Archive for the ‘people’ Category

Yonge and Dundas and thereabouts

below: Part of a large relief sculpture on the wall of the northwest entrance to Dundas subway station of life sized figures on their way –  Terra cotta artwork by William McElcheran from 2015.

part of relief sculpture at Dundas subway station, a man holds on to his hat as he hurries along

below: Ryerson Image Centre,

photographs of famous Canadians on the outer wall of Ryerson Image Center, with woman sitting on the concrete surrounding the reflecting pool by the entrance to R I C

There is a photography exhibit outside the Ryerson Image Centre showcasing three winners of the New Generation Photography Award, Chris Donovan, Dustin Bron, and Curtiss Randolph.

below: ‘Boy in the Window’ by Chris Donovan

a black and white photo by Chris Donovan with reflections of a boy in a window and street scene below, on display outside Ryerson Image Centre

below: A second, “Objects in Mirror” also by Chris Donovan

black and white photo of cars, Chris Donovan, on exhibit

below: ‘AC 2019’ by Dustin Brons

below: ‘Horizon 2017’ by Curtiss Randolph.  First in a short series involving a staged drama at this intersection.

a coloured photo of a corner of an intersection with a gas station on it, Horizons, houses, apartment building in background

below: The statue of Egerton Ryerson is gone.  There is graffiti on the walls where the statue once stood.

place where statue of Egerton Ryerson once stood, a single tree, graffiti on the walls of the building

below: On the Bond Street side of the Ryerson building is another photography exhibit.  This is Maximum Exposure 26, an annual exhibit of pictures by Ryerson’s School of Image Arts students.   There are 28 very diverse photos included here.

large collage pf photos on wall of Ryerson Image Centre, Maximum Exposure 26, work of graduating students

below: Food Pantry.  Take what you need; Donate what you can.

Free food pantry, shelves with glass covered doors for food to exchange, it is almost empty

below: In the alley behind the Lutheran church and Ryerson.

alley behind Ryerson Image Centre with large murals of green bike and blue bike, also with a person asleep in the alley by the church

below: Peace, hearts and respect written on the green bike.

below: The old white building on the northeast corner of Victoria and Dundas is still there and the mural by Emily May Rose with its cute raccoons survives.  If only the real raccoons were as lovable!

below: Looking east on Dundas.  There is talk of renaming Dundas Street.

below: Yonge Dundas Square is now filled with hearts.  There are pink heart shaped seats to sit on and pink hearts on the ground too.  Each heart on the pavement has something about Toronto to love – street art,  endless streets to explore, the Jays, great architecture, always changing, and more.

a man stands beside his Christian religious display at Yonge Dundas square while he talks to two men about Jesus

below: Keep looking up!

Yonge Street, looking up at banners on metal poles, tops of some highrise buildings,
below: Another part of a large relief sculpture on the wall of Dundas subway station

 

in Kensington

sign on sidewalk made with pink fabric covered with yellow and white flowers, a big white circle in the middle with hi written in large yellow letters

Some places never change, at least not in the big ways. Although little things pop up only to be replaced by other tidbits, Kensington still looks like it has for a while now. I can’t say forever! Because nothing lasts forever.
In fact, there is a small photo exhibit on hoardings in the neighbourhood that features old pictures and there are definitely similarities to be found!

hoardings with an exhibit of old black and white photos of kensington

below: On the left, from 1940 a photo of a shop at Denison and Dundas West from the Jewish Archives.

two old black and white photos of the kensington neighbourhood, vintage

below: This is an enlargement of the the black and white photo on the right from the picture above. It is the Augusta Fruit Market and it was taken in 1961 by Vincenzo Pietropaolo

black and white photo from 1961 of Augusta Fruit market

below: Sixty years later the same building sits on the same corner only now it’s the Oxford Fruit Market. It even has the same green roofline and what looks to be the same hydro pole!

the Oxford Fruit Market, painted blue, on the corner of Augusta

below: An iconic Kensington sight gets a new paint job.

woman wearing an orange turban-like hat is painting a car in many bright colours, the car is full of plants growing inside it

below: Fix your hearts or die.

graffiti sign on a pole, covering an add for 35 mm cameras for sale, words that say fix your hearts or die

below: A mural on the side wall of Perolas, by Jeannie Priscila aka Dajenesis

two people walking past a mural of a South American woman on Perolas Supermarket exterior  wall

below: Hands outstretched to passers-by

a woman in a coral coloured dress walks past a mural of an old woman with her hands outstretched, asking for something, a red and white shawl over her head

below: Hate has no home here, plus something that started with “Behind stained steamy glass, we’ll (and then your imagination can take over!)

signs on a wood utility pole in front of a painting on a brick wall of a cup of coffee.  A poster with words Hate has no home here.  An ad for a store that is partially obscured by the pole, and a fake street sign that starts with Behind Stained steamy glass, we'll... and the rest is blocked by many stickers

below: free Toronto Caribbean newspapers

below: Ricas Tortas, Elotes y Esquites are fading away

below: Eyes eyes and more by Jeremy

below: Walking past temptation – churros, empanadas, slushies and Birra Catrina

a couple carry their shopping in bags as they walk on sidewalk, walking past

below: Pour me into frequency – in triplicate

3 large graffiti posters in an alley, covering other street art, each with an anatomically correct heart in different colours (red, green and blue), and the words pour me into frequency

below: This little sock monkey not only shows his rainbow colours but also shows his support for the COVID-19 vaccine!

a sock monkey sits in a store window, wearing a rainbow flag scarf and a sticker that says I got my covid-19 vaccine

below: Uber5000 – yellow birdies in a helicopter on top and dogs playing cards on the bottom. Perhaps that yellow birdie on the ladder is dropping in on the card game?

below: A view down the alley towards more murals – a very big multicoloured chicken beside a face

below: A Rowell Soller close up

Close up of a face, eyes closed, mural by Rodwell Soller

below: A brighter than blood red beak looks rather creepy on this enormous chicken by Phillip Saunders

mural of a chicken's head and beak

below: Walking past one of the many patios now open in Kensington

A man with long hair and wearing a cowboy hat walks past a patio in Kensington

below: Carlos House of Spice

Carlos House of Spice in Kensington, with an alley beside it, murals on the walls in the alley, incense for sale in front,

3 pedestrians walking on a sidewalk, walking past a man struggling with a large package on his bike

below: Saved by the youth Can you imagine it? Beside Snacks Mexican style where Aguas Frescas (Jamaica, watermelon and mango) are $5. Also on the menu, Pina Coladas, as well as Elote, and Esquites (corn dishes I think)

black letters spray painted on white tile wall, says saved by youth can you imagine it?  wall is beside a window of a coffee shop with words and numbers listing the prices of drinks, aguas frescas

below: a silver poser bunny

silver poser bunny on pink background

a large flag draped around a white picket fence, flag is yellow with a big happy face on it

below: Dundas West near Augusta

stores and signs on Dundas West near Augusta.  Chao Chow Association of Ontario, Swiftronics, Royal Denture, and others, some people walking on the sidewalk too

below: Walking to Noras for a shawarma or a kabob?

below: Hoardings on Dundas West surrounding Alexandria Park redevelopment.

a woman on a bicycle rides past hoardings around Alexandria Park redevelopment, with a mural on it by Javid Jah and Danile Deluxe

below: A large mural that was a collaboration between Phillip Saunders and Luvs

large mural of a mans face in Kensington

below: Graffiti slaps, stickers, and paste-ups – Feelings Boi, Urban Ninja Squadron, TRP 613,

below: T-bonez in black and white

sticker of t bonez urban ninja squadron in black and white

below: A shiny red skateboarder zooms past a snake with its tongue stuck out

graffiti slap of a bright shiny red skateboarder on the move

below: stickers on boxes

below: Stickers on poles

graffiti stickers on poles in Kensington

below: A wise owl with curly hair and glasses plays the accordion

below: You are not your mistakes plus a summer time poem

on brown paper, a message that says You are not your mistakes, beside a red Tridel sign.  on the latter, someone has written a poem in sharpie

The words are very small on the red sign; this is what they say.

Summer Time
Sundress
I feel India in my bones
I can smell sunlight
I can feel the high time
bless me
God bless me, goddess of forbidden love
I am she
I ___ one white candle
Maintain purity

We’re getting outside to enjoy the summer while still maintaining some distance as the COVID numbers drop…  a few of the restrictions have been lifted and life is little less constrained. Patios are filling up again and a larger selection of stores are open. The following photos were taken downtown on a sunny day a week or so ago…. as I re-learn how to take candid shots of people!

man lies on the grass, reading, his red bike leans against a tree beside him, activity on Queen Street in the background

a mother and daughter, both with long black hair, sit in front of the toronto 3 d sign, leaning in together, smiling, a pigeon stands by their feet

a young boy teases his sister as she is lying in the center of the O of the Toronto 3 d sign, mother is taking a picture of daughter.  mother's back is to the camera

a young poses for a photo at Nathan Philips Square, people around the Toronto 3 d sign in the background

a black man in black baseball cap and T shirt and bright yellow shorts is taking photos with his camera. in background is a wedding shoot of Chinese bride in a long red dress

a man is drawing while sitting on the sidewalk, he has paintings and other artwork for sale,  his reflection is in the window behind him.  another man stops at the intersection to tie his shoe laces while waiting for the red light to turn green.  Dundas Street

an older man in blue shorts and balding hair sits on a walker with a yellow grocery plastic bag on each handle.  out of focus close up of man in red top in the immediate foreground

three people at Yonge and Dundas.  One is a woman standing with her bike waiting for the red light, second is a woman in cropped white tank top taking a selfie, and third an older man with white hair, white beard and white mustache.

a black woman being video'd, a woman in a wheelchair with a sign leaning against her knees that says Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven John 14: 6  Sign at the back says Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it from eternal destruction.

traffic, cyclists, construction cones, patio, on Dundas looking towards Bay street

a couple, from the back, waiting to cross University ave., with a group of people waiting on the other side as well

a young man with a mask and a Nordstroms shopping bag stands in front of the H B C windows with 5 mannequins modelling clothing

4 people in line to get into store at Yonge and Dundas, all keeping the 6 fet or 2 metres apart for covid restrictions.  woman in red tank top is pushing a baby stroller, a couple stands together, woman in blue dress and black mask and a man in black, with advertisement behind him showing image of a woman in a white dress

people waiting in line.  first woman has mask, glasses and a red head scarf. she's with a man carrying a yellow plastic grocery bag, other women in the line behind them, at Yonge and Dundas

an older man in a brown shirt crosses Yonge street traffic while pulling a green basket on a dolly.  people in masks walking on the sidewalk, a Beck taxi parked on Yonge, a bare chested man by the bus stop, other people

a man waits for his order from a food truck Steve's catering with images of cartoon fries and hamburger on the side of the truck, S. Kazanis truck, menu also on side of truck, today's special hot dog three dollars and sausage four dollars

two people passing each other on a sidewalk, a man in red raptors shorts on a scooter and a woman with a long yellow top pulling a shopping buggy

a mother in black and a daughter in an orange dress sit by the large red planters in Yonge Dundas square with a lot of pigeons on the ground in front of them

an Asian couple at the ice cream truck, men walking on the sidewalk, Yonge street at Dundas

a very shiny metallic green mercedes sports car with no front licence passes through an intersection as a couple walk past

a cooler evening on the waterfront

A couple sit with their backs to the camera on the edge of Lake Ontario while a male cyclist walks his bike past.  Two red Muskoka chairs in the picture as well as boats on the water

On Toronto waterfront, harbour, three people standing on the dock beside a sailboat, a man in yellow shorts and white hat, and two women.  A man is standing in the boat next to it.

below: Simcoe Wave Deck

people sitting and walking on the Simcoe Wave Deck, Toronto waterfront, with condos behind

kids playing on the Simcoe Wave Deck, a young girl is sliding down it

People by the side of Lake Ontario, two on bicycles, some sitting on the side of the walkway, a woman leaning against a post, and a man taking selfies.  There is also a seagull.   Port Lands is in the distance.

below: Joseph Landau, accordion player

A male accordion player, Joseph Landau, stands beside the waterfront.  Curly black hair.

an older man with a big fluffy grey beard sits on a bench with Tim Hortons cup beside him.  He's wearing orange shorts and a pink top.  Looking at his phone

A couple sits at a table on an upper level balcony patio, behind glass barrier.  With condo buildings behind

below: Queens Quay traffic – take care! Cyclists (and pedestrians) don’t always see or obey their traffic signals!

TTC street car on Queens Quay, cyclists on the bike path, pedestrians trying to cross

Two men walk past another man dressed in blue who dances for tips.  He's standing still because no one has given him any money

people sitting on the end of a dock by Lake Ontario

hot dog and sausage street vendors at work

Young man in red shorts performing stunts on his skateboard

three men walk past boats docked at the waterfront, one is topless

A couple sit on the sand on waterfront, under yellow umbrella, a man walks past behind them, also two men sitting on the edge of the lake,.

People sitting and lying on benches on waterfront, in front of the tour boats Northern Spirit and Obsession.  One woman is doing yoga pose.

To mask or not to mask?  Masks have turned out to be a very useful tool in stopping the spread of the corona virus.  All you have to do is look at the stats in countries such as South Korea and Vietnam where mask wearing is the norm and compare those numbers to the stats in countries such as here in Canada where mask wearing took some time to catch on.  Only 38 people have died from COVID in Vietnam compared to almost 10,000 here in Canada.

In the early days of COVID (doesn’t it seem like a long time ago?) masks were controversial.  There were a lot of mixed messages from public health – remember when wearing a mask was going to increase your chances of getting sick because you can’t help but play with your mask and then touch your face?   Now, there are laws and rules that stipulate that you have to wear a mask indoors – in stores, in schools, on airplanes (who’s flying these days any way?), and in other public places.   The argument switched from ‘masks won’t keep you from catching the virus’ to ‘the masks prevent you from giving the virus to other people.’

a couple walking on Yonge Street, holding hands, waiting for a light to change, he's in a blue shirt and wearing a covid mask

“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” quote, French author Victor Hugo

 I was looking for help in writing about COVID-19 and people and masks and why we were slow to accept the practice.  I went looking through google for quotes and poems about masks because I wanted to explore the idea that in western culture wearing masks is just not done.  Masks are for thieves and others who are up to no good.  The bad guy always wears a mask when he wants to rob a bank.  Masks are for hiding your identity and fooling facial recognition software.

I have to add that the wearing of masks has become political although not to the extent that it has in the States where Trump has made the mask a symbol of weakness.   We have our anti-maskers and they are still protesting (there was one in downtown Toronto today but I missed it).   Apparently there were a couple of hundred people at Yonge Dundas square protesting lockdown measures in the name of Canadians’ constitutional rights and freedoms (CityTV link).

three people on bikes on Yonge street during streets open, the man in front is wearing an anonymous mask

The ‘Anonymous’ mask, or Guy Fawkes mask, was used in the 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” where Fawkes was presented as a champion for human rights, an anti-establishment figure.  It has become one of the most recognized symbols of protest around the world.

three people, two women and a man, waiting outside in a line up for a store, all three are wearing masks.

One of the poems that I found was “We Wear the Mask” written by Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1896.  It’s opening lines are:

“We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.”

So now we have another “use” of a mask.  The invisible mask that we wear to hide our true selves from other people.  This quote from Japanese author Haruki Murakami complements the idea: “It’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off”.

The last poem I found was one where the American author Maya Angelou adapted Dunbar’s poem (above).  It’s long.  It has nothing to do with COVID and probably not much to do with Toronto either.  But in these unusual topsy turvy times, so what?  It’s not a happy poem.  But mix together COVID and its doleful fall-out, plus the protests surrounding Black Lives Matter and the simultaneous fight to increase recognition of Indigenous rights, stir it all together and presto, befuddled and disconsolate times.

“We wear the mask that grins and lies.
It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts . . .
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world think otherwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing Oh Baby doll, now we sing . . .
The clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard HA! HA! I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

Seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl

I say “HA! HA! HA! Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break
So . . . I laugh! Until my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, HA! HA! I nearly died
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
Hmm huh! I laugh uhuh huh huh . . .
Until I start to cry when I think about myself
And my folks and the children.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

There in those pleated faces
I see the auction block
The chains and slavery’s coffles
The whip and lash and stock.

My fathers speak in voices
That shred my fact and sound
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

They laugh to conceal their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could an did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

 

Wear your mask!  The COVID one that is.

I have been looking for places to find autumn colours and one idea I had last week was to visit Pinehills cemetery in Scarborough.  I didn’t find many colourful leaves but I did find a few things.  The most noticeable was the mix of names on the stones – Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and more, all mixed in together.  In Toronto we often live side by side and it seems that we are also buried side by side –  as in the three people below: Baffa, Rajamohan, and Gutierrez.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery with flower arrangements on top of them

below: Black stones with crosses on the top seem to be the prefered headstone for those in the Greek community who are buried here.  Sometimes the name is in English, and sometimes in Greek.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery
below: Cemeteries are fascinating in that they give us a glimpses into cultures and traditions.   The decorating of grave sites with flowers and figurines adds a bit of joy to an otherwise somber setting.  You know that these people are remembered and their lives celebrated.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

decorated monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

below: A large shamrock.  Beneath it, a Miss Kitty doll in purple and a pair of boxing gloves with the Irish flag.   Doesn’t it make you wonder why?  Was Frank Murphy a boxer?  What will my descendants leave by my grave?

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery including one with a shamrock etched on the front

below: I assume that the red tape covers an inscription that is already on the headstone for the spouse of the departed?  Perhaps a name and birthdate?  Written vertically in Mandarin…. and I wish that I could read some of them.  Is there something written about the deceased? Is there an epitaph?  I’ll have to be content to look at the lotus flower, bamboo, and dragons that decorate the stones.

Chinese tombstones in Pinehills cemetery, in Manadarin, one red tape over part of one stone

below: As I was leaving, this coyote came sauntering across the grass.  It wasn’t the least bit afraid of me (in my car).

coyote lying in front of monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

light brown coyote

 

… even though it was the end of September!

below: Up, up, and away… not!  The woman in the middle doesn’t seem to interested.  Perhaps she’s too busy taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity to sun bathe on the beach one more time.

two men with large kites are trying to get themselves up in the air, a woman in a bathing suit lies on the sand between them.

two women and a girl paddling in a yellow boat, a sailboat is in the background

below: Walking past Leuty Lifeguard Station.

three couples on the boardwalk, one couple is walking their dog

below: He decided to stay and relax a little while people watching.

a man lies on the grass and watches people passing by on the boardwalk including a woman in a bathing suit and red shoes while talking on her phone, in front of Leuty Lifeguard station

a family sits together on the beach, the youngest is a baby in mother's lap. stroller is beside them, empty lifeguard station too

a man pulls a wagon with a child in it through the sand towards Lake Ontario leaving ruts where the wheels have passed

people walking on the boardwalk at Toronto waterfront, including four kids on their bikes, four aside, blocking traffic

a couple sit on low chairs in the sand at Woodbine Beach, others are in the water swimming or on paddle boards

a group of young people in bathing suits and summer clothing having a picnic at the beach, some under a striped umbrella and some standing and sitting around an large inflatable pink flamingo

young people playing volleyball on the beach in the sane

a couple sits near the water, their bikes are parked on the sand beside a large piece of driftwood

an old woman in a long purple and white skirt and a scarf over her head walks along the boardwalk with her walker

below: … and (almost) last, a wedding party in the park… finding ways to have celebrations in the summer of Covid-19.

a wedding party in the park, other people sitting in the park and looking out towards Lake Ontario

below:  That’s one way of getting to the beach!

new blue Mclaren sports car parked ina parking lot at Woodbine beach, beside a white car and in front of a TTC bus stop

Instead of pictures of this year’s Pride Parade, I am posting some photos from previous Pride weekends from my archives. I have tried to use pictures that weren’t chosen for prior blog posts. As you know, the fall out from Covid-19 includes cancellation of parades in Toronto this summer. There was a virtual Pride parade online this year (so I hear) but that doesn’t lend itself to photography. We miss the social interactions that normally occur. We miss the atmosphere and the fun. This collection is a poor substitute for the real thing but maybe it will bring back a few memories….. See you in 2021!

Pride parade, rainbow wings, dancing woman

women dancing in the street, pride parade

women dancing in the street, pride parade

carrying a big polka dot umbrella

pride parade, woman, this is a good sign

group, drag queens, pride parade

high fives, pride parade

young people posing for pictures outside store with happy pride balloons in the window

two women kissing, on sidewalk, outside, pride

two people dancing, pride parade while spectators cheer

woman doing limbo dancing, pride

man in pink shirt and straw hat dances while squating while people passing by slow down to stare

man with rainbow mask

naked people in pride parade, backside view, bums,

you can be naked too, sign held by nude people walking in pride parade

older person walking with walker in pride parade

pride parade, man in some leather

pride parade

purple parasol, pride weekend activities

3 people on roof watching pride parade

one man sitting on another man's shoulders, rainbow flag

man in uniform in pride parade

Singh, leader of federal NDP at pride parade, in pink turban

Rocky Horror theme group at pride parade with sign that says let's do the time warp again

flowers entirely converng back of person's head and neck, one on nose too

underwear

3 people on top of green container watching pride parade

truck pulling float down Yonge Street for Pride parade

woman in Waterloo Engineering society t-shirt high fives with crowd watching pride parade

on float at pride, in long turquoise dress and platinum blond hair

woman watching pride parade

getting ready to make bubbles

blowing bubbles, pride parade

A long weekend in May (Two Four Weekend) + the first sunny warm day in a while + two months of “shelter in place” = people out enjoying Tommy Thompson Park’s trails and waterfront.

a couple sit on a rock by Lake Ontario

below: Flow Like a River

bikes parked against a fence with signs on it, with graffiti words that say flow like a river, in the background a mound of dirt with two young men standing on top of it.

below: Keep ur distance

a girl in a red bike helmet walks on top of a yellow concrete barrier

cyclists on a bike path, seen through tree trunks and long grass

below: Three people, three positions – up tall and straight, flailing legs middle, and collapsing feet at the end.    Also notable are the mounds of tangled rebar that dot the shoreline.

three young people trying to do headstones on the pebbles at the shore beside Lake Ontario, Tommy Thompson Park, with old rusty rebar in piles on the shore two, washed up old trees and roots,

father and child standing on rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario

below: She’s sitting on some very rounded rocks that have been shaped by the waves and water.  Are they chunks of man-made concrete and not the more solid  rocks formed by nature?

a woman looking at her phone, sitting on rocks by Lake Ontario, her bike is on the ground behind her

The park has come a long way since construction of the Leslie Street Spit started in 1959.  In the beginning, it was to be an area for “port related activities”.   In the early 1970s, it was decided that Toronto didn’t need an expanded port.  Since 1973, the focus has been on developing the area as a park but keeping as much “wilderness” as possible.  If you are interested in the history of Tommy Thompson Park, they have an excellent website with aerial pictures that show how the park has grown.

tall smokestack in the distance, a park in the foreground, with a bike path and cyclists running through the park, early spring

below: Nature slowly takes over, and the piles of rubble and construction waste that were used to help build the foundations of the park become grown over and buried.

grassy, rocky part of Tommy Thompson Park in spring with shrubs and trees just starting to bud

below: Late afternoon fishermen on their way in.

people walking on a trail in Tommy Thompson Park, early spring, trees just starting to form leaves

below: If you look closely, you might see that one of the bikes has a bell in the shape of a skull with red eyes.

4 bikes parked on the shore, among leafless shrubs, beside Lake Ontario

piles of rock, concrete bits, rebar, construction waste, forming parts of Tommy Thompson park

below: There were lots of noisy redwing blackbirds as well as many other kinds of birds – orioles, grosbeaks, goldfinches, robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows.  During spring migration, up to 300 different species can be seen here.

a male redwing blackbird in a tree, making noise

long droopy buds on a tree, dark red on top and golden yellow on the lower parts, out of focus trees in the background

In the foregeound, trees and stumps in the water at the edge of the harbour, looking across the water to the Toronto skyline

two sailboats exit the marina harbour and pass by the Toronto skyline (seen from the east)

below: Construction on the east side of the park.  This is the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project scheduled to be finished in 2025.  Three shore connected breakwaters and a headland/beach system are being constructed.

filling in part of Lake Ontario, walls of rocks with dirt between them

Getting used to this “social distancing” thing but not the “stay at home” part.   A walk in the park seemed like a good way to mix the two – get a little exercise without running into too many people.

below: Keeping his distance

a man sitting on a bench in a park

It’s close to March 21st and the beginning of spring.   Actually this blog post started to take form after I parked my car and wandered aimlessly a few yards.  I was standing on a path in a ravine wondering which way to go… but why was I here?  I heard a bird, and then I heard another.

below: A robin snacking on sumach

a robin perched on top of a cluster of sumach buds and is leaning over to eat one

below: A female downy woodpecker

female downy woodpecker on a small tree

below: A little chickadee

chickadee sitting in a red dogwood, early spring, bright red branches, no leaves

below: It’s not a bird nor is it a sign of spring,  but it sat still enough to let me get my camera focused through the branches.

black squirrel sitting among tree branches, holding something in its mouth

below: The red dogwood branches have started to become more vibrant.

bridge over creek, sumach and dogwood bshes, winter to early spring, no leaves

below: Pussy willows have opened up their fuzzy white buds.  A definite indicator of spring.

a few thin branches of pussy willow

below: There weren’t many tree buds but this tree (and others of its type) were an exception.

small clusters of pink buds at the end of branches and twigs on a tree

below: There was a train too!  A different kind of sign of life.

park and trees in the foreground, early spring, with train on bridge in background

young birch tree

a purple graffiti heart painted on the concrete support at the bottom of a large metal trestle

Spring, and a walk in the park.  Sometimes it’s just the little things….  including someone to share your space.

a couple walks together over a small pedestrian concrete bridge

below: Reflections in the Wilket Creek

reflections of lifesaving equipment beside the Wilket Creek