Archive for the ‘locations’ Category

Sometimes I find myself in unfamiliar territory and so it was last week when I went to investigate some alleys where I’d heard that new murals had been painted.   My previous post, Around Wadsworth Park, was part of the same walk; there was just so much to see that I split my photos into two groups.  In general, the last post was north of Davenport Avenue while this post features Davenport and the streets & alleys to the south.

below: More raccoons by Emily May Rose, this time they are being watched over by a big white rat. Quite the dumpster fire!

mural in an alley by Emily May Rose of raccoons and a big white rat. One raccoon is setting fire to a dumpster

preparing for a sidewalk sale, including a sign that says amenity closed because of covid 19

below: A large mural by Birdo beside Charles Sauriol school

large birdo mural on the side of a building, street art

the side of a house is covered with street art, 2 or 3 murals on both upper and lower storeys

below: A man reaching out a multicoloured hand to a woman by Phillip Saunders covers the back part of the house

murals on the side of a house, a man and a woman with black curly hair

below: A brown octopus and bright coloured tiger playing together – a collaboration between Luvs and June Kim.

mural of a tiger on the side of a house

below: Baby birds with beaks uplifted in a mural by Bruno Smoky and Clandestinos

mural by Bruno Smoky and Clandestinos on a wood fence in an alley, baby birds in a nest with their beaks open waiting for parents to feed them

below: Blue jay and tomato face, rowdyradrat and Chris Perez

street art on a wood fence in a lane

murals on a wood fence in a lane, tomato, blue jay

below: Taking cover under umbrellas on a rainy day in a mural by Elicser Elliott

mural by elicser elliott on a garage door in an alley, people under umbrellas in the rain, pink background

below: Someone has extra time lying around, but without the coffee

leaning against a lime green dumpster is the time part of an old coffee time donut shop sign

a motorcycle parked in a backyard with lots of weeds and junk

small house with brown picket fence in front, second story with mansard roof on one part of house only

street art painting of a nuthatch bird on a wood pole

below: Mural in a lane, signature says June, Bacon, and Erika.

mural in a lane, nuthatch, flowers by Bacon, and a bright cat by June Kim

below: Part of another June Kim feline

a June Kim mural of a tiger or cat, feline, on a brick wall in an alley

below: A man walks down the alley, between a mural on the right and Quick Recording Studios on the left.

an older man with a cane and a plaid jacket walks down an alley, back to the camera

below: In the window of the Art Academy of Canada, Davenport Ave.

paintings in a window, with window reflections, of Art Academy of Canada

below: A.J.’s So Fresh Coin Laundry, also on Davenport

buildings on Davenport Ave., two storey, one is A.J.'s So Fresh Coin Laundry

below: A multi-lingual thank you to essential workers on Davenport – obrigado, gracias, merci, and grazie!

a mural on a brick wall on the side of a building on Davenport, a thank you to essential workers during covid, thank you written in many languages

below: Boney Santa’s lost a lot of weight recently… he’s probably tired of all the weight gain jokes and comments though…..

large skeleton outside in front yard with Santa hat and red scarf, holding a plastic candle light, other Christmas decorations on porch of house

below: More Emily May Roses’s mischievous raccoons and their cans of spray paint.

emily may rose mural on the side of a dark grey building, raccoons playing around a white cube van, with orange spray paint

below: Anya Mielniczek’s woman’s face looks down the lane.

mural by Anya Mielniczek of a girls's head in pinks and oranges down a lane, rest of mural blocked by fence

below: A closer look of the mural reveals another woman’s head on the far side along with people mixing together in the central portion painted by Raoul

orange and pink woman's head by Anya Mielniczek along with a picture of

below: HeldbyHuda mural

street art mural on a garage door by artist with instagram handle heldbyhuda

below: Patterns of circles and semi-circles on a gate by Stephanie Bellefleur

street art on a wood gate across the back of a garage, patterns of circles and semi circles

below: Another gate, but half of this one has been removed.

car parked behind a house, gate across back of yard is partially closed and a mural can be seen on it, other part of gate is open so other part of mural is blocked

below: A Nick Sweetman painting of a large Cuckoo wasp feeding on a yellow flower

mural by Nick Sweetman on a garage door in an alley, a large blue green bee on a yellow flower

below: by Victoria Day

garage door mural by Victoria Day, stylized yellow and green flowers on a blue green gradient background

garages in a laneway in Toronto, some garage doors have murals and street art painted on them

below: Sections of citrus fruit in glass bowls, by Steam

Steam, the artist, painted a mural on a garage door of citrus fruit sections in glass bowls

below: A pink and purple butterfly by Dani Coghlan

pink and purple butterfly mural on a garage door

below: A floral wallpaper-like design by Tara Dorey

floral wallpaper like design on a garage door by Tara Dorey

jumble of chairs and other objects on a lawn, behind a chainlink fence

in an alley, two old garages with a crooked gate with peeling dark green paint, house in the background

below: A collaboration between Diana Lynn VanderMeulen and Tebby G.

mural with two cartoon like animals, one pink and the other blue, beside a blue mountain along with some pink flowers, a mural on a garage door

below: Pink flowers by Claire Browne

mural by Claire Browne on a garage door in a n alley, pink clover flowers with green leaves on a

below: Self explanatory?

a mural with a large word that says great

below: Planta Muisca mural with an orange snake under a purple night sky.

a mural by muisca on a garage door in a lane, an orange snake in the purple night with moon and plant with large leaves

below: Birds wearing neckties and hanging out together in a mural by Rob Elliott

birds painted on a garage door, stylized, large bird wearing a long necktie and smaller birds with similar ties, all on an orange background

car parked in front of two murals on garage doors, breaking bread is one of the murals

below: Sometimes while walking in this city during Covid and various lockdowns, even this might do!

old toilet on the doorstep of an apartment beside a fish and chips store

fish and chips shop sign on a store doorstep along with a folding chair

below: Remains of a vegetable garden planted along the side of the alley. Portugal peppers once grew here.

remains of a vegetable garden in late December, sign saying Portugal peppers

below: Stop and smell the flowers

wood utility pole painted white and decorated with flowers and a sign that says stop and smell the flowers

white pole with purple flower painted on it, also some stickers, welcome, kindness

covid 19 mask caught on a dead branch in a garden

Support for the alley murals was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Unfortunately, I have missed a few of the paintings.  A complete set of photos can be found on Erika James’s Instagram page.  She was one of the organizers of the project.

 

little elf characters hanging from a tree in a front yard, green cap and shirt like holly with red pants and trim but everything made of tinsel strands

Some of the murals from this post can also be seen on by worldwide street art blog, Carleton Village murals Toronto 2021

Just east of Old Weston Road, between St. Clair and Davenport, is Wadsworth Park. This park dates from 1934 when the city purchased the land from the Canadian National Railway.

below: The sign in Wadsworth Park gives a brief history of the park in five languages. It also provides a map of the 19 species of tree that grow here, species include London Plane, Tulip, Linden, Freeman Maple, Norway Maple, Bur Oak, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and many others.

sign in Wadsworth park describing the community and the tree species

below: Suri in grey tones while drinking, mural by Haenahhh.

mural on a garage door in an alley by haenahh of a woman sitting with a cup of coffee

below: Mediah blues on the right and a Que Rock mural on the left.

looking across a park in late December, two garages in an alley painted with murals, on the right is one in blues by mediah

below: A closer look at the mural by Que Rock – Mother Earth, loons, and pine trees.

mural by Que Rock, indigenous themes, loons on the water, mother earth,

below: Fantasy creatures playing in a mural by Kisong Koh

mural by Kisong Koh on the door of a garage in a laneway

below:  The alley behind Carleton Village school

below: Windows on the south wall of Carleton Village school.

windows with rectangles of textured glass and coloured glass, exterior wall of Carleton Village Junior and Senior public school, tree growing in front of it, winter

old rusty railing between garages in an alley

below: Mural by Kseniya Tsoy on a garage door.  On the extreme right is a small part of a mural of a purple dog by Bareket – my apologies for not including a better photo …. especially since I now know that she was responsible for organizing the mural paintings in this alley earlier this year.

bright and colourful mural in an alley of a woman

below: End of season remains of veggies (brussel sprouts?) in a patch of land between the alley and the park.

remains of brussel sprout plants in a laneway garden, some snow on the ground

row houses in Carleton Village

below: Beware of Portuguese dog!

on a dark brown fence a faded beware of dog sign in Portuguese

stop sign, altered with a sticker, to now say stop drinking cow's milk

More murals (and other things) in the area can be seen at the next blog post, South of Davenport.

Some of the murals in this post can also be seen in my worldwide street art blog, Carleton Village murals Toronto 2021

The recent closure of Queen Street West for streetcar track work provided an opportunity to take a few photos without traffic or parked cars in the way.  Straight documentation and not much more.  But that way, when you next walk Queen West and it’s wall to wall new condo development you can check back here and say, “I remember when”….

two cyclists on queen street west

below: On the northeast corner of Queen West and  Augusta – The Wool House, Drinks & Deli, and One Stop Shop

row of stores on Queen West with construction fence in front

below: Queen and Augusta – Java Hut on one corner and an empty KFC on the northwest.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken on Queen West at Augusta

below: Looking west from Augusta

looking west along Queen Street West from Augusta

below: working on the TTC streetcar tracks just east of Portland

workmen working on the TTC streetcar tracks on Queen West

below: Black and red mural on the outside of Wendys at Denison Ave

cement truck with a workman standing beside it, on Queen West, by a Wendys restaurant in a three storey brick building with a mural in red and black on the outside

below: Queen Street West, north side, at the end of Portland Street.

old building, now stores, on Queen Street West at the top of Portland Street

below: Walking westward away from Portland

woman walking on the sidewalk between store fronts and construction fence, TTC track work being done on Queen West

below: Looking west from Tecumseth and Palmerston

looking west along Queen Street West from Tecumseth and Palmerston

below: Daisies and bees as Queen West approaches Euclid

concrete planter on Queen West painted pink with picture of daisies and bees with words to bee or not to bee

below: at Euclid

two women walking dogs on Queen West at Euclid

a red motorbike is parked in a bike parking lot on the sidewalk, building across the street has street art -- a lot of large white letters that take up almost the whole side of the building

below: Looking back eastward to Euclid

a yellow digger is the middle of Queen Street West removing street car tracks, west of Euclid

below: Reflections of Queen West in the window of John Fluevog shoe store

reflections of street scene in window of John Fluevog shoes on Queen West

below: North side, at Bathurst.  The construction ends and traffic resumes.

Queen Street west, north side looking towards intersection with Bathurst

games and stuffed animals in the window of a toy store - chickens, pig, snake, mice, goat, sheep

 

mural, blue letters on yellow, XOXO Downsview

below: Ulysses Curtis mural by Danilo Deluxo McCallum.  Curtis (1926-2013) played for the Toronto Argonauts football team in the 1950s.  He was considered to be the first black player on the team.

mural, black man with helmet and shoulder harness straps

The Downsview area and airplanes have been linked since the late 1920s when land here was being used for airfields—Barker Field, the Canadian Express Airport and the Toronto Flying Club.  In 1929 de Havilland Aircraft of Canada purchased 70 acres of farmland along Sheppard Avenue West.  In the mid-1950s de Havilland moved its operations to newly constructed modern facilities to the southeast.  De Havilland Canada was sold to Boeing in 1988 and then to Bombardier in 1992.

below: Bombardier facility and GO tracks on the east side of the park.   Downsview Park station at the north end of the park connects the GO system with the TTC’s Line 1.

Bombardier facility beside GO tracks in Downsview

In 2017, the Sesquicentennial Trail was developed on part of the site.  Sesquicentennial means 150 years, as in Canada was 150 years old in 2017.

below: The North Plaza of the trail features a semi-circular wall of rusted steel with cutout silhouettes of real historical photographs showing various people, buildings, and airplanes that was designed by John Dickson.

rusted metal art installation with sections of wall with cutout pictures, airplane windsock in front

part of an art installation, rusted metal with cut out pictures, cut out words that say danger low flying aircraft stop until clear

two pictures cutout of rusted metal

Small models of four of the aircraft built by DeHaviland ‘fly’ over the trail – the DH.60 Gipsy Moth, the Dash 8, the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and the Mosquito.   They cover years of both DeHaviland and aircraft history from the bi-winged Moth in the mid-1920’s to the turboprop Dash8. The later was developed in the early 1980s and is still in production today.

plaque describing 4 of the types of aircraft once produced in Downsview, DH.60 Gipsy Moth, the Dash 8, the DHC-6 Twin Otter, and the Mosquito

two model airplanes on pillars, look like they are flying above a pond, park, and new apartments under construction

below: High overhead, a DHC-Beaver, a bush plane developed in 1947 here at Downsview.

large metal flat silhouette of beaver airplane on tall metal poles as public art in a park

Grounded! But still great for child’s play.

playground at Downsview Park, yellow wood airplane on ground with pretend control tower

Hundreds, and probably thousands, of trees have been planted on the site.

two red muskoka chairs near the top of a hill, overlooking the trees in the valley below

below: Tulip tree

autumn colours on a tulip tree

below: Other areas have been set aside for native grasses and wildflowers such as milkweed, purple coneflower, and wild lupine.

plaque at donswview park describing tallgrass prairie and three of the plants that grow there

below: There is a large hill in the park and this is the view to the southwest from there.

Downsview view from hill in the park, looking southwest over a path, some apartment buildings, and rest of Toronto skyline

below: At the top of the hill stands an installation of blue flags along with two of the many red muskoka chairs scattered around the park.   This is “Wind Rose” by Future Simple Studio. This picture doesn’t show it very well but at the northwest corner, two of the flags are not blue – one is black and the other white (black for west and white for north).  These two flags, “The Turtle and the Traveller,” were designed by Mi’kmaq artists Chris and Greg Mitchell.   They are best seen when the wind is blowing!

blue flags hanging from poles, art installation at Downsview Park

maple leaves in autumn

small bird feeder on a tree, with a blue roof with red flower painted on the roof

Downsview has also been associated with the military.  In 1937, the Royal Canadian Air Forces expropriated portions of the site to establish the RCAF Station Downsview.  The site once had two residential areas with barracks – one for the enlisted soldiers and their families and another for the commissioned officers and their families.  Over the years the base expanded to include the original de Havilland lands.  In the 1960s, the military expropriated the lands adjacent to the Downsview Airport and closed 2.5 miles of Sheppard Avenue between Dufferin and Keele Streets.  That is why Sheppard Avenue swings north around what is now Downsview Park.

two small bird houses hanging against a tree, white round one with red conical shaped roof

In 1996 CFB Toronto officially closed.  Parc Downsview Park Inc. was established in 1999 to build and operate Downsview Park but administrative control over the land wasn’t transferred to the Park until 2006.

very red crimson maple leaves in fall

below: ArtworxTO Hub North with a mural by Mediah.  At the time, the site was being used by a film crew.

mediah mural at arthub at Downsview park

below: Another mural on the exterior of the ArtworxTO Hub building.  This one was painted by Kreecha.

mural at arthub at Downsview park

stickers on the back of a dark coloured car, robots shooting at stick figures, The Empire Doesn't Care about your stick figure family

I heard from two different sources about a “castle” that was about to be torn down so when I found myself in the neighbourhood, I had to stop by and take a look at it myself.

below: Screenshot from Google street view, dated January 2021. All of the shrubs have been removed and the black fence has been replaced with the same fencing that you see surrounding most construction sites.

screenshot from google maps street view of an old white house

below: The house as it looked in mid-November, east side.  The lower windows are now boarded up as well.

no trespassing sign on old white empty house

Apparently the house sold in 2018 . The previous owner, Max Heiduczek, lived in and worked on the house for more than 40 years.  He bought the property in the 1970s but had to sell when age and health concerns became an issue.

below: Minaret, dome, rooftop terraces, and a replica of Michelangelo’s David.

small window in a crumbling building, plaster coming off wall, wood deteriorating along roofline

below: The tower has little blue windows.

crooked turret beside railing around rooftop terrace with stone statue of a woman (greek goddess?) holding an urn

brass remnants from something lying in the grass with dead leaves outside an empty and abandoned house

boarded up window and door on old white abandoned house

no trespassing sign on metal construction fence

lamp post with 5 globe lights, leaning, outside old white house with multiple architectural styles

boarded up window and door on old house, railing around balcony above door has heart shaped openings

below: South side of the house

side view of old white house with red clay tile colour roof, boarded up windows with danger sign

The current owners applied to subdivide the property into pieces.  In August 2021 conditional consent was given by the city for this severance.

 

below: The southwestern end of the Meadoway is at Thomson Memorial Park – it exits the park at McCowan just north of Lawrence and runs 16 km through Scarborough.  The goal is form one continuous linear urban park from downtown to the Rouge River.

large trees in autumn, lots of yellow and gold leaves on the trees and on the ground

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Bendale Church is just visible through the trees.  This church is adjacent to Thomson Memorial Park

steeple of St. Andrews Bendale shows through the trees at Thomason Memorial Park

below:   Springfield Farm House is also at McCowan and Lawrence.   It is the oldest brick house in Scarborough, built in 1840 by James Thomson.

springfield farm house near McCowan and Lawrence in Scarborough, built by Andrew Thomson

people on path

below: The Meadoway follows the Gatineau Corridor, a swath of land under hydro transmission lines.

a man pushes a child in a stroller along a path, the meadoway

below: Large sections are in the process of being “naturalized”, i.e. meadow restoration is underway.

meadoway sign

yellow headed bird on weeds

below: from left to right – New England Aster, Little Blue Stem, Common Milkweed, Switch Grass, Cup Plant, Bergamot, Big Blue Stem and False Sunflower.

close up of meadow restoration information sign showing which plants are growing there

wildflowers and other naturalized plants growing under hydro lines

meadoway in autumn, hydro lines and towers, a badminton net, path, bike path, grass,

people walking on a path through a park

a man walks along a path, through the Meadoway with autumn trees with yellow and gold colour leaves falling to the ground

rusty metal supports for transmission wires, with yellow autumn tree in the background

yellow sign warning cyclists that there is downhill section ahead

below: The Meadoway as it crosses Bellamy Road

meadoway crosses Bellamy Road

schoolyard under transmission lines

below: school access

gap in chainlink fence under hydro transmission lines, with path leading to a school

combination lock on a chainlink fence

below: Daventry Garden plots with highrises on Markham Road in the background.

autumn community garden in foreground, highrises in the background, on the meadoway
orange plastic fences around garden plots after the growing season is over, dead remains of vegetable gardens

string and wire make a fence around a community garden plot

community garden in the meadoway with back of houses in the background

There is a large gap from Scarborough Golf Club Road to Conlins (just east of Morningside). The Gatineau Corridor transmission lines cross the Highland Creek and the 401 where there is no path beneath the wires. The city has tried to make continuous bike routes and now Conlins, which runs north-south has bike lanes and crosses the 401.

bike path direction signs, route 79 to Rouge River Drive and route 26 to Gatineau Corridor

The northeast end of the Meadoway is still a bit bleak but at least the potential is there…. being November doesn’t help!

below: The Meadoway crosses diagonally through the intersection of Sheppard Ave East and Dean Park (just west of Meadowvale).

Meadoway path approaches the intersection of Sheppard Ave East and Dean Park with its hydro wires and towers

below: Looking southwest from near Sheppard and Dean Park

a woman walks on the path through the meadoway with transmission towers and hydro lines, November,

The trail ends shortly after at Meadowvale Road which is just beyond the Sheppard Transformer Station.

hydro transmission lines leading to Sheppard Transformer Station

below: Spindleberry tree (Euonymus europaeus)

spindle tree berries and autumn leaves

Development of the Meadoway is led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority with help from the city, Hydro One, the Weston Family Foundation, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation.

For more information – Meadoway website
Some of these photos were taken in 2020.

 

November 2021 edition

below: Jumbleface foto collage, slightly peeling.  Keep cold.

jeremy lynch jumbleface foto pasteup collage on a window in Kensington, eyes

below: Doesn’t he fit right into the poster?  Or are you busy looking at all the little creatures swarming around t-bonez head?

on the back of a bike rack, pasteups and stickers, urban ninja squadron in green,

below: It’s Life, it’s a one-eyed red daisy

red petal, blue eyed daisy, it's life sticker

below: Smugrat, Las Mujeres Vampiros, bentoghoul, and others.

stickers on plywood hoardings, outside, mujeres vampiros,

below: Wash your hands after It’s Life yellow daisy takes first prize

three stickers, bottom one is wash your hands

on plywood hoardings, coffee cup poster, with t-bonez and a large missile in the background

below: Miss You!  Nika loves Aura, and other messages around the coffee.

coffee cup poster

below: Crying real water

small sticker with water in eyes, crying tears

below: And you’re looking blue too.

small blue square sticker that says I'm feeling blue

below: Gas Phaseout? We CANDU It!  Part of the poster has been torn off ….

posters on a utility pole, top one is climate change action, rosie the riveter picture with words

below:  … but this Homer Simpson poster is probably related.  Climate Hero!  Eating donuts?  No… “In Ontario nuclear workers provided 90% of the electricity needed to phase out coal – North America’s greatest CO2 reduction.  Let’s phase out natural gas next”.
I can’t read all the handwriting but part of what someone has written on the poster says: “How did you turn off my portable Panosonic TV Karen? Did your boyfriend help you?”  Can you make any sense of that?

two posters on a metal pole, top one has Homer Simpson

The El Mocambo, a Spadina landmark since 1948 has had a makeover

new sign for El Mocambo Tavern on Spadina, palm tree with LED flashing lights in the leaves and neon lights spelling the name of the tavern on the trunk of the tree

… including a new sign to go with its renovations.  It has just re-opened after being closed since 2014.

The alley behind the tavern has been spruced up a bit too – 24 new murals have been painted over the past few weeks all within the theme of “Grit”

street art on the back of the El Mocambo tavern

street art black and white indigenous girl in first nations clothing, black and white stencil

below: Elicser Elliott’s painting of the back of a building, with a masked and hooded horseman to the left.

mural by elicser on back of building in alley

below: Road runner and coyote, still together

upper levels of apartments and businesses on College street as seen from alley behind, some street art, a painting of the road runner, and elicser mural, lots of stairs,

below: Doorway painted by Adore

street art on recessed doorway by adore, text tag throw up of adore plus winged green man

below: Circular calligraphy by kreecha

street art by kreecha circles of ornate calligraphy, white in the center, then a red ring, then a pink ring, surrounded by white on black

below: A Poser street scene

mural in El Mocambo Lane by poser, houses on a street with his tag below

below: Devilish art

street art in El Mocambo Lane, grit laneway, blue text tag with little orange devil diving into it. devil wearing only a white diaper

street art murals in el mocambo lane

below: An older man sits on a bench watching the pigeons, a painting by Steam.

murals and street art in el mocambo lane, man on a bench with pigeons,

part of a mural of a realistic older man with balding grey hair, sitting on a bench with his cap in one of his hands

below: Archer in the city with a loaded paint brush, part of a mural by Keitha Keeshig Tobias

female archer with arrow as a paint brush dripping with pink paint, street art in a toronto lane

upper part of a mural, city at night with tall buildings and lit windows, pink blob

below: Oh oh!  Little pink guy seems to have broken through…. painting by Skero

cat mural in el mocambo lane, cat wearing green coat, pink flowers and some white smiling bunnies too

pink smiling flowers and a white smiling rabbit in a mural

street art painting of a grey woman

stuff in alley, a mop, circular mirror, wood pallet

This project had the support of the city’s StreetARToronto program, the Chinatown BIA, as well as local businesses including El Mocambo and Gwartzman’s Art Supplies. It was led by Amos Danniels (a.k.a. ‘SIGHT’) as its co-curator and project manager along with Project Coordinator Nishina Loft.

The results of a walk on what was probably the last warm evening of the year….

people walking on Queens Quay at night

below: In Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza (that’s the space in front of Union Station by Front Street) is an art installation by Masai Ujiri, “Humanity Movement”.  There are 35 words that represent what humanity means to Ujiri – words such as compassion, love, selfless, collective that are repeated as they cover the eight foot high installation.  A light in the center makes the words appear on the sidewalk and on the structures (and people) around it.

Humanity movement art installation in Sir John A Macdonald Plaza in front of Union Station, by Masai Ujiri. metal cylinder with words cut out, a light shines through from the middle and the words show as lights on the sidewalk

well lit Sir John A Macdonald Plaza in front of Union Station, at night, with lit clock, sculpture and an art installation by Masai Ujiri

below: Inside the Great Hall at Union Station is an image titled “House of Baby” that is the result of a collaboration between Camille Turner and Camal Pirbhal.  It is a image of people in the Great Hall that includes portraits of 18 Indigenous and Black people who were enslaved by the Baby family.

a few people standing in front of an image called house of baby, a collage of people who were enslaved by the Baby family all gathered in Union Station

Francois Baby (1768 Detroit – 1852 Windsor Ont) and his brother James (1763 Detroit – 1833 Toronto) were politicians, businessmen and land owners.  Francois stayed in what was then the Western District of Upper Canada (around Windsor).   His biography is long and I’m not going to go into details here but he did have slaves.  James moved to York in 1815 and was part of the establishment – between 1792 and 1830 he held more than 115 appointments or commissions of varying degrees of importance.

In 1793 John Graves Simcoe, then Lieutenant Governor, tried to abolish slavery in Upper Canada but many of the ruling class, including James Baby, were slave owners and outright abolishment failed.  Instead there was a compromise made (how Canadian!) and restrictions were put on slave ownership such that by 1833 there were none left.  A much more complete history of slavery in Upper Canada can be found in an article at Upper Canada History.

close up of part of an image called house of baby, a collage of people who were enslaved by the Baby family all gathered in Union Station

below: On the York Street side of Union Station

York street side of Union station

below: On the PATH system at 25 York Street there is a mural that is 25 metres long (or 100 feet long); it is “Entire City Project” by Michael Awad, 2009.  It is a warped panorama of commuters outside Union Station.

part of a mural by Michael Awad of people moving together, most walking, one man with a bicycle

below: The lights hanging from the ceiling are another art piece.  “Pixel Matrix”, is a large cube of 30,000 individually controllable LED lights on strings, with constantly changing lighting effects.  It was a collaboration between Michael Awad and David Rokeby

 

interior of 25 York street with 2 art installations, the hanging glass and lights, and a long mural by Michael Awad

detail of Michael Awad Entire City Project mural of people walking in commute

lights shining through exterior glass walls, blue lights on a staircase

below: Making a kraken.  One tentacle can be seen in the foreground.

below: The kraken’s eye is a video that plays on a screen bulging from the container that can barely hold its contents.  Will the kraken escape?  Is Queens Quay safe?

making a Kraken art installation out of a metal container

below: Lights in motion

a man riding a bike at night with blue LED lights all over it. his helmet has lights too

below:  The art installations at 10 York Street look much different at night!

art installation in the lobby of a condo building on York street

below: Lights over the harbour, Queens Quay

bridge over harbour on Queens Quay, at night, with lights and reflections of light in the water

a couple, at night, standing outside on one of the wave decks on Queens Quay

the back of a large boat, at night, one light on the boat, ladder, blue ropes

entrance and exit to a parking structure at night

2 small plastic orange pylons sit on a ledge in a broken window with a green staircase behind inside the building

two men walking in lit passageway, inside, blue wall on left, carrying photo equipment and tripod

Toronto’s old industrial buildings are disappearing.   So when I saw the tall brick chimneys near St. Clair and the Danforth I had to stop and take a closer look.

brick chimney with CLM painted on it, beside other industrial buildings

CLM stands for Canadian Line Materials, also known as CLM industries.  It was a division of McGraw-Edison Ltd and they manufactured electrical equipment.   One of their contracts was with the Canadian Government to build air raid sirens.  CLM was sold in 1985 and no longer exists.

below: Back in behind, part of the parking lot has been given over to the Scarborough Community Garden.

Scarborough Community Garden, raised boxes for growing vegetables, lots of produce, in parking lot of industrial building, church across the street with solar panels in the shape of a cross

below: In the above photo you can see the solar panels on the roof of the Scarborough Church of God that is across the street from the old CLM buildings.  Construction of the church began in 1958 and it was dedicated in March 1960 as the Scarborough Junction United Church.  The blue sign indicates that this is also the home of the Scarborough Grace Harvest Church (Korean).

A frame brick building with brown roof, Scarborough Church of God. Solar panels on the roof in the shape of a cross

below: Side windows on the church

coloured and textured windows of a church

below: A reminder of how diverse Toronto is – Workers rights in many languages

poster on utility pole advertising workers action centre, and new employee rights, in many languages

below: “Known as best psychic and spiritual healer in Toronto”

poster advertising Indian psychic

below: Arsenio’s Kitchen has chicken and rice for $5.99

metal barrels beneath two signs. one advertising chicken and rice for 5 dollars and 99 cents. The other sign says space for lease in a strip mall plaza

below: Fuel stop – gas for the car and a roti for you

Gulf service station at Kennedy and St. Clair. Gas at 1.43 a litre, also butter chicken roti fast food with roti of the week sign

Just to the west, Kennedy Road crosses both St. Clair and Danforth and forms a small triangle.  Immediately south of the Danforth, Kennedy goes over the railway tracks.

below: The view east from Kennedy, looking towards Scarborough GO station.

railway tracks, looking east from Kennedy Road towards Scarborough GO station

below: The view west from the bridge

houses on Raleigh and Glasgow Avenuesview west from Kennedy Road bridge over railway tracks near Danforth,

below: A bit of country in the city.

backyard in Scarborough with a barn shaped shed and a small coop for chickens or pigeons

below: An elephant hiding in the bushes.  Any idea of what flag that might be? Trinidad and Tobago?

graffiti painting of an elephant head on a wood fence, behind some bushes, behind a brick house with a black and red flag

below: Anime-like on a bridge railing.

black and white drawing pasteup graffiti on a black metal railing of a bridge

below: Standing on the platform at Scarborough GO station and looking east.  Here the tracks split – the GO train line to Kennedy and Agincourt stations (and beyond) splits to the left and heads northward.  The other tracks are the main CNR line as well as eastward GO line to Eglinton GO station

looking east from Scarbourgh GO station, tracks,

As I walked, it soon became apparent that there were a lot of commercial buildings now sitting empty. It’s becoming a bit repetitive but once again I found myself in an area that is about to undergo some profound changes.

below: An empty building waiting for demolition.

blue and white city of toronto development notice on an empty auto parts store

Scarborough Junction redevelopment plans involve a 26 acre plot of land adjacent to Scarborough GO station – what has become known as the Scarborough Junction Masterplan.

below: Drawing of the Masterplan. It covers a large chunk of the triangle created by the CNR tracks, Kennedy Road to the west, and St. Clair to the north. It will create about 6620 residential units in 17 buildings with the tallest tower being 48 storeys high. The CLM building is on this site (blocks C & G?). (image source: Urban Toronto).

drawing of plan for Scarborough Junction Masterplan redevelopment at Kennedy and St. Clair, from Urban Toronto,

below: View from the Scarborough GO station.   At the moment, most of the land along the northwest side of the tracks is unused.

behind a broken chainlink fence is a parking lot of an abandoned business, overgrown,

white house, now a commecrial business on St. Clair Ave with a blue and white development notice in front

below: Outdoor seating arrangement

old car seat sitting outside of Sultan Auto Service, closed garage doors

cars parked in front of empty abandoned auto store, with blank black electric sign

exterior of Spee and Dee Auto Service with garage doors covered with photos of cars in the interior of the garage

three piles of old tires blocking the driveway entrance to a light industrial site

below: Truck for sale

a white pick up truck parked behind a black sign with an arrow pointing left

older brick house turned into a business, beside Carmen and Frank's Collision centre

graffiti on the side of a one storey brick building

white car parked in front of white building, Cordi Signs, one light blue door and no windows

below: On the southwest corner of Kennedy and St. Clair is a small plaza from the 1960s.

sign at the corner of Kennedy and St. Clair, stip mall plaza, sign is for Wimpys Diner, Greek Cuisine and East West Pest control

old Canadian flag in the back window of a pick up truck

below: Another empty building behind a fence – Some clothes in cases all that remains of what was once a thrift store (and probably something else before that). There is a weathered sign suggesting a condo development but I haven’t been able to find anything about it (or I missed something).

side of empty building with condo sales advert, also four display cases with clothes that are no longer held up properly

small plaza from the 1960s with Yaffa restaurant, now emppty, Roti Lady restaurant, and another empty store front. Chainlink fence around part of it

empty Yaffa Restaurant and old thrift shop. brick building with a sign that says Fresh coffee,

billboard by fenced in lot, for sale, gas station site available, Kennedy Road street sign

below: One corner that is in no danger of being redeveloped is the northwest corner of St. Clair and Kennedy. This is Pinehills Cemetery.

adornments by a tombstone in Pnehills cemetery, red flowers, a small metal bike old fashioned style, a cross, and a photo of a man, and a small white candle holder lantern

It’s heart warming to see that people care enough about those who have passed away that they find ways to celebrate that person in creative ways.  Insert jokes here about how we’ll all be dead before the Maple Leafs win a Stanley Cup.

objects left by a tombstone, Maple Leafs sign, and their bear mascot figurine about 8 inches high, pink flowers, and a small white cross with words on it

flat ground level memorial in a cemetery with three cigarettes and 2 small Canadian flags