Posts Tagged ‘history’

 Yonge, Eglinton, Avenue, Chaplin.

Some habits die hard and some rules aren’t meant to be broken including the unwritten rule that a photowalk begins at a coffee shop.  Was it the best. coffee. ever.?  I’m not sure.  It was good; it would have been even better if I’d been able to drink it inside!  Also good is the fact that there are independent coffee shops that are still open and I hope that they survive (and thrive?) until the summer.

sign on sidewalk advertising a coffee shop that says best coffee ever also mulled wine

below: Long north up Yonge Street from Lola (L O L A Lola), towards Eglinton.  Back to Midtown.

looking northup Yonge Street, from Lola Rd., towards Eglinton Avenue

below: Yonge and Manor Road, looking northeast.  One of the remaining Midtown buildings that date from the original development about 100 years ago.   In 2016/2017 a massive list of buildings in this area was put forward as considerations for “Main Street Block” heritage designation including this one at 2075 Yonge at the corner of Manor Road East.   In the resulting report, mention is made of “the three-storey scale, the glazed commercial storefronts with apartments in the upper floors, and the elaborate Tudor Revival styling typical of those dating to the interwar era in North Toronto.”  I haven’t done any more research to determine if any of these buildings were actually added to the heritage register.

at the corner of YOnge and Manor Road, looking north east

below: Northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton.  Still mired in Crosstown construction.

intersection of Yonge and Eglinton

below: Walking west on Eglinton through a maze of cones and detours.

Eglinton Ave west sidewalk through Crosstown construction, lots of orange and black cones, pedestrian detour signs

below: Looking back towards Yonge and Eglinton.

Eglinton Ave west sidewalk through Crosstown construction, barriers on both sides, narrow, tall buildings at Yonge and Eglinton in the background

below: Consulting.

behind that metal bars of a construction barrier, workmen are consulting a paper

below: Part of the pedestrian detour on the north side of Eglinton takes you through Eglinton Park. This photo is from May 2020 so you can’t see the ice and snow that was there a few days ago!

Pedestrian detour for crosstown subway and l r t construction, orange sign with arrow pointing right, leading pedestrians through the park

below: View of the city, looking east towards Yonge Street from Eglinton Park (May 2020)

view of city skyline from Eglinton Park - looking east towards Yonge & Eglinton. Tennis courts in the foreground

below: Decorated hoardings at Eglinton Park.

green plywood hoardings around Crosstown construction, with artwork on them, painted designs on wood

below:  Rendered drawing of the future Avenue Road Crosstown station.

picture on green hoardings, an image of what Avenue Road subway station is going to look like when its finished

below: Avenue Road Crosstown station as it is now.

metal support beams for construction of new Avenue Road subway station, Crosstown
below: What it looked like in early May last year. Not much change is there?  I was disappointed to see how Eglinton Avenue looks just the same as it has for years.  At the surface it appears that there has been no progress. I’d love to be able to see what was/is happening down below as I know that the work didn’t stop for Covid.

Photo from May 2020, construction of Avenue Road subway station

red octagonal stop sign that now says stop racism

below: No running, no diving. Sigh. Although it makes sense that there’s no diving in the shallow end, it’s just another reminder that this has been a year of “no”.

outdoor waterslide at an outdoor pool closed for the winter, sign that says no running, no diving

below: One of the many architectural styles on Avenue Road

square residence on Avenue Road, two storey, duplex or fourplex, snow,

three older houses on Avenue Road, winter time

below: Chaplin Crescent views

houses in winter, large tree, with tall condos in the background.

below: And back to Yonge Street –  For lease, a former Starbucks at Yonge and Davisville.  This is one of 25 locations in Toronto that closed at the beginning of February and one of the approximately 300 closed across Canada.   This was always a busy place but maybe it was dependent on commuter traffic as it is by the Davisville subway station.  The list of 25 closed Starbucks’ is heavy on mall locations and those on the heavy commuter routes.

 

Starbucks, now closed, in an older building at Yonge and Davisville, for lease sign iin the window

The building started its life in 1894 as J.J. Davis’ general store and post office built on land owned by John Davis ­— the same Davis that gave the name to the tiny community of Davisville.  When I was researching the building, I found the following three photos.  First, J.J. Davis Store, ca 1900.  Home of the Davisville Post Office 1894-1913.

J.J. Davis Store, about 1900

below: The same corner, 1951.  Note the old bus on Davisville (and all the people waiting to get on it!).   The Chaplin Groceteria is now the Fresh Buy Market but the building is almost exactly the same 50+ years later.  The hydro lines have been buried since 1951.

photo of the northeast corner of Yonge and Davisville, back when there was a flower shop on the corner

below: I have been trying to reconcile the information that I found online:

  1.  The J.J. Davis Store was built in 1894,
  2. The first post office was in Davis’s store,
  3. John Davis died in 1891.

Then I found the photo below.  It was taken in 1981 and is of a building, Host Rent a Car, at the corner of Yonge & Imperial (one block north of Yonge & Davisville).   The library notes: “In the 1870s, this was the site of T. G. Crown’s Grocery, Flour and Feed Store and the first Post Office in Davisville.” Davisville Village Walk, North Toronto Historical Society, 1984, p. 5.    Therefore, two stores (that still exist) and two “first” post offices … and a mix-up somewhere.

  I like the fact the T.G. Crown’s store was on Imperial street!

old black and white picture, 1981, of host rent a car shop at Imperial and Yonge, in Toronto, old two storey house

The above three black and white photos are online, from the Toronto Public Library

seating and snow outside the backdoor of a white house with a green roof

With many thanks to Karen for accompanying me.  Sorry, no photo – totally forgot…. We’ll have to make good on our vow to walk again!

 

scarborough toronto street sign, Sandown Lane, Cliffside

Sandown Lane runs behind the buildings on the north side of Kingston Road, west of Midland Avenue in Scarborough.

back of a store & apartment, in an alley, building is brick painted pink, stairs to upper level doors, snow on the ground

I was walking here because I was on the lookout for a series of murals by B.C. Johnson that have been painted over the past few years.

murals on a wood fence between two properties, in an alley, woodland animal theme, a deer, a moose,

B.C. Johnson is the person responsible for first painting the rainbow arch beside the Don Valley Parkway – way back in the 1970’s.  I blogged about the Moccasin Trail, which leads to the arch, last year.  Just in case you’ve never seen it, here it is from last fall:

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

Back to Sandown Lane….

B C Johnson mural of an old car surrounded by sunflowers in an alley

below: A deer with large antlers, a man fishing.

two garage doors side by side in an alley with murals painted on them, a deer with antlers on the left and a man fishing in a river on the right

below: Sunflowers and butterflies by the gate on a (real) door.

sunflowers and butterflies on a summer day, and a gate made of birch branches, a mural in an alley by Bc johnson

brown metal door on concrete block wall, pink planters with fake sunflowers in them, a bench with snow on it beside the door too

a blue pickup truck with one tire missing, parked in a vacant lot, in front of a farmyard scene mural with fields and a pond

mural, front of an old rusty car with a white chicken standing on one fender

chairs and round table outside, in back of building, in an alley, also patio umbrella, folded up

from the outside, a window in a concrete block wall, window is full of books, sign spray painted on wall that says no parking, will tow

below: Waterfalls

two murals in a lane, waterfall theme for both of them, the work of B C johnson

a woodlands theme mural on a wood fence between two properties in a lane, a tree trunk in the mural matches the large tree behind the fence

an old rust coloured Lincoln Town Car parked in an alley, garage doors behind it are covered in murals by bc johnson

small mural with butterflies and flowers in an entrance to a passageway, some orange and white cones in front of the mural

below: That’s an inventive way to advertise your handyman business!

an advertisement for a handyman, a large hand up in a tree with a paintbrush

three panels on a wood fence in a laneway with murals on them, animal them, tiger in the center, also an elephant, snow in front of the fence, the back of houses behind

double car garage in an alley with murals painted on them, owl theme,

table and chairs behind a building in an alley

While I was in the area, I walked back along Kingston Road.

in the median, Kingston Road, a sign that says Cliffside Village, red brick apartment building behind

I have walked this portion of Kingston Road before.  There are many large Mural Routes paintings of historic Scarborough scenes.  They can be seen in the 2017 blog post, Cliffside murals, so I won’t repeat them here except for this one photo:  ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.

mural routes mural on Kingston Rd, historic scene, schooner Onondaga

below: Back in 2017 this was a sushi restaurant and it was covered on all four sides by ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ painted by B.C. Johnson the year previously.  Some of the scenes from that mural can be same in the same Cliffside blog post linked to above.

empty restaurant, benazi, on a corner lot, murals on the buildings behind it

entrance to a store 2258, with a painting of an old airplane over the door

wooden fence around a patio, with two old paintings that are faded and peeled so you can't tell what they were pictures of, in the background, an empty blue metal frame that once held a sign for a store

a red wall in front of a building, mailboxes on it, 8 mailboxes, also two buzzers under a sign that says Supt Bob

below: Tara Inn, the Irish Pub, beside the Banglabazar Supermarket.

looking across Kingston Road to a stip mall with an Irish pub and the Banglabazar store,

storefront on kingston Road in Cliffside, barber shop, closed because of covid, faded pictures of mens heads show casing hair styles in the window,

looking in the window of a shoe repair business with a for sale sign in the window

looking in a store window, a large picture of a woman looking back out, with a sign on the window re opeings and closings for covid 19

looking in the window of a store, a mirror with an ornate silver colour frame, Christmas bells attached to it with ribbons and greenery

below: St Pauls United Church, near the west end of Sandown Lane.

front of St. Pauls United Church in Cliffside Scarborough, narrow green steeple, round glass entranceway, stairs leading from the sidewalk to the church

below: A Roman Catholic church, Saint Theresa, Shine of the Little Flower at Midland and Kingston Road.   The church was built in 1966 to replace a smaller one, also built in a Spanish style, from 1933. The Church was dedicated as a Shrine in honour of St Therese of Lisieux, a saint who had been canonized in 1925.

white church at Midland and Kingston Road, Saint Theresa Parish, Shrine of the Little flowers, red cermaic tile roof, arched doorways and windows

UPDATE:

Two developments on Kingston Road will impact this stretch of the lane.  First, an 8 storey mixed use building at 2448-2450 (the Cat Hospital) as well as a slightly shorter 6 storey mixed use development at 2380-2382 (a vacant lot, Wongs Martial Arts).   Both developments have had their site plans approved at city council.

 

Another path through the woods. This time there was a hint of yellow in the leaves because it was late September and even in 2020, some things are the same as ever.

a dirt path through the woods, some yellow hues in the trees

The path led me uphill to the newly renovated Guild Inn. It’s been five years since I have wandered around their gardens and surrounding park. In that time, the building has been renovated and expanded. I didn’t take very many pictures the other day because I knew that I had a lot from my previous visit. I was going to link to the blog post from that time but I discovered that I never actually got around to posting anything! So, I have found the old photos and have included some of them here.

below: For instance, this is the front of the inn in July 2015 with its windows covered.

chainlink fence in front of an empty white building with windows that have been covered, old Guild Inn before renovations

below: And the back, five years ago.

photo from 2015 of Guild Inn surrounded by construction metal fence before it was renovated

below: Five years later – the back of the Guild Inn with the path leading to the gardens.

the old white house back of Guild Inn, with small stone columns in the garden along with trees and flowers

below: A statue of Saint Francis Assisi with a wolf, carved by Thomas Bowie (b.1905)

a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi with a wolf, in stone, in front of a flower garden

below: A stone wall with statues and carvings provides a backdrop for a garden full of black-eyed susans. Because of the efforts of a few people to salvage some of Toronto’s architectural and creative history, the gardens of the Guild Inn have become the final resting place of a number of pieces of older buildings that have been demolished to make way for modern skyscrapers.

a large number of black eyed susan flowers in a garden, with sculptures and statues on a wall in the background

below: Stone wall with features from the Bank of Nova Scotia building (1903)

small concrete wall that incorporates a number of small sculptures from old buildings

below: The bird nest is long gone. … but it would have been a nice quiet spot to raise a family.

the upper torso and head of a man, sculpture in stone, in a niche in a wall. a bird has built a nest on his shoulder

large stone columns in a park, old architectural details from a building that was demolished, columns saved and moved here to Guild Inn

carved in stone, a head of an old man with curly hair and curly beard, with stone corinthian columns rising above him

below: From the Royal Conservatory of Music. There are two bas-relief bronzes of men associated with the Royal Conservatory. On the right is Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973), an organist, composer, and conductor who was knighted in 1935 by King George V. On the left is Dr. Healey Willan (1880-1968) another organist and composer who was associated with the Toronto Conservatory for 30 years (1920-1950).

a brick wall with details from Royal Conservatory of Music building, music hall carving, and two bas-relief bronzes of men, Sir Ernest McMilland Dr. Healey Willan

below: Looking through one stone arch to another, the square arch from the Imperial Bank of Canada Building (1928) and underneath sits Musidora. Many artists have lent their interpretations of this woman (in sculpture and paint), the subject of a poem titled “Summer” by Scottish poet James Thomson written in 1727. The beautiful Musidora strips naked to cool down by bathing in the stream, not knowing that she is being watched by Damon. Damon is torn between watching and turning away but chooses the latter.

a statue under an arch as seen from an arch farther away, greenery, garden

sculpture of a naked woman in a garden

short white marble column in a garden

In 1887, a Bank of Montreal building was built at the northwest corner of King and Bay; a site now occupied by First Canadian Place. The building featured a series of sculptures representing the Canadian provinces that were created by a number of artists. When the building was demolished in 1968, these panels were brought to the Guild Inn. Not all of them are on view today possibly because some were not in good shape (held together with metal straps). Maybe they are being fixed up?

below: This is the Alberta panel in 2015; the artist was Jacobine Jones (1897-1976)

relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, man holding a sheep, with rodeo cowboy beloww

below: It has since been cleaned up.

detail of relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, two bare feet, a cowboy riding a bucking broncho

below: One of two stone angel panels from the North American Life Assurance Company Building (1932).

bas relief sculpture on stone of a winged woman holding a globe, earth

below: The brick and stone entranceway from the Granite Club (1926)

an arch entranceway of red brick and stone over a path through a garden with lots of trees and grass around it

below: This cabin was named for William Osterhout, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1805 was given the first Crown land grant from King George III as reward for his service with the Butler’s Rangers. Although Osterhoust briefly owned the property, he never settled in Scarborough Township. The structure was more likely built around 1850 to 1860…. that may be a contentious “fact” as some believe that it is at least 50 years older than that.

osterhout cabin, log cabin, from pioneer days, on the grounds of the Guild Inn

The gardens have several different types of trees all in their autumn plummage.

below: Orange berries on a mountain ash tree…

orange mountain ash tree berries on a tree

below: … and many little crabapples on a crabapple tree.

a large bunch of crab apples on a tree, many many berries on the tree

below: At the south, the property ends at the Scarborough bluffs and there are many warning signs along the paths that run near the edge.

path through the woods with small fence on left. signs on left saying do not climb fence or cross over because of unstable ground, top of Scarborough bluffs, warning signs,

below: Looking out over Lake Ontario

trees at the edge of a path overlooking Lake Ontario, from high up near top of Scarborough bluffs

green leaves turning red in the autumn, on the tree, with sun light shining through them

a carving in stone, square panel with a 4 petal flower with 4 leaves, symmetrical

And then, when driving north on Morningside on my home, I encountered this…. The peacocks have arrived.

a van is unloading on the street, two large peacock sculptures, about 6 feet high in off-white, standing on the pavement

For more of the history of the Guild Inn, see their website.

four cars waiting at a level railway crossing on Morningside Ave, red lights flashing and barriers down but no train yet

The other day I was walking a section of Dufferin Street,  I came across this Heritage Toronto plaque in a little park at Dufferin and Briar Hill.

Heritage Toronto plaque for the community of Fairbank

“European farmers began a community here in the early 19th century on land that was included in the 1805 Toronto Purchase treaty between the Mississauga of the Credit River and the British Crown. When a post office was established in 1874, the area was named Fairbank after a farm belonging to settler Matthew Parsons.
By 1881, about 17 families lived in the community, near the present-day intersection of Dufferin Street, Vaughan Road, and Eglinton Avenue. The Fairbank Wesleyan Methodist Church was constructed in 1889 with bricks made in a local kiln, the building still stands across the street. When he died in his nineties in 1924, Isaac Dollery, a carpenter and early settler, had witnessed his community evolve from a farming outpost to a suburb of Toronto.
Land in Fairbank was subdivided in 1890, coinciding with the construction of the Belt Line Railway commuter line. The railway made travel to Toronto easy, yet the line failed financially and ceased operation in 1894, after only two years.
Between the world ward, residential development grew and the streetcar arrived in Fairbank in 1924. Industries such as the Paton-Baldwin Knitting Works and Fairbank Lumber and Coal Co. also opened in the area. Fairbank was part of the City of York until amalgamation with the City of Toronto in 1998.

below: This is the church mentioned in the plaque – now part of the United Church.

exterior of Fairbank United Church, red stone church, on Dufferin Ave

sign outside Fairbank United Church, in lights, that says Let's end this together, Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Cough into your elbow.

below: By the time I had finished walking, I wanted to know more about Matthew Parsons and the community of Fairbank.  I found this map showing property owners with some of the modern streets added.  It looks like its original source was the book, “Historic County Map of York County”, published in 1860 as part of a series of map books covering the early counties of what is now Ontario.

old map showing location of Dufferin Ave, Glencairn, Briar Hill, and other streets in relation to original land owners in the area

Matthew Parsons bought the farmland in 1835 when he was only 19 years old.  Originally he owned 200 acres of land in a rectangle bounded by Glencairn, Dufferin, Eglinton, and Keele.

below: The intersection of Dufferin and Eglinton in 1919

old black and white photo of dufferin and eglinton in 1919 showing narrow dirt roads and farms

photo credit: From the City of Toronto Archives, but found online on the Fairbank Village BIA website. Follow this link if you are interested in more of the history of the area.

My walk that day did not cover all of Matthew Parson’s farmland and at one point I wandered farther east. Some of the pictures that I took that day include the following.  In general, to the east of Dufferin is residential and to the west is light industrial (as well as warehouses and wholesalers).

below: Glencairn and Caledonia, the western end of Glencairn.

a little white house with teal or turquoise trim, with signs advertising business of a psychic

below: Like everywhere around the city, you never know what kinds of posters or stickers you’re going to find on the poles.  I’m not too sure how fast they come, but they’re discreet apparently.

a sticker on a ttc bus stop pole that says believe in one love

street signs at the corner of Dufferin and Tycos

hydro poles and concrete barrier blocking access to street behind

two low rise warehouses, one is Janet Ladieswear with faded pictures of women's clothing in the window, sign beside it for Fashion Cage ladies clothing wholesale,

a fence with a no trespassing sign, with industrical building behind

below: A building with symmetrical curved walls, a hint of art deco in the architecture.   It is empty and available for sale or lease like a lot of buildings in the area (southwest of Glencairn and Dufferin)

front of a low rise brick building with curved exterior walls on either side of the entrance way

low rise brick light industrial building with an old boat parked beside it

below: Tucked in amongst the industrial buildings is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Menbere Berhan Kidest Mariam ( Saint Mary) Cathedral, consecrated in November 2012.

below: East side of Dufferin at Glencairn.

strip mall, plaza on Dufferin

below: Chalkboard notices in the window on Dufferin Street

two chalkboard signs in the window of a store

below: Trilingual car sales people.

used car lot with trilingual sign,

a row of parked cars, light trucks, and ambulances behind an auto mechanic shop

a bunch of fake flowers tied to a pole at an intersection, beside a metal box that has been painted with flowers

below: The Easter Bunny may be faded but its still happy!

happy easter bunny sign in the window of number 2841

below: She has been dancing for them, in the same spot, for so long that time has stopped.

sign in front of a framing store, epty frame on top and an old faded picture on the bottom

below: Two roses for Darosa.

a metal sidewalk box painted with two pink roses

below: Southeast corner of Dufferin and Glencairn

stores on the corner of

below: Glencairn and Marlee

a sign that says men hair cut fifteen dollars, beside the sidewalk in front of a plaza

windows, looking through 2 sets of windows, through an empty store on the corner

below: Looking north on Marlee

sidewalk lined with wood utility poles with wires, a sign for Variety store with store that sells DVDs

restaurant, white wall, three windows and old sign advertising lunch special

below: I don’t purposely go looking for redevelopment projects but I keep stumbling on them wherever I go.  This is near Glencairn and Marlee where a group of houses are all boarded up.

house, bungalow, boarded up and empty, for redevelopment

below: The backyards of these houses are adjacent to the backyard of the house above.  They are all going to be replaced with a midrise condo.

blue and white development notice in front of a small white house and a vacant lot, to be replcaed with 8 storey condo

below: As well, the strip mall, or plaza, on the other side of Marlee will be demolished.

old sign on the side of brick store that says customer parking in faded red letters and then it lists the stores in that plaza

below: Home of the Toronto Theosophical Society.

sign outside a brick building says Toronto Theosophical Society

below: A lovely old Chevrolet (early 1940s?)

old red chevrolet car parked in a parking lot
white wall, brick, painted, four large colourful flowers painted on it, 2 pink and 2 orange. Also a red heart with turquoise lines above and below, street art

below: The Allen, looking north from Glencairn.  Technically it is the William R. Allen Road but no one calls it that.  At Glencairn it is an expressway.  The road was part of the Spadina Expressway proposed in the 1950s – Metropolitan Toronto was formed in 1954 and highway building was one of its priorities.  The Spadina Expressway would join downtown with the 401 highway at the new Yorkdale Mall.    The more northerly part of the road was built prior to 1971 when the project was cancelled.   Here, at Glencairn, the road site had only been leveled and it became known as the ‘Davis Ditch’, after Bill Davis the Ontario Premier at the time.  It wasn’t until 1976 that the stretch between Lawrence and Eglinton was finished.

looking north on the Allen Expressway from the bridge over it at Glencairn, some traffic on the road, a subway track northbound on the tracks between the two sections of the Allen

below: The south entrance to Glencairn station (the north entrance looks exactly the same and is located directly across the street).  It opened in 1978.   Note the coloured glass roof.

Glencairn subway station south entrance on the side of Glencairn bridge over the Allen Expressway

below: There is a yellow glow in the interior from the stained glass roof.  The skylight roof has been refurbished; Rita Letendre’s artwork “Joy” had become very faded since its installation in 1978 .

interior of Glencairn station, escalator going down, colour yellow from the glass roof that is being refurbished

After Glencairn crosses over the Allen Expressway, it continues east all the way to Yonge Street.

… and you’ll find it at the Aga Khan Museum.

a group of people walk past the front of the white wall of the Aga Khan museum, between the museum and the reflecting pool

The centerpiece of the latest special exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum is a large moon created by British artist Luke Jerram from detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.  It measures five metres in diameter and is illuminated from inside.

a large model of the model hangs from the ceiling at the Aga Khan museum and is reflected in the railing that separates the second floor balcony area from the open high ceiling of the first floor

Since the dawn of civilization, the moon has captivated cultures and inspired people.  Along with the large moon, the Aga Khan Museum has put together an assortment of paintings, texts, and scientific objects that have been produced over the centuries that together give a glimpse into mankind’s fascination with the moon.

exhibit about the moon and the crescent shape, museum

below: An illustrated page from “A Translation of Stars of the Legend”, from Baghdad 1590-1599 (Ottoman-period Iraq).  Watercolor, gold, and ink on paper.

illustrated page, with Arabic text, from an ancient book about stars and legends

a groupof people sit on bean bag chairs under a large model of the moon, and on a carpet that looks like the night sky with stars

below: Many Indian palaces included moonlight gardens with white marble walkways and pools to reflect the moon.  Night blooming flowers such as jasmine were grown.  The illustration below is from the 18th century, Murshidabad, Lucknow, watercolour and gold on paper.

illustrated page of an old book depicting people sitting in a moonlit garden in India, two men on cushions

two people stand under a large model of the moon

below: “Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaykh to Earthly Kings”, painted by Bichitr, India, 1615-1618.  The Emperor’s halo combines the sun and the crescent moon – a slim crescent moon hugs most of the sun’s border and this day and night are brought together.    Mughal emperors, such as Jahangir, considered a harmonious relationship between the sun and moon to be essential for the fortunes of their kingship.  Sufi Shaykh, from the title, is the man receiving a book from the Emperor.   Small, and therefore less important, are the Ottoman Sultan and King James I of England.  The smallest man in Bichitr, the painter.  This is a large reproduction of a painting that is 18 cm x 23 cm.

old painting

below: Plaster cast of Queen Ahmose carrying a fly whisk (The original was excavated at Deir-al-Bahri in Egypt, from the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, 18th dynasty ca 1473-1458 BCE).  Queen Ahmose was the mother of Hatshepsut and her name means “born of the moon”.   In ancient Egypt, the crescent moon symbolized Isis, goddess of fertility, women, and the mother of gods.

an old stone tablet from Ancient Egypt with picture of woman's profile

below: “Tell me the story about how the sun loved the moon so much he died every night to let her breathe”

a quote is painted on a wall, with pictures of clouds

It was a beautiful day on Monday when I visited the “Winter Stations” (scroll down to next blog post), cold but sunny.   I decided to walk north on Woodbine since I haven’t done that for a while.

below: Playing with mirrors while waiting for the washroom at Woodbine Beach because there is only one women’s washroom (why is there only one?)

a mirror shaped like a porthole with a green frame, on a bright blue wall, reflection of another porthole but on an orange wall in the mirror

below: From portholes to demolition holes – I made it as far as Queen and Woodbine where there is a large hole in the ground

at the intersection of Queen and Woodbine, a hole in the ground on the north east corner and a Pizza Pizza restaurant on the south east corner

… because just north of there I discovered alleys and small streets that I don’t remember walking.  Who can resist the allure of a red door?

looking down an alley in winter, two brown tire tracks for the cars, but lots of snow. Fences, trees, and a house on a street at the end with a red front door.

below: I went to Norway

street signs on a post. a one way sign pointing left, a green and white sign that says Norway Ave continues to the right ahead

below: And I passed the North Pole

a lawn decoration in a snow covered front yard, a flat wood snowman with red and white striped hat and scarf and a sign that says north pole

below: I even walked past this No Trespassing sign.  The old cars parked the house behind caught my eye but this was as far as I ventured.

a no trespassing sign on a wire fence, snow covered driveay, two old cars parked in the backyard, beyond the fence

When there is no planned route and you’re only following your nose or sticking to the sunny side of the street, you can run into some surprises.  There were a lot of older houses – here are a few of them:

below: There are still some of these Victorian rowhouses closer to downtown but I wasn’t expecting to find any here.   As it turns out, this was part of the village/town of East Toronto.  In 1888 it was a village with about 800 residents.  It became part of the City of Toronto twenty years later (and with 4200 more people).

two semi houses with gabled roofs and covered porches, from the 1800's. snowy street scene, large trees, winter

As it turns out, one of the streets that I walked on, Lyall Avenue, is a Heritage Conservation District.  The street was surveyed in 1884 and by 1888 a few houses were built on some of the fifty yard lots.  Most of the development occurred between 1909 and 1924.  It was definitely a middle class neighbourhood.   The full report published in 2006 appears on the City of Toronto planning department website.

an upper storey oriel window with curved edges

below: This house stands alone.  A very typical older Toronto house.

a typical old Toronto two storey house with peaked roof, reddish brick, two wondows upstairs, one large window downstairs, white front door with a small roof over the door, lots of yard

below: This tidy well-kept workers cottage can only be accessed from the lane.

a workers cottage that fronts onto a snow covered lane, grey vertical wood paneling on the outside, black roof

below: A white picket fence and wicker furniture waiting for spring.

a white picket fence in the snow, wicker chairs in the yard covered with snow

large two stroey brick houses, winter, street,

All of the above houses were north of Kingston Road where the lots sizes were fairly big.  South of Kingston Road, the houses are narrower and close together. (or joined together).

the backyards and back of houses in a row, winter,

below: This square, substantial sized brick building is on Kingston Road.  Between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street, Kingston Road runs along the crest of a ridge.

large old brick house on Kingston Road, three stories,

below: Newer residential buildings on Kingston Road.

part of three new buildings

below: 1922, looking west along Kingston Road from Main street.  That’s almost 100 years ago, and there were streetcars running here even then.  No cars, just a horse and wagon.

old black and white picture from 1922 of a dirt street with a street car track, hydro poles beside the road and a house

Photo credit: City of Toronto Archives. Found online in a ‘Beach Metro’ article where you’ll find more history of the area.

The next three photos are some of the typical two storey, flat roofed, brick, all in a row, stores and businesses that were built in Toronto in the early 1900’s and later.   If I remember correctly, these were all on Kingston Road.

a storefront trimmed in bright yellow and angled at the corner, intersection of Kingston Rd and Brookside

two stores, old architecture, two storey buildings with apartments on top

Perlux cleaners, old sign painted on side of building, convenience store, mounds of snow by the sidewalk

below: A warm and colourful summer scene painting behind a chainlink fence that surrounds the playground at  Kimberley Junior Public School.

colourful painting behind a chainlink fence in a school yard, winter, snow on the ground around it, picture is of three kids in large yellow hats, playing on green grass

below: Mural at Gerrard and Main.

karate, martial arts mural on a wall

below: The last architecture picture – this building with a turret at Kingston Road.  Here Main Street becomes Southwood Drive.

commercial building with a turret at an intersection

below: Looking north on Main Street from Gerrard.  Here the streetcar turns towards Main subway station.  The bus shelter in the middle of the street is definitely old style – one of the few remaining in the city.  From here Main street is a bridge over the railway tracks.

looking north up Main street from Gerard, streetcar tracks with a bus shelter in the middle of the street. old style bus shelter, Main street then goes up, as a bridge over the train tracks. Highrise apartment building in the background.

below: From the bridge, looking southeast over Danforth GO station. Prior to 1940, this was the location of York Station as well as the Grand Trunk Railway’s main freight yard.  The yard stretched along Gerrard Street and employed several hundred people.   At that time, Gerrard Street was called Lake View Avenue (could you see Lake Ontario from there?).

view from a bridge over railway tracks, Danforth GO station below, houses beyond. covered platforms between two sets of tracks

below: York station in 1890.  It was renamed Danforth in 1922 and demolished in 1974 to make way for the GO station.  The freight yard is to the right.

york railway station in 1890. train is letting off passengers

Photo credit: Toronto Public Library. The picture was found online in an article on Danforth station that appears on the Toronto Railway Historical Association website

 

below: Hanging out on the Danforth

large white sign with green GO logo, Danforth station. a group of pigeons is sitting on top of the sign.

 

But I didn’t hang out for long.  From here to Main Street subway station is only a few steps and that was enough walking.
My writing can be almost erratic as my walking!  I hope that I didn’t lose you along the way.

 

wooden chair outside, against the side of a house, snow on it.

the backs of two people, a man and a woman, as they look at framed photographs hanging on a wall at the Ryerson Image Centre

On display at the Ryerson Image Centre at the moment is a collection of more than 200 photographs called “True to the Eyes”.  These photos were part of a collection amassed by Howard and Carole Tanenbaum over the past forty or so years.  The images span the history of photography.  There is a bit more information on the Ryerson Image Centre website.

 

below: An old tintype of three hunters and their dogs.   The process was developed in 1853 and was popular during the 1860s and 1870s.  Tintypes were printed directly on metal (but not actually on tin)- a photographic emulsion was applied to a metal plate.

an old tintype photo of three male hunters in sepia tones, framed in an elaborate picture frame and hanging on a dark grey gallery wall

Two women are looking at a wall covered with framed black and white photos at the Ryerson Image Centre

below: Two wonderful portraits by Rafael Goldchain

two colour portraits by Rafael Goldchain on a gallery wall.

people looking at framed photographs being exhibited at Ryerson Image Centre

below: New York City, 1947, a black and white photo by Louis Faurer (1916-2001, American).  Faurer did a lot of fashion photography for magazines of the day but he is best known for his street photography in New York City and in Philadelphia.

black and white photo from New York City in 1947, by Louis Faurer, hanging on the wall at the Ryerson Image Centre - part of the Howard and Carole Tanenbaum collection.

below: Also on display at the Ryerson Image Centre is a small collection of photos and items from the history of Kodak in Toronto.  The exhibit was organized by Ryerson students.

photo of a large billboard advertising the new home of Kodak in Kodak Heights, Keele Street, Toronto, back when it was being built.

If you are interested in the history of photography or in vintage photos, part 2 of the exhibit of photos from the WW1 era is on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

four people sitting on a bench in a gallery looking at a large video screen that is showing images of world war one era stereoscope pictures.

part of an old sepia tone photo of a young man in a soldier's uniform, holding a small dog, World War 1 era, hanging on a wall at the Art Gallery of Ontario

“True to the Eyes” ends 7th April 2019
Part 2 of Photography: First World War ends 14th April 2019,

large trees in a park, a person walking in the park along with a white dog

below: After the rain the leaves lie stuck to the path and tangled up in the grass.

wet path in park, after a rainfall, leaves on the ground, on the path and amongst the blades of green grass still growing in the park

below: Or stuck in the fence

a few yellow and pale orange leaves have been caught in a chainlink fence, close up shot

in a park, after the rain, autumn, red leaves and yellow leaves on the trees, many leaves on the ground

below: You can’t escape the cranes…..

in a park, with picnic bench in the foreground, some people walking on the path, houses on street in middle ground and construction cranes and highrise under construction in the background.

below: … or the hoardings.

a small construction vehicle parked beside a sidewalk with orange barricade and sign that says pedestrians use other sidewalk, a path has been made on the side of the street for pedestrians.

large square brick house from the early 1900s, windows boarded up and green plywood hoardings in front

below: Magnus and Angel are missing…. Is this a coincidence?

two lost posters on a utility pole, one for Magnus the cat and the other for Angel the bird.

below: Pink flowers and a purple door.

closse up of the front of a row of white houses, a garden with plant with large pink flowers in front, one of the houses has a light purple front door

old black and white no parking sign on the side of a stone church, with engraved stone above it that says A.D. 1897

below: Built in 1892, this building was once the Church of the Messiah Rectory. The church is the next building to the right (with the slightly yellow stones)

stone building, with castle like features, former Church of the Messiah Rectory on Avenue Road, now office building and medical clinic. Three storey grey stone

below: Faded flower of a different kind

faded metal sunflower wedged between a fence and a small tree

below: Building behind the Rosedale Diner, as seen from Crown Lane

side of a garage painted with a couple of large red flowers

below: Locked door

particle board door on a shed, painted pale blue and with a large red flower

below: Graffiti on private property.

private property no trespassing sign on chainlink fence, trees and building behind, graffiti on the building

below: The limestone Summerhill LCBO store which was originally the North Toronto Canadian Pacific train station.  The clock tower is 43m high.

view of front of Summerhill LCBO store, former CP train station, olf light brown stone building.

below: From a different angle, the station when it was first built in 1916.  The tracks are still there but only freight trains pass by these days.  It only lasted as a passenger station until September 1930.   Back in the day if you wanted to take a train to Lindsay or Bobcaygeon, this is where you’d go although you could also get a train to Ottawa (via Peterborough & Smith’s Falls) or Montreal.

old black and white phot of North Toronto train station when it opened in 1916. It is now the Summerhill LCBO store on Yonge Street.

below: No stop ahead

trees and woods behind, a yellow diamond shaped sign with picture of stoplight, telling people that there is a traffic signal ahead, except that the red light has faded and disappeared

below: “Help negro and white people mass (?) produce painted stones and hide them” plus a lot of other lines and shapes that might be letters or words.

small sapling growing beside a concrete wall that has graffiti words written on it

below: I also came across this box yesterday – Sam the Chinese Food Man and other signs.

painted metal Bell box on sidewalk, painted with an old scene from Yonge street with signs for stores and restaurants

below: I have vague memories of such a Sam’s restaurant so I went online to find out more about it.  What I found is this image in a “Lost Toronto” blogpost.  It is Yonge Street just south of Gerrard (the Rio Theatre was 373 Yonge Street).   Did you know that Toronto once had a wax museum?

old colour photo of part of yonge street

Photo source:  ‘Lost Toronto’ blog, post titled ‘When Yonge St Was Fun

… and it ended with a trip down memory lane.

below: ‘The Encompassing’ by street artist Javid (aka JAH) stands in one of the reflecting pools between the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum.   This is one of a number of pieces on display.  Each is painted on reclaimed corrugated metal.  They are an examination of the geometry in Islamic patterns and architecture.  His work will remain on display until the 31st of October.

a painting called The Encompassing stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.

below: On the other side of the above painting, is this one – “Beyond”, also by Javid.  The Ismaili Centre is in the background with its large pale blue dome over the prayer room.

A painting in blue, pink, and purple, of stars, by Jacid Jah, in a reflecting pool with the Ismaili Centre behind it

 below: The large wood beams that cover the entrance to the Ismaili Centre were being re-stained this morning.

a pick up truck and a lift in front of the entrance to the Ismaili Centre, workmen are re-staining the large wood beams that support the glass roof.

The Toronto Ismaili Centre is one of 6 around the world.  It was designed by Indian architect Charles Correa and opened in 2014.  If you go on the tour of the inside of the Ismaili Centre, you will see a building that is filled with natural light, as well as natural woods and stone.

below: A calligraphy based medallion made of stone is on a white wall.  The Arabic word ‘allah’ is in the center and surrounding it are the ninety nine attributes of God, written in Arabic.

chairs and sofa in a large room, on grey carpet, most of floor is polished stone, medallion of stone on the white wall.

below: A closer look at the wall.  It took two men, a father and son, fourteen months to carve the design into this wall and a matching wall on the other side of the room.  They worked six days a week .  The arabesque design was penciled on using a stencil and then carved by hand.

carved white wall, plaster

below: A second medallion is on a wall across the room from the one above (on the other wall that was carved).

medallion of stone, calligraphy, arabic, on a white wall

Crossing back past the reflecting pools to the Aga Khan Museum….

below: Another Javid Jah painting, this time “The Manifest”.   (To the left, you can see a metal sculpture called “Big Heech” ).   Like all of Jah’s paintings here, this one is based on geometry.  The basic shape here is a pentagon (sacral chakra) and it is seen on the floor.  This type of archway is called a muqarna and it is unique to muslim architecture.  Here the shape of the indentations in the muqarna are based on the pentagon.

a painting called The Encompassment stands in a reflecting pool in front of the Aga Khan Museum.  Painted by Javid Jah, blue arch over red entranceway

The “Big Heech” is the work of Parviz Tanavoli, made from stainless steel in 2014.   It is derived from the Persian word for “nothingness” and it is an important word in Perian Sufism.

“Emperors and Jewels: Treasures of the Indian Court from the Al-Sabah Collection in Kuwait”, is a temporary exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum featuring artworks and historical objects from the treasuries of Mughal emperors.  The Mughal Empire ruled most of present day Pakistan and India in the 16th and 17th centuries.   The Mughals were Muslim but the majority of the population were Hindu.

below: Part of a larger picture depicting a hunting scene, reproduced and enlarged especially for the exhibit.

part of a painting at the Aga Khan museum of a moghul ruler on a horse in a hunting scene

below: Three glass bottles

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, 3 glass bottles, rounded bottoms and narrow tops, one is marroon, one is teal and the last is royal blue

below: Two fish joined to make a circle, a standard.  From India, late 18th century.   Made from silver.  There are many myths and symbols that feature fish.  In Hindu tradition, the fish was associated with Brahma and Manu, a progenitor of mankind.  In addition, one myth is that a fish was believed to hold up the globe.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, two fish joined in a circle, a standard, for the top of a pole

below: A portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710-40, watercolour and gold on paper.  He is pictured in profile, sitting alone in his peaceful garden.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a painting, portrait of Nawab Bairam Khan, painted around 1710 to 1840, watercolour and gold on paper, scene is a man sitting on a carpet, under a tent roof, leaning on a large pink pillow

below: Knife with jade handle carved in the shape of a horse head and neck.

on display at the Aga Khan Museum, a metal knife iwth a jade handle that is carved into the shape of a horse head and neack, decorated with gold bridle

This is another “come along with me as I walk” blog.  Let me share some of the sights from Thursday’s walk which started at Ossington subway station and sort of followed Davenport south to Queen Street with a few diversions down alleys and side streets.

below: Ooops!  Dead end alleys too.  That’s one way to keep people out!

chainlink and barbed wire fence acorss the backyard of a house

below: A starry man (star face?) watches 007 below.   Street art in an alley.

street art in an alley - corner of a concrete block building, metal staircase as well, blue star with a man's face inside it, a racing car near the bottom with licence plate 007

below: More painting, this time Princess Leia and a strange red man with a latch in his ear.

street art in an alley - red man's head, with protruding lower jaw and two large yellow teeth, white eyes, on a door, black and white picture of Star Wars Princess Leia on the wall beside

below: If he’s aiming for the garbage bin, he’s missed.

street art in an alley - word radar on grey metal door, with screaming face below, on the wall beside is a moon shpaed figure, with arm out and seems to be holding something in its fingers but nothing there, garbage bins (real) below

below: ‘Always fresh bread!’ according to the mural on Nova Era bakery… but maybe you see the edge of the blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign peeking into the picture….

an old and fading mural on the side of an old bakery, showing two bakers, male, baking bread, with chef's hats and white aprons on

below:  … because a 12 storey condo may be moving in.  Retail is planned for the lower level but it may the same old same old glass and steel development with excessively high ceilings on the ground floor and zero street appeal.  Please prove me wrong!

blue and white city of toronto development notice sign on the side of a building, under a window, beside a mural of a baker in chefs hat and white apron icing a three layer wedding cake

below: Across the street, is this empty storefront.  Two intriguing blackboards remain – the one on the left says Thank You! and leaves you lines to fill in with things you are thankful for.  On the right, a “Before I Die” board.   What are you thankful for? What would you like to do before you die?  The business once here didn’t die, they just moved around the corner to Bloor Street.

empty store front with a bike parked inside, a red wall beside the door way, dirty glass in front, reflections in the glass

below: A bit of local ‘colour’ complete with ‘colourful’ language.

the back of a cyclist stopped at the side of a street by a bus stop, and traffic light, a woman stands on the sidewalk with a large puffy pink scarf around her neck and a lot of belongings with her

below: This building is on the northeast corner of Bloor and Dovercourt.

old square brick building on the north east corner of Dovercourt and Bloor, apartments on top and stores on ground level

below: I haven’t been able to find out anything about Valentinos but I quite like the debonair rider with a rose between his teeth.

old faded mural of a man on horseback, with hat and cape, the word Valentinos is written near the top, most of the mural has been painted over and is now just green

below: Vintage photo of the Bloor and Dovercourt intersection.  No cars!

vintage coloured postcard of the intersection of Bloor and Dovercourt in Toronto, hydro poles, brick buildings, streetcar, woman crossing road, no cars

below: The red and white building in the postcard above is on the southeast corner of the intersection. It is now home to a Pizza Pizza. Most of it’s large windows have been covered over with large pictures.  The streetcar tracks on Bloor are long gone and Davies butcher shop is now a Starbucks.

below: I walked past St. Michael Archangel Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church (on Delaware Ave) and a Portuguese Presbyterian Church (on Dovercourt).  Then I came across the Centennial Methodist Church.  It was built in 1906 and converted into residences in 2010.

front of Centennial Methodist church on Dovercourt, now apartments, red brick building with large round top windows

historical plaque for centennial methodist church on dovercourt road

CENTENNIAL METHODIST CHURCH, 1906, This Neo-Gothic inspired church replaced an earlier Centennial Methodist Church built on this site in 1891. Notable design elements include decorative stone trim, three central Tudor-arch windows, and flanking square towers topped with pyramidal steeples. It was renamed Centennial United Church in , after the creation of the United Church of Canada. In 1986, the Nisei congregation of the Toronto Japanese Church joined Centennial United to form Centennial Japanese Church. A residential redevelopment was completed in 2010.

 

below: A little farther south on Dovercourt I passed this for sale sign.   I stopped and took a photo of it because of the words in pink: “Laneway suite potential”.  Of course I had to check the lane to see if anyone had built suites back there.   Suites, according to the city of Toronto, are rooms built over garages and not stand alone residences.

for sale sign on the grass in front of a house

below: It is a neat and tidy lane but so far with no suites

Bill Cameron Lane

below: But I did see this mural there.

garage door covered with a mural of a boy walking in a birch forest in the snow with his dog following him

below: I also noticed that the backyards on both sides of the alley were very deep, wonderfully deep actually, especially for a city house.  You could probably sever it in two quite easily.

backyard, view from an alley

below: In fact, something like that has happened a bit farther south where someone took one house, renovated it, and added three more residences with additional access from the alley behind.   I notice that there are 4 water meters here as well as a gate that possibly provides access to the houses behind.

part of a modernized and renovated house with new houses built behind it

In case you’re curious, the four houses are all for sale.  The house in front is a semi and the asking price is $2,400,000.  For that you get 2992 square feet and 4 bedrooms.  The others are slightly smaller and slightly less expensive.

below: A rare large vacant lot

the side of a house on the other side of a large vacant lot

below: Norbregas Variety and Grocery.

Norbregas variety and grocery store, the ground floor of a house on a corner in a residential area, Dovercourt

below: And nearby, a cafe with both Coca-Cola and Pepsi signs

a deli, cafe, with old coca cola, coke, signs as well as pepsi signs. chairs and tables out front, large windows, two boys wakling past, on a corner in a residential area, old house

below: The streets around Dovercourt are all very nice with lots of large solid old houses and tall trees – in this case, a chestnut tree.

chestnut tree and large old houses on a street

below: I even spotted some wildlife!

two statues of small deer in the front yard of a house, one is lying down and looking at the other who is standing nearby, both are in the shade of a large tree

below: Northeast corner of College & Dovercourt

three storey red brick building on corner of college and dovercourt, northeast corner, stores on the lower leve, traffic lights, utility poles and streetcar wires

below: Letters embedded in the sidewalk where one of the branches of the Garrison Creek passes underground, just south of College Street.  The creek was buried more than a century ago.  In the early days, the creek was treated more like an open sewer than a river.  As the city developed, the stream was diverted into underground sewers (1880’s) and streets were built above it.   By 1920, almost a century ago, the stream was entirely diverted into the sewer system.

brass letters embedded in the sidewalk that say Garrison Creek, also a round metal medallion with the same words

below: The age of this car seemed to fit well with the buildings around it.

man stands beside on older car in a parking lot surrounded by old brick buildings

below: Some of Dr. Spock still remains.  He hasn’t been beamed up  yet.

once a mural of Dr Spock, now tagged over although Spock's head is still visible

below: Part of a mural by elicser in a lane behind Dundas West

elicser painting of a man in a brown toque

below: Looking east along Dundas, from Dovercourt

view along Dundas to the east, and downtown Toronto, from Dovercourt Rd

below: A larger than life Pink Panther painted by Matt Gondek.  This is on the northeast corner of Dundas and Dovercourt, close to Skey Lane where his other murals are (see recent blog post on Skey Lane)

mural of pink panther sitting in a chair, large

below: She can still be found near Queen and Dovercourt (painted by Jarus)

mural by jarus in an alley, a woman looking over her shoulder

Just before Queen Street West there is an art galley called the David Kaye Gallery.

below: It may be difficult to see, but this cup is displayed in a glass case mounted on the wall. The back part of the cube is a mirror. For $12,500 it can be yours (but my arm is not included!).

a white tea cup on a black block inside a glass cube with a mirror at the back. on the cup, in black letters, are the words a cup is a cup

below: Both this piece, and the cup above, are part of “Camp Fires: The Queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem” and are on display until the 23rd of September.

artwork by Leopold Foulem, a porcelain piece with gold figures on the sides like handles

I am going to end this blog post with a few pictures of some of the graffiti that I saw:

below: Red hearts on a yellow door.

a door painted yellow with three large red hearts on it

below: No more need for parliaments

a beige garage door with the words no more need for parliaments written on it

below: She’s a bit frayed at the edges and coming apart at the seams.

a hand drawn picture of a face, on paper, pasted on a fence