Posts Tagged ‘Kirsten McCrea’

506 is the number of the Carlton streetcar which runs from High Park in the west to Main Street subway station in the east.  The older cars still run on this route and one advantage of these older streetcars is that they have windows that open.  This makes it easy to take pictures while travelling; yesterday I went eastward from Yonge as far as Coxwell, sometimes on the streetcar and sometimes on foot.

below: Pointing the camera out the window, D & J Mart Convenience store at the corner of Gerrard & Sackville.

picture taken out the window of a streetcar on Gerrard, an older 2 storey brick building with retail on the lower level, two large old wood hydro poles

below: A new curvy building rises up on the corner of Carlton and Church.  The older building on the left with the R U on the top is the old Maple Leaf Gardens, now part of Ryerson University as well as a large Loblaws.

new highrise building under construction beside the old brick building that was Maple Leaf Gardens on Carlton street.

below: People, striped hoardings, and closed sidewalks.

people walking past painted hoardings in front of a construction site, painted in stripes

below: Waiting outside Jenny’s at the corner of Parliament and Gerrard where the streetcar makes another turn.

a young man stands beside a stroller outside Jenny's Convenience store on Parliament street, large red and white sign with kit kat logo on it twice - once at each end

below: Another convenience store on a corner on Gerrard.  This time there is also a construction site in the picture!  Are there more construction sites than variety stores or vice versa in this city?

from the streetcar window, a food mart on the corner and construction across the street from it.

people sitting on a TTC street car, three people, two women and a man.

below: Looking south on Broadview at Gerrard.

Broadview looking south from Gerrard with utility poles and lots of wires, people crossing the street, some traffic, the clears with the sign with a red cross on it

below:  The 506 streetcar passes through Chinatown East (the area around Broadview & Gerrard) where many of the old houses are also businesses.

older houses turned into businesses on the ground floor, two semis with Chinese businesses, one is Ly Ly beauty salon

below: The southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard now has an A & W restaurant which seems like an intruder in an otherwise Chinese/Asian section of town.

looking at the southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard with a large A and W restaurant on the corner. Beyond that, the other stores and restaurants are Chinese

below: At the intersection of Gerrard and Carlaw, where the railway passes over the roads, the walls have been freshly painted.  The north wall is a series of abstract shapes and colours like this.

a person in an electric wheelchair, or motorized scooter, passes by a wall that is covered with street art, traveling on the sidewalk

below: The new painting incorporates the older art that was there. In the center of the newly painted rectangles are two grey shapes, these are originals.  They are part of a 1996 installation by Dereck Revington called ‘Blue Fire’.  There is still a plaque that describes these aluminum pieces as “a constellation of five paired aluminum fragments etched with traces of a poem by Robin Blaser and suspended from the entrances to the underpass”.   Strange grey shapes (flames?) on dirty white concrete.  Regardless of what you think of the concept, the reality is that it was drab.

part of a railway overpass has been painted with street art

below: Lead artist Kirsten McCrea (also known as Hello Kirsten) and her assistants, Victoria Day & Julian Palma, have certainly brightened up the space!  The south wall is a series of frames pictures of hands holding flowers.   As seen from across the street ….

railway underpass street art, seen throughthe supporting concrete arches, paintings of hands holding flowers, framed

below: … and from close up

a dark brown hand holding a sprig of small light purple flowers

below: And lastly, the end support wall of the overpass where the flowers and the stylized shapes come together.

painting on a concrete pillar of a railway overpass, a rose with leaves, stem, and thornes, a collage of abstract shapes and

below: Store signs near Pape including the bilingual Italy Hair Design – but not in Italian!

store fronts on Gerrard including one that is painted bright green, signs over the doors including the Italy hair design store with sign in English and Chinese

below: With remnants of the past such as string of pennants faded to grey….

old three storey brick building with big bay windows on the upper two floors. Ground floor is a store or restaurant with bright red door and yellow metal bars over the windows

below: … or an old street sign still attached to the building.

side of an old brick building with stone features, an old street sign on the building Gerrard Street, now a law office with signs in the windows

below: After Greenwood, the 506 streetcar passes through Little India before it turns north on Coxwell.

food and containers on a table outside a store, with pink and green floral table cloth

below:  In the late afternoon and evening, Little India is much more lively.  Many shops sell food on the street – roasted corn on the cob (a pile is ready to cook on the green table here) as well as south Asian foods.   To the right of the corn is a bundle of sugar cane.

Mumbai Paan shop on Gerrard Street in Little India with a barbeque on the sidewalk, a bucket of corn and a pile of sugar cane

These few kilometres on a streetcar route have opened a small but fairly typical cross section of the city starting with the newer, taller, shinier center.  There’s quite a bit of multiculturalism, some history, and some colourful new art.   It’s a story that plays out all over the city in many similar yet different forms.  Familiar but unique.

 

below: Searching for a story? 😇

three people looking into the sun. Two are shielding their eyes with their hands, wearing sunglases, looking slightly upwards as if searching for something.

 

street art painting of a blue fish on light blue background, stylized

Today I walked the southern part of the Lower Don River trail.  It’s not the most relaxing place to walk even though the path follows the river.  I have a habit of absentmindedly meandering and I didn’t want to meander right into a cyclist on the narrow shared path.   There was constant background noise from the cars and trucks on the nearby Don Valley Parkway but it was the GO trains that made the most noise as they rumbled right beside me.  Yes, you are correct, it’s not my favorite place to walk.  But I also knew that there was a reward near the end of the trail.

Near the ‘mouth of the Don River’ (in reality, where the Don River turns into the Keating Channel), there are some new murals on the bents supporting the ramps between the DVP and the Gardiner Expressway.  They are part of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project.   A previous blog post, love letters in paint, concerned the murals from this project that were painted near Ossington and Queen West.

below: If you approach the area from the north, this is the first bent that you see.  All sides of it have been painted by Kirsten McCrea.  If you are driving south on the Don Valley Parkway and you exit to the Gardiner westbound, you drive right over this, and the next few, bents.  In case you haven’t guessed, a bent is that concrete support thingy holding up the road.

a bent supporting an offramp has been covered in a bright mural, grass and weeds grow in front, the river is behind, a small tree also in the picture

below: The other side of the McCrea mural is in the background, behind the bent that has been painted by PA System (Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka).  Amongst the swirly watery  shapes there is a face near the top.  Extra bit: The guy on the bike stopped to take a photo too.

A swirl of colours makes a mural of faces and hands and watery things, on a bent under the Don Valley Parkway

below: The other side of the PA System bent. A large fish fits perfectly in the upper portion while a hand reaches up from the vertical part.

A very large fish is painted across the top of a bent, and a hand is on the vertical part, with finger tips pointed upwards.

below: The work of MC Baldassari who is currently from Montreal.

concrete support, or bent, under a ramp has been painted with a mural based on a large dark blue triangle

below:  The other side of the above bent.  It looks like the woman has come through the pillar.

concrete support, or bent, under a ramp has been painted with a mural based on a woman's head coming through a large dark blue triangle

below: A woman with a mouse in her hand and a flower in her hair kneels beside the foxes,
a mural painted by EGR (Erica Balon).   In the background you can see a much taller bent that has been painted blue.   This bent is on a different ramp, the ramp that you would find yourself on if you were driving east on the Gardiner and then exiting to the DVP.  It has been painted by Jason Botkin and it includes the word Wonscotanach.  Apparently that was the First Nations name for the river before John Graves Simcoe came along in 1790 and decided to call it the Don River.

A mural on a bent in an underpass, a young woman is kneeling. She is holding a mouse in one hand. Two foxes stand beside her.

below: There are more animals on the other sides, along with a city lit up in the night in the background of the mural.   Raccoon, rabbit and a pink butterfly fluttering past.

2 bents covered with murals. In the foreground, the mural is dark blue, with a pink butterfly, a rabbit, a mouse and a raccoon.

woman holding a mouse in a mural on a bent in the foreground, with another bent in the background, a mural of water and topless red women walking or standing in the water

below: Rajni Perera‘s mural features red and yellow women walking or standing in the water.

part of a mural of water and topless red women either walking or standing in the water

below: Looking back

a cyclist rides past 4 bents under the Don Valley Parkway that have been painted with murals as part of the Love Letter to the Great Lakes project.

below: A collaborative effort by Jarus and Kwest beside the Don Valley trail, just north of the other murals.

large sea creature painted on a mural on a concrete wall.

below:  And one last photo before leaving the area… a quick note sprayed on a concrete support.

rough spray painted words 'Hi Love' on a concrete support on a railing by a river.