Archive for the ‘locations’ Category

…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).

This is the fourth year of the Brain Project.  Forty five sculptures in the shape of a brain have been decorated by different artists. They are on display at Nathan Phillips Square for the month of July.

brain shaped sculptures on display, with the 3 D Toronto sign and Toronto city hall in the background

below:  “Silver Bloom” by Carson Teal.  Complex, random, and fragmented.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture by Carson Teal, with white chicken eggs, broken mirrors, three fingers, crystals, and other random objects

five brain shaped sculptures in plexiglass display boxes standing in the pool at Nathan Phillips Square

a girl and her mother, looking at brain shaped art sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips Square

below: Here, pac man from the 1980’s arcade & video game, gobbles up yellow dots that represent brain cells.   It is artist Orit Fuchs’s way of illustrating the destruction of brain cells in Alzheimers.

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, red, made to look like a pac man arcade game, yellow pac man gobbling up yellow dots by Orit Fuchs

2 girls and a man looking at sculptures shaped like brains

brain sculptures on display at Nathan Phillips

below:  Brand Emsley’s “From Making to Thinking”, from the Brain Project website: “Toronto’s unprecedented building boom is reflective of the economic shift from the manufacturing economy to the knowledge economy. It is particularly acute in the area known as the railway lands and surrounding area.”

a brain shaped 2 dimensional sculpture, covered with realistic, detailed, drawing of Toronto railway lands with CN tower by Brad Emsley

below: On the left, “The Routine Ride” by Antonio Caballero and on the right, “Beautiful Mind” by Romero Britto

two brains on display, public art, sculptures, one by Antonio Acabbero and the other by Romero Britto

A description of all the brains, plus information about the artists, can be found on The Brain Project website.
#noblankbrains

Slaps, stickers and paste-ups in Kensington.

below: Stickers on a pole

slaps on a pole in Kensington, people on bikes in the background.

below: Ohhhh, Portland is burning

slaps stickers on a pole, top one is Portland is burning with man pasting sign to wall, another has a man with a fat chin and mouth open in O shape.

below: Feelings boi hanging out on a wall with a morose pot belly poop

feelings boi pasteup beside a pot belly pop pasteup on a wall

below: Riding zebras in pairs

two copies of a small pasteup of a yellow figure riding a zebra

below: The words flow. “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara

pasteup on a wall, of a skull looking down at a man's head, who is looking up at skull, Letters are between the two mouths. words written below the man

below: Four urban ninja squadrons and a couple arguing

5 black and white paste ups on a wall in Kensington, four are urban ninja squadron and the the fifth is of a couple arguing, him on the left and her on the right, in the middle between them dark angry figures come nose to nose

below:  Even aliens check their phones.

sticker on a grey box on sidewalk, little figure, martian alien like, with head mostly one eyeball, human shape,

below: An ad, a drawing, and some knowledge

parts of a few different posters and drawings on a wall, a man in a red shirt on blue background which is part of an ad is on the left, a drawing of three naked women is in the middle (but is faint and hard to see), and a drawing on yellow labelled knowledge

below:  Black and white photos of people’s faces with the eyes missing.

black and white photos of faces, cut and manipulated to remove the eyes, i.e. forehead lowered to cover eyes

below:  More missing eyes, but this time some of the faces have eyes.   For the latter, the faces are composites

black and white photos of peoples faces. Some have eyes from a different person inserted, others have eyes removed by lowering of forehead

below:  One is blind and one is the merging of three.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out if it’s three different people, or the same person photographed three times.

large black and white faces on grey metal box on sidewalk, one side has person with eyes missing and the other side is a face made of a composite of at least three different faces

below: Urban ninja with Grey Owl and its large (and very sharp looking) talons

urban ninja squadron sticker with hooded ninja character with arm up, and owl on forearm, owl has face of Donald Trump

below: Go vegan for her. A pig’s eye?

sticker on a pole that says go vegan for her, shows one eye of a pig, on pole near drawings of other eyes

Those are what I saw today.  You could probably walk Kensington and see others.   Many are hard to miss but keep your eyes open for the little things in unusual places!

murals in Kensington, Mona Lisa with fruit, and Poser bunnies,

Here you will find a few random things that I found the last time I wandered through Kensington, some large and some small, but most new to me including this wonderful dinosaur mural by Nick Sweetman.

on a Kensington wall, a large mural of dinosaur on a black background it's wearing a small gold crown with 3 points,

below: Kids for sale.   Perhaps they mean goats?  Hmmm……

sign in a store window that says kids for sale

below: She needs a better makeup artist.

head of a mannequin with large brim hat, shoulder length blond hair, red sunglasses, lipstick

below: An exhibit: petrified skull and horn of a Shoasaur, approx 1.4 million years old, right?

tacked to a wood fence is an old wood shoe form that someone has turned into an exhibit of a fossilized skull and horn, complete with drawings of the animal that it came from

below: A profane glove

one single glove with a face drawn on it and fuk you written on it, stuck on the top of a wood fence post

below: Pasted, ripped, and painted…. an abstract in the making.

posters on a window that have been partially ripped and streaks of red paint sprayed on them, also white spray paint

below: Soap ghost has some good advice

a small paste up on a green fence that is soap ghost, words say wash your hands

below: Two witches grace a door –  XVIII The Full Moon Witch and XVI The Hell Hath No Fury Witch

two cars stuck into the crack formed between a door and a wall, two witch cards,

below: Urban ninja guy has grown a mustache!

three stickers and paste ups on a metal post, urban ninja warrior on the top, with a black mustache, and a pink and blue bunny face on the bottom

below: Spanish graffiti says “Estamos solas pero nos tenemos todos” which equals “We are alone but we have all (everybody)”.

black and white paste up on a wall, Spansih words that say estamos solas pero nos tenemos todos

below: Weed the bored as a play on We the North.  So many Raptors references around the city these days!

chalk drawing on a sidewalk that says weed the bored

below: A candle to light Death’s way.

painting on a fence of death with his scythe and holding a candle

below: Watching the street, or has that orange cone caught his eye?

mural of a large face with eyes looking outward, looking onto the street where there are people passing by, Kensington storefront

Keep your eyes open!

 

paved path through a park, grass on both sides, on the pavement is a large white arrow, hand drawn with white spray paint

I went east this afternoon, out to the boondocks. Whenever I think of the word ‘boondock’, I hear it sung to music. Billy Joe Royal sang the song ‘Down in the Boondocks” in 1965 (You can find it on youtube).   Boondock is one of the few words that English has borrowed from Tagalog where bundok = mountain.  Yo-yo is another.   I don’t mean to be derogatory but when you’re battling Toronto traffic, Bellamy and Lawrence seems like a long, long way.

I drove but as I subsequently walked along Lawrence Ave., I wondered about buses and public transit and all the talk about a subway to Scarborough.   The Sheppard East LRT will service Scarborough to the north of here but has it even been started yet?    For now there is the Lawrence West station on the Scarborough RT but there is also talk of replacing the Scarborough RT line – that plan is still on the Metrolinx website but does anyone know what’s really happening?

looking across the street to a bus shelter that is in front of a strip mall with cars parked in front of the stores

two large utility poles side by side beside a sidewalk and a bus shelter. Two people waiting for a bus

Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself, why Bellamy and Lawrence?  Recently I had heard about Taber Hill Park and a rock that sits on top of a hill.

a large rock wits on a stone and concrete platform on the top of a grassy hill, Taber Hill memorial

The plaque reads: “TABER HILL site of an ancient Indian ossuary of the Iroquois Nation, burials were made about 1250 A.D. This ossuary was uncovered when farm lands were developed into residential properties in 1956. This common grave contains the remains of approximately 472 persons. Dedicated as a historical site by the Township of Scarborough October 21, 1961.

below: You can even see the CN Tower from the top of the hill.

view from the top of a hill, street, houses, trees, and the CN Tower in the far distance

After Taber Hill I walked to Bendale Park which is just a bit west of Bellamy.

One of the first things that I saw in Bendale Park was a mural by elicser. It is on the walls of the bridge where Lawrence Avenue passes over the West Highland Creek. The mural is beside the path under the bridge. A better angle for a photo of the whole mural would have been from the other side of the creek but I couldn’t find any access – and I wasn’t about to take off my shoes and go wading!  Instead, here are four pictures of parts of the mural.

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a man in a white t-shirt sitting beside a tree

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., an older man in a red shirt with a white beard and moustache, beside him is a girl reading (in the mural)

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a young couple, she has a pink flower in her hair

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a couple, she has long braids

Bendale Park merges with Thomson Memorial Park.  Immediately north of these parks is St. Andrews Bendale Presbyterian church (that I have mentioned in a previous blog post – see link).  This is one of the first areas of Scarborough to be settled; the original St. Andrews Church was built in 1818.

below: Lilac bush in bloom. Lilacs are not native to Canada and they don’t grow in the wild. If you see a lilac bush in places like this, or along the road, chances are someone once had a home here and they planted the lilac.

lilac bush

below: Another pink flower found in abundance in the ravines at this time of year is this one, Dame’s Rocket, or Hesperis matronalis.    There is also a white variety

pink wild flowers

small word path through long grass and between large leafy trees

below: Passing through here is the Gatineau Corridor which is a bike trail ….

bike trail direction signs, Gatineau Corridor, right turn to McCowan Ave and left turn to Brimley Rd

well, actually it is a hydro corridor which runs diagonally through the city from Leaside in the west to  Meadowvale and beyond in the east.  In the late 1920’s the Great Gatineau Power Station was built in Leaside as a transformer station to enable the city to use electricity generated in Quebec and delivered via this corridor to provide power to the city.  There is still a hydro substation at Millwood and Overlea (in Leaside)

This corridor is being turned into a park called the Meadoway.   Sections of the park and bike trail are finished including this part between Brimley and McCowan.  When it’s finished, this linear park will be 16 km long and will connect the Lower Don Trail to trails in Rouge Park at the city’s eastern boundary.

three very tall hydro poles with many electrical wires, in a park, man walking on path near them

below: Reflections in the West Highland Creek

reflections of green leaves and blue sky in water

below: I saw quite a few red wing blackbirds, especially around the bulrushes and reeds in the wetter places in the park.

a red wing blackbird sits on a branch

below: The last time I walked I saw a McLaren (next blog post), today it was these flashy bright gold things!

a red van parked beside a silver coloured car with bright gold coloured wheel rims

below: More car stuff, but this time it’s my car as I was driving home.

view out the passenger window of a car, of a large flatbed truck loaded with lumber, in the side mirror of the car is the reflection of a TTC bus

signoutside St. Rose de Lima Roman Catholic Church advertising Vietnamese Mass on Sunday afternoons

… but I’ll be back. There is a lot more to this part of the city that I want to explore, including this mosque just east of Midland Avenue.

a mosque

***

 

On the back of the rock on Taber Hill is another plaque which reads:

IROQUOIS PRAYER
O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world, Hear me.
I am a man before you, one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things that you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength O Creator, not to be superior to my brothers but to be able to fight my creators enemies myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eye so that when life fades as the setting sunset my spirit may come to you without shame.
credit: White Cloud, Approved by Iroquois Council 2-2-60.

 

Each spring the water level in Lake Ontario rises as the snow to the north of the city melts.  That’s a given.  The question has become just how much water there will be.  This year the water level is very high again, perhaps as high as it has ever been.

below: Sea gulls enjoying the pond that has formed at Woodbine Beach

Leuty lifesaving station in background, lifeguard station on beach, with water and sea gulls in front of it

below: Some of the many different coloured Muskoka chairs that now dot the beach.  How many hundreds? thousands? of similar pictures are online now?  They do add an interesting and cheerful burst of colour.

4 muskoka chairs lined up on the beach, pink, blue, yellow, and red, lots of water, a person is sitting in one of them but photo is of back of chairs.

a line of muskoka chairs along the edge of the boardwalk, beach, Lake Ontario

a woman is sitting in a blue Muskoka Chair reading, with her legs sticking out the side of the chair, view from behind, water in front of her as well as a line of rocks with seagulls on them, Lake Ontario

below: A quiet reading spot of a different kind…. as the swans swim by.

a person sits by rocks and a tree on the beach by Lake Ontario, reading a book, swans swimming past

rocks and sand at Woodbine Beach, with water behind the lifeguard stations because of flooding of Lake Ontario

below: Sandbags and rocks protect part of the boardwalk from Lake Ontario water.

sandbags, some empty, line the shore up against rocks and a boardwalk with a railing, flooded,

two women push strollers along the boardwalk by Kew Beach, CN tower and Toronto skyline in the distance, other people on the boardwalk and beach too

a woman in a bright red coat is about to throw a large stick into Lake Ontario for her dog to chase, empty lifeguard station beside her

below: Putting up the volleyball nets where it’s dry, Woodbine Beach.

a man is putting up volleyball nets on the poles that aren't in the water at a flooded Woodbine Beach

volleyball court poles standing in the water, flooded Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach

a flooded Woodbine Beach because of high levels of water in Lake ontario, poles in the water for volleyball courts, nets, but too much water

rocks and pebbles along the shore of Lake Ontario, a small island of rocks with a small tree growing on it

fence surrounding dog park, tall grasses, shrubs and trees in dog park, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance, Woodbine Beach

below: The fence around the dog park is in the water

a tree in the water, part of a fence also in the water, Lake Ontario

water behind the lifeguard station, Woodbine Beach, someone has put a cross made of two branches lashed together

a flooded Woodbine Beach

below: Making friends

a woman holds her black dog while a girl in pink jacket reaches out to touch it.

below: As I was returning to my car, I spotted a slightly fancier car than mine…

pale blue and black mclaren car parked in a parking lot, woman with dog in the background

a red and white Canadian flag printed on a sticker that says Toronto Canada that someone has added their tag to, stuck on a utility pole in an alley

Today’s wander down Graffiti Alley yielded more than just a few new paintings and bits of graffiti.  I also came across a group of students from da Vinci school who were there doing an assignment that involved filming each other giving rants in the alley.

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley

two girls checking a video on a phone, other people nearby, in graffiti alley

below: Nipsey Hussle memorial mural by Sum Artist

black and white mural portrait of a young man in a toque, signed sum artist

one boy is filming another as he talks in the alley, in front of a colourful mural

woman in red dress and red shoes, graffiti on an alley, on a wood fence that has been painted white

two stickers on a graffit covered metal utiity pole. one sticker is a black drone in a grey circle

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley - in front of Uber 5000's mural

one woman is filming another woman who is talking in graffiti alley in main part of alley

below: Smile!

graffiti, word smile

three girls working on a video in a corner of an alley, on is filming with a phone and one is talking and one is holding the paper with the words on it.

a poorly done blue faced woman with red hair, beside a doorway with a black, white, and red, geometric face

a boy in shorts and a baseball cap is filming another boy in blue fleece and camo pants as he is talking in front of a mural in graffiti alley

mural of a pink praying mantis on the right and some students in graffiti alley on the left

teacher, students, and other people in graffiti alley

black and white painting of a man's face, very large, part of a mural in an alley

Today’s encounter reminded me that I once encountered Rick Mercer in the alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program – photo from October 2011.

photo from 2011, Rick Mercer and film crew walking down Graffiti Alley as he filmed a rant for his TV program.

One last thing that I want to address here – maybe you could call it a rant of my own.  Except that it will be in pictures not words.  There’s something new in Graffiti Alley; it’s not unexpected but that doesn’t make it any easier, or better.   The old Stephenson Rental building is on its way down.

demolition sign on a metal fence in front of a graffiti covered wall

In fact, it’s mostly down.

only one corner remaining, demolition of building in graffiti alley, covered with street art

demolition of building in graffiti alley

and mostly sad

demolition of building in graffiti alley, remaining buildings in the background