Update on destroyed sidewalk carving

A quick update on the sidewalk carving destroyed by City staff on Wednesday. James from Broken Pencil who originally tipped us off, says “I watched, at 9:30 this morning, as one City worker took out some sort of concrete grinder and proceeded to rip up the entire carved image. A huge cloud of dust was shot everywhere. All that remains now is a bunch of ugly scrape marks — the carving is completely, I repeat, completely gone.”

It certainly is a shame this happened. The etchings are one of those things that stop you in your tracks — its so small, yet so very personal, in such a public and high-traffic part of town. And once you know the story behind the artist Tatoo [ see post below, with comments] it takes on an even more unique meaning.

I will also add something obvious, but still worthy of noting: the thousands of blogs and photoblogs in this city highlight some of the wonderful minutia of Toronto, which in turn makes us feel a little more intimate and comfortable with our surroundings. The fact that so many people even care about such a small detail of our city is a perfect example of how emerging technology can enable positive community building.

UPDATE: City staff are saying that the carving was a “trip hazard.” The church where the carving is located near had been complaining about it for quite a while. Look for a piece on the carving in Friday’s newspapers.


  1. Hey everyone,

    Two little updates. I was aware of the city’s ‘trip hazard’ concerns. Ironically enough, there is probably a greater ‘trip hazard’ now from the concrete scrapping than from the actual carving.

    Update two – The city or the church has posted a ‘No Camping’ sign where the gentlemen who created the carvings used to stay. I guess that’s just another sadly ironic part to this story, that the church or the city would percieve homeless people living on the street as ‘camping’. How sad.

    I think I may setup a ‘Do Not Trip’ sign next to the new, wonderfully ugly, concrete cut by the grate. Just to be safe.

  2. Hi, All:

    It makes me crazy! Like Tattoo, I faced the jaws of steel were I not to remove a row of miniature cedar trees installed on the front boulevard of my property.

    Reportedly, the installation was a hazard — evidently more so than lack of visibility, illegal parking and stopping at schools and bus stops.

    To my mind the City staff and their management are the real hazards especially when they get ‘all up on their grinders’.

    Sadly, another real fine example of our tax dollars at work . Good grief.

  3. To reimagine the famous “war room” line from Dr. Strangelove:

    “Homeless people, you can’t sit here! This is a church!”

  4. I guess this will be the ‘last’ update – but I just wanted everyone to know that I just saw Tatoo starting to carve a new image into the concrete.

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