painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, reflective sunglasses, head band scarf, red shirt with Spanish dancer pictures on it

I came across these colourful sculptures at the Distillery District this past weekend. There are thirteen of them, all painted by different artists.

painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes

painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, Frida Kahlo

painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, Marilyn Munro type face, Mickey mouse stencils on body

a row of painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, 6ix Art Outdoor exhibit

painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, people walking past and looking at them, outdoors

grey haired woman taking a picture of painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes

painted sculptures at Distillery District, abstract people shapes, Asian woman standing beside one with pink head scarf, 4 eyes, and a turquoise top

Artists:

Alex Garant,
AlfAlfA,
Caitlin Taguibao,
Clandestino Art,
David Anthony,
Fatspatrol,
Gosia Komorski,
Jacquie Comrie,
Jieun June Kim,
Michael Sparaco,
Natasha Kudashkina,
Peter Triantos,
Que Rock,
and Yen Linh Thai.

Yesterday, Sunday of the long August weekend, I was sitting on a streetcar after walking around downtown.  I was in no rush; I was enjoying the scenery and the people watching.  The streetcar detoured off route so I didn’t end up where I expected to.  But no problem, I had my camera with me.

very front of a TTC bus at a bus stop with a streetcar turning in front of it, also reflections of turning streetcar. Some people standing on the sidewalk

These photos are glimpses of life in the city as seen through a streetcar window as it passes by.  Most of them were taken through glass…  and often the streetcar was moving…  so please don’t expect technically perfect shots!

hot summer day, people waiting for an arriving TTC streetcar on College Street, woman in a wide brim blue hat and flowery skirt, man in blue Hawaiian shirt with orange and yellow flowers

below: Northeast corner of Spadina and College streets.

northeast corner of Spadina and College streets, people crossing Spadina, low rise old brick building

below: “The Best in Town”for banana boats! cones!  sundaes! shakes!

an ice cream truck on College Street,

a person in orange t shirt and white shorts running to cross intersection of Bay and College

below: Dundas at Bay. Ryerson School of Management, Best Buy, and Canadian Tire.

intersection of Bay and Dundas, westbound traffic and bikes, some pedestrians ready to cross Bay as well.

below: Reflections on Dundas

reflections of a TTC streetcar in the window of a building on Dundas

below: Surfacing from Dundas subway station

people exiting Dundas subway station on the northwest corner of Dundas and Yonge, a couple trying to figure where they are

below: The newest mural near Dundas and Victoria.

large black and white mural on Dundas Street, white car parked in front of it. Mural features portraits of people

below: University buildings at Dundas and Church – and the rebranding of Ryerson as TMU (Toronto Metropolitan University).

corner of Dundas and Church streets, looking northwest, Ryerson University buildings, a man on a bike waiting for a green light

below: Ran out of gas, northeast corner of Dundas and Church

northeast corner of Dundas and College. Old gas station that has pumps and most of buildings removed, overhang structure still in place, taller buildings behind

below: Dundas and Mutual.  An old building put to a modern use.

corner of Dundas and Mutual, two men on bikes, older house on corner with yellowish brick and mansord roof, now a cannabis shop

below: The sign says it all. Every time I pass Filmores I am surprised to still see it standing. I thought that it was supposed to be torn down months (years?) ago.  I was also surprised to see Filmores on sites like Expedia, Hotel.com and Booking.com.  You can’t actually book one of their “straight forward rooms” on these sites, you have to call or email the hotel directly.  If you want to know more than that, you’ll have to do your own research!

front of Filmores Hotel on Dundas Ave., with sign over front entrance that says the rumours of our closing are greatly exaggerated

below: You might be able to stay at Filmores, but you can’t eat at The Love Cafe anymore.

old sign for the love cafe, bent and slightly broken above heart shaped sign, on exterior of the restaurant

below: Christmas wreaths on the doors of Dunhill Electric Co.

Dunhill electric, a very narrow storefront on Dundas

below: Dundas and Ontario Streets, Royal Oak Inn

Dundas and Ontario streets, Royal Oak Inn, Hydra Tattoo

below: Dundas and Parliament, north side

Dundas at Parliament

people sitting on a TTC bus

a young woman in black hajib and white bag walks past closed doors of a bus

Happy trails!

below: Looking west on Bloor towards Yonge. The pink flags fly in front of Holt Renfrew.  One Bloor East with it’s curvy vertical lines and 76 storeys dominates the sky.  The blue structure is the top of ‘The One’ at 1 Bloor West – It may be short now but it won’t be for long.   There will be 82 storeys once it’s completed (maybe in 2023?)

looking west on Bloor towards Yonge, front of Holt Renfrew Store, new tall building at 1 Bloor East

an older man with thinning grey hair walks on sidewalk, Bloor Street, towards Yonge, and scaffolding over sidewalk because of construction

A few minutes at Yonge and Bloor in mid-July

a young woman with long hair holds a cup of coffee as she walks on sidewalk under protective covering beside construction at Yonge and Bloor

below: Hoardings on the south side of Bloor Street

hoardings and scaffolding, and some people walking by, on south side of Bloor close to Yonge

below: Construction.  Blank whiteness on The One as it slowly rises.

Construction of The One at Yonge & Bloor, one Bloor West

below: Hanging Ukrainian flags on the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor.

southwest corner of Yonge & Bloor, woman hanging Ukrainian flags on scaffolding holding up sidewalk protection around construction site, an older man is crossing street in electric wheelchair with the help of a woman in blue

below: South side of the intersection.  At least the facade of the older buildings on Yonge Street are being preserved.

south side of intersection of Yonge & Bloor, people waiting for traffic lights, some cars, older buildings being saved during redevlopment of the area

below: Looking south on Yonge from Bloor.

looking south on Yonge from Bloor, construction on west side, new building on east

Ukrainian flags for sale, other signs re war in Ukraine, on corner of Yonge & Bloor

below: Looking east on Bloor from just west of Yonge Street.  Rising 88 feet above the sidewalk is the metallic ‘Safe Hands’ sculpture by Ron Arad.

looking west on Bloor at Yonge

below: Anti-Putin protest, northeast corner

Canada Post box on sidewalk, a community bulletin board full of posters and papers, a protest sign in blue and yellow that says kill Putin, he murders kids.

below: Waiting for a green light, northwest corner (more construction!)

4 people waiting for traffic light to turn green, on sidewalk by construction hoardings at northwest corner of Yonge & Bloor

Bloor street street sign in front of building under construction,

The TTC subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals.

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. a man holds out his hand to blue faced person, a round yellow sun in the sky

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. fish swimming in watery blues around central medallions with images

below: The artist, Philip Cote, described the story behind this image on the ArtworxTO website (see link); like all cultures, the Anishinaabe have an origin story.  In the beginning there was just Spirit. “And that spirit decided to send signals out into the universe and waited for a response. And when no response happened that spirit called the signals back and said, “As you come back to me, create light in the universe”. And at that moment they had light and dark in the universe. And that is the beginning of the Anishinaabe cosmology. Everything for Anishinaabe is made of light and dark. Everything we look at has a spirit, everything, the ground, the rocks, the sand, the trees, the birds, the plants, everything is… and even our sun and our Mother Earth and the moon, they all have a spirit.”

connecting with the spirit, beginning of the universe, philip cote mural, old mill subway station bridge

connecting with thousands of galaxies in the universe

The blues of the water, the Humber River, were painted by Kwest. Water is the Underworld in Ahishinaabe cosmology and the Guardians of this Underworld are the fish. Another artist, Jarus aka (Emmanuel Jarus), painted the fish.

Most of the paintings have a well defined circle. This is the boundary between water and earth, between the spirit world and the physical world. But there are connections between the two worlds – all living things are connected and we are all connected to the Spirit World.

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus

First nations mural on concrete pillars holding up subway bridge over the Humber River, featuring a turtle shaped animal with a bear head, with its mouth open hunting for fish

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus, Anishnaabe spirit world and underworld theme, a male and a female figure, holding hands

Philip Cote mural with Jarus and Kwest, an otter swims in the water, looking down under the surface

These pictures also appear on another blog, Eyes on the Streets

little colourful plastic windmill attached to mirror of firetruck, also 2 yellow balloons and 1 green balloon

Dancing in the streets.  Pride 2022.

Toronto Pride Parade 2022, start of route, man in long pink gloves posing with woman in hat with flowers on it

people sitting on scaffolding over sidewalk by construction site to watch pride parade, two have rainbow flags

person in costume at pride parade, hair wig made of ribbons, big puffy skirt, ribbons in curls as collar

group cheering and blowing whistles, arms up, getting ready for pride parade, TD canada trust group in green t shirts with rainbows on them

stuffed tiger with rainbow garland around it, on front of a motorcycle

group dancing, choreography, with pink puffs in each hand, practising before the pride parade

group dancing, choreography, with pink puffs in each hand, practising before the pride parade

young girl helping to hold white banner, marching with pride, other hands holding the banner too, toronto pride parade 2022

face painted person, with sparkles on face too, holding a sign with all the colours of the LGBQT flag, with words be proud, born this way

man in grey hair, silver crown, bending over to talk closely to woman in hat covered with multi coloured flowers, start of pride parade

rainbow striped ankle socks, and running shoes with red, yellow, and blue on them, standing on a sidewalk box to get a better look at passing pride parade

young woman tying orange balloons to a pride parade float, NDP float, she's wearing orange too

marilyn munro air kissing, under rainbow umbrella, white dress and gloves and sparkly silver purse

kids playing in bubbles while a man in a yellow t shirt walks past, on a street,

it gets better canada on purple t shirts, holding hands, people, pride parade

placard at pride parade that says protect bipoc queer kids

great dane dog with a group getting ready to walk in pride parade

large letters S and I made of balloons in a pride parade, held by a man in yellow with white hat

3 teenage girls plus another woman standing on side of street watching pride parade, temporary tattoos on their legs,

three young people holding a rainbow type flag over their heads as they watch pride parade

two men in pink at pride parade

two wagons full of trojan condom packages

two people at pride parade, one in rainbow striped shirt and the other in rainbow netting outfit with stickers over nipples, thong underwear under neath

member of skule university of toronto engineering school in pride parade

people with signs at pride parade, pflag group, totally rad mum and dad, labels are for canned soup, love is love

women cheering and taking photos while watching pride parade

some members of triggerfish in their speedo suits, dancing with red fans

plastic fuzzy garlands on front of a fire truck

man with rainbow bandana around head, and scarf on back as well as many bracelets, holding small Canadian flag, dances in the street for pride parade

crowds on scaffolding, many levels up, at Yonge and Bloor

policeman and crowd at pride, lots of bubbles in the air

a boy holding a Canadian rainbow flag, small girl beside him with sunglasses lowered

woman in magenta glasses and cowboy hat laughing with woman with rainbow bandana over her head

getting ready for pride parade, man with gold collar and not much else, woman in red sari, tattoos, drinking from bottle

people up on scaffolding to get above street level to watch pride parade

woman watching pride parade is holding a small dog with a rainbow bandana around its neck

back view of two people hugging, one in a plaid shirt and the other in a rainbow t shirt

Toronto Pride Parade, person with tattoo on upper arm holding an orange sign that says we love trans youth. Tattoo says In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy

little plastic windmills in different colours with little pride flags as decorations on a float in pride parade

Photos from Dyke March 2022

And we’re back! After missing two years because of Covid, Pride is back in Toronto.

dyke march banner at the beginning of a parade, purple and orange stripes, carried by 5 women, on Yonge Street

Hot! ( 30+ C and sunny) but it didn’t seem to slow anyone down!

two women on motorcycle waving to crowd

dyke march in toronto, woman in tight blue suit and on roller skates, another with orange hair walking a dog, another on roller skates stopping to pat dog

motorcycle rider dressed in black with helmet, with woman on back in thong and see through stockings, posing on back of motorcycle

two kids in bike helmets that say love is love watching dyke march

dyke march, two women holding protest signs, one says abort the supreme court and the other says protect reproductive rights

women holding banner for ontario coalition for abortion clinics, pro choice, dyke march 2022

giant coat hanger being carried in front of banner for ontario coalition for abortion clinics, dyke march

Dykes on Bikes, bicycle riders

person blowing bubbles, dyke march

bike rider blowing kisses to the crowd

dyke march, people with trans flag walking beside someone in an inflatable unicorn costume

dyke march 2022 people marching, one in a green hat, one with rainbow sleeves

placard that says dyke lives matter

people holding protest signs in dyke march, keep lesbians safe from fascists

womens health float in dyke march with women dancing beside the car

women dancing and marching in dyke march

dyke march, people carrying placards re reproductive rights, dear scotus I just met you this is crazy a clump of cells is not a baby, also a pink sign that says abort the forced birth

two women in matching red pants and rainbow striped tops dancing in parade, and laughing with other people

woman with gray and lavender hair in dyke march

woman wearing mask and blowing bubbles in dyke march

woman carrying flag in dyke march

a group of women standing on sidewalk watching parade

people watching dyke march on yonge street

three women in orange vests walking parade route with crowds on the sidewalk

From the West Don Lands, across Eastern, north on Broadview and then back west on Queen Street East to Parliament and the Distillery District.

below: Saved! Demolition of the old foundry building near the Distillery District.  More on this story in a previous post from almost exactly a year ago.  Also a paste up by 33wallflower33 of a well dressed woman throwing out Doug Ford’s head and paraphernalia such as beer can with “buck a beer” in it.

poster on plywood, saved the foundry, also wallflower33 graffiti of well dressed woman scattering pieces of paper that say bye bye to Doug Ford

below: Signs of celebration on the fence around what ostensibly will be Eastern Avenue Affordable Housing (i.e. We’ll wait and see…)

bottom right: “Here’s why people are rallying to protect this Toronto heritage site from demolition.  The provincial government has paused demolition of the Foundry site in the West Don Lands after an outcry in Toronto” From Toronto NOW.
bottom left: “Province starts demolition of heritage buildings in West Don Lands despite community backlash. Tearing buildings down ‘outrageous’ councillor says.” CBC News

.

below: A simple statement; a red paper heart tied to a tree.

below: Not all of it was saved… but at least they didn’t tear the whole thing down as originally planned…..

back side of old foundry building that was partially demolished

below: Ukraine symbol on a boarded up window

yellow and blue ukraine symbol painted on boarded up window of red brick building

below: Smack! Urban Ninja Squadron paste-up along with a musical sketchrat.

paper paste up urban ninja squadron graffiti on plywood

below: The house with the two green cubes is still standing.  Truth at the base.

house with two green cube shapes on point

below: A painted pillar in Underpass Park, with the pedestrian ramp up to Eastern Ave in background

painted concrete pillar in Underpass park of a woman with purple lips, city in the background - sidewalk ramp up to Queen Street, condo

below: A row of large rocks

a row of large rocks in front of a new condo, black, with other new condo, white with concrete first floor, in the background

below: The underside of the roof over the entrance to the condo is very reflective. It ‘mirrors’ the reflective ceiling of Underpass Park next door to it.

reflections of a street scene in a reflective ceiling, exterior, over the entrance to a building

below: View from, looking east over Corktown Common,  the south end of the Don River, as well as the ramp from the Gardiner Expressway to the Don Valley Parkway.

view from south side of Eastern Ave looking east over Don River, ramp from Gardiner to DVP, many tall hydro transmission towers

below: Eastern Ave and the DVP.  Looking east.

old water tower on top of newer residential development, street sign pointing to ramp from Eastern Ave to Don Valley parkway northbound

car dealership at Eastern Ave and Don Valley Parkway

below: Garfield the Cat just lying around

on a white wall, a painting of Garfield the cat lying down with sunglasses and purple polka dot shorts on

below: Northeast corner of Broadview and Eastern.

a small hyundai dealership, now empty, at the end of a row of empty and boarded up houses on Broadview

below: A row of old houses on Broadview still stand empty.  It’s been years now since anyone has lived in them.

row of old brick rowhouses that have been empty for a while, construction fence in the front

below: Just a bit north, at Queen Street East, another boarded up building.  But this one is now in the middle of an active construction site.

back of an empty building on Queen East, construction site, large green dumpster

below: In an alley behind Queen Street East.

text throw up street art on a garage door, with construction site behind

below: A new view of Queen Street East has been opened up with the demolition of some of the buildings on the south side.

view northwest

below: Northeast corner of Broadview and Queen East, once the home of Dangerous Dan’s.

northeast corner of Queen and Broadview, three storey brick building, Pizza Nova on the corner,

below: Danger due to hole.  On Queen East.  The pyramid shaped roof is part of the Broadview Hotel at Queen and Broadview.

looking east on Queen East towards Broadview and Broadview Hotel, construction on the south side

below: More danger….  watch out for spooky skeletons!

danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to spooky skeletons

below: Riverside Common, a new public space on Queen Street East.

Riverside common, a new public space on Queen East

below: Looking back across the Don River from the bridge at Queen Street East.

view across Don River in early spring, just north of Queen Street

below: Passing southbound under Queen Street East.

looking north from bridge on Queen East over the Don River, train car on tracks, cyclists on bike path, river, and traffic on DVP

below: Looking north up Lower Bayview from Queen Street East

looking north up Lower Bayview from Queen Street bridge, 3 black cars, new condo being built, train tracks

below: From almost the same vantage point as the photo above, but looking more west than north.

looking northwest from Queen East bridge over the Don River, view of old brick brewery by River Street (now residences), and newer highrises beyond

below: An Uber5000 yellow birdie on the wall of the Toronto Humane Society at Queen and River.

an uber 5000 yellow birdie on a mural

2 posters on a utility pole, Lost

a painting of the madonna, Mary, in blue robes, with gold halo, and red heart in chest gold light rays coming from red heart, painting on a wall

below: Painting of two fencers where the red wine seems to be winning.

mural of two fencers, one with a glass of red wine in their hand

below: Where Eastern Avenue meets Front Street, looking west towards downtown.   The old brick building is now Toronto Police Services  Division 51 headquaters.  In a previous phase of its life it was Consumers Gas Station A, designed by Bond & Smith and built in 1898.   Beyond Parliament Street and in the background is the blue Globe and Mail building.

where Eastern Ave meets Front Street, old historic brick building with new glass commercial building behind

below: The Porsche dealership on the northwest corner of Front and Parliament is now empty.

Now empty, the porsche dealership at Parliament and Front, large shiny silver curved surface on upper levels, window with red coverings on the ground floor.

below: The southwest corner of Front and Parliament is entirely surrounded by plywood hoardings.

plywood hoardings covering the southwest corner of Front Street and Parliament Street, some posters on the plywood, skyline in the background

below: Another 33wallflower33 paste-up. This time she’s pinning Putin’s head to the ground.

33wallflower33 pasteup on plywood, woman in vintage clothing with umbrella stick holding Putin's head to the ground

below: And back to the Distillery District – and the new construction that is taking place at Front and Trinity, just north of the historic buildings.

construction near the distillery district

an exhibit at Doris McCarthy Gallery, U of T Scarborough.

“Bringing together artists who consider the power dynamics of image-making in their distinct practices, Now You See Me includes Black, Indigenous, and artists of colour, who variously identify as women, femme, and non-binary. They use photography to explore issues related to gender and cultural identity, asserting themselves as directors of their own images to pose questions about the complex cultural and gender-related politics that underlie self-representation.”

The above quote comes from the Doris McCarthy Gallery website where you can find more information about the exhibit.

below: “Skin Deep” by Chun Hua Catherine Dong shows self-portraits ‘masked’ in Chinese silk fabrics, a gesture that implies submission.

two pictures on a gallery wall, embroidered masks that blend in with their background, one in blues and the other in reds, golds, and orange, by Chun Hua Catherine Dong

elaborately embroidered mask, reds and greens and black on orange background

below: A video by Vivek Shraya titled “Legends of the Trans” is a photoessay based on “Legends of the Fall”, a 1994 movie starring Brad Pitt.  Throughout the essay, the main character, Tristan, wears a bindi (coloured dot) on his/her forehead.

2 images from a video, during a fade in and fade out, person sitting in long grass with mountains in the background

below: Meryl McMaster juxtaposes a self-portrait with a hand written copy of a poem called ‘Onondaga Madonna’ written by Duncan Campbell Scott in 1898. Scott was the deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs from 1913 to 1932.  He played a predominant role in the establishment of residential schools; under his direction the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their homes to attend residential schools was made compulsory,

Meryl McMaster portrait, in the woods in winter, alongside a hand written poem called Onondaga Madonna

below: Danya Danger presents three photos of women in embellished black leather fetish masks as she explores the relationships between sexuality, gender, and power.

photo of upper torso and head of a woman with tattoos, blackish lipstick and heavy eye makeup, wearing a black bdsm type mask covering most of her head and face. beaded black leather fetish mask

below: Gaëlle Elma has a couple of large photos in this group exhibit. Her work deals with perceptions of sexuality, human bodies, and blackness.

two black people with eyes closed in inimate embrace

below: Leila Fatemi has centered her exhibit around vintage postcards of Muslim women.  Here they are printed such that the image depends on the angle from which you view the picture.

4 pictures based on old postcards of Muslim women, project by Leila Fatemi

4 pictures based on old postcards of Muslim women

4 pictures based on old postcards of Muslim women

“Generated from different perspectives and experiences, these works share a reckoning with the historical and contemporary uses of the camera as a tool to perpetuate degradative narratives.”

This year’s CONTACT Photography Festival showcases the work of a few photographers who focus on portraits.  Two of these, Tyler Mitchell and Jorian Charlton, are shown here.

First, on the west side of Spadina near King Street is this large portrait:

very large photo titles Georgia, pasted on brick wall, black woman rubbing her tummy,

It is “Georgia” by Jorian Charlton, a Toronto based photographer whose works centers around Jamaican-Canadians and their culture. There is also an exhibit of her work titled “Out of Many” at the Art Gallery of Ontario that can be seen until 7 Aug 2022.

Nearby is a series of portraits by American photographer Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995) is on display on King Street West by Metro Hall. This is “Cultural Turns”.

outdoor exhibit, portraits of black people, King St West, by Tyler Mitchell

people walking past, on sidewalk, outdoor exhibit, portraits of black people, King St West, by Tyler Mitchell

3 of the portraits in Cultural Turns exhibit outside Metro Hall, on the left a couple - man in pink shorts has his arm around the womans shoulders

Tyler Mitchell photograph of two women and a bike

part of outdoor exhibit of work of Tyler Mitchell photographer

a portrait by Tyler Mitchell of a black woman with big white sunglasses and a white jacket open enough to show lots of cleavage

There are actually three parts to this exhibition.  Unfortunately I do not have photos of the other parts but they are billboards at Dovercourt and Dupont as well as an indoor component at the CONTACT Gallery.

The construction hoardings on  the south side of Queen Street East between Broadview and the Don River were painted back in the fall of 2021.

below: At the east end, a dear with a rack of antlers beside a young woman in a bright and cheerful orange head scarf.

mural on construction hoardings, Queen Street East

below:  A face by Philip Saunders.

face by Philip Saunders, painting, hoardings,

below: Elicser people

painting by elicser, part of a large painting on hoardings

below: Yellow tea (or coffee?) pot with citrus fruit,  still life by steam reflected on a shiny metal plate.

painting on hoardings by steam , yellow tea pot on a plate with a line and a cut lemon

below:  Closer up of the pinkish eye of a white rabbit

part of a mural on hoardings, close up of an eye of a white rabbit sitting beside a pink flower

below: A large brown turtle slowly ambles by

mural of large brown turtle on yellow grass, mural on hoardings

below: A pigeon never looked so majestic!

pigeon, painting, mural on hoardings,

below: A moth is attracted by the lights of traffic by the Queen Street East bridge

large orange moth on a dark blue and purple sky, mural on hoardings

below: Luvs almost makes this little raccoon look cute!

face of a small raccoon, trash panda, in a mural on hoardings, painted by luvs