Archive for the ‘history’ Category

I read in the news this morning that the graffiti and artwork on the hoardings around the old foundry site in Corktown/Canary District are being painted over now. I had previously mentioned some of the stencils and posters that we here when I first saw them back in February. Unfortunately I am a bit behind on my posts so I haven’t uploaded the pictures that I took on a subsequent visit to the area…. here they are now. This is what is being painted over today:

below: “The history that is represented in this era of globalization is very important not to bulldoze”
“I want to save the Foundry because the buildings lend character to an area that is being made more and more bland every day.”
Meanwhile Doug Ford can’t keep his hands off Toronto City Hall.

red hearts stenciled on plywood hoardings along with a poster showing parody of Doug Ford with his hands meddling with a model of Toronto City Hall.  Other posters with words describing why saving the old Dominion Wheel Foundry is important

below: “Municipal Destruction Minister Steve Clark screws up plans for A-Ford-A-Bull-Housing.”

below: Why Doug? Why?

below: “Dear Doug Ford: Let us fix this for you.”

below: Up beside the Don Valley Parkway and way off the beaten track this time.

up on a hill, level with a DVP overpass over York Mills Road, concrete barrier at side of parkway, signs for exit ramp to York Mills, also sign saying Lawrence Ave in 2 km,

But obviously some people with spray paint know about this little green corner of North York.

graffiti on a concrete wall beside the Don Valley Parkway just north of York Mills Road

below: More graffiti (text, throw ups) along the concrete barrier beside the southbound traffic

text graffiti on the concrete wall along west side of DVP, apartment building in the background,

below: A dead end on an abandoned road. This is part of the remains of an onramp for the southbound Don Valley Parkway from westbound York Mills Road.

text graffiti on a concrete wall, beside green space and the dead end of an abandoned onramp for the Don Valley Parkway, red brick apartment building, small trees,

below: This ramp was closed in 2005 and replaced with the present road configuration where all the on and off ramps are on the south side of York Mills.  Except for creating a mound of earth along the York Mils side, the site was left untouched.  Small trees are slowly taking over as nature gains the upper hand.

abandoned road starting to be overgrown with cracked asphalt, behind some houses, lots of trees with no leaves (early spring)

below: Still no parking

abandoned ramp to DVP,

Looking south along remains of an abandoned on ramp for the DVP at York Mills Road, later winter,

below:  Walking east on York Mills Road

A path crosses a large lawn in front of two apartment buildings

looking slightly uphill at a tree with a slight lean to the right in front of a tall yellowish grey apartment building

below: Any idea what this is? Something old and to do with water? At first I thought that it was sidewalk feature but now I suspect that someone ditched it here.

Small cylindrical metal object standing upright on the grass beside a sidewalk, rusty and old

below: Looking eastward on York Mills Road

Looking east along York Mills Road, just east of the Don Valley Parkway, some condo construction on the right, traffic, school bus, low rise apartments on the left

red and orange spray paint markings on a sidewalk by a construction site

below: Walking through Deerlick Park

View from a park towards a construction site with first few floors of a new condo built.  Taller apartment buildings in the background

fence around  a pile of dirt, construction site, with orange objects, apartment building in the background

below: Playground on Deerlick Trail

path leading to a playground

An orange kids bike lies on the grass outside a townhouse.  Patio chairs are stacked up by the house along with round table and folded umbrella

below: CN Tower and the downtown Toronto skyline in the distance

Looking beyond a fence and some houses to see the CN Tower and Toronto downtown skyline in the distance

Part of a mural, outdoors summer rural scene with house in the distance, a fox by a creek and a girl in the foreground in a flowered dress and her hair in two pigtails, surrounded by a field of long grass and flowers

below: Trilliums under the Don Valley Parkway. Part of a mural on both sides of the underpass at Brookbanks. It was painted by Sarah J. Collard with help from Manny and Sonja Wiebe.

end of a mural on walls of an underpass, under the DVP.  A field of white trilliums with tree trunks on the background.

Woman walking on sidewalk, walking past a mural by Start and City of Toronto, on DVP underpass concrete walls

part of a mural, a man cycling on a path, a sea gull lands behind him., path goes past field of flowers

3 valleys auto garage and full service gas station, a low one storey building with 4 bays for car repair

below: Church of Our Saviour with its large triangular stained glass window that was apparently designed by a local high school student.

Front view of Our Saviour Church, Anglican, with its A shaped roof line.  Large triangular stained glass window

Construction site in residential area, house is mostly demolished, just footprint remains, fence around site, orange digger, backs of houses in next street, a tall apartment building in the background

blue dump truck backed into a construction site where a house has been demolished

split level semi divided house with cars parked in the driveway, a large tree in front of the one on the right, apartment building behind

From Three Valleys I tried to find a way to get back north to York Mills Road via parks and green spaces but I couldn’t do it. The next blog post was the result of a subsequent walk when I started farther north and attempted to find a path south.

below: No Eiffel Tower here!

blue and white toronto street sign for Paris Court, on a wood utility pole

tile pattern beside a glass door

The other day, later in the afternoon, I was driving along the Lakeshore when I noticed that perfect lighting on the south side of the Keating Channel.  I’ve done blog posts about the Port Lands development but I hadn’t looked at it from the other side.  A quick change of plans – a parking spot nearby and a walk along the Lakeshore.  This is some of what I saw that day.

below: At the bottom of Cherry Street

Cherry street railway building

below: At the corner of Cherry and Lakeshore.

old concrete silos as seen from Lakeshire and Cherrt, with Gardiner Expressway above

below: Along the Lakeshore, looking south towards Port Lands at Cherry.

yellow fire hydrant in front, guard rails along the side of Lakeshore Blvd, with Lafarge silos in the background

below: The Gardiner curves slightly northward as it aligns with the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd takes a wider turn and comes out from under the Gardiner for a few brief moments before slipping back under as both roads parallel the channel.

Gardiner Expressway curves to the left

below:  On the south side of Lakeshore, there is no sidewalk here but the grassy area is wide enough…..

shadow on the grass beside the Lakeshore

below:  Walking here offers a different view of the Port Lands.  The “smokestack” on the right is the old Hearn Generating station.

Keating Channel, looking east

below: Some of the buildings that remain on Villiers Street.

looking across the Keating Channel to a low rise building, square dock juts into the channel

old buildings still remaing on Villies Street as seen from across the Keating Channel

below: Panorama of Keating Channel being developed, 1916, before there was much on the Port Lands and  Cherry Street was just a one lane dirt road.

panorama - 1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo, also Port Lands before they were developed

below: Keating Channel, 1916

1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo
The original plan for the diversion of the Don River called for a more curved mouth of the river before it joined the Keating Channel.  But the British American Oil Company who owned the land fought that idea.  Instead, the 90 degree turn that still exists today was built to avoid crossing B/A property.

below: A few years after the channel was upgraded (1934)…  From vacant land to a forest of BA oil tanks. There are railway tracks along the edge of the channel.  From Wikipedia: “In 1908, with 8 shareholders, B/A built Canada’s third refinery on 3 acres on the eastern waterfront in Toronto. The company refined imported crude oil and its main product was kerosene; a then-useless by-product was gasoline, which was dumped into a swamp.”

photo of Keating Street

Photo by Arthur Beales. Toronto Port Authority Archives, PC 1/1/10769. Found at Wikimedia Common

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below: BA refinery with the Don River on the right, 1931.  There were still storage tanks here in the 1960s when the city was building the Gardiner Expressway.

1931 photograph, vintage, black and white, of British American oil refinery just north of the Keating Channel and just west of the Don River,

Photo source: Library and Archives Canada, online

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below: This rusty “fence” isn’t going to hold anyone or anything back.  I had visions of tumbling into the icy channel if I went near it.  I think that just looking at it made it wobble.

old rusty metal barrier between the Keating Channel and the road, with some weeds and gravel

below: There are still places to tie up your boat

a large metal piece beside keating channel, for tying off boats who want to park there,

below: A big tap? It’s attached to a pipeline but is it functional?  (It doesn’t look like it).  There is a lot of infrastructure buried under the Lakeshore, sewer lines, water mains, electricals, etc., but this looks like a piece of history.  Pleased correct me if I’m wrong!  Also – if you plan to explore here, there are stretches where the only option is to walk right beside the road.

old rusty large valve for a pipeline, beside Lakeshore Blvd,

below: Likewise, the box structure is probably there to protect the rest – but what are they?  Valves of some kind?

old metal pieces of hardware, pipes and valves?, rusty, beside the Keating channel

lone building onthe other side of the water, surrounded by construction at ground level.  boarded up, two storey building

construction in the background, blue digger, vacant land, and the Keating channel in the foreground, ducks in the water

below: Looking north to Canary District and West Don Lands development.  The oil tanks are long gone.

Canary district development from the Lakeshore, looking north,

below: Looking up from Lakeshore, under both the Gardiner and the ramp from the DVP

view from the Lakeshore looking up to the Gardiner Expressway and the underside of the ramp from the Don Valley Parkway to the Gardiner, 3 levels of concrete pillars and roadway.

below: Looking west from Don Roadway along the Keating Channel to the new Cherry Street bridge.

view from the Don Roadway back to the new Cherry Street bridge, looking west, with the Gardiner to the right, Keating channel with thin layer of ice on it, docks and a few buildings on the Port Lands side of the channel

below: Intersection of Lakeshore and Don Roadway.

at the intersection of Don Roadway and Lakeshore Blvd, traffic cones and a blue sign that says sidewalk closed ahead

below: Two metal transmission towers standing side by side.  Geometrical, straight lines, yet lace-like.

two tall metal hydro poles with lots of blue sky, power plant in the distance, and looking very small

below: From the Don Roadway, northbound and homeward

street art on the concrete bents holding up the ramp from D V P to Gardiner Expressway, walking path beside, with a man walking his dog,

close up of part of electrical station equipment, with water tower in the background with word Ponds written on it

chain link fence with a design woven into it with different colours, artwork, shrubbery with no leaves (winter time), billboard on an expressway in the background

I first started walking the streets with a camera sometime in 2011.   At that time Instagram was still a baby; the photo sharing platform of choice at the time was flickr.  Flickr still exists but there are many more choices now.  Back in the day there was a Toronto flickr group that had meetups once a month.  The meetup, there’s another concept that has exploded with the internet.  There are now meetup groups for any photography genre that tickles your fancy.  Ten years ago, you met through flickr and that is how I found Toronto Photo Walks. They walk (or walked pre-COVID) on alternate Saturdays, rain or shine, somewhere in the city.   My first walk with them was February 2012, almost exactly 9 years ago.   If you check their website, you”ll see that COVID-19 has played havoc with their group and there haven’t been any walks for a year now.  I miss my phellow photogs so the other day I walked with one and this is where we ended up.

 

below: If you’ve been in the Distillery District this winter (or any of the past few winters), you might recognize this cheerful fellow.

tall fake snowman with a red and white striped scarf, in the distillery district

below: At Mill and Trinity, the omnipresent blue and white Notice sign.  Apparently a developer has applied to build a 31 storey building (on top of the existing old brick structure) with 392 hotel rooms.  I wonder if they are happy that they didn’t just finish this a year ago?  Ontario hotel occupancy rate hit a low of 15.3% in April 2020 and had barely started to recover when the second lockdown hit.  As an aside – if you like stats, you’ll like the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport research pages!

blue and white city of toronto development notice in front of old brick building in distillery district

below: One industry that is booming is the film business.  Often you can see movie trucks at the corner of Mill and Cherry.  This land is owned by the province and is awaiting an affordable housing development of some sort.

movie film crew trucks on the corner of Cherry and Mill streets

two people buying coffee and muffins from a food truck in a lot with many other white trucks

below: The old Foundry site, actually a group of heritage buildings at the former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue that are more than 100 years old.

glass windows of the old foundry building

The problem?  It sits on provincially owned land.  The province can pull stunts like changing the zoning without city approval (or knowledge).  It can turn one foundry building into 3 towers of max 141m high  (30 storeys is approx. 100m so 141 m is TALL!).  One of them has to be rental apartments but can’t have parking – there’s to be a commercial parking structure instead.  Hey let’s build affordable housing by making them pay for parking!  Here is the government website with the proof – Ontario Regulation 595/20

bench on sidewalk in front of old foundry building

Fast forward to late January.  Demolition of the foundry begins with no warning to the neighbourhood.  There is a rezoning order but no actual plans drawn up or developer named.  As far we know, the province still owns the land but refuses to say exactly the plan is because, well, probably because there is no plan or because the province is selling out to a developer.  Name your poison.   The province just says “affordable housing” and we’re supposed to go oooh and ahhh.

old foundry building behind hoardings, new condo in the background

Just around the corner (on Mill Street) three towers of 761 rental units are being built at the moment (no photo, it’s all behind hoardings so far).

machinery in front of old foundry building that demolition was started on, and then stopped

below: Heritage Toronto plaque, 2012, Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd., Manufacturing Complex

plaque at former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue

These four buildings were once part of a larger Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd. complex. By 1913, the company had constructed its first building, 169 Eastern Ave. on this site. As a manufacturer of railway equipment, rolling stock, and foundry and machinery supplies, Dominion Wheel & Foundries expanded with the growth of the nearby railway companies. By the 1940s, the buildings stretched from this location to Cherry Street, replacing two former residential streets. The firm’s remaining warehouse (#169)m foundry building (#153, built 1951), office building (#171, built 1930), and machine shop (#185, built about 1935) are now among the few remaining reminders of the extensive impact the railway industry had on this area.

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Anyhow, lots of protest, lots of noise.  Demolition was halted.  An Ontario Divisional Court justice temporarily stopped the province from demolishing the heritage buildings.

4 hand drawn posters protesting the demolition of the old foundry building

below: Just behind the Foundry, an almost completed condo.

new condo in Canary district almost finished construction,

below: Workers remove the protective layer from the mirror-like panels on the underside of the overhang (see yellow area near the bottom of the condo in the above photo).  This feature parallels the mirrors on the “ceiling” of Underpass Park which is close by.

workmen working on a lift, working on mirrored exterior overhanging roof on a new condo

flat bed truck carrying machinery, and little red car on street, man holding slow stop sign by construction site , man on sidewalk walking two small dogs

below: Poster paste up graffiti at Underpass Park (you can see the new condo I mentioned above in the upper right corner).  Good advice whether you take it literally or as a metaphor.

poster graffiti on a piller in Underpass Park, poetry on it

black marker scrawl graffiti on a concrete post, drawing of man's face and head with words about smoking

below: Looking northwest at the corner of King and Sumach

corner of kIng and Sumach, looking northwest, Central Auto mechanic on the corner

below: A few metres further west along King.  Traffic passes under Richmond and Adelaide streets.

TTC streetcar on King as it goes under the Richmond Street overpass from the Don Valley Parkway

below:  Looking northwest from Sackville Park.

looking west through Sackville Park, to city buildings behind, snow on ground

below: ghost sign

ghost sign that says groceries, under a cracking layer of concrete, on a wall with a couple of windows

below: Waiting for the streetcar.

King street 504 TTC streetcar, person sitting onrailing and waiting for streetcar

man making a delivery , a box, on a bike, KIng street,

below: Architectural detail on a corner of St. Lawrence Hall.   That’s quite the expression on the poor fellow’s face.  The harrowed look of someone who has spent too much time in lockdown?

small relief sculpture high on a wall of the St. Lawrence Hall

below: In contrast, this guy looks like he’s having a great time!

a small dog is looking out the open window of a black car

Did you ever think that we’d still be mired in this pandemic a year later?

below: A reminder that this pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses –  sign on a window, “Dear Customers”

sign in a restaurant window

Dear customers, We have decided to close this weekend to re-assess for the future…

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below: Lining up to buy groceries, masked and keeping distanced.

people lined up waiting to get into No Frill grocery store, keeping the 2 metres apart

On a storefront window, something positive: hearts for the things we love – “my dog”, “mac & cheese”, “movie popcorn”, etc.

pink post it notes with words, beside big pink heart, in the window of a store, notes all say what people love

below: Pam Lostracco artwork on hoardings.

painted hoardings of a couple sitting on a bench, a child on a bike, some Canada geese, by Pam , around a construction site

workmen by the entrance to a construction site, with concrete mixer backed into the site

below: View of the CN Tower from Lower Sherbourne, just north of Lakeshore/Gardiner and immediately south of Hydro One’s Esplanade Transformer Station.  Unfortunately, that is not a public path; it is behind a locked gate.

graffiti on the wall around the hydro substation, lots electrical stuff, with CN Tower and downtown buildings in the background

below: Chairs in the median.

two chairs in the median on the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner at Lower Sherbourne

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking west towards downtown.

looking west on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne, construction,

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking east towards the old Victory Soya Mills Silos.  They were built for Canadian Breweries’ soya bean processing plant in 1944.  Ten years later the site was sold to Proctor and Gamble who renamed them the Victory Soya Mills Silos.   One last change of ownership occurred in 1980 when Central Soya Mills purchased them.   They have been empty since 1991.  Other buildings on the site have been demolished but the silos remain, now a heritage building but surrounded by a large vacant lot.

looking east on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne with old concrete silos in the distance, lots of orange and black traffic cones in the middle of the street in the foreground

below: The mill with its three silos before it closed in the early 1990s.  The silo that still stands is the one in the back, not the two closest to the water.   In this picture, you are looking southeast; the Port Lands are in the background and the Cherry Street bridge is on the left at the very edge.  There isn’t much traffic on the Gardiner Expressway!

old colour photograph of Victory Soya Mills with Port Lands behind

below: Sugar Beach

sugar beach with pink umbrellas, looking northwest to the city, new glass highrise beside redpath sugar

black and white sticker graffiti on a pole

sticker graffiti on a pole

My thanks to Vicki for walking with me that day.  We’ve walked many miles together in the past but I don’t think that we’ve ever walked alone (maybe?)

reflections in a window downtown

below: As an aside, after walking with Vicki, I looped back around to my car.  This construction site is on Adelaide where the brick facade of the old building is being preserved.   More to explore another day!

construction site, Adelaide street, new condo building, but with retention of the old facade

poster on the outside of a store, blue wall, picture of a tree and words that say Love your hood, Birchcliff village

Birch Cliff, where one of the predominant themes is birch trees.

mural of birch tree trunks

Such as this mural on the side of the public school.

Birch cliff public school, a two storey red brick building, with a large mural of birch trees on one exterior wall

The other theme in this stretch of Kingston Road seems to be the blue and white Toronto notice of development signs and the consequent empty buildings.

Lenmore Court, an older brick apartment complex, with a blue and white Toronto notice of development sign on it

banner, density has to make sense, protest agains Atlree developers and their plan to redevelop Lenmore Court

two posters on a wood utility pole, protesting redevelopments in the neighbourhood

small mural of birch trees beside Scarborough bluffs, on outside wall beside a window with a protest sign in it. Poretesting redevelopment of parts of Kingston Road with buildings that are too big, too tall, too wide

three empty storefronts at 1557, 1559 Kingston Road, two storey buildings in shades of grey

three old two storey brick storefronts, one is Cheers restaurant painted bright red, the other is Barbers by Nature

beside a new condo building, older smaller buildings on Kingston Road, Lakeview Tavern,

looking across the street to Majestic Auto service and Fallingbrook garage, two businesses that share a building

side entrance and car door of Fallingbrook garage, mechanic, service entrance, now with a development notice sign on it

The old….

three storey red brick apartment buildings with large trees in front, one apartment has red curtains

… and the new. This is the only building that is close to being finished.   If the drawings on the development signs are to be believed, there will be several more in the neighbourhood just like it in a couple of years time.

six or 7 storey new condo development in birch cliff

below: Kingston Road is quite close to Lake Ontario. At this point the only thing between the road and the water is the grounds and golf course of The Toronto Hunt Club, a private members only club.

trees, in winter time, with snow on the ground, with Lake Ontario in the distance, Scarboruogh Hunt Club grounds

below: On the side of Legion 13 on Kingston Road is this large mural.  Painted in memory of Max Silverstein, by John Hood with help from Alexandra Hood and Asif Khan, 1991. Restored in 2010 by Blinc Studios.  It’s also part of the Heritage Trail murals, a Mural Routes project.

large mural on the side of Legion 13 building on Kingston Road, parade of soldiers

Plaque beside the mural says: “Scarborough Rifle Company marching to the Niagara Frontier, June 1, 1866. In 1862 the Scarborough Rifle Company was organized with headquarters in a school at Eglinton Avenue near Markham Road. It was the first of several militia companies formed in York County. The company was rushed to the Niagara frontier three times in 1865 and 1866 to defend Canada against the Fenians. The Scarborough Rifle Company later became No. 1 Company in the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the forerunner of Queen’s York Rangers.”

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below: A smaller mural on the right hand side of the above one features portraits of two men, Captain Norris and Lieutenant Taber, soldiers in the Fenian Raids of 1866.

mural on side of Legion 13 building, two portraits in oval frames, Norris and Taber, Fenian Raids history

below: Another Heritage Trail  mural – “Mitchells General Store” by Phil Irish, 1998.  Mitchells store was one of the first businesses established in the Birch Cliff area.  The same store is mentioned in another Scarborough history mural just a bit north on Warden Avenue (see Scarborough Bells)

a mural on the side of a building, inside an old fashioned store with a man behind the counter and a woman shopper

yellow metal bucket hanging from a tree with evergreens and a red ribbon, also three gold christmas balls hanging with the bucket

below: An elaborate home for the birds with a tiny outpost below.

a large white bird house with a red windmill on it, behind a wrought iron fence, and a for rent sign on the fence

below: Ready for social distancing when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

an old beige arm chair, with snow it, outside beside industrial garbage bins

Molson Canadian flag outside a bar, also muskoka chairs and a carved wood bear, a Canadian flag too.

below: Buster’s ready to play

carved wooden bear, Buster, with Canada flag hockey shirt on, holding a hockey stick,

below: This guy needs a beer

posters and signs on the door of a bar

below: Looking in a window – framed pictures, old records, a trunk and a tripod.

looking in the window of a junk vintage store, framed pictures on the wall, a shelf of old records, a trunk, and other stuff

windows and entrance of Sharons Variety store on Kingston Road

below: A Beckers store, you don’t have to be that old to remember Beckers do you?  The original Beckers Milk Company was founded in 1957; they had five convenience stores that were open 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.  By 2006 when the company was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, there were 500 stores.  Most were converted to Macs convenience stores stores.  In 2013 the Beckers label was brought back and apparently there are now 45 Beckers stores.

row of two storey brick storefronts including a Beckers store with a birch tree mural on it

an old gas station that is now a used car dealership, with many cars parked outside in the snow

cars parked outside in the snow at a used car lot

below: St. Nicholas Anglican church, opened 1917.

St Nicholas church, red brick, no steeple, but a pointed roof

old two story brown brick building on Kingston Road

red wall, exterior of Fashion Sushi

below: An idea for a future walk!

Warden street sign, with traffic signals, also a sign pointing south to the Waterfront Trail

The main entrance to Glendon College is via Lawrence Avenue on the west side of Bayview; here Lawrence becomes the driveway for the college.   The first building that you see is glass with the word welcome in several languages etched into it.   On the left is “boozhoo” which is Ojibwe, “she:kon” is Mohawk, and “tansi” is a greeting in Cree.

glass wall of newest Glendon college building, glass with the word welcome in different languages etched onto it, reflections in the glass

In 1924, Edward Rogers Wood (1866-1941) and Agnes Euphemia Smart (1868-1950) moved into the house that they had built on 84 acres of ravine land at the north end of Bayview Avenue,  in what was then suburban Toronto.

below: Glendon Hall now, on a grey winter day.

Glendon Hall, in winter, the old house on campus of Glendon College built in the 1920s

When Agnes Eupemia (Phemie) died in 1950, she left the estate to the University of Toronto to be used for a university botanical garden.  Ten years later U of T gave the site to the newly formed York University to use as their main campus.

below: Another of the older buildings at Glendon

old bungalow house on Glendon college campus, winter, green tile roof, white walls, black shutters,

below: Residence building being renovated.  They were built in the late 1960s.  Glendon College has just under 3000 students but the campus was very quiet (on a Sunday in January 2021).

residence building, Glendon College, three storey red brick building with windows

below: Lionel Thomas (Canadian,1915-2005), The Whole Person, 1961 metal mounted on the exterior of one of the buildings on the College campus.

metal 2 dimensional sculpture by Lionel Thomas mounted on a red brick wall, title is The Whole Person, a man is holding a burning lamp

below: Metal sculpture by Ray Spiers (b. Canada 1934), Untitled 1, 1975

metal boxes with open ends, sculpture on the ground, with snow, Glendon campus, by Ray Spiers in 1975

below: Sculpture of a more temporary nature.

small, partially melted snowman with stick arms,

residence building, Glendon College, winter, path, large trees

The main part of the campus is up high, above the ravine formed by the west branch of the Don River.  At the bottom of the hill is the pool and tennis courts as well as access to trails along the river.

below: Athletic Center and bridge over the Don River

single lane bridge with wide sidewalk and bright red metal barricades on side, brick building in the background, trees, winter,

 

path in woods in winter, with orange snow fence lining the walkway

2 dogs on a snow covered path in the woods

below: The end of Lawrence Avenue on the east side of Bayview.

the end of Lawrence Avenue at Bayview, the Bayview bridge crossing the ravine far above

below: Under the Bayview bridge which was originally built in 1929 with financing help from E.R. Wood, and expanded in the early 1960s.

concrete pillars with some graffit on them, holding up a bridge, over snowy ground

below: Before 1929 this is where traffic crossed the Don River.  The bridge, Watson’s Bridge, was built in 1895.   In the distance, you can see the Chedington condos; they sit where a house for Muriel Wood once stood.  E.R. Wood built the house (also called Chedington) for his daughter in 1927-28 but it was destroyed by fire in 2009.

single lane unpaved road through woods, and then over old bridge, winter

below: Watson bridge, built 1895

an old concrete bridge over the Don River by Bayview, some graffiti on it, seen through the woods in winter, no leaves on the trees, over the Don River,

below: Beyond Bayview the paths were very icy so we didn’t venture much farther that day.

ice on the path, beside creek, in woods,

More details about the history of the Bayview bridge can be found on a City of Toronto website.   They have lots of pictures!

 

 

Immediately south of the Danforth , the CNR tracks cross Warden Avenue. A heritage mural was painted there a few years ago.

a white pickup truck makes a turn at an intersection with a GO train going over a bridge in the background

The wall on the west side was painted first. In the centre is a portrait of Elizabeth Simcoe. In August 1793, Elizabeth Simcoe wrote that the bluffs reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough England. Apparently that led to the bluffs being called Scarborough Highlands. Scarborough village became the settlement near the Scarborough bluffs.

mural by De Anne Lamirande, portrait of Elizabeth Simcoe, in blue dress with white collar, large hat,

To the left of her is a painting of the Scarborough bluffs.

part of mural on side of railway underpass, Scarborough bluffs and Lake Ontario

And to the right, a steam train at the station.

one end of a mural showing a steam train coming into a station where a group of people are waiting

On the east side, a painting of the stone Bell estate house built in 1830 is in the centre. Although it is known today as the Bell estate, the original builders were Richard and John Thornbeck who obtained 100 acres on that site in 1828 (near presentday Warden and St. Clair). In 1861 this 4 bedroom house was occupied by Richard Thornbeck, his wife, six children and his widowed mother.

mural on railway underpass on Warden Ave by De Ann Lamirande, old stone house, Bells estate,

Thornbeck sold the house to William Bell in 1882. It was then home to a line of Bell decendents for over a century. It was Bell’s Scarborough Dairy from 1931 to 1943 when it was purchased by Donlands Dairy.  Part of the property was later owned by Beckers Milk who had a milk processing plant there until 1995.  In 2012 the house was empty and boarded up.

part of a mural, a black and white cow in a farmyard, behind a cedar rail fence, in front of an orange barn

cow, farmyard scene in a mural, beside sidewalk on railway underpass

below: On delivery, with horse and wagon from Mitchells. Arthur Mitchells Grocery store was an early landmark in the community of Birchcliff. It was on the corner of Kingston Road and Birchmount.

a man on a horse drawn carriage making deliveries, part of a mural

The mural was painted in 2012/2013 by De Anne Lamirande with help from Andrew Horne and Emelia Jajus

bronze city of toronto plaque describing the mural on Warden ave

This mural illustrates the Bell estate’s beautiful fieldstone house built in 1830, just east of Warden Avenue which was designated as a historical site in 2011 and still stands today. Established on the property was Bell’s Scarborough Dairy which flourished from 1931 to 1943. The A.H. Mitchell Grocery Store was located on Kingston Road and made deliveries in this area by horse and buggy. The centre columns feature Oak trees, the red Canadian Maple and Birch trees which represent the Oakridge and Birchcliff communities.

[note: Oakridge is north of the tracks while the community of Birchcliff is to the south]

With collaboration from City of Toronto and Mural Routes

Back in the early spring of 2019, I wrote about accessing the East Don path from Moccasin Trail.

below: Last week, the view from the east side of the tunnel under the DVP leading to Moccasin Trail Park.

semi circular arch and tunnel under the DVP from the East Don trail, autumn with fall colours on the trees, paved path, grass beside,

Now, in a different year and a different season, I have explored more of that trail starting at the north end, near Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Originally, Lawrence Avenue curved south down the east side of the ravine before it crossed the Don River. The remains of part of that road provide access to the East Don path at Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. Sauriol (1904-1995) was a Canadian naturalist who played a leading role in conserving many natural areas in the province including the Don Valley.

Here, the Alexander Milne family first settled in 1832. Over time, a woolen mill and a sawmill were built, other families moved in, and the village of Milneford Mills was born; it thrived until the early 1900’s. The old woolen mill remained derelict until it was demolished in 1946. Between Hurricane Hazel floods in 1954, and the expropriation of land to make way for the DVP construction, most traces of the village have disappeared.

below: All that remains is one house. It’s been behind chainlink and “under renovation” for MANY years. When I went searching for any kind of story about this house, I discovered a blog post from 2011 about Charles Sauriol Park and the house was fenced in then. Apparently it was covered in graffiti back in 2008/9. I’m not sure that Mr. Sauriol would be impressed.

old white house, built 1878, now in park, with metal fence around it because of renovations, autumn, with trees in golds and oranges

autumn colours in the leaves on the trees, oranges and golds, and some red sumach

below: The Rainbow Bridge from the north side.

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

below: The trail passes underneath the Canadian Pacific (CP) tracks.

a man walks his dog along the path through the Don River ravine, autumn trees, and the path goes under the tall CN railway bridge with its metal girders

below: Footings for the CP bridge

concrete footings on a metal railway bridge over the Don River

below: As the trail crosses land owned by CP Rail, it is covered by a metal frame canopy. It’s difficult to see in this photo but there is a series of small laser-cut metal artworks between the grey railings. The whole structure is “A Walk in the Woods” and it is the creation of both Robert Sprachman and Arnaud Boutle.

a metal canopy over a path and under a metal railway bridge

gnarly old dead tree that looks like screaming face

a woman walks along a path at the bottom of a hill. the hill is covered with leaves that have fallen off the tall trees

2 people walk on the sandy river bank on the side of the Don River, autumn with leaves in different shades of red and gold

below: Farther down the trail is another railway bridge. This is the same line that goes north to Oriole GO station and beyond. The scaffolding under the bridge is for the construction of another canopy similar to one under the CP bridge (above) as well as an art installation.

workmen on a railway bridge

below: Part of art installation “High Water Mark” by Robert Sprachman that is almost complete. There are 15 rocks each with a year on them. The height of the rock on a metal pole represents the height of the flood water on the Don River that year (but is not an exact height). There are four rocks in this picture and from left to right are 1926, 1934, 1942, and obscured (the last is behind the wood. Ooops).

Artwork called High Water Mark, rocks at levels that match the flood levels of different years, on metal poles by a bridge beside the Don River

below: Oak leaves

leaves on a small oak tree have turned a rusty red colour around the edges

below: Backs of houses overlooking the park

a white house up on a hill behind autumn trees that are starting to lose their leaves

below: A chickadee holding onto a dead flower as it eats the seeds.

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

below: Fish. Yes there are fish in the Don River, about 21 species apparently. This one, salmon?, although large is unfortunately also dead. Over the past 30 years the Don River has received a lot of TLC which has helped to reduce the level of industrial pollution as well as the amount of litter and trash found along the banks.

a large dead fish has washed up onto the sandy shore of the Don River

below: We were told “It’s not the best time” when we asked if we could continue on the trail. South of here the trail is a construction zone. Eventually (soon? I may have visited a little too soon?) the path will join with those farther south so that there will be a continuous trail from Lawrence to the lake. In the meantime, this is Wynford. You can exit here, or retrace your steps back to Lawrence. Next time!

two people with their backs to the camera stand on a path and watch a digger in front of them, there is a bridge over the creek ahead and workmen have parked their truck on the bridge, autumn colours in the trees around them.

path through the woods, autumn

three dried berries on a shrub with one red leaf, autumn

Another path through the woods. This time there was a hint of yellow in the leaves because it was late September and even in 2020, some things are the same as ever.

a dirt path through the woods, some yellow hues in the trees

The path led me uphill to the newly renovated Guild Inn. It’s been five years since I have wandered around their gardens and surrounding park. In that time, the building has been renovated and expanded. I didn’t take very many pictures the other day because I knew that I had a lot from my previous visit. I was going to link to the blog post from that time but I discovered that I never actually got around to posting anything! So, I have found the old photos and have included some of them here.

below: For instance, this is the front of the inn in July 2015 with its windows covered.

chainlink fence in front of an empty white building with windows that have been covered, old Guild Inn before renovations

below: And the back, five years ago.

photo from 2015 of Guild Inn surrounded by construction metal fence before it was renovated

below: Five years later – the back of the Guild Inn with the path leading to the gardens.

the old white house back of Guild Inn, with small stone columns in the garden along with trees and flowers

below: A statue of Saint Francis Assisi with a wolf, carved by Thomas Bowie (b.1905)

a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi with a wolf, in stone, in front of a flower garden

below: A stone wall with statues and carvings provides a backdrop for a garden full of black-eyed susans. Because of the efforts of a few people to salvage some of Toronto’s architectural and creative history, the gardens of the Guild Inn have become the final resting place of a number of pieces of older buildings that have been demolished to make way for modern skyscrapers.

a large number of black eyed susan flowers in a garden, with sculptures and statues on a wall in the background

below: Stone wall with features from the Bank of Nova Scotia building (1903)

small concrete wall that incorporates a number of small sculptures from old buildings

below: The bird nest is long gone. … but it would have been a nice quiet spot to raise a family.

the upper torso and head of a man, sculpture in stone, in a niche in a wall. a bird has built a nest on his shoulder

large stone columns in a park, old architectural details from a building that was demolished, columns saved and moved here to Guild Inn

carved in stone, a head of an old man with curly hair and curly beard, with stone corinthian columns rising above him

below: From the Royal Conservatory of Music. There are two bas-relief bronzes of men associated with the Royal Conservatory. On the right is Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973), an organist, composer, and conductor who was knighted in 1935 by King George V. On the left is Dr. Healey Willan (1880-1968) another organist and composer who was associated with the Toronto Conservatory for 30 years (1920-1950).

a brick wall with details from Royal Conservatory of Music building, music hall carving, and two bas-relief bronzes of men, Sir Ernest McMilland Dr. Healey Willan

below: Looking through one stone arch to another, the square arch from the Imperial Bank of Canada Building (1928) and underneath sits Musidora. Many artists have lent their interpretations of this woman (in sculpture and paint), the subject of a poem titled “Summer” by Scottish poet James Thomson written in 1727. The beautiful Musidora strips naked to cool down by bathing in the stream, not knowing that she is being watched by Damon. Damon is torn between watching and turning away but chooses the latter.

a statue under an arch as seen from an arch farther away, greenery, garden

sculpture of a naked woman in a garden

short white marble column in a garden

In 1887, a Bank of Montreal building was built at the northwest corner of King and Bay; a site now occupied by First Canadian Place. The building featured a series of sculptures representing the Canadian provinces that were created by a number of artists. When the building was demolished in 1968, these panels were brought to the Guild Inn. Not all of them are on view today possibly because some were not in good shape (held together with metal straps). Maybe they are being fixed up?

below: This is the Alberta panel in 2015; the artist was Jacobine Jones (1897-1976)

relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, man holding a sheep, with rodeo cowboy beloww

below: It has since been cleaned up.

detail of relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, two bare feet, a cowboy riding a bucking broncho

below: One of two stone angel panels from the North American Life Assurance Company Building (1932).

bas relief sculpture on stone of a winged woman holding a globe, earth

below: The brick and stone entranceway from the Granite Club (1926)

an arch entranceway of red brick and stone over a path through a garden with lots of trees and grass around it

below: This cabin was named for William Osterhout, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1805 was given the first Crown land grant from King George III as reward for his service with the Butler’s Rangers. Although Osterhoust briefly owned the property, he never settled in Scarborough Township. The structure was more likely built around 1850 to 1860…. that may be a contentious “fact” as some believe that it is at least 50 years older than that.

osterhout cabin, log cabin, from pioneer days, on the grounds of the Guild Inn

The gardens have several different types of trees all in their autumn plummage.

below: Orange berries on a mountain ash tree…

orange mountain ash tree berries on a tree

below: … and many little crabapples on a crabapple tree.

a large bunch of crab apples on a tree, many many berries on the tree

below: At the south, the property ends at the Scarborough bluffs and there are many warning signs along the paths that run near the edge.

path through the woods with small fence on left. signs on left saying do not climb fence or cross over because of unstable ground, top of Scarborough bluffs, warning signs,

below: Looking out over Lake Ontario

trees at the edge of a path overlooking Lake Ontario, from high up near top of Scarborough bluffs

green leaves turning red in the autumn, on the tree, with sun light shining through them

a carving in stone, square panel with a 4 petal flower with 4 leaves, symmetrical

And then, when driving north on Morningside on my home, I encountered this…. The peacocks have arrived.

a van is unloading on the street, two large peacock sculptures, about 6 feet high in off-white, standing on the pavement

For more of the history of the Guild Inn, see their website.

four cars waiting at a level railway crossing on Morningside Ave, red lights flashing and barriers down but no train yet

and red and white danger due to sign, danger due to covid-19

below:  He may be sitting on the bench but this hockey player is prepared.  He’s practicing social distancing and he’s got his mask on just in case.  He’s also a reminder that the NHL playoffs for the 2019-20 season are being played in a bubble here in Toronto at the moment… but the Maple Leafs didn’t make the cut.  After having to take a few months off because of Covid-19, the NHL scheduled the playoffs in only two cities, Toronto and Edmonton.  Games started at the beginning of August and are scheduled to finish the first week of October.   There is talk that maybe the 2020-21 season can begin after that but like everything else these days, who knows.

a metal statue of a hockey player in Toronto Maple Leaf blue sits on a bench outside a gallery, wearing a covid face mask, as a man walks past

below: ‘Love Negotiation’ on Scollard Street by Gillie and Marc.  Dogman and Rabbitgirl share a few minutes over coffee.   They too are outside are are socially distanced… or perhaps they have been isolating together are have escaped their tiny downtown condo for a bit of fresh air.  ” Rabbitgirl and Dogman invite the world to sit with them symbolically at their Table and take the first step to understanding and loving each other. The sculpture is where we sit, discuss, and solve problems. The world has reached a crisis where our differences are causing hatred and division.”

 

male dog in blue and female rabbit in red sitting face to face at a table with coffee, sculpture on Scollard street

sculpture on Scollard street, a dog in blue, sits at a table with a cup of coffee in his hands

below: The William Sexton houses on the NE corner of Bay & Scollard are being preserved and incorporated into a condo development.  They were built by Sexton in 1890 in a style similar to the Queen Ann Revival style.  Although it looks like one large brick house, it is actually a row of 4 houses.  In 1974 they were added to Toronto’s Heritage Register.  That was also the last year that all four were used as residences.

Bay and Scollard, old building boarded up with new construction behind

below: A slightly fuzzy 1974 photo of William Sexton houses.

photo from 1974 of William Sexton houses at the corner of Bay Street and Scollard in Yorkville, 4 row houses that together look like one large brick house

windows on the west side of William Sexton houses on Bay street, white paint is peeling to reveal brick below, rounded tops of window frames in black trim

below: Another hole in the ground.  I liked the bits of orange and black hanging around.

orange and black shreds of plastic along the edge of construction hole in the ground

below: Reflections of the clock tower on the Yorkville Firehall, the oldest firehall in the city, in one of the newer glass walls across the street.

reflections of Yorkville clock tower in the glass condo across the street

Yorkville fire hall clock tower and flags

below: Looking east on Yorkville Ave towards Yonge Street and the large Toronto Reference Library.

the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith as seen from the west along Yorkville Ave

below: The Starbucks on Yonge Street just north of Bloor is now closed.  The sign in the window says “thanks for your loyalty over the past 20 years.”  For those of us who still remember Albert Britnell’s book store at that location it is a bit of a shock to realize that 20 years has past.

people in front of a closed Starbucks on Yonge street

below: Yonge Street at Hayden

some of the stores on Yonge at Hayden

below: looking northwest from Charles Street on the east side of Yonge.  The older black and grey building is the CIBC tower on the NW corner of Yonge & Bloor.  The cranes are working on the SW corner of that intersection.

backs of buildings on Yonge and Hayden, plus construction, looking northwest

below: Condo construction at the southwest corner of Yonge & bloor continues.

a man wearing a covid face mask walks past a construction site at Yonge and Bloor, black and white construction photos on the hoardings, old brick building in the background as well as a newer apartment building

reflections in a store window, legs of mannequins in cut off jeans, white cars traffic on the street

a workman sits outside beside hoardings on Bloor street in front of Holt Renfrew

below: One of the entrances to the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street.   It was decorated in flowers as part of a Fleurs de Villes event.

one of the glass entrances to the ManuLife center on Bloor street, decorated with flowers

below: Inside the Manulife Centre there were many mannequins decorated with flowers

mannequin in green and pink dress and pink hat, pinks are made of roses and she is holding a bottle of rose wine from the LCBO

a mannequin decorated with flowers stands at the bottom of an escalator at the Manu Life center, as part of Fleurs de Villes project

As the summer winds down but the covid lingers on, stay safe and stay sane

a white wall with an orange stripe on which graffiti words are written, coronavius and lime disease go great together, a play on corona beer and lime