Archive for the ‘general Toronto’ Category

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

Something new or something different.
And for sure, something’s changed.

below: Too cool for school. Dundas Square.

a young boy in sunglasses stands on one foot in front of a water fountain at Dundas square

sitting by the water at Dundas square, a mother and two kids, an older man in a hat is nearby

a man stands in dundas square, with a rolling suitcase in one hand

two men sit beside a store window with female mannequins in summer clothes, another man is walking past

below: The north east corner of Victoria and Lombard (looking north on Victoria).

downtown buildings

below: This building is on the north west corner of Victoria and Richmond.  It is the Confederation Life building, constructed in 1892.   According to Wikipedia, afire gutted the top floor of the building and destroyed the roof in June 1981 but the rest of the structure remained intact.

the top corner of an old red brick building with a green roof, with a new glass building behind it

below: A 1912 picture of the Confederation Life Building.  Photo source

vintage photo from 1912 postcard of the confederation life building at the corner of Victoria and Richmond streets. built 1892, large red brick building with ornate roofline

three buildings joined together, one red brick, one beige stucco and one a purplish brown. A small tree grows in front of them. Four windows.

below: Fran’s restaurant at the corner of Victoria and Shuter – a Toronto institution.

scaffolding around the building with an orange Frans sign on it - Frans restaurant at Shuter and Victoria streets

below: And just a bit farther north on Victoria is the Senator which is even older than Fran’s.  That’s a lot of food!

large mural on the side of the Senator restaurant, a man in glasses holds a steaming cup of coffee with plates of food in front of him, by his shoulder, bacon and eggs with toast as well as a plate with a sandwich and a side of salad. A third plate has a piece of chocolate cake

below: Signs on Victoria Street including a marvelous old Green P Parking sign.

signs, senator restaurant, public parking, and an old green _ parking sign

below: Protest poster with a message for Prime Minister Trudeau.  Will you compensate us for the mercury crisis?

large black and white poster on an empty building with plywood covering doors and windows.

below: Breaking my habit of not photographing people sleeping on the streets – it was the large green frog pillow that made me chuckle and reach for my camera.

a person is sleeping on their back on the sidewalk. Their head is on a large green frog pillow

below: And speaking of frogs, a group of them have appeared at College Park.   A group of frogs is called an army… but if these are actually toads then a group of toads is a knot.   Hmm…. frogs prefer water while toads live on land.  There are also differences in their eggs, tongues and teeth but the most noticeable difference is in their eyes.  Frogs have round eyes that bulge out.  Toads eyes are more oval and don’t bulge.  Conclusion – these are frogs searching for water.

two bronze sculptures of frogs in a park

Bronze sculpture of a large frog with a water pond (no water in it) behind it

below: Looking north on Yonge street towards Alexander.  The very tall building is at Yonge & Bloor.

looking north on yonge street towards alexander and bloor. tall buildings, old buildings, cranes, traffic

below: More Yonge Street.  Another juxtaposition of old and new; the opportunities for this kind of image are becoming commonplace.  Also,  I could probably take pictures on Yonge every day and still miss some of the changes.

a variety of ages of buildings on Yonge street from those built in the 1800s to modern glass buildings.

below: Plaid, paw prints, and pink

people at an intersection, a woman in a red and black plaid jacket and pink shoes

below: One is happier than the others.

a man and a young girl look out the window of a TTC streetcar with a poster on the side advertising Aladdin movie

below: Dundas Street, just west of University Ave., looking towards Simcoe and St. Patrick streets.

a cyclist with an otange shirt sits on his bike while looking at his phone. He's stopped behind an orange and black striped construction cone on the side of a street

below: North side of Dundas street, just west of Bay.

downton buildings with a construction zone

below: Who doesn’t like bacon?  I prefer mine a bit crispier.

a woman is dressed in a bacon costume and standing on the sidewalk on Dundas Street giving out flyers

a couple crosses a street by a streetcar, an Asian man and a woman in a teal head scarf

“Days go running and hiding
The weeks are going slippy and sliding
Years leave quicker every time they come”
from “When We Were Young” by Passenger

 

This blog post is a result of a walk from last week, from Dundas and Jarvis to Jones and Gerrard – from downtown into Leslieville/Riverdale on a beautiful day for a walk.   As usual, I strayed onto a few alleys along the way.   The pictures below may or may not be in sequential order but it doesn’t matter, does it?

below: Although many of the buildings around it have been demolished, Filmores Hotel remains.  I’m not sure if that’s a comment on the ownership of the building, or its use.

Filmores Hotel with large sign above the hotel and a black and white sign over the front entrance, old brick building

Once upon a time, e.g. in 1916, Dundas Street only existed westward from Ossington.   There was no Dundas Street downtown or in the eastern part of the city.  After WW1, a collection of smaller streets were widened and joined together to form Dundas Street as far as Broadview.   That is why there are these curves in the street between George and Sherbourne.

construction on dundas street, a vacant lot where a building was demolished, construction equipment and a dump truck working at the site, old building beside

below: Maybe it was once someone’s large house?  Now it’s looking a little run down but it’s still home to George’s Pizza and George’s BBQ.  The one on the corner is Piassa Injera and Takeout which is Ethiopian.

a large old victorian brick building, once a large house now divided up, 3 restaurants at street level, Georges Pizza, Georges BBQ, and one in a foreign alphabet, Ethiopian restaurant Piassa Injera

below:  Looking back towards downtown and the wall of glass and steel that has been erected.

dundas street east, looking back towards downtown from Sherbourne street, new condos and highrises in steel and glass overwhelming the older shorter buildings on Dundas such as Filmores Hotel and Georges pizza

below: The True Love Cafe at the corner of Sherbourne and Dundas. It’s had a fresh coat of paint and the hearts on the exterior wall have been fixed up. Only the sign needs a little TLC.

the True Love Cafe on the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne, purple walls on exterior ground floor, large red awning over entrance,

a man with a cane in one hand, and pushing a bike with other walks down an alley. he also has a backpack on his back

below: The redevelopment of Regent Park continues.

reflections in hoardings that are covered with a picture of yellow curtains and brown wood, sidewalk beside the hoardings and a wood structure over the sidewalk

below: New buildings in Regent Park.

looking through the window of a building under construction, concrete walls, some black pipes, also in orange paint the word exit with an arrow


below:
I stopped for a drink at Daniels Spectrum where I came across an interesting exhibit…. A sample of some of the photographs on display at Daniels Spectrum. They are part of a project, #ShootForPeace, by Yasin Osman. Each features youth from Regent Park with the theme of the exhibit being family and how family can be defined.

6 black and white photos of people on a wall in a gallery, photos of Regent Park residents, by Yasim Osman

below: One of the stained glass windows from St. Bartholomews church, in memory of Sister Theresa, 1891-1988.  I’ve walked past this church many times but this was the first time that I went inside.   It is a small, quiet church with some nice stained glass.

stained glass window in St. Bartholomews church

below: Graffiti on a wall.

graffiti on a red brick wall that says Space is Fake

below: Walking her dog on the Don River trail.

looking down from a bridge, a woman walks her black dog along a path beside the Don River, also train tracks running parallel to the path and river

below: Looking north towards the Gerrard Street bridge.

brige over the Don River, earl spring, no snow or ice but no leaves yet on the trees, Don Valley Parkway, road, to the right of the river, looking north towards Gerrard street

below: Looking south along the Bayview Extension to the new development in the East Don Lands.

looking south on Bayview street from Dundas as it passes large metal hydro poles, also new development (condos) in East Don Lands, fire truck on road

below: Just east of the DVP a truck was offloading new cars including this black Rolls Royce.

a brand new black Bentley car being unloaded from a truck

below: Same car, looking east towards Dons Milk store

new rolls royce parked on the side of a street after being unloaded from a truck

below: Waiting for summer

a faded red canoe leans against a wood fence in a backyard

In the early 1950s, the City of Toronto began a new road project to extend Dundas eastwards from Broadview to Kingston Road to serve as a new four-lane traffic arterial, intended as an alternative to Gerrard and Queen. Nine streets were widened to form the new Dundas street and in some cases, alleyways were used to connect these streets, and this is clearly visible as garages and backyards continue to front on to Dundas near Jones Avenue.

row of garages facing onto the street, backs of houses and a very large tree

open garage door with a window at the back of the garage, other garage beside it has closed door, can also see back of the two houses

a blue bike leans against a chainlink fence, behind it is a piece of street art that says happy days are here again, with painting of a man walking

Dundas Street is a major thoroughfare in the city – there aren’t many family homes that front onto it.    Jones, other hand, is a residential street.  The houses are an eclectic mix, most of which are fairly modest – or less.

an open gate leading to an entrance, a few stairs up to a porch

below: Flat roofs on small, narrow rowhouses with tiny front yards.

two storey row houses with flat roofs,

below: Half white and half yellow.

a semi-divided house, one side white and the other side yellow

porches on houses

below: Once upon a time, Toronto street signs were these blue and white metal signs that were attached to the buildings on the corners.  They are hard to read from the street!  Beginning in the 1950’s they were replaced with the signs that we are more accustomed to seeing.  There are still quite a few of these old ones spread out around the city in older neighbourhoods.   It is rare to find a house with two signs.

two old Toronto street signs, blue metal, attached to a house at Jones Ave and Sproat Ave

below: An ad for W.N. McEachern & Sons Ltd. that appeared in the Toronto Star on 26 April 1912 (online source).   They developed a few areas in the east part of Toronto including Eastmount Park which was between Danforth and Gerrard on the east side of Jones.

newspaper ad from 1912 in the Toronto Star

row houses in brown, white, and grey

below: Near the corner of Jones and Gerrard, surprise, surprise, a hole in the ground.

a construction site, a hole in the ground, with backs of houses behind the find surrounding it

below: Before I end this post, one last cute little white house tucked in between two larger brick residences.

a tiny, narrow, two storey house beside a larger brick house

Safe walking everyone!

below: Sometimes I love fences!

a medium sized black dog stands behind a chain link fence beside a white pickup truck

a red truck parked in an alley with a lot of stuff beside it

The Last Day of February

below:  These boots are made for walking… walking through the snow and slush on a sunny day.

reflection in a shiny stainless steel panel of a person in pink boots walking on a snowy and slushy sidewalk

February has come to a close but it’s still winter and there’s still lots of snow on the ground.  There was a bit of a respite from the cold the other day but rumour has it we’re headed back to some very cold temperatures in the near future.  Of course, slightly warmer temperatures mean slush and puddles on the streets and sidewalks of Toronto.

below: The CN Tower is reflected in an oily puddle.

the CN tower is reflected in a large puddle with a bit of an oil slick, on a sidewalk downtown Toronto

below: The cows don’t seem to mind the snow!

two sculptures of cows lying down, snow covered lawn,

below: And the dogs at Berczy Park are all sporting scarves!

a light scarf is tied around the neck of a sculpture of a dog

below: Slow thaw.  Melting and dripping down the window.

looking through a drity window that has melting ice on it and something red behind it is out of focus

below: Rust and snow

close up of rusty bicycle gears and chain, bike is parked in the snow

below: Outside smoke break shadows.   Brrrrr

a man in a suit and tie is standing outside, his back to a bright turquoise wall, he is looking at his phone and has a cigarette in the other hand, shadows,

below: Sun and reflections, southwest corner of King St and University Ave

buildings on the southwest corner of University Ave and King Street, traffic lights, entrance to St. Andrew subway station

below: Flip yourself around….  and now looking north up University Ave past the northeast corner of University and King Street West.

looking at the northeast corner of King Street and University Ave., entrance to St. Andrew subway station, a man is coming up the stairs and out of the station, Canada Life building and other tall buildings in the background

below: Wet tree branches glistening in the sun

trees with no leaves in front of a building that is reflecting another building

below: More tree branches, but soft and feathery this time

winter, snow on tree, dead leaves on tree, wispy leaves, in front of a rust coloured building

below: These two little birds now watch over the dogs in Berczy Park.

two yellow birds, not real, little sculptures, perched on the bar of a street lamp

below: A section of a picture on display at Union Station.  It is part of an exhibit called “A Thousand Paths Home” and is the work of Torontonian Yung Yemi aka Adeyemi Adegbesan aka SoTeeOh.  A write up of his work appeared in Afropunk.

part of a picture on display, art work, Union station,

below: There were also some real people at Union Station, or at least parts of people.

looking along a wall at Union station, there are photos on the wall, part of an exhibit, between the pictures there are recesses in the wall with benches and people sitting on the benches, only their legs show in the photo

below: Looking north up Lower Simcoe Street towards the railway bridge

Lower Simcoe Street, looking north from Bremner Blvd, GO train on the trains on the bridge above the street

below: Salt and dirt and slush and snow, yes, the city in winter.

part of a very dirty blue car, parked in the dirty brown slush at the side of a street, snow, winter time,

below: It’s nice to still find lovebots!

large lovebot sticker on the back of a sign. Three lovebots in different shopes, with the words uploading love

yellow sign on sidewalk that says Caution Falling Ice Overhead

Falling snow and ice from above, and slush under foot. That was February.

a white star on the dark sidewalk, with dirty slush on top of it in blotches

I was standing at the corner of King and Spadina waiting for the red light to turn green.  I looked up and saw the CN tower partnered with a crane and enmeshed in streetcar wires.  A bit cynical maybe, but that combination of images struck me as a good representation of what Toronto is at the moment.  There are even a few new buildings in the background.

CN tower, blue sky with some clouds, a construction crane and lots of streetcar wires. There are some glass condo buildings in the background. Street sign that says King St., traffic lights

Minutes later, I was walking up Spadina when I came across this mural.  It is on the side of the Strange Love Coffee shop – perhaps that’s why it says “We don’t take naps”. It was designed and painted by Ben Johnston and Dirty Bandits (aka Annica Lydenberg)

mural in shades of pink and purple that spell the word toronto, superimposed on it are pale grey letters that say we don't take npas, on the side of a grey building,

All we need now is a blue and white “Notice of Development” sign.

Presenting an eclectic compilation of images so

Have a seat!

below:  But maybe not here, even if they are two comfy sofas!  Comfy but wet.

two burgundy sofas on the sidewalk

Meandering on a day early in November

while the trees were still showing their last hurrah of colour.

colourful leaves, red and yellow leaves on trees in a residential neighbourhood, Neepawa Street

This mural is on Roncesvalles is partially obscured but is still a welcome splash of colour and vibrance.

a man walks by a mural on a fence, a peacock feather and a pink flower

   I love the raccoons!  Pink raccoons

test graffiti on a garage in an alley, also with a pink raccoon painted above the garage door

and blue raccoons on street art that I haven’t seen before.

street art on a garage door in an alley, large heart shaped face with big eyes and red lips, also raccoons,

Crooked lines,

garage doors and fences in an alley, autumn, trees with gold and yellow leaves, as well as leaves on the ground

tight spaces,

small walkway between two light purple buildings that leads to the entrance to another residence

and old glass.  All kinds of alterations.

sign on an old house, now a commercial property, that says Alteration Fast & Best All Kinds Of

old red brick building on Dundas West, sign that says Downtown Rental

 Peeling paint on diamonds  (once red?)

paint peeling on wood, three layers of wood with upper two layers cut in diamond shapes

and water drops on leaves (definitely red).

red leaves of a plant, wet from the rain, in front of a bright turquoise wall

One very pink car.  Whiskey for Whiskers.

pink car in parking lot

Uber 5000’s yellow birdies and friends are still on the side of Tommy’s Gift & Variety.

Uber5000 mural on the side of Tommys

And next door you Coffee and breakfast at Tina’s while your tax returns are prepared.

restaurant and store, rainy day, wet sidewalk and street in front of it, Tina Coffee and Breakfast restaurant, and Tommys Gift & Variety, pink door between the two, two storeys, lots of windows in the storey above Tina's.

 Semi neighbours

two attached houses in the Junction, one painted red brick with dark blue roof and the other light brown with dark red roof and bright red trim, small white picket fence in front of the red house, metal fence in front of the brown house (beige actually)

at the edges of gentrification.

building on the corner of Perth Ave and Bloor West, pale purple paint, a bright yellow happy face graffiti, a sign advertising Drake Commissary

Lights over the train tracks

looking across the train tracks to an old building with street art on the lower level, lights on metal posts over the tracks, tight mesh fence beside the railway as well

and graffiti beside.

graffiti on the concrete bridge supports, Dundas St West over the railway tracks, taken from the West Toronto Railpath

A fine and dandy tractor

a red toy tractor, old fashioned, in the window of fine and dandy on Dundas Street, white back drop behind the tractor, the building is dark grey

and a great idea

words painted on a garage door that say gratitude goes viral

She’s gone green but she’s got the blues.

a paper paste up of woman's face in green and blue (green skin and blue hair) on a very black wall and door

and Ontario’s now orange.

row of stores on Dundas Street, one on the end has a map of Canada painted on the exterior wall, with orange background.

A family outing

an adult bike locked to a ring, two kids bikes and a toddlers push car locked to a second ring, on a sidewalk on Dundas West, cars and buildings in the background.

below: The building with the giraffe pattern on top, at Bloor and Dundas West, is still there.

giraffe building at Bloor and Dundas West, with traffic and pedestrians in front
giraffe pattern brown and gold wall on top and brown below, movie posters and a bike

below: The murals painted by Wallnoize are still there. They were painted in the spring of 2015 and I posted a lot of photos of them shortly after that.

people walking on a sidewalk that passes by a long mural painted by wallnoize, many small murals joined together, apartment buildings with large trees with yellow autumn leaves in the background, Bloor West,

below: The murals run under the Bloor Street underpass (railway tracks overhead), on both sides of the street.

a woman walks along a wet sidewalk under a train bridge, railling on one side, street art on the wall on the other side.

below: The new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is now open on Sterling Road. The renovations to the old Tower Automotive building aren’t totally complete; most of the area is a construction site. But the museum opened earlier this year. Access from the West Toronto Railpath is available.

chainlink fence along a path leading from West Toronto Railpath to Sterling Road, with new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in the background, what used to be the Tower Automotive Building

But hey! Why stop here?…. more about the new MOCA follows ……

 

below: The sign over Kensington but I guess that’s obvious.

metal sign above the buildings, says Kensington in capital letters

Kensington pics from a warmer Saturday morning earlier in September.

 

below: Liz says eat more cheese

old framed black and white photo of Queen Elizabeth, on top it someone has given her a word bubble that says eat more queso (Spanish for cheese), in the window of a cheese store

below: A smoke and a phone.  Swiping right or left?

a woman in a white blouse sits on a bench ooutside a restaurant, on a wood bench, smoking a cigarette

below: A homemade sign

a hand made stop sign, red octagon, with the word stop in large white letters and racism written in black letters underneath

below: Well dressed Swiss Misses

3 half mannequins dressed in tops, standing in two old containers that say swiss miss puddings

below: Walls and skin

a young woman with blue hair and many tattoos is looking at her phone as she sits on a kerb

below: Just a part of the van.  If you’ve been to Kensington you may have seen this van – it’s totally covered with stickers.

part of the side of a white van that is covered with stickers

below: Churro chairs

two metal chairs outside a churros place

below: Morning coffee.  Saturday mornings in Kensington begin quietly.

the patio in front of Moonbean coffee shop, with two men sitting at tables

below: Faded and forgotten

two fake sunflowers, very faded, in a window, between the glass and the bamboo blinds,

below: These poser bunnies are a recent addition to the street art in Kensington

poser bunny mural on a brick wall, a pinkish bunny and a yellow one, the yellow bunny is holding a bottle of alcohol

below: Mona Lisa and her fruit basket still look out over Kensington Ave.  She still hasn’t eaten that banana.  The black and white part of this now iconic mural (with the banana) was painted more than 30 years ago.  The rest of the fruit was added after.

realistic mural of Mona Lisa holding a basket of fruit, high on a wall in Kensington

below: Looking a little frayed around the edges, like some of us at the end of the hot summer!

red and white striped awning above a store, tattered

the side of a building covered with graffiti

below: Not long ago there was only Mary in this window. Jesus is now keeping her company.

the window of Crows Nest Barber with a statue of Mary and a statue of Jesus in the window

Amen