Archive for the ‘transportation’ Category

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.

Sometimes I choose my walks randomly and sometimes I am on a mission to find something in particular. The other day, June 1st, definitely falls in the latter category. I have been following the Crosstown LRT/subway construction so when I heard that the new LRT trains were arriving for testing near Kennedy I knew that I had to see it for myself. While I was there, why not check out the area?

below: On Eglinton, east of Kennedy

looking across the street, Eglinton Ave., at Yal market, an asian store, small tree on close side of the street, low rise apartment building behind the market

apartment buildings on north side of Eglinton, Town Haven place and traffic sign directions to parts of Eglinton not on the hill bridge

below: It’s not the most pedestrian friendly stretch of road but it’s also a bridge over railway tracks.

light traffic on a hill with maximum 50 sign , guardrail, hydro poles beyond,

below: Kennedy station is already a GO train station. The east end of line 2 (Bloor-Danforth line) swings north as it crosses Scarborough. By Kennedy it is at Eglinton Ave and here it connects with the above ground TTC line 3 (Sheppard line). The blue train is the latter.

a GO train and a blue TTC subway train head north on tracks, photo taken from the bridge above

below: Looking west towards the intersection of Kennedy and Eglinton.

view along Eglinton westward towards Kennedy Road, wide street, hydro poles, low rise development, lots of black and orange construction cones

below: Northwest corner of Kennedy and Eglinton

Shell service station, gas station, and other businesses on the north side of Eglinton including a car wash, a dentist office, two storey development

astrologer and palm reader ad as a crooked sign on a post near intersection, cars, businesses behind.  also a sign that says no left turn from eglinton onto birchmount starting November 13

below:  The Crosstown LRT tracks are on the surface for
most of the Scarborough portion of its route. Just west of Kennedy station they go underground.

looking along new rail tracks for Crosstown LRT as they go underground just west of Kennedy station, traffic on both sides of the tracks

a workman sits on the sidewalk as he works with underground cables at construction site for new LRT on Eglinton

sign saying crosstown LRT testing is starting soon, caution, overhead lines are energized, on street near near new LRT train

below: A new LRT train on the tracks between Ionview and Kennedy stations.  It had been unloaded from a truck minutes before I arrived.  At least two other trains where scheduled to arrive that day.

police cars and other cars parked in left lane of traffic, along side new LRT train

One end of a new TTC LRT train with workmen in yellow and orange safety vests

below: Ionview station

New Ionview LRT station with its  protected areas, like a bus shelter, at surface level, between the lanes of traffic on Eglinton, apartment buildings in the background

below: Traffic flow

people walking on edge of road that has been separated from traffic by yellow plastic dividers, through construction zone, a mother and her children

below: That’s one way to use a construction sign. Whether Mike is responsible or has been pranked is anybody’s guess

old overhead light standard in an empty parking lot in front of a boarded up strip mall with Adult store, hair garden, smoke shop, nails spa and ali baba restaurant

below: The new Kennedy LRT station (at the eastern end of the line) is almost complete. The LRT is scheduled to be operational “sometime in 2022”.

as seen from between two cars, the new Kennedy LRT station under construction

the new Kennedy LRT station under construction

below: What people keep on their dashboards…..

2 hard hats inside a car.  Both yellow. One says Heaven is real Hellfire is Real. and the other says Remember Jesus died for me and you

below: Kiss ‘n Ride at Kennedy station

below: TTC subway train, line 3, enters Kennedy station.

blue TTC sheppard line subway train enters Kennedy station after going up the curved concrete ramp

below: Danger due to yetis

two keys on a ribbon have been tied to a street sign that says notice vehicles are subject to removal at owners expense

below: Parking for an underground church? Or underground parking for a church?

sign with an arrow pointing straight ahead and words that say underground church parking

Keep Smiling!

picture of a large tooth with a big red lips and shiny white teeth holding a blue banner that says we'll make you smile

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.”

*****

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

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

.

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