Posts Tagged ‘spring’

looking down Hazelton Ave towards Yorkville Ave., two older houses, now used as commercial businesses, one half painted blue and the other half is red.

It’s still May and the CONTACT Photography Festival is still on so I am still trying to see as much as possible.   Yesterday afternoon I went wandering in Yorkville where there is lots to see and do besides a couple of CONTACT exhibits.

below: Captain Canuck.  I started with the TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was there (April I think) but the exhibit has changed.   It is now ‘Alter Ego: Comics and Canadian Identity’.  Isn’t Captain Canuck the most famous Canadian superhero?  He first appeared in 1975.

painting of Captain Canuck, from the chest up, one arm raised to shoulder height

below: Not so well known – The cover of the book ‘Nelvana of the Northern Lights’ by Adrian Dingle (1911-1974).   Nelvana was Canada’s first female superhero; she first appeared in 1941, a few months before (American) Wonder Woman.  Nelvana’s superpowers included turning invisible and traveling at the speed of light along a ray of the Northern Lights.  According to Wikipedia, she “visited lost kingdoms under the ice, journeyed to other dimensions, and fought against the Axis Powers during World War II, eventually taking on the secret identity of secret agent Alana North.   Her last adventure was published in 1947.

book cover, book called Nelvana of the Northern Lights, a comic book by Adrian Dingle, 15 cents, 68 pages, hard cover

below: This structure was built in 1876 as a Carpenter Gothic Revival Style church – the Olivet Congregational Church.  It has been the home of the Heliconian Club since 1923.  This women only club was formed in 1909 and is still active today supporting women in the arts.  There is a photo exhibit on there at the moment but viewing is by appointment only (it is a club not a gallery after all).

pale blue wood building, originally a church, now the home of the Heliconian Club on Hazelton ave. Bright blue doors, two, rose window,

below: For CONTACT, the Lomas Gallery on Yorkville Ave is featuring a few large photos of cityscapes that are full of tall buildings.  The one behind the red couch is ‘NoMad New York’ by Christopher Woodcock.

Lomas Gallery in Yorkville, bright red oval shaped couch in front of a wall with a large photo of a city scene, lots of skyscrapers with lots of windows, by Christopher Woodcock, plus words on the wall that say Contact Festival, City Obscure, Windows on either side of the wall with people passing by

below: On the wall beside is ‘[a]DCLXI’ by Amyn Nasser.

on a gallery wall, Lomas Gallery, a large photo, [a]DCLXI by Amyn Nasser of a wall of glass skyscrapers with lots of windows, on the wall beside is another photo in which Nasser's photo is reflected.

below: It’s not a sculpture or a statue, but this red faced mannequin caught my eye. Maybe next time he’ll remember his sunscreen.

two male mannequins in a mens wear store window, one has a very red face, also a picture of a man in a black suit with a bright blue background is in the window

below: The clock tower of the Yorkville firehall. One side seems to missing its clock face.

the clock tower of Yorkville fire station with a reflective glass building behind it. A Canadian flag is flying on top of the firehall clock tower.

below: Brendan Meadows’ black and white portraits hang on the walls of the Liss Gallery in an exhibit titled ‘Ipseity’.  These were printed as silver gelatin selenium-toned lith prints by Bob Carnie from negatives made from digital images.  The images were also  manipulated with the Sabatier effect (solarization); this results in an image that is wholly or partially reversed in tone. Dark areas appear light or light areas appear dark.

interior shot, Liss Gallery, frames black and white portraits on the walls

below: Posters on hoardings add a little life at street level to the construction sites in the area.  This set features businesses and sites in the area including the ROM.

posters on hoardings in front of a construction site - picture of the ROM at night, picture of the interior of a menswear store, man trying on a suit

below: Some colourful art deco style posters.

art deco posters on hoardings in front of a construction site

art deco posters on hoardings in front of a construction site inclujding a Vogue picture

below: Prepared for anything!  With a yellow duckie, handcuffs and binoculars, Batman and his Robin hand puppet prepare to take on the forces of evil!  These are sculptures by Patrick Amiot.

a metal junk sculpture by Patrick Amiot, outside, by the front door of an art gallery, batman, with a very small robin in one of his hands.

below: Part of the Miraim Schiell gallery is devoted to Amiot’s work.

a wall mounted artwork by Patrick Amiot of a man ice fishing with his dog, created from junk

an artwork on a gallery wall, by Patrick Amiot, of the front of a Spadina TTC streetcar, crowded with driver, man, and dog,

below: This large RCMP mountie and his dog stand behind the gallery.

metal junk sculpture by Patrick Amiot of a mountie and his dog, outside, behind a gallery in Yorkville

below: Enjoying the wonderful spring afternoon on Cumberland.

outside, park in Yorkville, tall trees with leaves just coming out, spring, people sitting on chairs under the trees, talking, reading, phones, drinking,

statue of a bear outside, life size, a painting in a glass enclosed box is behind him

below: Oh.. that second mountie that I alluded to in the title of this post – he was on the wall at the Alter Ego exhibit.  This one.   Just don’t call him Dudley Do-Right.

large picture of a mounti on a horse with a gun in his hand, on a wall in a gallery

below:  This is either ironic or sad.  The first few lines of text say “In the the 1960s and 1970s, Yorkville village was the heart of Canada’s bohemian, counterculture community”.  As I took this picture a new Bentley with dealer plates drove past.  I looked around and the ‘counterculture’ of 40 to 50 years ago has been replaced by designer boutiques, high end stores, fine art galleries, and restaurants with linen napkins.  Not a lot of music happening here.  Full transcription is below.

plaque to Yorkvilles music scene, Heritage Toronto black and white plaque, from 2016

“In the the 1960s and 1970s, Yorkville village was the heart of Canada’s bohemian, counterculture community. More than 40 clubs and coffee houses nightly featured folksingers-songwriters, including Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young, who performed some of their first compositions in these smoky venues.
Yorkville’s first coffee house, Club 71, was opened by Werner Graeber in 1959. By 1964, Yorkville had become a nurturing environment not only for folk music, but also for pop, blues, and later, psychedelic rock. Hippies and teenagers flocked to these unlicensed venues, which offered an alternative to Yonge Street bars.
Yorkville was also home to three sound-recording studios, taping major acts such as The Guess Who, Lighthouse, and Ann Murray. With its vital role in fostering a wealth of talent, the Yorkville scene inspired a generation of songwriters and led to the rise of a new Canadian sound.”

outside pizza pizza, man inside eating, another man outside looking at mural on the wall

A trip to Toronto Islands on a sunny spring day.
Photos and stories – an eclectic mix of history and nature that resulted from wandering around the eastern portion of the islands.

below: From the ferry, looking toward the glass and steel of the city.

sail boats in Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, in front of the Toronto skyline with highrises and skyscrapers also ship moored at Redpath Sugar refinery

Toronto Islands is a collection of at least 12 small islands.  In the early years the island archipelago was really a peninsula of sandbars and ponds; it was connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sandy shoreline. This landform was created over centuries by the action of waves, winds and lake currents – washing away portions of the Scarborough Bluffs and depositing this material to the west in a five-mile-long hooked shape. This process of natural “landscaping” continued until the spring of 1858, when a particularly powerful hurricane created a channel four to five feet deep through the peninsula.  By June of that year, the Eastern Gap was a waterway, and the Toronto Islands came into being.

below: On the ferry between the city and Centre Island.

people lined up along the front railing of a ferry from Centre Island to the city of Toronto, looking at skyline and taking picture of it. Toronto is in the background.

The first buildings on the islands were the Blockhouse Bay garrison built in the 1794 by the British at Gibraltar Point – it included a blockhouse and storage structures.  A second blockhouse and a guard house were built soon after, only to be destroyed by the Americans in the Battle of York in April 1813.   The lighthouse at Gibraltar Point built in 1809 still stands (sorry, no photo).

In 1833 Michael O’Connor built a hotel on one the islands.  He used a horse-drawn boat to ferry customers across from the mainland to his hotel.  At that time, there was still access by road but it was a toll road.  In 1836 it cost sixpence for every four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses.  Smaller ‘vehicles’ paid less.   In 1858 the hotel (now Quinns Hotel) was destroyed during the same hurricane that turned the peninsula into an island.  The hotels were destroyed but the islands remained popular.  With no road access, ferries were needed and many people ran private ferry services until they were bought out or amalgamated into the Toronto Ferry Company in 1892.  It was privately owned until 1926 when it was purchased by the City of Toronto for $337,500.

ferry, ceiling is full of orange life jackets, railings along edge, Lake Ontario, benches to sit on but no people

blue abstract from two blue doors with cut out where handle should be

Many houses and businesses, (hotels, restaurants, bowling alley, laundry, theatre etc) were established over the years from Hanlon’s Point in the west to Wards Island in the east.   Today, residences are only in the eastern section of Wards Island and on Algonquin Island.

The Ward’s Island community began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents. Up until then, that eastern end of the islands was mostly wetlands.  The first summer colony on Ward’s in 1899 consisted of just eight tenants, each of whom had paid a fee of $10 rent for the season. The number of tents grew each year.  In 1913, the city felt it necessary to organize the community into streets. The evolution from tents to cottage structures progressed in stages with the building of floors, the addition of kitchens and then porches, resulting in the creation of the homes.

two houses on Wards Island, small wood housses, one bright blue and the other is white

grey wood siding on house with white door and small porch. Two yellow and metal chairs on the porch

In 1953 the municipal government changed their policy toward the Toronto Islands landscape and its residents. Businesses were removed and the systematic demolition and burning of homes began.  More of the islands became parkland.    There are 262 houses on Wards and Algonquin Islands today, down from about 630 residences on all the islands.  The last of the Lakeshore houses was removed in 1968 but traces of them still remain.

wood boardwalk along the foreground of the photo with a concrete path leading away from it, into an overgrown area

part of old concrete breakwater, once there was house here, number 170 embedded in the concrete

below: The pier on the Lake Ontario side.

metal fence in the foreground, beach, pier and Lake Ontario in the middle and background

below: Sandbags along the shore.  Last spring there was a lot of flooding here and the island was closed to visitors – sort of.  Ferries didn’t run and the park facilities were closed.  The islands are very flat and low so it doesn’t take much extra water to flood.

large white sandbags along the shore, beach on the other side, Lake Ontario in background with a row of rocks as breakwater a short distance from the shore, sign on the beach

sign fallen over and under water, surrounded by rocks, Lake Ontario

below: There is a small amusement park, Centreville, on Centre Island.

CN tower in the background, people on the Skyline ride at Centre Island passing over water, with large boats docked farther up the river

below: Island transport that can be rented if you don’t want to walk.

people cycling in 2 quadricycles, a four wheeled bicycle like vehicle, on paths,

the orange and white wall tile pattern of Pizza Pizza with a red bike parked in front of it.

below: Boats moored QCYC (Queen City Yacht Club), one of the three yacht clubs on the islands.

sailboats moored at a wood dock, QCYC

below: Sakura trees in bloom.   The trees were donated by the Sakura Project.  The aim of this project was to strengthen Japanese Canadian relations by planting cherry trees in visible locations across Ontario.   Between 2000 and 2012,  3,082 trees were planted at 58 locations.  The trees on Centre Island were planted in 2011.

path, sakura (cherry) trees on either side with their pink and white blossoms, other large trees around them with pale green of new leaves

below: Catkins from a red alder tree.  They almost look like raspberries packed tight together.

red fuzzy blossoms droop from the end of a tree branch

new yellowish green flowers on a tree, also leaf buds just opening,

ants in the bud on a tree

below: An early family of Canada geese.

family of Canada geese, 2 adults and 7 or 8 fluffy little goslings swimming in the water

below: The pier at the eastern end of Wards Island is bad need of repair.  To the right is the entry into the Eastern Channel (or Eastern Gap).

broken concrete pier into Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, with Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance

below: Looking over to Algonquin Island.  Once upon a time this island was just a sandbar.

waterway, orange life ring and ladder on one side of the river, houses and docks, and boats on the other. r

two people standing on the shore of Center Island, looking at the Toronto skyline and taking pictures of it.

and back to the mainland.

people exiting a ferry, from above

Today.  Wonderful

back of an audi with the licence plate 1drful, or wonderful,

and Shiny.

wavy reflections of a building in the windows of another downtown building

I am not usually a morning person but how could I resist not getting up and moving on this gorgeous spring day?  With my metropass in my back pocket….

looking out the open doors of a TTC streetcar, as they start to close, see reflection of the streetcar in the window of the store beside the streetcar

… and my walking sandals on (Yes! Sandals!) I headed out to explore the day.

a foot, standing on pale brick red lockstone, crumbling kerb beside the foot, some weeds starting to grow up between the cracks.

(early enough to beat the crowds!)

interior of a TTC streetcar, looking towards the back, red covered white seats, no one else on the car.

The early morning criss cross shadows and reflections.

light and shadow patterns produce by low morning sun shining on downtown glass skyscrapers, on the street below with its white lines adding to the pattern

The soft greens, and almost yellows, of new leaves.

a park with green grass, trees just beginning to bud, in front of a number of glass and steel condo towers in downtown Toronto . willow trees and other kinds of trees.

The flowers – tulips, daffodils and hyacinths – that have spring up in planters around the city.

pink tulip growing beside a shiny metal sign, reflected in the sign, other spring flowers in the background.

Oh no.  The geese are back (or did they never leave?).

A lone Canada Goose walking on a small stretch of grass beside a busy road and the onramp to the DVP. head down, looking for food.

The dogs are still waiting for the water to be turned on.

statues of dogs around a fountain that is dry at the moment.

On Yonge Street (near Wellington), there has been too much water.  The street has been closed while water main issues are straightened out (it has since been opened).

road closed sign, black arrow on orange sign, ornage and black striped traffic cones, blocking Yonge street, with trucks in the background.

wet road, water gushing out of a large hose, feet and legs of some men.

While Yonge was closed anyhow, workmen install a new sign at the corner of Yonge & Wellington.

workmen on a lifter install a new sign on the outside of a Rexall drug store.

Also needing fixing – yesterday’s wind storm left a lot of damage around the city including this very large tree that lost a very large branch.    Actually the whole tree has come down.

large sections of an old tree lie on the ground where they fell during a wind storm. They landed on a chain link fence that is now broken. in a park .

Lots of wires were down too.

a large pole with a myriad of wires (hydro wires) has started to fall over. wires draping low across the street. hydro trucks on the scene

Not everybody was up with the sun this morning.

a man under a white blanket is asleep in the doorway of the old Kingsbrae restaurant, with a can of beer beside him

I hope that your day was shiny and bright too!
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

below: The reigning champ and I!

a man in a black tshirt crosses the street towards a large indow with lots of reflections in it.

Last weekend

a three D sculpture of a man's face, on a wall, outside, graffiti, forlorn expression on his face

This weekend

the word believe is written in yellow ribbon that has been woven into a chainlink fence around a tennis court, two women on a bench to the side of it, park,

I hope that you all had a great weekend!  It was fabulous to be out and about enjoying the warm weather – everyone is happier when the sun shines and the snow melts!  The following pictures were taken today when I was out walking along Queen West, people watching as I went.

street art graffiti that says vida in large letters along the side of a metal staircase, upper story of an orange brick building

below: Street artist SKAM and his graffiti tag.   The original was painted in 2012 and had not been tagged over or messed up too much.  Some of the paint was peeling so it was time for a make over.

street artist skam is painting text graffiti (his name, tag) in greens and blues on a wall in Graffiti Alley

below: Part of the latest Uber5000 mural is reflected in the window as SKAM paints.

two young women walking on the sidewalk, both with skateboards and Starbucks drinks, summer clothing,

a woman with magenta hair is standing on the sidewalk, back against a wall.

below: Trinity Bellwoods Park  (This is also where the ‘believe’ in yellow is woven into the chainlink fence – photo above).

an older couple sitting on a bench in a park, talking to each other, the man is using his arms expressively

below: The albino squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods Park – he’s up here somewhere!

a boy looks up a tree, a white albino squirrel is headed down the other side of the tree trunk

below: Found him!

a white albino squirrel is on the ground beside a small tree with daffodils starting to grow up beside, a young boy is walking towards the squirrel

below: Reaching for a coffee

a window with mannequins in long dresses, teal and magenta fabric, reflections of woman passing by with a coffee cup in her hand

below: Walking the dog!

a family goes for a walk in the park, dad is pushing the stroller, mom on phone, young daughter pulling a pink leash with a toy dog on it.

a man outside, standing on sidewalk, with a plate of food and a cup of coffee,, with his phone in his hands

below: It wasn’t a happy day for everyone.

An older Chinese woman is pushing a cart with a large clear plastic bag full of empty aluminium cans, a Chinese man with a similar cart is behind her, other people out walking  on the sidewalk

below: Smoking room

an older woman in pink running shoes and leopard print fuzzy jacket is sitting in a bus shelter, smoking a cigarette,

two women standing on the sidewalk near lots of parked bikes. One is wearing a short floral skirt and the other is in skimpy white shorts and low necked white top

below: Supporting the locals.  It’s also play-off time of the year and this year both the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still in the playoffs in their respective sports.

three flags hanging outside a window, a Raptos flag (Toronto basketball) and a Maple Leafs flag (Toronto hockey) as well as a rainbow pride flag

Welcome spring!

a small black and white daisy drawing on a sticker on a wall that is covered with bright paint

close up, from the top, of a group of hyacinth flowers, blues and purple tones

A few pictures of flowers from Allan Gardens Conservatory today. We all want spring. The warmth of spring…. and the colours of spring like the shades of blue and purple in the hyancinths above.

three pink and purple flowers, with orangish centers,

A few florals to warm your soul. Soon it will be spring and we can put away our winter layers.

inside Allan Gardens conservatory, tees, yellow flowers, red amarylis

two white orchids in bloom

graffiti words on a wall, black sharpie, Save us

It’s early April and we’re all tired of winter but it lingers on.   How are you coping?  Yes, you!

Cameron House mural on Queen Street West, woman in pink blouse is looking beyond the window to a man walking past.

below: Is this wishful thinking?  or maybe just a little too optimistic?

chalkboard sign on the sidewalk outside of a store on Queen Street West, sign says Spring is here

below: Spring is in the air?  They forgot the question mark.   Is the cat reacting to the disconnect between the sign and the reality? … or maybe  its expression is because it’s just realized that it’s sitting beside a book about Justin Trudeau?

sign in a store window that says spring is in the air. also some stuffed animals

These were the only signs of spring that I saw yesterday as I walked although I noticed that someone was trying to cheer things up.  Not sure how long these have been sitting outside.  They’re looking a little weather worn and grubby.  Hope may be wearing a bit thin?

small leafless shrub in the front yard of a house, small yellow fake flowers strung through the branches, the flowers are old and dirty.

below: Elsewhere yellow birdies were playing hockey.

two women are having their picture taken in front of Uber5000's mural about Toronto in the winter, little yellow birdies playing hockey.

Spring was elusive but what I did spot were a couple of stikmen that I don’t remember seeing before.   I also noticed more smiley hearts popping up in unexpected places again. First, some of the hearts…

smiley heart on pink wall with red spray paint lines around

pink smiley heart on a wall with lots of other colours, street art

small black line drawing of a heart on a metal pipe on a wall, pipe has been painted orange and red to blend in with a street art piece

below: Cool Woodstock makes an appearance too (a yellow birdie of a different kind).  I don’t think she’s too happy to have a bird sitting on her head.

street art on garages, a small yellow Woodstock cartoon character with black sunglasses, on top of a black drawing on white of a girl screaming, a little smiley heart and the word love is beside her ear.

below: The guitar player is now playing with heart.

part of mural of a guitar playing in shades of orange and red. A white piece of paper has been stuck on his chest, with a black smiley heart on it.

And the stikmen….

a broken stikman painted greyish blue on a greyish blue door where the paint is peeling and the wood is fraying

stikman on a white and blue wall

below: Instead of wooden, this stikman is a drawing in a frame.

picture of a green stikman in a little frame, on a wood gate, by a black and white stencil of a man's head

below: Is that a little orange head of a stikman in the bent frame?

….. and then back inside for some warmth!

interior of a coffee shop, people sitting at tables, people sitting on the bar by the window, a TTC streetcar is outside, passing by

I  will leave you with one last look at a window full of yellow chicks and Easter bunnies, hope for spring (Hope springs eternal? Hopes of spring are eternal?).

looking into a store window, that is decorated with little bunnies in Easter clothing, with little yellow chicks and paper flowers

This morning’s blog post is a mixed up mashed up collection of some of the pictures that I have taken in the past few days. The theme running through the post is “sunny days and people making the most of it.”  It seems like an appropriate subject for a grey morning!

below: #duckman, one of the many ‘performers’ outside the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street.

a young Japanese man is dressed in a yellow body suit, seated on a stool on the sidewalk on Yonge Street, he is playing the drums - actually 5 empty plastic upside down buckets, with #duckman written on the buckets

below: The beginnings of a new mural on Queen Street West.

motorcycle in the foreground, a man painting a white outline of a rose as part of a mural on the side of Canada Convenience store on Queen West, a few people watching him paint

below: This weekend was the annual Riverdale ArtWalk at Jimmie Simpson Park and Community Center.

a man stands holding up a painting (bottom of painting is resting on the ground), more painting displayed on the wall behind him, at the outdoor Riverdale Artwalk art show and sale

below: Dancing to the drums of Venice and Kevin who are playing as past of an event to raise money to fight sickle cell disease.

a young woman dancers at the bottom of the stage steps at nathan phillips,  two people are beating drums on the satge

below: Four singers – they’ve just finished performing on the stage at Yonge Dundas Square as part of the DesiFEST celebrations.

four female singers are smiling, they've just finished a song, performing at Yonge Dundas square as part of Desifest, all 4 are of South Asian descent

below: A sign of the times.

a blackboard sign on the sidewalk in front of Brioche restaurant that says we serve Covfefe. People walking on the sidewalk,

below: It wasn’t just the people who were dressed for summer.

two little white dogs on a leach, both have pink and white frilly dresses on.

below: Gardening season has begun!  The vacant lot beside Nick Sweetman’s mural has been turned into a Garden Centre.

garden plants for sale, outdoors, in front of a large mural, bees, by Nick, on Queen st east

a front yard with gardening supplies, and pots of plants on the front steps

below: With their backs to the windows … but it looks like they’re dressed for summer

two mannequins with their backs to two windows, both dressed in red clothes

people riding down the escalator at the Eaton Centre, a large screen is playing a slideshow of summer pictures as part of an advertising campaign.

a mother helps her young daughter reach down and touch the water in the fountain at Nathan Phillips square