Posts Tagged ‘signs’

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

Just south of Bloor Street

below: Ghost sign that probably says Sweet Caporals, a former tobacco and cigarette brand

red brick wall with ghose sign for sweet caporals

below: Geoffrey the Giraffe takes a smoking break.

white wall back of store, truck loading zone with back of white truck and Geoffrey the Giraffe, Toys R Us symbol on the truck. Someone has graffiti black markered a smoking cigarette in his mouth

small tree beside parking lot with white wall behind

below: Remnants of another era – the final part of Zeller’s hangs on.

back entrance, open doors, of what used to be Zellers. Some of the letters of the name are still there, l e r s

below: Call mom

a wood utility pole with bottom part painted white. Written in pink letters, call mom. greenery around the pole

below: A crooked path

doors, back entrances to stores in mall, with crooked yellow railing and crooked patch in pavement

beige brick wall with beige metal door. sign on door says sprinkler room 7. rust marks on wall by overflow pipe

below: Happy face in green

a stump just above sidewalk level with a green happy face drawn on it

below: Maximum 20

back of Dufferin mall, laneway, single storey

one way sign pointing left on beige brick wall

below: A couple of the five short streets and alleys that come to a dead end behind the mall.

red house and a grey house on dead end street behind chainlink fence

an alley with garages on both sides, behind chainlink fence

below: Brockton stadium also backs onto the laneway behind the mall.

stairs to park and tall lights by the stadium, Brockton stadium

below: To the upper level of the stadium

concrete stairs from the back, to the upper level of stadium seating

graffiti on concrete walls, with yellow digger parked behind fence

two yellow half posts in a parking lot, one with happy face and one with crying eyes

top of photo is red brick wall, bottom of image is a weathered wood fence with words crack lizard written on it

in Kensington

sign on sidewalk made with pink fabric covered with yellow and white flowers, a big white circle in the middle with hi written in large yellow letters

Some places never change, at least not in the big ways. Although little things pop up only to be replaced by other tidbits, Kensington still looks like it has for a while now. I can’t say forever! Because nothing lasts forever.
In fact, there is a small photo exhibit on hoardings in the neighbourhood that features old pictures and there are definitely similarities to be found!

hoardings with an exhibit of old black and white photos of kensington

below: On the left, from 1940 a photo of a shop at Denison and Dundas West from the Jewish Archives.

two old black and white photos of the kensington neighbourhood, vintage

below: This is an enlargement of the the black and white photo on the right from the picture above. It is the Augusta Fruit Market and it was taken in 1961 by Vincenzo Pietropaolo

black and white photo from 1961 of Augusta Fruit market

below: Sixty years later the same building sits on the same corner only now it’s the Oxford Fruit Market. It even has the same green roofline and what looks to be the same hydro pole!

the Oxford Fruit Market, painted blue, on the corner of Augusta

below: An iconic Kensington sight gets a new paint job.

woman wearing an orange turban-like hat is painting a car in many bright colours, the car is full of plants growing inside it

below: Fix your hearts or die.

graffiti sign on a pole, covering an add for 35 mm cameras for sale, words that say fix your hearts or die

below: A mural on the side wall of Perolas, by Jeannie Priscila aka Dajenesis

two people walking past a mural of a South American woman on Perolas Supermarket exterior  wall

below: Hands outstretched to passers-by

a woman in a coral coloured dress walks past a mural of an old woman with her hands outstretched, asking for something, a red and white shawl over her head

below: Hate has no home here, plus something that started with “Behind stained steamy glass, we’ll (and then your imagination can take over!)

signs on a wood utility pole in front of a painting on a brick wall of a cup of coffee.  A poster with words Hate has no home here.  An ad for a store that is partially obscured by the pole, and a fake street sign that starts with Behind Stained steamy glass, we'll... and the rest is blocked by many stickers

below: free Toronto Caribbean newspapers

below: Ricas Tortas, Elotes y Esquites are fading away

below: Eyes eyes and more by Jeremy

below: Walking past temptation – churros, empanadas, slushies and Birra Catrina

a couple carry their shopping in bags as they walk on sidewalk, walking past

below: Pour me into frequency – in triplicate

3 large graffiti posters in an alley, covering other street art, each with an anatomically correct heart in different colours (red, green and blue), and the words pour me into frequency

below: This little sock monkey not only shows his rainbow colours but also shows his support for the COVID-19 vaccine!

a sock monkey sits in a store window, wearing a rainbow flag scarf and a sticker that says I got my covid-19 vaccine

below: Uber5000 – yellow birdies in a helicopter on top and dogs playing cards on the bottom. Perhaps that yellow birdie on the ladder is dropping in on the card game?

below: A view down the alley towards more murals – a very big multicoloured chicken beside a face

below: A Rowell Soller close up

Close up of a face, eyes closed, mural by Rodwell Soller

below: A brighter than blood red beak looks rather creepy on this enormous chicken by Phillip Saunders

mural of a chicken's head and beak

below: Walking past one of the many patios now open in Kensington

A man with long hair and wearing a cowboy hat walks past a patio in Kensington

below: Carlos House of Spice

Carlos House of Spice in Kensington, with an alley beside it, murals on the walls in the alley, incense for sale in front,

3 pedestrians walking on a sidewalk, walking past a man struggling with a large package on his bike

below: Saved by the youth Can you imagine it? Beside Snacks Mexican style where Aguas Frescas (Jamaica, watermelon and mango) are $5. Also on the menu, Pina Coladas, as well as Elote, and Esquites (corn dishes I think)

black letters spray painted on white tile wall, says saved by youth can you imagine it?  wall is beside a window of a coffee shop with words and numbers listing the prices of drinks, aguas frescas

below: a silver poser bunny

silver poser bunny on pink background

a large flag draped around a white picket fence, flag is yellow with a big happy face on it

below: Dundas West near Augusta

stores and signs on Dundas West near Augusta.  Chao Chow Association of Ontario, Swiftronics, Royal Denture, and others, some people walking on the sidewalk too

below: Walking to Noras for a shawarma or a kabob?

below: Hoardings on Dundas West surrounding Alexandria Park redevelopment.

a woman on a bicycle rides past hoardings around Alexandria Park redevelopment, with a mural on it by Javid Jah and Danile Deluxe

below: A large mural that was a collaboration between Phillip Saunders and Luvs

large mural of a mans face in Kensington

below: Graffiti slaps, stickers, and paste-ups – Feelings Boi, Urban Ninja Squadron, TRP 613,

below: T-bonez in black and white

sticker of t bonez urban ninja squadron in black and white

below: A shiny red skateboarder zooms past a snake with its tongue stuck out

graffiti slap of a bright shiny red skateboarder on the move

below: stickers on boxes

below: Stickers on poles

graffiti stickers on poles in Kensington

below: A wise owl with curly hair and glasses plays the accordion

below: You are not your mistakes plus a summer time poem

on brown paper, a message that says You are not your mistakes, beside a red Tridel sign.  on the latter, someone has written a poem in sharpie

The words are very small on the red sign; this is what they say.

Summer Time
Sundress
I feel India in my bones
I can smell sunlight
I can feel the high time
bless me
God bless me, goddess of forbidden love
I am she
I ___ one white candle
Maintain purity

A mild January turned into a frigid February but that shouldn’t slow us down should it?  So I bundled up and drove to Mimico to meet a friend – what? we haven’t seen each other for over a year?  2020 has taken its toll.   At least it’s easier wearing masks in cold weather!

Toronto street sign for Mimico village, Melrose street,, on the same pole is a banner above it that says happy holidays

below: Two murals by Jim Bravo. On the right, “Down Creek Way” 2012. On the left, “Morning Ice Harvest” 2014. Both are part of the Lakeshore Arts Project

two historical murals on the side of a building, one is boys ice fishing and the other is people swimming in the creek

below: A watery mural with a large duck bottom as it paddles by on the side of Birds and Beans Coffee Shop. Another Lakeshore Arts Project; it was designed by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson and painted with the help of a crew of youth & community members coordinated by Paula McDines.

picture of a mural as seen from across a park, street scene as well. snow, winter,

below: Mural on the side of Calibreze Pizza on Lakeshore Blvd.

mural on the side of a two storey brick store on Lakeshore in Mimico, sign says Calibreze Pizza.

mural on the side of a building, cars parked in front of it

mural

The northern boundary is the Gardiner Expressway.  Here, stairs from the street running parallel to the Gardiner up to Royal York Road before it becomes a bridge over the expressway.

concrete retaining wall beside Royal York Rd, with stairs going up to road level, also a small tree

below: Signs on the outside

signs on the door of Jimmys coffee shop, wear a mask, wear it right, and other covid notices

below: … and old photos on the inside.  Jimmys Coffee, Royal York Road.  Hanging out inside was verboten but a few minutes of warmth was appreciated.

large photograph on a coffee shop wall of a welcome to mimico sign beside an old phone booth with someone inside it

inside Jimmys coffee, a sign on the bar that says our resolution drink more coffee damn it

below: Who can resist a unicorn poop cookie?

cookies for sale at a coffee shop, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies with pink sprinkles called unicorn poop cookies

below: Signs of Covid.  Prior to the most recent lockdown there was talk about “big box stores” being allowed to stay open while smaller businesses had to close.  At the moment, even “big box stores” are closed.

window of a tattoo shop, rattan blinds closed, painted on window is sign that says big box tattoo, wolves throne, can we open now?

below: Bag full of work.

traffic box on sidewalk painted as back of a person in a red and white striped shirt with a backpack on. outside of backpack are words bag full of work, Red van on road, and houses behind that, snow on the ground,

below: Moooooove me….  I’m tired of getting splattered with slush when cars get too close!

back cow sculpture, lifelike, beside the street, in front of a butcher shop in Mimico.

small blue boat on a trailer parked by garage in an alley behind multiplex houses 3 storeys high, red brick.

below: A cold and wet seat.

a chair in the driveway by an alley, in the snow, cars, chainlink fence behind the chair.

sign beside the red doors of Crossroads Christian fellowship church that says All welcome Sunday service and bible studies cancelled

below: Just out of the picture, and making a lot of noise, was the same dog that’s in this picture.

glass door and windows of storefront with signs and pictures. picture of a small dog,

below: Tibetan prayer flags adorn the fence. Each colour represents an element; white symbolizes air, red is fire., green is water, yellow is earth, and blue is wind. They also represent directions – North, South, East, West and Center. As the flags flutter in the wind, they emit positive spiritual vibrations enabling the wind to carry away the prayers and wishes. As the prayers drift away, the colours fade.

colourful Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags strung outside a store

two three storey apartment buildings side by side

houses on a residential street

four motorcycles under individual covers and parked outside in the snow

old square white building on Royal York Road, now a flower shop,

below: Mimico is home to a large GO facility, the Willowbrook Rail Maintenance Facility.  It didn’t look too inviting!  It might be worth some research so that on a warmer, sunnier day we could go exploring.

outer wall of Willowbrook GO facility in Mimico. Large walls,

below: It’s difficult to see, but the door on the left has a “women” sign on it.   His and hers.

two white port a potties beside a parked truck container back part

What had started as a sunny morning, turned into a grey low-light so we headed to the lake to see if we could find more sun, or at least better light.

below: Part of Humber College Lakeshore Campus.   These buildings were built in the late 1880s as “cottages”, part of the Mimico Asylum (later known as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital).   Almost a hundred years later the site was shut down.  At that time, there were 280 patients, down from a peak of 1,390 in 1950.

from a distance, Humber college brick buildings, lakeshore campus, snow and bare trees

below: The site was leased to Humber in 1991 and since then these four buildings have been completely renovated to suit Humber’s needs.

Humber college brick buildings, lakeshore campus, snow and bare trees

below: Humber College is surrounded on three sides by Colonel Sam Smith park and one of the features of the park is an outdoor skating loop.  This year, online registration is needed for a time slot at all rinks – unless you’re lucky enough to arrive when others have cancelled or have been unable to show up.  (As an aside – they have a washroom for weary walkers in need!)

people at skating rink, outdoors. one is secutiy and others are waiting their turn to use the ice. pink letters on sidewalk that denote place for those with reservations to line up

two kids skating, one is pushing the other who is holding onto a blue plastic support

Another feature of the park are the waterfront trails along the shores of Lake Ontario.

two canada geese in the water, up close

below: Comfy sofa at the ready?

many mallards and canada geese in the water, trees on the shore, an old sofa is perched among the trees, facing the water, winter, snow,

mallard ducks with their heads down,m on Lake Ontario

ice and icicles on a fallen log on the rocks beside Lake Ontario, some snow and bare trees in the background

frozen pond with snow and bare trees

Toronto skyline from Colonel Sam Smith park, lake ontario in between

winter scene, beside Lake Ontario, bench in park facing the water, some bare trees around it

We never did find more light that morning.  But if you’re in the mood for hot chocolate bombs or other sweet goodies we might have found the place for you!

photographer taking a picture of a store window, masks, baking things, red hearts,

below: As I was driving home after the walk, I came across this scene:

a zamboni on the back of a tow truck, travlling on a toronto street

 

A cold and frosty afternoon walk westward along a windy Queens Quay to Harbourfront with a detour to Union Station to warm up.  It was below zero, but only single digits so it can’t be that bad, right?

below: New construction, Lower Jarvis at Queens Quay East, beside Sugar Beach

new building being built at Lower Jarvis and Queens Quay, beside Sugar Beach

below: Redpath Sugar on Queens Quay East

redpath sugar processing plant on Queens Quay in Toronto

below: “Whaling Wall”, 1997, on the side of Redpath Sugar, one in a series of 100 murals painted by Robert Wyland that feature whales and other seal life.

whale mural on the side of Redpath sugar warehouse

below: Looking north up Yonge Street from Queens Quay

looking north up Yonge street from Queens Quay, tall buildings, not much traffic, a TTC bus,

below: Ice just beginning to form on the water.  Although it’s almost February, Lake Ontario remains unfrozen – at least up until last Thursday when this picture was taken.  That was also the coldest day of the winter that we’ve had so far.  A lot more of the harbour, and lake, should be frozen now!

ice starting to form in harbour where the Toronto island ferry is docked

below: Looking north up Bay Street from Queens Quay

below: Lakeshore & Gardiner at Bay Street.

below: There’s a new walkway over Bay Street that joins Union Station and the GO bus terminal.

below: Looking south from the new walkway.  On the right is the old postal sorting station, then Air Canada Centre, and now totally rebranded as the Scotiabank Arena.

below: It also offers new views into windows!

looking into window of MLSE entertainment, from above,

below: Towards the new GO Terminal.  When I wandered through it was just me and two security guards.

below: The first of these that I have seen, inside the new GO bus terminal.

vending machine selling disposable masks for two dollars each

below: The old GO Terminal

below: It was very quiet in front of Union Station, especially subdued for late on a weekday afternoon.

below: Remembering the 2019 Raptors team.

street sign for Brmener Bl that has been turned into Raptors way to celebrate their 2019 NBA championship. The sin is red and white inside of the usual blue and white

below: York Street at Bremner, with the base of the CN Tower peaking through.

below: Looking into the lobby of a new building at 10 York Street, designed by Brad Golden & Co.

looking into the lobby of a condo building, through a large glass wall, some art inside including a large wall panel that looks like crinkled shiney gold paper, some reflections,

below: “Iceberg” in Canada Square, with the CN Tower in the background. This sculpture, that you can walk through, also has sound and lights.  The latter would probably be better seen a little later in the day!

metal sculpture called Iceberg in Canada Square with the CN Tower in the background

below: Dewit L. Petros, “Untitled (Overlapping and intertwined territories that fall from view III)”, on the south wall of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery.  This was part of the 2020 Contact Photography Festival.

large photograph by Dewit Petros on the south wall exterior of the power plant contemporary art gallery

below: “Sonic Runway” a light-art installation on the waterfront created by Warren Trezevant and Rob Jensen.

rings with a pinkish colour surround a walkway, a woman is walking through them, on the waterfront, a boat is docked beside the walkway

And then home to warm up again!

Walking from Main Street east along the Danforth, with a diversion or two to see what we can see…..

part of a street art mural, a big eye, blue in the middle

a row of three two storey brick stores on the Danforth.  Flat roofs, one in the middle is a computer repair shop.  A small tree covers the front of one store, Danforth market is on the far right

furniture store in old two storey building on the Danforth   with three big windows with save $ $ signs, old building with sagging roof.

old two storey brick building on Danforth, stores, pharmacy, walk in clinic, and carpet store, your carpet connection with rolls of carpet in the window

gas station, two pumps, star self service gas, cars parked behind at auto mechanic shop, top quality auto and cars r us toronto, open sign

woman walking on Danforth at Madeleine, past star self service gas station, large sign with price of gas as 98 cents a litre, computer store on opposite side of street

large sign on pole, stiches outlet, beside a driveway, stores across the street, divine photography

empty storefront on the Danforth

looking through the window of an empty store, pegboard, interior window, and wood paneling on some walls

looking through a large window of a store to see almost empty interior, a chair is there along with a rack for hanging clothes. people and cars are passing by on the street

empty store, for lease sign in the window, looking trhough to other side of street, as well as reflections from window, white bench on sidewalk, yellow truck parked on street

A cosy nook for a pigeon

a pigeon has found a place to sit on a broken opening above a door to lightmans store, glass door with brown paper covering it, white wood frame, painted, number 3270 in different colours

Milk plus convenience store with bright red and white sign saying milk plus milk plus. sign in window that says please do not steal

bar window, with Molson Canadian advert with red maple leaf, also coca cola sign with beer prices listed

signs on exterior of store, Formula 1 store, sells candles and religious items, also sign advertising Liqui Moly motor oils, additives, and car care from PJC Autoworks

below: Come on in and choose a wig while you wait for your like new used tires to be installed!

on a fence beside a store, advertising used tires for sale , like new, at thirty five dollars each. also a sign for visual beauty hair supply with a list of some of their products

Not all skeletons are kept in the closet.

Looking into a building trhough window, a skeleton is on display

hand painted sign on a chain link gate that says do not park in front door

In the category of “the unexpected”, old military vehicles.

old drab green military truck and ambulance with red cross symbol parked in front of a building

Small houses!

street scene - all the houses are small bungalows, large trees in the front yards, cars parked in driveways

intersection of Sneath and Lucy, in Scarborough, small houses,

small bungalow with small porch and flowers on the porch

below: This very small house with the big front yard, and a very overgrown yard at that, sits empty and alone.  “Danger do not enter” and “Private Property” signs are on the front door.   If you can get as far as the front door.

very small house with large front yard, yard is overgrown with long grass and weeds, boarded up with signs in the window

empty boarded up house with danger sign onthe front door

… even more overgrown and even more difficult to find the front door!

 a front yard so overgrown with trees and greenery that you can hardly see the car in the driveway. The house is entirely hidden

an old car in an overgrown backyard, behind chainlink fence

A warning sign of a different sort.

sign in the shape of a dog bone, on a door, that says ring doorbell and run, the dog needs exercise

no parking sign on a brick wall, partially in english and partially in another language with a different alphabet

four orange and green taxis parked in front of a building that has a sign that says Oakridge Seniors Bocce Club

two men in lifts working high up on metal beams on a construction site

looking north on a side street towards Danforth, large multi storey apatment building

bungalow in the foreground, highrise apartment building in background

And last but not least, a patriotic splash of summer colour from July when I took these photos for the greyer days of November that we now find ourselves in.

lots of roses growing on a rosebush beside a white fence

canada flag design on plastic windmill in a planter in a backyard

Along came September and right away we’re into fall weather.  I offer this post as reminder of warmer days not so long ago…..

below: Cherry Beach on a sunny August afternoon – keeping our distances

people on Cherry beach on a hot summer day, some walking, some lying or sitting on the sand

The unicorn days of summer

a verylarge inflatable white unicorn with pink and yellow mane and tail, floatie, on the beach with Lake Ontario behind it

a woman sits on the sand at Cherry Beach, under a tree, with bike parked against the tree

below: Apples.  I like finding apple trees in unexpected places like behind Cherry Beach.

apple tree

below: One of the many little boat and sailing clubs east of Cherry Beach.

wide chain link gate leading to a small boat club. Sailboats on the land, water in the background, lots of greenery

below: An older building on Polson Street that remains.

old brick building

below: A temporary stage was set up on Polson Street across the street from The Rebel nightclub and concert venue.

green covering on fence surrounding a temporary outdoor stage and theater. A man stands beside a bike, trying to look through gaps in the fence

two people sitting on the ground looking at their phones in the foreground, fence between them and a singer rehearsing on a stage behind them

a collection of orange bollards for traffic, sitting beside the road and driveway leading to a parking lot. Parking lot booth in the background, empty

below:  Every time I walk in the Port Lands, it’s a little different.  One constant is the many acres that remain behind barriers.

blue vinyl on hoardings around a construction site with six large orange and black traffic cones in front

below: A fire breathing monster?

shadows of a fence and a pubble in the shape of a monster with its mouth wide open, beside a construction site inthe port lands

below: Cherry Street sidewalk is blocked (at T ‘N T)

danger due to sign on a metal fence surrounding construction site which includes the sidewalk, Toronto skyline in the distance

below: All that remains of the T ‘N T Supermarket is the front entrance.   The rest of the store has been demolished.  A river will flow here one day.

construction site, Lafarge cement silos in the background, all that remains of the T N T supermarket is the front entrance

below: Rowing down Cherry Street

large painting on hoardings of a blue stripe on the bottom representing water of Lake Ontario and a small red boat

below: On Villiers Street

rusty chain holds a gate closed on chainlink fence, vacant lot behind

below: Most of the storage tanks are gone and all the gates are locked.

below: A quiet place to sit, outside Humipan’s

old building, one storey, with rusty metal bars on the windows, turquoise picnic tables outside,

below: Accepted?  Shouldn’t it be bikes excepted?

black and white arrow direction signs traffic signs, right lane turns right and left lane turns left. Also sign that says bike accepted.

a man dressed in yellow plaid shorts and shirt stands on a corner

Stay you!

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs

a large number of notices and posters on a glass door and window, including, we're all in this together,

below: Signs for hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves

signs and posters in the window of a convenience store, Sun Milk, advertising hand sanitizer and kids face masks for sale, also keys cut,

below: Signs of thanks to essential workers

home made sign on the front yard of a house with a Canadian flag, a rainbow, and an airplane

below: Life is tough but so are you.  I wish I could get a better view of the dancing figures in the window!

painted sign in the window of a house that says Life is tough but so are you

below: This too shall pass on a rainbow of colours.

sign in window of house, rainbow with words this too shall pass

below: Rainbow because it doesn’t rain forever.

three small painted signs mounted on a wood fence, one says be well, another is a rainbow and the third says we're all in this together
hand written sign in window of store, no cash, due to covid-19 we are closed

a white sweatshirt in the window of a store, that says Nurses have patience

below: Please Practice Social Distancing – keep those 2 metres apart!

looking in the window of a wine store. A yellow vest is hanging by the counter, with words on vest that say please practice social distancing, two silhouette people 6 feet apart

below: Marking those 2m (6 feet) on the sidewalk

a young woman is marking a sidewalk with red tape, 6 feet apart for standing in line

small sign in the corner of a store window, blinds drawn, that says Stay Healthy Inside Safe

in the upstairs window of an apartment over a store, a sign that says I'm claustrophobic Darren

below: CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) won’t save us sign in the store window.

a sign in the window of a store that says CEBA won't save us, also blue letters advertising end of season sale

poster for on May first keep your CEBA and keep your rent

below: Keep Your Rent poster for The Annex, outside Bathurst subway station

keep your rent sign, the Annex, April 1st, outside Bathurst subway station

below: Similar signs appeared in Little India (Gerrard St East)

keep your rent May 1 posters beside a gallery with photographs in the window

below: But in Little India the signs were multilingual (8 languages? or more?)

keep your rent poster, in five different languages, for Little India

below: And then a poster for what happens after you’ve kept your rent.   But below that is another small notice to (exclamation marks !!) your mask is weakening your immune system.  Reader beware.

keep your rent poster

below: Two posters on construction hoardings.  By mistake I cut off the lowest part of the posters and in doing so, I missed line of text on the poster on the right.  It says: “We’re closer now having been through this together – Love.”

2 large street art posters on wood construction hoardings

below: We’re no longer holding hands, we’re now 6 feet apart. Peace.

large poster for we're all in this together, peace symbol with stick figures standing around the outside of the circle

below: At Bathurst subway station, wash your hands.  It was one of many in a series of “Staying safe on public transit”

subway station platform, a couple of people walking, a sign reminding people to wash hands frequently and thoroughly because of covifd19

below: Eglinton Theatre, stay positive

marquee on Eglinton Theatre that says stay positive stay strong stronger together

below: Lower Ossington Theatre

front of Lower Ossington Theatre with marquee that says Be safe Be brave Be kind

orange and black traffic cones and a lane closed, orange sign with black arrow telling traffic to move to the right

There’s a video on the internet of a kangaroo hopping down the street in deserted downtown Adelaide Australia and there are photos of other animals that have taken to roaming urban streets now that many people are staying at home.   I thought of these things as I drove downtown today.  Not because I saw animals.  Not because the streets were quiet and empty.  No, instead I wanted to compare these animal sightings to the proliferation of orange and black traffic cones as well as dump trucks and other machinery.  It seems like the city has taken this time to block more lanes for construction than usual – I may be imagining things but I doubt it.

below: Driving east on Adelaide

looking east on Adelaide

below: Demolition on Jarvis

partial demolition of an old house on Jarvis street, facade is left standing, no glass in the windows, can see other high rise downtown buildings through the window holes

below: Maud Street

workman with stop sign directing traffic in front of a construction site

below: Lombard Street

street, downtown Toronto, with traffic cones

below: I think that they are looking at me but how can I be sure?

paper paste up graffiti of faces and eyes by Jeremy Lynch on metal boxes on the sidewalk, with construction workmen in the background

My destination this morning was Graffiti Alley.  There were no tourists there today but there were trucks blocking the alley.  More construction nonsense.

a large semi truck is parked in Graffiti Alley and is taking up the whole width of the lane

below: In fact there were two trucks

a large white truck is parked in the narrow Graffiti Alley totally blocking it

construction site on Richmond street backing onto Graffiti Alley with lots of walls covered with street art and murals

below: A new Nick Sweetman mural – a purple rhinoceros

Nick Sweetman mural of a rhinoceros

below: This mural is not new but it is the first time that I have seen it with no cars parked beside it.

large mural by globe, smoky, and done of a bird house on purple background with green tag text

below: Graffiti Alley now tests positive for the novel coronavirus, the green variety.

part of a mural in Graffiti Alley, a silver tag with a green corona virus with open mouth, white teeth and yellow eyes

chainlink fence in front of a backyard with a bit of green grass, white building with a bright blue door

a person waiting beside a bus shelter on Queen West, seen from the back including reflections in the glass of the shelter

below: KFC sits empty.   That’s not a coronavirus victim – it was empty before we all started staying home.

empty KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Queen Street west

below: A message from 525 and 523, Stay Safe!  (actually it’s from T-bonez).

wall and doors to numbers 533 and 535 covered with street art including an urabn ninja squadron character with a face mask on with the words stay safe

Stay safe and
stay healthy!

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