Thursday, February 18, 2016

Union Station Under Construction

Toronto Urban Sketchers at Union Station art and construction

Earlier this month a couple of us went to sketch in the Great Hall at Union Station, which is said to be the busiest transportation facility in Canada. Fortunately, it wasn't too busy over the weekend and we had plenty of space to sit and sketch.  I was surprised to see the large windows covered up behind a matrix of scaffolding and giant orange tarp covering half of the both  along one side of the space. The tarp is what gave the orange glow on the photos above. 

The station is currently undergoing a major revitalization but most of us didn't expect the Great Hall to be part of it. One of the sketchers joked that she can't remember a time when there wasn't any kind of construction at Union Station. That's the reality of a growing city : lots of constructions everywhere! We still managed to find great subjects to sketch. Since the obvious features of the space were hidden, we had to look for the less obvious features and pay attention to some of the details like the columns marking the entrance to the train waiting area, the views from the window a little further and the people passing by. 

Toronto Urban Sketchers Union Station Pilot coffee watercolor art

What caught my attention was a new coffee shop booth called pilot, right in the middle of the space. The booth has a unique shape is reminiscent of a paper airplane. I wonder if the name was the inspiration behind the design of the booth. Not that coffee has much to do with a plane, other than perhaps the fact that it's imported and may have travelled by plane. I couldn't find any information about the story behind the name on their website. Maybe the concept of the plane was the idea of the architect, Williamson Chong, or maybe it's pure coincidence. But the shape of the booth definitely got my attention. There is not a lot of space for the baristas. There were 1-2 at a time on rotation while we were sketching. Speaking of baristas, I've been wondering why this "new" term is being used for the staff working behind the counter in coffee shops. Turns out it's an Italian word for bartender. Now you know :) 

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