Archive for the ‘graffiti and street art’ Category

From the West Don Lands, across Eastern, north on Broadview and then back west on Queen Street East to Parliament and the Distillery District.

below: Saved! Demolition of the old foundry building near the Distillery District.  More on this story in a previous post from almost exactly a year ago.  Also a paste up by 33wallflower33 of a well dressed woman throwing out Doug Ford’s head and paraphernalia such as beer can with “buck a beer” in it.

poster on plywood, saved the foundry, also wallflower33 graffiti of well dressed woman scattering pieces of paper that say bye bye to Doug Ford

below: Signs of celebration on the fence around what ostensibly will be Eastern Avenue Affordable Housing (i.e. We’ll wait and see…)

bottom right: “Here’s why people are rallying to protect this Toronto heritage site from demolition.  The provincial government has paused demolition of the Foundry site in the West Don Lands after an outcry in Toronto” From Toronto NOW.
bottom left: “Province starts demolition of heritage buildings in West Don Lands despite community backlash. Tearing buildings down ‘outrageous’ councillor says.” CBC News

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below: A simple statement; a red paper heart tied to a tree.

below: Not all of it was saved… but at least they didn’t tear the whole thing down as originally planned…..

back side of old foundry building that was partially demolished

below: Ukraine symbol on a boarded up window

yellow and blue ukraine symbol painted on boarded up window of red brick building

below: Smack! Urban Ninja Squadron paste-up along with a musical sketchrat.

paper paste up urban ninja squadron graffiti on plywood

below: The house with the two green cubes is still standing.  Truth at the base.

house with two green cube shapes on point

below: A painted pillar in Underpass Park, with the pedestrian ramp up to Eastern Ave in background

painted concrete pillar in Underpass park of a woman with purple lips, city in the background - sidewalk ramp up to Queen Street, condo

below: A row of large rocks

a row of large rocks in front of a new condo, black, with other new condo, white with concrete first floor, in the background

below: The underside of the roof over the entrance to the condo is very reflective. It ‘mirrors’ the reflective ceiling of Underpass Park next door to it.

reflections of a street scene in a reflective ceiling, exterior, over the entrance to a building

below: View from, looking east over Corktown Common,  the south end of the Don River, as well as the ramp from the Gardiner Expressway to the Don Valley Parkway.

view from south side of Eastern Ave looking east over Don River, ramp from Gardiner to DVP, many tall hydro transmission towers

below: Eastern Ave and the DVP.  Looking east.

old water tower on top of newer residential development, street sign pointing to ramp from Eastern Ave to Don Valley parkway northbound

car dealership at Eastern Ave and Don Valley Parkway

below: Garfield the Cat just lying around

on a white wall, a painting of Garfield the cat lying down with sunglasses and purple polka dot shorts on

below: Northeast corner of Broadview and Eastern.

a small hyundai dealership, now empty, at the end of a row of empty and boarded up houses on Broadview

below: A row of old houses on Broadview still stand empty.  It’s been years now since anyone has lived in them.

row of old brick rowhouses that have been empty for a while, construction fence in the front

below: Just a bit north, at Queen Street East, another boarded up building.  But this one is now in the middle of an active construction site.

back of an empty building on Queen East, construction site, large green dumpster

below: In an alley behind Queen Street East.

text throw up street art on a garage door, with construction site behind

below: A new view of Queen Street East has been opened up with the demolition of some of the buildings on the south side.

view northwest

below: Northeast corner of Broadview and Queen East, once the home of Dangerous Dan’s.

northeast corner of Queen and Broadview, three storey brick building, Pizza Nova on the corner,

below: Danger due to hole.  On Queen East.  The pyramid shaped roof is part of the Broadview Hotel at Queen and Broadview.

looking east on Queen East towards Broadview and Broadview Hotel, construction on the south side

below: More danger….  watch out for spooky skeletons!

danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to spooky skeletons

below: Riverside Common, a new public space on Queen Street East.

Riverside common, a new public space on Queen East

below: Looking back across the Don River from the bridge at Queen Street East.

view across Don River in early spring, just north of Queen Street

below: Passing southbound under Queen Street East.

looking north from bridge on Queen East over the Don River, train car on tracks, cyclists on bike path, river, and traffic on DVP

below: Looking north up Lower Bayview from Queen Street East

looking north up Lower Bayview from Queen Street bridge, 3 black cars, new condo being built, train tracks

below: From almost the same vantage point as the photo above, but looking more west than north.

looking northwest from Queen East bridge over the Don River, view of old brick brewery by River Street (now residences), and newer highrises beyond

below: An Uber5000 yellow birdie on the wall of the Toronto Humane Society at Queen and River.

an uber 5000 yellow birdie on a mural

2 posters on a utility pole, Lost

a painting of the madonna, Mary, in blue robes, with gold halo, and red heart in chest gold light rays coming from red heart, painting on a wall

below: Painting of two fencers where the red wine seems to be winning.

mural of two fencers, one with a glass of red wine in their hand

below: Where Eastern Avenue meets Front Street, looking west towards downtown.   The old brick building is now Toronto Police Services  Division 51 headquaters.  In a previous phase of its life it was Consumers Gas Station A, designed by Bond & Smith and built in 1898.   Beyond Parliament Street and in the background is the blue Globe and Mail building.

where Eastern Ave meets Front Street, old historic brick building with new glass commercial building behind

below: The Porsche dealership on the northwest corner of Front and Parliament is now empty.

Now empty, the porsche dealership at Parliament and Front, large shiny silver curved surface on upper levels, window with red coverings on the ground floor.

below: The southwest corner of Front and Parliament is entirely surrounded by plywood hoardings.

plywood hoardings covering the southwest corner of Front Street and Parliament Street, some posters on the plywood, skyline in the background

below: Another 33wallflower33 paste-up. This time she’s pinning Putin’s head to the ground.

33wallflower33 pasteup on plywood, woman in vintage clothing with umbrella stick holding Putin's head to the ground

below: And back to the Distillery District – and the new construction that is taking place at Front and Trinity, just north of the historic buildings.

construction near the distillery district

The construction hoardings on  the south side of Queen Street East between Broadview and the Don River were painted back in the fall of 2021.

below: At the east end, a dear with a rack of antlers beside a young woman in a bright and cheerful orange head scarf.

mural on construction hoardings, Queen Street East

below:  A face by Philip Saunders.

face by Philip Saunders, painting, hoardings,

below: Elicser people

painting by elicser, part of a large painting on hoardings

below: Yellow tea (or coffee?) pot with citrus fruit,  still life by steam reflected on a shiny metal plate.

painting on hoardings by steam , yellow tea pot on a plate with a line and a cut lemon

below:  Closer up of the pinkish eye of a white rabbit

part of a mural on hoardings, close up of an eye of a white rabbit sitting beside a pink flower

below: A large brown turtle slowly ambles by

mural of large brown turtle on yellow grass, mural on hoardings

below: A pigeon never looked so majestic!

pigeon, painting, mural on hoardings,

below: A moth is attracted by the lights of traffic by the Queen Street East bridge

large orange moth on a dark blue and purple sky, mural on hoardings

below: Luvs almost makes this little raccoon look cute!

face of a small raccoon, trash panda, in a mural on hoardings, painted by luvs

…. of downtown Toronto.

a brick arch with a hanging light near the top, view through the arch is to a multi level parking garage, slight glimpses of a mural on the left side

Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky have painted another large colourful mural. This one features two women, a baltimore oriole, and many fruits and flowers.

mural by Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky in a narrow passageway

below: Close up of the bird, a baltimore oriole

part of a Clandestinos mural, showing a bird, a baltimore oriole, with a woman's face close to it. she has her eyes closed

close up of a womans face in a clandestinos mural, butterfly flying past her cheek,another woman behind her with flowers and fruit in her hair, eyes closed.

below: Adorned with leaves, flowers, and fruit – blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Lots of cherry blossoms and another bird too.

cherry blossoms, faces, painted in a mural, fruit and flowers for hair, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries

There is a large mural (40′ x 50′) in downtown Toronto on the west wall of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Front Street East. It was painted by Quentin Commanda, aka Que Rock.

large mural with First Nations themes, painted by Quentin Commanda, outdoor scene, butterfly, bear in pink water, fish, turtle island, moose, orange grass, sunset or sunrise sky, woman sitting,

below: Commanda’s “Artist Statement” – see below the picture to read the transcription.

on a wall beside a mural, words that are the artist statement for the mural, also a picture of the artist, Quentin Commanda,

Artist Statement:

This mural is meant to be a visual healing experience. The seven rings around Grandfather Sun represent the seven Grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe people: Wisdom, Love, Humility, Respect, Honesty, Courage, and Truth. There are many layers of sacred geometry patterns on the mural.

The skyline includes the medicine-wheel teachings, Grandmother Moon and the 13 grandmother clan systems. The turtle shell represents North America’s creation story, the 13 full moons per year, and the seven grandfather teachings.

The entire mural also represents the original Peace Treaty of the Six Nations on Turtle Island (North America). The story of the Six Nations Treaty starts with the original five Nations of Turtle Island: the Plant Nation, the Insect Nation, the Bird Nation, the Fish Nation, and the Animal Nation. All five Nations had to agree to let the Human Nation live here on Mother Earth. All five Nations agreed to be humanity’s teachers and the Human Nation was invited to share the land.

The Human Nation was given instructions on how to live on Mother Earth, walk gentle on Mother Earth, learn one new thing every day, and share with one another. These are some of the original instructions given to the Anishinaabe people. The bear represents a Medicine Clan. The Mukwa (bear) is a healer, it is the only animal who communicates with all Six Nations.

The bottom panel represents my story from the past, present, and future. The first character with the microphone is the future and present me. The second character represents my past as a native child with my dog Miangun and the path of healing I have taken to decolonize myself back to the Anishinaabe child I was born to be.

My mother is a residential school survivor and so was my father. I am no different than the 215 children found in Kamloops, B.C. I survived to tell you this story and share my experiences. My community is still here and so am I.

The Artist is from Nbiising or Nipissing First Nation, his traditional name is Manitou Nemeen (Spirit Dancing) and he is from the Miangun Dodem (Wolf Clan).

The orange background on the mural represents the missing/murdered Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

The mural was commissioned by TO Live

Toronto is a city of surprises; a city of variety.  If you are bored with one street, just walk another block or turn at the next intersection and chances are you’ll encounter something different.  The scenery will change.  For instance, on Dundas West you leave the downtown core just after University Ave., walk past OCADU, the Art Gallery of Ontario and Grange Park… next, through a section of Chinatown at Spadina and then immediately into the Kensington Market area.   Just south of Kensington is the redevelopment of Alexandra Park….  and you’ve only walked a few blocks.

traffic signs and pedestrian crossing signs on Dundas with downtown highrise in the background and Ocadu banner on pole

below: The newly renovated OCADU annex building on the southeast corner of Dundas and McCaul is now called the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion.  The curve of the roof contrasts nicely with the sharp edges of the neighbouring buildings

Rosalie Sharp pavilion on the southeast corner of Dundas and McCaul, shiny metal facade on the building,

below: The northeast corner of Dundas and McCaul is yet another hole in the ground.  The Art Gallery of Ontario and Rosalie Sharp Pavilion are in the background.  I am beginning to feel like a broken record player when I mention yet another condo construction site (tangent – is there a 21st century equivalent to “broken record player”?).

construction site, orange plastic, hole in the ground, St. Patricks church on right, AGO in the background, at Dundas and McCaul, northeast corner

below: The demolition of the buildings on Dundas West opens up new views of St. Patricks RC Church.

on Dundas West, just east of McCaul, hoardings around a construction site with St. Patricks RC Church behind

below: Around the corner from St. Patricks, is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and its bilingual signage and beautiful red door.

entrance doorway to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, red wood door, signs on right side in English, signs on left side in Chinese

below: Krispy Kreme (yes, they still exist!) and Jimmys Coffee on McCaul in almost identical buildings.  Like twins but with a dash of their own personality.

old buildings on McCaul street, two remaining rowhouses, three storeys, one is Krispy Kreme at street level, the other is a Jimmys Coffee. A larger squarer brick building on the right, also three storeys

below: Thing 1 and Thing 2 running down the alley

mural with Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Sr. Suess Cat in the Hat book

below: …but not this alley.   That’s a lot of stairs!

Toronto downtown alley backs of houses, exterior stairs up to third floor, fences, brick, concrete,

below: Each building has it’s own character from years of changes and modifications as people come and go.  They may not be good looking but they are often unique – someone’s little piece of the city.

back of houses in alley, tree, fence,

below: Front yard patio

loveseat and armshair outside on grey mat, door to building is double red door, storefront,

below: Critters in the window

three stuffie toys in the middle window of a bay window set in a beige stucco house, behind a wood fence, rusty metal roof on bay window

below:  An old TTC streetcar loses its load.  By the looks of it, this image will disappear once the ivy comes back to life in a few weeks.

painting on concrete wall of a TTC street car leaning over and people falling out

Super star written on the window of a hair salon in china town, large red Chinese letters too, reflection in the window

below: Put together by the ‘Long Time No See Photo Project’, “Chinatown, the Best” is a collection of portraits that highlights seniors in the Chinatown area along with their thoughts and opinions on what makes Chinatown great.

Chinatown poster series on residents, in windows and door on Dundas

below: The posters are on display over eight locations on Spadina and Dundas West.

Chinatown poster series on residents, in windows and door on Dundas

Left to right:
1. Come and work out in Chinatown.
2. Chinatown is my looking glass. Newcomers come thru finding support to enter Canada & I go back thru to understand where my ancestors and I come from. Keep Chinatown strong!
3. Chinatown is my ancestral village. In 1892 Great-Grandfather Charlie Yep laid down family roots in Montreal – but the early years of international racism gave way to self-loathing Kungfu? Chinesey food? Aiiyah!! Standing defiant in a martial arts pose is a testimony to overcoming my denial. I am Chinese-Quebecois Canadian. Au bout!
4. For making Chinatown the Best, Lily draws on her spiritual energy medicine knowledge to develop a healing relationship with the living landscape and its inhabitants to foster the restoration of the area’s sluggish energetic anatomy and amplify its vibrational health and wholeness.
5. deu say lin yeung im ah im duck!

below:  In another Chinatown window is this display – pictures of food with four old black and white pictures.

picture in window in Chinatown, collage of food photos and old black and white photos. One black and white is old Shanghai Bund

below: The picture on the far right depicts Shanghai Bund and river waterfront so it is possible that the other photos are also of Shanghai?  Or at least cities in China?

close up of a picture of sliced meat on a platter, as well as two old black and white photos. Photo on right is Shanghai Bund with boats docked along the river shore.

below: Another window with pictures – this time The Kensary, a cannabis store in Kensington.

window of the Kensary cannabis store in Kensington, full of Toronto landmarks

below: A close up of part of the window showing Casa Loma, Roy Thomson Hall, Hughs Room, the El Mocambo, the Silver Dollar, Massey Hall, and gabled Victorian era houses

close up of picture in window of The Kensary, Toronto landmarks, Casa Loma, Roy Thomson Hall,

below: Hoardings on Spadina where a skeleton reaches out for passers-by.

man on sidewalk on Spadina, walking past hoardings with graffiti and street art and adverts, one mural is a large skull with outreached bony arms,

below: Kensington view of the CN Tower

CN Tower in background, large hydro wood structure in foreground, view from Kensington

below: Facilities at Bellevue Park – more than just “all gender”

a blue and yellow porta potty covered in macabre street art, in bellevue park

in blues, mural by elicser of an older man with white beard, a hook for a hand, smoking a pipe, wearing a cap

a dead end in an alley where all the fences and gates are covered with murals, a large tree, the backs of two storey houses in different materials and colours, brick, wood,

below: Wanted poster for Putin the war criminal

two stencils on hoardings, one is a pink woman's head and the other is a wanted poster for putin, war criminal, Russian leader for his invasion of ukraine

street art on hoardings with word war, black hands and red flames, yellow building tower,

below: There’s at least one Maple Leafs fan left!

sticker on a pole, a stick figure person with a happy face and a realistic blue Maple leafs hockey jersey

bke parked at bicycle stand with graffiti slaps on it, across street from fruit and vegetable market with green walls and red and white striped awning, Kensington market area of Toronto

poster graffiti of a white skull on black background, large red border, on a pole, with alley street art in the background

a woman taking pictures of street art in an alley

below: Jumblefacefoto collages

two large jumblefacefoto collages on walls of empty storefront, open door, with large sign saying coming soon, someone has written in black marker, large letters, freedom in back

in an alley, a door painted black, part of a callligraphy mural with black writing on magenta and orange background

below: Alexandra Park redevelopment progresses. Dundas West is the northern edge of the 16 acre site owned by TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corp). Most of the original units that were built in the 1960s are now gone.

orange digger working behind a fence, beside older brick apartment building, sign on fence that says you are not your mistakes.

on a pole, twp graffiti slaps, on top is an intricate line drawing of flowers and on the bottom is a bruha, intergalactic in many colours

below: Apparently it’s okay to be white. Actually it’s okay to be brown, or black, or any shade in between too.

on the back of street traffic signs, two slaps. On top is one with words It's okay to be white, and on the bottom a small face with a round surprised mouth

below: Anarchist piano lessons?

poster on hoardings that says Anarchist piano lessons

below: “They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it”  Me?  I’m in no hurry to find out.

square slap graffiti, small, with text crammed into it that says They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it

small black and white sticker of a screaming face, on a pole with street art, beside a wood utility pole with lots of orange paint

on a wooden fence, a sign that says warning CCTV cameras, surveillance, you are being watched

… and Graffiti Alley

stencil graffiti, words that say met u in toronto written twice in a circle around a happy face, yellow on black, sprayed on a brick wall in Graffiti Alley

in Graffiti Alley, on a door, a big pink heart with love written in cursive through the middle of it

below: Northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

northeast corner of Spadina and Queen in a snow flurry,

early morning, storefronts on Queen West, fruit market, empty store, lots of cardboard boxes on sidewalk waiting for trash pickup

below: Mannequins on orange

mannequins in Joe Fresh window, orange background, kids clothes

sidewalk scene on Queen West, bus shelter with Queen West advert, green P parking sign, some stores,

below: Queen Street westbound approaching Bathurst

TTC streetcar westbound on Queen West approaching Bathurst, snow falling, other cars waiting for red light,

below: It’s always nice to see that there’s at least one Lovebot still hanging out in Graffiti Alley.

in Graffiti Alley, a lovebot pasteup up hgh, love bot and a bunch of balloons

below: On the door, a jumblefacefoto collage

jumblefacefoto collage paper pasteup on door in graffiti alley in the middle of a text throw up street art

below: Reach out and touch someone

Bell phone booth covered with stickers, plus a fake bony hand holding onto the receiver, in Graffiti Alley

below: Open your eyes

brick wall with paper pasteup graffiti, open your eyes, a jumblefacefoto

below: Are you smiling?  Are you happy?

old KFC building, empty, with graffiti painted on wood leaning against the building, black letters on white that say In a passive society smiles are not the faces of happy people R "2022"

TTC streetcar at Queen and Spadina, in the snow

an older couple walking on sidewalk on Queen West waiting for greenlight at Bathurst by taccorito restaurant

below: Southeast corner, Queen & Niagara

early morning, yellow lights on in plant store on Queen West, a woman walking past,

below: Same intersection slightly later in the morning and from a slightly different angle

people on the sidewalk at queen west and niagara, traffic lights, woman pushing stroller, Japanese mural in the background, chive plant store in the foreground

two storefronts in old brick building, Queen West, Park Avenue Cleaners and Shanti Baba

photograph on exterior of store, group of people standing together, number 789 Queen West is next door

t bonez urban ninja squadron paste up of him in yoga pose

mural of a naked upper body with arms up and flowers around the head with words turn off your mind

below: Windigo Army piece

street art painting of an indigenous man with long black braid, wrapped in a white and black blanket, with yellow and red aura around him

below: A little orange character pasted to a pole; the work of kode_dipz aka Kyara Cabrera Fong

kode 905 slap graffiti little orange character with green face and tummy, on a pole

below: Because of the construction of a new condo at Richmond and Augusta there has been scaffolding in a section of Graffiti Alley. The other day some of it was being dismantled. This woman is more visible now but some of the bars remain.

mural of a woman with a cloth covering her head, behind scaffolding bar,

below: Life©️ one eyed red daisy supersized

black and orange traffic pylons beside the entrance to Graffiti Alley with a red one eyed daisy painting by life co beside it, then a row of paintings on hoardings

graffiti and street art on plywood hoardings that got switched around

4 faces found in different pieces of street art, all cartoonish, including a one eyed pink monster with oozing body,

below: Part of UBER5000’s Toronto mural.

large uber5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti alley, lower portion of it, behind chainlink fence

below: By luvs – a woman and her dog, with duplicate vision

part of a mural by luvs of a woman's head and a bulldog beside her, duplicate eyes and sunglasses that she's looking over, on a garage door in rush lane

two women walking their dogs in a snow storm on Spadina

from inside, a man walks past window of Le Gourmand bakery cafe on Spadina

below: A properly worn mask…..

window of flashback vintage, a mannequin in brown jacket and blue dress, mask needed sign on door

a collection of dolls in a store window with yellow metal grille in front

What is creepier?  Dolls or mannequins?

two images of mannequins in a window, one in pink and the other in red with red hair, both with large bows in their hair

below: Poetaia wants to know what you’re up to, wink, wink.

sticker graffiti on a wood utility pole that says What are your plans for the weekend?

below: Peeling paper makes the gold words difficult to read

grid of painted paper on top of street art, peeling at edges

below: There’s a yellow eye and possibly a blue one too?

paper collage face with yellow eye,slightly peeling at the edges

two mailboxes on a black door, 555 is salmon colour and 557 is black

two stickers on a metal pole on the topis a picture of a man's head with word think and on bottom is t bonez with finger over mouth as in saying shhh shush

small sticker graffiti on pole

small black and white sticker graffiti on pole, picture of man in a mask holding shoulders of a woman

Two new murals have appeared in Graffiti Alley and Rush Lane, both in reaction to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russia.  First:

mural in Rush Lane in blue and yellow, text in Cyrillic alphabet, bird, white dove with branch that is half yellow and half blue

part of a mural, white dove of peace with a branch in its claws that is half blue and half yellow representing Ukraine

crow-like bird with beak open wide as it makes noise, top part blue and bottom part yellow, for Ukraine

UPDATE: The above mural is a group effort.  The bird, a nightingale, was painted by Nick Sweetman.  That link should take you to an instagram post that describes the thinking behind the mural.  It also lists mr_tensoe2SpyOne, and TwiceBorn as the collaborators.

below: … and second, a painting that has already been scribbled on.

street art portrait of Putin in grey tones, wearing a baseball cap that says Make Russia Great Again, background is half blue and half yellow for Ukraine. It has already been scribbled on

man with dog, people sitting inrestaurants, window reflections, man walking out of restaurant, street scene

below: Leslieville mural on the west wall of Dave’s Hot Chicken, Queen Street East location.

Leslieville mural on the west side of Dave's Hot Chicken restaurant

below: I spotted a very similar piece of paper downtown but with words about knowledge and ignorance (see previous blog post). I wonder how many of these are tacked up around the city?  These words can be attributed to American economist and social theorist, Thomas Sowell (b. 1930).

stapled to a notice board on the sidewalk is text graffiti with words about responsibility

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody’s responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”

 

below: Beside Jimmy Simpson Park there are four stainless steel pennants, each with a word – coursing, disappearing, trembling, and returning.  These are part of a series of three installations called “Time and a Clock” by Eldon Garnet in the area.

people walking on sidewalk, walking past 4 metal poles holding up words in metal

below: Jumblefacefoto collage paste-ups.

large jumblefacefoto collage paste up on a wall on Queen Street East, 3 vertical panels

below: Boston Discount Store with it’s red and white KitKat advert

Boston Discount Store with its red and white kit kat advert on sign, on Queen Street East

below: posters and protests and one very muscular man three times.

posters on a metal utility pole

below: Queen and Jones Pawnbrokers

Pawkbrokers shop on Queen East, metal grille covering windows, people walking past,

below: Eddie’s Convenience with a range of tests available.  I first read it as though Eddie was also selling pregnancy tests!

signs in the window of a convenience store, covid test, pregnancy tests, in home self test,

below: It’s now been 2 years since COVID was declared a pandemic.

a window full of covid masks on sale on display at a convenience store

below: Queen East mishmash of rooflines. Newer boxy construction butting up against older original half gables with their gingerbread still intact.

a row of stores on the south side of Queen East, with different rooflines after various alterations over the years

below: In a lovely older brick building with little architectural details, Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store along with Butchers of Distinction

In a lovely older brick building, Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store along with Butchers of Distinction

below: Busy Street runs parallel to Queen, one block north. It was once a very busy street.

beside some large trees, a Toronto blue and white street sign for Busy Street

But now it is much quieter. Some of the buildings on the north side were once stables for the teams of draft horses that delivered the goods from the nearby Queen Street stores.

street scene, a woman by her car, some houses, Busy street is one block long,

below: The horses have long disappeared and the buildings have been repurposed.

entrance to thunder thighs costume ltd, with green awning over brown double doors.

intersection on Queen East with billboard, mural, traffic lights, sidewalk, pedestrians,

below: Another little upper storey addition above Cask Music and Samaira’s.

cask music store and samaira's on queen east, with a small recently added upper level, people on the sidewalk in front of the stores,

below: Moving up in an alley

prefab white metal structure as upper storeys on older brick building, with exterior stairs to the alley

below: Ubiquitous

construction fence leaning outward, posters, porta potty, construction site

below: Feelings boi graffiti paste-up

feelings boi sticker on the side of a parking meter

small graffiti on a white concrete wall, blue lips, dark blue sunglasses stencil,

It seems like it’s been a long winter with more extended periods of colder temperatures as well as never ending snow.  Last weekend was the first sign that maybe spring would arrive this year …. before the snow came back!  Here are a few things that I saw on my walk last Sunday while out enjoying some warm sunshine.

below: A sign of the times; a sign for the coming spring.

wood letters on wood fence that say Outside We Will Live Again

CN Tower with Gardiner Expressway in front, signs for exit for Bay, York, and Yonge streets,

below:  There is still a large parking lot on the corner of Rees and Queens Quay.  It may be the last piece of undeveloped property along this part of the waterfront.

parking booth at parking lot on northwest corner of Rees and Queens Quay, tall condos and aprtments in the background, also the Gardiner Expressway

below: Clearing away the piles of snow.

a front end loader removes snow from the waterfront, with the Empire Sandy, boat, parked right beside

below: The skating rink beside the Power Plant is melting quickly.  The designs painted on the concrete below provide a bright contrast to the towers of glass and steel nearby.

ice melting on skating rink by power plant, pink and blue designs painted on the concrete below, highrises in the background, looking northeast from walkway by waterfront

below: Same spot as above but this time looking northwest.

melting ice on the skating rink, looking northwest

below: On the south wall of The Power Plant, a large image of the artist, Sasha Huber, on top of a Swiss mountain.

large picture on the outside, south, wall of the The Power Plant. A picture of the artist, Sasha Huber, planting a sign and plaque for Rentyhorn, renaming a Swiss mountain.

“Rentyhorn” (2008) is part of a campaign to rename Agassizhorn, a Swiss mountain peak. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was a Swiss glaciologist who became convinced that Blacks were an inferior species and that he could prove it. Renty was an enslaved woman who was one of a group forcibly photographed by Agassiz in his attempt to prove his theory. There is more of this story, and more of Huber’s work, on display in the gallery.

below: Reflections and distortions in the windows of The Power Plant.

reflections of Canada Square in the glass of the north wall of the Power PLant

below: Queens Quay

cyclists ride by on Queens Quay, past a box on the sidewalk painted in an abstract design

below: “Compartment Earth” in the lobby of RBC WaterPark Place building on Queens Quay.   It is 16,000 pounds of stainless steel; a sculpture by American artist Roxy Paine.

large metal spherical shaped sculpture in the glass surrounded lobby of rbc waterpark building on Queens Quay

below: Work continues on the park, Love Park, that replaces the old York Street exit ramp from the Gardiner Expressway.

waiting to cross Queens Quay at York, by black hoardings around redevelopment of Love Park,

large letters, L O V E spell love on black haordings, letters are decorated in abstract patterns in pink, yellow, and blue

below: Esmaa Mohamoud‘s large image titled: ” The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)” covers 37 x 144 feet (or 11 x 44 metres).

a very large photo of two men high on a wall overlooking the street, Bay street, a group of three people with luggage is walking by

below: Looking up to the blue sky.

reflections and angles on large tall gkass buildings, lots of sky and cloud reflections

below: Part art, part health, this is “Visoleil” in the lobby of the new CIBC Square.  A glowing circle of light to lift the spirits during the grey of a Toronto winter.   I went on a Sunday and the doors were locked so I couldn’t get closer.  Unfortunately, it’s probably gone by now as it was scheduled to be removed on 11th March.

large round white light, lit, inside the entrance of an office building, behind glass, art exhibit, Glowing Orb

below: Also at CIBC Square, “Light Stolen from the Sun” by Steve Driscoll.   This new CIBC building on (by the new GO Station and across from Union Station) has been under construction for a few years now.  It isn’t quite finished.

behind construction fence, coloured glass ready to install inside a new office building

below: Looking through the front window you can catch a glimpse of this magnificent piece of backlit glass.  Apparently there are twelve.  This is something that I am definitely going to come back to see!

looking in the window of the new CIBC building in downtown Toronto, interior glass windows, very tall, of a scene with red leaves on tree and blue sky,

below: Street closed.  Construction.

Lower Simcoe street closed to traffic because of construction

below: More construction, King and John.

a man walks across intersection of John and King, with construction

below: Development notice on Crocodile Rock… yikes, 68 storeys proposed at Adelaide and Duncan.

blue and white city of toronto development notice on wall of Crocodile Rock

below: Northeast corner of Adelaide and Duncan

northeast corner of intersection of Adelaide and Duncan with Crocodile Rock bar on the corner

below: Hoardings on Lower Simcoe street – “A Stroll Through the City” by Camilla Teodoro

pictures painted on hoardings around building

below: Looking west on Front Street from Bay with Union Station, CN Tower, Royal Bank building, and the Royal York Hotel.

Front Street in front of Union station

below: In Simcoe Park (Front Street), there is an aluminium sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor.  It was installed in 1995.

public art, mountains, amid the trees (real) in Simcoe Park

below: Outside Metro Hall, a banner promoting COVID-19 vaccination in kids.

city of Toronto banner promoting vaccination of kids against covid

below: Snarky graffiti – “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

text graffiti on white paper pasteup

below: Signs on traffic construction cones

beside construction equipment, orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that says At what cost?

on the sidewalk by a construction sign,orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that says You're Not Alone

by painted curb between road and bike lane, orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that asks Two Weeks?

below: Protest posters and graffiti. Anti condo development & corrupt landlords. Mercury contamination of water.

graffiti and posters on the side of a red metal newspaper box on the sidewalk. I'm feeling blue sticker, and an anti development poster saying greed is bad

posters and graffiti on a metal box

pasteup graffiti on metal box on sidewalk, eyes, text,

mannequin in a window wearing a shiny yellow sai and holding a heart shaped evening purse with shiny beads on it

 The alley and parking lot behind the south side of Gerrard Street between Rhodes Avenue and Craven Road has a lot of street art.  Most of it was described back in November 2015 in a post titled:
Udlaakut, good morning (Inuit for good morning).

below: Mural by Timmy Drift aka Tim Schjins

mural of many faces with big mouths and white teeth

murals on the back of businesses on Gerrard street, beside a snowy parking lot,

below: A newer painting is this Alley Cats mural which is over 14′ high and is the work of Swizzle Studios (aka Rob Elliott and Andrew Horne)

large mural in a Little India alley, three white cats looking up at a yellow bird on a ledge

below: Jim Bravo and Ema Ciobanico (2020) painted murals with Little India Bazaar themes over two buildings – one on the NE corner of Gerrard and Ashdale and the other across Gerrard on the SE corner.

at the intersection of Gerrard and Ashdale, two buildings across the street from each other, both with Little India murals by Jim Bravo

below: On the northeast corner of Gerrard and Ashdale is the west wall of Kohinoor Foods – people with balloons, flags, and lotus flowers.

mural by Jim Bravo on the wall of Kohinoor Foods on Gerrard East

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

below: Visual noise and friends, slaps in an alley.

stickers and pasteups on a white wall. Urban ninja squadron t bonez on one knee with a large missle launcher on one shoulder

below: I have blogged about this mural before – Four-D by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson at Gerrard and Woodfield, 2013.

below: An elephant above the vape shop

mural of an elephant on the upper level of a store

below: Mr. Monopoly tries to run away with the loot (by kransky)

street traffic, or Bell, box with a running Mr. Monopoly

below: Another mural!  This one was painted by Catherine Cachia

little india bia sponsored mural on the side of a building

below: Two of a series of different coloured ‘banners’ that have cut out images in them.

green and pink banners in Little India

below: Buddha seems to be happy to hang around here.

buddah statue outside a store window

metal chairs and tables stacked against storefronts on sidewalk in Little India

painted planters on the sidewalk on Gerrard St., in the winter with some snow

below: “We’re all in this together”  Still Covid days.

door at 1299, with signs in the window, We're all in this together

signs in the window of a door of a store in Little India

looking through the clear side of a bus shelter at Coxwell Ave., looking west along Gerrard St.

below: Northeast corner of Coxwell and Gerrard/Eastwood

pink two storey building on the northeast corner of Coxwell and Eastwood, with construction in front, Coffee Time on the lower level is closed and windows papered over

below: Halal Meat Shop at Glenside

Halal Meat store on Gerrard

below: Lazy Daisy’s Cafe has been temporarily closed since Christmas while they “transform”.

doorway to Lazy Daisy coffee shop, closed with sign on door

below: Mural at the Black Pony (formerly the Flying Pony)

exterior of Flying Pony Cafe, with snow covered patio furniture and mural that says You're Here

gold and cololurful little statues in a store window

red saris and male clothing with gold and beads decorating it

looking in the front window of a bead store

in a window, a green, red and white flag with beaded shapes hanging in front

old sign at 1301 Gerrard East, sidewalk in winter,

yellow sign on gate of Buddhist temple that says sorry we're closed until further notice

below: Looking west along Gerrard at Greenwood.

people sitting in bus shelter, winter, at corner of Gerrard East and Greenwood, looking west along Gerrard, Daisy Mary and Pizza Pizza as well