toronto spoke club

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

Riders 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.


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