I went walking on Monday, keeping my distance from others, to “collect” bits and pieces of evidence of what we’re doing and how we’re coping with this virus thing.  Some of this is a bit ghoulish (and has nothing to do with the virus) but hopefully some with make you smile.  Also,  I hope that in the days and weeks ahead we can look back on this as just a little blip in our lives.

below: A little sticker from sketch nate has been edited to say that only all of Toronto can judge me.  There were quite a few “don’t worry” stickers.

two stickers, one says don't worry, the other is a pair of praying hands and the words only gosh can judge me, by sketch nate. Someone has crossed out gosh and written all of T O

below: The Princess of Wales Theatre has shut down like all theatres in the city, no shows happening.  Keep Calm and Carry On – we’ll see how all this pans out.

sign outside the Princess of Wales theatre on King St in Toronto that says Keep Calm and Carry on

below: Another “stay safe” wish for the city.

people walking past the Rex on Queen Street, has sign over door that says

drawing on chalkboard outside, man asking magic ball am I stupid, then he realizes ball is really a bowling ball

below: They have no reason to panic.

mannequins dressed in outside clothing, long pants, hats, jackets, in orange and blue tones,

below: “Don’t argue with it” could pertain to many things including this social distancing that we’re all becoming experts at.

on a street art painting of a skate, someone has written the words

street art on a sidewalk box that says what will remain of us

below: Bugs is ready to fight the good fight.

part of a street art mural of Bugs Bunny with his fists up and ready to fight

painting on a box of a ghoulish figure

street art black and white pasteup of a face with eye still showing, torn a bit, sticker of a red octopus on top of the head

poster sign on door of Lush store explaining why they are closing

sign on a hand sanitizer dispenser explaingint why its empty and what to do about it

Wash your hands.

Stay healthy!

graffiti on a wall including the words Life's exit

A few white walls on a sunny shadowy day.

a white door on a white wall with blue sky, also a bird house above the roof, horizontal shadow across the front of the house

A metal wall with peeling paint and a few rust spots…  and then add an old basketball hoop to the composition.

metal wall, painted white, exterior, with some rust, also an old basketball hoop and its shadow

shadows on the wall of a white house

In the spotlight, spotlight, spotlight, spotlight… and on camera too?

side of a white garage with lights and security cameras

Twig and texture

white wood wall with metal strip, a twig in front, with texture and shadows

Another blog post constructed from the wanderings around a neighbourhood.

below: A bronze plaque erected by the East York Historical Society is mounted on the stone fence of the Taylor Cemetery which is adjacent to Don Mills United Church.    The plaque mentions the Methodist Church – the Methodists became part of the United Church in 1925.

bronze plaque on a stone wall, Taylor cemetery, erected by the East York historical society gives rough outline of the history of the Taylor family here

The Taylor Cemetery – John Taylor (1773-1868), his wife Margaret Hawthorne and seven children emigrated from Uttoxeter Staffordshire in 1821. In 1839, three sons, John, Thomas, and George, purchased this land from Samuel Sinclair (1767-1852) except for a portion Sinclair gave to the Primitive Methodist Connexion in 1851. The Taylors gave the Connexion a brick church in 1859. The family operated three paper mills and a brick mill in the Don Valley, where they had considerable landholdings and were responsible for much of the development of East York in the nineteenth century.

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below: The present church building dates from 1950 when a smaller building was demolished.  This church was registered in 1819 and has been on this site since 1839 (as mentioned above, originally Methodist).

brick Don Mills United Church with bright red doors

below: Close by is Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church.  Established in 1928, it was the first Catholic parish in the Township of East York.  This church, built in 1948, is the second one on the site.     

Holy Cross Church

below: Bethany Baptist Church has been on the corner of Pape and Cosburn since 1920.  Obviously this building is not that old!  This is the addition, built in 1958, to the older church that you can just see on the right side of the picture.

brick building with stained glass in blue and green in the center section, sign on front says Bethany Baptist Church

below: A metal sculpture of a soldier mounted on the wall of The Royal Canadian Legion, hall #10, a memorial to the Soliders of Suicide – those soldiers who have taken their own lives, usually as the result of PTSD.

a metal statue of a soldier, at rest, mounted on a brick wall, as memorial to soldiers who committed suicide

below: The southeast corner of Pape and O’Connor still sits empty. There used to be a gas station here and that probably meant contaminated soil that had to be dealt with.   The development proposal sign dates from 2014  and was for a 2 storey commercial building.  I am not sure why the delay or what the status of the proposal is.

vacant lot on the corner of O'Connor and Pape, with fence around it, development proposal sign from 2014, overgrown,

below: Donlands Convenience with its rounded corner is similar to a few others in the city.

Donlands convenience store, a 2 storey brick building on the corner of an intersection, with a rounded wall

stores on Donlands Ave as well as a studio with a large blue store front

two people waiting on the corner for a green light

below: Do not block the entrance. …. or are the apples for the teachers?

4 bushel baskets of apples in a doorway of the Korjus Mathematics Tutorial Services

below: A sample of some of the restaurants in the area.  There are also quite a few Greek restaurants as the Danforth (and the original Greektown) is just to the south.

3 restaurants on a street, an Indian Paan and snack plce, an Africa Indian restaurant called Simba, and a fish and chip restaurant

independent gas station and service center at Floyd street

a man fills a car tank with gas at an independent gas station, sign says price of a litre of gas is 99.9 cents

below: Golden Pizza Restaurant in an old brick building with a square facade at the roofline.

the golden pizza restaurant on Broadview, old 2 storey brick building with square roofline facade

below: Another square roofline, Logan Convenience

Logan convenience store, 2 storey red brick building, on a corner, with no other building next to it

Like most parts of the city, the houses are of various architectural styles.

houses Torrens

Whether I am correct or not, I don’t know but I have always associated East York with small post-war bungalows.

a well kept yellow brick post war bungalow with a grey roof and a partial white and green metal awning over the front steps that lead to a small porch

white bungalow with Christmas wreath on brown wood front door and a santa claus decoration on the front steps, a yellow fire hydrant by the sidewalk

A few are being “renovated”

construction of a new 2 storey house in between two square bungalows

below: What was surprising to me was how many multi-family buildings there are in the area –  Both lowrise…

front entrance, exterior, of a yellow brick lowrise apartment building from the 1960s or 1970s

4 storey apartment building, brick, on a corner

and apartment buildings

4 high rise apartment buildings in East York. winter time, trees with no leaves, blue sky,

curved white concrete cover over entrance of apartment building, that is brown brick with white balconies

two brick houses in front of a tall apartment building

lamp and lampost in front of a blank beige wall of an apartment building, with another highrise in the background.

below: I am beginning to think that there should be at least one old car picture in every blog post! I certainly encounter enough of them! Today’s car – a yellow Oldsmobile (from the 1970’s?).  Sounds like a challenge doesn’t it?!

an old yellow Oldsmobile car, with historic licence plate, parked in a driveway in front of an old white garage

painting on a garage door, green with leaves and with the word chill written in cursive in white paint

Behind Dundas Street West near the Junction, there is alley with one old garage building that has been painted with street art.

old building with white side, a large drawing on it, other buildings in the lane

At one end, there is a black and white drawing of a faceless person in a baseball cap holding a very large cassette tape.   His/her shoe laces are undone.

side of a white building, small window near the top, drawing of a person holding a very large cassette tape

This is a view of the whole west side of the building.   All of the people are faceless.

black drawings on white, large street art covering the side of a building, faceless people, singer, microphone, man with arms folded,

street art on garage door, faceless man with hat on and arms folded, behind hime another faceless person, all are black line drawings, with some shading.

street art drawing in black of a person with baseball cap on, holding a microphone in one hand and pointing with the other hand

At the very end, a colourful rendition of the skull and cross bones.

old wood garage door with street art of a skull and cross bones in bright colours, yellow, pink, blue, and orange

into the sun, long shadows, looking towards an alley with an old building covered with street art

below: Think!  or rather Stop and think.   Above that, tbonez with The Forge Fury in another urban ninja squadron sticker.

2 stickers on a stop sign. one is a picture of a brain with the word think on it. the other is an urban ninja squadron sticker

below: There is a new public art installation nearing completion at the corner of Carlaw and Dundas.  When the project is done, the obelisk shaped sculpture by Pierre Poussin will be in the middle of a small park.  It is made of laser cut rusted metal and will feature internal LED lighting.

a new public art installation at Carlaw and Dundas with construction fence still around it, also a lot of utility poles around it, rusted metal cut with lasers in a design, sculpture is the shape of an obelisk

below: Shadows of the trees along a winding trail.

trees line a sidewalk that has had small curves added to it, shadows of these treees on the fence beside the sidewalk

below:  There really aren’t enough fairies in the world.  The ones that are supposed to clean my home haven’t shown up yet either.

a sign on a wood fence that says the poo fairy doesn't live here scoopy your ppop, aimed at dog owner

below: This looks like it was once an artwork pasted to a wall.  An eagle’s head is still visible at the very top.  Are those its feathers at the bottom by the shoes – one dark blue and one red stiletto.

a ripped picture, very large, of an eagle and a person with wings and high heeled shoes.

below: The northwest corner of Pape and Dundas.  The “This is Toronto” mural by J. Chiale is still there.

an intersection, looking northwest at Dundas and Pape where the house on the corner has a large mural by j. Chiale on the side, newer houses and apartment building in the background.

mural by J. CHiale on the side of a house

below: An old and worn sign

very old no parking sign on a chain link fence

below: A not so old sign with three lovebot stickers on it.

neighbourhood watch sign with 3 lovebot stickers on it

below: Old cars seen in an alley.  Any ideas on what model and year the brown car is?

2 old cars in an alley. one is an old brown car from the 40's, under a cloth. the other is a blue camaro

close up of a wood utilitypole with some paint splashes on it

 

on the side of a house, a wood panel on porch with 2 windows, 2 panels are painted blue and the last one is white

below: Santa Claus hasn’t returned to the North Pole yet!  This front yard looks quite barren

2 plastic Santa Claus figures in a front yard, no snow, in frontof a porch

below:  … compared to this one!  I am happy to report that the “doll house” still exists.   There is at least one Santa Claus in there!

a house with a front yard full of dolls and toys, on the walls, on the fence, decorations

below:  Not quite every inch (centimeter!) is covered.  Christopher Robin and Tigger, Ernie and a Picachu.  Tweety bird in a blue jacket and a white horse, Dora the Explorer is eating an apple.

some of the dolls and toys attached to the front wall of a house

below: These stickers still exist!  A Star Wars family with a dirty back window.

a star wars sticker family on the back window of a black vehicle, 2 kids, an R2D2 and a wokie

below: Usually if a couch is waiting for the garbage man it’s sitting closer to the edge of the street!

an old black vinyl couch on a sidewalk on Eastern Avenue, beside a house

below: Symmetry at the back of Bruce Junior Public School built in 1923.

back of older brick public school, Bruce Public school with pair of chimneys and rows of windows, symmetrical.

below: And then there is the asymmetry created when one side of a semi-divided house explodes upwards.

the back of a house, a semi divided house where one side is the original one storey while the other side has added two storeys and is taller than the surrounding houses, and it is narrow too

below: Leslieville has two murals.  This one covers the side of the building plus the back in pink, red, and orange stripes.   This Guidant Bikeshare mural was painted by Mediah, aka Evond Blake, in 2017.

below: Nearby at the intersection of Queen and Jones is this mural by Elicser Elliot (2016).

Leslieville mural by elicser of a man sitting under o tree in autumn

below: The Coca-Cola Coady Sweets ghost sign is still there but the convenience store under it has been replaced by a Spanish restaurant.

workmen at an intersection, white van parked, in front of building with ghost sign for Coady sweets, new Spanish restaurant on the corner

below: Queen Street East

line of stores on Queen Street East by the B & B fish and chip restaurant

Leslieville mural by iah media on the side of a building,

below: This is on the wall beside a vacant lot on Queen Street East that has been empty for years.

spray paint, large letters, wuns on a wall beside a vacant lot

Queen street east, vacant lot on the north side

below: Another vacant lot but more recently so.

looking through a chainlink fence, across a vacant lot towards Queen Street east and the brick Scotiabank building

below: An alley view, behind Queen Street East

3 storey brick building, from the back in the alley, behind Queen Street East

below: Waiting for spring?

looking through a metal gate with chainlink into a backyard with patio furniture and blue umbrella (closed)

a row of pink window boxes and red planters on a balcony of a yellowish brick apartment building

below: Dundas Street East

houses on a street with the one being an old narrow two storey house in yellowish brick

And how can we end without re-visiting the doll house?!

an old stuffed mouse with black plastic glasses, in front of a blue m & m character throwing a basketball, outside, and slightly weathered

close up of two of the dolls attached to the railing in front of house

the front steps and door to the doll house - a house covered with dollas and toys, also fake plants and flowers in pots on the stairs

Until a few years ago this was part of Parkhurst Knitwear but today it sits empty. Today when I passed by the lighting was good for taking pictures of the south exterior wall.  There is a fence between the street and the building but there is ample room for photography.   I am now on many surveillance videos (if the warning signs were for real).

20 Research Road in Leaside, the Parkhurst factory, previously Dorothea Knitting Mills, built in 1942

This building started its life as Radio Stores Building No. 16.  It was constructed in 1942 and the chimney was added in 1946.  Building No. 16 was part of a complex of buildings occupying 55 acres of land east of Laird Drive and south of Eglinton that was owned by Research Enterprises Ltd. (REL).  During WW1 this land was an aerodrome.

horizontal window in a brick building made of rows of small rectangular panes of glass

In 1940 REL was incorporated in response to the outbreak of World War II; it was a Crown Corporation created through the Munitions and Supply Act of Parliament in September 1939.

looking along the exterior wall of two storey brick building with long horizontal ribbons of window panes, many glass pieces are broken or cracked and then fixed with tape

REL’s mandate was the production of technology equipment such as optical instruments and radio and radar equipment to assist with pilots with night flight.  During its 6 years of operation, REL employed 7,500 people.

broken and patched panes of glass in a larger horizontal window

After the war, this building was sold to Dorothea Knitting Mills (1947).  Dorothea ultimately became part of Parkhurst Knitwear.

smokestack at east end of old Parkhurst knitting mill building, now abandoned

This building is part of a larger story – the slow disappearance of industries in Leaside as commercial and residential developments proliferate. Prior to 2010, the area was zoned industrial but developers fought for, and won, changes to the zoning in the area.

south wall of Parkhurst knitting mills, empty and abandoned, many glass panes cracked or broken, old curtains in the window

I can’t remember how long this building has been empty. If was still a functioning knitting mill in 2013.  In 2019 the city of Toronto moved to have the building listed as a Heritage site.  Last year there was a large sign on the building advertising the fact that it was soon to be a self-storage facility.  Is that still its fate?

old brown pipe inside, looking through old window

 

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