Archive for the ‘public art’ Category

Ahhhh December, that time of year when the mornings are dark, and even darker when it’s raining.  But that’s no reason to stay at home!

people walking past Starbucks on Yonge Street, morning, still darkish outside, people inside the coffee shop, man with umbrella outside, another man standing by wall looking at his phone

below: The northwest corner of Yonge and Queen is still behind hoardings.

early on a dark and wet morning, the northwest corner of Queen and Yonge, 2 Queen West, a building under renovation and behind hoardings, people waiting on the sidewalk for traffic lights to turn green, reflections on wet pavement

below: Even on a dark and foggy morning, Dundas Square is radiant.  The colours that it casts on Yonge Street  are dependent on the electronic billboards that dominate the space.  A constantly changing light show.

looking north up Yonge street early on a dark morning, lots of red lights reflecting off buildings and pavement from the lights and large signs at Dundas square

below: Old style, simple, sidewalk to subway access.

looking north on yonge street, by entrace to TTC subway on sidewalk on east side of yonge street, people coming and going, dark morning, rainy, reflections,

a woman crosses the road, early morning, rain, wet pavement with reflections, she is wearing a bike helmet and roller blades that light up. Pedestrians and cyclists waiting for the light

large red planters at Yonge Dundas square with evergreen boughs, ribbons and other Christmas time decorations,

below: The Christmas tree arrives at Yonge Dundas Square

morning, on a dark wet day, Yonge Dundas square, wet pavement,

below: When a damp December day gets wetter it’s time to go inside!

back of a grey haired man's head as going up escalator, with some white lights in star shapes on the ceiling

orange coloured faceless mannequin in a store, holding a large bowl of facke food - lettuce, peppers, eggplant,

below: Snowpeople frolicking among the Christmas lights.  December of course means Christmas and you know that the stores have been decorated for weeks already!  Lots of Christmas stuff on display….

a red christmas sweater with many little white snowmen on it,

two white female mannequins stand beside a large white nutcracker figure and two very pink magenta fake Christmas trees. One mannequin in a slinky blue dress and the other mannequin in a silvery glittery dress with spaghetti straps. she is holding a gold sparkly handbag

below: Multicoloured shiny balls on this Christmas tree

large fake christmas tree with bright coloured balls on it, in uniqlo, a clothing store, with mannequins in winter puffy jackets

white eyeless mannequin with bright red lipstick, wearing a high necked embroidered top with flowers and leaves on black background, in a store

a woman comes out of the apple store at the eaton center

below: Hockey and rainbows

beaded christmas tree ornaments for sale, hanging on hooks, red maple leaf with silver accents on the left, a red and white hockey shirt with maple leaf in center, and a rainbow on the right

below: Another typical tree scene

mannequins standing beside a decorated christmas treee in a store, with wrapped presents under the tree, and handbags for sale

below: Many trees in gold and silver in this Christmas dream (nightmare) bedroom scene.  Jokes about Santa and naughty or nice are running through my head now!

decorated bedroom scene in a store, white bedding, gold and silver christmas trees, a large gold and silver nutcracker, wrapped presents with gold ribbon and bows, large white stars hanging from the ceiling

below:  Are those meant to be trees?  An anti Christmas statement?  Someone thinks this is being edgy or radical – a wink at climate change?  The Christmas budget was slashed to smithereens and this was all that was left?

two mannequins with black face, dressed for winter, Boss store, mannequins standing beside two very small and awful looking tree shapes made of grey sticks

below: Come on in! I’ve been waiting for you (no trees here!)

in a store, looking in the door, a faceless mannequin sits on a counter with legs crossed,

looking out a small window in a pedestrian bridge over queen st., yellow school bus on the street below

below: Christmas shopping 2022.

lots of stuffies on shelves, for sale for christmas time, mallow, round characters,

looking in the window of a barber shop or hair stylist, partially translucent window

below: A very tall tree stands on its own in a quiet corner behind the elevators.

a large christmas tree in office building, partially obscured by a bank of elevators

man on a lift washing interior windows, office building lobby, with danger sign below him, man in background looking out window while talking on the phone, christmas lights and decorations outside

below: A marble wall with a bas-relief artwork by Nicolas Baier with the title, “Mappemonde”It was made by cutting way pieces of the marble, leaving a tree-like network  that could be roots and branches or it could be more technical man-made communication infrastructure….

a wall, interior, lobby of an office building, white, textured, artwork by Nicolas Baier called Mappemonde, Bay Adelaide Centre, bas-relief work made by cutting away at the marble, network of lines and shapes like roots and branches of trees

below: Watching the World Cup 2002 from Qatar.   As of this morning (9 Dec), eight teams remain – Brazil, Croatia, Argentina, Netherlands, Morocco, Portugal, England, and France,

people watching a large tv screen, world cup soccer, football, game,

below: Not a tree; instead it’s a collection of red, gold, and silver shiny balls in an metal inverted cone shaped frame.

tall christmas tree in an office building lobby, made of red, gold and silver shiny balls on an inverted cone metal frame,

people talking on an escalator, a Christmas tree of gold and silver balls is in the background

on a red carpet in a large space, a gold decorated christmas tree surrounded by 2 intersecting circular bands of lights so that tree looks like it is in centre of a sphere

below: Twin highly decorated, very brightly lit, Christmas trees at the St. Regis hotel.

two very decorated, very brightly lit christmas trees in the lobby of the st. regis hotel

below: A trend is starting to emerge… ye olde typical office building lobby tree. Tall, perfectly shaped, and classically dressed.

large plainly decorated christmas tree behind a window, orange and black abstract painting on a wall nearby

below: A new curved glass ceiling structure on Wellington Street beside the old red brick Toronto Club building.

new construction on wellington street, beside an old red brick building, a new curved roof glass atrium, behind black hoardings, and a new entrance

below: On an interior wall there is a plaque describing the history of the Toronto Club building at 107 Wellington West. It was built in 1889 and inside you’ll find “a billiards room, reading rooms, and dining rooms finished with wood paneling and carving, stone and marble fireplaces, and plaster ceilings.”

ontario blue and gold plaque for history of 107 Wellington St west, the Toronto Club building built in 1889

below: Access to the Toronto Club may be difficult but this little area seems like a quiet oasis for anyone that knows of its existence.  I didn’t try sitting down so I am not sure how security would react!  Some buildings are more welcoming than others.

small tables and chairs in a hall space, Christmas tree on one, side, pictures on the wall on the other side,

below: The pictures on the wall feature the rivers of Toronto – Humber, Don, and Rouge as well as the shore of Lake Ontario. They were painted by Canadian artist Linda Martinello (oil and graphite on drafting film).

four water themed paintings by Linda Martinello hang on a white wall, above chairs and desks.

below: The cows are lazing on the grass… perhaps they are waiting for someone to decorate the Christmas trees!

cow statues in a small downtown park, 3 conical christmas trees nearby, undecorated

2 young women taking a selfie at a specially set up space with proper lighting, and background designed with red and a large green heart, words say Celebrating Christmas

below: Gingerbread Lane at the Royal York Hotel

large gingerbread person shape in a christmas display, gingerbread lane, at the Royal york hotel. Large red bow on her head, green glitter on her face, a necklace of candy canes, a green collar on a lighter green top

large nutcracker christmas decoration, red hat with gold filagree, white beard, black mustache, green jacket, holding a present wrapped in red and white striped paper and a big red bow

below: Up on the mezzanine level of the Royal York lobby there is a display of old black and white photos such as this one of the building of the hotel (about 1928). The pictures illustrate the early days of the hotel. There are also photos of famous people who stayed here. The lighting is terrible but the images are interesting.

old black and white photo of building the royal york hotel

looking down into cafe area of royal york hotel, people eating, talking, and reading newspaper

below: The bar at the Royal York.  Not a bad place to end a blog post!

“Almonds and Wine” was a short (5 minute) animated film by Arnie Lipsey.  It is the retelling of a Yiddish folk song about a wedding of a couple from Eastern Europe.   In the film the newlyweds emigrate to Canada and become part of Toronto’s Jewish community.  In turn their children grow up, marry, and have their own children.

Using scenes from the film, a mosaic mural was created that now lines a section of sidewalk on Bathurst Street.  It was designed to look like a strip of film with black lines between the frames as well as the sprockets along the edges.

Almonds and wine mosaic title panel, based on the animated film by Arnie Lipsey

scene from a Jewish wedding, bride and groom held up in the air on chairs

scene from a mosaic mural like a film, with sections and sprockets, a group is heading to a synagogue for a wedding

section on Bathurst Street with mosaic by Cristina Delago,

three men dancing, with their backs together supporting each other as they kick their legs out with arms folded

mosaic, Mural Routes, Almond and wine, passover dinner scene, in a film with sprockets

a scene from almonds and wine animated film, turned into a mosaic picture by Cristina Delago, two men protest, carrying placards,

mosaic of a man dancing with a bottle on top of his head

Mosaic Artist: Cristina Delago.  The mural was completed in 2010.

ending credits for mosaic mural almonds and wine, mosaic artist cristina delago

Eastward from Bay with a diversion or two.

These photos were taken on two different walks and you will have no trouble figuring out which images belong to which day! The first walk was on a damp morning back in September; the second walk was on a pleasantly warm and sunny October afternoon.

below: Looking up Bay Street to Old City Hall and its clock tower.

looking up Bay street from Adelaide including old city hall tower

below: New public art  “Dreaming” by Jaume Plensa made of polyester resin and marble dust.  Brilliantly white.

large white head public art on Adelaide, side view

large white head public art on Adelaide

Hidden by scaffolding …   par for the course that no matter where you walk there will be construction.

construction on Adelaide, front of building covered with scaffolding

Even though there have been a lot of changes on Adelaide, there are some old details that have been preserved such as these mosaics that are temporarily behind scaffolding. They are above the entrance to the Bell Canada Building at 76 Adelaide West. Five panels, each twenty feet tall and five feet wide, of glass mosaic tile are embedded in the cement of the building. They were designed by York Wilson and installed in 1965 when the building was constructed. The theme of the piece is communication and each panel represents a different form of communication – writing, drawing, music, voice, and satellites.

mosaic tile decorations on exterior of building, behind scaffolding

At 100 Adelaide West is the remains of the Concourse Building. When the area was redeveloped recently, only the front and east facade of the original Art Deco 1928 building were preserved. The original entrance way on Adelaide remains; they feature mosaics created by Group of Seven member J.E.H. MacDonald and his son Thoreau.

art deco doorway - tile mosaics, carved stonework, and metal decorations on window and door,

Art Deco stonework

art deco details carved in stone on exterior of building

The remains of a metal fence or railing.

old metal railing outside entrance of a building

below: Looking east, at Sheppard Street.

street scene

pressure cleaning, with water, outside a building downtown

below: It looks like a splash of paint – like someone threw a can of paint at the building.

exterior of Deloitte building at Adelaide and Yonge, glass exterior has new artwork that looks like a large splash of water

below: The octagonal entrance to 1 Adelaide East (at Yonge) with its stained glass roof is being renovated.

below: Distraction!  Film crew on King Street (looking down Victoria St).

street scene to film crew working

below: Film trucks line both sides of Toronto Street

film trucks parked on both sides of Toronto street

below: Toronto hieroglyphics

yellow hydrant on sidewalk, with pink lines spray painted beside it

below: A short, tidy alley off Adelaide near Victoria

short tidy alley between two older stone and brick buildings

below: Fountains and public art in Adelaide Courtyard.  Collectively, the work is “Synthetic Eden” and it was created by Stacey Spiegel back in 1991.   The fountain with the metal mesh covering it – the mesh is supposedly the head of Adam.

fountains and public art in Adelaide Courtyard

below: The snake lurks over the garden.  The entrance to Adelaide Courtyard is beyond the etched glass panels.

Adelaide Courtyard

below: St. James Cathedral from the corner of Church and Adelaide.

St James Cathedral seen from the intersection of Church and Adelaide

below: Slight diversion north on Church where there is now a large vacant lot at Lombard.  How many cranes?

Church and Lombard vacant lot

below: Church Street, north from Adelaide.  A vacant lot on one side, a partial development on the other.

street scene with TTC street car

people walking past the ontario heritage plaque for the York Mechanics Institute at the corner of Adelaide and Church, now a patio for Tim Hortons

“The Mechanics’ Institute movement began in Britain and soon spread to North America. Its aim was to teach workers the applied technology behind new methods of manufacture and craftsmanship introduced during the Industrial Revolution. The first Institute in Ontario was established at York (Toronto) in 1830. It sponsored lectures, held classes and operated a lending library. It moved from rented quarters into its own new building on this site in 1861. After passage of the Free Libraries Act in 1882, the Institute transferred its assets to the municipal government. Its book collections formed the foundation of the Toronto Public Library, which opened in the former Institute building in 1884.”

below: Circa 1900, the music room of the York Mechanics Institute as a newspaper reading room

old black and white picture of the interior of the York Mechanics Institute that became a public library, newspaper reading room

photo credit: Photographer unknown, image from digital archives of the Toronto Public Library.

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below: “Brickman” by Inges Idee stands outside a residential building at Jarvis and Adelaide.  He stands 10m tall and is actually made from precast concrete, not brick.

 

very tall brick sculpture of a man shape, called Brickman, outside a brick building

below: Looking northwest from the corner of Adelaide and Jarvis

looking northwest from the corner of Adelaide and Jarvis

looking through the glass windows of a gelato and coffee shop on a corner, two women walking past, chairs inside, sunny day, park across the street

below: Old Post Office.  This building was opened in 1832, before Toronto became a city.  According to Wikipedia “It is the oldest purpose-built post office in Canada that functioned as a department of the British Royal Mail and the only surviving example. After its initial use as a post office, it became part of a Roman Catholic boys’ school” until 1913.  It was used for various things (offices, cold storage, etc) until 1971 when it was closed up and left vacant.  When it was (re)discovered to be the old post office, it was designated as an Ontario Heritage Site as well as a National Historic Site.  Since 1982 it has been a museum as well as a functional post office.

Torontos first post office on adealide street, 3 storey brick building with Canadian flags flying on either side of the entrance

below: Future chefs, George Brown College

looking in the windows on the 2nd storey of George Brown College into the kitchen of the cooking school. students in chef outfits, white, with hats, standing around a class

below: Looking west from Frederick Street.  At this point we are in the old town of York, laid out by John Graves Simcoe in 1793.  At that time, Adelaide Street was called Duke Street, after the Duke of York.  Richmond Street, one block north was Duchess Street for his wife.  The Duke of York at that time was the second son of King George III, Prince Frederick.

Adelaide East, looking west towards downtown

below: Looking west from Sherbourne.  This was originally Caroline Street, named after  Caroline of Brunswick who was the wife of Prince George in 1793 (and later George IV).  When she became too unpopular, the street name was changed to Sherbourne, after the town in England with the same name but a different spelling, Sherborne.

people crossing Adelaide at Sherbourne, looking west on Adelaide towards downtown

I stopped to take a picture of an old car (remember when diesel cars were going to take over the world?) and I found an old shoe.  Keep walking and keep your eyes open because you never what you’re going to find along the way!

an old beige diesel mercedes parked on the side of a street, a single abandoned shoe on the pavement behind it

This year’s CONTACT Photography Festival showcases the work of a few photographers who focus on portraits.  Two of these, Tyler Mitchell and Jorian Charlton, are shown here.

First, on the west side of Spadina near King Street is this large portrait:

very large photo titles Georgia, pasted on brick wall, black woman rubbing her tummy,

It is “Georgia” by Jorian Charlton, a Toronto based photographer whose works centers around Jamaican-Canadians and their culture. There is also an exhibit of her work titled “Out of Many” at the Art Gallery of Ontario that can be seen until 7 Aug 2022.

Nearby is a series of portraits by American photographer Tyler Mitchell (b. 1995) is on display on King Street West by Metro Hall. This is “Cultural Turns”.

outdoor exhibit, portraits of black people, King St West, by Tyler Mitchell

people walking past, on sidewalk, outdoor exhibit, portraits of black people, King St West, by Tyler Mitchell

3 of the portraits in Cultural Turns exhibit outside Metro Hall, on the left a couple - man in pink shorts has his arm around the womans shoulders

Tyler Mitchell photograph of two women and a bike

part of outdoor exhibit of work of Tyler Mitchell photographer

a portrait by Tyler Mitchell of a black woman with big white sunglasses and a white jacket open enough to show lots of cleavage

There are actually three parts to this exhibition.  Unfortunately I do not have photos of the other parts but they are billboards at Dovercourt and Dupont as well as an indoor component at the CONTACT Gallery.

“To know a forest you start with the roots”

“Seeing Evergreen” is an exhibit presented by Jamii   Twelve older residents of the area were paired with local youth to share their stories.  The results of these conversations, along with portraits of the participants, are on display in David Crombie Park on The Esplanade.

small yellow concrete arch leading to a circular garden in a park, with posters as part of an art exhibit

below: All the posters have a large portrait on one side

in David Crombie Park, 3 large posters each with one large portrait, on the right is a woman holding up a pink T- shirt

below: On the other side is a small picture as well as the words written. Posters with portraits and stories of four – Victoria, Naomi, Stella, and Carol-Anne

four large poster boards on display in a park with a red brick apartment building behind

below: Nancy and Chet, their pictures and stories.

portraits and stories of nancy and chet, each on their own poster board on display outside in a park

below: Posters with the Toronto skyline behind.

3 large posters with text and a small portrait in David Crombie Park with the Toronto skyline behind

Let’s follow the fish! 🐟 It’s pointed east along Queen’s Quay and by coincidence that the direction I’m headed too… 😃

a metal life like fish embedded on the paving stones on the ground, boot toes beside the fish

The seagull is not amused.

seagull standing on a short post beside Lake Ontario, with the back end of a boat in the background

front end of boat, Empress of Canada, white and black hull, dirty, tied to pier with yellow rope, reflections of it in the water of the harbour

below: Harbour Square Park with “Sundial Folly” at the water’s edge.  This art installation is the work of John Fung and Paul Figueiredo.  It has recently been cleaned up.  The sphere is hollow and there is a walkway that runs through it.  An opening at the south side (water side) acts as a sundial.

Toronto waterfront looking westward

Toronto waterfront looking westward

below: Looking east from Harbour Square towards the Westin Hotel tower and the park by the ferry docks.

Toronto waterfront looking eastward towards Westin Hotel tower and park by ferry docks

below: Tour boats and ferries still under wraps for the winter months.

Trillium tour boat and other boats and ferries parked on Toronto waterfront, covered for winter storage, tall condos in a line along the waterfront in the background

below: “Shore Stories” a mosaic located by the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. It was made in 2012 by youth from the community under the guidance of AFCY (Arts for Children and Youth, an organization that may or may not still exist).

mosaic pictures in circles forming a mural, Shore Stories, at ferry dock in Toronto

below: The “egg beaters” at 1 Yonge Street are now behind a fence. The installation is actually called “Between the Eyes”, and is by Richard Deacon.

two people walking past a site with a green fence, a sculpture behind the fence, new buildings and new construction in the background

Between the Eyes, a sculpture by Richard Deacon on Queens Quay East

below:  It’s 830km to Kapuskasing and even farther to Cochrane, just keep following Yonge Street northwards.

brass letters embedded in the concrete of the sidewalk, distances to different places on Yonge street,

a very big muddy puddle in a parking lot with reflections of the condos around it

empty parking lot with two light standards. on the other side of the lot is a light brown brick building with small square windows

an empty bench on the waterfront with new condos behind

below: “A Series of Whirlpool Field Manoeuvres for Pier 27”. by Alice Aycock

whirlwind, a white metal sculpture between two condos, with an elevated section above it, taller condo in the background

along the waterfront, whirlwind, a metal white sculpture, tornado swirls of metal, by Lake Ontario,

CN Tower in the background, peaking through between a new glass and metal condo with different angled balconies, and an older concrete highrise

below: The walkway along the waterfront comes to an end where a very high concrete wall separates Redpath Sugar from the public space.

Toronto waterfront, public path ends at a large high concrete wall by Redpath Sugar, the back end of a red ship is visible jutting out from behind the wall

below: Que Rock murals, water theme, “Water Clans (Nbii Dodem)” four panels at Redpath Sugar.

two Indigenous themed murals on exterior walls of Redpath Sugar on Queens Quay

2 indigenous themed murals on Queens Quay by Que Rock a k a Quentin Commanda

reflected light against a grey exterior wall, with 5 small vents

view from sugar beach, willow tree in front of a red ship parked at Redpath Sugar, city buildings behind

orange life saving ring by a ladder on shore in front of a parked red hulled ship, harbour

below: Pink umbrellas and sugar filled ships, at Sugar Beach.

sugar beach with pink umbrellas in the foreground, a sugar ship unloading at Redpath in the background, Toronto skyline with CN Tower in the distance

below: Queens Quay East at Dockside

new construction, new condo, at Dockside Dr. and Queens Quay East, Corus Quay, waterfront, new street,

below: Sherbourne Commons

Sherbourne Commons as seen from the waterfront, large grey building with washrooms and change rooms

a person sitting in a muskoka chair on the waterfront near a water work site with barge, and rusty metal pylons in the water, port lands in the distance

below: New construction on Queens Quay East where many parts are  being made of wood.   A new park, Aitkens Place Park lies between the new building and the waterfront.

Aitken Park in front, new condo building built behind it, concrete core but rest built of wood

two people sitting on a bench, one with yellow toque and the other with yellow turban, other people walking past, on the waterfront

below: Vacant lot on the corner of Queens Quay East and Small Street.

northwest corner of intersection of Queens Quay East and Merchants Wharf, large billboard, vacant lot parking lot

small temporary bridge, concrete silos in background, construction fence in front,

concrete silos in background, construction fence in front,

below: At the foot of Parliament Street.

small red cabin beside entrance to parking lot and construction site, concrete silos in the background

below: Anser eyes

old anser eyes graffiti on a piece of concrete leaning against a fence

below: Sweet and salty at the Distillery

large billboard in front of tall condos, a sweet and salty relationship, reeses peanut butter cups with potato chips

There is a large mural (40′ x 50′) in downtown Toronto on the west wall of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on Front Street East. It was painted by Quentin Commanda, aka Que Rock.

large mural with First Nations themes, painted by Quentin Commanda, outdoor scene, butterfly, bear in pink water, fish, turtle island, moose, orange grass, sunset or sunrise sky, woman sitting,

below: Commanda’s “Artist Statement” – see below the picture to read the transcription.

on a wall beside a mural, words that are the artist statement for the mural, also a picture of the artist, Quentin Commanda,

Artist Statement:

This mural is meant to be a visual healing experience. The seven rings around Grandfather Sun represent the seven Grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe people: Wisdom, Love, Humility, Respect, Honesty, Courage, and Truth. There are many layers of sacred geometry patterns on the mural.

The skyline includes the medicine-wheel teachings, Grandmother Moon and the 13 grandmother clan systems. The turtle shell represents North America’s creation story, the 13 full moons per year, and the seven grandfather teachings.

The entire mural also represents the original Peace Treaty of the Six Nations on Turtle Island (North America). The story of the Six Nations Treaty starts with the original five Nations of Turtle Island: the Plant Nation, the Insect Nation, the Bird Nation, the Fish Nation, and the Animal Nation. All five Nations had to agree to let the Human Nation live here on Mother Earth. All five Nations agreed to be humanity’s teachers and the Human Nation was invited to share the land.

The Human Nation was given instructions on how to live on Mother Earth, walk gentle on Mother Earth, learn one new thing every day, and share with one another. These are some of the original instructions given to the Anishinaabe people. The bear represents a Medicine Clan. The Mukwa (bear) is a healer, it is the only animal who communicates with all Six Nations.

The bottom panel represents my story from the past, present, and future. The first character with the microphone is the future and present me. The second character represents my past as a native child with my dog Miangun and the path of healing I have taken to decolonize myself back to the Anishinaabe child I was born to be.

My mother is a residential school survivor and so was my father. I am no different than the 215 children found in Kamloops, B.C. I survived to tell you this story and share my experiences. My community is still here and so am I.

The Artist is from Nbiising or Nipissing First Nation, his traditional name is Manitou Nemeen (Spirit Dancing) and he is from the Miangun Dodem (Wolf Clan).

The orange background on the mural represents the missing/murdered Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.

The mural was commissioned by TO Live

man with dog, people sitting inrestaurants, window reflections, man walking out of restaurant, street scene

below: Leslieville mural on the west wall of Dave’s Hot Chicken, Queen Street East location.

Leslieville mural on the west side of Dave's Hot Chicken restaurant

below: I spotted a very similar piece of paper downtown but with words about knowledge and ignorance (see previous blog post). I wonder how many of these are tacked up around the city?  These words can be attributed to American economist and social theorist, Thomas Sowell (b. 1930).

stapled to a notice board on the sidewalk is text graffiti with words about responsibility

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody’s responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”

 

below: Beside Jimmy Simpson Park there are four stainless steel pennants, each with a word – coursing, disappearing, trembling, and returning.  These are part of a series of three installations called “Time and a Clock” by Eldon Garnet in the area.

people walking on sidewalk, walking past 4 metal poles holding up words in metal

below: Jumblefacefoto collage paste-ups.

large jumblefacefoto collage paste up on a wall on Queen Street East, 3 vertical panels

below: Boston Discount Store with it’s red and white KitKat advert

Boston Discount Store with its red and white kit kat advert on sign, on Queen Street East

below: posters and protests and one very muscular man three times.

posters on a metal utility pole

below: Queen and Jones Pawnbrokers

Pawkbrokers shop on Queen East, metal grille covering windows, people walking past,

below: Eddie’s Convenience with a range of tests available.  I first read it as though Eddie was also selling pregnancy tests!

signs in the window of a convenience store, covid test, pregnancy tests, in home self test,

below: It’s now been 2 years since COVID was declared a pandemic.

a window full of covid masks on sale on display at a convenience store

below: Queen East mishmash of rooflines. Newer boxy construction butting up against older original half gables with their gingerbread still intact.

a row of stores on the south side of Queen East, with different rooflines after various alterations over the years

below: In a lovely older brick building with little architectural details, Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store along with Butchers of Distinction

In a lovely older brick building, Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store along with Butchers of Distinction

below: Busy Street runs parallel to Queen, one block north. It was once a very busy street.

beside some large trees, a Toronto blue and white street sign for Busy Street

But now it is much quieter. Some of the buildings on the north side were once stables for the teams of draft horses that delivered the goods from the nearby Queen Street stores.

street scene, a woman by her car, some houses, Busy street is one block long,

below: The horses have long disappeared and the buildings have been repurposed.

entrance to thunder thighs costume ltd, with green awning over brown double doors.

intersection on Queen East with billboard, mural, traffic lights, sidewalk, pedestrians,

below: Another little upper storey addition above Cask Music and Samaira’s.

cask music store and samaira's on queen east, with a small recently added upper level, people on the sidewalk in front of the stores,

below: Moving up in an alley

prefab white metal structure as upper storeys on older brick building, with exterior stairs to the alley

below: Ubiquitous

construction fence leaning outward, posters, porta potty, construction site

below: Feelings boi graffiti paste-up

feelings boi sticker on the side of a parking meter

small graffiti on a white concrete wall, blue lips, dark blue sunglasses stencil,

It seems like it’s been a long winter with more extended periods of colder temperatures as well as never ending snow.  Last weekend was the first sign that maybe spring would arrive this year …. before the snow came back!  Here are a few things that I saw on my walk last Sunday while out enjoying some warm sunshine.

below: A sign of the times; a sign for the coming spring.

wood letters on wood fence that say Outside We Will Live Again

CN Tower with Gardiner Expressway in front, signs for exit for Bay, York, and Yonge streets,

below:  There is still a large parking lot on the corner of Rees and Queens Quay.  It may be the last piece of undeveloped property along this part of the waterfront.

parking booth at parking lot on northwest corner of Rees and Queens Quay, tall condos and aprtments in the background, also the Gardiner Expressway

below: Clearing away the piles of snow.

a front end loader removes snow from the waterfront, with the Empire Sandy, boat, parked right beside

below: The skating rink beside the Power Plant is melting quickly.  The designs painted on the concrete below provide a bright contrast to the towers of glass and steel nearby.

ice melting on skating rink by power plant, pink and blue designs painted on the concrete below, highrises in the background, looking northeast from walkway by waterfront

below: Same spot as above but this time looking northwest.

melting ice on the skating rink, looking northwest

below: On the south wall of The Power Plant, a large image of the artist, Sasha Huber, on top of a Swiss mountain.

large picture on the outside, south, wall of the The Power Plant. A picture of the artist, Sasha Huber, planting a sign and plaque for Rentyhorn, renaming a Swiss mountain.

“Rentyhorn” (2008) is part of a campaign to rename Agassizhorn, a Swiss mountain peak. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was a Swiss glaciologist who became convinced that Blacks were an inferior species and that he could prove it. Renty was an enslaved woman who was one of a group forcibly photographed by Agassiz in his attempt to prove his theory. There is more of this story, and more of Huber’s work, on display in the gallery.

below: Reflections and distortions in the windows of The Power Plant.

reflections of Canada Square in the glass of the north wall of the Power PLant

below: Queens Quay

cyclists ride by on Queens Quay, past a box on the sidewalk painted in an abstract design

below: “Compartment Earth” in the lobby of RBC WaterPark Place building on Queens Quay.   It is 16,000 pounds of stainless steel; a sculpture by American artist Roxy Paine.

large metal spherical shaped sculpture in the glass surrounded lobby of rbc waterpark building on Queens Quay

below: Work continues on the park, Love Park, that replaces the old York Street exit ramp from the Gardiner Expressway.

waiting to cross Queens Quay at York, by black hoardings around redevelopment of Love Park,

large letters, L O V E spell love on black haordings, letters are decorated in abstract patterns in pink, yellow, and blue

below: Esmaa Mohamoud‘s large image titled: ” The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)” covers 37 x 144 feet (or 11 x 44 metres).

a very large photo of two men high on a wall overlooking the street, Bay street, a group of three people with luggage is walking by

below: Looking up to the blue sky.

reflections and angles on large tall gkass buildings, lots of sky and cloud reflections

below: Part art, part health, this is “Visoleil” in the lobby of the new CIBC Square.  A glowing circle of light to lift the spirits during the grey of a Toronto winter.   I went on a Sunday and the doors were locked so I couldn’t get closer.  Unfortunately, it’s probably gone by now as it was scheduled to be removed on 11th March.

large round white light, lit, inside the entrance of an office building, behind glass, art exhibit, Glowing Orb

below: Also at CIBC Square, “Light Stolen from the Sun” by Steve Driscoll.   This new CIBC building on (by the new GO Station and across from Union Station) has been under construction for a few years now.  It isn’t quite finished.

behind construction fence, coloured glass ready to install inside a new office building

below: Looking through the front window you can catch a glimpse of this magnificent piece of backlit glass.  Apparently there are twelve.  This is something that I am definitely going to come back to see!

looking in the window of the new CIBC building in downtown Toronto, interior glass windows, very tall, of a scene with red leaves on tree and blue sky,

below: Street closed.  Construction.

Lower Simcoe street closed to traffic because of construction

below: More construction, King and John.

a man walks across intersection of John and King, with construction

below: Development notice on Crocodile Rock… yikes, 68 storeys proposed at Adelaide and Duncan.

blue and white city of toronto development notice on wall of Crocodile Rock

below: Northeast corner of Adelaide and Duncan

northeast corner of intersection of Adelaide and Duncan with Crocodile Rock bar on the corner

below: Hoardings on Lower Simcoe street – “A Stroll Through the City” by Camilla Teodoro

pictures painted on hoardings around building

below: Looking west on Front Street from Bay with Union Station, CN Tower, Royal Bank building, and the Royal York Hotel.

Front Street in front of Union station

below: In Simcoe Park (Front Street), there is an aluminium sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor.  It was installed in 1995.

public art, mountains, amid the trees (real) in Simcoe Park

below: Outside Metro Hall, a banner promoting COVID-19 vaccination in kids.

city of Toronto banner promoting vaccination of kids against covid

below: Snarky graffiti – “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

text graffiti on white paper pasteup

below: Signs on traffic construction cones

beside construction equipment, orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that says At what cost?

on the sidewalk by a construction sign,orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that says You're Not Alone

by painted curb between road and bike lane, orange and black traffic cone with yellow poster that asks Two Weeks?

below: Protest posters and graffiti. Anti condo development & corrupt landlords. Mercury contamination of water.

graffiti and posters on the side of a red metal newspaper box on the sidewalk. I'm feeling blue sticker, and an anti development poster saying greed is bad

posters and graffiti on a metal box

pasteup graffiti on metal box on sidewalk, eyes, text,

…at the Forks of the Don

If you’ve driven on the Don Valley Parkway you’ve probably seen them, the big grey structures that look like teeth.  They are just south of Don Mills Road, on both sides of the DVP.  Over the years, the trees and shrubs have been growing around them so they don’t stand out as much as they did when they were first installed in 1998.

below: On the west side of the Parkway

an old and rusted city street sign, maximum 30 km/h begins, with elevated wetlands sculptures behind

The structures were designed by Noel Harding (1945-2016) and are constructed out of recycled polystyrene and acrylic. Financing was provided by a group from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.

large concrete containers, planters, on a small hill with small trees, winter,

Their purpose is to help purify polluted water from the Don River watershed.

below: On the west side, the third planter stands alone, looking a bit like the back end of an elephant.

large grey planter for wetlands water purification, looks like the back end of an elephant, with four stumpy legs

large container on right with spout to concrete planter on the left, in the background, seen between the two concrete planters, an old cement bridge and a highrise apartment in the distance

below: The three concrete structures form a line on the east side of the DVP.

looking across traffic on the Don Valley Parkway to the other set of elevated wetlands sculptures

They can be accessed by following the trail that goes under the highway and follows Taylor Massey Creek.  If you follow this route, you end up walking generally east and you can walk for miles through the ravine system that runs under O’Connor Drive, through Taylor Creek Park and on to Warden Woods Park.

roadway curves to the right and passes under the Don Valley Parkway, traffic crossing over the bridge, winter time, snow on the ground, Forks of the Don where Taylor Massey Creek joins the Don River

Forks of the Don – where rivers come together, trails go in all directions, and even the railway passes through.

below: Stairs up to Don Mills Road and Gateway Blvd,

stairs leading up, to an apartment building, trees, winter

below: Or take the ramp that passes under Don Mills Road beside the tracks.

blue sign on a concrete pillar that says Don Mills Road, beside a metal ramp walkway under a bridge, Lower Don Trail

below: Looking southbound towards Union Station.

vehicle on train tracks approaching an underpass, where Don Mills Road crosses the tracks

below: From here the tracks follow the Don Valley east and then north.  They pass under Don Mills Road once more, just south of York Mills Road, before heading to Oriole GO station.

looking through gaps in a chainlink fence, a railway vehicle on the tracks below, looking eastward from Don Mills Road, apartment buildings in the background

below: This part of the Lower Don Trail really is a nexus, or hub, in the ravine path system.  Trails also lead northwest to the Science Center and Wilket Creek Park.

three people walking across a snow covered park towards highrise buildings

below: Choose kindness

colorful sticker on metal railing, lots of one eyed faces with big teeth on the back of a van with words choose kindness

heart painted on metal rail, graffiti, left side is red and right side is blue

a car drives over an old semi circular concrete bridge over the Don River, Gateway Blvd apartment building in the background

road bridge, concrete, above a river with a parth beside the river. Rusted metal railings on both sides of the path, green metal beams under the bridge, winter, sone snow, no leaves on the trees, Lower Don Trail, under Don Mills Road

below: “Passage”, an art installation by Labspace Studio under the Don Mills Bridge – part of the PanAm Path project.

public art under a bridge, halves of red canoes appear to come out of the wall, 8 of them in a line

below: Southward on the Lower Don Trail where you can walk all the way to Lake Ontario.

lower don trail, looking south, with DVP on one side and trees on the other, apartment building in the background.

below: If you are interested, this is a map of the PanAm Path, one of the projects from when the PanAm games were hosted here in Toronto in 2015.  The Forks of the Don is in the center by the pink X.  Something to consider exploring in the spring!?

city of Toronto map of the PanAm Path that crosses the city.

*****
plaque describing the elevated wetlands sculptures

“The elevated wetlands are functional sculptures, symbols of the integration of the plastics industry, art and environmental stewardship. The sculptures were developed through a partnership between the City of Toronto, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, and artist Noel Harding.”

“The sculptures draw attention to the importance of wetlands as an ecosystem. A solar powered pump lifts water from the Don River into a series of raised “planters” where native wetland plants and trees naturally remove pollutants from the water. Recycled plastics are used as soil substitute to promote vegetative growth. From the smallest container, water is emptied into a natural land based wetland, and flows back in to the Don River. The surrounding area has been naturalized through volunteer tree plantings to create a natural buffer between the sculptures and the Don Valley Parkway. “