Posts Tagged ‘people’

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

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

To mask or not to mask?  Masks have turned out to be a very useful tool in stopping the spread of the corona virus.  All you have to do is look at the stats in countries such as South Korea and Vietnam where mask wearing is the norm and compare those numbers to the stats in countries such as here in Canada where mask wearing took some time to catch on.  Only 38 people have died from COVID in Vietnam compared to almost 10,000 here in Canada.

In the early days of COVID (doesn’t it seem like a long time ago?) masks were controversial.  There were a lot of mixed messages from public health – remember when wearing a mask was going to increase your chances of getting sick because you can’t help but play with your mask and then touch your face?   Now, there are laws and rules that stipulate that you have to wear a mask indoors – in stores, in schools, on airplanes (who’s flying these days any way?), and in other public places.   The argument switched from ‘masks won’t keep you from catching the virus’ to ‘the masks prevent you from giving the virus to other people.’

a couple walking on Yonge Street, holding hands, waiting for a light to change, he's in a blue shirt and wearing a covid mask

“Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” quote, French author Victor Hugo

 I was looking for help in writing about COVID-19 and people and masks and why we were slow to accept the practice.  I went looking through google for quotes and poems about masks because I wanted to explore the idea that in western culture wearing masks is just not done.  Masks are for thieves and others who are up to no good.  The bad guy always wears a mask when he wants to rob a bank.  Masks are for hiding your identity and fooling facial recognition software.

I have to add that the wearing of masks has become political although not to the extent that it has in the States where Trump has made the mask a symbol of weakness.   We have our anti-maskers and they are still protesting (there was one in downtown Toronto today but I missed it).   Apparently there were a couple of hundred people at Yonge Dundas square protesting lockdown measures in the name of Canadians’ constitutional rights and freedoms (CityTV link).

three people on bikes on Yonge street during streets open, the man in front is wearing an anonymous mask

The ‘Anonymous’ mask, or Guy Fawkes mask, was used in the 2005 movie “V for Vendetta” where Fawkes was presented as a champion for human rights, an anti-establishment figure.  It has become one of the most recognized symbols of protest around the world.

three people, two women and a man, waiting outside in a line up for a store, all three are wearing masks.

One of the poems that I found was “We Wear the Mask” written by Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1896.  It’s opening lines are:

“We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.”

So now we have another “use” of a mask.  The invisible mask that we wear to hide our true selves from other people.  This quote from Japanese author Haruki Murakami complements the idea: “It’s not the people who change, it’s the mask that falls off”.

The last poem I found was one where the American author Maya Angelou adapted Dunbar’s poem (above).  It’s long.  It has nothing to do with COVID and probably not much to do with Toronto either.  But in these unusual topsy turvy times, so what?  It’s not a happy poem.  But mix together COVID and its doleful fall-out, plus the protests surrounding Black Lives Matter and the simultaneous fight to increase recognition of Indigenous rights, stir it all together and presto, befuddled and disconsolate times.

“We wear the mask that grins and lies.
It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts . . .
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world think otherwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing Oh Baby doll, now we sing . . .
The clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard HA! HA! I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

Seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl

I say “HA! HA! HA! Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break
So . . . I laugh! Until my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, HA! HA! I nearly died
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
Hmm huh! I laugh uhuh huh huh . . .
Until I start to cry when I think about myself
And my folks and the children.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

There in those pleated faces
I see the auction block
The chains and slavery’s coffles
The whip and lash and stock.

My fathers speak in voices
That shred my fact and sound
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

They laugh to conceal their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could an did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

 

Wear your mask!  The COVID one that is.

“Social norms has been reset to factory settings”

words written on a wall

I’m not sure what the above words mean or imply but I do know that we’ve all been impacted by Covid in one way or another.  The city seems to be moving along albeit more slowly than usual.  Sections of the city have fared better than others.  In fact, it would be very easy to portray segments of Toronto as being in trouble.

an old man walks up Yonge street past empty shops and a man sleeping in a doorway

Here the road is closed to vehicles for Open Streets (the last Sunday of September).

empty stores on yonge street, with a now leasing sign in the window

a woman walks past an empty store on Yonge street

We are missing events.  All those things that I like to take pictures at and blog about – the parades, the street festivals, and even the protests.  With more people staying at home, no tourists on the streets, and events going virtual, it’s a much quieter city.

below: This was the last weekend of TIFF and you wouldn’t know anything was happening.

a man with earbuds on walks past the TIFF lightbox theatre where a woman in a beige long coat and a black mask is standing by the door

below: In past years, King Street closes for TIFF activities.  This year there was none of that – no crowds jostling for a look at a celebrity or two, no booths selling things.

a round yellow circle around a bench on King Street, part of decorations for Tiff

below: These little “patios” have been carved out of some downtown streets to help restaurants stay open during these COVID days.  It’s a great idea for the warmer months.  Although the city now allows propane heaters on the street, I am not sure how many people are going to want to have dinner outside in December.

sitting on temporary patios on King Street

painting in front of Hey Lucy restaurant on King Street, woman sitting at a table with zebra print top, with a bottle and glass of wine

below: The Royal Alex Theatre is still set up for “Come From Away”

blue Royal Alex theatre on King street, with signs for Come From Away, line of multi coloured Muskoka chairs along the street

below: A nearby restaurant still has its St. Patricks Day green on display.

Happy St. Patricks Day sign in the window of a restaurant

below: Roy Thomson Hall in the foreground with downtown buildings in the background, as seen from Metro Hall.

Roy THomson Hall and downtown buildings as seen from Metro Hall

below: New public art on Adelaide… this is “Dreaming” by Jaume Plensa.   She’s three storeys high and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is dreaming of the days when we didn’t need masks.  How long until someone gives her a mask?

large three storey high white sculpture of a woman's face with her eyes closed, title is Dreaming and the artist is Jaume Plensa

below: Reflections with security guard

reflections of Jaume Plensa's Dreaming in a glass building

below: The steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church

steeple of St. Andrews Presbyterian church with trees in the foreground and condos in the background . Corner of Simcoe and King streets

below: Mother and daughter cycling together

mother and daughter in orange jackets on bicycles, stopped at a red light

a group of young people sitting at a table outside an A & W restaurant

a Jewish man stands outside a TIm Hortons talking to a woman who is sitting on the sidewalk pan handling. downtown Toronto

below: The cows are still in their pasture, unfazed by the changes around them.

 

cows, public art sculptures, lying on the grass with tall black office tower behind

below: The next two photos were taken while I was standing in among the tall black towers of the Toronto Dominion Centre.  The first view is to the southwest towards the CN Tower.

CN Tower seen between two black towers of TD bank

below: The second view is to the northeast.

below: The Canada Permanent building on Bay street is getting a cleaning.

scaffolding at the front, cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

cleaned up stone facade of the Canada Permanent Building on Bay street

below: This is one of the Bank of Montreal buildings, also on Bay Street.

Canada Permanent Building on Bay street, with reflections of the building across the street in its large windows at street level

below: Window washers

window washers and reflections, looking through a glass building from back to ftont, escalators down, high ceiling,

below: Pearl Street, looking east.  Old brick buildings in the foreground with their modern counterparts shining in the background.

pearl street in downtown Toronto

below: The west end of Pearl Street.

old red brick building being preserved in downtown Toronto, with newer taller buildings surrounding it

below: I found a person!

a person is sitting on the steps of the staue on University Ave

below: Looking north up University Avenue

University Ave, looking northwest towards the Canada Life building and other tall buildings farther north on that street, trees still with leaves on the boulevard between the lanes of traffic

below: The Shangri-La hotel and Momofuko restaurant with it’s weird sculpture “Rising” by Zhang Huan at street level (also University Ave).  Masses of “peace pigeons” cover the surface.

Shangri La Hotel on University Ave as seen from across the street

in a rooftop garden, with glass building beside and reflections in those windows

below: Looking the other way on University Ave, south past Richmond to Adelaide and beyond.

intersection of King and University Ave in downtown Toronto

below: Preservation of a large brick facade on Adelaide.

construction site, preservation of large brick facade held up by rust coloured metal beams and scaffolding

blue construction fence around a hole at a work site, row of storefronts across the street in the next level and a tall apartment building behind that

construction site in downtown Toronto

below: Waiting for the lights to change

a man in a blue jacket stands in front of a large video screen at Queen and Bay, video of a man in an orange and white kayak is playing

below: Under the heading of “somethings never change”, there are always photoshoots in front of Osgoode Hall.   Presumably this photo or one similar can be found somewhere on instagram?

instagram photoshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: Arranging the veil.

photographer setting up a wedding photshoot at Osgoode Hall

below: With a the pigeon by the Eaton Centre.

windows of H & M store at yonge and Dundas, with femaile mannequins, sitting on the sidewalk in front of them is a man feeding pigeons, another man sits nearby

people walking on Gould Street, past a small yellow building

a folding chair and a small round table set up under a back porch behind a stone building, dark

reflections of a man in the window of a mens clothing store, two suits on display, one gray and one blue.

in the window of the Ryerson bookstore, mannequin wearing yellow Ryerson sweatshirt, dirty window, someone has drawn the picture of a man's face in the dirt

below: Mr. Ryerson keeps changing colour.  Apparently he was more red not that long ago.  Rather than remove the red paint, he was “cleaned up” by painting him this shade of green.  He probably doesn’t realize it but he’s become a controversial figure.  He may have been one of the first to establish public schools but he also played a role in the creation of residential schools for the indigenous population. Because of the latter, there has been some people advocating for the removal of this statue.

statue of Egerton Ryerson at Ryerson University on Gould Street, painted green, with some red paint graffiti as well as red hands

This statue was unveiled in 1889. It stands in front of an ivy covered building that started its life as Toronto’s first teacher’s college (1847).

below: Queen Street West

open sign in red and blue lights in the window of an adult store, beside white mannequin with very small black bikini bottoms and mesh top

below: This yellow birdie, at least in sticker form, may be on the verge of extinction.  An Uber5000 creation that can also be found on several of his murals around the city.

traffic signs on a metal pole along with a yellow uber 5000 birdie sticker
As I write this, the number of Covid cases in Toronto (and all of Ontario) have gone back up.  Although we were hopeful that we were wrong, was there ever any question that things would get worse before they got better?  Are we more complacent?  Maybe.  But let’s hope that we are also wiser this time around.

a man walks through a glass revolving door, reflections,

three masks on display in a store window.  One has a soccer ball pattern, another is pink with little strawberries.  The one in the middle is covered with a jumble of letters of the alphabet

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 3D Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square has been replaced by a newer, hardier version.  Same same but different.

Nathan Phillips square in Toronto with fountains going in the reflecting pool, 3 D sign, and two towers of new city hall

a young girl pulls her mother towards the toronto sign while she points at it, others are taking photos in front of the sign

a couple hugs at the west end of the new 3 D toronto sign, with artwork by Danilo Deluxo McCallum on it

Nathan Phillips square with one arch prominent in the photo, reflecting pool, new Toronto sign, part of city hall, and construction of the new court house behind

the Toronto sign reflected in the lower window of city hall

plaque beside the Toronto sign describing the history of the sign as well as the artwork that is on the new sign

LEFT:

“The original TORONTO Sign was installed on Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto City Hall in July 2015 for the Toronto Pan American and Parapan American Games. Although it was only intended to last a few weeks, in response to the sign’s popularity, the City of Toronto extended its presence on the Square and it became a Toronto landmark.
The Medicine Wheel was added on June 18, 2018 in honour of Indigenous Peoples and to increase awareness of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
The Medicine Wheel symbol was chosen, in consultation with Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, as it is an emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality. Its four directions (East, South, West and North) symbolize completeness, wholeness, connectedness and strength.
A maple leaf was added to the TORONTO Sign in 2017 to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.
The TORONTO Sign has become symbolic of Toronto. According to a Destination Toronto visitor survey, the TORONTO sign was one of the top three most visited attractions in the city and it is consistently ranked as one of the most Instagram-worthy spots.
In September 2020, a more durable replica of the original TORONTO Sign was installed”.

RIGHT:

“The artwork design on the TORONTO Sign uses vibrant African fabric patterns as a backdrop to represent the diverse community of people of African descent in Toronto and globally.
Woven into the colourful patterns are African cultural symbols like the Adinkra Sankofa bird, which represents the importance of moving forward through recalling the past.
The inclusion of portraits of Canadians of African descent is an important statement in recognition that people of African descent are here, beautiful, bold and proud, holding Toronto accountable for justice and equity.
The City of Toronto recognizes the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African descent (2015 to 2024).

Danilo Deluxo McCallum is a Toronto based visual artist. He works professionally as a painter, videographer, illustrator, graphic designer, muralist and art mentor. A product of the city, the characters depicted in McCallum’s work reflect a diverse landscape of people.”

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

Along came September and right away we’re into fall weather.  I offer this post as reminder of warmer days not so long ago…..

below: Cherry Beach on a sunny August afternoon – keeping our distances

people on Cherry beach on a hot summer day, some walking, some lying or sitting on the sand

The unicorn days of summer

a verylarge inflatable white unicorn with pink and yellow mane and tail, floatie, on the beach with Lake Ontario behind it

a woman sits on the sand at Cherry Beach, under a tree, with bike parked against the tree

below: Apples.  I like finding apple trees in unexpected places like behind Cherry Beach.

apple tree

below: One of the many little boat and sailing clubs east of Cherry Beach.

wide chain link gate leading to a small boat club. Sailboats on the land, water in the background, lots of greenery

below: An older building on Polson Street that remains.

old brick building

below: A temporary stage was set up on Polson Street across the street from The Rebel nightclub and concert venue.

green covering on fence surrounding a temporary outdoor stage and theater. A man stands beside a bike, trying to look through gaps in the fence

two people sitting on the ground looking at their phones in the foreground, fence between them and a singer rehearsing on a stage behind them

a collection of orange bollards for traffic, sitting beside the road and driveway leading to a parking lot. Parking lot booth in the background, empty

below:  Every time I walk in the Port Lands, it’s a little different.  One constant is the many acres that remain behind barriers.

blue vinyl on hoardings around a construction site with six large orange and black traffic cones in front

below: A fire breathing monster?

shadows of a fence and a pubble in the shape of a monster with its mouth wide open, beside a construction site inthe port lands

below: Cherry Street sidewalk is blocked (at T ‘N T)

danger due to sign on a metal fence surrounding construction site which includes the sidewalk, Toronto skyline in the distance

below: All that remains of the T ‘N T Supermarket is the front entrance.   The rest of the store has been demolished.  A river will flow here one day.

construction site, Lafarge cement silos in the background, all that remains of the T N T supermarket is the front entrance

below: Rowing down Cherry Street

large painting on hoardings of a blue stripe on the bottom representing water of Lake Ontario and a small red boat

below: On Villiers Street

rusty chain holds a gate closed on chainlink fence, vacant lot behind

below: Most of the storage tanks are gone and all the gates are locked.

below: A quiet place to sit, outside Humipan’s

old building, one storey, with rusty metal bars on the windows, turquoise picnic tables outside,

below: Accepted?  Shouldn’t it be bikes excepted?

black and white arrow direction signs traffic signs, right lane turns right and left lane turns left. Also sign that says bike accepted.

a man dressed in yellow plaid shorts and shirt stands on a corner

Stay you!

Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit at the old Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge Street.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - large faces of Van Gogh projected on the wall, from self portrait paintings

Images from paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were projected on all four walls plus the floor of a very large space. The installation includes his work the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885) to the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).  It was a slow moving video that was about 35 minutes long.

vincent Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit, 4 people, turquoise flowers, 2 men standing, one person sitting on a bench

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - person sitting on floor, taking aphoto with camera, starry starry night

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a middle aged couple sitting on floor, a baby stroller sitting by the exit

There were circles on the floor in which you had to stand/sit but you could move from circle to circle if there was an empty one.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - crooked tree with white blossoms on a turquoise background

The most interesting portraits were those of people dressed in white.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a woman in a long white dress crouches beside the wall, images project onto her and her dress, pinks and purples

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - a woman stands beside the wall, orange colours all around her including the floor, green images of windows and shutters too

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit

Mirrors were placed around any structures that were in the way.

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - people sitting and standing

Vincent Van Gogh Immersive exhibit - people sitting on the floor with projections of images of inside of house with tables and chairs in orange and yellow tones

Link for more information on the exhibit
which continues at least until the end of October

#VanGoghTO

and red and white danger due to sign, danger due to covid-19

below:  He may be sitting on the bench but this hockey player is prepared.  He’s practicing social distancing and he’s got his mask on just in case.  He’s also a reminder that the NHL playoffs for the 2019-20 season are being played in a bubble here in Toronto at the moment… but the Maple Leafs didn’t make the cut.  After having to take a few months off because of Covid-19, the NHL scheduled the playoffs in only two cities, Toronto and Edmonton.  Games started at the beginning of August and are scheduled to finish the first week of October.   There is talk that maybe the 2020-21 season can begin after that but like everything else these days, who knows.

a metal statue of a hockey player in Toronto Maple Leaf blue sits on a bench outside a gallery, wearing a covid face mask, as a man walks past

below: ‘Love Negotiation’ on Scollard Street by Gillie and Marc.  Dogman and Rabbitgirl share a few minutes over coffee.   They too are outside are are socially distanced… or perhaps they have been isolating together are have escaped their tiny downtown condo for a bit of fresh air.  ” Rabbitgirl and Dogman invite the world to sit with them symbolically at their Table and take the first step to understanding and loving each other. The sculpture is where we sit, discuss, and solve problems. The world has reached a crisis where our differences are causing hatred and division.”

 

male dog in blue and female rabbit in red sitting face to face at a table with coffee, sculpture on Scollard street

sculpture on Scollard street, a dog in blue, sits at a table with a cup of coffee in his hands

below: The William Sexton houses on the NE corner of Bay & Scollard are being preserved and incorporated into a condo development.  They were built by Sexton in 1890 in a style similar to the Queen Ann Revival style.  Although it looks like one large brick house, it is actually a row of 4 houses.  In 1974 they were added to Toronto’s Heritage Register.  That was also the last year that all four were used as residences.

Bay and Scollard, old building boarded up with new construction behind

below: A slightly fuzzy 1974 photo of William Sexton houses.

photo from 1974 of William Sexton houses at the corner of Bay Street and Scollard in Yorkville, 4 row houses that together look like one large brick house

windows on the west side of William Sexton houses on Bay street, white paint is peeling to reveal brick below, rounded tops of window frames in black trim

below: Another hole in the ground.  I liked the bits of orange and black hanging around.

orange and black shreds of plastic along the edge of construction hole in the ground

below: Reflections of the clock tower on the Yorkville Firehall, the oldest firehall in the city, in one of the newer glass walls across the street.

reflections of Yorkville clock tower in the glass condo across the street

Yorkville fire hall clock tower and flags

below: Looking east on Yorkville Ave towards Yonge Street and the large Toronto Reference Library.

the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith as seen from the west along Yorkville Ave

below: The Starbucks on Yonge Street just north of Bloor is now closed.  The sign in the window says “thanks for your loyalty over the past 20 years.”  For those of us who still remember Albert Britnell’s book store at that location it is a bit of a shock to realize that 20 years has past.

people in front of a closed Starbucks on Yonge street

below: Yonge Street at Hayden

some of the stores on Yonge at Hayden

below: looking northwest from Charles Street on the east side of Yonge.  The older black and grey building is the CIBC tower on the NW corner of Yonge & Bloor.  The cranes are working on the SW corner of that intersection.

backs of buildings on Yonge and Hayden, plus construction, looking northwest

below: Condo construction at the southwest corner of Yonge & bloor continues.

a man wearing a covid face mask walks past a construction site at Yonge and Bloor, black and white construction photos on the hoardings, old brick building in the background as well as a newer apartment building

reflections in a store window, legs of mannequins in cut off jeans, white cars traffic on the street

a workman sits outside beside hoardings on Bloor street in front of Holt Renfrew

below: One of the entrances to the Manulife Centre on Bloor Street.   It was decorated in flowers as part of a Fleurs de Villes event.

one of the glass entrances to the ManuLife center on Bloor street, decorated with flowers

below: Inside the Manulife Centre there were many mannequins decorated with flowers

mannequin in green and pink dress and pink hat, pinks are made of roses and she is holding a bottle of rose wine from the LCBO

a mannequin decorated with flowers stands at the bottom of an escalator at the Manu Life center, as part of Fleurs de Villes project

As the summer winds down but the covid lingers on, stay safe and stay sane

a white wall with an orange stripe on which graffiti words are written, coronavius and lime disease go great together, a play on corona beer and lime