SETH

SIX CARDBOARD BUILDINGS FROM THE IMAGINARY CITY OF DOMINION

 

Bluebird Cafe, Frank Street Location, 2009
Mixed media
c. 8 1/4" x 7" x 8"

........Practically a Dominion City institution. This small franchise began in 1935 with one location on Milverton Street. By 1965 they had 7 identical branches throughout the city. Much beloved by Dominionites (despite the rather run-of-the-mill menu) and a favourite lunch spot of George Sprott. The Frank Street location is just around the corner from George's office in the Elgin Building. George ate there at least 3 times a week for 20 years. His favourite dish--a meatloaf sandwich with a side of sour pickles.

 

St. Henri of the Woods, 2009
Mixed media
c. 12 1/2" x 7 1/4" x 11 1/2"

........One of the founding Churches in Dominion. Erected in 1878, this little Catholic Church was built by French Canadian settlers, and it is quite typical of the Quebec style -- rough-hewn stone and silver metal roofing. Named after the local Saint. Despite the fact that George Sprott was an Anglican, this is the Church in which he and Helen Trupp were married (Helen was the lapsed Catholic). Still an active congregation to this day. On Sunday morning its one great bell can be heard tolling throughout the downtown.

 

The Forest Heights Cemetery Carillon, 2009
Mixed media
c. 10 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"


........This structure sits dead centre in Dominion's famous cemetery. Each day, for approximately one hour, its chimes peel out with a medley of traditional Canadian melodies -- mostly of maritime and French Canadian origins. In recent years there has been some dispute about whether this monument is worth the public funds for maintenance (its 1920's mechanism breaks down constantly). George is buried within 500 meters of the tower.

 

The J.Morgan Smith Private Landing Library, 2009
Mixed media
c. 11 1/2" x 6" x 9 1/2"


........This modest building was the home of Dominion's founder J. Morgan Smith. A man of considerable wealth and a little education. He opened this private library in 1881 and for a small fee anyone was allowed to borrow books. The books were from Morgan's own private collection. It would be another two decades before the city had a Public Library. The library exists today as more of a landmark than an active institution. The bulk of the collection is from the original stock, however select donations have enlarged it over the last century. Much of George Sprott's personal Artic library has found its way onto these shelves.

 

The Hudson Club, 2009
Mixed media
c. 11" x 7 1/2" x 11"


........One of Dominion's many private clubs. Though the club was originally opened with an eye to a membership of Polar adventurers, it has never really lived up to that ideal. Dominion has long flattered itself as Northern City but truthfully, like most Northern Ontario towns, it is much closer to the South than the North. Its membership is largely drawn from local business men and its functions are not much different than the usual Oddfellows hall. Still, it has a great bar and some terrific murals done in the 1930's. It goes without saying that George was a much admired member there.

 

The Royal Dominion, 2009
Mixed media
c. 15" x 12" x 9"


........A grand vacation lodge about 50 miles north of the city. Built near the the beautiful Chalk Cliffs, it has been a popular summer resort since the turn of the last century. Known for its grand ballroom and its excellent kitchen. Once open to the public, it became more exclusive in the 1940's when it became a private club. Before this era the Lodge was renowned for its hunting and fishing but times change, and in the fifties it was mostly patronized by golfers after the addition of its famous links. George Sprott visited "The Royal" every summer from 1958 to 1973. No Golfer, George spent his time in the bar.

 

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