Archive for the ‘waterfront’ Category

A long weekend in May (Two Four Weekend) + the first sunny warm day in a while + two months of “shelter in place” = people out enjoying Tommy Thompson Park’s trails and waterfront.

a couple sit on a rock by Lake Ontario

below: Flow Like a River

bikes parked against a fence with signs on it, with graffiti words that say flow like a river, in the background a mound of dirt with two young men standing on top of it.

below: Keep ur distance

a girl in a red bike helmet walks on top of a yellow concrete barrier

cyclists on a bike path, seen through tree trunks and long grass

below: Three people, three positions – up tall and straight, flailing legs middle, and collapsing feet at the end.    Also notable are the mounds of tangled rebar that dot the shoreline.

three young people trying to do headstones on the pebbles at the shore beside Lake Ontario, Tommy Thompson Park, with old rusty rebar in piles on the shore two, washed up old trees and roots,

father and child standing on rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario

below: She’s sitting on some very rounded rocks that have been shaped by the waves and water.  Are they chunks of man-made concrete and not the more solid  rocks formed by nature?

a woman looking at her phone, sitting on rocks by Lake Ontario, her bike is on the ground behind her

The park has come a long way since construction of the Leslie Street Spit started in 1959.  In the beginning, it was to be an area for “port related activities”.   In the early 1970s, it was decided that Toronto didn’t need an expanded port.  Since 1973, the focus has been on developing the area as a park but keeping as much “wilderness” as possible.  If you are interested in the history of Tommy Thompson Park, they have an excellent website with aerial pictures that show how the park has grown.

tall smokestack in the distance, a park in the foreground, with a bike path and cyclists running through the park, early spring

below: Nature slowly takes over, and the piles of rubble and construction waste that were used to help build the foundations of the park become grown over and buried.

grassy, rocky part of Tommy Thompson Park in spring with shrubs and trees just starting to bud

below: Late afternoon fishermen on their way in.

people walking on a trail in Tommy Thompson Park, early spring, trees just starting to form leaves

below: If you look closely, you might see that one of the bikes has a bell in the shape of a skull with red eyes.

4 bikes parked on the shore, among leafless shrubs, beside Lake Ontario

piles of rock, concrete bits, rebar, construction waste, forming parts of Tommy Thompson park

below: There were lots of noisy redwing blackbirds as well as many other kinds of birds – orioles, grosbeaks, goldfinches, robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows.  During spring migration, up to 300 different species can be seen here.

a male redwing blackbird in a tree, making noise

long droopy buds on a tree, dark red on top and golden yellow on the lower parts, out of focus trees in the background

In the foregeound, trees and stumps in the water at the edge of the harbour, looking across the water to the Toronto skyline

two sailboats exit the marina harbour and pass by the Toronto skyline (seen from the east)

below: Construction on the east side of the park.  This is the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project scheduled to be finished in 2025.  Three shore connected breakwaters and a headland/beach system are being constructed.

filling in part of Lake Ontario, walls of rocks with dirt between them

Work continues on the Port Lands redevelopment with more buildings being demolished to make way for the new mouth of the Don River.

view of portlands includingLafarge silos, gas tanks, and construction

below: Cherry Street bridge

Cherry street bridge over the Keating Channel, green metal bridge

below: Don Roadway looking north.  The southern part is now closed (south of Lakeshore Blvd)

a pile of tree trunks, recently cut down, on a road that is now closed

looking north on the closed portion of the Don Roadway, lumber pile in middle of road, large metal hydro poles,

below: Villiers Street at the Don Roadway.  A couple of old buildings remain on Villiers but many structures between Villiers and the Keating Channel are now gone, especially at the east end of the channel near the present mouth of the Don River.

Villiers street at Don Roadway, two school buses parked here, Gardiner Expressway in the background

below: Commissioners Street, looking east.  Everything in that block, on the south side, has been levelled – the blue and white building is on the other side of the Don Roadway.

Commissioners street in port lands, with road closed sign

a glass bus shelter behind a construction fence

below: The west end of Commissioners street

Commissioners street in the port lands, road closed, yield sign on road yield to oncoming traffic, black and orange traffic cones, a plywood booth for security guard to sit in,

below: Commissioners Street, north side

construction, signs on a wood pole, Toronto skyline in the background

TTC bus stop for route 72 on Commissioners street but pole is now in the middle of a construction site, lots of dirt, orange and black traffic cones, Gardiner Expressway in the background

below: T’nT grocery store is now closed.  The red sign by the door advertises Chinese New Year specials.

back of a large laker boat parked beside an empty parking lot

below: The same boat, the NACC Argonaut, but from the south, from Polson Street.    NACC = Nova Algoma Cement Carriers.  She was built in Japan in 2003 and converted into a cement carrier in 2017.  The next year she entered service on the Great Lakes.

ship parked in channel, beside an empty parking lot with a small booth for attendant of parking lot

below: As you can see more clearly here, the Argonaut was actually parked beside the Lafarge facility.  T’nT is behind the Lafarge Cement round towers (building on the left).

large empty parking lot in the foregraound, largare cement facitily in the background, with a large laker docked beside it

large laker ship docked beside Lafarge cement

below: Shipping Channel

two boats parked in the shipping channel, one is the white and yellow Iroquois

boats parked in the shipping channel

shipping channel, port lands

below: There are quite a few old railway crossing signs in the Port Lands for tracks that have been torn up or long unused. I am surprised that no one has stolen them.

old car parked beside an old railway crossing sign, for a railway track that is no longer there

below: Boats of a different kind –    RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) on Cherry Street.

a line of large sail boats in storage, on land, covered with tarps, masts in the air, no sails,

below: Cherry Beach

a woman walking her dog beside a forest, on a beach

No construction affects the beach but these days, people are keeping their distance. Since taking these pictures the beach may have been closed, I’m not sure. The parking lot will be closed for sure.

cherry beach with not many people and cherry lifeguard station

below: Unwin Street, looking east towards the old Hearn Generating Station

unwin street in port lands

hearn generating station from the west side

part of Hearn generating plant, upper level with watch tower

below: Another Port Lands view from above.  North of the Gardiner is the construction site for the rebuilding of the Gardiner.  To the south is the Port Lands with the tall smokestack/chimney of the Hearn.   The white building with the two chimneys on the far left is the Portlands Energy Centre, a natural gas powered electricity generating station.

view of port lands and gardiner expressway from above including hearn generating station

below: The entry to the Portlands Energy Centre which is the property of Hydro One.

closed and locked gate with warning signs on it

a concrete road barrier with blue spray paint words that say have a good day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information about the installations can be found at winterstations.com

It’s been a while since I posted here mostly because I’ve been away.  But I’m back in Toronto and back to walking.  The other day didn’t start as planned!  A locked gate stood in my way.

winter scene, base of Bathurst street by old Canada Malting Co silos, black gate to Ireland Park path is locked, snow, bench,

Shortly after, I saw a sign …. I’m not sure that it references locked gates specifically, but at the minimum it’s a reminder to remain flexible.

an art installation on the exterior wall of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, words in pink letters written over an river landscape scene. the words say If you end up with the story that you started with, then you're not listening along the way.

As anyone Canadian city dweller knows, winter in the city rarely means white snow – the brown slush quickly takes over.   Here, at Spadina and Queens Quay, the road has been painted red to alert drivers to the fact that this is a streetcar lane.

new TTC streetcar turning left from Spadina to Queens Quay, slushy streets after snowfall, people waiting at bus stop,

Lake Ontario has only begun to freeze, and only in quiet protected places.  The first part of January was warmer than usual.  Even as I type this it is raining and all the snow is melting.  There probably isn’t much of this ice left this afternoon.

a couple of boats docked at wood docks, lakefront, waterfront, some thin ice in patches on the water between the shore and the boats. Lake Ontario

below: A “Danger due to” sign that has blown in from somewhere else but is just as relevant here as it is at any construction site.

Toronto red tug boat in the water with brocken bits of ice in the water, also a red and white danger due to sign that has fallen onto the ice of Lake Ontario

below: The Music Garden hibernating for the winter.

along the waterfront, view of CN Tower, with sculpture and dead or hibernating plants at Music Garden

below: Kayaks at Harbourfront resting for the winter months.

red, orange, and yellow kayaks on the ground for the winter, mostly covered with snow

below: The fire rescue boat was out and about the other afternoon.

yellow umbrellas and painted muskoka chairs in the snow at H T O beach, with red fire rescus boat just offshore

a large flock of sea gulls take flight beside Lake Ontario and in front of H T O beach

three people skating at an outdoor skating rink

Now on at the Harbourfront Centre is “Future Retrospectives” which is a group exhibition of works by artists and designers who use the past as a lens to look at the future (until 29th March).

below: The coloured shapes with the words, are the work of Hannah Claus.  They hang on a clear background so the installation on the wall behind shows through (also the work of Hannah Claus).  In fact, the two go together.  At first I thought the coloured shapes represented tombstones but in fact they are a replica of the plaque on Hochelaga Rock. This rock commemorates the village and people encountered by Jacques Cartier in 1535; it is on the McGill campus in Montreal.  It is also featured in the photos on the far wall. The English words (bottom half) start with “Near here was the…”.  More information.

Near Here was art installation or Harbourfront Artport gallery

below: Will we be able to understand a future time?  Also part of Future Retrospectives.

will we understand future time, video art with some other bits and pieces, Harbourfront Artport gallery

below: Timeless.  Eternity. Waiting for the bus.

three people at a bus shelter waiting for a bis, two are standing and one is sitting. They are underneath a large photo of stars and the night sky

below: This is ‘Loop’ an interactive “Winter Station” public art installation.  In past years, there have been 5 or 6 different art installations along Queens Quay as part of the Winter Station project.  This year, there is just this one which is located at York Street Park.   The circles are large enough for two people to sit face to face.  There is a metal bar which can then be moved back and forth between the pair.  This movement makes an inner circle spin and activates some lights.   It is the creation of Olivier Girouard ; it is scheduled to remain here until the 9th of February.

black circular structures that are part of an interactive art installation called Loop, arranged in a semi-circle at Yor Street Park, snow on the ground, trees with no leaves, no people there

below: Harbour Street, looking east towards Yonge Street from the elevated walkway that runs north from WaterPark Place, over the Lakeshore and under the Gardiner.

view east on Harbour Streeet from the walkway between Waterpark Place and Scotiabank Arena, construction of new high rises in the background, traffic,

below: Reflections on the walkway.

reflections of people walking in glass walled elevated walkway om downtown Toronto

below: After passing under the Gardiner, the walkway wraps around the west side of the second floor of the Scotiabank Arena (originally the ACC).

interior, Scotiabank Arena people on elevated walkway between Waterpark Place and Scotiabank Arena

below: The south entrance to Union Station, from the walkway.  This is also a good view of the new glass platform over Union Station (train shed roof?) – this is something that I need to check out in more detail.

Union Station entrance, a couple of people walking in front, Royal York hotel in the background, taken from elevated walkway beside Scotiabank arena

below: Also under renovation is the Bay Street exit of the Scotiabank Arena.  A new walkway between it and the building being constructed across the street is almost complete.  It is on the same level as, and immediately beside, the railway tracks.  This walkway will connect to the new Union Station bus terminal

from the inside, looking out, construction of the new exit, and new elevated walkway to building being constructed across the street

below: Exit onto Bay Street and look up!  Upward.  And to the future…. wherever that leads us.

looking up towards the sky at the Bay Street entrance to Scotianbank arena, wall of old arena, top of new building being constructed across the street,

I’d heard that there were some Christmas lights brightening up the sky at Kew Beach.   What I didn’t know then was that this is now an annual tradition;  it was started by DeClute Real Estate in 2007.  Since there was still some daylight left, I started my walk at Woodbine Beach, a bit west of Kew.

snow fence beside Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach

below:  Small waves crash over the rocks at the shore.

slow mo pic of waves crashing over a rock at the beach

below: Leuty Lifeguard Station closed up for the winter.

Leuty lifeguard station in late afternoon, snow fence, some snow on the ground, lights on,

below: Ready to run

between a snow fence and Lake Ontario, a woman is in the process of throwing a ball for her dog who anxiously awaits the throw

long snow fence running parallel to the shore at Woodbine beach in December, some snow, no people

sunset behind Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach, snow fence, some snow on the ground

 

below:  Once I got to the Kew Beach boardwalk I discovered that there are other reminders that it is now December.   And what could be more appropriate than some Christmas decorations to add some cheer ? Pine and poinsettias on a bench.

bench decorated with fake pine, pine cones and a red poinsettia flower

below: Bright red ribbons tied around a small tree.

 

ribbons tied around a small tree trunk and branch, one red ribbon and one red and white striped ribbon, Christmas decorations

below: Shiny Christmas ornaments hanging from branches and a wreath on a tree trunk.

a shiny silver ball, Christmas ornament, hangs from a small tree, in the background is a red ball also hanging from the tree, as well as a green Christmas wreath attached to the trunk of the tree

below: More signs that Christmas is soon –  Some of the trees along the bike path and boardwalk at Kew Beach have been decorated with Christmas lights.   As the daylight begins to fade, the Christmas lights become more noticeable.

late afternoon as it starts to get dark, along the bike path at Kew Beach, some Christmas lights on a few of the trees

below: Looking back towards the city as the sun goes down.

looking towards downtown Toronto from the boardwalk at Woodbine beach, sunset, orange colour with small clouds, some snow on the ground

 

below: The mood and atmosphere of the beach changes as it gets dark outside.  The light shining on the Muskoka chairs highlights the pink and green colours and almost makes the chairs look translucent.

after dark, lights shining on two Muskoka chairs beside the boardwalk at Kew Beach

dusk, Kew Beach, snow, lights, snow fence, and trees,

night, Christmas lights on a tree

after dark, Christmas lights on tree, lights beside path, snow on the ground, small puddles on path

The lights remain until well into the New Year.  More information can be found on the Light Up the Beach website.

 

shiny green Christmas garland wrapped around part of a snow fence

As August marches relentlessly along the daylight hours shrink.  One advantage of the shorter days is that sunrise isn’t at a time that starts with the number 5.   I’m not a morning person but I like to take morning pictures.

below: Pinkish sky as the sun rises.

sunrise over Lake Ontario, pinkish sky, water with some reflections, loght cloud cover,

below: There was an enormous flock of birds flying low over the water together.  Can you see the swimmer?

a verylarge flock of birds flies low over the water, over Lake Ontario, early morning. To the right, the birds are beginning to fly a little higher, clouds, morning sun trying to break through.

below: Ready for the day

two muskoka chairs, a red muskoka chair and a pink muskoka chair on the beach near the shore of Lake Ontario, Kew beach, sunrise with a few clouds in the sky

below: Reading on the beach…  just after 7 a.m.

a person in a black hoodie is sitting on a blue Muskoka chair, reading a book on the beach

below: A group of women on their paddle boards (not quite so early.  I had breakfast part way through my walk that morning).

a group of five women each on their own paddleboard, very calm water of Lake Ontario just off the shore, two re standing, two are sitting on the boards, and one is kneeling,

a lone small tree with no leaves on the shore, sand, large rocks to prevent erosion, beyond the tree is Lake Ontario with some sailboats on it

below: Mother and son.

a mother in wide brimmed hat and her son in a red hat sit by the shore, sand, water, sky,

below: At 11:15 the life guards row to their stations.

two men sit on rocks on the shore of Lake Ontario watching 3 life guard rowboats passing by

a couple on the beach playing with a volleyball

below: Kew Williams house, now on the grounds of Kew Gardens.  Kew Williams (1873-1956 ) built the house in 1902 on the grounds of what was then The Canadian Kew Gardens, a campground resort opened in 1879 by his parents, Joseph & Jane (nee Henry) Williams.   Joseph Williams sold the house and 20 acre property to the City of Toronto in 1907.   A year later the property became Kew Gardens.

Kew Williams house in Toronto, with small turret, and porch, gardens in front with lots of flowers

The gardens are very well maintained.  They are in full bloom at the moment and looking gorgeous.  I will leave you with a few pictures of flowers, colourful ones to brighten your day.

below: A stalk of lobelia cardinalis grows among the black eyed susans.

black eye susan flowers with their bright yellow petals and black centers. Growing amongst them is a stalk of bright red lobelius cardinalis.

below: A monarch butterfly finds a bright red flower.

a bright red flower with a monarch butterfly on it

below: A pink zinnia

a pink zinnia

below: Gaillardia pulchella, also known as firewheel or Indian blanket

bright red and yellow flowers

below: Three white daisies growing with smaller orange flowers

three white daisies among small orange flowers and lots of leaves

Happy Canada Day!

below: Canada Day merchandise for sale at Yonge Dundas Square

on a table outside, piles of Canada Day merchandise for sale, hats, cowboy hats, flags, etc

front of Queens Park buildings, parliament buildings, on the grass a couple stand by a tree, looking at group under a tent, Canada Day celebrations

below: Great sign!  We’re on a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch!

a group of people on the grass at Queens Park, with a sign that says we are having a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch

a young girl runs with a kite that her father has just let go of

below: A Canada flag in a heart, face paint to celebrate the day.

a woman in a purple and yellow clown hat apples a red maple leaf Canadian flag face paint on a girl's cheek

a mother and son pose in one of the o's in 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips. Mother is dressed in red and white and is holding two small Canadian flags

one woman takes another woman's photo with an ipad in front of the Toronto 3 D sign

a balding black man sits on the edge of the pool at Nathan Philips square, taking a picture of his dog who is in the water. Dog has Canada flag bandana on

a red head girl in a large advert on a building beside a man in red adjust a microphone on the top of a red double decker tourist hop on hop off bus

below: Under a red umbrella.  There were quite a few performances at Yonge Dundas square, all of which were celebrations by different ethnic groups.

three women in red under a red umbrella watching a Canada day celebration

two womenin national costume, or traditional clothes of another country, walk through Dundas Square, an Asian man is looking at them with a strange look on his face

a group having their picture taken at Yonge Dundas Square, one Asian man and four women. Three women are in costume as they are about to perform on the stage in that square, Canada Day celebrations

two black women walk past a man sitting in a chair with a large red and white Canadian flag umbrella. he is giving away free quran books on the sidewalk by Yonge street, traffic passing by on the street behind them

a woman weth pinkish hair carried a half watermelon with a straw and a little green paper umbrella in it, she is the middle of three people standing in Yonge Dundas square

a young woman in a red and white Canada t shirt holds a small white dog with a red leash and red outfit

a small dog with a red scarf around its neck stands on a man's shoulders as he talks to another person

four people walk past a man sitting on a stool, all dressed in red and white with flags and Canadiana

a crowd of people at a TTC stop on Queens Quay

cyclists and pedestrians on Queens Quay

people in a yellow plastic paddle boat on a man made pond near the waterfront, a fountain is spraying them, they are paddling past a group of people on sitting on the edge of the pond

the CN Tower peaks out between two tall buildings, in front are Canadian flags and flags from all the provinces