Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

Cliffside is an area around Kingston Road in the west  side of the city and the ‘cliff’ in the name refers to the Scarborough Bluffs.    The murals in this post are all on Kingston Road just west of Midland Ave.    They are the result of work of Mural Routes, an organization “dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art” since 1990.

below: ‘Spooners Garage’ by Phillip Woolf, 1992.   Art Spooner’s garage in Cliffside was built in 1926 (and rebuilt in 1947).   The mural has two parts, each showing a different time period.  They face each other.

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

below:  … and the later version

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

 

below: ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.  The Onondaga was built near Kingston in 1790 and it served with the Provincial Marine until 1797.  It was the ship in which John Graves Simcoe and his wife Elizabeth sailed across Lake Ontario to York (now Toronto) to establish the capital of Upper Canada.

 

painted mural of a schooner from the 1790s sailing on Lake Ontario

below: ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ by B.C. Johnson, 2016.   Canadian plants and animals cover all four sides of Ikki Sushi – herons, bears, moose, beaver, and fox among the pine trees. Creeks, swamp, and waterfalls can also be seen.

 

Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna,

back of restaurant with open door. Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna, inside of door is painted too

below: ‘Cliffside Golf Course’ by Dan Sawatzky, 1991.   Founded by George McCordick in 1931, the Cliffside Golfcourse was south of Kingston Road and overlooked Lake Ontario.    It closed in 1950.  The mural is faded and partially obscured by two trees.

two trees obscure a faded mural

below: The words on the mural tell the story of the golf course.

mural of two men golfing. One is swinging a golf club and the other has a golf bag slung over his shoulderh

red vintage car in a mural

mural, woman from the 1930's standing behind a vintage car and holding a set of golf clubs

The last two murals have appeared in a previous blog post that I wrote once upon a time when I didn’t know how many Scarborough murals there were.  Even now I’ve hardly scratched the surface.

below:  ‘The Half Way House’ by John Hood, 1990.  The mural is at the corner of Midland Avenue & Kingston Road which is where the inn and stage coach stop was located.   The  building was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1965.

mural depicting the Half Way House, an old inn that used to be at the corner of Kingston Road and Midland. Two men are sitting on the stairs in front of the mural

below: ‘The Bluffs as Viewed by Elizabeth Simcoe c. 1793’ by Risto Turunen, 1992.   The story is that Elizabeth Simcoe was so impressed by the view of the cliffs she persuaded her husband, John Graves Simcoe, to name the area after Scarborough England where there are similar cliffs.

Three cars are parked in front of a large mural of the Scarborough Bluffs, there is a small row boat on Lake Ontario in front of the cliffs.

There are more murals on old Kingston Road both to the east and west of these, but that will be a story for another day.

Spadina doors, stores with doors wide open to take advantage of the summer days.  Spadina was once the center of the garment industry in Toronto.  Then it evolved into Chinatown, especially the area south of College and north of Queen.  It still retains some of its Chinese character although there are many other Asian and South Asian influences.  There have also been some changes as the Asian merchants and residents move to the suburbs.

below: Racks of clothing for sale on the sidewalk

racks of pants and t-shirts for sale, on the sidewalk outside a store

below: A quiet corner for a cigarette break

fruits and vegetables for sale outside a food market on Spadina, beside it is another more business like entrance, with stairs, with a young man in an orange vest at the top of the stairs smoking a cigarette

below: She’s standing outside a restaurant that’s covered with signs and menus.

sculpture of a little Asian girl dressed in red holding a large soup bowl, standing outside a restaurant with a lot of signs in the window and on the door

below: There are usually many vendors with small tables of items for sale, such jewellery, herbs & other plants, small household items, clothing, knick knacks, etc.

a man sells items outside a Vietnamese restaurant

a woman in a pink saree and a man in a turquoise turban stand outside the entrance to a clothing store on Spadina

two women outside a store,looking at a phone, a woman inside is crouched on the floor, working.

below: And last, an open door of a different kind.

front end of a Spadina streetcar, evening, door ope as people getting on, ad on the outside with a picture of a woman,

As you can see, the doors themselves are uninteresting, it’s the context that counts here.

This is a “Thursday Door” post.  If you are interested in doors, there are lots of blogs that feature door photos on Thursdays…. check out Thursday Doors organized by Norm 2.0 for more information.

 

This blog post is part of my continuing fascination with walls and the other things that you see on walls such as windows, shadows, pipes, bars, and other architectural details.  I like to look at how the elements interact visually and how they come together to form compositions.  Sometimes they tell a story and other times they are just an abstract picture.   Here are a few that I have collected over the past few months.   The first one in the group is a photo that I took this morning; it was the prompt that led to this post.

below: the contrast of red, black, and right angled yellow

red wall with black door and yellow pipes

below: blue from the inside, shadows on the outside

grey wall with peeling paint, small window with metal bars and a blue board covering the inside of the widow, telephone pole with shadow, metal vent in the wall

below: yellow pipe, orange concrete

bright yellow pipe against a bright orange wall, with shadow.

below: a window seat

bright red wall with window. A chair is in the window, also reflections of chinese signs, number 52 on the wall

below: frosted reflections

hazy reflection of a window and a grey wall

below: from a different angle, still a wall

on an angle, rusty brown coloured wall with horizontal windows on a white section

below: nailed links where the hinge once was

chain link fence nailed to a bright blue wood fence, corrugated plastic behind the chain link

below: aging shingles and plywood

grey and rust brown shingles cover most of a wall with two windows that have been boarded over with plywood that is peeling, three basement windows with pink trim

below: yellow people and books above and dandelion specks of yellow below

dandelions grow against a concrete wall that has large yellow panels on the upper part

below: dollar signs in the winter

grey concrete wall with window, someone has drawn a dollar sign on the wall, leafless shrub growing against the wall, winter time

below: cracked and peeling

yellow wood door with peeling paint, red gate, also with peeling paint, up close of parts of them

below: vertical reflections, horizontal grooves

horizontal window in a wall with horizontal grooves

below: open days a week and empty frames

4 nespaper boxes lined up on a sidewalk in front of a beige wall, store, with sign that says open days a week.

below: painted square shining in the sun

partly hidden by shadow, brick wall with reddish painted square on it.

below: At 972 and 972A, a hidden doorway and a trophy in the window.

brick wall with recessed doorway on the left and window on the right. There is a trophy in the window

below: rectangles, diamonds, and trapezoids

trapezoid sections on a concrete exterior wall

below:  a deep red curtain and a few exposed bricks

window with deep red curtain, grey painted brick wall, lower basement window

below: The last few pictures are of this wall and the ghost remains of a house that once stood beside it.

side of a building with the ghost remains of the house that once adjoined it.

below: (16″) 2 steps from landing

wall with patched brick and concrete sections, also words written in marker

wall with sections of brick and plaster. Plaster covers what once was a doorway

old exterior wall, brick, mortar, plaster

Previous blog posts about walls:
1.  wall compositions (Nov 2015)
2. walls in the abstract (Oct 2014)

Or more exactly, murals on Dundas West near Brock and Sheridan.

Starting with an old favourite – I had mentioned this mural in a prior post, Bloordale to Brockton, but at the time it wasn’t finished and it had no signature.  Now it is completed and signed, Jonny Cakes and sewp.

large colourful murals in pinks and blues of a cat reaching a paw out towards a mouse, in the background is antoher mural of a woman playing a guitar. Mural is by Jonny Cakes and sewp

In the background (on the other side of Brock Avenue) is a new mural by Tilay & Aner.

large mural by Tilay and Aner - a woman with flowers in her hair is playing a guitar, an owl in flight and some white daisies.

large mural by Tilay and Aner - an owl in flight, some white daisies

If you are familiar with the area, you will know that a very large Lovebot was on a wall here.  You’ll be happy to know that he’s still here, large than life, kitty-corner from the cat and mouse.

large lovebot, two storeys high, painted on the side of a building.

Tilay & Aner have also painted another mural nearby, one with a South American flavour.  It is on the side of building on Dundas West, but closer to Sheridan Ave.

a large mural by Tilay and Aner on Dundas WEst in toronto

part of a larger mural on a wall with a window, a large painting of a woman appears to be looking at the window, a melon or gourd is in the mural too

part of a larger mural by Tilay and Aner, two South American women with corn cobs in their hair and leaves around their neck

 

The usual cast of characters, plus or minus a few.

Floats, marchers, and crowds.
Flags, banners, and signs.
Flamboyance, body paint, and tutus.
Unicorns, fruit, and super soakers.

a group of boys and young men at the start of the pride parade

a woman in a white t shirt with rainbow on the front, and a straw hat is passing out rainbow flags to the crowd. others in the parade behind her are doing the same, others are waving the flags.

two men in black t shirts, one has t shirt that says love is (repeated five times) and is waving a small rainbow flag. THe other man is holding a sign up over his head with a picture of a crowd on it as well as some words (many words) that say At the local level, Get REAL is made up of university campus teams across Canada helping high school students unlearn LGBT discrimination and bullying

two men with a lot of bodypaint of rainbows and flowers as well some sparkly bits

men holding super soakers on top of a pride parade float

a police men watches an intersection of streets as the parade passes, he justs fits under the wing of a large inflatable westjet plane

two men in fruit costumes as well as large oversized glasses

a black man wearing just green tight shorts and green sunglasses is standing on the TD float, a woman is in the background (she is looking after the music).

a young man holds an orange sign .. on the sign is a picture of a raccoon holding a rainbow flag with the words happy pride 2017

bud light float at pride, picture of 4 large cans - a blue, green, red, and yellow can with a person in front of each in a tight body suit the same colour as the can. crowd in front of the float.

three women walking in the pride parade with a turquoise, blue and pink banner, and unicorn horns on their head, stop to talk to a young girl who also has a unicorn horn on her head

lots of people with arms up in the air waving small rainbow flags

crowd watching the pride parade on Bloor Street

a man waiting for the pride parade to start holding a sign that says yup I am a gay. Person inlong frilly pink gown and massive pink feather head dress, posing for pictures

a young Asian man, photographer, smiles as he gets ready to take pictures of mostly nude man with long leather gloves on

the back of a decorated t-shirt, glitter lips with tongue stuck out.

pflag member in purple, holding up a placard that say being LGBTQ2S is not abnormal or unnatural but turning against your own child is s

woemn smiling for the camera, dressed up in colourful clothes and holding rainbow flags.

man with bushy beard, a black cap and a top made out of yellow police caution tape

two women walk together holding hands. one has a white shirt that says gay as fuck in pink letters and the other is wearing a sleeveless body suit in rainbow stripes

a young black girl is sitting on her father's shoulders. She is holding a pink sign with purple hand written letters that say vote against hate

up on the TD float in the pride parade, a person is a long wavy yellow wig and wearing a striped top and short green shiny skirt, is blowing kisses to the crowd.

two young kids, a boy and a girl, are standing within a white cut out square (instagram thing) that says alll aboard on the bottom

a girl holds up a sign from the East Enders Everyone belongs, that has the expression everyone belongs, written in an indigenous language as well as arabic and chinese (or other Asian language)

the bums and hands of a few men wearing red swim suits with the words trigger fish on them

two kids stand behind metal barricades while waiting for the parade to begin

an older man is standing on the sidewalk, wearing a police cap and a patchwork vest in rainbow colours with all kinds of different fabrics, busy, bright,

a woman wearing a t shirt that says free hugs is carrying a pink sign that says you do you

a person in a blond wig and magenta shiny top and matching hat, an Asian woman is having her picture taken as well.

a woman wearing blue rimmed sunglasses and rainbow paper flowers in her hair is looking directly at the camera and shouting. She has a t shirt on that says Positive Space toroto

a man naked except for a pink fuzzy vest and a pink cowboy hat is standing on the sidewalk. There is a string tied around his penis. A man is pushing an empty wheelchair in the background

person with rainbow face paint, rainbow rimmed sunglasses and a rainbow flag draped over her back

It’s Pride weekend here in Toronto with its many activities including the usual parades.  Yesterday was the Dyke March.

people walking in the dyke march, colourful clothes, floral shorts, polka dot top, sailor hat, flags, beads,

a woman is on another person's shoulders so she's above the crowd walking in the dyke march. She is holding a sign that says happy pride

a mother leans over her young daughter who is sitting in front of her on a bike, Small rainbow flag is on the handlebars

below: As in previous year, the motorcyclists led the parade.

dykes on bikes motorcyclists at the start of the parade, dyke march, at Yonge and Bloor

a small white dog with a little hat on its head, head resting on person's shoulder.

leather pants and belt, with a person's hand on bum (with black fingernails). harness on top with nothing under it, partially bare back

waiting for the dyke march to begin, two people by their motorcycle, one is in leather shorts and has angel wings made of rainbow coloured feathers

laughing women holding up a banner in support of trans people

people walking in the dyke march. one is holding a young girl who is wearing a pink dress, one is bare breasted

torso from the side of a person in a lacy black bra with a large tattoo on upper and lower arm. Upper arm tattoo is a woman's head with the words live deliciously written under it

a volunteer wearing a yellow tshirt stands in the middle of yonge street facing the dyke march parade that has stopped just up the street, people are lining the sidewalks to watch the march

a woman drummer, She is wearing a tshirt that says no a la homofobia. walking in dyke march

a muslim woman in a black head scarf takes pictures on her phone at a dyke march. a woman in a bikini top is clapping as she walks toward the camera

dykes on bikes stop in the parade for a photo op. one woman is topless with a bicycle painted on her chest.

a young woman in the dyke marching is holding up a sign that says Humber, we are proud

two women, in profile, watching the dyke march on yonge street, pink sunglasses

long haired woman holding rainbow flag, wearing sunglasses

a middel aged man in a tie dyed shirt with a big happy face in the middle of it, stands by a police car as he watches the dyke march

a group of people sittingo n the sidewalk on Yonge street as they watch the Dyke March. One woman is topless, two women are on cellphones

people on roller blades at the start of the dyke march. a woman holds a sign that says my pride includes the police

a woman in rainbow scarf, and police hat, holds a sign that says thanks first responders

women in a dyke march, one is holding a sign that says kittens against trump

three women walking together in the dyke march

a young man with a flower garland in his hair (paper flowers)

a couple - one is a purple wig and sunglasses and the other in a straw hat with sparkles glued to her face in the shape of a thin beard