Archive for the ‘general Toronto’ Category

Yikes!  Preparations are already underway in the Distillery District for their annual Christmas market.

men on a blue lift crane at the distillery district, old brick building

At least their sign that counts down the number of days until Christmas is not hung yet.  I am not ready to think about Christmas yet!

 

leaning against the side of a building, on its side on the ground, the sign at the distillery district that says how many days left until Christmas

I was hoping for some sun as I walked the other day but October seems to have ended with clouds and rain.  November is here and it is notorious for being grey and depressing.   The clouds on these hoardings seemed appropriate.  They are around a construction site on Lower Sherbourne street, at the southeast corner of Lower Sherbourne and Front.

a woman walks past hoardings on Sherbourne street that are shiny and have pictures of clouds on them

below: This is the hole behind the hoardings.

construction site at Sherbourne and Front

That intersection, (LS & F), has construction sites at both the southeast and northwest corners.  At a third corner, the northeast, there is a development notice sign.

an Esso gas station at the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, also a Tim Hortons and a convenience store

Yet another developer wants to build yet another 37 storey building here.  At least one person has voiced their displeasure.

blue and white city of Toronto development notice on the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, now an Esso gas station, but developers want to put a 37 storey building there

And other signs of discontent nearby….

in blue marker, graffiti that says Doug Ford kills

time and space condo hoardings where someone has written the word no in front of space, so you have time and no space condos

below: Looking west on King Street East at Jarvis.

King street east,, looking west from Jarvis Street towards steeple of St. James Cathedral and the trees in front of it in autumn colours

below: St. James Park gets new walkways

chainlink fence around parts of St. James park as new walkways are constructed

below: In the Sculpture Garden across the street from St. James Cathedral is a collection of wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them.  This is an art installation by Lou Sheppard called Dawn Chorus/Evensong 2019.  It is part of the Toronto Biennial of Art that is on now (until late in December).  It “interrupts the denaturalized landscape with music created through the transposition of spectrograms of birdsong…”

in a garden, on flat space, grass, wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them

below: ‘Haunted City’.  One of a few Halloween decorations along Queen West.

a skeleton wrapped in black hood and cape in a window, with reflections of stores and street on Queen West

below: While walking up Spadina this bike caught my attention because

bike decorated with many used tea bags parked beside a tree on Spadina

below: … it’s decorated with many, many used tea bags. On closer inspection, there seem to be quite a few different brands. My guess is that this is one of a kind…. or at least I hope so!

close up of bike decorated with many used tea bags

a black and red motorbike is parked by a mural in Chinatown of a person carrying babies in baskets.

below: I’m not sure just what these added words mean.  Is now real?  Can we be sure?

orange fence around a tree, tree protection area, someone has written on the sign: Now is the only thing real

below: A few remaining campaign signs from the federal election back in October.  The Liberals won every Toronto seat.

side of a building in Chinatown, stores and restaurant, bike parked there, also three large Adam Vaughan election signs.

looking across Spadina to a store in Chinatown

two women standing on a sidewalk, talking to each other,

skeleton graffiti on a metal street box

below: Discarded and left in a pile in an alley, JFK and Bobby Kennedy rugs.  Not one but four? or five?

small blue carpets in a pile on the ground, about 4 of them, with pictures of John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, a brown eagle, and some words

below: Uber5000 birdies riding in tandem, along with an old banana seat bike affixed to the wall.

an UBer5000 mural of two yellow birdies on a tandem bike. An old bike is affixed to the wall beside the mural

below: A grumpy sign?  Or just a sign with fangs?

at the entrance to an alley, a red and white do not enter sign has been altered, a face has been drawn it in black sharpie

part of a tuquoise painted house beside an alley with fall foilage, a truck and man in the distance

below: Van Gogh can still be found on Huron Street

a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh on an exterior wall, street art mural

below: This is part of the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) building at College & Huron Streets.  There might be a certain charm in the concrete buildings of this era… when it comes time to renovate them or tear them down, will there be an effort made to save them?

tree with a few remaining yellow leaves in front of a concrete building with long vertical recessed windows

below: Nearby, this “artwork” on the exterior of 215 Huron Street, is from the same time period.

a black metal bench, outside, sits in front of a wall with an artwork on it made from different colours of concrete and pebbles

below: Reflections in a window on the University of Toronto campus.

reflections in a set of windows

below: U of T playing fields on Hoskin Ave with the black/darker brick Trinity College behind.

University of Toronto playing fields, from the south, with Trinity College behind and then city buildings behind that

A few more “campus in autumn” photos

large tree in autumn colours on University of Toronto campus

orange plastic fence, orange and black cone, and autumn trees in a corner of U of T campus

yellow and orange leaves in front of a grey stone building

below: There were still lots of leaves on the trees at Queens Park too.

autumn trees in Queens Park

below: Some of the oak trees had multicoloured leaves.

oak leaves in greens, yellows, reds, and oranges

autumn trees in Queens Park including some pinkish coloured leaves

below: End.  Yes, this is the end.

large black letters make the word end on a red brick wall

Albert Jackson Lane is a small alley that runs south from Harbord Street.

upper storey door with metal stair case and its shadows. White door. Red flower box on railing outside door.

below: What is happening to Harbord Fish & Chips? (Albert Jackson Lane is on the right).

small brick building painted white was Harbord Fish and Chips, sign is gone and the building is being renovated

below: Looking down the alley, the first impression is that it is rather nondescript but a few bits of colour suggest that walking down the lane might be worth the effort.

looking down a short alley, Albert Jackson Lane, with garages lining both sides, the backs of houses at the end including one that is being renovated

below: A purple and teal fish by birdo, aka Jerry Rugg

birdo mural on a garage door, orange background, fish swimming behind a stone, fish is teal and tail is purple and teal striped

below: Part of “Secret Garden” by Emily Kouri

mural by emily kouri from 2012 on a garage door, in pinks and blues with yellow circles with butterflies in the circles

below: An older mural that completely covers the garage and the fence on both sides.  I am not sure who the artist is.

older mural on garage and fence on both sides, covers the whole thing, in oranges, browns, and greys,

below: This character is well known – a poser bunny.

poser bunny and text, pink bunny, pink text, on light blue background, text is on garage door, bunny is on wall beside door

below: The Toronto skyline and its reflection in Lake Ontario in a mural by Mel Coleman.

a mural of Toronto skyline reflected in Lake Ontario, stylized, by Mel Coleman in Albert Jackson Lane, painted on a garage door

below: A talking head, a square head on TV.  I love the bunny ears on the TV – who has those anymore!

on a beige garage door, a white rectangle painted and on that, black drawing of a man with with a square head on TV, a lamp is beside the television

below: At the end of the alley, a house with major renovations in progress.

row of backs of houses from lane, house in middle has windows removed and hole in the walls being enlarged

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.

Nothing special happening, no special events.  Just people going about their Saturday afternoon.

At Yonge & Dundas

at the south west corner of Yonge and dundas, people. A man is playing drums, a woman sits on the sidewalk, other people are talking to each other, a man is dressed in outlandish clothes and is sitting on a stool giving out papers to those who pass by

by one of the entrances to the Eaton Centre, outside, a man leans against a wall while a woman with reddish purple hair talks to him. She is wearing floral pants and has a pale pink handbag. Other people are coming out the doors of the Eaton Centre

a man stands on the sidewalk beside a red car. He is looking at his phone. A man in the background leans against a store window, two other men are walking past

a father and son stand in front of a large store window with lots of reflections. Father is wearing a Toronto blue jays shirt

Along Queen Street

two women walking across the passage from the Eaton Centre to the Bay, over Queen Street. One is wearing a pink dress and is pointing to something. the other woman is trying to figure out what she is pointing at

a woman talks into a microphone, about religion, a man sleeps on the sidewalk in the background as people and a TTC streetcar pass by. A mother and daughter are walking on the sidewalk and longing down at the sleeping man

a man sleeps under a bright orange blanket on the sidewalk on Queen Street while people's feet pass by

flowers in the foreground, a woman standing alone in a bus shelter, reflections in the shelter of the flowers

a woman in black on a bike is stopped for a red light in front of a bus shelter. A woman in blue is walking past on the sidewalk, reflections in a store window, a woman in a grey U of T hoodie stands beside the bus shelter. two orange and green taxis are in front of the bike

At Nathan Phillips Square

two men playing chess outside. One man has very long hair and is wearing a red shirt and a black baseball hat an dark sunglasses

a young girl in a Canada T shirt sits in the O of the 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square, people walking behind her, a man turns to look over his shoulder and appears to be looking at the girl

a young Asian woman in a wide brim hat and large sunglasses sits on a concrete bench at Nathan Phillips square as a man walks behind her

a young man plays a violin in front of a pedestrian Sunday banner

It was a very busy (i.e. crowded) Sunday afternoon at Kensington. Last Sunday that is.

an Asian woman walks holding a white umbrella with frilly trim

below: Bubbles of joy

a young boy in yellow shhorts and blue shoes is laughing as he runs through a stream of bubbles, outside on the street

below: Honkers on their saxes performing on the sidewalk.

two saxophone players, hinkers group, at outdoors performance

below: Street performance by Hero-San, a Japanese man who has been performing around the world for 25 years.

hiro son, a Japanese performance artist stands on one hand on a box in front of a crowd, outdoors, on the street, street performance

below: His show is part comedy and part stunts involving standing or walking on his hands.

hiro son, a Japanese busker and performance artist does a hand stand on the arms of two men standing facing each other, orange sweat pants and legs open wide for balance, a crowd is watching from behind

below: The finale was Hero-San walking on his hands while going through the open legs of a young boy. Even though his body was very close to the ground, only his hands actually touched the ground.

hiro son, a Japanese performance artist is standing on his hands in front of a young boy who has his hands close to his mouth, crowd watching in the background

below: A wagon full of plants to sell. $25 each.

people around a man with a woagon full of small marijuana plants that he is selling for twenty five dollars a plant

below: Sitting in front of poser bunnies while the world walks past.

two people sitting in front of poser bunnies mural in Kensington as other people walk past

below: A dog and many tattoos

a dog on a leash being held by a person with tattoos on booth knees and shins

two black women walking down the street while looking at their phones, on in a bright pink T shirt

a woman walking in short brown dress and floppy beige hat, another woman sitting in the window of a cafe and a third woman in striped pants and grey hat

below: Paper graffiti on a utility pole

on a utility pole, a paper graffiti piece of a man's face with the eyes from a different picture

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington are the last Sunday in each month from May to October.

Summer in Toronto.  Those days where it doesn’t matter where you walk, you will always encounter something interesting.

This weekend is the Taste of the Middle East festival at Yonge Dundas square, one of the many ethnic based festivals in the square over the summer.  As usual, there were performances, activities, and food.

woman in a pink top and sunglasses turns her head towards the camera with a big smile, behind her is a performance on a stage and a man in an orange baseball cap clapping with his hands above his head, at Yonge Dundas square Taste of the Middle East festival

Products like date syrup were also available.

a man stands behind a display of bottles of date syrup that are for sale at an outdoor event

4 women watching a performance on an outdoor stage, three are wearing head scarves, and two are laughing

below: Young artist at work at Yonge & Dundas.

a young black boy sits on a chair at Yonge and Dundas and paints small pictures while people stop to watch him

below: Adelaide Street was blocked between Yonge and Bay all weekend for a film shoot involving a large number of police cars, police officers, and dummies that look amazingly like real police officers.

part of a film set on Adelaide, a red pick up truck with propane tanks in the back, with another tank wired to the back of a white panel truck

below: When the Netflix series ‘Zeus’ comes out, you can play spot the Toronto locations!

looking through the window of a restaurant with two empty tables, to a scene where a film set is setting up to shoot a scene involving exploding buses and police cars

blurry picture of peoples' legs and feet and shoes as they walk on a sidewalk

below: In the Allan Lampert Gallery at Brookfield Place is an art installation “Into the Clouds”, four large, happy inflatable clouds created by ‘Friends with You’, a Los Angeles based group.   They bring a positive message of light, love and happiness.

art installation in Brookfield Place of 4 large white clouds, three of which have happy faces on them, suspended from the ceiling over the escalator from the lower level,

below: In front of the RBC building at the corner of Front & Bay.

three people in front of the R B C building on Front St.., with its gold coloured reflective windows, An Asian couple stopped to look up and a black woman taking a picture, reflections of other buildings nearby. All people are wearing shorts

below: Relief sculpture on an exterior wall of the Scotiabank Arena (formerly ACC).  A series of these sculptures were made by Louis Temporale Sr. in 1938-39 on what was then the Toronto Postal Delivery Building.

relief sculpture in concrete on exterior of wall, cavemen scene, with palm trees, three people dressed in animal skins. One is cooking - stirring with a stick in a large pot over a fire, one is standing and shouting with hands cupped around his mouth. A ladder made of wood pieces lashed together leans against a rock

below: At the foot of Bay Street, a TTC bus stops beside the Westin conference centre.  The top part of the concrete building is covered by a large photographic art installation – “Milky Way Smiling” by Elizabeth Zvonar.

a red and white TTC bus stops beside a concrete building with a very large photograph pubic art installation on the upper part of the building,

below: Sitting on Jack Layton’s shoulders

a boy in an orange T-shirt, grey shorts, and black crocs sits on the shoulders of Jack Layton sculpture by the ferry terminal, holding onto Layton's head, and smiling at the camera

below: Broken. A gigantic bubble.

a young boy breaks a very large bubble that a man has made, outdoors

below: An oversized picnic table

a group of people sit on an oversized picnic table painted in camo colours in a park

below: 25 figures in bright orange clasping onto black inner tubes – an art installation by Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier call SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers)

two small boats on Lake Ontario, Toronto harbour, pass by the art installation S O S or Safety Orange Swimmers

below: Ahoy matey!  We be rainbow pirates!

a pretend pirate ship, as a harbour cruise boat passes by the public art installation, SOS, or Safety Orange Swimmers

below: The spotlight seems to shine on a sleeping body.  The location is Harbour Square Park inside the large concrete sphere that is “Sundial Folly”  created by John Fung and Paul Figueiredo and installed in 1995.  Whether it’s because of high water levels, or for other reasons, access to the interior of the structure is closed to the public. 

a person is asleep, on back, under a maroon sleeping bag, inside a spherical art installation with a slit in it that lets in light such that sleeper is spotlit

waterfront beside Harbour Square Park, walkway, trees, and boats

below: Queens Quay at the foot of Yonge Street is not my favorite intersection.  It’s not uncommon for cyclists to not realize that there is a red light and for pedestrians not to realize that just because they have a walk signal doesn’t mean that there won’t be a bicycle whizzing past.

woman on a bike cycles through a red light at Yonge and Queens Quay

below:  … and that shape on the sidewalk across the street? That is “Between the Eyes” by Anita Windisman.

cars, cyclists, and pedestrians at an intersection

below: Future buskers

two young girls pretending to make music with large plastic inflatable guitars while a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair look on.

below: The public art at Pier 27 condos on Queens Quay East lies in an elevated garden between two condo buildings. This sculpture is the work of American artist Alice Aycock and it consists of a whirlwind (or tornado) form and what looks like whorls of paper.   Litter blowing from the lake?  It’s title is “A Series of Whirlpool Field Manoeuvres for Pier 27”.

a long white sculpture in a garden in front of a condo

part of a large sculpture, sheets of white material curve and join together like the shape of a rose

white sculpture that looks like a very large whirlwind or tornado in front of a condo building

below: Basketball players on the Esplanade.

a group of boys playing basketball on a court that has a mural of two hands forming a heart shape with their hands, the heart is under the basket, mural is on wall

Like most summer weekends in the city, this past weekend was a busy one.

below: There was a Thai festival at Yonge Dundas Square with dancers performing in front a screen that was showing a video, in real time, of them dancing.

a man in Thai costume and holding a Canadian flag does a Thai traditional dance on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square. behind him a video of another dancer is playing on a large screen

below: Women carving intricate floral shapes out of watermelon,

an older Thai woman is making an intricate carving from a watermelon

below: carrots, and other root vegetables.

a woman is carving carrots and another white vegetable into flowers

below: The colours of the Thai flag

yarn in the colours of the Thai flag wrapped around two sticks making a square of red, blue and white stripes

below: A small parade for the Festival of India made its way down Yonge street towards the ferry for Centre Island.  Sweepers cleared the streets while other people joined together to pull the floats.

a man, with back to camera, sweeps street in front of a float in Festival of India parade that is being pulled by people using two large ropes

below: This parade for Ratha Yatra is an annual event.  A more complete description of the parade, as well as some photos from 2016, can be found on a blog post that I wrote three years ago (how time flies!), or even older, is a post from 2015.

elaborately decorated festival of india float in a parade

a small boy stands behind his mother, he's wearing a blue t shirt and has a lollipop in his mouth

below: A parrot, belonging to one of the men walking in the parade,  perches on a policeman’s bike helmet to everyone’s delight.

a police man holds a brightly coloured parrot, or rather the parrot sits on his bike helmet

a man in long white robes holds an umbrella as he stands on the sidewalk talking to a woman in Southeast Asian clothing

below: With the parade and all the people on Yonge Street, traffic was slow.  This may not be unusual!

a man in an open jeep is driving down Yonge Street, people walking are passing him as he is stopped for a red light

below: Yes, I am 6 feet tall!

a young man stands by a maximum height 6 feet sign at the entrance of a parking garage, to see if he is 6 feet tall

below: Mellow Dee plays the piano outside the south entrance of the Eaton Centre.

Mellow Dee, a male musician, plays the piano outside Eaton Centre on Queen street as a woman gets out of a white taxi behind him

a man with no shirt and bare feet lies on the sidewalk surrounded by some of us stuff, people walking past him

below: Finding shade wherever they can… it was a hot one!

a group of older men and women in sun hats stands in a bit of shade cast by a little tree outside the Rex on Queen Street West

below: It appears that selling bras isn’t a very exciting job?

an older Chinese woman in a wide brimmed straw hat falls asleep sitting beside a table of bras that she is helping to sell

below: Some people sit and read, while others sit, smoke, and watch the world go by….

three men sitting on the steps, one unlocking a bike, another reading a newspaper and the third just sitting

… and others go skate boarding past….

man in spiderman suit, but without the mask, on a skateboard on a sidewalk