Archive for the ‘transportation’ 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 Shephard 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

The other day, later in the afternoon, I was driving along the Lakeshore when I noticed that perfect lighting on the south side of the Keating Channel.  I’ve done blog posts about the Port Lands development but I hadn’t looked at it from the other side.  A quick change of plans – a parking spot nearby and a walk along the Lakeshore.  This is some of what I saw that day.

below: At the bottom of Cherry Street

Cherry street railway building

below: At the corner of Cherry and Lakeshore.

old concrete silos as seen from Lakeshire and Cherrt, with Gardiner Expressway above

below: Along the Lakeshore, looking south towards Port Lands at Cherry.

yellow fire hydrant in front, guard rails along the side of Lakeshore Blvd, with Lafarge silos in the background

below: The Gardiner curves slightly northward as it aligns with the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd takes a wider turn and comes out from under the Gardiner for a few brief moments before slipping back under as both roads parallel the channel.

Gardiner Expressway curves to the left

below:  On the south side of Lakeshore, there is no sidewalk here but the grassy area is wide enough…..

shadow on the grass beside the Lakeshore

below:  Walking here offers a different view of the Port Lands.  The “smokestack” on the right is the old Hearn Generating station.

Keating Channel, looking east

below: Some of the buildings that remain on Villiers Street.

looking across the Keating Channel to a low rise building, square dock juts into the channel

old buildings still remaing on Villies Street as seen from across the Keating Channel

below: Panorama of Keating Channel being developed, 1916, before there was much on the Port Lands and  Cherry Street was just a one lane dirt road.

panorama - 1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo, also Port Lands before they were developed

below: Keating Channel, 1916

1914 picture of building of Keating channel to divery mouth of Don River to Lake Ontario, black and white vintage photo
The original plan for the diversion of the Don River called for a more curved mouth of the river before it joined the Keating Channel.  But the British American Oil Company who owned the land fought that idea.  Instead, the 90 degree turn that still exists today was built to avoid crossing B/A property.

below: A few years after the channel was upgraded (1934)…  From vacant land to a forest of BA oil tanks. There are railway tracks along the edge of the channel.  From Wikipedia: “In 1908, with 8 shareholders, B/A built Canada’s third refinery on 3 acres on the eastern waterfront in Toronto. The company refined imported crude oil and its main product was kerosene; a then-useless by-product was gasoline, which was dumped into a swamp.”

photo of Keating Street

Photo by Arthur Beales. Toronto Port Authority Archives, PC 1/1/10769. Found at Wikimedia Common

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below: BA refinery with the Don River on the right, 1931.  There were still storage tanks here in the 1960s when the city was building the Gardiner Expressway.

1931 photograph, vintage, black and white, of British American oil refinery just north of the Keating Channel and just west of the Don River,

Photo source: Library and Archives Canada, online

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below: This rusty “fence” isn’t going to hold anyone or anything back.  I had visions of tumbling into the icy channel if I went near it.  I think that just looking at it made it wobble.

old rusty metal barrier between the Keating Channel and the road, with some weeds and gravel

below: There are still places to tie up your boat

a large metal piece beside keating channel, for tying off boats who want to park there,

below: A big tap? It’s attached to a pipeline but is it functional?  (It doesn’t look like it).  There is a lot of infrastructure buried under the Lakeshore, sewer lines, water mains, electricals, etc., but this looks like a piece of history.  Pleased correct me if I’m wrong!  Also – if you plan to explore here, there are stretches where the only option is to walk right beside the road.

old rusty large valve for a pipeline, beside Lakeshore Blvd,

below: Likewise, the box structure is probably there to protect the rest – but what are they?  Valves of some kind?

old metal pieces of hardware, pipes and valves?, rusty, beside the Keating channel

lone building onthe other side of the water, surrounded by construction at ground level.  boarded up, two storey building

construction in the background, blue digger, vacant land, and the Keating channel in the foreground, ducks in the water

below: Looking north to Canary District and West Don Lands development.  The oil tanks are long gone.

Canary district development from the Lakeshore, looking north,

below: Looking up from Lakeshore, under both the Gardiner and the ramp from the DVP

view from the Lakeshore looking up to the Gardiner Expressway and the underside of the ramp from the Don Valley Parkway to the Gardiner, 3 levels of concrete pillars and roadway.

below: Looking west from Don Roadway along the Keating Channel to the new Cherry Street bridge.

view from the Don Roadway back to the new Cherry Street bridge, looking west, with the Gardiner to the right, Keating channel with thin layer of ice on it, docks and a few buildings on the Port Lands side of the channel

below: Intersection of Lakeshore and Don Roadway.

at the intersection of Don Roadway and Lakeshore Blvd, traffic cones and a blue sign that says sidewalk closed ahead

below: Two metal transmission towers standing side by side.  Geometrical, straight lines, yet lace-like.

two tall metal hydro poles with lots of blue sky, power plant in the distance, and looking very small

below: From the Don Roadway, northbound and homeward

street art on the concrete bents holding up the ramp from D V P to Gardiner Expressway, walking path beside, with a man walking his dog,

close up of part of electrical station equipment, with water tower in the background with word Ponds written on it

chain link fence with a design woven into it with different colours, artwork, shrubbery with no leaves (winter time), billboard on an expressway in the background

  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

bus stop and shelter on Don Mills Road at Wynford, Crosstown construction and high rises in the background

I’ve been keeping an eye on the old IBM building at the corner of Don Mills and Eglinton. It was built in 1951 as IBM’s Canadian manufacturing plant and head office.

It’s been empty for a long time but recently work has begun on the site.

east side of old IBM building at Don Mills and Eglinton, low rise yellow brick, horizontal windows, empty and ready for demolition

The IBM complex sits on 60 acres and the whole site will be redeveloped in the coming months.  The white tower in the background is also on the site, right beside the CPR tracks that mark the northern boundary.

piles of metal from demolition of building

below: A Canada goose struts near one of the entrances to the old IBM building that is being demolished.

solitary Canada goose walking on the grass beside the parking lot for old IBM building, demolition of one of the entrances in the background

an entrance to the IBM building on Don Mills Road being demolished

below: 1954

an old black and white photo of the IBM building on Don Mills Road in 1954

photo credit – taken from ‘Urban Toronto’ online article about this development

below: Apparently the plan is to build a mix of residential and commercial buildings on the site ranging from 3 to 44 storeys.  A new community centre and park are also included in the planned Crosstown Community.

corner of Don Mills and Eglinton during Crosstown construction, IBM building in the background

In terms of construction and development, this intersection is very busy as it is also the location of the future Science Centre LRT station.  It has been a mess for so long that I can’t remember how long it’s been.  There are  signs of progress starting to emerge from the chaos so perhaps there is hope for a 2021 opening of the Crosstown LRT.

below: The new bus bays on the northeast corner are starting to take shape.

west end of the new bus bays at Eglinton and Don Mills, under construction, glass walls and roof

below: More of the NE corner.

vacant lot on Eglinton Ave by Great Canadian Superstore at Don Mills, edge of Crosstown construction site

concrete barriers being stored on a vacant lot, one ornage and white cone too

below: Looking across Eglinton towards the Mormon church and other buildings on the south east corner.

construction on Eglinton at Don Mills, Mormon church in the picture - Church of Latter Day Saints

below: A sign of the times.  Covid-19 dos and don’ts.

signs re covid-19 on a green fence around a construction site

below: New tracks being laid where the LRT comes back to the surface east of Don Mills Road (looking east towards the DVP).  The Science Centre station is underground even though the tracks on both the east and west side are above ground.

construction of the Crosstown l r t, tracks being laid on the above ground portion of the line, near Eglinton.

below: From the NE corner (black building is/was the Ontario Federation of Labour) looking south.  All buildings are on the east side of Don Mills Road.

from the northeast corner of Don Mills and Eglinton looking to the south east corner, Foresters building, another older office building and two newer condos.

below: A sidewalk, temporary, lined with cones, along Eglinton.

line of orange and black traffic cones on both sides of the sidewalk along Eglinton through Crosstown construction zone

There are other buildings being torn down.  The building in the background is 1200 Eglinton Ave East.  It was an office building with a parking structure beside it.   This is the view from Wynford Drive.

two concrete buildings from the 1970s or 1980s, one behind has started to be demolished, a parking lot and large tree between the buildings

The same building a few days later when I went back to check on the demolition’s progress.  The parking structure is now just piles of rubble and more of the exterior walls of the other building are gone.

green machery demolishing a parking structure that is now just piles of rubble, beside another building that is partially demolished

lower levels of a building that has been partially demolished, all the exterior walls have been removed, leaving just the interior walls

below: The large, almost empty, parking lot behind the Bell building on Wynford.

large yellow arrow painted on the surface of a large parking lot, only a few cars

below: With a few exceptions, most of the buildings around Wynford are products of the 1960s and 1970s.

three storey white concrete building with the width of the floors increasing as you go upwards

low one storey building with two large windows with blinds closed, no cars in parking lot

two trees in front of a concrete building with lots of narrow vertical windows

a red brick one storey light industrial building

below: Another empty parking lot.  This picture was taken on a Saturday afternoon which might explain the lack of cars but as I drive around the city I see lots of empty parking lots even during the work week.   A sign of the times.

bent metal pipes as a railing, painted in yellow and black, empty parking lot beyond with a couple a buildings in the background

below: Looking across the Don Valley Parkway

tree silhouette (no leaves) in front of a glass building that is reflecting the blue of the sky

below: CPR tracks behind Wynford.

graffiti, tags, along the concrete embankment beside the CPR tracks, apartment buldings can be seen over the wall

below: Rusty metal spirals, tightly wound, found amongst the gravel along the train tracks.

a pile of rusted spiral pieces of metal formed from drilling into the sides of railway tracks, lying in the gravel beside the tracks

a set of three railway lights at 2042-1 pole, lights are arranged vertically, one on top of the other

edge of parking lot that it empty, with railway tracks behind, a wall with graffiti, and an apartment building in the background

below: Looking east along the tracks just before they cross the DVP.   If you follow the tracks, they lead you to the CPR marshaling yard at McCowan and Sheppard.   So, that’s where I went next…. (scroll down!)

a lone chair sitting in the grass beside the railway tracks, shrubs behind the chair, early spring, no leaves on the shrubs

along the railway tracks, shrubs, and an old wood utility pole with glass knobs

It’s easy to view railway tracks from bridges, in this case from a bridge on Finch Avenue East between Markham Road and McCowan.  The is CPR Toronto Yard.

seen from a bridge, two bright red CPR train engines on tracks, beside the watch tower

It is a marshaling yard, also known as a classification yard, which is where railway cars are separated onto one of several tracks and joined with other cars with the same destination.

boxcars and tankers waiting on tracks at the CPR yard

Sitting on over 400 acres, CPR’s yard in Scarborough is one of the largest in Canada.  There are 311 switches and about 140km of track on which freight cars are shunted between tracks.   The site was opened in 1964.

across the tracks, lots of red CPR engines, with skyline behind

seen from a bridge, a train passes below, engine, flatbed cars, a tanker, and a boxcar

…but getting to track level can be more of a challenge.

below: It sometimes involves getting lost and having a chat with a security guard or two (but not until after you have a few good wall & shadow pictures)

a security guard walks down a road between two white metal buildings

below:  In other places, access is simple.

a small dead pine tree in front of a large puddle in a parking lot, a line of red boxcars behind it

a man in a safety vest stands beside two boxcars, one yellow and the other orange,

three tanks on towers above train cars at CPR yard

below: I’ve never thought too much about graffiti on trains until today – How many miles has this little guy traveled?  Where did he come from and who painted him when?  How many people have seen him as he shuttles back and forth across the country (or perhaps farther than that?)?

the graffiti on the side of a red boxcar

below: Looking right back at you!

graffiti on the side of a train car - painted pale blue with two big eyes that seem to be looking at the viewer

reddich colour boxcar with pink and blue blobs, graffiti

below: A westbound train leaves the yard at McCowan Road.

two bright red CPR engines at the front of a train, black tanker cars behind, as it crosses over the bridge at the entrance to the CPR railway yard

below: Back in 1964 the community of Browns Corners was at the corner of Finch Avenue East and Markham Road(not to be confused with the other Browns Corners on Woodbine Ave and Hwy 7).   There are no more traces of the community or the farms that surrounded it.

trucks parked beside a long low grey building, in the distance. in front is a vacant lot

I only walked around part of the yard and I didn`t take very many pictures of the buildings that are there – seniors residence, medical clinic, a few offices, etc.

pattison billboard beside a street, on a vacant piece of land
a bus shelter on the side of a street, with vacant land behind and a large billboard advertising a radio station

the backs of trucks parked by a vacant lot

I would like to end this blog post with one building that I saw that was different.

below: The Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre is nearby.  I think that I have it right – the Sathya Sai Organization is not a religion but a “universal approach to life” whose teacher and spiritual leader is Sathya Sai Baba.   Each of the five petals in the flower contain a word or phrase: truth, right conduct, peace, non violence, and love.

 

Sri Sathya Sai Baba centre

below: There was a column-like structure near the door topped with a large lotus flower.  The base was square and on each were printed words.  “Offer all bitterness in the sacred Fire and emerge grand, great and Godly.”

part of the base of a column with words that say offer all bitterness in the sacred fire and emerge grand, great and godly

below: “Remember the wheel of Cause and Consequence of Deed and Destiny and the Wheel of Dharma that rights them all”.  I assume that the other two sides also had inscriptions but I couldn’t see them because of a fence with a locked gate.

part of the base of a column with words that say remember the wheel of cause and consequence of deed and destiny and the wheel of dharma that rights them all

Back on McCowan and back home… (still no TTC in my life)

a row of cars for sale, seen from the back

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

below: Escalators, Pioneer Village subway station

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

below: From the outside looking in, Pioneer Village station

red walls, exterior and interior,

below: Hwy 407 station.  Artwork by David Pearl.

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

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

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

subway station, ground level, lots of window and sunlight

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

turnstiles

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

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

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

 

reflcetive ceiling

shiny reflective ceiling at TTC subway station

below: Curved, reflective ceiling, Vaughan station

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

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

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

 

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

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

This is another “walk about” post; in fact, it is the product of two nearly identical walks a few months apart.

below: Standing at the corner of King and Spadina while TTC workmen clear the streetcar tracks of excess dirt and sand.

two young women standing on the corner of King & Spadina

below: Looking east along King Street.  The LCBO on the corner is now closed.

looking eastward along King St from Spadina, high rises, billboard, traffic, city,

below: Spadina, south of King.

construction on Spadina south of King, beside the red and white Petro Canada gas station

below: Looking through a parking lot on Wellington.

backs of buildings as seen through a parking lot on Wellington street

below: Looking south on Draper Street

looking south on Draper street to condos south of the tracks

below: The CN Tower from Draper Street

the CN tower as seen through a vacant lot on Draper street

below: Construction continues on the old Globe and Mail site south of Wellington and north of Front.

construction on the site of the old Globe and Mail building between Wellington and Front

below: A pink pig still celebrating Valentines Day.

a pink plastic pig on a porch, wearing heart shaped sunglasses and a necklace of heart shapes

below: Looking east along the tracks from Portland Street.  In November when I walked here, there were many movie trucks parked along Front Street.

looking east along the north side of the railway tracks from Portland Street towards downtown, cranes and construction site, high rises

below: The new condos on the north side of Front Street that face the railway tracks.

a line of glass and concrete condos on Front street that face the railway tracks, cars and trucks at construction site beside the tracks, below street level

pasteup graffiti on a yellow post, faces with eyes collage, by jeremy lynch

below: Crossing the Puente de Luz, Toronto’s yellow pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks.

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

looking eastward to the puente de luz bridge and the city skyline beyond, railway tracks, cranes, new buildings,

below: On the south side of the railway – the green building is the Library District condo.

fish eye lens view of side of green library condo building and the other across the street, Queens Wharf Rd

below: Bathurst Street at Fort York Blvd., with the overhang from the library which is on that corner.

overhang from the library roof, Bathurst street, south of tracks, condos, street,

below: Bathurst streetcar southbound.

TTC streetcar passes over Bathurst street bridge over the railway tracks, new condos in the background, crane

below: The grassy green mound that separates Fort York from the city…. with the city creeping up behind it.

edge of the grounds of fort york, green grass on hill, with new high risse condos in the distance

below: Orange bars across the eyes, graffiti

graffiti, three black and white photos of faces with orange streak painted through their eyes, pasteups on concrete

below: The Bentway, under the Gardiner Expressway (a previous post on the Bentway)

the bentway, the new development and park under the gardiner expressway, words on one of the concrete posts that says Welcome to the Bentway a shared space kind of place

Garrison Crossing is actually two stainless steel bridges, both over railway tracks.   Both have spans of close to 50m.  In the middle is a peninsula of land that is in the process of being developed into condos and a park.  Almost 20 years ago there was a proposal to build a bridge here – to be opened in 2012 for the anniversary of the War of 1812.  Mayor Rob Ford was opposed to it (too much money) and the plans were shelved.  A change of mayor (and some help from developers) and a change of plan again.  Construction began in 2016.  It provides a much needed link between the two sides of the railway lands.

below: Southern span – walking north from Fort York

fisheye view of first garrison crossing bridge with new condos in the middle

below: City view from the new park in the middle, train tracks (difficult to see in this picture) on two sides of the triangle.

view from Garrison Crossing, in the middle, CN Tower and Toronto downtown skyline

below: Yellow construction fences still line the edge of the path through the middle section between the bridges.

yellow construction fences line the pathway through the middle of Garrison Crossing as it is not quite finished construction

below: People crossing the northern portion of Garrison Crossing (looking south).

people walking across the Garrison Crossing bridge with high rise condos behind them

below: Looking northwest from the second span of Garrison Crossing towards Strachan Avenue and beyond.

railway tracks north of Garrison crossing looking towards Strachan Ave

below: Garrison Crossing ends at Wellington Street close to Stanley Park

park, green space, baseball diamond with lights, and a row of bright coloured houses behind

a garage door completely covered in paint, street art in red, black and yellow

street art on a garage door including a large pair of white hands

street art on two metal boxes on the sidewalk, one is a zipper opening to reveal a brick wall

below: Found – one city snowplow parking lot, between the railway tracks and Wellington Street (at the end of Walnut Ave).

parking lot for red snowplows, city property, also a dome shaped storage for sand, condos in the background

below: Immediately to the east of the snowplows is the old brick building. It has its own access road from Wellington including a bridge with three arches.   The road is overgrown and blocked by a fence.  There is no sign by the road.

cars in a parking lot with an old boarded up brick building, 2 storeys. The building has a road and 3 arched bridge leading to the upper storey

below: It took some time on google but I finally found the answer to the building above.  Here it is in 1925, the year that it was built – the Wellington Destructor.  It was used until the 1970s when burning garbage was banned; it has been a heritage building since 2005.  I found the photo online on a CBC News webpage where there a great description of the building and its history,  along with some pictures of the interior.

old black and white photo of garbage incinerator built in 1925, Toronto, large brick building

below: And that brings us back to the Bathurst Street bridge over the railway tracks on the south side of Front Street.  Did you know that it’s officially called the Sir Isaac Brock Bridge?  It spent most of its life as the Bathurst Street Bridge until 2007 when it was renamed.

traffic at the intersection of Bathurst and Front. Brown metal bridge for Bathurst over the tracks, CN Tower and new condos in the background

below: It is a steel truss bridge that was built in 1903 (one of the oldest bridges in the city).  It’s first life was a railway bridge over the Humber Bridge but in 1916 it was disassembled, moved to Bathurst, and reassembled.

brown metal bridge, Bathurst street over the railway tracks,

below: Bathurst bridge, 1919, from the west (Lake Ontario is on the right hand side).

vintage black and white photo of railway tracks and bridge over Bathurst street, 1919, from Toronto City Archives

The view from the Municipal Abbatoir Building, looking southeast. The building with the water tower on top is the Matthews Blackwell meat packing company. On the left, you can see part of the cylindrical tower belonging to Consumers Gas Company

 

below: Someone has given this rusty guy some eyes!  He too is watching out for interesting stories.  He’s also thankful that you made it this far!  At least he can’t roll his eyes!

two large black and white googly eyes have been glued onto a rusty piece of metal on a fence

Walking up Yonge Street without actually walking on Yonge Street…. with all it’s distractions and wrong turns.  We eventually get somewhere and that somewhere may actually be where we want to be!

 

a metal box with two paintings of women, on the left, woman is holding a red flower in her hand

below: I didn’t know that such a place existed!  It’s at Davenport and Belmont in case you feel the need….

at the corner of Davenport and Belmont is the Anti Aging Shop

below: I smiled even more when I went around the corner and encountered this sign

yellow traffic warning sign that says watch for seniors

below: Toronto layers

parking lot, with a row of backs of houses behind, with higher rise buildings in the background

below: The old stone stairs at Ramsden Park.  A bit muddy at the bottom but that never stopped me.

old stone stairs in Ramsden Park

below: Waiting for spring… or at least for some snow to melt.

a basketball hoop on a metal pole in the snow in the park

below: An after school skate.

children skating on outdoor rink at Ramsden Park

below: Old and new – exploring the lanes that run parallel to Yonge.   This is Paul Hahn Lane.

older and newer buildings in a lane in Rosedale area

below: Trespassers will be prosecuted.  If you can’t read the sign, does it still count?

old beat up green door on the back of a brick building, lane, garbage bins there, also an old faded sign that says trespassers will be prosecuted, metal stairs leading up to upper storeys

below: As you go north, Paul Hahn Lane becomes Sam Tile Lane.

small house at the corner of a street and an alley, now a cafe

below: The caterpillar isn’t where it was.  Is this an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland reference? Actually it’s a children’s clothing store but that doesn’t stop my from quoting Lewis Carroll, or at least a short passage.  Alice’s interaction with the caterpillar is too long to include here!

an empty storefront in a red brick building, black awning in front, words on awning say Advice from a caterpillar

“In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, ‘One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’ ‘One side of what? The other side of what?’ thought Alice to herself. ‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.”

below: At Summerhill there is no way to parallel Yonge because of the train tracks.  A shout out to this young man who just previous to this moment stopped to ask me if I’d taken some great photos today.  I answered that it was a bit grey to get great pictures and he concurred.

a man walks under a bridge, has headphones on and is carrying dry cleaning in a plastic cover

below: Infrequently photographed (the daring architecture!) and not well known, this is Summerhill subway station.  It has no bus connections and the only major destination nearby is the large LCBO in the old CPR station a block away (i.e. not many people use this station).

Exterior view of Summerhill subway station, a low brick building with slanted front wall

below: Something old ans something new.  I was wondering if the slate tiles on the upper storey were originals when I noticed the unobtrusive addition to the white and black house.

semi divided houses

below: Looking south towards Rosedale station (view blocked by the white and blue temporary building for the construction next to the bridge).  Tall downtown buildings in  the distance.  The tallest one is at 1 Bloor East and it is partially hidden by the Hudson Bay Centre tower on the other side of Bloor Street (the squarish building) and another tower that I am not sure of.

looking down the TTC subway tracks from just north of Rosedale station, highrises of downtown in the background, trees beside the tracks, 2 subway cars, one going north and the other south

below: Another of the many “it’s a street, no it’s an alley”, passages that you find in Toronto.

house in an alley

below: The rust and metal of an alley infill house

a bright blue shiny car parked in front of a rust coloured house in an alley

below: In an area of smaller narrow houses on small lots, some creativity is required if you want to expand.

new third floor addition on a house

below: A concrete lined hole in the ground with access from the alley but also from the street?  The beginnings of a larger development?

snow covered vacant lot with a concrete hole in the foreground, basement for a new house

below: Along the way I happened upon the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club in its winter plumage.

gates and white dome of the TOronto Lawn Tennis Club

below: Foiled! I was going to walk up through and David Balfour Park but the path is blocked… so back to Yonge Street I’m afraid.

fence and gate blocking a walkway through a park, construction zone now

below: He looks about as happy as I felt at that moment… but at least my arm is still intact.

a small wooden carving of a man with a broken arm, outside in the snow

below: Once on Yonge Street I discovered that traffic is even worse than usual because of lane closures.  Water main repairs and/or replacements by the looks of it.

looking south towards downtown, Yonge street construction, water main replacement, at Rosehill

a woman walking on a sidewalk past a construction zone

construction on Yonge street

below: This is now close to St. Clair Ave and a subway station so this is where I called it quits.  The days are still short and although the temperatures aren’t too bad, a cup of coffee seemed like a great idea at that moment (see the Aroma sign in the upper right corner?  It was calling my name).

a workman holds a stop sign at an intersection while a dump truck backs up and makes a turn, construction zone on Yonge street

below: Someone doesn’t seem to mind being in traffic!

a long haired furry beige dog with its head out the front seat window of an orange car in traffic

Stay positive & enjoy the trip, you’ll get there!

Oh, by the way, the photos may not be anything special (the grey day and all that) but I still had fun with them.

Open Doors was this past weekend in Toronto.  For one day only, the new maintenance facility for the Eglinton Crosstown in Mt Dennis was open to the public, the EMSF (Eglinton Maintenace and Storage Facility). Although the new trains (aka light rail vehicles) are very much like the new TTC streetcars and the new maintenance buildings resemble the Leslie Barns, here are a few glimpses of what is to come.

below: The parking lot and pedestrian access to the EMSF is off Industry Street.

bus shelter at Bertal Rd near the new facility, barbed wire fence around the building, grass and weeds around the shelter

below: Exterior of new Crosstown light rail vehicle. Six new vehicles have been delivered from Bombardier so far.  Another seventy are expected to arrive before the Crosstown opens in 2021.

inside the new maintance building, a new grey, black and white crosstown train on display, people walking past it and taking pictures

below: Interior, looking towards the front.

a few people talking at the front of new Crosstown train, from farther back in the train.

below: The AVIS facility – Automated Vehicle Inspection Station

the AVIS building at the new eglinton crosstown buildings, AVIS means, automated vehicle inspection station. It is a covering over tracks that the trains can pull into

below:  Looking into the maintenance building.

people standing outside the open door of the crosstown facility, can look inside

inside the new train maintenance building with three levels of access to the trains,

the front end of two trains parked inside, with work areas under the trains for maintenance

below: The site takes up 42 acres of land.   There are 8.5 kms of track.

streetcar tracks and overhead wires

exterior of new crosstown maintenance facility with double grey stripes, a doorway with many warning signs.

Not shown: There is also a building for Transit Operations.

looking through blue see through fencing towards an apartment across the street, a pedestrian crossing sign in front, a danger due to excavations sign on the fence.

Back before the winter snow had melted, I was at Yonge and Eglinton and noticed that the old bus bays at Eglinton station were gone. That structure had sat empty for a couple of years but now there is a big hole where they once stood. As I looked through the pictures that I took that day, I decided that it might be interesting to explore farther east to see what was happening with the Crosstown LRT construction that has messed up the traffic through midtown for so long now.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Eglinton.

large hole in the ground at a construction site, diggers and a crane onsite

below: There is still a lot of construction underway on Eglinton near Yonge.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT, shoring, wood and pipes

below: A little father east and more holes in the ground. This is the intersection of Eglinton and Mt Pleasant taken from the SE corner looking towards the NW. At least the facade of the old Imperial Bank of Canada building on the NW corner was originally going to be used as the LRT station but have those plans changed? The building was demolished but apparently the facade was taken apart brick by brick and will be re-built later.

holes in the ground on construction sites on Eglinton Ave for the new crosstown LRT

below: This is the plan for the Mt Pleasant station as seen on the Crosstown website.

artists conception of a new LRT station with a re-purposed older building

below: Looking west from Mt. Pleasant.

cain link fence and gate is open, construction crew in the middle of Eglinton Ave (at Mt Pleasant) is working with a digger, hole in the ground

below: Between Laird and Brentcliffe (east of Bayview). See those low rise brick apartment buildings? How long until they’re gone?

red and white tim hortons sign with an arrow pointing left at a long grey fence around a construction site, sidewalk, street, and low rise buildings on the right, Eglinton Ave

two 3 storey red brick apartment buildings

below: At Brentcliffe. The LRT is underground here and there is no station at this intersection. Laird, where there is a station, is only one block to the west.

Eglinton Ave east at Brentcliffe

below: From Brentcliffe, Eglinton goes downhill because of the Don River ravine system

looking east on Eglinton, towards Don Mills Road in the distance, construction in the foreground

below: Part way down the hill there is a section of concrete. At first I thought that this was where the LRT was going to come to the surface.

concrete section of road, construction

below: But then I wasn’t so sure. There is a concrete wall blocking what would be the exit. It’s difficult to get a closer look because there are two layers of fencing in the way. Nobody was working here. In addition, there is another section farther along that looks like the actual opening. Maybe this is part of the supporting infrastructure?

two fences in front of a dug out section of road, with concrete wall at one end.  One f the fences is orange, wire,

below: Still walking east along Eglinton…. Almost to the bottom of the hill at Leslie – looking east along Eglinton Avenue with E.T. Seton Park on the right and the railway bridge in the distance. Leslie Street, which ends at Eglinton, is on the very left side of the photo. There is talk that this intersection will be closed for two months this summer.

looking east along Eglinton Ave towards Leslie, on the right is the road to the park and beyond that, a railway bridge

below: I turned around and took a picture of the hill that I had just come down. Here the LRT surfaces and the tracks run down the center of the road, with lanes of traffic on both sides of the tracks. I am fairly certain that you can see the entrance to the tunnel, the east portal, near the middle of this picture. From here to Kennedy station the tracks are above ground (except for a portion of the route at Don Mills).

traffic drives west along Eglinton Ave., up the hill from Leslie, through the crosstown LRT construction

below: The sidewalk on the south side ends at Leslie street. Here, I chatted with a policeman while we waited for the light to turn green. Once he did, he escorted me across Eglinton as we had to pass through part of the construction zone. This is where I also discovered that there are no bus stops between Brentcliffe and Don Mills Road. That’s only 2 km but it feels a lot longer!

on the south side of Eglinton, where the sidewalk ends at Leslie street, looking east beyond that with construction on the right

below: A development proposal sign stands on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park but what is now a Toyota dealership.

development proposal sign on the lawn of what used to be the Inn on the Park on the north east corner of Leslie and Eglinton

green netting and fencing on both sides of a narrow sidewalk running between construction and traffic.

below: The station at Don Mills and Eglinton will be called “Science Center” and it will be under the intersection.

LRT track path being constructed,

below: There will be a bus terminal on the northeast corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton with underground access to the LRT station. This is what construction looks like on that corner at the moment.

underground sections of LRT being constructed at Don Mills and Eglinton, crane at work, metal frame over tunnel

Just east of Don Mills Road, the LRT surfaces again and remains above ground until Kennedy station. I took the bus from Don Mills Road to Victoria Park as there wasn’t as much to see in this stretch.

below: Looking east from Victoria Park Avenue.

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides,

shallow but wide hole in the ground where new LRT tracks are being laid. construction in prep for the tracks, green fencing separates construction from traffic on both sides, water tower in the distance

concrete utility pole with two ripped paper temporary bust stop signs, TTC, stops no longer in use