Posts Tagged ‘stores’

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

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

Another walking day, another part of the city to explore.  Sometimes I find new places to wander around but the other day I went back to Sheppard Ave East to see what other changes are happening.   This is a section of Sheppard Ave that is living in the shadow of Yonge Street developments.  It’s an area of mixed residential and commercial.

below: Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge Street from Willowdale Ave.

Sheppard Ave East looking west from Willowdale Ave towards Yonge street

below: A smaller bungalow, and architectural “style” that was common along here.

old white bungalow with side fireplace and chimney wall, exterior

below: Some of the bungalows are being replaced by much larger houses, especially in the side streets behind Sheppard.

large new house being built in Willowdale, on Maplehurst Ave., in place of a small bungalow like the house beside it

below: More signs of  the times, no kids playing outside in the playgrounds of the schools and day care centres.

black fence around playground with some toys but no kids

below: A CTR rabbit trying to run away.

a painting on a metal street box, of a rabbit running, by c r a

below: This front door with it’s clean and ornate door frame has always fascinated me.

white door on small porch with black railing. door has fancy white trim with details on top

below: 176 Sheppard Avenue East has been empty for a while.   I found information about the development here on different websites.  One of the sites stated that the new building would be ready to move into in 2019.

front door of abandoned building at 176 Sheppard Ave East with collection of garbage on overgrown front step

below: A vacant lot

orange cone o n its side in front of a vacant lot

below: This is the same vacant lot as there was nothing to prevent me from wandering in.

vacant lot

below: The front of Dudley Court at 166 Sheppard Ave East.   I have driven past here a few times this year and I keep thinking that I should check it out before it disappears.  The orange “tree protection” fence was a more recent addition. Maybe part of the reason why there is no development proposal sign here is that it’s been about 20 years since the owners started “negotiating” with the city about what was going to be built here.

front of Dudley Court from across the street, a 1960s brick three storey apartment building, overgrown pine trees in front, also construction fence

closer look at closed and boarded up front doors of Dudley Court

below: The back of Dudley Court from the vacant lot mentioned above.

behind 166 Sheppard Ave East, row of empty garages, with new glass building behind as well as apartments from the 1980s and 1990s

metal wire fence around an empty parking lot and row of garages with broken brown doors

below: What surprised me is that there are actually 3 apartment buildings that are empty.  The plywood is there to protect the trees that are between the apartments and a ditch.  The “ditch” continues underground under Sheppard and then south through a small park towards the 401.

plywood fence around trees to protect them from construction and demolition, on walkway beside 166 Sheppard Ave East

below: There is a pedestrian walkway on the west side that continues north a couple of blocks.

old ready for demolition with newer glass buildings in the background building

below: Sheppard Ave looking east

Sheppard Ave East looking east from Kenneth & Leona streets

below: Sheppard Ave looking west.  An evolution of sorts… at first there were small houses that became offices; now they are being torn down.

Sheppard Ave East looking west towards Yonge street from Kenneth and Leona streets

below: Some of the mid-sized buildings that were developed in the 1970s and 1980s are also “moving upward”.  In this case, to 11 storeys with 55 residential units and lower floor retail.  It is currently home to medical offices.

development notice on the front yard of a commercial (office) building from the 1970s

below: Once upon a time this was a Pizza Pizza.  Then it was for sale.  Next, it provided headquarters for an election campaign.  And now?  Possibly in limbo?  All that I could find is a 2017 rejection from the city for a 10 storey development on this lot and the one adjacent (where The Beer Store is now).   The official plan calls for lower buildings as you move away from Yonge Street.  In the meantime you can call it an eyesore.

parking lot, empty, and painted over pizza pizza sign in front of empty building

below: But not everything is ugly!

a street box painted with a red bird and an orange bird in green bushes, Tim Hortons behind as well as street scene at Willowdale and Sheppard Ave East

***

a row of single family houses on a street, large tree, cars in driveways, behind are 3 or 4 large twll condo buildings

a small white bungalow with a single car garage with a black garage door, awning over the front door, tall tree in front yard, black roof

yellowish colour bungalow with black front door, a window on either side of two, 2 dormer windows in roof, a red single car garage door,

Another blog post constructed from the wanderings around a neighbourhood.

below: A bronze plaque erected by the East York Historical Society is mounted on the stone fence of the Taylor Cemetery which is adjacent to Don Mills United Church.    The plaque mentions the Methodist Church – the Methodists became part of the United Church in 1925.

bronze plaque on a stone wall, Taylor cemetery, erected by the East York historical society gives rough outline of the history of the Taylor family here

The Taylor Cemetery – John Taylor (1773-1868), his wife Margaret Hawthorne and seven children emigrated from Uttoxeter Staffordshire in 1821. In 1839, three sons, John, Thomas, and George, purchased this land from Samuel Sinclair (1767-1852) except for a portion Sinclair gave to the Primitive Methodist Connexion in 1851. The Taylors gave the Connexion a brick church in 1859. The family operated three paper mills and a brick mill in the Don Valley, where they had considerable landholdings and were responsible for much of the development of East York in the nineteenth century.

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below: The present church building dates from 1950 when a smaller building was demolished.  This church was registered in 1819 and has been on this site since 1839 (as mentioned above, originally Methodist).

brick Don Mills United Church with bright red doors

below: Close by is Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church.  Established in 1928, it was the first Catholic parish in the Township of East York.  This church, built in 1948, is the second one on the site.     

Holy Cross Church

below: Bethany Baptist Church has been on the corner of Pape and Cosburn since 1920.  Obviously this building is not that old!  This is the addition, built in 1958, to the older church that you can just see on the right side of the picture.

brick building with stained glass in blue and green in the center section, sign on front says Bethany Baptist Church

below: A metal sculpture of a soldier mounted on the wall of The Royal Canadian Legion, hall #10, a memorial to the Soliders of Suicide – those soldiers who have taken their own lives, usually as the result of PTSD.

a metal statue of a soldier, at rest, mounted on a brick wall, as memorial to soldiers who committed suicide

below: The southeast corner of Pape and O’Connor still sits empty. There used to be a gas station here and that probably meant contaminated soil that had to be dealt with.   The development proposal sign dates from 2014  and was for a 2 storey commercial building.  I am not sure why the delay or what the status of the proposal is.

vacant lot on the corner of O'Connor and Pape, with fence around it, development proposal sign from 2014, overgrown,

below: Donlands Convenience with its rounded corner is similar to a few others in the city.

Donlands convenience store, a 2 storey brick building on the corner of an intersection, with a rounded wall

stores on Donlands Ave as well as a studio with a large blue store front

two people waiting on the corner for a green light

below: Do not block the entrance. …. or are the apples for the teachers?

4 bushel baskets of apples in a doorway of the Korjus Mathematics Tutorial Services

below: A sample of some of the restaurants in the area.  There are also quite a few Greek restaurants as the Danforth (and the original Greektown) is just to the south.

3 restaurants on a street, an Indian Paan and snack plce, an Africa Indian restaurant called Simba, and a fish and chip restaurant

independent gas station and service center at Floyd street

a man fills a car tank with gas at an independent gas station, sign says price of a litre of gas is 99.9 cents

below: Golden Pizza Restaurant in an old brick building with a square facade at the roofline.

the golden pizza restaurant on Broadview, old 2 storey brick building with square roofline facade

below: Another square roofline, Logan Convenience

Logan convenience store, 2 storey red brick building, on a corner, with no other building next to it

Like most parts of the city, the houses are of various architectural styles.

houses Torrens

Whether I am correct or not, I don’t know but I have always associated East York with small post-war bungalows.

a well kept yellow brick post war bungalow with a grey roof and a partial white and green metal awning over the front steps that lead to a small porch

white bungalow with Christmas wreath on brown wood front door and a santa claus decoration on the front steps, a yellow fire hydrant by the sidewalk

A few are being “renovated”

construction of a new 2 storey house in between two square bungalows

below: What was surprising to me was how many multi-family buildings there are in the area –  Both lowrise…

front entrance, exterior, of a yellow brick lowrise apartment building from the 1960s or 1970s

4 storey apartment building, brick, on a corner

and apartment buildings

4 high rise apartment buildings in East York. winter time, trees with no leaves, blue sky,

curved white concrete cover over entrance of apartment building, that is brown brick with white balconies

two brick houses in front of a tall apartment building

lamp and lampost in front of a blank beige wall of an apartment building, with another highrise in the background.

below: I am beginning to think that there should be at least one old car picture in every blog post! I certainly encounter enough of them! Today’s car – a yellow Oldsmobile (from the 1970’s?).  Sounds like a challenge doesn’t it?!

an old yellow Oldsmobile car, with historic licence plate, parked in a driveway in front of an old white garage

The general idea yesterday afternoon was to walk Oakwood, southbound from St. Clair.  What I didn’t expect when I left my cosy apartment was a strong cold wind,  so part of the adventure was dictated by which direction the wind was blowing and how to avoid it (if possible!).  If some of these photos look a little blurry, it’s because of the snow that was falling all afternoon.

below: Pizza Pizza on the northwest corner of St. Clair and Oakwood.

NW intersection of St. Clair and Oakwood with a bus at a bus stop and a pizza pizza restaurant

below: I hadn’t gone far when I found a lane so of course I had to follow it…  Looking back towards Oakwood Collegiate.

looking down a lane that runs parallel to St. Clair West, with Oakwood Collegiate in the background.

below: Old black and white photo of St. Clair Ave from 1911 just after construction of Oakwood Collegiate was complete.  Oakwood Avenue is now on the other side of the school in this photo.  It is interesting to note that St. Clair had streetcar tracks back in 1911 but was still a dirt road.  Apparently the city started building these tracks when the school was open – the St. Clair streetcar line was open in 1913.   I found this photo in Living Toronto – follow the link if you want to read more about the history of this school.

vintage black and white picture of Oakwood Collegiate from 1911 when St. Clair was a dirt road

icicles along the edges of garage roofs in the backyards of two adjacent houses, view from the alley looking over the gate

in an alley, beside an orange concrete block garage, a wooden staircase leads to an upper floor, covered with snow

below: And that is where I spotted this man with a little red heart…

rough painting on a garage door of a man's face with a small red heart beside it

below: … and across the alley from him was this woman, also with another little red heart. It’s Valentines Day today, how sweet and how appropriate.

on a brick wall, a drawing of a woman's face with the eyes being the most prominent, a small red heart beside her face

below: The hearts just kept on coming.  I’d only walked a few minutes and already I had enough for a Valentines Day post! 🙂

graffiti, red heart on a wood fence

below: At the end of the lane I spotted this too…. can you see the LOVE?  It looks like it’s written in the middle of the pink and blue graffiti but it’s actually on the metal vent.

looking towards the side of a pinkish building, with graffiti higher up, over the level of the 2 storey buildings beside the pink one

below: So much for walking down Oakwood.   I circled back to St. Clair West where I saw the Yummi Cafe & Laundromat with it’s hand written sign in the window.  Support Our Teachers!  These are trying days for education in Ontario as the teachers lock horns with Doug Ford and his Conservatives who speak first and think later.

storefront, yummi cafe and laundromat, picture of pink ice cream cone as an ad for Kawartha Dairy, also a sign that says support your teachers, offering them free coffee

a bike with a flat front tire is locked to a street sign pole on the sidewalk on St. Clair west

below: This is middle section of the Royal Heights village mural painted by Murals by Marg in 2019.  It is on the side of 1006 St. CLair West (at Appleton Ave).

middle part of the Regal Heights mural, geometric shapes in bright colours

below: To the right is a small butterfly, child height.  Choose to be kind.

a butterfly in a colourful mural with the wods choose to be kind written above it

below: The left side has a larger butterfly as well as a bright yellow door with a blue umbrella.  Let love rain down!

a multi coloured butterfly, mostly blue and yellow, made of geometric shapes, in a mural beside a yellow door with a blue umbrella painted on it

below: Right across the street (on the northeast corner of Appleton & St. Clair) is this mural.  I haven’t been able to find out who the artist was.

mural in blues and greys on the side of a brown brick building, an outdoor winter scene

TTC streetcar stop on St. Clair West, stores, traffic lights, and poeple waiting to cross the road

below: Looking west on St. Clair as you approach Glenholme.

looking west on St. Clair approaching Glenholme, people on sidewalk, traffic lights, Boom restaurant, other store fronts
below: A coin laundry as well as Glenholme Variety on the southwest corner of St. Clair and Glenholme.

southwest corner of Glenholme and St. Clair with large 3 storey brick building housing GLenholme Variery store and a laundromat.

below: In front of 98 Glenholme is this little sculpture, an old fashioned sewing machine on a pole.  It marks the home of Marcello Tarantino Sartoria (tailor).

little metal sculpture of a sewing machine on a pole with a bit of green above it

below: Another alley – the wind back here is not so bad!

old green Chevrolet delivry van parked in a snowy alley, also part of a mural with hearts on it, alley scene

below: An old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholstering Co written across the side and above the front window in faded letters. Also fading is the text: Manufacturers of Individual Style(?) Furniture

old green Chevrolet delivery van with Imperial Upholsteriing Co written in faded cursive writing on the side

laneway scene, snow, car, poles, trees, garages, part of a mural with hearts on it

Mural by Ross Bonfanti and Sandra Tarantino with hearts, stars, a flying car and superhero kids.

mural by Bonfanti and Tarantino of superhero kids and los of pink and red hearts, a yellow star and a car with wings flying in a blue cloud

superhero kids mural

The alley ended at Dufferin and that is where I headed south.

below: The southwest corner of Dufferin and Davenport

south west corner of Dufferin and Davenport, pizza restaurant with large billboard on the roof

below: A black and white photo from 1912 of the construction of Dufferin Street at Davenport.  This photo is originally from the City of Toronto archives but I found it online in an article on the history of Dufferin Street in blogTO.

1912 black and white photo of construction of Dufferin, cobblestones or bricks, at Davenport

below: Mary looks down upon us, from a niche in the wall of St. Mary of the Angels church.

a small grey statue of Mary in a grey niche on the exterior of a brick church, St Mary of the Angels

below: Remnants of an art project left to weather on a fence around a schoolyard.

remnants of fabric or paper that has been wrapped around parts of a chainlink fence at a school yard

below: A smiling happy mural on the side of a dental office on Dufferin Street painted by spudbomb (2017)

long mural by spud bomb of a woman smiling, holding a red apple with a bite out of it in one hand and a globe in the other hand. She is wearing a red and purple striped close fitting outfit over her arms and head. On the side of a dental office. The word smile is written many times in different fonts

below: Just north of Dupont Street, the CPR tracks cross Dufferin.

a red railing separates a parking lot from a hill, in the background a white tanker railway car is passing over a bridge

train with grafiti on the side of the car passes over a bridge over Dufferin Street and there is graffiti on the walls of the underpass

graffiti on the side of a building by a small hill and some trees. The hill is part of the embannkment for the railway tracks

below: This strange pillar (artwork?) is on the southwest corner of Dufferin and Dupont.  It used to be the marker/sign for the stores in the Galleria plaza on that corner.  Everything there is under renovation at the moment so instead of tearing down the sign, it was converted into this.   Hence, “Love me till I’m me again”.

a sign that says Love me till I'm me again in red neon, on a column that has been spray painted in different colours, a neon red heart outline at the top, in a parking lot with cars passing by

below: From a different angle – the neighbourhood wins no beauty contest.

looking west on Dupont at Dufferin, old Galleria sign, parking lot, traffic lights, plaza

below: The architecture on Dufferin, both houses and stores, is a mishmash of styles (or non-styles!) that have evolved over the years.   The next few photos try to give you an idea of the variety.  First, at Dufferin & Rosemount

large house on the north west corner of Dufferin and Rosemount. Brick on the bottom, brown siding on the top, construction cones on the sidewalk around it

below: Dufferin & Hallam

house and stores on Dufferin street, including the San Antonio Coin laundromat and a Home hardware

chainlink fence with dead vines on it, snow, around the front of a brick house with broken railing on the porch

two storey barn style house, brick, with large pine tree in front yard

below: Dufferin & Auburn

intersection of dufferin and auburn streets, lowrise row houses with porch

side of a brick multi family residence, windows, white door, with a small white porch over the door, broke chair beside the door

below: Standing alone at 1432

old house number 1432 Dufferin with a new fence

below: 1452A and its neighbours

three houses on Dufferin, the one on the left is 1452A

a 2 storey semi divided house on Dufferin, upper level has a balcony with with a green and white railing, winter, snow on the ground

two storey semi divided house beside Dufferin Bloor auto shop, bus stop in front,

below: An ominous sign – a boarded up house on Dufferin Street.  Is change far behind?  Just in case, I like to document what’s there because in this city, you turn around and everything’s different.  And you think to yourself, “What used to be there?”  But you can’t remember because that is how our memories work and isn’t that disconcerting?

a large tree grows in front of a brick house that has been boarded up

November came in with a gust of grey and dampness.  So when the sun breaks through for a while it’s time to grab a coat and a camera and get walking even if it wasn’t you planned to do that day.

below: The cube house at the bottom of Sumach Street is still with us. It was for sale early in 2017.  At that time, March 2017, BlogTO published an article about this building that starts with this description: “Based on Dutch architect Piet Blom’s complex of Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, the UniTri structure dates back to 1996”.  It was sold in May 2018 for almost three million dollars.

1 Sumach Street, a building made of three green cubes on point on a white pedestal, 3 apartments.

below: No idea is original.  Seen under Richmond/Adelaide Streets.

a painting on a concrete pillar of an overpass, words, No idea is original there's nothing new under the sun, it's never what you do but how you do it.

below: This guy holding his hands in front of him and wearing a red wizard cap still adorns the corner of the Magic Building on Sumach.  He’s just one of a number of wizards you’ll find there.

a painting of a man with hands folded in front, and wizard cap on, on the exterior corner of a building

below: This was the scene of a large fire back in April 2018.  Three buildings were damaged with the one in the middle being beyond repair. It is now gone.  It’s been a long, slow recovery.

an empty bus shelter on Queen East, behind it is a vacant lot where a building had been destroyed by fire, to the left is a green building with bottom floor window boarded up and a sold sign on it. To the right is an old brick building

below: Another building gone.  This one by choice.

a new three storyhouse on the corner, a vacant lot beside it with blue covering as a new home is being built, other houses down the street after that

below: Colourful porch details.

a front porch painted in red and the steps in red and white stripes, wrought iron railing has parts painted white

below: A photo to document this part of Queen Street East because whether it’s in 2 years or 20, there will be changes.

Queen Stree East at Trefann, looking west along the north side of Queen, two story brick storefronts with apartments above, old brick buildings

variet and convenience store painted bright yellow, white metal grill covers window, lots of signs in and around the window in red letters

Amedae spice market store painted yellow with red trim on doors and windows, a large tree grows in front of the store.

a white BMW vehicle with no front licence plate parked in front of a small old building covered with signs that say we fix computers, cell phones and wireless solutions, etc

refelctions of autumnleaves and other buildings in a corner window of a rug store

two men walk past on the sidewalk

architectural details on old buildings on Queen Street East

Seaton Butcher shop exterioe, old brick building, red trim, Queen Street East

below:  A row of old brick houses at 79 through 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently destroyed some of the the upper levels and roofs.

 

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: The buildings are empty and boarded up.  This is the southeast corner of Shuter & Mutual.

row of old brick houses at 79 through to 85 Shuter Street where a fire has recently partially destroyed the upper levels and roofs

below: There is a development proposal notice on the buildings. The proposed plan saves the old houses and shows a tall glass building built behind and above them.

development proposal sign on side of yellowish brown brick building that is empty and boarded up.

below: That’s a big drill!

a large drill bit on the end of a piece of construction equipment that's parked in a vacant lot beside a beige building

below: Shuter Street at Church.

looking west on Shuter street at Church, St. Mikes hospital, construction at the NE corner of Shuter & Church, mural by parking lot

below: Looking north on Church Street towards the new buildings that are part of Ryerson University’s expansion.

looking north up Church Street from Shuter towards Ryerson University

below: Steeple, St. Michaels Cathedral

steeple of St. Michaels cathedral

below: Looking west on Dundas towards Victoria Street and Yonge Dundas Square. The cylinder structure is part of the CityTV building.  The outer layer is wire mesh.

 

looking west on Dundas Street towards Victoria Street, large cylinder structure above the street at City News building, TTC streetcar turn with walkway above it, billboards of Yonge Dundas square behind it

Yikes!  Preparations are already underway in the Distillery District for their annual Christmas market.

men on a blue lift crane at the distillery district, old brick building

At least their sign that counts down the number of days until Christmas is not hung yet.  I am not ready to think about Christmas yet!

 

leaning against the side of a building, on its side on the ground, the sign at the distillery district that says how many days left until Christmas

I was hoping for some sun as I walked the other day but October seems to have ended with clouds and rain.  November is here and it is notorious for being grey and depressing.   The clouds on these hoardings seemed appropriate.  They are around a construction site on Lower Sherbourne street, at the southeast corner of Lower Sherbourne and Front.

a woman walks past hoardings on Sherbourne street that are shiny and have pictures of clouds on them

below: This is the hole behind the hoardings.

construction site at Sherbourne and Front

That intersection, (LS & F), has construction sites at both the southeast and northwest corners.  At a third corner, the northeast, there is a development notice sign.

an Esso gas station at the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, also a Tim Hortons and a convenience store

Yet another developer wants to build yet another 37 storey building here.  At least one person has voiced their displeasure.

blue and white city of Toronto development notice on the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, now an Esso gas station, but developers want to put a 37 storey building there

And other signs of discontent nearby….

in blue marker, graffiti that says Doug Ford kills

time and space condo hoardings where someone has written the word no in front of space, so you have time and no space condos

below: Looking west on King Street East at Jarvis.

King street east,, looking west from Jarvis Street towards steeple of St. James Cathedral and the trees in front of it in autumn colours

below: St. James Park gets new walkways

chainlink fence around parts of St. James park as new walkways are constructed

below: In the Sculpture Garden across the street from St. James Cathedral is a collection of wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them.  This is an art installation by Lou Sheppard called Dawn Chorus/Evensong 2019.  It is part of the Toronto Biennial of Art that is on now (until late in December).  It “interrupts the denaturalized landscape with music created through the transposition of spectrograms of birdsong…”

in a garden, on flat space, grass, wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them

below: ‘Haunted City’.  One of a few Halloween decorations along Queen West.

a skeleton wrapped in black hood and cape in a window, with reflections of stores and street on Queen West

below: While walking up Spadina this bike caught my attention because

bike decorated with many used tea bags parked beside a tree on Spadina

below: … it’s decorated with many, many used tea bags. On closer inspection, there seem to be quite a few different brands. My guess is that this is one of a kind…. or at least I hope so!

close up of bike decorated with many used tea bags

a black and red motorbike is parked by a mural in Chinatown of a person carrying babies in baskets.

below: I’m not sure just what these added words mean.  Is now real?  Can we be sure?

orange fence around a tree, tree protection area, someone has written on the sign: Now is the only thing real

below: A few remaining campaign signs from the federal election back in October.  The Liberals won every Toronto seat.

side of a building in Chinatown, stores and restaurant, bike parked there, also three large Adam Vaughan election signs.

looking across Spadina to a store in Chinatown

two women standing on a sidewalk, talking to each other,

skeleton graffiti on a metal street box

below: Discarded and left in a pile in an alley, JFK and Bobby Kennedy rugs.  Not one but four? or five?

small blue carpets in a pile on the ground, about 4 of them, with pictures of John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, a brown eagle, and some words

below: Uber5000 birdies riding in tandem, along with an old banana seat bike affixed to the wall.

an UBer5000 mural of two yellow birdies on a tandem bike. An old bike is affixed to the wall beside the mural

below: A grumpy sign?  Or just a sign with fangs?

at the entrance to an alley, a red and white do not enter sign has been altered, a face has been drawn it in black sharpie

part of a tuquoise painted house beside an alley with fall foilage, a truck and man in the distance

below: Van Gogh can still be found on Huron Street

a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh on an exterior wall, street art mural

below: This is part of the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) building at College & Huron Streets.  There might be a certain charm in the concrete buildings of this era… when it comes time to renovate them or tear them down, will there be an effort made to save them?

tree with a few remaining yellow leaves in front of a concrete building with long vertical recessed windows

below: Nearby, this “artwork” on the exterior of 215 Huron Street, is from the same time period.

a black metal bench, outside, sits in front of a wall with an artwork on it made from different colours of concrete and pebbles

below: Reflections in a window on the University of Toronto campus.

reflections in a set of windows

below: U of T playing fields on Hoskin Ave with the black/darker brick Trinity College behind.

University of Toronto playing fields, from the south, with Trinity College behind and then city buildings behind that

A few more “campus in autumn” photos

large tree in autumn colours on University of Toronto campus

orange plastic fence, orange and black cone, and autumn trees in a corner of U of T campus

yellow and orange leaves in front of a grey stone building

below: There were still lots of leaves on the trees at Queens Park too.

autumn trees in Queens Park

below: Some of the oak trees had multicoloured leaves.

oak leaves in greens, yellows, reds, and oranges

autumn trees in Queens Park including some pinkish coloured leaves

below: End.  Yes, this is the end.

large black letters make the word end on a red brick wall

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will be 19 km long once it’s finished in 2021.  The other day I posted some pictures of the construction between Yonge & Victoria Park on the eastern section.  This post covers the stretch from the Allen Expressway to Weston Road where the tracks end in the west.

below: A new way to ride. For a city on the move. Cringe worthy design.

pink billboard seen between pine trees, raised high, words on it that say A new way to ride. For a city on the move. Eglinton Crosstown arrives 2021.

below: Approaching the south end of the Allen Expressway as well as Eglinton West subway station from the east.  Eglinton West station, on the Yonge University line, is low building with a flat concrete roofline.  You can hardly see it in the photo, but it’s there.  The interior of the present station is heavy on the concrete, a legacy from the 1970’s.  As to whether or not this will be renovated, I don’t know.

workman with a slow sign upside down, on a construction site in the middle of a street, crosstown eglinton lrt

below: No room for the sidewalk so it diverts through Ben Nobleton park.

a sidewalk ends at a fence arond a construction site and pedestrians are diverted through a park to the left, signs on the fence directing traffic

below: Working under Eglinton Avenue in front of Eglinton West station.  Once the Crosstown in open, this will become Cedarvale station.

construction site, excavation and building under a road

sidewalk, many orange construction signs cluttering the sidewalk, bus stop, traffic on the street,

below: The big green crane at Oakwood station

large green overhead crane on steel runners, hanging over a construction site

below: Beside Oakwood station with all the “Open for Business” signs.  Businesses in the area are struggling.

crosswalk leading to buildings, stores beside the construction of Oakwood LRT station, concrete barriers and fence in front of most of them, Manafa Law office and Asian massage therapy centre, signs saying open for business, Eglinton Avenue West, crosstown construction

wire mesh fence in front of open pit excavation of underground LRT, steel cross beams and wood supports,

open pit excavation of underground LRT, steel cross beams and wood supports,

a workman in hard hat and yellow jacket stands on a pile of steel rods on the back of a flat bed truck with a crane lowering a steel beam into the ground in front of him

below: At Dufferin, looking north towards Central Seventh Day Adventist Church.  Fairbanks station will be at this intersection.

blue fences between sidewalk and rad at Eglinton and Dufferin, construction, church in the background,

below: Also at Dufferin, this time looking south towards St. Hilda’s towers.

red brick apartment buildings with crosstown LRT construction in front of them.

below: Photobombed!

a workman in a hard hat and carrying yellow packages walks in front of the camera on a construction site

stop sign in front of a construction site on Eglinton Ave

below: Construction of Caledonia station in front of Westside mall.  Because this station is adjacent to the Barrie corridor (GO train), plans are in the works to build a GO station here too.

three apartment buildings in the background, construction in foreground, in front of a grocery store, snow on the ground, green fence around the construction

below: A mural showing the evolution of TTC streetcars, painted by Jim Bravo in 2017, with supported from Fairbanks Village BIA, Josh Colle (city councillor), the City of Toronto., and Sherwin Williams paint.

mural of the evolution of TTC streetcars and LRT vehicles, painted by Jim Bravo in 2017, stylized but realistic looking

below: Construction in front of York Memorial Collegiate (at Keele).

Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction at Keele, in front of

below: looking east along Eglinton from Keele.

street scene, traffic and stores, construction in the middle of the street, Eglinton Avenue looking wast from Keele street

two workmen in hard hats and orange work vest look at paperwork on a construction site.

below: Working on the westernmost section of the LRT after it emerges from underground between Keele Street  and Black Creek Drive.   As you can see, the tracks are elevated and cross over Black Creek before entering the terminal station at Weston Road (Mount Dennis station).

work on the west end of the corsstown lrt, after the tracks emerge from underground, raised track for a section before final station

crane lifting wood panel from bridge, used as a form for making concrete, workmen watching,

below: The western end of the line.   The bridge is new.  I am a bit annoyed because I didn’t pursue it – I don’t know where the road goes!  It has to go somewhere because I saw at least two vehicles on it.  A quick search on google maps plus a guess equals maybe it’s an extension of Photography Drive (named that because it’s where the old Kodak factory was).

new building under construction, older white large building behind it. road in foregraound, Mt Dennis LRT station under construction

below: There is pedestrian access to the bridge, or rather, there will be access.

new concrete steps, still fenced off, up a hill with a light covering of snow to a new bridge

Then Eglinton Avenue passes under the railway tracks (the same line that the Union Pearson Express runs on) and into Mount Dennis.

construction beside a bridge, underpass is a street

below: Construction of another access to Mt Dennis station to the west of the railway tracks.

construction of Mt Dennis LRT station beside Eglinton ave and beside railway tracks

back of houses behind construction of mount dennis LRT station

below: The EMSF aka the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility is almost finished.  It’s the long low grey building in the photo; it is about the size of 4 football fields.  Access is from a side street to the north of Eglinton.  This isn’t the best photo of it.  If you are interested, there is a better photo online (a ‘Toronto Now’ article) that is taken from an angle that I can’t access.   The same article describes how the Mt Dennis station will be the second largest transit hub in the city (after Union Station) as it will service GO trains, the TTC, and the Union Pearson Express.

green construction fence in front of a long low building in two shades of grey

below: mural by Adrian Hayles at the northeastern corner of Weston Road and Eglinton Avenue.

Mount Dennis Metrolinx mural by Adrian Hayles, people, a boy fishing, a person playing hockey, machinery, a turtle,

street sign for Victoria Park Ave., top part says Wexford Heights

Victoria Park Avenue used to be the boundary between North York and Scarborough back before the boroughs were all amalgamated into the city. As a result, it suffered a bit from being ignored by both. I started my walk at Vic Park and Eglinton in part because I have driven this route a few times but never walked it. In addition, the arrival of the LRT here will probably have an impact on the area so I wanted to see the “before” picture.

below: A blue and white City of Toronto development notice at the NE corner of Eglinton and Victoria Park. This was once the western edge of the “Golden Mile”. In the 1950’s and 1960’s there were numerous factories including a General Motors assembly plant. Commercial developments were attracted to the area such as the Golden Mile Plaza built in 1954 (and visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1959). This notice pertains to the plans to develop a large piece of land between Victoria Park and Pharmacy Avenues with housing, retail, and parks. The new Crosstown LRT will service the area with two stops, one at Vic Park and one at Pharmacy.

blue and white toronto development notice sign on a section of grass by a parking lot, stores in the distance

The only snow on the ground when I walked north from Eglinton were the dirty piles where snow plows had dumped the snow over the winter.

a green street sign for Eglinton Ave lies on the ground, on a pile of dirty snow, a bull dozer is in the background.

below: Looking north from Craigton which is the first street north of Eglinton. There are a lot of lowrise apartment buildings in this area.

back of a TTC bus as it stops at Victoria Park and Craigton, a woman is standing at a bus stop

three lowrise white apartment buildings in the distance, hydro wires, vacant land

below: Community garden on the hydro right of way.

community garden surrounded by orange wire fence, under hydro poles,

hydro poles, utility poles, electricity, and wires

wooden pole with street sign for Elvaston and a no truck sign, in the background, signs from stores in a strip mall

below: Sale only until Dec. 24 so hurry in…. a little late? or too early?

two people walk past a store with a sign in the window that says hurry up because sale ends Dec 28. photo taken in March

below: Commercial development took the form of strip malls when there was lots of space and density was low.

blue wire fence around an empty strip mall

old and empty Prince Cleaners (dry cleaners) in a strip mall that is empty and fenced off and waiting for redevelopment

signs for retail on a strip mall

old no apartments for rent sign outside a brick apartment building

The first settlers in the area were mostly farmers until the late 1940’s.

below: St. Judes Anglican church was built in 1848 by the Rev William Stewart Darling and the Anglican families of the Wexford area; it is the oldest surviving Anglican church in Scarborough. A more modern church was built behind it (just out of the picture) in the mid 1950’s when the population of the neighbourhood boomed. The cemetery began as a private burial plot for the Parkin family – the infant son of Patrick and Ann, Edward, was buried here in 1932.

a small white church in a cemetery, St. Juds Anglican church built in 1848

below: The intersection of Lawrence and Victoria Park. A bit forlorn.

empty parking lot at the intersection of two roads, Victoria Park Ave and Lawrence ave., truck and some other traffic, Damas middle eastern restaurant and a Shell gas station

below: Low rise, flat roofed townhouses. Most of the development on Victoria Park dates from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

1960's low rise, flat roofed townhouses in front, with red brick apartment building behind, large trees, winter, no leaves, grassy area in front

below: Some small postwar bungalows line the street, and the side streets on the Scarborough side.

a small bungalow on a side street that faces the main road, Victoria Park Ave

a few cars on the street driving past some small bungalows

below: A railway corridor passes under Victoria Park north of Lawrence.

looking from a bridge onto the train tracks below and downtown in the distance

pine tree growing in front of a brick building

two lowrise apartment buildings side by side on Victoria Park Ave., one in red brick and the other is yellow

below: A wonderful wide W shaped roofline

a wide W shaped roof line on the cover over an entrance to an apartment building

below: H is for Hockey and Hockey Sticks

a teal coloured, large H in front of an arrangement of hockey sticks, artwork on the top of a wood fence

below: No trespassing signs on the bus shelter?

empty building, with fence around it and no trespassing signs

Victoria Park continues north to beyond Steeles Avenue but I didn’t get anywhere near that far! North of Ellesmere and York Mills Road it becomes much more suburban and not as interesting. It’s more of a thoroughfare and less of a city street.

It was a beautiful day on Monday when I visited the “Winter Stations” (scroll down to next blog post), cold but sunny.   I decided to walk north on Woodbine since I haven’t done that for a while.

below: Playing with mirrors while waiting for the washroom at Woodbine Beach because there is only one women’s washroom (why is there only one?)

a mirror shaped like a porthole with a green frame, on a bright blue wall, reflection of another porthole but on an orange wall in the mirror

below: From portholes to demolition holes – I made it as far as Queen and Woodbine where there is a large hole in the ground

at the intersection of Queen and Woodbine, a hole in the ground on the north east corner and a Pizza Pizza restaurant on the south east corner

… because just north of there I discovered alleys and small streets that I don’t remember walking.  Who can resist the allure of a red door?

looking down an alley in winter, two brown tire tracks for the cars, but lots of snow. Fences, trees, and a house on a street at the end with a red front door.

below: I went to Norway

street signs on a post. a one way sign pointing left, a green and white sign that says Norway Ave continues to the right ahead

below: And I passed the North Pole

a lawn decoration in a snow covered front yard, a flat wood snowman with red and white striped hat and scarf and a sign that says north pole

below: I even walked past this No Trespassing sign.  The old cars parked the house behind caught my eye but this was as far as I ventured.

a no trespassing sign on a wire fence, snow covered driveay, two old cars parked in the backyard, beyond the fence

When there is no planned route and you’re only following your nose or sticking to the sunny side of the street, you can run into some surprises.  There were a lot of older houses – here are a few of them:

below: There are still some of these Victorian rowhouses closer to downtown but I wasn’t expecting to find any here.   As it turns out, this was part of the village/town of East Toronto.  In 1888 it was a village with about 800 residents.  It became part of the City of Toronto twenty years later (and with 4200 more people).

two semi houses with gabled roofs and covered porches, from the 1800's. snowy street scene, large trees, winter

As it turns out, one of the streets that I walked on, Lyall Avenue, is a Heritage Conservation District.  The street was surveyed in 1884 and by 1888 a few houses were built on some of the fifty yard lots.  Most of the development occurred between 1909 and 1924.  It was definitely a middle class neighbourhood.   The full report published in 2006 appears on the City of Toronto planning department website.

an upper storey oriel window with curved edges

below: This house stands alone.  A very typical older Toronto house.

a typical old Toronto two storey house with peaked roof, reddish brick, two wondows upstairs, one large window downstairs, white front door with a small roof over the door, lots of yard

below: This tidy well-kept workers cottage can only be accessed from the lane.

a workers cottage that fronts onto a snow covered lane, grey vertical wood paneling on the outside, black roof

below: A white picket fence and wicker furniture waiting for spring.

a white picket fence in the snow, wicker chairs in the yard covered with snow

large two stroey brick houses, winter, street,

All of the above houses were north of Kingston Road where the lots sizes were fairly big.  South of Kingston Road, the houses are narrower and close together. (or joined together).

the backyards and back of houses in a row, winter,

below: This square, substantial sized brick building is on Kingston Road.  Between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street, Kingston Road runs along the crest of a ridge.

large old brick house on Kingston Road, three stories,

below: Newer residential buildings on Kingston Road.

part of three new buildings

below: 1922, looking west along Kingston Road from Main street.  That’s almost 100 years ago, and there were streetcars running here even then.  No cars, just a horse and wagon.

old black and white picture from 1922 of a dirt street with a street car track, hydro poles beside the road and a house

Photo credit: City of Toronto Archives. Found online in a ‘Beach Metro’ article where you’ll find more history of the area.

The next three photos are some of the typical two storey, flat roofed, brick, all in a row, stores and businesses that were built in Toronto in the early 1900’s and later.   If I remember correctly, these were all on Kingston Road.

a storefront trimmed in bright yellow and angled at the corner, intersection of Kingston Rd and Brookside

two stores, old architecture, two storey buildings with apartments on top

Perlux cleaners, old sign painted on side of building, convenience store, mounds of snow by the sidewalk

below: A warm and colourful summer scene painting behind a chainlink fence that surrounds the playground at  Kimberley Junior Public School.

colourful painting behind a chainlink fence in a school yard, winter, snow on the ground around it, picture is of three kids in large yellow hats, playing on green grass

below: Mural at Gerrard and Main.

karate, martial arts mural on a wall

below: The last architecture picture – this building with a turret at Kingston Road.  Here Main Street becomes Southwood Drive.

commercial building with a turret at an intersection

below: Looking north on Main Street from Gerrard.  Here the streetcar turns towards Main subway station.  The bus shelter in the middle of the street is definitely old style – one of the few remaining in the city.  From here Main street is a bridge over the railway tracks.

looking north up Main street from Gerard, streetcar tracks with a bus shelter in the middle of the street. old style bus shelter, Main street then goes up, as a bridge over the train tracks. Highrise apartment building in the background.

below: From the bridge, looking southeast over Danforth GO station. Prior to 1940, this was the location of York Station as well as the Grand Trunk Railway’s main freight yard.  The yard stretched along Gerrard Street and employed several hundred people.   At that time, Gerrard Street was called Lake View Avenue (could you see Lake Ontario from there?).

view from a bridge over railway tracks, Danforth GO station below, houses beyond. covered platforms between two sets of tracks

below: York station in 1890.  It was renamed Danforth in 1922 and demolished in 1974 to make way for the GO station.  The freight yard is to the right.

york railway station in 1890. train is letting off passengers

Photo credit: Toronto Public Library. The picture was found online in an article on Danforth station that appears on the Toronto Railway Historical Association website

 

below: Hanging out on the Danforth

large white sign with green GO logo, Danforth station. a group of pigeons is sitting on top of the sign.

 

But I didn’t hang out for long.  From here to Main Street subway station is only a few steps and that was enough walking.
My writing can be almost erratic as my walking!  I hope that I didn’t lose you along the way.

 

wooden chair outside, against the side of a house, snow on it.