Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto by Terry MurrayFaces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto by Terry Murray

Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of Toronto

byTerry Murray

Paperback | May 31, 2006

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Faces on Places takes us into the fascinating world of mythical and historical persons and icons that have been watching over Toronto and its inhabitants for centuries.

If you look up with author Terry Murray, you'll see beyond glass and steel and stone to spy Gargoyles, Griffins, Dragons, Angels, Portraits of Important Personages (and Caricatures of those same folk). Murray has photographed over sixty Toronto buildings, interviewed architects, stone carvers, and building occupants, and scoured archives for original architectural plans, to discover who these creatures are, and why they exist.

Faces on Places is organized by type of sculpture, and contains street addresses and maps for suggested walking tours. It is an elegant and reliable guide to the city's most silent and intriguing citizens.

About The Author

Terry Murray is an award-winning journalist and photographer specializing in medicine. For more than twenty years she has been on the staff of the The Medical Post, a weekly newspaper for Canadian doctors. Her articles and photographs have also appeared in numerous general interest publications in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia, a...

Details & Specs

Title:Faces on Places: A Grotesque Tour of TorontoFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8 × 4.25 × 0.6 inPublished:May 31, 2006Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0887847412

ISBN - 13:9780887847417

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From Our Editors

From the foreword by Christopher Hume "Toronto is a cityof secrets. It reveals itself slowly, bit by bit, detail by detail. This is as true of the physical landscape -- with all its hidden ravines -- as it is of our cultural topography. Toronto's architecture is no different. Just ask Terry Murray, whose book, Faces on Places, will come as a revelation to even the most diehard city explorer. Who knew Toronto possessed such a rich heritage of carved stone buildings? Who knew the city and its buildings were so alive with dragons, griffins, and grotesques, let alone cherubim, seraphim, and plain ordinary angels?" "The subtext of Faces on Places is our continuing struggle to create a distinctly Canadian mythology, to develop a language, architectural and aesthetic, that enables us to tell our own stories." "The modernists insisted that architecture was simply a matter of form and function. How wrong they were! To read Murray's welcome volume is to be reminded that the buildings we love are those that speak to us. The stone in which they are writ may be worn down by wind, snow, and rain, but the tales they tell never lose their appeal." From the foreword by Joe Chiffriller "Jump in anywhere within these pages and you will come to suspect that Terry Murray was herself a stone carver in a former life. With a passionate interest in Toronto masters who have come before her, she has unearthed old documents and then fearlessly scaled the rooftops to inspect and record their work. Now she has climbed back down and caught her breath. The result is a completely modern look at stone carving. In addition to bringing the subject down to earth, Terry also includes a bit of mystery and colourful historical background, as well as tales of the backbiting politics, time constraints, and money concerns that went into the creation of these carved faces. Unlike the authors of most books on the subject, Terry does not speak in historical riddles or attempt to preserve the subject -- cue the dramatic choral music -- as A Work for the Ages. This is a lively story expertly told and, as such, Faces on Places may just become a stone carving classic." "From an insider's viewpoint, these works in stone symbolize the best characteristics of the trade itself, capable of inspiring future generations in ways of courage, laughter, craftsmanship, and a sense of wonder. Today, when we least expect it, architectural stone carvings jump out at us with eternal truths of beauty, courage, and good battling evil. But real estate and economic interests continue to force a showdown between modern aesthetics and what we want to preserve, especially when it comes to those historic faces that for a century or more have benignly watched over us all. Now, face to face, it may be our turn to watch over them."