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‘The piece was able to climax at the same time the city had come back to life’

New Metropolis by artist John Coburn.

Toronto artist John Coburn, whose annual City & Country exhibit at the MacKendrick Community Gallery at Artscape Wychwood Barns runs through Nov. 9, tells The Globe how his 12-foot cityscape Toronto's New Metropolis came together.

"I was drawing on the street, as I do, when a woman complimented me on my work. She told me she managed the Simpsons Tower at Bay and Queen. She said the 25th floor was empty for renovations, and that I could use the space. So I had months access up there, with a 360-degree view. I would move from one window to the next, drawing the panorama. On Oct. 27, I was putting the final touches on it. It's always the last three minutes that the pieces come together for me. Just as I was doing that, and really feeling that I'd nailed the piece, they announced John Tory had won the mayorship. I couldn't help but feel the city was back in the saddle. I added John Tory's name to the drawing, along with people celebrating. It just seemed fitting that the piece was able to climax at the same time the city had come back to life."

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