Weekly I am in Toronto (‘the big T-O’) for work and it never fails to amaze me how filled with celebrity life it is. Thousands of workers commute into TO by tram, bus, train, plane and car every day, dressed in black and grey, speaking with no one along their way. All right, I didn’t mean that to rhyme, but it’s appropriate since TO is probably the financial centre of the art industry in Canada.
Where I work, off Bloor and Bay, I have to walk by the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), a historic stone structure that looks like it has recently given birth to a couple of glass and steel sugar cubes. In front of ROM, on Bloor, if there is not a company giving away free hair products, totes, chocolate, or pens, there is a film company shooting scenes out of NYPD or some other ‘big city scene’. Today, they are filming Nikita, and actors and fans alike can be seen in front of the School of Music with large stage lights, water, and whispers. Celebrities and film crews are around every corner on a daily basis, and this is something that never fails to surprise me.
We still think of ‘big industry’ as the factory and its widgets, but art is our new industry, and contemporary, steel-edged art of all forms is what TO has. Film, visual media pieces, animation, gaming, architecture, music, dance and drama theatres (far too many to list here) are all in TO. I think it is safe to say, if you are looking for something, anything, name it – TO has it.