Archive for the ‘landmarks’ Category

Work on the Port Land redevelopment continues.  The area is changing fast enough that I thought another visit would be a good idea.

below: Cherry Lifeguard Station, calm and peaceful in the early morning.  On a weekday in September all is quiet here.

cherry lifeguard station, with dock in front, very calm and still water, reflections of the building in the water, early morning,

below: A new red lifeguard chair sits on a freshly raked beach.  In the distance, a tug pushes a barge out of the harbour and onto Lake Ontario.

red lifeguard station on cherry beach in the morning

below: A family of Canada geese rest on the embankment of the Keating Channel. The white concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water.

white concrete supports of the elevated Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water of the Keating Channel while a family of Canada Geese sit on the bank

below: Looking west along the Keating Channel. The Don River empties to the bottom right, just out of the picture. At the moment, the Keating Channel is the only route to Lake Ontario but this is about to change.

looking west along the Keating Channel, trees on the left, Gardiner Expressway on the right

below: The Cherry Street bridge, a lift bridge, was broken in the open position for about a month at the end of the summer.  It was fixed in time for Labour Day weekend so it is down now (can it go back up?  It will soon be demolished so maybe that doesn’t matter)

view from above, Cherry street bridge in open position, port lands, cement silos, Lake Ontario, construction

below:  From above, the Keating Channel is in the foreground and it is here that construction on a new Cherry Street bridge is just beginning.  This is west of the present bridge because Cherry Street is going to be straightened as it passes under the Gardiner.      There is another small channel behind the Keating Channel but it ends at the T&T store… for now.    Cherry Beach and Lake Ontario are in the background.

Port Lands from above, Keating Channel, beginning of construction of a new bridge at Cherry street,

below: Reflections of the T&T sign.  Soon this store will be gone.  The path of one of the new waterways for the Don River goes right through the middle of their property to join with the channel that is already there (picture above).

reflections of the green T and T supermarket sign in a car window

below: Villiers Street, looking west from the Don Roadway.   The new path of the Don River is going to make an island of this part of the Port Lands as it runs parallel to, and immediately west of, the Don Roadway.

railway crossing sign on Villiers Street in the PortLands, some remnants of train track still there bu no trains

below: Villiers Street is actually two streets running parallel, both of which have two-way traffic.  This is left over from the days when the railway ran down the middle of the street.

green road sign that says Traffic operates two way on both branches of Villiers street

below: Remaining fragments of railway track can be found all over the Port Lands. This is Villiers Street at the Don Roadway. The Gardiner Expressway is in the background.

street with remnants of railway tracks on it

below: Old gas pump on Villiers.

rusty old gas pump

below: The northwest corner of Commissioners and the Don Roadway. The green mound is the beginnings of the flood protection work there. Flood protection means work on the re-routing of the mouth of the Don River.

the north west corner of Don Roadway and Commissioners Street

below: Looking west on Commissioners Street from east of the Don Roadway (at the traffic lights).  This is one of several large hydro structures that run from the Portlands Energy Centre (a natural gas burning electrical plant).   Hydro infrastructure changes are part of the Port Lands redevelopment.

a very tall metal hydro pole and structure above the street, Commissioners Street, Port Lands

below: Work on the south side of Commissioners.

cranes, workers, construction site

Soon Commissioners Street will be closed between the Don Roadway and Cherry Street.  All of the buildings there will be demolished.  At the moment, most of them are empty.

below:  Old abandoned buildings on Commissioners

old buildings on Villiers Street, with CN Tower in the background

part of an empty and abandoned building, two storeys, old windows, the number 130 written in large white numbers

side of an old abandoned building, top part is rusted pale green metal, bottom is painted dark grey

below: United Rentals on Commissioners Street, now empty. Soon gone.

empty United Rentals building in the Port Lands

below: Chained and locked.

a rusty chain and a padlock keep a gate closed

old brick building

construction on flood control measures in the Port Lands

below: North side of Commissioners, east of the Don Roadway. You can see the Gardiner Expressway and the old Lever Brothers factory.

a plant grows up agains a chain link fence, pile of dirt and industrial buildings behind the fence

a red and white danger due to sign that someone has written radioactive signs on so sign says danger due to radioactive signs

below: South end of the Don Roadway.

very south end of Don Roadway, south of Commissioners street, dead end, dirt road, no trespassing construction site entry

below: Looking west towards downtown from the Don Roadway

view of Toronto skyline and CN tower from Don Roadway

fence with signs, danger due to sign, plus sign that says Port Lands Flood Protection

below:  Back in July the demolition of the GFL (Green For life) buildings was well underway.

the last part of GFL (Green For life) structure to be torn down in the Port Lands, cement truck, dirt road, vacant land

below: This is the GFL recycling transfer station during the demolition process.  At the same time, the shoreline was being reconfigured and “naturalized”.  The trees in the water in the foreground have since died but this is part of the plan – they are to become part of a new fish and wildlife habitat.

west end of portlands early on in the redevelopment process, partially demolished building, barge in water creating new land, reconfiguring the shoreline

below: Access to the northwestern part of the Port Lands has been very limited.  Cherry Street and the T&T parking lot are as far as you can go … if you obey all the signs.    (photo from July)

black and orange cones line the route of entry to cement making facility in the Port lands

below: September

CN Tower and Toronto skyline from Cherry street, T and T market parking lot

below: The sea gulls have the parking lot to themselves, between Lafarge and the lake at the west end of the Port Lands.  There are no plans (that I can find) to remove or relocate Lafarge.

lots of sea gulls sitting on a parking lot behind Lafarge cement silos in the Port Lands

below: If you stand looking at the view above, and then turn around, you get the image below. Polson Pier view of the Toronto skyline.

view of Toronto skyline across Toronto Harbour from Polson Pier

a path leads to a fence, construction site behind the fence, including a cement truck

torn and shredded black fabric caught on a barbed wire fence

below: Map of the area.  As you can see, I have only covered a small part of the Port Lands.  There is so much more to explore!

map of the Port lands area

…along with coloured doors,  very big aliens, and a photography exhibit, all outside at the Distillery District.

below: “What’s That?” by Parer Studios. One of three ginormous inflatable aliens that have taken over the Distillery District but apparently they come with messages of peace, love, and creativity. Together they form the “fantastic Planet” series.

large white inflatable alien creature that appears to be getting from a crawling position, distillery district

below: “Over”.  At night they are illuminated from within.

large white inflatable alien creature, leaning over the rooftop of a building and looking down at a blue door

In the recent past, all of the doors in the Distillery were dark green (like most of the door and window frames still are).  A while ago, they were transformed with colour.  Many different colours in fact, and perhaps you could say a rainbow of doors.

a purple door on a grey limestone wall, distillery district

below: One of many photographs that adorn the brick walls of the Distillery District that showcase the works of photographers from around the world.  Collectively they are, “Pride at the Distillery, More than Just Rainbows”.

a large picture pasted to a brick wall, the backs of 6 drag queens each in a different colour outfit, making a rainbow when seen from the back

a large fake sunflower

pictures on a brick wall, above a table with empty chairs, outdoors,

below: I am not sure of the title of this one.  What I do know is that the alien’s hand is the perfect height to pat people on the head as they take selfies.  Check instagram for examples?  I noticed on instagram that there were photos of the aliens without the barricades.  My timing was wrong?

large white inflatable alien creature, lying down

below: Yellow doors (at least on the outside)

open double doors, yellow on the exterior and white on the interior

bright lime green window with dark green window frame, brick wall

a father and daughter playing a piano, outside, piano is painted bright yellow and the words Once you choose hope anything is possible

distillery district, brick building with doors painted in light green and light blue

large peace symbol outside as public art, with bright coloured artificial flowers attached to it

below: “Gay Pride Parade Participant in Costume, 1983”, New York City.  Available on Getty Images, where the large resolution image will set you back $575 (at least it’s in Canadian dollars).   All the Pride theme photos on display at the Distillery were purchased through Getty Images.

a large picture attached to a brick exterior wall, a person in lavender coloured dress and big grey wig holds a sign that says God save American queens

double doors, painted pink, with planters full of bright colour flowers outside the doors.

I will fudge it a bit and claim that this is a “Thursday Door” blog post.  It’s Thursday and there are a few doors included, right?  If you’ve been following this blog, you might know that I am but one of many bloggers who share door photos and stories.  For more door posts, see Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors (with more door posts linked in his comments section).

large trees in a park, a person walking in the park along with a white dog

below: After the rain the leaves lie stuck to the path and tangled up in the grass.

wet path in park, after a rainfall, leaves on the ground, on the path and amongst the blades of green grass still growing in the park

below: Or stuck in the fence

a few yellow and pale orange leaves have been caught in a chainlink fence, close up shot

in a park, after the rain, autumn, red leaves and yellow leaves on the trees, many leaves on the ground

below: You can’t escape the cranes…..

in a park, with picnic bench in the foreground, some people walking on the path, houses on street in middle ground and construction cranes and highrise under construction in the background.

below: … or the hoardings.

a small construction vehicle parked beside a sidewalk with orange barricade and sign that says pedestrians use other sidewalk, a path has been made on the side of the street for pedestrians.

large square brick house from the early 1900s, windows boarded up and green plywood hoardings in front

below: Magnus and Angel are missing…. Is this a coincidence?

two lost posters on a utility pole, one for Magnus the cat and the other for Angel the bird.

below: Pink flowers and a purple door.

closse up of the front of a row of white houses, a garden with plant with large pink flowers in front, one of the houses has a light purple front door

old black and white no parking sign on the side of a stone church, with engraved stone above it that says A.D. 1897

below: Built in 1892, this building was once the Church of the Messiah Rectory. The church is the next building to the right (with the slightly yellow stones)

stone building, with castle like features, former Church of the Messiah Rectory on Avenue Road, now office building and medical clinic. Three storey grey stone

below: Faded flower of a different kind

faded metal sunflower wedged between a fence and a small tree

below: Building behind the Rosedale Diner, as seen from Crown Lane

side of a garage painted with a couple of large red flowers

below: Locked door

particle board door on a shed, painted pale blue and with a large red flower

below: Graffiti on private property.

private property no trespassing sign on chainlink fence, trees and building behind, graffiti on the building

below: The limestone Summerhill LCBO store which was originally the North Toronto Canadian Pacific train station.  The clock tower is 43m high.

view of front of Summerhill LCBO store, former CP train station, olf light brown stone building.

below: From a different angle, the station when it was first built in 1916.  The tracks are still there but only freight trains pass by these days.  It only lasted as a passenger station until September 1930.   Back in the day if you wanted to take a train to Lindsay or Bobcaygeon, this is where you’d go although you could also get a train to Ottawa (via Peterborough & Smith’s Falls) or Montreal.

old black and white phot of North Toronto train station when it opened in 1916. It is now the Summerhill LCBO store on Yonge Street.

below: No stop ahead

trees and woods behind, a yellow diamond shaped sign with picture of stoplight, telling people that there is a traffic signal ahead, except that the red light has faded and disappeared

below: “Help negro and white people mass (?) produce painted stones and hide them” plus a lot of other lines and shapes that might be letters or words.

small sapling growing beside a concrete wall that has graffiti words written on it

below: I also came across this box yesterday – Sam the Chinese Food Man and other signs.

painted metal Bell box on sidewalk, painted with an old scene from Yonge street with signs for stores and restaurants

below: I have vague memories of such a Sam’s restaurant so I went online to find out more about it.  What I found is this image in a “Lost Toronto” blogpost.  It is Yonge Street just south of Gerrard (the Rio Theatre was 373 Yonge Street).   Did you know that Toronto once had a wax museum?

old colour photo of part of yonge street

Photo source:  ‘Lost Toronto’ blog, post titled ‘When Yonge St Was Fun

… and it ended with a trip down memory lane.

While walking on Yonge Street on the day of the Pride Parade, I noticed that the St. Charles tavern clock tower was visible once more.  Also on that day, I heard someone ask the person beside them what the tower was.  The answer was something like, “I don’t know what it is but it looks interesting.”  I went back this weekend to take some pictures – not quite so many people in the way!

below: The St. Charles as it was back in the 1950’s.  It was built by Charles Hemstead who had made his money in real estate and horse breeding.  Hemstead sold it in 1958 but it continued as the St. Charles until 1987.

black and white photo from 1955 of the St. Charles Tavern and it's clock tower on YOnge Street

photo credit: 1955. Photo by James Salmon, originally found  at Toronto Public Library. I found it online at Toronto.com in an excellent article about  the history of the building and its role in the LGBQT community.

I have always associated the tower with the St. Charles Tavern but I now know that the tower pre-dates the St. Charles by many decades. It was built as part of Fire Hall Number 3 in the 1870s. Although the fire hall is long gone (it was replaced by the fire hall on Grosvenor Street in the 1920’s), the clock tower has survived several changes of ownership.  It is also going to survive the next change which, of course, is the building of a large glass and steel condo on the southwest corner of Yonge & Grosvenor.

below: The site has been cleared.  Looking south from Grosvenor.

construction site, downtown Toronto, clock tower of St. Charles tavern, tall condos, construction equipment

below: Looking north up Yonge Street towards Grosvenor.  The yellow scaffolding is holding up the brick facade of 480 and 482 Yonge Street.  It too will be incorporated into the new development.  Can you count how many new condos there are? Did you notice that the two clock faces say different times?

looking north up Yonge Street towards Grosvenor, clock tower still there, yellow scaffolding holding up the facade of an old brick building

The clock kept time until 1969.  It had been maintained by the city up until then.  Repairs and upkeep stopped when the city decided that the cost was too much.   Maybe it will function once again in the near future.

St. Charles tavern clock tower stands on a construction site as a woman on a bike cycles past

below: An archway has been built into the back of the clock tower.

close up of the lower part of clock tower, with archway that has been constructed at the back

looking up, condo towers and the clock tower from the St. Charles tavern

The other day I discovered that there is a small gallery on the 3rd floor of Ryerson’s School of Image Arts.  If you want to find it too, it’s in a building that it’s in is attached at the ground floor level to the Ryerson Image Centre on Gould Street.   At the moment, there is a small exhibit of photos by Avard Woolaver.

the back of a man looking at a wall in a gallery, old photos of Toronto

below:  The photos are ones that Woolaver took in Toronto in the late 70s and early 80s.

old photos of Toronto from the 1980s by Avard Woolaver.

below: This photo is one of Woolaver’s – it is looking towards the northwest corner of Spadina and Queen Street West.  For those of us who lived in Toronto at the time, it’s a bit of nostalgia.  Somethings are very familiar – the older TTC buses, the car styles, and a lot of the architecture, for example.   This photo in particular lends itself nicely to the game of ‘Spot the Differences’….. compare this with

photo by Avard Woolaver of Toronto in the 1980s, this view is the north west corner of Queen and Spadina

below: …..this. Here is the same intersection, at a similar angle, last week.   The large brick building is still there but without a billboard.   The poles are no longer wood but they are covered in posters and remnants of posters – so no change there.    The street signs have been updated and there is now a streetcar lane in the middle.   All in all, I was surprised how little had actually changed in 30ish years.

the northwest corner of Queen and Spadina in 2018, pedestrians, buildings, street scene

below: I found this photo online (originally from the Toronto City Archives, 1950?) but before we can play another round of ‘Spot the Differences’, we have to identify these buildings?  Any ideas?

vintage photo of 357, 359, and 361 Yonge street, black and white, 3 storefronts,

below: Here is the same location in the 1980’s (not a photo from the exhibit).  Not too many changes.   The building that housed George Richards Men’s shop, 361 Yonge Street, was replaced by a dull and boring two storey brick building but the other changes were just to the facades and the owners/tenants.   The tavern is still a tavern and the drug store is still a drug store.  The large brown building on the top right that you can only see part of is Ryerson College.   Unfortunately the Wrigleys ghost sign on the taller building on the left has been covered.

357, 359, and 361 Yonge street in the 1980s including the Zanzibar tavern

photo source BuzzBuzzNews online

below: Fast forward another 30 years.  The Zanzibar is all bright lights and dazzle while the building that housed the drug store is now for sale.  Ryerson is now a University and has expanded out to Yonge Street – that’s the large blue building in case you are not familiar with the area.

Yonge stree, easy side, just north of Dundas, about 357, 359 and 361 Yonge Street including the Zanzibar Tavern. The blue glass wall of Ryerson University behind the Zanzibar,

below: If you pull back a bit, and look just a bit farther north on that stretch of Yonge Street, you’ll see that there are many empty buildings

yonge street, between gerrard and dundas, most storefronts are closed and boarded up waiting for redevelopment of that stretch

below: … including what was until recently the XTC clothing company.  It looks like it has gone through a number of ‘renovations’, not all of which were good.  Some traces of its original brick facade can be seen at the top but at street level it is (was?) a mess.

empty two storey building, once was X T C clothing store

 There is a plan to build a 98 storey mixed-use building on this site including just over 900 residential units ranging in size from 520 to 2000 square feet.    It will be the tallest residential building in Canada.   In the promotional material for YSL Residences, as they will be called, is this: “The epitome of luxury living, designed to elevate the fortunate few who will call it home.”

 

below:  Back to Ryerson, also on the 3rd floor of the School of Image Arts, there was a small series of photographs like this one hanging on the wall in the hallway.  There was no sign as to the name of the artist that I could find either on the wall or online.   I quite like the technique and the resulting image.  Two ideas melded into one.  Two time frames in one frame.  Two artistic styles combined to create another.

a photograph on a gallery wall, a hand holding a photo printed on glass in the middle of another photo, superimposed landscapes

If you are interested in Woolaver’s work, you can find more on his blog.

Demolition of Honest Ed’s has begun.

sign on construction oardings that says warning: gentrification in progress

below: Sign of the times that says: “If you’re reading this it’s too late”.

part of exterior wall of Honest Eds with posters pasted on to it. One poster says If you are reading this

below:  Looking through the window to the rubble inside.   The staircases remain but the floors and walls are gone.

building being demolished, back wall gone, starting on the interior, looking through a window on side wall, to see the exposed insides, staircases, and rubble

below: Spray painted on the fence, “toujour dans mon coeur”.  Forever in my heart.

side of Honest Eds building, Markham street side, green fence around it, spray paint words on fence, toujours dans mon coeur

below: From behind. The section to the east of the alley is still intact and the alley is still accessible.

part of Honest Eds is still standing and part is demolished

below: The view from Markham street.

two front end loaders work to demolsh the back part of Honest Eds as well as sort and clear the rubble

sgn that says Sidewalk closed pedestrians use other sidewalk, beside Honest Eds on Bathurst street as they get the building ready to tear down

Now that Honest Ed’s stands empty, the walls and windows have become home to advertising posters and graffiti.  Here is a sample of what was there yesterday.

below: Love mix #2 says “Music is the best way for me to say I love you”.

graffiti man drawn with two cassette tapes, one as head and the other as body, love mix #2,

below: Hermes 24 Eau de Parfum at $1500 per ounce.  Not sure what “extrait” means!

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for perfume at $1500

below: Urban ninja squadron and planet_selfie get together!

urban ninja squadron man with planet_selfie character in red with red helmet, pasteup on a wall

below: Topsy turvy wall. The puzzle pieces weren’t put together correctly!

graffiti on a plywood covering

below: Another ‘Diversity is Hope’ pasteup

diversity is hope pasteup with picture of black woman with dreadlocks

below: There are a few of these “Why didn’t Drake save Honest Eds” posters on the walls.  This is the only one that has been added to with “He had $2.00 less then (sic) God” and “He made 1 billion”.

Why didn't Drake save Honest Eds poster that someone has written on

below: You are free!

you are free is written in black paint on an old glass case on the outside of Honest Eds

below: Pasteup of Heath Ledger as The Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker, paper paste up of the head and shoulders

below: Red and glittery gold.

red paper paste up with gold glitter all around it.

two paste ups on a red wall

old glass case for posters, red frame around the glass, posters stuck on the front of the glass

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for ladies watch at $3150. ad is woman holding a pine cone

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for men's shirts at $389