A Serpent Slumbers

Allison Cole

The bones of the city are alive.
A great monster sleeps here,
invisible to those who don’t look.
You must delay his awakening.

Worlds exist outside of ours. Looking closely, you can catch glimpses of them. 

The Bents of the Gardiner are halls of an ancient serpent’s cavern. Jormungand, the snake of myth, slumbers here.

Every day someone must perform a protection ritual to delay Jormungand’s awakening.

Today, it is you.

The Ritual

Find your Tools

A Stick or, a Gesture [something you can wave]

A Written Word  [something you can say]

A Shape on the Ground [something you can stand inside of]
If Possible A Friend [to hold hands with]

Perform your ritual.

Walk around your Shape, tracing it with your Stick or performing your Gesture.
Step inside your Shape.
Close your eyes. If possible, hold your Friend’s hands.

Spin, staying inside your Shape. Say Your Word until you hear the honking of a horn or the call of a bird.
This sound means your ritual has succeeded.
Delay Jormungand’s awakening one more day.

For A More Efficient Ritual, You must pay attention to the world around you.
Listen to the sound of the traffic. This is the rumble of Jormungand’s stomach. How hungry is he? What will he feed on when he arrives?
Feel the wind on your skin. This is Jormungand’s breath. How close is he? Will you have time to prepare?
Look at the sky. The weather is in Jormungand’s mood. What is he feeling? Will you be able to appease him?

Record your ritual. The next time there is a thunderstorm you may perform it to comfort yourself.

About Tiny Games

Six designers have created games that can be played throughout the Play Path, ranging from contemplative interactive challenges to role-playing, rituals, and more! The games take the form of ground vinyl prompts, with longer instructions online that can be accessed using the QR code or URL. Visitors can read these installations and play the games on the spot at any time, finding new, playful ways to experience the trails, nooks, and architecture that make up the city.

Tiny Games was inspired by the 2011 project of the same name by Hide&Seek. You can learn more about it here.

About the Artist

Allison is an artist and game designer with an MFA in Interactive Digital Media and Game Design from New York University. She has a passion for Live Action Role Play, Immersive Theatre, and becoming the best Escape Room Player the world has ever seen. Co-founder of Soft Chaos (soon to be one of Canada’s first game studio cooperatives) she’s spent nearly a decade making eclectic games and installations that have shown in festivals and venues around the world.

Follow along on Twitter

Plan Your Play Walk



  1. Dream Street by The Street Society
  2. Walk Walk Dance by Daily tous les jours
  3. Big Red by Assemble
  4. Double Dribble by Esmaa Mohamoud
  5. Nil:Nil by Studio F Minus
  6. Play Public by Thomas Mailaender & Erik Kessels
  7. Jax by Pierre Poussin
  8. Midsummer Mix Vol.1 by Nelson Wu & biosphere

Tiny Games

  1. Find Jimmy! by Kris Piotrowski
  2. Before They’re Gone by Droqen
  3. A Serpent Slumbers by Allison Cole
  4. Dance Anatomy by Alicia Payne
  5. The Garrison and the Gardiner by Kaelan Doyle Myerscough
  6. Secret Landscape by Diana Andrea Guzmán Valencia

Bike Shares

Twelve locations throughout the Play Path and neighbouring spaces


  1. The Bentway
  2. Fort York National Historic Site
  3. Garrison Crossing
  4. The Bentway Studio & Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre
  5. Canoe Landing Park
  6. Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre

Land Acknowledgement

As an organization dedicated to the creation of shared and inclusive public space, we acknowledge that our work takes place on the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit and the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and many other Indigenous nations.

Tkaronto, “the place in the water where the trees are standing”, is now home to many diverse Indigenous people. We recognize them as the past, present and future caretakers of this land. We would like to pay our respects to all who have gathered and will continue to gather in this place. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work together to care for The Bentway lands and act as stewards of the space.



  • 511 Bathurst (at Fort York Blvd)
  • 509 Harbourfront (at Fleet St.)
  • 121 Fort York-Esplanade at Gzowski Blvd (westbound) or Bastion St (eastbound)

By Bike

Use Bike Share Toronto’s System Map or download PBSC Urban Solutions or Transit app to locate stations and plan your route with real-time bike and station availability. Closest stations to The Bentway: Fort York Blvd/Garrison Rd, Fort York Blvd. (in front of Fort York Visitor Centre), Strachan Ave/Princes’ Blvd, Fort York Blvd/Bathurst St.

Bike racks are also located on-site.


Paid parking is available at 800 Fleet Street (also accessible from Strachan Avenue, north of Fleet Street) and at the Fort York Visitor Centre (250 Fort York Boulevard).


As of June 11, 2021 our washroom facilities are open from 10am – 7:30pm daily. Face coverings are required. Gender-neutral washroom(s) available. 

Free WiFi

Free Wi-Fi is provided by Beanfield. Sign onto Beanfield1hfree and get one free hour of WiFi at The Bentway.

The Bentway is free and open to the public every day.