Thursday, 20 July 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 9.

I’m still exploring the city, but I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff. And I don’t know how I’m going to go about it. I thought about apartments and jobs. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. I have to start paying attention to these things. That’s how serious it was starting to become and how anxious I’ve become. The problem, as I said, it’s something I have no idea whatsoever how to solve the dilemma. Another problem, it’s just something I can’t even pull ideas out of my own ass. The issue is that I have to find an apartment and a job that will shelter and keep me occupied for at least a year until my brother arrives. But I can’t let this bummer of a thought get in the way of me having fun. Because today I visited the University of Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Art Gallery of Ontario. Exciting day.

Here’s what happened: I visited UT and first stumbled upon the university’s Music Department. Which blew my mind. Already standing in front of it, I could sense the rich history and reputation the department buildings exuded. Since the university’s reputation involves it being Canada’s leading educational institution, as well as being one of the world’s top research universities. A reputation that has been synonymous since the university’s founding in 1827. Something I could not sense, even in the slightest bit, with the University of Auckland’s Music Department. Then explored the rest of the campus as much as I could in my three-or-so-hour of walking.

I then moved on to the Royal Ontario Museum - one of the largest museums in North America, and the second most visited Canadian museum after the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. With more than six million items and forty galleries, the museum’s diverse collections of world culture and natural history contribute to its international reputation. The museum contains notable collections of dinosaurs, minerals and meteorites, Near Eastern and African art, Art of East Asia, European history, and Canadian History. It houses the world’s largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens. The museum also contains an extensive collection of design and fine arts, including clothing, interior, and product design, especially Art Deco. Long story short, I just looked at it from the outside and took photos. I didn’t really go inside. The customer service desk was the furthest I went in the museum. I know, disappointing. 

Right away, I headed towards the Art Gallery of Ontario. It took a little while to get to. Along the way, I saw different UT departments and buildings that I never imagined I’d see or never knew existed. Finally, I reached AGO. One of the most distinguished North American art museums, with its collection of more than 90,000 works of art that spans from the first century to the present day. Significant collections include the largest collection of Canadian art, an expansive body of works from the Renaissance and the Baroque eras, European art, African and Oceanic art, and a modern and contemporary collection. The photography collection is a large part of the collection, as well as an extensive drawing and prints collection. The museum contains many significant sculptures, such as in the Henry Moore sculpture centre, and represents other forms of art like historic objects, miniatures, frames, books and medieval illuminations, film and video art, graphic art, installations, architecture, and ship models. During the AGO's history, it has hosted and organized some of the world's most renowned and significant exhibitions, and continues to do so, to this day. It was just as I imagined it. An art gallery that made the Auckland Art Gallery look like a child’s colouring book. I didn’t explore the museum itself, but I did have a peak at the git shop. Already, I was impressed. That did it for me for the day. That’s most of my sightseeing done, only one place left. Well, it was time to go back to rest and chow down.

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