Posts Tagged ‘snowman’

A grey day. The kind of day that when it starts to rain you head to a subway station, only to have the rain stop before you get there. So you walk more. Then it rains again so you buy an umbrella and minutes later the rain stops. So you walk more.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

a shoe store, a massage parlour, and a convenience store, on the southwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind

below: Northwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

northwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind - Not Just noodles restaurant

below: Marks left behind, traces of lives once lived there.

on the side of a brick house, two storey, Victorian, the remains of marks left behind on a house that was demolished, new development going up beside it

below: Do you think that there will ever be a time when we can walk downtown without encountering construction zones?

two orange signs saying sidewalk closed, and arrows, barriers on street to form a passage for pedestrians on the street, two people walking by

below: If it’s a gaggle of geese or a parliament of owls, what’s a group of cement trucks?

five or six cement trucks parked on a side street

reflections in glass windows downtown

a sign stenciled beside a doorway that says Anything can b iced. Window beside it, with a woman sitting inside by the window

below: A new large mural by birdo at Dundas & McCaul

Dundas street, near McCaul, coffee shop and artist supply store, with a large mural by birdo above it

below: Same mural, different angle

the corner of Dundas and McCaul with a large mural by birdo looking over it

below: “Keep going” at the Children’s Healing Garden outside Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue.

chalk writing on a low concrete wall in a small park that says keep going

below: You can do anything

chalk words on a concrete path in a park that say you can do anything

below: A large hole on University Ave

construction site, hole in the ground, a digger in the hole, one wall of the hole is a light orange colour. The Duke of Cornwall pub is on the other side of the street across from the hole

below:  There was a Dragon Festival at Nathan Phillips Square this past weekend.

arches over the pool at Nathan Phillips square with old city hall behind, and a red and gold dragon head (very large) on display for dragon festival

below: Friday was a rather quiet day at the festival, probably because of the weather.

large and colourful inflatable dragon in front of city hall, at Nathan Phillips square, for dragon festival
below: But there was lots of different food available including skewers of octopus

pieces of octopus on skewers, ready to cook

below:   There were also these fried potato spirals on sticks that are available at every festival and street function.

potato spirals, fried and on sticks, looking a pilie of them from the end

below: Hot dog vendor on Queen Street

hot dog and sausage vendor on Queen street, woman under umbrella buying something, woman working inside the booth, a man sitting behind, many signs advertising their food

view down a lane with large buildings on both sides

below: Snowmen?  This is “Born and Raised” designed by Studio How-to-See.

sculptures on sidewalk, snowmen, beside a new condo, one snowman has lost its head

below: The tallest snowman is 5 “snowballs” high, or 17 feet tall.    Oh no! The snowman in the middle has lost its head.  What would Olaf say?

tall snowman sculpture on sidewalk beside glass and steel condo, with people walking past

below:  Of course early September means TIFF.  King Street West closed and many people were walking or hanging out there trying their hand at celebrity spotting.  We are all groupies during TIFF.

two young people working in a red booth for bubly drinks, both smiling and one is giving a thumbs up

below: I wouldn’t know a famous actor or director, or anything like that, if they came up to talk to me.    My attempts to follow the crowd to get celebrity pics weren’t very successful. This is the kind of photo that I ended up with –  The eye belongs someone called Jason who is taking a selfie with a father and daughter.    I didn’t linger long on King Street.

someone is talking a selfie with a girl in a green jacket who is being held up by her father, a pro photographer is also taking their picture

below: Having King Street closed didn’t help the traffic on nearby streets.  Mind you, this is normal for Toronto especially around rush hour.  Stand at any intersection downtown and you’ll find many instances where cars block traffic when the traffic lights change.

a man walks his bike across the street, between cars who are blocking traffic, also a woman with an umbrella gets ready to start across the street too

below:  The driver knew I was there taking pictures.  It didn’t make much difference.

a woman crosses the street on a green light, traffic is jammed because a car has got stuck in the intersection on a red light

a young black woman with pink dreadlocks and a lot of rings on her fingers is on her phone as she passes by, in the background is a couple standing on the sidewalk having a conversation, the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers

below: Paste ups on Richmond Street.   I find these mesmerizing.  I love the positioning of the eye and the way that it is staring at you .

2 paper paste ups on a wall, both are the same, in grey tones, the lower part of a face with one eye beside it

below: And my last stop that day, a quiet charcoal drawing by Olexander Wlasenko at the Arbozzo Gallery at 410 Richmond Street.

a charcoal drawing of a woman by Olexander Wlasenko on the wall of an art gallery

Now, all that’s left is the pink umbrella that I bought, still unused.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are some of the scenes that are painted inside.

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

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

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

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

Uber5000 is almost finished a new mural in Graffiti Alley!

 

below: Large hockey playing yellow birdies.  One male and one female by the looks of it.

two large yellow uber5000 birdies with hockey sticks and old fashioned hockey helmets. One is wearing white skates and the other is wearing black skates. mural in graffiti alley

uber5000 mural in the process of being painted in graffiti alley

below: The mural is loosely based on Nathan Phillips Square in the winter time.   See that Toronto sign?  It has been painted with glow in the dark paint.  Apparently, UV lights are going to be installed to illuminate the sign at night.  Something to check out in the near future!

most of a new mural by uber5000 in Graffiti Alley based on winter activities at Nathan Phillips Square

part of a winter themed uber5000 mural, yellow birdie about to drive a zamboni out of its garage, other yellow birdies looking on, a birdie that looks like a cracked egg.

mural, painted, large blue cat with large head sitting beside an ice rink, with a little blue round character beside him who is wearing red ear muffs

below: That’s one cool tree!

right hand side of a large mural by uber5000 in Graffiti alley, with shop window in the picture.  Theme of the mural is skating at Nathan Phillips square in toronto.  little yellow birdies, a green frog is puttin on skates as is a donut with white frosting and a few sprinkles

With thanks to Joanne (of  My Life Lived Full blog ) for walking with me today!  You were a great excuse to walk Graffiti Alley again…. and yes, there is always something new to discover!

Take one ordinary semi-detached house on an ordinary street in Leslieville…
and add a decoration or two…

the front yard of a semi detached house is full of toys and stuffed animals, signs and flags, and Christmas decorations,

The above photo was taken back in November whereas the one below was taken a couple days ago.  Many, many items are the same.  The biggest change is that there a few more Christmas decorations now large candy canes, another Santa Claus, a couple of angels and an elf or two.

a massive collection of dolls, toys, stuffed animals and decorations fill a front yard of a house

Call it cute. Call it creepy. Call it fun.  Call it fascinating. Call it a mess.

below: Some of the dolls and toys are attached to wooden stakes that stand upright in the yard.

a small smiling doll with her arms up is attached to a wooden stake in the front yard of a house

below: The fence is packed full with toys and dolls and the like, including this creepy clown and ghoulish green faced doll.   The pink Powerpuff girl (Blossom?) looks happy and even Elmo doesn’t seem to mind being behind bars.

peering between the metal bars of a fence is a creepy clown doll and a green faced zombie doll, a string of Christmas lights is across the bottom of the fence

a mickey mouse plastic figure is sitting on a wire fence, his chin is his hand and he's looking upwards, other toys out of focus behind him - circles with happy faces and a couple of frisbees

below: A red candle fence lines the entrance.

frontyard of a house is full of toys and decorations, the front walk is lined by large plastic red candles, the front door is in shadows.

below: The retaining wall is also covered.  Welcome to our Garden, Boston Bruins, more Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Season Greetings and a frisbee or two or three.

under a metal fence, a retaining wall that is covered with frisbees, plaques with words on them and other plastic bits

I wonder how it all started?  And where is it going?

Shrek is between two snowmen, all plastic toys and decorations, behind the metal bars of a fence, a lot of toys and dolls and stuffed animals behind them.

I wonder what the neighbours think.

a white plastic gnome and a Disney princess are among a large collection of toys in a front yard

a red plastic toy in the foreground, a doll in a purple dress in the background

a plastic Santa Claus, a plastic angel and a pokemon

a stuffed plushie creature is attached to a pole with black electrical tape around his face such that it covers his eyes

a toy flower with a green stem, petals made of pink fabric with white polka dots, red lips and large white and blue sunglasses.

a faded blond doll with blank eyes looks down, she is attached to a wooden stake with black electrical tape

Another reason why I haven’t posted recently?  I’ve been sick.  Icky sick; can’t get out of bed sick.  This morning was the first time that I’ve walked Toronto streets in many, many days.

It was a beautiful blue sky morning but I made a mistake and stopped for coffee first.  Clouds rolled in and we were back to greyness by the end of the first mug.  Argh.   Maybe back inside for a secong mug?

In the end I’m glad I got my momentum back.  I walked streets I’ve walked many times before but I walked it with a long lens in hand.  I started searching for details that I’ve missed before as well as shots that are easier (and sneakier!) with a lens zoomed out to the max.

In no particular order….

below:  The front of Betty’s on King street.  These magnets have been here for a while now although their numbers may have magnified.  In hindsight, I should have gone over and written something like, “Hi my name is Joe and I’m the Prime Minister of Canada”.

store front, front of Bettys bar and restaurant, with grey door. Walls are magnetic and they are covered with kid's letters of the alphabet magnets.

below: The bright colours of this exposed wall caught my eye.  It’s been revealed because of the demolition of a building at Victoria and Lombard and I suspect that it will get covered up again in the near future.

a large construction site at Victoria and Lombard, one wall of a neighbouring building has been exposed that is orange and white

below: This is a closer view of the men in the photo above.  I hadn’t purposely taken their picture but I like the portrait look of the picture.  A kind of Mike Rowe’s ‘Dirty Jobs’ image comes to mind.

two men working on a construction site

below: Banner for the Pacific Junction Hotel.

banner made of flags for the Pacific Junction Hotel strung in a tree on the sidewalk

below: Drink Coca-cola

a red and white drink coca cola sign sign hangs in a window of a bar

below: Sitting together in silence.  Black and white.  Alive and not alive.
Both aren’t moving and both don’t see me.

a man sits on a bench in a small park, wintertime, a snowman is at the other end of the bench

below: I have always been intrigued by these vertical windows at St. James Cathedral, especially with the winter trees in front of them.  I’ve taken pictures here before but none have been satisfactory.  This one is certainly not perfect but the sense of scale that the woman provides is a big help.

vertical stained glass windows of St. James cathedral, from the outside in winter, a woman is walking past.

below: These two small ionic-ish columns help support an archway over the door.

a small column with an ionic like capital, embedded in a brick wall. The column looks to be supporting an arch over the doorway

below: A bit of a rant.  At one point did it become acceptable for people to be sleeping on the sidewalks?  How did we learn to walk past?  When someone walks past a person sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk, what thoughts go through their head?  Is there a solution?  Or is so normal now that we don’t consider it a problem?   This man was right in the middle, there was no easy way to avoid him, but avoid him we did.

people walk by on the sidewalk as a homeless man sleeps under blankets on the corner.

below: Trying to cross King Street.

a man in a red jacket is waking two dogs, waiting to cross King Street, with St. James in the background. traffic, and parked cars too.

below: An exposed support beam, two wood planks on end sandwiched between steel I beams.

on an exterior brick wall, the end of a support beam is visible. the beam consists of a wood beam on end between two steel I beams

below:  High on a brick wall he suffers in anguish as the pigeons keep pooping on him.

carved stone piece high on a brickwall, exterior of a building, relief sculpture of a man's face with his hair made to look like long leaves that surround his face

below: A bit of a cliche.  Walking the dogs in the park on a winter day.

a woman walks three dogs on the path through St. James Park on a winter day, snow, no leaves, some buildings in the distance

below: The Christmas lights are still wrapped around the trees in St. James Park.

a string of red LED Christmas lights is wrapped around the trunk of a tree

below: Two mis-matched windows side by side.  Old brick, rusty metal.

an old brick building with two windows.

below: Above 10 Toronto Street is this royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.   The unicorn represents Scotland and in the royal coat of arms for Scotland, the lion and the unicorn are reversed.  You’ll also noticed that the unicorn is chained.  Apparently this is because in legend, the unicorn is a dangerous beast.   I’m not sure what this says about Scotland!  The words on the banner below the lion and the unicorn say “Dieu et Mon Droit” (= God and My Right).  The words around the middle circle say “Honi soit qui mal y pense”.   This is the motto of the Order of the Garter and it translates to ‘shame upon him who thinks evil of it’.

sculpture of a coat off arms above 10 Toronto Street, a lion and unicorn and a motto in Latin.

below:  This is the building that used to house Starbucks on King Street near George Brown College.  Many months (more than a year) ago there was a fire in the building and Starbucks closed down.  The windows and doors were boarded up and then nothing happened.   That looks like the makings of scaffolding lying on the sidewalk so maybe some renovation work is about to begin.

a man walks past a boarded up doorway

below: A ghost building outline.

The ghost outline of a building, in white, on a black brick wall. Tree branches without leaves hang in front of the wall.

below: An octopus runs up the stairs. Or would it slither?

a blue drawing of an octopus on the second storey exterior wall, beside a metal stair case (fire escape?)

below: Passing by the five faceless naked men who silently and stoically watch over the intersection of Queen and Victoria.  A sculpture “Full Circle” by Peter von Tiesenhausen.

wood sculpture of naked men in a circle with their backs inward, at Queen and Victoria streets, two men walking past the sculpture

below: I also met James Beaty this morning.  He too stands silently but he is tucked away in a dull and quiet corner so he doesn’t get much to look at.   The original James Beaty was born in Ireland 1798 and came to Canada as young man.   He was a leather merchant, he established the newspaper ‘Toronto Leader’ in 1852,  and in 1867 he became a federal politician.

a black bronze statue of James Beaty, standing with a folded newspaper under his arm, about life sized,

below: Any idea what this might be?  Dancing figure?

small black and white stencil

below: It was a puddle jumping, slushy kind of day.  I’m sure that there are lots more of those ahead!

reflections of trees in a puddle on a path that has snow and ice on it was well

below:  There are always more paths to walk and more chances to see what’s around around the next corner and through the gate!

looking down a driveway that passes under a very high square arch to the street beyond. Cars are parked on the street and a pedestrian walks by

 

The Christmas flower show at Allan Gardens conservatory is back,

which means lots of poinsettias…  over 30 varieties in fact.

 

many poinsettia plants on display, red ones, white ones and pink poinsettias

A rare purple glitter ball tree is also in bloom.

large purple Christmas balls with glitter on them, hanging from a tree

below: He has a carrot nose and a corn cob pipe,

cactus and succulents grown on a snowman shape, with a carrot nose and a corn cob pipe in its mouth, and a clay flowerpot for a hat - close up of the head
but he doesn’t look very frosty.  Maybe it’s the red vest that’s keeping the chill away.

cactus and succulents grown on a snowman shape, with a carrot nose and a corn cob pipe in its mouth, and a clay flowerpot for a hat - a vest of red flowering plants and surrounded by a circle of red poinsettias

below:  With its silver beak and its twiggy tail, this little fluffy bird perches on a palm tree.

A white bird decoration, not a real bird, with twigs for a tail and for his feet, is perched on the branch of a tree

below: Christmas greenery – ever green baubles hang from a vine.

green Christmas balls have been hung from a vine that is growing against the walls of a greenhouse.

below:  All bundled up for a toboggan ride down a mountain of poinsettias.

topiary in the shape of a person sitting on a wood toboggan, sitting in a pile of poinsettias

below:  Flowering Christmas cacti hang from the roof.

pink flowers on a Christmas cactus in a wood basket hanging amongst other cacti

In addition to the Christmas plants like poinsettias

close up of a few petals of a white poinsettia plant

and amaryllis,

three red amaryllis blossoms on a plant, standing tall

some of the conservatory’s usual cast of floral characters are on display, such as orchids

two white orchid blossoms in the foreground, red flowers out of focus in the background

and hibiscus plants.

close up of a red hibiscus flower

close up of a red hibiscus flower

close up of the stamen of an hibiscus plant