Archive for the ‘alleys’ Category

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s

 

This incredibly intricate butterfly or moth by alfalfa faces Bathurst street.  The body of the butterfly makes the human face within the insect unmistakable .

a large street art piece of a butterfly with man's eyes on the wings, boy of butterfly looks like man's nose

On the south side of the same building is this captivating turquoise-skinnedcharacter painted by muisca.

character with turquoise face and yellow and orange hair and dress, by muisca, mural on the side of a building

On the north side of the building there is a driveway that leads to an alley.   There are murals on the side of the building as well as on other buildings and garages immediately adjacent.

 

below: This tiger by luvsumone (aka Moises Frank) is on a garage door in the alley.

partially abstract painting of a tiger by luvsumone, xyz

below: If you follow the sound of many pigeons cooing you’ll find yourself in front of one of the garages that must have a pigeon loft on the upper storey.  The same garage has two pigeon murals.  This stylized pigeon who seems quite happy with his can of spray paint is on one side while the pigeon in the next image is on the garage door.

a stylized pigeon, painted on the side of a building, with a spray paint can by it's head

below: Stay fly pigeon, luvsumone, painted in 2017

a large painting of a pigeon on a garage door in an alley

below: Another of the alley murals.

4 garbage bins lined up beside a small building with a mural of a young woman with blank eyes above the bin

below: The north side of the building has three murals of people.  These eyes are part of a larger man’s face.

part of mural of man's face, two eyes and a nose,

below: A woman’s face seems to float on the brick wall.

a large woman's face painted on the side of a brick building

close up of a pair of blue lips painted as part of a mural of a woman's face

below: This wall has also become a memorial wall.

mural of young woman's face, looking straight ahead, eyes partially closed, arms crossed in front of her,

words written under a group of street art pieces, deluxe the 6, names of street artists

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

There’s a building near King and Strachan that is adjacent to an alley.  The alley side of that building has been painted in many, many, squares and rectangles of different colours and as a result, it looks like like a giant mosaic.

Although there is a certain sameness to these pictures, here’s a sample of the doors, windows, and wall in that alley.

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

a brick wall where the bricks have been painted different colours like a giant mosaic, windows, and doors in that wall are also painted, in an alley,

This is another blog post about Croft Street, a short street that runs between College and Harbord streets just east of Bathurst.   It has changed a lot since I first wrote about it in 2013.  The corner of Croft and College Streets was home to the mural commemorating the fire of 1904 – it is long gone.  In between then and now, the south end of Croft was spruced up with colourful murals and planters in 2016.   These are a few pictures that I took as I walked up Croft yesterday (after dodging construction stuff and workmen at College).

 

below: A mural by Elicser is at the northeast corner of College and Croft.

elicser mural on Croft street, man in doorway with a drink in a pineapple in his hand, other person sitting with hand over face

below: Praying mantis mural

mural of a large praying mantis on a wall

below: Croft is not immune to the construction/renovation craze that we’re in the midst of.

a digger and a blue porta-potty in a vacant lot construction site, with a row of backyards and backs of houses behind

below: The fire station tower at College and Bellevue is now visible from Croft street.

the fire station tower at College and Bellevue is visible beyond a vacant lot and a street of houses and backyards

below: Looking up Croft Street.  One of the garages now has a Raptors logo and the one next to it is being renovated.

Croft street alley with garages on the left, and apartments above some of them, a mural of a man's face where the bottom half has been painted over with white paint

below: Some of the 2016 murals and planters are still in place.

garage doors with murals in Croft street

a simple painting of a blue bird on a branch of leaves

below: Looking north across Vankoughnet Street

a very small white house at the corner of a street and an alley, a view up the alley

door with glass panel with white tape over one of the bottom corners, walls painted in yellow, pink, and blue splotches

below: A door to nowhere

2 storey building. Garage door covered with a tag graffiti on the bottom, a white door surrounded by brown shingles on the upper floor.

below: We are the future and we don’t want any junk mail

a wood wall and door in an alley painted red and brown, the number 74 on it twice, a mail slot with white paint around it to make slot look like mouth with tongue stuck out, no junk mail written too, a picture of a man on the door with the words we the future

below: The door with the metal strapping is still there.

a narrow brown door with metal strapping grid on it beside a garage door with red, yellow, and blue stripes, wall is covered with green shingles

below: A large grominator on a brick wall

a large grominator graffiti on a brick wall, blue eyes

below: Morning glory flowers and vine growing up a street sign pole.

a street sign pole with morning glory flowers and vine growing up it, one way sign, speed control zone sign, no parking signs,

below: More flowers, red rose stenciled onto a garage door

red rose stencil street art on a garage door

below: Garage doors painted by Bruno Smokey and Andrea Manica

garage doors with murals on Croft Street including one by Bruno Smokey

below: A fun ride in vibrant colours by dudeman

a fun mural of an old car by dudeman, in reds and oranges with front grille and radiator in blues

behind tall weeds, a painting on metal attached to a utility pole, painting of a bird, a red back sandpiper

at Harbord street entrance to Croft street, a woman on a bicycle waiting for traffic, Central Tech school across the street, a mural for the store Just For Her beside the cyclist

below: He may be blue but he’s smiling.

below: Preening and posing or just walking past.  Saturday afternoon in Graffiti Alley.

people in graffiti alley, walking, posing for photos, murals, art,

a man spray paints a street art piece in an alley, small red step stool ladder with some cans of spray paint

mual in alley with skull with gold halo

back of a building, in an alley, covered with street art. On top is a large white orek in white, green garbage bins in front

below:  It comes with words, a quote from Al Capone: “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun, then you can with a kind word alone”.   A mural by Madmaxxoner

mural in an alley doorway, portrait of Al Capone in shades of grey, wearing a fedora, accompanied by words

below: A series of urban ninja squadron stickers on a pole

urban ninja squadron stickers on a post

below: A grey face on a door, part of a mural by elicser

elicser mural on a wall including a door that is painted with a large face in grey tones

below: Square face with a four pointed crown, drawn on orange

on an orange background, a black line drawing of a square face with four point crown on head and 4 vertical lines as teeth

a bright orange mini cooper is parked with another car in a small parking lot with two murals, one by hello kirsten and a large portrait by janus

large text street art in silver with blue and red highlights

below: So we meet alley drinking in fact(?) at 2 pm on a Teusday (sic Tuesday) it’s cool(?) and I have a half size bottle of wine some of us are in love and some us can’t be.  We break off spinning in all directions and haven’t stopped since.  And on top of it all is a paranoid sticker in his pink briefs.  Make of it what you will.

a small sticker with paranoid written on it as well as a graffiti that is all words

below: Posing at the end of the alley

three people taking selfies at the Portland Street end of graffiti alley

below: Set-up for a selfie

a man has set up a tripod to take a selfie of him positioned between two large faces painted in an alley

below: More of someone else’s selfie, this one in the partial darkness.

side view, man posing in a doorway in graffiti alley, top part of him is in dark shadow

below: Smoke break

an older man in a fedora sits on a ledge covered with street art as he smokes a cigarette

below: An uber5000 painting of blue cat painting a yellow birdie with a predatory camera bearing down on them.

street art by uber5000, a yellow birdie, a blue cat and a characterization of a camera as a face with large mouth and sharp teeth, also with long tongue sticking out. words say gimme a break clik clik clik

below: We are all human by Kaun

below: More sharpie words, this time about the atomic power of prayer.   Oh dear, I googled it and it’s a thing.

words written in sharpie on green and yellow graffiti

below: Paper paste-up telling us to eat more or proclaiming the presence of eatmore?

…murals that is.

construction fence around a building being built, also a small beige house with white trim. Between the two is an entrance to an alley, there is a mural on the wall of the house, in the alley

On Euclid Avenue just south of College there is a lane that runs towards Palmerston Avenue.   I am not sure if it has a name (Paese Lane is the extension of this lane on the other side of Euclid).   As you can see, there are now some murals in this lane.

murals in an alley,

below: Pinks and blues combined in a mural by Getso

a mural of black lines making circles and other irregular shapes filled in with pinks, purples, and blues

below: An unfinished mural by Adrian Hayles

partially finished mural by Adrian Hayles, in yellow, a face and some text

below: A portrait of Greta Thunberg by Meaghan Claire Kehoe.

mural in an alley, large portrait of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager advocating for action on climate change, painted by Meaghan Claire Kehoe

below: A dark haired woman in a blue head scarf with a purple conehead flower by drippin_soul aka Kalkidan Assefa

mural my drippin_soul of a woman in blue head scarf beside a large pinkish flower

below: Raccoons have taken over this part of the alley! A mural by Emily May Rose

raccoon mural by Mily May Rose, raccoon on top of garbage cans, climbing on roofs, spray painting, inside garbage bins

two raccoons from a mural by Emily May Rose,

below: (across the lane from the ones above) This little green guy is up to no good!  Great ready for an explosion!  Perhaps life’s a blast?

small green guy with big ears painted on a wall, orange shirt and blue pants. Hands on a trigger to start an explosion

 

Yesterday was not the first time that I walked the Milky Way; I have blogged about it a few times, mostly recently two years ago in July 2017.  What surprised me most this time was just how little has changed.  A lot of murals and paintings were done in 2013 and they are still there.

below: The two horses at the west end of the alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

below: A one eyed monster, melting ice cream cone figure with big black boots.

large gate (or garage door) in an alley painted pink with a painting of a one eyed monster on it

paint peeling off wood fence, street art painting only partilly still there

below: A star that has lost its shine.

faded street art, wood grain of wood fence showing through. pink star with black sides to look 3 D, outlined in yellow

below: Unused and overgrown

a door covered with graffiti that is closed, greenery is starting to grow upo and around the door, painted murals on both sides of the door that are difficult to see

below: Someone’s not pleased.

woman's face as part of a mural in Milky Way alley, text mural around her

below: Kaos in the alley.

black door and wall in Milky Way lane, with graffit on the door, painting of two spray paint cans on the right side of the door, kaos brand. text graffiti on the left side in orange and white

below: Dinosaur riding.

old mural on a wall in Milky Way alley, a young girl is riding on the back a dinosaur, with words that say was last night they were here

below: Rafiki from ‘The Lion King’ still guards the door but his words may be lost to time.

painting of character from Disneys Lion King on door in alley, with paintings of little aliens across the top of the building, ivy growing on the walls

below: This mural was ‘defaced’ (although the faces weren’t touched LOL) shortly after it was painted.  The black letters on the middle woman have been there since at least 2017.

part of a mural of 3 nude pink and purple women, tall and skinny by palm trees, orange background, in an alley, the women have been painted over in white to cover breasts

below: This was the only street art piece painted in 2019 that I saw.

text graffiti mural in oranges and reds on blue background, in an alley, painted in 2019

text graffiti mural in pinks and reds on blue background, in an alley,

old dark door with entrance sign over the top, with lots of graffiti on the door, mural painted on walls beside the door

below: Not the best seat in the house.

pale blue door with graffiti on it, a blue rubbish bin and chair in front of the door