Posts Tagged ‘King Street’

“Social norms has been reset to factory settings”

words written on a wall

I’m not sure what the above words mean or imply but I do know that we’ve all been impacted by Covid in one way or another.  The city seems to be moving along albeit more slowly than usual.  Sections of the city have fared better than others.  In fact, it would be very easy to portray segments of Toronto as being in trouble.

an old man walks up Yonge street past empty shops and a man sleeping in a doorway

Here the road is closed to vehicles for Open Streets (the last Sunday of September).

empty stores on yonge street, with a now leasing sign in the window

a woman walks past an empty store on Yonge street

We are missing events.  All those things that I like to take pictures at and blog about – the parades, the street festivals, and even the protests.  With more people staying at home, no tourists on the streets, and events going virtual, it’s a much quieter city.

below: This was the last weekend of TIFF and you wouldn’t know anything was happening.

a man with earbuds on walks past the TIFF lightbox theatre where a woman in a beige long coat and a black mask is standing by the door

below: In past years, King Street closes for TIFF activities.  This year there was none of that – no crowds jostling for a look at a celebrity or two, no booths selling things.

a round yellow circle around a bench on King Street, part of decorations for Tiff

below: These little “patios” have been carved out of some downtown streets to help restaurants stay open during these COVID days.  It’s a great idea for the warmer months.  Although the city now allows propane heaters on the street, I am not sure how many people are going to want to have dinner outside in December.

sitting on temporary patios on King Street

painting in front of Hey Lucy restaurant on King Street, woman sitting at a table with zebra print top, with a bottle and glass of wine

below: The Royal Alex Theatre is still set up for “Come From Away”

blue Royal Alex theatre on King street, with signs for Come From Away, line of multi coloured Muskoka chairs along the street

below: A nearby restaurant still has its St. Patricks Day green on display.

Happy St. Patricks Day sign in the window of a restaurant

below: Roy Thomson Hall in the foreground with downtown buildings in the background, as seen from Metro Hall.

Roy THomson Hall and downtown buildings as seen from Metro Hall

below: New public art on Adelaide… this is “Dreaming” by Jaume Plensa.   She’s three storeys high and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is dreaming of the days when we didn’t need masks.  How long until someone gives her a mask?

large three storey high white sculpture of a woman's face with her eyes closed, title is Dreaming and the artist is Jaume Plensa

below: Reflections with security guard

reflections of Jaume Plensa's Dreaming in a glass building

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church

steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church with trees in the foreground and condos in the background . Corner of Simcoe and King streets

below: Mother and daughter cycling together

mother and daughter in orange jackets on bicycles, stopped at a red light

a group of young people sitting at a table outside an A & W restaurant

a Jewish man stands outside a TIm Hortons talking to a woman who is sitting on the sidewalk pan handling. downtown Toronto

below: The cows are still in their pasture, unfazed by the changes around them.

 

cows, public art sculptures, lying on the grass with tall black office tower behind

below: The next two photos were taken while I was standing in among the tall black towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre.  The first view is to the southwest towards the CN Tower.

CN Tower seen between two black towers of TD bank

below: The second view is to the northeast.

below: The Canada Permanent building on Bay street is getting a cleaning.

scaffolding at the front, cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

below: This is one of the Bank of Montreal buildings, also on Bay Street.

Canada Permanent Building on Bay street, with reflections of the building across the street in its large windows at street level

below: Window washers

window washers and reflections, looking through a glass building from back to ftont, escalators down, high ceiling,

below: Pearl Street, looking east.  Old brick buildings in the foreground with their modern counterparts shining in the background.

pearl street in downtown Toronto

below: The west end of Pearl Street.

old red brick building being preserved in downtown Toronto, with newer taller buildings surrounding it

below: I found a person!

a person is sitting on the steps of the staue on University Ave

below: Looking north up University Avenue

University Ave, looking northwest towards the Canada Life building and other tall buildings farther north on that street, trees still with leaves on the boulevard between the lanes of traffic

below: The Shangri-La hotel and Momofuko restaurant with it’s weird sculpture “Rising” by Zhang Huan at street level (also University Ave).  Masses of “peace pigeons” cover the surface.

Shangri La Hotel on University Ave as seen from across the street

in a rooftop garden, with glass building beside and reflections in those windows

below: Looking the other way on University Ave, south past Richmond to Adelaide and beyond.

intersection of King and University Ave in downtown Toronto

below: Preservation of a large brick facade on Adelaide.

construction site, preservation of large brick facade held up by rust coloured metal beams and scaffolding

blue construction fence around a hole at a work site, row of storefronts across the street in the next level and a tall apartment building behind that

construction site in downtown Toronto

below: Waiting for the lights to change

a man in a blue jacket stands in front of a large video screen at Queen and Bay, video of a man in an orange and white kayak is playing

below: Under the heading of “somethings never change”, there are always photoshoots in front of Osgoode Hall.   Presumably this photo or one similar can be found somewhere on instagram?

instagram photoshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: Arranging the veil.

photographer setting up a wedding photshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: With a the pigeon by the Eaton Centre.

windows of H & M store at yonge and Dundas, with femaile mannequins, sitting on the sidewalk in front of them is a man feeding pigeons, another man sits nearby

people walking on Gould Street, past a small yellow building

a folding chair and a small round table set up under a back porch behind a stone building, dark

reflections of a man in the window of a mens clothing store, two suits on display, one gray and one blue.

in the window of the Ryerson bookstore, mannequin wearing yellow Ryerson sweatshirt, dirty window, someone has drawn the picture of a man's face in the dirt

below: Mr. Ryerson keeps changing colour.  Apparently he was more red not that long ago.  Rather than remove the red paint, he was “cleaned up” by painting him this shade of green.  He probably doesn’t realize it but he’s become a controversial figure.  He may have been one of the first to establish public schools but he also played a role in the creation of residential schools for the indigenous population. Because of the latter, there has been some people advocating for the removal of this statue.

statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University on Gould Street, painted green, with some red paint graffiti as well as red hands

This statue was unveiled in 1889. It stands in front of an ivy covered building that started its life as Toronto’s first teacher’s college (1847).

below: Queen Street West

open sign in red and blue lights in the window of an adult store, beside white mannequin with very small black bikini bottoms and mesh top

below: This yellow birdie, at least in sticker form, may be on the verge of extinction.  An Uber5000 creation that can also be found on several of his murals around the city.

traffic signs on a metal pole along with a yellow uber 5000 birdie sticker
As I write this, the number of Covid cases in Toronto (and all of Ontario) have gone back up.  Although we were hopeful that we were wrong, was there ever any question that things would get worse before they got better?  Are we more complacent?  Maybe.  But let’s hope that we are also wiser this time around.

a man walks through a glass revolving door, reflections,

three masks on display in a store window.  One has a soccer ball pattern, another is pink with little strawberries.  The one in the middle is covered with a jumble of letters of the alphabet

A grey day. The kind of day that when it starts to rain you head to a subway station, only to have the rain stop before you get there. So you walk more. Then it rains again so you buy an umbrella and minutes later the rain stops. So you walk more.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

a shoe store, a massage parlour, and a convenience store, on the southwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind

below: Northwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

northwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind - Not Just noodles restaurant

below: Marks left behind, traces of lives once lived there.

on the side of a brick house, two storey, Victorian, the remains of marks left behind on a house that was demolished, new development going up beside it

below: Do you think that there will ever be a time when we can walk downtown without encountering construction zones?

two orange signs saying sidewalk closed, and arrows, barriers on street to form a passage for pedestrians on the street, two people walking by

below: If it’s a gaggle of geese or a parliament of owls, what’s a group of cement trucks?

five or six cement trucks parked on a side street

reflections in glass windows downtown

a sign stenciled beside a doorway that says Anything can b iced. Window beside it, with a woman sitting inside by the window

below: A new large mural by birdo at Dundas & McCaul

Dundas street, near McCaul, coffee shop and artist supply store, with a large mural by birdo above it

below: Same mural, different angle

the corner of Dundas and McCaul with a large mural by birdo looking over it

below: “Keep going” at the Children’s Healing Garden outside Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue.

chalk writing on a low concrete wall in a small park that says keep going

below: You can do anything

chalk words on a concrete path in a park that say you can do anything

below: A large hole on University Ave

construction site, hole in the ground, a digger in the hole, one wall of the hole is a light orange colour. The Duke of Cornwall pub is on the other side of the street across from the hole

below:  There was a Dragon Festival at Nathan Phillips Square this past weekend.

arches over the pool at Nathan Phillips square with old city hall behind, and a red and gold dragon head (very large) on display for dragon festival

below: Friday was a rather quiet day at the festival, probably because of the weather.

large and colourful inflatable dragon in front of city hall, at Nathan Phillips square, for dragon festival
below: But there was lots of different food available including skewers of octopus

pieces of octopus on skewers, ready to cook

below:   There were also these fried potato spirals on sticks that are available at every festival and street function.

potato spirals, fried and on sticks, looking a pilie of them from the end

below: Hot dog vendor on Queen Street

hot dog and sausage vendor on Queen street, woman under umbrella buying something, woman working inside the booth, a man sitting behind, many signs advertising their food

view down a lane with large buildings on both sides

below: Snowmen?  This is “Born and Raised” designed by Studio How-to-See.

sculptures on sidewalk, snowmen, beside a new condo, one snowman has lost its head

below: The tallest snowman is 5 “snowballs” high, or 17 feet tall.    Oh no! The snowman in the middle has lost its head.  What would Olaf say?

tall snowman sculpture on sidewalk beside glass and steel condo, with people walking past

below:  Of course early September means TIFF.  King Street West closed and many people were walking or hanging out there trying their hand at celebrity spotting.  We are all groupies during TIFF.

two young people working in a red booth for bubly drinks, both smiling and one is giving a thumbs up

below: I wouldn’t know a famous actor or director, or anything like that, if they came up to talk to me.    My attempts to follow the crowd to get celebrity pics weren’t very successful. This is the kind of photo that I ended up with –  The eye belongs someone called Jason who is taking a selfie with a father and daughter.    I didn’t linger long on King Street.

someone is talking a selfie with a girl in a green jacket who is being held up by her father, a pro photographer is also taking their picture

below: Having King Street closed didn’t help the traffic on nearby streets.  Mind you, this is normal for Toronto especially around rush hour.  Stand at any intersection downtown and you’ll find many instances where cars block traffic when the traffic lights change.

a man walks his bike across the street, between cars who are blocking traffic, also a woman with an umbrella gets ready to start across the street too

below:  The driver knew I was there taking pictures.  It didn’t make much difference.

a woman crosses the street on a green light, traffic is jammed because a car has got stuck in the intersection on a red light

a young black woman with pink dreadlocks and a lot of rings on her fingers is on her phone as she passes by, in the background is a couple standing on the sidewalk having a conversation, the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers

below: Paste ups on Richmond Street.   I find these mesmerizing.  I love the positioning of the eye and the way that it is staring at you .

2 paper paste ups on a wall, both are the same, in grey tones, the lower part of a face with one eye beside it

below: And my last stop that day, a quiet charcoal drawing by Olexander Wlasenko at the Arbozzo Gallery at 410 Richmond Street.

a charcoal drawing of a woman by Olexander Wlasenko on the wall of an art gallery

Now, all that’s left is the pink umbrella that I bought, still unused.