Archive for the ‘construction’ Category

I first started walking the streets with a camera sometime in 2011.   At that time Instagram was still a baby; the photo sharing platform of choice at the time was flickr.  Flickr still exists but there are many more choices now.  Back in the day there was a Toronto flickr group that had meetups once a month.  The meetup, there’s another concept that has exploded with the internet.  There are now meetup groups for any photography genre that tickles your fancy.  Ten years ago, you met through flickr and that is how I found Toronto Photo Walks. They walk (or walked pre-COVID) on alternate Saturdays, rain or shine, somewhere in the city.   My first walk with them was February 2012, almost exactly 9 years ago.   If you check their website, you”ll see that COVID-19 has played havoc with their group and there haven’t been any walks for a year now.  I miss my phellow photogs so the other day I walked with one and this is where we ended up.

 

below: If you’ve been in the Distillery District this winter (or any of the past few winters), you might recognize this cheerful fellow.

tall fake snowman with a red and white striped scarf, in the distillery district

below: At Mill and Trinity, the omnipresent blue and white Notice sign.  Apparently a developer has applied to build a 31 storey building (on top of the existing old brick structure) with 392 hotel rooms.  I wonder if they are happy that they didn’t just finish this a year ago?  Ontario hotel occupancy rate hit a low of 15.3% in April 2020 and had barely started to recover when the second lockdown hit.  As an aside – if you like stats, you’ll like the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport research pages!

blue and white city of toronto development notice in front of old brick building in distillery district

below: One industry that is booming is the film business.  Often you can see movie trucks at the corner of Mill and Cherry.  This land is owned by the province and is awaiting an affordable housing development of some sort.

movie film crew trucks on the corner of Cherry and Mill streets

two people buying coffee and muffins from a food truck in a lot with many other white trucks

below: The old Foundry site, actually a group of heritage buildings at the former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue that are more than 100 years old.

glass windows of the old foundry building

The problem?  It sits on provincially owned land.  The province can pull stunts like changing the zoning without city approval (or knowledge).  It can turn one foundry building into 3 towers of max 141m high  (30 storeys is approx. 100m so 141 m is TALL!).  One of them has to be rental apartments but can’t have parking – there’s to be a commercial parking structure instead.  Hey let’s build affordable housing by making them pay for parking!  Here is the government website with the proof – Ontario Regulation 595/20

bench on sidewalk in front of old foundry building

Fast forward to late January.  Demolition of the foundry begins with no warning to the neighbourhood.  There is a rezoning order but no actual plans drawn up or developer named.  As far we know, the province still owns the land but refuses to say exactly the plan is because, well, probably because there is no plan or because the province is selling out to a developer.  Name your poison.   The province just says “affordable housing” and we’re supposed to go oooh and ahhh.

old foundry building behind hoardings, new condo in the background

Just around the corner (on Mill Street) three towers of 761 rental units are being built at the moment (no photo, it’s all behind hoardings so far).

machinery in front of old foundry building that demolition was started on, and then stopped

below: Heritage Toronto plaque, 2012, Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd., Manufacturing Complex

plaque at former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue

These four buildings were once part of a larger Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd. complex. By 1913, the company had constructed its first building, 169 Eastern Ave. on this site. As a manufacturer of railway equipment, rolling stock, and foundry and machinery supplies, Dominion Wheel & Foundries expanded with the growth of the nearby railway companies. By the 1940s, the buildings stretched from this location to Cherry Street, replacing two former residential streets. The firm’s remaining warehouse (#169)m foundry building (#153, built 1951), office building (#171, built 1930), and machine shop (#185, built about 1935) are now among the few remaining reminders of the extensive impact the railway industry had on this area.

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Anyhow, lots of protest, lots of noise.  Demolition was halted.  An Ontario Divisional Court justice temporarily stopped the province from demolishing the heritage buildings.

4 hand drawn posters protesting the demolition of the old foundry building

below: Just behind the Foundry, an almost completed condo.

new condo in Canary district almost finished construction,

below: Workers remove the protective layer from the mirror-like panels on the underside of the overhang (see yellow area near the bottom of the condo in the above photo).  This feature parallels the mirrors on the “ceiling” of Underpass Park which is close by.

workmen working on a lift, working on mirrored exterior overhanging roof on a new condo

flat bed truck carrying machinery, and little red car on street, man holding slow stop sign by construction site , man on sidewalk walking two small dogs

below: Poster paste up graffiti at Underpass Park (you can see the new condo I mentioned above in the upper right corner).  Good advice whether you take it literally or as a metaphor.

poster graffiti on a piller in Underpass Park, poetry on it

black marker scrawl graffiti on a concrete post, drawing of man's face and head with words about smoking

below: Looking northwest at the corner of King and Sumach

corner of kIng and Sumach, looking northwest, Central Auto mechanic on the corner

below: A few metres further west along King.  Traffic passes under Richmond and Adelaide streets.

TTC streetcar on King as it goes under the Richmond Street overpass from the Don Valley Parkway

below:  Looking northwest from Sackville Park.

looking west through Sackville Park, to city buildings behind, snow on ground

below: ghost sign

ghost sign that says groceries, under a cracking layer of concrete, on a wall with a couple of windows

below: Waiting for the streetcar.

King street 504 TTC streetcar, person sitting onrailing and waiting for streetcar

man making a delivery , a box, on a bike, KIng street,

below: Architectural detail on a corner of St. Lawrence Hall.   That’s quite the expression on the poor fellow’s face.  The harrowed look of someone who has spent too much time in lockdown?

small relief sculpture high on a wall of the St. Lawrence Hall

below: In contrast, this guy looks like he’s having a great time!

a small dog is looking out the open window of a black car

Did you ever think that we’d still be mired in this pandemic a year later?

below: A reminder that this pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses –  sign on a window, “Dear Customers”

sign in a restaurant window

Dear customers, We have decided to close this weekend to re-assess for the future…

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below: Lining up to buy groceries, masked and keeping distanced.

people lined up waiting to get into No Frill grocery store, keeping the 2 metres apart

On a storefront window, something positive: hearts for the things we love – “my dog”, “mac & cheese”, “movie popcorn”, etc.

pink post it notes with words, beside big pink heart, in the window of a store, notes all say what people love

below: Pam Lostracco artwork on hoardings.

painted hoardings of a couple sitting on a bench, a child on a bike, some Canada geese, by Pam , around a construction site

workmen by the entrance to a construction site, with concrete mixer backed into the site

below: View of the CN Tower from Lower Sherbourne, just north of Lakeshore/Gardiner and immediately south of Hydro One’s Esplanade Transformer Station.  Unfortunately, that is not a public path; it is behind a locked gate.

graffiti on the wall around the hydro substation, lots electrical stuff, with CN Tower and downtown buildings in the background

below: Chairs in the median.

two chairs in the median on the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner at Lower Sherbourne

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking west towards downtown.

looking west on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne, construction,

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking east towards the old Victory Soya Mills Silos.  They were built for Canadian Breweries’ soya bean processing plant in 1944.  Ten years later the site was sold to Proctor and Gamble who renamed them the Victory Soya Mills Silos.   One last change of ownership occurred in 1980 when Central Soya Mills purchased them.   They have been empty since 1991.  Other buildings on the site have been demolished but the silos remain, now a heritage building but surrounded by a large vacant lot.

looking east on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne with old concrete silos in the distance, lots of orange and black traffic cones in the middle of the street in the foreground

below: The mill with its three silos before it closed in the early 1990s.  The silo that still stands is the one in the back, not the two closest to the water.   In this picture, you are looking southeast; the Port Lands are in the background and the Cherry Street bridge is on the left at the very edge.  There isn’t much traffic on the Gardiner Expressway!

old colour photograph of Victory Soya Mills with Port Lands behind

below: Sugar Beach

sugar beach with pink umbrellas, looking northwest to the city, new glass highrise beside redpath sugar

black and white sticker graffiti on a pole

sticker graffiti on a pole

My thanks to Vicki for walking with me that day.  We’ve walked many miles together in the past but I don’t think that we’ve ever walked alone (maybe?)

reflections in a window downtown

below: As an aside, after walking with Vicki, I looped back around to my car.  This construction site is on Adelaide where the brick facade of the old building is being preserved.   More to explore another day!

construction site, Adelaide street, new condo building, but with retention of the old facade

A cold and frosty afternoon walk westward along a windy Queens Quay to Harbourfront with a detour to Union Station to warm up.  It was below zero, but only single digits so it can’t be that bad, right?

below: New construction, Lower Jarvis at Queens Quay East, beside Sugar Beach

new building being built at Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay, beside Sugar Beach

below: Redpath Sugar on Queens Quay East

redpath sugar processing plant on Queens Quay in Toronto

below: “Whaling Wall”, 1997, on the side of Redpath Sugar, one in a series of 100 murals painted by Robert Wyland that feature whales and other seal life.

whale mural on the side of Redpath sugar warehouse

below: Looking north up Yonge Street from Queens Quay

looking north up Yonge street from Queens Quay, tall buildings, not much traffic, a TTC bus,

below: Ice just beginning to form on the water.  Although it’s almost February, Lake Ontario remains unfrozen – at least up until last Thursday when this picture was taken.  That was also the coldest day of the winter that we’ve had so far.  A lot more of the harbour, and lake, should be frozen now!

ice starting to form in harbour where the Toronto island ferry is docked

below: Looking north up Bay Street from Queens Quay

below: Lakeshore & Gardiner at Bay Street.

below: There’s a new walkway over Bay Street that joins Union Station and the GO bus terminal.

below: Looking south from the new walkway.  On the right is the old postal sorting station, then Air Canada Centre, and now totally rebranded as the Scotiabank Arena.

below: It also offers new views into windows!

looking into window of MLSE entertainment, from above,

below: Towards the new GO Terminal.  When I wandered through it was just me and two security guards.

below: The first of these that I have seen, inside the new GO bus terminal.

vending machine selling disposable masks for two dollars each

below: The old GO Terminal

below: It was very quiet in front of Union Station, especially subdued for late on a weekday afternoon.

below: Remembering the 2019 Raptors team.

street sign for Brmener Bl that has been turned into Raptors way to celebrate their 2019 NBA championship. The sin is red and white inside of the usual blue and white

below: York Street at Bremner, with the base of the CN Tower peaking through.

below: Looking into the lobby of a new building at 10 York Street, designed by Brad Golden & Co.

looking into the lobby of a condo building, through a large glass wall, some art inside including a large wall panel that looks like crinkled shiney gold paper, some reflections,

below: “Iceberg” in Canada Square, with the CN Tower in the background. This sculpture, that you can walk through, also has sound and lights.  The latter would probably be better seen a little later in the day!

metal sculpture called Iceberg in Canada Square with the CN Tower in the background

below: Dewit L. Petros, “Untitled (Overlapping and intertwined territories that fall from view III)”, on the south wall of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.  This was part of the 2020 Contact Photography Festival.

large photograph by Dewit Petros on the south wall exterior of the power plant contemporary art gallery

below: “Sonic Runway” a light-art installation on the waterfront created by Warren Trezevant and Rob Jensen.

rings with a pinkish colour surround a walkway, a woman is walking through them, on the waterfront, a boat is docked beside the walkway

And then home to warm up again!

people standing on the cherry street bridge taking pictures of the new bridge

The latest attraction is the new Cherry Street bridge pictured here just after its arrival by barge from Nova Scotia where it was manufactured by Cherubini Group.   It’s a shiny white steel bridge with a red racing stripe.  It is 57 metres long and wide enough to carry LRT tracks and a pedestrian walkway.  Another identical bridge to go beside it for road traffic comes later.

new Cherry street bridge on a barge in the Keating channel, just arrived from Nova Scotia, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance

construction ahead sign off to the side beside a chainlink fence with weeds growing behind it, afternoon sun is shining through fence

below: Digging up the city. Sometimes it seems like we are living in one big construction zone.

in the foreground, a red digger digs soil in the port lands, the CN Tower and toronto skyline in the distance

Cherry street in the midst of construction

The bridge is not the only “sight” at the Port Lands.  There is also a photography exhibit of pictures taken of the buildings before they were demolished.  ‘Framework’ by Vid Ingelevis and Ryan Walker.  This is part of the CONTACT Photography Festival that was originally scheduled for May.

below: Interior, 130 Commissioners Street (Coopers Iron and Metal, an old metal recycling facility).  The photograph is mounted on the roll-up door of one of the ESSROC cement plant silos –  now a heritage site.

large photo of an empty old warehouse mounted on an exterior metal door

below: Cleaning the streets.  The ESSROC silos dominate the streetscape here on Cherry Street (looking north towards the condos in the Distillery District).

three tall silos that were part of essroc cement plant, now a heritage site in the port lands, a street cleaner is parked on the road, two condo towers in the distillery district can be seen in the background

below: The back of one of the few remaining buildings as seen from Cherry Street.   It fronts onto Munitions Street.

back of an empty building, vacant lot behind, graffiti on walls

below: Cherry Street bascule bridge in the upright position.   Most of the Framework exhibit is down the center of Villiers Street on top of the remains of the old railway line. There are five panels like this one, each with a picture on both sides.

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

below: Most of the Port Lands redevelopment is occurring behind fences.

a wire gate on wheels in front of a construction site

piles of dirt, film studio, hydro wires,

below: A very large spike!

giant spike sticking out of an old piece of wood,dirty, on ground, in construction zone

hydro poles and wires in the distance, piles of dirt in the foreground

below: 130 Commissioners Street, September 2019

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

below: Abandoned gas station with its rusting gas pump.

old gas pump at now abandoned marine gas station beside the Keating channel, Gardiner Expressway, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance

below: 99 Commissioners Street, July 2019

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

an old round rusty Viking brand sprinkler alarm on the outside of a building

corrugated metal cladding on a building with a window and an old rusty sign with graffiti on it

below: 97 Commissioners Street, August 2019

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

below: Commissioners Street closed to traffic.

road closed sign in the middle of the street, commissioners street in the port lands

Commissioners street construction in the port lands

below: Control room, Cherry Street bridge, July 2019

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

a bike leaning against a tree, the Keating channel behind it, as well as Port Lands construction.

a window with on old rusty metal grille covering it, and a white bucket hanging by a chain

below: 130 Commissioners Street, September 2019

large photo being displayed outside at Port Lands, part of Framework exhibit by Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker

draped black fabric forms a fence at a construction site, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance

a vine with dried berries and leaves grows on a barbed wire fence

below: An old Urban ninja squadron sticker on a TTC bus stop sign

an old urban ninja squadron tbonez sticker on a ttc pole

below: Dump truck on Villiers Street

dump truck on road in Port Lands, construction

a tree with crooked branches in front of an Ellis Don blue fence around Port Lands construction site, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance

Later: Just before sunset, the new bridge in the Keating Channel.  It has since been rotated ninety degrees into the proper alignment for the new segment of Cherry Street.   This job was made it easy by the fact that the bridge was mounted on a large turntable on the barge.  It now has to be welded into place.   The old bastule (lift) bridge now in place is slated for demolition in late 2021.

cherry street bridge and portlands from above

‘Framework’ will be on display until August 2021.

Except it’s not a real church.
It’s part of a film/movie set on a studio lot. The unusual part is that it is right on Eastern Avenue in full view of passers-by.  I’m not sure what production it’s for but maybe keep your eyes open in the coming months!

the shell of a ground floor of a brick church with a brick and stone porticao front entrance, fake glass for stained glass window, workmen still constructing it, a film set,

a woman pushing a stroller and holding a cup of coffee, walks past the shell of a ground floor of a brick church with a brick and stone porticao front entrance, fake glass for stained glass window, workmen still constructing it, a film set, being built right beside the sidewalk

Along came September and right away we’re into fall weather.  I offer this post as reminder of warmer days not so long ago…..

below: Cherry Beach on a sunny August afternoon – keeping our distances

people on Cherry beach on a hot summer day, some walking, some lying or sitting on the sand

The unicorn days of summer

a verylarge inflatable white unicorn with pink and yellow mane and tail, floatie, on the beach with Lake Ontario behind it

a woman sits on the sand at Cherry Beach, under a tree, with bike parked against the tree

below: Apples.  I like finding apple trees in unexpected places like behind Cherry Beach.

apple tree

below: One of the many little boat and sailing clubs east of Cherry Beach.

wide chain link gate leading to a small boat club. Sailboats on the land, water in the background, lots of greenery

below: An older building on Polson Street that remains.

old brick building

below: A temporary stage was set up on Polson Street across the street from The Rebel nightclub and concert venue.

green covering on fence surrounding a temporary outdoor stage and theater. A man stands beside a bike, trying to look through gaps in the fence

two people sitting on the ground looking at their phones in the foreground, fence between them and a singer rehearsing on a stage behind them

a collection of orange bollards for traffic, sitting beside the road and driveway leading to a parking lot. Parking lot booth in the background, empty

below:  Every time I walk in the Port Lands, it’s a little different.  One constant is the many acres that remain behind barriers.

blue vinyl on hoardings around a construction site with six large orange and black traffic cones in front

below: A fire breathing monster?

shadows of a fence and a pubble in the shape of a monster with its mouth wide open, beside a construction site inthe port lands

below: Cherry Street sidewalk is blocked (at T ‘N T)

danger due to sign on a metal fence surrounding construction site which includes the sidewalk, Toronto skyline in the distance

below: All that remains of the T ‘N T Supermarket is the front entrance.   The rest of the store has been demolished.  A river will flow here one day.

construction site, Lafarge cement silos in the background, all that remains of the T N T supermarket is the front entrance

below: Rowing down Cherry Street

large painting on hoardings of a blue stripe on the bottom representing water of Lake Ontario and a small red boat

below: On Villiers Street

rusty chain holds a gate closed on chainlink fence, vacant lot behind

below: Most of the storage tanks are gone and all the gates are locked.

below: A quiet place to sit, outside Humipan’s

old building, one storey, with rusty metal bars on the windows, turquoise picnic tables outside,

below: Accepted?  Shouldn’t it be bikes excepted?

black and white arrow direction signs traffic signs, right lane turns right and left lane turns left. Also sign that says bike accepted.

a man dressed in yellow plaid shorts and shirt stands on a corner

Stay you!

and red and white danger due to sign, danger due to covid-19

below:  He may be sitting on the bench but this hockey player is prepared.  He’s practicing social distancing and he’s got his mask on just in case.  He’s also a reminder that the NHL playoffs for the 2019-20 season are being played in a bubble here in Toronto at the moment… but the Maple Leafs didn’t make the cut.  After having to take a few months off because of Covid-19, the NHL scheduled the playoffs in only two cities, Toronto and Edmonton.  Games started at the beginning of August and are scheduled to finish the first week of October.   There is talk that maybe the 2020-21 season can begin after that but like everything else these days, who knows.

a metal statue of a hockey player in Toronto Maple Leaf blue sits on a bench outside a gallery, wearing a covid face mask, as a man walks past

below: ‘Love Negotiation’ on Scollard Street by Gillie and Marc.  Dogman and Rabbitgirl share a few minutes over coffee.   They too are outside are are socially distanced… or perhaps they have been isolating together are have escaped their tiny downtown condo for a bit of fresh air.  ” Rabbitgirl and Dogman invite the world to sit with them symbolically at their Table and take the first step to understanding and loving each other. The sculpture is where we sit, discuss, and solve problems. The world has reached a crisis where our differences are causing hatred and division.”

 

male dog in blue and female rabbit in red sitting face to face at a table with coffee, sculpture on Scollard street

sculpture on Scollard street, a dog in blue, sits at a table with a cup of coffee in his hands

below: The William Sexton houses on the NE corner of Bay & Scollard are being preserved and incorporated into a condo development.  They were built by Sexton in 1890 in a style similar to the Queen Ann Revival style.  Although it looks like one large brick house, it is actually a row of 4 houses.  In 1974 they were added to Toronto’s Heritage Register.  That was also the last year that all four were used as residences.

Bay and Scollard, old building boarded up with new construction behind

below: A slightly fuzzy 1974 photo of William Sexton houses.

photo from 1974 of William Sexton houses at the corner of Bay Street and Scollard in Yorkville, 4 row houses that together look like one large brick house

windows on the west side of William Sexton houses on Bay street, white paint is peeling to reveal brick below, rounded tops of window frames in black trim

below: Another hole in the ground.  I liked the bits of orange and black hanging around.

orange and black shreds of plastic along the edge of construction hole in the ground

below: Reflections of the clock tower on the Yorkville Firehall, the oldest firehall in the city, in one of the newer glass walls across the street.

reflections of Yorkville clock tower in the glass condo across the street

Yorkville fire hall clock tower and flags

below: Looking east on Yorkville Ave towards Yonge Street and the large Toronto Reference Library.

the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith as seen from the west along Yorkville Ave

below: The Starbucks on Yonge Street just north of Bloor is now closed.  The sign in the window says “thanks for your loyalty over the past 20 years.”  For those of us who still remember Albert Britnell’s book store at that location it is a bit of a shock to realize that 20 years has past.

people in front of a closed Starbucks on Yonge street

below: Yonge Street at Hayden

some of the stores on Yonge at Hayden

below: looking northwest from Charles Street on the east side of Yonge.  The older black and grey building is the CIBC tower on the NW corner of Yonge & Bloor.  The cranes are working on the SW corner of that intersection.

backs of buildings on Yonge and Hayden, plus construction, looking northwest

below: Condo construction at the southwest corner of Yonge & bloor continues.

a man wearing a covid face mask walks past a construction site at Yonge and Bloor, black and white construction photos on the hoardings, old brick building in the background as well as a newer apartment building

reflections in a store window, legs of mannequins in cut off jeans, white cars traffic on the street

a workman sits outside beside hoardings on Bloor street in front of Holt Renfrew

below: One of the entrances to the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street.   It was decorated in flowers as part of a Fleurs de Villes event.

one of the glass entrances to the ManuLife center on Bloor street, decorated with flowers

below: Inside the Manulife Centre there were many mannequins decorated with flowers

mannequin in green and pink dress and pink hat, pinks are made of roses and she is holding a bottle of rose wine from the LCBO

a mannequin decorated with flowers stands at the bottom of an escalator at the Manu Life center, as part of Fleurs de Villes project

As the summer winds down but the covid lingers on, stay safe and stay sane

a white wall with an orange stripe on which graffiti words are written, coronavius and lime disease go great together, a play on corona beer and lime

Yesterday’s meandering walk around a neighbourhood was a loop from Bathurst subway station.

below: So happy to see this pair yesterday! When I was walking down Yonge street a few days ago, they passed me and I didn’t notice until they were out of camera range.

large shaggy brown dog sitting in a motorcycle sidecar, wearing sunglasses

You can’t talk about Bloor and Bathurst without mentioning the redevelopment of Mirvish Village.

construction site

two cranes at a construction site

below: Purple door

purple door in an alley, between two garage doors

below: Pale blue door

light blue door with peeling paint, beside wall with old red tar paper shingles

below: Pink, well probably faded red, door – and yes, it became a game of how many different coloured doors could I find.   It looks too small doesn’t it?

faded red, now pink, door on a white house, dirty and greyish stucco on the exterior, small bit of grass in front, one way sign on the utility pole in front of the house.

below: Dobgoblin and drawings on the greenish door.

seafoam green colour garage door with graffiti drawings of people, dobgoblin,

below: Anchored vs held down?

graffiti on a brown garage door, picture of an anchor along with words don't hold me down

below: Chalk heart

graffiti on a brown garage door, chalk heart in pink and yellow with orange word hello written beside it

below: Chalkboard philosophy, I think, I can’t be certain though. Maybe the gnomes know.

two small gnomes stand beside a chalkboard on a porch with words on it that say

below: It’s still Covid-19 time, still line-ups in the grocery store

Fiesta Foods grocery store on Christie Street, with line up of people waiting to get in

below: The Green Beanery coffee shop at Bloor and Bathurst is now permanently closed.  What I have missed most these past few weeks is discovering little coffee shops to stop at as I walk.

looking in window of Green Bean coffee shop that is now empty, reflections of photographer as well as people walking on the street

below: A riot of magnolia blossoms just about to be in full bloom

magnolia tree in front of some houses with magnolias about to be in full blossom

below: The sign has become not a running stop

stop sign in front a large tree just beginning to bud in spring, words added to stop sign so it now says not a running stop

below: Christie and Garnet

Christie street, looking north at Garnet Ave.,

below: Perly Family Lane with its painted garage doors.  For more pictures of the garages, see my blog post from 2016.

alley, PerlyFamilyLane, with painted garage doors.

below: Old and new side by side

back of a semi divided house, older asphalt shingles on exterior of the one on the left while on right has been renovated in light grey with new large window on ground floor

below: And nearby, short and tall

a semi divided house where the one on the right has added a third floor

below: Small house, large yard

very small beige house with one window in the front, large grassy front yard, between two largeer houses that are closer to the street

below: A large and impressive sycamore tree reaching up to grab the sky.

semi divided house with large sycamore tree in front of it

below: Basketball in the alley

alley, laneway with a basketball net ready

below: An old Pontiac Parisienne with its rear bumper on the ground.  It seems to have its own lot.   Parisiennes were produced through the 1960s and 1970s ans then well into the 1980s.   Would a car maker today call a car model a Parisienne?

old blue car, Pontiac Parisienne, with its back bumper on the ground, parked off the street between two houses

below: A white picket fence.  Is there something nostalgic or sentimental about a white picket fence?  Or is that only if you’re “of a certain age”?  Why did it become a symbol of middle class suburbia?

white picket fence along the side of a beige house with two large trees in yard, a door with newer wood porch and steps

below: Keeping an eye on the street

a ceramic ornament on top of a red tiled roof, animal, Chinese,

I came across the garage belonging to Albino Carreira that I saw, and blogged about, back in 2016.  He has added more shells, beads, and small objects.

front of decorated garage, shells, wood pieces, found objects,

below: Side of the garage

red side wall of garage decorated
a collection of shells used in decorating the exterior surface of a garage, also a small blue toy bear and some silver beads with a picture of the Greek flag

objects attached to a red wall, the exterior of a garage, plastic butterflies, beads, shells, and a small grey metal artwork that looks like a man emerging from a grey wall

below: As a bonus, there was a brief encounter with this van – complete with a wave.

side of van covered with shells and small toys, driver is waving from partially lowered window

back of van covered with shells and small toys

below: Before I go, one last door.  This time it’s mottled brown as there is some creamy orangey colour being revealed as the brown peels away.

back of a house, silver car parked, patio stone walkway to back door. screen door as well as old mottled brown and beige door, small stairs to back porchwhere there is a white chair

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

  Most people are still staying home or at least close to home.  You’re still not going to see many people in my photos because I am still avoiding them, still walking in quieter places.  Sometimes those places happen to be streets that once upon a time (only a month ago?) were busy.

below: An empty parking lot.

brick wall of a building beside a parking lot, with sign saying reserved parking

below: A very quiet Broadview subway station.

Broadview subway station, west side,

below: A very tall and lanky animal on a pole.  It’s missing a leg or two.

long narrow shapes made of wood and painted blue an red and attached to wood utility pole

line of houses on a street by Broadview subway station, very tall trees with no leaves, semis, one is painted red

below: The TTC streetcar tracks in the middle of being replaced, on Broadview just south of Danforth.

a red truck in the middle of Broadview Ave as TTC streetcar tracks are being removed, lots of dust.

below: More TTC construction, this time another access to Chester station is being built.

fence in front of construction site at Chester subway station, sign with arrow pointing way for pedestrians

below: After a month of no shopping except for food and even no window shopping, this bright red telephone caught me eye as I walked past.   Salt and pepper shakers in a store window: Flamingoes, pink swans, penguins, cats, monkeys, and little yellow chicks – cute ones and funny ones like the hot dogs, as well as political ones like Trump and his North Korean counterpart.

looking in a store window, bright red rotary phone and a display of different types of salt and pepper shakers in differernt shapes - flamingoes, monkeys,

below: Inspired to do stuff?  I think I identify more with the mug beside these days.

mugs with cat theme pictures on them, on shelves, in window of a store

below: A Covid-19 message from the Danforth Music Hall – “Please take care of each other”.

front of Danforth Music Hall on the Danforth

below: Posters reminding people to share smiles and kindness

posters on a sidewalk bulletin board,

below: An electric sign outside Eastend United Church invites people to join their Sunday services on Facebook.

electronic sign on church saying worship with up on facebook

below: The mannequins had the most stylish face masks.

mannequins with metal stovepipe as neck and head, wearing covid face masks, one is black and white pattern with big red lips

Words scrawled on the side of a concrete block garage in an alley that say Macedonia is Greek

text graffiti in yellow on green wood fence, plywood, peeling paint, faded,

below: Beware of rabbit.

backs of houses and a garage in an alley, graffiti on garage says beware of rabbits

below: A hummingbird is painted on the pillar.

street art of a hummingbird on a pillar, with red flower

bright red gate between two buildings, 2 mailboxes on the gate, one white and the other a brass colour. Brass mailbox is 735

in an alley, the back of houses

a house, semi-divided, two storey, porch, rounded lines on the porch railing,

below: Takeout with distancing – a story that is repeated all over the city as restaurants try to stay afloat.

signs and posters on a glass door, entrance to restaurant

below: Social distancing leads to line ups outside Tims

line up outside Tim Hortons, social distancing for Covid

below: “See you after the curve flattens”

a sign on the glass door of a store selling old lights and lamps that says

front yard and porch of a house, walkway is concrete slabs that are uneven, pine bush on grass, metal railing on porch, small garden in front of porch

back of a small white building, store, in an alley, small porch on upper door with exterior stairs up to it
building beside a parking lot with three cars parked there, white car, blue car and red car

orange and black traffic cones and a lane closed, orange sign with black arrow telling traffic to move to the right

There’s a video on the internet of a kangaroo hopping down the street in deserted downtown Adelaide Australia and there are photos of other animals that have taken to roaming urban streets now that many people are staying at home.   I thought of these things as I drove downtown today.  Not because I saw animals.  Not because the streets were quiet and empty.  No, instead I wanted to compare these animal sightings to the proliferation of orange and black traffic cones as well as dump trucks and other machinery.  It seems like the city has taken this time to block more lanes for construction than usual – I may be imagining things but I doubt it.

below: Driving east on Adelaide

looking east on Adelaide

below: Demolition on Jarvis

partial demolition of an old house on Jarvis street, facade is left standing, no glass in the windows, can see other high rise downtown buildings through the window holes

below: Maud Street

workman with stop sign directing traffic in front of a construction site

below: Lombard Street

street, downtown Toronto, with traffic cones

below: I think that they are looking at me but how can I be sure?

paper paste up graffiti of faces and eyes by Jeremy Lynch on metal boxes on the sidewalk, with construction workmen in the background

My destination this morning was Graffiti Alley.  There were no tourists there today but there were trucks blocking the alley.  More construction nonsense.

a large semi truck is parked in Graffiti Alley and is taking up the whole width of the lane

below: In fact there were two trucks

a large white truck is parked in the narrow Graffiti Alley totally blocking it

construction site on Richmond street backing onto Graffiti Alley with lots of walls covered with street art and murals

below: A new Nick Sweetman mural – a purple rhinoceros

Nick Sweetman mural of a rhinoceros

below: This mural is not new but it is the first time that I have seen it with no cars parked beside it.

large mural by globe, smoky, and done of a bird house on purple background with green tag text

below: Graffiti Alley now tests positive for the novel coronavirus, the green variety.

part of a mural in Graffiti Alley, a silver tag with a green corona virus with open mouth, white teeth and yellow eyes

chainlink fence in front of a backyard with a bit of green grass, white building with a bright blue door

a person waiting beside a bus shelter on Queen West, seen from the back including reflections in the glass of the shelter

below: KFC sits empty.   That’s not a coronavirus victim – it was empty before we all started staying home.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Queen Street west

below: A message from 525 and 523, Stay Safe!  (actually it’s from T-bonez).

wall and doors to numbers 533 and 535 covered with street art including an urabn ninja squadron character with a face mask on with the words stay safe

Stay safe and
stay healthy!