Archive for the ‘people’ Category

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

This weekend saw the temperatures rise high enough draw people outside.  A lot of the snow melted and there was hope in the air – hope that winter won’t last too much longer.  This being Canada, winter can last as long as it wants!…  And that’s often into April.  In the meantime, it was great to enjoy the weekend.

a family of three, mom, dad, and toddler, walking on snowy path at Wilket Creek, with toddler in middle

below: A quiet sunny spot to sit

a young woman in a red jacket sits on a bench at Wilket Creek Park and reads a book in the sunshine.

mostly frozen creek with snow on the banks and rocks in the shallow water

below: Taking selfies on the rocks at Edwards Gardens.

two women standing on the rocks in the creek at Wilket Creek park, taking selfies

below: Watching the ducks on the partially frozen Wilket Creek.

ducks on partially frozen river, small bridge in the distance, a mother and daughter waiting to feed the ducks

puddle on the path and reflections of part of the people close to it.

forest of trees in winter

young trees on riverbank, snow, and frozen water in the background

a couple sits on a bench, from behind, in winter clothes, snow on the ground in the park

This year’s theme at the Yorkville IceFest was “Awesome 80’s” and the feature ice sculptures were all things 80’s.

title ice sculpture for Ice Fest

below: Fabulous red heart embedded in the ice!  The ice made the red shine.   Needless to say, these two women weren’t the only ones who did this!

two women make a heart symbol with their hands in front of a red heart frozen inside an ice sculpture

below: Leftover red balls from Christmas added to the festivities.

Cumberland Ave decorated for the IceFest, red balls hanging from trees, ice sculptures on display beside the sidewalk, a few people looking at them

below: Posing with the rock ’em sock ’em robots (Cool hat too!)

a woman in a winter hat with the Union Jack on it, pointing at an ice sculpture while a man takes her picture

below: A younger version of Elton John made an appearance at the Ice Fest

ice sculpture portrait of Elton John

below: Posing with Garfield the cat

people looking at and posing beside ice sculptures in Yorkville Ice Fest

below: Walking on air, but so cool with the leg warmers on.

ice sculpture of a pair of legs, upside down, with high platform shoes and leg warmers

below: Driving the De Lorean

a woman posing with a large ice sculpture of a De Lorean car

below: Most of the sculptures came already made and were set up on Saturday morning.   Starting at noon, several artists began carving some sculptures – partially as a demonstration of their craft and partially as a contest for best sculpture.

a man using a chainsaw to cut an ice block, bits of ice and snow flying away from the chainsaw

a man is working on an ice sculpture, he has just used a chainsaw to cut a block in half lengthwise and is now carefully separating the pieces

using an electric drill make a hole in a block of ice, outside, kneeling on the ground, ice fest, people watching the artist at work

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice

a man in a bright red winter jacket and brown hat and orange mitts is using a power drill to cut a picture of bugs bunny and the words looney tunes from a block of ice while two boys in winter toques watch

two men stacks slabs of ice together to make a small tower

below: Because it was a cold day, some time was spent warming up inside the nearby art galleries.  I saw this little ski guy stuck in the snow outside Loch Gallery.  Does it look like he’s shivering too?  (artwork by Patrick Amiot).

a tiny metal sculpture in a pile of snow, a little man in a pink shirt and red hat, skiing

below: Another wonderful creation by Patrick Amiot.  I’m not sure that a hockey player (especially a Leaf?!?) should look frightened?

metal sculpture of a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey player sitting on a bench outside, holding his hockey stick and looking frightened, by Patrick Amiot

Santa Claus Parade photos

up close photo of Santa Claus's face with white beard and white mustache, some holly on his hat, glasses,

Santa Claus Parade, people on a float

two members of a band, one woman is helping the other with a button on her uniform, both are wearing Santa hats, start of Santa Claus parade

below: What could be more appropriate than a few clowns with shovels to follow the police horses?

clowns in primary colours, big squares on fabric in clothing, with shovels in hand cleaning the street after the police horses go by

large gingerbread man sculpture on parade float

man dressed as a toy soldier in red jacket, white leather straps, black hat and black pants, in Santa Claus parade, greets people in the crowd as he walks

two pictures of men dressed as Woody, the cowboy from Toy Story, with small yellow lassos. Santa Claus Parade

young woman walking in Santa Claus parade with large gold star shaped head-dress on, gold costume, other people dressed as plants in flower pots are nearby

woman in gold costume as Queen of hearts in parade, heart shaped red marks on cheeks, heart on belt and on gold crown,

Toronto mayor John Tory wearing a Christmas sweater and red and white Canada mitts, waves at the start of the Santa Claus parade

three boys behind yellow metal barricade at start of Santa Claus parade,

three women dressed as fat snowmen with black hats, black buttons, red scarves, and red belt buckles, waving to the crowd as they walk in the parade

two clowns in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly green hair, shiny clothing, one is waving at the camera with a white gloved hand

four kids sitting on a parade float dressed as white fuzzy bears with yellow scarves and red mitts

Santa Claus parade, gingerbread character clown holding a large cookie, white gloves, red fuzzy wig

two pictures of kids riding on floats in Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus Parade musician, band member wearing red and white Santa Claus hat

large toys, shapes of toys, on a float in the Santa Claus parade

young woman in black jacket, red gloves, and large reindeer antlers, waving as she walks in Santa Claus parade

a young man from Malvern High School band is warming up before the Santa Claus parade

Chinese snake dancers in Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade, clown waving, white gloves, red fuzzy wig

Santa Claus Parade musician, wearing red and white Santa Claus hat

woman holding the end of a banner for St. Marys Band

Santa Claus Parade, people on a float

clown in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly pink hair, yellow and pink striped collar

two clowns in Santa Claus parade with red nose and curly green hair, shiny clothing

two women walking in Santa Claus Parade, picture on left is older woman with a fancy Happy Holidays hat, picture on right is woman in white fuzzy sheep costume holding a large yellow and white daisy

below: Crazy wabbits didn’t still in one place long enough to let me focus on them

a man dressed as a blue and white rabbit hamming it up for the camera. He's carrying a large stuffed carrot shaped object

clowns in blue wigs and chequered clothing greet spectators at parade as they walk past

two girls dressed as Santa's elves sit on a parade float in front of a large white sign with red letters that says dear santa

below: Mrs. Claus

float in Santa Claus parade with Mrs. Claus waving

below: And at the very end, the main attraction, jolly old Santa Claus himself

Santa Claus in his sleigh, Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus in his sleigh, Santa Claus parade

below: Posters made by “Army of Lovers”, a group organized by The 519 (an LGBTQ charity).   They were in response to a group of “anti-queer protesters, who call themselves Christian free-speech advocates” who planned to march up Church Street last Saturday.

two posters on a metal box on the street, one says no hate in our city and the other says, liberation in our lifetime - the army of love

below: Rev Jeff Rock of Metropolitan Community Church and Rev Cheri DiNovo of Trinity St. Pauls, led a ‘Unite for Love’ rally at Barbara Hall Park this past Saturday. Other faith leaders also talked to the crowd as did several politicians from all levels of government.  Themes of the talks largely dwelt on unity, equality, inclusion, and the idea that we are perfect in God’s eyes.

two Christian religious leaders talk at a rally

below: Mayor John Tory being interviewed by the media after the speeches.

Toronto mayor John TOry being interviewed by the media at a pro-Pride rally at Barbara Hall Park, City TV, CP 24, CTV and Global News were among the media.

below: Also after the speeches, a giant rainbow flag was unfurled.

people helping to open up a giant pride rainbow flag

two men help to spread a giant size pride rainbow flag at Barbara Hall park

below: … and the crowd helped to display it.

people holding the edge of a large pride rainbow flag

below: The rain kept coming and going but that deter the crowd.

a couple wearing clear rain ponchos, laughing, holding signs under the ponchos that say No hate in our city

below: There were a few signs that people had made including this one about Jesus.

two women, one holding a sign that says Jesus was gay. He didn't say Amen, he said Ahhh men!

below: “Church is for everyone” sums up the message of inclusion found in The Village community

two women in yellow rain jackets holding a sign that says Church is for everyone

a man with two rainbow flags in his hair and wearing a large rainbow flag over his back

below: A little levity, a little unseriousness.

a pink sign that says this is serious we're missing brunch

The above gathering was in response to a group called Christian Positive Space and an event described on their website as a ‘Freedom Repentance & Prayer March/Rally’ up Church Street. This group was gathering at Church & Esplanade at the same time as the crowd was listening to speeches in The Village.

Part of the backstory is that this group (CPS) was formed by David Lynn, a preacher who can often be found at Yonge & Dundas (He is also the founder of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries). Back in June he was arrested for disturbing the peace when he and some of his followers tried preaching at the corner of Church & Wellesley (with loudspeaker), just down the street from Barbara Hall Park.

One of the themes of Saturday’s march was the idea of sharing the streets, that Christians should be allowed to do their thing on the streets without being harassed. Part of David Lynn’s talk yesterday was about how Pride gets to close down streets so Christians should be able to as well. There was also mention about some grievance that he had with the people who organize the Jesus in the City parade.

The walk was planned to go at least as far as Wellesley even though one of the conditions for Lynn’s release from jail was that he was to be banned from visiting that area of the city.

below: A lot of left over signs. Questions are being asked about who paid for them (as well as the many T-shirts that were given out).

protest

musicians in a trailer behind a pink up truck, bible verse written on the side of the trailer,

below: Dictionary definition of godly = “devoutly religious; pious”

a woman wears a red T shirt that says make Canada righteous and godly again.

below: The People’s Party had a very visual presence at the march. I’m not sure which candidates were present. There is no mention of the walk on any social media for the candidates for both Spadina-Fort York (where the walk started) or Toronto Centre (where the walk was going to end). The candidate for Toronto Centre is actually from Hamilton (he’s also the VP of the party).

large white banner for the Peoples Party of Canada, in front of a protest on Church street

people with signs and placards at a protest

below: The police didn’t allow the walk to get past King Street.  They kept the two groups separated.

Christian protesters behind a line of police bikes

below: Members of the PSU (Public Service Unit) await their orders

member of p s u , public service unit, wait on Front Street in case they are needed at protest

below: The white van was one of a pair that parked by the double line of police bikes that were containing the protesters south of Front Street. PSU officers then lined the intersection to control pedestrian traffic.

members of PSU, public service unit, march into place during stand off between protest and counter protest

below: Most of the intersection of Front/Wellington and Church was blocked for quite a while. Pedestrians were not allowed to cross on the south side.

a police man escorts an older woman in a pink jacket who is using a walker, across an intersection

Overheard at the march: “Yoga is popularized witchcraft”. I was approached by a woman who struck up a conversation by telling me that she loved Trump. She said that one night God look down at her and told her to listen to Trump. So she did and she learned that he’s brilliant, that he loves blue collar workers, that he loves all races, and that he loves Israel. That’s why she now loves him and prays for him every day.

a group of wimen lined up against a wall, on the street, with hands in the air, some have signs that say Civil rights are for Christians too

At this point in time, the words that Lynn uses in these situations are irrelevant; actions speak louder than words.  His views on homosexuality are well known even if he proclaims to love all people, i.e. to love the sinner but not the sin. He can be cagey about the words and phrases he uses but just his presence at Church & Wellesley is a provocation and he should realize that. Trying to preach in The Village is just a stunt – it provides video to support his opinion that Christians are targeted and it gets him followers. There are much better, more constructive ways, to reach people.

David Lynn talks to his protesters, with signs and placards, behind a police line

people talking on the street

a man with his eyes closed, during a protest

a person stands above a crowd holding a trans flag while police hold the crowd back

below: A woman tries to persuade one member of the other side that being homosexual is a choice. She’d be happy to find him a beautiful woman to make him happy both in this life and in eternal life.

a middlw age woman in jean jacket and dark hair, holding a rosary in one hand, talks to counter protesters on the other side of a police line

below: Occasionally there was some dialogue between the two sides. On the protester side there were those who were marching because they honestly believed that they were spreading a message of Jesus’s love for everyone. Others were out to provoke, disrupt, or at least to play the victim.

one woman has her arm around the shoulders of another woman as they stand close to policemen blocking the street with their bikes

two sides of a protest speaking, while police keep them separated. Christian side is filming the conversation, counter protesters are wearing T shirts that say army of love

below: Also aligned with Christian Positive Space was Charles McVety who apparently was at the walk. He posted this on his facebook page (screenshot). Was he hoping for violence? Or was this just just another example of rewriting the story to suit your own purposes. Nobody was attacking anybody; there was no danger. McVety references “Tory’s mob” – John Tory chose to talk at the other rally instead of the CPS one.

a screenshot of a facebook post by Charles mcVety and some of the responses to it.

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

pro-pride counter protesters behind a police line

police line of bikes

below: Eventually David Lynn and his group backed down Church Street

David Lynn and another man help to back up a red pick up truck with a trailer holding a stage as they reverse down Church Street during a protest march in downtown Toronto

below: And proceeded to walk up Yonge Street instead.

police man on a bike in front of a group of protesters as they start to walk up Yonge street

two men walk in front of a banner that says Canadian Christians share our streets, walking up yonge street at front street, other protesters are behind the banner.

below: As the Christian group walked up Yonge Street, a group claiming to be Toronto Against Fascism blocked the way at King Street.

a toronto police officer talks to a group with faces partially covered and holding a banner that says Toronto against fascism

below: Once again there was a stand off with police holding the two groups apart. Eventually the “anti-fascists” moved over to the sidewalk. By then it was after 5 p.m. and nothing seemed to be happening. The groups didn’t appear to want to leave and the police didn’t seem to eager to try to disperse them. So I got on a streetcar and went for dinner.

a man on the phone looks out a window of an upper storey, overlooking a protest on the street below including a large trans flag in pale blue, pink, and white stripes

I learned later that the police let the protesters walk a bit farther up Yonge but they were stopped at Adelaide and/or Richmond before eventually being broken up.

Today was Climate Strike day…  a Friday where there were rallys and protests to call for action on climate change across Canada and around the world.   Here in Toronto Queens Park was the gathering spot.
at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a group of young people with their home made protest signs, some on brown cardboard, and one on pink bristol board,

By 11 a.m. the park in front of the parliament buildings was quite full and people were congregating all down University Avenue as well.   I wandered (pushed my way?) through the crowd while we waited for some speeches (that almost no one could hear) to finish before the walk part of the day started.   These are some of the signs that I saw and some of the people that I talked to.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young girl holds a homemade sign that says save are trees, two other girls are with her

two people in costume, one a bee and one a fox (badger?). They have a yellow sign that says If we die we will take you with us. Act now. at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September

below: All eyes on the camera man.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a group of school kids holding protest signs that they've made, but keeping their eyes on a man with a large TV camera

below: People Act Now It’s Critical, PANIC

5 kids, each with a sign. Together they spell panic. each letter is in red on a green circle. The boy holding the C at the end is sitting on the ground

The best thing I heard this morning was one boy who said, “It’s not socialism, it’s a better kind of capitalism”.

 

below: Holding a sign that she made herself.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a girl holds a poster placard that she made herself, it says save our and then it has a picture of the Earth

below: Respect your mother.   There were lots of references to Mother Earth.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young boy sits on the grass between two women. Behind him is girl with a sign on her back that says Respect your Mother

below: The turtles are only the beginning

a girl has her face showing through a square hole cut out of a piece of white bristol board, sign saying that the turtles are just the beginning, her face is part of the turtle body

below: Change is coming wether you like it or not.  We need real change.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, three girls with pale blue signs, Change is coming,

below: Being interviewed as she holds her climate danger rating sign.

a woman is being interviewed for television, at a climate change protest,

below: Standing with the trees, and partially under the pines.

standing under some pine trees is a woman who is holding up a sign that says standing with the trees

below: Make Ontario Greta again.

a man holds a spiral bound sketch book on which he's written Make Ontario Greta again.

a young girl in a pink jacket stands between a woman with a walker and a man in a plaid shirt and green hat. She is holding a hand drawn protest sign

Roses are dying,
violets are too.
Save our planet,
we’re counting on you.

below: We want a green future

two little girls holding a bristol board protest sign that says we want a green future

below: Every single use item is a time bomb

in front of Queens Park, lots of people in front, crowded out to the street, south side, on road, a woman is sitting on the shoulders of another woman while holding a sign that says each single use item is a time bomb

below: Taking cues from Kermit the Frog, it ain’t easy being green.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a middle age woman dressed all in light green, pants,jacket, and hat, and holding a sign with a picture of Kermit the frog that says It ain't easy being green but we must

below: Continuing with the colour theme… All that glitters is not gold.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a young man dressed in gold and holding a sign that says All that glitters is not gold

below: A common theme today was, “The Earth is hotter than”.  In this case, I think that’s a Korean boy band?  K-Pop? Or something like that?

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, an Asian woman with a sign that says the earth is getting hotter than. At the bottom of the sign are pictures of a Korean boy band.

below: More “hotter than” – this time an imaginary boyfriend.  How can you not smile at that?

three people holding three placards, one says The earth is hotter than my imaginary boyfriend. also one says Change is coming whether you like it or not.

below: Look me in the eye, from up above.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, a girl is on her parent's shoulder. she is holding a yellow sign that says look me in the eye

below: Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, plus Clean Energy = New Jobs

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, group of people, adults and kids on University Ave

below: Our world is melting

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, a group by the trees in the park, two signs, one with a bear on it and words about melting ice. The other is being held by a woman who is on another person's shoulders

below: Fight climate change or die frying

below: Another theme kept appearing today was an anti fossil fuel stance.  “In 2018 Canada spent 3.3 billion on fossil fuel subsidies”

a young girl holds a carboard sign that has a picture of of a peace sign made with a picture of the Earth

below: This is why we can’t have nice things.

at the climate strike rally at Queens Park on a sunny morning in September, group of young people, including a woman with a cardboard sign that says This is why we can't have nice things

below: Why should I study neuro when we’re all going to die?

climate strike, rally for action on climate change at Queens Park, a young woman with a blue sign poses for a photo being taken by a friend

Another post with more photos from the climate strike are immediately below this page.