Posts Tagged ‘Scarborough’

 

paved path through a park, grass on both sides, on the pavement is a large white arrow, hand drawn with white spray paint

I went east this afternoon, out to the boondocks. Whenever I think of the word ‘boondock’, I hear it sung to music. Billy Joe Royal sang the song ‘Down in the Boondocks” in 1965 (You can find it on youtube).   Boondock is one of the few words that English has borrowed from Tagalog where bundok = mountain.  Yo-yo is another.   I don’t mean to be derogatory but when you’re battling Toronto traffic, Bellamy and Lawrence seems like a long, long way.

I drove but as I subsequently walked along Lawrence Ave., I wondered about buses and public transit and all the talk about a subway to Scarborough.   The Sheppard East LRT will service Scarborough to the north of here but has it even been started yet?    For now there is the Lawrence West station on the Scarborough RT but there is also talk of replacing the Scarborough RT line – that plan is still on the Metrolinx website but does anyone know what’s really happening?

looking across the street to a bus shelter that is in front of a strip mall with cars parked in front of the stores

two large utility poles side by side beside a sidewalk and a bus shelter. Two people waiting for a bus

Perhaps you’ve been asking yourself, why Bellamy and Lawrence?  Recently I had heard about Taber Hill Park and a rock that sits on top of a hill.

a large rock wits on a stone and concrete platform on the top of a grassy hill, Taber Hill memorial

The plaque reads: “TABER HILL site of an ancient Indian ossuary of the Iroquois Nation, burials were made about 1250 A.D. This ossuary was uncovered when farm lands were developed into residential properties in 1956. This common grave contains the remains of approximately 472 persons. Dedicated as a historical site by the Township of Scarborough October 21, 1961.

below: You can even see the CN Tower from the top of the hill.

view from the top of a hill, street, houses, trees, and the CN Tower in the far distance

After Taber Hill I walked to Bendale Park which is just a bit west of Bellamy.

One of the first things that I saw in Bendale Park was a mural by elicser. It is on the walls of the bridge where Lawrence Avenue passes over the West Highland Creek. The mural is beside the path under the bridge. A better angle for a photo of the whole mural would have been from the other side of the creek but I couldn’t find any access – and I wasn’t about to take off my shoes and go wading!  Instead, here are four pictures of parts of the mural.

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a man in a white t-shirt sitting beside a tree

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., an older man in a red shirt with a white beard and moustache, beside him is a girl reading (in the mural)

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a young couple, she has a pink flower in her hair

part of an elicser mural beside West Highland Creek, under Lawrence Ave., a couple, she has long braids

Bendale Park merges with Thomson Memorial Park.  Immediately north of these parks is St. Andrews Bendale Presbyterian church (that I have mentioned in a previous blog post – see link).  This is one of the first areas of Scarborough to be settled; the original St. Andrews Church was built in 1818.

below: Lilac bush in bloom. Lilacs are not native to Canada and they don’t grow in the wild. If you see a lilac bush in places like this, or along the road, chances are someone once had a home here and they planted the lilac.

lilac bush

below: Another pink flower found in abundance in the ravines at this time of year is this one, Dame’s Rocket, or Hesperis matronalis.    There is also a white variety

pink wild flowers

small word path through long grass and between large leafy trees

below: Passing through here is the Gatineau Corridor which is a bike trail ….

bike trail direction signs, Gatineau Corridor, right turn to McCowan Ave and left turn to Brimley Rd

well, actually it is a hydro corridor which runs diagonally through the city from Leaside in the west to  Meadowvale and beyond in the east.  In the late 1920’s the Great Gatineau Power Station was built in Leaside as a transformer station to enable the city to use electricity generated in Quebec and delivered via this corridor to provide power to the city.  There is still a hydro substation at Millwood and Overlea (in Leaside)

This corridor is being turned into a park called the Meadoway.   Sections of the park and bike trail are finished including this part between Brimley and McCowan.  When it’s finished, this linear park will be 16 km long and will connect the Lower Don Trail to trails in Rouge Park at the city’s eastern boundary.

three very tall hydro poles with many electrical wires, in a park, man walking on path near them

below: Reflections in the West Highland Creek

reflections of green leaves and blue sky in water

below: I saw quite a few red wing blackbirds, especially around the bulrushes and reeds in the wetter places in the park.

a red wing blackbird sits on a branch

below: The last time I walked I saw a McLaren (next blog post), today it was these flashy bright gold things!

a red van parked beside a silver coloured car with bright gold coloured wheel rims

below: More car stuff, but this time it’s my car as I was driving home.

view out the passenger window of a car, of a large flatbed truck loaded with lumber, in the side mirror of the car is the reflection of a TTC bus

signoutside St. Rose de Lima Roman Catholic Church advertising Vietnamese Mass on Sunday afternoons

… but I’ll be back. There is a lot more to this part of the city that I want to explore, including this mosque just east of Midland Avenue.

a mosque

***

 

On the back of the rock on Taber Hill is another plaque which reads:

IROQUOIS PRAYER
O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world, Hear me.
I am a man before you, one of your many children. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets. Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your voice. Make me wise so that I may know the things that you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength O Creator, not to be superior to my brothers but to be able to fight my creators enemies myself. Make me ever ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eye so that when life fades as the setting sunset my spirit may come to you without shame.
credit: White Cloud, Approved by Iroquois Council 2-2-60.

 

Sometimes when you search for one thing you find another.

The other day I posted pictures of the Cliffside murals in Scarborough.  When researching, them I discovered that there are other murals in Scarborough thanks to Mural Routes.  Of course, I had to go exploring!

Murals are often in parking lots or in alleys.  Last weekend I found one in a cemetery.   “Building the Addition to the Wesley Methodist Chapel, Highland Creek, Winter 1867” is on the side of a building that abuts the Wesleyan Methodist cemetery on the east end of Old Kingston Road.

below: Most of the mural.  Design and artwork by John Hood , assisted by Alexandra Hood and Zeb Salmaniw, 1994.  There is a small portion of the mural missing in this picture.  On the right is a panel that tells the story of the mural.

mural, winter scene, from about 1867, adding an addition, wood frame, onto a church, old house and store in the background. cemetery around the church, trees.

This is what the words say:

The following is an extract from the ‘The Christian Guardian’, a Methodist newspaper:
Your numerous readers will be glad to hear of the success of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at the Highland Creek, on the Scarboro’ Circuit. The above church was found to be entirely too small for the accommodation of its increasing congregation. The friends therefore decided to put an addition to the church 18 feet by 24 feet. It was re-opened and dedicated to God by divine service last Sabbath…” Wm. Tredway, Scarboro Dec 20, 1867
This mural depicts this event as it may have appeared from the northeast corner of this cemetery, looking southwest, across Old Kingston Road in mid November of 1867.

below: The William Tredway mentioned on the mural opened his first general store   at the corner of Eglinton Ave & Kingston Rd.  In 1865 he sold it and started over with a store on Old Kingston Road at Morrish Road.   It is this second store that is shown in the mural.  Tredway sold that store in 1878 to devote himself to politics as well as a career as a Justice of the Peace.

part of a mural, historic scene, old store with name W. Tedway above the door, people in period costumes, circa 1867. winter scene

part of a mural, horse drawn wagon, one man sitting at the front of the wagon, another man standing at the rear loading the wagon with lumber

men up on the roof of a new addition on a building, constructing roof joists, winter scene, old fashioned

below: The bronze plaque near the entrance to the cemetery.

bronze plaque on a stone wall in the Wesleyan cemetery on Old Kingston Road, Highland Creek, Scarborough

“This Highland Creek burying ground dates back to the reign of George III prior to 1800. On this site stood Wesleyan Methodist Church 1865-1891 merged with Bible Christian Methodist Church 1863-1891 which became Centennial Methodist in 1891 and later Centennial United Church 1925, plaque erected 1967, Centennial of Canada’s Confederation by Centennial United Church of Canada and Wesleyan Cemetery Board. “

The cemetery consists of a 1/2 acre plot.  Back in 1834 it was part of 500 acres that was acquired by Jordan and Melinda Post in trade for their 15 acres at King & Yonge.   Some of the stones predate 1834 and as mentioned on the plaque, there was a burying ground here before 1800.  The oldest stone might be that for William Pearce, son of John and Susan who died 18 Aug 1813 at age 11 years & 5 months.   Local legend says it became a burial ground when a passenger on a passing stage coach died there.

a real tombstone, surname Littlejohns, in a cemetery, with a mural in the background showing a woman kneeling by a grave in the winter, small amount of snow, no leaves on the trees

Jordan Post (1767-1845) and his wife Melinda (nee Woodruff, abt 1780-1838) were both born in Connecticut but were married in York (Toronto) in 1804.  Jordan was a watch maker and when he arrived in York in 1802 he was the first watch maker in the town.   He had other businesses as well but he probably made most of his money speculating in land.  In 1834 he moved to Scarborough township, to the location of this cemetery, where he built a sawmill.  Both Jordan and Melinda are buried here along with an unknown number of others, including other Posts and Woodruffs.   There are stones for 76 people including Ann (d. 1903) and Edward Littlejohns (d. 1887) pictured above.

below: An interesting juxtaposition – The real monument on the left is for Edith, infant daughter of Henry and Eleanor Lanktree, died 26 Sept 1872 at age 16 months.   The bottom part of other stone also mentions Henry and Eleanor Lanktree but I can’t read the inscription on the top part.

two real but old and weathered tombstones in a cemetery, with a mural of trees in winter around a cemetery where a woman sits by a grave

The church is no longer there.  It once stood next to the location of the mural with the cemetery around it.  Today the cemetery is maintained by the community.

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 

What to do on a cold day when the wind is vicious and blows right through you?   It blows through my hat, my ears and my brain.  It makes my head hurt.  Not the ideal walking day even with all my winter layers on.   I have been thinking about my walk along Sheppard Avenue and some of the issues with public transit and while doing so I realized that I had never been on the Scarborough Rapid Transit.  With all the talk about Sheppard subway vs LRT, I decided that maybe I should check it out.  So instead of a walk, I went for a ride and took the SRT to McCowan and back.

First I had to get to the SRT which starts at Kennedy subway station.

reflections of a woman in a red jacket sitting on the subway, reflected in the window beside a woman who is standing on the platform

At Kennedy I was a lost tourist as I searched for the route between the subway and the SRT.  Here the SRT trains run above street level so it took a couple of escalators and some stairs to reach the platform.

below: Standing on the platform and waiting for the train.  Kennedy station is at Kennedy & Eglinton and I think that this is the view looking east from there.

SRT tracks curve away from platform, outside, apartment building in the background, some snow on the tracks

below: The train arrives.

platform at Kennedy SRT station with people waiting as a blue train arrives

below: Leaving Kennedy station.   The first part of the route is north and runs parallel to the CNR & Stouffville GO line train tracks.     The red and white cars are the original colour from when the SRT opened in 1985.  In 2015 the TTC began painting the cars blue to match the colour scheme that now goes with “Line 3” on the TTC maps.  They also began two switch over the name of the SRT to Line 3 Scarborough.

the Scarborough RT train as it leaves Kennedy station, the track curves so you can see the front of the train out the window

below: I wasn’t the only tourist on the train!  After being on the subway, it felt a bit like being on a toy train.  The cars are smaller.  The trains are powered by linear induction motors which are quite different from conventional motors.  They push themselves along the tracks using alternating flat magnets.   That’s a very simplistic description of the science of induction motors but I’m sure that you can use google to find more information if you are interested!

looking down the length of an SRT car, two young women are looking out the back window. seats down either side, red on one side and blue on the other

below: The Scarborough RT,  also referred to as TTC line 3, covers  6.4 km on its route from Kennedy station to McCowan station.  There are six stops, Kennedy, Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland, Scarborough Centre, and McCowan.  Note the blue colour on the map!

a map of the SRT route is on the wall behind two red seats of an SRT car, view out the window is not easy to see but it is the platform at Lawrence East station

below: Ellesmere station. Apparently it is the least used station in the system, less even than Bessarion.

interior wall of Ellesmere station, covered (plastic?) glass wall, large black letters saying Ellesmere, and a bright red bench, snow on the curved translucent roof

faded TTC symbol on the exterior of a rapid transit vehicle

below: Looking out the back window.  The tracks are standard gauge whereas the subway runs on tracks that are wider so the TTC can’t run their subway cars on these tracks.

looking out the dirty window at the back of a SRT vehicle, tracks and some cityscape

below: This is the view at McCowan station, the end of the line. Although it was a very quiet ride to McCowan, the train was full on the ride back to Kennedy with Scarborough Centre being the most crowded station.   It took 40 minutes to go from McCowan to Bloor/Yonge.

a SRT train is stopped at McCowan station,

***

blurry person standing on the platform at Greenwood station, with reflections of people sitting on the subway

reflections in the subway window along with people sitting on the train

I had heard about a mural at Lawrence and Orton Park so this morning I thought I’d check it out.   I ventured out Lawrence Avenue to just east of Markham Road.  As I drove I was reminded of how big this city really is.

below: This is the community mural that started my adventure this morning.  It was painted in nine sections and then assembled on the wall.   It is the work of Ted Hamer, Rowell Soller and Skratch Wonder.

a mural on the side of a building that has the words Lawrence Orton in blue and orange. There is also a blue jay in flught, a fox and a squirrel and a robin standing in the grass.

below: As I left Orton Park, I saw this mural from a distance.  Of course I had to stop and take a picture.  I got some strange looks.  Tourists are probably not too common in this part of the city.

vertical mural on a multirise building (about 15 storeys tall perhaps).

below:  While I was looking for the best angle from which to take the above photo, I noticed some markings beside the road.

red painting on concrete wall barrier beside sidewalk on bridge over Highland Creek, in red, a girl's head and the words, What I love about the city is there are all kinds of cultures and faith groups. There is a lot of trees and sunshine.

below: As it turns out, these are from the summer of 2011.  Lawrence Avenue is 6 lanes wide and at this point it crosses Highland Creek and Morningside Park – a long bridge, a rather barren stretch of concrete and pavement.

red picture of a boy on a concrete barrier beside a sidewalk as it passes over a bridge. The word welcome is written beside him.

below:  Bridges were meant for going under, right?   Luckily there was an entrance to Morningside Park right there, and luckily I left my toboggan at home  🙂   Morningside Park is part of a network of parks that follow the Highland Creek.  It starts near Markham Road and the 401 and runs south to Kingston Road near Guildwood station.    A search for an answer to the question, “How many ravine parks does Toronto have?” has yielded no results yet.  I’ll keep looking.

paved path leading down a hill to a ravine park, apartment buildings in the distance. Sign beside path says no skiing or sleigh riding on the slope.

below:  The answer to another question, “Is there graffiti under the bridge?” was more easily found.

in a park under a bridge, grassy area, some trees on either side, 2 concrete support pillars with street art on the bottom of each.

below: The bottom of the pillars were painted back in 2010 and 2011.

street art on a concrete support pillar of a bridge, a man upside down, large head with top of head on the ground, feet up in the air. moustache, smiling mouth,

below: Hope takes flight over the city.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to see but the word hope is written on the city at the bottom of this small mural but it is behind the weeds.

small mural on the bottom of a concrete pillar, a bird takes flight over a city at sunrise. The word hope is written on the mural

below:   Personified Hope, from the picture above, wraps around to another side of the pillar as he/she moves upward.  Also seen here is one of the feet from the upside down man.

side of a concrete pillar with light blue line drawing of person looking upwards, abstracted.

below:   Another pillar has a painting by elicser.

street art by elicser in blue of a family. Man with red hat, woman and kids huddled together, fall park scenery in the background.

street art on the bottom of a concrete pillar, two black men. One is Mohammad Ali.

park with grass and autumn foilage trees, apartment building in the background, a large bridge passes over with four or five concrete pillars. SUnny blue sky day

street art painting on a pillar under a bridge of a young man in a blue hoodie and brown baseball cap

street art painting on a pillar under a bridge, wispy picture of a woman with long hair, hair swirls upwards to a satelite dish and a flying bird

bridge over a park and creek

geometric shapes abstract many colours street art

below: There were also a couple of paintings on the other side of the creek. There was water in the creek. Too much to cross safely.
Or at least, too much for me to cross safely!

graffiti on a pillar in the park with weeds and small shrubs growing around it.

It was a very quiet place to be this morning.  I saw a couple of people on the path, including Batman, but they were silent.

line drawing in black of Batman's head and shoulders, drawn on a paved path in a park

large chalk drawing of a man's face in black, white and pale purple, on a paved path in a park

One last photo, taken as I was driving home across Lawrence.  I guess it’s somewhat appropriate for the time.  Not sure why one would be sporting such a sticker in Ontario though.   C’est la vie.  To each their own.

red car with a sticker on the back that says Donald Trump 2016 Make America Great Again.

I saw many people at bus stops waiting for the 34 Lawrence bus and I wondered how long it took them to get to the subway.  Lawrence is 6 lanes wide and I tried to picture it with an LRT running down the center.   (but that’s a whole other blog post, perhaps another day).

If you are driving or walking west on Sheppard Avenue, just past Midland Avenue, you will notice a new mural on one corner of a railway underpass.   This mural was recently painted by street artist Elicser.

a mural by elicser showing different people, on an underpass on Sheppard Ave East. An older couple, a woman in a pink head scarf, some students, some men and women.

part of a mural by street artist elicser, an older couple. The man has a white beard and is bald.

part of a mural by elicser, a woman in a pink head scarf, with a younger woman walking down a road behind her

part of a mural by elicser, students with backpacks walking, a boy with a Blue Jays baseball cap.

part of a mural by elicser, a group of 4 people, 2 men and 2 women. One of the women is on the shoulders of one of the men.

6th Annual Wheels on the Danforth
presented by The Crossroads of the Danforth BIA

picture taken at a car show - a boy is standing in front of a yellow car with its front hood open. It is a Pontiac Beaumont SD

As part of the event, Danforth Avenue was closed west of Warden Ave to Byng Ave for a car show. There were nine classes for the cars including Vintage cars (pre-1949) and Classic cars (1949-1979).

above: 1967 Pontiac Beaumont SD

below: 1930 Model A Ford

picture taken at a car show - front of an old green car (1930 Model A Ford), showing two round head lamps and a large metal radiator grille

picture taken at a car show - two black cars with their front hoods up showing the paintings that have been done under the hood

reflection of a blue vintage car in the hubcap of an old car, taken at a car show

picture taken at a car show - Yellow 1969 Camaro car with two black stripes down the front hood.

picture taken at a car show - detail of front of a 1951 Pontiac showing the badge with the Indian headin profile

picture taken at a car show - a Man walking his bike stops to look at two white cars from the 1970's that are on display. One of them has its front hood open. One of the cars is a Ford Mustang

picture taken at a car show - a line of cars on display with their front hoods up

picture taken at a car show - detail of the hood badge of a red car, two crossed flags, one red and one checkered

picture taken at a car show - detail of the hood ornament on a light blue 1951 Pontiac

picture taken at a car show - An old British, original mini, white, is parked in a line of other other cars at a car show.

model car, blue Mini with roof painted as a Union Jack, on the back dash of an original British mini, photo taken from outside the car.

picture taken at a car show - the metal side ornament that says Pontiac in script that is on a light blue car

picture taken at a car show - the backside of a small round rearview mirror on a light blue car

picture taken at a car show - the front corner of a red sports car showing wheel and front head lamps

picture taken at a car show - two men are talking together and looking under the hood of a black Trans Am

photo taken at a car show - hood ornament on a blue ford that is the shape of a bird with it's wings partially down, in the background is on old red truck.

part of the hood of a green and white car with the number 427 on it

V8 hood ornament made to look like an arrow on the hood of a car that has been painted yellow and orange