Archive for the ‘old buildings’ Category

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

 

November came in with a gust of grey and dampness.  So when the sun breaks through for a while it’s time to grab a coat and a camera and get walking even if it wasn’t you planned to do that day.

below: The cube house at the bottom of Sumach Street is still with us. It was for sale early in 2017.  At that time, March 2017, BlogTO published an article about this building that starts with this description: “Based on Dutch architect Piet Blom’s complex of Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, the UniTri structure dates back to 1996”.  It was sold in May 2018 for almost three million dollars.

1 Sumach Street, a building made of three green cubes on point on a white pedestal, 3 apartments.

below: No idea is original.  Seen under Richmond/Adelaide Streets.

a painting on a concrete pillar of an overpass, words, No idea is original there's nothing new under the sun, it's never what you do but how you do it.

below: This guy holding his hands in front of him and wearing a red wizard cap still adorns the corner of the Magic Building on Sumach.  He’s just one of a number of wizards you’ll find there.

a painting of a man with hands folded in front, and wizard cap on, on the exterior corner of a building

below: This was the scene of a large fire back in April 2018.  Three buildings were damaged with the one in the middle being beyond repair. It is now gone.  It’s been a long, slow recovery.

an empty bus shelter on Queen East, behind it is a vacant lot where a building had been destroyed by fire, to the left is a green building with bottom floor window boarded up and a sold sign on it. To the right is an old brick building

below: Another building gone.  This one by choice.

a new three storyhouse on the corner, a vacant lot beside it with blue covering as a new home is being built, other houses down the street after that

below: Colourful porch details.

a front porch painted in red and the steps in red and white stripes, wrought iron railing has parts painted white

below: A photo to document this part of Queen Street East because whether it’s in 2 years or 20, there will be changes.

Queen Stree East at Trefann, looking west along the north side of Queen, two story brick storefronts with apartments above, old brick buildings

variet and convenience store painted bright yellow, white metal grill covers window, lots of signs in and around the window in red letters

Amedae spice market store painted yellow with red trim on doors and windows, a large tree grows in front of the store.

a white BMW vehicle with no front licence plate parked in front of a small old building covered with signs that say we fix computers, cell phones and wireless solutions, etc

refelctions of autumnleaves and other buildings in a corner window of a rug store

two men walk past on the sidewalk

architectural details on old buildings on Queen Street East

Seaton Butcher shop exterioe, old brick building, red trim, Queen Street East

below:  A row of old brick houses at 79 through 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently destroyed some of the the upper levels and roofs.

 

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: The buildings are empty and boarded up.  This is the southeast corner of Shuter & Mutual.

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: There is a development proposal notice on the buildings. The proposed plan saves the old houses and shows a tall glass building built behind and above them.

development proposal sign on side of yellowish brown brick building that is empty and boarded up.

below: That’s a big drill!

a large drill bit on the end of a piece of construction equipment that's parked in a vacant lot beside a beige building

below: Shuter Street at Church.

looking west on Shuter street at Church, St. Mikes hospital, construction at the NE corner of Shuter & Church, mural by parking lot

below: Looking north on Church Street towards the new buildings that are part of Ryerson University’s expansion.

looking north up Church Street from Shuter towards Ryerson University

below: Steeple, St. Michaels Cathedral

steeple of St. Michaels cathedral

below: Looking west on Dundas towards Victoria Street and Yonge Dundas Square. The cylinder structure is part of the CityTV building.  The outer layer is wire mesh.

 

looking west on Dundas Street towards Victoria Street, large cylinder structure above the street at City News building, TTC streetcar turn with walkway above it, billboards of Yonge Dundas square behind it

graffiti covered door with turquoise painted words that say street life sweet life

There is an alley that runs behind the north side of Queen Street West, just west of Spadina.

mural and graffiti on a wall in an alley

The next few photos are of street art that isn’t new (and it may appear in earlier blog posts). There are usually cars parked here and today most of the parking spots were empty.

older mural on the back of a building in an alley

close up view of older mural on the back of a building in an alley

below: An older elicser mural

older mural by elicser of two men, one head is much larger than the one behind it

below: Uber5000 painting (and his iconic yellow bird) – the man, the bird, and the surveillance cameras.

an old uber5000 painting on a wall of a man in black baseball cap and glasses with a little yellow birdie on his shoulder, a no parking sign on top of man's hands

graffiti and paint covering on old window on graffiti covered wall in a lane

backs of stores on Queen West, covered with graffiti, a ladder to upper floor, brick buildings

below: This house has been empty for a long time. The doors and windows are now covered with plywood, providing a canvas for some graffiti and a surface for a few paste-ups.

an old brick two storey semi detached house with green mansard roof is boarded up and empty

below: Urban ninja squadron is on the phone.  Tacim Collective (from Milan Italy) is also represented here as is Paris BKC (Brass Knuckles Crew), and sketchrat.

paper paste ups on plywood covering a window

paper paste ups on plywood covering a door

below: There used to be a collection of these “blueprint” pieces (maybe four of them?).  This is the last remaining one.

blue and white blueprint graffiti with large red and yellow text scrawl below it, on a wall in an alley

walls in alley covered with graffiti

below: The lane ends in a mess at a chainlink fence that surrounds a vacant lot on Spadina.

messy alley with car parked, trash bins, barrels, graffiti, air conditioners, back walls,

below: Hidden away just beyond the fence is a face by Phillip Saunders.

behind a chain link fence, viewed from a laneway, a face street art painting by Phillip Saunders