Posts Tagged ‘lion’

Yesterday was not the first time that I walked the Milky Way; I have blogged about it a few times, mostly recently two years ago in July 2017.  What surprised me most this time was just how little has changed.  A lot of murals and paintings were done in 2013 and they are still there.

below: The two horses at the west end of the alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

mural street art painting of a horses's head and neck in Milky Way alley

below: A one eyed monster, melting ice cream cone figure with big black boots.

large gate (or garage door) in an alley painted pink with a painting of a one eyed monster on it

paint peeling off wood fence, street art painting only partilly still there

below: A star that has lost its shine.

faded street art, wood grain of wood fence showing through. pink star with black sides to look 3 D, outlined in yellow

below: Unused and overgrown

a door covered with graffiti that is closed, greenery is starting to grow upo and around the door, painted murals on both sides of the door that are difficult to see

below: Someone’s not pleased.

woman's face as part of a mural in Milky Way alley, text mural around her

below: Kaos in the alley.

black door and wall in Milky Way lane, with graffit on the door, painting of two spray paint cans on the right side of the door, kaos brand. text graffiti on the left side in orange and white

below: Dinosaur riding.

old mural on a wall in Milky Way alley, a young girl is riding on the back a dinosaur, with words that say was last night they were here

below: Rafiki from ‘The Lion King’ still guards the door but his words may be lost to time.

painting of character from Disneys Lion King on door in alley, with paintings of little aliens across the top of the building, ivy growing on the walls

below: This mural was ‘defaced’ (although the faces weren’t touched LOL) shortly after it was painted.  The black letters on the middle woman have been there since at least 2017.

part of a mural of 3 nude pink and purple women, tall and skinny by palm trees, orange background, in an alley, the women have been painted over in white to cover breasts

below: This was the only street art piece painted in 2019 that I saw.

text graffiti mural in oranges and reds on blue background, in an alley, painted in 2019

text graffiti mural in pinks and reds on blue background, in an alley,

old dark door with entrance sign over the top, with lots of graffiti on the door, mural painted on walls beside the door

below: Not the best seat in the house.

pale blue door with graffiti on it, a blue rubbish bin and chair in front of the door

We went exploring.  With a three year old.  A three year old who is starting to explore the world as only a three year old can.  One who gets joy from ‘balancing’ on the green line as we walked the Lower Don Path.

little girl in a pink jacket is wlking down a green line that is painted in the middle of a path, approaching an underpass under the railway tracks.

We were walking with a purpose – to find ‘Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality’ by Duane Linklater.  This is a collection of cast concrete gargoyles, replicas of those on Toronto buildings, that is now on the Lower Don Trail.  Last week I saw them from the subway as it passed across the Bloor Viaduct so I knew approximately where to walk.

The Lower Don Trail only has a few access points – we entered by Riverdale Park and walked north.

a hanging vine, autumn coloured, in front of the train tracks.

below: Renovations of the underside of the bridge at Bloor/Danforth have just been completed and already one piece of graffiti has appeared.

grey concrete bridge with black metal supports, part of the structure, with one graffiti face drawn in red

Just a bit farther north, and on the west side of the path we encountered the artwork.  It’s a scattered arrangement of some interesting pieces.  If left in place, some future archeologist of the future might stumble upon it and be totally mystified.

cast concrete sculpture of a seated woman with her head bent forward

Today I got myself tied up in knots as I fought with words as I tried to write this post.  How do I describe the thoughts behind the installation?  Should I talk about the meaning of gargoyles vs grotesques?

a few concrete gargoyles scattered on the ground by the Lower Don Trail, part of Duane Linklater's art installation.

But then I realize that I should just leave it be.    Be content.

a concrete block and man's head gargoyle, with moustache, folded arms holding a scroll or similar), about 2 feet square, Bloor Viaduct in the background

After all, what was more important was that the blocks turned out to be the perfect size for a three year old to stand on and roar like a lion.   We played.  And it was fun.

a young girl stands on top of a conrete block with the face of lion, she has her hands beside her mouth as she too roars like a lion

red sumach trees in the background with dead brown heads of plants growing in front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

Another reason why I haven’t posted recently?  I’ve been sick.  Icky sick; can’t get out of bed sick.  This morning was the first time that I’ve walked Toronto streets in many, many days.

It was a beautiful blue sky morning but I made a mistake and stopped for coffee first.  Clouds rolled in and we were back to greyness by the end of the first mug.  Argh.   Maybe back inside for a secong mug?

In the end I’m glad I got my momentum back.  I walked streets I’ve walked many times before but I walked it with a long lens in hand.  I started searching for details that I’ve missed before as well as shots that are easier (and sneakier!) with a lens zoomed out to the max.

In no particular order….

below:  The front of Betty’s on King street.  These magnets have been here for a while now although their numbers may have magnified.  In hindsight, I should have gone over and written something like, “Hi my name is Joe and I’m the Prime Minister of Canada”.

store front, front of Bettys bar and restaurant, with grey door. Walls are magnetic and they are covered with kid's letters of the alphabet magnets.

below: The bright colours of this exposed wall caught my eye.  It’s been revealed because of the demolition of a building at Victoria and Lombard and I suspect that it will get covered up again in the near future.

a large construction site at Victoria and Lombard, one wall of a neighbouring building has been exposed that is orange and white

below: This is a closer view of the men in the photo above.  I hadn’t purposely taken their picture but I like the portrait look of the picture.  A kind of Mike Rowe’s ‘Dirty Jobs’ image comes to mind.

two men working on a construction site

below: Banner for the Pacific Junction Hotel.

banner made of flags for the Pacific Junction Hotel strung in a tree on the sidewalk

below: Drink Coca-cola

a red and white drink coca cola sign sign hangs in a window of a bar

below: Sitting together in silence.  Black and white.  Alive and not alive.
Both aren’t moving and both don’t see me.

a man sits on a bench in a small park, wintertime, a snowman is at the other end of the bench

below: I have always been intrigued by these vertical windows at St. James Cathedral, especially with the winter trees in front of them.  I’ve taken pictures here before but none have been satisfactory.  This one is certainly not perfect but the sense of scale that the woman provides is a big help.

vertical stained glass windows of St. James cathedral, from the outside in winter, a woman is walking past.

below: These two small ionic-ish columns help support an archway over the door.

a small column with an ionic like capital, embedded in a brick wall. The column looks to be supporting an arch over the doorway

below: A bit of a rant.  At one point did it become acceptable for people to be sleeping on the sidewalks?  How did we learn to walk past?  When someone walks past a person sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk, what thoughts go through their head?  Is there a solution?  Or is so normal now that we don’t consider it a problem?   This man was right in the middle, there was no easy way to avoid him, but avoid him we did.

people walk by on the sidewalk as a homeless man sleeps under blankets on the corner.

below: Trying to cross King Street.

a man in a red jacket is waking two dogs, waiting to cross King Street, with St. James in the background. traffic, and parked cars too.

below: An exposed support beam, two wood planks on end sandwiched between steel I beams.

on an exterior brick wall, the end of a support beam is visible. the beam consists of a wood beam on end between two steel I beams

below:  High on a brick wall he suffers in anguish as the pigeons keep pooping on him.

carved stone piece high on a brickwall, exterior of a building, relief sculpture of a man's face with his hair made to look like long leaves that surround his face

below: A bit of a cliche.  Walking the dogs in the park on a winter day.

a woman walks three dogs on the path through St. James Park on a winter day, snow, no leaves, some buildings in the distance

below: The Christmas lights are still wrapped around the trees in St. James Park.

a string of red LED Christmas lights is wrapped around the trunk of a tree

below: Two mis-matched windows side by side.  Old brick, rusty metal.

an old brick building with two windows.

below: Above 10 Toronto Street is this royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.   The unicorn represents Scotland and in the royal coat of arms for Scotland, the lion and the unicorn are reversed.  You’ll also noticed that the unicorn is chained.  Apparently this is because in legend, the unicorn is a dangerous beast.   I’m not sure what this says about Scotland!  The words on the banner below the lion and the unicorn say “Dieu et Mon Droit” (= God and My Right).  The words around the middle circle say “Honi soit qui mal y pense”.   This is the motto of the Order of the Garter and it translates to ‘shame upon him who thinks evil of it’.

sculpture of a coat off arms above 10 Toronto Street, a lion and unicorn and a motto in Latin.

below:  This is the building that used to house Starbucks on King Street near George Brown College.  Many months (more than a year) ago there was a fire in the building and Starbucks closed down.  The windows and doors were boarded up and then nothing happened.   That looks like the makings of scaffolding lying on the sidewalk so maybe some renovation work is about to begin.

a man walks past a boarded up doorway

below: A ghost building outline.

The ghost outline of a building, in white, on a black brick wall. Tree branches without leaves hang in front of the wall.

below: An octopus runs up the stairs. Or would it slither?

a blue drawing of an octopus on the second storey exterior wall, beside a metal stair case (fire escape?)

below: Passing by the five faceless naked men who silently and stoically watch over the intersection of Queen and Victoria.  A sculpture “Full Circle” by Peter von Tiesenhausen.

wood sculpture of naked men in a circle with their backs inward, at Queen and Victoria streets, two men walking past the sculpture

below: I also met James Beaty this morning.  He too stands silently but he is tucked away in a dull and quiet corner so he doesn’t get much to look at.   The original James Beaty was born in Ireland 1798 and came to Canada as young man.   He was a leather merchant, he established the newspaper ‘Toronto Leader’ in 1852,  and in 1867 he became a federal politician.

a black bronze statue of James Beaty, standing with a folded newspaper under his arm, about life sized,

below: Any idea what this might be?  Dancing figure?

small black and white stencil

below: It was a puddle jumping, slushy kind of day.  I’m sure that there are lots more of those ahead!

reflections of trees in a puddle on a path that has snow and ice on it was well

below:  There are always more paths to walk and more chances to see what’s around around the next corner and through the gate!

looking down a driveway that passes under a very high square arch to the street beyond. Cars are parked on the street and a pedestrian walks by

 

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!

The first time I saw the latest art installation in the Canary District I was in a car and only got a quick look at it.  I couldn’t figure out what the mess was all about.  It wasn’t until I went back on foot to take a closer look that I could appreciate what the artists were trying to do.

Located at Front and Bayview is the ‘Garden of Future Follies’ by Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens (Hadley & Maxwell and the Studio of Received Ideas).  It is a sculpture garden and there are 7 sculptures in this garden.  Each sculpture is a mashup of pieces from different sculptures around Toronto.  Aluminum foil ‘molds’ were used to replicate portions of over 80  different monuments and architectural features.  These portions were then put together in a whole new way.

public art installation on Front St East, various pieces of sculptures put together wrong, people with more than one face, legs in pieces, bronze pieces in 5 groupings on the sidewalk

From an interview with the artists:

“Sir John A. Macdonald’s nose is assembled along with the eyes of artists Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, the chin of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and Northrop Frye’s hair; Jack Layton’s smile is one of seven that grace a figure lounging atop a reconstituted mantel from the library at Osgoode Hall; a bell from St. James Cathedral’s famous collection is perched on a cannon from Fort York; while nearby a suitcase from the Memorial to Italian Immigrants acts as a plinth for a collection of hats from various bronze heads.”

Now you can play spot the pieces!  But you won’t find any hockey sticks.

blog_man_three_heads_statue

So far I haven’t seen anyone taking selfies here but I think it would be a great spot for them!

part of a public art installation outdoors created by piecing together fragments of other statues cast in bronze , man and hammer

fragments of horse and feet statues embedded in the sidewalk

part of a public art installation outdoors created by piecing together fragments of other statues cast in bronze

part of a public art installation outdoors created by piecing together fragments of other statues cast in bronze, hands, top of a column and a laurel leaf

part of a bronze sculptture, a naked bum with a hand beside it.

part of a public art installation outdoors created by piecing together fragments of other statues cast in bronze

below: No one will ever call it beautiful, playful yes, but not pretty.

arrangement of statue pieces to form a sculpture garden, Garden of Future Follies by Hadley and Maxwell.

a face is upside down on a statue made from bits and pieces of other statues

 

A number of street artists have collaborated to paint an animal themed mural on a wall
that separates St. Helens Ave from a Value Village store and parking lot (near Bloor and Lansdowne).

street art painting by braesoner of a tiger poking its head out from behind a tag

street art mural on a wall beside a sidewalk, with leaves on the ground and two small trees in the picture as well

street art painting of a toucan with a colourful beak, sitting on large green leaves with a sunset in the background.

 

street art painting of a yellow spray paint can with a big happy face on it.

side view of a street art mural on a wall beside a sidewalk, the closest part of the mural is a picture of two giant beetles by Nick Sweetman with a painting of a spray paint can farther down the fence.

street art mural by Nick Sweetman of two large beetles and a pink flower, on a wall, St. Helens Ave in Toronto

street art painting of letters that spall fathom

street art mural by EGR of a lion beside a tree

street art painting on a wall by cruz1

street art painting of a brown monkey

street art painting by cbs

street art mural on a wall, by Nick Sweetman, of a snake head in blue, purple and green, with a long pink tongue and an orange eye

street art painting on a wall by spud1, #spud1

street art mural painting by EGR of a probably naked woman crouching in the long grass with a spear in her hand.