One part of the city that has changed immensely over the past few years is the area near Spadina and Front streets.  I was in the area last night and had a few moments to spare so I thought that I would take a look at what’s there now.

below: Waiting for the 510 streetcar

back end of a new TTC streetcar, at a stop on Spadina, people waiting, a man is on his phone as he waits, condo behind

below: Looking south on Spadina approaching Front Street.

looking south on Spadina near Front, streetcar stop and shelters in the middle of Spadina, some people waiting for streetcars, 2 small trees, tall condos in the background

below: Many cranes working at the site of the old Globe & Mail buildings on the north side of Front Street, just west of Spadina.

3 cranes at construction site on Front Street where Globe and Mail used to be

below: Intersection of Spadina & Front, looking southwest

looking southwest at intersection of Spadina and Front, condos

below: Looking west from Spadina as it crosses the railway tracks.

yellow metal pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks, looking from Spadina bridge, condos in the background, lots of tracks, no train

below: City Place, south of the tracks.  Red sculpture is ‘Flower Power’ by Mark di Savero.

red sculpture in front of condo buildings

below: On the south side of the railway tracks, east side of Spadina, part of Northern Linear Park.

trees in a small park along the side of the railway tracks, condos behind

below: There is still a parking lot on the northeast corner of this intersection. This image is the view across the parking lot to City Place.

looking across parking lot at north east corner of Spadina and Front towards the traffic and lights at the intersection, billboard, people

below: Reflections in the clear and green glass of a new building on Front Street, just east of Spadina

reflections in clear and green glass

below: Waiting for the light to change

a young man sits on his bike and checks his phone while waiting at an intersection for the traffic lights to change

below: And once we started walking across the intersection, I loved how her skirt moved as she walked.

a woman's long red skirt moves as she walks across the street

a food truck

or maybe chicken fight.   ‘Fight’ seemed a little too violent whereas ‘squabble’ seems to minimize the protesters concerns.  Somewhere in the middle lies the truth perhaps.  I am referring to the scene outside Canada’s first Chick Fil A restaurant here in Toronto – at Yonge and Bloor of all places.

some people at a protest in front of Toronto's Chick Fil A restaurant on its opening day. One man is wearing a trans flag and holding a sign that says one fight for Animal freedom and LGBQT rights. a woman has a placard that says Chick Fil A, dead body with a side of homophobia

In case you are unfamiliar with the backstory – Chick Fil A is still a family business (the Cathy family) yet it is the largest chicken restaurant in the USA as well as that country’s third largest fast food restaurant.   There are more than 2300 Chick Fil A’s south of the border.

a woman with a chicken head costume on, draws with chalk on the sidewalk while other people stand around her

The controversy started a few years ago when the Cathy’s came out against same sex marriages and their family foundation donated to organizations that were anti-LGBQT.

a young woman holds up a black sign with a large gold heart on it and the words love for all

police block off a lane of traffic to make sidewalk wider to accommodate a protest

below: Police controlling the numbers of people who enter the restaurant.

people control the people coming in and out of a restaurant while a small protest goes on

two men standing beside a police bike on the street. on the right, a construction workman with orange reflective vvest, holding a slow sign upside down and on the left, a young man in a purple t shirt and dark shorts, watching a protest on Yonge street

a man across the street from a protest holds up a sign that sign that says good food knows no orientation

a protest sign lies on the sidewalk as people pass by

a man wearing a red t shirt that says Chick Fil Hate

 

Work on the Port Land redevelopment continues.  The area is changing fast enough that I thought another visit would be a good idea.

below: Cherry Lifeguard Station, calm and peaceful in the early morning.  On a weekday in September all is quiet here.

cherry lifeguard station, with dock in front, very calm and still water, reflections of the building in the water, early morning,

below: A new red lifeguard chair sits on a freshly raked beach.  In the distance, a tug pushes a barge out of the harbour and onto Lake Ontario.

red lifeguard station on cherry beach in the morning

below: A family of Canada geese rest on the embankment of the Keating Channel. The white concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water.

white concrete supports of the elevated Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water of the Keating Channel while a family of Canada Geese sit on the bank

below: Looking west along the Keating Channel. The Don River empties to the bottom right, just out of the picture. At the moment, the Keating Channel is the only route to Lake Ontario but this is about to change.

looking west along the Keating Channel, trees on the left, Gardiner Expressway on the right

below: The Cherry Street bridge, a lift bridge, was broken in the open position for about a month at the end of the summer.  It was fixed in time for Labour Day weekend so it is down now (can it go back up?  It will soon be demolished so maybe that doesn’t matter)

view from above, Cherry street bridge in open position, port lands, cement silos, Lake Ontario, construction

below:  From above, the Keating Channel is in the foreground and it is here that construction on a new Cherry Street bridge is just beginning.  This is west of the present bridge because Cherry Street is going to be straightened as it passes under the Gardiner.      There is another small channel behind the Keating Channel but it ends at the T&T store… for now.    Cherry Beach and Lake Ontario are in the background.

Port Lands from above, Keating Channel, beginning of construction of a new bridge at Cherry street,

below: Reflections of the T&T sign.  Soon this store will be gone.  The path of one of the new waterways for the Don River goes right through the middle of their property to join with the channel that is already there (picture above).

reflections of the green T and T supermarket sign in a car window

below: Villiers Street, looking west from the Don Roadway.   The new path of the Don River is going to make an island of this part of the Port Lands as it runs parallel to, and immediately west of, the Don Roadway.

railway crossing sign on Villiers Street in the PortLands, some remnants of train track still there bu no trains

below: Villiers Street is actually two streets running parallel, both of which have two-way traffic.  This is left over from the days when the railway ran down the middle of the street.

green road sign that says Traffic operates two way on both branches of Villiers street

below: Remaining fragments of railway track can be found all over the Port Lands. This is Villiers Street at the Don Roadway. The Gardiner Expressway is in the background.

street with remnants of railway tracks on it

below: Old gas pump on Villiers.

rusty old gas pump

below: The northwest corner of Commissioners and the Don Roadway. The green mound is the beginnings of the flood protection work there. Flood protection means work on the re-routing of the mouth of the Don River.

the north west corner of Don Roadway and Commissioners Street

below: Looking west on Commissioners Street from east of the Don Roadway (at the traffic lights).  This is one of several large hydro structures that run from the Portlands Energy Centre (a natural gas burning electrical plant).   Hydro infrastructure changes are part of the Port Lands redevelopment.

a very tall metal hydro pole and structure above the street, Commissioners Street, Port Lands

below: Work on the south side of Commissioners.

cranes, workers, construction site

Soon Commissioners Street will be closed between the Don Roadway and Cherry Street.  All of the buildings there will be demolished.  At the moment, most of them are empty.

below:  Old abandoned buildings on Commissioners

old buildings on Villiers Street, with CN Tower in the background

part of an empty and abandoned building, two storeys, old windows, the number 130 written in large white numbers

side of an old abandoned building, top part is rusted pale green metal, bottom is painted dark grey

below: United Rentals on Commissioners Street, now empty. Soon gone.

empty United Rentals building in the Port Lands

below: Chained and locked.

a rusty chain and a padlock keep a gate closed

old brick building

construction on flood control measures in the Port Lands

below: North side of Commissioners, east of the Don Roadway. You can see the Gardiner Expressway and the old Lever Brothers factory.

a plant grows up agains a chain link fence, pile of dirt and industrial buildings behind the fence

a red and white danger due to sign that someone has written radioactive signs on so sign says danger due to radioactive signs

below: South end of the Don Roadway.

very south end of Don Roadway, south of Commissioners street, dead end, dirt road, no trespassing construction site entry

below: Looking west towards downtown from the Don Roadway

view of Toronto skyline and CN tower from Don Roadway

fence with signs, danger due to sign, plus sign that says Port Lands Flood Protection

below:  Back in July the demolition of the GFL (Green For life) buildings was well underway.

the last part of GFL (Green For life) structure to be torn down in the Port Lands, cement truck, dirt road, vacant land

below: This is the GFL recycling transfer station during the demolition process.  At the same time, the shoreline was being reconfigured and “naturalized”.  The trees in the water in the foreground have since died but this is part of the plan – they are to become part of a new fish and wildlife habitat.

west end of portlands early on in the redevelopment process, partially demolished building, barge in water creating new land, reconfiguring the shoreline

below: Access to the northwestern part of the Port Lands has been very limited.  Cherry Street and the T&T parking lot are as far as you can go … if you obey all the signs.    (photo from July)

black and orange cones line the route of entry to cement making facility in the Port lands

below: September

CN Tower and Toronto skyline from Cherry street, T and T market parking lot

below: The sea gulls have the parking lot to themselves, between Lafarge and the lake at the west end of the Port Lands.  There are no plans (that I can find) to remove or relocate Lafarge.

lots of sea gulls sitting on a parking lot behind Lafarge cement silos in the Port Lands

below: If you stand looking at the view above, and then turn around, you get the image below. Polson Pier view of the Toronto skyline.

view of Toronto skyline across Toronto Harbour from Polson Pier

a path leads to a fence, construction site behind the fence, including a cement truck

torn and shredded black fabric caught on a barbed wire fence

below: Map of the area.  As you can see, I have only covered a small part of the Port Lands.  There is so much more to explore!

map of the Port lands area

or up and down
or back and forth
All in good fun at the CNE

5 young girls screaming as they ride on a midway ride

Today is the last day of the CNE for 2019 so I thought that I would post some of the pictures that I took there this year.  Lots of faces.  Lots of expressions of excitement, terror, joy, regret, exhilaration, and just plain fun.

ride at C N E with people upside down and legs hanging down

evening, rides on ride at cne, crowds in the background

three kids together in a roller coaster, screaming as it goes around a turn

two young girls waiting to go on a midway ride, smiling, one is wearing a bright turquoise head scarf

two people in the scrambler, a ride on the C N E midway

upside down people on a midway ridw at the Canadian National Exhibition

girls laughing as they go around on a green ride

a man is watching people on a midway ride going around in circles

green lights and riders on a ride at the ex, spinning around

a woman wearing a hat and holding a blue teddy bear stands in front of a midway ride. A couple of people are taking pictures of the ride on their phones

two girls are ready to ride a midway ride at the ex

many people on swings going around in circles up in the air

purple colour of the lights at a ride at the ex, man in red is at the controls, people with arms in air as they go around in circles

a couple on a ride at the C N E. Woman has her face buried in man's shoulder and she is holding tight onto him

two people standing in line waiting their turn for a ride at the ex while others are already seated

at the ex, a ride called Mach 3 with its lights on, waiting for people to get on the ride, other people standing in front

kids and other people on ride at Canadian National Exhibition that goes around in circles, fast, girl's long hair is flying out behind her

people on ride at CNE

looking through the legs of one set of people to the others on the other side of the circle, ride at cne, called zero gravity

For a lot of us, the end of the Ex is synonymous with the end of summer.  September is here and so is “back to school”.  I hope that you had a great summer and that September is all that you want it to be – as for me, I am going to assume that summer isn’t over yet.  I may have to throw on a sweater but I can still pretend.

There is a new mural at Dundas and Victoria.  It is a welcome addition to a building that has been boarded up for years and is a definite improvement over the dingy and dirty grey wall it was just a few weeks ago.

mural: The northeast corner of Dundas and Victoria as seen from Yonge Dundas Square.  The left side was painted by Emily May Rose

mural at the corner of Dundas and Victoria, is actually two murals in one. on the left is one by Emily May Rose, alley jams van and spray painting green raccoons. on the right is a tribute to Killy and Swagger rite, by one day creates

below: It features green raccoons running wild, some with cans of spray paint.

black and white pictures in the windows, green raccoons on the walls, looking at one of the pictures

below: On the other side, is a mural in blues and oranges by @onedaycreates (aka One Day Mural & Video Production).  It is a tribute to Killy and Swagger Rite, two Toronto born rappers.

large paintings of two men, killy and swagger rite

close up of part of mural, blue face, orange furry scarf, person wearing two rings, hat, dreadlocks,

Nothing special happening, no special events.  Just people going about their Saturday afternoon.

At Yonge & Dundas

at the south west corner of Yonge and dundas, people. A man is playing drums, a woman sits on the sidewalk, other people are talking to each other, a man is dressed in outlandish clothes and is sitting on a stool giving out papers to those who pass by

by one of the entrances to the Eaton Centre, outside, a man leans against a wall while a woman with reddish purple hair talks to him. She is wearing floral pants and has a pale pink handbag. Other people are coming out the doors of the Eaton Centre

a man stands on the sidewalk beside a red car. He is looking at his phone. A man in the background leans against a store window, two other men are walking past

a father and son stand in front of a large store window with lots of reflections. Father is wearing a Toronto blue jays shirt

Along Queen Street

two women walking across the passage from the Eaton Centre to the Bay, over Queen Street. One is wearing a pink dress and is pointing to something. the other woman is trying to figure out what she is pointing at

a woman talks into a microphone, about religion, a man sleeps on the sidewalk in the background as people and a TTC streetcar pass by. A mother and daughter are walking on the sidewalk and longing down at the sleeping man

a man sleeps under a bright orange blanket on the sidewalk on Queen Street while people's feet pass by

flowers in the foreground, a woman standing alone in a bus shelter, reflections in the shelter of the flowers

a woman in black on a bike is stopped for a red light in front of a bus shelter. A woman in blue is walking past on the sidewalk, reflections in a store window, a woman in a grey U of T hoodie stands beside the bus shelter. two orange and green taxis are in front of the bike

At Nathan Phillips Square

two men playing chess outside. One man has very long hair and is wearing a red shirt and a black baseball hat an dark sunglasses

a young girl in a Canada T shirt sits in the O of the 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square, people walking behind her, a man turns to look over his shoulder and appears to be looking at the girl

a young Asian woman in a wide brim hat and large sunglasses sits on a concrete bench at Nathan Phillips square as a man walks behind her

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