Archive for the ‘people’ Category

The weather’s been all over the place, warm, cold, hot, cold again, back and forth…. like May weather usually is.  We were fortunate to have great weather this past holiday Monday and a lot of people took advantage of the day!  As I walked around, this is some of what I saw.

a man stands and watches another man playing the drums outside on Yonge street, some other people standing around too

by the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, a man dressed in orange hugs a man dressed in brown who is checking his phone after just taking a selfie

women and men standing outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge street

people crossing the street at an intersection, a woman in a pink top and white sweater is pushing a stroller with a fluffy small white dog in it, a man in a blue Jay t shirt, camo jacket and baseball hat, smoking a cigarette, is walking beside her

Graffiti alley, walking past an uber 5000 mural, a man and a woman with their backs to the camera. on the back of the man's camo coloured jacket are the words true freedom is being unknown

two women in the O of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square in front of city hall, examining photos that they have taken on their phone

2 young men and 2 young women walking down Graffiti Alley

a woman in a purple dress is sitting on the sidewalk, patting the cat wearing the superman costume that is sitting on a box. other people standing around, corner of Yonge and Dundas

a girl and her mother playing in the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, in front of city hall,

a woman in jeans and pink top poses in the doorway of one of the back doors in Graffiti Alley

This little walk starts with the artwork of Marleen Sleeuwits and her ‘Not the Actual Site’ exhibit at Brookfield Place (Allan Lambert Galleria).

A short walk from Brookfield Place westward along King street towards Metro Hall….

where pictures from John Edmonds ‘Hoods’ series are on display (as are the people who walk past!).

Across the street from ‘Hoods’ is Caroline Monnet’s, ‘History shall speak for itself’.  These photos are the south and west wall of TIFF.

caroline Monnet's large mural on the side of TIFF building, King street, people walking past, bikes parked in front of the art.

Just a bit farther west (at Spadina) you can find a large purple hued image by Felicity Hammond on the north wall of 460 King St. West.

A few more smaller works by Felicity Hammond are in the Contact Gallery at 80 Spadina – the building immediately north of the parking lot where you can find the image above.    The gallery glowed in pink and purple light.

below: Object shapes are cut outs from a thin sheet of acrylic on which photos were printed.  These shapes are held up by clay blobs.

And that’s our tour for today!

Revelation Day of Khalsa celebration at Nathan Phillips Square.
Fabulous colours and smells.
And LOTS of people! The people came from around Ontario as well as some from New York state.

man sikhs in colourful turbans and saris crowd into Nathan Phillips square, and are around the 3D toronto sign, which is backwards in this photo (taken from behind the letters)

women in a crowd, smiling and talking, wearing sunglasses and colourful saris and head scarves

an older sikh man stands in front of Henry Moore's sculpture, The Archer, at Nathan Phillips Square, he's wearing a yellow turban, white shirt and beige vest. Sitting around the base of the sculpture are many people - men with turbans and women with long saris.

below: There was free food for everyone.

male and female volunteers serve food to people at khalsa celebrations.

a man in a blue turban and with a long black beard carries a tray of french fries to serve to people

shoes inthe dorground, people sitting on a green mat, people standing in line waiting to pray beyond that

below: There was a place for prayer

sihks in turbans and saris praying at a khalsa event outdoors

men seated on the ground, back to camera, all wearing turbans, dark blue, orange, and light orange,

Under a tent covering, a man from Punjabi TV is filming khalsa prayers and celebration at Nathan Phillips square

statue of Winston Churchill at city hall in Toronto, hands on hips, in the background, many people are on the upper ramp around the city hall building

crowd of people at nathan phillips square, as seen from above

a group of sikhs, men and women, sitting and standing outside

sikh women in pink, orange, and yellow saris, standing outside and socializing

black jeep decorated as a float in khalsa day parade in toronto

a young sikh woman stands in front of a crowd of people, yellow sari, black leather jacket and green and gold scarf around her neck

a young man carries food in styrofoam packages as well as a drink, as he walks past people sitting around the sculpture, The Archer at City Hall

an older sikh man with a long grey beard and an orange turban holds a younger boy in a blue jacket and hood

two young men in turbans, one blue and one yellow. one is wearing reflective sunglasses

the back of a jacket being worn by a young man, white jacket with red map of canada and the words Canada 150, wearing an orange head scarf tied at the back.

Last weekend

a three D sculpture of a man's face, on a wall, outside, graffiti, forlorn expression on his face

This weekend

the word believe is written in yellow ribbon that has been woven into a chainlink fence around a tennis court, two women on a bench to the side of it, park,

I hope that you all had a great weekend!  It was fabulous to be out and about enjoying the warm weather – everyone is happier when the sun shines and the snow melts!  The following pictures were taken today when I was out walking along Queen West, people watching as I went.

street art graffiti that says vida in large letters along the side of a metal staircase, upper story of an orange brick building

below: Street artist SKAM and his graffiti tag.   The original was painted in 2012 and had not been tagged over or messed up too much.  Some of the paint was peeling so it was time for a make over.

street artist skam is painting text graffiti (his name, tag) in greens and blues on a wall in Graffiti Alley

below: Part of the latest Uber5000 mural is reflected in the window as SKAM paints.

two young women walking on the sidewalk, both with skateboards and Starbucks drinks, summer clothing,

a woman with magenta hair is standing on the sidewalk, back against a wall.

below: Trinity Bellwoods Park  (This is also where the ‘believe’ in yellow is woven into the chainlink fence – photo above).

an older couple sitting on a bench in a park, talking to each other, the man is using his arms expressively

below: The albino squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods Park – he’s up here somewhere!

a boy looks up a tree, a white albino squirrel is headed down the other side of the tree trunk

below: Found him!

a white albino squirrel is on the ground beside a small tree with daffodils starting to grow up beside, a young boy is walking towards the squirrel

below: Reaching for a coffee

a window with mannequins in long dresses, teal and magenta fabric, reflections of woman passing by with a coffee cup in her hand

below: Walking the dog!

a family goes for a walk in the park, dad is pushing the stroller, mom on phone, young daughter pulling a pink leash with a toy dog on it.

a man outside, standing on sidewalk, with a plate of food and a cup of coffee,, with his phone in his hands

below: It wasn’t a happy day for everyone.

An older Chinese woman is pushing a cart with a large clear plastic bag full of empty aluminium cans, a Chinese man with a similar cart is behind her, other people out walking  on the sidewalk

below: Smoking room

an older woman in pink running shoes and leopard print fuzzy jacket is sitting in a bus shelter, smoking a cigarette,

two women standing on the sidewalk near lots of parked bikes. One is wearing a short floral skirt and the other is in skimpy white shorts and low necked white top

below: Supporting the locals.  It’s also play-off time of the year and this year both the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the playoffs in their respective sports.

three flags hanging outside a window, a Raptos flag (Toronto basketball) and a Maple Leafs flag (Toronto hockey) as well as a rainbow pride flag

Welcome spring!

a small black and white daisy drawing on a sticker on a wall that is covered with bright paint

April 20, 4/20, 420 day with its annual marijuana protest. The nature of the “protest” has changed over the years now that the fight for legalization is almost over. This year was more like a group of friends hanging out together at Nathan Phillips Square and enjoying the warmest day that we’ve had in a while. A few items, seeds, edibles, etc, were available for sale. The group didn’t have a permit for the event (they were turned down) but that didn’t stop them. The police (and other security) presence was very visible but confrontations were kept to a minimum – at least for the time that I was there which was early on. I left while Nathan Phillips Square wasn’t crowded.

a woman in a green hat smokes a joint behind the back of a policeman in a yellow jacket.

a man with multicoloured curly wig and police cap holds a banner (backside to the camera) that some people are reading

a woman with long braided red hair stands beside someone in bong costume,

below: Green whistles were distributed and there were times when the sound they made was quite loud!

two young women taking a selfie, one is blowing on a green whistle

a woman in green and clothes with marijuana leaves on them, sits on a bench at Nathan Phillips, a man in a walker is beside her and talking to her.

Nathan Phillips square, two security guys on upper level above the snack bar, people walking below.

a group of people sitting around the 3D toronto sign at Nathan Phillips, one man is in the O, on his phone, a book in his lap,

a young woman with sunglasses and a white scarf around her neck smokes a joint,

a man in a beige jacket, blue sunglasses and black baseball cap smokes a joint outside

a woman with a head band made of rope and fake daisies, wears round sunglasses, mouth with red lipstick, partially open and talking,

back view of a woman in lace stockings, maroon knee high boots, black hoodie, holding up a green banner, people around her are talking pictures on their phones.

woman with dark sunglasses and black and green dreadlocks smokes a joint, close up photo of her face

Indigenous man with cap on his head and medical mask under his chin, makes a face, a red head woman in on the right, partially cropped out and out of focus, she is laughing

two men in black parkas, outside, one has a very large marijuana cigarette in his mouth although it is not yet lit;

a young man with black hoodie, stands outside at Nathan Phillips square with a bong in his hand, smiling, 420 day event

two men in black fedoras, one is holding a cup of coffee, outside, jackets on

three men with dreadlocks and bright coloured toques, backs to camera, over one shoulder is an older man looking close to the camera

a black and white photo of two men at a 420 event.

Well, that was quite a weekend.  An April winter storm with snow, sleet, ice pellets, freezing rain, and even some just plain rain.   The streets were icy and the sidewalks were slushy and wet.   Chunks of ice have fallen off roofs, tree branches have broken off with the weight of the ice that formed on them.  And then there was the wind that blew hard.   Of course I went out!

hazy, blurry picture of a person walking with an umbrella up Yonge street with other people, cars, wet sidewalk,

below: Dressed in our April finery. Black parkas.

people walking in the rain, downtown Toronto

below:  There is a small, but interesting, exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith that I wanted to see.  It’s called ‘Toronto Revealed’ and it’s in the TD Gallery on the main floor.   It features drawings and paintings of Toronto’s past.

sign in the window of the Toronto Reference library re the display at the TD gallery, Toronto Revealed, pictures and paintings of Toronto in the past

below: One of the paintings in the exhibit is this one, ‘Cherry Street Hotel’ by Gerard Lazare (1978).  The Cherry Street Hotel was built in 1890 at the corner of Cherry and Front Streets.  It later became the Canary Restaurant (1965-2010).  The building is still there but it stands empty.

painting of the Canary restaurant on the corner of Cherry and Front streets

below: There was a display of small artworks by Nicholas Hornyansky (1896-1965), including this one of St. James Cathedral (1938).  Hornyansky was born in Hungary and immigrated to Canada in 1929.  He is known for the etchings and aquatints (another print making technique) that he did of Toronto buildings and landscapes.

small framed painting of Saint James cathedral in Toronto, by Nicholas Hornyansky, painted in 1938 .

below: Most of the paintings were very realistic (documentary) except this one – a wacky view of Bloor Street looking west from Yonge towards Bay by Carlos Marchiori, painted in acrylic in 1976.   Even then, it is fairly true to reality.  The darker tower on the right is on the NW corner of Bloor and Yonge.  Stollerys store (the low building on the SW corner) is long gone.

bright painting of city landscapre, Yonge & Bloor, bendy buildings, cars as coloured blobs on the streets, puffy clouds in bright blue sky, by Carlos Marchiori

While I was at the library, I wandered around and took a few pictures of its vast open spaces.  It was warm and dry!  I was expecting to be told to put my camera away, but no one seemed to care.

interior of the Toronto Reference Library from the fifth floor, semi circular tables, reddish carpet, open concept architecture, rows of books,

below: Most were too busy working to notice.

looking down an aisle between two stacks of books (book shelves), a woman is sitting at a table studying and writing, there is a window behind her

below: One more picture from the ‘Toronto Revealed’ exhibit is this painting of the intersection of King and Jarvis by Vernon Mould.   It was painted in 1979.  Was gas really 20 cents a gallon in 1979?  No! That was the year that prices went metric and a litre of gas was 20 cents.    I came back to this picture because I chose to chase down that intersection to see what it looks like today.

painting, in mostly brown tones of a three story building at the corner of King and Jarvis, Toronto, with a small gas station across the street, sign says gas 20 cents, 2 gas pumps,

below: Et voici, same intersection, approximately the same angle.  There is now a building (with a Second Cup on the ground floor) where Mould would have stood.   By the looks of it, the three storey brick building on the NE corner has been fixed up since 1979.  So glad to see that it hasn’t been replaced by a glass condo tower!

intersection of King and Jarvis, looking north, three story brick building,

below: I wanted to find out more about the building, so I googled Sportsman’s Shop and I found a wonderful old picture of it from the 1970’s, obviously taken before it was renovated.    Apparently, it was fixed up in the early 1980s.

old black and white photo of the Sportsmans Shop at 150 King East in Toronto, three storey brick building

photo credit: Gary Switzer, source: Urban Toronto

below:  The next photo was taken as I stood on the same corner of King and Jarvis, but pointing my camera in different direction – looking west on King towards St. James Cathedral.  This is the eastern limit of the King Street streetcar project which is why the multicoloured barricades block part of the righthand westbound lane.

looking west on King street from Jarvis, St. James Cathedral and park on the right, downtown towers and office buildings in the distance, rainy day, TTC streetcar,

below:  These women are waiting in the wrong place.  Although the city changed the location of the streetcar stops along King Street, the bus shelters haven’t been moved yet.   At least they were (sort of) out of the rain.   They soon realized their mistake.

below: Looking back, the prerequisite photo of a TTC streetcar through a rainy day window.

looking out the back window of a streetcar, rainy day, raindrops on the glass, another streetcar is passing by

It’s always better to end a blog post on a happy note, right?  It may be a dream (I hope not!) but spring can’t be too far away.  April showers bring May flowers, right?  On my second warm up stop I saw this cheerful, hopeful drawing tacked to a wall.   It was one of many on the wall, all the work of Maihyet Burton.  They were at the Artscape building at the Distillery District.

a pen and ink drawing of spring flowers, poppies, in blues and purples, and fiddleheads in bright green

below: Headed home again.

two people with their back to the camera wait on the subway platform as a train arrives

Don’t put away your boots and hats yet!

Twice this week I have come off the subway at Dundas station, and twice I have come to the surface to the sound of protest chants.

The first time it was a Free Tibet march as it proceeded up Yonge street.

a police man, with back tothe camera, stands in the middle of the street to block traffic as a Free Tibet march passes by on Yonge Street, protesters with flags and signs,

below: “Don’t forget Mr. Lingsta Tseten Dorjee, activist for non-violence.  It’s been 5 years since we lost Lingsta Tseten Dorjee”.   The banner then goes on to list Dorjee’s five demands including the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

a group of young men marching in a protest, Free tibet. carrying a banner with a lot of words in both Tibetan and English, one is wrapped in a Tibetan flag, some are wearing free tibet hats,

below: More protesters with signs and placards. “Free Shokjang now”.  Shokjang is the pen name of a Tibetan blogger who was detained by the Chinese authorities in March of 2015.

people carrying protest signs, free Shokjang now, release the panchen lama

protesters walk up Yonge Street with Tibetan flag and signs, one man has a megaphone

This afternoon, it was blue flags that I saw.  They are the flags of East Turkistan, also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.  On a map you’ll find it as Xinjiang in the most westerly part of China, right next the the “stans” that became independent after the break up of the USSR (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, etc).   The name says autonomous but there is no self-rule or self government for the Uyghurs. 

For a brief time in 1949 it was an independent country but it was invaded by communist China that same year.   Historically, East Turkistan is part of central Asia.  The people are not Chinese but are more closely related to the Turks.  The Uyghurs are the indigenous group of East Turkestan.

below: “Stop forced abortion, Freedom for East Turkistan”

women holding the blue and white flag of East Turkestan, also a sign that says stopped forced abortion in East Turkistan, wearing head scarves

below: “Islamic scholar Mohammed Salih killed in Chinese concentration camps.  We want justice.” Muhammad Salih Hajim, 82, died in custody back in January, about 40 days after he, his daughter and other relatives were detained in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province.    They were held without charges being laid.   He was the first to translate the Quran into Uyghur.

a black man with a suitcase has stopped to talk to people protesting for a free East Turkistan, he is pointing to one of the signs and a man is explaining something to him

at a protest for free East Turkestan, protesters hold a banner that says China, Stop Massacre of Uyghars

Also today, and just around the corner… A few minutes later I ran across another protest.  This one was at the corner of Gould and Victoria streets, at Ryerson University.   It was a quiet, civilized affair – more like a dance than a protest.

below: Both sides of the right to abortion debate were present.

people protest for and against the right to have an abortion.

below:   The anti-abortion sign would be turned, the ‘file not found’ sign would be moved in front of it, repeat every couple of minutes.

protesters at a right to abortion protest, anti and pro sides, both with a large sign.

below: It seemed to be a debate or a dialogue rather than a protest even though the people involved might disagree.   For such an emotional and polarizing subject they were being respectful and engaging.  At least they have the right to protest…. and to counter protest.

protesters at a right to abortion protest, anti and pro sides, both with a large signs.