Crossing the Don River, the Queen St Bridge was built in 1911. In 1995, artist Eldon Garnet was commissioned to produce an art installation called ‘Time: and a Clock’. The inscription “This river I step in is not the river I stand in” is borrowed from Greek philosopher Heracleitus, meaning that change is constant in life and experiences. It also reflects how this area has come from an industrial area of glue factories and slaughterhouses to one of Toronto’s hippest neighbourhoods.
As a three part work depicting the notions of time, you can find the other pieces along Queen St. East. At the intersection of Broadview, you can find more metal inscriptions on the sidewalks in front of such Toronto gems as Jilly’s the titty bar, Dangerous Dan’s the greasy spoon who’s tagline is ‘The burgers are bigger at the Double D’ and the Jamaican joint The real jerk (sorry no reference for breasts for this one). The inscriptions read: Better late than never, Time = distance x velocity, Time is money: money is time, and Too soon free from time.
The third at Jimmie Simpson Park on the corner of Queen and Degrassi St (for you non Canadians I can hear you laughing, yes it is associated with Degrassi Junior High), are steel banners of a 4 word poem about the motion of time: Coursing, Disappearing, Trembling, Returning.
Garnet explained about his art on Queen St Bridge and the area: “I was really proud to get text in the city. All the text you see tries to sell you something, or orders you to do something, like stop. This is poetic text in the city.” Very cool video below.