Posts Tagged ‘brick’

Fall, Leaves, Fall
“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.”
by Emily Bronte

 

As the leaves fall, bare branches are left behind and on a sunny day they make for wonderful shapes and shadows.  Riverdale Park, Broadview side.

tree in Riverdale Park, November, Bloor Viaduct in the background, also some highrise buildings

below: The more common angle for photos taken at Riverdale Park, the angle with the Toronto skyline in the background.  I wasn’t as interested in the skyline yesterday, it was the trees and shadows that I was focusing on.

trees in Riverdale Park, Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance, grass, long shadows, no leaves on the trees.

below: There is a pedestrian bridge over the Don Valley Parkway that connects the two sides of Riverdale Park.  This is view looking south.

looking south from a bridge over the Don Valley Parkway road, with cars driving north and south, looking towards bridge at Dundas Street, Don River to the right,

below: Two cars and three bridges.  This is from the same bridge as above, but this time looking northwest over the Don River towards the Bloor Viaduct.  The CPR bridge is in the middle (with the graffiti) and the pedestrian bridge for the lower Don Trail is the orange-brown one.

two cars driving on the Don Valley Parkway, past the Don River and two bridges over the river. In the distance is the Bloor Viaduct, trees, and some apartment buildings.

below: While crossing Riverdale Park, I spotted this sign.  It’s behind a chainlink fence and partially hidden by shrubs and small trees.  From where I was standing I could hardly see any water that one might use for a rink.   There is a pond back there – it’s the pond at the bottom of the hill on the Riverdale Farm property.

surrounded by small trees, a wooden sign with yellow lettering that says Danger Skating Prohibited by law.

below: The irregular curves of the trees contrasted with the lines and diamonds formed by the staircase that leads down into Riverdale Park (or up from the park!)

looking down a hill covered by dead leaves, a set of stairs winds its way up the hill, some trees too

below: More trees – this time in the Necropolis cemetery.

Necropolis cemetery, some tombstones, a pine tree, a tree with autumn leaves and some trees with no leaves, green grass

below: A tree of a different kind.

the shadow of a tree and all its leaves on a wood fence in an alley

a small amount of snow and ice on the ground, some leaves that have fallen off trees and are on the ground.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
by Robert Frost
***

 

below: The Virginia Creeper leaves have turned and fallen and left the berries behind to dry and wither.  This plant is found all over the city, especially in the lanes and alleys.

blue berries on vines, no leaves, on a wood fence

below: Brilliant colour of the berries on the Bittersweet Vine. This plant produces a yellow berry that bursts open to reveal a red interior.

orange and red berries on vines, black background.

below: Another sign that it’s November, the snack bar by Riverdale Farm is closed for the winter.

the front door of Park Snacks, a building on a corner, pale turquoise with lots of decorative finishes, a wood door, pink and cream coloured trim,

below: An open gate, leading past the burning bushes to the front door.

a wrought iron fence and open gate in front of a brick house built in the workers cottage, or gothic cottage, style. Red leaves on burning bushes type shrub on either side of path leading to front door

below: A Lab patiently waits by the door.

red double door, front door of house, porch with pumpkins on it, also a dog, a labrador retreiver, lying on the porch

below:  Another front yard and another dog… This vintage fire hydrant, decorated as a dalmatian in a fireman’s helmet.  There is newer yellow fire hydrant closer to the sidewalk in the same yard so I suspect that this one is not functional.

vintage fire hydrant in a front yard, faded painting of a dog on it, face, and some blue spots, cap of hydrant is painted like a fireman's hat.

below: More silliness – a brick wall with a tiny window in what used to be a larger arched window.  Now it’s only big enough for a toilet paper roll.

a brick wall, an old arched window has been bricked in, leaving a small window, in the window is a roll of toilet paper

below: I’ll end this post with a couple of unicorns even though they have nothing to do with fall. But who doesn’t like unicorns? Especially when there’s a bit of awesomeness too.

in a shop window, two toy unicorns, a book about unicorns, and a book about the 100 things about being awesome

From autumn to winter, from old to new.

close up of the center of a pink flower

below: It’s a sculpture!  It’s a piece of playground equipment!  Two very large bronze hands and a red rope lattice between the hands has been installed in Berczy Park.  It was designed by Toronto artist Luis Jacob.  In the background is the “dog fountain”.

sculpture of two black hands, very large, reaching out of the ground, with red rope "cat's cradle" between them, fountain in the background, Berczy park in Toronto

below: Berczy Park from the other side. The water in the fountain has been turned off for the winter. It’s a bit too cold to hang out in the park these days but the dogs are still patiently and quietly waiting beside the fountain.

Berczy park, fountain with statues of dogs, no water because winter

below: The lower part of “Flatiron Mural” by Derek Besant, 1980 on the west wall of the Gooderham building, overlooking Berczy Park .

flatiron mural by Derek Besant on the east wall of the Gooderham Building, fake blue and white side of the building

below: On the other side of the Gooderham building, near Church Street, the old-style lamps have been decorated for the Christmas season.

Christmas decorations, pine branches and red plant pots, on a lamp post in front of the Gooderham building in Toronto, red brick flatiron type building

below: More signs that maybe Christmas is coming… eventually.  Christmas decorations are now available at most grocery stores.

part of an evergreen Christmas decoration with red and gold spray painted pieces

It’s weird to be getting into the Christmas spirit already… in mid-November when there are still a few leaves on the trees…

below: And lots of leaves on the ground.

wet yellow leaves on the ground in a small puddle, reflection of tree branches in the puddle

below: St. James Cathedral from the park (sculpture garden) across the street. Autumn, and the views are no longer blocked by greenery.

St. James Cathedral and steeple from across the street, shows whole of front of the church, in early winter so the trees in front have no leaves

below: In that sculpture garden there’s a new installation.

a white metal sculpture of a treble clef and a line of music, with yellow and red lights, in a garden, in a city, with brick buildings behind

below: “Pigro” by Tony Romano.   Pigro is Italian for “lazy”, as in lazily reclining in the park. By the looks of it, there are lights on the sculpture so it might be interesting to check this out after dark (i.e. after 4 p.m.!)

 a white metal sculpture of a treble clef and a line of music, with yellow and red lights, in a garden, in a city with a brick wall behind it

part of a white metal sculpture of a treble clef and a line of music, with yellow and red lights, in a garden, in a city with a brick wall behind it

below: Around the corner, on King Street, the omnipresent construction/renovation.

scaffolding on the front a building on King street, steeple of St. James Cathedral in the background

below: The Tom Jones restaurant still stands alone although construction has been creeping closer and closer.

Tom Jones restaurant, three storey white brick building, stand alone, parking lot on one side, street on the other, dark wood door and door frame,

below: The pale purple wall with the mural and Henry Fielding quote are also still in place although the paint is peeling badly in some spots.  (this is the east side of the Tom Jones restaurant building).

pale purple wall with mural and text, parkin lot attendent boothin front of wall as well as one parked car

below: The backs of the buildings on King Street that are being redeveloped.

below: Transitions, old, new, and in between.

back of three old brick buildings, scaffolding on the building to the right, a new glass building behind

below: And the last look at the construction, sort of… you can just see bits of the reddish scaffolding across King Street

glass and metal covering over a walkway outside between two buildings

pink and green cabbage like plant

two women holding cups of coffee walk across Victoria St. on Queen Street East

Just after I wrote the previous blog post about some of the buildings on Yonge Street that are in the middle of an area being redeveloped, I walked across Queen Street East.  I noticed that there were a lot of similar three storey buildings here to those around the corner on Yonge.  Toronto must have been a booming city in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when these stores and warehouses were built.

below: What I also noticed is how many of the storefronts are empty.   This is the northeast corner of Queen and Mutual.

the northeast corner of Queen street east and Mutual street, with an empty building on the corner.

What I don’t have is a photo of the northwest corner – it is about to be developed, or at least there is a plan to develop it, into a 29 storey glass tower.   Urban Toronto called this location, “a spot that currently feels disconnected from the rest of the City. ”  … maybe because the Moss Park neighbourhood is on the lower part of the socioeconomic spectrum?    Urban Toronto is a website that is, their words, “populated by the tastemakers, condo aficionados, buyers, builders and realtors”.   I try to stay neutral in the pro/con condo development argument but it irks me to read things like, “Redefining the urban experience” and variations thereof over and over and over again to describe mediocrity.

To be fair, this 88 Queen West project is redeveloping a parking lot.  Why is it a parking lot?  Because in the 1950’s a parking lot was more important that the buildings, including Cooke’s Presbyterian Church (1857), that originally stood there.   Perhaps we get what we deserve.

 

below: Richard Bigley (1853-1933) started off as a woodworker but soon switched to selling stoves. He sold the ‘Happy Thought’ line of stoves. He holds two US patents, one for a water heater and one for a sectional water heater. The building was converted into loft apartments, one loft per floor, back in the late 1990’s.

tall brick building, Richard Bigley 1876 written in white at the top (4 storeys), large glass windows in front, once an old store and warehouse, now a 3 loft apartments. 98 Queen Street East

below: Two views at the corner of Queen East and Jarvis.  You can just see the Moss Park Armoury building on the right side of this picture.  This Canadian Forces facility was built in 1960’s and it takes up a large chunk of land.  Development  rising in the north…

Queen and Jarvis intersection looking north to tall towers being built on Dundas
below: … and development rising in the west.

the intersection of Queen and Jarvis, looking northwest, with a foodora cyclist in pink in the intersection, traffic, street car, and in the distance, development on Yonge and westward, cranes, glass towers

large blue public parking sign, also a large box shaped sign on a tall pole. The sign is wearing out

below: At Ontario Street, the street sign says, Old Town Toronto.  In 1797 the city limits were moved north to Queen Street (then called Lot Street).  Ontario Street was one of the most easterly streets at that time.   And, oh yes, the city was still York.  It officially became Toronto in 1834.

toronto street sign for Ontario Street with the top part that says Old Town Toronto

below: Posters on a boarded up window – once it was a barber shop?  Posters on Queen East for events on Queen West.

posters on an empty building, exterior wall, bottom of wall has barber pole stripes painted on it.

below: A blue and white Development Notice. I still haven’t found out how many of these there are hanging around the city.  My best guess is ‘hundreds’.

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on a chainlink fence in front of a vacant lot wehre cars and trucks are parked. For 245 to 285 Queen Street East, Bridgen Place and Richond.

At the risk of another anti-development rant, I just want to say a couple of things about the above photo.  The development here involves the closure of two public lanes, McFarrens Lane and Brigden Place.  There will be pedestrian access (public access on private land) between Queen and Richmond, between two large buildings with three towers built above them – 39, 39, and 49 storeys high.

From a City of Toronto report written in April 2016…”City Planning staff is not in support of the proposal in its current form, as the proposal not only represent over development, but also fails to recognize the existing built-form character and scale of the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Area by departing from the existing warehouse and main street typology where the site is located.”

I am not sure what the status of the project is at the moment, but the developer has a website for this project, Queen & Sherbourne, that describes it exactly as the original proposal – Three glass towers on two boring bland base buildings. It’s yet another development that looks flashy from above but is blah ick at street level.

below: The northwest corner of Queen and Sherbourne

northwest corner of Queen and Sherbourne, Moss Park variety store on the corner, three storey brick Victorian buildings, cars, people,
below: Bright and cheerful.

three storey victorian buildings includia Acadia Book Store, established 1931 and Seaton Butcher

below: 310 Queen East at the corner of Queen and Berkeley.

below: Moving slightly east to the corner of Queen and Parliament (NE).  That looks like a solid old bank building on the corner.

northeast corner of queen and parliament, old brick buildings,

flat roofed old brick buildings, with oriel windows on third floor, Ray's Discount Convenience and Supermarket on the ground floor. A bus shelter on the sidewalk, people waiting for the bus, building painted rust red colour,

below: 354 and 356 Queen Street East

two narrow three storey buildings squished in between two slightly larger buildings. On the ground floor of the building on the left is Redline Coffee and Espresso while Ryans Restaurant is on the right.

below: 380, 382, and 384 Queen Street West.

two storey store fronts on queen street east, 380 Queen, 382 Queen and 384 queen.

below:  Wherever you walk there is construction.  Some of it good, some of it poor.  That’s Toronto these days.

a man walks through a covered sidewalk, past a construction site and towards a bus shelter

This is the story of one building at one intersection, Yonge and Belsize (just south of Eglinton) but it’s also a story that is being repeated over and over again in the city.  The story of demolition and rebuilding.  The story of loss of the older wood and brick structures as they are replaced by glass and steel.

By December 2016 all of the businesses had closed down.

row of two storey store fronts, old brick building, that is now empty and about to be demolished, on Yonge Street

Mars advert on Belsize convenience store, old brick building with large windows and blue window frame, snow banks on sidewalk, now empty

signs in the window of a store that has just closed down. one is a permit to demolish the building and the other is a hand written sign on orange paper that is a thank you note from the managers of the store to the public

below: The back of the building

back of a brick building, winter time, with snow on the ground, construction fence around it, windows boarded up

Just over a year later demolition began in earnest.

back upper storey of building being torn down, exposing office furniture that was abandoned

interiorwallson upper storey are exposedin building being demolished

a construction worker in heavy winter orange clothes and yellow helmet, holds a stop sign to stop the traffic on Yonge street in front of a building being demolished

workmen standing around beside a front end loader that is being used to tear down an old brick building

exterior of building being demolished, black door uperlevel with drop below

old metal water pipes exposed on green and blue interior wall when building being demolished

red plastic danger tape blows in the wind. one end is tied to a blue fence and one strand is also tied to a building being demolished

remains of an old building being torn down in the foreground, a front end loader in the middle, and apartment buildings in the background.

on old metal chair frame sitsin a room with a lot of wood debris around it

Sunny September days make good walking in the alleys days.   Here are some of the walls I saw and the compositions that they make.  The textures of wood and metal, bright colours as well as subdued ones, the effects of light and shadow, as well as shapes and patterns – these are some of the things that catch my eye and make me stop.  Throw a little nature into the mix and the following photos are the result.

part of an old wood door that is part dark turquoise and part blue, with a rusted latch holding the two doors together and closed

a vine with two red leaves hangs in front of a grey wall, sunny day so there are shadows on the wall fromother plants that aren't in the picture

three small windows in a wall, the top part of the wall is brick and the bottom is plaster that has been painted white

old rusty downspout with part of a wire coat hanger wrapped around ut, in front of a grey shingle covered wall that has been partially covered with purple spray paint

trunks of three trees growing in front of an old white building with a green door. windows in door are covered with plywod and a piece of plywood is nailed over parts of the lower half of the doors to keep them closed.

a bashed up grey metal door with splotches of light and shadow

part of a bright red double metal door in a brick building

a bright turquoise door in a building that has been painted white - some of the old brick shows throw the peeling paint.

part of a brick wall that has old windows bricked over in a different brick, an old window with old wood frame, unpainted, some graffiti on the wall

corrugated plastic panels on angle in front of concrete block wall with window covered with plywood

white drips of paint on a wood garage door, metal door handle

chainlink fence in front of rows of construction equipment

a grey plaster attempt to patch a broken rusted metal panel on the side of a garage - rust in shades of yellow and brown, a painted green stripe

red, white, and blue spray paint on three wood slats of a fence, tied together with string, some nails sticking out

paste up of a man's face over a wood door, door and wall have blue and red splotchy spray paint on them

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

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

red wall with black door and yellow pipes

below: blue from the inside, shadows on the outside

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

below: yellow pipe, orange concrete

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

below: a window seat

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

below: frosted reflections

hazy reflection of a window and a grey wall

below: from a different angle, still a wall

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

below: nailed links where the hinge once was

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

below: aging shingles and plywood

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

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

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

below: dollar signs in the winter

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

below: cracked and peeling

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

below: vertical reflections, horizontal grooves

horizontal window in a wall with horizontal grooves

below: open days a week and empty frames

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

below: painted square shining in the sun

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

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

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

below: rectangles, diamonds, and trapezoids

trapezoid sections on a concrete exterior wall

below:  a deep red curtain and a few exposed bricks

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

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

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

below: (16″) 2 steps from landing

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

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

old exterior wall, brick, mortar, plaster

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

I was out earlier this evening, venturing out to a gallery opening on Avenue Road near Dupont.  It wasn’t meant to be a photo taking adventure but it was a sunny evening and rather than wait for a bus on Avenue Road, I started to walk.   It didn’t take long before the camera came out (yes, I usually have it with me!).  Have I walked here before?

a yellow traffic sign in front of a store window. Window is lit and has two female mannequins in it. Sign says Turning traffic must yield to pedestrians.

On Avenue Road just south of St. Clair West there are quite a few older apartment buildings and most are in good shape.

below: It’s nice to see that this building is being renovated.

old 6 storey brick apartment building that is undergoing renovations, bottom few storeys are covered in scaffolding.

below: Most of the apartment buildings in the area are mid to low rise.   If I remember correctly, the building on the right is the tallest  (and newest?)

three midrise apartment buildings.

side of an apartment building with a decorative panel running up the center.

below: You don’t see brickwork or stone details like these on newer buildings.

detail of the brick and stone work on an older apartment building. There are three stone women lying under each oriel window, diamond patterns in the brick on the exterior as well

below: Looking southeast, generally towards downtown, as you come down the hill on Avenue Road.  The bright green and red on the left is the De Lasalle College playing field.

view of downtown Toronto skyline from Avenue Road, just south of St. Clair.

below: Mural along the side of the lead up to the railway bridge.
The signature is Leventhal ’96

mural painted along the side of a wall that is part of the embankment for a railway bridge Mural is a country scene, grass and fields, a farm in the distance and a couple of trees.

below: Under the railway tracks.   I thought that the blue tiles were a nice feature – are there other tiles like this under any other Toronto bridges?

under a railway bridge, steel girders above, street passes under, across the street the lower part of the wall is blue tile, a man on a bicycle is passing by

two women walk past a brick house with green wood features, porch, windows, garage door.

below: The turret (steeple?) of De Lasalle College

De Lasalle Callege building, an old brick house with a turret , trees, lawn,

below: One of the entrances to the Mayfair Apartments.

decorative entranceway for the Mayfair apartment building. Woood doors, carved stone above and beside the door

below: Another of the entrances (there was at least one more).  The stonework is similar but the old light fixtures are still in place.  In the picture above, you can see the holes  where the lights once were.

entrance to the mayfair apartments. 396 Avenue Road, stone work and old light fixtures

below: Old wood door on Avenue Road.

old wood door with mailbox and number 280

below:  The first signs of a republic… I had heard about the Republic of Rathnelly  but I didn’t know anything about it, including its location.    Back in 1967  the residents of the officially seceded from the rest of Canada, originally as a form of protest against the proposed Spadina Expressway that would have physically divided the community.    The founders named their republic after Rathnelly Avenue which runs parallel to Avenue, one street to the west.   Rathnelly Avenue was named after William McMaster’s birthplace of Rathnelly, Ireland.  (McMaster Avenue is there too).  William McMaster (1811-1887) was a founding president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce between 1867 and 1887.  He was also a senator.   The special street signs were designed in 2012.

Toronto street sign that says Poplar Plains Cr and also says Republic of Rathnelly

below: A painted sign on the side of The Avenue Diner (at Davenport Road).  It was closed when I walked by so I’ve made a note to myself to go back and see if the interior has changed much since 1944.

old faded mural painted on wood on the exterior side wall of the Avenue Diner. shows people sitting at a lunch counter with an employee behind

below: Across the street from The Avenue Diner is the Havana Coffee Bar. The old building still has a ghost ‘Tamblyn’ sign on it.  To me, Tamblyns was a drug store but was it something else prior to that?  I can’t read the smaller word below ‘Tamblyn’ on the building.  …. A quick check and the answer is ‘no’ – Gordon Tamblyn opened his first pharmacy in 1904 and by the time he died in 1933, he had a chain of about 60 stores.

old building with ghost sign on the upper storey, Tamblyns, bottom part now a dry cleaners and the Havana bar and grill.  A bus shelter is beside the building and some people are waiting for a bus.

…and then I found myself in Yorkville but that’s a whole different story!

a very large fake diamond ring, single stone, sculpture size, about 3 feet in diameter, stands in front of an old fashioned clock in front of some stores