Posts Tagged ‘houses’

Just south of Bloor Street

below: Ghost sign that probably says Sweet Caporals, a former tobacco and cigarette brand

red brick wall with ghose sign for sweet caporals

below: Geoffrey the Giraffe takes a smoking break.

white wall back of store, truck loading zone with back of white truck and Geoffrey the Giraffe, Toys R Us symbol on the truck. Someone has graffiti black markered a smoking cigarette in his mouth

small tree beside parking lot with white wall behind

below: Remnants of another era – the final part of Zeller’s hangs on.

back entrance, open doors, of what used to be Zellers. Some of the letters of the name are still there, l e r s

below: Call mom

a wood utility pole with bottom part painted white. Written in pink letters, call mom. greenery around the pole

below: A crooked path

doors, back entrances to stores in mall, with crooked yellow railing and crooked patch in pavement

beige brick wall with beige metal door. sign on door says sprinkler room 7. rust marks on wall by overflow pipe

below: Happy face in green

a stump just above sidewalk level with a green happy face drawn on it

below: Maximum 20

back of Dufferin mall, laneway, single storey

one way sign pointing left on beige brick wall

below: A couple of the five short streets and alleys that come to a dead end behind the mall.

red house and a grey house on dead end street behind chainlink fence

an alley with garages on both sides, behind chainlink fence

below: Brockton stadium also backs onto the laneway behind the mall.

stairs to park and tall lights by the stadium, Brockton stadium

below: To the upper level of the stadium

concrete stairs from the back, to the upper level of stadium seating

graffiti on concrete walls, with yellow digger parked behind fence

two yellow half posts in a parking lot, one with happy face and one with crying eyes

top of photo is red brick wall, bottom of image is a weathered wood fence with words crack lizard written on it

crocheted concentric circles in a window with reflections of the houses across the street

Oakwood Village BIA is centered on Oakwood Avenue, south of Eglinton West.

Toronto street signs, Jesmond Ave with Oakwood village top,

below: “Celebrating Queer Black Lives (2021) by Curtia Wright.  This is also part of a STEPS project, I HeART Main Street, which features 26 murals on “Main Streets” in Ontario this year.

mural on the side of The Beer Store, in bright colours, two women with dreadlocks, eyes closed and about to kiss

below: We are all Canadians, and with a big heart too

hand written sign in window that says We live in Canada We are all Canadians, Toronto Ontario, Below sign is a heart made of crocheted circles in different colours

below: Sidewalk games
paintings on sidewalk, game with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, blue water a truck, and a hot air balloon

below: Sidewalk vowels
drawings and paintings on the sidewalk featuring vowels, A E I O and U

below: Shiny palm tree about 5 metres tall – an art installation from 2010 on the traffic island where Oakwood meets Vaughan Road.  It serves as homage to the neighbourhood’s Caribbean community.

Shiny metal sculpture of a palm tree

a house with a glassed in front porch and a Canadian flag flying outside the door, other stores and houses in the background

two small houses pus a couple of slightly larger houses on Oakwood, two have front porches with chairs on them, and well tended front lawns

a grey concrete flower pot that is supposed to look like Roman urn, with bright red flowers growing in it plus a blue and white polka dot child's plastic windmill

below: Rusty the Snowman!

an old rusted metal decoration on a chainlink gate.  laughing snowman, front steps and flowers in planters in the background

below: La Cubana, Supermercado Latina.

La Cubana supermercado Latino, grocery store, first storey painted in blue and white stripes like the Cuban flag,  Cuban flag hanging in the window

The side of La Cubana supermercado grocery store with pictures of food, also stored items under blue tarps, and a bell box painted with a yellow measuring tape and articles of clothing, a bonnet, a tie, a cap, and three pairs of shoes

A purple picture in the window of a door with a cardboard sign in middle that says Please do not put garbage in front of the store, reflections of stores across the street in the window as well

Awning cover on Edmundo Snack bar, with round Carlsberg beer advert above it, exterior

three storey white brick building with reddish mansard roof, lower floor is Asmareeno Grocery and Alert Pest Control

items for sale in displayed in store window that is still decorated for Christmas even though it is summer.  Bowls, tea pots, dishes

reflections in the window of Alfredos hair styling, closed, with a small Canadian flag in the window

below: Recently sold, Open Bible Baptist Church, just south of Eglinton.

old red brick church at 587 Oakwood, windows boarded up and cross removed from over front door

The New Jerusalem Spanish Church with a green hedge in front of it

below: Old gate in front of new (or being renovated) house

below: Where WTF = Wear The Facemask!

4 broken front door bell buzzers on a white peeling paint wall showing yellow paint below.  sticker on yellow with man from monopoly game saying covid? wtf*?  *wear the mask

below: Reggae Lane, just south of Eglinton. The mural in the background was painted by Adrian Hayles in 2015.  Better pictures of it are on a previous blog post about Reggae Lane

murals on reggae lane

graffiti, black spray paint on a light grey concrete wall, outline of a person holding up a sign above head that says Afroism, 2020

below: Waiting…..

below: Never Give Up!

door with a window at 506 Oakwood, with a picture of a bird with a frog in its beak and the words Never give up

a woman dresses in black t shirt and shorts and holding her bike is getting sir from an air pump at an ultramar service center

below: Looking north up Oakwood to Eglinton West. The construction of Oakwood station still has a long way to go! The previous blog post (‘Eglinton and Oakwood’) looked at this intersection/construction.

looking north on Oakwood to where it ends at Eglinton West, crane, construction of new oakwood subway station

below: Looking through a store window in the Distillery District towards the intersection Parliament & Mill.

Distillery District lighting store, looking through their windows, with reflections, a person walking past, horizontal lines, yellow and red desk lamps, an oval lamp hanging from the ceiling

below: Photography exhibit “Looks Like Us” hanging on the fence around David Crombie Park. The exhibit was produced and presented by Jamii in partnership with The Journal.

photograph of a protest in Istanbul Turkey taken by Serra Akcan, mounted on a chainlink fence beside a park

below:: Photo by Serra Akcan, Istanbul

below: Looking northeast at Parliament and Adelaide

new condo construction on the northeast corner of Parliament and Adelaide

below: Parliament and Queen Street East

northeast corner of Adelaide and Queen East

below: Queen Street East

new TTC streetcar travels westbound on Queen Street East past old brick storefronts, historic buildings, The Bullger Burger snad Steak, Convenience and Supermarket, 2 people waiting to get on streetcar,

below: Embedded in the sidewalk, a memorial to those who died in the fire at the Rupert Hotel.

Plaque in the sidewalk describing the Rupert Hotel fire of 1989 when a rooming house burned down, killing 8 people“Rupert Hotel Fire – On December 23rd 1989 a fire roared through the Rupert House Hotel, a licensed rooming house on this site.  Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters and several tenants, ten people died in the blaze, making it one of the worst fires in the history of Toronto.  The tragedy sparked action by municipal organizations to improve the conditions in rooming houses throughout Toronto.  This plaque was dedicated by the City and the Rupert Coalition in a special ceremony on May 18, 1993 in memory of the ten who died: Donna Marie Cann, Stanley Blake Dancy, Edward Finnigan, Vernon Stone, Vincent Joseph Clarke, David Donald Didow, John Thomas Flint, Ralph Orel Stone, Victor Paul Whyte. ” (more…)

below: Up beside the Don Valley Parkway and way off the beaten track this time.

up on a hill, level with a DVP overpass over York Mills Road, concrete barrier at side of parkway, signs for exit ramp to York Mills, also sign saying Lawrence Ave in 2 km,

But obviously some people with spray paint know about this little green corner of North York.

graffiti on a concrete wall beside the Don Valley Parkway just north of York Mills Road

below: More graffiti (text, throw ups) along the concrete barrier beside the southbound traffic

text graffiti on the concrete wall along west side of DVP, apartment building in the background,

below: A dead end on an abandoned road. This is part of the remains of an onramp for the southbound Don Valley Parkway from westbound York Mills Road.

text graffiti on a concrete wall, beside green space and the dead end of an abandoned onramp for the Don Valley Parkway, red brick apartment building, small trees,

below: This ramp was closed in 2005 and replaced with the present road configuration where all the on and off ramps are on the south side of York Mills.  Except for creating a mound of earth along the York Mils side, the site was left untouched.  Small trees are slowly taking over as nature gains the upper hand.

abandoned road starting to be overgrown with cracked asphalt, behind some houses, lots of trees with no leaves (early spring)

below: Still no parking

abandoned ramp to DVP,

Looking south along remains of an abandoned on ramp for the DVP at York Mills Road, later winter,

below:  Walking east on York Mills Road

A path crosses a large lawn in front of two apartment buildings

looking slightly uphill at a tree with a slight lean to the right in front of a tall yellowish grey apartment building

below: Any idea what this is? Something old and to do with water? At first I thought that it was sidewalk feature but now I suspect that someone ditched it here.

Small cylindrical metal object standing upright on the grass beside a sidewalk, rusty and old

below: Looking eastward on York Mills Road

Looking east along York Mills Road, just east of the Don Valley Parkway, some condo construction on the right, traffic, school bus, low rise apartments on the left

red and orange spray paint markings on a sidewalk by a construction site

below: Walking through Deerlick Park

View from a park towards a construction site with first few floors of a new condo built.  Taller apartment buildings in the background

fence around  a pile of dirt, construction site, with orange objects, apartment building in the background

below: Playground on Deerlick Trail

path leading to a playground

An orange kids bike lies on the grass outside a townhouse.  Patio chairs are stacked up by the house along with round table and folded umbrella

below: CN Tower and the downtown Toronto skyline in the distance

Looking beyond a fence and some houses to see the CN Tower and Toronto downtown skyline in the distance

Part of a mural, outdoors summer rural scene with house in the distance, a fox by a creek and a girl in the foreground in a flowered dress and her hair in two pigtails, surrounded by a field of long grass and flowers

below: Trilliums under the Don Valley Parkway. Part of a mural on both sides of the underpass at Brookbanks. It was painted by Sarah J. Collard with help from Manny and Sonja Wiebe.

end of a mural on walls of an underpass, under the DVP.  A field of white trilliums with tree trunks on the background.

Woman walking on sidewalk, walking past a mural by Start and City of Toronto, on DVP underpass concrete walls

part of a mural, a man cycling on a path, a sea gull lands behind him., path goes past field of flowers

3 valleys auto garage and full service gas station, a low one storey building with 4 bays for car repair

below: Church of Our Saviour with its large triangular stained glass window that was apparently designed by a local high school student.

Front view of Our Saviour Church, Anglican, with its A shaped roof line.  Large triangular stained glass window

Construction site in residential area, house is mostly demolished, just footprint remains, fence around site, orange digger, backs of houses in next street, a tall apartment building in the background

blue dump truck backed into a construction site where a house has been demolished

split level semi divided house with cars parked in the driveway, a large tree in front of the one on the right, apartment building behind

From Three Valleys I tried to find a way to get back north to York Mills Road via parks and green spaces but I couldn’t do it. The next blog post was the result of a subsequent walk when I started farther north and attempted to find a path south.

below: No Eiffel Tower here!

blue and white toronto street sign for Paris Court, on a wood utility pole

tile pattern beside a glass door

 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!

This post grew out of the last walk that I took with my mother.  It fit the criteria of being close to her house, had a route where we didn’t double back, and was somewhere that neither of us had walked recently.   Our route was The Donway, the circular road that encompasses the intersection of Don Mills Road & Lawrence Ave.  We drive through it or past it frequently but as you know, the world looks different when you get out of your car.

Painted sign tht says Don Mills, in front of Don Mills Sceondary school. Each letter is a different colour with decorations on them (pictures) painted by students

Developed between 1952 and 1965, the suburb of Don Mills was very much a “planned community”. The history of its development is online so I am not going to dwell on that aspect.  I was more interested in what it looks like now – what changes are happening there?  What looks just like it did 60 years ago?

We started at the library.  [As an aside, this where I had my first job.  I was 15; I hated it; I lasted two months.  My apologies to all librarians. ]

below: Don Mills Library.  In 1956 the land was purchased at Lawrence and Donway West for a new library.  It was opened in 1961 and renovated in 1994.  A few years later it was added to the inventory of North York’s Modernist Architecture.  You can download the brochure that lists, with pictures, the more than 200 buildings on this inventory from an ERA Architects website(but be patient!)

part of Don Mills library, built in the late 1950s

below: The old and the new.

Donway West, older low rise apartments on the right, taller and newer condos on the left

below: A new playground in front of construction where the Don Mills Arena once stood.

playground in the front, construction behind that, and Scarborough skyline in the distance

The original Don Mills plan called for higher density inside the Donway Circle with lower density & single family homes outside the circle.  These condos are withing the circle, adjacent to the “Shops at Don Mills”.

construction site

orange construction cone beside a fence with a green construction cloth covering over it

below: The old post office (postal station) building is gone too.

now vacant lot beside Shops of Don Mills where old post office building was demolished

three storey red brick apartment building on the corner of Don Mills and the Donway with traffic light

low rise apartment building with trees and grassy space beside it

front of apartment building

1960s Don Mills residences, red brick

 These new townhouses sit outside the north east quadrant of the circle.

new grey townhouses being built on the Donway in Don Mills

I don’t think that anyone is going to claim that the original architecture in the area was “pretty” but these grey things are unsightly if not stupendously ugly.

new townhouses being built in Don Mills

below: Each of the quadrants of The Donway has a church.  In the NE is Donway Baptist Church (also in the inventory of NY Modernist Architeture).   The new townhouses seem to dwarf the church.

Donway Baptist church, built in the late 1960s, brick building

below: Don Mills Covenant United Church in the NW portion of The Donway.

front of Don Mills United Church

below: The front of Don Mills Secondary school where many small trees have been planted.  There’s at least one apple tree and one cherry tree .

front of Don Mills Secondary School, many new trees have been planted in front of the school

a few locks, rusted, on the chainlink fence around Don Mills Secondary school, playing fields and basketball hoops in the background

below:  This style of bungalow must have been very popular as tens of thousands of them were built, not just in Toronto, but in other towns and cities as well.

Don Mills bungalow with stairs up to center entrance

below: The car port, another Don Mills feature that helped make housing affordable at the time.

A-line roof bungalow with car port

below: A family of raccoons has found a home in Don Mills too!

a tree trunk, about 6 feet high, with a section carved out and a raccoon family painted on it.

a white (dry) bird bath or fountain with a statue of a girl and fairy, girl is holding a Canadian flag.

My apologies if the greyness of the photos makes you think that Don Mills is a grey kind of place.  Blame the weather – there hasn’t been a lot of sun this January.

Howdy!

little metal character made of found objects and rusty metal, hat, fishing net, overalls,

There are rumours of a vaccine being available but at the rate at which people are being inoculated, we’re going to be living this socially distanced life for a few (many?) more months.  To help alleviate the feelings of isolation without jeopardizing anyone’s health, I have started walking with friends in their neighbourhoods.  My previous post, about Glendon College, was the result of a walk that I took with my mother and it was that afternoon that I decided to make a point of walking with friends more often.  The result of the first of these walks, near South Kingsway & Bloor, is what you see here.

yeard decorations of two small metal bikes, one blue and one yellow, in front of a house with Christmas wreath on the door and other Christmas greenery decorations too

stret of houses and large trees across from Rennie Park, single family homes, residential area, large trees, winter, no leaves, some snow on the ground.

bench in park, snow on ground, large tree, lots of long shadows,

a melting snowman with a blue and black plaid cloth around it, looks a bit like a large bid witha sharp curved beak

below: Rules of the rink for these Covid-19 times.

outdoor skating rink at Rennie Park, winter, with two signs regrding the rules for outdoor rinks during covid times, a few people are skating

outdoor skating rinkm some people getting ready to skate, enclosed rink for hockey etc with more natural rink beside it

child in red pants and blue winter coat pulling a sled across a park, houses and trees behind it

looking down a hill towards a park with a playground, backyards and houses beyond that. orange snow fence, railings of the stairs going down the hill

two adjacent two storey houses with lots of white statues and fountains in the front yards

white statues in front of a house

A little house!

older smaller house beside a larger newer one

older light grey stucco house on lot with grass and large trees

chainlink fence beside a path through the woods in early winter, no leaves on trees, some snow on the trail

below: Be careful where you walk!

wooden bridge over creek, ground at end of bridge has been flooded, hill onthe other side of the bridge with aprtment buildings (low rise) on top

below: Evidence of beaver activity!

beside a pond, thin layer of ice on the water, dead leaves on the ground, some medium sized tree trunks, one that a beaver has tried to take down

below: The muddy path beside Catfish Pond

path beside a pond that is muddy, boards placed on top of mud to make it passable

below: Morningside High Park Presbyterian church, built 1917.

front entrance and steeple of Morningside High Park, a stone church built in the Gothic style in 1917

below: In the distance, highrises near Bloor West and Keele

street curving downhill towards park, city skyline ion the background, a house or two beside the road

small white house behind a large pine tree and between two larger houses, on a small hill with stairs leading up to it

below: High Park

below: The very north end of Grenadier Pond.  Work is underway to remove invasive species of plants from this part of High Park and replace them with native vegetation.

a man is going down a long set of stairs towards a park, winter time,

and back up the stairs to Bloor West

older small apartment building from the 1920s, brick,with white wood trim and balconies

With thanks to Alice for being my tour guide.

a woman taking pictures in the woods, winter

Walking from Main Street east along the Danforth, with a diversion or two to see what we can see…..

part of a street art mural, a big eye, blue in the middle

a row of three two storey brick stores on the Danforth.  Flat roofs, one in the middle is a computer repair shop.  A small tree covers the front of one store, Danforth market is on the far right

furniture store in old two storey building on the Danforth   with three big windows with save $ $ signs, old building with sagging roof.

old two storey brick building on Danforth, stores, pharmacy, walk in clinic, and carpet store, your carpet connection with rolls of carpet in the window

gas station, two pumps, star self service gas, cars parked behind at auto mechanic shop, top quality auto and cars r us toronto, open sign

woman walking on Danforth at Madeleine, past star self service gas station, large sign with price of gas as 98 cents a litre, computer store on opposite side of street

large sign on pole, stiches outlet, beside a driveway, stores across the street, divine photography

empty storefront on the Danforth

looking through the window of an empty store, pegboard, interior window, and wood paneling on some walls

looking through a large window of a store to see almost empty interior, a chair is there along with a rack for hanging clothes. people and cars are passing by on the street

empty store, for lease sign in the window, looking trhough to other side of street, as well as reflections from window, white bench on sidewalk, yellow truck parked on street

A cosy nook for a pigeon

a pigeon has found a place to sit on a broken opening above a door to lightmans store, glass door with brown paper covering it, white wood frame, painted, number 3270 in different colours

Milk plus convenience store with bright red and white sign saying milk plus milk plus. sign in window that says please do not steal

bar window, with Molson Canadian advert with red maple leaf, also coca cola sign with beer prices listed

signs on exterior of store, Formula 1 store, sells candles and religious items, also sign advertising Liqui Moly motor oils, additives, and car care from PJC Autoworks

below: Come on in and choose a wig while you wait for your like new used tires to be installed!

on a fence beside a store, advertising used tires for sale , like new, at thirty five dollars each. also a sign for visual beauty hair supply with a list of some of their products

Not all skeletons are kept in the closet.

Looking into a building trhough window, a skeleton is on display

hand painted sign on a chain link gate that says do not park in front door

In the category of “the unexpected”, old military vehicles.

old drab green military truck and ambulance with red cross symbol parked in front of a building

Small houses!

street scene - all the houses are small bungalows, large trees in the front yards, cars parked in driveways

intersection of Sneath and Lucy, in Scarborough, small houses,

small bungalow with small porch and flowers on the porch

below: This very small house with the big front yard, and a very overgrown yard at that, sits empty and alone.  “Danger do not enter” and “Private Property” signs are on the front door.   If you can get as far as the front door.

very small house with large front yard, yard is overgrown with long grass and weeds, boarded up with signs in the window

empty boarded up house with danger sign onthe front door

… even more overgrown and even more difficult to find the front door!

 a front yard so overgrown with trees and greenery that you can hardly see the car in the driveway. The house is entirely hidden

an old car in an overgrown backyard, behind chainlink fence

A warning sign of a different sort.

sign in the shape of a dog bone, on a door, that says ring doorbell and run, the dog needs exercise

no parking sign on a brick wall, partially in english and partially in another language with a different alphabet

four orange and green taxis parked in front of a building that has a sign that says Oakridge Seniors Bocce Club

two men in lifts working high up on metal beams on a construction site

looking north on a side street towards Danforth, large multi storey apatment building

bungalow in the foreground, highrise apartment building in background

And last but not least, a patriotic splash of summer colour from July when I took these photos for the greyer days of November that we now find ourselves in.

lots of roses growing on a rosebush beside a white fence

canada flag design on plastic windmill in a planter in a backyard

 

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

a carved pumpkin on a table behind a building

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

mural with woman's face

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

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

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

below: I can see you, reflected back

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

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

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

below: An old elicser mural

an old elicser mural with people

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

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

TTC subway tracks running parallel to a lane

below: Float away in the 416

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

whether you’re walking

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

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

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

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

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

There are windows to look in

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

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

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

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

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

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

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

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

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

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

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

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

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

below: Another flying bicycle

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

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

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

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

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

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

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

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

below: With a car parked in its mouth

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

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

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

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

display of eye glasses in the window of a store