Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Caterpillars and butterflies is the theme of the latest laneway painting project.  A year ago, Nick Sweetman led a group of street artists who painted garage doors in a lane near Garrison Creek park with pictures of butterflies.   These murals appeared in blog post in June 2017

This year’s project was similar.   Many of the same artists were involved again this year.  They used garages, fences and gates in a lane near Felstead Park (a block south of Greenwood subway station) as their canvas.  Once again, the theme was butterflies as it too was part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s butterflyways project.  This time, a similar blue background was used in all the murals which has given it a more unified appearance.

a lane with many painted garage doors, butterfly murals, summer time, green leaves, lots of trees, two people walking

The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it had the support of Start aka StreetARToronto

below: Felstead Park, by @braes_ack

title mural on a garage door, Felstead Park murals, butterflies

below: In the shadow of the weed are the letters CTR

geometric, angular butterflies

below: Mural signed by Kehoe, the face of David Suzuki

a butterfly and a face merged into one, the eyes look out over the top of the red and yellow wings

below: Green and yellow toadstools by mska

mural by mska on a garage door and fence, green and yellow toadstools

below: Mural by @oriah_scott

two large butterflies in a mural by @oriah_scott

below: butterfly among the pink and red flowers, by P.S. aka Phillip Saunders

large pink butterfly with pink and red flowers by P.S.

below: A sombre dark piece (is it finished?) by @poserabm

dark grey and brown painting, one small butterfly by poserabm

below: Three butterflies by Serina

butterfly mural by serina

below: Collaboration – A monarch painted by Nick Sweetman and a wonderful rose by Wales

mural by Nick Sweetman, large realistic looking butterfly and a large pinkish rose

below: A bright and busy mural by Spyone and Tensoe

mural on a wood fence - butterflies and flowers

monarch butterfly painted on a garage door

below: The hookah-smoking caterpillar from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is crawling across the fence.  Painted by elicser

caterpilar

below: Red panda out on a limb, perhaps chasing the butterfly, by Ted Hamer (@The1astRonin)

an animal (possum, red panda?), walks out on a tree branch towards a blue butterfly, mural on a fence

below: A butterfly in the garden; the work of Anya Mielniczek

mural running horizontally across garage, garage door and adjoining fence, butterflies and flowers

below: Two flowers, one pink and one blue, by Chris Perez

blue flower painted on a garage door, by @chrispperez

below: It looks  a lot like a skull on the back of this butterfly painted by @cmazzulla aka Christine Mazzulla

colourful butterfly mural on a garage door, blue background

below: A curled up caterpillar in pink and black, very larger than life!, by Spud.

a large pink and black caterpilar curled up on a garage door - mural

below: By Dezed, a butterly, mushrooms, and a bit of water

butterly mural, pond, mountains in the background, pinkish sky

below: Reaching out to the butterfly, giving the butterfly a helping hand, painted by @drippin_soul (Kalkidan Assefa)

a mural by @drippin_soul of a hand reaching towards a blue butterfly

below: On the right, Emma, the property owner’s dog who died recently.  Nick Sweetman painted the dog while @mr_tensoe2 painted the dog’s name

geometric striped butterfly with a dog head beside it. above dog is written the word Emma

 

 

 

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

Sunny September days make good walking in the alleys days.   Here are some of the walls I saw and the compositions that they make.  The textures of wood and metal, bright colours as well as subdued ones, the effects of light and shadow, as well as shapes and patterns – these are some of the things that catch my eye and make me stop.  Throw a little nature into the mix and the following photos are the result.

part of an old wood door that is part dark turquoise and part blue, with a rusted latch holding the two doors together and closed

a vine with two red leaves hangs in front of a grey wall, sunny day so there are shadows on the wall fromother plants that aren't in the picture

three small windows in a wall, the top part of the wall is brick and the bottom is plaster that has been painted white

old rusty downspout with part of a wire coat hanger wrapped around ut, in front of a grey shingle covered wall that has been partially covered with purple spray paint

trunks of three trees growing in front of an old white building with a green door. windows in door are covered with plywod and a piece of plywood is nailed over parts of the lower half of the doors to keep them closed.

a bashed up grey metal door with splotches of light and shadow

part of a bright red double metal door in a brick building

a bright turquoise door in a building that has been painted white - some of the old brick shows throw the peeling paint.

part of a brick wall that has old windows bricked over in a different brick, an old window with old wood frame, unpainted, some graffiti on the wall

corrugated plastic panels on angle in front of concrete block wall with window covered with plywood

white drips of paint on a wood garage door, metal door handle

chainlink fence in front of rows of construction equipment

a grey plaster attempt to patch a broken rusted metal panel on the side of a garage - rust in shades of yellow and brown, a painted green stripe

red, white, and blue spray paint on three wood slats of a fence, tied together with string, some nails sticking out

paste up of a man's face over a wood door, door and wall have blue and red splotchy spray paint on them

buildings with lots of glass, on stilts, built over the water at Ontario Place

After parts were shuttered 40 years ago, Ontario Place has re-opened to the public.  The spherical Cinesphere and the buildings that are over the water are not open but the grounds are.

below: Canadian and Ontario flags fly along the docks of the Ontario Place Marina.

flags line the walkway leading from the dome shaped cinesphere at Ontario Place,

below: Double trouble.   Hot x 2

close up photo of a small part of the side of the cinesphere building, showing the metal bars that form the exoskeleton structure of the spherical building

below: Those are some very big boats!

four or five very large yachts are moored in the harbour along Toronto's waterfront, highrises in the background

There is also a new park, Trillium Park, that has been built on the eastern end of Ontario Place.  It is 7.5 acres of green space with a 1.3 km trail (the William G. Davis trail) winding through it.

below: Trillium Park provides new angles from which to view the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline.


couple, man and woman, sitting together, on a grassy hill. The CN Tower is behind them.

below: It is also a spot from which to watch airplanes as they take off from Billy Bishop Airport.

a man in a red baseball cap sits on a rock, his bike parked beside, while watching a pOrter airlines plane take off from Billy Bishop Airport

below: Sunbathers

two people lying on a blanket on a grassy area in a park, trees in the background

below: Rock climbing

a boy stands on top of a pile of rocks, his father is beginning to climb up the rocks to reach him

purple cone head flowers

a woman sits on a rock wall, looking out over Lake ontario, there are boats on the water and a sea gull flying past

below: Water levels in Brigantine Cove, like all of Lake Ontario, are higher than usual.

an electrical plug in station stands in the water by a flooded dock at Brigantine Cove, Ontario Place, with sailboats in the background.

below: There are still some traces of the amusement park rides that were once there. There is no water in the boat ride, but the bilingual warning signs are still on the rocks. “Keep hands, arms and head inside boat. Stay seated.”

a woman standing between two rocks pretends to be riding in a boat as she points to a sign that says

below: Tbonez (urban ninja squadron) must have been to Ontario Place recently

a urban ninja squadron sticker on the side of a metal staircase that was painted brown but the paint is peeling off

below: Crochet street art, marine life, discovered clinging to the underside of a small wooden bridge.
This picture is upside down.

crocheted sea creatures clinging to the underside of a wood bridge

below: A painting of a man painting and of his shadow painting.

painting on a cylindrical building, of a man on a ladder, painting, also his shadow

below: And last, music events are held at Echo Beach, a section of Ontario Place.  The day that I was there a steady background noise from the electronic (techno?  I’m out of date on newer music genres) music permeated the park.  You couldn’t escape it.   This isn’t the best picture but I didn’t get very close – my poor head!  I was interested in the palm trees but I couldn’t get the right angle.   There are other music events happening this summer so maybe you can time your visit to coincide with music that you like!

 

an orange, or salmon, coloured wall with a window. in the window is a reflection of a pair of eyes from a large street art mural. under the window are two ladders lying horizontal.

On Dundas West, just west of Dufferin, there are two lanes with large murals by clandestinos.

One is the alley to the west of the Lulu Lounge where both sides are covered with fantastic paintings by fiya, shalak, and bruno smoky as well as a few others.  I blogged about it just over two years ago and here is the link to the original post, “life as the shadow of vida“.   Earlier this week I took another look at it – it’s still looking great and there have been no changes so I didn’t take any photos.

The other alley is nearby but on the north side of Dundas Street.  Actually, it’s hardly an alley, more like a driveway which made taking pictures of the whole mural difficult.   Also, if you are traveling eastbound on Dundas, you’d miss it.  Here are the pictures that I managed to take:

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - close up of a large gorilla face

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a crocodile or alligator coming out of the water

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird sitting on a rock by a creek

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - bird, turtle and croodile in a nature scene

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a small bird on the base of a tree trunk

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a large bird with its wings out stretched getting ready to take off

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - a turtle on a rock

part of a large colourful mural by clandestinos smoky and shalak - lareg greenleaves with their signature

street art on a low retaining wall that says butterflyways in bright pink letters

Garrison Creek park is a small strip of green between the railway tracks an alley of garages. Many of the garage doors were painted last weekend with murals all on the theme of butterflies.  There are about 30 paintings and they are the work of a number of different street artists.   The project was curated by Nick Sweetman and it is part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway project; StreetARToronto was also involved.

If you don’t like pictures of butterfly murals, I suggest that you skip this post because I’m sharing photos of a lot of the garage doors!  In no particular order here they are:

 

mural of an orange and blue snake loosely tied in a knot around a purple tree, blue butterfly hovers in front of snake's face, mural by Cruz 1

Artist: Cruz1

 

Three black line drawings of a butterfly, with details and shadowing, very realistic looking, on a fence

Artist: unknown (by me)

 

Artist: blackburn

 

many whimsical butterflies and caterpillars

Artist: J. McKie

 

pink water lily painted on a black background

Artist: C Mazzulla

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a possum and a butterfly by wales

Artist: wales

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a person's face in profile, with a butterfly spread over the back part of the head

Artist: 2US & XYZ (not positive about that)

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterfly ways project - very stylized abstract picture of a butterfly and a flower

Artist: XYZ & MAC

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is by mska and is a brown butterfly and mushrooms. on the right is an hibiscus flower by horus taffytats

Artist: (left) mska, (right) horus, tuffytats

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is a monarch butterfly landing on pink flowers, on the right is a riot of blues and greens

Artist: (left) braes, (right) C. Perez

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a pink and purple butterfly that looks like a face, with daisies

Artist: @anyamielniczek

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a black butterfly with orange and blue highlights, on a green leaf

Artist: P.S

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is painted on a light green fence and is a flower in pale oranges and beiges. On the right is a purple butterfly

Artists: unknown (by me)

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a red butterfly with a bright light in the center of it.

Artist: NEDO

 

a mural by smugugly on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - a red, black and bluish butterfly

Artist: @smugugly

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is a stylized (cubist) butterfly in blues and purples. On the right is a Nick Sweetman yellow butterfly with black details as well as a white Scottie dog that looks like Tintin's dog Snowy

Artist: (left) FIP or FYP? , (right) Sweetman

 

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is painted by braes and is a portrait of David Suzuki. On the right is a blue mural by C. Perez

Artist: (left) braes & wales, (right) C. Perez

a mural on a garage door in an alley, part of butterflyways project - two adjacent garage doors, the left one is width=

street art mural of a Japanese girl upper body and head, hair in two buns kept together with chopsticks, looking aghast at something behind her

Wilson subway station is nestled between the northbound and southbound lanes of the Allen Expressway.  It’s functional, but not pretty.  All that concrete!

below: Wilson subway station from the parking lot on the SW corner of Wilson and the Allen.
view od Wilson station from the south side of Wilson, directly opposite the bus loop.

If you look closely at the above picture, you might be able to see that one of the pillars holding up the Allen has been painted purple.  That’s part of the latest mural painting project by Shalak Attack, with help from Bruno Smoky.  What you can’t see is that the mural covers all of the underpass supports on both sides of Wilson Ave.

below: The mural on the south side of Wilson Ave has been painted on all sides.  Here, a face is between two hands gripping the poles.

painting on bents on an underpass, a face in the middle and a hand on either side, holding onto the concrete pillars, entrance to subway TTC station in the background,
close up of an eye from a face on a mural by Shalak Attack

below: More pillars on the south side.

a woman's face in a mural, eyes closed, by Shalak Attack, other pillars painted with green, red and orange petals.

below: A large spider on a web is in the center of the mural.

part of a mural, a large blue and red spider with orange legs, on a verylarge spider web

a Shalak Attack face painted on a concrete bent under the Allen Expressway on Wilson Ave., other bents have geometric patterns and a large spider web on green.
view along the sidewalk leading from the Wilson subway station to Wilson Ave., grass covered embankment on either side of the sidewalk, Expressway higher up on either side of sidewalk as well as straight ahead.

below: The back side of the supports have also been painted.  Just be careful not to bump your head on the road above if you want to get a closer look!

bright and bold pink flowers and green leaves and vines are part of a mural on concrete supports of an underpass.

geometric designs in a mural on concrete pillars on an underpass, by a TTC subway station

below: The north side of the underpass is being painted at the moment. Stay tuned for updates!

a ladder, people working on a mural of a blue face,

part of a mural, two purple fingers on yellow background.