Posts Tagged ‘city hall’

below: What is happening? By the looks of it, Doug Ford and John Tory have taken up cricket. Nice uniforms but something’s not cricket…

a woman with light brown hair holds a sign at a protest, seen from the back. The sign says what is happening? Picture of John Tory and Doug Ford as cricket players.

below: What is happening is a protest. A decent sized crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips Square late this afternoon because why?  Because another Ford, another protest. Been there, done that, and is he really going to do what? Sigh.

crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips square for a protest, TV cameras, microphones, speakers, protesters, signs, placards,

below: Making a point.  Doug Ford recently dictated that the sex ed curriculum brought in by the last government will no longer be taught because not enough parents had been consulted about its contents.  Today he announced that the number of Toronto city council seats will be reduced from 47 to 25 after he consulted with zero zilch nada of Toronto’s 2.7 million people.  Hypocrisy.  It also gives credence to the theory that this is all sour grapes – he lost the last mayoral election to John Tory and his ego is damaged.

a man in a green t shirt holds up a protest sign that says Dick-tator Ford

below: “To succeed we must secede #provinceofontario”  An interesting concept?

Crowd of people at protest rally at city hall in Toronto. One man holds a sign that says to succeed we need to secede

protesters at an anti Doug Ford and anti PC Ontario provincial government for their announcement to cut the number of city council seats

two middle aged red headed women holding a sign at a protest at city hall

a young woman holds up a sign that says Dud Ford. Words followed by a sad face. Seen from the back. Lots more people in the crowd at the rally

below: Ford did campaign on cheap beer, a dollar a can if I remember correctly.  There was no beer at Nathan Phillips square this afternoon.   No consultations AND no beer.

a woman holds a white hand written sign at a protest, the sign says You campaigned on cheap beer, not on cutting my representation in government with no public consultation where is my beer?

Young women in a crowd, holding a sign that says Ford - F for Fuck O for Off R for rude and D for Doug

below: A lone dissenter (or at least the only visible one). “Thank you Doug Ford.  You saved me a part of my battle, for the Mayor’s office.  Harris suggested this at amalgamation you put it in to action. Jim McMillan.”

people sitting by the Archer, a Henry Moore sculpture, at Nathan Phillips Square. An older man is talking to another man. He is holding a hand written sign that says Thanks to Doug Ford

Once the speeches were over, some of the protesters went inside City Hall to the council chambers where a city council meeting was in progress.  We’ll see what happens in the coming days and weeks.

below: Like most days, there were lots of tourists in the square too.  But that’s a whole other story!

a father and son by the light purple O in the 3D Toronto sign. In the background is a group of people at a protest

Sculptures by Ken Lum.

I was walking up Bay Street yesterday when I stopped.  Out of the corner of my eye I had caught a glimpse of a sculpture that I had never seen before.  It is ‘Two Children of Toronto’ by Ken Lum, 2013.

Two children, a boy and a girl, sit opposite each other, some distance between them.

two children of toronto, a sculpture by Ken Lum, two children seated on pedestals, about 25 feet apart, along the side of a walkay, with a concrete building beside them. The children are looking towards each other

What you can’t see in the above picture is that there are words in bronze mounted on the wall.  The words say: “Across time and space, two children of Toronto meet”.  The two kids are looking towards each but not each other.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, girl's face

below: Both children are wearing clothes from bygone days.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, looking towards the girl, with Bay Street and Canadian Tire store behind

below: But the boy’s clothes are more Chinese looking.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, a boy is seated on a concrete pedestal.

After my walk the other day, I started researching Ken Lum.  I discovered that he has another sculpture nearby, and fortuitously, it was one that I took some pictures of back in December.  It is “Peace Through Valour” located at the NW corner of City Hall property.  Winston Churchill is standing close by.

a sculpture called Peace Through valour by Ken Lum, outside on a snowy day. A square piece with a soldier standing guard at each corner. On top of the flat squsre is a model of a town in square blocks (no details on the buildings).

It commemorates the 93,000 Canadians who fought in the Italian campaign of WW2 and was dedicated in June 2016.   A Canadian soldier stands vigil at each corner of the memorial.  The top of the 7 foot x 7 foot square is a topographical map of Ortona, a town in Italy that was a scene of a battle at Christmas time in 1943.  Ortona is on the Adriatic coast and its streets were narrow which made it difficult for Allied forces to liberate the town from Nazi Germany.

two soldiers stand vigil at the corners of a memorial, sculptures,

Money for the sculpture was donated by the Italian-Canadian community.

two soldiers stand vigil at the corners of a memorial, sculptures,

Rob Ford 
City councillor and former Mayor of Toronto
May 1969 – March 2016,
Funeral procession from City Hall to St. James Cathedral, 30 March

 below: For two days Rob Ford lay in repose at City Hall where people could pay their respects.  And many did.  Yesterday, the line up wound around the corner of City Hall as people waited their turn.  Some people loved him; some people hated him.  Possibly there were those who were indifferent.

The corner of Toronto City Hall with a long line up of people waiting to get inside.

This morning there was a short procession from City Hall to the noontime funeral at St. James Cathedral.

below: After arriving at City Hall, Doug Ford greets the crowd.

Doug Ford walks from a black limo to a crowd of people standing behind barricades in front of City Hall. They have their arms outstretched towards Ford, ready for a handshake and greeting.

Although the procession was scheduled to begin at 10:30, it didn’t start until close to 11:30.  A group of people waited at Nathan Phillips Square including some of Rob Ford’s supporters.  I overheard a conversation between two men who were discussing what they thought of politics and politicians, most of it negative.  At one point they declared that all career politicians should be kicked out of office.  I thought to myself, you mean guys like Rob Ford?  Wasn’t he a career politician?

A middle aged man holds a banner that reads Ford Mayor over his head, beside him is a woman also holding a Ford Mayor sign. On the back of her jacket are a number of stickers in support of Ford
A man walks up the concrete ramp at City Hall, beside him on the wall is written in chalk, Heavenbound. Thankyou. May God bless your family.
Two people in front of the Archer sculpture at Nathan Phillips Square, a man and a woman. The mans back is turned towards the camera. He is wearing a black jacket with the words 'Home is Toronto' in white letters.
About 20 or so people were holding a large flag made of a couple of  Canadian flags and all the provincial flags stitched together.   It was a very diverse group of people, diverse in age as well as in ethnic background.   They were joking about whether or not they were going to be on the front page of the ‘Sun’.   We shall see!

A large flag made up of the Canadian flag and the provincial flags all joined together, held around the edges by many people, view from under the flag, showing many legs and feet, and more of the crowd in the background.

A lone cameraman stands on the upper level at City Hall outside, taking pictures of the people below.

below: A woman finds a quiet place to sit and wait.

An older woman sits on a bench inside a TTC bus shelter. A fire truck is behind her.
below: The police were in position, ready to start, long before the procession began.  So was the media and it was a very large media presence indeed.

A young man holds a camera and microphone, aimed at the start of a parade.
below: The Toronto Fire Department had a large Canadian flag on display at Queen and Bay streets, near the beginning of the procession route.

A very large Canadian flag hangs from the cranes of two fire trucks at the corner of Queen and Bay streets in downtown Toronto

A fireman holds a rope that is attached to the corner of a very large Canadian flag. A firetruck is behind him

Three people stand on the sidewalk in front Hudsons Bay store windows. A man with a hard hat, a man with hands in his pockets, and a woman in long black coat. A couple of bikes are parked there too. The theme of the store windows is Inspired.

A funeral procession for Rob Ford passes along Queen Street on its way to St. James cathedral, photographers are in front, a police guard is walking beside it.

ceremonial firemen marching in a funeral procession in front of Hudsons Bay store in Toronto

a small group of people wait on the sidewalk, watching down the street, one man with a camera in hand.

a woman holding a ford nation sign above her head walks in a procession across King street

A funeral procession for Rob Ford passes along Queen Street on its way to St. James cathedral, photographers are in front, a police guard is walking beside it.

People walking in a procession including a man holding a Rob Ford mask

a small group of people wait on the sidewalk, watching down the street, one woman with a camera in hand.

A woman in hoodie and sunglasses holds two small Ford Nation flags as well as a bobble head doll of Rob Ford as she walks in his funeral procession down Yonge Street

An older woman waves a little Ford Nation flag while the man behind her has used Ford Nation signs in lieu of a scarf. He is wearing reflective sunglasses too.

A black man with beard and moustache turns to look back, three young men in work clothes stand against the storefront beside and behind him.

below: Trying to keep the people, most with cameras, off the streets.

A police man in a yellow jacket and on a bike is trying to get the crowd to stand back as he rides beside a hearse with police guard as it drives down the street.

below: This guy may have been filming the crowd (and me) but he didn’t look away from his phone.

A man and a woman are each holding the side of a Ford Nation banner as they walk with a group of people in the procession to Rob Ford's funeral

a woman wearing sunglasses and holding two things, a photo of Rob Ford, and a small Ford Nation flag

below: The crowd in front of St. James cathedral

The hearse carrying Rob Ford's body arrives at St. james cathedral and the casket is taken out and carried into the church with police honour guard

a woman holds a framed photo of a selfie of her and Rob Ford

An older man sits on a bench in front of St. James cathedral while other people stand around, watching the procession for Rob Ford's funeral

A man with two little white dogs on a leash stands in front of St. James cathedral along with a crowd of people there for Rob Ford's funeral

people behind a barricade, with a policeman in front. One of the people carries a sign that reads Peoples Mayor

a young person sits on the grass, resting against a tree while other people stand around

From King St., the view of St. James cathedral front doors, lots of people and police in yellow jackets in the picture as well as a man walking his bike

As I was walking away from the cathedral, a woman approached me.
She pointed towards the church asked me if I knew what was going on there.

added later:  I was going to discard this photo but then I noticed the man in the mask.
Who wears a mask to a funeral procession?

a man in a black and white mask stands behind some women waving ford nation flags.

Remembrance Day
the eleventh day of the eleventh month

November 11th at 11am in 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month)  was when an armistice was signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente.  Nov 11th became known Armistice Day, or in some countries such as Canada, Remembrance Day.  An armistice is an agreement to stop fighting, a truce in other words.  After this signing, it took several months of negotiations before the First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.  That treaty ended the war between Germany and the Allies.  (The Allies of WW1 were also known as the Entente Powers while Germany and her allies were known as the Central Powers)

The poppy became a symbol of Remembrance day, and a symbol in remembrance of soldiers who died fighting in all wars, after the publication of the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915.  This popular and often quoted poem was written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.  In it he talks about the poppies that grew in the battlefields at Flanders Belgium during WW1.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,”

Many Remembrance day poppies lie on the grass in front of the cenotaph in front of old City Hall. In the background is a small Canadian flag as well as a few wreaths that have been laid in front of the cenotaph.

below: The cenotaph (war memorial) in front of Old City Hall was unveiled on 11 Nov 1925 to commemorate those Torontonians who died in WW1.  Since then, it has been expanded to include those who lost their lives in WW2 and in the Korean War.  The word cenotaph comes from the Greek and translates as ’empty tomb’. This style of memorial has been used widely for commemorating someone, or some group, whose remains are interred elsewhere.

More than 6000 Torontonians lost their lives in these three conflicts.  Close to three thousand men died in World War 1, a number that represents about 2% of the male population of the time. (1)

The cenotaph in front of Old City Hall in Toronto, with a collection of wreaths that have been laid at the bottom of it.

In the middle of University Avenue is a statue erected by the Toronto District of the Sons of England Benefit Society in memory of their members who died in World War 1.  Founded in 1876, this society provided insurance to its members who were in need because of illness or accident.

In 1914 Canada was still part of the British Empire.  As a result, when Britain found itself at war in August of that year, Canada too was involved.

statue and memorial at University and Elm streets.

below: At the base of the center lion is a small plaque that reads: “Chas Adamson, sculptor, 1923”.

A carving of a lion in granite. It is at the base of a sculpture. A small brass plate is attached in front of the lion and it says Chas Adamson, sculptor 1923

below: The Sons of England building on the NW corner of Richmond St. East and Berti St., 1922

historical picture of Richmond Street near Berti, taken in 1922, old buildings, a, horse drawn cart and an old car. Streets but no traffic. black and white photo.

photo credit: Toronto public library website

 

Another memorial in this city is the Ontario Veterans Memorial.  This is a 30m long granite wall in front of Queens Park dedicated to all the men and women from Ontario who served in the military.  Etched into the granite are scenes depicting Canadians in military roles between the time of the Fenian Raids in 1867 to the present day.

below: Part of the granite wall.  The red in the picture is a reflection of the red carpet that was laid in front of the memorial for the Remembrance Day service.
An etching of men running across a battlefield with rifles at the ready.

below: part of the granite wall

part of a war memorial showing the wars written on it

Transcription of the passage by Canadian author Jane Urquhart:
One by one they left behind the bright fields of innocence and stepped into the darkness of experience
Their brave departure was discrete* and humble.
Un à un, ils ont quitté les champs illuminés de l’innocence pour se plonger dans la noirceur de
i’expérience. Ils ont quitté avec courage, discrétion et humilité
Some do not return. Their absence is as big as sorrow, as wide as grief.
Certains ne reviennent jamais. Leur absence laisse un vide aussi béant que le chagrin,
aussi vaste que le deuil.
The returning walk back toward their northern homeland. Their faces are shadowed,
but they are carrying illumination in their arms.
Ceux qui reviennent marchent vers leur terre nordique. Leurs visages sont dans l’ombre
mais ils portent la lumière dans leurs bras.  

(* discrete vs discreet ?)

below: Some of the wreaths laid at the Ontario Veterans Memorial on Remembrance Day.

wreaths in front of the granite wall of the Ontario Veterans Memorial

A bouquet of flowers, red roses, plus some white and blue flowers in front of a war memorial. An etching of three men in uniform, part of the memorial, is in the background.

 

below: Although it is not a war memorial per se, someone left a small poppy wreath by this plaque at Nathan Phillips Square.  The plaque is by the arches over the pool, the freedom arches.

blog_poppies_freedom_arches

Transcription of the plaque: Freedom Arches. The citizens of Toronto dedicate these arches to the millions who struggled, including Canadians, to gain and defend freedom and to the tens of millions who suffered and died for the lack of it. May all that we do be worthy of them. Only in freedom can the Human Spirit soar. Against the Human drive for freedom nothing can long succeed. This plaque is mounted on a slab of the Berlin Wall.

below: The 3D Toronto sign was red on Remembrance Day.

A remembrance day poppy is in the foreground. It is being held up in front of the 3D toronto sign which has been lit in red for Remembrance Day

We remember collectively as a nation, as a community. We also remember privately, as individuals, as families.  Countless small memorials can be found around Toronto including in schools, in churches and other religious institutions, and in cemeteries.

below: A memorial to the 48th Highlanders, Mount Pleasant cemetery.  In memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men who have served with the 48th Highlanders.

Tall pinkish granite memorial to the 48th Highlanders in Mt Pleasant cemetery.

symbol, in metal, found on the memorial to the 48th Highlanders.

Dileas Gu Brath, their motto, is gaelic for ‘faithful forever’

below:  Quiet memorials

poppy wreath beside a tombstone in a cemetery

A small Canadian flag with two poppies pinned to it. The flag is inserted into the ground in front of a tombstone in a cemetery. The stone is a veterans stone, with air force insignia at the top and a cross at the bottom. In the middle is the information for the pilot who died during the war.

 

(1) source: Patrick Cain, Global News

below: Coke, Dole juice, Diet Coke, Fanta orange, cans, cans, and more cans.

Three women check out bundles of crushed pop cans that are bundled for recycling. They are stacked two bundles high making a low wall beside the sidewalk.

below: Coors beer, Canada Dry, Nestea, more Fanta, more Coke, all crushed and ready to be recycled.

Crushed alumiium cans ready to be recycled

The City of Toronto collected about 200,000 tonnes of blue bin recyclables in 2014.   Since a tonne equals 1,000 kilograms, that’s 200,000,000 kilos of recyclable plastic bottles, pop cans, tin cans etc.

Crushed plastic bottles ready to be recycled

Crushed plastic bottles ready to be recycled

Piles of crushed recyclables collected from Toronto’s blue bins are stacked along Bay Street beside City Hall.  They will be part of an installation entitled ‘There is No Away’ for Nuit Blanche this coming weekend.  This work was sponsored by the city’s Solid Waste Management committee and put together by artist Sean Martindale.    This installation hopes to raise awareness of just how much garbage we produce and throw “away”.

A bundle of old rusty tin cans that have been crushed and pack into large bundles ready to be recycled.

 

 

 

 

 

National Seniors Day, 1st October

Just this week StatsCan announced that the number of Canadians older than 65 was more than the number of Canadians under 15.  There were 5,780,900 Canadians 65 and older (16.1% of the population) compared to 5,749,400 who were under 15 years old (16%).

The results of the last census in 2011 showed that Toronto had a population of 2,615,060, 14.4% of whom were over 65.

There was a CARP Flag Raising ceremony at City Hall today to  celebrate the contributions of older adults across Canada.  CARP, formerly the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that concerns itself with issues that affect the older members of our communities.  Membership is no longer restricted to those over 50 years old; the societal challenges posed by aging populations are a concern to people of all ages.

below: CARP president Moses Znaimer and a woman (my apologies for not knowing who it is) listen to a speech by Toronto city councillor Pam McConnell prior to raising the flag.

CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) is in the foreground. Pam McConnell, a Toronto City councillor, is giving a speech. To the right of them, the CARP flag is ready to be raised on a flag pole.

The blue flag of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) flies in front of Toronto city hall during the official flag raising ceremony.

The blue flag of CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) flies in front of Toronto city hall. It has an orange coloured carp fish on it with CARP underneath in block white capital letters. There is a red maple leaf in the center of the A

Population by age group in Canada, as of 1 July 2015.  All numbers from Statscan.
The largest group are those between the ages of 50 and 54

population chart of all age groups in Canada as of July 2015

A full report, prepared by the city, of the population of Toronto in 2011 and how it compares to that of 2006 is also available.

 

Let’s talk about this couple

mural on a subway wall, close up of a man and a woman. The man has an orange coloured face and is wearing a green jacket and cap. The woman has long black hair and a long pink dress

If you ride the Toronto subway you’ll probably recognize them from the walls of Queen station.

looking across the TTC Queen subway platform and tracks to the opposite wall where there is a mural, enamel on steel, of a couple as well as some buildings. An ad for shoes is blocking part of the mural

A couple of weeks ago I was standing beside them when I overheard a woman telling the man she was with that the people in the mural were Lord and Lady Simcoe.

I was fairly certain that she was wrong so I checked.   This is a picture of John Graves Simcoe.

A portrait of John Graves Simcoe

There could be some resemblance and John Graves Simcoe did play an important part in Toronto’s history.  He was the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (1761-1790).  He established York (now Toronto) as the capital of Upper Canada in 1793 and he gave us Yonge Street.  But note the military clothing in the above portrait; he was a British army officer after all and I doubt he’d be depicted in a mural wearing a green jacket and matching cap.

There aren’t many pictures his wife Elizabeth, or Lady Simcoe, but suffice it to say that they don’t look like the woman in the mural.

A few minutes online provided the following information:   The title of the mural is “Our Nell” and the people are supposed to be William Lyon McKenzie and Nellie McClung.  Three buildings are shown, the old Simpsons building (now the Bay), City Hall, and the Eaton Centre.  The artist is John B. Boyle.

This is a photo of William Lyon McKenzie; I guess there’s a resemblance.

A black and white picture of William Lyon McKenzie

McKenzie was born in Scotland in 1795.  He emigrated to Upper Canada as a young man.  Although he held a number of jobs, he seemed to like writing for newspapers best.  After working for newspapers in Montreal and York, he established his own newspaper, the ‘Colonial Advocate’ in 1824. Although that paper went bankrupt and he fled to New York for a short time to evade his creditors, he used newspapers as a vehicle to promote his political ideas for most of his life.  To a large degree the story of Upper Canada politics of the early 1800’s is a story of the Tory governing elite vs the Reformer upstarts.   McKenzie was solidly on the side of the Reformers.

Toronto was incorporated as a city on 6 March 1834 and the first municipal elections were held later that month.  McKenzie was elected as an alderman.  At that time, the mayor was elected by the aldermen from their own ranks and in 1834 McKenzie was appointed mayor.  He lost the next election in 1835.

McKenzie was also a leader in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837.  It was not much of a rebellion, more like a skirmish near Montgomerys Tavern (near Yonge & Eglinton) that the Reformers lost badly.  The rebellion leaders were allowed to flee to New York state.  Once in Buffalo, McKenzie declared himself the head of a provisional government of the Republic of Canada.   He even convinced some Americans to help him invade Upper Canada from Navy Island in the Niagara River.  Bombardment of Navy Island late in December 1837 by the Royal Navy destroyed the S.S. Caroline, an American ship that was helping to supply McKenzie’s followers on Navy Island.  And that was the end of McKenzie’s rebellion.

Okay then, that’s the man in the mural.  What about the woman?  I went looking for picture of Nellie McClung as well as information about her.  I recognized her name but I couldn’t remember what her role in Canadian history was.   First, this is her picture:

 black and white picture of a woman, Nellie McClung, sitting at a desk

I didn’t see any pictures of her with long hair or as a younger woman.   Nellie McClung was born as Nellie Mooney in Ontario in 1873 but moved to Manitoba as a child.   One of the causes that she worked on was woman’s suffrage and she helped Manitoba in 1916 to become the first province to allow women the right to vote and to run for public office. By 1922 women could vote federally and in all provinces except Quebec.  Quebec women could vote federally but had to wait until 1940 before they could vote in a provincial election.

McClung was also one of the five women who campaigned to have women recognized as “persons” by the Supreme Court so that they could qualify to sit in the Senate.  In 1930 Cairine Mckay Wilson was appointed Canada’s first female senator, just four months after the “Persons Case” was decided.

Now when you pass through Queen subway station you can think a little about the history that it represents, and not so much about how ugly it is.  Because it is ugly.  Especially this section of the mural:

part of a mural at Queen subwaystation in Toronto, a misshapen Eaton Centre with a grotesque looking woman bending over in her garden in the foreground.

Is that a woman in the foreground?  Or a slug with appendages?