Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BenchMark: Wired Up and the Toronto Carpet Facory

BenchMark Blogs: the art benches of Liberty Village
If you have missed the previous posts explaining the Liberty Village Benchmark program and the art benches we have located in our village go here to fetch them all and read the earlier posts. This is the 7th post in the series to feature each of our 19 art benches.

The bench I am featuring today is on the west side of Mowatt Avenue near Liberty Street. It is bench number 1 on the Benchmark Map which can be accessed here.  Titled "Wired Up", it was created by Michael Brown.  The artist has very cleverly made the boards of the bench look like cabling and has painted the boards with the codes for various cabling standards.
Michael Brown is a Toronto-based visual artist working primarily in Painting, Installation and Performance art.  For Michael Brown's Web site go here.  There is a significance to the bench in that there were/are a number of .net startup ventures which were/are housed at the Toronto Carpet Factory.  When we think of internet we think of cabling.

This bench is sponsored by the Toronto Carpet Factory, which is not really a carpet factory!     If you go to the York Heritage Properties Website it is described as follows:
A centre of creativity, a full city block in size, originally built as a carpet manufacturing facility between 1899 and the 1920s. A historically listed, turn of the century office complex featuring several buildings clustered around internal courtyards and laneways. They feature high ceilings, exposed brick and beams with large, operable windows and extremely secure, economical internet connectivity. Companies in in the Toronto Carpet Factory maintain that the nature and quality of the office accomodation has enhanced their ability to recruit and retain employees.
 Note the words "centre of creativity" - that is because Liberty Village is the home to many creative types (as mentioned in my earliest blog on Liberty Village).  and this is the kind of clientele that York Heritage caters to as it specializes in alternative office spaces. 

It seems that the Toronto Carpet Factory and the York Liberty buildings in Liberty Village have acquired an international reputation for the adaptive reuse of historical complexes, thanks to York Heritage Properties. The York Heritage designers have attempted to create space that is youthful, exhilarating and attractive to a new corporate culture that requires its office accommodation to be a resource rather than merely four walls to house employees and equipment.  (according to the York Heritage Properties web site).

York Heritage Properties website also has a page detailing  building history and  pictures from 1899 and during WWI.

Our Liberty Village is full of Heritage Buildings and I intend on featuring each them, along side the benches which sit near them in the coming blogs.

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