When you think of Toronto, what do you think of? There are iconic landmarks, unforgettable moments, and unmistakable monuments that, for our team, are quintessentially Toronto.
We’ve spent years curating the Toronto collection that adorns the walls of the Adelaide Club, highlighting these exact things – features and moments – that, for us, define the city that we call home. From historical figures that sculpted the city to artwork that showcases all that we love to moments we will never forget, our team has curated some of the most iconic Toronto images and placed them in the HUB – the heart of the Adelaide Club, located in the heart of downtown Toronto.
To highlight some of the most incredible pieces in our collection, we thought we’d do a series – taking you on a mini tour through our Toronto collection. Join us for the first part of our tour, featuring a few pieces that even the most well-versed Torontonians may not know about!
Surprise!, Rolling Stones at El Mocambo Tavern
Considered Toronto’s monument to rock and roll, the El Mocambo Tavern once played host to a band who billed themselves as “The Cockroaches” on March 4 and 5, 1977. Arguably the biggest rock and roll band of the time, the Rolling Stones, hosted a two-night engagement at the El Mocambo where they recorded a live album, surrounded by a few hundred fans. Sure, pulling off the ruse was an incredible feat, but, more importantly, it was a moment that tied Toronto to rock and roll history.
Flight Stop, Toronto Eaton Centre
Created by Toronto artist Michael Snow and unveiled in 1979, Flight Stop is a permanent sculptural installation at the Toronto Eaton Centre, representing a flight of 60 geese. Commissioned to create a hanging sculpture for the Eaton Centre’s skylit galleria, Snow’s beautiful sculpture is seen by thousands of visitors each and every day and has become a fixture in Toronto’s art scene.
No, No, No, Andre De Grasse & Usain Bolt, 2016 Rio Olympic Games
At the Rio Olympics in 2016, we witnessed the birth of a bromance. In the men’s 200-meter semifinal, both Andre De Grasse and Usain Bolt had all but secured their place in the final, but instead of taking it easy, De Grasse made a move in the final few seconds, forcing Bolt to run faster than he would normally need to in a semifinal. That ended in an iconic image of Bolt wagging his finger while De Grasse smiled next to him – a personal favourite of ours, and a truly historic Olympic moment for Canadians.
When Karen Kain Met Karen Kain 236, Karen Kain
Karen Kain is a Canadian former ballet dancer, and the current artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. She has long been considered one of the most gifted classical dancers of her era, winning a Silver Medal in the Women’s Category and a special prize for Best Pas de Deux at the second ever International Ballet Competition in 1973.
In 1980, Andy Warhol created his Karen portrait – Karen Kain 236. Kain had captivated him, as she had captivated so many others, when she performed as a principal ballet dancer in the National Ballet of Canada. And this photo captured the moment the real Karen Kain met her Warhol.
Today, Kain remains a committed advocate for the arts in Canada and continues to beautifully represent Canada and Toronto on a global scale.
The First Toronto Blue Jays Game, Exhibition Stadium
Before the Skydome was ever built, the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game on April 7, 1977 in Exhibition Stadium. And, in typical Canadian spring fashion, the game was played with snow on the ground. It was the start of something incredible – which would include 2 World Series victories – and has become part of the very fabric of Toronto.
And a bonus, special highlight we simply have to include…
The Pequod Meets the Rosebud & Laceland, Frank Stella
Frank Stella is one of the great artists of the last 60 years. He is an abstract expressionist who hangs in all of the great modern museums of the world, including two retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a show at the Metropolitan Museum of New York 10 years ago - Frank Stella, Art to Architecture, and 3 years ago a retrospective of Frank Stella's work was the opening show at the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
There are 2 original Frank Stella pieces that hang at the Adelaide Club: The Pequod Meets the Rosebud (1992) and Laceland (1997), along with a number of prints. The Pequod Meets the Rosebud is from Stella’s Moby Dick series, while Laceland was a piece commissioned by Cambridge Group of Clubs’ CEO Clive Caldwell. Laceland was originally hung in the Oak Room at the Cambridge Club, but moved five years ago to the Adelaide Club.
These are just a few of the many pieces included in our Toronto collection, and the first part of our virtual tour through the Club. When you’re next at the Adelaide, take a few moments to explore the photos and artwork we’ve curated that perfectly highlight Toronto – and let us know which ones are your favourites!