Posts Tagged ‘houses’

Relentless

Ubiquitous

These are two apt words to describe construction in Toronto, or to be more precise, the tearing down of  older houses and building smaller condo units or townhouses in their place.  We are experiencing the downsizing of living space as land values continue climbing upwards.

I drove past this Bayview Avenue house on the weekend and was intrigued by the look of it – a pale yellow,  once grand older house now sitting empty.   Many of the mature trees that were in its front yard have been cut down so the house is now easily visible from the street.  I went back to that section of Bayview Avenue with my camera yesterday morning.

older two storey house, pale yellow, with black and white trim and black front door, mature trees in the front yard.

There wasn’t much of a chain across the front yard so it was easy to walk up to the house.  It looks like the front door hasn’t been used in quite some time.   The window appears to have an old fashioned storm window on the outside although the shutters look more modern.   I’d love to know the history of the house (How old is it?  I suspect that it was built when this section of Bayview was still on the fringes of the city and before Bayview became 5 lanes wide but I don’t know for sure.)

front door of an older house, number 2450, pale yellow walls, white frames around door and window, black door, black shutters,

Right next door is this large bungalow:

large bungalow set back from the street behind a few pine trees, brown roof, stone facing on the exterior, large lawn,

Originally built as a family home, this became the Bayview Hebrew School of the Arts in 2008.  The school is relocating and the building now sits empty.

nonsdescript white double doors as front entranceway of a house, flagstone steps and porch are buckling as is the ashphalt walkway leading to the front door.

looking through the front window into an empty building, looking through the back windows to the yard beyond.

Just up the street was this house.  It looks empty but there was a recycling bin beside the garage and some curtains in the windows so I didn’t wander up to the front door…. even though I really like that red door!  There was no chain across the driveway, nor were there any “keep out” signs.   Neither of those things would stop me, but they are good indicators that no one lives there anymore.   Google street view of this address is from August 2015 and at that time there was a for sale sign on the property.

bungalow set back from the street, large front yard with uncut long grass and a few mature trees, also a low wood fence,

The above are the “going” half of the title of this blog post.  The “coming” are these doors under construction; they too are on this part of Bayview Avenue.   Side by side front doors with a concrete layer between them – two of a row of five townhouses.  One day (soon?) someone will be able to walk in their front door and go up a level or two, to floors that haven’t yet been built.

from the front, street view, two of a row of townhouses under construction, plywood exterior with holes where the doors and windows are going to be.

This is the development that caused an uproar a year ago when they illegally clear cut two lots – cutting down about 30 large trees including a linden tree that was close to 150 years old in the process.  According to the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 813, Article III, conviction for cutting down a mature tree  results in a “minimum fine of $500.00 and a maximum fine of $100,000.00 per tree involved in an offense; a special supplementary fine of $100,000.00 is also possible.” (source).

In October 2016, Format Group (the developers involved) paid a fine of $155,064.  This amount includes $657.30 per tree to cover city inspection costs and $116,600 for the planting of 200 new trees — mostly at other sites.

The two lots will be developed into 11 3-storey townhouses and 4 single family houses.  All units have already sold.

a row of townhouses being built, the lower floors are framed with plywood, the upper storey hasn't been started yet.

Before I leave the area, there is something similar going on across the street.

tree with yellow caution tape in front of an empty lawn with empty house in the background

First – there is this empty house sitting on a corner lot at Bayview and Wilket.  This one property is the future home of seven 3-storey townhouses as well as one single detached house.   Does anyone want to do the math on the potential profit – one house for 8 units in a time where even a townhouse sells for more than a million.

driveway and entranceway of a brick house that is now empty

Second – this sign has also appeared nearby. When I checked their website I found this description: “Located in north Toronto, The Bridle Path is synonymous with prestige and exclusive luxury. Known for its spectacular homes and refined neighbourhood character, it’s no wonder that this is the place that Toronto’s discerning elite prefer to call home. Now, on Bayview Ave. in the heart of the Bridle Path neighbourhood, Kingsmen Group is excited to introduce a new luxury townhome community that embodies the very essence of refined prestige living. Register today for more information coming soon.”

There is so much wrong with that paragraph.  I wouldn’t call this part of Bayview a part of the Bridle Path neighbourhood; you might be able to make an argument that it’s on the fringes of said neighbourhood but that would be stretching it.  “Prestige” and “luxury” are words that are so overused that they are almost meaningless with respect to Toronto real estate.   It seems silly to compare a townhouse on Bayview with the homes on the Bridle Path but I guess that’s what sells.  Actually, you could probably sell them without such a comparison!

sign advertising new townhouse devlopment by kingsmen Group inc.

Oh dear, I want to call this a Thursday Doors post so I’d best call it quits here.  I’ve probably already strayed too far off topic!  For more information on the Thursday Doors project see here.

It was a foggy morning when I walked down McCaul Street.
The CN Tower had its head in the clouds.

looking south on McCaul street towards the CN tower, the top of the tower is covered in low cloud.

below: As I walked south on McCaul, this wall caught my eye.  It’s in an alley that runs perpendicular to McCaul but it can be seen from the street.

A quote by Voltaire in large capital letters, Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung.

below: There are a number of small lanes and alleys in the area and like most alleys, there was graffiti to be found such as these two animals – a whale and a bird having a friendly chat.

Two roughly drawn graffit animals on a wall, a duck and a whale, both in white paint with red details

below: Bugs Bunny is easy to find; he’s on McCaul.

mural of bugs bunny lying on the ground, head on elbow, eating a carrot

below: Just around the corner from the Wascally Wabbit is the Cat in the Hat from the Dr. Suess book of the same name.  This time, the cat’s mischief involves a can of spray paint.   Extra info: yes, you can still get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Toronto.

mural of the cat from the cat in the hat, the kids book by Dr. Suess, he's holding a can of spray paint.

below: More Dr. Suess, this time Thing 1 and Thing 2.  They are on the same mural as the Cat in the Hat and are running towards him.

thing 1 anf thing 2 from Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat in a mural on the side of a building.

below: Once upon a time you could smell fresh bread when you walked down McCaul but now Silversides bakery sits empty.

empty brick building, with ghost of sign that said Silversides in cursive writing,

below: Old row houses on Baldwin Street.  Most of the remaining old houses on Baldwin, especially those close to McCaul, have been converted into restaurants.

row houses on Baldwin street, three storey old brick houses with gabled roofs. One is now a restaurant.

below: A cheerful yellow house – another example of the older houses in the neighbourhood.

a small yellow bungalow is between two largeer and taller houses. It has a hedge in front and a yellow awning over the front door.

below: More colours…. evenly divided in pink and yellow.  They share a gable and a porch, both of which have interesting details in the woodwork.

a semi divided house, one side pink and the other side yellow, the gable of the house belongs half to one side and half to the other

below:  There’s not as much paint on these houses.  Instead, there is two coloured  brick pattern on all walls of the front of the house.  I wonder how many other houses have brick patterns hiding under their paint?

large semi divided brick house with a center gable and woodedn porch, also wooded oriel window over the front door.  Two colours in the brick work, eachhouse has painted wood a different colour

below: The sign beside the door says: Chinese Seniors Health & Recreation Association of Ontario.  An old Bell telephone booth sits on the corner.

old Bell telephone booth in front of a large semi divided three story house, painted white, fence in front, bikes parked against fence

below: The blue wall of the Art Gallery of Ontario as seen from the other side of Grange Park.  Grange Park has been under renovation for a number of months now but it is looking like it is close to completion.  Part of the renovation has involved creating a new space for Henry Moore’s sculpture, Large Two Forms, which sits on the corner of Dundas and McCaul at the moment.   The couple in this photo caught my eye because she’s in shorts and he’s in a parka with the hood up.

two people are walking up a wide path in a park, Grange Park, with the blue wall of the Art Gallery in the distance

below: Another Grange Park upgrade is the playground.

new playground in Grange Park with the box on pencil structure of OCAD behind it.

below: A lonely urban tree hiding amongst the clutter on the sidewalk.

a lonely tree grows out of a square of dirt on the sidewalk, street scene around it.

below: A large mural celebrating the Ride to Conquer Cancer covers the wall beside the entrance to the parking lot of Princess Margaret Hospital.

very large mural for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer showing scenes from a fund raising bike ride. Men and women and their bikes

below: This is painted in a slightly different style than the one above!

a mural showing a scantily dressed large breasted blonde woman kneeling amongst red mushrooms.

below: Sitting beside the anser face.

two pieces of street art, an anser face on one side, and a painting of a long haird blond woman sitting in a chair beside it, her back is to the viewer

below: More faces, this time two faces merged into one.

a line drawing graffiti of two faces merged into one, 2 noses, trhee eyes, two mouths,

below: Someone also has a homonym problem.

graffiti on a metal box on the sidewalk says I new this would happen. the words don't fit across the box and the en in happen are written below it

below: Not just a poser bunny, but an honest poser bunny.

a green piece of metal attached to a wood hydro pole with a white drawing of a poser bunny on it.   The word honest in white letters is written beside the bunny

below: A lone survivor.  The Richard Purdom House is the last house standing on this stretch of McCaul.  Richard Purdom was the architect and original owner of the house (1877).  It is a heritage building that “displays features of the Italinate style”.  Most of the buildings around it are hospital buildings (Mt. Sinai and Princess Margaret).  There is usually a car parked in front.

old brick house in front, modern hospital buildings in the background

below: Another bit of history – the bell tower of St. George the Martyr Anglican Church stands near the south entrance of Grange Park.   The original church first opened its doors here in 1845.  It could seat 750 people and the tower was topped with a spire that reached 150 feet.  In the early morning of 13 Feb 1955, the church burned.   The new church is behind the tower and part of the grounds is now a garden dedicated to the memory of the old church and its early congregations

old brick bell tower of a church.  The church burned down many years ago, leaving the tower.  A new church was built behind but you can't see it in the picture

below: Just before the end of the post…  I’m throwing in one window picture because every walk needs a window as much as this wall needs a fresh coat of paint!

two windows with brown frames on a cream coloured wall with the paint peeling to reveal the red brick beneath

Toronto street sign, McCaul St.

Right now, the section of Sheppard Avenue East between Yonge and Leslie streets is a mix of old, middle aged and new – a hodge podge of sizes, styles and uses.   It’s neither ugly nor pretty.  It’s not sure if it’s city or  suburban.

below: The intersection of Bayview and Sheppard from the southwest.

main road with traffic, coming to an intersection, with a tall building in the background

You’ll probably never hear anyone say, “Hey, let’s go for a walk along Sheppard”.  So why was I there?   I’ve driven along this stretch many times but I have never walked it.  Have I been missing something?

below: A short distance west of Bayview is the modern brick St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, or ÁrpádHázi Szt. Erzsébet Római Katolikus Templom according to their sign.  Sunday mass is in Hungarian.   If you are driving past on Sheppard Ave, it’s easy to miss the simple steeple and cross that marks this building as a church.

steeple of St. Elizabeth of HUngary RC church, modern brick building with simple cross on the top

below: A large mosaic adorns one of the exterior walls.

mosaic on the exterior brick wall of St. Elizabeth of Hungary RC Church showing St. Elizabeth and two people kneeling beside her.

below: A small shrine is in front of the church.

small picture of Mary and baby Jesus in bright colours, on a small shrine in front of a church

below: The south entrance to Bayview subway station.  There are no escalators at this entrance  – instead, there is an elevator and a LOT of stairs.

south entrance to Bayview subway station with tall residential buildings behind and a construction site beside

below: The artwork at Bayview station is by Panya Clark Espinal, titled ‘From Here Right Now’.  Half an apple lies on the platform.

art on a subway platform, a line drawing of a very large apple that has been cut in half, on the wall and floor of the station

below: A salt or pepper shaker on the wall.  I’ve only shown two of the images in the series.  There are 24 in total and they are scattered throughout the  station.

art on a subway platform wall, a salt or pepper shaker in black on white tiles

below: There is a small park behind the south entrance to Bayview subway station, Kenaston Garden Parkette where I saw this tree in bud.   The first signs of spring are always wonderful to see.   Today it’s -12C outside so I hope the tree is okay.

pussy willow buds on a tree

below: This little park was designed by Wilk Associates Landscape Architecture and it incorporates a large number of rocks including a glacial boulder found on the site.   A bronze sculpture of a tree clinging to a rock  by Reinhard Reitzenstein is one of the features of the park.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock

below: If you stand in the park and look east,  you can’t miss the construction.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock - crane and construction site in the background

a convex mirror beside a black and yellow caution sign, condos are reflected in the mirror

the front and side of a large truck is in the foreground, right side, with a construction site beyond

Construction is everywhere on Sheppard Avenue.

below: All of the houses on Cusack Court are now gone.  Only the ‘No Exit’ sign remains.

a construction site where the houses on a a whole street have been demolished. The no exit sign for the street still remains., the site is behind a chainlink fence

a banner of the Canadian flag has fallen over and is lying on the ground behind a chainlink fence

below: The single family homes on the south side of Sheppard are slowly being demolished to make way for condo developments.  At the corner of Sheppard Ave East and Greenbriar  the proposed development of 184 residential units is the subject of an OMB prehearing on the 8 May 2017  (case number PL161113).

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below: Five houses are empty and waiting to be demolished to make way for two buildings, 11 and 6 storeys, mixed use (i.e. retail at street level) and incorporating a few townhouses.  In other words, the same old same old.

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below:  I said “same old same old” above because these types of buildings are popping up all over  many major roads that are outside the downtown core.  I suspect that Sheppard Avenue will be lined with structures like this one that’s already been built on the north side of Sheppard.

across the street is a 10 storey residential building, cars on the street, small trees in the foreground

Many people make the argument that there isn’t the density to support a subway along Sheppard.  I am of the opinion that if they’re not wrong now, they soon will be.   Development and public transit are dependent on each other, a symbiotic relationship if you will.   If you are affected by the construction along Eglinton for the new Crosstown line, you might agree that waiting for density only increases the problems and inconvenience (and cost?) of building new subway lines.   Also, have you seen photos of what the area around Davisville or Finch (and others) stations looked like when the subway opened there?   What is the required density?  Why do we want to funnel even more people towards the overcrowded Yonge line anyhow?   Is there an end to the questions we can ask?

And that’s another reason for my walk here…. to make note of the construction that is occurring whether we agree with it or not and to document some of  the changes.

below:  Two low rise apartment buildings.

two three storey brick apartment buildings with balconie in the front, taken from across the street

below: Once upon a time there were a lot of these little houses along Sheppard (even more so on the west side of Yonge Street).  At least one of these is still used as a family home but most are now offices or businesses.

a few small brick houses on the south side of Sheppard Ave

below: The north entrance to Bessarion station

looking across the street to the small north entrance to Bessarion subway station, with a small two storey plaza beside it

below: Looking east from Bessarion.  You can see as far as the condos on Don Mills Road.

looking west from Bessarion subway station towards Leslie Street and beyond,

   There is a reason that you haven’t seen many people in these pictures and it’s not because I waited for people to get out of the way.   Sheppard Avenue is a “major arterial road” under Toronto’s road classification system and traffic movement is its major function.  20,000+ cars are expected to use it every day.

I don’t like to say it, but why would you be walking along Sheppard anyhow?

below: Bayview Village parking lot at the NE corner of Bayview and Sheppard.

parking lot of a mall, Bayview village with surrounding buildings in the background.

As you might know, scroll down to the next blog post to see some pictures of Bessarion station!

 

I started walking Graffiti Alley the other day but I didn’t stick to my plan.  I meandered and wandered through other alleys as well as I generally headed west.

below: A bright, vibrant, wonderful piece by birdo in an alley north of Queen Street West.

a birdo mural on a garage door of a woman in grey tones with a round red mouth in the shape of an O. she is holding her hand up near her face and a bird is sitting on it. The background of the mural is red and greenish triangles.

below: Another birdo nearby

birdo mural on the side of a building, a red high heel shoe, a brown circle, a grey head plus the colourful geometric shapes often found in a birdo mural, in reds and turquoise

below: Only remnants remain.  Was it a stikman?  Or was it something else?

a tiny bit of a stikman is left on a post that is covered with spray paint.

below: Auston Matthews already has his picture on T-shirts.
It can’t be easy having the hopes of all those Maple Leaf fans resting on your shoulders.

in front of a store that seels T-shirts, a blue T-shirt based on the famous Obama Hope poster, but this time the portrait is of a Maple Leaf player with the word hope below.

below: Of course normal is boring. What I need is a t-shirt that says “rather be walking”

Two t-shhirts in a store window, a grey woman's t-shirt with the words Normal is Boring on the front and a black t-shirt with the words rather be in bed.

below: This wall is not new but there is usually a car parked in front of it when I walk past.  King Reign and Son of S.O.U.L. were two Toronto hip hip artists who passed away in 2016.

a wall in Graffiti Alley, layers of different artist's work, some uber 5000, some elicser, plus a grey ton picture of two men wearing caps with the words son of soul king reign written underneath them.

below: Stickers on a box

stickers on a small metal box on a brightly coloured wall. almost the whole box is covered, a lovebot heart, a pink cat, a blue octopus, a shark, plus some stickers that are ads for music or records.

below: I love the juxtaposition of the car in the mural with the real cars parked in the alley. Also the alignment of the first two walls makes the painting look like one.

in an alley, a white car is parked between a blue car and a mural painting of a blue car. There is also a mural of three people with the words summertime in the city.

below: This is another painting that I saw in Graffiti Alley.
I think that it’s new, or at least I don’t remember seeing it before.

a street art painting on the back of a building in an alley, a surreal piece with a cube with one side as a face, two creatures are floating out of the top of the cube - they are tethered to each other. The bottom creature is half in the cube and the surface of the cube looks like liquid.

below: Your words of advice for today.

a street art piece in an alley that is purple background with with a dripping brownish circle with two eyes and the words don't forget to drink water. The alley is also in the picture with parts of a couple of other murals visible

below: Fake. as in Fake news. Fake people. Fake money.  Fake graffiti artist?

the man from the monopoly game is painted on a wall. Someone has sprayed a white x through his face and written the word fake on his top hat.

below: These grey paper paste-ups have appeared on top of a number of street art paintings in Graffiti Alley.
I’m not sure who did it or why.
a grid of grey paper paste ups has been put on top of a abstract street art painting on a wall in an alley.

below: Blowing bubbles. Looks irresistibly ready for someone to pop it!
It was painted by @wamurals aka WayneArt

on the corner of Queen West and a smaller side street, the Convenience Canada store with a small white picket fence outside of it. On the wall is a mural of a woman blowing a big pink bubble with gum and the words head candy written above her head.

below: Hidden houses. Being pushed out by the big boys.

three layers, in the background a high rise building, in the middle ground, the tops of three single family homes on Richmond Street, in the foreground, poster covered hoardings for construction on Queen Stree West.

below: Half of a lovebot in a doorway.

half of a large black lovebot painted in a doorway (one side of him). A black lovebot with yellow details and a red heart.

below: A whole lovebot mixing it up with another creature.  I think it’s by grominator but I’m not sure.
I like to think of it as lovebot fighting his demons.

a lovebot mural in an alley, he looks to be fighting a grominator monster

below: Look up, way up, to find the switch from love to fear.
Yikes!, it’s switched to fear now and it’s not going to be easy to change it.

high on a wall, a small 3D lovebot heart beside a light switch that is love on one side and fear on the other.

below: Lucy and trouble and a weird looking face in a messy dimly lit doorway that assaulted my nose.

in a dimly lit doorway, a lot of scribbles and graffiti including a roughly drawn face, the word Lucy and the word trouble

below: Many of the planters along Queen West have been painted including this tribute to Gord Downie.

a rectangular cement planter on Queen Street west with pine and cedar boughs in it. The sides have been painted. On the end is the head of a lion, on the side is the word courage and a picture of Gord Downie from the music group The Tragically Hip

a rectangular cement planter on Queen Street west with pine and cedar boughs in it. The sides have been painted. On the end is the roman numeral 4 and a red heart. On the side is a black cat walking on a red background.

below: A little astronaut floats away. But he’s not up in the air where you’d expect to find him. He’s way down low near the ground.  Perhaps he’s not floating away, perhaps he’s falling back to Earth?

a small paste up of an astronaut floating in space, on a black wall, close to the ground.

Don’t over think it though.  Just keep your eyes open and ready for the unexpected!

Tucked into a space between City Hall and the Court House, is a construction site.  Up until recently it was a parking lot.  Soon it will be a new Court House.  Like all construction sites in Toronto, it is surrounded by hoardings to separate it from the streets and sidewalks.
a yellow digger, not working at the moment, sits in a vacant lot, slightly snow covered, the back of Toronto City Hall is in the background.

On two sides of the lot, the hoardings have been covered with a mural that was commissioned by Infrastructure Ontario.  It is “Picturing the Ward”and it is an exhibit about the area that once existed here, The Ward.  It was an area where many immigrants first settled.  It was roughly in the rectangle formed by College St., Yonge St., Queen St., and University Ave.   In the 1830’s it was home to Blacks escaping slavery, it saw waves of Irish, Eastern European Jews, Italians, and Chinese to name a few.

On the west side (along Centre Avenue), there are old photos, newspaper clippings, and stories of individuals who once lived in the area.   The content was collected and curated by the Toronto Ward Museum, a new ‘museum without walls’  in the city.   PATCH (part of The STEPS Initiative) designed and installed the mural.  The stories are in both English and French.

below: A segment of the mural with a story titled “Hungering for Success”.   It is the story of Edward and Donna Pasquale nee Bernardo.  Both were born in Italy and both were brought to the Ward by their parents.  They met here and married in 1918.  Edward and his brother Pamphilo founded Pasquale Brothers store on Elm Street.   During WW2 Pamphilo spent three years imprisoned in an internment camp in Petawawa along with other Italian, German, and Japanese Canadians that the government considered enemies of the state.  Edward remained in Toronto running the store.

part of larger mural, small tree branch in front, tall office building behind, mural has old photos in blue tones as well as a lot of words about the history of the area

below: The newspaper story from ‘The Toronto Star’ of 3rd October 1907 describes the death of Mrs. Hazleton, a widow with two children, who was hit by a car at Yonge & Bloor.  The car was driven by Mr. F.E. Mutton.  Yes, back then the driver of the car was named in the newspaper.

old photos in blue tones on a mural, along with a picture of an old newspaper clipping describing an automobile accident at Yonge & Bloor in which someone died.

below: The middle section is a collage of cyanotypes (an old photographic process which results in blue pictures) produced by PA System (aka Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson) .  The images are of artifacts uncovered during the excavation of the area along with some heirlooms contributed by former Ward residents.  A couple of CBC people were braving the cold that day too!

part of mural on a snowy corner, photos in blue tones, a CBC cameraman and reporter are standing on the sidewalk in front of the mural

below: The south side of the hoardings are along Armoury Street.  This section is called, These Stories Are Not Unlike Your Stories. Old photographs of the area have been reproduced in shades of blue.  Orange ‘bubbles’ contain stories.  Most of the photographs are from the City of Toronto Archives although some come from private sources.

part of a larger mural in Toronto, blue photos, with words written in large capital letters, These Stories Are Not Unlike Your Stories

below: On one side, the pictures are printed in reverse and the accompanying words are in French.  The French stories are translations of the English ones.

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: The people who lived in The Ward were poor and their housing was sub-standard.  In 1911 a report by the city’s Department of Health described how bad the living conditions were for the people here.  Largely because of that report, demolition of the area started soon after to make space for office towers and government buildings.  I’m not sure how long parts of The Ward survived, but it was in the 1950’s that the original Chinatown along Elizabeth Street was demolished to make way for Nathan Phillips Square.

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: Some of the orange bubbles contain quotes from descendants of former residents of the area.  The bottom quote is: “My mom use to say, ‘We were all poor.  No one had anything.  It was normal.  Everyone was in the same position so we didn’t worry about it too much.'”  by Brian Banks, grandson of John & Mary Colestock, former residents.

 

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: There is still a lot of work to be done on the site!   The mural will be on view until at least October of next year. If you are interested in the details of the mural, more about the people featured, or the events described, then the best place to start looking is the section of the Toronto Ward Museum website that is devoted to this project.

two red diggers on top of a pile of dirt on a snow covered vacant lot, large multirise buildings in the background

The Roden in the title of this blog post refers to Roden Public School.  In their schoolyard they have this colourful mural, a fairly accurate map of the area with the school in the center.  The original school on this site was built in 1907-1908 as Ashdale School.  In 1910 it was renamed to honour Mr. E.P. Roden a long time school trustee.  The present school was built in 1969.

a mural on a conrete wall in a schoolyard that is a map of the area with the school in the center, colourful, about 8 feet high and twelve feet wide.

below: The school is just north of Gerrard St., between Coxwell and Greenwood, and south of the railway tracks.  I suspect that the 100 in the circle that marks the school has to do with the 100th anniversary of the school although I haven’t been able to find any information about the mural online.

close up of the center of a mural on a conrete wall in a schoolyard that is a map of the area with the school in the center, colourful, about 8 feet high and twelve feet wide.

All day Sunday, and well into the early hours of Monday morning, it snowed.  It’s been many months since I’ve walked on a snowy day.  It was a bit grey and there wasn’t a lot of contrast (as in light and shadow) in the scenery yesterday afternoon when I walked, but the novelty of white snow kept me interested (and warm!).   From Roden school I wandered westward.

below: Walking home after school.

A woman walks her two young children home from school, down a snowy lane, one on each hand. Their back is to the camera, houses, trees, hydro ples, a car on the street they are about to cross.

below: A cosy brown scarf and red hat, an avocado smile, celery arms are two doggie treat buttons on his tummy – a snowman living the easy life.  No standing around in the snow for him!

a little snowman stands on a chair outside. A red cap, celery for arms, avocado for mouth

below: This was my friend who accompanied me for part of my walk, meowing loudly most of the time.   I’m not sure what it was trying to tell me.  Maybe it was out enjoying the snow?  More likely it was looking for a warm place to snuggle.

close up photo of a black cat in an alley with some snow on the ground, garage doors and a large tree

below: Busy steps, quiet steps.

the back of two buildings, one has undeisturbed snow behind it and a sign over the door that says R Coin Laundry. The building beside it (and attached to it) is three storeys high. The upper two levels have a wood railing and balcony out the back. Snow on the ground but lots of foot steps in the snow.

below: Keeping an eye on the garage.  Eye spy!

An old single car garage with grey shingle material covering it. Yellowish beige garage door with a small brightly coloured street art piece on it that includes an eye

below: Bikes and deer in the alley.  A mother deers keeps watch over her fawn.

mural of many bikes, as well as some deer. Deer look life like, standing in the alley watching you. Graffiti animals, street art painting of deer on a cement block garage wall.

below:  On one hand, I want to say that  for those who want to look, there are many little surprises to be found in the lanes and alleys of this city.   But on the other hand, there are an incredible number of old cars parked in city backyards.  Some are neglected and clearly not roadworthy while others still have some life left in them.

looking through a hole in a blue fence, an old light blue car is parked in a backyard, covered with snow, the white of the house is behind the car.

below: Another car.

Close up of chainlink fence, rusty, but in focus. Out of focus behind it is an old blue car that is covered with snow. It is parked between two black vehicles.

below: Clowning around in a window.

A small figurine of a clown holding his hat above his head, blue jacket, red pants, black bowtie, small figurine in front of a plant with green and purple leaves.

below: I think it’s dub monkey, duh?

white stencil on a concrete wall that says dub monkey with the face of a monkey

below: Looking south to Gerrard Street.  Snow and slush, very Toronto in the winter.   The orange construction sign is also very Toronto, but in all seasons these days.

looking towards a street with two sem-detached houses, one is boarded up and the other isn't. A construction sign, a pedestrian on the sidewalk, a black dog.

below: Someone added some colour to the alley when they shouldn’t have.

a bright red shopping cart has been abandoned in front of a green garage door in a snowy alley

below: A mural by kairo, on a pink that packs a punch on a grey winter day.

mural of a woman's head by kairo. Background has been painted a dark pink, with white spots. WOman has long reddish brown hair.

below: More alley colour to brighten the day.

Back of a house in a lane. Gate covering bac is lopsidded, on an angle. The garage that faces the alley has a bright yellow door. Two storey semi detached houses, one brown and one reddish.

below: Someone loves their bike.  I find it a bit creepy that the picture is a skull.

a small painting that has been hung a fence. A white skull with the eyes drawn as the wheels of a bike. The words say I love my bike, with the word love being a small heart.

below: Wall art of another kind.  Shades of yellow.

Yellow wall with rust coloured upper part. Tags and graffiti have been painted over with different colours of yellow paint to produce a patchwork like effect.

below: Little ups and downs in the lane.   A large majestic winter tree stands over the lane.

looking down an alley, a two storey house, a large mature tree with no leaves, the brightening sky of the late afternoon as the cloud cover lifts enough to let a but of sunlight through. Snow in the alley, with tire tracks from a few cars that have driven over it.

below: A peacock mural.  Lahore Halal Meat store on the corner of Gerrard is a reminder that this part of Gerrard was/is referred to as Little India because of the large number of Indian (Southeast Asian) shops and restaurants.

building on the corner of two streets, two storeys, as seen from the back. Shops on the lower level and apartments upstairs. Large mural of a peacock on the side of the building, a large billboard on top of it. Lahore Halal Meat store on the corner.

below:  This photo is from the entrance to Lahore Halal Meat store in the above photo.   The material on the inside features brides and grooms within heart shapes and surrounded by white flowers.  Not what you’d expect in a meat shop!

An open door, glass paneled door, of a store, a red and white Open sign is at the bottom of the door, part of the exterior wall is blue tiles that are starting to fall off, the counter inside is covered with a blue and white material that is pictures of brides and grooms in heart shapes surrounded by flowers.

below: Textured concrete, broken bricks, and the remnants of a black stencil.

a wall. Upper part is brick. A swath has been painted white, but some bricks have broken off in front to reveal the brighter orangish red underneath. The bottom part of the wall is grey concrete that has been texturized with slanted lines.

below: Sunflowers reach for a sunny place.

looking down a lane. A mural on a wall is on the left. It is bright yellow sunflowers under a blue sky. Snow in the alley with car tracks from a few vehicles, trees, a house, osme garages,

below: A fork in the alley.  A jumble of lines.

snowy and icy alley, dooking downhill towards a fork in the road, garage doors on all sides, backs of houses in the background, alleys and lanes of east part of Toronto

a large sign advertising Kawartha Dairy ice cream, on a sidewalk on a sluchy winter day, large pink ice cream cone picture,

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of the fence along Craven Road that has been decorated with artwork and old artifacts.  I was south of Gerrard Street when I took the photos.   I didn’t realize at the time that I missed another outdoor gallery on the other side of  Gerrard.  Today I took some pictures of those on display on the north side.   Here they are in no particular order:

below: Looking north up Craven Road along the fence.
That tropical sunset on the left looks very inviting!

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, looking down the length of most of the gallery, small pile of snow against the fence, painting in the foreground is warm Caribbean sun on beach with palm tree, Craven Road

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, an evergreen bough hangs over the top of the fence, above a painting of trees in a forest in winter, low sun, and long blue shadows.

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road in Toronto, two paintings of black trees (no leaves) on red, and one grey tree on orange background,

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, a black tree on a blue background. Snow has been blown against the wood fence and some of it has stuck to the fence, Craven Road

below: Some of the paintings are small words in another language and another alphabet.  Can anyone translate for me?

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, four paintings. One black tree on light brown paper, and three small paintings with words in a different language with a different alphabet, Bengali perhaps

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road, trees on blue and green background
small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, three paintings, one is a fish

By now I’m very curious about this street and this fence.  I found a long, detailed, and interesting history written by local historian Joanne Doucette that you can read here.