I know, I know, Valentines day has come and gone.
But this week I kept seeing hearts and other signs of love in many of its forms.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing a little love, right?

Especially the love where the heart is full and ready to explode in colour.

the front of a garage is covered with street art. A bright red heart is in the middle from which coloured geometric shapes eminate outwards and cover the entire front of the building.

Love is witty… or it just can’t spell because love fogs the brain.  Love is blind after all.

dark brown garage door,metal, with white spray paint words that say love @ first site

Love is solid and strong

a small concrete love bot stands on the grass beside the garden in front of St. Patricks church, winter, no leaves on the small tree, stone church

Love is weak and hides in a corner.

metal staircase, outside, running diagonally across the back of a building, a shopping cart under the stairs with a box in in, a door in the wall under the stairs, both door and wall are cover in graffiti including a large orange swath and a bright red heart

Some hearts are jaded.

on a utility pole in Graffiti alley, there are 4 paper hearts in pink and purple, with words written on them - I love me, no luv,

Sing a song of romance
A pocket full of lies
Four and twenty belittlements
Baked in a pie
When the pie was opened
All hell broke lose
When ranting, and tears, and screaming, and all sorts of incriminations….
You know the story.

“All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” Oscar Wilde

beside a street art painting of the pink panther, standing with arms crossed (but head missing in the photo) is a utility pole with three paper hearts attached to it, two are light blue and 1 is orange. The hearts have writing on them, bye bye, friendzone, kill me

“If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?” Lily Tomlin

on a utility pole in Graffiti alley, there are 4 paper hearts in pink and purple, with words written on them - bed bugs, sk8 me, its you not me,

“Go forth.
the tellers of tales
and seize whatever
the heart longs for.
Have no fear.
Everything exists.
And everything is true.
And the earth is only
a little dust under our feet.”
W.B. Yeats, “The Celtic Twilight”

small black and white stencil on a concrete block wall. An adult penguin is standing with its head bent over looking at a small black and white cat that is looking up at the penguin

Uber5000 is almost finished a new mural in Graffiti Alley!

 

below: Large hockey playing yellow birdies.  One male and one female by the looks of it.

two large yellow uber5000 birdies with hockey sticks and old fashioned hockey helmets. One is wearing white skates and the other is wearing black skates. mural in graffiti alley

uber5000 mural in the process of being painted in graffiti alley

below: The mural is loosely based on Nathan Phillips Square in the winter time.   See that Toronto sign?  It has been painted with glow in the dark paint.  Apparently, UV lights are going to be installed to illuminate the sign at night.  Something to check out in the near future!

most of a new mural by uber5000 in Graffiti Alley based on winter activities at Nathan Phillips Square

part of a winter themed uber5000 mural, yellow birdie about to drive a zamboni out of its garage, other yellow birdies looking on, a birdie that looks like a cracked egg.

mural, painted, large blue cat with large head sitting beside an ice rink, with a little blue round character beside him who is wearing red ear muffs

below: That’s one cool tree!

right hand side of a large mural by uber5000 in Graffiti alley, with shop window in the picture.  Theme of the mural is skating at Nathan Phillips square in toronto.  little yellow birdies, a green frog is puttin on skates as is a donut with white frosting and a few sprinkles

With thanks to Joanne (of  My Life Lived Full blog ) for walking with me today!  You were a great excuse to walk Graffiti Alley again…. and yes, there is always something new to discover!

A morning exploring some of the art galleries at the University of Toronto.

below: Robarts Library, a large concrete building, is part of the University of Toronto and is their main humanities and social sciences library. It opened in 1973 and has been called Fort Book ever since.

intersection of Harbord and St. George streets, Robarts Library, large concrete building

I have walked past this library many times but I have never gone inside. What I didn’t know about this building is that it is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  It is named after a Thomas Fisher (1792-1874), who came from Yorkshire to Upper Canada in 1821 and settled by the Humber River.  In 1973, his grandsons, Sidney and Charles Fisher, donated many books to U of T .  Since then, the library has grown to approximately 740,000 volumes including hundreds of versions of Alice in Wonderland in many different languages.  They also collect manuscripts, photographs,  and other rare materials.   You can search their holdings online.

below: The view from the 4th floor observation deck.

interior of Thomas Fisher Rare Book library, looking down from the upper level to the tables below. Shelves of books line all the walls, ceiling is open to 4 or 5 storeys up , large central light fixture

At the moment, the Thomas Fisher Library has an exhibition called “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds, and the Beat Generation: The Photography of Allen Ginsberg”. Ginsberg (1926-1997) is known for his poetry but he also took pictures. The Thomas Fisher library has the largest collection of Ginsberg prints in the world.

exhibit of photos by Allen Ginsberg displayed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at U of T, some black and white photos in a case, some books too, shelves of books in the background

below: Mr. Ginsberg took bathroom mirror selfies.  I wonder what he’d think of instagram?

picture of a black and white photo taken by Allen Ginsberg of himself sitting naked and cross legged in front of a bathroom mirror

Ginsberg became friends with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as the main players in the Beat Movement with their unconventional writing and wild (for the times) lifestyles.  Ginsberg’s first published work was “Howl” in 1956.  It was called “an angry, sexually explicit poem”.   The San Francisco Police Department declared it to be obscene and arrested the publisher.  The court ruled that it was not obscene.  I can see it being “ahead of its time” in 1956 but today it’s fairly tame.

The opening lines:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of

cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,”

below: Three books about The Beats.

display in a glass top case, three books by Alan Ginsberg, the one in the middle has a yellow cover and is The Beats

The Ginsberg exhibit continues until the 27th of April.

A short walk through part of the St. George campus….did I mention that it was snowing at the time?… to another art gallery on campus.

snow is falling, snow on the ground, tree in foreground, also black wrought iron fence, looking across the playing field of the U of T St. George campus to a building, tower,

below: We passed a moose standing in the snow.

a flat metal sculpture of a moose stands in a small space beside a tree, snow on the ground, snow falling from the sky. public art

The second gallery was the Art Museum at Hart House.   One of the exhibits showing there is “Figures of Sleep”.  Straight from the gallery website is this description of the exhibit: ” [it]…considers the cultural anxieties manifest in the popular and critical imagination around the collapsing biological function of sleep under economic, social and technological transformation”.  What it is is a collection of videos, photographs, and artwork depicting sleep, i.e. people sleeping by a number of different artists.  This exhibit ends on 3rd March.

below: Watching videos of people sleeping

a person watching a large video display in an art gallery

below: She’s very life like.  She’s also much smaller than life sized but even so, she was a bit creepy. “Untitled (old woman in bed)”, 2000-2002, by Ron Mueck.

very realistic and life like scupture of an old woman with grey asleep under a blanket with her head on a pillow

below: “Dream Catcher” by Rebecca Belmore, 2014 .  This wall hanging is quite large.

dream catcher by Rebecca Belmore, a large wall hanging of a person sleeping on the sidewalk, under a blanket with a picture of a lion on it.

below:  The Malcove Collection is in the same gallery.  The collection includes about 500 pieces, not all of which are on display at the moment.  Dr. Lillian Malcove (1902-1981) was born in Russia just before her parents emigrated to Canada and settling in Winnipeg.  She graduated from the University of Manitoba with an M.D. and then spent most of her adult life as a Freudian psychoanalyst in New York City.  Over her life time she amassed a collection of art that she bequeathed to U of T.

wall display cases in an art gallery, religious pieces on display, old, antiquities

below: From the Malcove collection, ‘Male Dedicant’, made of limestone, Coptic, late 4th century or early 5th century

antique stone carving (relief) of a man with curly hair, both hands raised, one hand holding a spherical object and the other hand holding a cross

below:  Detail from “The Burning Bush”, 19th century.

very old painting, religious, virgin mary and baby jesus in the center surrounded by other religous scenes

 

below: Last but not least, and having nothing to do with art, is this plaque on a wall near the art gallery at Hart House.  It commemorates the relationship between the Canadian and Polish Armies during WW1.  A transcription of it appears below.

 

plaque on an exterior brick wall commemorating the role of the Polish Army

In the early months of 1917, twenty three Polish probationary officers were trained here by the staff of the Canadian School of Infantry in Toronto.  They were the forerunners of more than 20,000 North American volunteers of Polish descent who were trained in Canada (mostly at Niagara on the Lake) to serve in the French Army, ultimately commanded by Joseph Haller.  The existence of this Polish Army in France went far to assure the presence of Poland at the Peace Conference at the end of the war and played a significant role in the reconstitution of a reunited and independent Poland after 123 years of partition. 
The Canadian Polish Congress has placed this tablet to commemorate the ardent Polish patriotism of so many Polish volunteers from the United States and Canada.   The Congress also wishes to honour the Canadian officers who trained the volunteers, including notably Lieutenant Colonel A.D. Lepan of the staff of this university and his principal subordinates, all from this university as well as Major C.R. Young, Major H.H. Madill, Major W.F. Kirk and Major F.B. Kenrick. A.D. 1990

 

a bike parked outside an old brick building on St. George campus of U of T, snow covered

More information about:

Allen Ginsberg exhibition

Figures of Sleep, and others, at Hart House Art Museum

Illustrations of the holdings of the Malcove Collection

 

I was meeting a friend at Queen and Church for walkies and coffee last Monday. I was there a few minutes early so of course I took a few pictures while I was waiting. I had come across King Street because the streetcars tend to be faster on King these days. Plus, it was a nice day for a walk.

below: Looking north up Church Street from Richmond.

looking north on Church St. from Richmond Street, stores, street, people, street scene,

below: Metropolitan United Church is on the NW corner of Queen and Church. Even if you aren’t religious, there is something inspiring about the architecture. In this case, the setting adds to the grace and beauty of the building.  Usually there are people around but it was surprisingly quiet that day (too cold outside?)

front of Metropolitan United Church, with the snow covered park in front, snow, large trees, red door

below: Take a few more steps towards Metropolitan United and then turn around. This is the view that awaits you. The intersection of Queen and Church from a different angle.

looking at the intersection of Queen and Church, through the park, with yellow building and other stores in the background

below: As I walked back to the intersection, this man walked in front of the streetcar. I think that he called himself either Cowboy Bob or Cowboy Bill.

man in long coat and hat stands in front of a TTC street car with his arm up in the air.

below: Church #2. Jarvis Street Baptist Church.

Jarvis Street Baptist Church, from diagonally across the intersection

below: Yes, there are a lot of churches in this section of downtown. This is the third (and last for today’s blog) but there are many more. Grace Church through the trees.

park, in winter, with large mature trees, in the background is Grace Church, brick building with green roofed steeple

below: A stop at Allan Gardens conservatory for warm and a washroom. If this picture is looking a little fuzzy around the edges, my camera lens kept steaming up faster than I could wipe it off.

inside shot at Allan Gardens conservatory, with two people looking at the plants, glass roof, large yellow flowers

below: Every Christmas, the conservatory at Allan Gardens is decorated with many amaryllis plants. The other day, many were looking a little worse for wear. These buds were a few of the exceptions. At some point (soon?), the Christmas plants will be switched out for spring plants.

close up of two small red amaryllis buds at the bottom of a red and white amaryllis.

below: Barrel cacti in differing sizes in the Allan Gardens conservatory.

4 barrel cacti of differing sizes in a semi-circle in a conservatory, glass house, with some succulents in front and some taller cacti behind

below: And just around the corner from Allan Gardens there is this painted cactus (or is it a succulent?) standing in the cold.

a metal telephone or traffic box on the sidewalk that has been painted with a picture of a cactus.

below: This part of Church Street is now in McGill Granby Village. There is even a lovebot on the pole.

street sign for Church St., with the top part being McGill Granby Village

below: “Enough is enough”, a large Church Street mural.

large mural on the side of a two storey building, with metal fire escapes on the side of the building as well. Mural is enough is enough, rainbow flag and other things

below: On Church Street, another redevelopment victim.

old, large, three storey red brick house with boarded up windows, about to be redeveloped, people walking past on the sidewalk, winter, street scene,

below: And just up the street, another.

an older two storey house house boarded up with construction hoardings in front, looking at it through a park with large trees, winter

below: Trucks, construction, and condos. Ho hum. Been there, done that.

large truck parked on a street with tall buildings behind, and a large billboard with a KFC ad on it

below: One set of construction hoardings has been decorated with kids’ paintings.   Bright and cheerful.

white construction hoardings with childrens paintings on it. a painting of a soccer ball, kids playing, words too

below: Through the layers

looking in a window, people sitting inside, looking through the window on the other side as well, a large tree is reflected in the window too

below: Icicles!

older yellowish brick building with green bay window, with icicles on the eaves of bopth roof and window

below: Trudeau senior looks down on the world.

 a large black and white picture of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the window of the Ryerson Image Center, with a tree in front of it, some snow on the tree

below: The guys over the entrance to the Chang School at Ryerson are wearing little puffy white hats.

stone sculpture of the door of the Chang School at Ryerson, two men with interlocking arms, looking at each other, wheat, apples, and other produce in their hands, covered with snow


below
: As we walked past Yonge Dundas Square, I stopped, took another look, and then said: “Isn’t that a new sign?”. My walking partner replied that she wasn’t sure. Neither was I.

Yonge Dundas Square, men working on sign

I happened to walk past Yonge Dundas Square again yesterday, and yes, there is a new sign. A big one.

below: “It’s OK to be scared, just take a deep breath” as the fourth panel of the new sign is installed.

a large crane is putting part of a new light sign in place at Dundas Square, large billboards and lighted signs behind, people walking past, street scene

below: Working on the new sign. That billboard on the left, 98.1 CHFI is all Christmas music? Still? In February?

two men on a lift are working on a new elevated sign at Dundas square

C’est too for now friends!

I saw a sign, a poster in a coffee shop –
actually it was in the women’s washroom of said coffee shop.

green and white poster hanging on a wall, words in spanish that say pequenos momentos hacen grandes historias, disfruta el momento which translates to small moments make great stories, enjoy the moment. It was in a Sweet and Coffee coffee shop in Ecuador.

As you can see, it is written in Spanish which makes sense because I saw it in Ecuador.

Translated, it says “Small moments make great stories. Enjoy the moment.”
I like it.

Ice Breakers returned to the Toronto waterfront once again last month.   In mid-January five interactive art installations were built along Queens Quay West between the Harbourfront Centre in the east and the Music Garden in the west.

 

below:  Appropriate for a space called the Music Garden, is a large structure supporting many wind chimes.   This is “Ensemble” by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joana Correia Silva of Portugal.

the back side of two red muskoka chairs in a snow covered park with a large art installation of wind chimes in the background

a man is touching and pushing a series of wind chimes that are part of an art installation at Toronto Music Garden as he walks by it. Snow covered ground, red muskoka chairs, park, large tree,

There are two installations in H2O Park.

below: On the west side of the park is “Winter Fanfare” by Thena Tak of Vancouver.  It is made from painted layers of wood.   After I had walked past this installation I happened to look back to see a group of boys using these wood forms as protection as they had a snow ball fight.

6 or 7 large wooden forms in convex and concave shapes in a snow covered park with highrises in the background. An art installation that is part of Ice Breakers 2018 on Toronto waterfront.

below: Also in H2O park is “Through the Eyes of the Bear”.  This giant bear, or rather parts of a bear, is the creation of Tanya Goertzen of Calgary.

a large red head, and four red paws of a bear arranged to look like its on its back and that the bear is partially covered by the snow covered ground.

below: The large head of the bear is open at the back.   With a little crouching you can go inside and look out through the bear’s eyes.  It’s got a great view of the CN Tower!

the CN tower with bright blue sky, as seen through the hole in a sculpture, the eye of a large red bear.

below: Close to the Simcoe Wave Deck (at the bottom of Simcoe Street) is a structure called “Black Bamboo” that you can walk through.   It was designed by Bennet Marburger and Ji Zhang of China.

a tunnel like structure made of black bamboo poles loosely intertwined and joined together on the sidewalk beside Queens Quay, snow on the ground, condos in the background.

below: Last is “Root Cabin”, a small hut constructed from large tree roots.  The day that I walked past these Ice Breakers was early on when they weren’t quite complete.  The roots were being arranged, like a puzzle being put together.   The pink frame was being used as a guide and the plan was to remove it once the roots were in place.   This installation was designed by Liz Wreford and Peter Sampson from Winnipeg.

pink wood forms a frame in the shaipe of a small cabin with a pointed roof, it is being covered with large tree roots.

For more information, Ice Breakers

These installations remain until the 25th of February.

Womens March
Nathan Phillips Square

A few photos of people (of all ages) and signs at today’s rally and march.

below: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made”  and “Destroy patriarchy not the planet” while sitting on the 3D Toronto sign.

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, two young women sitting in the O of the 3D Toronto sign, each with a sign, a couple behind them - the woman looking at them, the man taking a picture with his phone. The cover on his phone is a British callbox (phone booth)

below: “Grope”.  A play on Obama’s Hope sign

Toronto womens march and protest, women with a sign that is picture of Donald Trump in reds and blues with the word Grope written in large letters

below: Walking across Dundas Street.  “Believe women”. “My body is not public property”.

women walking down Bay st towards Nathan Phillips square and city hall, womens march

women walking down Bay st towards Nathan Phillips square and city hall, womens march

 

below: There were many Princess Leia & the Resistance signs.

young girl on her father's shoulders, wearing hat and scarf and holding a reistence sign with a picture of Princess Leia on it.

below: “Men of quality don’t fear equality”.

men of quality don't fear equality.

below: “Gender equality now”.  “End Violence Against Women”.

Toronto womens march and protest, a woman with a sign that says gender equality now, and a woman with a sign that says end violence against women along with the names of women who have been killed by their partners.

below: “Boys will be good humans”

Womens march, protest parade - mother pushing double stroller, with two boys in in, sign that says boys will be good humans,

below: “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit!”

older woman with a walker at womens march protest at Nathan Phillips, wearing a pink hat and a pink sign that says

below: “Love is the answer. Try it”

Womens march, protest parade, woman with hat and scarf and holding a sign made of brown cardboard, orange painted letters that say Love is the answer, try it

women holding protest sign, womens march, Toronto
signs and placards ready to be used in a protest rally, womens march, I am a snowflake, together we are an avalanche
group walking in a protest march, the future is female is one of the signs being carried, walking on Dundas St

Toronto womens march and protest, a smiling woman with a placard that reads hear me roar, along with a picture of a tiger

Nobody illegal, be kind, signs, held by kids and their parents in the womens march

person in shark costume holding a sign that says sharks aren't scary, climate change is.

below: “I stand with the dreamers” “Defend DACA”

I stand with Dreamers, Defend DACA, protest signs

young woman giving peace sign and laughing, holding a girls sign

below: “Missing my nap to smash the patriarchy”

mother and daughter, Womens march, protest parade, daughter is a baby in a front carrier, sign ver her says Missing my nap to smash the patriarchy

below: “Feminism is for everybody”

Toronto womens march and protest, a young woman with a sign that says feminism is for everybody

below: “The peeved beavers”

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, two women talking, one is holding a sign that says the Peeved Beaver

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, a woman with a very pink wig on, holding a sign from socialist.ca that says fight racism and islamophobia

below: “I am a snowflake”

Womens march, protest parade - a girl walking with her father, she has a pink sign that says I am a snowflake

two protest signs, one says because a strong woman raised me. the other is a Nellie McClung quote about never retract, never explain, never apologize, get things done and let them howl

below: “Pussy power”

Womens march, protest parade - a woman holding a black placard with pussy power in pink, stickers of cats, and some tampons on it

Womens march, protest parade - young women with signs and rainbow peace flags

below: ” I stand with you” across the shoulders

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, from the back, a woman with short and very orange hair, has a patch on the back of her black jacket, rainbow flag with I Stand with you

below: “Why I march? So my daughter will never have to say #metoo”  “Supergirl in training”

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, by the rink a mother and daughter getting their picture taken. Both are holding signs, the daughter's sign is yellow and says Supergirl in training, mother's sign is pink and says

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, 3 girls watch the protest march go by, they are each holding a sign - Respect my existence or expect resistance, the second is Grab 'em by the Patriarchy, and the third is OK with

below: Trump in effigy, “Stop the madness”

Toronto Womens march, protest parade, woman holding up an effigy of Trump with a sign that says stop the madness. Others around her walking in the protest march

below: “Care about each other, not like Donald Trump”

boy with a large hand drawn sign on white bristol board that says care about each other not like donald trump

below: “Love not fear” and big red heart shaped balloon.

women in crowd at Nathan Phillips with sign that says Love not fear, also a large red mylar balloon heart

below: “I hope”

little girl on father's shoulders in Toronto womens march on Bay street, holding sign that says I hope

Womens march, protest parade, a group of people with animal rights, eat vegan, signs

Womens March, Nathan Phillips square, a woman with a megaphone

below: “Tick tock on the clock, we all say time’s up!”  “You’re so vain you probably think this march is about you”

women marching in Womens march, holding pink signs

below: “Respecta mi existengia espera resistencia”.  “We are the change”

many women marching, many holding placards with protest slogans

below: “We won’t let this slide”.  “My sexual preference is mutual consent”.

two women holding up signs, a pink one that says we won't let this one slide and a yellow sign that says my sexual preference is mutual consent