Kensington Pedestrian Sundays kick off – HiMY SYeD’s famous Labyrinths

Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market

HiMY SYeD’s famous Labyrinths

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Central Technical School CTS Labyrinth — Problem Child

Ping, a grade 12 student in her final semester at Central Technical School, walks the Central Tech Labyrinth.
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LAB-KARE-NTH Labyrinth – Chinese Knotwork Labyrinth for Karen Sun

lab-kare-nth-chinese-knotwork-labyrinth-key-circuitsI want to make you a labyrinth.

Okay.

What kind of design would you like incorporated in it?

I don’t know….hmmmm…let me think about it…
I have always liked chinese knotwork, how ’bout that?

Okay. It’ll do. Chinese knotwork labyrinth it is.

What’cha gonna call it?

How about “lab-karen-th”.

Okay. Read More »

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Emma TeRrA Labyrinth

emma-terra-labyrinth

Pedestrian Sundays Kensington Market
Earth! Global Harvest Traditions
Toronto Ontario Canada, Sunday September 28 2008

I love the Emma TeRa labyrinth at the intersection of Baldwin and Augusta. The square design and the beautiful straight lines makes me think of a traditional maze they used to build in Europe, with the high hedges.

The yellow and orange colours emphasize the design and make it look so pretty, The Egyptian-like hieroglyphics in the middle must have a mystical meaning, I think something to do with 2 different times coming together, as depicted by the egg timer-like shapes And the repeating star shape at the top has a vibrating merkaba look, maybe it means that if we walk this labyrinth we will be transported to a better time.

I hope so.

Thank you Himy for creating this memory for Emma. She lived on this street and would absolutely love it too.

She was a person who loved people and wanted to find a way for them to come together with art as a theme.

With this beautiful cube-like design on this busy intersection, where people come together all the time, you have helped make her wish come true.

The day you worked so hard to design, paint and create this labyrinth, I walked through this puzzle and when I arrived in the centre, a woman and her daughter approached me and told me I should now give thanks for everything I am grateful for, and then I should walk out the same way as I had walked in.

On the way in I should have some intention or question on my mind and on the way out I should have the answer.

This woman told me she was a shaman.

The fact that I met her in the centre where she gave me guidance was magical in itself. I took the answer to be that my daughter Emma is still here and involved with life.

Thank you Himy for your kindness and artistry, I’m sure you make a lot of people happy with your labyrinths all over the city.

Edwina Frankford

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Pedestrian Sunday Kensington Market – Streams of Consciousness Water Labyrinth

For this Streams of Consciousness themed Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market, an aqua flavoured labyrinth integrated sewer grates in the design.

Parents were given a break as their young ones walked and ran around and around and around the Water Labyrinth.

It proved quite popular throughout this mild bustling September afternoon.

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Pigeon Labyrinth – Gwendolyn MacEwen Park, Walmer Road Traffic Island

Most days, I short-cut through this little park, Gwendolyn MacEwen Park, in The Annex neighbourhood in downtown Toronto.

People however, aren’t the only ones who enjoy the park…
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High Park Labyrinth – Hawk Hill

High Park Labyrinth -- Hawk Hill

The Labyrinth Community Network is best known for their efforts in animating the green space in Trinity Square Park with The Toronto Public Labyrinth.

The LCN is less known for their first success, The High Park Labyrinth. It was initiated in 2001 by Sylvia Senensky.

Located in the secluded dip just north of Hawk Hill, The High Park Labyrinth has been enjoyed by those in the know for years.

Those who don’t know are usually patrons of the Grenadier Cafe and Tea House or people parking their cars in the lot just a stone’s throw away. Read More »

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The AfroFest Labyrinth – Queen’s Park

Afrofest Labyrinth Giant Outstallation Art by HiMY SYeD in Queen's Park

“…In celebration of Afrofest‘s 18th year at Queen’s Park, Toronto-based Giant Outstallation Artist HiMY SYeD will be creating a giant sized walking labyrinth in the outline of the African Continent.

‘The AfroFest Labyrinth’ is part of HiMY’s ongoing Giant Outstallation Art project – ‘Toronto – City of Labyrinths‘. Intended to create safe walking spaces for both play and contemplation.

These labyrinths are located within (pun intended) walking distance of all Torontonians and at Toronto’s festivals, special events and street parties.”

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Stanley Park Seawall Labyrinth – Vancouver

This is one of two Labyrinths left along The Seawall surrounding Stanley Park. They are my gifts to the People and City of Vancouver before I leave for home.

This labyrinth is located three fourths the distance between the Lions Gate Bridge and Siwash Rock which you can see in the distance.

For one full month I have been here in Vancouver, first to attend the United Nations’ World Urban Forum 3 followed separately by the World Peace Forum on the campus of University of British Columbia.

Often after the day’s events, I enjoyed biking or walking the entire nine kilometer length of the path affectionately known by locals as The Seawall.

Along The Seawall are a number of half moon shaped observation points with benches facing the Pacific Ocean.

With each trip past each of those observation points, The Seawall whispers to me grew, Siren-like, to leave a labyrinth or two or three before leaving.

A few days ago, I found myself in a hardware shop along Vancouver’s famous Commercial Drive mixing tints. The colour of the paint needed had to find balance between the blue of the ocean and the green and grays of the trees and rock cliffs of Stanley Park.

Passers-by all seemed to appreciate this new addition to The Seawall.

I ran out of both paint and time for a third Labyrinth just east of the Lions Gate Bridge. Next time I’m in Vancouver, hopefully I’ll complete this trilogy of Left Coast Labyrinths.

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“It only takes two facing mirrors to build a Labyrinth” – Jorge Luis Borges

T.V. Rots Your Brain – Elevator passing floors 3 5 7

I was in an elevator this past winter in one of the office towers which inhabit the concrete canyons of Toronto’s financial district.

The panelling of the windows on each of the four sides (once the doors were closed) of the elevator were slightly off, causing a visual ripple and infinity effect.

I took three photographs and used autostitch freeware to create the mirror image you see.

Of note, is that each of the three prominent reflections of the floor number, they are different, showing ‘3’, ‘5’, ‘7’, hence the title of the photograph.

“My other nightmare is that of the mirror.

“The two are not distinct, as it only takes two facing mirrors to construct a labyrinth.

“I remember seeing, in the house of Dora de Alvear in the Belgrano district, a circular room whose walls and doors were mirrored, so that whoever entered the room found himself at the center of a truly infinite labyrinth.”

— Jorge Luis Borges, “Nightmares,” Seven Nights, 1984, pg. 29.

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Lands End Labyrinth — San Francisco

I spent a couple of days earlier this week in The City, San Francisco.

Initially it was to honour the sixth anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami.

I built a giant outline of a candle in luminaria, then as I did exactly five months ago on the one month anniversary of the Tsunami, I waited for the Sun to set on the west coast of North America…

In due course, the same Sun would rise in East Asia.

This Giant Candle is my way of sending hope from here to there; of saying without words, that you all have not been forgotten.

I decided to stay overnight at Ocean Beach after building a fire with driftwood, sharing warmth with strangers, falling asleep to echoing rhythms of The Pacific as waves crashed womblike upon the shore.

The morning brought breakfast beside The Cliff House above the ruins of the Sutro Baths, then ultimately, exploring the Land’s End trail near Mile Rock Beach.

Without expectation, following a winding trail, a discovery.

But who and when and why and how

The what however, is known: Lands End Labyrinth.

Second in a trilogy of Bay Area labyrinths by Eduardo Aguilera.

It’s about a year old, though I had no knowledge of that at the time of discovery.

As it happened, I was still carrying a printout of a seven circuit Chartes labyrinth design.

I struck up a conversation with Roger, one of the early morning labyrinth walkers who you see wearing a Farley’s hoodie.

Roger had no clue as to the origins, but turns out, he himself had just built a labyrinth in his backyard.

Roger also owns Farley’s Coffee in Potrero Hill.

…Amazing who you can meet when you walk newly discovered labyrinths…

A number of co-incidences have happened in and around discovery of Lands End Labyrinth.

This labyrinth is off the beaten path and built by one person, Eduardo Aguilera, in hopes that people would discover them on their own. …sounds familiar.

He had built another labyrinth in the Marin Headlands, at an exact spot that I would discover later the same day. When I stumbled upon the spot, immediately I was inspired to gather stones and begin a labyrinth outline in the earth… yet I was out of gas. Exhausted. Spent. Yet still inspired to return and do it properly.

San Francisco and Toronto, both share well known public labyrinths attached to churches in central locations initiated by formal networks of people: Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and Trinity Church in Toronto

Find myself realizing that I may be Toronto’s Eduardo Aguilera.

But now left with a question I cannot answer from here, where does the Land End in Toronto?

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Labyrithmics – Big Backyard Paper Labyrinth, Fremont California

… okay, so we didn’t finish making the labyrinth in the big backyard earlier this evening … manana, manana …

This is the Big Backyard to my grandparents’ place in Fremont, California.

One of those suburban nightmares where everything is manicured and nothing out of the norm ever seems to appear.

Eyeing the boredom of the complex’s kids and the great green grass canvas since my visit began here, I finally broke down today and installed, or rather tried to install, a labyrinth.

The only materials I could readily use were simple 8.5 by 11 sheets of paper and everyday toothpicks to pin the sheets into the grass.

Harder than it looks or sounds, the grass being deep, the ground moist, my fingers and thumbs aching, the children impatient.

The kids kept asking if the labyrinth was ready all afternoon. They even helped now and then, but their tiny fingers failed them after at best a sheet or two.

Imagine kids in the backseat of your car on a long trip repeating, ‘Are we there yet?’ and your ears may get a feel for what echoed in Fremont all afternoon.

Finally, I just gave in and let them play.

No one seemed to care the paper labyrinth wasn’t done yet.

It was enjoyed as is — unfinished.

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“101 Ways to Use a Classical Labyrinth” — Daniel H. Johnston, Ph.D.

Download the PDF file .

Visit The Labyrinth page on the Lessons4Living website for more from Dan Johnston, Ph.D.

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