Archive for the ‘old buildings’ Category

Another path through the woods. This time there was a hint of yellow in the leaves because it was late September and even in 2020, some things are the same as ever.

a dirt path through the woods, some yellow hues in the trees

The path led me uphill to the newly renovated Guild Inn. It’s been five years since I have wandered around their gardens and surrounding park. In that time, the building has been renovated and expanded. I didn’t take very many pictures the other day because I knew that I had a lot from my previous visit. I was going to link to the blog post from that time but I discovered that I never actually got around to posting anything! So, I have found the old photos and have included some of them here.

below: For instance, this is the front of the inn in July 2015 with its windows covered.

chainlink fence in front of an empty white building with windows that have been covered, old Guild Inn before renovations

below: And the back, five years ago.

photo from 2015 of Guild Inn surrounded by construction metal fence before it was renovated

below: Five years later – the back of the Guild Inn with the path leading to the gardens.

the old white house back of Guild Inn, with small stone columns in the garden along with trees and flowers

below: A statue of Saint Francis Assisi with a wolf, carved by Thomas Bowie (b.1905)

a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi with a wolf, in stone, in front of a flower garden

below: A stone wall with statues and carvings provides a backdrop for a garden full of black-eyed susans. Because of the efforts of a few people to salvage some of Toronto’s architectural and creative history, the gardens of the Guild Inn have become the final resting place of a number of pieces of older buildings that have been demolished to make way for modern skyscrapers.

a large number of black eyed susan flowers in a garden, with sculptures and statues on a wall in the background

below: Stone wall with features from the Bank of Nova Scotia building (1903)

small concrete wall that incorporates a number of small sculptures from old buildings

below: The bird nest is long gone. … but it would have been a nice quiet spot to raise a family.

the upper torso and head of a man, sculpture in stone, in a niche in a wall. a bird has built a nest on his shoulder

large stone columns in a park, old architectural details from a building that was demolished, columns saved and moved here to Guild Inn

carved in stone, a head of an old man with curly hair and curly beard, with stone corinthian columns rising above him

below: From the Royal Conservatory of Music. There are two bas-relief bronzes of men associated with the Royal Conservatory. On the right is Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973), an organist, composer, and conductor who was knighted in 1935 by King George V. On the left is Dr. Healey Willan (1880-1968) another organist and composer who was associated with the Toronto Conservatory for 30 years (1920-1950).

a brick wall with details from Royal Conservatory of Music building, music hall carving, and two bas-relief bronzes of men, Sir Ernest McMilland Dr. Healey Willan

below: Looking through one stone arch to another, the square arch from the Imperial Bank of Canada Building (1928) and underneath sits Musidora. Many artists have lent their interpretations of this woman (in sculpture and paint), the subject of a poem titled “Summer” by Scottish poet James Thomson written in 1727. The beautiful Musidora strips naked to cool down by bathing in the stream, not knowing that she is being watched by Damon. Damon is torn between watching and turning away but chooses the latter.

a statue under an arch as seen from an arch farther away, greenery, garden

sculpture of a naked woman in a garden

short white marble column in a garden

In 1887, a Bank of Montreal building was built at the northwest corner of King and Bay; a site now occupied by First Canadian Place. The building featured a series of sculptures representing the Canadian provinces that were created by a number of artists. When the building was demolished in 1968, these panels were brought to the Guild Inn. Not all of them are on view today possibly because some were not in good shape (held together with metal straps). Maybe they are being fixed up?

below: This is the Alberta panel in 2015; the artist was Jacobine Jones (1897-1976)

relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, man holding a sheep, with rodeo cowboy beloww

below: It has since been cleaned up.

detail of relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, two bare feet, a cowboy riding a bucking broncho

below: One of two stone angel panels from the North American Life Assurance Company Building (1932).

bas relief sculpture on stone of a winged woman holding a globe, earth

below: The brick and stone entranceway from the Granite Club (1926)

an arch entranceway of red brick and stone over a path through a garden with lots of trees and grass around it

below: This cabin was named for William Osterhout, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1805 was given the first Crown land grant from King George III as reward for his service with the Butler’s Rangers. Although Osterhoust briefly owned the property, he never settled in Scarborough Township. The structure was more likely built around 1850 to 1860…. that may be a contentious “fact” as some believe that it is at least 50 years older than that.

osterhout cabin, log cabin, from pioneer days, on the grounds of the Guild Inn

The gardens have several different types of trees all in their autumn plummage.

below: Orange berries on a mountain ash tree…

orange mountain ash tree berries on a tree

below: … and many little crabapples on a crabapple tree.

a large bunch of crab apples on a tree, many many berries on the tree

below: At the south, the property ends at the Scarborough bluffs and there are many warning signs along the paths that run near the edge.

path through the woods with small fence on left. signs on left saying do not climb fence or cross over because of unstable ground, top of Scarborough bluffs, warning signs,

below: Looking out over Lake Ontario

trees at the edge of a path overlooking Lake Ontario, from high up near top of Scarborough bluffs

green leaves turning red in the autumn, on the tree, with sun light shining through them

a carving in stone, square panel with a 4 petal flower with 4 leaves, symmetrical

And then, when driving north on Morningside on my home, I encountered this…. The peacocks have arrived.

a van is unloading on the street, two large peacock sculptures, about 6 feet high in off-white, standing on the pavement

For more of the history of the Guild Inn, see their website.

four cars waiting at a level railway crossing on Morningside Ave, red lights flashing and barriers down but no train yet

and red and white danger due to sign, danger due to covid-19

below:  He may be sitting on the bench but this hockey player is prepared.  He’s practicing social distancing and he’s got his mask on just in case.  He’s also a reminder that the NHL playoffs for the 2019-20 season are being played in a bubble here in Toronto at the moment… but the Maple Leafs didn’t make the cut.  After having to take a few months off because of Covid-19, the NHL scheduled the playoffs in only two cities, Toronto and Edmonton.  Games started at the beginning of August and are scheduled to finish the first week of October.   There is talk that maybe the 2020-21 season can begin after that but like everything else these days, who knows.

a metal statue of a hockey player in Toronto Maple Leaf blue sits on a bench outside a gallery, wearing a covid face mask, as a man walks past

below: ‘Love Negotiation’ on Scollard Street by Gillie and Marc.  Dogman and Rabbitgirl share a few minutes over coffee.   They too are outside are are socially distanced… or perhaps they have been isolating together are have escaped their tiny downtown condo for a bit of fresh air.  ” Rabbitgirl and Dogman invite the world to sit with them symbolically at their Table and take the first step to understanding and loving each other. The sculpture is where we sit, discuss, and solve problems. The world has reached a crisis where our differences are causing hatred and division.”

 

male dog in blue and female rabbit in red sitting face to face at a table with coffee, sculpture on Scollard street

sculpture on Scollard street, a dog in blue, sits at a table with a cup of coffee in his hands

below: The William Sexton houses on the NE corner of Bay & Scollard are being preserved and incorporated into a condo development.  They were built by Sexton in 1890 in a style similar to the Queen Ann Revival style.  Although it looks like one large brick house, it is actually a row of 4 houses.  In 1974 they were added to Toronto’s Heritage Register.  That was also the last year that all four were used as residences.

Bay and Scollard, old building boarded up with new construction behind

below: A slightly fuzzy 1974 photo of William Sexton houses.

photo from 1974 of William Sexton houses at the corner of Bay Street and Scollard in Yorkville, 4 row houses that together look like one large brick house

windows on the west side of William Sexton houses on Bay street, white paint is peeling to reveal brick below, rounded tops of window frames in black trim

below: Another hole in the ground.  I liked the bits of orange and black hanging around.

orange and black shreds of plastic along the edge of construction hole in the ground

below: Reflections of the clock tower on the Yorkville Firehall, the oldest firehall in the city, in one of the newer glass walls across the street.

reflections of Yorkville clock tower in the glass condo across the street

Yorkville fire hall clock tower and flags

below: Looking east on Yorkville Ave towards Yonge Street and the large Toronto Reference Library.

the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith as seen from the west along Yorkville Ave

below: The Starbucks on Yonge Street just north of Bloor is now closed.  The sign in the window says “thanks for your loyalty over the past 20 years.”  For those of us who still remember Albert Britnell’s book store at that location it is a bit of a shock to realize that 20 years has past.

people in front of a closed Starbucks on Yonge street

below: Yonge Street at Hayden

some of the stores on Yonge at Hayden

below: looking northwest from Charles Street on the east side of Yonge.  The older black and grey building is the CIBC tower on the NW corner of Yonge & Bloor.  The cranes are working on the SW corner of that intersection.

backs of buildings on Yonge and Hayden, plus construction, looking northwest

below: Condo construction at the southwest corner of Yonge & bloor continues.

a man wearing a covid face mask walks past a construction site at Yonge and Bloor, black and white construction photos on the hoardings, old brick building in the background as well as a newer apartment building

reflections in a store window, legs of mannequins in cut off jeans, white cars traffic on the street

a workman sits outside beside hoardings on Bloor street in front of Holt Renfrew

below: One of the entrances to the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street.   It was decorated in flowers as part of a Fleurs de Villes event.

one of the glass entrances to the ManuLife center on Bloor street, decorated with flowers

below: Inside the Manulife Centre there were many mannequins decorated with flowers

mannequin in green and pink dress and pink hat, pinks are made of roses and she is holding a bottle of rose wine from the LCBO

a mannequin decorated with flowers stands at the bottom of an escalator at the Manu Life center, as part of Fleurs de Villes project

As the summer winds down but the covid lingers on, stay safe and stay sane

a white wall with an orange stripe on which graffiti words are written, coronavius and lime disease go great together, a play on corona beer and lime

Most of these pictures were taken on a walk within the area bounded by Dundas East, Broadview, Queen East, and Carlaw.

below: All or nothing

red brick wall with graffiti words that say all or nothing

below: Same same but different.

two old Bell telephone booths

below: “We miss you” at Queen Alexandra Middle School.  An older school, built in 1904/5, used to be on this site.  It was named after the Queen of England at the time, the wife of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra.

on the fence by a high school, words in white attached to the fence that say we miss you

below: Also at Queen Alexandra Middle School, about 200 large black and white portraits of staff and students were on display on the exterior wall of the school.  This installation is part of the global ‘Inside Out’ project.  To date, Inside Out has appeared in 129 countries and has involved more than 260,000 people.  In fact, they were in Toronto for Nuit Blanche back in 2015.

inside Out project large black and white pictures of students mounted on the exterior wall of a school

below: Public art at Carlaw and Dundas.  I had mentioned this structure by Pierre Poussin back in March of this year.   Not a lot has been done on it in the meantime except for the preparations for some sort of pattern at ground level.

new obelisk structure, public art, rusted metal, at Carlaw and Dundas, still being installed, port a pottie in the background

push button at intersection for pedestrian crossing, with a rusted sign above it

below: The railway tracks cross Dundas Street just west of Carlaw. The tracks run on a NE – SW diagonal as they travel south from Gerrard.

a cyclist on Dundas street about to go under the railway track bridge

below: Save Jimmie Simpson park poster.   The Ontario Line, or the Relief Line of the subway/LRT may or may not come this way.   The Relief Line was once planned as an underground line under Pape to almost Eastern before swinging west towards downtown.  Someone then said why not run it above ground where the tracks already exist between Gerrard & Pape and the south end of the Don Valley Parkway at Corktown Common- and we can have a Leslieville stop.   Has any decision been made?  Is Toronto going to leave it all in limbo, or in the discussion/planning stage, forever and ever… and ever….

posters on a wood utility pole, bottom is to protest Ontario Line (subway) and to keep it underground and not run it through Jimmie Simpson parl. upper poster is for a lost cat

below: The north part of Jimmie Simpson Park.  The park is a right angle triangle with a peak at Dundas East and a base along Queen East.  The long side of the triangle is railway tracks which run behind the trees.

Jimmie Simpson park, people and dogs

a sign that says slow down on a fence above a concrete wall with paintings of plants and flowers on it

below: Once upon a time there was a railway station here, on Queen East at De Grassi that is.  It was operational between 1896 and 1932 and demolished in 1974.  In the beginning there was a level crossing here but after a number of accidents, including a collision between a freight train and a street car in 1904, the railway corridor was elevated.

historic plaque for Riverdale Railway station

below: Old black and white photo from the City of Toronto Archives, found online at “Old Time Trains”

old black and white photo from 1915, City of Toronto Archives, of building of the railway bridge over Queen East at Riverdale station

below: Aged and peeling painting of a Canada goose that was on the railway underpass.

top part of a Canada Goose painting on an underpass, bottom part has been painted over with pale grey paint

below: Eat the rich – and a picnic table is provided for your convenience. Don’t worry about the trains, they’re long gone. This was once a spur line and it hasn’t existed for years .  You can still find small sections of track but most of it has been paved over. (near Carlaw and Dundas)

a wood picnic table at the edge of a small parking lot and beside an old railway crossing sign

street sign, Riverside District, Strange street, with a a no passing sign beside it

store window, two mannequins in summer attire, woman in bikini and man in shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, also a black lives matter poster

below: Looking west, towards downtown, along Dundas East.  The old red brick building is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Broadview.

intersection of Broadview and Dundas East, looking west along Dundas towards Broadview. Large old red brick building on the north east corner
below: Flipped around and now looking east from Broadview in 1954.  The red brick building from the above photo appears to be Dennis House and it seems that they are advertising the fact that they have televisions.   On the south side of Dundas is a drug store.  That building is still there but now it is a variety store whose windows are often covered with Lotto649 and LottoMax ads.   In fact, the picture of the Bell telephone boxes near the beginning of this post was taken here.

photo credit: City of Toronto Archives, found online on a Blog TO page

below: This jumble of colours and lines can be found just east of Broadview and they are just visible in the background of the above picture.   I love the little white door that probably leads to a basement apartment (or a secret garden in the front yard?!)

houses on dundas east near broadview

below: If you walk farther east on Dundas from Broadview you will see a collection of old two storey houses with their slate mansard roofs and dormer windows.  This roof style is typical of “Second Empire” houses built in the late 1800s.   I’ve always been intrigued by this group of houses but I have never been able to find out much about their history.

semi divided house from the 1800's, mansard roof of slate, dormer windows

below: The end houses, at Boulton, have already been replaced.

row houses, old mansard roof style from the 1800's with a new 4 storey apartment complex at the end

below: And there are houses with similar architecture on nearby side streets.

corer houses

looking down a dead end street that ends at a school yard, summer time, large trees and cars line the street

Last but not least, a little bit of graffiti to close off this post.

below: Urban ninja squadron

red angle blob street art graffiti on a black wall

 

stencil graffiti of a yellow bee

Frozen in stone for more than a hundred years these faces are some of those that adorn the exterior of Queens Park.  The pinkish stone is sandstone quarried near Orangeville and the Credit River Valley.

below: This one makes me think of an old woman in a frilly bonnet – my apologies to the person it is supposed to be (if there is one!).

carved stone on the exterior of Queens Park, a face in a circle surrounded by leaves

below: There are devilish horns on this one.

a man's face with what seems like horns from his head, a carving in stone

below:  He’s got a long and curly tongue and is that long hair beside his face?

exterior of Queens Park, parliament buildings in Toronto, a laughing face with tongue stuck out, in sandstone

below: Strangely blank eyes looking upward.

in a carved frieze on the exterior of parliament buildings, a face with blank eyes

below: He watches everyone as they pass by.

on a stone column, exterior of Queens Park, a face,

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

Another walking day, another part of the city to explore.  Sometimes I find new places to wander around but the other day I went back to Sheppard Ave East to see what other changes are happening.   This is a section of Sheppard Ave that is living in the shadow of Yonge Street developments.  It’s an area of mixed residential and commercial.

below: Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge Street from Willowdale Ave.

Sheppard Ave East looking west from Willowdale Ave towards Yonge street

below: A smaller bungalow, and architectural “style” that was common along here.

old white bungalow with side fireplace and chimney wall, exterior

below: Some of the bungalows are being replaced by much larger houses, especially in the side streets behind Sheppard.

large new house being built in Willowdale, on Maplehurst Ave., in place of a small bungalow like the house beside it

below: More signs of  the times, no kids playing outside in the playgrounds of the schools and day care centres.

black fence around playground with some toys but no kids

below: A CTR rabbit trying to run away.

a painting on a metal street box, of a rabbit running, by c r a

below: This front door with it’s clean and ornate door frame has always fascinated me.

white door on small porch with black railing. door has fancy white trim with details on top

below: 176 Sheppard Avenue East has been empty for a while.   I found information about the development here on different websites.  One of the sites stated that the new building would be ready to move into in 2019.

front door of abandoned building at 176 Sheppard Ave East with collection of garbage on overgrown front step

below: A vacant lot

orange cone o n its side in front of a vacant lot

below: This is the same vacant lot as there was nothing to prevent me from wandering in.

vacant lot

below: The front of Dudley Court at 166 Sheppard Ave East.   I have driven past here a few times this year and I keep thinking that I should check it out before it disappears.  The orange “tree protection” fence was a more recent addition. Maybe part of the reason why there is no development proposal sign here is that it’s been about 20 years since the owners started “negotiating” with the city about what was going to be built here.

front of Dudley Court from across the street, a 1960s brick three storey apartment building, overgrown pine trees in front, also construction fence

closer look at closed and boarded up front doors of Dudley Court

below: The back of Dudley Court from the vacant lot mentioned above.

behind 166 Sheppard Ave East, row of empty garages, with new glass building behind as well as apartments from the 1980s and 1990s

metal wire fence around an empty parking lot and row of garages with broken brown doors

below: What surprised me is that there are actually 3 apartment buildings that are empty.  The plywood is there to protect the trees that are between the apartments and a ditch.  The “ditch” continues underground under Sheppard and then south through a small park towards the 401.

plywood fence around trees to protect them from construction and demolition, on walkway beside 166 Sheppard Ave East

below: There is a pedestrian walkway on the west side that continues north a couple of blocks.

old ready for demolition with newer glass buildings in the background building

below: Sheppard Ave looking east

Sheppard Ave East looking east from Kenneth & Leona streets

below: Sheppard Ave looking west.  An evolution of sorts… at first there were small houses that became offices; now they are being torn down.

Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge street from Kenneth and Leona streets

below: Some of the mid-sized buildings that were developed in the 1970s and 1980s are also “moving upward”.  In this case, to 11 storeys with 55 residential units and lower floor retail.  It is currently home to medical offices.

development notice on the front yard of a commercial (office) building from the 1970s

below: Once upon a time this was a Pizza Pizza.  Then it was for sale.  Next, it provided headquarters for an election campaign.  And now?  Possibly in limbo?  All that I could find is a 2017 rejection from the city for a 10 storey development on this lot and the one adjacent (where The Beer Store is now).   The official plan calls for lower buildings as you move away from Yonge Street.  In the meantime you can call it an eyesore.

parking lot, empty, and painted over pizza pizza sign in front of empty building

below: But not everything is ugly!

a street box painted with a red bird and an orange bird in green bushes, Tim Hortons behind as well as street scene at Willowdale and Sheppard Ave East

***

a row of single family houses on a street, large tree, cars in driveways, behind are 3 or 4 large twll condo buildings

a small white bungalow with a single car garage with a black garage door, awning over the front door, tall tree in front yard, black roof

yellowish colour bungalow with black front door, a window on either side of two, 2 dormer windows in roof, a red single car garage door,

below: Think!  or rather Stop and think.   Above that, tbonez with The Forge Fury in another urban ninja squadron sticker.

2 stickers on a stop sign. one is a picture of a brain with the word think on it. the other is an urban ninja squadron sticker

below: There is a new public art installation nearing completion at the corner of Carlaw and Dundas.  When the project is done, the obelisk shaped sculpture by Pierre Poussin will be in the middle of a small park.  It is made of laser cut rusted metal and will feature internal LED lighting.

a new public art installation at Carlaw and Dundas with construction fence still around it, also a lot of utility poles around it, rusted metal cut with lasers in a design, sculpture is the shape of an obelisk

below: Shadows of the trees along a winding trail.

trees line a sidewalk that has had small curves added to it, shadows of these treees on the fence beside the sidewalk

below:  There really aren’t enough fairies in the world.  The ones that are supposed to clean my home haven’t shown up yet either.

a sign on a wood fence that says the poo fairy doesn't live here scoopy your ppop, aimed at dog owner

below: This looks like it was once an artwork pasted to a wall.  An eagle’s head is still visible at the very top.  Are those its feathers at the bottom by the shoes – one dark blue and one red stiletto.

a ripped picture, very large, of an eagle and a person with wings and high heeled shoes.

below: The northwest corner of Pape and Dundas.  The “This is Toronto” mural by J. Chiale is still there.

an intersection, looking northwest at Dundas and Pape where the house on the corner has a large mural by j. Chiale on the side, newer houses and apartment building in the background.

mural by J. CHiale on the side of a house

below: An old and worn sign

very old no parking sign on a chain link fence

below: A not so old sign with three lovebot stickers on it.

neighbourhood watch sign with 3 lovebot stickers on it

below: Old cars seen in an alley.  Any ideas on what model and year the brown car is?

2 old cars in an alley. one is an old brown car from the 40's, under a cloth. the other is a blue camaro

close up of a wood utilitypole with some paint splashes on it

 

on the side of a house, a wood panel on porch with 2 windows, 2 panels are painted blue and the last one is white

below: Santa Claus hasn’t returned to the North Pole yet!  This front yard looks quite barren

2 plastic Santa Claus figures in a front yard, no snow, in frontof a porch

below:  … compared to this one!  I am happy to report that the “doll house” still exists.   There is at least one Santa Claus in there!

a house with a front yard full of dolls and toys, on the walls, on the fence, decorations

below:  Not quite every inch (centimeter!) is covered.  Christopher Robin and Tigger, Ernie and a Picachu.  Tweety bird in a blue jacket and a white horse, Dora the Explorer is eating an apple.

some of the dolls and toys attached to the front wall of a house

below: These stickers still exist!  A Star Wars family with a dirty back window.

a star wars sticker family on the back window of a black vehicle, 2 kids, an R2D2 and a wokie

below: Usually if a couch is waiting for the garbage man it’s sitting closer to the edge of the street!

an old black vinyl couch on a sidewalk on Eastern Avenue, beside a house

below: Symmetry at the back of Bruce Junior Public School built in 1923.

back of older brick public school, Bruce Public school with pair of chimneys and rows of windows, symmetrical.

below: And then there is the asymmetry created when one side of a semi-divided house explodes upwards.

the back of a house, a semi divided house where one side is the original one storey while the other side has added two storeys and is taller than the surrounding houses, and it is narrow too

below: Leslieville has two murals.  This one covers the side of the building plus the back in pink, red, and orange stripes.   This Guidant Bikeshare mural was painted by Mediah, aka Evond Blake, in 2017.

below: Nearby at the intersection of Queen and Jones is this mural by Elicser Elliot (2016).

Leslieville mural by elicser of a man sitting under o tree in autumn

below: The Coca-Cola Coady Sweets ghost sign is still there but the convenience store under it has been replaced by a Spanish restaurant.

workmen at an intersection, white van parked, in front of building with ghost sign for Coady sweets, new Spanish restaurant on the corner

below: Queen Street East

line of stores on Queen Street East by the B & B fish and chip restaurant

Leslieville mural by iah media on the side of a building,

below: This is on the wall beside a vacant lot on Queen Street East that has been empty for years.

spray paint, large letters, wuns on a wall beside a vacant lot

Queen street east, vacant lot on the north side

below: Another vacant lot but more recently so.

looking through a chainlink fence, across a vacant lot towards Queen Street east and the brick Scotiabank building

below: An alley view, behind Queen Street East

3 storey brick building, from the back in the alley, behind Queen Street East

below: Waiting for spring?

looking through a metal gate with chainlink into a backyard with patio furniture and blue umbrella (closed)

a row of pink window boxes and red planters on a balcony of a yellowish brick apartment building

below: Dundas Street East

houses on a street with the one being an old narrow two storey house in yellowish brick

And how can we end without re-visiting the doll house?!

an old stuffed mouse with black plastic glasses, in front of a blue m & m character throwing a basketball, outside, and slightly weathered

close up of two of the dolls attached to the railing in front of house

the front steps and door to the doll house - a house covered with dollas and toys, also fake plants and flowers in pots on the stairs

Until a few years ago this was part of Parkhurst Knitwear but today it sits empty. Today when I passed by the lighting was good for taking pictures of the south exterior wall.  There is a fence between the street and the building but there is ample room for photography.   I am now on many surveillance videos (if the warning signs were for real).

20 Research Road in Leaside, the Parkhurst factory, previously Dorothea Knitting Mills, built in 1942

This building started its life as Radio Stores Building No. 16.  It was constructed in 1942 and the chimney was added in 1946.  Building No. 16 was part of a complex of buildings occupying 55 acres of land east of Laird Drive and south of Eglinton that was owned by Research Enterprises Ltd. (REL).  During WW1 this land was an aerodrome.

horizontal window in a brick building made of rows of small rectangular panes of glass

In 1940 REL was incorporated in response to the outbreak of World War II; it was a Crown Corporation created through the Munitions and Supply Act of Parliament in September 1939.

looking along the exterior wall of two storey brick building with long horizontal ribbons of window panes, many glass pieces are broken or cracked and then fixed with tape

REL’s mandate was the production of technology equipment such as optical instruments and radio and radar equipment to assist with pilots with night flight.  During its 6 years of operation, REL employed 7,500 people.

broken and patched panes of glass in a larger horizontal window

After the war, this building was sold to Dorothea Knitting Mills (1947).  Dorothea ultimately became part of Parkhurst Knitwear.

smokestack at east end of old Parkhurst knitting mill building, now abandoned

This building is part of a larger story – the slow disappearance of industries in Leaside as commercial and residential developments proliferate. Prior to 2010, the area was zoned industrial but developers fought for, and won, changes to the zoning in the area.

south wall of Parkhurst knitting mills, empty and abandoned, many glass panes cracked or broken, old curtains in the window

I can’t remember how long this building has been empty. If was still a functioning knitting mill in 2013.  In 2019 the city of Toronto moved to have the building listed as a Heritage site.  Last year there was a large sign on the building advertising the fact that it was soon to be a self-storage facility.  Is that still its fate?

old brown pipe inside, looking through old window

 

The general idea yesterday afternoon was to walk Oakwood, southbound from St. Clair.  What I didn’t expect when I left my cosy apartment was a strong cold wind,  so part of the adventure was dictated by which direction the wind was blowing and how to avoid it (if possible!).  If some of these photos look a little blurry, it’s because of the snow that was falling all afternoon.

below: Pizza Pizza on the northwest corner of St. Clair and Oakwood.

NW intersection of St. Clair and Oakwood with a bus at a bus stop and a pizza pizza restaurant

below: I hadn’t gone far when I found a lane so of course I had to follow it…  Looking back towards Oakwood Collegiate.

looking down a lane that runs parallel to St. Clair West, with Oakwood Collegiate in the background.

below: Old black and white photo of St. Clair Ave from 1911 just after construction of Oakwood Collegiate was complete.  Oakwood Avenue is now on the other side of the school in this photo.  It is interesting to note that St. Clair had streetcar tracks back in 1911 but was still a dirt road.  Apparently the city started building these tracks when the school was open – the St. Clair streetcar line was open in 1913.   I found this photo in Living Toronto – follow the link if you want to read more about the history of this school.

vintage black and white picture of Oakwood Collegiate from 1911 when St. Clair was a dirt road

icicles along the edges of garage roofs in the backyards of two adjacent houses, view from the alley looking over the gate

in an alley, beside an orange concrete block garage, a wooden staircase leads to an upper floor, covered with snow

below: And that is where I spotted this man with a little red heart…

rough painting on a garage door of a man's face with a small red heart beside it

below: … and across the alley from him was this woman, also with another little red heart. It’s Valentines Day today, how sweet and how appropriate.

on a brick wall, a drawing of a woman's face with the eyes being the most prominent, a small red heart beside her face

below: The hearts just kept on coming.  I’d only walked a few minutes and already I had enough for a Valentines Day post! 🙂

graffiti, red heart on a wood fence

below: At the end of the lane I spotted this too…. can you see the LOVE?  It looks like it’s written in the middle of the pink and blue graffiti but it’s actually on the metal vent.

looking towards the side of a pinkish building, with graffiti higher up, over the level of the 2 storey buildings beside the pink one

below: So much for walking down Oakwood.   I circled back to St. Clair West where I saw the Yummi Cafe & Laundromat with it’s hand written sign in the window.  Support Our Teachers!  These are trying days for education in Ontario as the teachers lock horns with Doug Ford and his Conservatives who speak first and think later.

storefront, yummi cafe and laundromat, picture of pink ice cream cone as an ad for Kawartha Dairy, also a sign that says support your teachers, offering them free coffee

a bike with a flat front tire is locked to a street sign pole on the sidewalk on St. Clair west

below: This is middle section of the Royal Heights village mural painted by Murals by Marg in 2019.  It is on the side of 1006 St. CLair West (at Appleton Ave).

middle part of the Regal Heights mural, geometric shapes in bright colours

below: To the right is a small butterfly, child height.  Choose to be kind.

a butterfly in a colourful mural with the wods choose to be kind written above it

below: The left side has a larger butterfly as well as a bright yellow door with a blue umbrella.  Let love rain down!

a multi coloured butterfly, mostly blue and yellow, made of geometric shapes, in a mural beside a yellow door with a blue umbrella painted on it

below: Right across the street (on the northeast corner of Appleton & St. Clair) is this mural.  I haven’t been able to find out who the artist was.

mural in blues and greys on the side of a brown brick building, an outdoor winter scene

TTC streetcar stop on St. Clair West, stores, traffic lights, and poeple waiting to cross the road

below: Looking west on St. Clair as you approach Glenholme.

looking west on St. Clair approaching Glenholme, people on sidewalk, traffic lights, Boom restaurant, other store fronts
below: A coin laundry as well as Glenholme Variety on the southwest corner of St. Clair and Glenholme.

southwest corner of Glenholme and St. Clair with large 3 storey brick building housing GLenholme Variery store and a laundromat.

below: In front of 98 Glenholme is this little sculpture, an old fashioned sewing machine on a pole.  It marks the home of Marcello Tarantino Sartoria (tailor).

little metal sculpture of a sewing machine on a pole with a bit of green above it

below: Another alley – the wind back here is not so bad!

old green Chevrolet delivry van parked in a snowy alley, also part of a mural with hearts on it, alley scene

below: An old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholstering Co written across the side and above the front window in faded letters. Also fading is the text: Manufacturers of Individual Style(?) Furniture

old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholsteriing Co written in faded cursive writing on the side

laneway scene, snow, car, poles, trees, garages, part of a mural with hearts on it

Mural by Ross Bonfanti and Sandra Tarantino with hearts, stars, a flying car and superhero kids.

mural by Bonfanti and Tarantino of superhero kids and los of pink and red hearts, a yellow star and a car with wings flying in a blue cloud

superhero kids mural

The alley ended at Dufferin and that is where I headed south.

below: The southwest corner of Dufferin and Davenport

south west corner of Dufferin and Davenport, pizza restaurant with large billboard on the roof

below: A black and white photo from 1912 of the construction of Dufferin Street at Davenport.  This photo is originally from the City of Toronto archives but I found it online in an article on the history of Dufferin Street in blogTO.

1912 black and white photo of construction of Dufferin, cobblestones or bricks, at Davenport

below: Mary looks down upon us, from a niche in the wall of St. Mary of the Angels church.

a small grey statue of Mary in a grey niche on the exterior of a brick church, St Mary of the Angels

below: Remnants of an art project left to weather on a fence around a schoolyard.

remnants of fabric or paper that has been wrapped around parts of a chainlink fence at a school yard

below: A smiling happy mural on the side of a dental office on Dufferin Street painted by spudbomb (2017)

long mural by spud bomb of a woman smiling, holding a red apple with a bite out of it in one hand and a globe in the other hand. She is wearing a red and purple striped close fitting outfit over her arms and head. On the side of a dental office. The word smile is written many times in different fonts

below: Just north of Dupont Street, the CPR tracks cross Dufferin.

a red railing separates a parking lot from a hill, in the background a white tanker railway car is passing over a bridge

train with grafiti on the side of the car passes over a bridge over Dufferin Street and there is graffiti on the walls of the underpass

graffiti on the side of a building by a small hill and some trees. The hill is part of the embannkment for the railway tracks

below: This strange pillar (artwork?) is on the southwest corner of Dufferin and Dupont.  It used to be the marker/sign for the stores in the Galleria plaza on that corner.  Everything there is under renovation at the moment so instead of tearing down the sign, it was converted into this.   Hence, “Love me till I’m me again”.

a sign that says Love me till I'm me again in red neon, on a column that has been spray painted in different colours, a neon red heart outline at the top, in a parking lot with cars passing by

below: From a different angle – the neighbourhood wins no beauty contest.

looking west on Dupont at Dufferin, old Galleria sign, parking lot, traffic lights, plaza

below: The architecture on Dufferin, both houses and stores, is a mishmash of styles (or non-styles!) that have evolved over the years.   The next few photos try to give you an idea of the variety.  First, at Dufferin & Rosemount

large house on the north west corner of Dufferin and Rosemount. Brick on the bottom, brown siding on the top, construction cones on the sidewalk around it

below: Dufferin & Hallam

house and stores on Dufferin street, including the San Antonio Coin laundromat and a Home hardware

chainlink fence with dead vines on it, snow, around the front of a brick house with broken railing on the porch

two storey barn style house, brick, with large pine tree in front yard

below: Dufferin & Auburn

intersection of dufferin and auburn streets, lowrise row houses with porch

side of a brick multi family residence, windows, white door, with a small white porch over the door, broke chair beside the door

below: Standing alone at 1432

old house number 1432 Dufferin with a new fence

below: 1452A and its neighbours

three houses on Dufferin, the one on the left is 1452A

a 2 storey semi divided house on Dufferin, upper level has a balcony with with a green and white railing, winter, snow on the ground

two storey semi divided house beside Dufferin Bloor auto shop, bus stop in front,

below: An ominous sign – a boarded up house on Dufferin Street.  Is change far behind?  Just in case, I like to document what’s there because in this city, you turn around and everything’s different.  And you think to yourself, “What used to be there?”  But you can’t remember because that is how our memories work and isn’t that disconcerting?

a large tree grows in front of a brick house that has been boarded up

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s