Posts Tagged ‘Humber River’

The TTC subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals.

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. a man holds out his hand to blue faced person, a round yellow sun in the sky

subway tracks cross above the Humber River at Old Mill station. The concrete pillars that support the subway bridge have been covered with many watery blue First Nations themed murals. fish swimming in watery blues around central medallions with images

below: The artist, Philip Cote, described the story behind this image on the ArtworxTO website (see link); like all cultures, the Anishinaabe have an origin story.  In the beginning there was just Spirit. “And that spirit decided to send signals out into the universe and waited for a response. And when no response happened that spirit called the signals back and said, “As you come back to me, create light in the universe”. And at that moment they had light and dark in the universe. And that is the beginning of the Anishinaabe cosmology. Everything for Anishinaabe is made of light and dark. Everything we look at has a spirit, everything, the ground, the rocks, the sand, the trees, the birds, the plants, everything is… and even our sun and our Mother Earth and the moon, they all have a spirit.”

connecting with the spirit, beginning of the universe, philip cote mural, old mill subway station bridge

connecting with thousands of galaxies in the universe

The blues of the water, the Humber River, were painted by Kwest. Water is the Underworld in Ahishinaabe cosmology and the Guardians of this Underworld are the fish. Another artist, Jarus aka (Emmanuel Jarus), painted the fish.

Most of the paintings have a well defined circle. This is the boundary between water and earth, between the spirit world and the physical world. But there are connections between the two worlds – all living things are connected and we are all connected to the Spirit World.

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus

First nations mural on concrete pillars holding up subway bridge over the Humber River, featuring a turtle shaped animal with a bear head, with its mouth open hunting for fish

mural by Philip Cote, Kwest, and Jarus, Anishnaabe spirit world and underworld theme, a male and a female figure, holding hands

Philip Cote mural with Jarus and Kwest, an otter swims in the water, looking down under the surface

These pictures also appear on another blog, Eyes on the Streets

Robert Home Smith (1877 – 1935) was a lawyer, business man, civil servant, and land developer.   In the early 1900’s he acquired 3000 acres of land along the Humber River, from Lake Ontario north to what is now Eglinton Ave. 

 A mural has been painted by Emilia Jajus on Royal York Road as it passes under the train tracks close to Dundas West.  The east side of the underpass is finished and it depicts Robert Home Smith and some of the effects that he had on the area.

below:  At the south end of the mural there is a portrait of Robert Home Smith.  A young girl can be seen hiding behind the trunk of a large tree.   Because the tree is painted on the corner, you can’t see the young boy who is hiding on the other side of the tree until you get closer to the mural.

part of a mural on an underpass, including a portrait of a man, Robert Home Smith

part of an historical mural on an underpass, two kids are playing, one on either side of a large tree that has been painted on the corner.

 below: Part of the mural, fishing in the Humber River by the bridge at the Old Mill.  The bridge was built in 1916 after an older bridge was washed out in a storm.  It is still there.

part of a mural showing a stone bridge over a river, the Humber River.  A man is fishing in the river from the shore.

Part of the land that he owned was the site of the King’s Mill.  This mill was built in 1793 on orders from Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe.  It was to mill lumber for the proposed town of York.    Here, Home Smith built the Old Mill Hotel as well as the  the Old Mill Tea Room.  The tea room was opened on 4 Aug 1914, the same day that Britain declared war on Germany.

below:  Part of the mural, the Old Mill Hotel

part of a mural that shows the Old Mill hotel, a tudor style two storey building with the lower part being made of stone

below: The Old Mill hotel in 1945

Copy of a 1945 photo of the Old Mill hotel in Toronto

photo from the City of Toronto Archives

Robert Home Smith planned to develop the land on both sides of the Humber River (known as the Humber Valley Surveys) into residential lots that were aimed at affluent buyers.  Although he died before the completion of this project, the neighbourhood of Kingsway as well as parts of Swansea, Baby Point, and Humber Village, still stand.

part of a mural showing a two storey stone house with fake tudor upper storey, in autumn, with tree with orange leaves beside the house.

The parkland that is adjacent to the Humber River as it curves around Baby Point is named Home Smith Park in memory of this man.

below:   A poor quality photo showing a view of the whole mural.   A replacement photo is needed, one taken on a day when there aren’t so many shadows!

picture of a mural painted an the wall of an underpass.

More art under another bridge over the Humber Recreational Trail, this time as the trail passes under St. Phillips Road (near Weston Rd and the 401).

Painted by Gabriel Specter and Dan Bergeron, it represents the energy of a hurricane.  Sixty years ago Hurricane Hazel was responsible for flooding of the Humber River that killed people and destroyed many homes.

below:  A purple graphic representation of a cyclone beside swirling water is the backdrop for the red slinky-like spiraling energy of the hurricane.

Mural of swirling water and a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

This spiral crosses under the road and connects the two side murals.

Mural on a concrete support of a bridge over a trail.  rocks on blue, with a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurricane rising from the rocks (or ending at the rocks) and passing upwards to the under side of the road above.

part of a mural under a bridge -  a tangled spiral shape in red representing a hurrican rising from the eye of the storm upwards to the underside of the road

Fourteen murals are planned along the route of the Pan Am Path, a trail that will connect Brampton to Pickering running south along the Humber River and then east along Lake Ontario.

signs along the HUmber Recreational trail indicating the name of the trail, the cycle path number that it is, the fact that it is also the Pan Am Path, and lastly a sign that says dogs must be on a leash.

Highway 401 passes over the Humber River just west of Weston Road. Beside the river is the Humber Recreational Trail that follows the river.  Just south of the 401 there is a break in the trail because of the train tracks so a short detour via Weston Road is needed if  you want to continue walking.  Otherwise, the trail runs south to Lake Ontario and north to the city limits at Steeles Ave.

Just north of the 401 is Pine Point park and that is where I went to access the bridge under the 401.   It is a big bridge with a lot of concrete surfaces.  In other words, it is a large canvas for street art.

The most eastern wall of concrete has been painted with a mural by Shalak, Smoky and Fiya as part of the the Pan Am Path.  The path is a “legacy” from the Pan Am games and will result in a trail the goes from Brampton to Pickering.   Most of this path will incorporate existing trails but new sections are also being built.   Anyhow, the mural consists of two women lying on a bed of flowers, one at each end of the bridge.  Both are holding a white mask.  In the middle is a heart and a pair of lovebirds on the branch of a tree.

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, looking along the length of the wall with a woman's head lying on a bed of pink flowers in the foreground.

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, a hand holding a white mask.

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, an anatomical painting of a heart that looks #D, surrounded by a yellow circle

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, two green lovebirds on a tree branch, with a background of multicoloured diamond shapes arranged concentrically

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, a hand is holding a white mask.

part of a mural on a concrete wall under a bridge under the 401 in Toronto, looking along the south end of the wall with a woman's head lying on a bed of pink flowers in the foreground.

 Facing the above wall, and on the other side of the trail, is a wall that has recently been painted by a group of street artists.  A picture is better than my attempts at translation!

graffiti signatures, tags, on a wall beside a large red and black tag.   Smoky, Shalak, Own, HEC, Ren, Mska, ctr, wey, wisper are some of the ones that I can read.

 The following photos are from that wall.

large grominator street art painting, along with a small lovebot

a little lovebot in the mouth of a large grominator, a close up of details of a larger painting.

street art picture of a poser bunny with an outstretched skinny arm pointing to the left.  He's on a large intricate tag.

part of a mural under a bridge - lovebot, a giant light blue lovebot swirls on a wall

part of a mural under a bridge - a wacky white face with open mouth.  One hand of the creature is holding a sign that says 69 and the other hand has one finger pointed upwards

part of a mural under a bridge - large mantishrimp creature with long antennae (tentacles?) emerging from behind a tag

part of a mural under a bridge - two paintings.  On the right is a very realistic growling wild cat (bobcat) wearing a blue and white baseball cap.  On the left is a large spray paint can with a picture of a seated person on it.   A large red dragon is behind that person, although the head of the dragon is coming forward above the person's head

part of a mural under a bridge - a tag in oranges blues and purples

part of a mural under the 401 in Toronto, a very large rooster in profile with its tail feathers reaching to the top right of the picture

part of a mural under the 401 in Toronto,  a human like figure, with South American influences, lying on its side, the word WASTOID written across its belt

part of a mural under the 401 in Toronto,  a large toucan head with a pink beak and yellow and orange head plume

part of a mural under the 401 in Toronto, tag like painting with a white hand, an eye and a small pyramid

part of a mural under a bridge - a large multi coloured wolf head that is in the process of being painted.  A woman is positioning a ladder so that she can paint the upper parts of the piece.

part of a mural under a bridge - a large multi coloured wolf head

There are at least four more walls in this underpass.  Running parallel to the trail (all the photos above) is a tunnel like part of the underpass to the west.  There is no trail or river in this section, just dirt and rocks.   There is some older graffiti on the walls here as well as the beginnings of newer paintings.  I think that the plan is to complete these walls too.  In the meantime, this is a sample of what’s there now.

graffiti painting - Lovecat and a Japanese girl in pink kimono hiding her face behind a blue fan.  A cute little blue bunny is in the bottom right.

lovebot genie painting on a concrete wall.

mural painting on a wall, looks like a green zombie head coming out of the ground.  photo taken from a low angle

street art - a memorial in greys, a man with a tear on his cheek is holding a skull

a yellow grominator street art painting, bulging veiny eyes and many crooked sharp teeth

 And lastly, along the river edge

street art on a concrete bridge support, reflected in the river beside it is a yellow lovebot as well as some large tag letters