Posts Tagged ‘pipes’

This is the story of one building at one intersection, Yonge and Belsize (just south of Eglinton) but it’s also a story that is being repeated over and over again in the city.  The story of demolition and rebuilding.  The story of loss of the older wood and brick structures as they are replaced by glass and steel.

By December 2016 all of the businesses had closed down.

row of two storey store fronts, old brick building, that is now empty and about to be demolished, on Yonge Street

Mars advert on Belsize convenience store, old brick building with large windows and blue window frame, snow banks on sidewalk, now empty

signs in the window of a store that has just closed down. one is a permit to demolish the building and the other is a hand written sign on orange paper that is a thank you note from the managers of the store to the public

below: The back of the building

back of a brick building, winter time, with snow on the ground, construction fence around it, windows boarded up

Just over a year later demolition began in earnest.

back upper storey of building being torn down, exposing office furniture that was abandoned

interiorwallson upper storey are exposedin building being demolished

a construction worker in heavy winter orange clothes and yellow helmet, holds a stop sign to stop the traffic on Yonge street in front of a building being demolished

workmen standing around beside a front end loader that is being used to tear down an old brick building

exterior of building being demolished, black door uperlevel with drop below

old metal water pipes exposed on green and blue interior wall when building being demolished

red plastic danger tape blows in the wind. one end is tied to a blue fence and one strand is also tied to a building being demolished

remains of an old building being torn down in the foreground, a front end loader in the middle, and apartment buildings in the background.

on old metal chair frame sitsin a room with a lot of wood debris around it

Welcome back!

I spotted this image and knew that it was going to be part of today’s theme.

the word see is in block letters on a tinted window, some sky is reflected in the window as well

It was a beautiful summer Sunday today – a great day to get outside and walk around.  Although I started my walk by looking for little details, I ended up finding a lot of colour along the way.   Cheerful colours that I want to share with you.

below: Colours like this red van parked in the partial shade of a tree.

the side of a bright red van, with some leaves and shadows from a small tree

below: Or the blue of the sky.   Streetcar wires – hard to ignore when you’re downtown.

streetcar lines held together with a ring, the blue sky behind them.

below: The painting of a young woman’s face on the wall of the Cameron House was partially obscured by construction equipment as the work on Queen Street West water pipes continues.  I tried to find a way of taking her picture without the obstacles.  Pink and flesh tones.

close up of a wall painted with the face of a young woman, showing lips and cheeks and part of nose

below: Instructions that are hard to miss!   Not sure which one is the doorbell though!

ring doorbell sign in large pink letter

below: I very carefully lined up the picture on the metal box (painted by elicser) with the diamond pattern on the Pizza Pizza wall when along came a streetcar.  Photobombed by a streetcar.   What is the girl holding?  I’ve passed her many times (she’s on the corner of Queen St. West and Spadina) but I’ve never looked closely at her.  I always assumed that it was a mug with something hot in it – doesn’t that look like steam?  Tonight I realized that it’s a smartphone and that’s not steam, it’s light.

a metal box on the sidewalk is painted by elicser, a young girl in a red shirt and blue jeans, holds a black phone, behind her is the orange diamond tiles of a Pizza Pizza restaurant, the very front of a streetcar is on the left.

below: To take good pictures doesn’t require a fancy camera.  Great photos have been taken with phones and bad photos have been taken with expensive equipment and I’m sure that’s not new to you.  I only mention it because where equipment sometimes matters is the type of pictures that can be produced.  Today I was walking with a telephoto lens that was useless for things close to me but fabulous for distance.  Best distance – across the street, like the photo below.   It was the bright blue and white stools that caught me attention.  It wasn’t until I was lining up the shot that I saw the people (an added bonus!).

white, teal, and blue metal stools beside a wood table, in the window of a restaurant, in the sun, a man is sitting with his back to the table.

below: While on the subject of stools, these were close by the ones above.   In this case I cropped out most of the people.   Keep it simple and keep those shoes in the center!  I just want to add that different cameras or different lenses impact how I look at the world when I walk.   Do I zoom in on details? Or do I go for the wider story?

yellow metal stools, men, onw standing and one sitting on the stool with his feet in turquoise shoes, resting on a bar of the stool.

below: More yellow. Yellow gas pipes.  They are everywhere.

along an old brick exterior wall, there are two yellow gasline pipes that are held onto the wall with clamps

below: Flowers in bloom but no idling here.

floors overflow from a hanging basket on a telephone pole, ivy on the wall behind it, also some traffic signs, one says no idling and the other says no vendors.

below: Green.  Shadowy.  Incomplete.

part of a green sign, with white letters that say restaurant.

below: This is almost too cliched (add the accent to get the correct spelling!).   But when the two taxis drove into the picture I had to take it as an “orange picture”.  You can add the comment about Toronto’s two seasons here – I know you know it!

street scene, two orange and green taxis drive by a construction site with orange traffic signs, arrows saying the right lane is closed.

below: Purple wall with a doll.  I’m going to assume that it is a lost doll.  Someone dropped it and didn’t notice and then someone picked it up off the ground and tucked its arm into the wire to keep it safe and visible.

purple wall, graffiti onthe wall, also a chain runs horizontally across the bottom of the picture. A toy doll with no clothes has its arm tucked into a green wire.

below: The colour of the curtain in the window above a store caught my eye and then I noticed the book holding open the window.   Oops another case of ‘look again’.  It’s not a book, it’s a box that once held a Razor kick scooter.

a window above a store is held open with a book

below: Abstract.  I vaguely remember painting something similar back in Junior High.  It involved masking tape and I never got the lines right.  The paint always leaked under the tape.  Do you recognize the building?

abstract composed of a red roof, a grey textured wall and a building with three tones of blue windows

below: Behind the painted metal grille is a small colourful Stikman in his little frame.

a small brightly coloured stikman in a tiny wood frame is behind a metal grille that is rusty.

below: I will admit that my first reaction when I saw this, small and close to the ground, was “I’ve found Jesus”.  Not as bright and cheery as the other pictures but alas brown and grey are colours too.

dirt on an exterior wall that looks like the top part of a person

below: And last, the perfect colour at the end of a walk… a beer on a patio with a friend.

a Bettys glass, full of beer, in the sun

#mycuriouseyes

A large part of the inspiration for this blog post came from participating in a week long photography project called ‘My Curious Eyes’.  Each day we were challenged/encouraged to find interesting things to photograph based on prompts such as shape, colour, and texture.  Part of the project was to photograph things that we hadn’t noticed before, or to look at ordinary things in a different way.

Yesterday afternoon I wandered into The Power Plant Art Gallery.  It was late enough in the day that the sun was already low in the sky.  It shone through the large windows in the main gallery and cast a warm glow on the current exhibit, works by Yto Barrada titled ‘Faux Guide’ .

The first thing you see when you enter the rooms is a collection of carpets.  This is ‘Geological Time Scale’ and it consists of bright and bold red, blue, and green carpets – Beni Mguild, Marmoucha and Ait Sgougou pile rugs from Western Central, Middle Atlas, Morocco.   It’s definitely eye catching and it definitely draws the viewer into the exhibit.

main exhibit room of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, large room with two large windows in which the low afternoon sun is shining. Exhibit by Yto Barrada consisting of red, green and blue carpets on the floor. some framed pictures on the far wall, walls have been painted yellow up to about 4 feet from the floor.

A series of  small exhibits are arranged around the room and most of them are the result of the artist’s research on Moroccan dinosaurs, fossils, and the industry that has built up around them including the trade in fake fossils sold to tourists and museums.   I have not shown most of these exhibits – I will leave it up to you to discover them.

below: “I am not exotic I am exhausted”.  I suspect that this comes as Barrada’s response to living in a place (Tangiers Morroco) where tourists come to see “exotic things”.  But it is also the lament of anyone trying to live and work in a place that is also a “tourist attraction”.

Part of an exhibit by Yto Barrada of a series of posters printed on paper and loosely tacked to the wall, of images and words. 6 shown in this photo. Including one that only has a few word on it, I am not exotic I am exhausted.

below: The whole of ‘A Modest Proposal’ and ‘Faux Guide’, 2015.  A set of 48 posters loosely tacked to the wall.  A mix of humorous and poignant.  One is an alphabetical listing of all the types of dinosaurs found in Morocco.  One says “Miss Colorado and Miss Finland are Moroccan” – which did happen in 2012.

Part of an exhibit by Yto Barrada of a series of posters printed on paper and loosely tacked to the wall, of images and words. They are arranged in a grid of 12 x 8 pictures. A woman is standing in front of them, reading the words on one. Blue and red carpets are on the floor in the foreground.

below: ‘Plumber Assemblage’ by the window, with skaters outside in the fading light.

plumber assemblage, an artwork by Yto Barrada consisting of a few sculpture like pieces made from pipes, faucets, taps, shower heads and other plumbing things.

There are many, many things that you can take from this exhibit.  Many things to think about.

An article in the  Toronto Star claims that Barrada  “explores the cultural heritage of her homeland through a colonial lens” and how that heritage has been used to make money from tourists.   But….   Is this the making of money by exploiting one’s culture and history?  Or the exploiting of Moroccan culture and history by the tourists?

Tourists go searching for the foreign and the exotic.  Many of them are souvenir hunters – Sometimes it’s a selfie in front of every “famous” place (or interesting building or whatever) and sometimes it’s a “find”.  But we live in a world that is full of  ‘made in China’ souvenirs and we are a people that don’t care to distinguish between the real and the fake.  We just want a story to tell the folks back home.

There were once dinosaurs living in a tropical land in what is now Morocco….  how the world has changed, and is changing.   Insert your opinions on climate change here.

Because it is a collection of exhibits under one umbrella, it has been compared to a museum.  Very trendy.   One description of the exhibit claims that it is “Meant to make us question the ways in which museums confer value on things”.  Can I take that one step further by asking, how do art galleries confer status on art and artists?  Museums make curatorial choices and so do art galleries.  Barrada too has surely made choices as have I.

You are probably wondering what carpets on the floor have to do with all those words that I just wrote.  Good question.  I think that Yto Barrada is on to something – an exhibit that has visual appeal, offends no one, and is flexible in its interpretation (i.e. it says something different to everyone and fits nicely into most people’s narratives).   You can agree with me, or disagree.  Best to go and see it for yourself and form your own opinions…. mine just might be fake.

below: People skating on the frozen Natrel Pond beside The Power Plant.

late afternoon with the sun low in the sky casting yellowish glow on the world, Toronto skyline in the background with its condos and construction cranes, also The Power Plant Center and art gallery. In the foreground is the frozen Natrel Pond of Harbourfront and on it people are skating.

Yto Barrada’s exhibit will be on at The Power Plant until the 2nd of January.

As you all know, the TTC is replacing their older streetcars with new longer Bombardier streetcars.   Or at least they are trying to 🙂  Because they are longer, they don’t fit into existing “garages”, hence the new Leslie Barns facility.  Located on Leslie St., south of Queen, it is the new streetcar “home”.  It is where streetcars are parked, maintained and repaired.  It has been in operation since Nov 2015 but the first chance the public got to peak inside the finished complex was at Doors Open on the 28th of May.

below: While waiting for a streetcar at the corner of Queen and Broadview on the way to visit the Leslie Barns, I saw this renovated TTC streetcar from the 1950’s.

An old restored TTC streetcar, maroon and yellow, on Queen St. East

below:  The streetcar tour involved riding a new streetcar through a maintenance bay in the building and then around the parking lot out back.

People at Doors Open in TOronto, at the TTC LEslie Barns streetcar facitlity, lining up for , or just getting off of, streetcar tours, riding the new streetcars around Leslie Barns

A group of people inside Leslie Barns streetcar facility, standing aside to make way for a new streetcar that is taking other people on a tour.

people riding in a new streetcar, photo taken from the outside, most of them are waving

A man in black T-shirt and black cap is taking a picture of people riding in the new streetcar, inside Leslie Barns at Doors Open

below: Exterior, parking space for at least 100 streetcars

the massive concrete parking lot for streetcars with all the overhead wires. The building that houses the workshops and cleaning and office for the ttc is in the background.

below: Special bays have been constructed with space for workers to access both the underneath and the top of the streetcars.  Because the cars have been designed to ride low, a lot of their workings such as the HVAC and propulsion systems are built into the roof of the car.

the back of a new streetcar as it passes through interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

A streetcar sits in a repair bay of the Leslie Barns, space underneath the streetcar for workers to go down and work on the underside of the streetcar.

below: It’s a big space!  …. 17,510 square metres (188,500 sq ft) in fact.

interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

below: A spic and span shiny paint room

interior of the paint room at Leslie Barns, where streetcars go to get painted.

below: A myriad of colour coded pipes

A myriad of pipes running up walls and across the ceiling, blue, pink, red, grey, all colour coded, interior, Leslie Barns

below: There were renovated vintage streetcars on display.  On the left is a 1921 Peter Witt streetcar and next to it is a PCC streetcar from the early 1950’s.

a number of people waiting to go inside old renovated vintage TTC streetcars

below: Interior of a refurbished Peter Witt streetcar with its wood trim.  The Witt cars were built for the newly formed TTC in 1921.  They entered service on Broadview in October of that year.  By 1923 they were operating on seven routes.  The last Witt streetcar was retired in 1963.

A young boy stands in the back of an old restored ttc streetcar. A black and white picture of an old street scene has been put across the back window to show you what the view out the window might have looked like at the time the streetcar was functional. Old ads on the upper part of the interior, wood trim

below: Looking out the window of a PCC streetcar built in 1951.  PCC stands for Presidents’ Conference Committee, which was a group of operators from the USA and Canada  who got together in 1938 to design a new electric railway car.  By the late 1950s, the TTC owned the largest fleet of PCC’s in the world.  The last one was retired in 1995.

A young boy wearing a hat looks out the window of an old restored streetcar while his father takes a picture out the window

below: Streetcar wire maintenance truck.

a special TTC truck sits outside Leslie Barns TTC facility on Doors Open day, the truck is designed to run on streetcar tracks and is used to repair tracks and wires. There are people looking at the truck

#DOT16 | #TTC