Archive for the ‘locations’ Category

new leaves on a tree in the foreground, top part of a house in the background - bright green walls and old window

I went back to Craven Road this morning to see if anything had changed.   The last time I blogged about this street was in November 2016. As with many things in life, some things have changed while other things remain the same.  A quick tour of the street …..

below: Some of the cat paintings are there still.

large painting of a yellow and white cat on canvas stapled to a wood fence, outdoors.

below: These two paintings have been here since at least 2015 although the vines have started to grow over them.  Once the leaves reappear (soon), the paintings won’t be quite so visible.

two small paintings on a wood fence, with vines growing in front of them.

below: The sheep painting by Christine Kowal is still there

picture of sheep on a wood fence

below: On the other side of the fence, backyards on Ashdale.

backyard, reddish two storey house with grey added on back rood

below: There is still a section of the fence that has been decorated with found objects.

many found objects attached to a wood fence, outside,

objects attached to a wood wall, outside, small flag, musical instrument, clock, sign,

below: Parking for pirates only.  It was five past twelve when I took this picture so either it’s a functional clock or I happened past at a very fortuitous time.

a clock and a sign attached to a wall.

below: A creepy doll and boots to watch you.

below: A faded bunny from days gone by, holding a little watering can perhaps to water the metallic leaves?

metal leaf art piece attached to a wood fence, stuffed bunny that is faded and grey also attached to the fence

a stylized figurine, round head on conical body, screwed onto a wood fence and surrounded by a wood frame

below: Part of a collection of found objects in front of a house.   The gallery has expanded!

old objects arranged on a ledge in front of a house

below: Today I met Johnny, the King of Craven Road. He mentioned that he appears in a video about Craven Road so I looked it up (on Vimeo, “Craven Road – Director’s Cut). The video was made five years ago which pre-dates the collection of objects that he’s standing in front of in the photo. If you watch the video, you will see some of the cat, and other, paintings.

a man in tie dyed shirt and red bandana, and holding a can of beer, stands in front of a wall with many objects attached to it.

Johnny in a tie dyed shirt standing on the front steps of a blue house with red trim

below: A door knocker beside a front door.

old rusty white door knocker with metallic green garland beside it

small doorway

below: One of the older houses on the street being renovated.

old white house with screen door slightly ajar, signs in window that are building permits, inside of house is gutted and it is being renovated

below: Grass and dandelions in their own little enclosure.

three white houses in a row

below:  Red and yellow tulips in a small front yard that the fence is having trouble containing.

red tulips and yellow tulips growing in a very small front yard

below: Geraniums in the planters on the fence

small wood flower boxes on a wood fence, with geraniums growing in the boxes

The merging of events, the overlap of months.
At the Distillery District, many features were made yellow in April in honour of cancer awareness month.

the heart at the Parliament street side of the Distillery District that is usually red has been made yellow

Towards the end of that month, some large pictures began appearing on the brick walls.  An early installation for CONTACT month, May, these are Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart’s  “Good Stuff Bad Stuff” which is a series of conceptual photographs attached to the exterior walls of some of the buildings.

From the CONTACT website:  “a series of bizarre self-portraits that connect concepts of home and identity. The artist’s own grungy apartment and various public spaces serve as the backdrop to the photo series. Using physical experiences and found objects, the photographs in this exhibition explore the relationship between ourselves and the personal objects we buy, inherit, and throw away.”

picture on a wall at the Distillery District

below: I’m not sure that a candle on one’s head ‘explores’ anything… but maybe I was missing something?

a woman's head with a lit candle on it, melted wax has run down her face and hair, bright orange wall in the background.

And so we go off on a bit of a google tangent to see what there is for ‘candle, head’.  I find candles as a Christian symbol for light in the darkness.  There is also an image of a black man with a real lit candle on his head with melting wax running down his forehead, lit by his pastor “to deliver him from the spirit of homosexuality”.  Searches also yield skulls as candle holders (or candle holders in skull shapes) used as a novelty item, or as method of casting spells if you believe in such things.   And last, Tim Burton made a music video for “The Killers” (a group) where at the end, two people are sitting across from each other at a table, both with a lit candle on their head.  In this last case there is melding of reality and fantasy as one character is a wax figure that occasionally comes to life.   Whether this has anything to do with the image above, I have no idea.   But I’m sure that my ramblings, although entertaining (ha!) are probably just a detour.

below: Hope floats. One of the photographs on a wall surrounded by “graffiti” ( of the fake kind).  No candles here?  It’s the paper boats that are burning.  If there were candles, they are long gone.

a head partially submerged in water, surrounded by little white trays with flames

 

below: More yellow

the four legs of the large spider-like sculpture at the Distillery District are yellow and the head part is wrapped with blue plastic

below: Another picture.  Flowers and hands.

a large poster attached to brick wall, outside, hands coming out of a large bush with purple flowers on it.

below: More picture.  This time an ode to junk food and trashiness by the looks of it.  The lion is blue but unmoved.  With a fast food paper crown on her head and a cigarette in her mouth.  Garbage randomly strewn but carefully placed so there is no product placement.

picture on a stone wall, blue tones, lion sculpture, sitting beside flight of stairs, woman leaning against lion, cigarette in her mouth, food in the other hand, garbage strewn on the stairs around her feet

below: The last bit of yellow for today.

distillery district, love sign for locks, the heart has been decorated with a lot of yellow flowers

fake yellow flowers placed by some locks

below: And one last photograph to give you some ideas of what to do with the photos of Venice that you might have, you know, the ones that look like everyone else’s.   There are many more on display at the Distillery District.   As I type this I am warming up to the pictures but I am still torn.   Does anyone want to offer an opinion?

large photo on a brick wall, taken by a canal in Venice, of a woman covered from head to toe in black weeds as she stands beside the canal

Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart is on Instagram

I’m not sure what the allure of the cherry (aka sakura) blossoms is.  Has it become a symbol of spring and who doesn’t like the long awaited end of winter?  Is there something special about the cherry flower?  Or is it more ‘exotic’ than the magnolia that flowers about the same time, or a bit earlier?  Why not celebrate the lilac trees?  Or other trees that blossom in the spring?

below: A couple of cherry blossoms along with some buds and partially opened flowers.

sakura cherry blossoms on a cherry tree along with some pinkish coloured buds, white petals and yellow centers.

Although there are a number of places around the city to see sakura trees (14 I think), High Park seems to be the most popular place.  True, they have the oldest trees and the most trees planted in one area.   It has become the site of an annual pilgrimage by thousands of people to see the blossoms.   Even though the ‘sakura watch’ website said that ‘peak’ blossom hadn’t yet arrived, I decided to check out High Park yesterday.

below: Lots of signs to direct pedestrian traffic to the cherry trees.  The roads were closed to most cars.

pink sign on the grass by the entrance to High Park that says Please keep of the bloomin' trees.

large trees in the park, people walking on the path on the other side of the trees, green grass, shadows, some blossoms on a couple of the trees

below: There were a couple of school groups there for the morning. Although there weren’t too many blossoms to see, it was a beautiful spring morning and many of the kids were making the most of it.

three girls have a crab walk race down a small hill

a black person walks a dog on a leash up a hill on a paved path through HIgh Park, other people are behind. Some pink and white flowers are starting to grow on the trees

below: An Instagram moment I suspect.

an Asian woman with a bright pink handbag holds a branch of a cherry tree in front of her face while another woman takes her picture with a phone.

people enjoying a day in the park, some taking pictures of cherry blossoms

below: An engagement photo shoot

an engagement photo shoot at high park, man on his knee presenting a woman in a bluish green dress a box that presumably has a ring in it. Another man is holding a stand with a large light on it.

Yesterday there were many more buds and partially opened flowers than there were blossoms.  By the weekend, there will probably be a profusion of white petals… as well as a swarming of people.  I had to search for flowers to take pictures of but at least it was a relatively quiet and peaceful morning.

sakura cherry blossoms

a gold coloured weather vane with a rooster on it, bright blue sky in the background

Once again, it seems that no matter where in the city you go there will be construction.  There will be the demolition of single family homes to make way for condos or at the minimum, blocks of rowhouses.   The area around Yonge and Finch is no exception.

apartment building in the background, a street of single family dweelings in the foreground, early spring so no leaves on the trees, a few cars parked in driveways

I am not sure if it serves any purpose, perhaps it’s futile, but I’d like to think that documenting what we are removing is worthwhile.   The houses on Finch Avenue East like the one in this picture are small, but the lots on which they sit are large.

small white bungalow with brown roof, on large piece of land, car in driveway

That means that a developer can demolish four houses and turn around and build 17 townhouses in the same space.    That is what is happening near Finch and Willowdale.

three small white bungalows with windows and doors boarded up, small trees overgrown around them.

Although the properties were not fenced off, all access to the houses themselves was blocked, sigh.  It looked like a local garden centre was using the backyards of a couple of the houses.

side door of a white wood house with rickety porch and steps. three trees growing besie it, door is boarded up

below: View to a new development on the other side of Finch Avenue.  This is the type of development that the area is now zoned for.  A lot of these townhouses have been built in the last few years and I suspect that eventually they will replace all of the single family homes.

view looking down a driveway, two empty houses - one on each side of the driveway. Can see across the street to new townhouse development on the other side.

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

Between Willowdale Avenue and Yonge Street, there were a couple of other houses that are boarded up and empty. I am not sure what the plan is for them (there was no development proposal sign posted, instead there was a sign advertising the company that is providing the financing – for what?).

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, apartment building behind,

The internet can be a wonderful thing.  In case you are interested, the development is the Ava Luxury Residence and it calls for heights and densities that are vastly over what is zoned for in the area.  For example, at 9 storeys it is 37 metres tall in an area zoned for 11 metres.  The plan was first filed in 2016 but because of the size of the development, it requires a zoning by-law amendment, official plan amendment, and site plan approval to effect the proposal – all which take time.   An OMB appeal pre-hearing was scheduled to occur a few days ago, with a hearing slated for June.  MM170085 is the OMB case number if you want to dive down that rabbit hole.

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, sign in front yard advertising financing

This is 50 Finch East.  As you can see, there is a taller building on the other side of Kenneth Avenue.  Kenneth was to be the dividing line – keeping the higher buildings, and denser development, closer to Yonge Street.  I’m not sure what side of the development battle you’re on, but what’s the point of having a plan if the developers (with help from the OMB) keep disregarding it?

small bungalow on a corner lot, with windows and doors boarded up, larger apartment building behind.

As I walked back to my car, I chose to walk on a side street instead of on Finch.  As I turned a corner, I happened upon a house being demolished.  Fortuitous.  Serendipity.

a yellow digger loading rubble from a house demolition into a dump truck

It doesn’t take long to reduce a house to rubble and dust.  “Another one bites the dust” springs to mind.

close up of a digger demolishing a house

And so it goes.

large painting of a face, street art, yellowish skin, small moustache and beard, glasses, eyes looking straight ahead

Hope Wall on Spadina Ave., near Kensington Market.

wall, plywood hoardings, covered with paint and graffiti as a Hope Wall, in memory of Andre Alexander who was killed when hit by a car. painting of his face, plus large space for people to write messages, on Spadina near Kensington Market,

below: Messages written on the wall for Andre Alexander, aka Hip Pop Art who died in October 2018.

messages written on a wall

a man sleeping on the sidewalk in front of a wall covered with street art, graffiti and art in memory of Andre Alexander who was an artist who worked in Kensington

wall and doorway painted purple, a black man's face in greys on one side of the entranceway, other graffiti too

 

large mural on the side of a building, bus shelter and stop to the side with people waiting. Mural is by Nick Sweetman and features many bees and flowers, very large bees

On the southwest corner of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue West, on the side of Supercoffee, is another large, colourful Nick Sweetman pollinators mural.  It features 6 different types of bees commonly found in Toronto.

below: Honey bee (apis mellifera)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee

below: Bumble bee (bombus affinis)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee on top of a purple coneflower

below: Mason bee (osmia conjuncta)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a blue bee

below: Carpenter bee (xylocopa virginica)

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, a bee on a purple flower

part of a nick sweetman pollinators mural, corner of supercoffee building, several bees and many flowers

below: Green Sweat bee (augochloropsis metallica)

in a mural of bees, a small green bee, a sweat bee,

below: Leafcutter bee (megachile latimanus)

large painting of a bee on a flower, part of a mural, leaf cutter bee

The mural was commissioned by the Mount Dennis BIA with help from the City of Toronto’s Mural Street Art Program as well as Metrolinx.

a sign that describes Nick Sweetman's mural of bees and pollinators in Mt Dennis

“This mural features an urban skyscape beneath which a vibrant world of bees feeding on pollen comes to life. It explores the intersection between human-made spaces and natural forces, and encourages consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants. Toronto is one of the most biodiverse area in the world for bees, with over 300 species found in the city and surrounding area. River corridors like the Humber River and Black Creek flourish with wild flowers and native plants – important habitat for native pollinators. Plants are catalysts for the energy all animals depend on and bees are crucial to all flowering plants’ reproduction. “

looking through blue see through fencing towards an apartment across the street, a pedestrian crossing sign in front, a danger due to excavations sign on the fence.

Back before the winter snow had melted, I was at Yonge and Eglinton and noticed that the old bus bays at Eglinton station were gone. That structure had sat empty for a couple of years but now there is a big hole where they once stood. As I looked through the pictures that I took that day, I decided that it might be interesting to explore farther east to see what was happening with the Crosstown LRT construction that has messed up the traffic through midtown for so long now.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Eglinton.

large hole in the ground at a construction site, diggers and a crane onsite

below: There is still a lot of construction underway on Eglinton near Yonge.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT, shoring, wood and pipes

below: A little father east and more holes in the ground. This is the intersection of Eglinton and Mt Pleasant taken from the SE corner looking towards the NW. At least the facade of the old Imperial Bank of Canada building on the NW corner was originally going to be used as the LRT station but have those plans changed? The building was demolished but apparently the facade was taken apart brick by brick and will be re-built later.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT

below: This is the plan for the Mt Pleasant station as seen on the Crosstown website.

artists conception of a new LRT station with a re-purposed older building

below: Looking west from Mt. Pleasant.

cain link fence and gate is open, construction crew in the middle of Eglinton Ave (at Mt Pleasant) is working with a digger, hole in the ground

below: Between Laird and Brentcliffe (east of Bayview). See those low rise brick apartment buildings? How long until they’re gone?

red and white tim hortons sign with an arrow pointing left at a long grey fence around a construction site, sidewalk, street, and low rise buildings on the right, Eglinton Ave

two 3 storey red brick apartment buildings

below: At Brentcliffe. The LRT is underground here and there is no station at this intersection. Laird, where there is a station, is only one block to the west.

Eglinton Ave east at Brentcliffe

below: From Brentcliffe, Eglinton goes downhill because of the Don River ravine system

looking east on Eglinton, towards Don Mills Road in the distance, construction in the foreground

below: Part way down the hill there is a section of concrete. At first I thought that this was where the LRT was going to come to the surface.

concrete section of road, construction

below: But then I wasn’t so sure. There is a concrete wall blocking what would be the exit. It’s difficult to get a closer look because there are two layers of fencing in the way. Nobody was working here. In addition, there is another section farther along that looks like the actual opening. Maybe this is part of the supporting infrastructure?

two fences in front of a dug out section of road, with concrete wall at one end.  One f the fences is orange, wire,

below: Still walking east along Eglinton…. Almost to the bottom of the hill at Leslie – looking east along Eglinton Avenue with E.T. Seton Park on the right and the railway bridge in the distance. Leslie Street, which ends at Eglinton, is on the very left side of the photo. There is talk that this intersection will be closed for two months this summer.

looking east along Eglinton Ave towards Leslie, on the right is the road to the park and beyond that, a railway bridge

below: I turned around and took a picture of the hill that I had just come down. Here the LRT surfaces and the tracks run down the center of the road, with lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks. I am fairly certain that you can see the entrance to the tunnel, the east portal, near the middle of this picture. From here to Kennedy station the tracks are above ground (except for a portion of the route at Don Mills).

traffic drives west along Eglinton Ave., up the hill from Leslie, through the crosstown LRT construction

below: The sidewalk on the south side ends at Leslie street. Here, I chatted with a policeman while we waited for the light to turn green. Once he did, he escorted me across Eglinton as we had to pass through part of the construction zone. This is where I also discovered that there are no bus stops between Brentcliffe and Don Mills Road. That’s only 2 km but it feels a lot longer!

on the south side of Eglinton, where the sidewalk ends at Leslie street, looking east beyond that with construction on the right

below: A development proposal sign stands on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park but what is now a Toyota dealership.

development proposal sign on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park on the north east corner of Leslie and Eglinton

green netting and fencing on both sides of a narrow sidewalk running between construction and traffic.

below: The station at Don Mills and Eglinton will be called “Science Center” and it will be under the intersection.

LRT track path being constructed,

below: There will be a bus terminal on the northeast corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton with underground access to the LRT station. This is what construction looks like on that corner at the moment.

underground sections of LRT being constructed at Don Mills and Eglinton, crane at work, metal frame over tunnel

Just east of Don Mills Road, the LRT surfaces again and remains above ground until Kennedy station. I took the bus from Don Mills Road to Victoria Park as there wasn’t as much to see in this stretch.

below: Looking east from Victoria Park Avenue.

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides,

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides, water tower in the distance

concrete utility pole with two ripped paper temporary bust stop signs, TTC, stops no longer in use