Archive for the ‘public art’ Category

and red and white danger due to sign, danger due to covid-19

below:  He may be sitting on the bench but this hockey player is prepared.  He’s practicing social distancing and he’s got his mask on just in case.  He’s also a reminder that the NHL playoffs for the 2019-20 season are being played in a bubble here in Toronto at the moment… but the Maple Leafs didn’t make the cut.  After having to take a few months off because of Covid-19, the NHL scheduled the playoffs in only two cities, Toronto and Edmonton.  Games started at the beginning of August and are scheduled to finish the first week of October.   There is talk that maybe the 2020-21 season can begin after that but like everything else these days, who knows.

a metal statue of a hockey player in Toronto Maple Leaf blue sits on a bench outside a gallery, wearing a covid face mask, as a man walks past

below: ‘Love Negotiation’ on Scollard Street by Gillie and Marc.  Dogman and Rabbitgirl share a few minutes over coffee.   They too are outside are are socially distanced… or perhaps they have been isolating together are have escaped their tiny downtown condo for a bit of fresh air.  ” Rabbitgirl and Dogman invite the world to sit with them symbolically at their Table and take the first step to understanding and loving each other. The sculpture is where we sit, discuss, and solve problems. The world has reached a crisis where our differences are causing hatred and division.”

 

male dog in blue and female rabbit in red sitting face to face at a table with coffee, sculpture on Scollard street

sculpture on Scollard street, a dog in blue, sits at a table with a cup of coffee in his hands

below: The William Sexton houses on the NE corner of Bay & Scollard are being preserved and incorporated into a condo development.  They were built by Sexton in 1890 in a style similar to the Queen Ann Revival style.  Although it looks like one large brick house, it is actually a row of 4 houses.  In 1974 they were added to Toronto’s Heritage Register.  That was also the last year that all four were used as residences.

Bay and Scollard, old building boarded up with new construction behind

below: A slightly fuzzy 1974 photo of William Sexton houses.

photo from 1974 of William Sexton houses at the corner of Bay Street and Scollard in Yorkville, 4 row houses that together look like one large brick house

windows on the west side of William Sexton houses on Bay street, white paint is peeling to reveal brick below, rounded tops of window frames in black trim

below: Another hole in the ground.  I liked the bits of orange and black hanging around.

orange and black shreds of plastic along the edge of construction hole in the ground

below: Reflections of the clock tower on the Yorkville Firehall, the oldest firehall in the city, in one of the newer glass walls across the street.

reflections of Yorkville clock tower in the glass condo across the street

Yorkville fire hall clock tower and flags

below: Looking east on Yorkville Ave towards Yonge Street and the large Toronto Reference Library.

the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith as seen from the west along Yorkville Ave

below: The Starbucks on Yonge Street just north of Bloor is now closed.  The sign in the window says “thanks for your loyalty over the past 20 years.”  For those of us who still remember Albert Britnell’s book store at that location it is a bit of a shock to realize that 20 years has past.

people in front of a closed Starbucks on Yonge street

below: Yonge Street at Hayden

some of the stores on Yonge at Hayden

below: looking northwest from Charles Street on the east side of Yonge.  The older black and grey building is the CIBC tower on the NW corner of Yonge & Bloor.  The cranes are working on the SW corner of that intersection.

backs of buildings on Yonge and Hayden, plus construction, looking northwest

below: Condo construction at the southwest corner of Yonge & bloor continues.

a man wearing a covid face mask walks past a construction site at Yonge and Bloor, black and white construction photos on the hoardings, old brick building in the background as well as a newer apartment building

reflections in a store window, legs of mannequins in cut off jeans, white cars traffic on the street

a workman sits outside beside hoardings on Bloor street in front of Holt Renfrew

below: One of the entrances to the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street.   It was decorated in flowers as part of a Fleurs de Villes event.

one of the glass entrances to the ManuLife center on Bloor street, decorated with flowers

below: Inside the Manulife Centre there were many mannequins decorated with flowers

mannequin in green and pink dress and pink hat, pinks are made of roses and she is holding a bottle of rose wine from the LCBO

a mannequin decorated with flowers stands at the bottom of an escalator at the Manu Life center, as part of Fleurs de Villes project

As the summer winds down but the covid lingers on, stay safe and stay sane

a white wall with an orange stripe on which graffiti words are written, coronavius and lime disease go great together, a play on corona beer and lime

Most of these pictures were taken on a walk within the area bounded by Dundas East, Broadview, Queen East, and Carlaw.

below: All or nothing

red brick wall with graffiti words that say all or nothing

below: Same same but different.

two old Bell telephone booths

below: “We miss you” at Queen Alexandra Middle School.  An older school, built in 1904/5, used to be on this site.  It was named after the Queen of England at the time, the wife of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra.

on the fence by a high school, words in white attached to the fence that say we miss you

below: Also at Queen Alexandra Middle School, about 200 large black and white portraits of staff and students were on display on the exterior wall of the school.  This installation is part of the global ‘Inside Out’ project.  To date, Inside Out has appeared in 129 countries and has involved more than 260,000 people.  In fact, they were in Toronto for Nuit Blanche back in 2015.

inside Out project large black and white pictures of students mounted on the exterior wall of a school

below: Public art at Carlaw and Dundas.  I had mentioned this structure by Pierre Poussin back in March of this year.   Not a lot has been done on it in the meantime except for the preparations for some sort of pattern at ground level.

new obelisk structure, public art, rusted metal, at Carlaw and Dundas, still being installed, port a pottie in the background

push button at intersection for pedestrian crossing, with a rusted sign above it

below: The railway tracks cross Dundas Street just west of Carlaw. The tracks run on a NE – SW diagonal as they travel south from Gerrard.

a cyclist on Dundas street about to go under the railway track bridge

below: Save Jimmie Simpson park poster.   The Ontario Line, or the Relief Line of the subway/LRT may or may not come this way.   The Relief Line was once planned as an underground line under Pape to almost Eastern before swinging west towards downtown.  Someone then said why not run it above ground where the tracks already exist between Gerrard & Pape and the south end of the Don Valley Parkway at Corktown Common- and we can have a Leslieville stop.   Has any decision been made?  Is Toronto going to leave it all in limbo, or in the discussion/planning stage, forever and ever… and ever….

posters on a wood utility pole, bottom is to protest Ontario Line (subway) and to keep it underground and not run it through Jimmie Simpson parl. upper poster is for a lost cat

below: The north part of Jimmie Simpson Park.  The park is a right angle triangle with a peak at Dundas East and a base along Queen East.  The long side of the triangle is railway tracks which run behind the trees.

Jimmie Simpson park, people and dogs

a sign that says slow down on a fence above a concrete wall with paintings of plants and flowers on it

below: Once upon a time there was a railway station here, on Queen East at De Grassi that is.  It was operational between 1896 and 1932 and demolished in 1974.  In the beginning there was a level crossing here but after a number of accidents, including a collision between a freight train and a street car in 1904, the railway corridor was elevated.

historic plaque for Riverdale Railway station

below: Old black and white photo from the City of Toronto Archives, found online at “Old Time Trains”

old black and white photo from 1915, City of Toronto Archives, of building of the railway bridge over Queen East at Riverdale station

below: Aged and peeling painting of a Canada goose that was on the railway underpass.

top part of a Canada Goose painting on an underpass, bottom part has been painted over with pale grey paint

below: Eat the rich – and a picnic table is provided for your convenience. Don’t worry about the trains, they’re long gone. This was once a spur line and it hasn’t existed for years .  You can still find small sections of track but most of it has been paved over. (near Carlaw and Dundas)

a wood picnic table at the edge of a small parking lot and beside an old railway crossing sign

street sign, Riverside District, Strange street, with a a no passing sign beside it

store window, two mannequins in summer attire, woman in bikini and man in shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, also a black lives matter poster

below: Looking west, towards downtown, along Dundas East.  The old red brick building is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Broadview.

intersection of Broadview and Dundas East, looking west along Dundas towards Broadview. Large old red brick building on the north east corner
below: Flipped around and now looking east from Broadview in 1954.  The red brick building from the above photo appears to be Dennis House and it seems that they are advertising the fact that they have televisions.   On the south side of Dundas is a drug store.  That building is still there but now it is a variety store whose windows are often covered with Lotto649 and LottoMax ads.   In fact, the picture of the Bell telephone boxes near the beginning of this post was taken here.

photo credit: City of Toronto Archives, found online on a Blog TO page

below: This jumble of colours and lines can be found just east of Broadview and they are just visible in the background of the above picture.   I love the little white door that probably leads to a basement apartment (or a secret garden in the front yard?!)

houses on dundas east near broadview

below: If you walk farther east on Dundas from Broadview you will see a collection of old two storey houses with their slate mansard roofs and dormer windows.  This roof style is typical of “Second Empire” houses built in the late 1800s.   I’ve always been intrigued by this group of houses but I have never been able to find out much about their history.

semi divided house from the 1800's, mansard roof of slate, dormer windows

below: The end houses, at Boulton, have already been replaced.

row houses, old mansard roof style from the 1800's with a new 4 storey apartment complex at the end

below: And there are houses with similar architecture on nearby side streets.

corer houses

looking down a dead end street that ends at a school yard, summer time, large trees and cars line the street

Last but not least, a little bit of graffiti to close off this post.

below: Urban ninja squadron

red angle blob street art graffiti on a black wall

 

stencil graffiti of a yellow bee

ThreeSidesOneGesture by Suzanne Simoni is a large tubular yellow metal sculpture in the shape of a horse.  Or at least I think that it’s a horse!  Or a person sitting with his/her knees up?   Of course, one’s interpretation of the work depends on the angle from which it is viewed so it shouldn’t be judged from this photo alone.   More pictures can be found on Simoni’s website

In 2019, it was the winning entry in a competition open to OCAD U students and recent graduates sponsored by First Capital Realty (They sponsor competitions at art schools around the country for public art for their shopping centers.).

large, tall, sculpture made of yellow tubular metal in the outline shape of a horse in a mall parking lot with people standing around and under it

It now stands tall near the southeast corner of Victoria Park and Ellesmere, beside Parkway Mall.

The sculpture was made by Lafontaine Iron Werks

At Redpath and Roehampton, close to Yonge & Eglinton, there is a new public art installation consisting of seven sculptures and two murals on glass (windows).  This group is “Stargate”, designed by Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski of the art group Blue Republic; it took three years to make.  On   one corner are four sculptures with a 15-foot, six-legged, bright yellow alien being the central piece.

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals - head of yellow guy

This blue figure is the dominant sculpture on the other side of Redpath.  He is 12 feet tall.   This animal-like creature and the yellow alien were inspired by Eastern and Greek mythology along with a heavy dose of science fiction.

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals - blue alien blowing a long horn

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals

The five smaller pieces are aluminum-based.

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals

stargate sculpture series, redpath ave in toronto, public art, yellow and blue alien figures and two glass murals - window with reflection of dawn flat head

Anna Passakas: “Stargate attempts to inspire connection between different worlds,We are not meant to resist the unknown, rather, we are meant to explore and understand it, whatever it may be.”

Radoslaw Kudlinksi: “Our inspiration for this piece came from the unique diversity of this city. For some, moving to a new neighbourhood is like moving from one universe to another. So many people bring various experiences and cultures with them from all over the world.”

We all need some light and colour these days. So I went through old files and found these colourful pictures of the newest TTC subway stations that I took back in February, on Family Day actually. It seems like a long time ago!

below: Escalators, Pioneer Village subway station

escalator and the wood wall beside it with windows with red frames, light coming in windows

below: From the outside looking in, Pioneer Village station

red walls, exterior and interior,

below: Hwy 407 station.  Artwork by David Pearl.

oval shape window at highway 407 subway station, painted in turquoise and oranges, escalator

light coming through coloured glass and bouncing colours off walls and reflective surfaces inside subway station

below: The pinks, yellows, and blues from the coloured windows shine and bounce off surfaces

subway station, ground level, lots of window and sunlight

below: Little lights dance around the ceiling and upper part of the walls.  This effect is caused by the artwork in the ceiling – a circular opening that you can just see in the upper left corner.

turnstiles

below: Looking straight up into the skylight with it’s many-sided walls that are covered with reflective material.

many sided opening in a ceiling, sides covered with reflective material so the light bounces around, many reflections,

below: ‘Atmospheric Lens’ by Paul Raff Studio is the artwork that is incorporated into the roof of the station. It features skylights and reflective panels.  Vaughan station.

 

reflcetive ceiling

shiny reflective ceiling at TTC subway station

below: Curved, reflective ceiling, Vaughan station

curved metal ceiling reflecting blue lights, entrance way to subway station, Vaughan

below: Finch West station with its very shiny red hexagonal wall tiles and coloured panes of glass.

escalator and levels of Finch west subway station, lots of coloured panes of glass, greens, and oranges,

 

below: No colours at York University station, but lots of windows and lots of natural light.

light shining through large windows into interior of York univeristy subway station, escalators, people coming up escalators,

below: Think!  or rather Stop and think.   Above that, tbonez with The Forge Fury in another urban ninja squadron sticker.

2 stickers on a stop sign. one is a picture of a brain with the word think on it. the other is an urban ninja squadron sticker

below: There is a new public art installation nearing completion at the corner of Carlaw and Dundas.  When the project is done, the obelisk shaped sculpture by Pierre Poussin will be in the middle of a small park.  It is made of laser cut rusted metal and will feature internal LED lighting.

a new public art installation at Carlaw and Dundas with construction fence still around it, also a lot of utility poles around it, rusted metal cut with lasers in a design, sculpture is the shape of an obelisk

below: Shadows of the trees along a winding trail.

trees line a sidewalk that has had small curves added to it, shadows of these treees on the fence beside the sidewalk

below:  There really aren’t enough fairies in the world.  The ones that are supposed to clean my home haven’t shown up yet either.

a sign on a wood fence that says the poo fairy doesn't live here scoopy your ppop, aimed at dog owner

below: This looks like it was once an artwork pasted to a wall.  An eagle’s head is still visible at the very top.  Are those its feathers at the bottom by the shoes – one dark blue and one red stiletto.

a ripped picture, very large, of an eagle and a person with wings and high heeled shoes.

below: The northwest corner of Pape and Dundas.  The “This is Toronto” mural by J. Chiale is still there.

an intersection, looking northwest at Dundas and Pape where the house on the corner has a large mural by j. Chiale on the side, newer houses and apartment building in the background.

mural by J. CHiale on the side of a house

below: An old and worn sign

very old no parking sign on a chain link fence

below: A not so old sign with three lovebot stickers on it.

neighbourhood watch sign with 3 lovebot stickers on it

below: Old cars seen in an alley.  Any ideas on what model and year the brown car is?

2 old cars in an alley. one is an old brown car from the 40's, under a cloth. the other is a blue camaro

close up of a wood utilitypole with some paint splashes on it

 

on the side of a house, a wood panel on porch with 2 windows, 2 panels are painted blue and the last one is white

below: Santa Claus hasn’t returned to the North Pole yet!  This front yard looks quite barren

2 plastic Santa Claus figures in a front yard, no snow, in frontof a porch

below:  … compared to this one!  I am happy to report that the “doll house” still exists.   There is at least one Santa Claus in there!

a house with a front yard full of dolls and toys, on the walls, on the fence, decorations

below:  Not quite every inch (centimeter!) is covered.  Christopher Robin and Tigger, Ernie and a Picachu.  Tweety bird in a blue jacket and a white horse, Dora the Explorer is eating an apple.

some of the dolls and toys attached to the front wall of a house

below: These stickers still exist!  A Star Wars family with a dirty back window.

a star wars sticker family on the back window of a black vehicle, 2 kids, an R2D2 and a wokie

below: Usually if a couch is waiting for the garbage man it’s sitting closer to the edge of the street!

an old black vinyl couch on a sidewalk on Eastern Avenue, beside a house

below: Symmetry at the back of Bruce Junior Public School built in 1923.

back of older brick public school, Bruce Public school with pair of chimneys and rows of windows, symmetrical.

below: And then there is the asymmetry created when one side of a semi-divided house explodes upwards.

the back of a house, a semi divided house where one side is the original one storey while the other side has added two storeys and is taller than the surrounding houses, and it is narrow too

below: Leslieville has two murals.  This one covers the side of the building plus the back in pink, red, and orange stripes.   This Guidant Bikeshare mural was painted by Mediah, aka Evond Blake, in 2017.

below: Nearby at the intersection of Queen and Jones is this mural by Elicser Elliot (2016).

Leslieville mural by elicser of a man sitting under o tree in autumn

below: The Coca-Cola Coady Sweets ghost sign is still there but the convenience store under it has been replaced by a Spanish restaurant.

workmen at an intersection, white van parked, in front of building with ghost sign for Coady sweets, new Spanish restaurant on the corner

below: Queen Street East

line of stores on Queen Street East by the B & B fish and chip restaurant

Leslieville mural by iah media on the side of a building,

below: This is on the wall beside a vacant lot on Queen Street East that has been empty for years.

spray paint, large letters, wuns on a wall beside a vacant lot

Queen street east, vacant lot on the north side

below: Another vacant lot but more recently so.

looking through a chainlink fence, across a vacant lot towards Queen Street east and the brick Scotiabank building

below: An alley view, behind Queen Street East

3 storey brick building, from the back in the alley, behind Queen Street East

below: Waiting for spring?

looking through a metal gate with chainlink into a backyard with patio furniture and blue umbrella (closed)

a row of pink window boxes and red planters on a balcony of a yellowish brick apartment building

below: Dundas Street East

houses on a street with the one being an old narrow two storey house in yellowish brick

And how can we end without re-visiting the doll house?!

an old stuffed mouse with black plastic glasses, in front of a blue m & m character throwing a basketball, outside, and slightly weathered

close up of two of the dolls attached to the railing in front of house

the front steps and door to the doll house - a house covered with dollas and toys, also fake plants and flowers in pots on the stairs

This is the 6th annual Winter Stations art installation event at Woodbine Beach.  It was officially opened on Family Day, February17th.

below: Tying yellow ribbons on the yellow metal frame in “Mirage”, designed by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo.  The orange frame is parallel to the lake and the yellow sections are perpendicular.    Depending on where you are standing, you see either a red transparent sun setting or a light and bright rising sun laying on the horizon.

5 people working, two up on ladders, Lake Ontario in the background, tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

below: “The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble” by Centennial College while under construction.

woman holding a shovel, on beach, by some yellow and pink boxes, installing a public art display at Woodbine Beach

below: The end product.  There is now graffiti on the boxes

tagged and graffiti covered pink and yellow boxes stacked on the beach, art installation by Centennial College students.

below: and cowbells hung from the underside of boxes in a couple of places.

smal cowbells hang from the underside of a yellow box that is stacked on top of two other boxes, one yellow and one pink

below: “Kaleido­scope of the Senses” is a strong piece designed by Charlie Sutherland of SUHUHA (An architecture studio in Edinburgh).  People were lining up to take turns sitting on the lifegusard chair.

people lined up to take a look inside a portion of art installation at Woodbine Beach

a father lifts up a young boy in a red winter coat so he can sit inside an art installation over a lifeguard station at the beach

below: “Noodle Feed” by iheartblob was very popular on the Sunday before Family Day (the official opening of ‘Winter Stations’).   It wasn’t designed to have a jumping feature but that’s what all the kids were doing that day.  The fabric tubes are filled with straw.

a girl jumping off a lifeguard station onto rolls of fabric stuffed with straw, on the beach

below: When I returned to the beach a few days later, the installation was gone.

a metal frame lifeguard station, raised seat, with a red board against the back and a sign on the front that says do not jump off lifeguard chair

blue pole with two small signs, both with snow on them, the top sign just has the number 3 on it. the other sign has its back to the camera so it can't be read

Information about the installations can be found at winterstations.com

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s

 

A grey day. The kind of day that when it starts to rain you head to a subway station, only to have the rain stop before you get there. So you walk more. Then it rains again so you buy an umbrella and minutes later the rain stops. So you walk more.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

a shoe store, a massage parlour, and a convenience store, on the southwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind

below: Northwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

northwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind - Not Just noodles restaurant

below: Marks left behind, traces of lives once lived there.

on the side of a brick house, two storey, Victorian, the remains of marks left behind on a house that was demolished, new development going up beside it

below: Do you think that there will ever be a time when we can walk downtown without encountering construction zones?

two orange signs saying sidewalk closed, and arrows, barriers on street to form a passage for pedestrians on the street, two people walking by

below: If it’s a gaggle of geese or a parliament of owls, what’s a group of cement trucks?

five or six cement trucks parked on a side street

reflections in glass windows downtown

a sign stenciled beside a doorway that says Anything can b iced. Window beside it, with a woman sitting inside by the window

below: A new large mural by birdo at Dundas & McCaul

Dundas street, near McCaul, coffee shop and artist supply store, with a large mural by birdo above it

below: Same mural, different angle

the corner of Dundas and McCaul with a large mural by birdo looking over it

below: “Keep going” at the Children’s Healing Garden outside Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue.

chalk writing on a low concrete wall in a small park that says keep going

below: You can do anything

chalk words on a concrete path in a park that say you can do anything

below: A large hole on University Ave

construction site, hole in the ground, a digger in the hole, one wall of the hole is a light orange colour. The Duke of Cornwall pub is on the other side of the street across from the hole

below:  There was a Dragon Festival at Nathan Phillips Square this past weekend.

arches over the pool at Nathan Phillips square with old city hall behind, and a red and gold dragon head (very large) on display for dragon festival

below: Friday was a rather quiet day at the festival, probably because of the weather.

large and colourful inflatable dragon in front of city hall, at Nathan Phillips square, for dragon festival
below: But there was lots of different food available including skewers of octopus

pieces of octopus on skewers, ready to cook

below:   There were also these fried potato spirals on sticks that are available at every festival and street function.

potato spirals, fried and on sticks, looking a pilie of them from the end

below: Hot dog vendor on Queen Street

hot dog and sausage vendor on Queen street, woman under umbrella buying something, woman working inside the booth, a man sitting behind, many signs advertising their food

view down a lane with large buildings on both sides

below: Snowmen?  This is “Born and Raised” designed by Studio How-to-See.

sculptures on sidewalk, snowmen, beside a new condo, one snowman has lost its head

below: The tallest snowman is 5 “snowballs” high, or 17 feet tall.    Oh no! The snowman in the middle has lost its head.  What would Olaf say?

tall snowman sculpture on sidewalk beside glass and steel condo, with people walking past

below:  Of course early September means TIFF.  King Street West closed and many people were walking or hanging out there trying their hand at celebrity spotting.  We are all groupies during TIFF.

two young people working in a red booth for bubly drinks, both smiling and one is giving a thumbs up

below: I wouldn’t know a famous actor or director, or anything like that, if they came up to talk to me.    My attempts to follow the crowd to get celebrity pics weren’t very successful. This is the kind of photo that I ended up with –  The eye belongs someone called Jason who is taking a selfie with a father and daughter.    I didn’t linger long on King Street.

someone is talking a selfie with a girl in a green jacket who is being held up by her father, a pro photographer is also taking their picture

below: Having King Street closed didn’t help the traffic on nearby streets.  Mind you, this is normal for Toronto especially around rush hour.  Stand at any intersection downtown and you’ll find many instances where cars block traffic when the traffic lights change.

a man walks his bike across the street, between cars who are blocking traffic, also a woman with an umbrella gets ready to start across the street too

below:  The driver knew I was there taking pictures.  It didn’t make much difference.

a woman crosses the street on a green light, traffic is jammed because a car has got stuck in the intersection on a red light

a young black woman with pink dreadlocks and a lot of rings on her fingers is on her phone as she passes by, in the background is a couple standing on the sidewalk having a conversation, the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers

below: Paste ups on Richmond Street.   I find these mesmerizing.  I love the positioning of the eye and the way that it is staring at you .

2 paper paste ups on a wall, both are the same, in grey tones, the lower part of a face with one eye beside it

below: And my last stop that day, a quiet charcoal drawing by Olexander Wlasenko at the Arbozzo Gallery at 410 Richmond Street.

a charcoal drawing of a woman by Olexander Wlasenko on the wall of an art gallery

Now, all that’s left is the pink umbrella that I bought, still unused.

Summer in Toronto.  Those days where it doesn’t matter where you walk, you will always encounter something interesting.

This weekend is the Taste of the Middle East festival at Yonge Dundas square, one of the many ethnic based festivals in the square over the summer.  As usual, there were performances, activities, and food.

woman in a pink top and sunglasses turns her head towards the camera with a big smile, behind her is a performance on a stage and a man in an orange baseball cap clapping with his hands above his head, at Yonge Dundas square Taste of the Middle East festival

Products like date syrup were also available.

a man stands behind a display of bottles of date syrup that are for sale at an outdoor event

4 women watching a performance on an outdoor stage, three are wearing head scarves, and two are laughing

below: Young artist at work at Yonge & Dundas.

a young black boy sits on a chair at Yonge and Dundas and paints small pictures while people stop to watch him

below: Adelaide Street was blocked between Yonge and Bay all weekend for a film shoot involving a large number of police cars, police officers, and dummies that look amazingly like real police officers.

part of a film set on Adelaide, a red pick up truck with propane tanks in the back, with another tank wired to the back of a white panel truck

below: When the Netflix series ‘Zeus’ comes out, you can play spot the Toronto locations!

looking through the window of a restaurant with two empty tables, to a scene where a film set is setting up to shoot a scene involving exploding buses and police cars

blurry picture of peoples' legs and feet and shoes as they walk on a sidewalk

below: In the Allan Lampert Gallery at Brookfield Place is an art installation “Into the Clouds”, four large, happy inflatable clouds created by ‘Friends with You’, a Los Angeles based group.   They bring a positive message of light, love and happiness.

art installation in Brookfield Place of 4 large white clouds, three of which have happy faces on them, suspended from the ceiling over the escalator from the lower level,

below: In front of the RBC building at the corner of Front & Bay.

three people in front of the R B C building on Front St.., with its gold coloured reflective windows, An Asian couple stopped to look up and a black woman taking a picture, reflections of other buildings nearby. All people are wearing shorts

below: Relief sculpture on an exterior wall of the Scotiabank Arena (formerly ACC).  A series of these sculptures were made by Louis Temporale Sr. in 1938-39 on what was then the Toronto Postal Delivery Building.

relief sculpture in concrete on exterior of wall, cavemen scene, with palm trees, three people dressed in animal skins. One is cooking - stirring with a stick in a large pot over a fire, one is standing and shouting with hands cupped around his mouth. A ladder made of wood pieces lashed together leans against a rock

below: At the foot of Bay Street, a TTC bus stops beside the Westin conference centre.  The top part of the concrete building is covered by a large photographic art installation – “Milky Way Smiling” by Elizabeth Zvonar.

a red and white TTC bus stops beside a concrete building with a very large photograph pubic art installation on the upper part of the building,

below: Sitting on Jack Layton’s shoulders

a boy in an orange T-shirt, grey shorts, and black crocs sits on the shoulders of Jack Layton sculpture by the ferry terminal, holding onto Layton's head, and smiling at the camera

below: Broken. A gigantic bubble.

a young boy breaks a very large bubble that a man has made, outdoors

below: An oversized picnic table

a group of people sit on an oversized picnic table painted in camo colours in a park

below: 25 figures in bright orange clasping onto black inner tubes – an art installation by Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier call SOS (Safety Orange Swimmers)

two small boats on Lake Ontario, Toronto harbour, pass by the art installation S O S or Safety Orange Swimmers

below: Ahoy matey!  We be rainbow pirates!

a pretend pirate ship, as a harbour cruise boat passes by the public art installation, SOS, or Safety Orange Swimmers

below: The spotlight seems to shine on a sleeping body.  The location is Harbour Square Park inside the large concrete sphere that is “Sundial Folly”  created by John Fung and Paul Figueiredo and installed in 1995.  Whether it’s because of high water levels, or for other reasons, access to the interior of the structure is closed to the public. 

a person is asleep, on back, under a maroon sleeping bag, inside a spherical art installation with a slit in it that lets in light such that sleeper is spotlit

waterfront beside Harbour Square Park, walkway, trees, and boats

below: Queens Quay at the foot of Yonge Street is not my favorite intersection.  It’s not uncommon for cyclists to not realize that there is a red light and for pedestrians not to realize that just because they have a walk signal doesn’t mean that there won’t be a bicycle whizzing past.

woman on a bike cycles through a red light at Yonge and Queens Quay

below:  … and that shape on the sidewalk across the street? That is “Between the Eyes” by Anita Windisman.

cars, cyclists, and pedestrians at an intersection

below: Future buskers

two young girls pretending to make music with large plastic inflatable guitars while a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair look on.

below: The public art at Pier 27 condos on Queens Quay East lies in an elevated garden between two condo buildings. This sculpture is the work of American artist Alice Aycock and it consists of a whirlwind (or tornado) form and what looks like whorls of paper.   Litter blowing from the lake?  It’s title is “A Series of Whirlpool Field Manoeuvres for Pier 27”.

a long white sculpture in a garden in front of a condo

part of a large sculpture, sheets of white material curve and join together like the shape of a rose

white sculpture that looks like a very large whirlwind or tornado in front of a condo building

below: Basketball players on the Esplanade.

a group of boys playing basketball on a court that has a mural of two hands forming a heart shape with their hands, the heart is under the basket, mural is on wall