Archive for the ‘stores’ Category

between Steeles and Drewry/Cummer.

Once it was the hinterland but now it feels like the city just goes on and on and on….

below: In 1955 this was the view looking south on Yonge from just north of Cummer/Drewry. This was the center of the community of Newtonbrook, named after the Newton Brook Wesleyan Church founded in 1857.  A general store and post office were opened here in 1863 on the northeast corner of Yonge & Drewry (possibly the buildings on the right side of this photo).

black and white photo of yonge street looking south from Cummer

photo credit: James Victor Salmon, found on Toronto Public Library website (public domain).

below: It’s not taken from exactly the same viewpoint (traffic!) but this is what you see looking south on Yonge Street now.

yonge street, looking south from drewry and cummer, large new condo development with 3 cranes, some traffic,

below: Looking north up Yonge Street from just south of Cummer/Drewry.  The large house is on the southeast corner of Cummer and Yonge.

old black and white photo of yonge street,

photo credit: Tim Chirnside, found on Toronto Public Library website (public domain)

below: The intersection of Yonge and Cummer (to the east) and Drewry (to the west) today.   The large house in the black and white photo above would be on the far right of this picture.

northeast corner of cummer and yonge, large red brick apartment building, small strip malls

below: Yonge Street is also Provincial Highway 11.

toronto street signs, cummer ave., yonge street, as well as provincial highway 11 sign for yonge street

below: It is a major transportation/transit route.

GO bus stop and Viva bus stop markers on yonge street

below: Happy Nowruz! or in other words, Happy New Year!  It is the Iranian New Year; the beginning of spring; a new day!  The banners were by sponsored by Tirgan, an organization that “promotes cross-cultural dialogue between Iranian-Canadians and the global community at large.”

red banner on utility pole on yonge street that says happy nowruz

below: There are many other cultures that are well represented in this part of the city.

signs for stores, restaurants and businesses on yonge street, popeyes louisiana kitchn, legal services, accountant, mary's cosmetic clinic, etc

small hand written sign that says big parking lot

cleaning up in front of a new building on yonge street

below: Like so many parts of Toronto, there is a lot of redevelopment taking place. Blue and white development notice signs are everywhere.

blue and white development notice sign on vacant lot on yonge street, houses, and newer highrises in the background, residential area, Newtonbrook

crooked metal fence around a vacantlot that has been paved over, yonge street, about to be redeveloped

man adjusting signs on hoardings around a construction site

view southward on yonge street, behind chainlink fence

below: To be (possibly) replaced by 25 storeys, 347 residences and a daycare.

sign print shop storefront with development notice sign in front

below: Seoul Plaza with it’s Korean BBQ restaurant and other businesses (not all Korean) – also with a development notice sign in front.  I’m not sure of the size of the development but it looks like your average  20ish storeys on podium condo.

Seoul Plaza on Yonge street, restaurant and businesss, with blue and white development notice sign in front

strip mall on Yonge street with cars parked in front, Arzon Super Market, Papa Cafe, nanaz Salon, plus other businesses

billboard that says bigger and better, on yonge street, pedestrians on sidewalk

below: Looking south from Moore Park Ave

looking south on the west side of yonge from Moore Park Ave., people walking on sidewalk, stores and restaurants

below: Looking north to the intersection of Yonge and Steeles.  Steeles Ave has been the northern boundary of the City of Toronto since 1953.  All of the tall buildings in this picture are north of Steeles and are in Thornhill (York Region).

looking north up yonge street to the intersection of yonge and steeles with many highrises north of steeles

looking down a short alley to a pale grey side of a house, same grey as building on north side of alley

below: Pro Ukraine stencil graffiti.

spray paint stencil graffiti, black trident on blue and yellow map of ukraine

below: I’m not sure what the spring will do but someone has been putting up a lot of posters for the Communist Party.

graffiti text sprayed on map and wall of bus shelter says the spring will (illegible), partially removed posters below that for communist party

communist party posters on a grey metal street boxcommunist party posters on a red box on the sidewalk

old Christmas decorations and empty buckets behind a restaurant

man sitting in a bus shelter, brick apartment building behind him

graffiti of a cartoon like young man with a big red nose

… and Graffiti Alley

stencil graffiti, words that say met u in toronto written twice in a circle around a happy face, yellow on black, sprayed on a brick wall in Graffiti Alley

in Graffiti Alley, on a door, a big pink heart with love written in cursive through the middle of it

below: Northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

northeast corner of Spadina and Queen in a snow flurry,

early morning, storefronts on Queen West, fruit market, empty store, lots of cardboard boxes on sidewalk waiting for trash pickup

below: Mannequins on orange

mannequins in Joe Fresh window, orange background, kids clothes

sidewalk scene on Queen West, bus shelter with Queen West advert, green P parking sign, some stores,

below: Queen Street westbound approaching Bathurst

TTC streetcar westbound on Queen West approaching Bathurst, snow falling, other cars waiting for red light,

below: It’s always nice to see that there’s at least one Lovebot still hanging out in Graffiti Alley.

in Graffiti Alley, a lovebot pasteup up hgh, love bot and a bunch of balloons

below: On the door, a jumblefacefoto collage

jumblefacefoto collage paper pasteup on door in graffiti alley in the middle of a text throw up street art

below: Reach out and touch someone

Bell phone booth covered with stickers, plus a fake bony hand holding onto the receiver, in Graffiti Alley

below: Open your eyes

brick wall with paper pasteup graffiti, open your eyes, a jumblefacefoto

below: Are you smiling?  Are you happy?

old KFC building, empty, with graffiti painted on wood leaning against the building, black letters on white that say In a passive society smiles are not the faces of happy people R "2022"

TTC streetcar at Queen and Spadina, in the snow

an older couple walking on sidewalk on Queen West waiting for greenlight at Bathurst by taccorito restaurant

below: Southeast corner, Queen & Niagara

early morning, yellow lights on in plant store on Queen West, a woman walking past,

below: Same intersection slightly later in the morning and from a slightly different angle

people on the sidewalk at queen west and niagara, traffic lights, woman pushing stroller, Japanese mural in the background, chive plant store in the foreground

two storefronts in old brick building, Queen West, Park Avenue Cleaners and Shanti Baba

photograph on exterior of store, group of people standing together, number 789 Queen West is next door

t bonez urban ninja squadron paste up of him in yoga pose

mural of a naked upper body with arms up and flowers around the head with words turn off your mind

below: Windigo Army piece

street art painting of an indigenous man with long black braid, wrapped in a white and black blanket, with yellow and red aura around him

below: A little orange character pasted to a pole; the work of kode_dipz aka Kyara Cabrera Fong

kode 905 slap graffiti little orange character with green face and tummy, on a pole

below: Because of the construction of a new condo at Richmond and Augusta there has been scaffolding in a section of Graffiti Alley. The other day some of it was being dismantled. This woman is more visible now but some of the bars remain.

mural of a woman with a cloth covering her head, behind scaffolding bar,

below: Life©️ one eyed red daisy supersized

black and orange traffic pylons beside the entrance to Graffiti Alley with a red one eyed daisy painting by life co beside it, then a row of paintings on hoardings

graffiti and street art on plywood hoardings that got switched around

4 faces found in different pieces of street art, all cartoonish, including a one eyed pink monster with oozing body,

below: Part of UBER5000’s Toronto mural.

large uber5000 Toronto mural in Graffiti alley, lower portion of it, behind chainlink fence

below: By luvs – a woman and her dog, with duplicate vision

part of a mural by luvs of a woman's head and a bulldog beside her, duplicate eyes and sunglasses that she's looking over, on a garage door in rush lane

two women walking their dogs in a snow storm on Spadina

from inside, a man walks past window of Le Gourmand bakery cafe on Spadina

below: A properly worn mask…..

window of flashback vintage, a mannequin in brown jacket and blue dress, mask needed sign on door

a collection of dolls in a store window with yellow metal grille in front

What is creepier?  Dolls or mannequins?

two images of mannequins in a window, one in pink and the other in red with red hair, both with large bows in their hair

below: Poetaia wants to know what you’re up to, wink, wink.

sticker graffiti on a wood utility pole that says What are your plans for the weekend?

below: Peeling paper makes the gold words difficult to read

grid of painted paper on top of street art, peeling at edges

below: There’s a yellow eye and possibly a blue one too?

paper collage face with yellow eye,slightly peeling at the edges

two mailboxes on a black door, 555 is salmon colour and 557 is black

two stickers on a metal pole on the topis a picture of a man's head with word think and on bottom is t bonez with finger over mouth as in saying shhh shush

small sticker graffiti on pole

small black and white sticker graffiti on pole, picture of man in a mask holding shoulders of a woman

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

below: Jumblefacefoto collage paste-ups.

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

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

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

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

posters on a metal utility pole

below: Queen and Jones Pawnbrokers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

below: Moving up in an alley

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

below: Ubiquitous

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

below: Feelings boi graffiti paste-up

feelings boi sticker on the side of a parking meter

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

mannequin in a window wearing a shiny yellow sai and holding a heart shaped evening purse with shiny beads on it

 The alley and parking lot behind the south side of Gerrard Street between Rhodes Avenue and Craven Road has a lot of street art.  Most of it was described back in November 2015 in a post titled:
Udlaakut, good morning (Inuit for good morning).

below: Mural by Timmy Drift aka Tim Schjins

mural of many faces with big mouths and white teeth

murals on the back of businesses on Gerrard street, beside a snowy parking lot,

below: A newer painting is this Alley Cats mural which is over 14′ high and is the work of Swizzle Studios (aka Rob Elliott and Andrew Horne)

large mural in a Little India alley, three white cats looking up at a yellow bird on a ledge

below: Jim Bravo and Ema Ciobanico (2020) painted murals with Little India Bazaar themes over two buildings – one on the NE corner of Gerrard and Ashdale and the other across Gerrard on the SE corner.

at the intersection of Gerrard and Ashdale, two buildings across the street from each other, both with Little India murals by Jim Bravo

below: On the northeast corner of Gerrard and Ashdale is the west wall of Kohinoor Foods – people with balloons, flags, and lotus flowers.

mural by Jim Bravo on the wall of Kohinoor Foods on Gerrard East

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

mural by Jim Bravo on Ashdale in Little India with the word Bazaar (as in Little India Bazaar), flowers and people holding balloons

below: Visual noise and friends, slaps in an alley.

stickers and pasteups on a white wall. Urban ninja squadron t bonez on one knee with a large missle launcher on one shoulder

below: I have blogged about this mural before – Four-D by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson at Gerrard and Woodfield, 2013.

below: An elephant above the vape shop

mural of an elephant on the upper level of a store

below: Mr. Monopoly tries to run away with the loot (by kransky)

street traffic, or Bell, box with a running Mr. Monopoly

below: Another mural!  This one was painted by Catherine Cachia

little india bia sponsored mural on the side of a building

below: Two of a series of different coloured ‘banners’ that have cut out images in them.

green and pink banners in Little India

below: Buddha seems to be happy to hang around here.

buddah statue outside a store window

metal chairs and tables stacked against storefronts on sidewalk in Little India

painted planters on the sidewalk on Gerrard St., in the winter with some snow

below: “We’re all in this together”  Still Covid days.

door at 1299, with signs in the window, We're all in this together

signs in the window of a door of a store in Little India

looking through the clear side of a bus shelter at Coxwell Ave., looking west along Gerrard St.

below: Northeast corner of Coxwell and Gerrard/Eastwood

pink two storey building on the northeast corner of Coxwell and Eastwood, with construction in front, Coffee Time on the lower level is closed and windows papered over

below: Halal Meat Shop at Glenside

Halal Meat store on Gerrard

below: Lazy Daisy’s Cafe has been temporarily closed since Christmas while they “transform”.

doorway to Lazy Daisy coffee shop, closed with sign on door

below: Mural at the Black Pony (formerly the Flying Pony)

exterior of Flying Pony Cafe, with snow covered patio furniture and mural that says You're Here

gold and cololurful little statues in a store window

red saris and male clothing with gold and beads decorating it

looking in the front window of a bead store

in a window, a green, red and white flag with beaded shapes hanging in front

old sign at 1301 Gerrard East, sidewalk in winter,

yellow sign on gate of Buddhist temple that says sorry we're closed until further notice

below: Looking west along Gerrard at Greenwood.

people sitting in bus shelter, winter, at corner of Gerrard East and Greenwood, looking west along Gerrard, Daisy Mary and Pizza Pizza as well

crocheted concentric circles in a window with reflections of the houses across the street

Oakwood Village BIA is centered on Oakwood Avenue, south of Eglinton West.

Toronto street signs, Jesmond Ave with Oakwood village top,

below: “Celebrating Queer Black Lives (2021) by Curtia Wright.  This is also part of a STEPS project, I HeART Main Street, which features 26 murals on “Main Streets” in Ontario this year.

mural on the side of The Beer Store, in bright colours, two women with dreadlocks, eyes closed and about to kiss

below: We are all Canadians, and with a big heart too

hand written sign in window that says We live in Canada We are all Canadians, Toronto Ontario, Below sign is a heart made of crocheted circles in different colours

below: Sidewalk games
paintings on sidewalk, game with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, blue water a truck, and a hot air balloon

below: Sidewalk vowels
drawings and paintings on the sidewalk featuring vowels, A E I O and U

below: Shiny palm tree about 5 metres tall – an art installation from 2010 on the traffic island where Oakwood meets Vaughan Road.  It serves as homage to the neighbourhood’s Caribbean community.

Shiny metal sculpture of a palm tree

a house with a glassed in front porch and a Canadian flag flying outside the door, other stores and houses in the background

two small houses pus a couple of slightly larger houses on Oakwood, two have front porches with chairs on them, and well tended front lawns

a grey concrete flower pot that is supposed to look like Roman urn, with bright red flowers growing in it plus a blue and white polka dot child's plastic windmill

below: Rusty the Snowman!

an old rusted metal decoration on a chainlink gate.  laughing snowman, front steps and flowers in planters in the background

below: La Cubana, Supermercado Latina.

La Cubana supermercado Latino, grocery store, first storey painted in blue and white stripes like the Cuban flag,  Cuban flag hanging in the window

The side of La Cubana supermercado grocery store with pictures of food, also stored items under blue tarps, and a bell box painted with a yellow measuring tape and articles of clothing, a bonnet, a tie, a cap, and three pairs of shoes

A purple picture in the window of a door with a cardboard sign in middle that says Please do not put garbage in front of the store, reflections of stores across the street in the window as well

Awning cover on Edmundo Snack bar, with round Carlsberg beer advert above it, exterior

three storey white brick building with reddish mansard roof, lower floor is Asmareeno Grocery and Alert Pest Control

items for sale in displayed in store window that is still decorated for Christmas even though it is summer.  Bowls, tea pots, dishes

reflections in the window of Alfredos hair styling, closed, with a small Canadian flag in the window

below: Recently sold, Open Bible Baptist Church, just south of Eglinton.

old red brick church at 587 Oakwood, windows boarded up and cross removed from over front door

The New Jerusalem Spanish Church with a green hedge in front of it

below: Old gate in front of new (or being renovated) house

below: Where WTF = Wear The Facemask!

4 broken front door bell buzzers on a white peeling paint wall showing yellow paint below.  sticker on yellow with man from monopoly game saying covid? wtf*?  *wear the mask

below: Reggae Lane, just south of Eglinton. The mural in the background was painted by Adrian Hayles in 2015.  Better pictures of it are on a previous blog post about Reggae Lane

murals on reggae lane

graffiti, black spray paint on a light grey concrete wall, outline of a person holding up a sign above head that says Afroism, 2020

below: Waiting…..

below: Never Give Up!

door with a window at 506 Oakwood, with a picture of a bird with a frog in its beak and the words Never give up

a woman dresses in black t shirt and shorts and holding her bike is getting sir from an air pump at an ultramar service center

below: Looking north up Oakwood to Eglinton West. The construction of Oakwood station still has a long way to go! The previous blog post (‘Eglinton and Oakwood’) looked at this intersection/construction.

looking north on Oakwood to where it ends at Eglinton West, crane, construction of new oakwood subway station

Another Crosstown update…. The first of the new LRV trains are going through tests on the eastern end of the Crosstown line where the tracks are above ground. Work continues on the underground portion. Although Eglinton Avenue isn’t as much of an obstacle course through orange cones as it used to be, there is still a lot of work to be done. This is what it looks like at the moment at Eglinton West and Oakwood.

below: Still working on Oakwood station.

large blue crane above a construction site, building the new Oakwood Crosstown station on Eglinton West

below: Looking west along the north side of Eglinton from Oakwood

looking west on Eglonton Ave west at Oakwood.  Construction of Oakwood station on the right hand side,

below: Asian Massage Therapy Center seems to have survived the upheaval but many storefronts are empty.

shops on Eglinton West behind construction for Crosstown, Asian Massage Therapy Center, and en empty store for lease.

a mother and daughter stand with a shopping buggy waiting for a traffic light on Eglinton West at Oakwood, stores, traffic, man on bench on sidewalk

below: Dodging orange cones and traffic

looking west on Eglinton Ave west at Oakwood.

below: Canadian Korean Buddhist Association and Nadines Hair Studio along with some good news perhaps – an “opening soon” sign on Betta Yaad seafood catering.  If google is correct, ‘yaad’ is Jamaican patois for ‘home’.

Canadian Korean Buddhists Association storefront on Eglonton West beside Nadines Hair Studio and Bettayaad Taste seafood

below: The River Restaurant & Bar beside Weemedical Society.

The River Restaurant and other business behind barricades because of Crosstown LRT construction on Eglinton

below: Peoples Choice Grocery, Casual International Hair Salon, and a few porta-potties

Peoples Choice Grocery and more, store on Eglinton West

The most exact information that I can find for an opening date for the Crosstown LRT is 2022.

Or, approximately Finch and Weston Road

utility pole with police red light camera, no standing sign, a TTC bus stop, and a street sign for Finch Ave West in Emery village

Today, the intersection of Finch and Weston Road is a mess. Metrolinx is preparing to start construction on the Finch LRT, more than 12 acres on the southeast corner is being totally rebuilt, and water mains along Finch are being upgraded. The intersection also has the misfortune to lie in a hydro corridor.

below: Looking west on Finch at Weston Road.

intersection of Finch and Weston Rd., looking west on Finch, construction, traffic, hydro poles,

below: Canadian Pacific tracks cross Finch just east of Weston Road
red Canadian Pacific engine pulls a train across a bridge over Finch Ave West on its way northward.  Traffic under the bridge, also some construction work, a crane and a large truck blocking some of the lanes

below: Emery train station just after 1900. This was a a flag station built for the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway in 1870 (i.e. trains only stopped if you flagged them down). In the early 1880s the line was acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railroad.   Photo source: Toronto Public Library

vintage black and white photo of a small wood building, Emery train station, with a woman holding a baby in the doorway and a man holding a hat in his hand standing on the tracks getting ready to flag down a train

Like the rest of the GTA, development here began as a village that supported the surrounding farms. In 1796, Isaac Devins and his wife Mary Chapman were given 200 acres of land, south of what is now Finch Ave from Weston Road to Islington. Devins had worked with Governor Simcoe as a superintendent on the construction of Yonge St.   Two of their grandsons opened businesses near the corner of Finch and Weston Road. – one was a blacksmith and the other a carriage maker.  A brick schoolhouse came shortly after 1850 and the Methodist church followed in 1869. A post office was established in 1879… and Emery was officially a village.

below: 1902 photograph of Isaac Devins house.  Source: Toronto Public Library

black and white photo of Devins homestead at Finch and Weston Road.

Celebrating the history of Emery are some plaques on display at a couple of bus stops on Weston Road.  The one below describes two musicians with local roots, Claudio Vena and Alfie Zappacosta.  Both men have streets named after them.

historic emery plaques at bus stop celebrating Claudio Vena and Alfie Zappacosta, two musicians

below: Finch West Mall was built in 1971 on the southeast corner of Finch and Weston Road on what had previously been farm land.  Step-brothers Aubrey Ella and Orrie Truman had farmed here since 1930.  …. but you can’t go shopping there any more.   [transcription of the text can be found at the bottom of this post]

A plaque by a bus stop in Emery describing the history of the Finch West Mall

below: Development notice sign at the site of the former Finch West Mall.  The proposal includes 5 towers, 2237 residences ranging from bachelors to 3 bedroom, some retail, and a park.  All rentals.
Blue and white toronto development notice sign at Finch and Weston Road

below: Construction is only in the early stages so there isn’t much to see


fence around construction site, parking lot, no left turn sign on its side, green fence

large yellow and orange signs guide pedestrian track through a busy intersection with a lot of construction

below: Preparations for the construction of the Finch LRT are underway.

below: But not always well thought out – here sidewalk access ends but the only way to go is to cross Finch in mid-block with no help

Empty glass drink bottle lying on ground, Sof Drink, carbonated beverage, pineapple flavour, Jamaican flavour

Also like many places in Toronto, Emery has become very multicultural.

below: African Food & Groceries as well as Comida Colombiana

part of a strip mall on Finch West, laundry, African food groceries, Erica beauty salon, Comida Colombiana Latino Americana,

below: A Vietnamese restaurant and a West Indian grocery store

two highrise apartment buildings in red brick with white balconies, strip mall in front with 6 businesses, a vietnamese restaurant, Ali Babas fast food, a west indian grocery, a mattress store, and a convenience store

below: North York Sikh temple

sikh temple in a two story plaza, beside Beck and Aps beauty supply and salon, and Makola Tropical foods, and employment agency

below: Confusion?

many signs beside a sidewalk, new tires, rotors and pads, Plaza Latina, milvan shopping centre, a bus in the background

 

below:  More restaurants and businesses

Sign for B & T plaza, 2437 Finch West, with many businesses listed, Anatolian fine foods, Malado Sushi & korean food, Sendas Money transfer, Chay Hoa Dang Flower Lantern Vegetarian restaurant, PePeyee(dot)com, Nash hair salon, etc

below: Ghanaian Presbyterian Church, since 1994 (as seen from Finch Ave)

Ghanaian Presbyterian church, light grey concrete structure with front in a triangle shape, cross on top of the tallest middle section, three flags in front - Canada, Ontario and Ghana

below: Prayer Palace

exterior of Prayer Palace

below: Lindylou park

A man sits on a bench in a park beside an apartment building

a large willow tree beside a playground and three apartment buildings

below: Emery Creek south of Finch
Emery Creek and shrubs in the foreground, new condos and older apartment buildings in the background

below: Finch Avenue West, looking eastward towards Weston Road

Finch Ave West looking east towards Weston Road, townhouses on the south side of the street, orange and black construction cones on both sides of the street, some traffic, apartment buildings in the background

below: Slightly closer to Weston Road (from Lindyloou park looking northeast)

Lindylou park looking northeast towards finch and weston road, apartment building, Burger King, McDonalds

below: Not taken from the same spot but also Finch Avenue West, looking eastward towards Weston Road in 1958 when Finch was still a dirt road.  The brick building is Emery Public School (built 1914); and it looks like it had a portable in the yard… and is that an Elmer the Safety Elephant flag?  The school was demolished shortly after the picture was taken.  Photo source: Toronto Public Library, photo by James Victor Salmon

below: Farther east, now past Weston Road. If you go even farther you will come to Hwy 400
intersection of finch with arrow and signet, construction, a long TTC bus us waiting to turn left, one woman walking on sidewalk

below: Most of the area north of Finch is zoned for light industry including this business, the making of prefab concrete staircases. With all the condo development in the city at the moment, there must be a lot of demand for these stairs!
light industrial area of the city, factory that makes prefab concrete staircases with lots of the product in piles of 4 or 5 staircases lying around outside

sign on a chainlink fence wishing a merry christmas and happy holidays to essential workers - you essential to us,

red and white danger due to sign altered to read danger due to climate change

below: Another vacant lot
vacant lot for sale

*****

Transcription of Plaque (above):

“Emery’s first large indoor shopping complex was built in 1971. It was called the Finch West Mall and was located on the southwest corner of Finch and Weston Road… Prior to the mall being constructed, the land was used for farming. A farmhouse, barn, and some other farming structures remained on the property up until the construction of the mall began in the early 1970s. Aubrey Ella and Orrie Truman built a farmhouse on the lot in the 1930s just south of the intersection of Finch and Weston Road. During this time, the entire property permitted wide range agriculture with even an arena for sheep.”
“The opening of the Finch West Mall in 1972 was a big hit for the community. A sizable Towers outlet first appeared but it swiftly merged into a Zellers retail store. Zellers was the principal leaseholder located at the far north end of the mall. Safeway Canada quickly decided to build a grocery store connected to the south end of the mall.”
“In 1973, McDonald’s restaurant was added onto the site but as a separate building situated at the far south of the property. It was one of the first McDonald’s restaurants opened in Canada along with another outlet at Dufferin and Wilson. This McDonald’s even featured an outdoor sitting patio with six stone tables made out of lightly coloured presses marble complete with matching benches. Close to this historical marker was a dirt trail that was upgraded into a long set of wooden steps that permitted pedestrian entrance onto the site.”
“On occasions local bands were permitted to conduct live concerts right in the mall.”
“When Zellers shut down their store in the 1980s, Canadian Tire quickly opened an outlet to take its place. However, they too decided to close their doors at the turn of the new millennium. The commercial banks began moving out and countless other stores too. The mall had ceased to have sound commercial value and disappointingly started to become an endless array of dollar stores.”
“The owner of the mall (Medallion Properties) recognized these telltale signs and thought it might be ideal for a development upgrade which could inspire financial resurgence within the general community. The City of North York Planning Department made a recommendation to establish a Business Improvement Area (BIA) to stimulate economic recovery.”
“With the organized structure of the Emery Village BIA in place, city staff suggested creating a new secondary plan for the entire general community…The mall was demolished in 2006.”

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One of life’s unexpected coincidences… I didn’t read the text before I took the picture so it wasn’t until a few days later that I saw the name Orrie Truman. I have Trueman ancestors in this area… was he related? Orrie Truman was Orrie Levi Richard Trueman. I don’t know where the name Orrie comes from but Levi and Richard were his grandfathers, Levi Coulter and Richard Trueman. William Mellow Trueman married Eleanor (Nellie) Coulter and Orrie is their son. William died shortly after and Nellie subsequently married Ella. Going back a generation, William Mellow Trueman is the son of Richard Trueman and Rebecca Mellow who happen to be my great great great grandparents. My great grandmother, Ina Rebecca Moore was named after Rebecca Mellow, her grandmother. Ina would have been Orrie’s first cousin. Question: What relation am I to Orrie Trueman?

 

lowrise townhouses, red brick, with large pine trees

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.