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What is that?: Towering toy soldier in Toronto stands above defeated American

Last Updated May 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm EDT

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

What is that?: Toronto sculptures explained is a new series looking at a different sculpture in the city every week. Have you seen a piece of public art in your daily commute and wondered what it was about? Me too … so I’ve decided that I’d learn a little bit more about my own city and share it with you.


Monument to the War of 1812 | Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard

You can’t miss it. A towering soldier stands above another one, lying at his feet.

The Monument to the War of 1812 stands at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

The is popularly called “Toy Soldiers,” according to the book Creating Memory: A Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Toronto, and it was unveiled in 2008.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

The standing soldier in gold is wearing the 1813 Royal Newfoundland Regiment uniform and the silver soldier lying down is wearing the 16th United States Infantry Regiment uniform.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

The soldiers represent British North America’s success in resisting the U.S. invasion during the War of 1812.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

The sculptures were designed by Canadian artist and writer Douglas Coupland after being commissioned by the company that built the condo behind the monument, Malibu Investments.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

The soldiers were molded by a company that usually manufactures model dinosaurs for theme parks.

The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.
The monument to the War of 1812 at Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard on April 9, 2016. CITYNEWS/Diana Pereira.

Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings sits at Fort York National Historic Site, just a block north, the site of the 1813 battle.

Douglas Coupland talks about the monument in the video below and at this link.

Douglas Coupland: Monument to the War of 1812 from inkblot media on Vimeo.