Archive for the ‘construction’ 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

 

November came in with a gust of grey and dampness.  So when the sun breaks through for a while it’s time to grab a coat and a camera and get walking even if it wasn’t you planned to do that day.

below: The cube house at the bottom of Sumach Street is still with us. It was for sale early in 2017.  At that time, March 2017, BlogTO published an article about this building that starts with this description: “Based on Dutch architect Piet Blom’s complex of Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, the UniTri structure dates back to 1996”.  It was sold in May 2018 for almost three million dollars.

1 Sumach Street, a building made of three green cubes on point on a white pedestal, 3 apartments.

below: No idea is original.  Seen under Richmond/Adelaide Streets.

a painting on a concrete pillar of an overpass, words, No idea is original there's nothing new under the sun, it's never what you do but how you do it.

below: This guy holding his hands in front of him and wearing a red wizard cap still adorns the corner of the Magic Building on Sumach.  He’s just one of a number of wizards you’ll find there.

a painting of a man with hands folded in front, and wizard cap on, on the exterior corner of a building

below: This was the scene of a large fire back in April 2018.  Three buildings were damaged with the one in the middle being beyond repair. It is now gone.  It’s been a long, slow recovery.

an empty bus shelter on Queen East, behind it is a vacant lot where a building had been destroyed by fire, to the left is a green building with bottom floor window boarded up and a sold sign on it. To the right is an old brick building

below: Another building gone.  This one by choice.

a new three storyhouse on the corner, a vacant lot beside it with blue covering as a new home is being built, other houses down the street after that

below: Colourful porch details.

a front porch painted in red and the steps in red and white stripes, wrought iron railing has parts painted white

below: A photo to document this part of Queen Street East because whether it’s in 2 years or 20, there will be changes.

Queen Stree East at Trefann, looking west along the north side of Queen, two story brick storefronts with apartments above, old brick buildings

variet and convenience store painted bright yellow, white metal grill covers window, lots of signs in and around the window in red letters

Amedae spice market store painted yellow with red trim on doors and windows, a large tree grows in front of the store.

a white BMW vehicle with no front licence plate parked in front of a small old building covered with signs that say we fix computers, cell phones and wireless solutions, etc

refelctions of autumnleaves and other buildings in a corner window of a rug store

two men walk past on the sidewalk

architectural details on old buildings on Queen Street East

Seaton Butcher shop exterioe, old brick building, red trim, Queen Street East

below:  A row of old brick houses at 79 through 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently destroyed some of the the upper levels and roofs.

 

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: The buildings are empty and boarded up.  This is the southeast corner of Shuter & Mutual.

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: There is a development proposal notice on the buildings. The proposed plan saves the old houses and shows a tall glass building built behind and above them.

development proposal sign on side of yellowish brown brick building that is empty and boarded up.

below: That’s a big drill!

a large drill bit on the end of a piece of construction equipment that's parked in a vacant lot beside a beige building

below: Shuter Street at Church.

looking west on Shuter street at Church, St. Mikes hospital, construction at the NE corner of Shuter & Church, mural by parking lot

below: Looking north on Church Street towards the new buildings that are part of Ryerson University’s expansion.

looking north up Church Street from Shuter towards Ryerson University

below: Steeple, St. Michaels Cathedral

steeple of St. Michaels cathedral

below: Looking west on Dundas towards Victoria Street and Yonge Dundas Square. The cylinder structure is part of the CityTV building.  The outer layer is wire mesh.

 

looking west on Dundas Street towards Victoria Street, large cylinder structure above the street at City News building, TTC streetcar turn with walkway above it, billboards of Yonge Dundas square behind it

A grey day. The kind of day that when it starts to rain you head to a subway station, only to have the rain stop before you get there. So you walk more. Then it rains again so you buy an umbrella and minutes later the rain stops. So you walk more.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

a shoe store, a massage parlour, and a convenience store, on the southwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind

below: Northwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

northwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind - Not Just noodles restaurant

below: Marks left behind, traces of lives once lived there.

on the side of a brick house, two storey, Victorian, the remains of marks left behind on a house that was demolished, new development going up beside it

below: Do you think that there will ever be a time when we can walk downtown without encountering construction zones?

two orange signs saying sidewalk closed, and arrows, barriers on street to form a passage for pedestrians on the street, two people walking by

below: If it’s a gaggle of geese or a parliament of owls, what’s a group of cement trucks?

five or six cement trucks parked on a side street

reflections in glass windows downtown

a sign stenciled beside a doorway that says Anything can b iced. Window beside it, with a woman sitting inside by the window

below: A new large mural by birdo at Dundas & McCaul

Dundas street, near McCaul, coffee shop and artist supply store, with a large mural by birdo above it

below: Same mural, different angle

the corner of Dundas and McCaul with a large mural by birdo looking over it

below: “Keep going” at the Children’s Healing Garden outside Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue.

chalk writing on a low concrete wall in a small park that says keep going

below: You can do anything

chalk words on a concrete path in a park that say you can do anything

below: A large hole on University Ave

construction site, hole in the ground, a digger in the hole, one wall of the hole is a light orange colour. The Duke of Cornwall pub is on the other side of the street across from the hole

below:  There was a Dragon Festival at Nathan Phillips Square this past weekend.

arches over the pool at Nathan Phillips square with old city hall behind, and a red and gold dragon head (very large) on display for dragon festival

below: Friday was a rather quiet day at the festival, probably because of the weather.

large and colourful inflatable dragon in front of city hall, at Nathan Phillips square, for dragon festival
below: But there was lots of different food available including skewers of octopus

pieces of octopus on skewers, ready to cook

below:   There were also these fried potato spirals on sticks that are available at every festival and street function.

potato spirals, fried and on sticks, looking a pilie of them from the end

below: Hot dog vendor on Queen Street

hot dog and sausage vendor on Queen street, woman under umbrella buying something, woman working inside the booth, a man sitting behind, many signs advertising their food

view down a lane with large buildings on both sides

below: Snowmen?  This is “Born and Raised” designed by Studio How-to-See.

sculptures on sidewalk, snowmen, beside a new condo, one snowman has lost its head

below: The tallest snowman is 5 “snowballs” high, or 17 feet tall.    Oh no! The snowman in the middle has lost its head.  What would Olaf say?

tall snowman sculpture on sidewalk beside glass and steel condo, with people walking past

below:  Of course early September means TIFF.  King Street West closed and many people were walking or hanging out there trying their hand at celebrity spotting.  We are all groupies during TIFF.

two young people working in a red booth for bubly drinks, both smiling and one is giving a thumbs up

below: I wouldn’t know a famous actor or director, or anything like that, if they came up to talk to me.    My attempts to follow the crowd to get celebrity pics weren’t very successful. This is the kind of photo that I ended up with –  The eye belongs someone called Jason who is taking a selfie with a father and daughter.    I didn’t linger long on King Street.

someone is talking a selfie with a girl in a green jacket who is being held up by her father, a pro photographer is also taking their picture

below: Having King Street closed didn’t help the traffic on nearby streets.  Mind you, this is normal for Toronto especially around rush hour.  Stand at any intersection downtown and you’ll find many instances where cars block traffic when the traffic lights change.

a man walks his bike across the street, between cars who are blocking traffic, also a woman with an umbrella gets ready to start across the street too

below:  The driver knew I was there taking pictures.  It didn’t make much difference.

a woman crosses the street on a green light, traffic is jammed because a car has got stuck in the intersection on a red light

a young black woman with pink dreadlocks and a lot of rings on her fingers is on her phone as she passes by, in the background is a couple standing on the sidewalk having a conversation, the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers

below: Paste ups on Richmond Street.   I find these mesmerizing.  I love the positioning of the eye and the way that it is staring at you .

2 paper paste ups on a wall, both are the same, in grey tones, the lower part of a face with one eye beside it

below: And my last stop that day, a quiet charcoal drawing by Olexander Wlasenko at the Arbozzo Gallery at 410 Richmond Street.

a charcoal drawing of a woman by Olexander Wlasenko on the wall of an art gallery

Now, all that’s left is the pink umbrella that I bought, still unused.

One part of the city that has changed immensely over the past few years is the area near Spadina and Front streets.  I was in the area last night and had a few moments to spare so I thought that I would take a look at what’s there now.

below: Waiting for the 510 streetcar

back end of a new TTC streetcar, at a stop on Spadina, people waiting, a man is on his phone as he waits, condo behind

below: Looking south on Spadina approaching Front Street.

looking south on Spadina near Front, streetcar stop and shelters in the middle of Spadina, some people waiting for streetcars, 2 small trees, tall condos in the background

below: Many cranes working at the site of the old Globe & Mail buildings on the north side of Front Street, just west of Spadina.

3 cranes at construction site on Front Street where Globe and Mail used to be

below: Intersection of Spadina & Front, looking southwest

looking southwest at intersection of Spadina and Front, condos

below: Looking west from Spadina as it crosses the railway tracks.

yellow metal pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks, looking from Spadina bridge, condos in the background, lots of tracks, no train

below: City Place, south of the tracks.  Red sculpture is ‘Flower Power’ by Mark di Savero.

red sculpture in front of condo buildings

below: On the south side of the railway tracks, east side of Spadina, part of Northern Linear Park.

trees in a small park along the side of the railway tracks, condos behind

below: There is still a parking lot on the northeast corner of this intersection. This image is the view across the parking lot to City Place.

looking across parking lot at north east corner of Spadina and Front towards the traffic and lights at the intersection, billboard, people

below: Reflections in the clear and green glass of a new building on Front Street, just east of Spadina

reflections in clear and green glass

below: Waiting for the light to change

a young man sits on his bike and checks his phone while waiting at an intersection for the traffic lights to change

below: And once we started walking across the intersection, I loved how her skirt moved as she walked.

a woman's long red skirt moves as she walks across the street

a food truck

Work on the Port Land redevelopment continues.  The area is changing fast enough that I thought another visit would be a good idea.

below: Cherry Lifeguard Station, calm and peaceful in the early morning.  On a weekday in September all is quiet here.

cherry lifeguard station, with dock in front, very calm and still water, reflections of the building in the water, early morning,

below: A new red lifeguard chair sits on a freshly raked beach.  In the distance, a tug pushes a barge out of the harbour and onto Lake Ontario.

red lifeguard station on cherry beach in the morning

below: A family of Canada geese rest on the embankment of the Keating Channel. The white concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water.

white concrete supports of the elevated Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water of the Keating Channel while a family of Canada Geese sit on the bank

below: Looking west along the Keating Channel. The Don River empties to the bottom right, just out of the picture. At the moment, the Keating Channel is the only route to Lake Ontario but this is about to change.

looking west along the Keating Channel, trees on the left, Gardiner Expressway on the right

below: The Cherry Street bridge, a lift bridge, was broken in the open position for about a month at the end of the summer.  It was fixed in time for Labour Day weekend so it is down now (can it go back up?  It will soon be demolished so maybe that doesn’t matter)

view from above, Cherry street bridge in open position, port lands, cement silos, Lake Ontario, construction

below:  From above, the Keating Channel is in the foreground and it is here that construction on a new Cherry Street bridge is just beginning.  This is west of the present bridge because Cherry Street is going to be straightened as it passes under the Gardiner.      There is another small channel behind the Keating Channel but it ends at the T&T store… for now.    Cherry Beach and Lake Ontario are in the background.

Port Lands from above, Keating Channel, beginning of construction of a new bridge at Cherry street,

below: Reflections of the T&T sign.  Soon this store will be gone.  The path of one of the new waterways for the Don River goes right through the middle of their property to join with the channel that is already there (picture above).

reflections of the green T and T supermarket sign in a car window

below: Villiers Street, looking west from the Don Roadway.   The new path of the Don River is going to make an island of this part of the Port Lands as it runs parallel to, and immediately west of, the Don Roadway.

railway crossing sign on Villiers Street in the PortLands, some remnants of train track still there bu no trains

below: Villiers Street is actually two streets running parallel, both of which have two-way traffic.  This is left over from the days when the railway ran down the middle of the street.

green road sign that says Traffic operates two way on both branches of Villiers street

below: Remaining fragments of railway track can be found all over the Port Lands. This is Villiers Street at the Don Roadway. The Gardiner Expressway is in the background.

street with remnants of railway tracks on it

below: Old gas pump on Villiers.

rusty old gas pump

below: The northwest corner of Commissioners and the Don Roadway. The green mound is the beginnings of the flood protection work there. Flood protection means work on the re-routing of the mouth of the Don River.

the north west corner of Don Roadway and Commissioners Street

below: Looking west on Commissioners Street from east of the Don Roadway (at the traffic lights).  This is one of several large hydro structures that run from the Portlands Energy Centre (a natural gas burning electrical plant).   Hydro infrastructure changes are part of the Port Lands redevelopment.

a very tall metal hydro pole and structure above the street, Commissioners Street, Port Lands

below: Work on the south side of Commissioners.

cranes, workers, construction site

Soon Commissioners Street will be closed between the Don Roadway and Cherry Street.  All of the buildings there will be demolished.  At the moment, most of them are empty.

below:  Old abandoned buildings on Commissioners

old buildings on Villiers Street, with CN Tower in the background

part of an empty and abandoned building, two storeys, old windows, the number 130 written in large white numbers

side of an old abandoned building, top part is rusted pale green metal, bottom is painted dark grey

below: United Rentals on Commissioners Street, now empty. Soon gone.

empty United Rentals building in the Port Lands

below: Chained and locked.

a rusty chain and a padlock keep a gate closed

old brick building

construction on flood control measures in the Port Lands

below: North side of Commissioners, east of the Don Roadway. You can see the Gardiner Expressway and the old Lever Brothers factory.

a plant grows up agains a chain link fence, pile of dirt and industrial buildings behind the fence

a red and white danger due to sign that someone has written radioactive signs on so sign says danger due to radioactive signs

below: South end of the Don Roadway.

very south end of Don Roadway, south of Commissioners street, dead end, dirt road, no trespassing construction site entry

below: Looking west towards downtown from the Don Roadway

view of Toronto skyline and CN tower from Don Roadway

fence with signs, danger due to sign, plus sign that says Port Lands Flood Protection

below:  Back in July the demolition of the GFL (Green For life) buildings was well underway.

the last part of GFL (Green For life) structure to be torn down in the Port Lands, cement truck, dirt road, vacant land

below: This is the GFL recycling transfer station during the demolition process.  At the same time, the shoreline was being reconfigured and “naturalized”.  The trees in the water in the foreground have since died but this is part of the plan – they are to become part of a new fish and wildlife habitat.

west end of portlands early on in the redevelopment process, partially demolished building, barge in water creating new land, reconfiguring the shoreline

below: Access to the northwestern part of the Port Lands has been very limited.  Cherry Street and the T&T parking lot are as far as you can go … if you obey all the signs.    (photo from July)

black and orange cones line the route of entry to cement making facility in the Port lands

below: September

CN Tower and Toronto skyline from Cherry street, T and T market parking lot

below: The sea gulls have the parking lot to themselves, between Lafarge and the lake at the west end of the Port Lands.  There are no plans (that I can find) to remove or relocate Lafarge.

lots of sea gulls sitting on a parking lot behind Lafarge cement silos in the Port Lands

below: If you stand looking at the view above, and then turn around, you get the image below. Polson Pier view of the Toronto skyline.

view of Toronto skyline across Toronto Harbour from Polson Pier

a path leads to a fence, construction site behind the fence, including a cement truck

torn and shredded black fabric caught on a barbed wire fence

below: Map of the area.  As you can see, I have only covered a small part of the Port Lands.  There is so much more to explore!

map of the Port lands area

The other evening I was going to try some evening photography along the waterfront starting around Sugar Beach. As I walked down Lower Jarvis, this view caught my attention – looking west along Lakeshore Blvd.  It’s a view that has been changing very rapidly.    I counted at least seven cranes as I stood there waiting for some of the traffic to clear.

downtown Toronto, looking west towards all the tall buildings, looking along the Lakeshore with lots of traffic on it, many buildings in the foreground under construction with 7 cranes in the photo

below: Sugar Beach.   Unfortunately a film crew was already here so I didn’t stick around.

a group of people standing near the waterfront at sugar beach with its pink umbrellas and white muskoka chairs

below: One of the buildings to the east of Sugar Beach is a new George Brown College building.

looking up to a second floor of a building that has a very large window, three round tables and some chairs can be seen through the window

below: Film crew trucks ready to be loaded back up

the back of two large trucks with their doors open as cables, tools and other equipment for filming is being load back into the trucks

The strip of green that you see on the right side of the above photo is part of Sherbourne Common (at the foot of Lower Sherbourne Street).    From here east to Parliament is now being developed as East Bayside and is a continuation of the now completed development from Jarvis (Sugar Beach) to Sherbourne.   East Bayside is bounded by Queens Quay and Lake Ontario as well as Sherbourne and Parliament.  1800 residences are planned in this space.

below: Some of the condos are under construction.  Same old same old; yawn.  They may look a little more interesting from a distance, but at street level they are hopelessly banal.  If you want to buy a condo here, there are only a few left in the two buildings known as Aqualina and Aquabella.   In the latter, only 3 are available, starting at a two bedroom suite for 2.8 million.  Five million dollars will get you a three bedroom penthouse with two terraces but if you want to pay an additional 1 1/2 million you get 4,000 square feet on two floors (3 bedrooms and 2 terraces as well).

new condo development by the lake

below: At least the “linear park” and waterfront path is being continued eastward along Lake Ontario.

construction of a waterfront path

orange wheel barrows at a construction site beside a lake

below:  Work is also underway on Queens Quay East.   As a frame of reference, the tall building behind the billboard is in the Distillery District.  Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner run behind the buildings with the blue trim.

billboard, construction on queens quay east

What hasn’t yet been started is construction of two office buildings that will front on Queens Quay, called T3 Bayside.  They are going to be made of wood which should be interesting.

There has been a lot of talk for the past 12 to 14 years about extending streetcar service along this route.  So far a lot of planning and a lot of talk but that’s it.  An LRT right of way running along the south side of the street has been approved but the East Bayfront LRT project, (aka Waterfront LRT) has stalled because of the usual political shenanigans and financial hiccups.   A major part of the delay has been the question of how to link an East Bayfront LRT to Union station.  The present tunnel is barely sufficient for the streetcars that use it now.  Just recently (April 2019) the city released a report on how to address this issue.  I haven’t read it all yet (it’s 40 pages long) but the gist of it is that the city is considering two options – 1. rebuilding the tunnel or 2. building an automated people moving system of some sort and leave all streetcars out of the tunnel.

below: There is a small trench down the center of the street.

danger sign on construction zone in the middle of the street, Queens Quay, looking west along the street towards downtown toronto

Any ideas what’s being planned for the north side of Queens Quay?

two orange and black traffic contruction cones on the street in front of an old white industrial building with red door frames and a wood loading dock with yellow trim
metal framework that is holding up a large billboard

below:  Queens Quay turns towards Parliament Street.  The blue building is a Sidewalk Labs information centre.  The land that Sidewalk Labs wants to develop, Quayside, is close by – south of Lakeshore and east of Parliament.  It also includes the little strip of land between Queens Quay and Lakeshore, i.e. that answers my question above about what happens on the north side of Queens Quay.  There was some rumour (plan?) about Sidewalk Labs being involved in development of some of the Portlands but is that still on?    As to what their plans are or where they are at now, I have no idea.  That’s probably another blog post!

many orange and black cones on a stretch of road that is having work done on it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

close up of a digger demolishing a house

And so it goes.