Posts Tagged ‘alley’

Recently I was in the area east of Danforth and Main when I had one of those moments where I stop and say to myself “I’ve been here before”.   I recognized some of the street art in the lane  (see Alleyway of Dreams, 2016).  For this blog post, I have started with the artwork that I didn’t remember on the assumption that it is newer.   The murals that remain from 2016 all seem to be in good shape.

below: A collage of pictures called “Against All Odds” in the shape of a map.

collage of pictures and images on an exterior cement wall

below: On the same wall as the above is this mural of a swan.  My apolgies to Alika, Angela, Dylan, Molly, Serval, Bandi, Ludo and Weal (?) whose names I chopped off.  To the right of the swan, and behind a parked car is a piece by Mediah.

mural of a swan with a list of names to the left and a piece by mediah to the right

below: A hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower.

mural of a hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower

garages in an alley with garage doors that have been painted with street art, the garage in front has a light greens side door with two birds sitting on a braanch painted on it

Love birds of a different colour

street art painting of two birds sitting on a branch, a yellow bird and a blue bird with a white head.

below: There had been a fire in the back of a furniture store not long before I walked the alley this summer.

rubble, the result of a fire, sits in a pile behind a store in an alley, part of a chair sits on top

below: A black cat in the moonlight, sitting on some very curly branches.  This row of fences was painted in 2016.

mural on a fence in an alley, a black sitting on a tree branch with curly branches, moonlight behind the cat

below: This blue pug was here previously but the rabbit that was once beside it seems to have disappeared.

mural in mostly blue of a pug's face, dog with red tongue and brownish eyes, on wood
mural of a tiger's face on a garage door

below: The blue rhinoceros with the whimsical horn hasn’t moved either.

mural of rhino head and horn on a garage door in an alley, rhinoceros

below: Stay Out is still sprayed on the old wood door but now it has a new lock.  The blue 666 is also an addition.

old wood door beside metal garage door, outside, in an alley, large words spray painted on door that say stay out 666

large green plastic bag on the ground filled with wood palletts, in an alley, in front of a garage door with street art on it

below: “Bee Haven” from 2014.  One of the earliest bee/pollinator murals in the city.

mural of a hand holding a plant growing in a flower pot, plus bees,

bee with blue body and bum in a mural

hand holding a flower pot that is cracked because the root of the plant is growing, in a mural

below: Signatures.  The mural was painted by Elie J. Saad, Sarah Van Dusen, and Curtia Wright with help from Community Centre 55 kids.

back of a store on Danforth with apartments above

 

This blog post is a result of a walk down the alley behind Bloor Street West between Dundas West and Keele where the lane runs between the back of the stores and buildings on Bloor and the subway tracks.  Some of the street art in this lane can be seen from the subway and some of it I have shown in the past.   Whether it’s because of Covid or because I was lucky that day, there were very few cars parked in the lane.

a carved pumpkin on a table behind a building

black and white mural from Movie Arts Decor featuring stars from some movies - Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho,

mural with woman's face

highrise apartment building in the background with a concrete building with lower level covered by street art in the foreground, people walking in the alley behind the concrete building

a mural on the back of the hockey store, hockey skates on hydro wires

mural of hockey goalie on the back porch of the hockey store, other murals on the buildings beside, including one that says bomba end

below: I can see you, reflected back

part of a uber5000 mural of a person wearing red glasses, also reflected in the windshield of the car that is parked beside the wall

below: Another part of the Uber5000 mural.  Everybody is a winner!!

uber5000 mural in an alley, everybody is a winner, yellow birdies sitting around a table, one is reading a paper, and two are playing cards

below: An old elicser mural

an old elicser mural with people

back of two storey brick building with a small paved space behind it, a table and benches are near the building, street art on both sides of the small space (the buildings on either sode)

a mural, turkey head, wearing red three pointed crown, with wildstyle graffiti across the bottom

TTC subway tracks running parallel to a lane

below: Float away in the 416

small sticker of a black drawing of a man floating on somethings round in the water, with 416 on his T shirt, his feet in the water, a ghetto blaster beside him

the back of two adjacent buildings on Bloor West, one has a set of stone steps leading down that are overgrown with grass and weeds, some graffiti on the back of the buildings

words scrawled on a concrete wall by a parking lot. eat the rich, kill a billionaire, fuck landlords,

street art on the back of the midas building, parking lot behind Keele subway station

below: Mary prays in a small garden at the end of a backyard along the subway tracks.

at the back of backyard in a small garden, behind chainlink fence, a white small statue of mary holding rosary beads

a driveway with a garage in the back, open door on the garage

a G M C truck is parked in a gravel driveway between two buildings, in the background is a couple of rows of houses and a tall apartment building behind that

old blue oil drums beside a blue wall with graffiti words that say thumbs up and guns down

row of stores and cafes on Danforth, covered with street art, the Only Cafe,

My walk the other day started with a coffee and a croissant from Broadview Espresso, just north of the Danforth. It was a bit chilly and damp to be eating & drinking outside but that’s the way of the world at the moment, at least in Toronto. At least walking helps keep you warm! Anyhow, just outside the coffee shop was a sidewalk unicorn painted by whatsvictorupto. There was one on each of the 4 corners of the intersection of Broadview and Pretoria. Here are two of them.

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a blue unicorn surrounded by 4 blue hearts, all on a pink background, the work of whatsvictorupto

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a brown unicorn head and neck with white mane and horn on a green background

whether you’re walking

upper part of a mural on the Danforth of a man walking on a map of the area, around two windows of the building on which it is painted.

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

on the side of a Chinese restaurant, a mural of a woman on a bike. She's holding the handle bars but her legs are straight out behind her. She's wearing a red dress and has long black hair. There are three signs on the restaurant, First, Indian Hakka Chinese Food, second, 7 dim sum, and third, we deliver

there’s always something to see along the Danforth or behind in its alleys.

a utility pole on the street decorated for Greektown, in blue and white vertical stripes and an oval with the words Greektown on the Danforth along with a Roman column

There are windows to look in

two shelves with head mannequins, wearing different wigs, covid masks, hats, and halloween masks

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

below: Multilingual covid signs on the window of the Greek grocery – where shelves with oregano, tomato paste, pasta, coffee beans, grape juice, eggplant, and candy are all display.

the window of a Greek grocery store, with food, also signs re covid rules in Greek. for sale, oregano, Nescafe coffee, tomato paste,

There is more street art and graffiti to find, sometimes at your feet

below: Grounded Together, A painting by Caitlin Taguibao on the sidewalk

a painting on the sidewalk, a circle with words grounded together, pictures of women with plants and flowers, a dog chasing a bird.

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

large dark blue stencil of a skull in profile on a blue newspaper box. There is also a sticker that says end white supremacy

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

below: End White supremacy above, and now a poster re stats in Toronto “Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police”. Source: from the Human Rights Commission, 2018.

a poster on a metal utility pole with a graphi to illustrate how black people are more likely to be shot and or killed by the Toronto police

In this case, wake up and see the climate crisis. A faded bee on pink juxtaposed with the black, red, and white butterfly painted on the street box.

2 posters on a utility pole plus a painted street box behind. One poster says climate crisis wake up disobey. The other poster has a pink bee

below: I get the no peeing part. I suspect that those aren’t eggs and this is a warning? or a threat?

wood fence, exterior light, and a sign, picture of man peeing with a red line through it, below that is picture of a pair of scissors and two eggs.

And then there is artwork of a different kind – on the front of St. Irene Chrisovalantoy Greek Orthodox Church built in 1974

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls, with a Greek flag flying between the two of them

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls,

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

Even on a grey day there are colours to be found, not just in the artwork and stained glass windows, but in the nature around us.

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

autumn coloured vine leaves cover a wall that has street art painted on it

below: This tree dominates with its abundance of red leaves. You may have also spotted the murals in the background.

Felstead Park, a tree with a lot of red leaves on it, as well as on the ground below it, dominates the picture

below: These are the murals in the second Butterfly Laneway project (2018). Check this link (metamorphosis in the lane) to see all the murals.

trees in autumn colours, with butterfly murals on the garages beyond the park

below: One of the murals is carefully put aside while work is done on the back of this house.

a house, seen from the back, being renovated, backyard is also being fixed up, fence between house and park has been removed, but garage door with mural on it has been preserved

below: More renovations. Apparently, people staying home because of covid = a boom in home renovations. Both Home Depot and Lowes reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2020, both were more than expected.

2 houses side by side, one with pale blue siding on upper floor, the other with yellow siding, both with porches in the front, the one n the right is being renovated and has a bin out the front

old car and old garage in front of a large new modern house

below: The unusual roofline and trim on these two houses caught my eye. I also love the fact that they are attached yet have a distinct character of their own. Brick vs stone, little peaked roof over the door vs. green and white metal awning, rectangular window vs bay window. Like identical twins trying to be their own person.

two adjacent houses with barn like rooflines, one in brick and the other in stone,

Danforth subway line, Donlands station. Ten years ago, it was decided that Donlands station needed a second exit and that it would be on the corner of Strathmore and Donlands, One building, 17 and 19 Dewhurst would have to be torn down to make way for the new exit. 19 Dewhurst was sold to the city in 2018 and just last year the property at 17 Dewhurst was expropriated.

through a chainlink gate, front yard is square concrete patio stones, yellow front door

front yward is overgrown, white railing on porch, dark porch and front door

Across the street at 14 Dewhurst, the old Temple Baptist Church (1925) is being redeveloped as condos, the Sunday School Lofts.

large old brick church, Temple Baptist church, is being redeveloped as residences, plus an addition added to one side of it

The home remodeling business may be doing well but the restaurants are hurting. As of the end of October, indoor dining in Toronto was prohibited.

below: Abyssinia restaurant. One of the many different ethnic restaurants along the Danforth. Although it is still referred to as Greektown, and the Greek influence is still strong, you can eat a wide range of foods from different cultures. As you move east along the Danforth, there is a strong African (especially Ethiopian) presence.

a man pushes a stroller along the sidewalk past a store and the Abyssinia restaurant on the Danforth

below: Did you know that gourmet cinnamon rolls was a thing? Did I run across the street to buy one? (Almost!!).

a woman walks past Cinnaholic, a store selling gourmet cinnamon rolls

below: The northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands. You can choose between halal chicken and pizza, or dim sum.

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

Other little graffiti stickers, posters, and paste-ups:

below: Another flying bicycle

stencil on paper on a utility pole, in orange and black, a girl riding a bike, with wings on her back

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

2 graffiti stickers on a Canada Post box, the top ones says gewn snail, the bottom one is an abstract drawing in black and white

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

below: Checkerboard sneaker and a big tooth-ed skull by mr. Toon.

two stickers. the bottom one is a skull by mr. toon and the top one is a no laces, slip on sneaker in black and white checks

below: The paper is torn but it is: “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara (I saw one exactly the same in Kensington last summer).

paper pasteup on a metal pole, top is a skull looking down, bottom is a man looking up, with words

below: With a car parked in its mouth

dripping paint in blue and red on a wall with a hole in it, two eyes drawn above the rectangular hole. A car is parked on the other side of hte wall and shows through the hole

below: Does the blue haired woman know whats lurking behind her?

two wig mannequin heads in a store window. the one in front has pale turquoise hair, the one in the back has black hair.

Happy November – let’s keep walking and see what we can see along the way…. and in case you need help…!

display of eye glasses in the window of a store

Almost two years ago, inthe fall of 2018, a group of artists brightened up Luttrell Loop Lane with some murals.  Luttrell Loop Lane is on Danforth, just west of Victoria Park.

below: A marvelous blue portrait by luvsomone

in blue tones, on a garage door, a portrait by luvsomone of a face with closed eyes

below: A partially hidden face in a mural by Anya Mielniczek

partially hidden by bushes and plants, a face street art mural by anya mielniczek

below: Unveiled

revealed, when branches moved away, partially hidden by bushes and plants, a face street art mural by anya mielniczek

a mural on a garage door by anya mielniczek of a face

below: The imagination of Al Runt and the characters that it produces is on display in this mural.

part of an Al Runt mural on a fence, orange background with lots of his typical characters in bright colours

mural of a large white bird, swan?, heron?, stork?, with wings in position as if about to fly, large yellow flowers

below: The garage at the corner gets four murals.  On the garage door is a moon over a little house by Jieun June Kim.  Beside it, Bomi has painted a mural using linear shapes (for lack of a better word to describe it).

at the intersection of a street and an alley, a garage with street art on all sides facing road, with four different murals on it

below: The whimsical and funny raccoons of Emily May Rose help with the gardening.

a raccoon mural, raccoon with watering can, gardening and looking after plants

teal raccoon in a mural looking at a plant growing in a white planter

mural on a garage door of purplish figures, looks very first nations-like

below: A skateboarder on her way to somewhere important, by Kim Therese Dolan

mural on a yellow fence of a person on a skateboard with a bag in one hand, by kim therese dolan

sign on a yellow wood fence that says beware of dog, a black squirrel is sitting on top of the fence

This project was supported by The Laneway Project

Yesterday’s meandering walk around a neighbourhood was a loop from Bathurst subway station.

below: So happy to see this pair yesterday! When I was walking down Yonge street a few days ago, they passed me and I didn’t notice until they were out of camera range.

large shaggy brown dog sitting in a motorcycle sidecar, wearing sunglasses

You can’t talk about Bloor and Bathurst without mentioning the redevelopment of Mirvish Village.

construction site

two cranes at a construction site

below: Purple door

purple door in an alley, between two garage doors

below: Pale blue door

light blue door with peeling paint, beside wall with old red tar paper shingles

below: Pink, well probably faded red, door – and yes, it became a game of how many different coloured doors could I find.   It looks too small doesn’t it?

faded red, now pink, door on a white house, dirty and greyish stucco on the exterior, small bit of grass in front, one way sign on the utility pole in front of the house.

below: Dobgoblin and drawings on the greenish door.

seafoam green colour garage door with graffiti drawings of people, dobgoblin,

below: Anchored vs held down?

graffiti on a brown garage door, picture of an anchor along with words don't hold me down

below: Chalk heart

graffiti on a brown garage door, chalk heart in pink and yellow with orange word hello written beside it

below: Chalkboard philosophy, I think, I can’t be certain though. Maybe the gnomes know.

two small gnomes stand beside a chalkboard on a porch with words on it that say

below: It’s still Covid-19 time, still line-ups in the grocery store

Fiesta Foods grocery store on Christie Street, with line up of people waiting to get in

below: The Green Beanery coffee shop at Bloor and Bathurst is now permanently closed.  What I have missed most these past few weeks is discovering little coffee shops to stop at as I walk.

looking in window of Green Bean coffee shop that is now empty, reflections of photographer as well as people walking on the street

below: A riot of magnolia blossoms just about to be in full bloom

magnolia tree in front of some houses with magnolias about to be in full blossom

below: The sign has become not a running stop

stop sign in front a large tree just beginning to bud in spring, words added to stop sign so it now says not a running stop

below: Christie and Garnet

Christie street, looking north at Garnet Ave.,

below: Perly Family Lane with its painted garage doors.  For more pictures of the garages, see my blog post from 2016.

alley, PerlyFamilyLane, with painted garage doors.

below: Old and new side by side

back of a semi divided house, older asphalt shingles on exterior of the one on the left while on right has been renovated in light grey with new large window on ground floor

below: And nearby, short and tall

a semi divided house where the one on the right has added a third floor

below: Small house, large yard

very small beige house with one window in the front, large grassy front yard, between two largeer houses that are closer to the street

below: A large and impressive sycamore tree reaching up to grab the sky.

semi divided house with large sycamore tree in front of it

below: Basketball in the alley

alley, laneway with a basketball net ready

below: An old Pontiac Parisienne with its rear bumper on the ground.  It seems to have its own lot.   Parisiennes were produced through the 1960s and 1970s ans then well into the 1980s.   Would a car maker today call a car model a Parisienne?

old blue car, Pontiac Parisienne, with its back bumper on the ground, parked off the street between two houses

below: A white picket fence.  Is there something nostalgic or sentimental about a white picket fence?  Or is that only if you’re “of a certain age”?  Why did it become a symbol of middle class suburbia?

white picket fence along the side of a beige house with two large trees in yard, a door with newer wood porch and steps

below: Keeping an eye on the street

a ceramic ornament on top of a red tiled roof, animal, Chinese,

I came across the garage belonging to Albino Carreira that I saw, and blogged about, back in 2016.  He has added more shells, beads, and small objects.

front of decorated garage, shells, wood pieces, found objects,

below: Side of the garage

red side wall of garage decorated
a collection of shells used in decorating the exterior surface of a garage, also a small blue toy bear and some silver beads with a picture of the Greek flag

objects attached to a red wall, the exterior of a garage, plastic butterflies, beads, shells, and a small grey metal artwork that looks like a man emerging from a grey wall

below: As a bonus, there was a brief encounter with this van – complete with a wave.

side of van covered with shells and small toys, driver is waving from partially lowered window

back of van covered with shells and small toys

below: Before I go, one last door.  This time it’s mottled brown as there is some creamy orangey colour being revealed as the brown peels away.

back of a house, silver car parked, patio stone walkway to back door. screen door as well as old mottled brown and beige door, small stairs to back porchwhere there is a white chair

  Most people are still staying home or at least close to home.  You’re still not going to see many people in my photos because I am still avoiding them, still walking in quieter places.  Sometimes those places happen to be streets that once upon a time (only a month ago?) were busy.

below: An empty parking lot.

brick wall of a building beside a parking lot, with sign saying reserved parking

below: A very quiet Broadview subway station.

Broadview subway station, west side,

below: A very tall and lanky animal on a pole.  It’s missing a leg or two.

long narrow shapes made of wood and painted blue an red and attached to wood utility pole

line of houses on a street by Broadview subway station, very tall trees with no leaves, semis, one is painted red

below: The TTC streetcar tracks in the middle of being replaced, on Broadview just south of Danforth.

a red truck in the middle of Broadview Ave as TTC streetcar tracks are being removed, lots of dust.

below: More TTC construction, this time another access to Chester station is being built.

fence in front of construction site at Chester subway station, sign with arrow pointing way for pedestrians

below: After a month of no shopping except for food and even no window shopping, this bright red telephone caught me eye as I walked past.   Salt and pepper shakers in a store window: Flamingoes, pink swans, penguins, cats, monkeys, and little yellow chicks – cute ones and funny ones like the hot dogs, as well as political ones like Trump and his North Korean counterpart.

looking in a store window, bright red rotary phone and a display of different types of salt and pepper shakers in differernt shapes - flamingoes, monkeys,

below: Inspired to do stuff?  I think I identify more with the mug beside these days.

mugs with cat theme pictures on them, on shelves, in window of a store

below: A Covid-19 message from the Danforth Music Hall – “Please take care of each other”.

front of Danforth Music Hall on the Danforth

below: Posters reminding people to share smiles and kindness

posters on a sidewalk bulletin board,

below: An electric sign outside Eastend United Church invites people to join their Sunday services on Facebook.

electronic sign on church saying worship with up on facebook

below: The mannequins had the most stylish face masks.

mannequins with metal stovepipe as neck and head, wearing covid face masks, one is black and white pattern with big red lips

Words scrawled on the side of a concrete block garage in an alley that say Macedonia is Greek

text graffiti in yellow on green wood fence, plywood, peeling paint, faded,

below: Beware of rabbit.

backs of houses and a garage in an alley, graffiti on garage says beware of rabbits

below: A hummingbird is painted on the pillar.

street art of a hummingbird on a pillar, with red flower

bright red gate between two buildings, 2 mailboxes on the gate, one white and the other a brass colour. Brass mailbox is 735

in an alley, the back of houses

a house, semi-divided, two storey, porch, rounded lines on the porch railing,

below: Takeout with distancing – a story that is repeated all over the city as restaurants try to stay afloat.

signs and posters on a glass door, entrance to restaurant

below: Social distancing leads to line ups outside Tims

line up outside Tim Hortons, social distancing for Covid

below: “See you after the curve flattens”

a sign on the glass door of a store selling old lights and lamps that says

front yard and porch of a house, walkway is concrete slabs that are uneven, pine bush on grass, metal railing on porch, small garden in front of porch

back of a small white building, store, in an alley, small porch on upper door with exterior stairs up to it
building beside a parking lot with three cars parked there, white car, blue car and red car

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

The general idea yesterday afternoon was to walk Oakwood, southbound from St. Clair.  What I didn’t expect when I left my cosy apartment was a strong cold wind,  so part of the adventure was dictated by which direction the wind was blowing and how to avoid it (if possible!).  If some of these photos look a little blurry, it’s because of the snow that was falling all afternoon.

below: Pizza Pizza on the northwest corner of St. Clair and Oakwood.

NW intersection of St. Clair and Oakwood with a bus at a bus stop and a pizza pizza restaurant

below: I hadn’t gone far when I found a lane so of course I had to follow it…  Looking back towards Oakwood Collegiate.

looking down a lane that runs parallel to St. Clair West, with Oakwood Collegiate in the background.

below: Old black and white photo of St. Clair Ave from 1911 just after construction of Oakwood Collegiate was complete.  Oakwood Avenue is now on the other side of the school in this photo.  It is interesting to note that St. Clair had streetcar tracks back in 1911 but was still a dirt road.  Apparently the city started building these tracks when the school was open – the St. Clair streetcar line was open in 1913.   I found this photo in Living Toronto – follow the link if you want to read more about the history of this school.

vintage black and white picture of Oakwood Collegiate from 1911 when St. Clair was a dirt road

icicles along the edges of garage roofs in the backyards of two adjacent houses, view from the alley looking over the gate

in an alley, beside an orange concrete block garage, a wooden staircase leads to an upper floor, covered with snow

below: And that is where I spotted this man with a little red heart…

rough painting on a garage door of a man's face with a small red heart beside it

below: … and across the alley from him was this woman, also with another little red heart. It’s Valentines Day today, how sweet and how appropriate.

on a brick wall, a drawing of a woman's face with the eyes being the most prominent, a small red heart beside her face

below: The hearts just kept on coming.  I’d only walked a few minutes and already I had enough for a Valentines Day post! 🙂

graffiti, red heart on a wood fence

below: At the end of the lane I spotted this too…. can you see the LOVE?  It looks like it’s written in the middle of the pink and blue graffiti but it’s actually on the metal vent.

looking towards the side of a pinkish building, with graffiti higher up, over the level of the 2 storey buildings beside the pink one

below: So much for walking down Oakwood.   I circled back to St. Clair West where I saw the Yummi Cafe & Laundromat with it’s hand written sign in the window.  Support Our Teachers!  These are trying days for education in Ontario as the teachers lock horns with Doug Ford and his Conservatives who speak first and think later.

storefront, yummi cafe and laundromat, picture of pink ice cream cone as an ad for Kawartha Dairy, also a sign that says support your teachers, offering them free coffee

a bike with a flat front tire is locked to a street sign pole on the sidewalk on St. Clair west

below: This is middle section of the Royal Heights village mural painted by Murals by Marg in 2019.  It is on the side of 1006 St. CLair West (at Appleton Ave).

middle part of the Regal Heights mural, geometric shapes in bright colours

below: To the right is a small butterfly, child height.  Choose to be kind.

a butterfly in a colourful mural with the wods choose to be kind written above it

below: The left side has a larger butterfly as well as a bright yellow door with a blue umbrella.  Let love rain down!

a multi coloured butterfly, mostly blue and yellow, made of geometric shapes, in a mural beside a yellow door with a blue umbrella painted on it

below: Right across the street (on the northeast corner of Appleton & St. Clair) is this mural.  I haven’t been able to find out who the artist was.

mural in blues and greys on the side of a brown brick building, an outdoor winter scene

TTC streetcar stop on St. Clair West, stores, traffic lights, and poeple waiting to cross the road

below: Looking west on St. Clair as you approach Glenholme.

looking west on St. Clair approaching Glenholme, people on sidewalk, traffic lights, Boom restaurant, other store fronts
below: A coin laundry as well as Glenholme Variety on the southwest corner of St. Clair and Glenholme.

southwest corner of Glenholme and St. Clair with large 3 storey brick building housing GLenholme Variery store and a laundromat.

below: In front of 98 Glenholme is this little sculpture, an old fashioned sewing machine on a pole.  It marks the home of Marcello Tarantino Sartoria (tailor).

little metal sculpture of a sewing machine on a pole with a bit of green above it

below: Another alley – the wind back here is not so bad!

old green Chevrolet delivry van parked in a snowy alley, also part of a mural with hearts on it, alley scene

below: An old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholstering Co written across the side and above the front window in faded letters. Also fading is the text: Manufacturers of Individual Style(?) Furniture

old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholsteriing Co written in faded cursive writing on the side

laneway scene, snow, car, poles, trees, garages, part of a mural with hearts on it

Mural by Ross Bonfanti and Sandra Tarantino with hearts, stars, a flying car and superhero kids.

mural by Bonfanti and Tarantino of superhero kids and los of pink and red hearts, a yellow star and a car with wings flying in a blue cloud

superhero kids mural

The alley ended at Dufferin and that is where I headed south.

below: The southwest corner of Dufferin and Davenport

south west corner of Dufferin and Davenport, pizza restaurant with large billboard on the roof

below: A black and white photo from 1912 of the construction of Dufferin Street at Davenport.  This photo is originally from the City of Toronto archives but I found it online in an article on the history of Dufferin Street in blogTO.

1912 black and white photo of construction of Dufferin, cobblestones or bricks, at Davenport

below: Mary looks down upon us, from a niche in the wall of St. Mary of the Angels church.

a small grey statue of Mary in a grey niche on the exterior of a brick church, St Mary of the Angels

below: Remnants of an art project left to weather on a fence around a schoolyard.

remnants of fabric or paper that has been wrapped around parts of a chainlink fence at a school yard

below: A smiling happy mural on the side of a dental office on Dufferin Street painted by spudbomb (2017)

long mural by spud bomb of a woman smiling, holding a red apple with a bite out of it in one hand and a globe in the other hand. She is wearing a red and purple striped close fitting outfit over her arms and head. On the side of a dental office. The word smile is written many times in different fonts

below: Just north of Dupont Street, the CPR tracks cross Dufferin.

a red railing separates a parking lot from a hill, in the background a white tanker railway car is passing over a bridge

train with grafiti on the side of the car passes over a bridge over Dufferin Street and there is graffiti on the walls of the underpass

graffiti on the side of a building by a small hill and some trees. The hill is part of the embannkment for the railway tracks

below: This strange pillar (artwork?) is on the southwest corner of Dufferin and Dupont.  It used to be the marker/sign for the stores in the Galleria plaza on that corner.  Everything there is under renovation at the moment so instead of tearing down the sign, it was converted into this.   Hence, “Love me till I’m me again”.

a sign that says Love me till I'm me again in red neon, on a column that has been spray painted in different colours, a neon red heart outline at the top, in a parking lot with cars passing by

below: From a different angle – the neighbourhood wins no beauty contest.

looking west on Dupont at Dufferin, old Galleria sign, parking lot, traffic lights, plaza

below: The architecture on Dufferin, both houses and stores, is a mishmash of styles (or non-styles!) that have evolved over the years.   The next few photos try to give you an idea of the variety.  First, at Dufferin & Rosemount

large house on the north west corner of Dufferin and Rosemount. Brick on the bottom, brown siding on the top, construction cones on the sidewalk around it

below: Dufferin & Hallam

house and stores on Dufferin street, including the San Antonio Coin laundromat and a Home hardware

chainlink fence with dead vines on it, snow, around the front of a brick house with broken railing on the porch

two storey barn style house, brick, with large pine tree in front yard

below: Dufferin & Auburn

intersection of dufferin and auburn streets, lowrise row houses with porch

side of a brick multi family residence, windows, white door, with a small white porch over the door, broke chair beside the door

below: Standing alone at 1432

old house number 1432 Dufferin with a new fence

below: 1452A and its neighbours

three houses on Dufferin, the one on the left is 1452A

a 2 storey semi divided house on Dufferin, upper level has a balcony with with a green and white railing, winter, snow on the ground

two storey semi divided house beside Dufferin Bloor auto shop, bus stop in front,

below: An ominous sign – a boarded up house on Dufferin Street.  Is change far behind?  Just in case, I like to document what’s there because in this city, you turn around and everything’s different.  And you think to yourself, “What used to be there?”  But you can’t remember because that is how our memories work and isn’t that disconcerting?

a large tree grows in front of a brick house that has been boarded up

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s