Posts Tagged ‘blue sky’

It was a beautiful day on Monday when I visited the “Winter Stations” (scroll down to next blog post), cold but sunny.   I decided to walk north on Woodbine since I haven’t done that for a while.

below: Playing with mirrors while waiting for the washroom at Woodbine Beach because there is only one women’s washroom (why is there only one?)

a mirror shaped like a porthole with a green frame, on a bright blue wall, reflection of another porthole but on an orange wall in the mirror

below: From portholes to demolition holes – I made it as far as Queen and Woodbine where there is a large hole in the ground

at the intersection of Queen and Woodbine, a hole in the ground on the north east corner and a Pizza Pizza restaurant on the south east corner

… because just north of there I discovered alleys and small streets that I don’t remember walking.  Who can resist the allure of a red door?

looking down an alley in winter, two brown tire tracks for the cars, but lots of snow. Fences, trees, and a house on a street at the end with a red front door.

below: I went to Norway

street signs on a post. a one way sign pointing left, a green and white sign that says Norway Ave continues to the right ahead

below: And I passed the North Pole

a lawn decoration in a snow covered front yard, a flat wood snowman with red and white striped hat and scarf and a sign that says north pole

below: I even walked past this No Trespassing sign.  The old cars parked the house behind caught my eye but this was as far as I ventured.

a no trespassing sign on a wire fence, snow covered driveay, two old cars parked in the backyard, beyond the fence

When there is no planned route and you’re only following your nose or sticking to the sunny side of the street, you can run into some surprises.  There were a lot of older houses – here are a few of them:

below: There are still some of these Victorian rowhouses closer to downtown but I wasn’t expecting to find any here.   As it turns out, this was part of the village/town of East Toronto.  In 1888 it was a village with about 800 residents.  It became part of the City of Toronto twenty years later (and with 4200 more people).

two semi houses with gabled roofs and covered porches, from the 1800's. snowy street scene, large trees, winter

As it turns out, one of the streets that I walked on, Lyall Avenue, is a Heritage Conservation District.  The street was surveyed in 1884 and by 1888 a few houses were built on some of the fifty yard lots.  Most of the development occurred between 1909 and 1924.  It was definitely a middle class neighbourhood.   The full report published in 2006 appears on the City of Toronto planning department website.

an upper storey oriel window with curved edges

below: This house stands alone.  A very typical older Toronto house.

a typical old Toronto two storey house with peaked roof, reddish brick, two wondows upstairs, one large window downstairs, white front door with a small roof over the door, lots of yard

below: This tidy well-kept workers cottage can only be accessed from the lane.

a workers cottage that fronts onto a snow covered lane, grey vertical wood paneling on the outside, black roof

below: A white picket fence and wicker furniture waiting for spring.

a white picket fence in the snow, wicker chairs in the yard covered with snow

large two stroey brick houses, winter, street,

All of the above houses were north of Kingston Road where the lots sizes were fairly big.  South of Kingston Road, the houses are narrower and close together. (or joined together).

the backyards and back of houses in a row, winter,

below: This square, substantial sized brick building is on Kingston Road.  Between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street, Kingston Road runs along the crest of a ridge.

large old brick house on Kingston Road, three stories,

below: Newer residential buildings on Kingston Road.

part of three new buildings

below: 1922, looking west along Kingston Road from Main street.  That’s almost 100 years ago, and there were streetcars running here even then.  No cars, just a horse and wagon.

old black and white picture from 1922 of a dirt street with a street car track, hydro poles beside the road and a house

Photo credit: City of Toronto Archives. Found online in a ‘Beach Metro’ article where you’ll find more history of the area.

The next three photos are some of the typical two storey, flat roofed, brick, all in a row, stores and businesses that were built in Toronto in the early 1900’s and later.   If I remember correctly, these were all on Kingston Road.

a storefront trimmed in bright yellow and angled at the corner, intersection of Kingston Rd and Brookside

two stores, old architecture, two storey buildings with apartments on top

Perlux cleaners, old sign painted on side of building, convenience store, mounds of snow by the sidewalk

below: A warm and colourful summer scene painting behind a chainlink fence that surrounds the playground at  Kimberley Junior Public School.

colourful painting behind a chainlink fence in a school yard, winter, snow on the ground around it, picture is of three kids in large yellow hats, playing on green grass

below: Mural at Gerrard and Main.

karate, martial arts mural on a wall

below: The last architecture picture – this building with a turret at Kingston Road.  Here Main Street becomes Southwood Drive.

commercial building with a turret at an intersection

below: Looking north on Main Street from Gerrard.  Here the streetcar turns towards Main subway station.  The bus shelter in the middle of the street is definitely old style – one of the few remaining in the city.  From here Main street is a bridge over the railway tracks.

looking north up Main street from Gerard, streetcar tracks with a bus shelter in the middle of the street. old style bus shelter, Main street then goes up, as a bridge over the train tracks. Highrise apartment building in the background.

below: From the bridge, looking southeast over Danforth GO station. Prior to 1940, this was the location of York Station as well as the Grand Trunk Railway’s main freight yard.  The yard stretched along Gerrard Street and employed several hundred people.   At that time, Gerrard Street was called Lake View Avenue (could you see Lake Ontario from there?).

view from a bridge over railway tracks, Danforth GO station below, houses beyond. covered platforms between two sets of tracks

below: York station in 1890.  It was renamed Danforth in 1922 and demolished in 1974 to make way for the GO station.  The freight yard is to the right.

york railway station in 1890. train is letting off passengers

Photo credit: Toronto Public Library. The picture was found online in an article on Danforth station that appears on the Toronto Railway Historical Association website

 

below: Hanging out on the Danforth

large white sign with green GO logo, Danforth station. a group of pigeons is sitting on top of the sign.

 

But I didn’t hang out for long.  From here to Main Street subway station is only a few steps and that was enough walking.
My writing can be almost erratic as my walking!  I hope that I didn’t lose you along the way.

 

wooden chair outside, against the side of a house, snow on it.

Early Saturday morning was cold but beautiful –
brilliant blue overhead with the sun still low in the sky.

below: Striped grass

low sun rays shining through a fence made of vertical metal bars, so that the shadows on the grass make the grass looked striped

below:  This is the Bell building from the Simcoe Street side.  The blue glass, vertical lines in the concrete, blue sky and strong tree shapes made for an interesting few minutes while I experimented with different angles and views.

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour exterior of the building,

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour

below: The ghostly look of reflected light

light reflecting off a glass building and landing on a black wall on the building beside it

looking up a tall building that is black on the exterior and has light reflected from a glass building beside it.

below: A single pole and its shadow, alone on a wall.

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

below: Three reflected windows reserved for the president.

beige wall with greenish covering over a window, light reflected from the building beside it makes it look like a row of windows along the wall

below: A half house, a fun find.  Once this was a semi-divided house where the shared wall created the peak at the front of the house.  With its partner gone, the remaining house looks incomplete.

a semi divided house, where the house on one side has been demolished leaving half a peaked roof.

below:  A tree in silhouette seems to dance in front of the other buildings.

tree in silhouette in the foreground, buildings in light in the background,also blue sky

below: Phantom balconies, mirages on the concrete.

light reflecting from balconies along with shadows make phantom balconies on the building beside it

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a while.  Quite a while actually.
Reason # 1?  I spent some time on a beach.  It was sunny.  It was warm.

 Friars Bay and beach, St. Martin, Caribbean.  palm tree, turquoise water, white sand beach, rocks in the foreground, sunny blue sky day.  One boat in the water as well as a few swimmers

Not a Toronto beach!

 

But not a running, or even a jogging, track!  No, yesterday’s walk was an oval-ish loop at walking pace from Dundas West station, up one side of the railway tracks and back down the other.

below: Just past the subway station I saw the mural on “The Friendly Trini’s” which is now closed.  If the mural is telling the truth, they once served butter chicken, curried goat roti, jerk chicken with rice and peas, as well as drinks in coconuts and pineapples.  Feeling hungry already, and I’ve only just begun my walk.

a mural on the side of the Friendly Trinis restaurant that is now closed. Two women are walking on the sidewalk by the restaurant, a sign for Jennys bar and restaurant is in the background. The mural has drinks in coconuts and pineapples as well as a list of some of the food they served

below: Also on Dundas West, the King’z Convenience and Dollar Store which sells Filipino products and delicacies is adjacent to the Slovenija meat & delicatessen.  Multicultural.  I regret not taking pictures of the window of the Slovenian store – juice and beer brands that were unfamiliar to me.

two storefronts on a street, one is a slovenian grocery store and the other is a convenience store

below: Detail, boy riding an old fashioned bike on a little hook above a door.

a decorative ornament hanging high on a brick wall, a hook that extends from the wall about 8 to 10 inches, on top is a flat rendition of a boy on an old fashioned bicycle

below: And someone has decorated their balcony.

a balcony railing has been decorated with different colours of fabric that has woven between the rails

below: Just before I reached the bridge over the railway tracks I saw these words on a wall.

graffiti on a wall, in white paint on grey wall, the words "I have a dream'

below:  The dream theme continues on the metal steps up to the bridge.  This one was small and I almost missed it.  I’m not sure if it was painted black to blend into the background, or if the painting was an attempt to “clean up” the graffiti when prying off the letters proved to be too difficult (the D is broken so maybe someone tried).  Insert words about killing other people’s dreams here.

a raised word, 'dream' in cursive that has been stuck on the side of a set of stairs and then painted black to match the steps

below: From the top of the steps looking south.  The minimalist new Bloor GO and UP (Union Pearson) station is finished, top left of the photo.  Don’t you think we should call it ‘Get UP and GO’?  The street is Dundas West and yes, that mural is new.

view from a bridge, a street, and a railway and some buildings in between. There is a mural at the bottom of the steps.

below: Helping to hold up the bridge, west side of the tracks.  He’s carrying the weight of the world, or maybe just the bridge, on his shoulders.

mural on the concrete base supporting metal struts bridge supports.

After crossing the bridge, I walked north along the West Toronto Railpath. The fencing along the path has all been upgraded.  There used to be some spots where you could get through the fence (non-railway side) but those are gone.  Between the tracks and the path there is a new clear (glass? plastic?) fence.  Of course it has already been ‘vandalized’ or ‘tagged’ – choose your verb.  Because I was there on a sunny afternoon, the sun was shining through the ‘artwork’ and making interesting designs.  A few thistles and other weeds added some compositional elements.

glass that has been spray painted yellow and orange, with some black that has run, weeds are growing in front of it, the sun is shining from behind it

a bright red heart has been sprayed painted onto a glass wall, weeds growing front, train tracks behind, the sun shining through the glass.

There were quite a few hearts on my route, especially around the Dupont exit of the Railpath.

below: Many hearts on the fence.

two street art pieces painted on a glass wall. the first is a red and black heart with a white banner across it on which the word love is written. the other is 8 little red hearts on white stems growing from the ground below.

below: A heart for Hex and Nish wherever, and whomever, they may be.

a bright red heart painted on a man made boulder, words hex and nish written on it

below: Three heart balloons on the Dupont sign.  You can get a good view of the fence here.

glass fence beside railway tracks, path, trees, also a metal sign on which three red hearts on white stems have been painted.

below: Part of the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside Planet Storage, an large old brick building.  There used to be a lot of street art along the side of the building but it’s all been painted over.   A few tattle tale remnants remain.

wall, part of an older brick building that has been painted a rust colour, with windows, some of which have metal grilles over them. Remnants of old graffiti on the metal grilles.

below: My favorite, little details like the bright yellow giraffe looking at the clouds.

looking into a window, toy yellow giraffe on the window sill as well as two toy trolls, one with yellow hair and the other with orange. Reflections of clouds in the window

below: There is one mural on the Railpath, the back of Osler’s Fish Market is covered with a fish and fishing themed mural.

back of Osler Fish Market covered with a fish and fishing mural

below: Fish heads in the weeds.  Queen Anne’s lace, that plant with the white flowers, was growing in abundance along the path.  You might know it by its other name, Wild Carrot.

detail of a mural, fish heads, on a wall with Queens Annes lace and other weeds growing in front.

mural with fisherman bringing in a load of fish to the shore, boat in the background, more fish in the foreground.

mural, man sitting, mending fishing nets, woman on the shore carrying a bundle towards some fishing boats.

below: A splash of red on a street just off the railpath.

the top part of an old Victorian brick 2 storey house, painted red with white trim

below: The sign on the table says: “Hi! La Witch Cat here.  Enjoy the space, but PLEASE do not litter.  I provided a garbage can. Use it!  This includes cigarette butts.  Put in trash once extinguished.  Thanks!  XXO”.  Marvellous!  I sooo agree with the part about cigarette butts.  Why do people who don’t litter still consider it okay to throw cigarette butts wherever they please?  I smiled but I didn’t stop to rest.

In a veryshady spot, against a metal fence, two old chairs with a white table between them, a sign on the table and a small garbage can to the left.

below: At one point I found myself at this intersection.  What is a pedestrian to do? It’s possible I walked where I shouldn’t have, or at least where foot traffic is rare.  All the roads in the photo are Dundas West; it’s where the street splits as it approaches Dupont and Annette.  There was a small park behind me, called Traffic Island park.  The name sums it up I think.

wide intersection where two roads meet in a V shape. not much else in the picture, only the nose of one car, no other traffic. hydro poles and wires in the picture

two old Toronto street signs, slightly rusted, on a hydro pole, one for Dundas St. WEst and one for Dupont street

below: A lament for the streetscape.  One more line in an elegy to public spaces.  The result of a half hearted attempt.  Massive hydro poles on the narrow sidewalk.  A large ad. A green space that needs attention.  If you look carefully, you can see  a plaque on a small stand.

sidewalk right beside a road, with hydro poles on the sidewalk, a small stretch of green space (about a metre) befoew a large fence that is concrete on the bottom and glass on the top. A couple of small trees that are dying are in the green space.

below: This is the plaque.  According to the words, this strip of land was replanted in 2001-2003 with a number of native species with the plan that they would spread and “create an oasis in the middle of the city”.   It mentions three plants – Nannyberry tree, Staghorn sumac, and Bottlebrush grass.   Disconnect alert.

plaque describing the railside garden with words about its history and some picture of the plants that grow there

below: On my way back to the subway station I spotted this 24 hour lovebot.

a lovebot sticker on a TTC bus stop pole, between the sign that says 24 hours and the symbol of a bus, older industrial building behind it.

…. that was where I walked yesterday but before I leave, a few small details.  Ciao!

graffiti on a grey metal door of a girl's head with lots of pink hair. A pink heart beneath her with the word love under that

red background, silhouette of sumac leaves

blue background, graffiti drawing of man's head, wearing large crown, sad eyes, heart in word bubble

a plate in a window that says Good Morning Sunshine, also two small ceramic figures of cats, and one ceramic dog

April showers bring May flowers, or so they say.

painted on a garage door, bright green background with black roses with red leaves and white daisies, also with black leaves, a red butterfly and a blue butterfly

BUT, wait just a minute!  You know it always snows in Toronto in April.  Always.

young man's face painted in pink with white features (stylized, not realistic) with orange hair and orange shirt. beside him is the word no written in large pink letters with an exclamation point after it.

And this year is no exception.

drawing of two eyes and a mouth on a grey wall. There is fear in the eyes and the mouth seems to be screaming. Beside the drawing is a window with green metal bars and a small leafless tree growing in front of the window. Snow on the ground.

It’s cold enough that even the poles are wearing scarves.

an old scruffy yellow metal pole in an alley has a black knitted scarf tied around it. There is a bit of snow on the scarf.

But why should that stop us?  There’s always a silver lining and there’s always lemonade to be made.
In this case, it is the opportunity for one last look at the city in winter (we hope!)

backyard, entrance off alley, little red car parked on snow covered parking lot. blue sky, backs of two storey houses

looking through a backless garage where the garage door is open. The garage is empty. you can see the backyard, covered in snow as well as snow covered steps leading up the second storey

looking down a narrow lane to a large two stroey red brick house across the street, a woman is riding past on a bicycle.. winter scene

Bare branches, snow, and sometimes blue sky –
things that usually only come together in winter.

Views that are hidden behind summer leaves are revealed in winter’s barrenness.

A very large tree in winter in front of three semi detached two stroey houses on the beach.

A street scene - row houses, some red brick and some painted in green, with two very tall trees in front of them.

Trees take on a different character when they have no leaves

An interesting shaped tree with many large branches in a snow covered alley with garages along both sides of the alley.

and they cast a different shadow.

The lower part of a tree, mostly the tree trunk, beside a pale grey fence, in the snow.  The shadow on the fence shows a lot of the upper tree branches as well.

Toronto is a city of trees.  They are everywhere, and a surprising number of them are large, mature trees. 

A large tree with bare branches in front of row houses from the 19602 or 1970s.  red brick with contrasting white siding, black mansard roofs.  Don Mills.

An alley with a wood fence on the right and a brick building on the left.  A car is parked at the end and just beyond the car is a large tree.  Winter time. snow.

A view from a snow covered park.  Two large trees, the one farther away is a birch tree.  A black metal fence is between the park and the sidewalk.  Single family houses are across the street from the park but there are large apartment buildings in the distance.

Regent park housing slated for demolition, in the snow with trees,

A tree in front of an old brick house.

When we think of trees we usually think of shade on a hot day, or maybe the joy that spring buds bring, or maybe the rustle of fallen leaves in the autumn.   The winter tree is often overlooked but they too add to the character of this city. 

A large gold sparkly treble clef hangs from a tree branch. A decoration in winter.

Reflections I noticed as I walked up Simcoe and across King  this afternoon. 

Reflections in the building across the street, some women are walking by with their bicycles, a street car is just coming into view.

I often see tourists stopped here to take photos. I decided that it was my turn today. The CN Tower is also reflected in this building, along with St. Andrews Church.

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More downtown reflections of tall buildings.

Curved window beside the entrance to St. Andrews subway station.

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Two small trees in the foreground.  Some tall buildings reflected in the windows of another building are behind the trees.

Roy Thomson Hall just sneaks into the lower left corner of the picture.

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Reflections of streetlights in a window, lots of horizontal blue bars are in the windows too.

My selfie for the day!

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