Who let the dogs go to the dogs?
July 8, 2017 10:18 AM   Subscribe

 
Apparently the answer to the question is "Toronto let the dogs out".

Woo, woo, woo woo, eh?
posted by hippybear at 10:22 AM on July 8 [3 favorites]


Needs a companion fountain where the dogs are lifting one leg instead of spitting.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:28 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]


At least it's no cat fountain.

Also, the lone cat looks less scared than mildly surprised at all the spitting dogs.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:48 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I also have to ask myself where the hand if Johnny Wallflower is in all of this, because, well, dogs.
posted by janey47 at 10:52 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


this is one of those times I wish I had a solid gold favorite button that would be worth 1 million regular favorites
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:32 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


Ohhh, Linus would love this. He likes to swim in fountains.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:38 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


me: sees this on Mefi
me: sends the link to friend who went to visit Toronto just yesterday evening
friend: you are like a little baby
friend: *sends image ALREADY TAKEN AT FOUNTAIN THIS MORNING*
posted by praemunire at 11:46 AM on July 8 [21 favorites]


an embarrassing piece of kitsch that has no real connection to the neighbourhood, but it's cute, so let it stand.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:52 AM on July 8


It's funny. I was in Toronto earlier in the week and ended up down on Front Street. My final destination was pretty much directly across from this.

My initial reaction was when the hell did they build this, because even though I haven't lived in the city for a while, I thought I had at least some idea of what was going on. At the time I didn't realize it was a new addition.

As PinkMoose says, it really doesn't fit in with the neighbourhood at all, although, to be honest, I don't really know where it would fit (outside of maybe Disneyworld). It's really kitschy and tacky and SHINY. Oh so SHINY. It's like the worst examples of bad Majolica nick-knacks you'd find in the homes of one of those relatives you'd be embarrassed to introduce to your friends or coworkers.

I didn't see any dogs using the fountain, but there were people sitting on top of the larger dogs, having their pictures taken, so I guess this is going to become a social media thing, like that Toronto sign.

I know this sounds really snobby, but I just wish it could be more tasteful or more beautiful. I know that art is subjective, and I'm only one person with one opinion, but it's just not my style, and I don't know (had I been on the planning committee) that I would have felt comfortable approving it. As I said above, I'm expecting to find myself in the minority with this opinion.
posted by sardonyx at 12:04 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen the fountain in person, and I don't have a particularly high opinion of it based on the photos. But the dogs in the fountain, I approve of unconditionally.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:12 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


The dogs are only allowed in until the hooded figures get back from vacation.
posted by delfin at 12:17 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


I once knew a dog who was very passionate, nay, obsessed, with attacking water coming out of hoses and sprinklers. I hope there's a dog fountain in dog heaven, because he would have a blast.
posted by Grandysaur at 12:23 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


Where's the water park for cats?

Bandit, who was a Good Boy, loved the water. My dad insisted I take him with me when I went walking in the forest, to protect me from the spiders, snakes, carnivorous trees and all the hazards the Australian wilderness offers. This actually worked, Bandit pointed at one of the most venomous snakes in the world where I was walking. I remember that growl, I'd never seen him act that way before.

Our favourite spot was this secret swimming hole. Bandit would dive right in and swim to the other side, like a challenge. I had to do it too. In return I had my own challenge, fetch this! I would throw a stick as far out as I could. I would do fake-outs, but Bandit wasn't stupid, he didn't hear the splash. I tried the biggest logs I could carry, that'd make a huge splash that made the frogs stop croaking for half an hour. Not the biggest logs Bandit could carry though, because he'd drag them up the shore back to my feet every time.

He knew when I was exhausted too, because he'd do that full-body-wiggle-shake to dry off and wait until I was ready for the trek home.

Bandit loved the water, and all Good Boys deserve to have a dip once in a while.
posted by adept256 at 12:39 PM on July 8 [16 favorites]


I walk by this fountain on a daily basis, so I guess I've had time to process a range of my own reactions to it from "oh god this is tacky why?" to "well, this is a fun bit of urban whimsy."

What I wasn't prepared for was the fact the dogs were spitting the water - I mean, I knew the fountain would have water happening, but the morning they first activated it, it left me chuckling all the way to work because I wasn't thinking the whole setup would be dogs vomiting water upwards.

But I've had months of seeing this thing in varying states of doneness, so it's hard to see it with fresh eyes.

I also have to ask myself where the hand if Johnny Wallflower is in all of this, because, well, dogs.

Please enjoy this picture of a Johnny Wallflower dog post posed in front of the dog fountain.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:56 PM on July 8 [16 favorites]


I guess it's kind of tacky? But I'm honestly not sure how anyone could notice that with all the GOOD DOGS.
posted by lunasol at 1:29 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I have seen the fountain and I adore it, it is absolutely Toronto's sense of humour and has high proximity to many new condo towers which our city planners know have a higher proportion of dogs than kids. I was thrilled to see some public art that is actually functional and hilarious and basically I am grinning every time I am in that park.
posted by sadmadglad at 1:58 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


One of my favorite semi-public pieces of art is a painting of a man tripping.

I think there's a lot of room for serious hilarious vernacular art. Not a big fan of doggos, but this seems like a winner in terms of public space.
posted by tychotesla at 2:29 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]


And seeing the way people - and their pets - interact with it on a beautiful day like today has totally won me over. It's just plain fun.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:42 PM on July 8




Those are some happy doggos in the article. Some A+ puppers.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 4:24 PM on July 8


Where's the water park for cats?

Not exactly a water park, but: Claude Cormier is working on another development in Toronto, which will also feature a public park. The theme: a classical promenade, accented with sculptures of cats. “Dogs for the east side, cats for the west side,” Mr. Cormier said.
posted by emeiji at 4:27 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Where's the water park for cats?

The tears of their owners. Duh.
posted by srboisvert at 5:24 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, it could be called tacky; on the other: doggos!

And if we are worried about it lacking context, bear in mind it is literally overlooked by another fairly whimsical piece which overflows with context (its trompe l'oeil windows are made to match the actual ones on buildings on the south side of the park; it works well enough when you're there).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:29 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


  the lone cat looks less scared than mildly surprised

Hint - it's not looking at the dogs. Next time you're at the fountain it's worth tracking where the cat's looking.
posted by scruss at 5:36 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Next time you're at the fountain it's worth tracking where the cat's looking.

Care to give a hint to those of us who don't live in Toronto and therefore won't be at the fountain any time soon?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:56 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


they're good dogs brent
posted by cj_ at 6:54 PM on July 8


As a designer, let me assure you that the involvement of doggos completely erases any tackiness.
posted by maxwelton at 7:46 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


an embarrassing piece of kitsch
posted by PinkMoose


the eponys, they sterical themselves
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 8:08 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


i am not claiming to be a large public sculpture.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:12 PM on July 8 [7 favorites]


Toronto has a collection of smart, conceptually rigious, beautiful public sculpture, of all scales, in the last decade or so, they just gave up on things that requite thought and just made baity cheap shit...I like the window, the window is smart, but why this sculpture there, and instead of conversation about what this might mean, we have silly internet in jokes and slang that will date in a year. Think of that fucking Toronto sign, which completely destroys the clean and precise lines of City Hall, in favour of a selfie station.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:17 PM on July 8


I wouldn't call PinkMoose embarrassing or kitschy. But he would make a good part of a large public sculpture.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I like the squirrel one though--an amusing parody and properly placement
posted by PinkMoose at 8:19 PM on July 8


Think of that fucking Toronto sign, which completely destroys the clean and precise lines of City Hall, in favour of a selfie station.

I like brutalist architecture and I like the Toronto City Hall but Nathan Phillips Square is one big giant filthy sidewalk with a massive dirty rectangular puddle in it.

I like the Toronto sign because it is the only thing in the whole square that feels alive and fun and that people engage with. Other than the hot dog vendors which are what I usually engage with there.
posted by srboisvert at 8:27 PM on July 8 [5 favorites]


Listen, it might be a bit tacky, but this is the same city as the statue my Dad refers to as "Gumby goes to heaven" (It is on Univeristy between Dundas and Armoury, but there isn't a good view on google maps, and oddly enough only appears there at all in one direction; must have been being repaired the other time, as you can see the base), so it isn't anywhere near the worst in the city.
posted by Canageek at 8:28 PM on July 8


The war memorial is terrible. The "filthy puddle" with the wading and the skating, was central and lovely.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:32 PM on July 8


Where's the water park for cats?

Cat Park
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:38 PM on July 8


Ironically, that video is not available in Canada.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:45 PM on July 8 [2 favorites]


i love it; was surprised to see people both here and in the links complaining that it is "tacky" or "kitschy". To each his own, I guess. It is certainly a lot better than statues glorifying racist traitors, as is common here in the southern US.
posted by TedW at 2:31 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


These are currently my favourite dog statues. They're based off the Hairy Maclary books. The dogs all look so joyful and lifelike. Admittedly the cats aren't particularly happy but they're in character.
posted by poxandplague at 6:45 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't call PinkMoose embarrassing or kitschy. But he would make a good part of a large public sculpture.

there used to be 326 kitschy moose sculptures in Toronto
posted by emeiji at 8:09 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Some more photos here that really show the whole fountain (including the large bone perched at the top).

I think it would have been more successful, and slightly less kitschy, it the dogs were all the same colour as the rest of the fountain, instead of being realistically painted.
posted by Kabanos at 8:18 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't call PinkMoose embarrassing or kitschy. But he would make a good part of a large public sculpture.

there used to be 326 kitschy moose sculptures in Toronto


I was gonna say... I was a tour guide in Toronto in 2000 and while I cannot guarantee it, I am reasonably sure there was at least one life-sized fiberglass pink moose on display.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:03 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I was in Toronto in 2012 and I had a life-sized non-fiberglass PinkMoose act as a tour guide for a day around Toronto.

Life has odd echoes!
posted by hippybear at 9:06 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I walk by both the Toronto sign and the fountain daily.

The Toronto sign is a breath of fresh air in the completely life-less and cold City Hall square - and I *love* cold architectural lines, but for one of the focal points of the city, it's shockingly sad. I wish they would add a bar / patio so that it became more European, but if the city is moving in a tacky direction, we could do far worse than the lit up selfie station of the TORONTO sign.

The fountain took a few walks before I decided that its whimsical and adorable. And it's pretty ridiculous - so strongly so that every time I walk past there are people interacting and laughing at it. Something so silly that can make people consistently interact with it and be delighted / amused by is a good addition, I think.
posted by olya at 9:27 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


I don't mind the design, I'm just not a fan of the actual artwork. If the dogs were slightly better sculpted I think it would be a lot better.
posted by Canageek at 10:31 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


  Care to give a hint to those of us who don't live in Toronto

Well, that'd be no fun, would it?

Check the photo thread. It's only 70+ pages long.
posted by scruss at 7:12 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Well, that'd be no fun, would it?

Check the photo thread. It's only 70+ pages long.


...Either you have a really twisted definition of "fun" or you're just trying to be a jerk.

No thanks, I'll see if someone else answers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos: Care to give a hint to those of us who don't live in Toronto and therefore won't be at the fountain any time soon?

Yep! Right here. Just got in, so sorry to be late with the reply - here are two photos that give the context. Live not far, so took these pictures earlier tonight - it was kind of overcast with not great light.

The cat is looking up at these ceramic birds perched on a light post nearby.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:40 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


I recently visited Toronto and really liked the fountain. I think it fits well with the mix of modern and old in that area.

There is a second cat on top of a utility box on the corner.
posted by neutralmojo at 6:36 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


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