Art and Design

Toronto's Got Wood

AlexanderwoodSome uptight folks are up in arms about a recently unveiled statue of local hero Alexander Wood erected at one end of Toronto's gay village, as well as the plaque explaining Wood's significance.

Though it's uncertain whether or not Wood was gay, he owned a large plot of land where the statue stands and gained his notoriety from his participation in the investigation of a rape that took place there in the early 19th century.

A woman had been raped and suspects rounded up. Wood, then a magistrate, demanded that the suspects drop their pants so that he could inspect them for a scratch the woman said she had made during the rape. This unconventional form of investigation caused many to brand Wood a homosexual "molly" and drive him out of town, though he has since been regarded as a hero by many others.

Statue2The bronze plaque at the base of the statue "depicting a man's rear-end with his pants around his knees, and Wood's outstretched hand in mid-examination" is causing most of the fuss. Some would have it removed. Others touch it for good luck.

You can see in this photo that the ass has been shined up by all the people wanting to finger it. I have to agree that if folks don't bother to take the time to read it (and there are far too many ignoramuses like that these days) they might think something far naughtier was happening. But art isn't created for ignoramuses now, is it?

I say rename the neighborhood "Mollywood" and leave the dapper young man alone.

Toronto Statue of Gay Hero Receives Monumental Flak [reuters]

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. That is so beautiful for so many reasons.

    Posted by: david | Jun 14, 2005 4:08:52 PM

  2. I agree with David. It's a great story and he is a hero for coming do the assistance of the woman. You come up with the best things Andy - Thanks again - Happy Pride Month.

    Posted by: Donald | Jun 14, 2005 4:14:53 PM

  3. I'm sure it was quite a sacrifice for Mr. Wood.

    Posted by: liberal server | Jun 14, 2005 4:31:08 PM

  4. I can understand why some people would be upset, but come on, the plaque is hilarious... lends itself well to a MAXIM-esque photo caption. Hey that could be fun, Andy. ...Have readers submit captions / winner receives a trip to Toronto. Mmmm.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 14, 2005 4:31:18 PM

  5. I also thought that the bronze plaque with the guy with the dropped pants is hysterical looking. It looks like our hero Wood is about to give some wood, namely in the form of a BJ. See whaty happens to Canadians when Anne Murray is retired and they don't have hockey for a year.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 14, 2005 4:37:13 PM

  6. Holy crap, Anne Murray retired?

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 14, 2005 4:56:24 PM

  7. i wish the americans had a national hero who is famous for examining penises.

    Posted by: Andy | Jun 14, 2005 6:27:26 PM

  8. This is hilarious!

    Posted by: Patrick | Jun 14, 2005 7:48:56 PM

  9. Love it - Just love it!

    Posted by: Slate | Jun 14, 2005 10:21:30 PM

  10. AH! How does that exist in my own backyard and I didn't even know about it?

    Posted by: Flesh von Wintoor | Jun 15, 2005 1:17:09 AM

  11. Touch Wood!

    Posted by: sek | Jun 15, 2005 7:56:14 AM

  12. Actually Andy, your suggestion of the name Mollywood is part of the history of this tale.

    Alexander Wood owned the land that is now the centre of Toronto's Gay neighbourhood. But, back in the time that he was alive, and after the controversy broke, the coloquial reference to the area was as "Molly Wood's Bush", with Bush referring to the land that he owned.

    It's a terrific bit of history and, as a native Torontonian, I think it's great that the statue (that was paid for jointly by the city and the neigbourhood GLBT business association) brings this to life again.

    Happy Pride to all!

    Posted by: David | Jun 15, 2005 3:02:37 PM

Post a comment


« «Advertiser High Five!« «