Just outside the street entrance to St. Clair subway station, there is a new large mural by birdo aka Jerry Rugg. It is on the side of 1 St. Clair East.  Leafless tree branches reach above the roofline of the station.    It looks like red and blue cube shapes are suspended from above.

street entrance to St. Clair subway station, some people walking towards it, a large mural on the building behind it

below:  Here is the full mural as seen from a bit farther back.  Now you can see that the wires and cubes are not linked at all.  The wires are those used by the St. Clair streetcar.   This part of the city is also known as Deer Park hence the deer at the top of the mural.
large mural by birdo, vertical, on the side of a building, with a realistic deer head at the top

There are construction hoardings in in front of 1 St. Clair East because the building is being renovated. Several images by birdo are on the hoardings. These are some of them:

Jerry Rugg, a la , birdo, paintings on construction hoardings, various abstract animal forms, owl, deer

below: It’s a flamingo, it’s an octopus, it’s a….?

birdo painting on hoardings at a construction site, flamingo head, toucan beak, and lots of cube and other geometric shapes

below: An owl’s face

birdo painting of an owl's face on construction hoardings, geometric shapes

As an aside re the name Deer Park…. according to Wikipedia, “The name dates from 1837, when the Heath family purchased 40 acres of land on the northwest corner of Yonge and St. Clair…and named it Deer Park. By the 1850s the neighbourhood included a racetrack, a school, and a hotel at which patrons could feed deer which roamed the Heaths’ property. The Heath property was subdivided in 1846 and was entirely sold off by 1874.”

Twice in two days at two different galleries I have encountered white, or almost totally white pieces of art.

This is “Untitled (Basel)”, 1969, by Robert Ryman (1930-2019) now on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  Yes it is 5 white panels on a white wall.   Before you scoff at this, one square similar to these sold in 2015 for more than 20 million dollars.

5 white squares arranged in a row on a gallery wall, an artwork by Robert Ryman

In the same room as the above is “The Rose”, 1964, by Canadian-born artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004).   There is a pale pink colour to this one.  The pink is made by a grid drawn by hand with red and black pencil, hundreds of red lines in all that “dissolve into a rose-coloured atmosphere”.

rose, a large canvas by Agnes Martin on a wall at the Art Gallery of Ontario, red pencil lines in a grid, it looks pink when viewed from a distance

This is the view that greets you when you walk into the Olga Korper Gallery.

art on the walls of a gallery, all frames are white, the artwork is all very pale

The art on the wall is an exhibit, “the laughter between two miles” by Ken Nicol.  The pale grey pieces on the far wall were made with hundreds of pencil lines.  Although the lines are in patterns of vertical and horizontal lines that aren’t quite a grid like the Agnes Martin piece above, the effect is the same.  The lines are too close together so the eye sees it as a single colour.

In the example below, green, blue, and red lines make a design over letters.  The letters are hand written (are you impressed?  Do you care?) and they are “Sentences on conceptual art” written by Sol LeWitt and first published in 1969.  LeWitt (1928-2007, American) is considered one of the founders of Conceptual Art.  Apparently he once created something similar where all the if’s, and’s & but’s were connected.  Here, the red lines connect all the art’s.

words in lines, sentences about conceptual art, overlaid with green, red, and blue lines

Text as a major element in a piece of art seems to be more prevalent these days, but that’s a subject for another day.

Instead, one last look at the Olga Korper Gallery before leaving – it’s a gorgeous gallery space.

walls of a gallery, white, with some all white artwork on the walls, also a large old double door that is the exit

 

November came in with a gust of grey and dampness.  So when the sun breaks through for a while it’s time to grab a coat and a camera and get walking even if it wasn’t you planned to do that day.

below: The cube house at the bottom of Sumach Street is still with us. It was for sale early in 2017.  At that time, March 2017, BlogTO published an article about this building that starts with this description: “Based on Dutch architect Piet Blom’s complex of Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, the UniTri structure dates back to 1996”.  It was sold in May 2018 for almost three million dollars.

1 Sumach Street, a building made of three green cubes on point on a white pedestal, 3 apartments.

below: No idea is original.  Seen under Richmond/Adelaide Streets.

a painting on a concrete pillar of an overpass, words, No idea is original there's nothing new under the sun, it's never what you do but how you do it.

below: This guy holding his hands in front of him and wearing a red wizard cap still adorns the corner of the Magic Building on Sumach.  He’s just one of a number of wizards you’ll find there.

a painting of a man with hands folded in front, and wizard cap on, on the exterior corner of a building

below: This was the scene of a large fire back in April 2018.  Three buildings were damaged with the one in the middle being beyond repair. It is now gone.  It’s been a long, slow recovery.

an empty bus shelter on Queen East, behind it is a vacant lot where a building had been destroyed by fire, to the left is a green building with bottom floor window boarded up and a sold sign on it. To the right is an old brick building

below: Another building gone.  This one by choice.

a new three storyhouse on the corner, a vacant lot beside it with blue covering as a new home is being built, other houses down the street after that

below: Colourful porch details.

a front porch painted in red and the steps in red and white stripes, wrought iron railing has parts painted white

below: A photo to document this part of Queen Street East because whether it’s in 2 years or 20, there will be changes.

Queen Stree East at Trefann, looking west along the north side of Queen, two story brick storefronts with apartments above, old brick buildings

variet and convenience store painted bright yellow, white metal grill covers window, lots of signs in and around the window in red letters

Amedae spice market store painted yellow with red trim on doors and windows, a large tree grows in front of the store.

a white BMW vehicle with no front licence plate parked in front of a small old building covered with signs that say we fix computers, cell phones and wireless solutions, etc

refelctions of autumnleaves and other buildings in a corner window of a rug store

two men walk past on the sidewalk

architectural details on old buildings on Queen Street East

Seaton Butcher shop exterioe, old brick building, red trim, Queen Street East

below:  A row of old brick houses at 79 through 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently destroyed some of the the upper levels and roofs.

 

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: The buildings are empty and boarded up.  This is the southeast corner of Shuter & Mutual.

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: There is a development proposal notice on the buildings. The proposed plan saves the old houses and shows a tall glass building built behind and above them.

development proposal sign on side of yellowish brown brick building that is empty and boarded up.

below: That’s a big drill!

a large drill bit on the end of a piece of construction equipment that's parked in a vacant lot beside a beige building

below: Shuter Street at Church.

looking west on Shuter street at Church, St. Mikes hospital, construction at the NE corner of Shuter & Church, mural by parking lot

below: Looking north on Church Street towards the new buildings that are part of Ryerson University’s expansion.

looking north up Church Street from Shuter towards Ryerson University

below: Steeple, St. Michaels Cathedral

steeple of St. Michaels cathedral

below: Looking west on Dundas towards Victoria Street and Yonge Dundas Square. The cylinder structure is part of the CityTV building.  The outer layer is wire mesh.

 

looking west on Dundas Street towards Victoria Street, large cylinder structure above the street at City News building, TTC streetcar turn with walkway above it, billboards of Yonge Dundas square behind it

BlogTO had promoted a Day of Dead march on 2nd November, starting at Spadina and Fort York at noon.  It was a grey and miserable day but a few of us went to see what was up.  What we found at that location at noon was a few other photographers standing around in a sheltered spot wondering if anything was happening.   At 12:20 we started to leave – and that is when a group of about maybe 20 people dressed like the men below showed up.  But half of them were carrying advertisements for Westjet.  It was just a publicity stunt.  Boo to BlogTO for promoting it as an event.

two men in white face day of the dead decorated, one with sombrero on and the other with the hat in his hand, wearing black suits, white shirts, and red bowties

It has been a long time since I was in that neighbourhood with a camera so perhaps a short walk around would be a good idea.  The new Canoe Landing Centre is taking shape at the corner of Fort York Blvd and Brunel Court.

below: The view from Fort York Blvd

construction of new Canoe Landing Centre on Fort York Blvd, low rise building with sloping roof, tall condo in the background

below: The view from Canoe Landing Park.  The centre also includes includes two elementary schools, Bishop Macdonell Catholic and Jean Lumb Public Schools, and a day care centre.

construction of new school, red and white facade

below: Making use of the park on a grey Saturday afternoon.

men playing soccer on green fake grass playing field in front of Toronto skyline, at Canoe Landing Park

below: Douglas Coupland’s red canoe art installation is still there, jutting out over the top of the hill.

Douglas Coupland's red canoe at Canoe Landing Park sticks out of the edge of small hill, tall condo buildings in the background

below: One of the views from the canoe, cars entering the canyon of highrise glass & steel condos along the Gardiner Expressway.

two tall glass tower condo buildings with the Gardiner Expressway, an elevated road, passes between the two of them, cars on the road

below: Working hard at the library at the corner of Bathurst and Fort York.

a person works at a table beside the window in a library, building sticks out, railway tracks and yard below, with highrises in the background

below: Bathurst Street as it crosses the railway tracks.

a woman walks over the bridge on Bathurst over the train tracks, GO train going westward in the background, as well as taller buildings to the west

below: Chill!  Stay warm until next time!

part of the front of a building that has been painted in red, white, blue, and purple squiggles, with a black heart and a roaring tiger leaping out of the heart, also the word Chill in silver block letters

Yikes!  Preparations are already underway in the Distillery District for their annual Christmas market.

men on a blue lift crane at the distillery district, old brick building

At least their sign that counts down the number of days until Christmas is not hung yet.  I am not ready to think about Christmas yet!

 

leaning against the side of a building, on its side on the ground, the sign at the distillery district that says how many days left until Christmas

I was hoping for some sun as I walked the other day but October seems to have ended with clouds and rain.  November is here and it is notorious for being grey and depressing.   The clouds on these hoardings seemed appropriate.  They are around a construction site on Lower Sherbourne street, at the southeast corner of Lower Sherbourne and Front.

a woman walks past hoardings on Sherbourne street that are shiny and have pictures of clouds on them

below: This is the hole behind the hoardings.

construction site at Sherbourne and Front

That intersection, (LS & F), has construction sites at both the southeast and northwest corners.  At a third corner, the northeast, there is a development notice sign.

an Esso gas station at the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, also a Tim Hortons and a convenience store

Yet another developer wants to build yet another 37 storey building here.  At least one person has voiced their displeasure.

blue and white city of Toronto development notice on the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, now an Esso gas station, but developers want to put a 37 storey building there

And other signs of discontent nearby….

in blue marker, graffiti that says Doug Ford kills

time and space condo hoardings where someone has written the word no in front of space, so you have time and no space condos

below: Looking west on King Street East at Jarvis.

King street east,, looking west from Jarvis Street towards steeple of St. James Cathedral and the trees in front of it in autumn colours

below: St. James Park gets new walkways

chainlink fence around parts of St. James park as new walkways are constructed

below: In the Sculpture Garden across the street from St. James Cathedral is a collection of wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them.  This is an art installation by Lou Sheppard called Dawn Chorus/Evensong 2019.  It is part of the Toronto Biennial of Art that is on now (until late in December).  It “interrupts the denaturalized landscape with music created through the transposition of spectrograms of birdsong…”

in a garden, on flat space, grass, wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them

below: ‘Haunted City’.  One of a few Halloween decorations along Queen West.

a skeleton wrapped in black hood and cape in a window, with reflections of stores and street on Queen West

below: While walking up Spadina this bike caught my attention because

bike decorated with many used tea bags parked beside a tree on Spadina

below: … it’s decorated with many, many used tea bags. On closer inspection, there seem to be quite a few different brands. My guess is that this is one of a kind…. or at least I hope so!

close up of bike decorated with many used tea bags

a black and red motorbike is parked by a mural in Chinatown of a person carrying babies in baskets.

below: I’m not sure just what these added words mean.  Is now real?  Can we be sure?

orange fence around a tree, tree protection area, someone has written on the sign: Now is the only thing real

below: A few remaining campaign signs from the federal election back in October.  The Liberals won every Toronto seat.

side of a building in Chinatown, stores and restaurant, bike parked there, also three large Adam Vaughan election signs.

looking across Spadina to a store in Chinatown

two women standing on a sidewalk, talking to each other,

skeleton graffiti on a metal street box

below: Discarded and left in a pile in an alley, JFK and Bobby Kennedy rugs.  Not one but four? or five?

small blue carpets in a pile on the ground, about 4 of them, with pictures of John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, a brown eagle, and some words

below: Uber5000 birdies riding in tandem, along with an old banana seat bike affixed to the wall.

an UBer5000 mural of two yellow birdies on a tandem bike. An old bike is affixed to the wall beside the mural

below: A grumpy sign?  Or just a sign with fangs?

at the entrance to an alley, a red and white do not enter sign has been altered, a face has been drawn it in black sharpie

part of a tuquoise painted house beside an alley with fall foilage, a truck and man in the distance

below: Van Gogh can still be found on Huron Street

a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh on an exterior wall, street art mural

below: This is part of the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) building at College & Huron Streets.  There might be a certain charm in the concrete buildings of this era… when it comes time to renovate them or tear them down, will there be an effort made to save them?

tree with a few remaining yellow leaves in front of a concrete building with long vertical recessed windows

below: Nearby, this “artwork” on the exterior of 215 Huron Street, is from the same time period.

a black metal bench, outside, sits in front of a wall with an artwork on it made from different colours of concrete and pebbles

below: Reflections in a window on the University of Toronto campus.

reflections in a set of windows

below: U of T playing fields on Hoskin Ave with the black/darker brick Trinity College behind.

University of Toronto playing fields, from the south, with Trinity College behind and then city buildings behind that

A few more “campus in autumn” photos

large tree in autumn colours on University of Toronto campus

orange plastic fence, orange and black cone, and autumn trees in a corner of U of T campus

yellow and orange leaves in front of a grey stone building

below: There were still lots of leaves on the trees at Queens Park too.

autumn trees in Queens Park

below: Some of the oak trees had multicoloured leaves.

oak leaves in greens, yellows, reds, and oranges

autumn trees in Queens Park including some pinkish coloured leaves

below: End.  Yes, this is the end.

large black letters make the word end on a red brick wall

graffiti covered door with turquoise painted words that say street life sweet life

There is an alley that runs behind the north side of Queen Street West, just west of Spadina.

mural and graffiti on a wall in an alley

The next few photos are of street art that isn’t new (and it may appear in earlier blog posts). There are usually cars parked here and today most of the parking spots were empty.

older mural on the back of a building in an alley

close up view of older mural on the back of a building in an alley

below: An older elicser mural

older mural by elicser of two men, one head is much larger than the one behind it

below: Uber5000 painting (and his iconic yellow bird) – the man, the bird, and the surveillance cameras.

an old uber5000 painting on a wall of a man in black baseball cap and glasses with a little yellow birdie on his shoulder, a no parking sign on top of man's hands

graffiti and paint covering on old window on graffiti covered wall in a lane

backs of stores on Queen West, covered with graffiti, a ladder to upper floor, brick buildings

below: This house has been empty for a long time. The doors and windows are now covered with plywood, providing a canvas for some graffiti and a surface for a few paste-ups.

an old brick two storey semi detached house with green mansard roof is boarded up and empty

below: Urban ninja squadron is on the phone.  Tacim Collective (from Milan Italy) is also represented here as is Paris BKC (Brass Knuckles Crew), and sketchrat.

paper paste ups on plywood covering a window

paper paste ups on plywood covering a door

below: There used to be a collection of these “blueprint” pieces (maybe four of them?).  This is the last remaining one.

blue and white blueprint graffiti with large red and yellow text scrawl below it, on a wall in an alley

walls in alley covered with graffiti

below: The lane ends in a mess at a chainlink fence that surrounds a vacant lot on Spadina.

messy alley with car parked, trash bins, barrels, graffiti, air conditioners, back walls,

below: Hidden away just beyond the fence is a face by Phillip Saunders.

behind a chain link fence, viewed from a laneway, a face street art painting by Phillip Saunders

There are two murals at Queen West and Denison.
On the northeast corner is a purple and black abstract painting by @onedaycreates and @mostlyletters (aka Jesse Watson). This replaces the green octopus that was painted here when the ground floor of the building housed the Hideout bar.

view from across the street, purple and black abstract street art mural on exterior of building at Queen West and Denison, old three storey brick building

purple and black abstract street art mural on exterior of building at Queen West and Denison

below: The back of the building

garbage bins, blue bins, in front of a purple wall with text street art and a painting of a young man with a can of spray paint

On the northwest corner is a mural of a path through birch trees in autumn that was painted by Jim Bravo. This replaces an older mural of a TTC streetcar (the one that included a woman pushing a stroller and a boy walking a dog).

mural by Jim Bravo of a path through a birch forest in autumn beside Brothers Convenience at Queen West and Denison

mural by Jim Bravo of a path through a birch forest in autumn

a tree in front of a building with painting of birch trees in autumn on it, including on the door and around the windows