swan dive toronto

Someone destroyed a Toronto patio in the most heartbreaking way

Toronto businesses have fallen victim to vandalism in the past, but someone just destroyed the patio of a bar in a particularly cruel and heartbreaking way.

Swan Dive has been working on a community art project that's part of their patio since long before they actually ever even opened it for the season.

Their patio had become home to a collective art piece made using around 1,000 keys the bar collected all through the winter. Not only was it unexpectedly pleasing to the eye with a quirky display of shimmering keys strung up all around the patio, it also created a nice chime-like sound.

But on June 15, owner Abra Shiner posted to the Swan Dive Instagram that sadly the art on the patio had been totally destroyed.

"It's been all ripped up," Shiner posted to the Swan Dive Instagram, saying she was "heartbroken."

"It wasn't even finished," she wrote. "I'm recovering from some pretty major surgery so I can't even make it up to the bar to try to fix things up. Who would wreck the whole patio like this? And why?"

"It was an easy way for all of us to come together and create something and spend some time working creatively and talking together, customers pitched in while they drank, neighbours brought their kids, we all came to gether to preform this simple little art project and the result was a beautiful wind chime enclosed patio, it was lovely," Shiner tells blogTO.

"But only for a few weeks. On Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning someone tore it all down. They didn't steal the keys, merely shred what we had all built together."

Other nearby businesses commented on the Instagram post expressing sympathy and solidarity.

"WTF. So sorry," wrote Sweaty Betty's. "We get vandalized nearly daily. Why are people ASSHOLES?!?"

"I'm sorry some really ignorant people were disrespectful of your good work," wrote Fantastic, Baby! "Terrible."

People have also been making their own posts on Instagram, which Swan Dive added to their Stories.

"The time and effort put into the Swan Dive patio was more than just an art project," wrote friend of the bar Bear on their own Instagram story. "It doubled as a therapeutic, cathartic, bonding and healing experience for everyone in our family." 

"Bear has come to the rescue and has taken on the task of picking up the pieces and is putting it back together, building it better and even more beautiful than before," Shiner tells blogTO.

"Come tear down our art every night," Bear wrote in another Instagram Story post, "I'll be back here every day putting it all back up."

The patio is already getting back to its wonderfully artsy and key-filled state, but the insult of the vandalization it is still resounding in the neighbourhood.

Lead photo by

Swan Dive


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