Posts Tagged ‘DOn River’

Work on the Port Land redevelopment continues.  The area is changing fast enough that I thought another visit would be a good idea.

below: Cherry Lifeguard Station, calm and peaceful in the early morning.  On a weekday in September all is quiet here.

cherry lifeguard station, with dock in front, very calm and still water, reflections of the building in the water, early morning,

below: A new red lifeguard chair sits on a freshly raked beach.  In the distance, a tug pushes a barge out of the harbour and onto Lake Ontario.

red lifeguard station on cherry beach in the morning

below: A family of Canada geese rest on the embankment of the Keating Channel. The white concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water.

white concrete supports of the elevated Gardiner Expressway are reflected in the water of the Keating Channel while a family of Canada Geese sit on the bank

below: Looking west along the Keating Channel. The Don River empties to the bottom right, just out of the picture. At the moment, the Keating Channel is the only route to Lake Ontario but this is about to change.

looking west along the Keating Channel, trees on the left, Gardiner Expressway on the right

below: The Cherry Street bridge, a lift bridge, was broken in the open position for about a month at the end of the summer.  It was fixed in time for Labour Day weekend so it is down now (can it go back up?  It will soon be demolished so maybe that doesn’t matter)

view from above, Cherry street bridge in open position, port lands, cement silos, Lake Ontario, construction

below:  From above, the Keating Channel is in the foreground and it is here that construction on a new Cherry Street bridge is just beginning.  This is west of the present bridge because Cherry Street is going to be straightened as it passes under the Gardiner.      There is another small channel behind the Keating Channel but it ends at the T&T store… for now.    Cherry Beach and Lake Ontario are in the background.

Port Lands from above, Keating Channel, beginning of construction of a new bridge at Cherry street,

below: Reflections of the T&T sign.  Soon this store will be gone.  The path of one of the new waterways for the Don River goes right through the middle of their property to join with the channel that is already there (picture above).

reflections of the green T and T supermarket sign in a car window

below: Villiers Street, looking west from the Don Roadway.   The new path of the Don River is going to make an island of this part of the Port Lands as it runs parallel to, and immediately west of, the Don Roadway.

railway crossing sign on Villiers Street in the PortLands, some remnants of train track still there bu no trains

below: Villiers Street is actually two streets running parallel, both of which have two-way traffic.  This is left over from the days when the railway ran down the middle of the street.

green road sign that says Traffic operates two way on both branches of Villiers street

below: Remaining fragments of railway track can be found all over the Port Lands. This is Villiers Street at the Don Roadway. The Gardiner Expressway is in the background.

street with remnants of railway tracks on it

below: Old gas pump on Villiers.

rusty old gas pump

below: The northwest corner of Commissioners and the Don Roadway. The green mound is the beginnings of the flood protection work there. Flood protection means work on the re-routing of the mouth of the Don River.

the north west corner of Don Roadway and Commissioners Street

below: Looking west on Commissioners Street from east of the Don Roadway (at the traffic lights).  This is one of several large hydro structures that run from the Portlands Energy Centre (a natural gas burning electrical plant).   Hydro infrastructure changes are part of the Port Lands redevelopment.

a very tall metal hydro pole and structure above the street, Commissioners Street, Port Lands

below: Work on the south side of Commissioners.

cranes, workers, construction site

Soon Commissioners Street will be closed between the Don Roadway and Cherry Street.  All of the buildings there will be demolished.  At the moment, most of them are empty.

below:  Old abandoned buildings on Commissioners

old buildings on Villiers Street, with CN Tower in the background

part of an empty and abandoned building, two storeys, old windows, the number 130 written in large white numbers

side of an old abandoned building, top part is rusted pale green metal, bottom is painted dark grey

below: United Rentals on Commissioners Street, now empty. Soon gone.

empty United Rentals building in the Port Lands

below: Chained and locked.

a rusty chain and a padlock keep a gate closed

old brick building

construction on flood control measures in the Port Lands

below: North side of Commissioners, east of the Don Roadway. You can see the Gardiner Expressway and the old Lever Brothers factory.

a plant grows up agains a chain link fence, pile of dirt and industrial buildings behind the fence

a red and white danger due to sign that someone has written radioactive signs on so sign says danger due to radioactive signs

below: South end of the Don Roadway.

very south end of Don Roadway, south of Commissioners street, dead end, dirt road, no trespassing construction site entry

below: Looking west towards downtown from the Don Roadway

view of Toronto skyline and CN tower from Don Roadway

fence with signs, danger due to sign, plus sign that says Port Lands Flood Protection

below:  Back in July the demolition of the GFL (Green For life) buildings was well underway.

the last part of GFL (Green For life) structure to be torn down in the Port Lands, cement truck, dirt road, vacant land

below: This is the GFL recycling transfer station during the demolition process.  At the same time, the shoreline was being reconfigured and “naturalized”.  The trees in the water in the foreground have since died but this is part of the plan – they are to become part of a new fish and wildlife habitat.

west end of portlands early on in the redevelopment process, partially demolished building, barge in water creating new land, reconfiguring the shoreline

below: Access to the northwestern part of the Port Lands has been very limited.  Cherry Street and the T&T parking lot are as far as you can go … if you obey all the signs.    (photo from July)

black and orange cones line the route of entry to cement making facility in the Port lands

below: September

CN Tower and Toronto skyline from Cherry street, T and T market parking lot

below: The sea gulls have the parking lot to themselves, between Lafarge and the lake at the west end of the Port Lands.  There are no plans (that I can find) to remove or relocate Lafarge.

lots of sea gulls sitting on a parking lot behind Lafarge cement silos in the Port Lands

below: If you stand looking at the view above, and then turn around, you get the image below. Polson Pier view of the Toronto skyline.

view of Toronto skyline across Toronto Harbour from Polson Pier

a path leads to a fence, construction site behind the fence, including a cement truck

torn and shredded black fabric caught on a barbed wire fence

below: Map of the area.  As you can see, I have only covered a small part of the Port Lands.  There is so much more to explore!

map of the Port lands area

This blog post is a result of a walk from last week, from Dundas and Jarvis to Jones and Gerrard – from downtown into Leslieville/Riverdale on a beautiful day for a walk.   As usual, I strayed onto a few alleys along the way.   The pictures below may or may not be in sequential order but it doesn’t matter, does it?

below: Although many of the buildings around it have been demolished, Filmores Hotel remains.  I’m not sure if that’s a comment on the ownership of the building, or its use.

Filmores Hotel with large sign above the hotel and a black and white sign over the front entrance, old brick building

Once upon a time, e.g. in 1916, Dundas Street only existed westward from Ossington.   There was no Dundas Street downtown or in the eastern part of the city.  After WW1, a collection of smaller streets were widened and joined together to form Dundas Street as far as Broadview.   That is why there are these curves in the street between George and Sherbourne.

construction on dundas street, a vacant lot where a building was demolished, construction equipment and a dump truck working at the site, old building beside

below: Maybe it was once someone’s large house?  Now it’s looking a little run down but it’s still home to George’s Pizza and George’s BBQ.  The one on the corner is Piassa Injera and Takeout which is Ethiopian.

a large old victorian brick building, once a large house now divided up, 3 restaurants at street level, Georges Pizza, Georges BBQ, and one in a foreign alphabet, Ethiopian restaurant Piassa Injera

below:  Looking back towards downtown and the wall of glass and steel that has been erected.

dundas street east, looking back towards downtown from Sherbourne street, new condos and highrises in steel and glass overwhelming the older shorter buildings on Dundas such as Filmores Hotel and Georges pizza

below: The True Love Cafe at the corner of Sherbourne and Dundas. It’s had a fresh coat of paint and the hearts on the exterior wall have been fixed up. Only the sign needs a little TLC.

the True Love Cafe on the corner of Dundas and Sherbourne, purple walls on exterior ground floor, large red awning over entrance,

a man with a cane in one hand, and pushing a bike with other walks down an alley. he also has a backpack on his back

below: The redevelopment of Regent Park continues.

reflections in hoardings that are covered with a picture of yellow curtains and brown wood, sidewalk beside the hoardings and a wood structure over the sidewalk

below: New buildings in Regent Park.

looking through the window of a building under construction, concrete walls, some black pipes, also in orange paint the word exit with an arrow


below:
I stopped for a drink at Daniels Spectrum where I came across an interesting exhibit…. A sample of some of the photographs on display at Daniels Spectrum. They are part of a project, #ShootForPeace, by Yasin Osman. Each features youth from Regent Park with the theme of the exhibit being family and how family can be defined.

6 black and white photos of people on a wall in a gallery, photos of Regent Park residents, by Yasim Osman

below: One of the stained glass windows from St. Bartholomews church, in memory of Sister Theresa, 1891-1988.  I’ve walked past this church many times but this was the first time that I went inside.   It is a small, quiet church with some nice stained glass.

stained glass window in St. Bartholomews church

below: Graffiti on a wall.

graffiti on a red brick wall that says Space is Fake

below: Walking her dog on the Don River trail.

looking down from a bridge, a woman walks her black dog along a path beside the Don River, also train tracks running parallel to the path and river

below: Looking north towards the Gerrard Street bridge.

brige over the Don River, earl spring, no snow or ice but no leaves yet on the trees, Don Valley Parkway, road, to the right of the river, looking north towards Gerrard street

below: Looking south along the Bayview Extension to the new development in the East Don Lands.

looking south on Bayview street from Dundas as it passes large metal hydro poles, also new development (condos) in East Don Lands, fire truck on road

below: Just east of the DVP a truck was offloading new cars including this black Rolls Royce.

a brand new black Bentley car being unloaded from a truck

below: Same car, looking east towards Dons Milk store

new rolls royce parked on the side of a street after being unloaded from a truck

below: Waiting for summer

a faded red canoe leans against a wood fence in a backyard

In the early 1950s, the City of Toronto began a new road project to extend Dundas eastwards from Broadview to Kingston Road to serve as a new four-lane traffic arterial, intended as an alternative to Gerrard and Queen. Nine streets were widened to form the new Dundas street and in some cases, alleyways were used to connect these streets, and this is clearly visible as garages and backyards continue to front on to Dundas near Jones Avenue.

row of garages facing onto the street, backs of houses and a very large tree

open garage door with a window at the back of the garage, other garage beside it has closed door, can also see back of the two houses

a blue bike leans against a chainlink fence, behind it is a piece of street art that says happy days are here again, with painting of a man walking

Dundas Street is a major thoroughfare in the city – there aren’t many family homes that front onto it.    Jones, other hand, is a residential street.  The houses are an eclectic mix, most of which are fairly modest – or less.

an open gate leading to an entrance, a few stairs up to a porch

below: Flat roofs on small, narrow rowhouses with tiny front yards.

two storey row houses with flat roofs,

below: Half white and half yellow.

a semi-divided house, one side white and the other side yellow

porches on houses

below: Once upon a time, Toronto street signs were these blue and white metal signs that were attached to the buildings on the corners.  They are hard to read from the street!  Beginning in the 1950’s they were replaced with the signs that we are more accustomed to seeing.  There are still quite a few of these old ones spread out around the city in older neighbourhoods.   It is rare to find a house with two signs.

two old Toronto street signs, blue metal, attached to a house at Jones Ave and Sproat Ave

below: An ad for W.N. McEachern & Sons Ltd. that appeared in the Toronto Star on 26 April 1912 (online source).   They developed a few areas in the east part of Toronto including Eastmount Park which was between Danforth and Gerrard on the east side of Jones.

newspaper ad from 1912 in the Toronto Star

row houses in brown, white, and grey

below: Near the corner of Jones and Gerrard, surprise, surprise, a hole in the ground.

a construction site, a hole in the ground, with backs of houses behind the find surrounding it

below: Before I end this post, one last cute little white house tucked in between two larger brick residences.

a tiny, narrow, two storey house beside a larger brick house

Safe walking everyone!

below: Sometimes I love fences!

a medium sized black dog stands behind a chain link fence beside a white pickup truck

a red truck parked in an alley with a lot of stuff beside it

Moccasin Trail is a street in Don Mills that provides access to the East Don Trail. Starting a walk there looked like a good idea when I checked the map.

yellow metal barrier prevents cars from entering a road that is covered with snow, trees on both sides of the road

I decided that it was worth a try. Going downhill is harder than going uphill on snow and ice so I figured that if I got stuck all I had to do was turn around and go back to my car. In the summer you can drive down to the parking lot.

snow covered road with small trees growing on either side of it, winter, no leaves on the trees

With a little slipping, a little sliding, and a lot of care, I made it. At the bottom of the hill is Moccasin Trail Park.

a picnic bench ina park in winter with snow on the ground

below: The path goes under the DVP to join the East Don Trail (where there was not as much ice!). Except for the constant rumble of traffic in the background, it was very quiet down here today. I only saw two other people (and one dog).

park in winter with a path that leads to a bridge under a road

below: Wild grasses grow in the ditch alongside the Don Valley Parkway along with sumach trees and other shrubs.

wild grasses, brown in winter, grow alongside the Don Valley Parkway

below: A Red-tailed Hawk circles overhead. There were two of them flying above me today. They were magnificent to watch as they circled in the sky – and as I wished that they would come closer, or perhaps even find something to catch. No luck today.

a red tailed hawk flies overhead, blue sky with some light clouds

below: Ducks in the water and traffic on the Don Valley Parkway

two ducks swimming in the Don River, with cars passing by on the Don Valley Parkway

water flows over a low concrete dam on the Don River, winter time, but no snow or ice, no leaves on the trees,

below: Someone has tied this bright and cheerful bird house to the trunk of a tree.

a bright red bird house in a tree, no leaves,

below: One of the biggest reasons why I chose to walk this path today – the rainbow bridge. It’s easily visible from the northbound Don Valley Parkway. Although I don’t drive the DVP on a regular basis, every time I am reminded that I haven’t walked there yet. It was originally painted in the 1970’s by B.C. Johnson, a teenager from Norway. Every time the city painted over it, the rainbow was repainted.

East Don Trail winds towards the bridge that is painted with a rainbow, some traces of the Don Valley Parkway like a green exit sign for Lawrence Avenue, and a couple of tall light stands.

below: In 2013 the arch was repainted with the help of Mural Routes. The interior was also painted in the same rainbow colours.

arched bridge under a railway, over a walking path, that has been painted with a rainbow

These are some of the scenes that are painted inside.

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - on red background, with orange and purple trees, a man walks his dog and a woman pushes a stroller

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - blue and purple children build a white snowman with white trees in the background

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - a cyclist on a bike rides along a yellow and orange path past yellow and orange trees

I didn’t explore much beyond the rainbow bridge. That adventure is for another day!

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.

street art painting of a blue fish on light blue background, stylized

Today I walked the southern part of the Lower Don River trail.  It’s not the most relaxing place to walk even though the path follows the river.  I have a habit of absentmindedly meandering and I didn’t want to meander right into a cyclist on the narrow shared path.   There was constant background noise from the cars and trucks on the nearby Don Valley Parkway but it was the GO trains that made the most noise as they rumbled right beside me.  Yes, you are correct, it’s not my favorite place to walk.  But I also knew that there was a reward near the end of the trail.

Near the ‘mouth of the Don River’ (in reality, where the Don River turns into the Keating Channel), there are some new murals on the bents supporting the ramps between the DVP and the Gardiner Expressway.  They are part of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project.   A previous blog post, love letters in paint, concerned the murals from this project that were painted near Ossington and Queen West.

below: If you approach the area from the north, this is the first bent that you see.  All sides of it have been painted by Kirsten McCrea.  If you are driving south on the Don Valley Parkway and you exit to the Gardiner westbound, you drive right over this, and the next few, bents.  In case you haven’t guessed, a bent is that concrete support thingy holding up the road.

a bent supporting an offramp has been covered in a bright mural, grass and weeds grow in front, the river is behind, a small tree also in the picture

below: The other side of the McCrea mural is in the background, behind the bent that has been painted by PA System (Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka).  Amongst the swirly watery  shapes there is a face near the top.  Extra bit: The guy on the bike stopped to take a photo too.

A swirl of colours makes a mural of faces and hands and watery things, on a bent under the Don Valley Parkway

below: The other side of the PA System bent. A large fish fits perfectly in the upper portion while a hand reaches up from the vertical part.

A very large fish is painted across the top of a bent, and a hand is on the vertical part, with finger tips pointed upwards.

below: The work of MC Baldassari who is currently from Montreal.

concrete support, or bent, under a ramp has been painted with a mural based on a large dark blue triangle

below:  The other side of the above bent.  It looks like the woman has come through the pillar.

concrete support, or bent, under a ramp has been painted with a mural based on a woman's head coming through a large dark blue triangle

below: A woman with a mouse in her hand and a flower in her hair kneels beside the foxes,
a mural painted by EGR (Erica Balon).   In the background you can see a much taller bent that has been painted blue.   This bent is on a different ramp, the ramp that you would find yourself on if you were driving east on the Gardiner and then exiting to the DVP.  It has been painted by Jason Botkin and it includes the word Wonscotanach.  Apparently that was the First Nations name for the river before John Graves Simcoe came along in 1790 and decided to call it the Don River.

A mural on a bent in an underpass, a young woman is kneeling. She is holding a mouse in one hand. Two foxes stand beside her.

below: There are more animals on the other sides, along with a city lit up in the night in the background of the mural.   Raccoon, rabbit and a pink butterfly fluttering past.

2 bents covered with murals. In the foreground, the mural is dark blue, with a pink butterfly, a rabbit, a mouse and a raccoon.

woman holding a mouse in a mural on a bent in the foreground, with another bent in the background, a mural of water and topless red women walking or standing in the water

below: Rajni Perera‘s mural features red and yellow women walking or standing in the water.

part of a mural of water and topless red women either walking or standing in the water

below: Looking back

a cyclist rides past 4 bents under the Don Valley Parkway that have been painted with murals as part of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project.

below: A collaborative effort by Jarus and Kwest beside the Don Valley trail, just north of the other murals.

large sea creature painted on a mural on a concrete wall.

below:  And one last photo before leaving the area… a quick note sprayed on a concrete support.

rough spray painted words 'Hi Love' on a concrete support on a railing by a river.

 

From June 20th to 25th, many street artists brought their talents to paint murals with the Great Lakes as their theme.  It was part of Pangeaseed Foundation’s Seawalls for Oceans.  Pangeaseed’s mission is to use science, art and creativity to “inspire positive change around pressing ocean environmental issues”.   This campaign originally focused on oceans but they have now branched out to increase awareness of the issues involving out fresh water lakes and rivers as well.  One of their methods is to support and encourage the painting of murals –  Seawalls have been painted in Miami, San Diego, Napier New Zealand, Cozumel Mexico and many other cities around the world… and now in Toronto too.

One of the locations chosen for the murals was around Ossington and Queen where they join a number of murals that were already there.

below: The S.S. One Love sails high above an alley, painted by Peru143

large mural by Peru on the back of a two storey building, a large red ship called the S.S. One Love in the water

part of a mural by Peru, lots of blue, looks like a stylized snake

below: Painted in mostly shades of grey, a mural by Caratoes (aka Cara To), a street artist based in Hong Kong.

 a two storey vertical mural by caratoes in grey tones, fish and faces on the top and an object made of black and white triangles on the bottom

Close up of the top half of a mural by caratoes in grey tones, fish and faces

below: A large water bird swims along the surface and watches the people passing by.
Painted by Jon Todd.

large mural of a water fowl sitting on the water on the old white Queen West self-storage building.

viewed from the corner so you can see two sides of the building, large mural of a water fowl sitting on the water on the old white Queen West self-storage building and another mural on the other side of the building

As you can see from the above photo, there are three round images painted on the south wall of the old Self Storage building.

below: Closest to the street, a mural by Sermob

round mural painted by Sermob, car parked in front of it, stylized figures on water

below: In the middle and tying the three circles together is a mural of entwined fish by Miguel Valinas from Mexico.

large round mural of two large fish, intricate patterns on the fish, entwined head to tail to form a circle with their bodies

below: A sleepy baby otter in its parents’ arms, painted by Sens, also from Mexico

a large round mural of a family of otters. Baby otter is sleeping in his parents' arms. by Valinas

below: A mural on a bright yellow wall –  a shark and a dinosaur amongst geometric shapes that are characteristic of birdo’s work.  There is also another animal head beside it.  This was a collaboration between birdo, tens2, fuel, kostyn, phil and barney and it pre-dates the Love Letters to the Great Lakes murals.

large mural by birdo, street art, on a two storey bright yellow building, a shark, and an alligator (or crocdile) head

small mural of an animal head, street art, by Fuel, Kostyn, birdo

below: From bright colours, to black and white – birdo’s collaboration with En Masse.  A mural with the words “RIP Don Valley River”

black and white mural in an alley, turtle, geometric shapes, woman's face, leaves, RIP Don Valley River

below: It’s a rather dark lament about the state of the Don River.

detail of a black and white mural by birdo and en masse with sybols of death and decay.

below: Standing on an island, ‘Hello’ by Chicago-born  Hebru Brantley in 2015

a large mural of a boy standing on a small island, wearing sunglasses, and saying "Hello", painted by Hebru Brantley

below: Whales, lobsters, fish and other creatures swimming amongst the seaweed, painted by street artist lebonar (aka Olivier Bonnard)

two sides of a building with murals, one side is a large mural of a boy standing on a small island, wearing sunglasses, and saying "Hello", painted by Hebru Brantley and the other side (store front)

below: More marine life, but in an unfortunate spot. I’ve been to see this mural twice, and both times the fence was locked.  It looks like the fish has an arm that it’s using to reach for the unsuspecting crayfish – a metaphor for invasive species and their effects on marine life and their habitats.  It was painted by Cinzah Seekayem from New Zealand.  You can see better pictures of it on his instagram page.

a mural of marine animals on the side of a building, but behind a locked fence

fish mural on a white wood fence, muted tones of greens, blues and browns.

colourful mural by Peru with the letters K E S H

Other posts about this project:

  1. other murals at Queen and Ossington, seawalls and serpents
  2. murals by the Don River, at the mouth of the Don
  3.  murals at Queen, Spadina and Bulwer

 

#seawallsTO | #pangeaseed | #loveletterprojects

Within the past week or so, the fences around the new Canary District have come down.  Toronto’s newest development is now open to the public so I thought I would check it out.

I started my walk from the streetcar stop at King and Sumach.  Walking down Sumach Street I passed the metal fence that separates the school property from the street.  This stone building was built in 1887 as Sackville Street School and it has been used as a school ever since.  At the moment it is home to Inglenook Community School.  The fence with it’s double layer of metal – rusted in the back and shiny in the front – is interesting in the daytime but even more so at night when it is lit with a series of lights located between the layers  and near the base of the fence.

public art on Sumach St., rusted metal and shiny metal fence with cut outs, looking across the street at it, with older stone building behind it.

When I took the above picture I was standing on the new streetcar tracks that run south from King Street.  The tracks are ready and the wires have been installed.  Streetcars will begin servicing the route in June as part of route 514.  No map or schedule appears on the TTC website yet but apparently this route will run between the Dufferin Gate Loop and the new loop on Cherry Street via King Street

below: Looking north from Eastern Avenue at the new streetcar tracks on Sumach Street.

looking north on Sumach Street from Eastern Ave at the new streetcar tracks. They are blocked by 5 large black and orange traffic cones as well as a large do not enter sign. Overhead wires for the streetcars are in place.

At Eastern Avenue, Sumach Street becomes Cherry Street.   The new Cherry Street YMCA is on the east side of the street.  The sidewalk is wide but at the moment the branches of the young trees are at face level and you have to be careful where you walk.

looking south on Cherry Street from Eastern Ave, past the new Cherry Street YMCA on the left and all the new trees that have been planted.

below: The bright red detailing on the YMCA building continues over the entry way.  Part of the new residences for George Brown College peak out from behind.

roofline over the entry of Cherry Street YMCA with it's bright red colour. Corner of George Brown College building is in the background.

Front Street now has wide sidewalks.  None of the businesses have moved into the ground level retail spaces yet but the signs in the windows suggest that a number of cafes, restaurants, and food stores will soon be opening.   A couple of public art pieces are also on the sidewalk.

below: ‘Lampposts’ by Tadashi Kawabata

A tall art installation as public art on Front Street in the Canary District, Lampposts by Tadashi Kawabata, construction from many different styles of street lamp posts all arranged in a cluster

below: Looking up from underneath the artwork.

looking up at the lights from underneath the artwork,Lampposts by Tadashi Kawabata

below: ‘The Water Guardians’ stand over a soft squishy playpad.
It was designed by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins.

'Tje Water Guardians', A tall art installation as public art on Front Street in the Canary District, 3 stylized abstracted human forms with legs in an arc shape over a squishy playpad in green, blue and white. The blue represents water. The green parts are raised slightly in bumps.

below: There are a lot of little design elements that have been incorporated into the this development including what I think is a bench.  With a light underneath?

A curved black metal bench on a sidewalk

below: The sidewalk around the trees is made from two colours of brick.  The opening for the tree is just the right size to collect garbage.  Whether or not these traps get cleaned out remains to be seen.

square hole in the brickwork of the sidewalk to allow a tree to grow. The hole is shallow, a few cm. deep but it collects garbage such as empty coffe cups and discarded papers that blow in the wind.

below:  The Canary District is not yet finished as this sign clearly states.

A large plot of land with rocks and newly planted trees in a grid. An orange and yellow sign advertises the Canary District. It also says that this land is slated for future residential development

below: The sculpture ‘No Shoes’ by Mark di Suvero is now accessible.   The artwork was completed in 1967 and originally installed in High Park.   In 2013 it was renovated and moved to Corktown Common.

The sculpture 'No Shoes', red metal beams and wood poles, very large, stands in a park with some buildings in the background.

below: The pavillion at Corktown Commons in the distance.

The pavillion at Corktown Commons i the background as seen through the bottom part of the sculpture 'No Shoes'

below:  The Bala Pedestrian Underpass, aka the south exit from Corktown Commons, goes under the railway tracks and merges with the Don Landing part of the Lower Don Valley trail.  The artwork was designed by Rolande Souliere and is part of the StreetARToronto initiative.   A yellow Lovebot and a happy orange monster have been added to the scene too!

pedestrian underpass under railway tracks that has been painted in bright stripes, yellow, red and black. The left of it is a large yellowlovebot and to the right is a sign with a map and a description of the Don Pathway, part of the Pan Am Path.

below: Nature in the city.  Birds of a different feather.  On the Don River, just south of Corktown Common a pair of swans is nesting.  One of the swans was swimming a short distance away while the other was sitting on the nest.   Cars pass by on the Don Valley Parkway unaware of the domestic scene below them.

A swan is sitting on a nest in the Don River, it is beside the Don Valley Parkway, a busy road in Toronto, two cars are passing by above the swan.