Archive for the ‘stores’ Category

A few weeks ago I read a blog post about Agincourt history in Bob Georgiou’s Scenes from a City.   It reminded me that I had once tried to walk that area but I only got discouraged because of weather (grey, damp) and nostalgia.  Sheppard Avenue just east of Kennedy now has this large concrete underpass (Metrolinx/GO trains) which was a shocking change from my childhood memories.  My parents were living here with their parents when then met and my paternal grandparents remained in the neighbourhood until they passed.  One of my great-grandfathers lived on Agincourt Drive in a house that backed onto the railway tracks.

sheppard avenue east just east of kennedy road, with GO train bridge overpass, all concrete, with access road to Go station on the left

This time round, I waited for a sunny day before I tried walking here again.   For the most part, I walked Sheppard Avenue East between Kennedy and Brimley and the photos below are what I saw – what you see there these days.  If you are more interested in the history of the area, then you need to be reading Bob’s blog as mentioned above.

Let’s walk!

a man with a red backpack walks along the sidewalk in front of some small businesses, a condo building in the background

below: The area’s Asian character is very obvious.

Asian store front windows

below: Nutriever?

nutriever label in an ad in a store window, canada flag on the label too

below: West Highland Creek, north of Sheppard

waterway with concrete sides, graffiti on the walls, some water,

pink and white text graffiti on a canal wall

below: Are you in the market for a used truck?

looking across the street to a used truck lot, tall condos in the background

below: If not a truck, how about a car? I passed at least three used car lots.

honest used car sales at the corner of Reidmont and Sheppard

a grey apartment building in the background, a house as auto sales, cars parked in front, used car lot,

Top ten auto, used car sales, white trailer, yellow and black checkered flags

below: The old Agincourt GO station has been demolished and a new one is being built.

2 fences, one on either side of a pedestrian pathway through a construction area at Agincourt GO station

signs on construction fence at Agincourt GO station showing picture of new station

side of a house, orange construction fence, ELlis Don sign, metal railling

below: Bell Canada (It’s a white building)

white Bell Canada building in Scarborough with big round vents on the side

below: In a front yard on a nearby street….. I have many questions.

a small tree, some metal rungs, a bike tied up near top of tree, grey sculpture on the ground

below: Looking east just before Midland Avenue

intersection of Midland and Sheppard East, on Sheppard, looking east,

below: Part of the reason that Sheppard and Midland looks so empty is this vacant site on the southwest corner.  There was once a Lumber King Home Centre here, then it was a flea market and used car lot, but now it’s an empty building on an otherwise vacant 4.7 acres.   A plan for 80 townhouses and a park was filed back in 2015 and seems to have been winding its way through the development process ever since.

chainlink fence around an empty and abandoned store with yellow and white front, large vacant parking lot in front, a security sign is upside down on the fence

old weathered framing around a sign, now empty, in front of a vacant lot

chainlink fence with rusty mailboxes, a lot of garbage has blown up against the fence

below: A quick rest at the intersection where there are actually some people.   I miss interacting with the people that I see as I walk around… and I’m sure that you’ve noticed the lack of people in these blog posts.

corner of Midland and Sheppard East, a Midland bus is northbound, bus shelter with 2 people across the street

 Also, re the TTC – this is Sheppard Avenue, home of the Sheppard subway, or is it LRT now?  As I was researching development at 4181 Sheppard, I discovered that Metrolinx has been applying for easements along Sheppard in preparation for anything that might be built on that street.

two women getting on a Sheppard TTC bus at Midland

below: There is always something to remind us of life’s situation these days, such as this ad that was on a bus shelter.  I liked the hashtag at the end, #PracticeSafe6ix

poster in a bus shelter, Covid-19, how it isn't over yet, practice safe six

below: Knox United Church was built as a Free Presbyterian church in the 1840’s but became Knox United in 1925.   This was when the Presbyterians merged with the Methodists to form the United Church of Canada. (Although not all Presbyterian churches went along with the merger).

side of red brick church with cemetery between church and road, smell steeple, Knox United church

below: Agincourt Baptist Church

blog_agincourt_baptist_church

below: There is a second overpass in the area.   The CPR tracks pass over Sheppard between Midland and Brimley, just west of Canadian Pacific’s Toronto Yard.

looking along Sheppard East from the railway underpass

below: On this overpass is a mural by elicser

mural by elicser on the concrete wall of a C P R overpass in Scarborough

part of an elicser mural, a woman with a red rose in her hair sits on a man's shoulders, a woman in a pink dress is also in the picture

below: Running parallel to the south side of the CPR line and Sheppard Avenue is a large industrial complex belonging to the International Group of Companies.

steel tanks, rail line, industrial area

industrial site with metal tanks, a storefront with Chinese signs in front and to one side

advertising signs along a fence, spa for 15 dollars, a Chinese furniture store, a pink poodle picture

signs along Sheppard Ave East
Chinese halal buffet restaurant with bright red sign,
a small skinny flower store on Sheppard

below: Toronto has 85 BIAs (Business Improvement Areas) including Sheppard East Village which includes Sheppard between Midland and Markham Road.

street signs and banners on utility poles, Sheppard East Village, Fulham Street, Brimley Road,

below: At Glen Watford and Sheppard there is a large new Seniors residence planned.

sign advertising live music and dancing in front of a strip mall that is about to be redeveloped

below: In the meantime, there are empty stores.

Dragon centre, Chinese market, now closed and empty, empty parking lot and two small dead cedar trees

below: North Scarborough Memorial being renovated but the old gate remains.

old gate in front of North Scarborough Memorial centre, now renamed, indoor swimming pool

below: Agincourt Elementary School.  Built in 1915 as a Continuation School, (grades 9 and 10) but used as an elementary school since Agincourt Collegiate was built in 1930.

Agincourt Public school, two storey square brick building built in the early 1900s as a high school

large trees in front of a red brick school, Agincourt Collegiate

residential street in Agincourt, brick houses, Ross Avenue street sign

a house in a residential neighbourhood being renovated

below: (Snow)man down! You’d be tired too if you had to stand outside all winter!

below: Mystery ‘All Way Stop’ in the Walmart parking lot.

a stop sign is leaning against the back of a billboard so that no one can see it from the road

poster on the outside of a store, blue wall, picture of a tree and words that say Love your hood, Birchcliff village

Birch Cliff, where one of the predominant themes is birch trees.

mural of birch tree trunks

Such as this mural on the side of the public school.

Birch cliff public school, a two storey red brick building, with a large mural of birch trees on one exterior wall

The other theme in this stretch of Kingston Road seems to be the blue and white Toronto notice of development signs and the consequent empty buildings.

Lenmore Court, an older brick apartment complex, with a blue and white Toronto notice of development sign on it

banner, density has to make sense, protest agains Atlree developers and their plan to redevelop Lenmore Court

two posters on a wood utility pole, protesting redevelopments in the neighbourhood

small mural of birch trees beside Scarborough bluffs, on outside wall beside a window with a protest sign in it. Poretesting redevelopment of parts of Kingston Road with buildings that are too big, too tall, too wide

three empty storefronts at 1557, 1559 Kingston Road, two storey buildings in shades of grey

three old two storey brick storefronts, one is Cheers restaurant painted bright red, the other is Barbers by Nature

beside a new condo building, older smaller buildings on Kingston Road, Lakeview Tavern,

looking across the street to Majestic Auto service and Fallingbrook garage, two businesses that share a building

side entrance and car door of Fallingbrook garage, mechanic, service entrance, now with a development notice sign on it

The old….

three storey red brick apartment buildings with large trees in front, one apartment has red curtains

… and the new. This is the only building that is close to being finished.   If the drawings on the development signs are to be believed, there will be several more in the neighbourhood just like it in a couple of years time.

six or 7 storey new condo development in birch cliff

below: Kingston Road is quite close to Lake Ontario. At this point the only thing between the road and the water is the grounds and golf course of The Toronto Hunt Club, a private members only club.

trees, in winter time, with snow on the ground, with Lake Ontario in the distance, Scarboruogh Hunt Club grounds

below: On the side of Legion 13 on Kingston Road is this large mural.  Painted in memory of Max Silverstein, by John Hood with help from Alexandra Hood and Asif Khan, 1991. Restored in 2010 by Blinc Studios.  It’s also part of the Heritage Trail murals, a Mural Routes project.

large mural on the side of Legion 13 building on Kingston Road, parade of soldiers

Plaque beside the mural says: “Scarborough Rifle Company marching to the Niagara Frontier, June 1, 1866. In 1862 the Scarborough Rifle Company was organized with headquarters in a school at Eglinton Avenue near Markham Road. It was the first of several militia companies formed in York County. The company was rushed to the Niagara frontier three times in 1865 and 1866 to defend Canada against the Fenians. The Scarborough Rifle Company later became No. 1 Company in the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the forerunner of Queen’s York Rangers.”

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below: A smaller mural on the right hand side of the above one features portraits of two men, Captain Norris and Lieutenant Taber, soldiers in the Fenian Raids of 1866.

mural on side of Legion 13 building, two portraits in oval frames, Norris and Taber, Fenian Raids history

below: Another Heritage Trail  mural – “Mitchells General Store” by Phil Irish, 1998.  Mitchells store was one of the first businesses established in the Birch Cliff area.  The same store is mentioned in another Scarborough history mural just a bit north on Warden Avenue (see Scarborough Bells)

a mural on the side of a building, inside an old fashioned store with a man behind the counter and a woman shopper

yellow metal bucket hanging from a tree with evergreens and a red ribbon, also three gold christmas balls hanging with the bucket

below: An elaborate home for the birds with a tiny outpost below.

a large white bird house with a red windmill on it, behind a wrought iron fence, and a for rent sign on the fence

below: Ready for social distancing when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

an old beige arm chair, with snow it, outside beside industrial garbage bins

Molson Canadian flag outside a bar, also muskoka chairs and a carved wood bear, a Canadian flag too.

below: Buster’s ready to play

carved wooden bear, Buster, with Canada flag hockey shirt on, holding a hockey stick,

below: This guy needs a beer

posters and signs on the door of a bar

below: Looking in a window – framed pictures, old records, a trunk and a tripod.

looking in the window of a junk vintage store, framed pictures on the wall, a shelf of old records, a trunk, and other stuff

windows and entrance of Sharons Variety store on Kingston Road

below: A Beckers store, you don’t have to be that old to remember Beckers do you?  The original Beckers Milk Company was founded in 1957; they had five convenience stores that were open 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.  By 2006 when the company was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, there were 500 stores.  Most were converted to Macs convenience stores stores.  In 2013 the Beckers label was brought back and apparently there are now 45 Beckers stores.

row of two storey brick storefronts including a Beckers store with a birch tree mural on it

an old gas station that is now a used car dealership, with many cars parked outside in the snow

cars parked outside in the snow at a used car lot

below: St. Nicholas Anglican church, opened 1917.

St Nicholas church, red brick, no steeple, but a pointed roof

old two story brown brick building on Kingston Road

red wall, exterior of Fashion Sushi

below: An idea for a future walk!

Warden street sign, with traffic signals, also a sign pointing south to the Waterfront Trail

many trees with trucks wrapped in Chirstmas lights

Trees wrapped in lights.

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It’s late December and the Christmas season is upon us. The winter solstice has arrived with its short day light hours… If you can call the greyness of today “day light”.

light display at Yonge Dundas square, a tree made of globe shapes, santa in his sleight, a hanakah menorah,

Santa in his sleigh, Yonge Dundas Square

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christmas lights and stars on the arches over the skating rink at Nathan Phillips square, with the large Christmas tree covered in blue and white lights behind. Also, part of the towers of city hall are lit blue

Nathan Phillips Square

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red flood lit metal barricade beside rink at Nathan Phllips Square, with a big red bow on it as well as a sign that says do your part, stay 2 metres apart, covid sign

a young couple learning to skate together at Nathan Phillips, after dark, holding hands, hesitant but upright

Like Decembers past, The Bay has installed holiday displays in some of their windows. Unlike past years, there are no elves or Santa, or even any human form. The robots have taken over and everything has been automated.

christmas light display in Hudson Bay store windows on Queen Street, barriers with signs saying don't forget to social distance

a shiny white robotic arm packages candy canes into boxes, an h b c window display, striped candy canes,

Candy canes are packed

 

one of the H B C windows, shiny red robots pack toys into white boxes with red ribbons, production line,

and toys wrapped, with a beep and a whirr.

 

a giant hand moves shiny small round objects, robot, holiday window display at h b c store at Queen and yonge.

Ornaments are crafted with A.I. and a software update.

 

H B C holiday window display, a computer with Santa's list of children and their wishes for Christmas presents

Even Santa’s wish list is machine made.

 The elves have been kidnapped? Or just sickened with Covid. We’ll probably never know (does Siri know?) but it seems rather fiendish and cold to remove the “human touch” in a year where we’re all 2 metres apart and not hugging anybody.

blue lights on a tree light

arches and big candy canes, frame for lights outside Eaton Centre, but lights not on.

people at Yonge Dundas Square after dark

the window and glass door display of posters at a Circle K convenience store, in the evening, lights on,

Stay warm
Stay safe
And may your Christmas be as bright as possible.

Walking from Main Street east along the Danforth, with a diversion or two to see what we can see…..

part of a street art mural, a big eye, blue in the middle

a row of three two storey brick stores on the Danforth.  Flat roofs, one in the middle is a computer repair shop.  A small tree covers the front of one store, Danforth market is on the far right

furniture store in old two storey building on the Danforth   with three big windows with save $ $ signs, old building with sagging roof.

old two storey brick building on Danforth, stores, pharmacy, walk in clinic, and carpet store, your carpet connection with rolls of carpet in the window

gas station, two pumps, star self service gas, cars parked behind at auto mechanic shop, top quality auto and cars r us toronto, open sign

woman walking on Danforth at Madeleine, past star self service gas station, large sign with price of gas as 98 cents a litre, computer store on opposite side of street

large sign on pole, stiches outlet, beside a driveway, stores across the street, divine photography

empty storefront on the Danforth

looking through the window of an empty store, pegboard, interior window, and wood paneling on some walls

looking through a large window of a store to see almost empty interior, a chair is there along with a rack for hanging clothes. people and cars are passing by on the street

empty store, for lease sign in the window, looking trhough to other side of street, as well as reflections from window, white bench on sidewalk, yellow truck parked on street

A cosy nook for a pigeon

a pigeon has found a place to sit on a broken opening above a door to lightmans store, glass door with brown paper covering it, white wood frame, painted, number 3270 in different colours

Milk plus convenience store with bright red and white sign saying milk plus milk plus. sign in window that says please do not steal

bar window, with Molson Canadian advert with red maple leaf, also coca cola sign with beer prices listed

signs on exterior of store, Formula 1 store, sells candles and religious items, also sign advertising Liqui Moly motor oils, additives, and car care from PJC Autoworks

below: Come on in and choose a wig while you wait for your like new used tires to be installed!

on a fence beside a store, advertising used tires for sale , like new, at thirty five dollars each. also a sign for visual beauty hair supply with a list of some of their products

Not all skeletons are kept in the closet.

Looking into a building trhough window, a skeleton is on display

hand painted sign on a chain link gate that says do not park in front door

In the category of “the unexpected”, old military vehicles.

old drab green military truck and ambulance with red cross symbol parked in front of a building

Small houses!

street scene - all the houses are small bungalows, large trees in the front yards, cars parked in driveways

intersection of Sneath and Lucy, in Scarborough, small houses,

small bungalow with small porch and flowers on the porch

below: This very small house with the big front yard, and a very overgrown yard at that, sits empty and alone.  “Danger do not enter” and “Private Property” signs are on the front door.   If you can get as far as the front door.

very small house with large front yard, yard is overgrown with long grass and weeds, boarded up with signs in the window

empty boarded up house with danger sign onthe front door

… even more overgrown and even more difficult to find the front door!

 a front yard so overgrown with trees and greenery that you can hardly see the car in the driveway. The house is entirely hidden

an old car in an overgrown backyard, behind chainlink fence

A warning sign of a different sort.

sign in the shape of a dog bone, on a door, that says ring doorbell and run, the dog needs exercise

no parking sign on a brick wall, partially in english and partially in another language with a different alphabet

four orange and green taxis parked in front of a building that has a sign that says Oakridge Seniors Bocce Club

two men in lifts working high up on metal beams on a construction site

looking north on a side street towards Danforth, large multi storey apatment building

bungalow in the foreground, highrise apartment building in background

And last but not least, a patriotic splash of summer colour from July when I took these photos for the greyer days of November that we now find ourselves in.

lots of roses growing on a rosebush beside a white fence

canada flag design on plastic windmill in a planter in a backyard

row of stores and cafes on Danforth, covered with street art, the Only Cafe,

My walk the other day started with a coffee and a croissant from Broadview Espresso, just north of the Danforth. It was a bit chilly and damp to be eating & drinking outside but that’s the way of the world at the moment, at least in Toronto. At least walking helps keep you warm! Anyhow, just outside the coffee shop was a sidewalk unicorn painted by whatsvictorupto. There was one on each of the 4 corners of the intersection of Broadview and Pretoria. Here are two of them.

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a blue unicorn surrounded by 4 blue hearts, all on a pink background, the work of whatsvictorupto

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a brown unicorn head and neck with white mane and horn on a green background

whether you’re walking

upper part of a mural on the Danforth of a man walking on a map of the area, around two windows of the building on which it is painted.

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

on the side of a Chinese restaurant, a mural of a woman on a bike. She's holding the handle bars but her legs are straight out behind her. She's wearing a red dress and has long black hair. There are three signs on the restaurant, First, Indian Hakka Chinese Food, second, 7 dim sum, and third, we deliver

there’s always something to see along the Danforth or behind in its alleys.

a utility pole on the street decorated for Greektown, in blue and white vertical stripes and an oval with the words Greektown on the Danforth along with a Roman column

There are windows to look in

two shelves with head mannequins, wearing different wigs, covid masks, hats, and halloween masks

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

below: Multilingual covid signs on the window of the Greek grocery – where shelves with oregano, tomato paste, pasta, coffee beans, grape juice, eggplant, and candy are all display.

the window of a Greek grocery store, with food, also signs re covid rules in Greek. for sale, oregano, Nescafe coffee, tomato paste,

There is more street art and graffiti to find, sometimes at your feet

below: Grounded Together, A painting by Caitlin Taguibao on the sidewalk

a painting on the sidewalk, a circle with words grounded together, pictures of women with plants and flowers, a dog chasing a bird.

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

large dark blue stencil of a skull in profile on a blue newspaper box. There is also a sticker that says end white supremacy

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

below: End White supremacy above, and now a poster re stats in Toronto “Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police”. Source: from the Human Rights Commission, 2018.

a poster on a metal utility pole with a graphi to illustrate how black people are more likely to be shot and or killed by the Toronto police

In this case, wake up and see the climate crisis. A faded bee on pink juxtaposed with the black, red, and white butterfly painted on the street box.

2 posters on a utility pole plus a painted street box behind. One poster says climate crisis wake up disobey. The other poster has a pink bee

below: I get the no peeing part. I suspect that those aren’t eggs and this is a warning? or a threat?

wood fence, exterior light, and a sign, picture of man peeing with a red line through it, below that is picture of a pair of scissors and two eggs.

And then there is artwork of a different kind – on the front of St. Irene Chrisovalantoy Greek Orthodox Church built in 1974

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls, with a Greek flag flying between the two of them

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls,

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

Even on a grey day there are colours to be found, not just in the artwork and stained glass windows, but in the nature around us.

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

autumn coloured vine leaves cover a wall that has street art painted on it

below: This tree dominates with its abundance of red leaves. You may have also spotted the murals in the background.

Felstead Park, a tree with a lot of red leaves on it, as well as on the ground below it, dominates the picture

below: These are the murals in the second Butterfly Laneway project (2018). Check this link (metamorphosis in the lane) to see all the murals.

trees in autumn colours, with butterfly murals on the garages beyond the park

below: One of the murals is carefully put aside while work is done on the back of this house.

a house, seen from the back, being renovated, backyard is also being fixed up, fence between house and park has been removed, but garage door with mural on it has been preserved

below: More renovations. Apparently, people staying home because of covid = a boom in home renovations. Both Home Depot and Lowes reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2020, both were more than expected.

2 houses side by side, one with pale blue siding on upper floor, the other with yellow siding, both with porches in the front, the one n the right is being renovated and has a bin out the front

old car and old garage in front of a large new modern house

below: The unusual roofline and trim on these two houses caught my eye. I also love the fact that they are attached yet have a distinct character of their own. Brick vs stone, little peaked roof over the door vs. green and white metal awning, rectangular window vs bay window. Like identical twins trying to be their own person.

two adjacent houses with barn like rooflines, one in brick and the other in stone,

Danforth subway line, Donlands station. Ten years ago, it was decided that Donlands station needed a second exit and that it would be on the corner of Strathmore and Donlands, One building, 17 and 19 Dewhurst would have to be torn down to make way for the new exit. 19 Dewhurst was sold to the city in 2018 and just last year the property at 17 Dewhurst was expropriated.

through a chainlink gate, front yard is square concrete patio stones, yellow front door

front yward is overgrown, white railing on porch, dark porch and front door

Across the street at 14 Dewhurst, the old Temple Baptist Church (1925) is being redeveloped as condos, the Sunday School Lofts.

large old brick church, Temple Baptist church, is being redeveloped as residences, plus an addition added to one side of it

The home remodeling business may be doing well but the restaurants are hurting. As of the end of October, indoor dining in Toronto was prohibited.

below: Abyssinia restaurant. One of the many different ethnic restaurants along the Danforth. Although it is still referred to as Greektown, and the Greek influence is still strong, you can eat a wide range of foods from different cultures. As you move east along the Danforth, there is a strong African (especially Ethiopian) presence.

a man pushes a stroller along the sidewalk past a store and the Abyssinia restaurant on the Danforth

below: Did you know that gourmet cinnamon rolls was a thing? Did I run across the street to buy one? (Almost!!).

a woman walks past Cinnaholic, a store selling gourmet cinnamon rolls

below: The northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands. You can choose between halal chicken and pizza, or dim sum.

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

Other little graffiti stickers, posters, and paste-ups:

below: Another flying bicycle

stencil on paper on a utility pole, in orange and black, a girl riding a bike, with wings on her back

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

2 graffiti stickers on a Canada Post box, the top ones says gewn snail, the bottom one is an abstract drawing in black and white

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

below: Checkerboard sneaker and a big tooth-ed skull by mr. Toon.

two stickers. the bottom one is a skull by mr. toon and the top one is a no laces, slip on sneaker in black and white checks

below: The paper is torn but it is: “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara (I saw one exactly the same in Kensington last summer).

paper pasteup on a metal pole, top is a skull looking down, bottom is a man looking up, with words

below: With a car parked in its mouth

dripping paint in blue and red on a wall with a hole in it, two eyes drawn above the rectangular hole. A car is parked on the other side of hte wall and shows through the hole

below: Does the blue haired woman know whats lurking behind her?

two wig mannequin heads in a store window. the one in front has pale turquoise hair, the one in the back has black hair.

Happy November – let’s keep walking and see what we can see along the way…. and in case you need help…!

display of eye glasses in the window of a store

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs

a large number of notices and posters on a glass door and window, including, we're all in this together,

below: Signs for hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves

signs and posters in the window of a convenience store, Sun Milk, advertising hand sanitizer and kids face masks for sale, also keys cut,

below: Signs of thanks to essential workers

home made sign on the front yard of a house with a Canadian flag, a rainbow, and an airplane

below: Life is tough but so are you.  I wish I could get a better view of the dancing figures in the window!

painted sign in the window of a house that says Life is tough but so are you

below: This too shall pass on a rainbow of colours.

sign in window of house, rainbow with words this too shall pass

below: Rainbow because it doesn’t rain forever.

three small painted signs mounted on a wood fence, one says be well, another is a rainbow and the third says we're all in this together
hand written sign in window of store, no cash, due to covid-19 we are closed

a white sweatshirt in the window of a store, that says Nurses have patience

below: Please Practice Social Distancing – keep those 2 metres apart!

looking in the window of a wine store. A yellow vest is hanging by the counter, with words on vest that say please practice social distancing, two silhouette people 6 feet apart

below: Marking those 2m (6 feet) on the sidewalk

a young woman is marking a sidewalk with red tape, 6 feet apart for standing in line

small sign in the corner of a store window, blinds drawn, that says Stay Healthy Inside Safe

in the upstairs window of an apartment over a store, a sign that says I'm claustrophobic Darren

below: CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) won’t save us sign in the store window.

a sign in the window of a store that says CEBA won't save us, also blue letters advertising end of season sale

poster for on May first keep your CEBA and keep your rent

below: Keep Your Rent poster for The Annex, outside Bathurst subway station

keep your rent sign, the Annex, April 1st, outside Bathurst subway station

below: Similar signs appeared in Little India (Gerrard St East)

keep your rent May 1 posters beside a gallery with photographs in the window

below: But in Little India the signs were multilingual (8 languages? or more?)

keep your rent poster, in five different languages, for Little India

below: And then a poster for what happens after you’ve kept your rent.   But below that is another small notice to (exclamation marks !!) your mask is weakening your immune system.  Reader beware.

keep your rent poster

below: Two posters on construction hoardings.  By mistake I cut off the lowest part of the posters and in doing so, I missed line of text on the poster on the right.  It says: “We’re closer now having been through this together – Love.”

2 large street art posters on wood construction hoardings

below: We’re no longer holding hands, we’re now 6 feet apart. Peace.

large poster for we're all in this together, peace symbol with stick figures standing around the outside of the circle

below: At Bathurst subway station, wash your hands.  It was one of many in a series of “Staying safe on public transit”

subway station platform, a couple of people walking, a sign reminding people to wash hands frequently and thoroughly because of covifd19

below: Eglinton Theatre, stay positive

marquee on Eglinton Theatre that says stay positive stay strong stronger together

below: Lower Ossington Theatre

front of Lower Ossington Theatre with marquee that says Be safe Be brave Be kind

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

  Most people are still staying home or at least close to home.  You’re still not going to see many people in my photos because I am still avoiding them, still walking in quieter places.  Sometimes those places happen to be streets that once upon a time (only a month ago?) were busy.

below: An empty parking lot.

brick wall of a building beside a parking lot, with sign saying reserved parking

below: A very quiet Broadview subway station.

Broadview subway station, west side,

below: A very tall and lanky animal on a pole.  It’s missing a leg or two.

long narrow shapes made of wood and painted blue an red and attached to wood utility pole

line of houses on a street by Broadview subway station, very tall trees with no leaves, semis, one is painted red

below: The TTC streetcar tracks in the middle of being replaced, on Broadview just south of Danforth.

a red truck in the middle of Broadview Ave as TTC streetcar tracks are being removed, lots of dust.

below: More TTC construction, this time another access to Chester station is being built.

fence in front of construction site at Chester subway station, sign with arrow pointing way for pedestrians

below: After a month of no shopping except for food and even no window shopping, this bright red telephone caught me eye as I walked past.   Salt and pepper shakers in a store window: Flamingoes, pink swans, penguins, cats, monkeys, and little yellow chicks – cute ones and funny ones like the hot dogs, as well as political ones like Trump and his North Korean counterpart.

looking in a store window, bright red rotary phone and a display of different types of salt and pepper shakers in differernt shapes - flamingoes, monkeys,

below: Inspired to do stuff?  I think I identify more with the mug beside these days.

mugs with cat theme pictures on them, on shelves, in window of a store

below: A Covid-19 message from the Danforth Music Hall – “Please take care of each other”.

front of Danforth Music Hall on the Danforth

below: Posters reminding people to share smiles and kindness

posters on a sidewalk bulletin board,

below: An electric sign outside Eastend United Church invites people to join their Sunday services on Facebook.

electronic sign on church saying worship with up on facebook

below: The mannequins had the most stylish face masks.

mannequins with metal stovepipe as neck and head, wearing covid face masks, one is black and white pattern with big red lips

Words scrawled on the side of a concrete block garage in an alley that say Macedonia is Greek

text graffiti in yellow on green wood fence, plywood, peeling paint, faded,

below: Beware of rabbit.

backs of houses and a garage in an alley, graffiti on garage says beware of rabbits

below: A hummingbird is painted on the pillar.

street art of a hummingbird on a pillar, with red flower

bright red gate between two buildings, 2 mailboxes on the gate, one white and the other a brass colour. Brass mailbox is 735

in an alley, the back of houses

a house, semi-divided, two storey, porch, rounded lines on the porch railing,

below: Takeout with distancing – a story that is repeated all over the city as restaurants try to stay afloat.

signs and posters on a glass door, entrance to restaurant

below: Social distancing leads to line ups outside Tims

line up outside Tim Hortons, social distancing for Covid

below: “See you after the curve flattens”

a sign on the glass door of a store selling old lights and lamps that says

front yard and porch of a house, walkway is concrete slabs that are uneven, pine bush on grass, metal railing on porch, small garden in front of porch

back of a small white building, store, in an alley, small porch on upper door with exterior stairs up to it
building beside a parking lot with three cars parked there, white car, blue car and red car

I went walking on Monday, keeping my distance from others, to “collect” bits and pieces of evidence of what we’re doing and how we’re coping with this virus thing.  Some of this is a bit ghoulish (and has nothing to do with the virus) but hopefully some with make you smile.  Also,  I hope that in the days and weeks ahead we can look back on this as just a little blip in our lives.

below: A little sticker from sketch nate has been edited to say that only all of Toronto can judge me.  There were quite a few “don’t worry” stickers.

two stickers, one says don't worry, the other is a pair of praying hands and the words only gosh can judge me, by sketch nate. Someone has crossed out gosh and written all of T O

below: The Princess of Wales Theatre has shut down like all theatres in the city, no shows happening.  Keep Calm and Carry On – we’ll see how all this pans out.

sign outside the Princess of Wales theatre on King St in Toronto that says Keep Calm and Carry on

below: Another “stay safe” wish for the city.

people walking past the Rex on Queen Street, has sign over door that says

drawing on chalkboard outside, man asking magic ball am I stupid, then he realizes ball is really a bowling ball

below: They have no reason to panic.

mannequins dressed in outside clothing, long pants, hats, jackets, in orange and blue tones,

below: “Don’t argue with it” could pertain to many things including this social distancing that we’re all becoming experts at.

on a street art painting of a skate, someone has written the words

street art on a sidewalk box that says what will remain of us

below: Bugs is ready to fight the good fight.

part of a street art mural of Bugs Bunny with his fists up and ready to fight

painting on a box of a ghoulish figure

street art black and white pasteup of a face with eye still showing, torn a bit, sticker of a red octopus on top of the head

poster sign on door of Lush store explaining why they are closing

sign on a hand sanitizer dispenser explaingint why its empty and what to do about it

Wash your hands.

Stay healthy!

graffiti on a wall including the words Life's exit

Another blog post constructed from the wanderings around a neighbourhood.

below: A bronze plaque erected by the East York Historical Society is mounted on the stone fence of the Taylor Cemetery which is adjacent to Don Mills United Church.    The plaque mentions the Methodist Church – the Methodists became part of the United Church in 1925.

bronze plaque on a stone wall, Taylor cemetery, erected by the East York historical society gives rough outline of the history of the Taylor family here

The Taylor Cemetery – John Taylor (1773-1868), his wife Margaret Hawthorne and seven children emigrated from Uttoxeter Staffordshire in 1821. In 1839, three sons, John, Thomas, and George, purchased this land from Samuel Sinclair (1767-1852) except for a portion Sinclair gave to the Primitive Methodist Connexion in 1851. The Taylors gave the Connexion a brick church in 1859. The family operated three paper mills and a brick mill in the Don Valley, where they had considerable landholdings and were responsible for much of the development of East York in the nineteenth century.

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below: The present church building dates from 1950 when a smaller building was demolished.  This church was registered in 1819 and has been on this site since 1839 (as mentioned above, originally Methodist).

brick Don Mills United Church with bright red doors

below: Close by is Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church.  Established in 1928, it was the first Catholic parish in the Township of East York.  This church, built in 1948, is the second one on the site.     

Holy Cross Church

below: Bethany Baptist Church has been on the corner of Pape and Cosburn since 1920.  Obviously this building is not that old!  This is the addition, built in 1958, to the older church that you can just see on the right side of the picture.

brick building with stained glass in blue and green in the center section, sign on front says Bethany Baptist Church

below: A metal sculpture of a soldier mounted on the wall of The Royal Canadian Legion, hall #10, a memorial to the Soliders of Suicide – those soldiers who have taken their own lives, usually as the result of PTSD.

a metal statue of a soldier, at rest, mounted on a brick wall, as memorial to soldiers who committed suicide

below: The southeast corner of Pape and O’Connor still sits empty. There used to be a gas station here and that probably meant contaminated soil that had to be dealt with.   The development proposal sign dates from 2014  and was for a 2 storey commercial building.  I am not sure why the delay or what the status of the proposal is.

vacant lot on the corner of O'Connor and Pape, with fence around it, development proposal sign from 2014, overgrown,

below: Donlands Convenience with its rounded corner is similar to a few others in the city.

Donlands convenience store, a 2 storey brick building on the corner of an intersection, with a rounded wall

stores on Donlands Ave as well as a studio with a large blue store front

two people waiting on the corner for a green light

below: Do not block the entrance. …. or are the apples for the teachers?

4 bushel baskets of apples in a doorway of the Korjus Mathematics Tutorial Services

below: A sample of some of the restaurants in the area.  There are also quite a few Greek restaurants as the Danforth (and the original Greektown) is just to the south.

3 restaurants on a street, an Indian Paan and snack plce, an Africa Indian restaurant called Simba, and a fish and chip restaurant

independent gas station and service center at Floyd street

a man fills a car tank with gas at an independent gas station, sign says price of a litre of gas is 99.9 cents

below: Golden Pizza Restaurant in an old brick building with a square facade at the roofline.

the golden pizza restaurant on Broadview, old 2 storey brick building with square roofline facade

below: Another square roofline, Logan Convenience

Logan convenience store, 2 storey red brick building, on a corner, with no other building next to it

Like most parts of the city, the houses are of various architectural styles.

houses Torrens

Whether I am correct or not, I don’t know but I have always associated East York with small post-war bungalows.

a well kept yellow brick post war bungalow with a grey roof and a partial white and green metal awning over the front steps that lead to a small porch

white bungalow with Christmas wreath on brown wood front door and a santa claus decoration on the front steps, a yellow fire hydrant by the sidewalk

A few are being “renovated”

construction of a new 2 storey house in between two square bungalows

below: What was surprising to me was how many multi-family buildings there are in the area –  Both lowrise…

front entrance, exterior, of a yellow brick lowrise apartment building from the 1960s or 1970s

4 storey apartment building, brick, on a corner

and apartment buildings

4 high rise apartment buildings in East York. winter time, trees with no leaves, blue sky,

curved white concrete cover over entrance of apartment building, that is brown brick with white balconies

two brick houses in front of a tall apartment building

lamp and lampost in front of a blank beige wall of an apartment building, with another highrise in the background.

below: I am beginning to think that there should be at least one old car picture in every blog post! I certainly encounter enough of them! Today’s car – a yellow Oldsmobile (from the 1970’s?).  Sounds like a challenge doesn’t it?!

an old yellow Oldsmobile car, with historic licence plate, parked in a driveway in front of an old white garage