Posts Tagged ‘concrete’

Exploring new places often leads to interesting finds.  I’m not sure if you think demolition/redevelopment sites are interesting, but I came across this one when I went to Moccasin Trail (next blog, scroll up).

An empty building.  The grey hoardings completely block the view of whatever is inside.

grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down in a residential neighbourhood

I tried walking the perimeter, but there is no access or viewpoint.  There are actually two buildings.  Apparently one of the buildings was damaged by fire (arson) in 2008.  The buildings have been empty since 2011.

a tall tree, winter time, stands in front of a grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down

The old sign still stands beside the fence. It is faded enough that I can’t read it, even with some manipulation in photoshop.  The building in the background is also part of the redevelopment plan.

old faded sign on grass side yard beside grey plywood fence around building about to be demolished. Across the street is another building from the 1950s or 1960s.

The year on the development proposal sign is 2013.  It also states that three buildings will replace the ones being torn down, one of 10 storeys and two of 4 storeys.  That was six years ago.   In March 2017 a plan was approved by city council for an 8 storey condo and a 4 storey rental replacement building.

Development proposal sign in front of a three storey brick apartment building.

When I saw the state of the building above, I started taking some pictures.  I thought the building was empty.  But then I heard music coming from one apartment.  Then a woman came out on to a balcony to hang up a blanket.

40 moccasin trail building, three storey apartment

Two years ago, back in March of 2017, 12 of the 34 units were occupied.   I am not sure how many people are living there now.   When it was first built, it was probably quite nice – very suburban, very Don Mills.  Now the building is in very poor condition but I’m sure that’s because the landlord is waiting to be able to demolish the building.

papered over window and old white door on apartment, overgrown saplings in front

crooked metal railings beside a concrete set of stairs, brown and white building behind.

concrete steps, side of a brick building

overgrown trees in front of an apartment

City of Toronto report on this site (May 2017)

two low rise apartment buildings, grass between them and a large tree

…and social decline, and capitalism, and a few more…..
The many dangers that we face.

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to xenophobia

The demolition of older residential buildings in Regent Park continues as that area of the city is redeveloped.

6 storey brick apartment building stands empty, a fence around it as it waits for demolition

Around the demolition site, someone has hung 18 “danger due to” signs, printed with different “causes” of danger, such as industrialization.

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to industrialization

It’s spelled wrong, but you know what it’s trying to say (hypocrisy).

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to hypocrisy (but spelled as hipocrisy)

chainlink fence in front of the entrance of an older brick lowrise apartment building, snow on the ground, dust, dirt and garbage on the ground

Apathy

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to apathy

two trees standin front of a construction site, green bin, fence around building next to be demolished in Regent Park

Over consumption

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to over consumption

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished - sidewalk view

a small black heart drawn on the blue walls of building now being demolished

Political subterfuge

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to political subterfuge

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

Doug Ford

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to Doug Ford, premier of Ontario

workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

close up of dust and debris as workmen spray water as a machine arm pulls apart a building that is in the process of being demolished

GM food

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to GM food (genetically modified food)

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park

Human infestation

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to human infestation

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park - one room still has a white fridge in it

Mass surveillance

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to mass surveillance

Misuse of signage

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to misuse of signage

green machinery demolishes a building in Regent Park - 3 storeys remaining

Shrinking resources

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to shrinking resources

partially demolished brick building in front of an empty building waiting to be demolished

Predatory economics

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to predatory economics

Shitty pop music

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to shitty pop music

Capitalism

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to capitalism

Urban decay

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to urban decay

Misinformation

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to misinformation

reflections in a broken window

Social decline

red and white sign, danger due to signs, on a chainlink fence at a construction site in Regent Park, danger due to social decline

We went exploring.  With a three year old.  A three year old who is starting to explore the world as only a three year old can.  One who gets joy from ‘balancing’ on the green line as we walked the Lower Don Path.

little girl in a pink jacket is wlking down a green line that is painted in the middle of a path, approaching an underpass under the railway tracks.

We were walking with a purpose – to find ‘Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality’ by Duane Linklater.  This is a collection of cast concrete gargoyles, replicas of those on Toronto buildings, that is now on the Lower Don Trail.  Last week I saw them from the subway as it passed across the Bloor Viaduct so I knew approximately where to walk.

The Lower Don Trail only has a few access points – we entered by Riverdale Park and walked north.

a hanging vine, autumn coloured, in front of the train tracks.

below: Renovations of the underside of the bridge at Bloor/Danforth have just been completed and already one piece of graffiti has appeared.

grey concrete bridge with black metal supports, part of the structure, with one graffiti face drawn in red

Just a bit farther north, and on the west side of the path we encountered the artwork.  It’s a scattered arrangement of some interesting pieces.  If left in place, some future archeologist of the future might stumble upon it and be totally mystified.

cast concrete sculpture of a seated woman with her head bent forward

Today I got myself tied up in knots as I fought with words as I tried to write this post.  How do I describe the thoughts behind the installation?  Should I talk about the meaning of gargoyles vs grotesques?

a few concrete gargoyles scattered on the ground by the Lower Don Trail, part of Duane Linklater's art installation.

But then I realize that I should just leave it be.    Be content.

a concrete block and man's head gargoyle, with moustache, folded arms holding a scroll or similar), about 2 feet square, Bloor Viaduct in the background

After all, what was more important was that the blocks turned out to be the perfect size for a three year old to stand on and roar like a lion.   We played.  And it was fun.

a young girl stands on top of a conrete block with the face of lion, she has her hands beside her mouth as she too roars like a lion

red sumach trees in the background with dead brown heads of plants growing in front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m talking to you….

Well, I’m not the one doing the talking.  In fact, no one is talking, or shouting for that matter.  The words are silent, present..  but quiet.  They are written on the walls; scrawled on the walls.  They’re rarely beautiful and they’d rarely qualify as being profound.

below: But “Sometimes it doesn’t matter”.  I love the ambiguity and flexibility of the word ‘it’ in this context.  Write your own story. Develop your own plot.

below: … even if the plot doesn’t make sense, like Trump himself.

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say I shot Trump and I'd do it again and again and again

below: From Trump we jump to conspiracy theories.  That was easy wasn’t it?

on a red door, number 911, someone has added in white letters, was an inside job

below: I have no segue for 911 conspiracies to love.   A jump in the plot?

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say Love Yourself Kids

below: Sentimental feelings – dripping with sentiment.  Oh dear.

graffiti words stenciled on a garage door that say sentimental feelings.

below: .. or wishes for feelings of being loved

small square around these words, love me plz, written with black paint on a white garage door,

below: Pull yourself together and get it together….  But.. but..  Buddha once said: “Life is suffering; suffering is just part of life.”  Sooooo if you start suffering do you stop living?  Yes, I can be insufferable, just like philosophy and psychology and a few other ologies.

below: Did I mention that sometimes the words make no sense?

black sharpie words on a concrete utility pole, says Virgin Armour

below: These words, on the other hand, make sense: Bew Are!  (not technically graffiti but my editor didn’t question it!)

And that’s the end.   No more words.  I have no more words. Fini.

Elvis has left the building.

a man is walking past a wall with street art, a construction sign is leaning backwards against the wall blocking part of the art. THe picture can't be seen but the words that went with the picture are still visible. They say The artist isn't present

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

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

red wall with black door and yellow pipes

below: blue from the inside, shadows on the outside

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

below: yellow pipe, orange concrete

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

below: a window seat

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

below: frosted reflections

hazy reflection of a window and a grey wall

below: from a different angle, still a wall

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

below: nailed links where the hinge once was

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

below: aging shingles and plywood

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

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

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

below: dollar signs in the winter

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

below: cracked and peeling

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

below: vertical reflections, horizontal grooves

horizontal window in a wall with horizontal grooves

below: open days a week and empty frames

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

below: painted square shining in the sun

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

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

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

below: rectangles, diamonds, and trapezoids

trapezoid sections on a concrete exterior wall

below:  a deep red curtain and a few exposed bricks

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

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

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

below: (16″) 2 steps from landing

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

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

old exterior wall, brick, mortar, plaster

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

I thought that I would see if I could find door pictures today.  When I first stepped outside, I wasn’t sure what that meant.   I just knew that it was a beautiful day and that I would find an answer to my doorish quest.   “Que sera sera” as Doris Day once sang.

Well, what is a door?

door: nounA hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, or vehicle, or in the framework of a cupboard.

doorway: noun. An entrance to a room or building through a door.

Well duh, I think most of us know what a door is, at least in the literal sense.   As an image just a door on its own is often blah, B O R I N G.   There are exceptions of course, but if that was all I was looking for today, I wouldn’t be taking many pictures.

an ornate double door with windows in both doors, red brick house, stairs to the doors. closed.

I also think that most of us realize that “door” is so much more.   We find them intriguing. Door metaphors abound.  Open doors are opportunities and invitations, think “My door is always open”, or  “When one door closes, another one opens”.  Closed doors are mysteries, obstacles, or dead ends.   We talk about not knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

below: Closed for good. No mystery here, just a dead end.
With a smile for being upside down.

the front door of a small apartment complex that is about to be demolished. There is a blue metal fence in front of it with a danger due to demolition sign on it. The sign is upside down.

A closing door has a slightly different imagery – “slam the door in his face”, or “show someone the door”, or “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.   Can you picture the scene in a movie where the hero walks into a strange room only to have the door close behind him.  Can you see the look on his face when he hears it being locked from the other side?

Doors, and their cousins gates, are both entrances and exits.    Entrances to buildings and rooms.  Entrances to other worlds such as “at death’s door”.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture to illustrate ‘entrances to other worlds’.  

below: But maybe this entranceway leads to something exotic?    That’s a better explanation than ‘someone went to Home Depot and bought lots of cheap corrugated plastic’.   It juts out like a sore thumb from an otherwise well maintained, nice looking house.

an old brick house painted turquoise with green trim. wrought iron fence in front. A corrugated plastic covering has been made to cover the entrance to the basement door. the covering comes out from the house to beyond the fence, all the way to the sidewalk

Doors are associated with privacy, protection, and control.   We feel more secure when we lock our doors.   Closed doors, especially locked ones, can keep things in or keep things out.  Closed doors separate, open doors connect.

below: Waiting at the door.   I can’t decide if he’s patient or impatient.  Perhaps bored?

a white metal door on a white concrete wall. A bright ornage line drawing of a man standing in front of the door with his arms crossed.

 

Back doors are private, hidden from view.  The expression “through the back door” suggests sneaking around.  Front doors are part of the face that we show the world.   They can be welcoming or not, a lot like the people who live behind them. 

below: Or they can just be a long way up.  How are your knees feeling today?

a small narrow one storey house. Many steps to get up the hill to the front door. The incline has been covered with patio stones.

side yard and side entrance to a wood clapboard house with one window on the side at ground level.

below: A bright red chair brightens the picture.   I wonder who usually sits there?

a bright red chair sits on the sidewalk beside the entrance to a building. The door has a large window which is covered by a curtain on the inside

below: Another bit of cheerful red.

a small house painted blue with white trim, a bright red door.

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

crooked concrete steps and metal railing lead to a front door.

below: Another closed door waiting for demolition.
How many people have passed through those doors since 1913?

blog_blue_church_door_1913

below: I’ve always been fascinated by the sign above this door.

an older woman in a bright red jacket stands on a corner waiting for a green light. On the other side of the street is the Emerald Isle Seniors Society

below: This door seemed to be out of place on the Danforth… it’s an entrance to the apartment above, not to the hair salon on the left.   I like to think that she keeps watch over the doorway.

blog_etched_glass_beauty_salon

below: These two doors (especially the green one) caught my eye as I walked along the Danforth.   On my first pass I had the wrong lens on my camera.  After changing lenses, I doubled back.   Just as I was getting ready to take a picture of the two doors together, the one on the right opened.  Dilemma – to shoot or not to shoot.  I’m not brazen enough to shoot someone in the face so to speak; this over the shoulder and hope it works shot is only second rate (or third!).   I only include here so I can briefly go off on a tangent and mention my #1 problem with door shots.  People.   Pointing my camera at someone’s house often makes me feel uncomfortable and I have no desire to have any kind of confrontation, even a friendly one.

two doors, one faded green and one greyish black . a man with a rather large stomach is standing in front of the latter.

below: What to do with leftover tiles.

a door with 1242 on it, brownish colour, green door frame, the wall on one side is covered with small mosaic tiles in squares

below: A contrast in colours.  The door is in the picture but it’s become just an element in the composition.

a green door is beside a large store window. The interior wall is painted yellow, the sun is shining in the window and the blinds are partially open and partially down

below: This is the last of the Danforth door photos that I took today.   Again, the doors are just elements; the mailboxes provide the focus and the interest.

three black mailboxes with mail in them, between a white door and a black door.

below: Doors are part of a building.   What you can do with a door is often limited by the structure of the house.

a small white house with a large tree in front of it, winter, but no snow

Having said that,  if you walk around the city there is a lot of variety.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through all the permutations and combinations that I saw today!  I’ll limit myself to a few (sometimes I can do that!).

below: A few stone steps lead to a simple white entrance.

a red brick house with a white rectangular doorway. driveway beside the house leads to a garage with a white door.

below: A study in compare and contrast – the wonderful result of semis where next door neighbours with dissimilar tastes, habits, and decorating ideas share a common wall.

a semi divided house, on the left, a bright yellow door. On the right, an open porch with lots of clutter.

Many steps and many hours later I find myself nearing the end of this post.  It’s been a bit of a ramble, both in the route that I walked today and in the thought processes that helped create this post.    I hope that I have entertained you at least a little bit.    And with one final photo I will close the door on this post.    Last one out turns out the lights.  Adios.

looking down a street to an T-intersection. Two houses across the intersection with a large truck parked in front of them. A man is sitting in the truck and looking at the camera

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”  John Barrymore

Back in mid October I blogged about the new murals on the south side Wilson Ave as it passes under the Allen Expressway (where Wilson subway station is).

below: Looking across Wilson Avenue to part of the mural on the south side.

looking across Wilson Avenue, under the Allen Expressway towards a mural that has been painted on the pillars and supports on the other side. A face is painted there.

When I was there last,  the murals on the north side were not completed.   The other day I remembered that I hadn’t seen the finished work, so I took the subway back to Wilson station to see what the pillars on the north side look like.   There is more light on the north side as there are entrances to the subway along the sidewalk here.   There is also more pedestrian traffic.

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak

This side was also painted by shalak and smoky (as was the south side).

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak - swirls of purples and yellows

below: In the center by one of the well-lit subway entrances.

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak - red pillars with blue geometric patterns in a band around it near the bottom

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak - a face showing eyes and top of nose

below: Looking east along Wilson Avenue.

pillars and supports under an overpass that have been painted in bright colours by smoky and shalak - a large face in the center pillar, with hands gripping the outer pillars on each side of the face

below: A little street artist with his can of spray paint has been left in a corner.
He’s not easily spotted.

a grey tones painting of a man with a spray can in his hand, from the waist up