Instead of pictures of this year’s Pride Parade, I am posting some photos from previous Pride weekends from my archives. I have tried to use pictures that weren’t chosen for prior blog posts. As you know, the fall out from Covid-19 includes cancellation of parades in Toronto this summer. There was a virtual Pride parade online this year (so I hear) but that doesn’t lend itself to photography. We miss the social interactions that normally occur. We miss the atmosphere and the fun. This collection is a poor substitute for the real thing but maybe it will bring back a few memories….. See you in 2021!

Pride parade, rainbow wings, dancing woman

women dancing in the street, pride parade

women dancing in the street, pride parade

carrying a big polka dot umbrella

pride parade, woman, this is a good sign

group, drag queens, pride parade

high fives, pride parade

young people posing for pictures outside store with happy pride balloons in the window

two women kissing, on sidewalk, outside, pride

two people dancing, pride parade while spectators cheer

woman doing limbo dancing, pride

man in pink shirt and straw hat dances while squating while people passing by slow down to stare

man with rainbow mask

naked people in pride parade, backside view, bums,

you can be naked too, sign held by nude people walking in pride parade

older person walking with walker in pride parade

pride parade, man in some leather

pride parade

purple parasol, pride weekend activities

3 people on roof watching pride parade

one man sitting on another man's shoulders, rainbow flag

man in uniform in pride parade

Singh, leader of federal NDP at pride parade, in pink turban

Rocky Horror theme group at pride parade with sign that says let's do the time warp again

flowers entirely converng back of person's head and neck, one on nose too

underwear

3 people on top of green container watching pride parade

truck pulling float down Yonge Street for Pride parade

woman in Waterloo Engineering society t-shirt high fives with crowd watching pride parade

on float at pride, in long turquoise dress and platinum blond hair

woman watching pride parade

getting ready to make bubbles

blowing bubbles, pride parade

Since the parades associated with Pride are all cancelled in Toronto this year, I have uploaded a video created from photos from past Pride parades.

A Rainbow of Colours is on youtube.  https://youtu.be/OY8K5BqVk1w

an older man in a yellow fedora sprays people with a very large green and yellow super soaker

I do not have permission to use Cyndi Lauper’s song, True Colours, so youtube might not allow the video to remain.  If it gets taken down, I’ll re-edit it with different music.

a woman with orange hair, but one side of head shaved has arms in air as she walks in parade

A while ago, a group of street artists took over Graffiti Alley and painted a number of murals and street art pieces dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a large sample of the work that was completed as part of that project ‘Paint the City Black’.

Graffiti on a wall in Graffiti Alley including the words Black Lives Matter

below: A tribute to Breonna Taylor by elicsereliot

a mural featuring a portrait of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed by police in the United States, Her name is written there as well

below: Martin Luther King Jr with “Police brutality ends now.  RIP Jamal”

A portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. painted in a mural, along with words in green paint that say Police brutality ends R I P Jamal

below: Free the Revolution

A mural in Graffiti Alley, a black bird with a dark blue beak, with the words Free the Revolution

below: A Lovebot heart supported by a black hand a white hand working together.

A mural in Graffiti Alley, A red lovebot heart with tow hands under it and appearing to hold it up, one hand is black and the other is white

below: No Justice, No peace, a mandala by Opola Karim

A circular design in light grey on black in a flower shape with words under that say no justice no peace

below: A mural by @sumartist (Paul Glyn-Williams) – I can’t breathe, the last words of George Floyd, surrounded by the words “But we can hear you”.

A portrait of George Floyd who was killed by American police in Minneapolis, with lower part of his face covered with a black mask with words I can't breathe written on it.

below: A poser bunny

poser bunny mural in graffiti alley, giving peace sign, beside words that say black lives matter

below: RIP Jamal Francique by bubzart (aka Bubzlitto Brigante).  Jamal was shot by Peel Region police earlier this year.

tribute mural to the memory of jamal francique, with his portrait

below: A portrait of James Baldwin (1924-1987) painted by Phillip Saunders.  Baldwin was an American writer and activist.

portrait of James Baldwin, mural in Graffiti Alley, by Phillip Saunders

wall in Graffiti Alley, back of two storey building with exterior metal stairs, wall is covered with graffiti including words R I P to the black lives taken by police

below: A large paste up by Adeyemi Adegbesan

black and white and grey tones pasteup graffiti by yung of a woman with a hat that is a bird's head and large beak, many chains around her neck and her eyes are covered, lots of flowers covering the back of her head and neck

below: Leyland Adams painted this portrait of Malcolm X.
“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom.
All you have to be is an intelligent human.”

mural dedicated to Malcom X with his portrait and one of his quotes

two faces in two murals adjacent to each other, one is of a young woman and the other is a boy

mural of woman in bright colours, reds and pinks, wearing a blue mask, tribute to health care workers.

Frozen in stone for more than a hundred years these faces are some of those that adorn the exterior of Queens Park.  The pinkish stone is sandstone quarried near Orangeville and the Credit River Valley.

below: This one makes me think of an old woman in a frilly bonnet – my apologies to the person it is supposed to be (if there is one!).

carved stone on the exterior of Queens Park, a face in a circle surrounded by leaves

below: There are devilish horns on this one.

a man's face with what seems like horns from his head, a carving in stone

below:  He’s got a long and curly tongue and is that long hair beside his face?

exterior of Queens Park, parliament buildings in Toronto, a laughing face with tongue stuck out, in sandstone

below: Strangely blank eyes looking upward.

in a carved frieze on the exterior of parliament buildings, a face with blank eyes

below: He watches everyone as they pass by.

on a stone column, exterior of Queens Park, a face,

A long weekend in May (Two Four Weekend) + the first sunny warm day in a while + two months of “shelter in place” = people out enjoying Tommy Thompson Park’s trails and waterfront.

a couple sit on a rock by Lake Ontario

below: Flow Like a River

bikes parked against a fence with signs on it, with graffiti words that say flow like a river, in the background a mound of dirt with two young men standing on top of it.

below: Keep ur distance

a girl in a red bike helmet walks on top of a yellow concrete barrier

cyclists on a bike path, seen through tree trunks and long grass

below: Three people, three positions – up tall and straight, flailing legs middle, and collapsing feet at the end.    Also notable are the mounds of tangled rebar that dot the shoreline.

three young people trying to do headstones on the pebbles at the shore beside Lake Ontario, Tommy Thompson Park, with old rusty rebar in piles on the shore two, washed up old trees and roots,

father and child standing on rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario

below: She’s sitting on some very rounded rocks that have been shaped by the waves and water.  Are they chunks of man-made concrete and not the more solid  rocks formed by nature?

a woman looking at her phone, sitting on rocks by Lake Ontario, her bike is on the ground behind her

The park has come a long way since construction of the Leslie Street Spit started in 1959.  In the beginning, it was to be an area for “port related activities”.   In the early 1970s, it was decided that Toronto didn’t need an expanded port.  Since 1973, the focus has been on developing the area as a park but keeping as much “wilderness” as possible.  If you are interested in the history of Tommy Thompson Park, they have an excellent website with aerial pictures that show how the park has grown.

tall smokestack in the distance, a park in the foreground, with a bike path and cyclists running through the park, early spring

below: Nature slowly takes over, and the piles of rubble and construction waste that were used to help build the foundations of the park become grown over and buried.

grassy, rocky part of Tommy Thompson Park in spring with shrubs and trees just starting to bud

below: Late afternoon fishermen on their way in.

people walking on a trail in Tommy Thompson Park, early spring, trees just starting to form leaves

below: If you look closely, you might see that one of the bikes has a bell in the shape of a skull with red eyes.

4 bikes parked on the shore, among leafless shrubs, beside Lake Ontario

piles of rock, concrete bits, rebar, construction waste, forming parts of Tommy Thompson park

below: There were lots of noisy redwing blackbirds as well as many other kinds of birds – orioles, grosbeaks, goldfinches, robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows.  During spring migration, up to 300 different species can be seen here.

a male redwing blackbird in a tree, making noise

long droopy buds on a tree, dark red on top and golden yellow on the lower parts, out of focus trees in the background

In the foregeound, trees and stumps in the water at the edge of the harbour, looking across the water to the Toronto skyline

two sailboats exit the marina harbour and pass by the Toronto skyline (seen from the east)

below: Construction on the east side of the park.  This is the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project scheduled to be finished in 2025.  Three shore connected breakwaters and a headland/beach system are being constructed.

filling in part of Lake Ontario, walls of rocks with dirt between them

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs

a large number of notices and posters on a glass door and window, including, we're all in this together,

below: Signs for hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves

signs and posters in the window of a convenience store, Sun Milk, advertising hand sanitizer and kids face masks for sale, also keys cut,

below: Signs of thanks to essential workers

home made sign on the front yard of a house with a Canadian flag, a rainbow, and an airplane

below: Life is tough but so are you.  I wish I could get a better view of the dancing figures in the window!

painted sign in the window of a house that says Life is tough but so are you

below: This too shall pass on a rainbow of colours.

sign in window of house, rainbow with words this too shall pass

below: Rainbow because it doesn’t rain forever.

three small painted signs mounted on a wood fence, one says be well, another is a rainbow and the third says we're all in this together
hand written sign in window of store, no cash, due to covid-19 we are closed

a white sweatshirt in the window of a store, that says Nurses have patience

below: Please Practice Social Distancing – keep those 2 metres apart!

looking in the window of a wine store. A yellow vest is hanging by the counter, with words on vest that say please practice social distancing, two silhouette people 6 feet apart

below: Marking those 2m (6 feet) on the sidewalk

a young woman is marking a sidewalk with red tape, 6 feet apart for standing in line

small sign in the corner of a store window, blinds drawn, that says Stay Healthy Inside Safe

in the upstairs window of an apartment over a store, a sign that says I'm claustrophobic Darren

below: CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) won’t save us sign in the store window.

a sign in the window of a store that says CEBA won't save us, also blue letters advertising end of season sale

poster for on May first keep your CEBA and keep your rent

below: Keep Your Rent poster for The Annex, outside Bathurst subway station

keep your rent sign, the Annex, April 1st, outside Bathurst subway station

below: Similar signs appeared in Little India (Gerrard St East)

keep your rent May 1 posters beside a gallery with photographs in the window

below: But in Little India the signs were multilingual (8 languages? or more?)

keep your rent poster, in five different languages, for Little India

below: And then a poster for what happens after you’ve kept your rent.   But below that is another small notice to (exclamation marks !!) your mask is weakening your immune system.  Reader beware.

keep your rent poster

below: Two posters on construction hoardings.  By mistake I cut off the lowest part of the posters and in doing so, I missed line of text on the poster on the right.  It says: “We’re closer now having been through this together – Love.”

2 large street art posters on wood construction hoardings

below: We’re no longer holding hands, we’re now 6 feet apart. Peace.

large poster for we're all in this together, peace symbol with stick figures standing around the outside of the circle

below: At Bathurst subway station, wash your hands.  It was one of many in a series of “Staying safe on public transit”

subway station platform, a couple of people walking, a sign reminding people to wash hands frequently and thoroughly because of covifd19

below: Eglinton Theatre, stay positive

marquee on Eglinton Theatre that says stay positive stay strong stronger together

below: Lower Ossington Theatre

front of Lower Ossington Theatre with marquee that says Be safe Be brave Be kind

Yesterday’s meandering walk around a neighbourhood was a loop from Bathurst subway station.

below: So happy to see this pair yesterday! When I was walking down Yonge street a few days ago, they passed me and I didn’t notice until they were out of camera range.

large shaggy brown dog sitting in a motorcycle sidecar, wearing sunglasses

You can’t talk about Bloor and Bathurst without mentioning the redevelopment of Mirvish Village.

construction site

two cranes at a construction site

below: Purple door

purple door in an alley, between two garage doors

below: Pale blue door

light blue door with peeling paint, beside wall with old red tar paper shingles

below: Pink, well probably faded red, door – and yes, it became a game of how many different coloured doors could I find.   It looks too small doesn’t it?

faded red, now pink, door on a white house, dirty and greyish stucco on the exterior, small bit of grass in front, one way sign on the utility pole in front of the house.

below: Dobgoblin and drawings on the greenish door.

seafoam green colour garage door with graffiti drawings of people, dobgoblin,

below: Anchored vs held down?

graffiti on a brown garage door, picture of an anchor along with words don't hold me down

below: Chalk heart

graffiti on a brown garage door, chalk heart in pink and yellow with orange word hello written beside it

below: Chalkboard philosophy, I think, I can’t be certain though. Maybe the gnomes know.

two small gnomes stand beside a chalkboard on a porch with words on it that say

below: It’s still Covid-19 time, still line-ups in the grocery store

Fiesta Foods grocery store on Christie Street, with line up of people waiting to get in

below: The Green Beanery coffee shop at Bloor and Bathurst is now permanently closed.  What I have missed most these past few weeks is discovering little coffee shops to stop at as I walk.

looking in window of Green Bean coffee shop that is now empty, reflections of photographer as well as people walking on the street

below: A riot of magnolia blossoms just about to be in full bloom

magnolia tree in front of some houses with magnolias about to be in full blossom

below: The sign has become not a running stop

stop sign in front a large tree just beginning to bud in spring, words added to stop sign so it now says not a running stop

below: Christie and Garnet

Christie street, looking north at Garnet Ave.,

below: Perly Family Lane with its painted garage doors.  For more pictures of the garages, see my blog post from 2016.

alley, PerlyFamilyLane, with painted garage doors.

below: Old and new side by side

back of a semi divided house, older asphalt shingles on exterior of the one on the left while on right has been renovated in light grey with new large window on ground floor

below: And nearby, short and tall

a semi divided house where the one on the right has added a third floor

below: Small house, large yard

very small beige house with one window in the front, large grassy front yard, between two largeer houses that are closer to the street

below: A large and impressive sycamore tree reaching up to grab the sky.

semi divided house with large sycamore tree in front of it

below: Basketball in the alley

alley, laneway with a basketball net ready

below: An old Pontiac Parisienne with its rear bumper on the ground.  It seems to have its own lot.   Parisiennes were produced through the 1960s and 1970s ans then well into the 1980s.   Would a car maker today call a car model a Parisienne?

old blue car, Pontiac Parisienne, with its back bumper on the ground, parked off the street between two houses

below: A white picket fence.  Is there something nostalgic or sentimental about a white picket fence?  Or is that only if you’re “of a certain age”?  Why did it become a symbol of middle class suburbia?

white picket fence along the side of a beige house with two large trees in yard, a door with newer wood porch and steps

below: Keeping an eye on the street

a ceramic ornament on top of a red tiled roof, animal, Chinese,

I came across the garage belonging to Albino Carreira that I saw, and blogged about, back in 2016.  He has added more shells, beads, and small objects.

front of decorated garage, shells, wood pieces, found objects,

below: Side of the garage

red side wall of garage decorated
a collection of shells used in decorating the exterior surface of a garage, also a small blue toy bear and some silver beads with a picture of the Greek flag

objects attached to a red wall, the exterior of a garage, plastic butterflies, beads, shells, and a small grey metal artwork that looks like a man emerging from a grey wall

below: As a bonus, there was a brief encounter with this van – complete with a wave.

side of van covered with shells and small toys, driver is waving from partially lowered window

back of van covered with shells and small toys

below: Before I go, one last door.  This time it’s mottled brown as there is some creamy orangey colour being revealed as the brown peels away.

back of a house, silver car parked, patio stone walkway to back door. screen door as well as old mottled brown and beige door, small stairs to back porchwhere there is a white chair

The Great Pause, March 2020 (and then April…. and now into May)

paintings on a fence including one that says the great pause.

paintings on a wood fence, with backs of houses in the background

below: Courage, joy, spirit, celebrate, community, equality, and one that has flipped over.

coloured flags on a wood fence, red flag for , gold flag for joy, yellow for spirit, light blue for celebrate, light blue-green for community, blue for equality. , also a picture of the Beatles, black on mirror

below: All you need is love.

paintings on a fence

little wood planters on a wood fence

Canadian flag displayed on a fence with a guitar at either end

below: What to do when spring seems so far away….

chalk drawing of three flowers growing out of a wood planter mounted on a wood fence

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

  Most people are still staying home or at least close to home.  You’re still not going to see many people in my photos because I am still avoiding them, still walking in quieter places.  Sometimes those places happen to be streets that once upon a time (only a month ago?) were busy.

below: An empty parking lot.

brick wall of a building beside a parking lot, with sign saying reserved parking

below: A very quiet Broadview subway station.

Broadview subway station, west side,

below: A very tall and lanky animal on a pole.  It’s missing a leg or two.

long narrow shapes made of wood and painted blue an red and attached to wood utility pole

line of houses on a street by Broadview subway station, very tall trees with no leaves, semis, one is painted red

below: The TTC streetcar tracks in the middle of being replaced, on Broadview just south of Danforth.

a red truck in the middle of Broadview Ave as TTC streetcar tracks are being removed, lots of dust.

below: More TTC construction, this time another access to Chester station is being built.

fence in front of construction site at Chester subway station, sign with arrow pointing way for pedestrians

below: After a month of no shopping except for food and even no window shopping, this bright red telephone caught me eye as I walked past.   Salt and pepper shakers in a store window: Flamingoes, pink swans, penguins, cats, monkeys, and little yellow chicks – cute ones and funny ones like the hot dogs, as well as political ones like Trump and his North Korean counterpart.

looking in a store window, bright red rotary phone and a display of different types of salt and pepper shakers in differernt shapes - flamingoes, monkeys,

below: Inspired to do stuff?  I think I identify more with the mug beside these days.

mugs with cat theme pictures on them, on shelves, in window of a store

below: A Covid-19 message from the Danforth Music Hall – “Please take care of each other”.

front of Danforth Music Hall on the Danforth

below: Posters reminding people to share smiles and kindness

posters on a sidewalk bulletin board,

below: An electric sign outside Eastend United Church invites people to join their Sunday services on Facebook.

electronic sign on church saying worship with up on facebook

below: The mannequins had the most stylish face masks.

mannequins with metal stovepipe as neck and head, wearing covid face masks, one is black and white pattern with big red lips

Words scrawled on the side of a concrete block garage in an alley that say Macedonia is Greek

text graffiti in yellow on green wood fence, plywood, peeling paint, faded,

below: Beware of rabbit.

backs of houses and a garage in an alley, graffiti on garage says beware of rabbits

below: A hummingbird is painted on the pillar.

street art of a hummingbird on a pillar, with red flower

bright red gate between two buildings, 2 mailboxes on the gate, one white and the other a brass colour. Brass mailbox is 735

in an alley, the back of houses

a house, semi-divided, two storey, porch, rounded lines on the porch railing,

below: Takeout with distancing – a story that is repeated all over the city as restaurants try to stay afloat.

signs and posters on a glass door, entrance to restaurant

below: Social distancing leads to line ups outside Tims

line up outside Tim Hortons, social distancing for Covid

below: “See you after the curve flattens”

a sign on the glass door of a store selling old lights and lamps that says

front yard and porch of a house, walkway is concrete slabs that are uneven, pine bush on grass, metal railing on porch, small garden in front of porch

back of a small white building, store, in an alley, small porch on upper door with exterior stairs up to it
building beside a parking lot with three cars parked there, white car, blue car and red car