Posts Tagged ‘bricks’

It’s early November and autumn is here – I think.   Some leaves, like on the locust and maple trees below, have turned colours and begun to fall but others remain green and on the tree.  After the warm than usual October that we were fortunate to have, the weather has turned to grey and damp and all too seasonally November.   Luckily, a heavier coat and a scarf is all that is required – so off we go!

autumn street scene with locust tree with yellow leaves, sidewalk, some dead leaves on the ground, grass still green, orange leaves on the tree in the background

below: I spotted these little rusted Coke and Sprite signs on a house on Christie street.   Like the autumn leaves, the weather has changed their colours and I especially like the pale turquoise that the Sprite bottle has become.  It nicely matches the trim on the neighbour’s house.

three old rusted advertising signs for coca cola and sprite, metal signs, upper level of a building

below: Another example of the effects of time on metal.  A little less rust here but there are some interesting shapes and forms created by the peeling paint.

metal corrugated metal wall, close up detail of peeling green paint and rust

below: Looking into a shop window to see a sad and lonely cat.  Sad eyes?  or are they eyes of a cat dreaming of the outside world and wishing it wasn’t relegated to a shelf of old and empty things.

looking into a window of an antique store, a porcelain cat, sitting upright, with sad look on its face, on a shelf with empty bottles and jugs

below: More old, but certainly not sad.   It’s a bright, shiny and obviously well-loved Chrysler.

an old orangish brown Chrysler car parked in a driveway, front facing the street,

below: Advice to heed.

red words painted on the side of a white building in an alley, words say - When you love someone, let them know

below: No wise words here – just scrawls and tags.  But isn’t the orange a fantastic colour for a wall?

orange stucco wall with graffiti on it.

below: Tiny! A teensie tiny little house with a lawn that’s sparse but neatly kept.  Once you start looking for these little treasures, you realize that there are quite a few of them in Toronto.  I wonder if anyone has documented them?

very small one storey house between two large houses, green lawns, sidewalk in front,

Warning – tangent ahead!  This reminds of a children’s story called “Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball” written by Florence Heide Parry.  It’s a story of two men living in two different houses.  Benjamin was a very big man living in a very small house while Barnaby was a very small man living in a big house.  The illustrations of Benjamin squeezing into his mini sized house were wonderful (by Sally Matthews).  Of course, to live happily ever after the two men trade houses.

“Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!”

below: Benjamin Budge sleeps ‘in’ his bedillustration by Sally Matthews of a picture of a large man sleeping half on the floor and half on his tiny bed in his tiny bedroom. From the children's book Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Small

below: Veering back to the subject of architecture… this style of apartment building was very common in the 1920’s.  Three storeys, no elevator and probably no parking but with charming little details in the brickwork.  If I remember correctly, this building is on Bathurst street just south of Dupont.

three storey brick apartment building with central white door entranceway

Little vegetable gardens in both back and front yards are very numerous here, probably because of the combination of the large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled here and the popularity of ‘urban farming’ – veggies instead of grass. Being November, there were only a few remnants of this year’s harvest – a few tomato plants here and some Swiss chard there.

below: One back yard still has all its wooden stakes standing on guard. A forest of stakes.

chain link fence in front of a large number of wooden stakes that were used in a vegetable garden earlier in the season, but now autumn so there are no plants

below: Another way to garden in the city!

patio outside a house is covered with plastics bins of different kinds, all of which have been turned into planters, autumn now so plants no longer alive but boxes and coolers and bins remain.

below: Xena the warrior princess still watches over Vermont Avenue. She’s faded a bit since I last took her picture two years ago. You can see her (and others) in Neighbourhood watch good guys that I posted in 2015.

altered neighbourhood watch sign, with a picture in the center,

 There are lots of lanes and alleys in Seaton village (this part of the city).   One of last year’s blog posts ‘same, same, but different‘ is about some of the lanes.  There is some street art in these alleys but not too much – here are a couple from yesterday’s visit.

below: Art follows life or is it vice verse?

red leaves on a vine growing in front of a white fence that had a mural of birdhouse and plants and flowers painted on it.

below: Flowers? Or just smudges on a pole?

smudges on a metal pole that look a bit like flowers

below: Playing basketball beside Toronto – a rather lopsided photo I’m afraid.

basketball hoop above a garage door that has a large map of Toronto, in blue and green painted on it.

white garage door with some of the rectangles painted in turquoise, orange and purple, with swirls under the rectanagles that look like G's

semi circle covering bottom half of garage door, looks like bald head with a few curly hairs growing upwards from the scalp

mural on an exterior wall outside Kos restaurant on Bathurst Street, the mural is in the front of the restaurant by the patio, no one sitting outside, blue umbrellas are down.

below: Herringbone pattern made from bricks.

chevron pattern (herring bone pattern) of bricks on a driveway, some autumn leaves on the bricks

below: A rather forlorn looking bench and seat outside the laundromat.

front of a laundromat. blue sign that says coin laundry, an old bench and an old chair sitting outside by the front door. two windows through which you can see the washing machines

below: A newspaper rack decorated with a garland of fake ivy.  Insert fake news reference here ….

a newspaper rack outside a corner convenience store, the newspapers (there aren't many) are held down with bricks, the rack is decorated with a fake ivy garland

an old chair on a porch, side view.

looking through a park to a street with a blue house and a red house, cars parked in front, autumn leaves,

below: Today I’m going to end on a dangerous note.  Keep walking and Stay safe!

construction site with a danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to life

Along with many other people, I have been watching the demolition on the southeast corner of Dundas & Sumach streets, part of the Regent Park redevelopment.  This 14 storey apartment building was designed by Peter Dickinson; it was built in the late 1950s.

 

January 31st, 2015

I first saw this building being demolished on a grey day at the end of January.
I’m not sure when the demolition actually started.

A large 14 storey brick clad apartment building in the initial stages of being demolished.

Looking north up Sumach Street.

 

View of the interior of some of the apartments that were exposed when the exterior brick was removed.  Some of the rooms are painted in bright colours, purples, pinks and greens.

The colours of past lives.

 

 3 February

A workman dressed in orange coveralls works on the street in front of a building being demolished

It would have been a cold job, working outside during the coldest February on record.

 

Part of a 14 stprey apartment building that is being demolished.  The exterior walls have been removed and some of the interior walls are buckling.

In the midst of demolition.

 

blog_demolition

 

10 February

Two very large cranes are being used to demolish a large apartment building on the corner of Dundas and Sumach streets.  Some men in bright yellow vests are directing traffic as some of the debris is falling towards Sumach street.

Looking across the intersection of Dundas and Sumach.

 

A purple and yellow sign against a metal fence that says Regent Park Revitalization Phase 3 has started.  Demolition of an apartment in the background.

A view from the south.

 

Hydraulic crane and truck and other machinery used in the demolition of the building.

Looking west from River Street.

 

Vacant lot in the forground with demolition of a building in the middle.  In the background are the new buildings that have been built in that area

Another view from River Street.

 

12 February

Two large cranes are demolishing an apartment building.

 

17 February

A lot of rubble, concrete, metal and brick, from the demolition of a building lies in front of the partially demolished building.

Looking into the remains of a partially demolished building.  The pipes that used to run between the walls vertically are now exposed.

 

23 February

Machinery is being used to sift through the debris and rubble from a building demolition

27 February

A man is taking a picture of a demolition in progress of an apartment building.

There were always a number of people taking pictures whenever I was there.

 

As part of the upper stories of an apartment are brought down, a cloud of dust forms as the debris hits the ground.

dust storm in the sunlight

 

28 February

vacant lot, truck, and remains of a building being demolished

… after 5 weeks, 6 March

A large hole in the ground where a building once stood, vacant land is around it.  A street of houses in the distance, machinery to one side.

Just another hole in the ground.

Both Adelaide St. East and Richmond St. East pass over King Street as they converge into Eastern Avenue.  Recently the concrete supports that help hold up these overpasses have been painted in bright, bold pictures.  The murals are entitled ‘Frozen Memories’ and they were designed and painted by street artist Shalak Attack with help from Bruno Smoky and Fiya Bruxa.

 All four pillars of the overpasses are in view.

Each pillar has a large face on the side that faces King Street and a picture that depicts something representative of Corktown on the other sides. 

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass, in  the foreground is the face of a man with the eyes on the upper horizontal portion of the support and his mouth on the lower part.

These murals are a part of the StreetARToronto Underpass Program or “StART UP.” 

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass,  a man passes by on the sidewalk while in the foreground is a support painted with street scenes.  Houses and streetcar tracks.

Enoch Turner established Toronto’s first free school in the Corktown area in 1848. 

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass, a young girl in a pink top sitting at a table and writing in a notebook.  The word love is written on one of the pages.

painting of the Enoch Turner school on one of the pillars supporting Adelaide St. East in Toronto.  Other Corktown houses are also painted here on the lower part of the pillar.

  Two of the main industries in Corktown were bricks and beer.   One pillar pays homage to the people who worked in these industries, including this bricklayer.

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass, a man portrayed in blue tones, wearing an old fashioned hard hat and holding a trowel.

Mural on concrete pillar of a blue brick layer surrounded by symbols of industry such as factories, gears, beer bottles, bricks.  There is a parking lot surrounding the concrete support so there are cars parked in front of the pillar.

This mural is a another tribute to the early days of Corktown.   Sailing ships, maps and compasses are for the immigrants that came here.   The first church built in Corktown was Little Trinity in 1843.   It’s stained glass window is shown here.

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass, three supports are in the picture.  The one in the foreground has marine scenes - two sailing ships, a large turtle, and waves.  The two supports in the background are those with faces, one man and one woman.

other views

blog_overpass_face2

Paintings on the large T shaped concrete supports of the overpass,  a large multicoloured woman's face is on the concrete support that is across the street.  A chain link ffence and yellow fire hydrant are in the foreground.

Just a collection of walls that caught my interest as I walked in the past few weeks.

 

reflections in the window of the OPG (Ontario Power Generation) building, a curved glass structure.

diamond blues

 

grey concrete wall

patches, cracks, and drips under a  bridge

 

close up of a maroon coloured drain pipe down the side of a house that is red and orange.

vibrant orange with drain pipe

 

Four storey brick building with large windowes with rounded arched shaped tops.  Yellow brick details around the tops of the windows.

Pattern of arches at George and Adelaide

 

close up of a concrete wall that has black paint (or something like black paint) spilled on the lower part of it.

black and white under grey

 

Close up showing part of a wood pallet that is leaning against a grey brick wall.

wood on brick, browns and greys

 

In 1913 the first of five Wychwood “Barns” were built by the city of Toronto as a streetcar maintenance facility. Streetcars accessed the site from the mainlines on St. Clair Ave., which is just to the north, via tracks on Wychwood Avenue.

There were five barns built from 1913 to 1921 as industrial buildings.  They are brick structures, two storeys high with an interior steel structure that was exposed. The facility remained part of the TTC until 1992. The City of Toronto currently leases the site to Toronto Artscape Inc., a not-for-profit organization that develops and operates space for the arts, at $1 a year on a 50 year lease.

Barn 1 has been converted into a private live-work studio and housing for community artists, while Barn 2 was made into a community gathering space, including a theatre. Barns 1 & 2 became a covered street that is two storeys high, 60 metres long, and 10 meters wide. Barns 3 and 4 are private-public spaces where non-profit organizations can operate.

Interior of the present day Wychwood Barns, central part. Historical photos of Toronto streetcars hang over the doors on the right.

Interior of the present day Wychwood Barns, central part (barns 1 and 2). Historical photos of Toronto streetcars hang over the doors on the right.

A greenhouse and community gardens are located in Barn four.  The roof was removed from Barn 5. All that remains is the steel structure that forms the arcade.

A large number 5 hangs over the remains of the fifth barn.

Barn number 5

part of an old wall showing the brick details.

Exposed interior wall

sunflowers

Sunflowers growing in the community gardens in barn 4.

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