DH Heritage Art

Don Heights' Stained Glass Window

Information taken from an Order of Service on November 6, 1994

About the windows: These were designed specifically for Don Heights Unitarian Congregation (as represented by its Furnish and Finish Committee). Resulting from his discussion with this group and from further studies, Tom Smylie envisioned the windows you now see as fitting a membership that is democratic, sociable, life affirming and optimistic. The window colours are light and animated; the forms flowing and organic. 

The main window is abstract, but suggests heads and arms of people in active, colourful close-ups, reaching out to one another. The three smaller windows echo the forms of the main window, each however with a subtle but distinct colour slant giving direction and interest.

The main window, facing southeast, admits morning sunlight during our services, and casts a second colourful but diffused image onto the floor of our circular meeting hall, which is both a puzzle and a delight to the viewer. 




About the artist: Tom Smylie was born in Toronto and attended high school at Silverthorne Collegiate in Etobicoke. His principal hobbies at that time were playing in a music group and working with stained glass.

Following high school and after considering Architecture, he decided to study Audio Engineering at Fanshaw College, graduating in 1978. Throughout his college years however, Tom continued his hobby in stained glass, and after graduation, realizing this was the stronger interest, he applied on a whim to work with a glass studio in Toronto. Remaining with this firm until it closed in 1982, Tom opened his present company, The Glass Studio, together with his brother Stephen, a University of Toronto History and Geography graduate.

Tom tells us that, as for many in this craft, his approach to his work is an instinctive one. It remains a continuing growing experience for him and his brother. 

Artist Tom Smylie at the dedication ceremony for Don Heights Stained Glass Window






Don Heights' Quilt 'The Roots'

For the roots, Artist Helena Wehrstein asked Don Heighters to donate fabric from something they had worn when they were happy.  Included are hand woven ties made by Phyllis Britton and part of a jacket Barbara Arnott got at the IARF (International Association for Religious Freedom) meeting in Tokyo.





Helena Wehrstein (Daughter of Olive Shaw-Wehrstein) and wall-hanging she designed for Don Heights.  This photo was takenon December 3, 1995, the day the wall-hanging was dedicated.






Miriam Smith trained in pottery at Central technical School in Toronto. She is the founder of Willowdale Artisans Craft Coop and is a member of Toronto Potters. Over the years, Don Heights has acquired several of her pieces, and Miriam is a regular participant in our art shows.

Additional information