Posts Tagged ‘Lake Ontario’

This has been a wet spring along the waterfront.  Lake Ontario has been at its highest level in years.   Earlier, I had posted some photos that I took of Woodbine, Kew and Balmy beaches and the high water levels there (blog post, “water logged”).  The other day I visited the beaches and walkways at the other end of the city’s waterfront, from H2O beach to Ontario Place.

below: Flooding at H2O Beach

Toronto waterfront showing flooding at H 2 O park with its Muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas, lifesaving ring and ladder are no longer at the shore but quite a ways out in the lake

Toronto waterfront showing flooding at H 2 O park with its Muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas, dark skies in the distance as a storm approaches

Toronto waterfront showing flooding at H 2 O park with its Muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas

below: All that water makes for some colourful reflections!

Toronto waterfront showing flooding at H 2 O park with its Muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas, many colourful reflections in the flood waters

below: Looking west towards the old Canada Malting Company silos as the dark clouds signal an approaching storm.

Canada Malting Company old concrete silos on Toronto Waterfront, la large boat docked near the foreground, dark skies over Lake Ontario as a storm approaches

below: The Empire Sandy docked along with the tugboat, M.S. Kane

the Empire Sandy, a three mast sailing ship, docked along side a small tugboat, the M. S. Kane. on a grey wet day

below: Toronto’s fire rescue boat, the William Lyon Mackenzie, docked beside Fire Station 334.   It was built in 1964 and is named for Toronto’s first mayor.

The WIlliam Lyon McKenzie, a bright red fire boat is docked at Toronto waterfront, city skyline behind the boat with tall condos, also dark storm clouds

below: Queens Quay at Spadina, looking west

looking west on Queens Quay at Spadina, streetcar tracks, street, trafiic, pedestrian on sidewalk, TTC street car approaching, Starbucks on the corner, low rise buildings in the background

below: A streetcar starts to head north on Spadina

a new TTC streetcar starts to head north on Spadina, just south of the Gardiner and large condos

below: Playing basketball in the rain.

four boys playing basketball on a green and brown court, in the rain,

below: An old blue canoe at Little Norway park.  A training camp for the Norway’s Air Force was located here (SW corner of  Queens Quay and Bathurst) during WW2.  The large rock that you can see in the photo is a 3000 pound boulder brought from Norway in 1976 to be part of a permanent monument to the people who trained and served here.   In 1986 the space became Little Norway Park.

an old blue canoe is used as a planter in a park

below: Looking back towards downtown and the CN Tower from the western end of Queens Quay West.

looking east along Queens Quay West from the very western end of the ctreet towards the CN Tower and downtown. Lowrise residential units on either side of the street, bike lane, small trees, wet, raining

reflections of sailboats and their masts in Lake Ontario, boats are parked at a yacht club

a lone red Muskoka chair sits on an angle in a small grassy patch between a fence and a path, looks out over a yacht club

below: Lots of big puddles at Coronation Park

flooded pathway, large puddles, along shoreline at Coronation Park, boats in the background

flooded driveway and entrance to underground parking,

below: Yellow flowerpot islands

two large light green flower pots sit on concrete pedestals, in the water, orange cones in the water, shoreline is flooded, some sailboats docked in the background

below: Someone has tied a string of small Canadian flags to the railing at Coronation Park.  Happy Canada Day weekend!

sailboats moored out in Lake Ontario, in the foreground is a metal railing with a string of Canadian flags tied to it

four white sailboats moored in the water, Lake Ontario, with their main sails wrapped up and put away, calm water but grey skies

a large bird sits on a yellow sign out in the waters of Lake Ontario, an orange (or red) light sits on a concrete pedestal beside it

below: Toronto skyline from Trillium Park, from the green trees of Coronation Park on the left and past the CN Tower to Billy Bishop airport on the far left.

In the background is the Toronto skyline from Trillium Park, from the green trees of Coronation Park on the left and past the CN Tower and tall city center buildings, to the National Yacht Club and then Billy Bishop airport on the far left. In the foreground is an orange lifesaving ring and the rocks of the shoreline of the park

below: Large granite rock in Trillium Park

large chunk of granite in a park, black patches with streaks of pink and grey

below: Ontario Place, where TSN was playing to no one.

a large screen plays a TSN show, outdoors, Ontario Place, white chairs but no one is there

below: Flooding by the marina at Ontario Place.  In the foreground is what appears to be an electrical box.

flooding at Ontario Place

flooding at Ontario Place, empty building surrounded by water, boats, cinesphere dome

flooding at Ontario place, orange sandbags and a fence that is partially submerged in the water

scaffolding holds lights for a show at Ontario Place, in the distance is the CN Tower.

below: The Canada geese have these Muskoka chairs to themselves.

By Lake Ontario, a group of white Muskoka chairs in long grass with a lot of Canada Geese standing around them, metal barricades behind chairs and trees behind that

below: From the northwest corner of Ontario Place, looking west over Lake Ontario towards Etobicoke and Mississauga

shoreline of Ontario Place, looking west over Lake Ontario to Etobicoke and Mississauga

on the northwest corner of Ontario Place, gate across path because of flooding, a swan in the water, the wind turbine on the CNE grounds in the distance

elevated buildings of Ontario Place over the water

below: There was also flooding on Lakeshore Blvd.

traffic on Lakeshore Blvd plows through the water and creates great splashes of water, road is partially flooded

a white truck with three men in the cab on Lakeshore Blvd plows through the water and creates great splashes of water, road is partially flooded

below: Puddles in an almost empty parking lot, CNE grounds.

CNE parking lot, empty except for one white car, large puddles with reflections, and the city in the background, CN TOwer, tall buildings,

abstract in blues, made by close up of reflections and ripples in the water

Each spring the water level in Lake Ontario rises as the snow to the north of the city melts.  That’s a given.  The question has become just how much water there will be.  This year the water level is very high again, perhaps as high as it has ever been.

below: Sea gulls enjoying the pond that has formed at Woodbine Beach

Leuty lifesaving station in background, lifeguard station on beach, with water and sea gulls in front of it

below: Some of the many different coloured Muskoka chairs that now dot the beach.  How many hundreds? thousands? of similar pictures are online now?  They do add an interesting and cheerful burst of colour.

4 muskoka chairs lined up on the beach, pink, blue, yellow, and red, lots of water, a person is sitting in one of them but photo is of back of chairs.

a line of muskoka chairs along the edge of the boardwalk, beach, Lake Ontario

a woman is sitting in a blue Muskoka Chair reading, with her legs sticking out the side of the chair, view from behind, water in front of her as well as a line of rocks with seagulls on them, Lake Ontario

below: A quiet reading spot of a different kind…. as the swans swim by.

a person sits by rocks and a tree on the beach by Lake Ontario, reading a book, swans swimming past

rocks and sand at Woodbine Beach, with water behind the lifeguard stations because of flooding of Lake Ontario

below: Sandbags and rocks protect part of the boardwalk from Lake Ontario water.

sandbags, some empty, line the shore up against rocks and a boardwalk with a railing, flooded,

two women push strollers along the boardwalk by Kew Beach, CN tower and Toronto skyline in the distance, other people on the boardwalk and beach too

a woman in a bright red coat is about to throw a large stick into Lake Ontario for her dog to chase, empty lifeguard station beside her

below: Putting up the volleyball nets where it’s dry, Woodbine Beach.

a man is putting up volleyball nets on the poles that aren't in the water at a flooded Woodbine Beach

volleyball court poles standing in the water, flooded Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach

a flooded Woodbine Beach because of high levels of water in Lake ontario, poles in the water for volleyball courts, nets, but too much water

rocks and pebbles along the shore of Lake Ontario, a small island of rocks with a small tree growing on it

fence surrounding dog park, tall grasses, shrubs and trees in dog park, CN Tower and Toronto skyline in the distance, Woodbine Beach

below: The fence around the dog park is in the water

a tree in the water, part of a fence also in the water, Lake Ontario

water behind the lifeguard station, Woodbine Beach, someone has put a cross made of two branches lashed together

a flooded Woodbine Beach

below: Making friends

a woman holds her black dog while a girl in pink jacket reaches out to touch it.

below: As I was returning to my car, I spotted a slightly fancier car than mine…

pale blue and black mclaren car parked in a parking lot, woman with dog in the background

panorama of Woodbine Beach on a February day, art installation in yellows and oranges, lots of people, snow on the ground, winter clothes, Lake Ontario, blue sky with one wispy cloud

This year there were five installations at Woodbine Beach for the annual ‘Winter Stations’ event.   Yesterday, February 18th, was the opening day.  It was also a holiday Monday, Family Day, and lots of people were at the beach.

below: Forest of Butterflies by Luis Enrique Hernandez of Mexico.

close up of orange and yellow shapes that make Firest of Butterflies

part of 'Forest of Butterflies' sculpture in the foreground, along with two boys who are looking at it In the background, standing on a hill of snow, is a man taking a selfie with his golden lab dog

below: The lake was very wavy and rough on Family Day. There was lots of water spraying onto the piles of snow and ice as the waves crashed against the shore.

standing on the snow and ice covered beach in February, wavy day, waves crashing against shore producing spray , people standing and watching

below: ‘Above the Wall’ designed by Americans Joshua Carel and Adelle York.  Climb the stairs and meet people on the platform at the top.

two wooden staircases meet at the top, above an old rusty corrugated metal wall, platform at the top for people to meet

below: ‘Chairavan’ by a team from Sheridan College.

red metal chairs that look like lifeguard stations, part of Winter Stations 2019 at Woodbine Beach,

a woman in a red parka is climbing onto an elevated red metal seat

a young woman in pink snow pants is kneeling on a red metal structure, outdoors, snow,

below: ‘Mind Station’, designed by Tomasz Piotrowski and Łukasz Chaberka from Poland.

the circular art installation 'Mind Station', wood, on the beach beside Lake Ontario on a winter day, two men walking towards it, trees in the distance

below: Interior view – stand on the stumps to look out holes in the roof.

three wood stumps stand upright on the ground, interior of art installation

below: One of the views from the roof.

looking out of a hole in the roof of 'Mind Station' art installation, towards Lake Ontario, other circular holes in the roof

a woman in a tartan scarf walks past 'Mind Station', an art installation at Woodbine Beach made of plywood

below: ‘Cavalcade’, designed by a group from Toronto: Victor Perez-Amado, John Nguyen, Anton Skorishchenko, Abubaker Bajaman + Stephen Seunwon Baik

cavalcadde art installation at Woodbine beach, cutouts of people walking

a man and his shadow and many life size cut out figures of people in bright colours

below: The construction phase

constructing an art installation on the beach in the winter, Woodbine Beach, Winter Stations, colourful life size plywood cutouts of people

man riding on a small machine that digs holes in the ground

 

Apparently, this was the 5th year for ‘Winter Stations’.  Previous years ‘Winter Stations’ blog posts:

Flotsam and Jetsam and others (2017)

Warming with everyone and their dog – almost (2018)

 

snow and ice accumulations along the shore of Lake Ontario, waves crashing into the shore

A walk along Queens Quay West

My reason for walking along the waterfront was to see the 2019 version of ‘Ice Breakers’.  This year there are five art installations spaced out along Queens Quay.  The white PVC tubes you see in the photo below is half of one of these installations, Stellar Spectra.  The other half is identical and was behind me when I took this picture.  They are placed at each end of the little bridge.  These hollow structures were designed by Torontonians Rob Shostak and Dionisios Vriniotis.  There is room for a person or two inside and once inside, look up!  The tops of the tubes are covered with coloured acrylic.

Queens Quay west, street, pedestrians, high rises in the background, a white art installation made of vertical tubes

below: I was trying to think of a way to describe the bridge that sits on, but a picture paints a thousand words so here’s the bridge from a different angle.  You can also see the two white structures on the bridge in the background.  In addition, there are green signs on poles that once floated in the water but are now frozen in the ice.  The signs, like protest signs, are ‘Chroma Key Protest’ by Andrew Edmundson of Solve Architects.

Chroma Key Protest, green signs on poles floating in the water beside Queens Quay, from the back, backlit, road in the background and Lake Ontario in the distance

below: Twenty five green signs

CN Tower in front, waterfront condos in the middle and Chroma Key Protest in the basin of water in the foreground

below: A pair of long-tailed ducks enjoy an small bit of open water.

two long tailed ducks swimming in a patch of open water onLake Ontario, ice on lake in the background, two tires at the end of a dock are also in the picture

below: Another installation, ‘Tweeta Gate’ over a very icy path.   There were lots of barriers along the waterfront along with signs that warned of “no winter maintenance”.  It was very slippery.   These 10 arches are supposed to lead you to the waterfront but I didn’t see anyone brave enough to walk there.  ‘Ice Breakers’ remain until the 24th of February so there is still time for the ice to melt (it will, won’t it?) Each arch represents a different architectural style.   It was designed by Eleni Papadimitriou and Stefanos Ziras.

yellow arches over an ice covered path, art installation ice breakers, on Toronto waterfront,

below: ‘Connectors’ is an entanglement of four orange tubes made of drainage pipes – if you speak into one end, which of the other 7 ends is the sound going to come out of?  This was designed by Alexandra Griess and Jorel Heid from Hamburg Germany.

Connectors, a large art installation consisting of bright orange plastic tubes are jumbled up together

Connectors, a large art installation consisting of bright orange plastic tubes are jumbled up together

below: At H2O beach

a man is sitting on a red muskoka chair, under a large plastic yellow umbrella on H 2 O beach in toronto, in the winter, some snow on the ground. A large golden lab dog has his forepaws on the man's lap

below: The beach was fairly quiet.  It was also covered with a layer of ice.

view of H 2 O beach in toronto from the west, looking towards the Toronto skyline, winter, no leaves on the treees and some snow on the ground

below: More ice surrounds the base of ‘Tripix’, a structure that was designed by a group of Ryerson students.

art installation in H2O park, Tripix, a three legged arch struture in red and chrome

below: The panels that cover its surface are reflective and the angles in which they are arranged make for a kaleidoscopic effect when viewed from inside the installation.

view from inside Tripix

below: And yes, another CN Tower picture

the CN Tower in background, and a leg of art installation in H2O park, Tripix, a three legged arch struture in red and chrome

below: It’s not part of the ‘Ice Breakers’ series, but three large photographs are on display at Ontario Square.  These are the series “Our Desires Fail Us” by Sean Martindale and J.P. King.  They are mirrored images of Toronto garbage (mirrored in that one side of the photo is a mirror image of the other).

a large photo mounted on an exterior wall in Ontario Square, part of a series called Our Desires Fail Us by Sean Martindale and JP King. shows a pile of garbage

below: A close up look at one of the other photos  [art is garbage vs garbage is art? – sorry, couldn’t help myself]

detail of part of a large photo mounted on an exterior wall in Ontario Square, part of a series called Our Desires Fail Us by Sean Martindale and JP King. shows a pile of garbage

below: Recently, the off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway that circled onto York Street was removed.  The bents that held the road up remain in what is now a park at the corner of York Street and Queens Quay.

four or five concrete bents stand in a vacant piece of land tht is being made into a park. the bents once held up an off ramp of the Gardiner Expressway

As I write this post, I keep wondering if I missed something because of the ice.  I might have to make a second trip if the temperatures warm up enough before the 24th of February.  In the meantime, don’t slip!

broken chunks of ice on Lake Ontario

A trip to Toronto Islands on a sunny spring day.
Photos and stories – an eclectic mix of history and nature that resulted from wandering around the eastern portion of the islands.

below: From the ferry, looking toward the glass and steel of the city.

sail boats in Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, in front of the Toronto skyline with highrises and skyscrapers also ship moored at Redpath Sugar refinery

Toronto Islands is a collection of at least 12 small islands.  In the early years the island archipelago was really a peninsula of sandbars and ponds; it was connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sandy shoreline. This landform was created over centuries by the action of waves, winds and lake currents – washing away portions of the Scarborough Bluffs and depositing this material to the west in a five-mile-long hooked shape. This process of natural “landscaping” continued until the spring of 1858, when a particularly powerful hurricane created a channel four to five feet deep through the peninsula.  By June of that year, the Eastern Gap was a waterway, and the Toronto Islands came into being.

below: On the ferry between the city and Centre Island.

people lined up along the front railing of a ferry from Centre Island to the city of Toronto, looking at skyline and taking picture of it. Toronto is in the background.

The first buildings on the islands were the Blockhouse Bay garrison built in the 1794 by the British at Gibraltar Point – it included a blockhouse and storage structures.  A second blockhouse and a guard house were built soon after, only to be destroyed by the Americans in the Battle of York in April 1813.   The lighthouse at Gibraltar Point built in 1809 still stands (sorry, no photo).

In 1833 Michael O’Connor built a hotel on one the islands.  He used a horse-drawn boat to ferry customers across from the mainland to his hotel.  At that time, there was still access by road but it was a toll road.  In 1836 it cost sixpence for every four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses.  Smaller ‘vehicles’ paid less.   In 1858 the hotel (now Quinns Hotel) was destroyed during the same hurricane that turned the peninsula into an island.  The hotels were destroyed but the islands remained popular.  With no road access, ferries were needed and many people ran private ferry services until they were bought out or amalgamated into the Toronto Ferry Company in 1892.  It was privately owned until 1926 when it was purchased by the City of Toronto for $337,500.

ferry, ceiling is full of orange life jackets, railings along edge, Lake Ontario, benches to sit on but no people

blue abstract from two blue doors with cut out where handle should be

Many houses and businesses, (hotels, restaurants, bowling alley, laundry, theatre etc) were established over the years from Hanlon’s Point in the west to Wards Island in the east.   Today, residences are only in the eastern section of Wards Island and on Algonquin Island.

The Ward’s Island community began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents. Up until then, that eastern end of the islands was mostly wetlands.  The first summer colony on Ward’s in 1899 consisted of just eight tenants, each of whom had paid a fee of $10 rent for the season. The number of tents grew each year.  In 1913, the city felt it necessary to organize the community into streets. The evolution from tents to cottage structures progressed in stages with the building of floors, the addition of kitchens and then porches, resulting in the creation of the homes.

two houses on Wards Island, small wood housses, one bright blue and the other is white

grey wood siding on house with white door and small porch. Two yellow and metal chairs on the porch

In 1953 the municipal government changed their policy toward the Toronto Islands landscape and its residents. Businesses were removed and the systematic demolition and burning of homes began.  More of the islands became parkland.    There are 262 houses on Wards and Algonquin Islands today, down from about 630 residences on all the islands.  The last of the Lakeshore houses was removed in 1968 but traces of them still remain.

wood boardwalk along the foreground of the photo with a concrete path leading away from it, into an overgrown area

part of old concrete breakwater, once there was house here, number 170 embedded in the concrete

below: The pier on the Lake Ontario side.

metal fence in the foreground, beach, pier and Lake Ontario in the middle and background

below: Sandbags along the shore.  Last spring there was a lot of flooding here and the island was closed to visitors – sort of.  Ferries didn’t run and the park facilities were closed.  The islands are very flat and low so it doesn’t take much extra water to flood.

large white sandbags along the shore, beach on the other side, Lake Ontario in background with a row of rocks as breakwater a short distance from the shore, sign on the beach

sign fallen over and under water, surrounded by rocks, Lake Ontario

below: There is a small amusement park, Centreville, on Centre Island.

CN tower in the background, people on the Skyline ride at Centre Island passing over water, with large boats docked farther up the river

below: Island transport that can be rented if you don’t want to walk.

people cycling in 2 quadricycles, a four wheeled bicycle like vehicle, on paths,

the orange and white wall tile pattern of Pizza Pizza with a red bike parked in front of it.

below: Boats moored QCYC (Queen City Yacht Club), one of the three yacht clubs on the islands.

sailboats moored at a wood dock, QCYC

below: Sakura trees in bloom.   The trees were donated by the Sakura Project.  The aim of this project was to strengthen Japanese Canadian relations by planting cherry trees in visible locations across Ontario.   Between 2000 and 2012,  3,082 trees were planted at 58 locations.  The trees on Centre Island were planted in 2011.

path, sakura (cherry) trees on either side with their pink and white blossoms, other large trees around them with pale green of new leaves

below: Catkins from a red alder tree.  They almost look like raspberries packed tight together.

red fuzzy blossoms droop from the end of a tree branch

new yellowish green flowers on a tree, also leaf buds just opening,

ants in the bud on a tree

below: An early family of Canada geese.

family of Canada geese, 2 adults and 7 or 8 fluffy little goslings swimming in the water

below: The pier at the eastern end of Wards Island is bad need of repair.  To the right is the entry into the Eastern Channel (or Eastern Gap).

broken concrete pier into Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, with Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance

below: Looking over to Algonquin Island.  Once upon a time this island was just a sandbar.

waterway, orange life ring and ladder on one side of the river, houses and docks, and boats on the other. r

two people standing on the shore of Center Island, looking at the Toronto skyline and taking pictures of it.

and back to the mainland.

people exiting a ferry, from above

a lot of masts from sailboats standing upright, a man walks on one of the boats as he gets it ready to go back in the water after the winter

Getting ready for spring. RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) is nearby.

There are a few changes happening down at the Port Lands.

a man in orange stands beside his bike on the side of a road, sity in the background

below: Aerial view of the present configuration of the Keating Channel, Don River, and part of the port lands beside a drawing of the planned changes.  Rerouting the Don River will create an island, Villiers Island.

two maps side by side, one is an aerial photo of the port lands and the other is a drawing of the new route of the Don River through the port lands and the planned changes to the area.

In the 1880s, the lower part of the Don south of the former Winchester St. bridge (just north of Gerrard St) was straightened and the mouth of the river was placed in a channel to create additional harbour space and industrial dock space for boats in what is known as the Port Lands.   This project was called the Don Improvement Project. The Don River now empties into the inner harbour through the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd passes over the very south end of the river and because of its height (very low), boats can not enter the Don River.   Boats may still enter the Keating Channel by going underneath a lift bridge at Cherry St.   The straightening of the Lower Don also allowed for construction of the railway line parallel to it.

 

below: The cars are parked on vacant land between Lakeshore Blvd and Lake Ontario/Keating Channel. Mounds of gravel have been dumped off the end of Essroc Quay and beside Keating Channel. You might also have noticed the nine green bins that have been laid across the water (very left side of the photo). They too are full of gravel. These are part of the beginning of the renovations of the port lands. The Keating Channel will remain, but the area south of it is slated to be changed. In the middle is the GFL (garbage collection) transfer station. The low reddish brown building was a recycling facility. It was the site of a fire a few months back and most of the south end sustained substantial damage.

view from higher, over Keating channel, Essroc quay and towards Centre Island, Port lands in Toronto, mounds of gravel in the water, parked cars, boats in the water, light industrical development, trees,

Access to the western portion of the port lands is via the Cherry Street bridge.

bridge with traffic lights in the background.

below:  Here it is being lifted to allow a boat to pass through the Keating Channel.   This bridge was built in 1968 and is at least the fourth bridge at this location.

lift bridge is up so a boat can pass under

below: In 1900 a wood swing bridge was built with just a single railway track that was operated by the Grand Trunk Railway.  There are still remnants of the tracks that serviced the industries located in the area.

vintage photo, black and white, 1910 of wood swing bridge in open position, some boats around, Keating Channel, Cherry Street, Toronto,

below: Two steel drawbridges were subsequently built here, one in 1912 and one in 1932. This is a circa 1915 photo of the lift bridge at Cherry Street.

photo from the Toronto Archives of the liftbridge at Cherry Street, open position, black and white photo taken about 1915, found on Wikipedia.

source: Originally from the Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 1482 but found on Wikipedia

The plans for the redevelopment of this area show that the south end of Cherry Street will be moved to west of its present location – the jog in Cherry where it joins the Lakeshore for a short distance will be eliminated.

below: This is a close up shot of Essroc Quay at approximately the new location of the new Cherry Street bridge.  The Keating Channel is in the foreground.  This quay, and the water channel behind it, will be turned into wetlands and parkland.  Essroc is a landfilled pier and is publicly owned as is Cousins Quay (the one behind it with the GFL transfer station).

 a mobile crane on tractor wheels, green body, is helping dig a hole in the ground on a flat piece of land that has water on two sides. lots of orange and black construction cones around the piece of land

below: A new fence too.

behind a chain link fence, a line of green dumpster bins, laid end to end, stretch across a channel in Lake Ontario,

below: Looking across Essroc Quay to the Toronto skyline

view of Toronto skyline and CN Tower from the Port Lands, with construction for the new Cherry street realignment, and flood plain protection plan in the foreground.

There are many reasons for rerouting the Don River.   The Port Lands are no longer used by many industries, land use has changed.  As the city grows and changes, this area has become prime real estate but it is also a flood plain.  Before any development can occur, flood control measures need to be taken.    The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project will stabilize the local shoreline, protect land from flooding, and create a new landmass to begin the re-naturalization of the Don River’s mouth.   The river would be re-routed through the middle of the Lower Don Lands between the Keating Channel and the Ship Channel. The area being filled will become part of ‘Promontory Park’, a new major green space across the harbour from Toronto’s skyline.

The project will also allow for a realignment of Cherry Street so that it no longer merges with Lakeshore for a short distance.  At the moment, the Cherry street and Lakeshore Blvd intersection is problematic, especially for pedestrians. Once upon a time there wasn’t much reason for people to walk there I guess. Now, if you are on the wrong side (the west side) of Cherry street, you get stranded at Lakeshore.

two people standing on a sidewalk as they try to figure out how to cross the street, two large billboards behind them, train tracks (elevated) behind that.

The Keating Channel isn’t exactly beautiful.  Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner Expressway run along the north shore of the channel.  There has been discussion & debate about the fate of these roads but so far nothing has changed.  Will they demolish this section of the elevated Gardiner?  Or won’t they? (Probably not).

raised expressway road on concrete pillars, runs above another road and beside a channel of water, CH tower and downtown Toronto in the distance

below: The very south end of the Don River at the moment.   Not much to get excited about is it?  It looks like there is work being done under the bridge?  (something’s happening there but I don’t know what).   Hopefully it will look better in a few years.

bridge over the Don River, grey, flotsam in the river,

The Ship Channel is south of the proposed changes described above.

ships docked

below: Piles of salt on the south side of Ship Channel. These arrive by ship.  The old Hearn Generating Station is in the background.

piles of salt on a dock, power generating station in the background.

small boats lined up along a dock, tugboat,

And south of it all, Cherry Beach.

woman sitting on a bench under large trees by a beach, two dogs running towards the beach, some people standing by Lake Ontario

two sikh men in turbans stand on beach, early spring, wearing jackets and long pants.

More info on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project

Yesterday started damp and grey but then flipped to bright and sunny.   Almost spring-like even.   So off to the beach I went.

mural of people enjoying the beach, surfing, jogging on the boardwalk.

Well, not that kind of beach.   It does look warm though doesn’t it?  Yesterday it was more like this:

below: Looking towards Lake Ontario from Kew Beach Ave.  Lots of trees and lots of what looks like grass but is more like mud.   Squish, squish as I walked gingerly across the water logged ground, trying to keep my shoes clean.

large park beside Lake Ontario at Kew Beach, Toronto, large mature leafless trees, spring, grass is brownish colour, some people in the distance, walking on the boardwalk,

The goal?  To check out this year’s warming stations art installations.  Lots of others had the same idea as it turns out.   Some kids, some dogs, but that’s okay.

below: Interacting with “Nest” both on the outside…..

a woman model poses beside an art installation on the beach

below: …. and on the inside. Like all the other warming stations, this one is built around a lifeguard station.

kids climbing on a lifeguard station that is inside Nest, an art installation that is open to the sky at the top of the lifeguard chair.

below: The structure is covered with netting-like fabric on the inside and webbing on the outside.  It was designed by a team from Ryerson University – Adrian Chiu, Arnel Espanol, and Henry Mai.

an older couple examine the fabric that is on the inside of Nest, a warming station at Kew Beach

below: A sign of the times, a pink pussy hat makes its appearance as “Pussy Hut”

large oversized pink pussy hat as an art installation on the beach

two little girls inside the large pink pussy hut warming station

below: “What’s all the fuss about?”

a small black and white dog with a blue neoprene vest and a red coat with 4 legs

below:  A large square made of many pieces of hanging red fabric, anchored at the bottom with plywood.  This is “Obstacle” by Kien Pham.

Obstacles, by Kien Pham, an art installation part of warming stations 2018 in Toronto, by Lake Ontario, consists of many large flaps of red fabric that you can walk between.

a girl in pink jacket with pink hood stands between large flaps of red fabric that is part of Obstacles, an art installation

 

below: “Revolution” by a design team from OCAD university. It consists of 36 vertical red poles with conical metal pieces that twirl. You can look through them or speak through them, or just walk amongst the red poles.

people walking amongst an an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights.

looking down a metal tube

an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights, lake in background

below: Red!

a mother holds her young son's hand as they stand together on a beach overlooking Lake Ontario, backs to the camera

below: “Rising Up” by University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.  The design was inspired by the topography of the Don Valley.

a white and brown dog on a leash in the foreground, people and kids climbing on a wooden structure which is actually an art installation called Rising Up

looking through part of rising up, a wood structure built on the beach, a couple walks hand in hand between the art installation and Lake Ontario

rising up, an installation part of warming stations at kew beach, beside lake ontario

below: Ooops!  One has blown over and collapsed already (it was quite windy).  Ironically it was called “Wind Station” (designed by Paul van den Berg and Joyce de Grauw).  When it was first constructed, it was in the shape of a nuclear cooling tower and you could go inside.  The little plastic windmills continue to blow in the wind.

a few people in the background, they are looking at white wood and white plastic toy windmills lying on the ground. it is a collapsed art installation, part of warming stations at kew beach, by Lake Ontario

below: Not everyone was looking at the warming stations.

a lone person standing on a beach, looking out over Lake Ontario, back to camera, in full wetsuit, holding onto a surf board under his (or her) arm, another surfboard sits on the sand.

below: This is ‘Make Some Noise’, designed by Alexander Greiss and Jorel Heid. Apparently it is based on based on the intonarumori, an invention of the Italian futurist Luigi Rusollo in 1914. An intonarumori generates noise. Rusollo envisioned noise music replacing traditional forms of music but he was not successful and none of his contraptions survived.

people on the beach checking out the art installation, Make Some Noise, a large yellow and black vertical box, with four large black loudspeakers

a child with a red jacket is trying to climb inside a large black speaker, conical shaped, on the side of a black and yellow art installation at the beach, warming stations, Kew Beach, lake ontario is in the background.

below: This is one side of the box. The red is a handle that can be turned thus generating noise. I don’t think that it was working. Each side had a handle and a black speaker.

close up detail of one side of Make Some Noise, an art installation, yellow and black diagonal stripes, narrow and close together

Stay warm!