Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

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!

 

This blog post is a result of a walk down the alley behind Bloor Street West between Dundas West and Keele where the lane runs between the back of the stores and buildings on Bloor and the subway tracks.  Some of the street art in this lane can be seen from the subway and some of it I have shown in the past.   Whether it’s because of Covid or because I was lucky that day, there were very few cars parked in the lane.

a carved pumpkin on a table behind a building

black and white mural from Movie Arts Decor featuring stars from some movies - Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho,

mural with woman's face

highrise apartment building in the background with a concrete building with lower level covered by street art in the foreground, people walking in the alley behind the concrete building

a mural on the back of the hockey store, hockey skates on hydro wires

mural of hockey goalie on the back porch of the hockey store, other murals on the buildings beside, including one that says bomba end

below: I can see you, reflected back

part of a uber5000 mural of a person wearing red glasses, also reflected in the windshield of the car that is parked beside the wall

below: Another part of the Uber5000 mural.  Everybody is a winner!!

uber5000 mural in an alley, everybody is a winner, yellow birdies sitting around a table, one is reading a paper, and two are playing cards

below: An old elicser mural

an old elicser mural with people

back of two storey brick building with a small paved space behind it, a table and benches are near the building, street art on both sides of the small space (the buildings on either sode)

a mural, turkey head, wearing red three pointed crown, with wildstyle graffiti across the bottom

TTC subway tracks running parallel to a lane

below: Float away in the 416

small sticker of a black drawing of a man floating on somethings round in the water, with 416 on his T shirt, his feet in the water, a ghetto blaster beside him

the back of two adjacent buildings on Bloor West, one has a set of stone steps leading down that are overgrown with grass and weeds, some graffiti on the back of the buildings

words scrawled on a concrete wall by a parking lot. eat the rich, kill a billionaire, fuck landlords,

street art on the back of the midas building, parking lot behind Keele subway station

below: Mary prays in a small garden at the end of a backyard along the subway tracks.

at the back of backyard in a small garden, behind chainlink fence, a white small statue of mary holding rosary beads

a driveway with a garage in the back, open door on the garage

a G M C truck is parked in a gravel driveway between two buildings, in the background is a couple of rows of houses and a tall apartment building behind that

old blue oil drums beside a blue wall with graffiti words that say thumbs up and guns down

row of stores and cafes on Danforth, covered with street art, the Only Cafe,

My walk the other day started with a coffee and a croissant from Broadview Espresso, just north of the Danforth. It was a bit chilly and damp to be eating & drinking outside but that’s the way of the world at the moment, at least in Toronto. At least walking helps keep you warm! Anyhow, just outside the coffee shop was a sidewalk unicorn painted by whatsvictorupto. There was one on each of the 4 corners of the intersection of Broadview and Pretoria. Here are two of them.

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a blue unicorn surrounded by 4 blue hearts, all on a pink background, the work of whatsvictorupto

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a brown unicorn head and neck with white mane and horn on a green background

whether you’re walking

upper part of a mural on the Danforth of a man walking on a map of the area, around two windows of the building on which it is painted.

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

on the side of a Chinese restaurant, a mural of a woman on a bike. She's holding the handle bars but her legs are straight out behind her. She's wearing a red dress and has long black hair. There are three signs on the restaurant, First, Indian Hakka Chinese Food, second, 7 dim sum, and third, we deliver

there’s always something to see along the Danforth or behind in its alleys.

a utility pole on the street decorated for Greektown, in blue and white vertical stripes and an oval with the words Greektown on the Danforth along with a Roman column

There are windows to look in

two shelves with head mannequins, wearing different wigs, covid masks, hats, and halloween masks

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

below: Multilingual covid signs on the window of the Greek grocery – where shelves with oregano, tomato paste, pasta, coffee beans, grape juice, eggplant, and candy are all display.

the window of a Greek grocery store, with food, also signs re covid rules in Greek. for sale, oregano, Nescafe coffee, tomato paste,

There is more street art and graffiti to find, sometimes at your feet

below: Grounded Together, A painting by Caitlin Taguibao on the sidewalk

a painting on the sidewalk, a circle with words grounded together, pictures of women with plants and flowers, a dog chasing a bird.

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

large dark blue stencil of a skull in profile on a blue newspaper box. There is also a sticker that says end white supremacy

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

below: End White supremacy above, and now a poster re stats in Toronto “Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police”. Source: from the Human Rights Commission, 2018.

a poster on a metal utility pole with a graphi to illustrate how black people are more likely to be shot and or killed by the Toronto police

In this case, wake up and see the climate crisis. A faded bee on pink juxtaposed with the black, red, and white butterfly painted on the street box.

2 posters on a utility pole plus a painted street box behind. One poster says climate crisis wake up disobey. The other poster has a pink bee

below: I get the no peeing part. I suspect that those aren’t eggs and this is a warning? or a threat?

wood fence, exterior light, and a sign, picture of man peeing with a red line through it, below that is picture of a pair of scissors and two eggs.

And then there is artwork of a different kind – on the front of St. Irene Chrisovalantoy Greek Orthodox Church built in 1974

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls, with a Greek flag flying between the two of them

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls,

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

Even on a grey day there are colours to be found, not just in the artwork and stained glass windows, but in the nature around us.

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

autumn coloured vine leaves cover a wall that has street art painted on it

below: This tree dominates with its abundance of red leaves. You may have also spotted the murals in the background.

Felstead Park, a tree with a lot of red leaves on it, as well as on the ground below it, dominates the picture

below: These are the murals in the second Butterfly Laneway project (2018). Check this link (metamorphosis in the lane) to see all the murals.

trees in autumn colours, with butterfly murals on the garages beyond the park

below: One of the murals is carefully put aside while work is done on the back of this house.

a house, seen from the back, being renovated, backyard is also being fixed up, fence between house and park has been removed, but garage door with mural on it has been preserved

below: More renovations. Apparently, people staying home because of covid = a boom in home renovations. Both Home Depot and Lowes reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2020, both were more than expected.

2 houses side by side, one with pale blue siding on upper floor, the other with yellow siding, both with porches in the front, the one n the right is being renovated and has a bin out the front

old car and old garage in front of a large new modern house

below: The unusual roofline and trim on these two houses caught my eye. I also love the fact that they are attached yet have a distinct character of their own. Brick vs stone, little peaked roof over the door vs. green and white metal awning, rectangular window vs bay window. Like identical twins trying to be their own person.

two adjacent houses with barn like rooflines, one in brick and the other in stone,

Danforth subway line, Donlands station. Ten years ago, it was decided that Donlands station needed a second exit and that it would be on the corner of Strathmore and Donlands, One building, 17 and 19 Dewhurst would have to be torn down to make way for the new exit. 19 Dewhurst was sold to the city in 2018 and just last year the property at 17 Dewhurst was expropriated.

through a chainlink gate, front yard is square concrete patio stones, yellow front door

front yward is overgrown, white railing on porch, dark porch and front door

Across the street at 14 Dewhurst, the old Temple Baptist Church (1925) is being redeveloped as condos, the Sunday School Lofts.

large old brick church, Temple Baptist church, is being redeveloped as residences, plus an addition added to one side of it

The home remodeling business may be doing well but the restaurants are hurting. As of the end of October, indoor dining in Toronto was prohibited.

below: Abyssinia restaurant. One of the many different ethnic restaurants along the Danforth. Although it is still referred to as Greektown, and the Greek influence is still strong, you can eat a wide range of foods from different cultures. As you move east along the Danforth, there is a strong African (especially Ethiopian) presence.

a man pushes a stroller along the sidewalk past a store and the Abyssinia restaurant on the Danforth

below: Did you know that gourmet cinnamon rolls was a thing? Did I run across the street to buy one? (Almost!!).

a woman walks past Cinnaholic, a store selling gourmet cinnamon rolls

below: The northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands. You can choose between halal chicken and pizza, or dim sum.

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

Other little graffiti stickers, posters, and paste-ups:

below: Another flying bicycle

stencil on paper on a utility pole, in orange and black, a girl riding a bike, with wings on her back

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

2 graffiti stickers on a Canada Post box, the top ones says gewn snail, the bottom one is an abstract drawing in black and white

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

below: Checkerboard sneaker and a big tooth-ed skull by mr. Toon.

two stickers. the bottom one is a skull by mr. toon and the top one is a no laces, slip on sneaker in black and white checks

below: The paper is torn but it is: “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara (I saw one exactly the same in Kensington last summer).

paper pasteup on a metal pole, top is a skull looking down, bottom is a man looking up, with words

below: With a car parked in its mouth

dripping paint in blue and red on a wall with a hole in it, two eyes drawn above the rectangular hole. A car is parked on the other side of hte wall and shows through the hole

below: Does the blue haired woman know whats lurking behind her?

two wig mannequin heads in a store window. the one in front has pale turquoise hair, the one in the back has black hair.

Happy November – let’s keep walking and see what we can see along the way…. and in case you need help…!

display of eye glasses in the window of a store

Just a small collection of some of the graffiti, and related, that I have seen lately.

part of a mural on a wall, words that say the walls won't know what hit them.

below: A on top and B below.  A = Alvin the Chipmunk as Aladdin.  B = Bugs Bunny as Bullwinkle eating a banana.

two coloured posters on a box on the street, both torn. On top, on red background is bugs bunny. on bottom on orange background is bugs bunny eating a banana

below: Street art by Mike Salisbury, “Out of Time” red emergency phone.

out of time, red emergency phone, street art, in old wall phone booth

below: Between the Madness Festival and the Hitler poster, a four line poem from “The Hawaiian healing program Ho’oponopono”.  It’s a real thing apparently and perhaps I’m forgiven, thanked and loved.

on a bulletin board, three 8 and one inch by 11 inch papers, posters in black ink,

below: Some friendly ghostly figures in time for Christmas.

ghostly white paper slaps on a met box, ghost faced bat, also bear in overalls,

below: Some black on white faces and a streetadventures sticker

stickers on a pole

below: Danger due to resisting.

red and white danger due to sign, altered to say Danger due to resisting

below: Life jackets required because of a water hazard danger.

red and white danger due to sign, altered to say danger due to water hazard, life jackets required

cat graffiti on cardboard, tied to Toronto circular bike stand

Parler23 is actually Parler Sneaker Company so this is probably part of an ad campaign.

happy cat waving sticker, holding gold coin that says get the money

happy cat sticker on a wall

“Social norms has been reset to factory settings”

words written on a wall

I’m not sure what the above words mean or imply but I do know that we’ve all been impacted by Covid in one way or another.  The city seems to be moving along albeit more slowly than usual.  Sections of the city have fared better than others.  In fact, it would be very easy to portray segments of Toronto as being in trouble.

an old man walks up Yonge street past empty shops and a man sleeping in a doorway

Here the road is closed to vehicles for Open Streets (the last Sunday of September).

empty stores on yonge street, with a now leasing sign in the window

a woman walks past an empty store on Yonge street

We are missing events.  All those things that I like to take pictures at and blog about – the parades, the street festivals, and even the protests.  With more people staying at home, no tourists on the streets, and events going virtual, it’s a much quieter city.

below: This was the last weekend of TIFF and you wouldn’t know anything was happening.

a man with earbuds on walks past the TIFF lightbox theatre where a woman in a beige long coat and a black mask is standing by the door

below: In past years, King Street closes for TIFF activities.  This year there was none of that – no crowds jostling for a look at a celebrity or two, no booths selling things.

a round yellow circle around a bench on King Street, part of decorations for Tiff

below: These little “patios” have been carved out of some downtown streets to help restaurants stay open during these COVID days.  It’s a great idea for the warmer months.  Although the city now allows propane heaters on the street, I am not sure how many people are going to want to have dinner outside in December.

sitting on temporary patios on King Street

painting in front of Hey Lucy restaurant on King Street, woman sitting at a table with zebra print top, with a bottle and glass of wine

below: The Royal Alex Theatre is still set up for “Come From Away”

blue Royal Alex theatre on King street, with signs for Come From Away, line of multi coloured Muskoka chairs along the street

below: A nearby restaurant still has its St. Patricks Day green on display.

Happy St. Patricks Day sign in the window of a restaurant

below: Roy Thomson Hall in the foreground with downtown buildings in the background, as seen from Metro Hall.

Roy THomson Hall and downtown buildings as seen from Metro Hall

below: New public art on Adelaide… this is “Dreaming” by Jaume Plensa.   She’s three storeys high and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is dreaming of the days when we didn’t need masks.  How long until someone gives her a mask?

large three storey high white sculpture of a woman's face with her eyes closed, title is Dreaming and the artist is Jaume Plensa

below: Reflections with security guard

reflections of Jaume Plensa's Dreaming in a glass building

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church

steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church with trees in the foreground and condos in the background . Corner of Simcoe and King streets

below: Mother and daughter cycling together

mother and daughter in orange jackets on bicycles, stopped at a red light

a group of young people sitting at a table outside an A & W restaurant

a Jewish man stands outside a TIm Hortons talking to a woman who is sitting on the sidewalk pan handling. downtown Toronto

below: The cows are still in their pasture, unfazed by the changes around them.

 

cows, public art sculptures, lying on the grass with tall black office tower behind

below: The next two photos were taken while I was standing in among the tall black towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre.  The first view is to the southwest towards the CN Tower.

CN Tower seen between two black towers of TD bank

below: The second view is to the northeast.

below: The Canada Permanent building on Bay street is getting a cleaning.

scaffolding at the front, cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

below: This is one of the Bank of Montreal buildings, also on Bay Street.

Canada Permanent Building on Bay street, with reflections of the building across the street in its large windows at street level

below: Window washers

window washers and reflections, looking through a glass building from back to ftont, escalators down, high ceiling,

below: Pearl Street, looking east.  Old brick buildings in the foreground with their modern counterparts shining in the background.

pearl street in downtown Toronto

below: The west end of Pearl Street.

old red brick building being preserved in downtown Toronto, with newer taller buildings surrounding it

below: I found a person!

a person is sitting on the steps of the staue on University Ave

below: Looking north up University Avenue

University Ave, looking northwest towards the Canada Life building and other tall buildings farther north on that street, trees still with leaves on the boulevard between the lanes of traffic

below: The Shangri-La hotel and Momofuko restaurant with it’s weird sculpture “Rising” by Zhang Huan at street level (also University Ave).  Masses of “peace pigeons” cover the surface.

Shangri La Hotel on University Ave as seen from across the street

in a rooftop garden, with glass building beside and reflections in those windows

below: Looking the other way on University Ave, south past Richmond to Adelaide and beyond.

intersection of King and University Ave in downtown Toronto

below: Preservation of a large brick facade on Adelaide.

construction site, preservation of large brick facade held up by rust coloured metal beams and scaffolding

blue construction fence around a hole at a work site, row of storefronts across the street in the next level and a tall apartment building behind that

construction site in downtown Toronto

below: Waiting for the lights to change

a man in a blue jacket stands in front of a large video screen at Queen and Bay, video of a man in an orange and white kayak is playing

below: Under the heading of “somethings never change”, there are always photoshoots in front of Osgoode Hall.   Presumably this photo or one similar can be found somewhere on instagram?

instagram photoshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: Arranging the veil.

photographer setting up a wedding photshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: With a the pigeon by the Eaton Centre.

windows of H & M store at yonge and Dundas, with femaile mannequins, sitting on the sidewalk in front of them is a man feeding pigeons, another man sits nearby

people walking on Gould Street, past a small yellow building

a folding chair and a small round table set up under a back porch behind a stone building, dark

reflections of a man in the window of a mens clothing store, two suits on display, one gray and one blue.

in the window of the Ryerson bookstore, mannequin wearing yellow Ryerson sweatshirt, dirty window, someone has drawn the picture of a man's face in the dirt

below: Mr. Ryerson keeps changing colour.  Apparently he was more red not that long ago.  Rather than remove the red paint, he was “cleaned up” by painting him this shade of green.  He probably doesn’t realize it but he’s become a controversial figure.  He may have been one of the first to establish public schools but he also played a role in the creation of residential schools for the indigenous population. Because of the latter, there has been some people advocating for the removal of this statue.

statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University on Gould Street, painted green, with some red paint graffiti as well as red hands

This statue was unveiled in 1889. It stands in front of an ivy covered building that started its life as Toronto’s first teacher’s college (1847).

below: Queen Street West

open sign in red and blue lights in the window of an adult store, beside white mannequin with very small black bikini bottoms and mesh top

below: This yellow birdie, at least in sticker form, may be on the verge of extinction.  An Uber5000 creation that can also be found on several of his murals around the city.

traffic signs on a metal pole along with a yellow uber 5000 birdie sticker
As I write this, the number of Covid cases in Toronto (and all of Ontario) have gone back up.  Although we were hopeful that we were wrong, was there ever any question that things would get worse before they got better?  Are we more complacent?  Maybe.  But let’s hope that we are also wiser this time around.

a man walks through a glass revolving door, reflections,

three masks on display in a store window.  One has a soccer ball pattern, another is pink with little strawberries.  The one in the middle is covered with a jumble of letters of the alphabet

Most of these pictures were taken on a walk within the area bounded by Dundas East, Broadview, Queen East, and Carlaw.

below: All or nothing

red brick wall with graffiti words that say all or nothing

below: Same same but different.

two old Bell telephone booths

below: “We miss you” at Queen Alexandra Middle School.  An older school, built in 1904/5, used to be on this site.  It was named after the Queen of England at the time, the wife of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra.

on the fence by a high school, words in white attached to the fence that say we miss you

below: Also at Queen Alexandra Middle School, about 200 large black and white portraits of staff and students were on display on the exterior wall of the school.  This installation is part of the global ‘Inside Out’ project.  To date, Inside Out has appeared in 129 countries and has involved more than 260,000 people.  In fact, they were in Toronto for Nuit Blanche back in 2015.

inside Out project large black and white pictures of students mounted on the exterior wall of a school

below: Public art at Carlaw and Dundas.  I had mentioned this structure by Pierre Poussin back in March of this year.   Not a lot has been done on it in the meantime except for the preparations for some sort of pattern at ground level.

new obelisk structure, public art, rusted metal, at Carlaw and Dundas, still being installed, port a pottie in the background

push button at intersection for pedestrian crossing, with a rusted sign above it

below: The railway tracks cross Dundas Street just west of Carlaw. The tracks run on a NE – SW diagonal as they travel south from Gerrard.

a cyclist on Dundas street about to go under the railway track bridge

below: Save Jimmie Simpson park poster.   The Ontario Line, or the Relief Line of the subway/LRT may or may not come this way.   The Relief Line was once planned as an underground line under Pape to almost Eastern before swinging west towards downtown.  Someone then said why not run it above ground where the tracks already exist between Gerrard & Pape and the south end of the Don Valley Parkway at Corktown Common- and we can have a Leslieville stop.   Has any decision been made?  Is Toronto going to leave it all in limbo, or in the discussion/planning stage, forever and ever… and ever….

posters on a wood utility pole, bottom is to protest Ontario Line (subway) and to keep it underground and not run it through Jimmie Simpson parl. upper poster is for a lost cat

below: The north part of Jimmie Simpson Park.  The park is a right angle triangle with a peak at Dundas East and a base along Queen East.  The long side of the triangle is railway tracks which run behind the trees.

Jimmie Simpson park, people and dogs

a sign that says slow down on a fence above a concrete wall with paintings of plants and flowers on it

below: Once upon a time there was a railway station here, on Queen East at De Grassi that is.  It was operational between 1896 and 1932 and demolished in 1974.  In the beginning there was a level crossing here but after a number of accidents, including a collision between a freight train and a street car in 1904, the railway corridor was elevated.

historic plaque for Riverdale Railway station

below: Old black and white photo from the City of Toronto Archives, found online at “Old Time Trains”

old black and white photo from 1915, City of Toronto Archives, of building of the railway bridge over Queen East at Riverdale station

below: Aged and peeling painting of a Canada goose that was on the railway underpass.

top part of a Canada Goose painting on an underpass, bottom part has been painted over with pale grey paint

below: Eat the rich – and a picnic table is provided for your convenience. Don’t worry about the trains, they’re long gone. This was once a spur line and it hasn’t existed for years .  You can still find small sections of track but most of it has been paved over. (near Carlaw and Dundas)

a wood picnic table at the edge of a small parking lot and beside an old railway crossing sign

street sign, Riverside District, Strange street, with a a no passing sign beside it

store window, two mannequins in summer attire, woman in bikini and man in shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, also a black lives matter poster

below: Looking west, towards downtown, along Dundas East.  The old red brick building is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Broadview.

intersection of Broadview and Dundas East, looking west along Dundas towards Broadview. Large old red brick building on the north east corner
below: Flipped around and now looking east from Broadview in 1954.  The red brick building from the above photo appears to be Dennis House and it seems that they are advertising the fact that they have televisions.   On the south side of Dundas is a drug store.  That building is still there but now it is a variety store whose windows are often covered with Lotto649 and LottoMax ads.   In fact, the picture of the Bell telephone boxes near the beginning of this post was taken here.

photo credit: City of Toronto Archives, found online on a Blog TO page

below: This jumble of colours and lines can be found just east of Broadview and they are just visible in the background of the above picture.   I love the little white door that probably leads to a basement apartment (or a secret garden in the front yard?!)

houses on dundas east near broadview

below: If you walk farther east on Dundas from Broadview you will see a collection of old two storey houses with their slate mansard roofs and dormer windows.  This roof style is typical of “Second Empire” houses built in the late 1800s.   I’ve always been intrigued by this group of houses but I have never been able to find out much about their history.

semi divided house from the 1800's, mansard roof of slate, dormer windows

below: The end houses, at Boulton, have already been replaced.

row houses, old mansard roof style from the 1800's with a new 4 storey apartment complex at the end

below: And there are houses with similar architecture on nearby side streets.

corer houses

looking down a dead end street that ends at a school yard, summer time, large trees and cars line the street

Last but not least, a little bit of graffiti to close off this post.

below: Urban ninja squadron

red angle blob street art graffiti on a black wall

 

stencil graffiti of a yellow bee

Yesterday’s meandering walk around a neighbourhood was a loop from Bathurst subway station.

below: So happy to see this pair yesterday! When I was walking down Yonge street a few days ago, they passed me and I didn’t notice until they were out of camera range.

large shaggy brown dog sitting in a motorcycle sidecar, wearing sunglasses

You can’t talk about Bloor and Bathurst without mentioning the redevelopment of Mirvish Village.

construction site

two cranes at a construction site

below: Purple door

purple door in an alley, between two garage doors

below: Pale blue door

light blue door with peeling paint, beside wall with old red tar paper shingles

below: Pink, well probably faded red, door – and yes, it became a game of how many different coloured doors could I find.   It looks too small doesn’t it?

faded red, now pink, door on a white house, dirty and greyish stucco on the exterior, small bit of grass in front, one way sign on the utility pole in front of the house.

below: Dobgoblin and drawings on the greenish door.

seafoam green colour garage door with graffiti drawings of people, dobgoblin,

below: Anchored vs held down?

graffiti on a brown garage door, picture of an anchor along with words don't hold me down

below: Chalk heart

graffiti on a brown garage door, chalk heart in pink and yellow with orange word hello written beside it

below: Chalkboard philosophy, I think, I can’t be certain though. Maybe the gnomes know.

two small gnomes stand beside a chalkboard on a porch with words on it that say

below: It’s still Covid-19 time, still line-ups in the grocery store

Fiesta Foods grocery store on Christie Street, with line up of people waiting to get in

below: The Green Beanery coffee shop at Bloor and Bathurst is now permanently closed.  What I have missed most these past few weeks is discovering little coffee shops to stop at as I walk.

looking in window of Green Bean coffee shop that is now empty, reflections of photographer as well as people walking on the street

below: A riot of magnolia blossoms just about to be in full bloom

magnolia tree in front of some houses with magnolias about to be in full blossom

below: The sign has become not a running stop

stop sign in front a large tree just beginning to bud in spring, words added to stop sign so it now says not a running stop

below: Christie and Garnet

Christie street, looking north at Garnet Ave.,

below: Perly Family Lane with its painted garage doors.  For more pictures of the garages, see my blog post from 2016.

alley, PerlyFamilyLane, with painted garage doors.

below: Old and new side by side

back of a semi divided house, older asphalt shingles on exterior of the one on the left while on right has been renovated in light grey with new large window on ground floor

below: And nearby, short and tall

a semi divided house where the one on the right has added a third floor

below: Small house, large yard

very small beige house with one window in the front, large grassy front yard, between two largeer houses that are closer to the street

below: A large and impressive sycamore tree reaching up to grab the sky.

semi divided house with large sycamore tree in front of it

below: Basketball in the alley

alley, laneway with a basketball net ready

below: An old Pontiac Parisienne with its rear bumper on the ground.  It seems to have its own lot.   Parisiennes were produced through the 1960s and 1970s ans then well into the 1980s.   Would a car maker today call a car model a Parisienne?

old blue car, Pontiac Parisienne, with its back bumper on the ground, parked off the street between two houses

below: A white picket fence.  Is there something nostalgic or sentimental about a white picket fence?  Or is that only if you’re “of a certain age”?  Why did it become a symbol of middle class suburbia?

white picket fence along the side of a beige house with two large trees in yard, a door with newer wood porch and steps

below: Keeping an eye on the street

a ceramic ornament on top of a red tiled roof, animal, Chinese,

I came across the garage belonging to Albino Carreira that I saw, and blogged about, back in 2016.  He has added more shells, beads, and small objects.

front of decorated garage, shells, wood pieces, found objects,

below: Side of the garage

red side wall of garage decorated
a collection of shells used in decorating the exterior surface of a garage, also a small blue toy bear and some silver beads with a picture of the Greek flag

objects attached to a red wall, the exterior of a garage, plastic butterflies, beads, shells, and a small grey metal artwork that looks like a man emerging from a grey wall

below: As a bonus, there was a brief encounter with this van – complete with a wave.

side of van covered with shells and small toys, driver is waving from partially lowered window

back of van covered with shells and small toys

below: Before I go, one last door.  This time it’s mottled brown as there is some creamy orangey colour being revealed as the brown peels away.

back of a house, silver car parked, patio stone walkway to back door. screen door as well as old mottled brown and beige door, small stairs to back porchwhere there is a white chair