Toronto just got a giant stone canoe with stunning skyline views
If you're looking for another breathtaking vantage point to take in the Toronto skyline, a new stone canoe that has landed at the Billy Bishop Airport provides the perfect spot for some thoughtful meditation or a few photos — and it has very powerful cultural and historical significance, too.
The impressive 16-foot-long dark granite sculpture was specially commissioned by PortsToronto from renowned Indigenous artist and teacher David M. General.
It depicts three canoeing fisherwomen: the mythological Makwa-Kwe (Bear), Nigig-Kwe (Otter) and Migizi-Kwe (Eagle), and also incorporates tons of Indigenous imagery, symbolism and even poetry on the vessel itself.
Named Maanjidowin: The Gathering, the stunning piece commemorates the Mississaugas of the Credit, the original stewards of the land that the airport sits on.
Chi-miigwech to the @cityoftoronto, @BBishopAirport, and @PortsToronto for their commitment to this project, and to artist David General for beautifully capturing a part of our history through Maanjidowin: The Gathering. pic.twitter.com/E89PuzWC0W— Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (@mcfirstnation) May 4, 2022
As the artist says in a release today, Maanjidowin "is an artwork representing relationships Indigenous communities and nations have with land, water and sky," its inscriptions "bearing teachings, direction and symbolism that guide fulfillment of inherent rights and responsibilities."
The location is perfect, not only for its view overlooking the city, but for the fact that the airport and the harbour are key entryways for visitors and locals alike.
John Tory, in celebrating the new installation, adds that the Mississaugas of the Credit "have a rich history that was greatly influenced by life along the shores of Toronto's harbour and waterways, and it is important that this vibrant past, and bright present and future, be reflected."
You can find the stunning fixture, which is also a part of the city's year-long ArtworxTO initiative, on the island's south dock wall overlooking the Western Gap.
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