Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

Most people who visit Graffiti Alley don’t realize that there is another section of street art to the west.   Technically, Graffiti Alley is the lane behind the south side of Queen Street West between Spadina and Augusta.  The next section of the alley, from Augusta to Portland, is Rush Lane.   Unfortunately there is a large Loblaws/Winners that blocks the lane on the west side of Portland.

To access the next couple of blocks of laneway, you have to detour down to Richmond Street and turn right.  Public Lane is a few steps away from Richmond & Portland.

you look better in a moustache mural, with a man with a moustache, a movember mural

below: Public Lane turns to the left,  regardless of what the arrow says.

Public Lane, that curves to the left

below: Between here and Bathurst Street, a lot of street art has disappeared as redevelopment of Richmond has progressed.  The large black building on the right has its garage entrance from the lane so watch for cars when you’re back there.

back of top part of rowhouses, seen from a lane

below: A few circles of colour on a grey wall, a reminder that there was once street art here.

a grey wall with a window, some coloured circles painted on the window

below: Beyond Bathurst there is a long stretch of laneway. A lot of the paintings here are older and some may have already appeared in this blog.

a person walks away from the camera, down an alley, with garages on both sides, with graffiti and street art them

below: A 2020 mural by Elicser Elliot

metal stairs in front of a large mural by elicser elliott of a policeman controlling a crowd

below: Huey Newton by elicser

Huey Newton mural by elicser on the end of a wall, a mural beside it with a buxom woman in tight clothes

mans face painted by elicser in a doorway

mans face, with hands holding a mask over his mouth and nose, painted by elicser in a doorway

below: Feelings Boi and a pink daisy from Life©

stickers on a pole, a daisy in pin, a feelings boi, beside a wood fence and gate with stencil graffiti of a man's face in a white oval framed in black

below: Woodstock love

little yellow Woodstock with black sunglassses stands above a black stencil on white of a girls head, a love heart is there too

downtown alley with street art

cardboard boxes stored against a wall with a mural of a woman from the back view

part of a mural, a couple, she has wavy hair pinned to the top of her head,

below: By luvsomone

mural of two black men

below: Yosemite Sam is now boxed in.

mural of cartoon character Yosemite Sam, on a wall at the end of a driveway, with trash cans and other stuff in front of it

row of garages in an alley with graffiti and street art on them

below: A resting UBER 5000 yellow birdie.  Or is that a yoga mat?!

uber 5000 yellow birdie mural, lying on a black surface, feet in air, red background

below: This little unicorn has always been a favorite of mine.  Definitely an oldie now.

part of elicser mural of a man with a small beard in red hoodie, holding a small unicorn in his hand

below: Collaboration between luvsomone, vuducats/Christina Mazzulla

mural of a woman with large bead necklace and rose coloured sunglasses, beside of dog in shades of blue and purple,

window and window box in a building with street art on the walls, dead plants in the planter

a pickup truck drives down an alley

mural on a garage door, womans face in blue and purple

below: Mural by Rodwell Soller

mural by rodwell soller, a mans face with eyes closed, calligraphy

gate, and back of stores on Queen

below: Happy face skulls

garages in a lane with graffiti and street art on them

stickers on a pole with garages in the background, laneway,

I first started walking the streets with a camera sometime in 2011.   At that time Instagram was still a baby; the photo sharing platform of choice at the time was flickr.  Flickr still exists but there are many more choices now.  Back in the day there was a Toronto flickr group that had meetups once a month.  The meetup, there’s another concept that has exploded with the internet.  There are now meetup groups for any photography genre that tickles your fancy.  Ten years ago, you met through flickr and that is how I found Toronto Photo Walks. They walk (or walked pre-COVID) on alternate Saturdays, rain or shine, somewhere in the city.   My first walk with them was February 2012, almost exactly 9 years ago.   If you check their website, you”ll see that COVID-19 has played havoc with their group and there haven’t been any walks for a year now.  I miss my phellow photogs so the other day I walked with one and this is where we ended up.

 

below: If you’ve been in the Distillery District this winter (or any of the past few winters), you might recognize this cheerful fellow.

tall fake snowman with a red and white striped scarf, in the distillery district

below: At Mill and Trinity, the omnipresent blue and white Notice sign.  Apparently a developer has applied to build a 31 storey building (on top of the existing old brick structure) with 392 hotel rooms.  I wonder if they are happy that they didn’t just finish this a year ago?  Ontario hotel occupancy rate hit a low of 15.3% in April 2020 and had barely started to recover when the second lockdown hit.  As an aside – if you like stats, you’ll like the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport research pages!

blue and white city of toronto development notice in front of old brick building in distillery district

below: One industry that is booming is the film business.  Often you can see movie trucks at the corner of Mill and Cherry.  This land is owned by the province and is awaiting an affordable housing development of some sort.

movie film crew trucks on the corner of Cherry and Mill streets

two people buying coffee and muffins from a food truck in a lot with many other white trucks

below: The old Foundry site, actually a group of heritage buildings at the former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue that are more than 100 years old.

glass windows of the old foundry building

The problem?  It sits on provincially owned land.  The province can pull stunts like changing the zoning without city approval (or knowledge).  It can turn one foundry building into 3 towers of max 141m high  (30 storeys is approx. 100m so 141 m is TALL!).  One of them has to be rental apartments but can’t have parking – there’s to be a commercial parking structure instead.  Hey let’s build affordable housing by making them pay for parking!  Here is the government website with the proof – Ontario Regulation 595/20

bench on sidewalk in front of old foundry building

Fast forward to late January.  Demolition of the foundry begins with no warning to the neighbourhood.  There is a rezoning order but no actual plans drawn up or developer named.  As far we know, the province still owns the land but refuses to say exactly the plan is because, well, probably because there is no plan or because the province is selling out to a developer.  Name your poison.   The province just says “affordable housing” and we’re supposed to go oooh and ahhh.

old foundry building behind hoardings, new condo in the background

Just around the corner (on Mill Street) three towers of 761 rental units are being built at the moment (no photo, it’s all behind hoardings so far).

machinery in front of old foundry building that demolition was started on, and then stopped

below: Heritage Toronto plaque, 2012, Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd., Manufacturing Complex

plaque at former Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company on Eastern Avenue

These four buildings were once part of a larger Dominion Wheel & Foundries Ltd. complex. By 1913, the company had constructed its first building, 169 Eastern Ave. on this site. As a manufacturer of railway equipment, rolling stock, and foundry and machinery supplies, Dominion Wheel & Foundries expanded with the growth of the nearby railway companies. By the 1940s, the buildings stretched from this location to Cherry Street, replacing two former residential streets. The firm’s remaining warehouse (#169)m foundry building (#153, built 1951), office building (#171, built 1930), and machine shop (#185, built about 1935) are now among the few remaining reminders of the extensive impact the railway industry had on this area.

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Anyhow, lots of protest, lots of noise.  Demolition was halted.  An Ontario Divisional Court justice temporarily stopped the province from demolishing the heritage buildings.

4 hand drawn posters protesting the demolition of the old foundry building

below: Just behind the Foundry, an almost completed condo.

new condo in Canary district almost finished construction,

below: Workers remove the protective layer from the mirror-like panels on the underside of the overhang (see yellow area near the bottom of the condo in the above photo).  This feature parallels the mirrors on the “ceiling” of Underpass Park which is close by.

workmen working on a lift, working on mirrored exterior overhanging roof on a new condo

flat bed truck carrying machinery, and little red car on street, man holding slow stop sign by construction site , man on sidewalk walking two small dogs

below: Poster paste up graffiti at Underpass Park (you can see the new condo I mentioned above in the upper right corner).  Good advice whether you take it literally or as a metaphor.

poster graffiti on a piller in Underpass Park, poetry on it

black marker scrawl graffiti on a concrete post, drawing of man's face and head with words about smoking

below: Looking northwest at the corner of King and Sumach

corner of kIng and Sumach, looking northwest, Central Auto mechanic on the corner

below: A few metres further west along King.  Traffic passes under Richmond and Adelaide streets.

TTC streetcar on King as it goes under the Richmond Street overpass from the Don Valley Parkway

below:  Looking northwest from Sackville Park.

looking west through Sackville Park, to city buildings behind, snow on ground

below: ghost sign

ghost sign that says groceries, under a cracking layer of concrete, on a wall with a couple of windows

below: Waiting for the streetcar.

King street 504 TTC streetcar, person sitting onrailing and waiting for streetcar

man making a delivery , a box, on a bike, KIng street,

below: Architectural detail on a corner of St. Lawrence Hall.   That’s quite the expression on the poor fellow’s face.  The harrowed look of someone who has spent too much time in lockdown?

small relief sculpture high on a wall of the St. Lawrence Hall

below: In contrast, this guy looks like he’s having a great time!

a small dog is looking out the open window of a black car

Did you ever think that we’d still be mired in this pandemic a year later?

below: A reminder that this pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses –  sign on a window, “Dear Customers”

sign in a restaurant window

Dear customers, We have decided to close this weekend to re-assess for the future…

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below: Lining up to buy groceries, masked and keeping distanced.

people lined up waiting to get into No Frill grocery store, keeping the 2 metres apart

On a storefront window, something positive: hearts for the things we love – “my dog”, “mac & cheese”, “movie popcorn”, etc.

pink post it notes with words, beside big pink heart, in the window of a store, notes all say what people love

below: Pam Lostracco artwork on hoardings.

painted hoardings of a couple sitting on a bench, a child on a bike, some Canada geese, by Pam , around a construction site

workmen by the entrance to a construction site, with concrete mixer backed into the site

below: View of the CN Tower from Lower Sherbourne, just north of Lakeshore/Gardiner and immediately south of Hydro One’s Esplanade Transformer Station.  Unfortunately, that is not a public path; it is behind a locked gate.

graffiti on the wall around the hydro substation, lots electrical stuff, with CN Tower and downtown buildings in the background

below: Chairs in the median.

two chairs in the median on the Lakeshore, under the Gardiner at Lower Sherbourne

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking west towards downtown.

looking west on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne, construction,

below: Queens Quay at Lower Sherbourne, looking east towards the old Victory Soya Mills Silos.  They were built for Canadian Breweries’ soya bean processing plant in 1944.  Ten years later the site was sold to Proctor and Gamble who renamed them the Victory Soya Mills Silos.   One last change of ownership occurred in 1980 when Central Soya Mills purchased them.   They have been empty since 1991.  Other buildings on the site have been demolished but the silos remain, now a heritage building but surrounded by a large vacant lot.

looking east on Queens Quay from Lower Sherbourne with old concrete silos in the distance, lots of orange and black traffic cones in the middle of the street in the foreground

below: The mill with its three silos before it closed in the early 1990s.  The silo that still stands is the one in the back, not the two closest to the water.   In this picture, you are looking southeast; the Port Lands are in the background and the Cherry Street bridge is on the left at the very edge.  There isn’t much traffic on the Gardiner Expressway!

old colour photograph of Victory Soya Mills with Port Lands behind

below: Sugar Beach

sugar beach with pink umbrellas, looking northwest to the city, new glass highrise beside redpath sugar

black and white sticker graffiti on a pole

sticker graffiti on a pole

My thanks to Vicki for walking with me that day.  We’ve walked many miles together in the past but I don’t think that we’ve ever walked alone (maybe?)

reflections in a window downtown

below: As an aside, after walking with Vicki, I looped back around to my car.  This construction site is on Adelaide where the brick facade of the old building is being preserved.   More to explore another day!

construction site, Adelaide street, new condo building, but with retention of the old facade

 

a man walks down graffiti alley

below: Dynamic Duo so to speak, a T-bonez Robin to a Batman of a different sort.

black and white poster paste up in graffiti alley, urban ninja squadron with another character in a cape and super hero outfit

graffiti, 5 orange stencil figures on a white pole, one hand with two fingers up in a peace sign all with faces added in black sharpie

below: A collection of stickers and pastups – urban ninja squadron (TCF), spud, a blue Bentoghoul, and others

pasteups and stickers on a wall in graffiti alley

below: There is love in this lane

love sign on a pole, with a heart, street sign as well,

as well as broken hearts

graffiti, red broken heart on white circle

below: Playing games with Psiconauta on a pole while the little purple figure gives a peace sign.

urban ninja squadron sticker on a pole, little figure stencil in blue on wall beside it

below: T-bonez clad in pink and red with T-smoke on his back.

graffiti alley, urban ninja squadron paste up, t bonez in pink and red

below: Stay warm folks!

urban ninja squadron t bonez character with words stay warm

stickers and paste ups on a wall in graffiti alley

urban ninja squardon paste ups

black lives matter words on a wall with an urban ninja squadron t bonez in a pink suit and holding a red daisy with one eye in the center, graffiti alley

below: …. and a spudbomb too

pasteups and stickers on a wall in graffiti alley

below:  Flower Power. Many daisies by Life© popping up in Graffiti Alley (or at least they look like daisies).  “Consciousness watching the world”.

small sticker of a daisy with red petals and an eye in the center, on a wall already covered with painted street art

stickers and paste ups in graffit alley

small sticker of a daisy with yellow petals and an eye in the center, on a wall already covered with painted street art
orange daisy with an eye in the center and the word life written many times around it

below: Until next time… keep your eyes open!

pasteup of a photo of a man's face, with beard and moustache, other scribbles around the face

Welcome to Kensington market!

tall pole to mark Kensington market area of Toronto, with a globe on top. Circling the globe are objects like a shirt, a piece of meat, things that represent merchandise in the market

It’s very different here before the stores open and there aren’t many people out and about.

a metal post on Spadina with chinatown painted on it, 2 large black and orange traffic cones

vietnamese restaurant on the corner of Spadina and Nassau,

a man walks his dog along the street past the back of a truck where another man is unloading

window of Sunwah fruit market in Kensington before the store opens, no food on display

across the street, people are getting a fruit and vegetable store ready to open up, putting food on display outside. in the foreground is a metal bike stand with graffiti slaps on it, including a urban ninja squadron and soap ghost, wash your hands

plywood over a glass door, with spray paint words that say hindsight is 20 20 see you in hell 2020.

entrances to a couple of stores in Kensington, painted stairs, an uber 5000 yellow birdie coming out of an egg for egg bae cafe, also old anti Rob Ford picture with we can't af ford this.

looking in a store window, little Christmas trees made in cone shapes with fuzzy and shiny items.

garbage man hauling blue bin towards back of truck, garbage day in Kensington, mural on the side of one of the stores, empty fenced in patios,

boxes of juice sitting outside a store that hasn't opened yet.

store fronts & windows, small tiles on exterior wall, orange metal gate,, closed, with stairs behind it

front of old smartwear store, now closed and empty, very dirty glass on windows and doors

2 old mattresses left on the sidewalk, leaning against a small tree. big happy face spray painted onto one of them along with the message stay safe

paintings on the glass on the window of a store, we grind fresh, peanuts, almonds, picture of a hand and a grinder

front of yellow painted store, army surplus store in Kensington, lots of little signs in the window,

turquoise door with window it. window is covered with pictures, entrance to store is small sidewalk that is covered with a temporary portable tent like structure,

in a store window, a cow statue wearing a mask, and a fat Santa Claus

in a store window, at the bottom are 4 head mannequins with sunglasses and or black balaclavas on display

a head mannequin in a jewellry store window, with a red covid mask on

building covered with street art, two storeys, windows above, store below. Greys. panels covering store windows are all covered with painting too

balcony over lucky money restaurant, full of plants and bright ywllow and green flower pots.

below: Do you remember Mr. Cod and Chinese Leader Mao?

concrete wall behind store, with words that say remember chinese leader

below: Fancy bath tubs galore on the shower curtain in the window.

mural of a blue cat in front of the orange-ish rising sun (or setting sun?)

a small two storey house with garage at the end of a short lane, no parking is painted across the top of the garage, an apartment building behind the houses makes up all the background

below: Yin and yang in the corner with tbonez and Cosmo Cam

posters and paste ups on a wall in Kensington,

yellow gas pipes on the outside of a building, with some street art and graffiti on the walls as well

street sign street art
graffiti stickers on the back of a street sign

mirrors in the shapes of bricks glued on top of some bricks on an exterior wall in an alley, also a fence with graffiti

small brass coloured circle with carvings on it, attached to wood utility pole among hundreds of old staples

graffiti on a wall

stickers on a grey metal box, feelings bot, tbonez, a drawing of a womans face

small stciker on a metal box, a skeleton is pointing a gun

This view was captured while walking north up Spadina towards Baldwin. It’s a much quieter street these days and looking a little forlorn.

storefronts on Spadina ave., a large yellow sign with red chinese characters for Tap Phong trading company, empty sign, storefront with metal gate covering entrance,

At the southwest corner of Baldwin & Spadina the hoardings around 374 Spadina are still there. They seem to have been there forever now. Once again the site has been sold, if the internet is to be believed. Apparently, there is an OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) approved plan for a two storey restaurant there. I wondered how long that has been on the books so I googled it – early 2007.

wall with street art that has been tagged and defaced

Last spring this wall was painted as a tribute to Andre Alexander, aka Hip Pop Art who died in October 2018. Small pieces remain.

graffiti and posters on a wall that were painted over in silver gray paint but you can see traces through the paint. including a sign for a pop up store

The hoardings around that site, along with the covered sidewalk along the south side of Baldwin have been tje canvas for an ever changing selection of posters and artwork. The other day it was this circular piece by John Brown that was tacked to one section of the wall.

a painting tacked to construction hoardings, signed John Brown Toronto artist, on black paper, a circle with four main things inside it, first nations symbols

In case you’ve always wondered what was behind those hoardings…. Some demolition has occurred as the fire damaged, water damaged, and destroyed just through neglect parts have mostly been removed.

street art on metal boxes on sidewalk in front of a vacant lot with partially destroyed building on it

partially demolished house in an otherwise vacant lot, behind fence, staircase with wall and ceiling gone, graffiti on it,

Obey Bill Gates and other messages on a temporary plywood wall in Kensington – a 2020 wall.  Wash your hands.  6 feet apart, 6 feet deep, 6 degrees of isolation/separation.

plywood fence with graffit on it, words, obey bill gates. Also words that say it's just a muzzle, obey

Africism and more obey.  86 Nassau sits empty behind the plywood as the fence evolves.  Stop burning my ancestors.  We live here.

bikes locked in front of a plywood makeshift fence around an empty storefront at 86 Nassau street in Kensington, signs and graffiti on the fence, artwork, protest

Again, it’s just a muzzle.

sidewalk in Kensington, cars parked on the road side, trees and houses on the other. bikes parked in front of a fence

Fish, bees, sneakers, some gloomy characters. …

pictures on a plywood fence outside, graffiti

… and some familiar faces among the crowd.

black and white posters and slaps graffiti on a plywood fence, urban ninja squadron, sketchrat, forget,

Recently I was in the area east of Danforth and Main when I had one of those moments where I stop and say to myself “I’ve been here before”.   I recognized some of the street art in the lane  (see Alleyway of Dreams, 2016).  For this blog post, I have started with the artwork that I didn’t remember on the assumption that it is newer.   The murals that remain from 2016 all seem to be in good shape.

below: A collage of pictures called “Against All Odds” in the shape of a map.

collage of pictures and images on an exterior cement wall

below: On the same wall as the above is this mural of a swan.  My apolgies to Alika, Angela, Dylan, Molly, Serval, Bandi, Ludo and Weal (?) whose names I chopped off.  To the right of the swan, and behind a parked car is a piece by Mediah.

mural of a swan with a list of names to the left and a piece by mediah to the right

below: A hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower.

mural of a hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower

garages in an alley with garage doors that have been painted with street art, the garage in front has a light greens side door with two birds sitting on a braanch painted on it

Love birds of a different colour

street art painting of two birds sitting on a branch, a yellow bird and a blue bird with a white head.

below: There had been a fire in the back of a furniture store not long before I walked the alley this summer.

rubble, the result of a fire, sits in a pile behind a store in an alley, part of a chair sits on top

below: A black cat in the moonlight, sitting on some very curly branches.  This row of fences was painted in 2016.

mural on a fence in an alley, a black sitting on a tree branch with curly branches, moonlight behind the cat

below: This blue pug was here previously but the rabbit that was once beside it seems to have disappeared.

mural in mostly blue of a pug's face, dog with red tongue and brownish eyes, on wood
mural of a tiger's face on a garage door

below: The blue rhinoceros with the whimsical horn hasn’t moved either.

mural of rhino head and horn on a garage door in an alley, rhinoceros

below: Stay Out is still sprayed on the old wood door but now it has a new lock.  The blue 666 is also an addition.

old wood door beside metal garage door, outside, in an alley, large words spray painted on door that say stay out 666

large green plastic bag on the ground filled with wood palletts, in an alley, in front of a garage door with street art on it

below: “Bee Haven” from 2014.  One of the earliest bee/pollinator murals in the city.

mural of a hand holding a plant growing in a flower pot, plus bees,

bee with blue body and bum in a mural

hand holding a flower pot that is cracked because the root of the plant is growing, in a mural

below: Signatures.  The mural was painted by Elie J. Saad, Sarah Van Dusen, and Curtia Wright with help from Community Centre 55 kids.

back of a store on Danforth with apartments above

The south end of Dawes Road dead ends at the railway tracks just south of the Danforth.   On this block there is an old abandoned car wash at 18 Dawes.

blue metal constructioon fence in the foreground with out of focus building behind, an old abandoned car wash

As it turns out, this sleepy little section of Dawes might be about to burst.   Being within walking distance of both Main subway station and the Danforth GO line makes it a wonderful location.  Three development proposals are being considered here.    First, two towers, 26 and 33 storeys with a shared 5 storey podium are planned for 10 and 30 Dawes (includes this car wash location).

blue spray paint lion's head with red eyes and nose, behind a green bush on a white concrete block wall

old metal air freshener dispensing machines, vending machines, empty, on the walls of an old car wash

empty air freshener vending machine, metal, on a wall, with doors broken off

graffiti in red and blue on the interior walls of an old abandoned and emptied car wash, blue daisy frowny face

graffiti in red on the interior walls of an old abandoned and emptied car wash

no trespassing sign on a fence around an old abandoned car wash

below: 12 Dawes Road might be the only original building remaining.

blue metal construction fence, empty parking lot beside building with a sign on it that says Gill Auto Collision

Across the street is 9 Dawes where two towers (24 and 30 storeys) with a shared podium have been proposed – with the usual bland nondescript street level nonsense.
To the south is 6 Dawes.  Here there might be three towers – 40, 46, and 49 storeys.  This development will also include a new community center as well as an entrance to the Danforth GO station.  It runs along the north side of the railway tracks from Dawes to Main.

That’s a total of 7 towers between 24 and 49 storeys in a small space at the end of Dawes Road.  The drawings for each proposal do not include the other developers’ towers so it’s difficult to picture the end result.  Crowded, yes. Manageable?  Who knows.

tall apartment buildings behind a tall plain grey wall, a street in front and then a vacant lot that's been paved over

10/30 Dawes – Planning Application Number: 19 124138 STE 19 OZ

9/25 Dawes – Planning Application Number: 19 186473 STE 19 OZ

Both of these developments are in the planning stage (started in 2019) and both require zoning by-law amendments.  Development can be very slow and changes often occur.

man aslepp outside on a grey chair and old mattress, red container bins behind him

What motivates someone to put up a poster in public space? Protest? Humour? Marketing? Just because?  The first three photos are from two concrete poles on the West Toronto Railpath; the other three photos were taken in nearby neighbourhoods.

below: The picture on the right is from New York City’s first Gay Pride March on 17th July 1969.

posters on a concrete utility pole

below:  The book in the poster on the left is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, Maya Angelou’s autobiography of her early years.  The poster on the right looks like a copy of something from the 1950’s – a science fiction movie or a book?

paper posters on a concrete pole

below: “The Spirit Lives on, the Struggle is ours.
When life no longer has value and living still comes at a cost
Reset the clock of healing, never forgetting the loss.”

pink and white poster on a pole, along with a stencil graffiti of a cold coloured torso on blue background

below: No Police, No Prisons, No Pipelines

no police, no prisons, no pipeline, poster on a glass door

below: A collection of Black Lives Matter posters.  End Police Brutality; No Justice, No Peace;  Disarm, Defund, Diminish, Abolish.

construction hoardings with a door on it, posters have been glued onto the wood

below: Perhaps someone with a can of black spray paint is disgruntled?  Or just being a jerk?

posters on a wall, many have been spray painted over

Zoom zoom! Hop on and come along for a ride!

a radio flyer tricycle parked on the grass, with lots of fallen leaves, in front of brick apartment building

below: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. What direction should we go today? Where will your feet take you next? Thinking interesting thoughts as we explore. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”. What have you created today? What should we create next?

a front porch with three plaques with saying on them

Rather lofty words and ideas when all we’re doing is walking up Keele Street… where just looking at the stairs makes me tired.

square, two storey brick duplex on a hill, with concrete wall in front, lots of steps going up

red vine covered concrete wall on Keele St., in front of houses up on the hill, steps up the houses

an old office chair beside a bench on the sidewalk

back lane, row of houses,

small statue of a couple embracing in a garden in a front yard

a small replica of a VW bus hanging from a tree. bus is painted white and blue and has a red heart on it

below: It was good fun to see an altered Neighbourhood Watch sign – great to know that some still exist. Five years ago (yikes!) I posted a collection of “good guys” that I had found around the city. I don’t know if Andrew Mutton, the man responsible, is still making them but I haven’t seen any new ones for a long time.

neighbourhood watch street sign with added picture of three characters from Star Trek

This November has started with wonderful walking weather.  In fact, the whole autumn has been a delight for those of us who like to be busy outside.  The colours of the trees, shrubs, and vines seem to be more vibrant this year and I don’t think that it’s wrong to say that the colours have lasted longer than usual.

vines on a concrete stair case, autumn colours

below: Keele and Annette

intersection of Keele and Annette

By the time you get to Keele and Dundas you are definitely in “The Junction” named for its proximity to the junction of a number of different railway lines.  In 1884 this area became the village of West Toronto Junction.

below: Looking north up Keele to Dundas.  Dundas is a long street that winds its way across the city.  Here in the west end, it runs north south as it crosses Bloor West.   Moving north from Bloor, Dundas parallels the GO tracks for a half kilometre or so and then bends almost ninety degrees to run parallel to the Canadian Pacific railway line.  The junction of these two railway lines is a short distance away (to the northeast)

intersection of Keele and Dundas, looking north on Keele

below: Walking on Dundaspeople and dogs walking along Dundas near Keele

items in a store window, vintage, old coca-cola sign and other memorabilia, also Royal Crown Cola bottles and wood box, a wood Flow wagon,

below: CP tracks

a wall of street art on the other side of the railway tracks

below: Back by the tracks

two shipping containers and some other junk used in a lot with a garden

below: The remains of a vegetable garden. Are these brussell sprout plants where the sprouts part have already been removed?

remains of a vegetable garden in November, tall plant, brussel sprouts, that have lready been harvested, a small fruit tree

From Keele, it’s a short walk east to the West Toronto Railpath which is on the east side of the GO tracks.  The northern most entrance to the path is off of Cariboo Ave which is a tiny one block street north of Dupont.  The southern end, although near College and Lansdowne, is actually where the GO tracks cross Dundas…. which is very confusing.  If you look at it on a map, it makes a lot more sense!

below: The mural, “Strength in Numbers” is still on the underpass walls at Dupont and can be seen from the railpath.  You can find more photos of it if you follow the link.

part of a mural, strength in numbers, on the concrete walls of an underpass

below: From the same bridge, looking east on Dupont.  The twin steeples belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Andrew the Apostle

looking east on Dupont, traffic on the street, stores lines streets

two people walking on an asphalt path past some small trees in autumn colours

below: Street art on the glass wall separating the path from the railway tracks.

yellow street art painted on glass wall beside West Toronto Railpath and railway tracks, large face with mouth open, hand holding 4 little figures that look like fingers

below: Hoardings.  Paintings.  In the middle is a section that has been painted with these words: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love.: C.S.K.  [Coretta Scott King]

street art on hoardings around a building, west toronto rail;ath

below: Black Lives Matter, Run for Ahmaud, mural by kizmet32 and Francis Pratt. Tribute to Ahmaud Arbery who was out for a run when he was murdered by two white men, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis

mural of a black man in the stance held at the beginning of a running race,

small graffiti of a cat's face on top of a larger red and white tag, on glass wall

below: Kizmet street art on a Henderson Brewery truck on Sterling Ave.

Henderson Brewery delivery truck covered with street art by kizmet, 3 faces in shades of blue, purple, pink, and turquoise

below: The West Toronto Railpath crosses Bloor Street.

railway bridge over Bloor West near Dundas, painted orange, construction on one side of the road so traffic diverted to the other side

below: The giraffe building at Dundas and Bloor is still there.

cyclist riding by construction on bloor street approaching dundas

below: That corner is getting a new mural, a thank you to front line workers during Covid. Borat has snuck into the photo too – but then his poster does say “Wear Mask, Save Live”. You can’t see all the words here…

painting a mural on the corner of bloor and dundas, a thank you to front line workers during covid

below: But they are more visible here….

a man stands at an intersection waiting for traffic lights to change, he's in front of Borat poster, wear a mask, save live, man sands where he covers the mask

below: Street art in a parking lot. The one on the right is kizmet.

two cars parked in front of a kizmet mural

below: The building makes a wedge. On the right is the wall in the photo above.

the point of a wedge shaped building with street art on both sides

fence covered with throwups and wildstyle around a low rise apartment building

below: Smash, crash, gambit

small round medallion shaped graffiti, carved figure with words crash smash gambit written around the outside

below: A skinless smoker with a third eye by bodh.io

sticker graffiti of a head without the skin, showing eye socket, muscles, teeth, top vertebrae, smoking a cigarette

below: Drible-drible with many noodles (?) and on a more political note, someone wants Doug Ford to resign.

dribble dribble sticker, feelings boi sticker and a sticker that says Doug Ford resign

below: A trio  – More feelings boi, a collaboration between him and tbonez., and a tribute to jazz musician John Coltrane.

three stickers on orange metal support of west toronto railpath bridge over Bloor. One is a portrait of a black man Coltrane, another is a feelings boi sticker and last is a sticker that is feelings boi along with urban ninja squadron,

… and that’s all for now!

yellow stencil graffiti on sidewalk, words that say buh bye

There are older posts with photos from the Junction and/or the West Toronto Railpath.  I’ve been walking and blogging long enough now that there is bound to be repetition!  If you are interested in more pictures, you can always search all posts in this this blog for “Junction”… or for whatever you want for that matter!