Posts Tagged ‘fences’

Caterpillars and butterflies is the theme of the latest laneway painting project.  A year ago, Nick Sweetman led a group of street artists who painted garage doors in a lane near Garrison Creek park with pictures of butterflies.   These murals appeared in blog post in June 2017

This year’s project was similar.   Many of the same artists were involved again this year.  They used garages, fences and gates in a lane near Felstead Park (a block south of Greenwood subway station) as their canvas.  Once again, the theme was butterflies as it too was part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterflyways project.  This time, a similar blue background was used in all the murals which has given it a more unified appearance.

a lane with many painted garage doors, butterfly murals, summer time, green leaves, lots of trees, two people walking

The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it had the support of Start aka StreetARToronto

below: Felstead Park, by @braes_ack

title mural on a garage door, Felstead Park murals, butterflies

below: In the shadow of the weed are the letters CTR

geometric, angular butterflies

below: Mural signed by Kehoe, the face of David Suzuki

a butterfly and a face merged into one, the eyes look out over the top of the red and yellow wings

below: Green and yellow toadstools by mska

mural by mska on a garage door and fence, green and yellow toadstools

below: Mural by @oriah_scott

two large butterflies in a mural by @oriah_scott

below: butterfly among the pink and red flowers, by P.S. aka Phillip Saunders

large pink butterfly with pink and red flowers by P.S.

below: A sombre dark piece (is it finished?) by @poserabm

dark grey and brown painting, one small butterfly by poserabm

below: Three butterflies by Serina

butterfly mural by serina

below: Collaboration – A monarch painted by Nick Sweetman and a wonderful rose by Wales

mural by Nick Sweetman, large realistic looking butterfly and a large pinkish rose

below: A bright and busy mural by Spyone and Tensoe

mural on a wood fence - butterflies and flowers

monarch butterfly painted on a garage door

below: The hookah-smoking caterpillar from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is crawling across the fence.  Painted by elicser

caterpilar

below: Red panda out on a limb, perhaps chasing the butterfly, by Ted Hamer (@The1astRonin)

an animal (possum, red panda?), walks out on a tree branch towards a blue butterfly, mural on a fence

below: A butterfly in the garden; the work of Anya Mielniczek

mural running horizontally across garage, garage door and adjoining fence, butterflies and flowers

below: Two flowers, one pink and one blue, by Chris Perez

blue flower painted on a garage door, by @chrispperez

below: It looks  a lot like a skull on the back of this butterfly painted by @cmazzulla aka Christine Mazzulla

colourful butterfly mural on a garage door, blue background

below: A curled up caterpillar in pink and black, very larger than life!, by Spud.

a large pink and black caterpilar curled up on a garage door - mural

below: By Dezed, a butterly, mushrooms, and a bit of water

butterly mural, pond, mountains in the background, pinkish sky

below: Reaching out to the butterfly, giving the butterfly a helping hand, painted by @drippin_soul (Kalkidan Assefa)

a mural by @drippin_soul of a hand reaching towards a blue butterfly

below: On the right, Emma, the property owner’s dog who died recently.  Nick Sweetman painted the dog while @mr_tensoe2 painted the dog’s name

geometric striped butterfly with a dog head beside it. above dog is written the word Emma

 

 

 

I decided to head to Pape and Danforth on Friday, on a very hot & humid afternoon.   The Danforth was just beginning to get ready for the Taste of the Danforth weekend festival.  I stopped for a bottle of water and tried to find a bit of shade while I figured out where to walk.  The street was still quiet.  The day was hot and humid and no one was moving quickly.   Not many photos to be had there.   Instead, I decided to walk a few of the alleys north of the Danforth between Pape and Donlands.

trucks parked on the street, a small ferris wheel being set up pon a street, stores, barricades

below: No famous graffiti artist has left their mark in your neighbourhood? No problem, make your own!
A collection of icons with even the bricks painted into the picture.

copies of famous street art painted on a garage door. Brick background has been painted on too. Mona Lisa, Campbell soup cans, the woman lifting the corner of the wall to sweep things under it. Einstein holding a placard that says love is the answer. A little dog by Albert Einstein's feet.

below: Three garage doors with street art including one by spud.

three garages in an alley, each with street art painted on their doors.

below: Cruz1art (aka Angel Carillo) and a girl power pink skull by dudeman

a low concrete building in an alley with street art by Cruz 1 art, one says girl power. Large pink skull, basketball hoop in the foreground.

below: “Turn the lights off and look to the sky”

street art in an alley of a woman with long hair, wearing sunglasses, a tag beside it.

below: I’m used to seeing ‘No Trespassing’ or ‘Keep Out’ signs but not so many ‘Keep Off’.

an old rusted sign that says 'keep off' attached tot he top of a chainlink fence, in between two garages in an alley

below: A happy Uber5000 birdie knitting away, a close knit street art painting.

an uber 5000 art piece on a garage door, yellow uber birdie is knitting something with blue wool. the words say "close knit"

below: Another creature by Cruz1

blue animal creature painted on a garage door, green shrub growing in front of part of it, art by cruz 1 in an alley

below: Two more painted garage doors, very linear, very stylized and abstracted.

two single car garages in an alley, both with street art paintings on them, also the back of the houses behind them in the lane.

below: A play on the word ‘cool’.  Snowy words and a penguin with sunglasses.  Unfortunately it didn’t make me feel cooler but only slightly nostalgic for winter.  Only slightly!

street art mural on a garage door in a lane, a penguin standing upright wearing sunglasses. The words, written in large blue letters with snow on them, What's cooler than sum glasses on?

below: On the left is “destroy and rebuild” and on the right is “We are 1, [illegible] mi gente siempre”.  The last bit is Spanish and translates to “My people forever”

two garages in an alley with art on their doors, on the left is an abstract in blue and orange with the words destroy and rebuild. On the right is a woman's face. She's slightly blue. Words written beside her are: we are 1, mi gente siempre

below: I think there was a point to this picture, but I’m not sure what it is.

the top of two pieces of wood in a picket fence type gate, pointed tops, wood,

below:  Since this stretch of the Danforth has been “Greektown” for as long as I can remember, it makes sense to find street art in Greek.  In this case, Greek love.

garage door painted bright blue, with the Greek word for love written on it in large letters

below: A slight chuckle, the next garage door is the translation.

garage door painted with a large cursive lettering word love in pinks on blue

below:  Insert a little rant about horrid TTC concrete fences here.  At least someone has found a way to brighten one of them up.   This one is right beside the entrance to Donlands subway station.

concrete fence with paint drip art on it

A few more pictures….

garage door in a laneway covered with streetart painting

geometric street art on a garage door, pink, grey and black

below: A survivor. A lone white rose amongst dead roses.  May you all survive the heat of summer!

one white rose growing against a fence in an alley , with lots of dead roses around it.

 

 

 

The Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway, commonly just called the Gardiner, has been in the news a lot lately.  This 18 km stretch of road between the city and the lake was completed in 1965 after years of planning and building.  At the time that it was built, Toronto’s waterfront was largely industrial and there wasn’t much objection to having a 4 to 6 lane expressway, with many sections elevated, built there.   The railway had begun the process of dividing the city from its waterfront a hundred years previously.

As the city changes and grows, more and more people live in the downtown core.  Industry has moved out and residents have moved in.  For so long the land south of the Gardiner as well as under the Gardiner was neglected, especially from a city planning point of view.  But now, the city is looking differently at that swath of land.  The far east elevated section between the Don Valley Parkway and Leslie Street was demolished in 2001 and there have been calls for the next section (Jarvis to the DVP) to be demolished as well.   There has been some controversy as to whether to demolish it or move it… and if move it, where to? I am not even sure what the plans are at the moment.   On the other hand, the western section of the elevated expressway (Strachan to Spadina) will remain standing.  Work is underway to refurbish the structure – the city doesn’t want any more stories of pieces of concrete dropping onto cars beneath!  Plans are being implemented to use the land under the Gardiner much more efficiently.  To make it work for the public.

The Bentway is the name that has been given to this new park, or public space, beneath the Gardiner Expressway from Strachan 1.4 kilometres east to Spadina. The first phase is due to open Canada Day 2017 and it involves the stretch between Strachan and Bathurst.  Many of you have probably driven on the Gardiner but do any of you know what is under it now?  Let’s take a look.

below: The Gardiner passes over Strachan Avenue which  in turn passes over the railway tracks.

bridge over a street, many orange and black construction cones down the center of the road, some pedestrians on the sidewalk

below:  On Strachan Ave looking west.   Condo development in this area has extended right to the railway line.  The Exhibition GO train station is in the distance.  You can also see the Gardiner to the left of the tracks.  Here the north side of the under part of the expressway is walled in and the enclosed space is used by Exhibition Place.  At this time there is no plan for the Bentway to extend this far; I have used this photo to provide more context as to the location of the park.

railway tracks in the center of the picture, condos on the right. On the left is the elevated Gardiner expressway, but under it is a concrete wall that makes it look more like a concrete building than a road

below: A closer look at the Gardiner on the west side of Strachan Avenue.  Maybe there is potential to expand the park westward? to Exhibition GO station? And by the way, those concrete structures holding up the expressway – those are called ‘bents’ and that is why the park is called what it is.

a dirt road runs alongside the Gardiner Expressway, some condos in the distance

below: This photo was taken as I stood on Garrison Common and looking towards Strachan Avenue.  This will be the western end of the new park. You can see the underside of the Gardiner as it passes over Strachan Ave which in turn is also a bridge.  This bridge once crossed the Grand Trunk Railway tracks that were built in the 1850s.  New entrances to the park are planned that incorporate the present sloped embankment of the bridge.

The elevated Gardiner Expressway passes over Strachan Ave which in turn has a bridge over what used to be a rail line. The bottom part of the bridge is covered with graffiti. The whole area is a construction site at the moment.

below: A quick aside:  It’s a slightly different angle, but here is a photo of the Strachan Avenue bridge from 1959, before the Gardiner was built.  I suspect that there has been upgrades made to the bridge since then.  Photo credit: R.L. Kennedy, found online (also a good source for the history of the Grand Trunk Railway in Toronto).  Garrison Common is to the right.

vintage photo from 1959, GTR tracks pass besidde Garrison Common park and under the bridge at Strachan Ave

Garrison Common is the green space surrounding Fort York.  It will abut (be continuous with?) the new Bentway.  Fort York is a National Historic Site and on its 43 acre site are original buildings from the War of 1812 as well as an 1813 battle site.  Did you know that the Americans beat us here in 1813 and controlled the city of York (as Toronto was known then) for a few days?

below: The new Fort York Visitors Centre is now open. There is still being work done both inside and outside, but it is open to visitors. For so long the fort was hidden away and difficult to get to; it is nice to see it receiving more attention.

entrance to Fort York, under the Gardiner, still a construction site but nearing completion

below: Jake from Park People, one of the groups helping to design the new park, stands under the Gardiner as he talks to a group of us on a tour.    Here, by Fort York, the Gardiner is the equivalent of 5 storeys from ground level, the highest it reaches as it crosses the city.

a man is standing in front of a group of people on a walking tour, he is standing under the Gardiner Expressway where it is 5 storeys above ground level.

below: Standing on the grounds of Fort York.  The Bentway will be beyond the stone wall.  You can get a good idea of the spacing between the bents.  These spaces are being referred to as ‘rooms’ and there are 55 of them between Strachan and Spadina.

from the grounds of Fort York looking south to the Gardiner and the condos built beyond it. Grass field in the foreground.

below: One obstacle is the fact that Fort York Blvd passes under the Gardiner on a diagonal.  Plans are to build a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the street.  Also in the photo, note the TTC bus – Fort York and vicinity are finally on a bus route.  Route 121 runs between the Portlands and Fort York via Union Station.

fort york blvd is in the foreground, a TTC bus and a car are on it, the Gardiner is to the right and a short condo building is in the background along with the CN tower

below: The section under the Gardiner Expressway between Bathurst Street and Fort York Blvd is not city owned. It is owned, and has already been developed, by the Onni Group who built the Garrison at Fort York condominiums on either side of it.  This is the eastern end of phase 1.

evening, low angle sunlight shines under the Gardiner Expressway where it has been developed with paving stones and some large rocks.

below: Northbound traffic on Bathurst passes under the Gardiner.

some traffic on Bathurst street on a rainy day, as the street passes under the Gardiner Expressway, condos on the right, construction hoardings on the left.

Phase 2 of the park’s development involves land between Bathurst and Spadina. This is an area that is undergoing a lot of changes at the moment, i.e. a lot of construction.

below: Immediately south of the Gardiner on the northeast corner of Bathurst and Lakeshore is a construction site.  Demolition of the old 1928 Loblaws warehouse building is now complete.  The facade of the old building was disassembled rather than demolished; after cleaning and refurbishing of the bricks, it will be rebuilt in its original location.  Two condo towers are planned for the space between Loblaws and the Gardiner.  Yes, more condo towers to face the Gardiner and add to the tunnel effect that you get when you drive on the expressway.

construction site in downtown Toronto, Gardiner Expressway runs behind the site, rubble in the foreground, a few remaining remnants of the old Loblaws building that was there, high rises in the background.

below: The development of this site is a collaboration between a number of developers.  I found a photo of one rendition (source) of what the space under the Gardiner will look like here in the future.  Public space including a cafe are part of the plans.  Check back in a couple of years to see what really happens here!

artist's rendering of what a planned development for under the Gardiner would look like, part of a larger condo and retail development.

below:  Standing on Bathurst Street, looking east along what will be Housey Street.  This is just north of where the Loblaws development (above) will be.  As you can see, you can’t walk there yet.

the elevated road, the Gardiner Expressway passes over a construction site on the right, a new street being built on the left.

below: Southeast corner of Bathurst and Fort York Blvd.  This is the section of land just north of Housey Street.  Construction hoardings and cranes – familiar sights in this area.  It also means that taking photos of under the Gardiner here are difficult!

late afternoon, long shadows, yellowish tint to the photo, looking east from Bathurst, south of Front, north of the Gardiner, wood construction hoardings with posters on it, many orange cranes, some condos already built, a woman jogging past, cars on the street.

below: Development north of the Gardiner between Bathurst and Dan Leckie Way.

construction site under the Gardiner, cranes and condos being developed on the left, CN tower in the fog in the distance.

Dan Leckie Way is a north-south road that runs under the Gardiner just east of Bathurst.  It is the western boundary of Canoe Landing Park.  This park is north of the Gardiner and the Lakeshore.

below: ‘Tom Thomson’s Canoe’, by Douglas Coupland sits at the highest point of land in the area; it’s almost at the same level as the Gardiner and is very visible as you drive by.   This park extends down the hill.

The end of a large red canoe, an artwork by Douglas Coupland called 'Tom Thomson's Canoe' sits in a park, high above the surrounding scenery. Looking southwest towards the elevated Gardiner Expressway and the condo developments south of it.

below: Looking the other way from the same vantage point. The street running under the Gardiner here is Dan Leckie Way . Up until this point the Lakeshore is south of the Gardiner.

The elevated Gardiner Expressway with traffic is in the middleground, some trees and parkland in the foreground, and condo developments in the background.

At Dan Leckie Way, the Lakeshore is still south of the Gardiner and the space under the expressway is wide open.   By Spadina, one major block east, the situation changes.   The Lakeshore splits and westbound traffic lanes go north of the Gardiner and eastbound lanes stay south.  Shortly after Spadina, the Lakeshore runs under the Gardiner and there is no room for any further development under the road.

below: Standing on Spadina, just south of the Gardiner and looking west.  Here there is a lot of road to cross for pedestrians on Spadina.  Not only has the Lakeshore split to run on either side of the Gardiner, but there are also ramps between the Gardiner and the Lakeshore.

major road with traffic under an elevated expressway in a city, long ramp from the upper level to the lower. Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto, at Spadina looking west

below:   Still on Spadina, and still looking west, but now under the Gardiner.  The space under the road is not as high as it was previously.  Its lower and darker and not as inviting.   It will be interesting to see what phase 2 of the Bentway development will look like in this space.  I am not sure when it will to be finished but I will keep an eye on it!

under an elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway, at Spadina.

As for the eastern Gardiner, what does that look like?  Well, that’s a whole other blog post!

 Project: Under Gardiner  On this site you’ll find detailed maps and diagrams of this area as well as information about the plans for the various sections of the space.

 

 

 

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

Sometimes when I walk I find a view or a photo that suggests a theme for the day; something that summarizes the area that I’ve been walking through.  On Saturday, this was the photo, a construction site on Wellesley Street -a massive hole in the ground amongst a growing number of high rise buildings.

red and white danger sign on a makeshift wooden fence that says danger due to open edge. Beyond it is a very large hole for a construction site. A bulldozer is in the hole, downtown Toronto is in the background.

a large number of new high rise buildings just beyond a large hole in the ground where another condo is being built

This piece of property, between Wellesley and Breadalbane streets, had been vacant for a number of years.  It was once owned by the province; back in the 1980s there were plans to build a ballet and opera house there.  Those plans fell through and the land remained vacant while community groups lobbied for a park to be developed there.

When I first walked the area in April 2013, there was a blue fence around the site.

A wood plywood fence painted blue. Someone has painted three large white dollar signs on as well as the word ka-ching.

The blue fence is gone. According to the development proposal sign, two towers are being built here with a combined height of 99 floors.  A nine or ten storey L-shaped podium will run along St. Luke Lane and Wellesley Street to join the towers.    The plan also allows for park land on Breadalbane.  When I checked the website for the development, 11 Wellesley aka Wellesley on the Park, there is only one tower pictured and it doesn’t look like the description on the sign.

Ah, a little light bulb goes on.  The sign describes the developers’ original plan.  A change in the plan doesn’t mean a change in the sign.   So…  this seems to be the future home of one 60 storey condo tower on one third of the land and a 1.6 acre park on the remainder.

two bicycles parked on a sidealk in front of a fence that has a development proposal sign on it. Building site behind that, thena wall of skyscrapers in the background.

My Saturday walk had actually started close to Yonge and College.   I was drawn to the nondescript block of stores that are now boarded up in preparation to be demolished.

A block of two storey stores on Yonge street has been boarded up in preparation for demolition.

I’m wishing that I had taken pictures previously of these stores just to document the history of that part of Yonge Street.  I had many chances to do so, but the building never seemed interesting enough.

a man is walking past a row of boarded up stores that are about to be demolished.

development proposal sign above a large number 501, with an office/retail for lease sign above it.

Whether or not you think that two 58 storey towers with a shared 7 storey podium is an improvement is an entirely different question. It will contain 960 condo units and 5 storeys of above grade parking (because the subway runs underneath) with 320 parking spots.  Lobby access for the buildings will be from Maitland and Alexander Streets on the north and south sides of the property.  Or at least that’s what’s on the sign.   But fool me once, so I checked the  website for the condo (TeaHouse Condos in this case) and once again the information doesn’t match.  According to the website there will be two towers but the north one will be 25 storeys and the south one will be 53 storeys.  Whatever the end result, it will be different from what’s there now!

 

At least one person had an objection.

development proposal sign on a yellow wall that someone has written enuf on in big pink letters

A walk around the back of the building shows that we aren’t losing much there either.

two stroey building boarded up and ready for demolition, with a parking lot, behind a chain link fence.

 

The next site that I explored is just to the south where a hole is already in progress on the SW corner of Yonge and Grenville.

A hole in the ground on Yonge Street for construction of a building.

Photo taken from St. Lukes Lane

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below: This hole has exposed the north wall of the brown brick Oddfellows’ Hall as this view shows.  This is looking south, with College Park in the background (built by the T. Eaton Co. and opened as a 6 storey Eatons store on 30 October 1930).  Behind the chain link fence is St. Luke Lane.

back of a large four storey brick building behind an open hole construction site, taller buildings in the background (College Park)

Now you see it… soon you won’t.  The condo tower here will be 66 storeys high.

open hole at construction site surround by fence, brick building in the background.

Oddfellow’s Hall was built in 1891 and 1892 by architects Norman B. Dick and Frank W. Wickson for the Independent Order of Oddfellows.  It has two octagonal turrets and is a playful mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles.   The building had a 20’ x 46’ long grand hall for IOOF private meetings as well as offices and storefronts.

below: Looking north up Yonge Street at College Street, about 1970.  The Bank of Commerce (later Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and now CIBC) was an early tenant of the building.  Also in the picture is the old fire hall tower but more about that later.

old photo from about 1970 looking north up Yonge Street from College Street. Oddfellows Hall is on one corner with main tenant as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Old fire hall tower is in the distance.

Photo found online, original source was City of Toronto Archives

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below: Most people will recognize the building as Starbucks.

Oddfellows Hall, a large brick building with two hexagonal turrets, brick, now a Starbucks on the ground floor.

starbucks at the corner of Yonge and College

Back to Grenville Street where there is yet another development.  On the west side of St. Luke Lane is a partially completed condo that has incorporated the facade of what is known as the John Irwin house.  It is one of the oldest surviving residential buildings in the area;  in 1873 it was recorded as being owned by a John Irwin.

An old three storey brick house, the John Irwin house has been restored and incorporated into a new condo development that is in the process of being built, cement mixer in front, men working.

This house wasn’t always in this location though.  It was moved a few metres east along Grenville, from one side of the condo development to the other.  I found a photo that I took in April 2013, just after the house had been moved.  Here you can see the back of the house as well as St. Luke Lane to the right.

back of an old house from the 1870s, the John Irwin House, a three storey brick building, that was moved from one site to another. It is sitting on supports at the edge of a construction site.

Does your head hurt yet?  Because there is more…..
But first, a break.  A few other pictures from the area.

below:  No Parking in St. Luke Lane, twice.

A red sign on a red wall. In yellow letter that are peeling off, the sign says Private Parking Only, mcdonalds.

A light yellowish grey wall with a yellow sign that says no parking. Old sign, looking worse for wear. A piece of flat scrap metal is leaning against the wall
  below:  And a man (Van Gogh? someone else?) with a red umbrella but more remarkably, a white picket fence almost hidden under vines by Wellesley Street.

A drawing of a man on white paper pasted to a concrete wall. A red stenciled umbrella is on top of his face. A white picket fence is beside the wall.

below: Also in St. Luke Lane, a mural commemorating the Highway of Heroes.

A mural commemorating the Highway of Heroes

And back to the program….

So far we have two holes in the ground, a partially finished condo, and a block that has just begun to be demolished.  The last development that I saw in the area was one that is still in the planning stages.  The development proposal sign posted beside Currys Art Supplies (the blue awning) is a clue that changes are imminent at 480-494 Yonge Street.  This building is on the SW corner of Yonge and Grosvenor.   The sign says one 45 storey tower but by now I don’t believe the signs!

development proposal sign at 490 Yonge street

480 Yonge Street is a heritage building as is the old fire hall (1872).   The top corner of 480 Yonge is just visible in the bottom left of this picture.  It is to be incorporated into the new development if it goes ahead.  The fire hall tower is going to be preserved but the building in front of it will be removed.  The sidewalk will also be widened as a result.  That’s the opening act of this story; there may be changes before the final curtain.  The developers applied for a zoning amendment (increased height and density) earlier this year but I do not know the results of that.

old fire hall tower above a newer building, or a newwer facade on an older building, red dump trunk on the street, large new condo being built in the background, Yonge St.

below:  On the NW corner of Yonge and Grosvenor is this building.   I don’t know if there are any plans in the works to redo this stretch of Yonge Street but after seeing all the new developments, I’m starting to get a bit sentimental about the old buildings.  So here is documentation of what remains, starting with  A & W Home of the Burger Family at 496 Yonge.

Three storey older grey building on a downtown corner.

below: between Grosvenor and Breadalbane – Cuban cigars and Persian food

Three three storey buildings in a row, old brick buildings, on Yonge St in downtown toronto, 502, 504 and 506. Yonge Market, Persian restaurant, a Cuban cigar store.

below: SW corner of Yonge & Breadalbane – old and new, short and tall

sw corner of yonge and breadalbane streets showing older stores in the foreground and taller condos in the background.

below: SW corner of Yonge & Wellesley – tattoos, massages, and payday loans.

southwest corner of Yonge and Wellesley, a row of old buildings, now storefronts. A Massage parlor and a tattoo place, a convenience store and a Money Mart. Gass condos in the background.

below: NW corner of Yonge & Wellesley – Not just noodles

not just noodles restaurant on the corner of Yonge and Wellesley as well as more stores going north up Yonge Street.

A walk down Brock Ave, well sort of.  I don’t think I’m capable of walking in a straight line.

 

Brock Avenue, just north of Bloor, the Haven Espresso Bar, a tiny little place with good coffee. I don’t usually start my walk with a cup of coffee but I was intrigued by the smallness of the space.

below:  This is the mural on the wall beside the coffee bar.  It’s just the word Haven but there are some interesting details in the letters.

two chairs and a small table in front of a wall with a mural on it. The mural is the word Haven. Each letter is decorated in a different way.

Close up of the letter V in blue on a larger mural that spells haven. Different shapes and colours of jewel stones are painted in the point of the V.
White ducks or geese in silhouette flying on a bright blue sky, a close up of a mural. Amongst the birds are some buttons with the word Joy on them.

 

below: The local park is called Susan Tibaldi Parkette, named for a woman who was active in the community. This cheerful toucan overlooks the park.

street art mural of a toucan on the side of a garage that faces a park

There are a few painted walls and garages in the area around the park.

  below: Including this spud bomb covered garage door.

Garage door covered with spud bombs street art

garage door, half greed and half red, with black letters diagonally across it

mural on a garage door, of two hands reaching for each other, in the style of Michaelangelo, with the word Chase written below on a brown banner.

below: On a wall, ‘Building with the Gods, James Massey R.I.P’

Blue curvy lines on the bottom, a pair of blank white eyes in the middle and a scarab like creature in the middle of the top section.

part of a garage door mural woman in pink walking, green man's head talking

garage door mural of red poppies by bright blue sky.

part of a mural high on a bright wall painted black. An ice cream cone and other sweet things.

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light blue geometric lettering graffiti on a background of two toned pink triangles.
below: I spotted this on a pole just before I headed south.  A little bit of sparkle to brighten the day.

Small graffiti piece of a paper cut out dragonfly with sequins glued onto it's body and a small part of the wing.

The area south of Bloor was once the village of Brockton.  Back in 1812, one hundred acres of land from what is now Queen Street, north to Bloor Street, and west of Dufferin Avenue was granted to James Brock (yes, a relative of Sir Isaac).  After James died, his widow Lucy had a road built that run down the center of the property.  This road was Brock Avenue.  She subdivided the property and sold the lots to smaller land holders.  This settlement became Brockton.  In 1884 it was annexed by the city of Toronto.

below: Colourful cat and mouse games on a wall just south of Dundas.  I couldn’t find any ‘signature’ on the wall and I haven’t been able to find out who painted this.  I’d love to know.

large mural of a cat chasing a mouse done in bright colours.

below: Malabar Ltd.  It looks unkempt and I thought it was abandoned.  The gate to the parking lot was open and there were a couple of cars parked behind the wall.  A quick search online and I discovered that this site is still operational, but only serves the professional opera and theaters industry.

box like brick building with square awnings over the windows, large empty parking lit beside it, white and blue fence behind the parking lot, taller apartment building beyond the fence.

Two stickers on a metal pole beside a railway bridge. The top sticker says Love Skateboards and it has picture of a skateboard on it. The lower sticker says Bunk Bed has a Posse and a black and white drawing of a man's head is also on it.

After passing under one of the greyest, dingiest railway bridges, I came to a street – not sure what it was!

A Toronto street sign in blue and white that is covered with a vine

I checked a map – it’s Cunningham Ave.

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But it afforded me an unobstructed view.
A view of the CN TOwer and the Toronto skyline from north west of downtown. Railway tracks are in the foreground.
I looked around a bit but there wasn’t much of interest on my side of the tracks and I wasn’t about to cross over!  I did notice that there is graffiti on the track side of the wall around the Malabar parking lot.  Something to explore another time… when I don’t have to dodge trains!

Short Union Pearson express train as it passes by

As the leaves fall off the trees, the houses are hidden less.  I like looking for older and/or unique architectural details that are now easier to spot (and take pictures of!)

below: The first time I saw one of these “half houses” I was quite surprised (it’s behind the large tree).  I now realize that there are a number of them in the city but it was still a fun find.

looking up an alley towards a street with some old houses. There is a large tree and behind the tree is a house that looks like it was cut in half vertically

below:  Brick and wood trim details being preserved and restored on an old house.

An old square two storey brick house undergoing restoration.

details of the carved wooden trim on a brick house being restored.

below: There are a number of old square houses in the neighbourhood.

an older square brick house on a corner of a residential street in Toronto.

below: A house with an old second storey wooden structure.  I don’t think it can be called an oriel window but I don’t know any other architectural term to describe it.

second storey wood structure protruding from house, almost the width of the house, with three vertical windows in it. A small balcony is above it.

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below: Although it’s not as easy to see in this picture, this house also has an old window and wood structure.  The fence around the neighbour’s yard is probably not as old as the porch, but it to is from a bygone era.  Is it from the 1960’s?  I suspect that they were very trendy at one time although I have seen this sort of design more as balcony railings than as fences.

a large brick semi-detached house with trees around it in fall foilage. The side of the house closest to the camera has a glassed in porch. To the left is a small house with a black metal fence around the front yeard. The fence has diamond shaped black metal pieces joined together in squares.

below:  Symmetrical but not symmetrical

A group of row houses. In the middle are two semis that share a peaked roof but the semis are totally different. One has a pink roof the other has a brown roof. One is white and the other is green. One has a front porch but the other doesn't

below: The back of Bike Pirates, a DIY bike workshop on Queen West, has a mural by Jonny Cakes.

In a laneway, painted by Jonny Cakes @thehalfdecent, the wall of a workshop, shed or garage, is painted with a big skull wearing a red bike hat. Two white cats, one on a unicycle and one on a bicycle, and the words BIKE PIRATE written over the door.

below: Someone’s got a leg up!

A fake leg, bent at the knee, with fake blood along the top of the thigh, attached to a wall over a door, the leg protrudes from the wall.
Up over a door that is…. this door in fact.

A red door with some items attached to it - a squished ping pong ball, an old dirty grey glove with a clip attached to the end of one finger

 

below:  And there were a few other little amusements along the way.

Someone hsa taken a red marker to a no dumping sign so now it reads grnoom dumping. The sign is nailed onto a post and there is an old blue truck parked behind the post.
scrawled in cursive writing with black spray paint on a white garage door are the words love yourself

close up of two stickers on a blue and white bike route sign. One sticker is a brown one with the words Vote Spud and a picture of skull wearing a floppy hat. The other is a red cartoon character

part of an old wood door, plywood wall beside the door with a black line drawing of a worm like creature with a big head with four eyes and a smiling mouth

small paper taped to a hydro pole on a residential street. On the paper are typed the words: WHy doesn't Harper want a parliamentary oversight of his security and police forces? Could it be because Hitler didn't want it either? Why do young people run away from Canada to join ISIS?

A car with a Virginia state licence plate that says Chil Out