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2005 10 18
Angle of Repose in Black and White

Rising out of the Port of Toronto lands are several striking mounds whose sculptural presence establish them as a Toronto landmark.

Every year over 500 000 tonnes of salt is shipped to the Port of Toronto and poured into several sculptural mounds along the south side of the main shipping channel. Each mountain miraculously has the same conical shape due to the laws of physics. The slope and angle of the mounds is determined by the size and shape of the salt particles and forms what is poetically called an “angle of repose.”

The number, size and shape of the mounds changes as salt arrives and leaves to melt our icy streets, but there always seems to be a pleasing relationship of forms. The mounds are protected with black plastic, weighted down with tires or bags. The contrast of black and white combined with the pattern of weights give the mounds a striking visual appeal.

These salt mountains can be seen from a distance, but the best place to get a closer look is from the lift bridge on Cherry Street where it crosses the port’s largest shipping channel.

I photographed the salt mounds last year with my friend Andrée Gagné, who can be seen above, mounting the salt.

[email this story] Posted by Andrew Jones on 10/18 at 02:07 PM

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