Archive for the ‘intersections’ Category

From the monochrome past to the coloured present – there’s a new mural on the corner of St. Clair West and Spring Grove painted by Christiano De Araujo.    Old black and white photos of the area and its people provide the background for a group of ten very modern and diverse people.

looking diagonally across the intersection of St. Clair West and Spring Grove Rd to a new mural that has just been finished on the side a building, painted by Christiano De Araujo.

painting of two young women, one blond and one withshort curly bright red hair, on top of painting of black and white vintage photos

painting of a black and white photo from 1930 of a woman holding a baby

below: The top photo is 1732 St. Clair West in 1911.

painting, in colour, of a group of people standing in front of paintings of some old monochrome historical pictures of the St. Clair area

below: On the top, very left corner, the black and white photo is a street scene – It’s St Clair Ave looking east from Prescott Avenue, under the railway bridge and beyond.  The bridge was built in 1931 and the photo was taken shortly after that.

new mural on the side of a 2 storey building, a series of vintage black and white photos of the area and people, with paintings of 8 modern people in colour

This is a StART (StreetARToronto) project

Art on construction hoardings.

below: Looking northwest at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West where seven large collages by Daniel Mazzone dominate the corner.

intersection of St. Clair and Yonge, looking northwest, construction hoardings, people crossing the street

below: On the right, James Dean.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but there are some pink letters on either side of his face.  On the left it says “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  On the right is says, “Live as if you will die today”.

a man stands at a bus shelter on St. Clair Ave, two large paintings on construction hoardings, by Daniel Mazzone, are behind him

below: She repeats.  This woman is at the two ends.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the colour of the pattern in the background.   On St. Clair it’s purple while it’s red on Yonge.   Superman is on her forehead and, in fact, most of the pieces that are used in this artwork are from Superman comics.

large maural by Daniel Mazzone, on construction hoardings, a woman's face and head, created by a collage of smaller images

below: Charlie Chaplin above the bus shelter.  Many of the images used to create the face are also pictures of Charlie Chaplin.

a man sits on a bench at a bus shelter on St. Clair, with a large collage picture of Charlie Chaplin behind him, created by Daniel Mazzone

below: Love sees no colour, with Michael Jackson above Yonge Street.

two murals by Daniel Mazzone, one of which is Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket, and the other is a woman in a cap blowing dandelions white puffy stuff, other flowers and butterflies too along with the words Love Sees No Colours.

below: “Looking for Beauty” by Daniel Mazzone.  Does she see any?  There are a few Supermans here too, especially in her face.  “Splow” is written in green on her neck.

mural above the sidewalk, as people walk by, Yonge Street street sign, traffic,

two women holding cups of coffee walk across Victoria St. on Queen Street East

Just after I wrote the previous blog post about some of the buildings on Yonge Street that are in the middle of an area being redeveloped, I walked across Queen Street East.  I noticed that there were a lot of similar three storey buildings here to those around the corner on Yonge.  Toronto must have been a booming city in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when these stores and warehouses were built.

below: What I also noticed is how many of the storefronts are empty.   This is the northeast corner of Queen and Mutual.

the northeast corner of Queen street east and Mutual street, with an empty building on the corner.

What I don’t have is a photo of the northwest corner – it is about to be developed, or at least there is a plan to develop it, into a 29 storey glass tower.   Urban Toronto called this location, “a spot that currently feels disconnected from the rest of the City. ”  … maybe because the Moss Park neighbourhood is on the lower part of the socioeconomic spectrum?    Urban Toronto is a website that is, their words, “populated by the tastemakers, condo aficionados, buyers, builders and realtors”.   I try to stay neutral in the pro/con condo development argument but it irks me to read things like, “Redefining the urban experience” and variations thereof over and over and over again to describe mediocrity.

To be fair, this 88 Queen West project is redeveloping a parking lot.  Why is it a parking lot?  Because in the 1950’s a parking lot was more important that the buildings, including Cooke’s Presbyterian Church (1857), that originally stood there.   Perhaps we get what we deserve.

 

below: Richard Bigley (1853-1933) started off as a woodworker but soon switched to selling stoves. He sold the ‘Happy Thought’ line of stoves. He holds two US patents, one for a water heater and one for a sectional water heater. The building was converted into loft apartments, one loft per floor, back in the late 1990’s.

tall brick building, Richard Bigley 1876 written in white at the top (4 storeys), large glass windows in front, once an old store and warehouse, now a 3 loft apartments. 98 Queen Street East

below: Two views at the corner of Queen East and Jarvis.  You can just see the Moss Park Armoury building on the right side of this picture.  This Canadian Forces facility was built in 1960’s and it takes up a large chunk of land.  Development  rising in the north…

Queen and Jarvis intersection looking north to tall towers being built on Dundas
below: … and development rising in the west.

the intersection of Queen and Jarvis, looking northwest, with a foodora cyclist in pink in the intersection, traffic, street car, and in the distance, development on Yonge and westward, cranes, glass towers

large blue public parking sign, also a large box shaped sign on a tall pole. The sign is wearing out

below: At Ontario Street, the street sign says, Old Town Toronto.  In 1797 the city limits were moved north to Queen Street (then called Lot Street).  Ontario Street was one of the most easterly streets at that time.   And, oh yes, the city was still York.  It officially became Toronto in 1834.

toronto street sign for Ontario Street with the top part that says Old Town Toronto

below: Posters on a boarded up window – once it was a barber shop?  Posters on Queen East for events on Queen West.

posters on an empty building, exterior wall, bottom of wall has barber pole stripes painted on it.

below: A blue and white Development Notice. I still haven’t found out how many of these there are hanging around the city.  My best guess is ‘hundreds’.

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on a chainlink fence in front of a vacant lot wehre cars and trucks are parked. For 245 to 285 Queen Street East, Bridgen Place and Richond.

At the risk of another anti-development rant, I just want to say a couple of things about the above photo.  The development here involves the closure of two public lanes, McFarrens Lane and Brigden Place.  There will be pedestrian access (public access on private land) between Queen and Richmond, between two large buildings with three towers built above them – 39, 39, and 49 storeys high.

From a City of Toronto report written in April 2016…”City Planning staff is not in support of the proposal in its current form, as the proposal not only represent over development, but also fails to recognize the existing built-form character and scale of the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Area by departing from the existing warehouse and main street typology where the site is located.”

I am not sure what the status of the project is at the moment, but the developer has a website for this project, Queen & Sherbourne, that describes it exactly as the original proposal – Three glass towers on two boring bland base buildings. It’s yet another development that looks flashy from above but is blah ick at street level.

below: The northwest corner of Queen and Sherbourne

northwest corner of Queen and Sherbourne, Moss Park variety store on the corner, three storey brick Victorian buildings, cars, people,
below: Bright and cheerful.

three storey victorian buildings includia Acadia Book Store, established 1931 and Seaton Butcher

below: 310 Queen East at the corner of Queen and Berkeley.

below: Moving slightly east to the corner of Queen and Parliament (NE).  That looks like a solid old bank building on the corner.

northeast corner of queen and parliament, old brick buildings,

flat roofed old brick buildings, with oriel windows on third floor, Ray's Discount Convenience and Supermarket on the ground floor. A bus shelter on the sidewalk, people waiting for the bus, building painted rust red colour,

below: 354 and 356 Queen Street East

two narrow three storey buildings squished in between two slightly larger buildings. On the ground floor of the building on the left is Redline Coffee and Espresso while Ryans Restaurant is on the right.

below: 380, 382, and 384 Queen Street West.

two storey store fronts on queen street east, 380 Queen, 382 Queen and 384 queen.

below:  Wherever you walk there is construction.  Some of it good, some of it poor.  That’s Toronto these days.

a man walks through a covered sidewalk, past a construction site and towards a bus shelter

A morning exploring some of the art galleries at the University of Toronto.

below: Robarts Library, a large concrete building, is part of the University of Toronto and is their main humanities and social sciences library. It opened in 1973 and has been called Fort Book ever since.

intersection of Harbord and St. George streets, Robarts Library, large concrete building

I have walked past this library many times but I have never gone inside. What I didn’t know about this building is that it is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  It is named after a Thomas Fisher (1792-1874), who came from Yorkshire to Upper Canada in 1821 and settled by the Humber River.  In 1973, his grandsons, Sidney and Charles Fisher, donated many books to U of T .  Since then, the library has grown to approximately 740,000 volumes including hundreds of versions of Alice in Wonderland in many different languages.  They also collect manuscripts, photographs,  and other rare materials.   You can search their holdings online.

below: The view from the 4th floor observation deck.

interior of Thomas Fisher Rare Book library, looking down from the upper level to the tables below. Shelves of books line all the walls, ceiling is open to 4 or 5 storeys up , large central light fixture

At the moment, the Thomas Fisher Library has an exhibition called “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds, and the Beat Generation: The Photography of Allen Ginsberg”. Ginsberg (1926-1997) is known for his poetry but he also took pictures. The Thomas Fisher library has the largest collection of Ginsberg prints in the world.

exhibit of photos by Allen Ginsberg displayed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at U of T, some black and white photos in a case, some books too, shelves of books in the background

below: Mr. Ginsberg took bathroom mirror selfies.  I wonder what he’d think of instagram?

picture of a black and white photo taken by Allen Ginsberg of himself sitting naked and cross legged in front of a bathroom mirror

Ginsberg became friends with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as the main players in the Beat Movement with their unconventional writing and wild (for the times) lifestyles.  Ginsberg’s first published work was “Howl” in 1956.  It was called “an angry, sexually explicit poem”.   The San Francisco Police Department declared it to be obscene and arrested the publisher.  The court ruled that it was not obscene.  I can see it being “ahead of its time” in 1956 but today it’s fairly tame.

The opening lines:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of

cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,”

below: Three books about The Beats.

display in a glass top case, three books by Alan Ginsberg, the one in the middle has a yellow cover and is The Beats

The Ginsberg exhibit continues until the 27th of April.

A short walk through part of the St. George campus….did I mention that it was snowing at the time?… to another art gallery on campus.

snow is falling, snow on the ground, tree in foreground, also black wrought iron fence, looking across the playing field of the U of T St. George campus to a building, tower,

below: We passed a moose standing in the snow.

a flat metal sculpture of a moose stands in a small space beside a tree, snow on the ground, snow falling from the sky. public art

The second gallery was the Art Museum at Hart House.   One of the exhibits showing there is “Figures of Sleep”.  Straight from the gallery website is this description of the exhibit: ” [it]…considers the cultural anxieties manifest in the popular and critical imagination around the collapsing biological function of sleep under economic, social and technological transformation”.  What it is is a collection of videos, photographs, and artwork depicting sleep, i.e. people sleeping by a number of different artists.  This exhibit ends on 3rd March.

below: Watching videos of people sleeping

a person watching a large video display in an art gallery

below: She’s very life like.  She’s also much smaller than life sized but even so, she was a bit creepy. “Untitled (old woman in bed)”, 2000-2002, by Ron Mueck.

very realistic and life like scupture of an old woman with grey asleep under a blanket with her head on a pillow

below: “Dream Catcher” by Rebecca Belmore, 2014 .  This wall hanging is quite large.

dream catcher by Rebecca Belmore, a large wall hanging of a person sleeping on the sidewalk, under a blanket with a picture of a lion on it.

below:  The Malcove Collection is in the same gallery.  The collection includes about 500 pieces, not all of which are on display at the moment.  Dr. Lillian Malcove (1902-1981) was born in Russia just before her parents emigrated to Canada and settling in Winnipeg.  She graduated from the University of Manitoba with an M.D. and then spent most of her adult life as a Freudian psychoanalyst in New York City.  Over her life time she amassed a collection of art that she bequeathed to U of T.

wall display cases in an art gallery, religious pieces on display, old, antiquities

below: From the Malcove collection, ‘Male Dedicant’, made of limestone, Coptic, late 4th century or early 5th century

antique stone carving (relief) of a man with curly hair, both hands raised, one hand holding a spherical object and the other hand holding a cross

below:  Detail from “The Burning Bush”, 19th century.

very old painting, religious, virgin mary and baby jesus in the center surrounded by other religous scenes

 

below: Last but not least, and having nothing to do with art, is this plaque on a wall near the art gallery at Hart House.  It commemorates the relationship between the Canadian and Polish Armies during WW1.  A transcription of it appears below.

 

plaque on an exterior brick wall commemorating the role of the Polish Army

In the early months of 1917, twenty three Polish probationary officers were trained here by the staff of the Canadian School of Infantry in Toronto.  They were the forerunners of more than 20,000 North American volunteers of Polish descent who were trained in Canada (mostly at Niagara on the Lake) to serve in the French Army, ultimately commanded by Joseph Haller.  The existence of this Polish Army in France went far to assure the presence of Poland at the Peace Conference at the end of the war and played a significant role in the reconstitution of a reunited and independent Poland after 123 years of partition. 
The Canadian Polish Congress has placed this tablet to commemorate the ardent Polish patriotism of so many Polish volunteers from the United States and Canada.   The Congress also wishes to honour the Canadian officers who trained the volunteers, including notably Lieutenant Colonel A.D. Lepan of the staff of this university and his principal subordinates, all from this university as well as Major C.R. Young, Major H.H. Madill, Major W.F. Kirk and Major F.B. Kenrick. A.D. 1990

 

a bike parked outside an old brick building on St. George campus of U of T, snow covered

More information about:

Allen Ginsberg exhibition

Figures of Sleep, and others, at Hart House Art Museum

Illustrations of the holdings of the Malcove Collection

 

You might recognize the building below – it’s the Cherry Street interlocking tower.  Along with the Scott Street and John Street towers, they housed the the electro-mechanical interlocking for the railway tracks.  Interlocking is an apparatus that prevents conflicting movements through an arrangement of tracks, in other words, it keeps the trains separated so there are no collisions.   It was back in 1931 that the track work for Union Station was completed and the Toronto Terminals Railway interlocking system became operational. The interlocking was installed by General Railway Signal Co. of Rochester NY and it was/is controlled from the three above mentioned towers. Apparently this 1931 interlocking system has operated reliably for 86 years and today it makes it possible for 235 passenger trains travel on these tracks every weekday.

 

small brick building with sloped roof, sign under window that says Cherry street, beside train tracks, two tall condos in the background

The intersection of Cherry and Lakeshore isn’t pretty.  The south end of Cherry passes under the railway tracks, 8 tracks wide, just before ending at Lakeshore Blvd which is under the Gardiner Expressway at that point.

cars stopped at a red light at the south end of Cherry street where it intersects with the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner, a red convertible is the first car at the light.

below: This is the view if you’re walking east on Lakeshore.  The ‘tunnel’ is Cherry Street as it goes under the railway tracks.  The three glass condo towers are part of the Distillery District.

intersection of lakeshore blvd and cherry street from the southeast, cherry street bridge for the tracks, 3 condos of the distillery district, some traffic, billboards, concrete

below: From above –  the best way to help you visualize the intersection.   The very bottom left corner is the north end of the Cherry Street bridge.   Cherry Street and the Lakeshore come together under the Gardiner Expressway before they split again with Cherry continuing south to the Portlands and the Lakeshore curving back under the Gardiner.

view from above, railway tracks, road, waterfront, Lake Ontario,

Also, the intersection can be confusing if you’re a cyclist or a pedestrian, especially if you are coming south on Cherry Street.    It’s one stretch where the undeveloped land under the Gardiner Expressway has been neglected in part because it is also a section of the city that is in limbo – is the Gardiner going to be taken down?  or will it be moved?  or will we debate it until it’s too late to do anything?   As city redevelopment spreads east, there is more interest in this area and in the Portlands adjacent to it.

two old faded street signs one says pedestrians use west sidewalk and the other says cyclists dismount to cross roadway

below: Looking west towards the city.  The Martin Goodman Trail runs along the south side of Lakeshore before turning south at Cherry towards the Portlands.  On the other side of Lakeshore is the Lower Don River Trail that parallels the Lakeshore before turning north at the Don River.   Both trails are part of the PanAm Path.

looking west along the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Rd, curve of the Gardiner as it passes over the bottom of Cherry Street, downtown skyline with CN tower, cyclists on the bike path on the south side of Lakeshore

The Panam Path was a legacy project from the 2015 Pan Am Games. The path is not completed yet but it starts at the south end of the Clairville Reservoir in the northwest part of the city. It follows the Humber River to Lake Ontario and then runs east to the Don River before heading inland a bit. Eventually it ends at the mouth of the Rouge River.  The path goes under many bridges and there is street art in quite a few of these spots.

below:  Some of the pillars and bents under the Gardiner just east of Cherry Street are the latest to be painted.  Finally some colour!

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway, cyclists in the distance, pillar with street art in the foreground

The first painting was done as part of an Art Spin event at the end of August.  Art Spin is a group that runs bicycle-led events/tours of art a few times a year.    The project is also a part of the STEPS Initiative that promotes public art in the city.

below: XYZ 2017 VAL JAM LUVS DRPN ___ DELUXO OGV  written on top of the snake before it had a tongue.

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway

 

Artists involved:
Daniela Rocha (muisca)
Fathima Mohiuddin (fatspatrol)
Stephanie Bellefleur (bellefleurhaus)
Meera Sethi
If I’ve left anyone out, please let me know

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - 3 horizontal paintings on the bents,

Some of the concrete in this area is slated for refurbishment so the affected pillars have been left clear for the moment.

painted pillars under an elevated expressway, murals

below: More bird motifs, this time by @fatspatrol

lifters under the gardiner, machinery for artists to reach higher spaces, murals

below: An owl at night, stars in the sky, and purple hills, mural by Muisca.

an owl with the night sky and stars, purplish mountains, part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway , a green snake with a long tongue on the vertical pillar on the right

below: A whimsical fun little purple creature with long arms.

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - drain under the Expressway has been painted light purple and made into a head. Drainpipes are the arms

mural on bents

below: Bullets transforming into birds taking flight.

mural by Meera Sethi, shades of turquoise, bullets on the bottom but transforming into birds as they rise

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - abstract in turquoise and other bright colours, triangles and lines and blobs

part of a colourful mural on concrete pillars under the Gardiner Expressway - pillars are light blue with birdlike and feather-like patterns at the bottom of two pillars that are close to each other

policeman on horseback as seen through two pillars under the Gardiner expressway

 

 

Queen and Sherbourne – It’s a grubby corner.

below: Built in 1897 on the southwest corner and a major part of the intersection since then, is the Kormann House Hotel named for its hotel keeper in 1898, Franz J. Kormann.  The Torontoist described the building in 2008 as “Though vacant for the past few years, this old watering hole will open its doors once again as part of an upcoming condo development.”  That was 8 1/2 years ago.  It is still vacant.   The projected renovations and mid-rise condo development never got off the ground.

old brick 3 storey building on the corner of an intersection. Top part is white, bottom part is grey. Boarded up and vacant.

below: Diagonally opposite is now the Moss Park Discount Store.

building on the corner of an intersection, Moss Park Discount Store on the corner of Queen East and Sherbourne. People on the sidewalk outside the building. 3 storey brick,

below: The same corner as above but from a slightly different angle as it looked about a hundred years ago.  Note the cobbled streets, streetcar tracks on both Queen and Sherbourne, and the lack of traffic lights.   Photo found on Lost Toronto blog

old black and white photo of the northeast corner of Queen East and Sherbourne

Adding a bit of colour to the intersection is the new mural on Sherbourne Street, on the side of building that houses the Moss Park Discount Store.   It features a young man in a baseball cap adorned with the Brazilian flag.  Three parrots are also in the mural.

mural on the side of a red brick building, a young man in a baseball cap and three parrots. on the exterior wall of the Moss Park Discount Store.

Close ups of parts of the mural:

part of a larger mural, a green hand is reaching out and the forefinger is rubbing the top of a parrot's head.

part of a larger mural of a parrot like bird upright, wearing a sleeveless T-shirt with the number 16 on it.

part of a large mural, a parrot head, and the signatures of the street artists who created the mural - Smoky, Cens and Vemo

Just north of Queen, there is a small dead end alley that runs east off Sherbourne.  At the end of the alley is a mural by Vorteks….  she’s come to save someone (the world?) from an orange creature.

two murals in an alley. At the end, on a fence is a mural by vorteks, text with his signature using an eyeball for the letter O. An orange creature with an eye, most of which is behind the text, as well as a scantily clad woman who looks like a superhero.

This birdo is still looking good.  It’s just east of Sherbourne.

mural by birdo, bright green background with abstract colourful animals painted on it, tall large animals

below: On the north side of Queen Street East, looking towards Sherbourne Street from Kim’s Convenience (with the birdo mural on the wall).  I was going to write something about it ha ha having the same name as the CBC TV series “Kim’s Convenience”.  Luckily I looked it up before writing because lo and behold it is the same store!  The store was up until recently called Mimi Variety.  The new name and new signs are leftovers from filming the TV shows.   Most of the buildings in this block are heritage listed sites, especially those towards Sherbourne Street.

blog_kims_convenience_queen_east

A few more little details to end the post with:

below: A triptych with the center panel missing or a diptych with a mystery middle.

a painting in three panels of a vase of pink and red flowers, on a wooded fence outside, but the middle panel is missing.

below: On a pole, a grominator lovebot hybrid with its long red tongue.  The other little guy’s tongue just can’t compare.

two stickers on a pole. The top one is a lovebot grominator joint venture hybrid character with a very long red tongue. The other is a little round faced guy with his tongue sticking out.

below: A dying breed, three Saabs in a row.  It’s not just old buildings that catch my eye.
Perhaps the one on the right has been cannibalized?

three saabs parked side by side. The one on the right is missing a large portion of its front bumper, headlights and other front end pieces.

below: And last, hearts seen on a Queen St. East building.

pink hearts on a cyan coloured window beside a heart on a brick wall graffiti

 

 

beige wall on top, rust coloured wall below, with orange splotches. Orange metal trash bin on ground, two window in upper part, both recessed. One with a bike and one with flower pots.

Let’s start with the intersection itself.   It’s where the 504 King car turns north to Broadview station and it’s where Jillys dominated the corner for many many years, more than 30 years in fact.    Does anyone admit to lamenting the loss of Jillys 2 years ago?  The building has stood on the corner for 124 years and was also home to the Broadview Hotel although I doubt it was the kind of hotel you’d book your mother into (well, at least not my mother!).   Believe it or not, this isn’t a condo development.

intersection, TTC street car turning left, a grey car near the intersection, a few pedestrians, a large building wrapped in black netting as the building is being cleaned and renovated.

below: Instead, the New Broadview Hotel, built by Streetcar Developments, will have 57 rooms, a rooftop bar and a ground floor restaurant.   It will look approximately like this (from Broadview):

drawing of the New Broadview Hotel being renovated to incorporate an 124 year old brick building, new glass portion at the top of the building.

There was a reason I chose this intersection, and it wasn’t Jillys.  I went looking for a new mural but I didn’t know exactly where it was.   While I was looking, I explored and took some pictures because that’s what I do.

It wasn’t this street art painting I saw in an alley,

text street art painted on a garage door

or this painting way up high beside a parking lot,

upper level of a store, backing onto a parking lot, painting on the exterior wall of rays eminating from a center circular source

or this woman in a lane.

streeet art picture of a woman in pink and purple

I passed by Debre Selam St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.  Such a long name!  All over Toronto there are churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship for a lot of different religions.  I am not sure how many there are but I’d love to find out.  This Orthodox religion was new to me so of course I had to look it up.  I learned that it was once part of the Coptic Orthodox Church which has existed since the 4th century.  It split off in 1959 but remains a member of the Oriental Orthodox family.  The church has 38 million members in Ethiopia.  This church on Broadview is not the only one in Toronto, there are at least 2 others.  I’m not sure how many people in Toronto are members of the church, or attend services here. (additional note:  It’s located beside the Royal Canadian Curling Club which I think is a great juxtaposition).

front of a white building, two storeys, with round top windows, two flags flying by the door. Sign says Debre Selam St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Small cross above the entranceway

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes have their building just up Broadview from the Ethiopian church.  They aren’t a religion but I had no idea what they were.  When I think of “orders” of buffaloes I think of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble and their Loyal Order of Water Buffalo.   Apparently the “Buffs” have been an organization since 1882, originating in London England.   According to Wikipedia, “Membership is open to all males over the age of 18 who are willing to declare that they are “true and loyal supporters of the British Crown and Constitution”. Discussion of politics or religion is strictly forbidden at gatherings, as is gambling.”  The building looks like it was once a school…. looking for ideas where to start looking for its history?  Oh, that word ‘antediluvian’ – it means ‘before the flood’ as in the flood in the Old Testament, that one with Noah’s Ark.

brown brick builgin, one storey with peak roof, small veranda in front, blur front door, Canadian flag out front, sign above door says Royal Antidiluvian Order of Buffaloes.

I noticed some quirky things like this window.  Any guesses as to what it used to be?

window of a coffee shop where some of the letters have been removed. It now says Kids Bar. Shadows of the letters are on the blind that covers the inside of the window of the now closed shop

Dark Horse Expresso Bar

I walked through Joel Weeks park where I came face to face with a fox.

a small sculpture of a fox on top of a rock. The fox seems to be looking right into the camera

We exchanged glances for a moment or two but its interest was elsewhere ….
perhaps this rabbit?

sculpture of a fox on top of a rocl. Carved into the rock is a relief picture of a rabbit and some flowers

Also in the park, four little squirrels with a giant acorn!

a sculpture in a park of a giant acorn with the point pointing upwards, 4 small squirrels are at the bas of the acorn trying to hold it up

All it needs is a Scrat to come along and steal it!

cartoon character Scrat from the movie 'ice age' holding onto an acorn

Whoa, a little off track!

When I still couldn’t find the mural, I bought a cup of coffee and a bite to eat at Merchants of Green Coffee (no picture I’m afraid) and did the research I should have done previously.   Coffee finished, then mural found.

below: Riverside Pollinator Mural by Nick Sweetman.  (3 photos)

part of a mural, a large bee

a man is painting a mural, this part is a honeycomb with some bees on it. Dark blue background.

large mural, Riverside Pollinator mural, by Nick Sweetman, of a large bee, a clock, clock gears, a few small bees, a honeycomb and a flower and a very large tree

below: I also noticed this.  I know that that’s tomorrow but for those of you who are keen and read this blog soon after it was published, you may still have time to get there!   Free cake too!  It’s at 777 Queen Street East.

a poster is stuck into a sidewalk planter, advertising a launch of a mural on Saturday 10th September.

As I walked north towards Dundas Street, I found myself on the grounds of Queen Alexandra Senior Public School and Seed Alternative School.  Here is door 5.   An excellent example of unkempt 1950’s and 1960’s public building architecture.  I don’t mean to belittle the school and the people involved in making it work.  I just think that it’s a sad looking place; schools should be inviting.

blue double doors in a drab brown brick building, with brown metal inserts covering what was once a large window above the door. Two small windows remain.

One could probably do a photoessay on the condition of the building and what it says about Toronto’s attitudes to school construction and maintenance, and perhaps by extension, what it says about Toronto’s attitudes to public buildings in general.

three windows arrange horizontally in a brick wall. windows are not high

a box in front of a wall of a school has been painted with the word choose and two white hands.

While we’re on the subject of architecture, there is a mix of lots of types in this area of the city.  There are still lots of older houses, many of which have been renovated.

below: Side by side, old and new.  ‘Second Empire’ architecture featured mansard roofs and dormer windows, both of which are seen in these old rowhouses.  This style originated in France and arrived in Canada in the mid 1800’s where it seemed to remain popular for some time.

old brick rowhouses to the right, with a large tree in front, and new construction of row houses on the left.

below: This house is a variation on the Workers Cottage (or Gothic Cottage style).   A peaked roof over a central front door with one window on either side is the characteristic look of this style.   This one is interesting in that it is actually the end one in a row of three.

workers cottage, or gothic cottage, behind a large hedge

below: I could go on and on about architecture.  Instead, here’s one last picture of a jumble of styles (or non-styles!).  Take a look around at the buildings that you see.  Toronto doesn’t have much variation when it comes to the structure of the buildings, especially the older ones.  We do know how to make them look unique though!

two semi detached houses with mansard roofs, one with a purple front door and one with a black front door.

green second story door at top of metal exterior staircase, on a wall that is a different shade of green

green ivy leaves poke their way through the gaps in a blue weathered wooden fence

black and white sticker graffiti on the side of a Bell telephone box