The View from Here is a two-part installation located at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and Union Station’s Oak Room. Here, Jacob’s extensive collection of rare books, published since 1872, is paired with his contemporary photographs, elucidating different representations of Toronto—a city where the very question of place is deeply layered, complex, and contested. Official government documents project future visions of the city; edited volumes of criticism gather scholarly accounts of an ever-changing urban centre; independent and counter-culture publications offer perspectives from diverse communities. Each document, account, and publication contributes to the different ways in which the municipality has imagined itself and been envisioned by others.

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art and co-presented by Toronto Union with generous support from the Toronto Arts Council.


Luis Jacob (born in Lima, Peru; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is an artist whose work destabilizes viewing conventions and invites collisions of meaning. He studied semiotics and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Since his participation in documenta 12, Kassel, 2007, he has achieved an international reputation with exhibitions at venues such as: La Biennale de Montréal, 2016; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York City, 2015; Taipei Biennial, 2012; Generali Foundation, Vienna, 2011; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, 2010; Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2008; and Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 2008.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7