Sometimes I find myself in unfamiliar territory and so it was last week when I went to investigate some alleys where I’d heard that new murals had been painted.   My previous post, Around Wadsworth Park, was part of the same walk; there was just so much to see that I split my photos into two groups.  In general, the last post was north of Davenport Avenue while this post features Davenport and the streets & alleys to the south.

below: More raccoons by Emily May Rose, this time they are being watched over by a big white rat. Quite the dumpster fire!

mural in an alley by Emily May Rose of raccoons and a big white rat. One raccoon is setting fire to a dumpster

preparing for a sidewalk sale, including a sign that says amenity closed because of covid 19

below: A large mural by Birdo beside Charles Sauirol school

large birdo mural on the side of a building, street art

the side of a house is covered with street art, 2 or 3 murals on both upper and lower storeys

below: A man reaching out a multicoloured hand to a woman by Phillip Saunders covers the back part of the house

murals on the side of a house, a man and a woman with black curly hair

below: A brown octopus and bright coloured tiger playing together – a collaboration between Luvs and June Kim.

mural of a tiger on the side of a house

below: Baby birds with beaks uplifted in a mural by Bruno Smoky and Clandestinos

mural by Bruno Smoky and Clandestinos on a wood fence in an alley, baby birds in a nest with their beaks open waiting for parents to feed them

below: Blue jay and tomato face, rowdyradrat and Chris Perez.

street art on a wood fence in a lane

murals on a wood fence in a lane, tomato, blue jay

below: Taking cover under umbrellas on a rainy day in a mural by Elicser Elliott

mural by elicser elliott on a garage door in an alley, people under umbrellas in the rain, pink background

below: Someone has extra time lying around, but without the coffee

leaning against a lime green dumpster is the time part of an old coffee time donut shop sign

a motorcycle parked in a backyard with lots of weeds and junk

small house with brown picket fence in front, second story with mansard roof on one part of house only

street art painting of a nuthatch bird on a wood pole

below: Mural in a lane, signature says June, Bacon, and Erika.

mural in a lane, nuthatch, flowers by Bacon, and a bright cat by June Kim

below: Part of another June Kim feline

a June Kim mural of a tiger or cat, feline, on a brick wall in an alley

below: A man walks down the alley, between a mural on the right and Quick Recording Studios on the left.

an older man with a cane and a plaid jacket walks down an alley, back to the camera

below: In the window of the Art Academy of Canada, Davenport Ave.

paintings in a window, with window reflections, of Art Academy of Canada

below: A.J.’s So Fresh Coin Laundry, also on Davenport

buildings on Davenport Ave., two storey, one is A.J.'s So Fresh Coin Laundry

below: A multi-lingual thank you to essential workers on Davenport – obrigado, gracias, merci, and grazie!

a mural on a brick wall on the side of a building on Davenport, a thank you to essential workers during covid, thank you written in many languages

below: Boney Santa’s lost a lot of weight recently… he’s probably tired of all the weight gain jokes and comments though…..

large skeleton outside in front yard with Santa hat and red scarf, holding a plastic candle light, other Christmas decorations on porch of house

below: More Emily May Roses’s mischievous raccoons and their cans of spray paint.

emily may rose mural on the side of a dark grey building, raccoons playing around a white cube van, with orange spray paint

below: Anya Mielniczek’s woman’s face looks down the lane.

mural by Anya Mielniczek of a girls's head in pinks and oranges down a lane, rest of mural blocked by fence

below: A closer look of the mural reveals another woman’s head on the far side along with people mixing together in the central portion painted by Raoul

orange and pink woman's head by Anya Mielniczek along with a picture of

below: HeldbyHuda mural

street art mural on a garage door by artist with instagram handle heldbyhuda

below: Patterns of circles and semi-circles on a gate by Stephanie Bellefleur

street art on a wood gate across the back of a garage, patterns of circles and semi circles

below: Another gate, but half of this one has been removed.

car parked behind a house, gate across back of yard is partially closed and a mural can be seen on it, other part of gate is open so other part of mural is blocked

below: A Nick Sweetman painting of a large Cuckoo wasp feeding on a yellow flower

mural by Nick Sweetman on a garage door in an alley, a large blue green bee on a yellow flower

below: by Victoria Day

garage door mural by Victoria Day, stylized yellow and green flowers on a blue green gradient background

garages in a laneway in Toronto, some garage doors have murals and street art painted on them

below: Sections of citrus fruit in glass bowls, by Steam

Steam, the artist, painted a mural on a garage door of citrus fruit sections in glass bowls

below: A pink and purple butterfly by Dani Coghlan

pink and purple butterfly mural on a garage door

below: A floral wallpaper-like design by Tara Dorey

floral wallpaper like design on a garage door by Tara Dorey

jumble of chairs and other objects on a lawn, behind a chainlink fence

in an alley, two old garages with a crooked gate with peeling dark green paint, house in the background

below: A collaboration between Diana Lynn VanderMeulen and Tebby G.

mural with two cartoon like animals, one pink and the other blue, beside a blue mountain along with some pink flowers, a mural on a garage door

below: Pink flowers by Claire Browne

mural by Claire Browne on a garage door in a n alley, pink clover flowers with green leaves on a

below: Self explanatory?

a mural with a large word that says great

below: Planta Muisca mural with an orange snake under a purple night sky.

a mural by muisca on a garage door in a lane, an orange snake in the purple night with moon and plant with large leaves

below: Birds wearing neckties and hanging out together in a mural by Rob Elliott

birds painted on a garage door, stylized, large bird wearing a long necktie and smaller birds with similar ties, all on an orange background

car parked in front of two murals on garage doors, breaking bread is one of the murals

below: Sometimes while walking in this city during Covid and various lockdowns, even this might do!

old toilet on the doorstep of an apartment beside a fish and chips store

fish and chips shop sign on a store doorstep along with a folding chair

below: Remains of a vegetable garden planted along the side of the alley. Portugal peppers once grew here.

remains of a vegetable garden in late December, sign saying Portugal peppers

below: Stop and smell the flowers

wood utility pole painted white and decorated with flowers and a sign that says stop and smell the flowers

white pole with purple flower painted on it, also some stickers, welcome, kindness

covid 19 mask caught on a dead branch in a garden

Support for the alley murals was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Unfortunately, I have missed a few of the paintings.  A complete set of photos can be found on Erika James’s Instagram page.  She was one of the organizers of the project.

 

little elf characters hanging from a tree in a front yard, green cap and shirt like holly with red pants and trim but everything made of tinsel strands

Just east of Old Weston Road, between St. Clair and Davenport, is Wadsworth Park. This park dates from 1934 when the city purchased the land from the Canadian National Railway.

below: The sign in Wadsworth Park gives a brief history of the park in five languages. It also provides a map of the 19 species of tree that grow here, species include London Plane, Tulip, Linden, Freeman Maple, Norway Maple, Bur Oak, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and many others.

sign in Wadsworth park describing the community and the tree species

below: Suri in grey tones while drinking, mural by Haenahhh.

mural on a garage door in an alley by haenahh of a woman sitting with a cup of coffee

below: Mediah blues on the right and a Que Rock mural on the left.

looking across a park in late December, two garages in an alley painted with murals, on the right is one in blues by mediah

below: A closer look at the mural by Que Rock – Mother Earth, loons, and pine trees.

mural by Que Rock, indigenous themes, loons on the water, mother earth,

below: Fantasy creatures playing in a mural by Kisong Koh

mural by Kisong Koh on the door of a garage in a laneway

below:  The alley behind Carleton Village school

below: Windows on the south wall of Carleton Village school.

windows with rectangles of textured glass and coloured glass, exterior wall of Carleton Village Junior and Senior public school, tree growing in front of it, winter

old rusty railing between garages in an alley

below: Mural by Kseniya Tsoy on a garage door.  On the extreme right is a small part of a mural of a purple dog by Bareket – my apologies for not including a better photo …. especially since I now know that she was responsible for organizing the mural paintings in this alley earlier this year.

bright and colourful mural in an alley of a woman

below: End of season remains of veggies (brussel sprouts?) in a patch of land between the alley and the park.

remains of brussel sprout plants in a laneway garden, some snow on the ground

row houses in Carleton Village

below: Beware of Portuguese dog!

on a dark brown fence a faded beware of dog sign in Portuguese

stop sign, altered with a sticker, to now say stop drinking cow's milk

More murals (and other things) in the area can be seen at the next blog post, South of Davenport.

The recent closure of Queen Street West for streetcar track work provided an opportunity to take a few photos without traffic or parked cars in the way.  Straight documentation and not much more.  But that way, when you next walk Queen West and it’s wall to wall new condo development you can check back here and say, “I remember when”….

two cyclists on queen street west

below: On the northeast corner of Queen West and  Augusta – The Wool House, Drinks & Deli, and One Stop Shop

row of stores on Queen West with construction fence in front

below: Queen and Augusta – Java Hut on one corner and an empty KFC on the northwest.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken on Queen West at Augusta

below: Looking west from Augusta

looking west along Queen Street West from Augusta

below: working on the TTC streetcar tracks just east of Portland

workmen working on the TTC streetcar tracks on Queen West

below: Black and red mural on the outside of Wendys at Denison Ave

cement truck with a workman standing beside it, on Queen West, by a Wendys restaurant in a three storey brick building with a mural in red and black on the outside

below: Queen Street West, north side, at the end of Portland Street.

old building, now stores, on Queen Street West at the top of Portland Street

below: Walking westward away from Portland

woman walking on the sidewalk between store fronts and construction fence, TTC track work being done on Queen West

below: Looking west from Tecumseth and Palmerston

looking west along Queen Street West from Tecumseth and Palmerston

below: Daisies and bees as Queen West approaches Euclid

concrete planter on Queen West painted pink with picture of daisies and bees with words to bee or not to bee

below: at Euclid

two women walking dogs on Queen West at Euclid

a red motorbike is parked in a bike parking lot on the sidewalk, building across the street has street art -- a lot of large white letters that take up almost the whole side of the building

below: Looking back eastward to Euclid

a yellow digger is the middle of Queen Street West removing street car tracks, west of Euclid

below: Reflections of Queen West in the window of John Fluevog shoe store

reflections of street scene in window of John Fluevog shoes on Queen West

below: North side, at Bathurst.  The construction ends and traffic resumes.

Queen Street west, north side looking towards intersection with Bathurst

games and stuffed animals in the window of a toy store - chickens, pig, snake, mice, goat, sheep

… and the little quirks

street art mural on the side of a garage that says embrace peculiarities

below: Love on the street…

graffiti, black words written on a painted white wall say I love you still

below: And love in the bedroom.

blue lights in a store window in the shape of letters and words that say I only love my bed and my mama, I'm sorry! also reflections of street scene in the window including TTC streetcar and intersection

below: Doggie portrait in a mountain ash tree

a picture of a dog wearing glasses hanging from a mountain ash tree tree in Trinity Bellwoods park in late autumn so no leaves on the trees, just orange berries, in the background are two people sitting at a picnic table, leaves on the ground,

below: This white squirrel has found a permanent home in Trinity Bellwoods Park with a great view of the CN Tower.

white metal cut out of a squirrel hanging upside down from a branch on a tree in Trinity Bellwoods witn CN tower in the distance, houses on Gore Vale Ave facing the park in the middle distance

below: Stick figures pulling with full force

signs on a restaurant door that say pull with all your force and another sign that says pull harder. also covid signs like masks required and public health posters

exterior wall of a convenience variety store, paintings of soda pop cans with faces, arms and legs, walking,

below: Wanted – customers! No experience necessary…..

sign on sidewalk that says wanted, customers

below: Printed sideways on the wall in an alley is a portion of “Still I Rise”, a poem by Maya Angelou.

words stencilled sideways on a wall beside a garage door in an alley

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

large sign that only says fate on a black door

below: A tight squeeze

very narrow passageway between two red brick buildings with a bench at the end

below: Someone’s middle name is Style

an elderly man with long gray hair wearing a backpack with Minnie Mouse and words that say style is my middle name

below: 188 squashed in the middle

a semi detached house with one side having a peaked roof in the middle but the other side has been renovated with second storey

a man drives a fancy blue motorcycle with a woman passenger on the back

back of a house being renovated with the new door high above the ground, no stairs made yet

words on a fence between two buildings that say goda love. the word white written on the sidewalk in front of the fence along with a white heart

below: More love – Show Love in TO in Kensington

red heart made of a web of metal with white T and O in the top right corner, show love T O

a line of Tims cups on a window ledge inside a store being renovated

below: It’s Okay to forgive yourself, today, tomorrow, and every day after that

poster graffiti that says It's okay to forgive yourself, a white cloud is giving a pink blob a big hug and they are both sitting on top of a globe of the earth

below: A greeting from a bright and cheerful Prideosaur

sticker of a blue dinosaur with rainbow horns, striped tail and rainbow spots on its back, prideosaur

below: Sign at 4422 says “Get Out of Here”

poster graffiti, black and white drawing

below: Hoardings on Dundas West with bruho, urban ninja, sketchrat, life in the streets, las mujeres vampiro, and looney spoons.

below:  Eyes in collages large size pasteups at Trinity Bellwoods Park

2 green sheds at Trinty Bellwoods Park, with graffiti on them, a man walking past pushing a stroller

below: Names on a pole, left behind in Graffiti Alley by Max, Lily, James, Keira, Leah, The Gamer, and others (a class project?)

stickers on a pole, different people's names

below: Look.  Look at my cat.

poster on a concrete pole - picture of a cat's head and face with words, look, look at my cat

below: So many questions weighing heavy.

graffiti alley stickers including urban ninja squadron, t bonez on one knee while carrying a large yellow cube on his back. cube has white question mark on each face

below: Found behind bars

sticker of an abstracted man's face on glass behind metal grille

below: Hello! Happy to see you

black line drawing graffiti on red and white hello sticker, on a pole beside a black marker on white paint happy face

below: Devilish skateboarder

sticker of a togo wearing, sandal wearing, many with devil horns, on a skateboard

below: A plethora of stickers

many stickers on the back of a Toronto street sign

below: Stay safe!

sticker that says stay safe on a panel for button for pedestrian crossing

below: A face only a mother could love… maybe… He’s got one smiley face ear and another not so happy ear.

a woman walks past a box with graffiti on it including two stickers, an ugly man's face and a t bonez tropical shirt

below: ring around the pole by the same artist, OzoHOH? 0zohok?

stickers on a metal ring around a wood utility pole

below: zonr and more visual noise

stickers on a pole, zonr, urban ninja squadron in red

below: words, maybe girl dutch with something intense and ending with half woman.

poster graffiti on a wood pole, cursive writing, many words, black on white

below: I love you says a pink monkey

stickers on poles in graffiti alley

below: Now you know what’s in the Ninth Circle of Hell. In Dante’s “Inferno” the Ninth Circle was a frozen lake, a place devoid of love and warmth where Satan resided. The Ninth was also the innermost circle, reserved for those who have committed the worst sins which in Dante’s view were treachery and betrayal. Souls are frozen in the lake. Those whose treachery wasn’t quite so bad were frozen with their heads above the ice. Others were buried deeper. Lucifer, the archangel who betrayed God, is trapped waist-deep in the ice.

poster on a utility pole, lots of words with first line being climate change is the ninth circle of hell

below: A twist on blue Grumpy Care Bear – is he thinking about Climate Change?!

city crew sticker on a pole, also a blue care bear sticker, painted wall behind the pole

below: You’re welcome!

pink bordered sticker with three cheering women, words say thanks

I first posted pictures of the pasteups and posters at Charlotte and Adelaide back in September shortly after they first appeared.  I walked past them the other day.  There are a few that I forgot the first time and a few that are new.   Being street art, they have been subject to the sufferance and whims of others –  some comments are added, marks are made.

These are the photos that I took recently:

paper pasteups at Charlotte and Adelaide, large poster for las mujeres vampiros, a woman in a red dress holding a pig

words written over paper pasteups

paper pasteups, a grouping of ten or eleven photos including two large mouths, a woman with blond hair, a woman with blue hair, and others

jumbleface collage photos pasteups over white tag which covered previous paste ups

street art paper poster pasteups, photograph, also abstract faces

wall of paper poster pasteups, with a jumbleface foto collage of eyes

paper pasteups, large, one with woman in pink blouse and pink flowers tied into her hair. the other is a very abstract face in blues and reds and yellows

metal pole with graffiti stickers on them

stickers on metal pole, sketchrat, urban ninja squadron,

posters on a wall, urban ninja squadron, visual noise, and others

sticker soup life with red one eyed daisies, paper poster pasteups

two orange figures on a wall in front of other posters and written graffiti

blue and white city of toronto notice of development sign, on which someone has put a sticker with Mr. Monopoly and the words I have seen the future and I can't afford it

 

mural, blue letters on yellow, XOXO Downsview

below: Ulysses Curtis mural by Danilo Deluxo McCallum.  Curtis (1926-2013) played for the Toronto Argonauts football team in the 1950s.  He was considered to be the first black player on the team.

mural, black man with helmet and shoulder harness straps

The Downsview area and airplanes have been linked since the late 1920s when land here was being used for airfields—Barker Field, the Canadian Express Airport and the Toronto Flying Club.  In 1929 de Havilland Aircraft of Canada purchased 70 acres of farmland along Sheppard Avenue West.  In the mid-1950s de Havilland moved its operations to newly constructed modern facilities to the southeast.  De Havilland Canada was sold to Boeing in 1988 and then to Bombardier in 1992.

below: Bombardier facility and GO tracks on the east side of the park.   Downsview Park station at the north end of the park connects the GO system with the TTC’s Line 1.

Bombardier facility beside GO tracks in Downsview

In 2017, the Sesquicentennial Trail was developed on part of the site.  Sesquicentennial means 150 years, as in Canada was 150 years old in 2017.

below: The North Plaza of the trail features a semi-circular wall of rusted steel with cutout silhouettes of real historical photographs showing various people, buildings, and airplanes that was designed by John Dickson.

rusted metal art installation with sections of wall with cutout pictures, airplane windsock in front

part of an art installation, rusted metal with cut out pictures, cut out words that say danger low flying aircraft stop until clear

two pictures cutout of rusted metal

Small models of four of the aircraft built by DeHaviland ‘fly’ over the trail – the DH.60 Gipsy Moth, the Dash 8, the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and the Mosquito.   They cover years of both DeHaviland and aircraft history from the bi-winged Moth in the mid-1920’s to the turboprop Dash8. The later was developed in the early 1980s and is still in production today.

plaque describing 4 of the types of aircraft once produced in Downsview, DH.60 Gipsy Moth, the Dash 8, the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and the Mosquito

two model airplanes on pillars, look like they are flying above a pond, park, and new apartments under construction

below: High overhead, a DHC-Beaver, a bush plane developed in 1947 here at Downsview.

large metal flat silhouette of beaver airplane on tall metal poles as public art in a park

Grounded! But still great for child’s play.

playground at Downsview Park, yellow wood airplane on ground with pretend control tower

Hundreds, and probably thousands, of trees have been planted on the site.

two red muskoka chairs near the top of a hill, overlooking the trees in the valley below

below: Tulip tree

autumn colours on a tulip tree

below: Other areas have been set aside for native grasses and wildflowers such as milkweed, purple coneflower, and wild lupine.

plaque at donswview park describing tallgrass prairie and three of the plants that grow there

below: There is a large hill in the park and this is the view to the southwest from there.

Downsview view from hill in the park, looking southwest over a path, some apartment buildings, and rest of Toronto skyline

below: At the top of the hill stands an installation of blue flags along with two of the many red muskoka chairs scattered around the park.   This is “Wind Rose” by Future Simple Studio. This picture doesn’t show it very well but at the northwest corner, two of the flags are not blue – one is black and the other white (black for west and white for north).  These two flags, “The Turtle and the Traveller,” were designed by Mi’kmaq artists Chris and Greg Mitchell.   They are best seen when the wind is blowing!

blue flags hanging from poles, art installation at Downsview Park

maple leaves in autumn

small bird feeder on a tree, with a blue roof with red flower painted on the roof

Downsview has also been associated with the military.  In 1937, the Royal Canadian Air Forces expropriated portions of the site to establish the RCAF Station Downsview.  The site once had two residential areas with barracks – one for the enlisted soldiers and their families and another for the commissioned officers and their families.  Over the years the base expanded to include the original de Havilland lands.  In the 1960s, the military expropriated the lands adjacent to the Downsview Airport and closed 2.5 miles of Sheppard Avenue between Dufferin and Keele Streets.  That is why Sheppard Avenue swings north around what is now Downsview Park.

two small bird houses hanging against a tree, white round one with red conical shaped roof

In 1996 CFB Toronto officially closed.  Parc Downsview Park Inc. was established in 1999 to build and operate Downsview Park but administrative control over the land wasn’t transferred to the Park until 2006.

very red crimson maple leaves in fall

below: ArtworxTO Hub North with a mural by Mediah.  At the time, the site was being used by a film crew.

mediah mural at arthub at Downsview park

below: Another mural on the exterior of the ArtworxTO Hub building.  This one was painted by Kreecha.

mural at arthub at Downsview park

stickers on the back of a dark coloured car, robots shooting at stick figures, The Empire Doesn't Care about your stick figure family

I heard from two different sources about a “castle” that was about to be torn down so when I found myself in the neighbourhood, I had to stop by and take a look at it myself.

below: Screenshot from Google street view, dated January 2021. All of the shrubs have been removed and the black fence has been replaced with the same fencing that you see surrounding most construction sites.

screenshot from google maps street view of an old white house

below: The house as it looked in mid-November, east side.  The lower windows are now boarded up as well.

no trespassing sign on old white empty house

Apparently the house sold in 2018 . The previous owner, Max Heiduczek, lived in and worked on the house for more than 40 years.  He bought the property in the 1970s but had to sell when age and health concerns became an issue.

below: Minaret, dome, rooftop terraces, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.

small window in a crumbling building, plaster coming off wall, wood deteriorating along roofline

below: The tower has little blue windows.

crooked turret beside railing around rooftop terrace with stone statue of a woman (greek goddess?) holding an urn

brass remnants from something lying in the grass with dead leaves outside an empty and abandoned house

boarded up window and door on old white abandoned house

no trespassing sign on metal construction fence

lamp post with 5 globe lights, leaning, outside old white house with multiple architectural styles

boarded up window and door on old house, railing around balcony above door has heart shaped openings

below: South side of the house

side view of old white house with red clay tile colour roof, boarded up windows with danger sign

The current owners applied to subdivide the property into pieces.  In August 2021 conditional consent was given by the city for this severance.

 

below: The southwestern end of the Meadoway is at Thomson Memorial Park – it exits the park at McCowan just north of Lawrence and runs 16 km through Scarborough.  The goal is form one continuous linear urban park from downtown to the Rouge River.

large trees in autumn, lots of yellow and gold leaves on the trees and on the ground

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Bendale Church is just visible through the trees.  This church is adjacent to Thomson Memorial Park

steeple of St. Andrews Bendale shows through the trees at Thomason Memorial Park

below:   Springfield Farm House is also at McCowan and Lawrence.   It is the oldest brick house in Scarborough, built in 1840 by James Thomson.

springfield farm house near McCowan and Lawrence in Scarborough, built by Andrew Thomson

people on path

below: The Meadoway follows the Gatineau Corridor, a swath of land under hydro transmission lines.

a man pushes a child in a stroller along a path, the meadoway

below: Large sections are in the process of being “naturalized”, i.e. meadow restoration is underway.

meadoway sign

yellow headed bird on weeds

below: from left to right – New England Aster, Little Blue Stem, Common Milkweed, Switch Grass, Cup Plant, Bergamot, Big Blue Stem and False Sunflower.

close up of meadow restoration information sign showing which plants are growing there

wildflowers and other naturalized plants growing under hydro lines

meadoway in autumn, hydro lines and towers, a badminton net, path, bike path, grass,

people walking on a path through a park

a man walks along a path, through the Meadoway with autumn trees with yellow and gold colour leaves falling to the ground

rusty metal supports for transmission wires, with yellow autumn tree in the background

yellow sign warning cyclists that there is downhill section ahead

below: The Meadoway as it crosses Bellamy Road

meadoway crosses Bellamy Road

schoolyard under transmission lines

below: school access

gap in chainlink fence under hydro transmission lines, with path leading to a school

combination lock on a chainlink fence

below: Daventry Garden plots with highrises on Markham Road in the background.

autumn community garden in foreground, highrises in the background, on the meadoway
orange plastic fences around garden plots after the growing season is over, dead remains of vegetable gardens

string and wire make a fence around a community garden plot

community garden in the meadoway with back of houses in the background

There is a large gap from Scarborough Golf Club Road to Conlins (just east of Morningside). The Gatineau Corridor transmission lines cross the Highland Creek and the 401 where there is no path beneath the wires. The city has tried to make continuous bike routes and now Conlins, which runs north-south has bike lanes and crosses the 401.

bike path direction signs, route 79 to Rouge River Drive and route 26 to Gatineau Corridor

The northeast end of the Meadoway is still a bit bleak but at least the potential is there…. being November doesn’t help!

below: The Meadoway crosses diagonally through the intersection of Sheppard Ave East and Dean Park (just west of Meadowvale).

Meadoway path approaches the intersection of Sheppard Ave East and Dean Park with its hydro wires and towers

below: Looking southwest from near Sheppard and Dean Park

a woman walks on the path through the meadoway with transmission towers and hydro lines, November,

The trail ends shortly after at Meadowvale Road which is just beyond the Sheppard Transformer Station.

hydro transmission lines leading to Sheppard Transformer Station

below: Spindleberry tree (Euonymus europaeus)

spindle tree berries and autumn leaves

Development of the Meadoway is led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority with help from the city, Hydro One, the Weston Family Foundation, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation.

For more information – Meadoway website
Some of these photos were taken in 2020.

 

East of Brimley and north of Lawrence is a large park, Thomson Memorial Park.
I have mentioned the Thomson family’s role in the history of Scarborough in a blog post about St. Andrews Bendale cemetery where many of the Thomsons are buried.  St. Andrews is adjacent to this park and is on land donated by David Thomson.

In this blog post I wanted to look at a corner of the park – the southwest corner is home to the Scarborough Museum and it’s small collection of old buildings.

below: The McCowan log house is one of the houses.

log cabin home

Scarborough Historical Society plaque for McCowan log house, built 1830, now located in Thomson Memorial Park

The McCowan Log House
This cabin was built about 1830 in the northeast part of Scarborough and was moved to its present site by the Scarborough Historical Society in 1974. From 1848 until his death, it was occupied by William Porteous McCowan (1820-1902) who had come to Canada in 1833 with his parents, Margaret Porteous and James McCowan, a coalmaster of Leshmahagow Parish Scotland. The McCowan family, including four sons and four daughters, settled near the Scarborough Bluffs east of the present McCowan Road.
“Uncle Willie” McCowan narrowly escaped death by cholera which claimed his father and brother the same night in 1834. A bachelor, “Uncle Willie” was succeeded as owner by his nephew James McCowan.

below: There is another plaque nearby, this one for Rhoda Skinner who you have probably not heard of.  She had a lot of children!

historic plaque honoring rhoda skinner

This plaque is dedicated to the women who pioneered the wilderness of Ontario in the early 19th century and, in particular, to Rhoda Skinner (1775-1834).
In addition to laborious household chores, assisting with the farming, and coping with fears and challenges unheard of today, they were often called upon to raise huge families. Rhoda was the mother to 37 children by two husbands. Her children and their years of birth are as follows: [names & birth years of the children are then given]

Let’s take a closer look at Rhoda:

First, Rhoda married Parshall Terry (1754-1808) whose wife Amy Stevens died in 1792. Parshall was 20 years her senior and already had 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. Or at least, I assume that a child with the name Submission is a girl, sadly. The oldest, Parshall Jr. was born in 1777; he was only two years younger than Rhoda would have been 15 when his mother died.

Rhoda’s first child was Simcoe born in 1794 when she was 19. Her oldest step-daughters, Mary and Martha, would have been 14 and 11 – instant babysitters and helpers. IF they had survived. Considering the higher infant mortality rate of the time it is possible that some of these offspring didn’t make it to adulthood.

Rhoda went on to have 12 children with the youngest, Eliza, being born after her father died. 12 children in 16 years. Parshall Terry drowned in the Don River in 1808. At the time he and Rhoda’s brothers, Isaiah and Aaron Skinner, had a sawmill and a grist mill at Todmorden Mills. Terry was also a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.

Rhoda must have married William Cornell (1766-1860) shortly after because Rhoda and William had a son, Edward, in 1810. William Cornell was a widower with 12 children already. He and Rhoda had 5 more children after Edward. In the end, Rhoda gave birth to 18 children, the last one in 1821 when she was in her forties and when her eldest, Simcoe, would have been 27.

Rhoda died in 1834 and is buried in St Margarets in the Pines cemetery in Toronto (at Lawrence near Morningside) as Rhoda Terry Cornell. Her second husband is buried there too – written on his stone is “A native of Rhode Island U.S. and settled in Scarborough in A.D. 1800 being the second settler in the Township”.

below: The Cornell House. It was built by Charles Cornell and his wife Matilda. Charles was the son of William Cornell & Rhoda Skinner.

white frame house

below: ‘GrandMother Moon (and the Equinox Wave), 2019’ by Catherine Tammaro, Spotted Turtle Clan (photo taken in 2020).

a picture on an exterior wall

below: Thomson Memorial Park.  One of the many attractions of the park is the fact that it is the western end of The Meadoway – a project to turn a hydro corridor into green space with bike paths and walking trails.  (but that’s another  – blog post! – see link!)

large trees in autumn, lots of yellow and gold leaves on the trees and on the ground