Archive for the ‘alleys’ Category

It was a beautiful day on Monday when I visited the “Winter Stations” (scroll down to next blog post), cold but sunny.   I decided to walk north on Woodbine since I haven’t done that for a while.

below: Playing with mirrors while waiting for the washroom at Woodbine Beach because there is only one women’s washroom (why is there only one?)

a mirror shaped like a porthole with a green frame, on a bright blue wall, reflection of another porthole but on an orange wall in the mirror

below: From portholes to demolition holes – I made it as far as Queen and Woodbine where there is a large hole in the ground

at the intersection of Queen and Woodbine, a hole in the ground on the north east corner and a Pizza Pizza restaurant on the south east corner

… because just north of there I discovered alleys and small streets that I don’t remember walking.  Who can resist the allure of a red door?

looking down an alley in winter, two brown tire tracks for the cars, but lots of snow. Fences, trees, and a house on a street at the end with a red front door.

below: I went to Norway

street signs on a post. a one way sign pointing left, a green and white sign that says Norway Ave continues to the right ahead

below: And I passed the North Pole

a lawn decoration in a snow covered front yard, a flat wood snowman with red and white striped hat and scarf and a sign that says north pole

below: I even walked past this No Trespassing sign.  The old cars parked the house behind caught my eye but this was as far as I ventured.

a no trespassing sign on a wire fence, snow covered driveay, two old cars parked in the backyard, beyond the fence

When there is no planned route and you’re only following your nose or sticking to the sunny side of the street, you can run into some surprises.  There were a lot of older houses – here are a few of them:

below: There are still some of these Victorian rowhouses closer to downtown but I wasn’t expecting to find any here.   As it turns out, this was part of the village/town of East Toronto.  In 1888 it was a village with about 800 residents.  It became part of the City of Toronto twenty years later (and with 4200 more people).

two semi houses with gabled roofs and covered porches, from the 1800's. snowy street scene, large trees, winter

As it turns out, one of the streets that I walked on, Lyall Avenue, is a Heritage Conservation District.  The street was surveyed in 1884 and by 1888 a few houses were built on some of the fifty yard lots.  Most of the development occurred between 1909 and 1924.  It was definitely a middle class neighbourhood.   The full report published in 2006 appears on the City of Toronto planning department website.

an upper storey oriel window with curved edges

below: This house stands alone.  A very typical older Toronto house.

a typical old Toronto two storey house with peaked roof, reddish brick, two wondows upstairs, one large window downstairs, white front door with a small roof over the door, lots of yard

below: This tidy well-kept workers cottage can only be accessed from the lane.

a workers cottage that fronts onto a snow covered lane, grey vertical wood paneling on the outside, black roof

below: A white picket fence and wicker furniture waiting for spring.

a white picket fence in the snow, wicker chairs in the yard covered with snow

large two stroey brick houses, winter, street,

All of the above houses were north of Kingston Road where the lots sizes were fairly big.  South of Kingston Road, the houses are narrower and close together. (or joined together).

the backyards and back of houses in a row, winter,

below: This square, substantial sized brick building is on Kingston Road.  Between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street, Kingston Road runs along the crest of a ridge.

large old brick house on Kingston Road, three stories,

below: Newer residential buildings on Kingston Road.

part of three new buildings

below: 1922, looking west along Kingston Road from Main street.  That’s almost 100 years ago, and there were streetcars running here even then.  No cars, just a horse and wagon.

old black and white picture from 1922 of a dirt street with a street car track, hydro poles beside the road and a house

Photo credit: City of Toronto Archives. Found online in a ‘Beach Metro’ article where you’ll find more history of the area.

The next three photos are some of the typical two storey, flat roofed, brick, all in a row, stores and businesses that were built in Toronto in the early 1900’s and later.   If I remember correctly, these were all on Kingston Road.

a storefront trimmed in bright yellow and angled at the corner, intersection of Kingston Rd and Brookside

two stores, old architecture, two storey buildings with apartments on top

Perlux cleaners, old sign painted on side of building, convenience store, mounds of snow by the sidewalk

below: A warm and colourful summer scene painting behind a chainlink fence that surrounds the playground at  Kimberley Junior Public School.

colourful painting behind a chainlink fence in a school yard, winter, snow on the ground around it, picture is of three kids in large yellow hats, playing on green grass

below: Mural at Gerrard and Main.

karate, martial arts mural on a wall

below: The last architecture picture – this building with a turret at Kingston Road.  Here Main Street becomes Southwood Drive.

commercial building with a turret at an intersection

below: Looking north on Main Street from Gerrard.  Here the streetcar turns towards Main subway station.  The bus shelter in the middle of the street is definitely old style – one of the few remaining in the city.  From here Main street is a bridge over the railway tracks.

looking north up Main street from Gerard, streetcar tracks with a bus shelter in the middle of the street. old style bus shelter, Main street then goes up, as a bridge over the train tracks. Highrise apartment building in the background.

below: From the bridge, looking southeast over Danforth GO station. Prior to 1940, this was the location of York Station as well as the Grand Trunk Railway’s main freight yard.  The yard stretched along Gerrard Street and employed several hundred people.   At that time, Gerrard Street was called Lake View Avenue (could you see Lake Ontario from there?).

view from a bridge over railway tracks, Danforth GO station below, houses beyond. covered platforms between two sets of tracks

below: York station in 1890.  It was renamed Danforth in 1922 and demolished in 1974 to make way for the GO station.  The freight yard is to the right.

york railway station in 1890. train is letting off passengers

Photo credit: Toronto Public Library. The picture was found online in an article on Danforth station that appears on the Toronto Railway Historical Association website

 

below: Hanging out on the Danforth

large white sign with green GO logo, Danforth station. a group of pigeons is sitting on top of the sign.

 

But I didn’t hang out for long.  From here to Main Street subway station is only a few steps and that was enough walking.
My writing can be almost erratic as my walking!  I hope that I didn’t lose you along the way.

 

wooden chair outside, against the side of a house, snow on it.

Fall, Leaves, Fall
“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.”
by Emily Bronte

 

As the leaves fall, bare branches are left behind and on a sunny day they make for wonderful shapes and shadows.  Riverdale Park, Broadview side.

tree in Riverdale Park, November, Bloor Viaduct in the background, also some highrise buildings

below: The more common angle for photos taken at Riverdale Park, the angle with the Toronto skyline in the background.  I wasn’t as interested in the skyline yesterday, it was the trees and shadows that I was focusing on.

trees in Riverdale Park, Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance, grass, long shadows, no leaves on the trees.

below: There is a pedestrian bridge over the Don Valley Parkway that connects the two sides of Riverdale Park.  This is view looking south.

looking south from a bridge over the Don Valley Parkway road, with cars driving north and south, looking towards bridge at Dundas Street, Don River to the right,

below: Two cars and three bridges.  This is from the same bridge as above, but this time looking northwest over the Don River towards the Bloor Viaduct.  The CPR bridge is in the middle (with the graffiti) and the pedestrian bridge for the lower Don Trail is the orange-brown one.

two cars driving on the Don Valley Parkway, past the Don River and two bridges over the river. In the distance is the Bloor Viaduct, trees, and some apartment buildings.

below: While crossing Riverdale Park, I spotted this sign.  It’s behind a chainlink fence and partially hidden by shrubs and small trees.  From where I was standing I could hardly see any water that one might use for a rink.   There is a pond back there – it’s the pond at the bottom of the hill on the Riverdale Farm property.

surrounded by small trees, a wooden sign with yellow lettering that says Danger Skating Prohibited by law.

below: The irregular curves of the trees contrasted with the lines and diamonds formed by the staircase that leads down into Riverdale Park (or up from the park!)

looking down a hill covered by dead leaves, a set of stairs winds its way up the hill, some trees too

below: More trees – this time in the Necropolis cemetery.

Necropolis cemetery, some tombstones, a pine tree, a tree with autumn leaves and some trees with no leaves, green grass

below: A tree of a different kind.

the shadow of a tree and all its leaves on a wood fence in an alley

a small amount of snow and ice on the ground, some leaves that have fallen off trees and are on the ground.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
by Robert Frost
***

 

below: The Virginia Creeper leaves have turned and fallen and left the berries behind to dry and wither.  This plant is found all over the city, especially in the lanes and alleys.

blue berries on vines, no leaves, on a wood fence

below: Brilliant colour of the berries on the Bittersweet Vine. This plant produces a yellow berry that bursts open to reveal a red interior.

orange and red berries on vines, black background.

below: Another sign that it’s November, the snack bar by Riverdale Farm is closed for the winter.

the front door of Park Snacks, a building on a corner, pale turquoise with lots of decorative finishes, a wood door, pink and cream coloured trim,

below: An open gate, leading past the burning bushes to the front door.

a wrought iron fence and open gate in front of a brick house built in the workers cottage, or gothic cottage, style. Red leaves on burning bushes type shrub on either side of path leading to front door

below: A Lab patiently waits by the door.

red double door, front door of house, porch with pumpkins on it, also a dog, a labrador retreiver, lying on the porch

below:  Another front yard and another dog… This vintage fire hydrant, decorated as a dalmatian in a fireman’s helmet.  There is newer yellow fire hydrant closer to the sidewalk in the same yard so I suspect that this one is not functional.

vintage fire hydrant in a front yard, faded painting of a dog on it, face, and some blue spots, cap of hydrant is painted like a fireman's hat.

below: More silliness – a brick wall with a tiny window in what used to be a larger arched window.  Now it’s only big enough for a toilet paper roll.

a brick wall, an old arched window has been bricked in, leaving a small window, in the window is a roll of toilet paper

below: I’ll end this post with a couple of unicorns even though they have nothing to do with fall. But who doesn’t like unicorns? Especially when there’s a bit of awesomeness too.

in a shop window, two toy unicorns, a book about unicorns, and a book about the 100 things about being awesome

Lightup the Laneway Project

below: The largest mural was a collaboration between three artists.  In the middle, Bacon works with blue.

Nick Sweetman painting a mural in a laneway, alley mural

below: Christina Mazzulla working on her ghost fish.

spray painting a mural of a fish swimming in the water

below: And the last artist working on this mural is Nick Sweetman whose narwhal is on the west end.

Nick Sweetman works on a mural of a narwhal

below: Toucan by @ghazaraza (aka Ghazaleh)

mural of a toucan on a garage door

below: Working on her mural, Anya Mielniczek

Anya painting a mural of a woman with wavy white and black hair, yellow face, yellow eyes, she's standing on a ladder

old building in an alley with murals being painted on two sides

below: Completed mural with stencils of elephants around the bottom as well as a note about the precarious state of elephants in Botswana

completed mural by anya mielniczek, woman with yellow skina dn eyes and black and white wavy hair,

below: Spraying on the orange hair in a mural by mck_studio (aka Meaghan Kehoe)

green and ornage mural on a garage door of a large face with frizzy hair, hand is holding a spray paint can and praying towards hair, orange paint orange hair.

below: Autumn painting leaves, a mural by Erin McCluskey

orange woman lying on the ground, holding a paint brush, mural on a garage door
a woman painting a mural on a garage door in an alley

below: Natashia Faustino and her pink cat (tiger?) on “Into the Wild”

painting a mural

below: Melo was the artist who created these organic looking blobs and swirls

mural on a garage door of white, orange, and purple blobs and squiggles

below: Raoul working on his mural

using a long handled brush to paint a mural of a woman's face on a garage door

finished mural of a woman's face, with her eyes closed

below: Making straight edges on his mural, Andre Kan.

spray painting a mural

below:  Flowers surrounding a peaceful woman in blue, a mural by Gosia Komorski

blue lady in profile, head only, with long hair ties up on head in a large braid, surrounded by stylized flowers in a mural in pinks and blues

close up of stylized flowers in a mural in pinks and blues

below: White squirrels on yellows and oranges by Karen Roberts

artist sitting on the ground while painting a mural on a garage door in a lane

below: Al Runt puts some finishing touches on his mural

Runt, street artist, painting a mural

below: The finished mural

mural by Al Runt, coloured creatures. a patchwork dog plays a piano that has walking legs

below: Near/Far by Henry Tyminski

mural that says Near Far

below: More words, this time “It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.”  A quote from the TV show, ‘Mr. Rogers Neighbourhood’ along with a picture of Daniel Striped Tiger, a hand puppet from the same show.

white garage door with blue words that say It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, also a picture of a hand puppet,

 

below: Shafia Shaik working on her mural.  The word GLOW has been cut off.  The finished work was signed as  EWOK project standing for Equity for Women of (K)olour.

spray painting the eye on a mural

rise and shine mural by C. Scaife, looks like neon signs that would be in a restaurant, eggs cooking, hot coffee, bacon and the words rise and shine in cursive writing

below: A mural by muisca.  The finished mural has green leaves and vines on both sides of the face.

mural by muisca on garage door, bright colours, aztec face and head dress

below: Bright lines by Bomi (aka Rodrigo)

painting a mural

Andre Castro painting a mural of multicoloured whale on a garage door in a lane

below: Finished whale by Andre Castro

finished mural of a multicoloured whale on black background

a pink kids' bike parked beside a garage door with a mural, no seat on the bike

below: A second whale, this one is the creation of CTR (aka Christian)

large mural of a many coloured whale swimming on a white garage door in an alley

parrot head on a garage door, mural, done in triangles and other straight edged shapes

below: Cruz1 mural in the foreground

garage doors being painted with street art murals, laneway

mural by cruz 1, green angry face

close up of ugly red face in mural by cruz 1, big blue eye and green mouth with large crooked teeth

below: Slightly abstracted flowers by Chris Perez

Chris Perez mural of red and blue flowers, slightly abstract, on a garage door

below: A wonderful, larger than life loon swims towards the sunset, by Cameron Chalmers.

mural on a garage door of a loon swimming into the sunset

blog: Wild and crazy colours and shapes in a mural by Diana and Ted

a wild mural with bright colours, shapes from nature, watery, and a black background by Ted and Diana

below: Lines and angles all over the place, by Kenny Alexander

lines all over the place, abstract picture, mural

below: Lemon Drop man is waving at you.  Mural by Jieun June Kim

lemon drop character on a pink and purple house with green trees, a mural by Jieun June Kim

below: Choose Kindness and a heart with four eyes!  A mural by monica on the moon (aka Monica Wickeler)

pink heart that is sort of anatomically correct, with words choose kindness around it, mural

below: A mural by Soul partially completed

partially completed mural by artist soul,

below: And, last but not least, two murals by Nixo

mural by nixo on garage door, straight horizontal lines

graphic looking design painted on a garage door in black and yellow with grey lines, by nixo

This project was supported by StreetARToronto

The Gardens of St. Clair is a mural project in an alley behind St. Clair West between Prescott and Blackthorn Avenues, just west of the railway tracks.  There are lots of roses and other flowers as well as butterflies and birds.

the side of a building covered with a mural of flowers and the words St. Clair Gardens

below: A purple pansy and a luminescent insect with a shiny blue body.  The dark green vine motif runs throughout the project.

garage door and sides covered with a mural, a purple pansy, an insect with shiny blue body and narrow wings,

a painting of a rose, very realistic, at the top corner of the side of a building, hydro poles and wires in the background

below: Flowers inside the door too.

green door with window, painting in the window too, surrounded by a mural,

an alley with buildings covered with street art murals, the Gardens of St. Clair project

below: Wunder three times over.

a wall with three large text throw-ups that all say Wunder, as a tribute to Mike Kennedy. Also a bird and a flower, a yellow star

part of a mural, a bird coming into land, wings back, feet forward, body almost upright

large mural in an alley, the head of a blue heron appears above abstract painting and text street art

backs of buildings in laneway with murals on them, one is a large pink flower,

cracking cement on a wall covered with a mural of a pinkish rose, on green background

The plaque on the wall says:
The Gardens of St. Clair
Concept by Mike (Wunder) Kennedy, 1973-2017.
Featuring work by: Bacon, Kane, Rony, Wales, Kwest, Baler, Tensoe2, Flown, Vinse, Whysper, Adore, Miles, Sight, Elwal, Emes, and Nick Sweetman

Skey Lane is near Dundas West and Dovercourt.

below: This is the side of a building in the lane.  Around the corner of the building, the horizontal lines continue and the word Bellwoods is incorporated into it.

black and with horizontal lines form the word Skey in large capital letters, on the side of a building in an alley

below: A fence is in the way which makes taking pictures of this mural a bit difficult but here is the north end of it. Mickey Mouse and his big white gloves is punching Bugs Bunny.  This is the work of Los Angeles artist Matt Dondek  (@gondekdraws) who calls himself a deconstructive popartist.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, mickey mouse with his big white gloves is punching bugs bunny whose mouth is wide open and tongue is out

below:  This is recognizable as being about the Simpsons.  It looks like a character from the Simpsons but which one?  Spikey hair like Maggie’s but in Marge’s colour.  A bit of brown hair like who?    Regardless of who he looks like, he surely represents the Simpsons.  He’s got a partially eaten donut in one hand and although you can’t see it in this pic, he’s got a Duff’s beer in the other.  This was a collaboration between Matt Gondek and Paul Jackson.

Simpsons parody mural by Jackson in a lane, man eating a donut and drinking Duffs beer.

below: The next sections of the wall are Calvin Hobbes themed and was painted by Sadar (@blazeworks) and Cepsr.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, calvin from Calvin and Hobbes cartoon

below: Spaceman Spliff

spaceman spliff in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley

below: An angry (or scheming?) Calvin and devious looking Hobbes with Cepsr written large in between them.

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, calvin and hobbes and some text in between

 in a popart mural by Matt Gondek and Jackson, in an alley, along the wall of one side, mickey mouse, sylvester the cat, spaceman spliff, and calvin and hobbes

close up of the texture and some of the colours in a larger mural, abstract,

two line drawings, one is man's face in profile and the other is a creature with a large head and two legs with word bubble that says I'm human

looking north up Skey Lane to Smoke Signals, a barbecue restaurant on Dundas West, a man is walking by on the sidewalk

graffiti on a garage door, someone has written "pls get better at this" beside the scrawled graffiti

graffiti and paint drips in dark green, a pale pink 4

looking north up Skey lane, text street art on a garage door, a large tree, and shops on Dundas in the distance

The summer of the heat continues into August.  It’s still hot and humid.   But it was also the long August weekend, Simcoe Day or something like that,  so there was lots happening around the city.

I went searching for breezes and I walked on the shady side of the street as much as possible, often as the drops of sweat ran down my back.  A few stops in air conditioned stores (indoor window shopping) and a cold drink break or two made the days bearable.  It helped that, as usual, there was lots to see!

below: Be curious … and stay curious.

on a graffiti covered wall, a stikman picture with the words be curious written across it in white

below: Jumping skate boarders at Dundas and Bathurst

two young men skate boarding, both jumping at the same time, arm in air,

below: Casimir Street mural on Dundas (near Bathurst)

a man cycles past a pale yellow house on Dundas St that has has a bright coloured mural across the bottom of it, text, in blues and pinks

below: Sitting by the pool

a man site on a bench, in silhouette, with an outdoor pool in the background with people sitting around it

below: A shady spot for reading.

a woman sits outside a coffee shop reading a book. the window of the coffee shop is open and there are 4 people sitting inside

below: A front yard full of tall yellow flowers

many tall yellow flowering plants in the front yard of a white house

below: Not everyone has a green thumb.  A rose is still a rose even in death.

outside a window with white window frame, on beige house, a plant pot with dead roses

below: An even sadder window sits behind a metal fence.  Plywood.  Waiting for demolition.

behind a metal fence, an old house with a boarded up window

below:  Sitting in the painted window, Graffiti Alley. It looked like they were filming a music video.  I’m not too sure what they thought of me (I didn’t think that I was disturbing them, long lens used).

graffiti alley, a group is shooting a music video, black man in on window sill lip synching the words while a woman films

below: A quiet spot for a cigarette.

a man with a yellow t shirt sits on a back step in an alley and smokes a cigarette

below: Red hot.

a man leans against the wall in a doorway of a building, the building is all red including the doors

below: An old mattress and head board lean against the side of a house.  Great juxtaposition here as the mural is called ‘Lust’

an old mattress and white head board lean against the wall, outside, of a house that has a large mural painted on it of legs with feet in bright red high heeled shoes

below: Jelly window on Queen West – What is a modern doughnut? Especially one spelled the old fashioned way? The store was closed, so it’s still a mystery.  Beautiful painting on the door.

front window of Jelly, a modern doughnut store on Queen West, small tree in front of it

below: Cycling in the jungle.  I say ‘jungle’ because I see the lion and think “King of the jungle” but lions don’t live in the jungle so maybe I need to rethink that caption.  Cyclist as prey?  Bikes on safari?

a bike is parked beside a mural with a lion on it

below: Prince is now at Kensington Market. A purple Prince.

a poster with the picture of Prince on it, on a pole, up high beside sign saying Kensington Market

below: Graffiti in Kensington. Frowning while watching them fight. Little black figures with rifles. Are they angels that are shooting back or devils?

graffiti, black stencils of men with rifles and angles with rifles, shooting at each other, about 20 to 25 of them on a wall beside a brown frowning face drawn on yellow

below: More violence. What happens when you pull this pin?

small black stencil of a hand grenade on a fence, the top of the grenade is a girl's head in profile, with a ponytail

below: It’s wedding season which mean wedding photo season.  Picture perfect.

a bride adjusts the groom's collar, long white dress with lacey sleeves and veil tied back on the bride. groom is in a blue suit

below: Or maybe even wondering why?  (I hope not!)

a bed of flowers in a garden, red and white begonias. The red flowers make the shape of a question mark. In the background are a bride in a white dress and a groom having their wedding photos taken.

below: Honest graffiti

behind a green hedge is a wall with graffiti on it

below: Blue wall in rectangles of glass.

three two storey houses on a street with a tall building behind with blue windows, mostly glass

below: Missing a black glove anyone? Tucked behind the wire.

a black glove has been left on some wires by a wall with street art on it

below: Lots of wires.

a utility pole with a lot of wires coming out from the top of it in front of a pale grey wall with a window that is reflecting the blue sky

below: Reflections and lots of stuff including the painted lady in the House of Energy, Augusta Avenue.  Life.

window of a store in Kensington market area, mannequin sitting cross legged that has been painted

below:  Death. How many skulls in the window?

skulls and other things in a shop window, with a bike parked outside

below: Lots of smiles

two faces, black line painted on a white background, smiling faces,

I’ll be smiling more once the temperatures cool. I think that it’s been hot long enough that I can complain about it – perhaps even long for winter? How Canadian of me!  In the meantime, as long as there is shade I’ll keep walking (and sweating!).

below: Waiting for the green light.

a group of scantily clad black women wait to cross University Ave

There is no theme to this blog post.  It’s just a description of some of the things that I saw as I walked down Bathurst Street the other day after taking the 512 streetcar to St. Clair West station.   In a lot of ways its like other busy Toronto streets, some houses, a few corner stores, and an alley or two along the way.   A little bit of architecture and a little bit of history round out the story.

At St. Clair West and Bathurst, the northeast corner remains vacant. About four or five years ago there was a gas station and car wash on this corner.  St. Clair West subway station is just to the east, just beyond the trees on the right hand side.

northeast corner of Bathurst and St. Clair West, vacant lot, St. Michaels College in the background as well as a couple of highrise condos.

below: I went looking for an old photo of this corner and this is what I found.  It’s from 1924.  If the streetcar’s destination is Caledonia, then it is going westward.  In 1924, St. Clair was the northern edge of the city and very little development had occurred here.  It is interesting to note that the streetcar tracks came first, then the development.   In addition, I’d love to be able to read the sign about dogs but the resolution of the photo is not good enough.  An ad?  A sign saying no dogs allowed?  Or something else?

vintage black and white photo from 1924 of a streetcar on the St. Clair line stopped at Bathurst to pick up passengers.

below: Of course, no vacant lot remains that way for long.   At the moment, three 30 storey towers joined with a 6 or 7 storey podium has been proposed for the site but it is still in the re-zoning and planning stages.  The light brown building to the left is St. Michael’s College School (boys school).

blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign on a small hill, by some trees, in front of a vacant lot. Highrises in the background

below: New development on the southeast corner of this intersection is almost complete. People have moved into the units above while the finishing touches are put on the lower retail floors. Developments like this are all over the city. Developments that look great (maybe?) on paper but are lackluster and banal at street level.

street level of a new glass and steel building, empty retail space available for lease, just finishing being built

below: As I walked south on Bathurst, this mural caught my eye.

mural in a laneway, painting of many trees with red and yellow sky, dark brown earth, and a few small black figures, some words beside it

Words written beside the mural:
“Long before concrete and steel
Punctuated the landscape
The land was pure and natural
This mural acknowledges and honors 13 trees and 21 medicinal plants that have thrived here since time immemorial.”

The mural was funded by Toronto’s Start program (street art) and Na’Ma’Res Sagatay, a residence for indigenous men that is nearby.

close up of mural, large trees with wavy red and yellow sky, small black figures standing under the trees

I will admit that the main reason that I was walking in this area is because I wanted to check out the new public artwork that I’ve read about at Bathurst and Vaughan.  It is “Three Points Where Two Lines Meet” by Christian Giroux and Daniel Young and apparently there is some controversy about it.

below: For those who don’t know that intersection, it is V-shaped.  This photo shows the approach to  the intersection from the north, on Vaughan.  I took this photo because my first reaction to the scene was “Ugly.  Ugly is what Toronto does”.  From this angle the sculpture gets lost in the visual noise.

sidewalk, lined by tall hydro utility poles, wood, road, some buildings, approaching the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan

Cities have rules and regulations for public art. It needs to be weatherproof and graffiti-proof.  It can’t block the view of drivers and pedestrians.  No sharp edges or structures that people might hurt themselves on – note the two black poles are to prevent people from hitting their heads.

A woman walks past Three Points Where Two Lines meet

From Giroux & Young’s website:  “Taking its form from the orphaned triangular site on which it sits, this artwork produces a new urban room by combining a multicoloured truss structure, the triangular plot of wild grasses it encloses, and an encircling sidewalk thats acts as a podium and plinth. Located between the converging energies of uptown and downtown, the structure densifies an intersection already clotted with utilities and challenges established forms of urbanism and spatial representation in Toronto.”  Think of that what you will.  While you’re thinking, you can check the website for more photos and information.

Three Points Where Tao Lines meet, a public art sculpture in bright colours, metal grid like construction cranes, by Daniel Young and Christian Giroux at the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan.

below: An interesting (unique?) roofline on what turns out to be The Occult Shop.  I made one mistake – I neglected to cross the street to go inside and find out just what one can buy here.

brick building with a large rounded roofline, the bulding is a semi, one half has doors and windows covered with white from the inside, the other is the occult shop

below: These people can still be seen in the space above the doorway at 1358 Bathurst.

the space above a doorway at number 1358 Bathurst is painted with pictures of people (head and shoulders) in shades of brown

Continuing south on Bathurst, as you go downhill towards Davenport Road, there is a retaining wall beside the sidewalk on the west side.  This wall was painted back in October 2013.  The city paid $23,000 to two Brooklyn NY street artists (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, together known as Faile) who designed the mural and in turn paid other artists to paint it.

The mural is quite long and I only have a few pictures of bits and pieces of it.

mural, large blue and white owl, with words in large letters that say no change my heart

mural, large painting of a blond boy sleeping, head on pillow, head and shoulders only

mural, by faile, orange car, woman driver, the word vanity written on the side of the car

below: Apparently Davenport Road is considered to be one of Toronto’s oldest roads.  It follows the base of a ridge and provided a route between the Humber River in the west and the Don River in the east.

toronto historical society plaque for Davenport Road, 1995, description of the history of Davenport Road

below: There is a park on the northwest corner of Bathurst and Davenport, The Tollkeeper’s Park.  The old house, the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, is now a museum run by The Community History Project.  It is open on Saturday afternoons (and some Sundays during the summer)

The Tollkeeper's Park, sign, green space, trees, and an old small wood frame house, now a museum,

below: And across the road is Tollkeeper’s Lane.  There are chairs everywhere in this city not usually as comfy looking as these.

two comfy chairs in an alley withtheir backs agains a grey garage door

below: An old Comet parked in the alley

a yellowish beige Comet car, old, parked behind a house in a lane

below: Tomatoes and other vegetables growing in a front yard.

small front yard packed full of vegetable plants looking very green and healthy

below: A hand, part of an Elicser mural.  This mural, which is on both sides of the railway underpass just north of Dupont, is still there.  Photos can be seen in a blog post from Nov 2014 (Yikes!  Have I been blogging that long?!).

part of a mural, a blue hand horizontal on a wall with some weeds growing in front of it

There are a few remnants of a more industrial past in the area near the railway tracks.

a window consisting of 18 panes of glass, 6 across and 3 down, some have texture and some are clear. the clear ones are reflecting the blue sky and clouds.

old wood door, once painted green but the paint is peeling

below: Another door –  I doubt that it’s open now, or that it ever will be again.

back door of an empty house, window boarded over, door with board nailed across it, open sign in the window, also a sign that says beware of dog

below: These windows, and the house too, probably won’t be here much longer either.

green trim around roof and windows of an old house

below: A very standard row of semi-divided houses; a common sight.  Hundreds (thousands?) of these were built around the city.

a semi divided house on bathurst street, two storey, bay windows on upper floor, porches, stairs to front door

below: And a not so usual semi.

a semi divided house on bathurst street where one side has been rebuilt into a taller square structure

below: A touch of art deco.

two doors side by side with art deco motifs, on a low rise brick building

below: Slight larger houses, with turrets even!  (or is there another name for this architectural element?)

a semi divided house on bathurst street both with small turrets above upper floor bay windows

below: This is part of Coopers Hawk Lane which is just south of Dupont.

buildings and garages in a lane, Coopers Hawk Lane, garage doors have street art on them.

painting of a wooden box with papers in it, pictures of people on the papers

below: In another nearby alley …. a pink cat eating ice cream

two doors in an alley, painted, one in colours, the other in black and white

below: And a gate with a frame, and the laundry beyond.

a chainlink fence and gate in a back yard, laundry hanging out to dry in the yard, brick houses, some green grass

red octagonal stop sign with a sticker on it that says take a breath