below: Posters made by “Army of Lovers”, a group organized by The 519 (an LGBTQ charity).   They were in response to a group of “anti-queer protesters, who call themselves Christian free-speech advocates” who planned to march up Church Street last Saturday.

two posters on a metal box on the street, one says no hate in our city and the other says, liberation in our lifetime - the army of love

below: Rev Jeff Rock of Metropolitan Community Church and Rev Cheri DiNovo of Trinity St. Pauls, led a ‘Unite for Love’ rally at Barbara Hall Park this past Saturday. Other faith leaders also talked to the crowd as did several politicians from all levels of government.  Themes of the talks largely dwelt on unity, equality, inclusion, and the idea that we are perfect in God’s eyes.

two Christian religious leaders talk at a rally

below: Mayor John Tory being interviewed by the media after the speeches.

Toronto mayor John TOry being interviewed by the media at a pro-Pride rally at Barbara Hall Park, City TV, CP 24, CTV and Global News were among the media.

below: Also after the speeches, a giant rainbow flag was unfurled.

people helping to open up a giant pride rainbow flag

two men help to spread a giant size pride rainbow flag at Barbara Hall park

below: … and the crowd helped to display it.

people holding the edge of a large pride rainbow flag

below: The rain kept coming and going but that deter the crowd.

a couple wearing clear rain ponchos, laughing, holding signs under the ponchos that say No hate in our city

below: There were a few signs that people had made including this one about Jesus.

two women, one holding a sign that says Jesus was gay. He didn't say Amen, he said Ahhh men!

below: “Church is for everyone” sums up the message of inclusion found in The Village community

two women in yellow rain jackets holding a sign that says Church is for everyone

a man with two rainbow flags in his hair and wearing a large rainbow flag over his back

below: A little levity, a little unseriousness.

a pink sign that says this is serious we're missing brunch

The above gathering was in response to a group called Christian Positive Space and an event described on their website as a ‘Freedom Repentance & Prayer March/Rally’ up Church Street. This group was gathering at Church & Esplanade at the same time as the crowd was listening to speeches in The Village.

Part of the backstory is that this group (CPS) was formed by David Lynn, a preacher who can often be found at Yonge & Dundas (He is also the founder of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries). Back in June he was arrested for disturbing the peace when he and some of his followers tried preaching at the corner of Church & Wellesley (with loudspeaker), just down the street from Barbara Hall Park.

One of the themes of Saturday’s march was the idea of sharing the streets, that Christians should be allowed to do their thing on the streets without being harassed. Part of David Lynn’s talk yesterday was about how Pride gets to close down streets so Christians should be able to as well. There was also mention about some grievance that he had with the people who organize the Jesus in the City parade.

The walk was planned to go at least as far as Wellesley even though one of the conditions for Lynn’s release from jail was that he was to be banned from visiting that area of the city.

below: A lot of left over signs. Questions are being asked about who paid for them (as well as the many T-shirts that were given out).

protest

musicians in a trailer behind a pink up truck, bible verse written on the side of the trailer,

below: Dictionary definition of godly = “devoutly religious; pious”

a woman wears a red T shirt that says make Canada righteous and godly again.

below: The People’s Party had a very visual presence at the march. I’m not sure which candidates were present. There is no mention of the walk on any social media for the candidates for both Spadina-Fort York (where the walk started) or Toronto Centre (where the walk was going to end). The candidate for Toronto Centre is actually from Hamilton (he’s also the VP of the party).

large white banner for the Peoples Party of Canada, in front of a protest on Church street

people with signs and placards at a protest

below: The police didn’t allow the walk to get past King Street.  They kept the two groups separated.

Christian protesters behind a line of police bikes

below: Members of the PSU (Public Service Unit) await their orders

member of p s u , public service unit, wait on Front Street in case they are needed at protest

below: The white van was one of a pair that parked by the double line of police bikes that were containing the protesters south of Front Street. PSU officers then lined the intersection to control pedestrian traffic.

members of PSU, public service unit, march into place during stand off between protest and counter protest

below: Most of the intersection of Front/Wellington and Church was blocked for quite a while. Pedestrians were not allowed to cross on the south side.

a police man escorts an older woman in a pink jacket who is using a walker, across an intersection

Overheard at the march: “Yoga is popularized witchcraft”. I was approached by a woman who struck up a conversation by telling me that she loved Trump. She said that one night God look down at her and told her to listen to Trump. So she did and she learned that he’s brilliant, that he loves blue collar workers, that he loves all races, and that he loves Israel. That’s why she now loves him and prays for him every day.

a group of wimen lined up against a wall, on the street, with hands in the air, some have signs that say Civil rights are for Christians too

At this point in time, the words that Lynn uses in these situations are irrelevant; actions speak louder than words.  His views on homosexuality are well known even if he proclaims to love all people, i.e. to love the sinner but not the sin. He can be cagey about the words and phrases he uses but just his presence at Church & Wellesley is a provocation and he should realize that. Trying to preach in The Village is just a stunt – it provides video to support his opinion that Christians are targeted and it gets him followers. There are much better, more constructive ways, to reach people.

David Lynn talks to his protesters, with signs and placards, behind a police line

people talking on the street

a man with his eyes closed, during a protest

a person stands above a crowd holding a trans flag while police hold the crowd back

below: A woman tries to persuade one member of the other side that being homosexual is a choice. She’d be happy to find him a beautiful woman to make him happy both in this life and in eternal life.

a middlw age woman in jean jacket and dark hair, holding a rosary in one hand, talks to counter protesters on the other side of a police line

below: Occasionally there was some dialogue between the two sides. On the protester side there were those who were marching because they honestly believed that they were spreading a message of Jesus’s love for everyone. Others were out to provoke, disrupt, or at least to play the victim.

one woman has her arm around the shoulders of another woman as they stand close to policemen blocking the street with their bikes

two sides of a protest speaking, while police keep them separated. Christian side is filming the conversation, counter protesters are wearing T shirts that say army of love

below: Also aligned with Christian Positive Space was Charles McVety who apparently was at the walk. He posted this on his facebook page (screenshot). Was he hoping for violence? Or was this just just another example of rewriting the story to suit your own purposes. Nobody was attacking anybody; there was no danger. McVety references “Tory’s mob” – John Tory chose to talk at the other rally instead of the CPS one.

a screenshot of a facebook post by Charles mcVety and some of the responses to it.

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

police line of bikes

below: Eventually David Lynn and his group backed down Church Street

David Lynn and another man help to back up a red pick up truck with a trailer holding a stage as they reverse down Church Street during a protest march in downtown Toronto

below: And proceeded to walk up Yonge Street instead.

police man on a bike in front of a group of protesters as they start to walk up Yonge street

two men walk in front of a banner that says Canadian Christians share our streets, walking up yonge street at front street, other protesters are behind the banner.

below: As the Christian group walked up Yonge Street, a group claiming to be Toronto Against Fascism blocked the way at King Street.

a toronto police officer talks to a group with faces partially covered and holding a banner that says Toronto against fascism

below: Once again there was a stand off with police holding the two groups apart. Eventually the “anti-fascists” moved over to the sidewalk. By then it was after 5 p.m. and nothing seemed to be happening. The groups didn’t appear to want to leave and the police didn’t seem to eager to try to disperse them. So I got on a streetcar and went for dinner.

a man on the phone looks out a window of an upper storey, overlooking a protest on the street below including a large trans flag in pale blue, pink, and white stripes

I learned later that the police let the protesters walk a bit farther up Yonge but they were stopped at Adelaide and/or Richmond before eventually being broken up.

Today was Climate Strike day…  a Friday where there were rallys and protests to call for action on climate change across Canada and around the world.   Here in Toronto Queens Park was the gathering spot.
at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a group of young people with their home made protest signs, some on brown cardboard, and one on pink bristol board,

By 11 a.m. the park in front of the parliament buildings was quite full and people were congregating all down University Avenue as well.   I wandered (pushed my way?) through the crowd while we waited for some speeches (that almost no one could hear) to finish before the walk part of the day started.   These are some of the signs that I saw and some of the people that I talked to.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young girl holds a homemade sign that says save are trees, two other girls are with her

two people in costume, one a bee and one a fox (badger?). They have a yellow sign that says If we die we will take you with us. Act now. at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September

below: All eyes on the camera man.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a group of school kids holding protest signs that they've made, but keeping their eyes on a man with a large TV camera

below: People Act Now It’s Critical, PANIC

5 kids, each with a sign. Together they spell panic. each letter is in red on a green circle. The boy holding the C at the end is sitting on the ground

The best thing I heard this morning was one boy who said, “It’s not socialism, it’s a better kind of capitalism”.

 

below: Holding a sign that she made herself.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a girl holds a poster placard that she made herself, it says save our and then it has a picture of the Earth

below: Respect your mother.   There were lots of references to Mother Earth.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young boy sits on the grass between two women. Behind him is girl with a sign on her back that says Respect your Mother

below: The turtles are only the beginning

a girl has her face showing through a square hole cut out of a piece of white bristol board, sign saying that the turtles are just the beginning, her face is part of the turtle body

below: Change is coming wether you like it or not.  We need real change.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, three girls with pale blue signs, Change is coming,

below: Being interviewed as she holds her climate danger rating sign.

a woman is being interviewed for television, at a climate change protest,

below: Standing with the trees, and partially under the pines.

standing under some pine trees is a woman who is holding up a sign that says standing with the trees

below: Make Ontario Greta again.

a man holds a spiral bound sketch book on which he's written Make Ontario Greta again.

a young girl in a pink jacket stands between a woman with a walker and a man in a plaid shirt and green hat. She is holding a hand drawn protest sign

Roses are dying,
violets are too.
Save our planet,
we’re counting on you.

below: We want a green future

two little girls holding a bristol board protest sign that says we want a green future

below: Every single use item is a time bomb

in front of Queens Park, lots of people in front, crowded out to the street, south side, on road, a woman is sitting on the shoulders of another woman while holding a sign that says each single use item is a time bomb

below: Taking cues from Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being green.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a middle age woman dressed all in light green, pants,jacket, and hat, and holding a sign with a picture of Kermit the frog that says It ain't easy being green but we must

below: Continuing with the colour theme… All that glitters is not gold.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young man dressed in gold and holding a sign that says All that glitters is not gold

below: A common theme today was, “The Earth is hotter than”.  In this case, I think that’s a Korean boy band?  K-Pop? Or something like that?

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, an Asian woman with a sign that says the earth is getting hotter than. At the bottom of the sign are pictures of a Korean boy band.

below: More “hotter than” – this time an imaginary boyfriend.  How can you not smile at that?

three people holding three placards, one says The earth is hotter than my imaginary boyfriend. also one says Change is coming whether you like it or not.

below: Look me in the eye, from up above.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a girl is on her parent's shoulder. she is holding a yellow sign that says look me in the eye

below: Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, plus Clean Energy = New Jobs

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, group of people, adults and kids on University Ave

below: Our world is melting

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, a group by the trees in the park, two signs, one with a bear on it and words about melting ice. The other is being held by a woman who is on another person's shoulders

below: Fight climate change or die frying

below: Another theme kept appearing today was an anti fossil fuel stance.  “In 2018 Canada spent 3.3 billion on fossil fuel subsidies”

a young girl holds a carboard sign that has a picture of of a peace sign made with a picture of the Earth

below: This is why we can’t have nice things.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, group of young people, including a woman with a cardboard sign that says This is why we can't have nice things

below: Why should I study neuro when we’re all going to die?

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, a young woman with a blue sign poses for a photo being taken by a friend

Another post with more photos from the climate strike are immediately below this page.

There were tens of thousands of people who protested on Friday.  If you stood in one place, it would’ve taken more than hour for the whole march to pass by.   The crowd was predominantly younger – students, or kids with their parents.  There was a lot of community spirit and togetherness as people walked the circuit from Queens Park, across Wellesley, down Bay to Queen, and then up University to return to Queens Park.  Almost all of the signs were home made.

Asian couple with sign that says stop burning our future

Stop burning our future

.

young boy with sign that says Stop ruining our planet

Stop ruining our planet

 

below: I support Greta not Greed.   A shout out to Greta Thunberg who created the idea of a climate strike and motivated people to participate.

climate strike walk in Toronto

We've done some shit to bees y'all

Earth's future is our future

below: It’s a family affair.

Global warming more 'breath taking' than Keanu Reeves.

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, girl holds sign that says save our planet before it burns out

Save our planet before it burns out

below: A team effort.

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, two people with signs, woman's sign says If you really think the economy is more important than the earth and has arrow pointing to girls' sign whose sign says Recyclops will drown in you overwatered lawns

If you really think the economy is more important than the earth.. -> Recyclops will drown you in your overwatered lawn.

below: A bright red stop sign

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, stop sign shaped red sign that says stop killing my earth

Stop killing my Earth

a boy with blue headphones is sitting on his mother's shoulders and holding brown cardboard sign that says We only have one earth and this one is ours

below: At Bay and College, walking with confidence.

cyclists line Bay street at College street while they wait for a break in the climate strike march, one woman holds a sign that says destroy my ass not my planet

a woman holds a sign that says don't be a dick clean up this shit

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, many signs

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, so bad the introverts are here

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, person in sunglasses carrying red sign that says help me I'm dying with a large picture of a baby leopard

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, a giant thermometer with words how hot does it have to get, mass extinction is marked as the top temperature

Woman holding pink sign that says remain silent when the whole world is dying

below: Walking the dog too.

a couple walking their white dog as the march in a walk, people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, they are both holding signs

Ice has no agenda, it just melts.

below: Tissue paper letters

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, a cardboard sign with tissue paper glued on for the letters, difficult to read

If we don’t do anything today, there will be no tomorrow

below: It’s difficult to keep a sign up straight as you walk!

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, young girl holding a bristol board home made sign that bends backwards as she walks so it's hard to read it. younger girl beside her has a sign that says Treat the earth

Treat the Earth the way you want to be tred. Don’t hurt the Earth.

people at Toronto climate strike, walking along Wellesley street with signs, I make oxygen what do you do?

climate strike march in Toronto, a woman holds a sign that says Stop Climate change you filthy animals

two women at a climate strike march in Toronto on a Friday, each with a sign, woman in black head scarf has sign that says burn the bourgoise not fossil fuels.

a woman holds a sign that says that the square root of negative 1 is imaginary but climate change is real, mathematics and science

unfuck the planet, three times on pink paper, protest sign

a young woman with pale pink hair holds a sign that says no more hate

women looking at paintings at the Art Gallery of Ontario

below: Two pieces by Valerie Blass from her collection titled “The Parliament of the Invisibles”.   Blass used plaster casts of body parts,  dressed them in clothing, and then arranged them in little installations.  (On the fourth floor of the AGO until 1st Dec)

art by Valerie Blass, a parliament of invisibles, clothes taking the form of people

below: Stepping out in denim shorts and red boots.

artwork by Valerie Blass at the Art Gallery of Ontario, one red boot, a pair of denim shorts and a blue ikea bag on a step stool

below: Working among the heads

below: Part of “Mother and Child with Pulled Tooth”, a sculpture made of whale bone, antler, grey stone, ivory, and sinew by Karoo Ashevak.

whale bone sculpture in art gallery, mother and child, large round face with open mouth and two outstretched arms with large hands

below: A print by Carole Conde and Karl Beveridge, Screenprint and ink on paper, about 1975. “Why does the woman do the laundry and cooking?”  Although in the image the woman is using a tape recorder and is no where near the kitchen.

q print that shows a woman working, in red ink on green background, with black words written on top of it, why does the woman do the laundry and cooking

below: Part of “Blur” by Sandra Brewster – a collage of more than 80 black and white “portraits” of people out of focus and uncentered.

a collage of many black and white blurred and uncentered portraits of people on a wall in an art gallery, part of Blur series by Sandra Brewster

below: There is also a very large out of focus image on a wall of its own.  The photo on its own wasn’t very interesting but it provided a wonderful backdrop to some experiments of my own.  There are those who stop and look and linger and those who pass by without a second glance.

people, out of focus, walking past a large out of focus picture of a woman, a photo by Sandra Brewster as part of her blur series

a couple holding hands with the woman leading the man, out of focus, walking past a large out of focus picture of a woman, a photo by Sandra Brewster as part of her blur series

people, out of focus, walking past a large out of focus picture of a woman, a photo by Sandra Brewster as part of her blur series, three men, two are together and the third is walking in the opposite direction

people, out of focus, walking past a large out of focus picture of a woman, a photo by Sandra Brewster as part of her blur series, a man in a green shirt

people, out of focus, walking past a large out of focus picture of a woman, a photo by Sandra Brewster as part of her blur series, a man pointing

Sandra Brewster’s “Blur” is on exhibit until 20 March 2020.

In honour (or in celebration) of the start of the impeachment process in the US of A, here a couple of images from a small exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario on political satire over the years.   These are illustrations by American artist Sandow Birk that appear in a collection of ten lithographs titled “The Horrible & Terrible Deeds & Words of the Very Renowned Trumpagruel”.   This project was based on illustrations by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) for a series of books that were first published a few centuries earlier about the adventures of Gargantua and Pantagruel, two bumbling giants, written by Francois Rabelais.

a lithograph, political satire, of Trump on his cell phone as he looks towards Russia, lots of demons and unsavoury characters playing in the sewer and swamp behind him

In Birk’s adaption, President Donald Trump is the clueless giant who is oblivious both to the havoc he is causing and to the problems of the world. He is firmly attached to his cell phone.  In the background little gremlins, or demons, or swamp dwellers, cavort and make off sacks of goodies. At the time that I was taking these pictures, I didn’t realize that I had chosen two that were so similar.  If you check the link on Birk’s name near the beginning of this post you should be able to see other examples.

Donald Trump on his cell phone overlooking a polluted environment

“The Horrible & Terrible Deeds & Words of the Very Renowned Trumpagruel” was printed by John Pusateri in New Zealand in 2017.

At the corner of Beatrice and Dundas West there is a new mural by Elicser of a couple building with blocks, or more accurately, playing with Tetris shapes.

full mural on the side of a house, a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall

part of a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall - woman in blue jeans and white sleeveless top

part of a mural by elicser of a couple putting tetris shapes together on a wall - heavy man in a long sleeved green hoodie

Albert Jackson Lane is a small alley that runs south from Harbord Street.

upper storey door with metal stair case and its shadows. White door. Red flower box on railing outside door.

below: What is happening to Harbord Fish & Chips? (Albert Jackson Lane is on the right).

small brick building painted white was Harbord Fish and Chips, sign is gone and the building is being renovated

below: Looking down the alley, the first impression is that it is rather nondescript but a few bits of colour suggest that walking down the lane might be worth the effort.

looking down a short alley, Albert Jackson Lane, with garages lining both sides, the backs of houses at the end including one that is being renovated

below: A purple and teal fish by birdo, aka Jerry Rugg

birdo mural on a garage door, orange background, fish swimming behind a stone, fish is teal and tail is purple and teal striped

below: Part of “Secret Garden” by Emily Kouri

mural by emily kouri from 2012 on a garage door, in pinks and blues with yellow circles with butterflies in the circles

below: An older mural that completely covers the garage and the fence on both sides.  I am not sure who the artist is.

older mural on garage and fence on both sides, covers the whole thing, in oranges, browns, and greys,

below: This character is well known – a poser bunny.

poser bunny and text, pink bunny, pink text, on light blue background, text is on garage door, bunny is on wall beside door

below: The Toronto skyline and its reflection in Lake Ontario in a mural by Mel Coleman.

a mural of Toronto skyline reflected in Lake Ontario, stylized, by Mel Coleman in Albert Jackson Lane, painted on a garage door

below: A talking head, a square head on TV.  I love the bunny ears on the TV – who has those anymore!

on a beige garage door, a white rectangle painted and on that, black drawing of a man with with a square head on TV, a lamp is beside the television

below: At the end of the alley, a house with major renovations in progress.

row of backs of houses from lane, house in middle has windows removed and hole in the walls being enlarged