Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

The weather’s been all over the place, warm, cold, hot, cold again, back and forth…. like May weather usually is.  We were fortunate to have great weather this past holiday Monday and a lot of people took advantage of the day!  As I walked around, this is some of what I saw.

a man stands and watches another man playing the drums outside on Yonge street, some other people standing around too

by the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, a man dressed in orange hugs a man dressed in brown who is checking his phone after just taking a selfie

women and men standing outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge street

people crossing the street at an intersection, a woman in a pink top and white sweater is pushing a stroller with a fluffy small white dog in it, a man in a blue Jay t shirt, camo jacket and baseball hat, smoking a cigarette, is walking beside her

Graffiti alley, walking past an uber 5000 mural, a man and a woman with their backs to the camera. on the back of the man's camo coloured jacket are the words true freedom is being unknown

two women in the O of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square in front of city hall, examining photos that they have taken on their phone

2 young men and 2 young women walking down Graffiti Alley

a woman in a purple dress is sitting on the sidewalk, patting the cat wearing the superman costume that is sitting on a box. other people standing around, corner of Yonge and Dundas

a girl and her mother playing in the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square, in front of city hall,

a woman in jeans and pink top poses in the doorway of one of the back doors in Graffiti Alley

Last weekend

a three D sculpture of a man's face, on a wall, outside, graffiti, forlorn expression on his face

This weekend

the word believe is written in yellow ribbon that has been woven into a chainlink fence around a tennis court, two women on a bench to the side of it, park,

I hope that you all had a great weekend!  It was fabulous to be out and about enjoying the warm weather – everyone is happier when the sun shines and the snow melts!  The following pictures were taken today when I was out walking along Queen West, people watching as I went.

street art graffiti that says vida in large letters along the side of a metal staircase, upper story of an orange brick building

below: Street artist SKAM and his graffiti tag.   The original was painted in 2012 and had not been tagged over or messed up too much.  Some of the paint was peeling so it was time for a make over.

street artist skam is painting text graffiti (his name, tag) in greens and blues on a wall in Graffiti Alley

below: Part of the latest Uber5000 mural is reflected in the window as SKAM paints.

two young women walking on the sidewalk, both with skateboards and Starbucks drinks, summer clothing,

a woman with magenta hair is standing on the sidewalk, back against a wall.

below: Trinity Bellwoods Park  (This is also where the ‘believe’ in yellow is woven into the chainlink fence – photo above).

an older couple sitting on a bench in a park, talking to each other, the man is using his arms expressively

below: The albino squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods Park – he’s up here somewhere!

a boy looks up a tree, a white albino squirrel is headed down the other side of the tree trunk

below: Found him!

a white albino squirrel is on the ground beside a small tree with daffodils starting to grow up beside, a young boy is walking towards the squirrel

below: Reaching for a coffee

a window with mannequins in long dresses, teal and magenta fabric, reflections of woman passing by with a coffee cup in her hand

below: Walking the dog!

a family goes for a walk in the park, dad is pushing the stroller, mom on phone, young daughter pulling a pink leash with a toy dog on it.

a man outside, standing on sidewalk, with a plate of food and a cup of coffee,, with his phone in his hands

below: It wasn’t a happy day for everyone.

An older Chinese woman is pushing a cart with a large clear plastic bag full of empty aluminium cans, a Chinese man with a similar cart is behind her, other people out walking  on the sidewalk

below: Smoking room

an older woman in pink running shoes and leopard print fuzzy jacket is sitting in a bus shelter, smoking a cigarette,

two women standing on the sidewalk near lots of parked bikes. One is wearing a short floral skirt and the other is in skimpy white shorts and low necked white top

below: Supporting the locals.  It’s also play-off time of the year and this year both the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the playoffs in their respective sports.

three flags hanging outside a window, a Raptos flag (Toronto basketball) and a Maple Leafs flag (Toronto hockey) as well as a rainbow pride flag

Welcome spring!

a small black and white daisy drawing on a sticker on a wall that is covered with bright paint

At one end of the new sports field at Regent Park, there is a large mural by elicser.

green soccer field and clay track in the foreground, small trees and a mural along the end of the field, new apartments being constructed in the background.

below: The west end of the mural, waiting on the sidelines with basketball at the ready as well as watching the soccer game.

mural by elicser elliott on a fence between grassy field and new apartments being built, people watching a soccer game, a person sits on a bench with a basketball between their feet.

part of a large mural, large letters that spell Regent Park

below: The cricket players are between the words ‘Regent’ and ‘Park’ as seen above.

mural showing two male cricket players

part of a larger mural, a man and a woman walking on a street, the man is drinking with a straw

blog_mural_woman_head_scarf

below: The mural continues behind the basketball court.

outdoor basketball court, with a mural in the background, and construction beyond that.

below: Basketball players both on and off the court.

mural of basketball players playing, mural is behind a basketball court, also mural of close up of players feet with running shoes on

mural of a woman, and some text, on a fence behind some outdoor picnic tables

below: The east end of the mural

two text street art pieces, one in yellows and oranges with the man in the moon in the middle

 

a variety store on a corner of 2 streets in a mostly residential area. Green awning on one side of the building, an orange umbrella stands over the corner. sign on store says Sunshine Variety.

So excited!  So happy to be able to walk on the sunny side of the street and not be struck down by heat stroke!

below: You could say that we’re walking on cloud nine at the change of weather.

metal cutout figures of people walking, alongside a chainlink fence as part of an art installation

This past Sunday was a great day for a walk.  Luckily, it was also the day that Penny (author of ‘Walking Woman’ blog) and I had set aside to explore westward from Christie subway station.   Actually, we were going elephant hunting.  Well, it started off as an elephant hunt, but it turned into a treasure hunt – a treasure trove of Toronto quirkiness.

shadows of a railing along the side of a street with no sidewalk, just narrow space between the fence and the kerb, green bike lane. At the top of the photo is a shadow of a pedestrian walking, backpack on.

Eureka! As it turns out, it was also a great day for elephants to hang around outside.  This is Sally, a lifesize fiberglass elephant that stands nearly 3 metres tall.  She’s been standing here since 2003 and despite a little crack at the top of her trunk, she’s looking pretty good for her age.

a large white plaster? elephant stands in the frontyard of a house, tree beside it, bikes parked behind it. Residential street.

It was also a good day for gorillas to sit in trees.  A shout out to the man who was standing under this tree talking on his phone, oblivious to this furry creature above him.  The same man who gave me a strange look when I walked over with my camera, but then who shared a laugh with me when he too looked up and saw the monkey.

a large stuffed gorilla sits in the V formed by a tree trunk and a large branch of a tree, gorilla is wearing red boxing gloves.

Quirky treasures like woolly headed scarecrows.

a scarecrow in pink shirt and wooly hat stands high over a garden, between a garage and a fence in an alley.

below: Tartan columns holding up shady porches.

a shady porch at the front of a brick house with two columns painted in black and red tartan, or plaid.

below: Pet waint at Lansdowne subway station.

a sign that says pet waint on a sign that says Toronto in front of Lansdowne subway station entrance

below: A solitary dandelion in a lawn of astroturf. Even fake grass isn’t immune to the ubiquitous dandelion.

a single dandelion grows in a lawn of astroturf (fake grass) where it meets the concrete sidewalk

below:  We encountered many Little Free Library boxes.  This is not just a Toronto phenomenon and I’d have to say that it is beyond the “quirky” stage.  There is now a Little Free Library organization where you can register your library.  They claim to have over 40,000 registered libraries in over 70 countries.

a woman in a white baseball cap is reaching into a 'little free library' shelf of books outside a house

When I checked their website, I found a map of Toronto locations.   There are the libraries that are registered with the organization; I know that there are more than what is on this map.  What the map does show though is that these little libraries are numerous and that they are spread around a lot of the residential areas of the city.

map, from google maps, of the locations of little free libraries in the city,

below: Quick, get your Valentines Day roses while they’re still on sale!

a sign in front of a store selling plants and flowers that says Valentines Roses on sale, 10% off

below: The middle way, in case you’re lost?  There was a man standing there, the middle man so to speak, but he didn’t hang around long enough for me to get his picture.

two houses with a small walkway between them. Someone has written mid on one side and dle on the other so together they spell middle

below: Figures watching over a front yard, including angels and a buddha.

upper part of a statue of a young girl with decorated wall behind. Coloured picture of a biblical scene, 2 small angel statues and a buddha statue

below: And of course, what’s a Toronto walk without a lovebot?

lovebot and a lovebot nintendo gameboy on a wall above a graffiti bird with a word bubble that says everybody got a hungry heart

Near the end of our walk, we passed what is known as the Terracotta House.

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them. upper part of front of house

This house was built in 1905 by John Turner, a builder.  In the late 1800’s terra cotta tiles went out of style and there was a glut of them on the market.   Mr. Turner was using up excess stock that he had on hand?  Or advertising his business?  Or just taking advantage of a cheap material?   Whatever his motives, the house is still standing and is still a unique piece of architecture more than 100 years later.  I wonder what his wife thought of it?

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

detail of house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

May all your walks, or cycles, be on the sunny side …

part of a mural called Strength in Numbers, on a wall, a painting of two cyclists. One is a black man with dreadlocks and the other is a woman in a polka dot dress with a box on the back of her bike.

… no matter how long they are!

an old tree trunk has been turned into a support for many little arrow shaped signs that point the direction to cities around the world along with how many kilometres it is to those cities.

It’s after Labour Day but it’s still hot enough to be July.  I tried to walk for a while today but I didn’t last.  Air conditioning is my best friend this afternoon.  But all was not lost.  Even though I was only out for a short time, I walked along Croft Street and discovered that the south end (south of Vankoughnet) has been cleaned up and repainted.  If you don’t know Croft Street, it’s a street in name only.   It’s more like an alley in that it’s narrow with a lot of garages on it….but it’s also a lane that now has a number of residences on it.  I guess you could call it a hybrid, a little bit alley and a little bit street.

part of a garage door with a narrow wood door beside it, all covered with bright street art, abstract, mostly in red

What I really like about the street art here is that there is a cohesiveness to it.  It’s not all the same but it all works together.  Do I dare call it designer street art?

a row of garage doors in a narrow street, that have all been painted with street art.

below: A couple of murals that existed previously were left untouched.  On the left an oldie and on the right a new coat of paint.

two adjacent garage doors, one with a bright abstract design and the other with a garden scene

below: As well as a bright and cheerful coat of paint (and the occasional white wall!), the lane has been decorated with planters made of cement blocks and old plastic barrels.

a brick wall painted white with two vertical windows with metal grille in small square shapes, also painted white. between the windows on the sidewalk is an arrangement of cement blocks that have been made into planters with greenery and flowers growing in them.

an old blue plastic barrel that has been turned into a planter, with pink flowers and greenery, in front of a garage door that has been painted in abstract street art in bright colours.

close up details of two adjoining buildings, detail of where they meet, one is old rusty metal and the other is wood that has been spray painted pink, yellow and white.

street art on garages, ivy on walls, alley

abstract multicoloured street art on a wall and door, part of wall is also covered with ivy. old wooden barrel sits by wall

a rusty door on the upper level of an old garage in a lane, the lower level has been spray painted with street art and some of the paint is on the upper level too

an old beige plastic barrel that has been turned into a planter, with pink tall grasses and greenery, in front of a garage door that has been painted in abstract street art in bright colours.

The south end of Croft Street is at College Street.  There once was a mural on a wall at the corner of Croft and College that commemorated the fire of 1904.  Almost three years ago I blogged about it.   (3 years!)  John Croft died in that fire and it was for him that the street was named.  Anyhow, that mural is still there although it’s been hidden behind someone’s ugly tagging for more than a year.  Today it is also behind scaffolding.

below: Part of the John Croft mural that no longer exists.

blog_croft1

And now, because life (or, my life) is rarely linear, I’m going to jump around and look at the other end of Croft Street.   North of Vankoughnet there seemed to be an animal theme in street art that I saw.

below: birdo bunny with his ears at attention.

birdo street art of a rabbit head on a bright green garage door, grey head, pink inside of the long ears, purple and turquoise striped neck.

below: The memorial to Monty the cat is still there, again for at least 3 years, but now it’s someone’s little patio.  In case you are unfamiliar with this wall I have added a transcription of the poem written in Monty’s honour.

mural on a wall with lots of birds and fish and a poem as a memorial to a cat, with two chairs in front of it as well as a yellow planter with flowers in it. Did you know our Monty the cat?
King of Croft and all that
(Ask your dog. Ask your cat)
Did you give him a pet
Once you had met?
Or tickle his soft silken tum tum?
Did he tell you his tale in articulate meow
And share his affection with a rub of his brow?
His loss here has left us really quite blue
But remembering all of those of YOU
Who knew how to share a sweet kindness true
Who would pause on the way,
In midst of each day,
To offer wee beastie
affectionate feastie
In Memory of Monty
Thank you!

 

below: Unicorns vs Monsters.   And the winner is?

a garage door painted black with white creatures, 6 on one side of the red words Unicorns vs monsters and 6 white ones on the other side

below: Three cows standing in a field…. on a wall.

painting of three brown cows in a green field, painted on a garage door

below: No animal here…. but it must have been here recently and left its paw prints behind.

street art on a brown wood garage door, with a painting of white paw prints on blues and greens mounted near the top of the wall

below: An angular fox, or rather a triangular fox

a street art picture of a fox made of triangles in orange black and white

below: More animals but I’m not sure if it’s art, or if someone has a lot of watering cans they’re trying to keep organized.  The bottom yellow one is probably not a pokemon, right? Of course I could be missing something – it wouldn’t be the first time!

watering cans hanging along the side of a garage in an alley, many of them are in the shape of yellow rubber duckies and one is a light blue fish shape. A few are little silver coloured metal buckets.

below: Leaving the animal theme behind, mind over matter.

against an ivy covered wall a brown piece of wood sits. on it someone has written mind matter . The word mind is written on top of the word matter and there is a horizontal line between the two words.

below: 74B likes grids.  The metal stripping on the brown door has been there for at leasat three years but the coloured stripes on the garage are more recent.

a garage door painted in yellow, red and blue vertical stripes as well as two wide horizontal stripes, the walls are green shingle and the entry door is black with a grid of metal stripping on it.

below:  All stories and all blog posts need an ending so I’ll stop here.  The end.

a red stop sign to which someone has stuck a sticker that says driving so now the sign says stop driving

Summer in the city – enjoying the summer weather!

below: Toronto street art in Graffiti Alley.

Street art painting in a n alley that says Toronto in blue

below: skateboarders

Two young men on skateboards are passing by, another is holding onto the back bumber of a red car while he is on a skateboard and the car is moving.

below: Enjoying a quiet moment, late afternoon.

a woman sits on an outdoor patio, under a large yellow and white umbrella with a Singha Beer ad on it, sitting on a bright red plastic stool. Other plastic stools are around her, both red and blue

below: Painting shingles – June 4th was 100 in One Day, a day where community activites are promoted. One of the activities on Kenwood Lane was shingle painting.

kids painting designs on wooden shingles, outdoors.

below: Running through the fountains at Yonge Dundas Square

a boy runs down the middle of the fountains at Dundas Square with his arms out at his side and a smile on his face

below: World Naked Bike Ride participants cycle through Kensington.

Five or six men on bicycles on a street in Kensington, they are all naked. One is wearing a large Canada Flag hat and has a Canadian flag flying from the back of his bike. Participants in the World Naked Bike Day.

below: Relaxing at Nathan Phillips Square.  #sitTO is a campaign to increase the number of places to sit in public spaces.

A man sits on a folding chair beside the fountain at Nathan Phillips Square. He has his feet up on the bars of his bike that is balanced there.

below: Distillery District

A woman is posing by the large red heart in the distillery district, she is leaning back on one side of it.

below: Patio, College Street

a restaurant on the corner of two streets, with a patio both out front and at the side. Both are full on a sunny late afternoon.

A woman is carrying a cat in what looks like a baby carrier on her chest. It is a Siamese cat

a frontyard full of small purple, blue and white flowers, all behind a chainlink fence

Sharing Dance
Organized by the National Ballet School,
the 3rd annual Sharing Dance event was held at Yonge Dundas Square.

A chance to laugh a little and learn a few moves.

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a woman in a tie dyed T-shirt and orange cap dances on her own while others watch

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - kids

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - one little girl is facing the opposite direction from the others

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a middle aged couple

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a kick line of 5 or 6 young women

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a younger woman helps an older woman with a walker to lift her knees in ballet moves

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - 5 young women with the arms in the air

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - hands in the air

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - running in a circle

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a couple dancing together

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - young women in blue t-shirts, arms linked, kicking

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - one knee up

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance

people dancing at Yonge Dundas Square as a group, part of an event called Sharing Dance - a mother is taking a photo of her daughter for instagram

#sharingdance