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Staples Page 7b.2

Great Canadian Portraits

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

York Hotel, King St., 1812 - Owen Staples
Orig. etching - Size - 7" x 10.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
Owen Staples did many fabulous historical subjects in etchings and oils. His huge canvas of a "bird's eye view" of the American fleet off York (Toronto) just before the attack on the town in 1813, is a famous work which hangs in the Toronto Public Library.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Left is a fabulous image of the Toronto waterfront that Owen painted in 1931, which remained virtually unchanged like this, into the 1960s.

Today the tall bank building (CIBC) is totally obscured by a forest of glass and crass high rise office buildings that tower over and around it.

Those were followed by dozens of huge apartment towers, that have put tens of thousands of new apartment dwellers into this same space, without adding a single foot of new roadway in over thirty years. Every month the equivalent population of a small town is propped up, cheek to jowl, in condo canyons that have only one saving grace - you can look directly across and into cages of hundreds of suffering fellow lemmings, or, for variation go out on the balcony, and be peered at by hundreds of groping eyes, as you look far down below and breathe in the sweet fragrance of coils of gasoline fumes from the Gardner Expressway immediately underneath.

And for all this condo dwellers, by the thousands, are pleased to pay extra...

It makes driving into Toronto, during mornings for work, and for evening entertainment, both, a nightmare to avoid. And the resulting road rage...


Toronto, ON, 1931 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 8" x 11.25"
Found - Asheville, NC
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Garden, Hogarth, Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 6.5" x 8.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
For Owen Staples, as for contemporary JEH Macdonald, the garden was therapy, giving him countless hours of inspired creativity with every passing season of the year.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Garden, Hogarth, 1921 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 3.5" x 5.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
Even on the smallest panels like this watercolour and the tiny oil above, Owen's artistry shines through.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous tiny oil showing the sun setting on Lake Ontario. One of his favourite painting spots was the shore of Humber Bay.

Owen Staples spent 60 years at the Toronto Telegram.

His murals and oils can be found adorning the walls of the Old City Hall, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and the Toronto Public Library.

His sketches of historic subjects are found throughout the John Ross Robertson series of books on Ontario's past, which were issued early in the 20th century.

His work adorns the walls of homes of countless thousands of grateful Canadians and Americans.


Sunset Over Lake Ontario - Owen Staples
Orig. oil on board - Size - 4" x 5.5"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

From the Niagara Escarpment, ON, 1933 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 7.5" x 11"
Found - Toronto, ON
Watercolours don't get much finer than this inspired look from the heights of the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Miner's Bay, ON, 1925 - Owen Staples
Orig. wc - Size - 9.5" x 14"
Found - Toronto, ON
By descent from artist
A fabulous memory of holiday country to take back to the city where the howl and hoil of city living frayed the nerves. (We suggest hoiling as a good word to describe the wildly self-absorbed, frenzied behaviour of caged up city dwellers.)

Owen Staples 2 - (1866-1949)

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