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Silver Rail Mural (1948) E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
The Silver Rail Mural :: photo by Michael McClelland The Silver Rail Mural :: photo by Michael McClelland
In 1948, Eric accepted a private mural commission from the proprietor of Toronto’s first licensed (serving alcohol) establishment. Up until that time, in “Toronto the Good,” if you wanted liquor in a public place, you had to buy it with a meal. The Silver Rail (photo from 1954) allowed patrons to buy just drinks, but you could have a meal there too, if you wanted! The art deco tavern was located across the street from Massey Hall, at Yonge and Shuter Streets, and for many years was the place to see and be seen. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie took time out from recording sessions at Massey Hall in the early 1950’s to “knock back a few” at the Silver Rail. The mural was destroyed in 1998 barely a month after the tavern had been closed down to make way for a new retail complex.

Architect Michael McClelland (known for his work on re-purposing the Distillery District in Toronto), recognized the value of the mural; he directed the demolition crew to remove the wall with care and save the fragments. He took several pictures of the mural panels as they lay on the floor, and left the building that evening with instructions to the night crew that it not be disturbed. Tragically, by the next morning the panels had been tossed into the dumpster and carted away to the landfill.

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The Ontario Hydro Mural E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   

In 1959, Eric received a commission from the Township of York (Toronto) to produce a mural at the 1652 Keele Street offices of Ontario Hydro. “Hydro,” as Ontario residents call its electric company, became large and powerful initially through the development of its hydro-electric generating stations at Niagara Falls.

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Nothing Uninteresting

The Work and Life of Eric Aldwinckle

By Michael B. LeBlanc

Print Book, 186 Pages



The insects are many, large and varied. Some unknown to me. Ants are very large, among them the hermit ant who just sits under a rock in higher places, thinking. The rest rush about as usual and the queens are apparently under no birth control restrictions. The spiders and wasps are large but only the wasps are inquisitive, though none do more than enjoy life if left alone…

-Eric Aldwinckle, on painting in the wilderness