Spillway E-mail
Written by Michael LeBlanc   
Spillway :: Collection of Margaret Bridgman Spillway :: Collection of Margaret Bridgman
The success and acclaim generated by his profile as a former war artist/muralist/designer enabled Eric to move out of the city to a millhouse in Thornhill that he rented from fellow artist Albert Angus Macdonald. Spillway was “open concept” before it became vogue twenty years later. The house itself is noteworthy in that much of the material was repurposed from other sites: the 5-metre high fireplace used bricks from a factory chimney, and the main exposed beams that supported the roof were bought from a local farmer who was tearing down his old barn. The livingroom height was the full two stories, with a balcony that accessed the bedrooms. Once he moved in, Eric provided his own touches, with a custom spice rack and spice bottles from a medical supply house, and large glass bottle lamps with custom shades. Furniture was wood and natural fabric in the modern Scandinavian style. The house was featured in the Toronto Star’s Weekend Picture Magazine in 1953.

“You should have seen me at Spillway,” remarked Eric ruefully one day to Timothy Sullivan many years later. He had been on top of the world, able to pick and choose his clients and his jobs, and to lavishly entertain friends and family. Eric invited the families of his brother Jack, and his sisters Nell and Phyllis every Christmas. Margaret Bridgman, Eric’s niece, was just a young girl then but she adored her uncle and remembers vividly the magic of that house: the conversation, the stories, and the food.

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Nothing Uninteresting

The Work and Life of Eric Aldwinckle

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Macleans: What are your hobbies?


EA: In wartime my hobbies are warmongering, collecting sugar and hunting for tinned orange juice.

In between wars my hobbies are peacemongering, collecting butterflies, cross pollinating gladioli, hunting, shooting, fishing, riding, composing music, writing poetry, acting and producing theatricals, chess, tennis, yogi and hunting for butter, with an occasional game of bridge which I dislike intensely, if I have time.