Posts Tagged ‘park’

East of Brimley and north of Lawrence is a large park, Thomson Memorial Park.
I have mentioned the Thomson family’s role in the history of Scarborough in a blog post about St. Andrews Bendale cemetery where many of the Thomsons are buried.  St. Andrews is adjacent to this park and is on land donated by David Thomson.

In this blog post I wanted to look at a corner of the park – the southwest corner is home to the Scarborough Museum and it’s small collection of old buildings.

below: The McCowan log house is one of the houses.

log cabin home

Scarborough Historical Society plaque for McCowan log house, built 1830, now located in Thomson Memorial Park

The McCowan Log House
This cabin was built about 1830 in the northeast part of Scarborough and was moved to its present site by the Scarborough Historical Society in 1974. From 1848 until his death, it was occupied by William Porteous McCowan (1820-1902) who had come to Canada in 1833 with his parents, Margaret Porteous and James McCowan, a coalmaster of Leshmahagow Parish Scotland. The McCowan family, including four sons and four daughters, settled near the Scarborough Bluffs east of the present McCowan Road.
“Uncle Willie” McCowan narrowly escaped death by cholera which claimed his father and brother the same night in 1834. A bachelor, “Uncle Willie” was succeeded as owner by his nephew James McCowan.

below: There is another plaque nearby, this one for Rhoda Skinner who you have probably not heard of.  She had a lot of children!

historic plaque honoring rhoda skinner

This plaque is dedicated to the women who pioneered the wilderness of Ontario in the early 19th century and, in particular, to Rhoda Skinner (1775-1834).
In addition to laborious household chores, assisting with the farming, and coping with fears and challenges unheard of today, they were often called upon to raise huge families. Rhoda was the mother to 37 children by two husbands. Her children and their years of birth are as follows: [names & birth years of the children are then given]

Let’s take a closer look at Rhoda:

First, Rhoda married Parshall Terry (1754-1808) whose wife Amy Stevens died in 1792. Parshall was 20 years her senior and already had 7 children, 3 boys and 4 girls. Or at least, I assume that a child with the name Submission is a girl, sadly. The oldest, Parshall Jr. was born in 1777; he was only two years younger than Rhoda would have been 15 when his mother died.

Rhoda’s first child was Simcoe born in 1794 when she was 19. Her oldest step-daughters, Mary and Martha, would have been 14 and 11 – instant babysitters and helpers. IF they had survived. Considering the higher infant mortality rate of the time it is possible that some of these offspring didn’t make it to adulthood.

Rhoda went on to have 12 children with the youngest, Eliza, being born after her father died. 12 children in 16 years. Parshall Terry drowned in the Don River in 1808. At the time he and Rhoda’s brothers, Isaiah and Aaron Skinner, had a sawmill and a grist mill at Todmorden Mills. Terry was also a member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada.

Rhoda must have married William Cornell (1766-1860) shortly after because Rhoda and William had a son, Edward, in 1810. William Cornell was a widower with 12 children already. He and Rhoda had 5 more children after Edward. In the end, Rhoda gave birth to 18 children, the last one in 1821 when she was in her forties and when her eldest, Simcoe, would have been 27.

Rhoda died in 1834 and is buried in St Margarets in the Pines cemetery in Toronto (at Lawrence near Morningside) as Rhoda Terry Cornell. Her second husband is buried there too – written on his stone is “A native of Rhode Island U.S. and settled in Scarborough in A.D. 1800 being the second settler in the Township”.

below: The Cornell House. It was built by Charles Cornell and his wife Matilda. Charles was the son of William Cornell & Rhoda Skinner.

white frame house

below: ‘GrandMother Moon (and the Equinox Wave), 2019’ by Catherine Tammaro, Spotted Turtle Clan (photo taken in 2020).

a picture on an exterior wall

below: Thomson Memorial Park.  One of the many attractions of the park is the fact that it is the western end of The Meadoway – a project to turn a hydro corridor into green space with bike paths and walking trails.  (but that’s another  – blog post! – see link!)

large trees in autumn, lots of yellow and gold leaves on the trees and on the ground

Howdy!

little metal character made of found objects and rusty metal, hat, fishing net, overalls,

There are rumours of a vaccine being available but at the rate at which people are being inoculated, we’re going to be living this socially distanced life for a few (many?) more months.  To help alleviate the feelings of isolation without jeopardizing anyone’s health, I have started walking with friends in their neighbourhoods.  My previous post, about Glendon College, was the result of a walk that I took with my mother and it was that afternoon that I decided to make a point of walking with friends more often.  The result of the first of these walks, near South Kingsway & Bloor, is what you see here.

yeard decorations of two small metal bikes, one blue and one yellow, in front of a house with Christmas wreath on the door and other Christmas greenery decorations too

stret of houses and large trees across from Rennie Park, single family homes, residential area, large trees, winter, no leaves, some snow on the ground.

bench in park, snow on ground, large tree, lots of long shadows,

a melting snowman with a blue and black plaid cloth around it, looks a bit like a large bid witha sharp curved beak

below: Rules of the rink for these Covid-19 times.

outdoor skating rink at Rennie Park, winter, with two signs regrding the rules for outdoor rinks during covid times, a few people are skating

outdoor skating rinkm some people getting ready to skate, enclosed rink for hockey etc with more natural rink beside it

child in red pants and blue winter coat pulling a sled across a park, houses and trees behind it

looking down a hill towards a park with a playground, backyards and houses beyond that. orange snow fence, railings of the stairs going down the hill

two adjacent two storey houses with lots of white statues and fountains in the front yards

white statues in front of a house

A little house!

older smaller house beside a larger newer one

older light grey stucco house on lot with grass and large trees

chainlink fence beside a path through the woods in early winter, no leaves on trees, some snow on the trail

below: Be careful where you walk!

wooden bridge over creek, ground at end of bridge has been flooded, hill onthe other side of the bridge with aprtment buildings (low rise) on top

below: Evidence of beaver activity!

beside a pond, thin layer of ice on the water, dead leaves on the ground, some medium sized tree trunks, one that a beaver has tried to take down

below: The muddy path beside Catfish Pond

path beside a pond that is muddy, boards placed on top of mud to make it passable

below: Morningside High Park Presbyterian church, built 1917.

front entrance and steeple of Morningside High Park, a stone church built in the Gothic style in 1917

below: In the distance, highrises near Bloor West and Keele

street curving downhill towards park, city skyline ion the background, a house or two beside the road

small white house behind a large pine tree and between two larger houses, on a small hill with stairs leading up to it

below: High Park

below: The very north end of Grenadier Pond.  Work is underway to remove invasive species of plants from this part of High Park and replace them with native vegetation.

a man is going down a long set of stairs towards a park, winter time,

and back up the stairs to Bloor West

older small apartment building from the 1920s, brick,with white wood trim and balconies

With thanks to Alice for being my tour guide.

a woman taking pictures in the woods, winter

Back in the early spring of 2019, I wrote about accessing the East Don path from Moccasin Trail.

below: Last week, the view from the east side of the tunnel under the DVP leading to Moccasin Trail Park.

semi circular arch and tunnel under the DVP from the East Don trail, autumn with fall colours on the trees, paved path, grass beside,

Now, in a different year and a different season, I have explored more of that trail starting at the north end, near Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Originally, Lawrence Avenue curved south down the east side of the ravine before it crossed the Don River. The remains of part of that road provide access to the East Don path at Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. Sauriol (1904-1995) was a Canadian naturalist who played a leading role in conserving many natural areas in the province including the Don Valley.

Here, the Alexander Milne family first settled in 1832. Over time, a woolen mill and a sawmill were built, other families moved in, and the village of Milneford Mills was born; it thrived until the early 1900’s. The old woolen mill remained derelict until it was demolished in 1946. Between Hurricane Hazel floods in 1954, and the expropriation of land to make way for the DVP construction, most traces of the village have disappeared.

below: All that remains is one house. It’s been behind chainlink and “under renovation” for MANY years. When I went searching for any kind of story about this house, I discovered a blog post from 2011 about Charles Sauriol Park and the house was fenced in then. Apparently it was covered in graffiti back in 2008/9. I’m not sure that Mr. Sauriol would be impressed.

old white house, built 1878, now in park, with metal fence around it because of renovations, autumn, with trees in golds and oranges

autumn colours in the leaves on the trees, oranges and golds, and some red sumach

below: The Rainbow Bridge from the north side.

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

below: The trail passes underneath the Canadian Pacific (CP) tracks.

a man walks his dog along the path through the Don River ravine, autumn trees, and the path goes under the tall CN railway bridge with its metal girders

below: Footings for the CP bridge

concrete footings on a metal railway bridge over the Don River

below: As the trail crosses land owned by CP Rail, it is covered by a metal frame canopy. It’s difficult to see in this photo but there is a series of small laser-cut metal artworks between the grey railings. The whole structure is “A Walk in the Woods” and it is the creation of both Robert Sprachman and Arnaud Boutle.

a metal canopy over a path and under a metal railway bridge

gnarly old dead tree that looks like screaming face

a woman walks along a path at the bottom of a hill. the hill is covered with leaves that have fallen off the tall trees

2 people walk on the sandy river bank on the side of the Don River, autumn with leaves in different shades of red and gold

below: Farther down the trail is another railway bridge. This is the same line that goes north to Oriole GO station and beyond. The scaffolding under the bridge is for the construction of another canopy similar to one under the CP bridge (above) as well as an art installation.

workmen on a railway bridge

below: Part of art installation “High Water Mark” by Robert Sprachman that is almost complete. There are 15 rocks each with a year on them. The height of the rock on a metal pole represents the height of the flood water on the Don River that year (but is not an exact height). There are four rocks in this picture and from left to right are 1926, 1934, 1942, and obscured (the last is behind the wood. Ooops).

Artwork called High Water Mark, rocks at levels that match the flood levels of different years, on metal poles by a bridge beside the Don River

below: Oak leaves

leaves on a small oak tree have turned a rusty red colour around the edges

below: Backs of houses overlooking the park

a white house up on a hill behind autumn trees that are starting to lose their leaves

below: A chickadee holding onto a dead flower as it eats the seeds.

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

below: Fish. Yes there are fish in the Don River, about 21 species apparently. This one, salmon?, although large is unfortunately also dead. Over the past 30 years the Don River has received a lot of TLC which has helped to reduce the level of industrial pollution as well as the amount of litter and trash found along the banks.

a large dead fish has washed up onto the sandy shore of the Don River

below: We were told “It’s not the best time” when we asked if we could continue on the trail. South of here the trail is a construction zone. Eventually (soon? I may have visited a little too soon?) the path will join with those farther south so that there will be a continuous trail from Lawrence to the lake. In the meantime, this is Wynford. You can exit here, or retrace your steps back to Lawrence. Next time!

two people with their backs to the camera stand on a path and watch a digger in front of them, there is a bridge over the creek ahead and workmen have parked their truck on the bridge, autumn colours in the trees around them.

path through the woods, autumn

three dried berries on a shrub with one red leaf, autumn

Another path through the woods. This time there was a hint of yellow in the leaves because it was late September and even in 2020, some things are the same as ever.

a dirt path through the woods, some yellow hues in the trees

The path led me uphill to the newly renovated Guild Inn. It’s been five years since I have wandered around their gardens and surrounding park. In that time, the building has been renovated and expanded. I didn’t take very many pictures the other day because I knew that I had a lot from my previous visit. I was going to link to the blog post from that time but I discovered that I never actually got around to posting anything! So, I have found the old photos and have included some of them here.

below: For instance, this is the front of the inn in July 2015 with its windows covered.

chainlink fence in front of an empty white building with windows that have been covered, old Guild Inn before renovations

below: And the back, five years ago.

photo from 2015 of Guild Inn surrounded by construction metal fence before it was renovated

below: Five years later – the back of the Guild Inn with the path leading to the gardens.

the old white house back of Guild Inn, with small stone columns in the garden along with trees and flowers

below: A statue of Saint Francis Assisi with a wolf, carved by Thomas Bowie (b.1905)

a small statue of St. Francis of Assisi with a wolf, in stone, in front of a flower garden

below: A stone wall with statues and carvings provides a backdrop for a garden full of black-eyed susans. Because of the efforts of a few people to salvage some of Toronto’s architectural and creative history, the gardens of the Guild Inn have become the final resting place of a number of pieces of older buildings that have been demolished to make way for modern skyscrapers.

a large number of black eyed susan flowers in a garden, with sculptures and statues on a wall in the background

below: Stone wall with features from the Bank of Nova Scotia building (1903)

small concrete wall that incorporates a number of small sculptures from old buildings

below: The bird nest is long gone. … but it would have been a nice quiet spot to raise a family.

the upper torso and head of a man, sculpture in stone, in a niche in a wall. a bird has built a nest on his shoulder

large stone columns in a park, old architectural details from a building that was demolished, columns saved and moved here to Guild Inn

carved in stone, a head of an old man with curly hair and curly beard, with stone corinthian columns rising above him

below: From the Royal Conservatory of Music. There are two bas-relief bronzes of men associated with the Royal Conservatory. On the right is Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973), an organist, composer, and conductor who was knighted in 1935 by King George V. On the left is Dr. Healey Willan (1880-1968) another organist and composer who was associated with the Toronto Conservatory for 30 years (1920-1950).

a brick wall with details from Royal Conservatory of Music building, music hall carving, and two bas-relief bronzes of men, Sir Ernest McMilland Dr. Healey Willan

below: Looking through one stone arch to another, the square arch from the Imperial Bank of Canada Building (1928) and underneath sits Musidora. Many artists have lent their interpretations of this woman (in sculpture and paint), the subject of a poem titled “Summer” by Scottish poet James Thomson written in 1727. The beautiful Musidora strips naked to cool down by bathing in the stream, not knowing that she is being watched by Damon. Damon is torn between watching and turning away but chooses the latter.

a statue under an arch as seen from an arch farther away, greenery, garden

sculpture of a naked woman in a garden

short white marble column in a garden

In 1887, a Bank of Montreal building was built at the northwest corner of King and Bay; a site now occupied by First Canadian Place. The building featured a series of sculptures representing the Canadian provinces that were created by a number of artists. When the building was demolished in 1968, these panels were brought to the Guild Inn. Not all of them are on view today possibly because some were not in good shape (held together with metal straps). Maybe they are being fixed up?

below: This is the Alberta panel in 2015; the artist was Jacobine Jones (1897-1976)

relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, man holding a sheep, with rodeo cowboy beloww

below: It has since been cleaned up.

detail of relief sculpture representing province of alberta in Guild inn garden, two bare feet, a cowboy riding a bucking broncho

below: One of two stone angel panels from the North American Life Assurance Company Building (1932).

bas relief sculpture on stone of a winged woman holding a globe, earth

below: The brick and stone entranceway from the Granite Club (1926)

an arch entranceway of red brick and stone over a path through a garden with lots of trees and grass around it

below: This cabin was named for William Osterhout, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1805 was given the first Crown land grant from King George III as reward for his service with the Butler’s Rangers. Although Osterhoust briefly owned the property, he never settled in Scarborough Township. The structure was more likely built around 1850 to 1860…. that may be a contentious “fact” as some believe that it is at least 50 years older than that.

osterhout cabin, log cabin, from pioneer days, on the grounds of the Guild Inn

The gardens have several different types of trees all in their autumn plummage.

below: Orange berries on a mountain ash tree…

orange mountain ash tree berries on a tree

below: … and many little crabapples on a crabapple tree.

a large bunch of crab apples on a tree, many many berries on the tree

below: At the south, the property ends at the Scarborough bluffs and there are many warning signs along the paths that run near the edge.

path through the woods with small fence on left. signs on left saying do not climb fence or cross over because of unstable ground, top of Scarborough bluffs, warning signs,

below: Looking out over Lake Ontario

trees at the edge of a path overlooking Lake Ontario, from high up near top of Scarborough bluffs

green leaves turning red in the autumn, on the tree, with sun light shining through them

a carving in stone, square panel with a 4 petal flower with 4 leaves, symmetrical

And then, when driving north on Morningside on my home, I encountered this…. The peacocks have arrived.

a van is unloading on the street, two large peacock sculptures, about 6 feet high in off-white, standing on the pavement

For more of the history of the Guild Inn, see their website.

four cars waiting at a level railway crossing on Morningside Ave, red lights flashing and barriers down but no train yet

The other day I was near Yonge and Sheppard when I found myself with some extra time so I decided to drive around the nearby neighbourhood where I once lived.  A little trip down memory lane along with something new.

below: On Florence Ave looking northeast across Yonge Street.

at the intersection of Yonge and Franklin in North York, older houses on Yonge street that are now businesses, with large new condo buildings behind

I discovered that the little house where my family lived when I was grades 4 and 5 is still there and is one of only a few that haven’t been replaced or enlarged (no photos!).  Continuing on my tour, I passed the local school, Cameron Avenue P.S., before I thought that I would take a look at Gwendolen Park.  I have vague memories of it but it was just far enough away from home that we didn’t go there often.

Gwendolen Park sign with tennis courts in the background
park with exercise equipment and large trees

Southeast from Gwendolen Park there is a path through the ravine that is well worn. It passes among some of the tallest trees I have seen in the city – maples, oaks, and others.  It is darker than most ravine walks.  It is also quieter.  I didn’t encounter any one else while I was in the woods.

dirt path in the woods, with many large trees with exposed root systems

3 tall trees that have fallen beside a ravine path

below: A tiny little bird house with a brown plastic beetle.

a very small bird house with a bronw plastic insect glued onto the side, hanging from a large tree

a lean to built in a ravine off many fallen branches

below: At the bottom of the hill is Don Valley Golf Course.  The bridge in this photo is the 401 jst west of Yonge Street.  I was trying to figure out the best route to the bridge but I happened by this spot at the same time as the course marshal.  He kicked me out.

Don Valley golf course from the north end, looking towards the 401 bridge over the valley

Getting to the bridge was not an important goal but when someone tells me I can`t do something I feel that I have to try to find a way to do it.  Google maps shows this space as green but there is no differentiation between golf course and park.  I tried bushwhacking my way around the edge but I couldn`t find an easy enough way to make it worth my time.  So I retraced my steps…. but not before finding a souvenir of the day.

hand holding a taylor made 3 golf ball

large old dead tree trunk in forest

large gnarled tree roots exposed on a path

Don Valley Golf Course from up the hill near Gwendolen Park.  September has only started and already there are some colours appearing on the trees.

big willow tree and other trees, some just starting to turn to autumn colours, on Don Valley golf course from the hill on the north side of the course

below: Cliff by the park

cliff and trees at Gwendolen Park

below: Part of the path passes behind the tennis courts.

looking through the netting around a tennis court

below: Luckily there is a hole in the fence otherwise it`s a steep drop to the left!

hole in the chain link fence along the path behind the tennis courts at Gwendolen Park

below: The path continues to the northwest but a few drops of rain persuaded me to return to the park where my car was waiting.  Earl Bales Park is the next green space along the path although I am not sure if there is access.   Another day’s adventure.

large old trees with green leaves

below: This cat loves Mondays.

street art on the back of a blue metal sign, a yellow cat head and the words I Mondays, with a red heart between I and Monday, therefore I love Mondays

below: Perhaps I’ll follow the sign to the North Pole for my next walk?  Oh oh – I think that it says 4800 (kms? miles?) so maybe not…..

at an intersection, Radine and Franklin, someone has nailed a sign saying north pole onto the utility pole

Scarborough Bluffs Park on sunny but windy Sunday afternoon in March.

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The red twig dogwood is looking redder and the trees are barely starting to bud.

a couple walking together on a path at park, with tall grasses and leafless bushes beside

signs in a park, Scarborough bluffs, that say danger unstable soils and naturalized area do not disturb

2 teenagers climbing a cliff face at Scarborough bluffs

a few people standing on a path in a park with cliffs behind them

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The water and air are still cold enough that icicles form on the overhanging branches that get hit by waves.

a woman with black hair and weraing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone, waves crashing against the rocks along the shore below the tree with the icicles

icicles on a branch that overhangs Lake Ontario

a woman with black hair and wearing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone

men in the water with wet suits on as they try to surf in Lake Ontario

a woman in a white parka is watching men surf in rough waters and high waves of Lake Ontario

two women in winter clothes sitting on a blanket on rocks by the lake, one is pointing at something

shoreline of Lake Ontario, rocks and trees, early spring, no leaves,

Getting used to this “social distancing” thing but not the “stay at home” part.   A walk in the park seemed like a good way to mix the two – get a little exercise without running into too many people.

below: Keeping his distance

a man sitting on a bench in a park

It’s close to March 21st and the beginning of spring.   Actually this blog post started to take form after I parked my car and wandered aimlessly a few yards.  I was standing on a path in a ravine wondering which way to go… but why was I here?  I heard a bird, and then I heard another.

below: A robin snacking on sumach

a robin perched on top of a cluster of sumach buds and is leaning over to eat one

below: A female downy woodpecker

female downy woodpecker on a small tree

below: A little chickadee

chickadee sitting in a red dogwood, early spring, bright red branches, no leaves

below: It’s not a bird nor is it a sign of spring,  but it sat still enough to let me get my camera focused through the branches.

black squirrel sitting among tree branches, holding something in its mouth

below: The red dogwood branches have started to become more vibrant.

bridge over creek, sumach and dogwood bshes, winter to early spring, no leaves

below: Pussy willows have opened up their fuzzy white buds.  A definite indicator of spring.

a few thin branches of pussy willow

below: There weren’t many tree buds but this tree (and others of its type) were an exception.

small clusters of pink buds at the end of branches and twigs on a tree

below: There was a train too!  A different kind of sign of life.

park and trees in the foreground, early spring, with train on bridge in background

young birch tree

a purple graffiti heart painted on the concrete support at the bottom of a large metal trestle

Spring, and a walk in the park.  Sometimes it’s just the little things….  including someone to share your space.

a couple walks together over a small pedestrian concrete bridge

below: Reflections in the Wilket Creek

reflections of lifesaving equipment beside the Wilket Creek

Something new or something different.
And for sure, something’s changed.

below: Too cool for school. Dundas Square.

a young boy in sunglasses stands on one foot in front of a water fountain at Dundas square

sitting by the water at Dundas square, a mother and two kids, an older man in a hat is nearby

a man stands in dundas square, with a rolling suitcase in one hand

two men sit beside a store window with female mannequins in summer clothes, another man is walking past

below: The north east corner of Victoria and Lombard (looking north on Victoria).

downtown buildings

below: This building is on the north west corner of Victoria and Richmond.  It is the Confederation Life building, constructed in 1892.   According to Wikipedia, afire gutted the top floor of the building and destroyed the roof in June 1981 but the rest of the structure remained intact.

the top corner of an old red brick building with a green roof, with a new glass building behind it

below: A 1912 picture of the Confederation Life Building.  Photo source

vintage photo from 1912 postcard of the confederation life building at the corner of Victoria and Richmond streets. built 1892, large red brick building with ornate roofline

three buildings joined together, one red brick, one beige stucco and one a purplish brown. A small tree grows in front of them. Four windows.

below: Fran’s restaurant at the corner of Victoria and Shuter – a Toronto institution.

scaffolding around the building with an orange Frans sign on it - Frans restaurant at Shuter and Victoria streets

below: And just a bit farther north on Victoria is the Senator which is even older than Fran’s.  That’s a lot of food!

large mural on the side of the Senator restaurant, a man in glasses holds a steaming cup of coffee with plates of food in front of him, by his shoulder, bacon and eggs with toast as well as a plate with a sandwich and a side of salad. A third plate has a piece of chocolate cake

below: Signs on Victoria Street including a marvelous old Green P Parking sign.

signs, senator restaurant, public parking, and an old green _ parking sign

below: Protest poster with a message for Prime Minister Trudeau.  Will you compensate us for the mercury crisis?

large black and white poster on an empty building with plywood covering doors and windows.

below: Breaking my habit of not photographing people sleeping on the streets – it was the large green frog pillow that made me chuckle and reach for my camera.

a person is sleeping on their back on the sidewalk. Their head is on a large green frog pillow

below: And speaking of frogs, a group of them have appeared at College Park.   A group of frogs is called an army… but if these are actually toads then a group of toads is a knot.   Hmm…. frogs prefer water while toads live on land.  There are also differences in their eggs, tongues and teeth but the most noticeable difference is in their eyes.  Frogs have round eyes that bulge out.  Toads eyes are more oval and don’t bulge.  Conclusion – these are frogs searching for water.

two bronze sculptures of frogs in a park

Bronze sculpture of a large frog with a water pond (no water in it) behind it

below: Looking north on Yonge street towards Alexander.  The very tall building is at Yonge & Bloor.

looking north on yonge street towards alexander and bloor. tall buildings, old buildings, cranes, traffic

below: More Yonge Street.  Another juxtaposition of old and new; the opportunities for this kind of image are becoming commonplace.  Also,  I could probably take pictures on Yonge every day and still miss some of the changes.

a variety of ages of buildings on Yonge street from those built in the 1800s to modern glass buildings.

below: Plaid, paw prints, and pink

people at an intersection, a woman in a red and black plaid jacket and pink shoes

below: One is happier than the others.

a man and a young girl look out the window of a TTC streetcar with a poster on the side advertising Aladdin movie

below: Dundas Street, just west of University Ave., looking towards Simcoe and St. Patrick streets.

a cyclist with an otange shirt sits on his bike while looking at his phone. He's stopped behind an orange and black striped construction cone on the side of a street

below: North side of Dundas street, just west of Bay.

downton buildings with a construction zone

below: Who doesn’t like bacon?  I prefer mine a bit crispier.

a woman is dressed in a bacon costume and standing on the sidewalk on Dundas Street giving out flyers

a couple crosses a street by a streetcar, an Asian man and a woman in a teal head scarf

“Days go running and hiding
The weeks are going slippy and sliding
Years leave quicker every time they come”
from “When We Were Young” by Passenger

 

I’m not sure what the allure of the cherry (aka sakura) blossoms is.  Has it become a symbol of spring and who doesn’t like the long awaited end of winter?  Is there something special about the cherry flower?  Or is it more ‘exotic’ than the magnolia that flowers about the same time, or a bit earlier?  Why not celebrate the lilac trees?  Or other trees that blossom in the spring?

below: A couple of cherry blossoms along with some buds and partially opened flowers.

sakura cherry blossoms on a cherry tree along with some pinkish coloured buds, white petals and yellow centers.

Although there are a number of places around the city to see sakura trees (14 I think), High Park seems to be the most popular place.  True, they have the oldest trees and the most trees planted in one area.   It has become the site of an annual pilgrimage by thousands of people to see the blossoms.   Even though the ‘sakura watch’ website said that ‘peak’ blossom hadn’t yet arrived, I decided to check out High Park yesterday.

below: Lots of signs to direct pedestrian traffic to the cherry trees.  The roads were closed to most cars.

pink sign on the grass by the entrance to High Park that says Please keep of the bloomin' trees.

large trees in the park, people walking on the path on the other side of the trees, green grass, shadows, some blossoms on a couple of the trees

below: There were a couple of school groups there for the morning. Although there weren’t too many blossoms to see, it was a beautiful spring morning and many of the kids were making the most of it.

three girls have a crab walk race down a small hill

a black person walks a dog on a leash up a hill on a paved path through HIgh Park, other people are behind. Some pink and white flowers are starting to grow on the trees

below: An Instagram moment I suspect.

an Asian woman with a bright pink handbag holds a branch of a cherry tree in front of her face while another woman takes her picture with a phone.

people enjoying a day in the park, some taking pictures of cherry blossoms

below: An engagement photo shoot

an engagement photo shoot at high park, man on his knee presenting a woman in a bluish green dress a box that presumably has a ring in it. Another man is holding a stand with a large light on it.

Yesterday there were many more buds and partially opened flowers than there were blossoms.  By the weekend, there will probably be a profusion of white petals… as well as a swarming of people.  I had to search for flowers to take pictures of but at least it was a relatively quiet and peaceful morning.

sakura cherry blossoms

A walk along Queens Quay West

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

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

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

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

below: Twenty five green signs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

below: At H2O beach

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

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

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

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

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

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

view from inside Tripix

below: And yes, another CN Tower picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

broken chunks of ice on Lake Ontario