Archive for the ‘events’ Category

many trees with trucks wrapped in Chirstmas lights

Trees wrapped in lights.

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It’s late December and the Christmas season is upon us. The winter solstice has arrived with its short day light hours… If you can call the greyness of today “day light”.

light display at Yonge Dundas square, a tree made of globe shapes, santa in his sleight, a hanakah menorah,

Santa in his sleigh, Yonge Dundas Square

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christmas lights and stars on the arches over the skating rink at Nathan Phillips square, with the large Christmas tree covered in blue and white lights behind. Also, part of the towers of city hall are lit blue

Nathan Phillips Square

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red flood lit metal barricade beside rink at Nathan Phllips Square, with a big red bow on it as well as a sign that says do your part, stay 2 metres apart, covid sign

a young couple learning to skate together at Nathan Phillips, after dark, holding hands, hesitant but upright

Like Decembers past, The Bay has installed holiday displays in some of their windows. Unlike past years, there are no elves or Santa, or even any human form. The robots have taken over and everything has been automated.

christmas light display in Hudson Bay store windows on Queen Street, barriers with signs saying don't forget to social distance

a shiny white robotic arm packages candy canes into boxes, an h b c window display, striped candy canes,

Candy canes are packed

 

one of the H B C windows, shiny red robots pack toys into white boxes with red ribbons, production line,

and toys wrapped, with a beep and a whirr.

 

a giant hand moves shiny small round objects, robot, holiday window display at h b c store at Queen and yonge.

Ornaments are crafted with A.I. and a software update.

 

H B C holiday window display, a computer with Santa's list of children and their wishes for Christmas presents

Even Santa’s wish list is machine made.

 The elves have been kidnapped? Or just sickened with Covid. We’ll probably never know (does Siri know?) but it seems rather fiendish and cold to remove the “human touch” in a year where we’re all 2 metres apart and not hugging anybody.

blue lights on a tree light

arches and big candy canes, frame for lights outside Eaton Centre, but lights not on.

people at Yonge Dundas Square after dark

the window and glass door display of posters at a Circle K convenience store, in the evening, lights on,

Stay warm
Stay safe
And may your Christmas be as bright as possible.

Another COVID cancellation is the Christmas Market at the Distillery District.   This year’s offering is “Winter village”, a down scaled version of past years’ festivities.

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, large snowflakes projected onto the side of an old stone building

The lights are up, the tree is gorgeous, and the atmosphere is almost Christmas-y.

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, large Christmas tree, sign Gooderham and worts over the road, strings of white lights

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, a street lamp that looks like an old gas lamp, with a wreath and a big red bow, beside a mens wear store with a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in it

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, people taking pictures, people walking

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, a couple walking, a woman pushing a stroller

lights reflected in a window, green window frame, on old brick building, also a puffy winter jacket hanging in the window

patio outside a restaurant window, wreath on window, snow on the table on the patio, metal table and chairs, old brick building in distillery district ,

an art gallery window from outside, evening,

evening photo, distillery district, decorated for Christmas, the words art is love in big block letters, outside the window of an art gallery with a painting in the window

metal sculpture in a window, made with metal wire, many spiral shapes

pictures in a gallery window, most pictures are of faces

looking in the window of a restaurant wherre the cashier is dancing

I’m going to say that I actually prefer this year’s less crowded version.

 

I came across these two posters near Eastern Commerce Collegiate (high school) the other day.   There was a third but I didn’t take a picture of it because it was the first I saw and I didn’t realize that there was a series.  I have learned that there was a National Week of Action, (Oct 19th through 24th) organized by the Idle No More movement to stand in solidarity with Indigenous nations.    There were rallies in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Halifax, and other cities across Canada.

below: “All Eyes on Land Back Lane”, specifically 1492 Land Back Lane.  This refers to the land near Caledonia Ontario.

on a wood utility pole, a poster made of fabric that says All Eyes on Land back Lane

below: “All Eyes on Mi’kma’ki” and the Sipekne’katik First Nations fishers’ struggles to open their own fishery in Nova Scotia.

on a wood utility pole, a poster made of fabric that says All Eyes on Mi'kma'ki

 

Happy Hallowe’en!

a white bird cage on a front porch with a fake black rat inside it and a rat climbing on the outside too

4 fake black rats eating a pumpkin

a white skull on a railing post, a black plastic spider climbing on the jaw

shiny glittery small skulls in a line in a garden

yellow caution danger tape crosses in front of a green ugly mask on a white cloth

a black fake skeleton in a front yard, with a white ghost behind

an an exterior window sill, a bloody h and, not real, and a small figure with a pumpkin for a head, armless, wearing an orange top

inflatible Halloween decorations in a front yard, a yellow happy face with fangs, a green witch head with a black hat, and a red devil head with pointy ears

a sticker on a pole that says thinking of you, a skeleton is holding a pumpkin, also wearing a tam, big teeth on the skeleton

4 pumpkins outside on the front steps of a house

Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit at the old Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge Street.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - large faces of Van Gogh projected on the wall, from self portrait paintings

Images from paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were projected on all four walls plus the floor of a very large space. The installation includes his work the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885) to the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).  It was a slow moving video that was about 35 minutes long.

vincent Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit, 4 people, turquoise flowers, 2 men standing, one person sitting on a bench

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - person sitting on floor, taking aphoto with camera, starry starry night

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a middle aged couple sitting on floor, a baby stroller sitting by the exit

There were circles on the floor in which you had to stand/sit but you could move from circle to circle if there was an empty one.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - crooked tree with white blossoms on a turquoise background

The most interesting portraits were those of people dressed in white.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a woman in a long white dress crouches beside the wall, images project onto her and her dress, pinks and purples

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a woman stands beside the wall, orange colours all around her including the floor, green images of windows and shutters too

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit

Mirrors were placed around any structures that were in the way.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - people sitting and standing

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - people sitting on the floor with projections of images of inside of house with tables and chairs in orange and yellow tones

Link for more information on the exhibit
which continues at least until the end of October

#VanGoghTO

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

Instead of pictures of this year’s Pride Parade, I am posting some photos from previous Pride weekends from my archives. I have tried to use pictures that weren’t chosen for prior blog posts. As you know, the fall out from Covid-19 includes cancellation of parades in Toronto this summer. There was a virtual Pride parade online this year (so I hear) but that doesn’t lend itself to photography. We miss the social interactions that normally occur. We miss the atmosphere and the fun. This collection is a poor substitute for the real thing but maybe it will bring back a few memories….. See you in 2021!

Pride parade, rainbow wings, dancing woman

women dancing in the street, pride parade

women dancing in the street, pride parade

carrying a big polka dot umbrella

pride parade, woman, this is a good sign

group, drag queens, pride parade

high fives, pride parade

young people posing for pictures outside store with happy pride balloons in the window

two women kissing, on sidewalk, outside, pride

two people dancing, pride parade while spectators cheer

woman doing limbo dancing, pride

man in pink shirt and straw hat dances while squating while people passing by slow down to stare

man with rainbow mask

naked people in pride parade, backside view, bums,

you can be naked too, sign held by nude people walking in pride parade

older person walking with walker in pride parade

pride parade, man in some leather

pride parade

purple parasol, pride weekend activities

3 people on roof watching pride parade

one man sitting on another man's shoulders, rainbow flag

man in uniform in pride parade

Singh, leader of federal NDP at pride parade, in pink turban

Rocky Horror theme group at pride parade with sign that says let's do the time warp again

flowers entirely converng back of person's head and neck, one on nose too

underwear

3 people on top of green container watching pride parade

truck pulling float down Yonge Street for Pride parade

woman in Waterloo Engineering society t-shirt high fives with crowd watching pride parade

on float at pride, in long turquoise dress and platinum blond hair

woman watching pride parade

getting ready to make bubbles

blowing bubbles, pride parade

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs

a large number of notices and posters on a glass door and window, including, we're all in this together,

below: Signs for hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves

signs and posters in the window of a convenience store, Sun Milk, advertising hand sanitizer and kids face masks for sale, also keys cut,

below: Signs of thanks to essential workers

home made sign on the front yard of a house with a Canadian flag, a rainbow, and an airplane

below: Life is tough but so are you.  I wish I could get a better view of the dancing figures in the window!

painted sign in the window of a house that says Life is tough but so are you

below: This too shall pass on a rainbow of colours.

sign in window of house, rainbow with words this too shall pass

below: Rainbow because it doesn’t rain forever.

three small painted signs mounted on a wood fence, one says be well, another is a rainbow and the third says we're all in this together
hand written sign in window of store, no cash, due to covid-19 we are closed

a white sweatshirt in the window of a store, that says Nurses have patience

below: Please Practice Social Distancing – keep those 2 metres apart!

looking in the window of a wine store. A yellow vest is hanging by the counter, with words on vest that say please practice social distancing, two silhouette people 6 feet apart

below: Marking those 2m (6 feet) on the sidewalk

a young woman is marking a sidewalk with red tape, 6 feet apart for standing in line

small sign in the corner of a store window, blinds drawn, that says Stay Healthy Inside Safe

in the upstairs window of an apartment over a store, a sign that says I'm claustrophobic Darren

below: CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) won’t save us sign in the store window.

a sign in the window of a store that says CEBA won't save us, also blue letters advertising end of season sale

poster for on May first keep your CEBA and keep your rent

below: Keep Your Rent poster for The Annex, outside Bathurst subway station

keep your rent sign, the Annex, April 1st, outside Bathurst subway station

below: Similar signs appeared in Little India (Gerrard St East)

keep your rent May 1 posters beside a gallery with photographs in the window

below: But in Little India the signs were multilingual (8 languages? or more?)

keep your rent poster, in five different languages, for Little India

below: And then a poster for what happens after you’ve kept your rent.   But below that is another small notice to (exclamation marks !!) your mask is weakening your immune system.  Reader beware.

keep your rent poster

below: Two posters on construction hoardings.  By mistake I cut off the lowest part of the posters and in doing so, I missed line of text on the poster on the right.  It says: “We’re closer now having been through this together – Love.”

2 large street art posters on wood construction hoardings

below: We’re no longer holding hands, we’re now 6 feet apart. Peace.

large poster for we're all in this together, peace symbol with stick figures standing around the outside of the circle

below: At Bathurst subway station, wash your hands.  It was one of many in a series of “Staying safe on public transit”

subway station platform, a couple of people walking, a sign reminding people to wash hands frequently and thoroughly because of covifd19

below: Eglinton Theatre, stay positive

marquee on Eglinton Theatre that says stay positive stay strong stronger together

below: Lower Ossington Theatre

front of Lower Ossington Theatre with marquee that says Be safe Be brave Be kind

This is the 6th annual Winter Stations art installation event at Woodbine Beach.  It was officially opened on Family Day, February17th.

below: Tying yellow ribbons on the yellow metal frame in “Mirage”, designed by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo.  The orange frame is parallel to the lake and the yellow sections are perpendicular.    Depending on where you are standing, you see either a red transparent sun setting or a light and bright rising sun laying on the horizon.

5 people working, two up on ladders, Lake Ontario in the background, tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

below: “The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble” by Centennial College while under construction.

woman holding a shovel, on beach, by some yellow and pink boxes, installing a public art display at Woodbine Beach

below: The end product.  There is now graffiti on the boxes

tagged and graffiti covered pink and yellow boxes stacked on the beach, art installation by Centennial College students.

below: and cowbells hung from the underside of boxes in a couple of places.

smal cowbells hang from the underside of a yellow box that is stacked on top of two other boxes, one yellow and one pink

below: “Kaleido­scope of the Senses” is a strong piece designed by Charlie Sutherland of SUHUHA (An architecture studio in Edinburgh).  People were lining up to take turns sitting on the lifegusard chair.

people lined up to take a look inside a portion of art installation at Woodbine Beach

a father lifts up a young boy in a red winter coat so he can sit inside an art installation over a lifeguard station at the beach

below: “Noodle Feed” by iheartblob was very popular on the Sunday before Family Day (the official opening of ‘Winter Stations’).   It wasn’t designed to have a jumping feature but that’s what all the kids were doing that day.  The fabric tubes are filled with straw.

a girl jumping off a lifeguard station onto rolls of fabric stuffed with straw, on the beach

below: When I returned to the beach a few days later, the installation was gone.

a metal frame lifeguard station, raised seat, with a red board against the back and a sign on the front that says do not jump off lifeguard chair

blue pole with two small signs, both with snow on them, the top sign just has the number 3 on it. the other sign has its back to the camera so it can't be read

Information about the installations can be found at winterstations.com

This year’s theme at the Yorkville IceFest was “Awesome 80’s” and the feature ice sculptures were all things 80’s.

title ice sculpture for Ice Fest

below: Fabulous red heart embedded in the ice!  The ice made the red shine.   Needless to say, these two women weren’t the only ones who did this!

two women make a heart symbol with their hands in front of a red heart frozen inside an ice sculpture

below: Leftover red balls from Christmas added to the festivities.

Cumberland Ave decorated for the IceFest, red balls hanging from trees, ice sculptures on display beside the sidewalk, a few people looking at them

below: Posing with the rock ’em sock ’em robots (Cool hat too!)

a woman in a winter hat with the Union Jack on it, pointing at an ice sculpture while a man takes her picture

below: A younger version of Elton John made an appearance at the Ice Fest

ice sculpture portrait of Elton John

below: Posing with Garfield the cat

people looking at and posing beside ice sculptures in Yorkville Ice Fest

below: Walking on air, but so cool with the leg warmers on.

ice sculpture of a pair of legs, upside down, with high platform shoes and leg warmers

below: Driving the De Lorean

a woman posing with a large ice sculpture of a De Lorean car

below: Most of the sculptures came already made and were set up on Saturday morning.   Starting at noon, several artists began carving some sculptures – partially as a demonstration of their craft and partially as a contest for best sculpture.

a man using a chainsaw to cut an ice block, bits of ice and snow flying away from the chainsaw

a man is working on an ice sculpture, he has just used a chainsaw to cut a block in half lengthwise and is now carefully separating the pieces

using an electric drill make a hole in a block of ice, outside, kneeling on the ground, ice fest, people watching the artist at work

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice while two boys in winter toques watch

two men stacks slabs of ice together to make a small tower

below: Because it was a cold day, some time was spent warming up inside the nearby art galleries.  I saw this little ski guy stuck in the snow outside Loch Gallery.  Does it look like he’s shivering too?  (artwork by Patrick Amiot).

a tiny metal sculpture in a pile of snow, a little man in a pink shirt and red hat, skiing

below: Another wonderful creation by Patrick Amiot.  I’m not sure that a hockey player (especially a Leaf?!?) should look frightened?

metal sculpture of a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player sitting on a bench outside, holding his hockey stick and looking frightened, by Patrick Amiot