Posts Tagged ‘alley’

Yesterday I was out near Dundas West and Dufferin to visit an art gallery, the Stephen Bulger Gallery, as they have a showing of photos of the Union Station renovation by Larry Towell.  I don’t have any photos from that exhibit, but it is on for another week if you’re interested.

a woman is looking at clothes on a rack that are for sale outside a store, chalk board syas You Babe, other people on the sidewalk, store in background is Elite Plumbing and Heating

Instead, I have photos from the walk that I took afterwards.  I started walking west on Dundas and south on Dufferin, looking for interesting doors, windows, and stores.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Of course, I was distracted (alleys!) along the way (graffiti!) but I have tried to stick to the architectural shots for this post.  Sort of.  In no particular order….

below: There was a car parked in front of this building so I cropped off the bottom.  The optical illusion covered the whole front of the building.  It’s definitely unique!

the front exterior wall of a building is decorated with a painting of 3D cubes arranged in an optical illusion

below: Two people walk past a forest of trees and shrubs.

lower part of a brick building has been covered with a mural that is orange background, and cut out (wood) flat green trees in various shapes. A real tree grows in front of it, a metal traffic box is painted with a scene of two people walking with the same orange background

below: Lisboa Hardware and Building Supplies with many household items on display outside – including barbecues, watering cans, and carpets. Old paintings linger on the tile wall.

The entrance to the Lisboa Hardware and building supply store with lots of household merchandise outside

below: A blue bike is parked in front of the french doors of the Black Dice Cafe.

a blue bike is parked outside the glass windows and door of the black dice cafe

below: A very typical two storey house in this part of Toronto.  This was the predominate style of architecture of residential buildings at a certain time – late 1800’s and early 1900’s I think (and maybe longer?).    I like the Canadian flag in the window and the new tree in the tiny front yard.

a girl on a bike rides past the entrance to an alley. Behind her is a two storey house in tan coloured siding, with darker tan trim, bay window, Canadian flad in the doorway,

below: On Dufferin Street, an increasingly common scene as glass towers pop up all over the city.  The west side of Dufferin Street, just north of Queen.

In the background, two large high rise buildings, modern, in the foreground, a row of older two storey houses

below: A similar scene on a smaller street nearby.

a row of two storey houses on a small street with a two aprtment blocks behind them.

below: Distractions in an alley – this one was a dead end (with the dead end behind me).  One of the disadvantages of having your garage in an alley like this is that getting your lawn mower from the garage to the yard involves a bit of a walk.    But look at all those doors and windows in buildings that look like they’ve been painted from the same palate.

a man walks a lawn mower down a short alley, garage doors on both sides of him as well as in front of him, back of houses behind the garages and taller apartment buildings behind that.

below: Another alley with a different character.  An open door covered with graffiti, balconies above the garages, and what is that?  – a TTC pole at the top of the stairs?

view down an alley,

below: The entranceway of an older brick low-rise apartment building on St. Clarens Ave.

The entrance to a three storey apartment building, with wood railings on fake balconies and some brick work too

below: Another distraction!  A crochet bombed pole beside a bright pink wall.

a utility pole is wrapped in crocheted squares in many colours, the house beside the pole is bright pink

below: I happened upon this cute little free library too –    so cute and whimsical with its big eyes keeping watch.   There has been some controversy about these in Toronto recently.  One owner of little library was ticketed for violating a city bylaw that disallows structures on a person’s property within 3.5 metres of a sidewalk.  It was ordered removed within 14 days or a $100 fine would be levied.   Yesterday City Hall decided not to pursue this.

a little free library in front of a green coloured house. Inside the window of the library are two large googly eyes

below: Nearby was another little free library with a little latched door.  It seems that here you can also pick up a pair of shoes along with a book!

white box on stilts, a little free library, trees and shrubs around it, a pair of shoes on the sidewalk in front of it.

below:  Did I find Toronto’s smallest house?

a car is parked in front of a very small one storey house that is between two large and taller houses,

below: Somewhere in the jungle is a front door or two!  A shared sidewalk to squabble over in the winter – who gets to shovel it.

two overgrown front yards with a sidewalk down the middle, a semi divided brick house in the background.

below:   Gates.  I’ve never understood the reason for little gates like these.  Back in their youth they probably looked quite trim and proper.  Now they are sagging and rusted and showing their age; perhaps that’s a reflection of their owners?  Not a complaint – a rusted gate has great photographic potential.

a fence across the front of two houses, each with their own sidewalk and gate.

 

below: Fire damage that is now being repaired.  The neighbours seem to have built a thriving shrine (good luck charm?, religious offering?  is there a name for these?) beside their front door.

A row of houses where one is damaged from a recent fire.  Burned front door.  Windows have been boarded over, a skip for garbage isin front, workmen on the site

below: We have our share of ugly doors on ugly walls.

two white doors side by side on a dirty concrete block wall that someone has written the words In Toronto it's okay to hate transvestites

below: Have a seat

two grey wicker chairs in front of two adjacent white doors on a concrete wall. the building beside is orange

below:  On Dufferin Street between Dundas and Queen – Once upon a time this house was totally decorated in pink and white.  Some of it remains – the arch in front of the door as well as the fence at the side of the house.  Now it is bigger, squarer, and uglier.   Even the grominator graffiti on the wall can’t overcome the ‘boringness’ of the renovated structure.

sqaure two storey brick house under renovation, with pink and white metal fence around it. a grominator graffiti on the side

below: I don’t want to end this post on an ugly note, so here’s a cheerful bright yellow door!

yellow door on a rust house

Tucked away on a garage in an alley near Brunswick and Harbord is a garage with three murals, at least two of which are the work of Aaron Li-Hill.

a two car garage in an alley, murals on both garage doors as well as on the side of the building

below: This mural is not new but I am not sure how old it is.  I am not even sure if I have seen it before.   I can’t believe that I found an alley that I haven’t walked before in this area, but anything’s possible.   This mural is by Li-Hill for sure.

a mural in two pictures of two women and a large tree by Aaron Li-Hill on the side of a garage in an alley

below: This too is the work of Aaron Li-Hill as you can see from the signature.

women with sohort dark hair from the neck up, side view, eyes closed, mural on a garage door by Aaron Li-Hill

below: This seaside town scene has no signature.  I like the little people, one with a surfboard, some playing in the water, and a couple hand in hand.

seaside town mural, buildings, water, beach, people, seawall, on a garage door in an alley, laneway

One more reason to wander the lanes and alleys of the city!
(With thanks to Anita for walking with me and showing me this garage.)

 

Women in the Walls was/is a mural project where most of the painting was done on the last weekend in August. Twenty women participated to create murals in the alley behind the north side of Gerrard Street East near Craven, Rhodes and Woodfield. One van and one car were also painted.

below: Courtney Binns and Kerry Marie (kairo) work on their murals.

two women painting a mural, one mural each, one on the back of a building in an alley and the other on the side of the same building.

a woman sprays paint, light blue, onto the background of a mural that she's painting, blue, green and pinks that merge together with no defined lines or edges

street art painting of a fuzzy orange fox, lying on the ground by C V Binns

a woman is in the beginning stages of painting a mural portrait of a woman outside

below: Princess Nokia

portrait of a woman on a wall, a mural by kairo, long dark hair, a blue bow on the top of her head, some blocks of the concrete block wall are painted in shades of pink

below: Caitlin Taguiboa paints her mural starting with the black and white background that will turn into ripples and reflections on water.

woman spraing black on a black and white mural, standing beside a ladder, on a garage door in an alleyy paint

pink white and orange flowers by a black pool with with and pink reflections and ripples

below: Kim adds some blue to the background of her mural.

a woman is painting a street art mural

on a garage door, a painting by Kim, blue background, close up of two yellow women pilots in a green airplane

below: The deer mural was preserved (it’s been on this wall for a number of years).  You can just see the faint outlines of a salamander that @mmnador is creating.  That’s Kim working on her pilots (astronauts?) in the background.

two women painting murals, Kim is in the background painting on a garage door while another woman is outlining a picture of a chameleon on a wall

a dark purple salamander in a street art painting on a background of orange, yellow, and light blue polygonal shapes with 3 to 5 straight sides on a wall with a tree to the left

below: Rolling on the pink, background that is.  Anya Mielniczek’s latest mural is a woman’s face in shades of pink and green.

woman rolling paint to make pink background on a mural

street art mural of a woman's face in greens and blues on one side, moving to pink on the other, lots of black hair. red lips, yellow eyes

partially finished mural on black background in an alley, green stripes near the bottom, blue circles beside brown squiggles, milk x weed

below: Painting a tribute to Smokey the cat, by Stacey Kinder.

a woman is crouching beside a wall where she is painting a picture of a blue cat, on the wall beside her is a large black section that has just been painted in preparation for another mural

a woman with long blond hair, Stacey Kinder, is painting a picture of a blue cat on a wall,

finished mural of Smokey the blue cat, with a sunflower behind his head,

below: Up close to the central portion of a mural painted by Chief Ladybird and Auralast.

detail of center of mural of an indigenous woman with long braided hair and feathers

below:  The words in the stripes are “One Voice”.  There is a blue and a pink stripe that didn’t make it into the photo, on them is written “Powerful”.

part of a mural by chief ladybird and aura of an indigenous woman with a feather in her hair, in front of the sun and circles of colour, red and blue flowers on the outer layer of colour (light blue)

below: A shout out to Debbie who lent her car, Lightning, to the cause.  Here, a black stenciled dog adorns the back door panel – in memory of Harley.

side of a car that has been prepped, for painting partially painted with turquoise section and pink splotches, also a black stenciled dog, called Harley, by the back wheel,

below: Lightning is now fueled with flower power!

back of painted car, large flower and many colours in the background, a bumper sticker that says Honor Diversity

below: And the last, a van.  It was parked behind the Flying Pony while one side was painted by Erika James….

a woman is taping stencils onto the side of van. The stencils are of words, Don't worry you haven't hit your stride yet

below:  … and the other by Jieun June Kim.   When I went back later in the week to take pictures of the completed murals, the van wasn’t around.  If you see it, let me know!

a woman spray paints on the side of a van that is being covered with street art, masking tape to keep the spray paint in straight lines.

below: Hands and stylized florals

black background mural with stylized floral in bright colours, also a hand in the middle in many colours

part of a mural with magenta background, green arms reaching up from foliage and weeds at the bottom, hands open, revealing a large blue eye on each hand

This project was supported by StART program at StreetARToronto as well as Cultural Hotspot 2017.  The latter is a summer-long initiative whose aim is to encourage art, community, and culture in the east end of the city.

below: Monstawall by Monica Wickeler (aka monicaonthemoon), one of the principal organizers of the weekend.

small street art mural of many stylized abstract goofy faces in bright colours, on a wall.  a car is parked in front of it and some is reflected in the windshield

Once again, the last Sunday of the month was Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market.  There was a large turnout this past weekend!  Lots of people, music, food, sunshine, and good times.

below: Dancing in the steet

a small group of men are playing instruments and singing Spanish songs, a crowd of people have gathered to watch, outdoors, on a street, some of the people have started dancing on the street

Two men stand beside their bikes talking, a woman in a straw hat an dsunglasses sits behind a table with a yellow table cloth with items for sale on the table

a large number of people in an alley. A banner over the alley says Kensington Flea Market and Beer Garden

below: A song, a mandolin, and a Polish Boy Scout belt buckle?

two musicians, one is playing a mandolin and singing the other is just singing, they are both sharing the same microphone

below: She is showing lots of courage!

a mannequin sits on an upper balcony but only her legs and feet show in the picture, hanging from the balcony are some pieces of paper with the word courage written on them

a young man drills out the center of a pineapple while two women blend the chunks into juice. The juice is then poured back into the hollowed out pineapples and sold as a drink

a head mannequin in a store window, with an orange piece of fabric wrapped aroungd her head. Other fabric in the window. also two people reflected in the glass

two men with baseball caps are sitting on yellow Muskoka chairs on a sunny afternoon. One is facing the camer - he is holding a piece of paper in one hand, he is yawning.

below: A quiet corner for a good book

double entrance to semi-divided house, both doors are open, there are bookcases beside the doors. In one of the doorways, a boy in a green t-shirt sits and reads

looking into the window of a bakery/restaurant. Three people are sitting at a table that looks out the window. One is one his phone and the other two are looking out the window. The sign on window, in red lettering is Ricas tortas,

items for sale on a table outside, three shoes (no pairs), one gold, one red velvet and one patterned, on a purple table cloth. Also for sale, two round orange lamp shades

below: Numbers on the alley by #whatsvictorupto

an alley in Kensington with a painting by #whatsvictorupto on the ground - numbers

below: Drinks – the changing nature of Kensington market is reflected in the food and drink that is available.  There is now a large South American influence in the area so products like Inca Cola and Chicha can be bought.

sample of drinks for sale at a food stall at a street festival, nestea, coke, water, some soft drinks as well as south american products like chicha (purple) and

below: A poser bunny still lurks in an alley.  Everything around him as changed be he remains.

an old poser bunny on a wall in an alley

below: Sign on phone – Stop busting our phone!  Outside the Moonbean Coffee Shop

a small phone booth outside a coffee shop with a patio. Some people are sitting on the patio, Moonbean coffee. On the phone is a round white hand written sign that says Please stop busting our phone

a man looks at sunglasses at a table outside where they are for sale. The sign says Pedstrian Day Sale, sunglasses ten dollars, straw hats ten dollars

an old green and white pickup truck parked in a driveway in Kensington Market, beside a store with a very faded sign that barely says King of Kensington

below: Who you callin’ a pretty boy?

an ugly white dog, on a leash, is looking at the camera, outside, on the street, with the legs and feet of some people

items in the window of a store, as well as on a table set up outside the store

below: The Joker and a friend.

in an alley, two graffiti pieces. One is a pasteup, realistic and detailed drawing of Heath Ledger as the Joker and the other is a quick black line drawing of a man's face

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

an orange, or salmon, coloured wall with a window. in the window is a reflection of a pair of eyes from a large street art mural. under the window are two ladders lying horizontal.

On Dundas West, just west of Dufferin, there are two lanes with large murals by clandestinos.

One is the alley to the west of the Lulu Lounge where both sides are covered with fantastic paintings by fiya, shalak, and bruno smoky as well as a few others.  I blogged about it just over two years ago and here is the link to the original post, “life as the shadow of vida“.   Earlier this week I took another look at it – it’s still looking great and there have been no changes so I didn’t take any photos.

The other alley is nearby but on the north side of Dundas Street.  Actually, it’s hardly an alley, more like a driveway which made taking pictures of the whole mural difficult.   Also, if you are traveling eastbound on Dundas, you’d miss it.  Here are the pictures that I managed to take:

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - close up of a large gorilla face

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a crocodile or alligator coming out of the water

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird sitting on a rock by a creek

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - bird, turtle and croodile in a nature scene

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird on the base of a tree trunk

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a large bird with its wings out stretched getting ready to take off

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a turtle on a rock

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - lareg greenleaves with their signature

Streetcar, giraffe, and dinosaurs – these are three words that most people would never have the opportunity to put together in one sentence without talking nonsense.

First, here is the streetcar that I am refering to.  It is a mural on Connaught Avenue, on a building that is part of the TTC’s Russell Carhouse (also called Connaught Carhouse).   The house in the mural is the Ashbridge Estate which is across Queen Street from the TTC yard.   The sign over the door of the streetcar says 505 Hillsdale; I haven’t been able to find out why it says that.

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a house

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a heron

Next on the list is the giraffe  –  a mural by birdo.

a tall mural by birdo of a giraffe in many pieces, a yellow and orange head, a blue and red body and a number of multicoloured legs

I’m sure that you can see the pattern developing!  You’re obviously thinking, “Because the third word is dinosaurs, there must be a mural depicting dinosaurs.”  .. and you’d be right.  There are four dinosaurs on Sears street to be exact.

a mural featuring two large dinosaurs with text tags in between them. Realistic looking, two storeys tall.

Three of the dinosaurs are on the same wall – the two above and the one below.  All of them were painted by Mike Kennedy.

part of a mural with a stegasaurus dinosaur

The fourth one is across the street.  Sears is a street in name only, it’s narrow like an alley.

part of a mural with a dinosaur

None of these murals is new but they are in out of the way places and I suspect that not many people have seen them.   I hope that they were new to you!