Ford / January 26, 2014 at 10:50 am
Me too!
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