Posts Tagged ‘graffiti’

As you probably know, Toronto is full of creeks, ravines, and trails. Most of the creeks are tributaries of the Humber, Don, or Rouge River. This week’s adventure was along the Don River starting at the south end of the Betty Sutherland Trail. The north part of this trail begins at Leslie and Sheppard, just behind North York General Hospital (where parking is difficult).  Even though early April is still brown and grey, there is always something to see.

below: Don River

Don River in early spring

below: Pussy willows – One of the first signs of spring

pussy willows in spring

below: As I walked along the trail, I encountered this guy. He started getting agitated as I got close to the the river, but there was a photo that I was after…..

a male mallard duck standing on the bank of a creek with back to photographer but turning head to look behind

below: I had spotted colours through the browns and greys of the trees… graffiti covered ruins on the other side of the river.

colorful graffiti on an old stone structure whose roof has collapsed, as seen from across a creek, with trees in the way, no leaves because April, too early in the spring

Of course I found my way across the river to explore them in more detail!

below: When I went looking online for information about this structure, I came across a blog post in Scenes from a City from 2013. It’s hard to see, but some of the graffiti remains unchanged 8 years later.

below: And right behind me I discovered a tunnel entrance built into the hillside

below: It was very dark inside so the quality of these photos is questionable, but I thought that the old rusty control boxes looked fascinating. How long have they been here?

The Betty Sutherland trail ends at Duncan Mill Road. I was trying to get as far south as possible, so rather than go up to street level, I went under Duncan Mill Road where my map showed that there was more green space.

below: Wishes were written on pieces of paper, folded, and tied to a tree with pink yarn.

pieces of white paper tied to small branches of a small tree with pink yarn

below: The tangled roots of a dead tree lie beside the Don River just south of Duncan Mill Road.

a large piece of driftwood from the roots of a large tree in the foreground with a river, trees, and an apartment building in the background

below: Blue and yellow rocks

many small stones painted blue and some painted yellow, on the ground, with weeds starting to grow up among them

below: It wouldn’t be a walk without a (or several!) used mask lying around but this one is cuter than most.

a pink covid mask lies on the ground, on top of dead leaves.  The mask has a picture of a peach on it.

below: Oh Oh

below: Bracket, or shelf, fungi on a dead tree trunk

below: Playing fields alongside Moatfield

Green space, playing field, beside a road with office buildings on it

below: Looking east towards Graydon Hall

playing field with soccer goal, apartment buildings of Graydon Hall in the background.

below: Now we are off the beaten track. That’s Don Mills Road with some graffiti on a pillar that beckons me forward. A few trees have been planted here but maintenance may be sporadic.

below: under the bridge
close up of a discarded can of spray paint lying on the ground.  Graffiti under a bridge is in the background but out of focus.

under a bridge over the Don River with graffiti on the concrete, metal girders overhead, water in the river

below: There was no problem getting under the bridge, but around the corner was an unexpected surprise – This appears to be the end of the line. Yes, it was green space but my map didn’t warn me that it was private! I didn’t have golf clubs with me so I wasn’t sure if I could sneak or bluff my way through – plus my car was behind me so it wasn’t worth the trouble to try.

sign saying private property no trespassing at the edge of a golf course, Donalda Golf course

blog_betty_sutherland_trail

“Betty Sutherland served thirteen years as an elected representative on North York Council until her retirement from politics in 1985. From 1979 to 1985, Mrs. Sutherland was a member of Metropolitan Toronto Council and the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Devoted to the improvement of recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors, Mrs. Sutherland was Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto Parks, Recreation, and Property Committee from 1982 to 1985 and a member of the Authority’s Don Valley Advisory Board from 1981 to 1984. The naming of this trail is a symbol of the significant contribution she made to Metropolitan Toronto’s regional parks.

Good morning!
And welcome to another Toronto blog post!  This time, it’s all about reading material found on the street recently. In a lot of ways, it’s a snapshot of some of the issues and concerns that occupy us at this particular moment in time.

on black hoardings, large white letters that spell good morn

Papers on boxes, papers on poles, and papers on walls.  Protests.  Advertisements. Words.  Car caravan protest; Take back the night; call Jacki.  A potpourri of thoughts and causes.  An abundance of opinions and objectives.

many posters on a pole and a metal box on a sidewalk

below: 62nd Tibetans National Uprising Day, March 10th.  In March of 1959, there was an unsuccessful uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet in which about 87,000 people died; it was at this time that the Dalai Lama fled to India (in the Himalayas) where he has lived in exile ever since.

poster advertising the 62nd Tibetan National Uprising Day car caravan protest on MArch 10th

below: Khaleel Seivwright is a carpenter who has been constructing tiny shelters.  Some of the funds for the project come from a GoFundMe campaign.  These structures have been placed in encampments for the homeless in parks and on other city-owned land but back in February, the city filed an injunction to stop the shelters on city property.

a poster on a pole that wants Toronto city hall to save lives by not tearing down tiny shelters for the homeless that a man has been making

below: Another poster concerning the shortfalls of social housing in this city.  As the average cost of house in the GTA hovers around a million dollars, there is a growing lack of affordable housing.

build social housing now poster on a pole, city hall protest, want to expropriate 214 to 230 Sherbourne Stret to build social housing

below: Cops aren’t workers – no police unions

poster on a utility pole, yellow paper, orange words, Cops aren't workers,

below: Defund the police by 50% and invest in community supports and services – on top.  And on the bottom, Disco 3000, a weekly (Thursday nights) radio show on Parkdale Private Radio.

two posters on a pole, one is Gord PErks Defund the police by 50 percent and the other is Disco 3000

below: Covid lockdown protest

sign on a front lawn that says no more lockdowns

below: We got a problem – Because the ones who are causing the problem don’t want us to know what it is.”  The people named are all conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers.

ripped paper on wooden pole with lots of staples, we got a problem, a covid protest piece

self isol nation spray painted on a wall as part of a graffiti painting

below: A quote from Maya Angelou: “Nothing will work unless you do”

on an underpass wall, a black and white picture of a woman, Maya Angelou, and words in pink that say Nothing will work unless you do. This a quote from Maya Angelou

below: A few survive –  “Radical simply means ‘Grasping things at the root’ Angela Davis.  Plus, My body; my choice.

5 posters on a wall, most of the words have been blacked out. The poster that is still totally legible says Radical simply means

below:  In Parkdale a lot of the posters have been cut down leaving mysterious bits behind.  The words here are written in a different alphabet and I have no idea what the poster was advertising or promoting.

a poster on a wood utility pole has been torn but the four edges remain

below: Beside the stairs – Free Hong Hong; Free Tibet

on a white concrete wall beside hand railing by stairs, black marker words that say free Hong Kong free Tibet

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.

.

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…

.

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