Every once in a while, but not as often as I should, I go through old files and folders of pictures that I have taken.  Pictures that I have meant to use but never got around to it.  Today I found a series of photos from mid-February, back when there was snow on the ground.   In amongst them were some graffiti and street art shots from somewhere between Chinatown and Kensington and those are the ones that I chose to show you here.

terra cotta coloured wall with a black door. graffiti and tags in the door including a pasteup poster of two men. A red stencil of a maple leaf is on the wall

below: A tribute to Prince on a utility pole

graffiti featuring face of Prince, on a utility pole

below: Mural by @emstroart (aka Rei Misiri) and @kuyaspirit

large mural on the side of a red brick house

below: It’s seen better days.  A grubby and dirty dog in the water.

old picture of a white dog in a pond, with yellow background, painted on a wood fence. One board is broken, paint is peeling, fence is dirty

snowy alley with two ruts for wheels of cars, garages with graffiti on left side, small church near the end of the alley, large condo and CN Tower in the distance

below: Two grominator creatures- one of them is an historic figure (!?) beside a cat

a grominator mural on a white garage door in a lane

below: …. and the other has a happy friend

a grominator piece of graffiti and a pink smiley face monster, both on a brown garage door in an alley

snow covered lane with garages

below: A few hearts and a little star in a whirlwind of colour.

three tiny yellow hearts and a tiny yellow star drawn on a wall with colourful spray paint graffiti

below: Even the pole was included.

text street art on the lower level of a building in a lane

workmen on the side of a street, windter, snow, alley with a mural on the right,

a bike locked to a tree on a sidewalk in front of a mural on a building, snow,

eye spy

Posted: April 22, 2019 in alleys, graffiti and street art
Tags: , , , , , ,

Two pieces of street art side by side in a laneway.  Eyes looking outward, watching you as you pass by.

a black and white painting on a wall of a very large pair of eyes, very realistic looking, black and white, on a yellowish brick wall

black and white realistic painting of a pair of eyes, larger than life, on a yellowish brick wall.  A small motorcycle is parked in front of the wall.

‘The Passion of Christ’ procession starting from St. Francis Assisi Roman Catholic Church at Mansfield Avenue and Grace Street in Little Italy.  This tells the story of the events leading up to the Crucifixion of Christ on Good Friday.

people in front of a grey church, stone and brick, St. Francis Assisi, early spring, getting ready for a good friday passion of christ procession

a man with a crown of thorns and blood on his face and carrying a large cross walks in a parade, with a man behind him dressed as a roman soldier

a woman in long bronw robes and plaid loose fitting head scarf, carrying long palm fronds in a parade

small group of men in a parade, wearing long robes and carrying bread in the shape of a large wreath, a banner is behind them that describes the betrayal of Jesus by Judas

a man dressed as a priest in long black and white robes walks in a passion of christ procession in front of a large banner that has a bible verse from Luke 23

a bearded priest carrying a baby doll wrapped in white swaddling clothes in a passion procession

a small group of people pushing a cart with a statue of Jesus on the cross, but only the feet of Jesus and the heads of the people are in view

close up of a statue of Jesus just showing his hands and arms tied with rope

people from the Mammola Social Club, wearing yellow sashes, push a cart on wheels with a statue of Jesus in a passion of Christ procession on the streets

men in parade

a woman bundled up in grey tam and scarf over the bottom of her face and carrying a blue umbrella, walking with some men in a passion of christ good friday procession

a group of people push a large flat wooden cart on wheels on a parade, cart has statues of it, characters from the story of the passion of christ, the events leading up to the crucifixion

two women in a parade. The one in front is wearing an elaborate green outfit (only top part can be seen)

two women singing, reading from pages in a yellow folder as they walk on the street

a statue of mary looking a statue of Christ on the cross in a parade

passion of christ procession with lots of people walking down a small hill on Montrose Ave, banners, statue of Christ on the cross, Canadian flags too

banner and flag carriers for Banda L N S de fatima, a Portuguese band from toronto, as they march in a parade

a young man plays a tuba in a marching band he is wearing bright blue sun glasses

men in blue uniforms and blue hands marching in a band, tuba player in the foreground,

 

This blog post is a result of a walk from last week, from Dundas and Jarvis to Jones and Gerrard – from downtown into Leslieville/Riverdale on a beautiful day for a walk.   As usual, I strayed onto a few alleys along the way.   The pictures below may or may not be in sequential order but it doesn’t matter, does it?

below: Although many of the buildings around it have been demolished, Filmores Hotel remains.  I’m not sure if that’s a comment on the ownership of the building, or its use.

Filmores Hotel with large sign above the hotel and a black and white sign over the front entrance, old brick building

Once upon a time, e.g. in 1916, Dundas Street only existed westward from Ossington.   There was no Dundas Street downtown or in the eastern part of the city.  After WW1, a collection of smaller streets were widened and joined together to form Dundas Street as far as Broadview.   That is why there are these curves in the street between George and Sherbourne.

construction on dundas street, a vacant lot where a building was demolished, construction equipment and a dump truck working at the site, old building beside

below: Maybe it was once someone’s large house?  Now it’s looking a little run down but it’s still home to George’s Pizza and George’s BBQ.  The one on the corner is Piassa Injera and Takeout which is Ethiopian.

a large old victorian brick building, once a large house now divided up, 3 restaurants at street level, Georges Pizza, Georges BBQ, and one in a foreign alphabet, Ethiopian restaurant Piassa Injera

below:  Looking back towards downtown and the wall of glass and steel that has been erected.

dundas street east, looking back towards downtown from Sherbourne street, new condos and highrises in steel and glass overwhelming the older shorter buildings on Dundas such as Filmores Hotel and Georges pizza

below: The True Love Cafe at the corner of Sherbourne and Dundas. It’s had a fresh coat of paint and the hearts on the exterior wall have been fixed up. Only the sign needs a little TLC.

the True Love Cafe on the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne, purple walls on exterior ground floor, large red awning over entrance,

a man with a cane in one hand, and pushing a bike with other walks down an alley. he also has a backpack on his back

below: The redevelopment of Regent Park continues.

reflections in hoardings that are covered with a picture of yellow curtains and brown wood, sidewalk beside the hoardings and a wood structure over the sidewalk

below: New buildings in Regent Park.

looking through the window of a building under construction, concrete walls, some black pipes, also in orange paint the word exit with an arrow


below:
I stopped for a drink at Daniels Spectrum where I came across an interesting exhibit…. A sample of some of the photographs on display at Daniels Spectrum. They are part of a project, #ShootForPeace, by Yasin Osman. Each features youth from Regent Park with the theme of the exhibit being family and how family can be defined.

6 black and white photos of people on a wall in a gallery, photos of Regent Park residents, by Yasim Osman

below: One of the stained glass windows from St. Bartholomews church, in memory of Sister Theresa, 1891-1988.  I’ve walked past this church many times but this was the first time that I went inside.   It is a small, quiet church with some nice stained glass.

stained glass window in St. Bartholomews church

below: Graffiti on a wall.

graffiti on a red brick wall that says Space is Fake

below: Walking her dog on the Don River trail.

looking down from a bridge, a woman walks her black dog along a path beside the Don River, also train tracks running parallel to the path and river

below: Looking north towards the Gerrard Street bridge.

brige over the Don River, earl spring, no snow or ice but no leaves yet on the trees, Don Valley Parkway, road, to the right of the river, looking north towards Gerrard street

below: Looking south along the Bayview Extension to the new development in the East Don Lands.

looking south on Bayview street from Dundas as it passes large metal hydro poles, also new development (condos) in East Don Lands, fire truck on road

below: Just east of the DVP a truck was offloading new cars including this black Rolls Royce.

a brand new black Bentley car being unloaded from a truck

below: Same car, looking east towards Dons Milk store

new rolls royce parked on the side of a street after being unloaded from a truck

below: Waiting for summer

a faded red canoe leans against a wood fence in a backyard

In the early 1950s, the City of Toronto began a new road project to extend Dundas eastwards from Broadview to Kingston Road to serve as a new four-lane traffic arterial, intended as an alternative to Gerrard and Queen. Nine streets were widened to form the new Dundas street and in some cases, alleyways were used to connect these streets, and this is clearly visible as garages and backyards continue to front on to Dundas near Jones Avenue.

row of garages facing onto the street, backs of houses and a very large tree

open garage door with a window at the back of the garage, other garage beside it has closed door, can also see back of the two houses

a blue bike leans against a chainlink fence, behind it is a piece of street art that says happy days are here again, with painting of a man walking

Dundas Street is a major thoroughfare in the city – there aren’t many family homes that front onto it.    Jones, other hand, is a residential street.  The houses are an eclectic mix, most of which are fairly modest – or less.

an open gate leading to an entrance, a few stairs up to a porch

below: Flat roofs on small, narrow rowhouses with tiny front yards.

two storey row houses with flat roofs,

below: Half white and half yellow.

a semi-divided house, one side white and the other side yellow

porches on houses

below: Once upon a time, Toronto street signs were these blue and white metal signs that were attached to the buildings on the corners.  They are hard to read from the street!  Beginning in the 1950’s they were replaced with the signs that we are more accustomed to seeing.  There are still quite a few of these old ones spread out around the city in older neighbourhoods.   It is rare to find a house with two signs.

two old Toronto street signs, blue metal, attached to a house at Jones Ave and Sproat Ave

below: An ad for W.N. McEachern & Sons Ltd. that appeared in the Toronto Star on 26 April 1912 (online source).   They developed a few areas in the east part of Toronto including Eastmount Park which was between Danforth and Gerrard on the east side of Jones.

newspaper ad from 1912 in the Toronto Star

row houses in brown, white, and grey

below: Near the corner of Jones and Gerrard, surprise, surprise, a hole in the ground.

a construction site, a hole in the ground, with backs of houses behind the find surrounding it

below: Before I end this post, one last cute little white house tucked in between two larger brick residences.

a tiny, narrow, two storey house beside a larger brick house

Safe walking everyone!

below: Sometimes I love fences!

a medium sized black dog stands behind a chain link fence beside a white pickup truck

a red truck parked in an alley with a lot of stuff beside it

a gold coloured weather vane with a rooster on it, bright blue sky in the background

Once again, it seems that no matter where in the city you go there will be construction.  There will be the demolition of single family homes to make way for condos or at the minimum, blocks of rowhouses.   The area around Yonge and Finch is no exception.

apartment building in the background, a street of single family dweelings in the foreground, early spring so no leaves on the trees, a few cars parked in driveways

I am not sure if it serves any purpose, perhaps it’s futile, but I’d like to think that documenting what we are removing is worthwhile.   The houses on Finch Avenue East like the one in this picture are small, but the lots on which they sit are large.

small white bungalow with brown roof, on large piece of land, car in driveway

That means that a developer can demolish four houses and turn around and build 17 townhouses in the same space.    That is what is happening near Finch and Willowdale.

three small white bungalows with windows and doors boarded up, small trees overgrown around them.

Although the properties were not fenced off, all access to the houses themselves was blocked, sigh.  It looked like a local garden centre was using the backyards of a couple of the houses.

side door of a white wood house with rickety porch and steps. three trees growing besie it, door is boarded up

below: View to a new development on the other side of Finch Avenue.  This is the type of development that the area is now zoned for.  A lot of these townhouses have been built in the last few years and I suspect that eventually they will replace all of the single family homes.

view looking down a driveway, two empty houses - one on each side of the driveway. Can see across the street to new townhouse development on the other side.

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

Between Willowdale Avenue and Yonge Street, there were a couple of other houses that are boarded up and empty. I am not sure what the plan is for them (there was no development proposal sign posted, instead there was a sign advertising the company that is providing the financing – for what?).

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, apartment building behind,

The internet can be a wonderful thing.  In case you are interested, the development is the Ava Luxury Residence and it calls for heights and densities that are vastly over what is zoned for in the area.  For example, at 9 storeys it is 37 metres tall in an area zoned for 11 metres.  The plan was first filed in 2016 but because of the size of the development, it requires a zoning by-law amendment, official plan amendment, and site plan approval to effect the proposal – all which take time.   An OMB appeal pre-hearing was scheduled to occur a few days ago, with a hearing slated for June.  MM170085 is the OMB case number if you want to dive down that rabbit hole.

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, sign in front yard advertising financing

This is 50 Finch East.  As you can see, there is a taller building on the other side of Kenneth Avenue.  Kenneth was to be the dividing line – keeping the higher buildings, and denser development, closer to Yonge Street.  I’m not sure what side of the development battle you’re on, but what’s the point of having a plan if the developers (with help from the OMB) keep disregarding it?

small bungalow on a corner lot, with windows and doors boarded up, larger apartment building behind.

As I walked back to my car, I chose to walk on a side street instead of on Finch.  As I turned a corner, I happened upon a house being demolished.  Fortuitous.  Serendipity.

a yellow digger loading rubble from a house demolition into a dump truck

It doesn’t take long to reduce a house to rubble and dust.  “Another one bites the dust” springs to mind.

close up of a digger demolishing a house

And so it goes.

large painting of a face, street art, yellowish skin, small moustache and beard, glasses, eyes looking straight ahead

Hope Wall on Spadina Ave., near Kensington Market.

wall, plywood hoardings, covered with paint and graffiti as a Hope Wall, in memory of Andre Alexander who was killed when hit by a car. painting of his face, plus large space for people to write messages, on Spadina near Kensington Market,

below: Messages written on the wall for Andre Alexander, aka Hip Pop Art who died in October 2018.

messages written on a wall

a man sleeping on the sidewalk in front of a wall covered with street art, graffiti and art in memory of Andre Alexander who was an artist who worked in Kensington

wall and doorway painted purple, a black man's face in greys on one side of the entranceway, other graffiti too

 

As winter passes into spring
A walk around Edwards Gardens in early spring

below: A red cardinal in a tree

a red male cardinal perched on a branch with no leaves, early spring

below: Red berries that have wintered on their thorny branches.

close up picture of small red berries on a thorny stem

below: The remains of coneflowers on their sturdy stems.

two dead conehead flowers, just brown prickly cone shaped part at the top, on tall dead brown stems,

below: Pussy willows just emerging

pussy willows on a branch, just opening up

below: On a small twig, both an old leaf and new buds.

one dead leaf on a small branch that has need buds, spring time

below: A squirrel enjoying the seeds that someone has left for it. w

a brown and grey squirrel sits on a stone ledge eating seeds

below: Dead and dried, seed pods that opened long ago.

dead seed pods on dead stems, flowering shrub type of plant

below: New fuzzy magnolia buds

new buds on a tree, fuzzy greenish brown

below: A sparrow with its back to the camera

a little sparrow perched on a small branch of a shrub

below: These strange looking growths are the beginnings of skunk cabbage plants.

three skunk cabbage plants beginning to grow in the marshy areas at the edge of the snow, where the snow has just melted , a purplish bulb shaped plant

many dead plants with prickly cone shaped heads and stems, macro shot, those in front in focus, many out of focus in the background

below: The pale yellow of the willow trees as their leaves begin to bud.

a yellowish coloured statue stands in front of a large willow tree that has just begun to bud, also some tall dark green pine trees in the background