Posts Tagged ‘plants’

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

Moccasin Trail is a street in Don Mills that provides access to the East Don Trail. Starting a walk there looked like a good idea when I checked the map.

yellow metal barrier prevents cars from entering a road that is covered with snow, trees on both sides of the road

I decided that it was worth a try. Going downhill is harder than going uphill on snow and ice so I figured that if I got stuck all I had to do was turn around and go back to my car. In the summer you can drive down to the parking lot.

snow covered road with small trees growing on either side of it, winter, no leaves on the trees

With a little slipping, a little sliding, and a lot of care, I made it. At the bottom of the hill is Moccasin Trail Park.

a picnic bench ina park in winter with snow on the ground

below: The path goes under the DVP to join the East Don Trail (where there was not as much ice!). Except for the constant rumble of traffic in the background, it was very quiet down here today. I only saw two other people (and one dog).

park in winter with a path that leads to a bridge under a road

below: Wild grasses grow in the ditch alongside the Don Valley Parkway along with sumach trees and other shrubs.

wild grasses, brown in winter, grow alongside the Don Valley Parkway

below: A Red-tailed Hawk circles overhead. There were two of them flying above me today. They were magnificent to watch as they circled in the sky – and as I wished that they would come closer, or perhaps even find something to catch. No luck today.

a red tailed hawk flies overhead, blue sky with some light clouds

below: Ducks in the water and traffic on the Don Valley Parkway

two ducks swimming in the Don River, with cars passing by on the Don Valley Parkway

water flows over a low concrete dam on the Don River, winter time, but no snow or ice, no leaves on the trees,

below: Someone has tied this bright and cheerful bird house to the trunk of a tree.

a bright red bird house in a tree, no leaves,

below: One of the biggest reasons why I chose to walk this path today – the rainbow bridge. It’s easily visible from the northbound Don Valley Parkway. Although I don’t drive the DVP on a regular basis, every time I am reminded that I haven’t walked there yet. It was originally painted in the 1970’s by B.C. Johnson, a teenager from Norway. Every time the city painted over it, the rainbow was repainted.

East Don Trail winds towards the bridge that is painted with a rainbow, some traces of the Don Valley Parkway like a green exit sign for Lawrence Avenue, and a couple of tall light stands.

below: In 2013 the arch was repainted with the help of Mural Routes. The interior was also painted in the same rainbow colours.

arched bridge under a railway, over a walking path, that has been painted with a rainbow

These are some of the scenes that are painted inside.

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - on red background, with orange and purple trees, a man walks his dog and a woman pushes a stroller

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - blue and purple children build a white snowman with white trees in the background

scenes from the mural painted inside the rainbow arch bridge - a cyclist on a bike rides along a yellow and orange path past yellow and orange trees

I didn’t explore much beyond the rainbow bridge. That adventure is for another day!

 

UPDATE:  The rest of the trail that can be access from the Moccasin Trail is now covered in a blog post, From Charles Sauriol southward

Back in November, before I went away, a friend and I ventured out to Long Branch because we had heard that there was a new Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street. Just north of Lakeshore Blvd., 30th street passes under the railway tracks.  This is where the new mural is.  It’s a collaboration with fellow artist Phil Cote and it’s nearly 500 feet long.

below: North of the railway tracks

a large section of the mural by Nick Sweetman on 30th street as it passes under the railway tracks

Photos of the mural, in no particular order:

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, close up of the face of a creature with white whickers and a blue nose

a butterfly

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, large butterfly

some turtles

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a large turtle and a smaller turtle, by the railing along side the sidewalk

two birds in flight – all of a redwing blackbird and part of a cardinal

a red wing black bird in flight and the back part of a cardinal, part of a mural

a bee on two orange flowers

a bee, on two large orange flowers, Nick Sweetman mural

some fish

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a yellowish fish with blue fins

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a purple fish with yellow speckles and fins

a fox, a duck with duckling, and a purple owl

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a fox, a duck with yellow duckling and a purple owl

a cute furry animal

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a small furry animal bside a plant with pink flowers, as well as a person standing on the sidewalk and taking a picture of the mural

… and hiding under the tracks in a place where it’s difficult to take a picture is this large moose (elk?).

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a moose or elk with large antlers

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street - plants, with a real tree growing in front of it

 

I was meeting a friend at Queen and Church for walkies and coffee last Monday. I was there a few minutes early so of course I took a few pictures while I was waiting. I had come across King Street because the streetcars tend to be faster on King these days. Plus, it was a nice day for a walk.

below: Looking north up Church Street from Richmond.

looking north on Church St. from Richmond Street, stores, street, people, street scene,

below: Metropolitan United Church is on the NW corner of Queen and Church. Even if you aren’t religious, there is something inspiring about the architecture. In this case, the setting adds to the grace and beauty of the building.  Usually there are people around but it was surprisingly quiet that day (too cold outside?)

front of Metropolitan United Church, with the snow covered park in front, snow, large trees, red door

below: Take a few more steps towards Metropolitan United and then turn around. This is the view that awaits you. The intersection of Queen and Church from a different angle.

looking at the intersection of Queen and Church, through the park, with yellow building and other stores in the background

below: As I walked back to the intersection, this man walked in front of the streetcar. I think that he called himself either Cowboy Bob or Cowboy Bill.

man in long coat and hat stands in front of a TTC street car with his arm up in the air.

below: Church #2. Jarvis Street Baptist Church.

Jarvis Street Baptist Church, from diagonally across the intersection

below: Yes, there are a lot of churches in this section of downtown. This is the third (and last for today’s blog) but there are many more. Grace Church through the trees.

park, in winter, with large mature trees, in the background is Grace Church, brick building with green roofed steeple

below: A stop at Allan Gardens conservatory for warm and a washroom. If this picture is looking a little fuzzy around the edges, my camera lens kept steaming up faster than I could wipe it off.

inside shot at Allan Gardens conservatory, with two people looking at the plants, glass roof, large yellow flowers

below: Every Christmas, the conservatory at Allan Gardens is decorated with many amaryllis plants. The other day, many were looking a little worse for wear. These buds were a few of the exceptions. At some point (soon?), the Christmas plants will be switched out for spring plants.

close up of two small red amaryllis buds at the bottom of a red and white amaryllis.

below: Barrel cacti in differing sizes in the Allan Gardens conservatory.

4 barrel cacti of differing sizes in a semi-circle in a conservatory, glass house, with some succulents in front and some taller cacti behind

below: And just around the corner from Allan Gardens there is this painted cactus (or is it a succulent?) standing in the cold.

a metal telephone or traffic box on the sidewalk that has been painted with a picture of a cactus.

below: This part of Church Street is now in McGill Granby Village. There is even a lovebot on the pole.

street sign for Church St., with the top part being McGill Granby Village

below: “Enough is enough”, a large Church Street mural.

large mural on the side of a two storey building, with metal fire escapes on the side of the building as well. Mural is enough is enough, rainbow flag and other things

below: On Church Street, another redevelopment victim.

old, large, three storey red brick house with boarded up windows, about to be redeveloped, people walking past on the sidewalk, winter, street scene,

below: And just up the street, another.

an older two storey house house boarded up with construction hoardings in front, looking at it through a park with large trees, winter

below: Trucks, construction, and condos. Ho hum. Been there, done that.

large truck parked on a street with tall buildings behind, and a large billboard with a KFC ad on it

below: One set of construction hoardings has been decorated with kids’ paintings.   Bright and cheerful.

white construction hoardings with childrens paintings on it. a painting of a soccer ball, kids playing, words too

below: Through the layers

looking in a window, people sitting inside, looking through the window on the other side as well, a large tree is reflected in the window too

below: Icicles!

older yellowish brick building with green bay window, with icicles on the eaves of bopth roof and window

below: Trudeau senior looks down on the world.

 a large black and white picture of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the window of the Ryerson Image Center, with a tree in front of it, some snow on the tree

below: The guys over the entrance to the Chang School at Ryerson are wearing little puffy white hats.

stone sculpture of the door of the Chang School at Ryerson, two men with interlocking arms, looking at each other, wheat, apples, and other produce in their hands, covered with snow


below
: As we walked past Yonge Dundas Square, I stopped, took another look, and then said: “Isn’t that a new sign?”. My walking partner replied that she wasn’t sure. Neither was I.

Yonge Dundas Square, men working on sign

I happened to walk past Yonge Dundas Square again yesterday, and yes, there is a new sign. A big one.

below: “It’s OK to be scared, just take a deep breath” as the fourth panel of the new sign is installed.

a large crane is putting part of a new light sign in place at Dundas Square, large billboards and lighted signs behind, people walking past, street scene

below: Working on the new sign. That billboard on the left, 98.1 CHFI is all Christmas music? Still? In February?

two men on a lift are working on a new elevated sign at Dundas square

C’est too for now friends!

Cliffside is an area around Kingston Road in the west  side of the city and the ‘cliff’ in the name refers to the Scarborough Bluffs.    The murals in this post are all on Kingston Road just west of Midland Ave.    They are the result of work of Mural Routes, an organization “dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art” since 1990.

below: ‘Spooners Garage’ by Phillip Woolf, 1992.   Art Spooner’s garage in Cliffside was built in 1926 (and rebuilt in 1947).   The mural has two parts, each showing a different time period.  They face each other.

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

below:  … and the later version

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

 

below: ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.  The Onondaga was built near Kingston in 1790 and it served with the Provincial Marine until 1797.  It was the ship in which John Graves Simcoe and his wife Elizabeth sailed across Lake Ontario to York (now Toronto) to establish the capital of Upper Canada.

 

painted mural of a schooner from the 1790s sailing on Lake Ontario

below: ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ by B.C. Johnson, 2016.   Canadian plants and animals cover all four sides of Ikki Sushi – herons, bears, moose, beaver, and fox among the pine trees. Creeks, swamp, and waterfalls can also be seen.

 

Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna,

back of restaurant with open door. Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna, inside of door is painted too

below: ‘Cliffside Golf Course’ by Dan Sawatzky, 1991.   Founded by George McCordick in 1931, the Cliffside Golfcourse was south of Kingston Road and overlooked Lake Ontario.    It closed in 1950.  The mural is faded and partially obscured by two trees.

two trees obscure a faded mural

below: The words on the mural tell the story of the golf course.

mural of two men golfing. One is swinging a golf club and the other has a golf bag slung over his shoulderh

red vintage car in a mural

mural, woman from the 1930's standing behind a vintage car and holding a set of golf clubs

The last two murals have appeared in a previous blog post that I wrote once upon a time when I didn’t know how many Scarborough murals there were.  Even now I’ve hardly scratched the surface.

below:  ‘The Half Way House’ by John Hood, 1990.  The mural is at the corner of Midland Avenue & Kingston Road which is where the inn and stage coach stop was located.   The  building was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1965.

mural depicting the Half Way House, an old inn that used to be at the corner of Kingston Road and Midland. Two men are sitting on the stairs in front of the mural

below: ‘The Bluffs as Viewed by Elizabeth Simcoe c. 1793’ by Risto Turunen, 1992.   The story is that Elizabeth Simcoe was so impressed by the view of the cliffs she persuaded her husband, John Graves Simcoe, to name the area after Scarborough England where there are similar cliffs.

Three cars are parked in front of a large mural of the Scarborough Bluffs, there is a small row boat on Lake Ontario in front of the cliffs.

There are more murals on old Kingston Road both to the east and west of these, but that will be a story for another day.

also see: Heritage Trail Mural 8 – Old Kingston Road 

The facelift of Berczy Park has been completed and although the park only reopened a short time ago, it has already become a popular spot.

a photographer is taking engagement pictures of an Asian young couple as they sit on the edge of the fountain at Berczy park. The fountain features sculptures of dogs that spout water into the fountain. A young boy is also sitting on the edge of the fountain. He is looking forlornly at the photographer, looks like he's feeling left out.

The highlight of the park is the refurbished fountain.  Sculptures of dogs big and small spout water into the fountain – or maybe they’re drinking from the fountain?  There is one cat that sits quietly on the base of the sculpture seemingly unaware of the canine antics.

the new fountain in Berczy park, many sculptures of dogs that are spouting water into the fountain

Three boys playing with the water spouting out of a dog's (sculpture) mouth and into a fountain. One is spraying the other while a third watches

two little kids playing in a fountain, a young girl and a young boy. The boy is spraying water while the girl watches

Besides the fountain, there is new landscaping, trees, plants, and benches.

mural of windows and facadde on the back of the flatiron building with the redesigned Berczy park planting and benched in front of it

This sculpture was a feature of the original park but it’s been moved to a different location.   It is the work of Almuth Lukenhaus-Lackey.

sculpture of a family - father, mother and child in a park, with new garden plantings around it, hostas mostly

The plaque by this sculpture says “This sculpture was donated by the Electrical Society of Mecklenburg Upper Canada Inc., with the financial assistance of The Consumers’ Gas Company Limited and the The Council of Metropolitan Toronto, in memory of Johan Albrecht Ulrich Moll, better known as William Berczy, born December 10, 1744 in Wallerstein Germany. He was co-founder of York (Toronto) in 1794 when John Graves Simcoe was Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. His younger son, Charles Albert Berczy, was the first president of The Consumers’ Gas Company, from 1847 to 1856, and Postmaster of Toronto. His older son, William Bent Berczy was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and like his father and mother, a gifted painter.”

I only spent a short time at the park on the weekend but I’m sure that I’ll be back!

This morning’s blog post is a mixed up mashed up collection of some of the pictures that I have taken in the past few days. The theme running through the post is “sunny days and people making the most of it.”  It seems like an appropriate subject for a grey morning!

below: #duckman, one of the many ‘performers’ outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street.

a young Japanese man is dressed in a yellow body suit, seated on a stool on the sidewalk on Yonge Street, he is playing the drums - actually 5 empty plastic upside down buckets, with #duckman written on the buckets

below: The beginnings of a new mural on Queen Street West.

motorcycle in the foreground, a man painting a white outline of a rose as part of a mural on the side of Canada Convenience store on Queen West, a few people watching him paint

below: This weekend was the annual Riverdale ArtWalk at Jimmie Simpson Park and Community Center.

a man stands holding up a painting (bottom of painting is resting on the ground), more painting displayed on the wall behind him, at the outdoor Riverdale Artwalk art show and sale

below: Dancing to the drums of Venice and Kevin who are playing as past of an event to raise money to fight sickle cell disease.

a young woman dancers at the bottom of the stage steps at nathan phillips,  two people are beating drums on the satge

below: Four singers – they’ve just finished performing on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square as part of the DesiFEST celebrations.

four female singers are smiling, they've just finished a song, performing at Yonge Dundas square as part of Desifest, all 4 are of South Asian descent

below: A sign of the times.

a blackboard sign on the sidewalk in front of Brioche restaurant that says we serve Covfefe. People walking on the sidewalk,

below: It wasn’t just the people who were dressed for summer.

two little white dogs on a leach, both have pink and white frilly dresses on.

below: Gardening season has begun!  The vacant lot beside Nick Sweetman’s mural has been turned into a Garden Centre.

garden plants for sale, outdoors, in front of a large mural, bees, by Nick, on Queen st east

a front yard with gardening supplies, and pots of plants on the front steps

below: With their backs to the windows … but it looks like they’re dressed for summer

two mannequins with their backs to two windows, both dressed in red clothes

people riding down the escalator at the Eaton Centre, a large screen is playing a slideshow of summer pictures as part of an advertising campaign.

a mother helps her young daughter reach down and touch the water in the fountain at Nathan Phillips square

Just over a year ago, I posted some pictures of the art work hanging on a fence along Craven Road.
Some of it is still there, especially some cat pictures like this one:

painting of a beige and light brown cat, lying with its head up and tail wrapped around its body, painted on a wooden fence outside

below: Quite a few little planters have been mounted on the wall.  Because it’s now cold November, most of the plants have died.   These are two exceptions.

4 small wood boxes have been mounted on the side of fence, as planters, a couple still have purple flowers even though it's November and most of the trees have lost their leaves,

below: Some of the things that are now on the fence.   Because there are no houses on the west side of the street, the fence can serve as a gallery wall.

decorated wooden fence on Craven Road, a road with houses only on one side of the street, fence is decorated with a faded Canadian flag, a picture of Queen Elizabeth I, some wood planters, a painting of birch trees in autumn, old shoes, and a sign that says Craven road FEnce, 100 years, 1916 to 2016

below: A close up picture of the “Celebrating 100 years” sign as well as the picture of Queen Elizabeth I, engraved by Crispin van de Passe the Elder, after a drawing by Isaac Oliver.

closer view of the fence with its Celebrating 100 years, Craven Road fence, 1916 to 2016 sign as well as an engraving of Queen Elizabeth I. Planters with dead plants and painted pine cones on sticks, painted red, silver and gold.

below: Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Munroe beside many shoes in twos, knee pads and a walking cast.

a wooden fence with many things hanging on it - an Andy Warhol Marilyn Munroe print, a painting of autumn birch trees, and many old shoes

below: Mirror, mirror on the wall…  Bird pictures to the left and trees and sticks to the right.
Scattered among them are a few glow in the dark stars.

An oval mirror with an ornate wood frame is mounted on an outdoor fence, wood, three small framed pictures hang on both sides of it.

below: Artfully arrange artifacts… mask, hockey stick, dog pictures, toy helicopter….

all kin mounted artfully on a wood fence on Craven Road - hockey stick, football, picture of Charlie Chaplin, ds of things

below:  A woman with three wolves, a young boy and dragonflies listening to your heart.

old black and white photo of a boy, a small statuette of a woman and three wolves, dragonflies on a picture frame with a photo of the word love

below: A composition of found items.  A still life made of remnants of the past.

things on a fence as decoration, guitar, pictures, clock, boxes,

below: And lastly, a couple of pictures of some of the original paintings.

two painting on a fence. One is of a cat and the other is of white flowers

a painting of a line of white sheep on a snowy field, on a fence, outdoors, with houses and backyards beyond the fence, some trees too but they have lost their leaves because it is late autumn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

street art on garages, ivy on walls, alley

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

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

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

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

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

blog_croft1

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

below: birdo bunny with his ears at attention.

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

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

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

 

below: Unicorns vs Monsters.   And the winner is?

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

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

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

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

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

below: An angular fox, or rather a triangular fox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But not a running, or even a jogging, track!  No, yesterday’s walk was an oval-ish loop at walking pace from Dundas West station, up one side of the railway tracks and back down the other.

below: Just past the subway station I saw the mural on “The Friendly Trini’s” which is now closed.  If the mural is telling the truth, they once served butter chicken, curried goat roti, jerk chicken with rice and peas, as well as drinks in coconuts and pineapples.  Feeling hungry already, and I’ve only just begun my walk.

a mural on the side of the Friendly Trinis restaurant that is now closed. Two women are walking on the sidewalk by the restaurant, a sign for Jennys bar and restaurant is in the background. The mural has drinks in coconuts and pineapples as well as a list of some of the food they served

below: Also on Dundas West, the King’z Convenience and Dollar Store which sells Filipino products and delicacies is adjacent to the Slovenija meat & delicatessen.  Multicultural.  I regret not taking pictures of the window of the Slovenian store – juice and beer brands that were unfamiliar to me.

two storefronts on a street, one is a slovenian grocery store and the other is a convenience store

below: Detail, boy riding an old fashioned bike on a little hook above a door.

a decorative ornament hanging high on a brick wall, a hook that extends from the wall about 8 to 10 inches, on top is a flat rendition of a boy on an old fashioned bicycle

below: And someone has decorated their balcony.

a balcony railing has been decorated with different colours of fabric that has woven between the rails

below: Just before I reached the bridge over the railway tracks I saw these words on a wall.

graffiti on a wall, in white paint on grey wall, the words "I have a dream'

below:  The dream theme continues on the metal steps up to the bridge.  This one was small and I almost missed it.  I’m not sure if it was painted black to blend into the background, or if the painting was an attempt to “clean up” the graffiti when prying off the letters proved to be too difficult (the D is broken so maybe someone tried).  Insert words about killing other people’s dreams here.

a raised word, 'dream' in cursive that has been stuck on the side of a set of stairs and then painted black to match the steps

below: From the top of the steps looking south.  The minimalist new Bloor GO and UP (Union Pearson) station is finished, top left of the photo.  Don’t you think we should call it ‘Get UP and GO’?  The street is Dundas West and yes, that mural is new.

view from a bridge, a street, and a railway and some buildings in between. There is a mural at the bottom of the steps.

below: Helping to hold up the bridge, west side of the tracks.  He’s carrying the weight of the world, or maybe just the bridge, on his shoulders.

mural on the concrete base supporting metal struts bridge supports.

After crossing the bridge, I walked north along the West Toronto Railpath. The fencing along the path has all been upgraded.  There used to be some spots where you could get through the fence (non-railway side) but those are gone.  Between the tracks and the path there is a new clear (glass? plastic?) fence.  Of course it has already been ‘vandalized’ or ‘tagged’ – choose your verb.  Because I was there on a sunny afternoon, the sun was shining through the ‘artwork’ and making interesting designs.  A few thistles and other weeds added some compositional elements.

glass that has been spray painted yellow and orange, with some black that has run, weeds are growing in front of it, the sun is shining from behind it

a bright red heart has been sprayed painted onto a glass wall, weeds growing front, train tracks behind, the sun shining through the glass.

There were quite a few hearts on my route, especially around the Dupont exit of the Railpath.

below: Many hearts on the fence.

two street art pieces painted on a glass wall. the first is a red and black heart with a white banner across it on which the word love is written. the other is 8 little red hearts on white stems growing from the ground below.

below: A heart for Hex and Nish wherever, and whomever, they may be.

a bright red heart painted on a man made boulder, words hex and nish written on it

below: Three heart balloons on the Dupont sign.  You can get a good view of the fence here.

glass fence beside railway tracks, path, trees, also a metal sign on which three red hearts on white stems have been painted.

below: Part of the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside Planet Storage, an large old brick building.  There used to be a lot of street art along the side of the building but it’s all been painted over.   A few tattle tale remnants remain.

wall, part of an older brick building that has been painted a rust colour, with windows, some of which have metal grilles over them. Remnants of old graffiti on the metal grilles.

below: My favorite, little details like the bright yellow giraffe looking at the clouds.

looking into a window, toy yellow giraffe on the window sill as well as two toy trolls, one with yellow hair and the other with orange. Reflections of clouds in the window

below: There is one mural on the Railpath, the back of Osler’s Fish Market is covered with a fish and fishing themed mural.

back of Osler Fish Market covered with a fish and fishing mural

below: Fish heads in the weeds.  Queen Anne’s lace, that plant with the white flowers, was growing in abundance along the path.  You might know it by its other name, Wild Carrot.

detail of a mural, fish heads, on a wall with Queens Annes lace and other weeds growing in front.

mural with fisherman bringing in a load of fish to the shore, boat in the background, more fish in the foreground.

mural, man sitting, mending fishing nets, woman on the shore carrying a bundle towards some fishing boats.

below: A splash of red on a street just off the railpath.

the top part of an old Victorian brick 2 storey house, painted red with white trim

below: The sign on the table says: “Hi! La Witch Cat here.  Enjoy the space, but PLEASE do not litter.  I provided a garbage can. Use it!  This includes cigarette butts.  Put in trash once extinguished.  Thanks!  XXO”.  Marvellous!  I sooo agree with the part about cigarette butts.  Why do people who don’t litter still consider it okay to throw cigarette butts wherever they please?  I smiled but I didn’t stop to rest.

In a veryshady spot, against a metal fence, two old chairs with a white table between them, a sign on the table and a small garbage can to the left.

below: At one point I found myself at this intersection.  What is a pedestrian to do? It’s possible I walked where I shouldn’t have, or at least where foot traffic is rare.  All the roads in the photo are Dundas West; it’s where the street splits as it approaches Dupont and Annette.  There was a small park behind me, called Traffic Island park.  The name sums it up I think.

wide intersection where two roads meet in a V shape. not much else in the picture, only the nose of one car, no other traffic. hydro poles and wires in the picture

two old Toronto street signs, slightly rusted, on a hydro pole, one for Dundas St. WEst and one for Dupont street

below: A lament for the streetscape.  One more line in an elegy to public spaces.  The result of a half hearted attempt.  Massive hydro poles on the narrow sidewalk.  A large ad. A green space that needs attention.  If you look carefully, you can see  a plaque on a small stand.

sidewalk right beside a road, with hydro poles on the sidewalk, a small stretch of green space (about a metre) befoew a large fence that is concrete on the bottom and glass on the top. A couple of small trees that are dying are in the green space.

below: This is the plaque.  According to the words, this strip of land was replanted in 2001-2003 with a number of native species with the plan that they would spread and “create an oasis in the middle of the city”.   It mentions three plants – Nannyberry tree, Staghorn sumac, and Bottlebrush grass.   Disconnect alert.

plaque describing the railside garden with words about its history and some picture of the plants that grow there

below: On my way back to the subway station I spotted this 24 hour lovebot.

a lovebot sticker on a TTC bus stop pole, between the sign that says 24 hours and the symbol of a bus, older industrial building behind it.

…. that was where I walked yesterday but before I leave, a few small details.  Ciao!

graffiti on a grey metal door of a girl's head with lots of pink hair. A pink heart beneath her with the word love under that

red background, silhouette of sumac leaves

blue background, graffiti drawing of man's head, wearing large crown, sad eyes, heart in word bubble

a plate in a window that says Good Morning Sunshine, also two small ceramic figures of cats, and one ceramic dog