Posts Tagged ‘mural’

Immediately south of the Danforth , the CNR tracks cross Warden Avenue. A heritage mural was painted there a few years ago.

a white pickup truck makes a turn at an intersection with a GO train going over a bridge in the background

The wall on the west side was painted first. In the centre is a portrait of Elizabeth Simcoe. In August 1793, Elizabeth Simcoe wrote that the bluffs reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough England. Apparently that led to the bluffs being called Scarborough Highlands. Scarborough village became the settlement near the Scarborough bluffs.

mural by De Anne Lamirande, portrait of Elizabeth Simcoe, in blue dress with white collar, large hat,

To the left of her is a painting of the Scarborough bluffs.

part of mural on side of railway underpass, Scarborough bluffs and Lake Ontario

And to the right, a steam train at the station.

one end of a mural showing a steam train coming into a station where a group of people are waiting

On the east side, a painting of the stone Bell estate house built in 1830 is in the centre. Although it is known today as the Bell estate, the original builders were Richard and John Thornbeck who obtained 100 acres on that site in 1828 (near presentday Warden and St. Clair). In 1861 this 4 bedroom house was occupied by Richard Thornbeck, his wife, six children and his widowed mother.

mural on railway underpass on Warden Ave by De Ann Lamirande, old stone house, Bells estate,

Thornbeck sold the house to William Bell in 1882. It was then home to a line of Bell decendents for over a century. It was Bell’s Scarborough Dairy from 1931 to 1943 when it was purchased by Donlands Dairy.  Part of the property was later owned by Beckers Milk who had a milk processing plant there until 1995.  In 2012 the house was empty and boarded up.

part of a mural, a black and white cow in a farmyard, behind a cedar rail fence, in front of an orange barn

cow, farmyard scene in a mural, beside sidewalk on railway underpass

below: On delivery, with horse and wagon from Mitchells. Arthur Mitchells Grocery store was an early landmark in the community of Birchcliff. It was on the corner of Kingston Road and Birchmount.

a man on a horse drawn carriage making deliveries, part of a mural

The mural was painted in 2012/2013 by De Anne Lamirande with help from Andrew Horne and Emelia Jajus

bronze city of toronto plaque describing the mural on Warden ave

This mural illustrates the Bell estate’s beautiful fieldstone house built in 1830, just east of Warden Avenue which was designated as a historical site in 2011 and still stands today. Established on the property was Bell’s Scarborough Dairy which flourished from 1931 to 1943. The A.H. Mitchell Grocery Store was located on Kingston Road and made deliveries in this area by horse and buggy. The centre columns feature Oak trees, the red Canadian Maple and Birch trees which represent the Oakridge and Birchcliff communities.

[note: Oakridge is north of the tracks while the community of Birchcliff is to the south]

With collaboration from City of Toronto and Mural Routes

Recently I was in the area east of Danforth and Main when I had one of those moments where I stop and say to myself “I’ve been here before”.   I recognized some of the street art in the lane  (see Alleyway of Dreams, 2016).  For this blog post, I have started with the artwork that I didn’t remember on the assumption that it is newer.   The murals that remain from 2016 all seem to be in good shape.

below: A collage of pictures called “Against All Odds” in the shape of a map.

collage of pictures and images on an exterior cement wall

below: On the same wall as the above is this mural of a swan.  My apolgies to Alika, Angela, Dylan, Molly, Serval, Bandi, Ludo and Weal (?) whose names I chopped off.  To the right of the swan, and behind a parked car is a piece by Mediah.

mural of a swan with a list of names to the left and a piece by mediah to the right

below: A hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower.

mural of a hummingbird with a red hibiscus flower

garages in an alley with garage doors that have been painted with street art, the garage in front has a light greens side door with two birds sitting on a braanch painted on it

Love birds of a different colour

street art painting of two birds sitting on a branch, a yellow bird and a blue bird with a white head.

below: There had been a fire in the back of a furniture store not long before I walked the alley this summer.

rubble, the result of a fire, sits in a pile behind a store in an alley, part of a chair sits on top

below: A black cat in the moonlight, sitting on some very curly branches.  This row of fences was painted in 2016.

mural on a fence in an alley, a black sitting on a tree branch with curly branches, moonlight behind the cat

below: This blue pug was here previously but the rabbit that was once beside it seems to have disappeared.

mural in mostly blue of a pug's face, dog with red tongue and brownish eyes, on wood
mural of a tiger's face on a garage door

below: The blue rhinoceros with the whimsical horn hasn’t moved either.

mural of rhino head and horn on a garage door in an alley, rhinoceros

below: Stay Out is still sprayed on the old wood door but now it has a new lock.  The blue 666 is also an addition.

old wood door beside metal garage door, outside, in an alley, large words spray painted on door that say stay out 666

large green plastic bag on the ground filled with wood palletts, in an alley, in front of a garage door with street art on it

below: “Bee Haven” from 2014.  One of the earliest bee/pollinator murals in the city.

mural of a hand holding a plant growing in a flower pot, plus bees,

bee with blue body and bum in a mural

hand holding a flower pot that is cracked because the root of the plant is growing, in a mural

below: Signatures.  The mural was painted by Elie J. Saad, Sarah Van Dusen, and Curtia Wright with help from Community Centre 55 kids.

back of a store on Danforth with apartments above

Zoom zoom! Hop on and come along for a ride!

a radio flyer tricycle parked on the grass, with lots of fallen leaves, in front of brick apartment building

below: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. What direction should we go today? Where will your feet take you next? Thinking interesting thoughts as we explore. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”. What have you created today? What should we create next?

a front porch with three plaques with saying on them

Rather lofty words and ideas when all we’re doing is walking up Keele Street… where just looking at the stairs makes me tired.

square, two storey brick duplex on a hill, with concrete wall in front, lots of steps going up

red vine covered concrete wall on Keele St., in front of houses up on the hill, steps up the houses

an old office chair beside a bench on the sidewalk

back lane, row of houses,

small statue of a couple embracing in a garden in a front yard

a small replica of a VW bus hanging from a tree. bus is painted white and blue and has a red heart on it

below: It was good fun to see an altered Neighbourhood Watch sign – great to know that some still exist. Five years ago (yikes!) I posted a collection of “good guys” that I had found around the city. I don’t know if Andrew Mutton, the man responsible, is still making them but I haven’t seen any new ones for a long time.

neighbourhood watch street sign with added picture of three characters from Star Trek

This November has started with wonderful walking weather.  In fact, the whole autumn has been a delight for those of us who like to be busy outside.  The colours of the trees, shrubs, and vines seem to be more vibrant this year and I don’t think that it’s wrong to say that the colours have lasted longer than usual.

vines on a concrete stair case, autumn colours

below: Keele and Annette

intersection of Keele and Annette

By the time you get to Keele and Dundas you are definitely in “The Junction” named for its proximity to the junction of a number of different railway lines.  In 1884 this area became the village of West Toronto Junction.

below: Looking north up Keele to Dundas.  Dundas is a long street that winds its way across the city.  Here in the west end, it runs north south as it crosses Bloor West.   Moving north from Bloor, Dundas parallels the GO tracks for a half kilometre or so and then bends almost ninety degrees to run parallel to the Canadian Pacific railway line.  The junction of these two railway lines is a short distance away (to the northeast)

intersection of Keele and Dundas, looking north on Keele

below: Walking on Dundaspeople and dogs walking along Dundas near Keele

items in a store window, vintage, old coca-cola sign and other memorabilia, also Royal Crown Cola bottles and wood box, a wood Flow wagon,

below: CP tracks

a wall of street art on the other side of the railway tracks

below: Back by the tracks

two shipping containers and some other junk used in a lot with a garden

below: The remains of a vegetable garden. Are these brussell sprout plants where the sprouts part have already been removed?

remains of a vegetable garden in November, tall plant, brussel sprouts, that have lready been harvested, a small fruit tree

From Keele, it’s a short walk east to the West Toronto Railpath which is on the east side of the GO tracks.  The northern most entrance to the path is off of Cariboo Ave which is a tiny one block street north of Dupont.  The southern end, although near College and Lansdowne, is actually where the GO tracks cross Dundas…. which is very confusing.  If you look at it on a map, it makes a lot more sense!

below: The mural, “Strength in Numbers” is still on the underpass walls at Dupont and can be seen from the railpath.  You can find more photos of it if you follow the link.

part of a mural, strength in numbers, on the concrete walls of an underpass

below: From the same bridge, looking east on Dupont.  The twin steeples belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Andrew the Apostle

looking east on Dupont, traffic on the street, stores lines streets

two people walking on an asphalt path past some small trees in autumn colours

below: Street art on the glass wall separating the path from the railway tracks.

yellow street art painted on glass wall beside West Toronto Railpath and railway tracks, large face with mouth open, hand holding 4 little figures that look like fingers

below: Hoardings.  Paintings.  In the middle is a section that has been painted with these words: “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love.: C.S.K.  [Coretta Scott King]

street art on hoardings around a building, west toronto rail;ath

below: Black Lives Matter, Run for Ahmaud, mural by kizmet32 and Francis Pratt. Tribute to Ahmaud Arbery who was out for a run when he was murdered by two white men, Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis

mural of a black man in the stance held at the beginning of a running race,

small graffiti of a cat's face on top of a larger red and white tag, on glass wall

below: Kizmet street art on a Henderson Brewery truck on Sterling Ave.

Henderson Brewery delivery truck covered with street art by kizmet, 3 faces in shades of blue, purple, pink, and turquoise

below: The West Toronto Railpath crosses Bloor Street.

railway bridge over Bloor West near Dundas, painted orange, construction on one side of the road so traffic diverted to the other side

below: The giraffe building at Dundas and Bloor is still there.

cyclist riding by construction on bloor street approaching dundas

below: That corner is getting a new mural, a thank you to front line workers during Covid. Borat has snuck into the photo too – but then his poster does say “Wear Mask, Save Live”. You can’t see all the words here…

painting a mural on the corner of bloor and dundas, a thank you to front line workers during covid

below: But they are more visible here….

a man stands at an intersection waiting for traffic lights to change, he's in front of Borat poster, wear a mask, save live, man sands where he covers the mask

below: Street art in a parking lot. The one on the right is kizmet.

two cars parked in front of a kizmet mural

below: The building makes a wedge. On the right is the wall in the photo above.

the point of a wedge shaped building with street art on both sides

fence covered with throwups and wildstyle around a low rise apartment building

below: Smash, crash, gambit

small round medallion shaped graffiti, carved figure with words crash smash gambit written around the outside

below: A skinless smoker with a third eye by bodh.io

sticker graffiti of a head without the skin, showing eye socket, muscles, teeth, top vertebrae, smoking a cigarette

below: Drible-drible with many noodles (?) and on a more political note, someone wants Doug Ford to resign.

dribble dribble sticker, feelings boi sticker and a sticker that says Doug Ford resign

below: A trio  – More feelings boi, a collaboration between him and tbonez., and a tribute to jazz musician John Coltrane.

three stickers on orange metal support of west toronto railpath bridge over Bloor. One is a portrait of a black man Coltrane, another is a feelings boi sticker and last is a sticker that is feelings boi along with urban ninja squadron,

… and that’s all for now!

yellow stencil graffiti on sidewalk, words that say buh bye

There are older posts with photos from the Junction and/or the West Toronto Railpath.  I’ve been walking and blogging long enough now that there is bound to be repetition!  If you are interested in more pictures, you can always search all posts in this this blog for “Junction”… or for whatever you want for that matter!

I heard that there was a new mural near Finch and Morningside which of course means that I have to try and find it.  In doing so, I found three murals.  This is their story.

Blue and white Toronto street sign for Staines Rd, top part is sign for Morningside Heights, naturally beautiful

This is Morningside Heights at the far eastern side of Scarborough.  The Rouge River, the border between Scarborough and Pickering, is not far away.  The Toronto Zoo is also nearby.

below: Bus 133, Neilson Road, waits at a stop on Finch just west of Morningside.  The houses that you see in the background are on Morningside.

TTC bus parked on Finch just west of Morningside, route 133 Neilson. A row of houses in the background, on Morningside

The Canadian Pacific railway tracks run on a diagonal at this intersection.  They cross Morningside south of Finch and they also cross Finch just west of Morningside.  The bridges, and underpasses, are very close to each other.   In this photo, the train is on the bridge over Finch.  Do people often stand outside the front of a train?

Canadian Pacific railway engines pass over bridge over Finch Ave. A TTC bus is waiting in the foreground, as well as a man standing at the bbus shelter.

In the above picture, the wall of the underpass on the left is unpainted.  The wall on the right, the one that you can’t see has a mural by Mediah.

under the bridge, part of a mural by Mediah IAH Digital, train underpass on Finch Ave in Scarborough

It is called “Interoh Gale” and Mural Routes was a partner in its development last year.

part of a mural by Mediah IAH Digital, train underpass on Finch Ave in Scarborough

maple leaf and stripes, under the bridge, part of a mural by Mediah IAH Digital, train underpass on Finch Ave in Scarborough

below: west end

west end, part of a mural by Mediah IAH Digital, train underpass on Finch Ave in Scarborough

orange maple leaf

below: east end

part of a mural by Mediah IAH Digital, train underpass on Finch Ave in Scarborough

below:  Construction has begun on the southwest corner of this intersection. The site plan, approved last year, shows a Shell gas station with retail on three sides of it.  Leases are available! (you’ll have to google it).

construction site

dump truck leaving a construction site

below: There is a pond with a walking trail around it almost directly across Morningside from the above construction site.

pond with Canada geese, backs of houses on the far shore,

below: Two people, after being on the trail around the pond, walk south on Morningside via an underpass that has murals on both sides.  This is mural on the east side.  It is older than the others but it is in reasonably good shape.

two people walk past a mural on a railway underpass

below: A boy on a skate board and a girl doing what?  The two green signs say Love and Malvern.  I don’t know Scarborough well enough to know if the buildings in the mural represent real ones.   Malvern is just to the west.

end of a mural underpass, sloped concrete with railing on top

mural, picture of a growling bear's head

below: MFRC is Malvern Family Resource Centre and there is a picture on their website of the unveiling of this mural in September 2015.

old mural on concrete wall, of a person on a bike on a path, someone playing basketball, in the mural,

below: This is the newest mural.  It is called “Colour Outside the Lines” and it is the work of Lacey and Layla Art (aka Lacey Jane and Layla Folkmann)

a mural with three large kids faces in purples, pinks, and blues,

part of a mural by Lacey and Layla called Colour Outside the Lines, a young girl looking upward, a child's drawing of a girl in with a curly yellow line around it

mural, two large girls faces, under a railway bridge, on Morningside, by Lacey and Layla

part of a mural, a large face of a boy in pinks and blues, with a yellow crown drawn on top of his head

below: Looking north on Morningside from Finch.

looking north up Morningside Ave fr4 land road with a wide boulevard in the middle, small trees have been planted on the boulevard. Row of houses on the righ, east, side of Morningside. om Finch,

On the northwest corner of this intersection, there is a large piece of vacant land.  The railway tracks run along the west side of it.   I can’t find any information about it online.  There isn’t the usual blue and white Notice of Development sign.   The website on the billboard shows some of the houses that they have built/remodeled but there is nothing about this particular project.

billboard advertisement for development property on vacant land, rovillage coming soon it says

Once it was fenced in by the looks of it. Not much of the black cloth remains.  It looks a bit creepy, as nature undoes man’s work.

remnants of a black cloth fence that has rotted, outdoors, hanging off of posts, vacant, land, weedy,

But now it’s for sale maybe?  LOL. A cliff hanger ending for this post!

a for sale sign half hidden in the overgrown weeds

 

One of three murals newly painted on the Danforth is one by Elicser Elliott on the southeast corner of Danforth & Donlands (once a 7-Eleven store).   Four other artists were involved in this mural which is part of ‘Destination Danforth’, a pilot project that involved a number of infrastructure improvements such as bike lanes and patios as well as creative elements such as these murals.

On the front and sides of the old 7-Eleven is this mural:

from a mural by elicser, a woman in a pink head scarf is reading a book

from a mural by elicser, a woman in a pink head scarf is reading a bookand beside it is text street art

from a mural by elicser on an old 7-Eleven building on the Danforth, a couple is looking at an open laptop together, brown skin, woman in blue head scarf

below: The swirls were painted by Flips (Swirlgod and BSC – Blurred Sight Clreared)

mural by elicser along with text tag street art

text street art in pink that looks like it is hovering over a pond

 

group of people, elicser mural

elicser mural, group of people

On the back of the building along the alley, is a mural in black, white, and shades of grey. “Enemy of Justice is Ignorance Allied with Power”

mural with words, Enemy of Justice is Ignorance allied with power. Black and white and grey

below: “No justice for Breonna Taylor” plays on the TV while a policeman in 2020 vintage riot gear stands by the door.

part of the Enemy of Justice mural, policeman standing by door, man sitting with hands over his eyes as TV is broadcasting about Breonna Taylor murder by policemen

below: The year 1955 references the day that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery Alabama, 1 December 1955.  It was the year that saw the birth of the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the USA.  Police uniforms sure have changed!

history part of elicser enemy of justice mural

This project was also a collaboration with the local BIA’s, StreetARToronto, and East End Arts.

Three other artists contributed to these murals:  Spyone, Nick Sweetman, Smokestack Lightning, and Maysr

below: Older street art in an alley behind the north side of Queen Street West

mural in an alley on the north side of Queen West

a woman stands by a table on the side of a road, across the street is a wall with two pictures on it, a cigarette smoking moose and a square thing with three eyes and long dangling white arms

below: Although it was painted in 2015, Greg Mike‘s message of “Stay positive” still applies.

street art mural by Greg Mike of a turquoise square thing with a large square mouth and white teeth, three eyes across the top of its head, a pink droopy tongue with its own face and tongue, and long white arms and legs. In one hand it holds a sign that says Stay Positive

below: Elicser‘s mural of a woman with a bald eagle fling over the city.

large mural on a wall, woman with a bald eagle, some text graffiti on it too

below: Keep calm and meow on!

graffiti on torn paper on a wall, black marker drawing of a cat with words keep calm and meow on

below: The birch forest painting by Jim Bravo is still at Queen West and Denison.

mural of a birch forest with golden yellow leaves on the side of a building, around the windows that are reflecting sky and buildings from across the street

below: Also remaining, is the remnants of this stikman although he is now covered with a fresh coat of paint.

old stikman on a wood pole, only legs remaining, pole has been freshly covered with white and light blue spray paint

traffic cones down the middle of one of the small lanes running perpendicular to Graffiti Alley

red brick wall with white tag graffiti, similar graffiti on green garbage bib two guys sitting on the curb on the other side of the lane

white line drawing of a man with a bowtie, head only, over coloured spray paint street art

below: Truth phone in Graffiti Alley, by Mike Salisbury

phone booth with three ones, white, red, and yellow, with sign that says your truth

below: A ROC bird character in collaboration with kone

birdie ticker, orange shirt and black bowler hat, white glasses, with words on arm of t-shirt that says kone x roc

two young men walking their bikes down Graffiti Alley

below: A tribute to frontline workers in Rush Lane.  Treaty 13 between the British government and the Mississauga of New Credit is also known as the Toronto Purchase.

mural as salute to frontline workers, on upper level of a wall, mentions treaty 13, first nations symbolism,

a woman takes a picture of street art in Graffiti Alley, late afternoon with low sun and long shadows

below: Pink panther

street art painting of the pink panther

below: Stickers and slap on metal – zonr, feelings boi, and peru143

slaps and stickers on a pole with street art around it

below: Two more stickers.  Daughtcalm on the right and Obey, aka Shepard Fairy, on the left.

two slpas on a pole, on the right is a daught calm you tuber man with a you tube T-shirt, and a red inner tube around his hips. On the left are two soldiers with a red rose coming out of the end of the rifles

below: There is an “Obey Eye” mural on the side of a store on Queen West (near Portland) that was painted in 2014.  It is on the upper level and in a small side alley. The words in the mural say OBEY never trust your own eyes always believe what you are told.

large mural of an eye by Obey, high on a wall near Graffiti Alley, faces QUeen Street West

below: Part of the Black Lives Matter tribute murals that were painted back in June.  Zianna Oliphant was the girl from Charlotte North Carolina who spoke for black rights at a council meeting after a fatal shooting of a black man by Charlotte police.  Also, note the altered yellow sign that now says “Watch for Injustice”.

two women walk into an alley, past a mural featuring Zianna Oliphant, a black girl, garbage bins in front,

below: A green Lambourghini and it’s photoshoot.

a young man in red shoes poses beside a green Ferrari parked in Graffiti Alley, being photographed, other people walking by including woman in ripped jeans

people walking up Rush Lane

a mother takes a picture of two kids standing in front of a garage in Graffiti Alley

a mural of a purple rhinocerus by Nick Sweetman with a woman standing in front of it. She is taking a photo of a child in bright red shoes and red wool or ribbons braided into the hair

street art painting of a Japanese anime boy in orange suit with black belt, jumping up with spikey hair and a grimace on his face

painting of a man on a traffic box, black suit and tie, white shirt, but brown paper bag over his face, with heart painted on it

a sticker on a grey metal pole, yellow with an abstract design drawn in pinks, greens and blues with circles and vertical lines

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

orange and black traffic cones and a lane closed, orange sign with black arrow telling traffic to move to the right

There’s a video on the internet of a kangaroo hopping down the street in deserted downtown Adelaide Australia and there are photos of other animals that have taken to roaming urban streets now that many people are staying at home.   I thought of these things as I drove downtown today.  Not because I saw animals.  Not because the streets were quiet and empty.  No, instead I wanted to compare these animal sightings to the proliferation of orange and black traffic cones as well as dump trucks and other machinery.  It seems like the city has taken this time to block more lanes for construction than usual – I may be imagining things but I doubt it.

below: Driving east on Adelaide

looking east on Adelaide

below: Demolition on Jarvis

partial demolition of an old house on Jarvis street, facade is left standing, no glass in the windows, can see other high rise downtown buildings through the window holes

below: Maud Street

workman with stop sign directing traffic in front of a construction site

below: Lombard Street

street, downtown Toronto, with traffic cones

below: I think that they are looking at me but how can I be sure?

paper paste up graffiti of faces and eyes by Jeremy Lynch on metal boxes on the sidewalk, with construction workmen in the background

My destination this morning was Graffiti Alley.  There were no tourists there today but there were trucks blocking the alley.  More construction nonsense.

a large semi truck is parked in Graffiti Alley and is taking up the whole width of the lane

below: In fact there were two trucks

a large white truck is parked in the narrow Graffiti Alley totally blocking it

construction site on Richmond street backing onto Graffiti Alley with lots of walls covered with street art and murals

below: A new Nick Sweetman mural – a purple rhinoceros

Nick Sweetman mural of a rhinoceros

below: This mural is not new but it is the first time that I have seen it with no cars parked beside it.

large mural by globe, smoky, and done of a bird house on purple background with green tag text

below: Graffiti Alley now tests positive for the novel coronavirus, the green variety.

part of a mural in Graffiti Alley, a silver tag with a green corona virus with open mouth, white teeth and yellow eyes

chainlink fence in front of a backyard with a bit of green grass, white building with a bright blue door

a person waiting beside a bus shelter on Queen West, seen from the back including reflections in the glass of the shelter

below: KFC sits empty.   That’s not a coronavirus victim – it was empty before we all started staying home.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Queen Street west

below: A message from 525 and 523, Stay Safe!  (actually it’s from T-bonez).

wall and doors to numbers 533 and 535 covered with street art including an urabn ninja squadron character with a face mask on with the words stay safe

Stay safe and
stay healthy!

The general idea yesterday afternoon was to walk Oakwood, southbound from St. Clair.  What I didn’t expect when I left my cosy apartment was a strong cold wind,  so part of the adventure was dictated by which direction the wind was blowing and how to avoid it (if possible!).  If some of these photos look a little blurry, it’s because of the snow that was falling all afternoon.

below: Pizza Pizza on the northwest corner of St. Clair and Oakwood.

NW intersection of St. Clair and Oakwood with a bus at a bus stop and a pizza pizza restaurant

below: I hadn’t gone far when I found a lane so of course I had to follow it…  Looking back towards Oakwood Collegiate.

looking down a lane that runs parallel to St. Clair West, with Oakwood Collegiate in the background.

below: Old black and white photo of St. Clair Ave from 1911 just after construction of Oakwood Collegiate was complete.  Oakwood Avenue is now on the other side of the school in this photo.  It is interesting to note that St. Clair had streetcar tracks back in 1911 but was still a dirt road.  Apparently the city started building these tracks when the school was open – the St. Clair streetcar line was open in 1913.   I found this photo in Living Toronto – follow the link if you want to read more about the history of this school.

vintage black and white picture of Oakwood Collegiate from 1911 when St. Clair was a dirt road

icicles along the edges of garage roofs in the backyards of two adjacent houses, view from the alley looking over the gate

in an alley, beside an orange concrete block garage, a wooden staircase leads to an upper floor, covered with snow

below: And that is where I spotted this man with a little red heart…

rough painting on a garage door of a man's face with a small red heart beside it

below: … and across the alley from him was this woman, also with another little red heart. It’s Valentines Day today, how sweet and how appropriate.

on a brick wall, a drawing of a woman's face with the eyes being the most prominent, a small red heart beside her face

below: The hearts just kept on coming.  I’d only walked a few minutes and already I had enough for a Valentines Day post! 🙂

graffiti, red heart on a wood fence

below: At the end of the lane I spotted this too…. can you see the LOVE?  It looks like it’s written in the middle of the pink and blue graffiti but it’s actually on the metal vent.

looking towards the side of a pinkish building, with graffiti higher up, over the level of the 2 storey buildings beside the pink one

below: So much for walking down Oakwood.   I circled back to St. Clair West where I saw the Yummi Cafe & Laundromat with it’s hand written sign in the window.  Support Our Teachers!  These are trying days for education in Ontario as the teachers lock horns with Doug Ford and his Conservatives who speak first and think later.

storefront, yummi cafe and laundromat, picture of pink ice cream cone as an ad for Kawartha Dairy, also a sign that says support your teachers, offering them free coffee

a bike with a flat front tire is locked to a street sign pole on the sidewalk on St. Clair west

below: This is middle section of the Royal Heights village mural painted by Murals by Marg in 2019.  It is on the side of 1006 St. CLair West (at Appleton Ave).

middle part of the Regal Heights mural, geometric shapes in bright colours

below: To the right is a small butterfly, child height.  Choose to be kind.

a butterfly in a colourful mural with the wods choose to be kind written above it

below: The left side has a larger butterfly as well as a bright yellow door with a blue umbrella.  Let love rain down!

a multi coloured butterfly, mostly blue and yellow, made of geometric shapes, in a mural beside a yellow door with a blue umbrella painted on it

below: Right across the street (on the northeast corner of Appleton & St. Clair) is this mural.  I haven’t been able to find out who the artist was.

mural in blues and greys on the side of a brown brick building, an outdoor winter scene

TTC streetcar stop on St. Clair West, stores, traffic lights, and poeple waiting to cross the road

below: Looking west on St. Clair as you approach Glenholme.

looking west on St. Clair approaching Glenholme, people on sidewalk, traffic lights, Boom restaurant, other store fronts
below: A coin laundry as well as Glenholme Variety on the southwest corner of St. Clair and Glenholme.

southwest corner of Glenholme and St. Clair with large 3 storey brick building housing GLenholme Variery store and a laundromat.

below: In front of 98 Glenholme is this little sculpture, an old fashioned sewing machine on a pole.  It marks the home of Marcello Tarantino Sartoria (tailor).

little metal sculpture of a sewing machine on a pole with a bit of green above it

below: Another alley – the wind back here is not so bad!

old green Chevrolet delivry van parked in a snowy alley, also part of a mural with hearts on it, alley scene

below: An old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholstering Co written across the side and above the front window in faded letters. Also fading is the text: Manufacturers of Individual Style(?) Furniture

old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholsteriing Co written in faded cursive writing on the side

laneway scene, snow, car, poles, trees, garages, part of a mural with hearts on it

Mural by Ross Bonfanti and Sandra Tarantino with hearts, stars, a flying car and superhero kids.

mural by Bonfanti and Tarantino of superhero kids and los of pink and red hearts, a yellow star and a car with wings flying in a blue cloud

superhero kids mural

The alley ended at Dufferin and that is where I headed south.

below: The southwest corner of Dufferin and Davenport

south west corner of Dufferin and Davenport, pizza restaurant with large billboard on the roof

below: A black and white photo from 1912 of the construction of Dufferin Street at Davenport.  This photo is originally from the City of Toronto archives but I found it online in an article on the history of Dufferin Street in blogTO.

1912 black and white photo of construction of Dufferin, cobblestones or bricks, at Davenport

below: Mary looks down upon us, from a niche in the wall of St. Mary of the Angels church.

a small grey statue of Mary in a grey niche on the exterior of a brick church, St Mary of the Angels

below: Remnants of an art project left to weather on a fence around a schoolyard.

remnants of fabric or paper that has been wrapped around parts of a chainlink fence at a school yard

below: A smiling happy mural on the side of a dental office on Dufferin Street painted by spudbomb (2017)

long mural by spud bomb of a woman smiling, holding a red apple with a bite out of it in one hand and a globe in the other hand. She is wearing a red and purple striped close fitting outfit over her arms and head. On the side of a dental office. The word smile is written many times in different fonts

below: Just north of Dupont Street, the CPR tracks cross Dufferin.

a red railing separates a parking lot from a hill, in the background a white tanker railway car is passing over a bridge

train with grafiti on the side of the car passes over a bridge over Dufferin Street and there is graffiti on the walls of the underpass

graffiti on the side of a building by a small hill and some trees. The hill is part of the embannkment for the railway tracks

below: This strange pillar (artwork?) is on the southwest corner of Dufferin and Dupont.  It used to be the marker/sign for the stores in the Galleria plaza on that corner.  Everything there is under renovation at the moment so instead of tearing down the sign, it was converted into this.   Hence, “Love me till I’m me again”.

a sign that says Love me till I'm me again in red neon, on a column that has been spray painted in different colours, a neon red heart outline at the top, in a parking lot with cars passing by

below: From a different angle – the neighbourhood wins no beauty contest.

looking west on Dupont at Dufferin, old Galleria sign, parking lot, traffic lights, plaza

below: The architecture on Dufferin, both houses and stores, is a mishmash of styles (or non-styles!) that have evolved over the years.   The next few photos try to give you an idea of the variety.  First, at Dufferin & Rosemount

large house on the north west corner of Dufferin and Rosemount. Brick on the bottom, brown siding on the top, construction cones on the sidewalk around it

below: Dufferin & Hallam

house and stores on Dufferin street, including the San Antonio Coin laundromat and a Home hardware

chainlink fence with dead vines on it, snow, around the front of a brick house with broken railing on the porch

two storey barn style house, brick, with large pine tree in front yard

below: Dufferin & Auburn

intersection of dufferin and auburn streets, lowrise row houses with porch

side of a brick multi family residence, windows, white door, with a small white porch over the door, broke chair beside the door

below: Standing alone at 1432

old house number 1432 Dufferin with a new fence

below: 1452A and its neighbours

three houses on Dufferin, the one on the left is 1452A

a 2 storey semi divided house on Dufferin, upper level has a balcony with with a green and white railing, winter, snow on the ground

two storey semi divided house beside Dufferin Bloor auto shop, bus stop in front,

below: An ominous sign – a boarded up house on Dufferin Street.  Is change far behind?  Just in case, I like to document what’s there because in this city, you turn around and everything’s different.  And you think to yourself, “What used to be there?”  But you can’t remember because that is how our memories work and isn’t that disconcerting?

a large tree grows in front of a brick house that has been boarded up

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s