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

This is the story of one building at one intersection, Yonge and Belsize (just south of Eglinton) but it’s also a story that is being repeated over and over again in the city.  The story of demolition and rebuilding.  The story of loss of the older wood and brick structures as they are replaced by glass and steel.

By December 2016 all of the businesses had closed down.

row of two storey store fronts, old brick building, that is now empty and about to be demolished, on Yonge Street

Mars advert on Belsize convenience store, old brick building with large windows and blue window frame, snow banks on sidewalk, now empty

signs in the window of a store that has just closed down. one is a permit to demolish the building and the other is a hand written sign on orange paper that is a thank you note from the managers of the store to the public

below: The back of the building

back of a brick building, winter time, with snow on the ground, construction fence around it, windows boarded up

Just over a year later demolition began in earnest.

back upper storey of building being torn down, exposing office furniture that was abandoned

interiorwallson upper storey are exposedin building being demolished

a construction worker in heavy winter orange clothes and yellow helmet, holds a stop sign to stop the traffic on Yonge street in front of a building being demolished

workmen standing around beside a front end loader that is being used to tear down an old brick building

exterior of building being demolished, black door uperlevel with drop below

old metal water pipes exposed on green and blue interior wall when building being demolished

red plastic danger tape blows in the wind. one end is tied to a blue fence and one strand is also tied to a building being demolished

remains of an old building being torn down in the foreground, a front end loader in the middle, and apartment buildings in the background.

on old metal chair frame sitsin a room with a lot of wood debris around it

We all know that red means stop, right?

traffic signal, red light, in front of a billboard with a father and child

What you may not realize is that’s only part of the story…
because red also means stop and take a picture!

a Bell payphone in front of a red wall.

And so I did.

a tim horton's ad on the side of a bus shelter as a woman walks past, a timbit is being dunked into the foam of a latte

back lights and part of the red of the back of a TTC streetcar

below: …. with a can of Red Bull even!
tied to a branch, two deflated red balloons and two deflated white balloons and a can of red bull drink

scalloped edged awning, in winter, with snow on the top and some froze drips of water and icicles

part of a red and white sale sign

part of sign, red background, a gold snowflake and part of a red and white Santa hat

top of a shingled porch roof with a bright red wall behind it

part of a red fabric Christmas bow in a decoration with some green pine

It’s been a while, I know.   Part of my excuse – the holidays got in the way.  But more importantly, it’s been very cold with bitter winds adding to our discomfort.  The very cold days are beautiful with their bright blue skies.  Although I have walked once or twice in -20C weather, the pictures here are from a warmer day when it was possible to take pictures without freezing my fingers off.  Unfortunately, in the winter warmer often means greyer.  I thought of calling this post “In Search of Winter” but that would be silly as no search is needed, it hits you in the face and it surrounds you.  Everyone is talking about the cold.

below: Winter in the city isn’t always picturesque.  Salt and sand and snow mix together to form slush.   Brown ugly slush, especially on the roads and sidewalks as seen here on Queens Quay West.  Of course, if you live in Toronto you are already well aware of this!

dirty slush along the streetcar tracks on Queens Quay

below: H2O park now has a pink #TOwaterfront sign (sculpture?) to go with its yellow umbrellas and white Muskoka chairs.  The weakened winter sun tried to break through the wall of clouds.

H 2 O park on Toronto's waterfront with yellow umbrellas over white Muskoka chairs on what is a beach in the summer but is covered with snow in the picture. A pink sign that says #TOwaterfront made of pink wood that is supposed to look like pieces of driftwood

below: The other morning there was a small group of Toronto firemen all dressed for the icy water as they practiced winter rescue procedures.  Both men were tethered to the shore.

two Toronto firemen in their yellow cold water suits, life jackets on, and tethered to ropes, practicing breaking through ice and then recovering by makng their way to stronger ice, practising ice rescues

below: Just a few footprints in the snow. I wasn’t the only one walking this way but there certainly weren’t any crowds.

a few footprints in the snow on a bridge

below: A cold and lonely barbecue, as well as one under wraps, waiting out the winter on the dock.

barbecues under tarps on snow covered docks in partially frozen harbour

below: Access to the docks along the waterfront was discouraged. It was easy to get out there but I suspect that if I’d fallen in I would have gotten in trouble, and not just from being wet. I wonder how thick the ice was there?

a danger do not enter sign and yellow caution tape across a dock on the waterfront, windswept snow, old railing,

below: Instead of comic relief, we have colour relief!

close up of porthole and red wall on boat in the harbour, railing and rope knotted, both with snow on them

below: Ducks on ice.  Have you ever seen a duck land in the snow?  It looks exactly like a landing in water but with a much shorter skid at it comes to a stop.   Or maybe that was obvious because how else would a duck land?

ducks onthe ice on Lake Ontario in the foreground, Canada Malting Co silos in the backgrounds

below: More ducks… ducks swimming in the small patch of open water.  There can’t be much food for them these days.

snow covered docks with one small snow covered boat, harbour, some ice and some open water

tall ship in harbour, with condos along Queens Quay in the background

snow covered boats on snowy docks, bottom of larger boat is in the background.

ice covered ropes that are holding a boat tied to the shore

below:  Lake Ontario with the Port Lands and the Toronto Islands in the background.  Windswept snow on the ice.

frozen harbour, Lake Ontario, with some snow covered docks

Stay warm everyone!

And don’t lose your gloves!  There are so many lost and lonely gloves out there… I hope that this one isn’t yours because if you’re like me, you lose at least one every winter.  I wonder they end up? In landfills?  … where archeologists of the future will dig up all these single gloves and mitts and wonder what it says about our society?  [smile!]

one black wool glove that has been dropped on a slushy wet sidewalk in winter

This is part of my ‘end of the year clean up and sort through photos’ process that I start most years at this time – I don’t always finish but that’s a whole other story.  One of the drafts that I found this morning was this post which I was in the midst of writing when the fan on my laptop died.   The technological hiccups have been dealt with and  on we go…. .   back in the fall I spent some time around Bloor and Spadina and this is the result.

below: On the SE corner of Spadina and Bloor are these supersized Dominoes. It’s rather silly but I like the juxtaposition of Dominoes and Pizza Pizza.  This is also part of Matt Cohen Park.

sculpture of very large black dominoes on sidewalk, street and shops in the background, including a Pizza Pizza restaurant

below: The hoardings went up around Honest Eds late in October.   By the time you read this, most (if not all) of the building will be gone.

the start of grey hoardings going up around the old Honest Eds store on Bloor Street as preparations are made to demolish it

below: Jimi Hendrix Sculpture Garden includes the bronze sculpture “People helping People” 1990, by Al Green.  The sculpture also appears on the property of an apartment complex in Davisville – the connection being that the two properties were developed by the same family company (the Green family as it turns out).  The garden also includes two bas-relief sculptures on the wall.  These are reproductions of some of the decorative facades of the Victorian houses (1890’s) that used to be on this site until they were torn down in 2004.

a small sculpture of two hands holding, vertical, one hand from above and the other from below, in a small garden with some shrubs with autumn foilage, orange colours

below: What the well dressed mummy was wearing this fall season.

a mannequin in a window of a men's clothing store, Theodore 1922, wrapped up like a mummy, scarf loosely draped around his neck, wearing a bowtie, and holding a folded up compact umbrella

below: There is not a lot of street art as you get closer to Spadina (there is more closer to Bathurst).  This garage door is one of the few pieces.

mural on an alley garage, black and blue predominant colours, some flowers, and birds

below: Poster for the YCL (Young Communist League) of Canada.

old posters on a a green utility pole, Join the socialist movement in Canada, gig economy,

below: The Ten Editions books store which sits on University of Toronto property.  There is some debate/discussion going on at the moment re the development of this site.  Ten Editions has been there since 1984.  At that time, the building was 100 years old as it was started its life 1885 as the John James Funstan Grocery Store.   The University of Toronto wants to tear it down so they can build a 23 storey residence on the site.

Ten Editions, a used book store on a corner, blue trim, large windows covered with white paper, door is open, stack of boos can be seen inside, old brick building

below: On the grounds of Trinity St. Paul Church is a sign that marks the spot of another garden.  This one is the Heart Garden and it is there to honour the children who were lost in or survived the residential school system.  “May we be part of a future of reconciliation and justice”.  It is designed in the shape of an Indigenous Medicine Wheel.  You can see the four concrete ‘paths’ that divide the wheel into four sections.  I have never noticed this garden before and it is unfortunate that the first time was late in the autumn when nothing was growing.  I will come back in the spring and/or summer to take a closer look.   Apparently it is part of a project, just one of many heart gardens across the country.

sign in a garden beside a church on a corner, autumn so there isn'tmusch growing in it, recnciliation garden

below: Walmer Road street sign.  Most of these green Annex signs have faded over time and it is rare now to find one in good shape like this one.

Toronto street sign, Annex neighbourhood, Walmer Road, top part of the sign is green with 4 houses on it.

As I type this, there is still snow falling from the sky, the tail end (I hope!) of the latest snow fall. ..  so you can expect some snowier pictures in the near future!

Saturday, December 17th 2017
The day six new TTC subway stations opened.

So, of course, off we went on a subway adventure….  An exploration of the TYSSE, or in other words, the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension.   I have presented the stations in order that I visited them, from north to south – Vaughan, Highway 407, Pioneer Village, York University, Finch West, and Donwsview Park.  It’s not every day that new subway stations come along… and these have been a long time coming!

 

below:  The northernmost station on Line 1 is now Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

map of line 1 of the TOronto subway system, with red "you are here" arrow at the top left hand side, for Vaughan subway station.

below: ‘Atmospheric Lens’ by Paul Raff Studio is the artwork that is incorporated into the roof of the station.  It features skylights and reflective panels.  The yellow is reflections from a glowing disk mounted on top of the elevator shaft – you can’t actually see the disk, just its reflection.

reflective ceiling of Vaughan subway station, with people going up the escalator towards it, taking pictures.

escalators and shiny walls of Vaughan subway station

below: Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station, from the outside

exterior view of the dome like Vaughan TTC subway station, some snow on the ground, some people standing around outside the doors.

The rest of the ‘metropolitan centre’ needs a bit of work… as does the parking that this orange sign mentions.   I was surprised at how undeveloped that this part of Vaughan is.  This is the view to the east of the station.  On the west there is a development of “big box” stores some of which have just been built.  Smart Vaughan – get the subway and then build around it rather than disrupt an already built city with years of construction and the consequent traffic problems (i.e. building the Eglinton Crosstown link)

suburbia - empty field with orange sign that says Subway parking. one tall building, a gas station, a street,

All six stations are quite deep and all six require two escalator rides to get to street level (or you can climb a lot of stairs!… stairs are not always an option though).  There are plenty of elevators.

people on a very long escalator at one of the new TTC subway stations in Toronto

below:  The walls are concrete beside the subway tracks.  Each station has its name on the wall similar to this at Highway 407 station (just south of the 407 at Jane Street).

concrete wall of the subway, with words highway 407 on the wall, at the new Highway 407 subway station TTC

below: A large coloured glass window dominates the area at the top of the escalators (by the bus station) at Highway 407.   This artwork is by David Pearl and is one of two pieces that he did for this station.

people standing and looking at a large painted window, abstract in yellows, turquoise andpink, large window, at subway station, sunlight outside

below: Highway 407 has a large GO Transit bus terminal as well.  There is still some work to be done on that part!  The worrisome part of all this is that the two stations at the end of the line are transportation hubs designed to help those commuting into Toronto.  Yes, they funnel even more people into an already overcrowded subway.  Note to the city of Vaughan – please use this as an opportunity to increase the reasons why people would commute north!

unfinished part of the subway station, indent in wall with sign tickets billets but the niche is empty except for two large black and orange striped construction cones

below:  One of the entrances to Highway 407 – the center window is the same as the coloured window above (it looks much better from inside!).  On either side are GO Transit bus terminals.  Behind me when I took the photo is a large parking lot for about 600 cars.   Functional but not necessarily pretty – it may look better from other angles but it was a cold day and it seemed like a long walk to get to the other sides).

people walking towards the entrance to HUghway 407 TYSSE station, a low concrete and glass building.

below: The new bus loop at Pioneer Village Station.  There are actually 2 bus terminals here – one for the TTC and one for YRT buses.   This station is on Steeles between Jane and Keele.   Originally this station was going to be called Steeles West – mercifully the TTC actually showed some creativity and came up with a better name.  All the ‘West’ stations drive me crazy.

exterior at new Pioneer Village TTC subway station at Steeles Ave., new bus loops with wood overhangs, still under construction

below: Coming up the escalator in the Pioneer Village station towards the large light in the ceiling.   The dominant features of the station are the large vertical windows and the red and wood cladding.   The red and wood are continued to the exterior as well.

interior of Pioneer Village subway station, top of one of the escalators, vertical windows looking outside, some red glass as accents, a large light artwork on the ceiling, people on the escalators

below:  Close up of part of the exterior.

abstract of the exterior walls of Pioneer Village subway station, red panels with wood roof and grey steel beams

below: Looking up into one of the skylights

abstract geometrics, triabngles and diamonds, reflective surfaces in a cone shaped skylight, in blacks and blues,

below: The main artwork at Pioneer Village station is “LightSpell” by German artists Tim and Jan Edler.   It’s an interactive installation that also helps provide light in the station.  This photo shows some of the 40 elements that make up the installation. By lighting certain sections of each element, letters of the alphabet can be formed, and in turn, words can be written.   Numbers and other special characters can also be lit.  In addition, the intensity of the light can be automatically controlled to maintain a constant light level in the station.   There are also a lot of speakers on black poles in this area but that is a mystery for another day.

art installation, LightSpell by Jan andTim Edler hangs over th escalator at Pioneer Village TTC subway station,

below: Inside York University station which is right on campus.  The stairs and escalators to the trains are in the center.  On both ends of the curved structure are the exits.

large round high window of concourse level of new York University subway station, snow on the ground outside, people inside

looking down the escalator at York University station,

below: At Finch West station there are bright and shiny red hexagonal tiles on many of the interior walls.  (Argh, there’s that ‘west’ again)

shiny red hexagonal shaped tiles line the wall beside an escalator at the new York University subway station on TTC line 1

below: As you go up to street level, you are greeted by a flood of coloured light.

people on an escalator, red hexagonal tiles on the wall beside them, lots of streaks of pink and yellow light above them at the top of the escalator, Finch West subway station TTC, toronto

below: The light comes from tall sunlit windows of different colours.  Stripes of grey and white tile on the floor and ceiling add to the slightly surreal effect.

people passing through Finch West station with its tall vertical windows covered in colours, pink, blue and yellow, also with its stripes of white and dark grey tiles
Expect to see many photos taken at this station in the future!  The light and colour makes for some interesting effects.

coloured glass at Finch West station

coloured glass at Finch West station

man standing in front of coloured glass at Finch West station

… and I have probably gotten carried away.  There’s still one more new station so let’s take a look at it – Downsview Park.

below: Looking up…

looking up over the heads of some people going up the escalator at Downsview Park subway station

below: … and looking waaaay down at Downsview Park station.

looking down two levels of the new Downsview Park subway station, long escalator and flight of stairs

below: Eventually (soon?) GO trains between Union Station and Barrie will connect with the subway here.   The subway actually runs under the GO railway tracks here.  The street level of Downsview Park station is two halves, one on each side of the GO tracks.

 

looking out a set of glass doors that is locked closed with a danger sign on the door.   Future GO transit exit at Donwsview Park TTC subway

below: I am going to end with this.  Part observation and part editorializing –  a sign seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  I look at this and think of old pictures I have seen of the Yonge line when it was first built.  It serviced parts of Toronto like Davisville and Summerhill that were of fairly low density but the city and/or province had the foresight to build that far north anyhow.  If you read the TTC websites about these new stations, there is a lot of talk about planning for future development and making that future development transit friendly.  A great idea.  Now, let’s apply that thinking to Scarborough…. and what do you get?  A lot of naysayers with arguments about density.  Grumble grumble oh how poor we are.   And don’t even get me started on Mike Harris and how he cancelled the Eglinton line in 1995.  Twenty two years later we’re building it at extra cost and with extra traffic disruption.  Sigh.

GO Transit and TTC subway sign in the middle of snow covered field

‘Demonstration’ by Michael Landry
at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Now showing in the narrow Fleck Clerestory is an installation that consists of a collection of red and white paintings on paper.  Each is a male and/or female shaped silhouette figure with a protest sign.    They are pinned to the wall, from top to bottom.   Every one has a different slogan, phrase and/or image on the placard they are holding.

below: Looking down on the Fleck Clerestory from the upper level.

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory on both walls, looking down from the upper level to see whole exhibit, two women on the lower level looking at it.

The work has grown, i.e. more pieces have been added, since it was installed late in September.   Landry has been asking the public to contribute their thoughts and feelings which he then draws.  Over the course of the next few months, it will evolve and grow as more people submit their ideas and suggestions.   In the end there will be a “wall of protest”, or perhaps more aptly, it will be a snapshot of the hopes and concerns that we have.

below: Some of the issues addressed from the serious (stop fracking, end hate, no more marijuana arests, opioid overdoses) to the more lighthearted (such as ‘go topless day’, and ‘we the north’).

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory

If you have an image, slogan, or words, and you want to participate in this project, check out the submission guidelines by following this link

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory

below: “No pipeline” and  “lorsque les mots perdent leur sens, les gens perdent leur liberte”.

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory - sign says no pipeline

below: “Stop premature Christmas decorating!”

red and white paintings of demonstraion signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory - sign says stop premature Christmas decorations

The exhibit continues until mid-May.