Posts Tagged ‘bridge’

A walk along the Don River.

The Don Valley Brick Works (or Evergreen Brickworks) is an old clay quarry and brick factory that operated between 1889 and 1984.  Today the site consists of 16 heritage buildings and an adjacent 16-hectare public park known as Weston Family Quarry Garden that includes wetlands, hiking trails, and wildflower meadows.

below: Interior of the kiln building.  Some of the kilns have been removed to create a larger open area and year round event space.

large ceiling pipes, exhaust system for old brickworks kilns, some of the old kilns as well

below: anser faces on the exterior yellow brick wall.

yellow brick wall with two large blue anser faces on it, as well as part of the word Toronto in yellow bricks

below: The Brickworks “living map” of Toronto is looking very healthy.  It is “Watershed Consciousness” by Ferruccio Sardella and it depicts the rivers and ravines in the city.    Some of the greens are looking a little tall (like they don’t belong there? a few strays?).

a pink chair and a yellow chair sit in front of a sculpture that is a metal relief map of Toronto, green plants grow in the areas of the map that are ravines and green spaces in the city

below: Bullrushes growing in the wetland area around the pond.

narrow brown bullrushes growing amongst the reeds in the wetlands at brickworks

below:  Ideas!  I’ve been meaning to find the end of this bridge and walk at least part of it – if I do, I’ll let you know!  It’s the bridge that you see beside the Brickworks.  It was built in 1928 and is 335m long.   It is part of the Don Branch of the CPR and it ran from Leaside Junction to the downtown core until the line was closed in 2007.

two people walk across an unused railway bridge

After a short visit at the Brickworks, including a quick bite to eat at the Farmers Market, we headed south.  The first part of the walk was back along Bayview to Pottery Road since Brickworks is on the west side of the Don River and the trail is on the east side.  I didn’t take any pictures – walking along a major road that doesn’t have a sidewalk needs all of your attention.   There is a bike path that parallels Bayview on the east side but getting to it was either a long detour or a dash across the road and over a barrier.   We made the decision to stay on the west side and cross with the lights at Pottery Road.

below: Although the path is through the ravine and it runs beside the Don River, it also runs adjacent to the Don Valley Parkway.  There are only a few places on the trail where you can see the highway but there is a constant rumbling noise from the cars passing by.

cyclist on a path, riding away from the camera, fence to the left of him/her, green signs on the Don Valley Parkway to the far left. exit sign for Bayview and Bloor.

below: This is the same railway line as the bridge shown above but farther down the valley.  A very makeshift bike crossing.

two cyclists walk their bikes across loose pieces of plywood over unused railway tracks

below: Standing at the same spot as the above photo, but turned around 180 degrees… You can see how overgrown the old tracks are.

looking along an abandoned railway line, overgrown tracks, trees on either side, apartment buildings far away in the distance

below: Two different railway lines run down the Don River Valley.   The line shown here, the CN Bala subdivision line,  is very active including use by GO trains that service the Oriole, Richmond Hill, and Newmarket route.   The Bala subdivision tracks continue all the way to Sudbury.

a cyclist walks his bike over a gravel travel under a bridge that has just been renovated, another bike rider is dismounting

below: A quiet spot by the abandoned tracks.

an old rusted side of a railway trestle bridge, lots of greenery from the trees growing around it, a man is standing at one end of the bridge, unused tracks
below: There are a few spots along the trail where there was damage from the high water levels in the spring.  Most if the problems are with the banks od the river.  The trail itself is in good shape.

an orange plastic fence runs between wooden stakes, danger, marking the parts of a riverside trail that got washed away or damaged in high water in the spring

below: Kayaking on the river.

a yellow kayak with two people in it passes under an old railway bridge that has graffiti on it. Don River

below: Keeping an eye on the water level.

surveillance camera on a tall pole, aimed at rulers and markers on the far side of a river, keeping an eye on the water level

cyclists on a path through the trees, a bridge support is beside the path

a big white happy face graffiti on a bridge support

below: Does anyone know what the 6 drum shaped things are?

two boys ride bikes past the Mill Street Junction hydro station, fenced in area with danger signs,

below: Standing on the old metal bridge across the Don River at Eastern Avenue, looking south.  When the Don Valley Parkway was built, it cut through Eastern Avenue.  Eastern was rerouted, swinging north a bit before crossing over the DVP and splitting into Richmond, Adelaide, and Eastern. (depending in which direction you’re travelling).   If you stand on the bridge and look directly east, there is still a road there that dead ends at the highway.  It is now Sunlight Park Road and it is provides access to the BMW dealership that you can see as you drive past on the DVP.

metal work of the side of a bridge frames the view of a river and trees and city buildings, Don River, abandoned bridge

I couldn’t see any park in that area so I decided that if there is a Sunlight Park it’s teensy tiny.  Luckily I didn’t stop there – I did some research and discovered that Sunlight Park was actually the first baseball stadium built in Toronto.   It was built in 1886 and was first known as the Toronto Baseball Grounds – four storeys, wood, and the home of the Toronto baseball team from 1886 to 1897.   And where is Sunlight in all this?  The stadium became known as Sunlight Park after the Sunlight Soap factory that was built by the Lever Brothers in 1900/01 in the same area.   The stadium was demolished in 1913.

below: The building in the background was the Lever Brothers (the Unilever) soap factory.  There is now a sign on the building that says firstgulf.com – they are the development company that owns the site.  NOW magazine published an interesting story about the building as it looks at the moment (with lots of great pictures!).  The path through the striped underpass joins the Don River Trail to Corktown Commons.

two men walk through a park towards an underpass under a railway track, factory in the background.

 Stay safe.  Protect the plants (and the humans!)

altered sign. Instead of saying Protect the Plants it now says Protect the humans.

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

Another nice day, another ramble.

below: My starting point the other day was Castle Frank subway station (Bloor Street East, close to the top of Parliament Street).  This station opened in 1966 although the entrance that you see in the photo was an addition that was added only a few years ago.

photo taken from sidewalk on north side Bloor Street East, just outside of Castle Frank subway station, looking west towards downtown. Subway station in the foreground, high rise buildings in the background

below: An interesting round window in the station entrance.  You can see part of the window in the picture above, peaking from around the side of the tree trunk.

a round window with a metal grille inside. Grille is made of trapezoid shapes in a repeating pattern.

below: The subway “tunnel” between Sherbourne and Castle Frank stations isn’t really a tunnel at all.  This view surprised me – I know that I have driven under this structure on Rosedale Valley Road.  I don’t recall knowing that it was for the subway.

Downtown Toronto is in the distance. The subway tunnel between Sherbourne and Castle Frank stations is in the foreground. It's really a covered bridge as it passes over Rosedale Valley Road.

below: “It’s never too cold for rainbow shoelaces.”  Sage advice for the winter time.

words spray painted on a low concrete fence, It's never too cold for rainbow shoelaces.

below: Graffiti under the bridge…  even though I am drawn to bridges I didn’t go down the hill to investigate.  That can be another blog post at another not so muddy time.   This spot can be accessed from the Rekai Family Parkette which is at the SE corner of Bloor and Parliament, tucked in between Bloor and St. James Cemetery.

graffiti under the arches of a bridge, white skull painting, lots of trees, winter time but no snow. No leaves on the trees, brown ground.

below: More graffiti seen from the parkette.

graffiti on the side of a concrete bridge, based on the letter P C and E.

below: St. James Cemetery was opened in July of 1844 at a time when the population of Toronto was around 18,000 and most of them lived south of Queen Street.   The cemetery would have been out in the country but now, more than 150 years later, the cemetery is in the middle of the city.  There are 89,000 interments here including two of my great x 2 (or 3?) grandparents and some of their descendants (they’re not shown in the picture though!).

many tombstones in a cemetery, different shapes and sizes, a couple of crosses, a couple of rectangles with rounded tops, a tall one in the shape of a skinny keyhole, trees in the background, no leaves

below: A little reminder that Christmas wasn’t all that long ago.

a small statue of an angel sitting on a pedestal in a cemetery, a Christmas wreath in green with red bows and brown pine cones is behind the angel.

The fastest route from Castle Frank to Cabbagetown is straight down Parliament Street.  But of course, the direct route is rarely the one that I take.  The area is full of little alleys and lanes and they all call to me.

below: These animals are part of a mural painted in support of Riverdale Farm which is nearby.

on Darling Lane (street sign in the picture), a mural of two horses, part of a larger mural featuring farm animals

below: Reading the news, many newses.

a street art piece, a bench and man are painted on a wall, the man is holding a newspaper that is a made of paste ups of the word news many times.

below: In Flos Williams Lane there are a number of stenciled words.  “Guilty until proven rich” I first saw here a couple of years ago.  I don’t walk this lane very often so I’m not sure how long ago the other sayings appeared.

below: Like most walks, there were interesting windows to be seen.

two windows on a red brick house with stone foundation, basement window and first storey window. The upper one has a red curtain

below: …and doors too. A very bright orange door!

a very bright orange front door.

below: But unlike most walks, there was a giant gecko or lizard.

a life like model of a giant green gecko on the small roof over a window of a pet store.

One of the appeals of Cabbagetown is the number of older houses, many of which are heritage buildings.

below: This house was built in 1858 and its first resident was Charles MacKay, a customs official who lived here from 1858 to 1865.  The infill line of townhouses behind it are a much more recent development.

an old historic brick house with black and white trim, a small statue in the front yard, set back from the sidewalk, large tree,

below:  Cabbagetown has more of these ‘workers cottages’ or ‘gothic cottages’ than anywhere else I’ve walked.   This arrangement of three identical houses in a row is especially rare (but not unique, at least not yet).

a row of three gothic cottages joined together, all pale yellow with dark green trim

below:  This cottage is in the middle of another threesome but they are not identical.  The yellow door on the pale blue house is a wonderful colour combination.  A little bit of sunshine.

a gothic cottage painted pale blue with white trim,also a bright yellow front door.

below:  Even though it has been renovated and an addition added to the back, this house still retains some of its historical roots.

a renovated and modernized gothic cottage with an addition out the back.

below: And more history…  I was attracted to this building by the beautiful double doors.  Once I was close to the house, I noticed the ghost sign hiding behind the tree branches. The Daily Herald is no longer but it the mark it made here remains.   A mysterious mark though because I can find no record of such a publication.  In fact, probably “the sign had been part of a play or film that the home’s owner was involved in and he installed the sign on an act of whimsy.”  (source, bottom of page)  You gotta love whimsy!

an old brick building, two storeys, now a house, with double doors in a dark teal colour. Ghost sign above the window that says Daily Herald

below: Whimsy you say?  Bright pink flamingo whimsy in a store window.   They look like they’re ready for a rainy day.

three bright flamingo heads as umbrella handles in a shop window. Pink flamingos and pink umbrellas.

below:  There were also some store windows that were a bit more serious.

store window, selling statues of religios figures, many statues of Mary and Jesus.

below:   I think that Carlton and Parliament is one of the most colourful intersections in the city and I always enjoy passing this way.  This is the view if you are standing in the middle of Carlton street and looking east towards Parliament.

looking down Carlton street towards parliment, brick stores directly ahead, some cars on the street,

below: This large colourful mural on the wall of Cabbagetown Corner Convenience,  NE corner of Carlton and Parliament, has become a landmark since it was painted by Ryan Dineen in 2005.

mural on the side of a building in cabbagetown. people in old fashioned clothing plus swirls of colour. street scene beside it, people on sidewalk walking in front of stores.

below: The 506 Carlton streetcar makes its left turn from Parliament.   It’s never a quick and easy turn.  In fact, it’s usually frustratingly slow.

TTC streetcar, Carlton car, turns from Parliament street onto Carlton, stores, sidewalk and people in the background, reflections in street car windows.
And in case you were wondering, yes, you can find cabbages in cabbagetown. This big one is on the Cabbagetown mural on the side of the LCBO building.

painting of a cabbage in a mural

And yes, there is a lot more to Cabbagetown than this…
and I will use that as an excuse to return another time!

Just before Dupont Street ends at Dundas West, it passes under a set of railway tracks…
and of course another underpass means another mural.

It is an Art Starts project “honouring the Junction and paying homage to its industrial past rooted in the railway and celebrating its development as a diverse neighbourhood oriented community. ”  Lead artists Joshua Barndt and Jamie Bradbury along with 5 youth artists took 4 weeks to complete the mural.

mural on a concrete wall beside a sidewalk, just before the road goes under an underpass - large purple triangel, drawing of a locomotive and a couple of gears

The mural was funded by the City of Toronto’s Graffiti Transformation Program.

mural on a concrete wall beside a sidewalk, just before the road goes under an underpass, gears, plus a stylized industrial machine in black and blue

mural on a wall showing a picture of worker in a hard hat, reaching upwards, standing on a pile of bicycle wheels.

mural on the wall of an underpass, in the Junction, on Dupont, a line drawing of a railway car, with a large blue bike superimposed on top of it, a person holding a stop sign,

Cycling is used as a theme and as a way of traveling from the past to the future in the mural.

mural on the walls of an underpass, orange metal bridge, mural of cyclists riding their bikes

mural under a bridge of people riding bikes

a wall of an underpass curves as it exits the railway bridge. on the curve is the continuation of a mural that was painted on the walls of the underpass. Windmills and bikes.

mural on a curved concrete wall, beside an intersection, showing windmills with bike parked in front, and a forest with some animals in it, fox and wolf

below: The final panel in the mural, a future friendly city.

part of a mural, the word city is used to make a futuristic urban scene in blue tones. The future is friendly.

logo of two black gears side by side with the words Art Starts written across the middle of them. a small graffiti painting of a girl's head with a heart above it

Playing hookey, spray paint cans in hand, under the bridge.

 

steps behind a school

long wooden staircase going downhill in autumn with lots of dead leaves on the ground

On the Bayview Extension, a black car drives under the Bloor Viaduct, past concrete supports with graffiti on them.

graffiti on concrete bridge supports, block letters

graffiti on concrete bridge supports - creature in yellow and orange with the words: One love to [heart] and for my best friend Gracie

graffiti on concrete bridge supports - creature with black face and covered in green leaves, with a few purple petals on top of the head. words, RIP Julian Waxhead, as well as a pink and black geometric street art painting

graffiti on concrete bridge supports - creature with black face and covered in green leaves, with a few purple petals on top of the head. words, RIP Julian Waxhead

graffiti on concrete bridge supports

graffiti on concrete bridge supports

graffiti on concrete bridge supports - with words totally busted oren

stencils on concrete, in red, words that say: Police Chiefs are Freemasons

stencil, on concrete, in red, words that sat: Don't steal it's the gov't's job

graffiti under a bridge, light blue character

graffiti under a bridge, black deveilish face with horns, beard and teeth, black face, white details, red around it

line drawing of a skinny man wearing a top hat beside head of a caricature of Queen Elizewbth in green and yellow. The words, Crack Kills

graffiti in the corner of a bridge support, concrete,

 

hand written sign duct taped to a chain link fence that reads: Apologies to the graffiti art people. It's that time of year again that city makes us clean up. But... clean slate 101. Peace.
below: On two sides, back and front, of the same post.

Two sides of the same pole. One side has a stencil in red that says Objects in Space. The other side has the same stencil, but in reverse.

graffiti under a raised parking lot

looking up at the metal cross bar supports for the wire fence along the Bloor Viaduct

Toronto Historical commission sign about the history of the Prince Edward Viaduct, a bronze plaque posted on the brick wall, interior, of Castle Frank subway station.

 

transcription of the plaque:

The Prince Edward Viaduct
Designed by Edmund Burke architect, and Thomas Taylor, construction engineer, the Price Edward Viaduct was opened on 18 October 1918. The Viaduct joined Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue from Sherbourne Street to Broadview Avenue, to provide easy access to the rapidly expanding suburbs east of the Do River. The Bloor section, carried on an earthen embankment, stretched eastward from Sherbourne to Parliament Streets. The Don section supported by a bridge 494 metres long, extends westward from Broadview Avenue. The Rosedale section, with a bridge span of 177 metres, forms a connecting link between them. On the recommendation of Jacob and Davies, consulting engineers, provision for a lower second deck was incorporated into the viaduct to carry subway trains. This foresight proved to be of inestimable value in building the Bloor-Danforth subway line 50 years later.
Toronto Historical Board, Toronto Transit Commission, 1981

Robert Home Smith (1877 – 1935) was a lawyer, business man, civil servant, and land developer.   In the early 1900’s he acquired 3000 acres of land along the Humber River, from Lake Ontario north to what is now Eglinton Ave. 

 A mural has been painted by Emilia Jajus on Royal York Road as it passes under the train tracks close to Dundas West.  The east side of the underpass is finished and it depicts Robert Home Smith and some of the effects that he had on the area.

below:  At the south end of the mural there is a portrait of Robert Home Smith.  A young girl can be seen hiding behind the trunk of a large tree.   Because the tree is painted on the corner, you can’t see the young boy who is hiding on the other side of the tree until you get closer to the mural.

part of a mural on an underpass, including a portrait of a man, Robert Home Smith

part of an historical mural on an underpass, two kids are playing, one on either side of a large tree that has been painted on the corner.

 below: Part of the mural, fishing in the Humber River by the bridge at the Old Mill.  The bridge was built in 1916 after an older bridge was washed out in a storm.  It is still there.

part of a mural showing a stone bridge over a river, the Humber River.  A man is fishing in the river from the shore.

Part of the land that he owned was the site of the King’s Mill.  This mill was built in 1793 on orders from Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe.  It was to mill lumber for the proposed town of York.    Here, Home Smith built the Old Mill Hotel as well as the  the Old Mill Tea Room.  The tea room was opened on 4 Aug 1914, the same day that Britain declared war on Germany.

below:  Part of the mural, the Old Mill Hotel

part of a mural that shows the Old Mill hotel, a tudor style two storey building with the lower part being made of stone

below: The Old Mill hotel in 1945

Copy of a 1945 photo of the Old Mill hotel in Toronto

photo from the City of Toronto Archives

Robert Home Smith planned to develop the land on both sides of the Humber River (known as the Humber Valley Surveys) into residential lots that were aimed at affluent buyers.  Although he died before the completion of this project, the neighbourhood of Kingsway as well as parts of Swansea, Baby Point, and Humber Village, still stand.

part of a mural showing a two storey stone house with fake tudor upper storey, in autumn, with tree with orange leaves beside the house.

The parkland that is adjacent to the Humber River as it curves around Baby Point is named Home Smith Park in memory of this man.

below:   A poor quality photo showing a view of the whole mural.   A replacement photo is needed, one taken on a day when there aren’t so many shadows!

picture of a mural painted an the wall of an underpass.

More art under another bridge over the Humber Recreational Trail, this time as the trail passes under St. Phillips Road (near Weston Rd and the 401).

Painted by Gabriel Specter and Dan Bergeron, it represents the energy of a hurricane.  Sixty years ago Hurricane Hazel was responsible for flooding of the Humber River that killed people and destroyed many homes.

below:  A purple graphic representation of a cyclone beside swirling water is the backdrop for the red slinky-like spiraling energy of the hurricane.

Mural of swirling water and a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

This spiral crosses under the road and connects the two side murals.

Mural on a concrete support of a bridge over a trail.  rocks on blue, with a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurricane rising from the rocks (or ending at the rocks) and passing upwards to the under side of the road above.

part of a mural under a bridge -  a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

Fourteen murals are planned along the route of the Pan Am Path, a trail that will connect Brampton to Pickering running south along the Humber River and then east along Lake Ontario.

signs along the HUmber Recreational trail indicating the name of the trail, the cycle path number that it is, the fact that it is also the Pan Am Path, and lastly a sign that says dogs must be on a leash.