231 Cobourg decision appealed by Action Sandy Hill

Photo Jane Waterston

On Sept.26, the community association Action Sandy Hill appealed City Council’s decision to allow the Ugandan High Commission to replace its current building at 321 Cobourg with a purpose-built office building.ASH’s brief was prepared and  presented by François Bregha, who worked closely with ASH board member Trina Bolan and with the assistance of Sarah Gelbard. The appeal is the culmination of an almost two-year long process to protect the Heritage Conservation District where 231 is located. Above, Sarah, François and Trina in City Hall’s Keefer Room following the appeal.


Statue unveiled at Amnesty House, 312 Laurier Ave. E.

Photo Jane Waterston

The new sculpture unveiled on August 13 on Laurier Ave. East is a replica of the empty chair that represented Liu Xiaobo in Oslo in 2010 when he was not allowed to travel to accept the Nobel Peace Prize he had been awarded for his human rights activism in China.

The sculpture was created by Ruth Abernethy, whose work also includes the Oscar Peterson statue at the National Arts Centre. The Amnesty House lawn is being described as the “first home” of the statue, which may move to another location in years to come, but given that tonnes of concrete were poured to create the plinth for the chair, it’s a safe bet that Sandy Hill residents will have lots of time to reflect on the message that “Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights” inscribed at its base in three languages.

Speakers at the unveiling included Cheuk Kwan from the Toronto Association for Democracy in China, who led the project to create the memorial, and Wang Juntao of the Democratic Party of China, who was a close friend of Liu Xiaobo at the time of the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.  Liu Xiaobo died in prison on July 13, 2017. — Paula Kelsall

Illustration Claire MacDonald