Posts Tagged ‘community’

Yesterday the Portuguese community in Toronto held their 29th annual Portugal Day parade.   It was a lively, happy occasion.  Hundreds of people lined Dundas Street West between Lansdowne and Trinity Bellwoods Park to watch the parade.  They showed their Portuguese colours with flags, banners, hats, soccer shirts, and lots of red clothes!  Young soccer players demonstrated their skills.  People of all ages wore traditional dress from different parts of Portugal as they walked and danced along the parade route.  There was music too – bagpipes, marching bands, and music to dance to.

A man pushes a cart from which he is selling popcorn, candy apples and cotton candy to people watching a parade. A black truck is behind him with a boy in the passenger side who is hold a banner out the window that says Portugal on it.

Two boys holding a red banner for a marching band in a parade. Lots of flag holders behind them, a Canadian flag, an Ontario flag, a Toronto flag and a Portuguese flag.

A young girl swirls her long skirt as she dances in a parade. Portugal Day parade on Dundas West, Little Portugal, in Toronto

A boy is wearing a Rinaldo soccer shirt, and sitting beside a Portuguese flag. His father is with him

men, members of a Labour Union, walk in a parade. They are wearing orange shirts with short blue sleeves that say Portugal Day on them.

Women dancers in traditional Portuguese dress, dancing in a parade. One of them pauses to look at the man selling cotton candy and popcorn froma cart.

On a street, Dundas West in Toronto, there is a parade, people on the sidewalk watching, and dancers performing in the parade. Portugal Day parade.

People in a parade, three people holding two flags, Portugal and Benfica. A man behind them is holding his arms up in the air.

Two girls in traditional Portuguese dresses are dancing in a parade, onlookers sitting on the sidewalk behind them.

A young woman is wearing a large tall hat in squares of the colours of the Portuguese flag. Beside her is a person draped in the Portuguese flag. They are watching a parade

Four kids sitting crossed legged at the side of a street watching a parade. They are holding Portuguese flags. The older boy has a red whistle in his mouth.

Two Toronto policemen in yellow safety vests watch a parade, women dancing past them.

members of the Cobourg Legion pipe and drum band, four bagpipers in their blue and red kilts marching in a parade

A float in a parade featuring the Portuguese Radio and TV stations, Camoes,

Close up shot of the hands of three men dancing in a parade. The faces of only 2 of them are visible. They are wearing white shirts, black vests, and black hats. Portugal Day parade

Spectators in a parade hold small Portuguese flags as they watch traditional dancers perform.

A woman holds a colourful banner in a parade

A woman from the crowd watching a parade, goes over to a float that has a live sheep and goat on it, she is hesitating to pat the sheep.

people watching kids kicking around a soccer ball as part of a parade. The kids are all in red uniforms.

A woman is giving out small portuguese flags to people watching a parade. She is wearing a t-shirt in support of local politician Anna Bailao,

Spectators at a parade, sitting on chairs, one of which has a Canadian flag on the back. Passing by is a marching band in dark pants and white shirts. Portugal Day parade on Dundas West.

Frank Kovac Lane is a short alley just south of Christie subway station.  Some of the garage doors were painted with murals in past years and, as usual, there were plenty of tags.  Recently, the lane was the scene of a community mural painting session thanks to the 4th Toronto Rangers (Girl Guides), StreetARToronto,  artist Nick Sweetman, and some local residents.  Now some of the tags are gone and more importantly, some more garage doors are home to bright and cheerful murals.  A few of them are included here.

below: At the north end of the lane is this large, colourful mural by Nick Sweetman.
Two large blue bears have found a plethora of honey.  Will the bees share?

large mural by Nick Sweetman on a wall in Frank Kovac Lane, two very large blue bears are eating honey from honeycombs while a few large bees buzz around.

part of a large mural by Nick Sweetman on a wall in Frank Kovac Lane, two very large blue bears are eating honey from honeycombs while a few large bees buzz around - close up of one bear's face

below: The new murals continue the animal theme, “Urban Wildlife”, starting with this fox.

garage door in an alley painted with a mural of a fox head beside a bicycle wheel with trilliums growing up in front of it.

below: A common Toronto animal, a raccoon, beside a red fire hydrant.

view in an alley, a lavendar coloured door. to the left of the door is a garage door painted with a mural of a raccoon and a red fire hydrant.

below: A blue jay eyes some blueberries.

mural on a pale yellow garage door of a blue jay sitting on hydro wires, also a bunch of wild blueberries is in the image

below: Several monster faces have lived in this alley for a while and they still remain.
This one looks like he needs a hair cut.

garage door painted with a monster face, big mouth and teeth, orange nose, in tones of blue, grey and orange, ivy is growing over the top of the garage and it looks like green hair.

three garages in a row in an alley, all painted with a large monster face

a skinny blue graffiti figure on the edge of a garage, between two garage doors with stylized and abstract faces painted on them. One is black and green and the other is black and white

An old garage and concrete fence with a door in it. The fence is cracked above the door. The door is painted black with bright colour scribbles, the garage door has a black and white mural on it

a painting in grey tones of a young boy in old fashioned shorts and long sleeved top, standing.

below: This graffiti is actually on Harbord Street but I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it
– a camera and an “oh snap”

Above Guan's auto service shop, a graffiti on an upper storey wall, a small camera and turquoise lettering and words in pink that say Oh snap. Above that is a red billboard for Bud and Burger

The Alleyway of Dreams is an art project begun in 2012 that aims to spruce up and add some colour to a lane near Danforth and Main.  I walked the alley yesterday and this is what I saw.

below: A large mural by StreetARToronto, caring hands and large bees in Bee Haven. (2 photos)

part of a mural on a wall in a lane, a pair of yellow hands, a small plant pot is in one hand, a small green seedling is growing in the pot

part of a large mural on a wall in a lane, three very big bees

Artist Nadia Hakime has painted several animals on the garages in fences in the alley.

below: In the barnyard, four cows and three pink pigs.

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - four cow heads and three pink pigs

below: A blue rhinoceros with a horn that resembles a flowering tree.

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - a blue rhinoceros with a horn that looks like a tree

below: This giraffe thinks you’re standing on your head.  His world is a very upside down place!

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - a giraffe against blue sky with clouds. It's head is bent down so that the giraffe fits in a square space

below: A cute little bunny and a friendly blue dog ready to make friends.

Two sections of a fence painted with animal heads - a brown bunny on a green grass background and a blue pug dog

below: A majestic looking tiger.

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - a tiger's head

below: Humphry the donkey turns to look.

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - a donky's head on a turquoise fence

below: Grapefruits on the left and peaches? apricots? on the right.

two sections of wooden fence painted, one with pink circles and the other with orange ovals

below: A wonderful blue chameleon is smiling at passers by, painted by Steven Micallef.

graffiti street art animals painted on garage door in an alleyway - a bright blue chameleon

below: A ‘Starry Starry Night’ shed, thanks to Vincent Van Gogh and artist Nadia Hakime.

a copy of Vincent Van Gogh's 'Starry starry night' is painted on the side of a shed in a backyard.

blue vertical stripes painted on a white garage door, close up shot, with some new green growth on a small tree that is growing beside the garage

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#alleywayofdreams

The Alleyway of Dreams facebook page

This post is about community involvement and the murals that result.  They aren’t great art and they weren’t meant to be.  They are about the stories we tell about ourselves and our communities.  They brighten our public spaces and enrich our neighbourhoods.

The first is a series of murals painted by Gledhill Public School students. There are murals by the graduating classes of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in a lane near the school.

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2008, black silhouettes under tree branches, hand prints too

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2009, black silhouette of the Toronto skyline with big colourful footprints, some roughly drawn people too , an airplane flies overhead

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2009, black silhouette of the Toronto skyline with big colourful footprints, some roughly drawn people too

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2010. A blue semi-circle

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2011. 2011 in large numbers across the bottom with grey silhouettes of people, brightly coloured squares with faces across the top

Part of a mural in an alley painted by students from Gledhill Public school, graduating class of 2011. 2011 in large numbers across the bottom with grey silhouettes of people, brightly coloured squares with faces across the top

Just to the east, Woodbine subway station is undergoing much needed renovations and expansion.  Some of the hoardings around the construction site have been covered with three murals.   They were painted by:  Haley G., Sasha K.S., Francis H., Melika W., Tristan C., Savannah P., Adrina P. and Anna-Lisa A as well as Jim Bravo and Andrenne Finnikin as part of the ‘City on the Move, Young Artists in Transit’ mural project.

Looking across a street to a construction site around which a fence has been erected. There are three murals painted on the hoardings.

The first mural is a juxtaposition of past and present, people playing beside the creek. The creek, trees, and birds are all the same.  There is now a city in the distance and clothing we wear has changed, but we still enjoy the outdoors like our ancestors did.

1910 to 2013, mural of past and present along the creek. Kids playing on either side, the past on the left, the present on the right, bird watching, standing in the grass,

Above ground, a fair, an amusement on a summer day.   Below ground, the subway is being built.

mural depicting people at a fair. A child is licking a giant round lollipop, a girl is holding a doll, a ferris wheel is in the background.

And last, woodpeckers in the trees as well as a poem by George Elliott Clarke who was the Poet Laureate of Toronto 2012-15.  It describes the murals and is transcribed below.

mural painted on TTC construction hoardings, trees and birch trees with no leaves on them, with a couple of woodpeckers

The poem on the last mural:

Seeing Beauty, at Woodbine
 
Citizens, let’s pasture ourselves in parks
And gardens, so skyscrapers mingle with trees,
And we recover Native faith, Settler
Hope, to savour birds’ trills and swoops, fording
Creek and times past, to touch us, where we stand.
 
Once was pleasure in a street fair – ice cream
And lollipop, but also in strolling
Or rolling down to work, shirt-sleeves rolled up,
Dawn light unfolding, That’s what’s visible.
(Underground, a steel vein branches, roots, and throbs.)
 
Torrential leaves stacked up towers, now fallen,
Last Fall, Birds tap into the standing logs
Winter planted.  Spring rain well refreshes
The city.  Now, young artists tap dreams –
Drafting Beauty – to which all say, “Bravo!”
 
by George Elliott Clarke

Today’s blog post comes from slightly farther afield than I usually venture.   I went northwest to the Jane and Finch area.  As I drove north on Jane street, I spotted some eye-catching paintings on the walls of the Driftwood Community and Recreation Centre.

below: ‘Unique’, a vibrant heart painted by Girls Club

A mural of a large multicoloured heart with peace symbols in circles floating around it. Words: by Girls Club 2013, 'unique'

below: ‘Rooted’ trees by Lil Bruxas and part of ‘United Freedom’ on the back wall

murals on three walls at the Driftwood Community Centre, two trees and a large face

below: ‘United Freedom’ by Essencia

A brightly coloured mural on a brick wall. A large oval face with music symbols on the left and butterflies on the right. Called united freedom and painted by essencia.

part of a mural on a brick wall, multicolour butterflies

below: A blackburn traffic signal box sits on that corner.  Straight from the jungle.

A metal box on a street corner, a leopard by street artist blackburn

close up of street art painting of a greenish grey leopard with blue eyes, nose and mouth

A little father south there are a couple of high rise apartment buildings on the northeast corner of Jane and Finch.   Each has a mural painted around one of the entrances to the building.

below:  ‘Be Inspired, Love Yourself, Educate Others’ by the BeLovEd movement,
painted by Shalak Attack and Fiya Bruxas, 2011.

mural painted on a wall of an apartment building at Jane and Finch titled 'Beloved', painted by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa in 2011. People doing various things.

Part of a mural

part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa

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part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa

part of a mural by Shalak and Fiya Bruxa, a young woman holding a new born baby in her hand.

***

below: ‘Strong Women, Strong Community’ also by the BeLovEd Movement surrounds a doorway.  Although there is a sidewalk that leads directly to the corner of Jane and Finch, no one was using this entrance.  I was alone when I walked around this building from the parking lot by the main door.

mural across the lower level of a high rise building, surrounding an entranceway

part of a mural on the lower floor of a grey brick apartment building, women, one holding flowers, one resting her head on her hand, one sitting on the grass.

Strong Women, Strong Community are the words written on a mural, people painted on a wall

blog_mural_finch_family

I drove the back streets to Yorkdale yesterday.  It’s not something that I normally do; in fact I can’t remember the last time I drove those streets.   But I’m glad I did because I found another mural painted on an underpass.  Four sections of concrete wall,  four words in bright colours – Love, Home, Limitless, Heights.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word love, actually it is love or love

Home – just to the right of the word ‘home’ was a large heart that unfortunately I missed when I took the next photo.  There was also a sign describing the story behind the mural.

This community mural was painted by youth from the neighbourhood, Rocco Ursino, Salim Yislam, Michelle Collin, Jaden Beckford, Tamika Smart, and Hassan Mohamed under the mentorship of Sean Martindale and Joshua Barndt.  Apparently it was inspired by a popular local expression “Love or Love” and tries to convey compassion, hopefulness and determination.  Needed sentiments as this neighbourhood undergoes major changes and revitalization.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word home

This 2012 project was produced by Art Starts in partnership with Toronto Community Housing and office of councillor Josh Colle. Funding was provided by StreetARToronto and TCH.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word limitless

The mural is on Ranee Avenue as it passes under the Allen Expressway.  It is also right by the south entrance to Yorkdale subway station.

part of a mural on an underpass. There are four parts to the mural and each part is word painted in large capital letters in many colours - the word heights, with the south end of Yorkdale subway station in the picture

When I parked my car I saw this telephone pole – Shoot for the stars.  Great advice!

Telephone pole with the bottom metre and a half painted blue with some yellow stars and the words Shoot for the stars.

And because one thing  always leads to another, I was parked on Flemington Road beside this – the remains of Zachary Court.

A small street with some mature trees growing beside it. There are a few rowhouses but the windows and doors are all boarded up.

The street is fenced off and the houses are empty.  Some of the windows are missing but most are boarded up.  This must be the neighbourhood redevelopment referred to in the description of the mural, or at least part of it.

rowhouses boarded up and fenced off in preparation for demolition

An old sign for community notices that is now empty because the area is fenced off for demolition

The end house in a row house complex has been started to be demolished.

There was another telephone pole with a happy picture painted on it but looking a little worn.

A telephone pole that has been painted on the bottom few feet. A bright blue sky with a cloud and a few birds flying, green grass and a couple of yellow flowers standing tall

There are two development proposal signs posted on Ranee Avenue that pertain to this area.  One of them is for a seven unit, three storey townhouse development on Ranee Avenue itself.  The other is for the demolition and replacement of 233 social housing units as well as the construction of 824 market value units serviced by a new public street.  The latter development involves a number of streets besides Zachary Court on both sides of the Allen Expressway (Zachary Court backs onto the west side of the Allen).

 

4th annual Yogathon,
Rise for a Cause – 108 Sun Salutations

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - looking toward the stage where the leaders are, arms stretched upwards, YOnge Dundas Square in Toronto

The event started with some warm-ups, some laughter yoga and some Bollywood style dance moves.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a young man in a pink turban, as well as some other people, laughing as they warm up to the yogathon while doing some laughter yoga

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, warming up to dance music, swinging arms

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - women laughing as they warm up to the yogathon while doing some laughter yoga

Money raised through the yogathon here in Toronto (along with 45 other cities) helps to support Care for Children, a program dedicated to providing free education  to rural youth in India.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - most people are in a lunge position except for one woman who is standing with her arms raised

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a yoga instructor is helping another woman with her upward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, a young woman with palms of hands pressed together, fingers spread apart

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, in downward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - downward dog time

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, women in lunge position with arms down and fingers on the ground

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, woman with ganesha tattoo on her calf

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - a man stands with his hands around his ankles, knees straight.

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, two women in downward dog position

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group - arms stretched to the side, standing, getting ready to practice yoga

men and women at a yogathon - doing yoga outside in a large group, young girl sitting on the ground and eating a cookie while her mother does yoga.

#riseforacause