Posts Tagged ‘Riverdale Park’

Fall, Leaves, Fall
“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.”
by Emily Bronte

 

As the leaves fall, bare branches are left behind and on a sunny day they make for wonderful shapes and shadows.  Riverdale Park, Broadview side.

tree in Riverdale Park, November, Bloor Viaduct in the background, also some highrise buildings

below: The more common angle for photos taken at Riverdale Park, the angle with the Toronto skyline in the background.  I wasn’t as interested in the skyline yesterday, it was the trees and shadows that I was focusing on.

trees in Riverdale Park, Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance, grass, long shadows, no leaves on the trees.

below: There is a pedestrian bridge over the Don Valley Parkway that connects the two sides of Riverdale Park.  This is view looking south.

looking south from a bridge over the Don Valley Parkway road, with cars driving north and south, looking towards bridge at Dundas Street, Don River to the right,

below: Two cars and three bridges.  This is from the same bridge as above, but this time looking northwest over the Don River towards the Bloor Viaduct.  The CPR bridge is in the middle (with the graffiti) and the pedestrian bridge for the lower Don Trail is the orange-brown one.

two cars driving on the Don Valley Parkway, past the Don River and two bridges over the river. In the distance is the Bloor Viaduct, trees, and some apartment buildings.

below: While crossing Riverdale Park, I spotted this sign.  It’s behind a chainlink fence and partially hidden by shrubs and small trees.  From where I was standing I could hardly see any water that one might use for a rink.   There is a pond back there – it’s the pond at the bottom of the hill on the Riverdale Farm property.

surrounded by small trees, a wooden sign with yellow lettering that says Danger Skating Prohibited by law.

below: The irregular curves of the trees contrasted with the lines and diamonds formed by the staircase that leads down into Riverdale Park (or up from the park!)

looking down a hill covered by dead leaves, a set of stairs winds its way up the hill, some trees too

below: More trees – this time in the Necropolis cemetery.

Necropolis cemetery, some tombstones, a pine tree, a tree with autumn leaves and some trees with no leaves, green grass

below: A tree of a different kind.

the shadow of a tree and all its leaves on a wood fence in an alley

a small amount of snow and ice on the ground, some leaves that have fallen off trees and are on the ground.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
by Robert Frost
***

 

below: The Virginia Creeper leaves have turned and fallen and left the berries behind to dry and wither.  This plant is found all over the city, especially in the lanes and alleys.

blue berries on vines, no leaves, on a wood fence

below: Brilliant colour of the berries on the Bittersweet Vine. This plant produces a yellow berry that bursts open to reveal a red interior.

orange and red berries on vines, black background.

below: Another sign that it’s November, the snack bar by Riverdale Farm is closed for the winter.

the front door of Park Snacks, a building on a corner, pale turquoise with lots of decorative finishes, a wood door, pink and cream coloured trim,

below: An open gate, leading past the burning bushes to the front door.

a wrought iron fence and open gate in front of a brick house built in the workers cottage, or gothic cottage, style. Red leaves on burning bushes type shrub on either side of path leading to front door

below: A Lab patiently waits by the door.

red double door, front door of house, porch with pumpkins on it, also a dog, a labrador retreiver, lying on the porch

below:  Another front yard and another dog… This vintage fire hydrant, decorated as a dalmatian in a fireman’s helmet.  There is newer yellow fire hydrant closer to the sidewalk in the same yard so I suspect that this one is not functional.

vintage fire hydrant in a front yard, faded painting of a dog on it, face, and some blue spots, cap of hydrant is painted like a fireman's hat.

below: More silliness – a brick wall with a tiny window in what used to be a larger arched window.  Now it’s only big enough for a toilet paper roll.

a brick wall, an old arched window has been bricked in, leaving a small window, in the window is a roll of toilet paper

below: I’ll end this post with a couple of unicorns even though they have nothing to do with fall. But who doesn’t like unicorns? Especially when there’s a bit of awesomeness too.

in a shop window, two toy unicorns, a book about unicorns, and a book about the 100 things about being awesome

The other day when I was walking through the east part of Riverdale Park I wandered over to a statue I hadn’t noticed before.  He stands amongst trees a distance from Broadview Avenue.  With the leaves gone from the trees he’s much more visible now.

below: A grey Dr. Sun Yat-Sen stands in the park on a grey November day.
It was commissioned by the Chinese Canadian Commission and  sculpted by Joe Rosenthal in 1984/5.

statue in a park on a grey November day, trees have lost their leaves, dead leaves on the ground, some green grass in the background, statue is of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a Chinese man

The transcription of the English portion of the brass plaque that accompanies the statue:

“Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925)

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, also known as Sun Wen, was a native of Tsu-Heng village Chung Shan District in Kwantung Province.  A devout Christian, he studied medicine in Hong Kong and took upon himself the task of overthrowing the tyranic Ch’ing Dynasty and of establishing a republic of democracy and freedom.  Having completed his studies, he practised medicine for a few years, since 1893, he devoted himself to the above political ideal and wrote his famous works “Three Principles of the People”, “The Five-Power Constitution”, “Plans For National Reconstruction”, and “Fundamentals for National Reconstruction”.  He planned and led no less than ten uprisings until the Wuchang Uprising in October 1911 brought about the success of the revolution.  He was elected provisional president but resigned soon afterwards and still devoted himself to the cause of the National Revolution.  On March 12, 1925 he died in Peiping and was given a state burial at Nanking in June 1929.”

Why does he stand here?  A political figure with no known ties to Canadian history.  There aren’t too many statues of such people here in Toronto.   Part of the answer probably lies on the back of the statue where there is a list of the names of those who donated to the building of the statue.  Most of them are Chinese, members of the Chinese diaspora in Toronto.   Added note: it was interesting to learn that Yat-Sen had visited Toronto to raise money for his fight in China.

When I was walking toward the statue, I stumbled upon an old cannon in the park.  It’s aimed over the DVP towards the Bloor Viaduct.  Another little surprise on a grey day.

An old cannon from the 1800's stands in a park surround by trees on a grey November day.

Why is there a cannon here I wondered?  Of course the internet has the answer to all questions.  Apparently, “When the Hon. A.P. Caron, Minister of Militia and Defence, made a visit to Toronto in 1881, a local Alderman asked him for cannons with which to decorate Riverdale Park.”  (I assume the Hon. A.P. Caron was a federal minister in Ottawa).   Five were delivered from Quebec City to Riverdale Park where “they were set up on a wooden platform in battery-like formation.”     In 1886 one of those five was moved to its present location on the Broadview side of the park.  (source)

below: This 32 pound cannon bears the cypher of King George III on the top of the cannon.  King George III ruled from 1760 until 1820 for a total of 59 years and 96 days.  He was the third longest reigning British monarch – behind Queen Victoria (63 years and 216 days) and Queen Elizabeth II (64 years and counting).

the insignia on the top of a cannon from the 1880's, markings in the brass of the cannon , royal insignia

Two pieces of history located within a stone’s throw of each other in a quiet Toronto park.  Two very diverse, and different, histories but both part of the political and social history of this city.