Posts Tagged ‘redevelopment’

Starting at King and Berkeley and walking a little bit north and a bit farther west.

below: This wall, at King and Berkeley, used to have a large painting of a black chair on it.  Now it has two boys on the run with an Afghan flag.

tall white building with graffiti of two boys running with Afghan flag

below: It was painted by Mahyar Amiri a few months ago in an effort to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

 white building with graffiti street art of two young boys running. one is carrying an afghan flag, Afghanistan, the other is carrying a tire or similar shaped item, with the words not art written on it

below: In front of the Alumni Theatre on Berkeley Street.

painting on metal street box in front of Alumni theater on Berkeley street, beside laneway with another black and white mural on side of building

below: Also on Berkeley Street, the old Christie Brown stables are now the lower floors of a condo building.

95 Berkeley Street, old brick building that houses Christie Smith bakery stables, now the lower part of a condo development

historic plaque for Christie, Brown and company stables at 95 Berkeley street

“This building was once a stable that housed horses and wagons for one of Canada’s largest biscuit manufacturers. From here, Christie, Brown & Co delivered baked goods prepared at its Adelaide Street factory across Toronto.”
  “Designed by the architectural firm of Sproatt & Rolph, the building’s Beaux-Arts Classical style was popular at the turn of the 20th century for its appearance of stability and grandeur.  With elements such as the contrasting stone trim and arcade windows, it was built to reflect the appearance of the nearby Christie factory.  The state-of-the-art stable included two floors of wagon storage with a purpose-made elevator, stalls in the back for the care of sick horses, and a central horse shower underneath a large skylight. “
“Founded by Scottish-born businessman William Christie (1829-1900), Christie Brown & Co manufactured over 400 types of baked goods at its peak.  In 1928, Nabisco acquired the company. The stable was later used as a garage, seed plant, and film production office.  It is now part of a residential complex. “

below: Christie Brown biscuit factory on Adelaide street in 1902. The building still exists and is part of George Brown College.  It takes up the whole block between George and Frederick streets.

old colour photo of Christie Brown cookie factory on Adelaide street, brick building with windows with curved tops

below: This neighbourhood advertises itself as “Old Town, since 1793”.

Toronto city street sign for Worts Lane, turquoise banner advertising the fact that this is part of Old Town, since 1793

below: But a lot of it is starting to look shiney and new (what? a new parking lot in downtown Toronto?)

new condos on Richmond Street east, with new staples store and a just paved new parking lot

below: A copy of a late 1890’s lithographic poster advertising bicycles from Fernand Clement & Cie Cycles Paris. The original artist was Jean de Paléologue (1860-1942). This version is a large mural on Worts Lane.

fernand clement and cie mural of woman on a bicycle with large moon, night time scene

below: Mother of God of Prousa Greek Orthodox Church on Richmond East

Mother of God Prousa Greek Orthodox church on Richmond Eat, small simple stucco building with central wood door and small cross on roof peak

below: Old and not so old.  The taller grey building is the Chapter House for the Greek Orthodox church that is immediately to the east.

two adjacent houses on Richmond Street, half of old black house remains, other half has been renovated to three storey building

one way street sign in front of a window of a brick building painted blue

below: Apparently everything ends here on Ontario Street

car parked in front of old brick building on Ontario street, with graffiti words on wall that says all ends here

… and around the corner

an exterior brick wall with some of the bricks covered with rectangular pieces of mirror

blue painted graffiti words on a pale grey brick building that say this is all gonna end badly

below: This street art faces a parking lot between Brigden and Queen East that is now fenced off.  It is one of 4 or 5 paintings along that wall.

old street art that has small shrubs and vines growing over it

below: This is one of the street art pieces on the same wall. The photo was taken in  2012 when the site was accessible and before the vines and shrubs took over.

photo taken in 2012 of street art with iconic red tongue from rolling stones

below: A very large empty building and vacant lot that used to be a car dealership. This is part of a large section of land that has been under redevelopment for at least five years (includes the parking lot in the photos above).

bags of yard waste lie on the sidewalk on Richmond Street on sidewalk by large vacant lot, east of Sherbourne

below: … The original proposal back in February 2016 was three towers of 39, 45 and 39 storeys, on top of two base buildings ranging from 3 to 11 storeys within a site bordered by Queen Street East, Ontario Street, Richmond Street East and McFarrens Lane. That was turned down by the city. Since then there has been various modifications, appeals, and litigation (ongoing?).

a black and a blue metal drum shaped container, barrels, in vacant lot, with large puddle and tall weeds by vacant Downtown collision center building

a chair, outside, litter on ground, vines on wall behind

below: On what was once a Honda dealership there is now an art installation with words…

exterior wall of empty honda dealership, word graffiti that says to win the outergame you must first master the inner game, dr. joe

below: … and pasteups from jumblefacefoto aka Jeremy Lynch

pasteups by jumbleface foto

pasteup collages by Jeremy Lynch, eyes in the center, abstract around

below:  On the same wall: In the line of fire – urban ninja squadron‘s t-bonez takes aim with very heavy firepower.  It looks like spudbomb has already been hit by an arrow and is bentoghoul providing the target?

pasteups on a black wall, an urban ninja squadron with a large missile, a spudbomb and another poster like graffiti by bentoghoul

below: Looking west on Richmond from Brigden Place.  Richmond Street jogs to the right at Jarvis – it doesn’t dead end like it looks in the photo.

looking west on Richmond street from near Sherbourne

below: Looking north on McFarrens Lane to Queen Street

looking north on McFarrens Lane from Richomnd Steet, to the babrber and hairstylist shop on Queen.  Tall apartment building behind that

below: About 1910 this is what the northeast corner of Richmond and Sherbourne Streets looked like.  Not surprisingly, this is all long gone.

old black and white photo from about 1910 of the northeast corner of Richmond and Sherbourne streets

an old car from the 70s parked beside a building, a new TTC streetcar behind

below: From biscuits to hot dogs…. Soloways Hot Dog Factory Outlet, in business since 1927. They sell a wide range of bulk meat, meta products, and plant based meat products both wholesale and to the public.

sign over entrance to Soloways Hot dog factory outlet in nondescript brick building

below: Richmond and George, with the bright red of the George Diner dominating the intersection.

at Richmond and George streets, red building on corner is George's Diner, with large sign that says Delicious Food that Satisfies

below: The windows have been painted.

one of the windows of Georges Diner, a red brick building, painted with a scene of the interior of the restaurant.

below: Old newspaper articles taped to the window.  The top one is a review of the restaurant (with apologies for it being too small/fuzzy to read).   The bottom one has a headline that reads “Don’t be like Dick”.  With an image like that I immediately think of Dick and Jane (yikes, those of us who remember Dick and Jane from our childhoods are dwindling in number!).

old newspaper articles taped to window with coke machine behind it

below: At Richmond and Jarvis, northeast corner

indigenous theme mural on the side of a Petro Canada station at Richmond and Jarvis

below: Mystic Muffin on the southeast corner of Jarvis and Richmond.

mystic muffin, a blue building, on the southeast corner of Richmond and Jarvis

below: Richmond Street bike lanes are now separated from traffic by a low kerb that has been decorated by a number of street artists.  This section is the work of AndreaCataRo aka Andrea Rodriguez

brick building and parking lot behind chainlink fence

red ant painted on a kerb separating bike lanes from traffic

below: Another view of the bike lane barrier, this one at the intersection of Richmond and Berkeley and looking west towards the city center.

Richmond Street east, at Berkeley, with barrier between bike lanes and other traffic

little purple mouse sticker graffiti

two black and white sticker slaps graffiti on a grey metal pole, one is a black rabbit with words why suspect us. and the other is a white abstract drawing on black background

Toronto’s old industrial buildings are disappearing.   So when I saw the tall brick chimneys near St. Clair and the Danforth I had to stop and take a closer look.

brick chimney with CLM painted on it, beside other industrial buildings

CLM stands for Canadian Line Materials, also known as CLM industries.  It was a division of McGraw-Edison Ltd and they manufactured electrical equipment.   One of their contracts was with the Canadian Government to build air raid sirens.  CLM was sold in 1985 and no longer exists.

below: Back in behind, part of the parking lot has been given over to the Scarborough Community Garden.

Scarborough Community Garden, raised boxes for growing vegetables, lots of produce, in parking lot of industrial building, church across the street with solar panels in the shape of a cross

below: In the above photo you can see the solar panels on the roof of the Scarborough Church of God that is across the street from the old CLM buildings.  Construction of the church began in 1958 and it was dedicated in March 1960 as the Scarborough Junction United Church.  The blue sign indicates that this is also the home of the Scarborough Grace Harvest Church (Korean).

A frame brick building with brown roof, Scarborough Church of God. Solar panels on the roof in the shape of a cross

below: Side windows on the church

coloured and textured windows of a church

below: A reminder of how diverse Toronto is – Workers rights in many languages

poster on utility pole advertising workers action centre, and new employee rights, in many languages

below: “Known as best psychic and spiritual healer in Toronto”

poster advertising Indian psychic

below: Arsenio’s Kitchen has chicken and rice for $5.99

metal barrels beneath two signs. one advertising chicken and rice for 5 dollars and 99 cents. The other sign says space for lease in a strip mall plaza

below: Fuel stop – gas for the car and a roti for you

Gulf service station at Kennedy and St. Clair. Gas at 1.43 a litre, also butter chicken roti fast food with roti of the week sign

Just to the west, Kennedy Road crosses both St. Clair and Danforth and forms a small triangle.  Immediately south of the Danforth, Kennedy goes over the railway tracks.

below: The view east from Kennedy, looking towards Scarborough GO station.

railway tracks, looking east from Kennedy Road towards Scarborough GO station

below: The view west from the bridge

houses on Raleigh and Glasgow Avenuesview west from Kennedy Road bridge over railway tracks near Danforth,

below: A bit of country in the city.

backyard in Scarborough with a barn shaped shed and a small coop for chickens or pigeons

below: An elephant hiding in the bushes.  Any idea of what flag that might be? Trinidad and Tobago?

graffiti painting of an elephant head on a wood fence, behind some bushes, behind a brick house with a black and red flag

below: Anime-like on a bridge railing.

black and white drawing pasteup graffiti on a black metal railing of a bridge

below: Standing on the platform at Scarborough GO station and looking east.  Here the tracks split – the GO train line to Kennedy and Agincourt stations (and beyond) splits to the left and heads northward.  The other tracks are the main CNR line as well as eastward GO line to Eglinton GO station

looking east from Scarbourgh GO station, tracks,

As I walked, it soon became apparent that there were a lot of commercial buildings now sitting empty. It’s becoming a bit repetitive but once again I found myself in an area that is about to undergo some profound changes.

below: An empty building waiting for demolition.

blue and white city of toronto development notice on an empty auto parts store

Scarborough Junction redevelopment plans involve a 26 acre plot of land adjacent to Scarborough GO station – what has become known as the Scarborough Junction Masterplan.

below: Drawing of the Masterplan. It covers a large chunk of the triangle created by the CNR tracks, Kennedy Road to the west, and St. Clair to the north. It will create about 6620 residential units in 17 buildings with the tallest tower being 48 storeys high. The CLM building is on this site (blocks C & G?). (image source: Urban Toronto).

drawing of plan for Scarborough Junction Masterplan redevelopment at Kennedy and St. Clair, from Urban Toronto,

below: View from the Scarborough GO station.   At the moment, most of the land along the northwest side of the tracks is unused.

behind a broken chainlink fence is a parking lot of an abandoned business, overgrown,

white house, now a commecrial business on St. Clair Ave with a blue and white development notice in front

below: Outdoor seating arrangement

old car seat sitting outside of Sultan Auto Service, closed garage doors

cars parked in front of empty abandoned auto store, with blank black electric sign

exterior of Spee and Dee Auto Service with garage doors covered with photos of cars in the interior of the garage

three piles of old tires blocking the driveway entrance to a light industrial site

below: Truck for sale

a white pick up truck parked behind a black sign with an arrow pointing left

older brick house turned into a business, beside Carmen and Frank's Collision centre

graffiti on the side of a one storey brick building

white car parked in front of white building, Cordi Signs, one light blue door and no windows

below: On the southwest corner of Kennedy and St. Clair is a small plaza from the 1960s.

sign at the corner of Kennedy and St. Clair, stip mall plaza, sign is for Wimpys Diner, Greek Cuisine and East West Pest control

old Canadian flag in the back window of a pick up truck

below: Another empty building behind a fence – Some clothes in cases all that remains of what was once a thrift store (and probably something else before that). There is a weathered sign suggesting a condo development but I haven’t been able to find anything about it (or I missed something).

side of empty building with condo sales advert, also four display cases with clothes that are no longer held up properly

small plaza from the 1960s with Yaffa restaurant, now emppty, Roti Lady restaurant, and another empty store front. Chainlink fence around part of it

empty Yaffa Restaurant and old thrift shop. brick building with a sign that says Fresh coffee,

billboard by fenced in lot, for sale, gas station site available, Kennedy Road street sign

below: One corner that is in no danger of being redeveloped is the northwest corner of St. Clair and Kennedy. This is Pinehills Cemetery.

adornments by a tombstone in Pnehills cemetery, red flowers, a small metal bike old fashioned style, a cross, and a photo of a man, and a small white candle holder lantern

It’s heart warming to see that people care enough about those who have passed away that they find ways to celebrate that person in creative ways.  Insert jokes here about how we’ll all be dead before the Maple Leafs win a Stanley Cup.

objects left by a tombstone, Maple Leafs sign, and their bear mascot figurine about 8 inches high, pink flowers, and a small white cross with words on it

flat ground level memorial in a cemetery with three cigarettes and 2 small Canadian flags

McDonalds drive-thru with demolition…. yes, I’ll have fries with that.

Mcdonalds drive thru lanes with a black car, in front of two apartment buildings now empty and getting ready to be demolished

The demolition hasn’t really started yet but the buildings are empty and the grounds interiors are being cleared out.

blue construction fence around a pile of rubble outside of an apartment building getting ready to be demolished, old concrete, twisted metal, red bike,

empty apartment building at 1555 Queen East

pile of rubble outside of an apartment building getting ready to be demolished, old concrete, twisted metal,

below: Sidewalk along Eastern Avenue, looking east towards Lower Coxwell

sidewalk along Eastern Avenue, green grassy boulevard, empty apartment buildings behind chainlink fence

below: At Lower Coxwell and Eastern there is a gap in the old fence and overgrown bushes that leads to what once was a parking lot. The building in the background is one the ones being torn down.

path through old rusty fence and overgrown hedge to vacant lot that used to be a parking lot, empty building in the background

below: There are some cool old parking meters still standing

a pair of old coin fed parking meters still standing on their metal pole in an abandoned parking lot

below: The old parking lot is behind a row of businesses on Queen East

beind the buildings on the south side of Queen East, near Coxwell, Subway, Canadian Dry Cleaners,

below: Looking northeast towards Queen East and Coxwell

view from a vacant lot at Lower Coxwell and Eastern, looking northeast towards Coxwell and Queen East intersection

brick apartment building with balconies, empty, some broken windows, some white debris in a pile in front, blue construction fence

yellow arches mcdonalds sign pointing to drive thru, open 24 hours, in the background, 2 brick apartment buildings that are empty. blue construction fence between, buildings are about to be demolished

blue and white scarborough street sign for Kennedy Road on a blue sky day, with street scene behind it ,

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that Toronto includes a large number of outlying areas, not just the downtown core.   Also, if you are looking for a “safe” place to walk during these Covid times, head to Kennedy Road in Scarborough.  I wasn’t alone the day I walked it but people were few and far between.  Out Scarborough way they aren’t as used to people wandering around with cameras so I got a few quizzical, skeptical looks.   The street scene is definitely different from the central core but every street has a story to tell.  Sometimes you just have to slow down and look for it.

below: What lured me into the area?  I caught a glimpse of this moose and it made me want to explore more.  It stands beside Kennedy Road, just south of the 401.    Back in 2000 there were 326 of these sculptures scattered around the city, all were the identical moose shapes but all were painted differently.   Collectively, they were “Moose in the City”.

a stature of a life sized moose painted like a Canadian flag beside a large welcome to Scarborough sign, from Kennedy BIA.

You might have noticed that the sign also says Mike Myers Way, named for the actor who grew up in Scarborough.   I am not sure if this means that all of Kennedy Road is named after him but there is a Mike Myers Drive just to the south of this (south of Lawrence).

below: The sign on the Elite Bakery is trilingual – Greek, English, and another in an alphabet that I don’t recognize (Arabic?).  It all looks good in any language, doesn’t it?

sign on the outside wall of a greek bakery, words in greek, anglish, and a south asian language (or arabic). wedding cakes in the window

below: More signs of the multicultural nature of Toronto

green and white symbol of Habib bank, white lion with a sword above it

below: Another common Toronto feature – the construction site! … with its plethora of safety rules and regulations.

Coid prevention signs secured to a metal fence surrounding a construction site, a cement truck is working there

construction fence around a Tim Hortons and Petro Canada station, sign says open for takeout and drive thru

below: Looking west on Eglinton at Kennedy.   That is one tall utility pole!

looking west on Eglinton at Kennedy, north side of the street, a man standing at the corner, hydro poles, high rises in the distance, traffic.

below: Magical Aquarium Club

Magical Aquarium Club building in Scarborough

a picture of a green frog and a green reptile, large, on the outside of an aquarium shop

below: Grace Church and Grace Place Food Bank

Grace church and Grace Place food bank, design of cross in the roof shingles, cars parked in front, red brick building for the 1960s

below: Mount Zion Church, The Apostle Doctrine of God

side of a plaza with entrance for the Mount Zion Church

below: Bright pink and red will make your business stand out!

large pink and red store, contractor depot, on kennedy road,

below: A faded photo above the entrance to a furniture store – highlighting their wares.  She seems like a very satisfied customer!

faded black and white photo on the exterior of a furniture store, a woman stands alone in a dining room with table, chairs, and a hutch

below: Or, show your product by having it on display outside (these are Covid times after all)

mattresses on display outside a store, leaning against the pillars of the building

a van parked out front of a store with signs, factory outlet, warehouse sale, sign in back window of van advertising a mattress sale

below: Jostling to be seen, a jumble of words and colours.

many signs for stores and businesses, posted beside the sidewalk,

below: Eye exams on site… but the I (eye?) fell over.  Carpets & Rugs, Kairali Indian cuisine – lunch buffet for an unknown price.

signs for stores along Kennedy road

below: Real Kerala groceries at Motherland Foods.  Mr. John’s take out.

set back from the street a bit, with shrubs and a parking lot in front of it, Motherland Food, kerala groceries

below: The two storey brick plaza. Many of these were built around the suburban areas, back when suburbs were newer and growing quickly in the 1950s and 1960s.

two storey brick plaza with many stores

below: It seems fitting that the Private Eye and Spy Shop is close to the Adult Movies store.  You can also eat at Lucile’s West Indian Restaurant and Groceries or at Just Love Caribbean Restaurant.

large sign in front of plaza listing all the stores, adult movies, spa, private eye spy shop,

tall empty frame for a sign outside a closed business

below: Agincourt Used Cars, closed and waiting for redevelopment – into townhouse like complex with retail on the ground floor facing the street (in one proposal from December 2015 anyhow.  There are 25 documents associated with this development, all available online.  The latest one was March 2018.  I didn’t read them.)

yellow gate and construction fence around a vacant lot with a building in the far corner, Agincourt Used cars, closed business, graffiti on building,

below: To the east, as seen from a parking lot on Kennedy Road.

rowhouses on a side street running perpendicular to Kennedy Road, vacant lot in the foreground,

below: An older housing development with direct access to Kennedy.

rounded arch over the sidewalk leading into a residential development

semis, 18 wheelers backed into spaces at distribution center

a row of trucks parked in a parking lot

a person walks past stores with large signs in front of them, 2001 Audio and Video, Crazy Joes Drapery, Sleep Factory mattress, and a flooring store

below: Just to prove that I wasn’t totally alone!

a man in a blue jacket sits on a concrete railing while drinking from a Tim Hortons cup

a man rides his bike on the sidewalk on Kennedy Road with back to camera

I read in the news this morning that the graffiti and artwork on the hoardings around the old foundry site in Corktown/Canary District are being painted over now. I had previously mentioned some of the stencils and posters that we here when I first saw them back in February. Unfortunately I am a bit behind on my posts so I haven’t uploaded the pictures that I took on a subsequent visit to the area…. here they are now. This is what is being painted over today:

below: “The history that is represented in this era of globalization is very important not to bulldoze”
“I want to save the Foundry because the buildings lend character to an area that is being made more and more bland every day.”
Meanwhile Doug Ford can’t keep his hands off Toronto City Hall.

red hearts stenciled on plywood hoardings along with a poster showing parody of Doug Ford with his hands meddling with a model of Toronto City Hall.  Other posters with words describing why saving the old Dominion Wheel Foundry is important

below: “Municipal Destruction Minister Steve Clark screws up plans for A-Ford-A-Bull-Housing.”

below: Why Doug? Why?

below: “Dear Doug Ford: Let us fix this for you.”

poster on the outside of a store, blue wall, picture of a tree and words that say Love your hood, Birchcliff village

Birch Cliff, where one of the predominant themes is birch trees.

mural of birch tree trunks

Such as this mural on the side of the public school.

Birch cliff public school, a two storey red brick building, with a large mural of birch trees on one exterior wall

The other theme in this stretch of Kingston Road seems to be the blue and white Toronto notice of development signs and the consequent empty buildings.

Lenmore Court, an older brick apartment complex, with a blue and white Toronto notice of development sign on it

banner, density has to make sense, protest agains Atlree developers and their plan to redevelop Lenmore Court

two posters on a wood utility pole, protesting redevelopments in the neighbourhood

small mural of birch trees beside Scarborough bluffs, on outside wall beside a window with a protest sign in it. Poretesting redevelopment of parts of Kingston Road with buildings that are too big, too tall, too wide

three empty storefronts at 1557, 1559 Kingston Road, two storey buildings in shades of grey

three old two storey brick storefronts, one is Cheers restaurant painted bright red, the other is Barbers by Nature

beside a new condo building, older smaller buildings on Kingston Road, Lakeview Tavern,

looking across the street to Majestic Auto service and Fallingbrook garage, two businesses that share a building

side entrance and car door of Fallingbrook garage, mechanic, service entrance, now with a development notice sign on it

The old….

three storey red brick apartment buildings with large trees in front, one apartment has red curtains

… and the new. This is the only building that is close to being finished.   If the drawings on the development signs are to be believed, there will be several more in the neighbourhood just like it in a couple of years time.

six or 7 storey new condo development in birch cliff

below: Kingston Road is quite close to Lake Ontario. At this point the only thing between the road and the water is the grounds and golf course of The Toronto Hunt Club, a private members only club.

trees, in winter time, with snow on the ground, with Lake Ontario in the distance, Scarboruogh Hunt Club grounds

below: On the side of Legion 13 on Kingston Road is this large mural.  Painted in memory of Max Silverstein, by John Hood with help from Alexandra Hood and Asif Khan, 1991. Restored in 2010 by Blinc Studios.  It’s also part of the Heritage Trail murals, a Mural Routes project.

large mural on the side of Legion 13 building on Kingston Road, parade of soldiers

Plaque beside the mural says: “Scarborough Rifle Company marching to the Niagara Frontier, June 1, 1866. In 1862 the Scarborough Rifle Company was organized with headquarters in a school at Eglinton Avenue near Markham Road. It was the first of several militia companies formed in York County. The company was rushed to the Niagara frontier three times in 1865 and 1866 to defend Canada against the Fenians. The Scarborough Rifle Company later became No. 1 Company in the 12th Battalion of Infantry, the forerunner of Queen’s York Rangers.”

.

below: A smaller mural on the right hand side of the above one features portraits of two men, Captain Norris and Lieutenant Taber, soldiers in the Fenian Raids of 1866.

mural on side of Legion 13 building, two portraits in oval frames, Norris and Taber, Fenian Raids history

below: Another Heritage Trail  mural – “Mitchells General Store” by Phil Irish, 1998.  Mitchells store was one of the first businesses established in the Birch Cliff area.  The same store is mentioned in another Scarborough history mural just a bit north on Warden Avenue (see Scarborough Bells)

a mural on the side of a building, inside an old fashioned store with a man behind the counter and a woman shopper

yellow metal bucket hanging from a tree with evergreens and a red ribbon, also three gold christmas balls hanging with the bucket

below: An elaborate home for the birds with a tiny outpost below.

a large white bird house with a red windmill on it, behind a wrought iron fence, and a for rent sign on the fence

below: Ready for social distancing when you’re feeling down in the dumps.

an old beige arm chair, with snow it, outside beside industrial garbage bins

Molson Canadian flag outside a bar, also muskoka chairs and a carved wood bear, a Canadian flag too.

below: Buster’s ready to play

carved wooden bear, Buster, with Canada flag hockey shirt on, holding a hockey stick,

below: This guy needs a beer

posters and signs on the door of a bar

below: Looking in a window – framed pictures, old records, a trunk and a tripod.

looking in the window of a junk vintage store, framed pictures on the wall, a shelf of old records, a trunk, and other stuff

windows and entrance of Sharons Variety store on Kingston Road

below: A Beckers store, you don’t have to be that old to remember Beckers do you?  The original Beckers Milk Company was founded in 1957; they had five convenience stores that were open 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.  By 2006 when the company was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, there were 500 stores.  Most were converted to Macs convenience stores stores.  In 2013 the Beckers label was brought back and apparently there are now 45 Beckers stores.

row of two storey brick storefronts including a Beckers store with a birch tree mural on it

an old gas station that is now a used car dealership, with many cars parked outside in the snow

cars parked outside in the snow at a used car lot

below: St. Nicholas Anglican church, opened 1917.

St Nicholas church, red brick, no steeple, but a pointed roof

old two story brown brick building on Kingston Road

red wall, exterior of Fashion Sushi

below: An idea for a future walk!

Warden street sign, with traffic signals, also a sign pointing south to the Waterfront Trail

It’s not as purple as it used to be. Over the years it’s faded a bit. It wasn’t in good shape when I first saw it years ago; now it’s in even rougher condition. The ground floor storefronts are boarded up but whether or not the upper floors are unoccupied is questionable.

pale purple brick building boarded up, plywood on windows, yard overgrown,

The whole block (1423 to 1437, Perth to Sterling) has now been acquired by a development company but so far there has been no proposal for the site.

below: There can be delightful lines and colours in old things.

old window with metal bars painted over but rusting, board over window,

below: A bit of a squeeze. Plywood over a window, a shovel ready for winter (or left behind?), and a doorway hidden on the right.

very narrow entranceway between two buildings

below: Pasteups by some familiar names, Feelings Boi, Urban Ninja Squadron, and Sketchrat

paper paste ups on a plywood board covering a window beside door on abandoned building, Closed sign still on door

peeling posters on plywood on window of old building

below: The back has been turned into a storage place for cars.

used cars parked behind two empty buildings

cars without licence plates parked behind an old building, alley,

Today’s post features two new murals near Yonge and Sheppard

below: Looking towards the tall buildings southwest corner of Yonge & Sheppard including the green Emerald condos with their curled tops.

Emrald condos and development at the southwest corner of Yonge and Shephard

below: Backside of the Sheppard bus station which is where I found….

back of outside part of Shephard Subway station with a bus waiting by building, and an out of service bus parked towards the side, tall buildings of Yonge and Shephard area in the background

“Flock Together” by KJ BIT Collective

mallard duck in water and woodpecker on tree, part of Flock Together, a mural by Jieun June Kim and Erica James

These colourful birds were painted by Jieun June Kim and Erica James with the support of StreetARToronto and the city.

two birds in a mural by K J Bit Collective

part of a mural by K J Bit Collective, mallard duck in water, goldfinch, and a cardinal in front of a pink building

below: The older two storey storefronts on the west side of Yonge street reflected in the new windows of the updated Yonge Sheppard Centre on the east side.

reflections in the window of Winners store at Yonge and Shephard, shows low rise older brick storefronts on the other (west) sideof Yonge

below: Continuing northwards, there is this large hole in the ground on Yonge at Spring Garden.

a large hole in the ground, construction at Yonge and Spring Garden, old Legion building in the right, tall North York buildings in the background

below: And here we find another new mural (painted earlier in September I think) also painted by two artists.

two murals on the side of a building in a small alley in North York

below: On the righthand side, the artist was @rowellsoller

part of a mural of a black man with wavy white hair, blue text graffiti, and a yellow circle

below:  “Make me smile” with a ‘free flowing water queen’ with pink curls by @rowdyradrat aka Ian Gabriel is the other half of the mural.

words, make me smile, and a Japanese looking face on a mural in an alley

I like the camera part but I’m willing to prove the “no fun” part wrong.  The other day I went meandering with a friend.  We started near Christie station (at a coffee shop of course) with no particular destination in mind.  Generally south was the consensus… and with a pinch of playfulness (forget that no fun nonsense!) and a dash of distraction that’s more or less what we did.

sticker on a yellow pole, camera with legs and arms, also a sticker below it that says no fun

below: As you may know, Bloor Street east of Christie is Koreatown with lots of Korean restauants and tea shops.

below: … including cheese tea.  This seems to be a new trend, or at least new to me!  Apparently it is black or green tea with a foamy topping made from cream cheese, sugar, and whipping cream (or variations thereof).  Next time I may indulge.

below: “Imagine your Korea” mural on the side of P.A.T. Central, a large Korean store.

below: A fire breathing dragon and many scared people trying to run away. It’s a pity about the garbage though.

large mural on the side of abuilding, a large green dragon is breathing fire and scaring people out of their homes and stores and into the streets,

below: By Bathurst street the Korean restaurants have disappeared.  Once upon a time (it seems so long ago!) Honest Ed’s dominated the SW corner of Bloor and Bathurst.  Now there is just hole there, and a very big hole at that.

below: This picture is just a small part of “Utopic Isles, Neon Nights, a Flowery Future”, which consists of three panels of images by grade 11 and 12 visual arts students from Central Tech high school.  They are part of the hoardings around the construction site here.

picture on construction hoardings on Bloor St near Bathurst, an owl in a tree, a cat sitting below the tree, trees are weird shapes

below: Another section of hoardings feature collages of old pictures of Honest Eds – a project by Jessica Thalmann called “To Dwell is to Leave Traces”

hoardings on Bloor Street near Bathurst, a series of collages featuring old pictures of Honest Eds and the area, in many colours, by Jessica Thalmann

below: To try gluing pictures on hoardings is also to leave traces!  Its’ another “no fun” find.   All rather cool until you learn that no fun is a branding thingy.  Stickers as promos for businesses are now very common, posters like this on, not so much.

two posters that were glued to construction hoardings but that have been largely torn off

below: Construction makes room for the two buildings on Bathurst that refused to sell to the developers.  You can still see the ghost sign on one of the buildings – baby carriages repaired

below: Looking west from Bathurst Street across the big hole to the backs of the houses on Markham Street that are empty and boarded up.  Some of them will be retained in the new development.

below: A concrete lovebot hides in the corner.  He’s missing an arm and has three bricks instead of a leg.

an old concrete lovebot with an arm and a leg missing. on two bricks instead of the leg, in a pile of leaves, beside a rust coloured wall

below: Near lovebot is another ghost sign – Coca Cola, sold everywhere (Bathurst Street)

large ghost sign on a brick wall, coca cola sold everywhere, Bathurst Street

below: This frog has four points on his crown and lips made of plaster.   Looks like he’s found a home on top of the garbage pin.

below: ‘Keep hustlin!”  Don’t linger and watch out for cars.  I was going to make some comment about Toronto becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians but I decided that I needed some documentation to back me up.  I learned the acronym KSI (killed or seriously injured).  Toronto has the research on the KSI stats for 2005-2018 as part of their Vision Zero plan and the results are “mixed”, i.e. the trend isn’t upwards.  In fact, I don’t think there is a trend of any sort.

below: [Can we stand two social issues in a row?  LOL.]  What I didn’t realize was there was a “worldwide “Nobody Pays” call to action on November 29 for fare evasions” (source).  Chile in the poster is a reference to Chilean high school students protesting transit fare increases with a series of mass evasions starting on the 7th of October.    I don’t recommend burning your Presto card just yet.

below: The very small print at the bottom of the poster gives references to two documents (from 2012 and 2014) that outline the funding of the TTC and where the money comes from.

below: Well it is December after all…..

Christmas decorations in a store window, little tree ornaments of Santa, one with him holding onto a little parachute and one with him on a bike

below: Well it is December after all…..

a sticker of a black faceless man in grey suit, black tie, and black gloves, with arms raised with two hands in peace symbol, words that say destruction, despair, death

blue outline simple drawing of a persons head and shoulders

looking down a path between houses, green chainlink fence with sagging wood fence immediately behind it

below: Conversation on a garage door.

a garage door with the words, are you happy?

a car parked in a backyard of a house that has been gutted and is now being rebuilt

empty backyard of an older two storey building, with brick buildings on either side of it, seen from the laneway

an old car is parked under a tree and beside a house with graffiti on it

below: Sometimes Mother Nature endures.  There was no stopping this tree and it seems to have thrived even with the metal of the fence embedded in it.

a tree has grown up around a chainlink fence so the fence is embedded in the tree

below: The omnipotent metal fence strikes again.  This time flamingos in love and an Al Runt mural are in danger.

chain link construction fence in front of a mural of dancing pink flamingoes

below: Continuation of the mural by Al Runt around the corner of the building

part of a mural by al runt on a wall and on a metal fence

below: This mural has suffered a different fate, that of the creeping billboard posters.  As much fun as “procaffeinating” is fun to read about, I’ve seen more than enough of them around the city.  I’m not sure that it was someone’s sense of humour that resulted in Holt Renfrew posters being displayed beside those for  Pathways to Education that play on poverty and lack of education.

poster put up on a wall covering a mural that was there

below: But….  [one day I will do a post where only the words in the photos do the talking.  There are some great stories out there]

below: I especially like this one, Just Keep Going.

below: A white horse in an alley

splotch of white spray paint on a rusty part of a garage in a laneway looks a bit like a horse

below: As well as two little astronauts.

green garage door with a white square, on the square are two black stencils of an astronaut

below: Blood and bandages barber shop. Wonderful name!

blood and bandages barber shop from the outside, lights in window, bike parked outside

When you walk across College Street in this area you can’t help but notice that you’re in Little Italy.

below: As we walked westward along College Street, we saw three of these blue areas painted on the NW corners (of Roxton, Ossington & Dovercourt)

part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewalk directly in front of it, are painted bright light blue

These are the Blue Room, by Stanislav Jurkovic and they were supported by the College Promenade BIA.   From the website: “Similar to a 3 dimensional ‘green screen’ in film production, the space becomes stage and canvas.”  It has also won a Toronto Urban Design Award.   Some photos that people have taken of these spaces can be seen on instagram by searching on #blueroomcollege (although the same photos are fed to the Blue Room website that I linked to in the first sentence).

two people waiting in a TTC bus shelter, part of a lower storey of a building, as well as part of the sidewlk directly in front ot it, are painted bright light blue

below:  In the entrance way to a store that sells a lot of things including DVD’s in Little Italy.  The 4 moschettieri – the 4 muskateers! A film from 1962 with Georges Riviere as d’Artagnan (the wonder of Google!).  At the bottom of the photo is the name Salvatore Samperi; I am not sure which film it is for but Samperi  (1943-2009) was an Italian film director & writer.   I find it intriguing that these old posters are still on this wall, torn and discoloured as they are.

wall in a doorway with old posters for Italian movies, some on top of others

below: Same store.  Italian movies on DVD’s for sale.  ‘Maruzzella’ (in English, ‘The Mermaid of Naples’) came out in 1956.  If you are an aficionado of old Italian movies, be quick, as I think this store is having a going out of business sale.

old Italian movies on DVD for sale in a store window

I’ll leave you with an image that I found online, a full copy of the poster that is partially covered up above – for the R rated film Malicious/Malizia in 1973. (photo source)  That’s 40+ years ago.  You see, when you start wandering you start finding all kinds of strange and fascinating things – no fun? indeed not.

copy of an old film poster for the Italian film malizia from the 1970s

 

a gold coloured weather vane with a rooster on it, bright blue sky in the background

Once again, it seems that no matter where in the city you go there will be construction.  There will be the demolition of single family homes to make way for condos or at the minimum, blocks of rowhouses.   The area around Yonge and Finch is no exception.

apartment building in the background, a street of single family dweelings in the foreground, early spring so no leaves on the trees, a few cars parked in driveways

I am not sure if it serves any purpose, perhaps it’s futile, but I’d like to think that documenting what we are removing is worthwhile.   The houses on Finch Avenue East like the one in this picture are small, but the lots on which they sit are large.

small white bungalow with brown roof, on large piece of land, car in driveway

That means that a developer can demolish four houses and turn around and build 17 townhouses in the same space.    That is what is happening near Finch and Willowdale.

three small white bungalows with windows and doors boarded up, small trees overgrown around them.

Although the properties were not fenced off, all access to the houses themselves was blocked, sigh.  It looked like a local garden centre was using the backyards of a couple of the houses.

side door of a white wood house with rickety porch and steps. three trees growing besie it, door is boarded up

below: View to a new development on the other side of Finch Avenue.  This is the type of development that the area is now zoned for.  A lot of these townhouses have been built in the last few years and I suspect that eventually they will replace all of the single family homes.

view looking down a driveway, two empty houses - one on each side of the driveway. Can see across the street to new townhouse development on the other side.

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

single family homes and large trees on Finch Ave

Between Willowdale Avenue and Yonge Street, there were a couple of other houses that are boarded up and empty. I am not sure what the plan is for them (there was no development proposal sign posted, instead there was a sign advertising the company that is providing the financing – for what?).

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, apartment building behind,

The internet can be a wonderful thing.  In case you are interested, the development is the Ava Luxury Residence and it calls for heights and densities that are vastly over what is zoned for in the area.  For example, at 9 storeys it is 37 metres tall in an area zoned for 11 metres.  The plan was first filed in 2016 but because of the size of the development, it requires a zoning by-law amendment, official plan amendment, and site plan approval to effect the proposal – all which take time.   An OMB appeal pre-hearing was scheduled to occur a few days ago, with a hearing slated for June.  MM170085 is the OMB case number if you want to dive down that rabbit hole.

small bungalow with blue door, windows boarded up, large tree in front yard, sign in front yard advertising financing

This is 50 Finch East.  As you can see, there is a taller building on the other side of Kenneth Avenue.  Kenneth was to be the dividing line – keeping the higher buildings, and denser development, closer to Yonge Street.  I’m not sure what side of the development battle you’re on, but what’s the point of having a plan if the developers (with help from the OMB) keep disregarding it?

small bungalow on a corner lot, with windows and doors boarded up, larger apartment building behind.

As I walked back to my car, I chose to walk on a side street instead of on Finch.  As I turned a corner, I happened upon a house being demolished.  Fortuitous.  Serendipity.

a yellow digger loading rubble from a house demolition into a dump truck

It doesn’t take long to reduce a house to rubble and dust.  “Another one bites the dust” springs to mind.

close up of a digger demolishing a house

And so it goes.