Posts Tagged ‘street scenes’

506 is the number of the Carlton streetcar which runs from High Park in the west to Main Street subway station in the east.  The older cars still run on this route and one advantage of these older streetcars is that they have windows that open.  This makes it easy to take pictures while travelling; yesterday I went eastward from Yonge as far as Coxwell, sometimes on the streetcar and sometimes on foot.

below: Pointing the camera out the window, D & J Mart Convenience store at the corner of Gerrard & Sackville.

picture taken out the window of a streetcar on Gerrard, an older 2 storey brick building with retail on the lower level, two large old wood hydro poles

below: A new curvy building rises up on the corner of Carlton and Church.  The older building on the left with the R U on the top is the old Maple Leaf Gardens, now part of Ryerson University as well as a large Loblaws.

new highrise building under construction beside the old brick building that was Maple Leaf Gardens on Carlton street.

below: People, striped hoardings, and closed sidewalks.

people walking past painted hoardings in front of a construction site, painted in stripes

below: Waiting outside Jenny’s at the corner of Parliament and Gerrard where the streetcar makes another turn.

a young man stands beside a stroller outside Jenny's Convenience store on Parliament street, large red and white sign with kit kat logo on it twice - once at each end

below: Another convenience store on a corner on Gerrard.  This time there is also a construction site in the picture!  Are there more construction sites than variety stores or vice versa in this city?

from the streetcar window, a food mart on the corner and construction across the street from it.

people sitting on a TTC street car, three people, two women and a man.

below: Looking south on Broadview at Gerrard.

Broadview looking south from Gerrard with utility poles and lots of wires, people crossing the street, some traffic, the clears with the sign with a red cross on it

below:  The 506 streetcar passes through Chinatown East (the area around Broadview & Gerrard) where many of the old houses are also businesses.

older houses turned into businesses on the ground floor, two semis with Chinese businesses, one is Ly Ly beauty salon

below: The southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard now has an A & W restaurant which seems like an intruder in an otherwise Chinese/Asian section of town.

looking at the southeast corner of Broadview and Gerrard with a large A and W restaurant on the corner. Beyond that, the other stores and restaurants are Chinese

below: At the intersection of Gerrard and Carlaw, where the railway passes over the roads, the walls have been freshly painted.  The north wall is a series of abstract shapes and colours like this.

a person in an electric wheelchair, or motorized scooter, passes by a wall that is covered with street art, traveling on the sidewalk

below: The new painting incorporates the older art that was there. In the center of the newly painted rectangles are two grey shapes, these are originals.  They are part of a 1996 installation by Dereck Revington called ‘Blue Fire’.  There is still a plaque that describes these aluminum pieces as “a constellation of five paired aluminum fragments etched with traces of a poem by Robin Blaser and suspended from the entrances to the underpass”.   Strange grey shapes (flames?) on dirty white concrete.  Regardless of what you think of the concept, the reality is that it was drab.

part of a railway overpass has been painted with street art

below: Lead artist Kirsten McCrea (also known as Hello Kirsten) and her assistants, Victoria Day & Julian Palma, have certainly brightened up the space!  The south wall is a series of frames pictures of hands holding flowers.   As seen from across the street ….

railway underpass street art, seen throughthe supporting concrete arches, paintings of hands holding flowers, framed

below: … and from close up

a dark brown hand holding a sprig of small light purple flowers

below: And lastly, the end support wall of the overpass where the flowers and the stylized shapes come together.

painting on a concrete pillar of a railway overpass, a rose with leaves, stem, and thornes, a collage of abstract shapes and

below: Store signs near Pape including the bilingual Italy Hair Design – but not in Italian!

store fronts on Gerrard including one that is painted bright green, signs over the doors including the Italy hair design store with sign in English and Chinese

below: With remnants of the past such as string of pennants faded to grey….

old three storey brick building with big bay windows on the upper two floors. Ground floor is a store or restaurant with bright red door and yellow metal bars over the windows

below: … or an old street sign still attached to the building.

side of an old brick building with stone features, an old street sign on the building Gerrard Street, now a law office with signs in the windows

below: After Greenwood, the 506 streetcar passes through Little India before it turns north on Coxwell.

food and containers on a table outside a store, with pink and green floral table cloth

below:  In the late afternoon and evening, Little India is much more lively.  Many shops sell food on the street – roasted corn on the cob (a pile is ready to cook on the green table here) as well as south Asian foods.   To the right of the corn is a bundle of sugar cane.

Mumbai Paan shop on Gerrard Street in Little India with a barbeque on the sidewalk, a bucket of corn and a pile of sugar cane

These few kilometres on a streetcar route have opened a small but fairly typical cross section of the city starting with the newer, taller, shinier center.  There’s quite a bit of multiculturalism, some history, and some colourful new art.   It’s a story that plays out all over the city in many similar yet different forms.  Familiar but unique.

 

below: Searching for a story? 😇

three people looking into the sun. Two are shielding their eyes with their hands, wearing sunglases, looking slightly upwards as if searching for something.

 

There are a few exhibits showing at the Ryerson Image Centre at the moment but the one that I want to highlight today is “Rich and Poor” by Jim Goldberg.  Goldberg took portraits of people in the San Francisco area in their home environments between 1977 and 1985.  They are divided into two sections, “rich” and “poor”.

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: Each portrait is accompanied by a comment from the person being portrayed, in their own handwriting.  This woman, Nell, provides the wonderful quote: “If you want to stunt your growth, be rich.”

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: The pictures are fascinating, and the words reveal more details of the subjects.  “My wife is acceptable”.   The poor woman.  In the picture she is off to the side and almost disappears into the background as she looks at the floor.   I thought of the words ‘abject’ and ‘woeful’ when I first saw her but I think that maybe the best word to describe the look on her face is ‘blank’.

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

below: Whether you’re rich or poor, or more likely some where in between, what you say about yourself if you were the subject?

Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) gallery, Jim Goldberg portraits "Rich and Poor' exhibition of black and white portraits in San Francisco in the 1980s

This show continues until April 8th

A walk along Queen Street East from Broadview to Greenwood.

A no smoking sign written on a piece of paper that is upside down, as viewed from the other side of the window. Looking out onto a patio.

below: Welcome to Riverside, mural at the corner of Queen and Grant streets featuring the sign on the Queen bridge as it crosses over the Don River.

People walking past the intersection where there a mural for Riverside area of Toronto, TTC streetcar in the mural. It is on the upper floor of a two storey brick building.

below: Farther east on Queen Street, at Curzon,  there is this ‘Greetings from Leslieville’ mural.

One of the Leslieville murals. Greetings from Leslieville with a postcard on it.

There are many interesting little stores on this stretch of Queen Street.
All the benches have been painted in cheerful colourful stripes.

Looking across the street at a man sitting on the edge of a concrete planter for a tree as well as a multicoloured striped bench with two women sitting on it. They are in front of two storey brick buildings with stores on the bottom level and apartments on the top. One of the stores is Bronze.

Rubiks cubes and large red and white dice in a store window, some real and some reflected in a a mirror on the wall.

looking into the window of a pharmacy, a toy troll is in a white mug. The mug has red lettering - Yours pharmacy. Also a mortar and pestle in the window along with a box with medicines for influenza

below: On the 21st of April (yesterday), Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday.
A number of stores and restaurants had displays in her honour.

items in a store window. A Canadian flag, a mountie figurine that waves, two mugs featuring Queen Elizabeth and a container of tea.

A picture of Queen Elizabeth hangs on a wall in a cafe, seen through the window with reflections of the sky. There are red chairs in the cafe

Queen Street East was developed as long ago as the mid 1800’s and remnants of various decades can be found as one explores the area.
below: … details such as this fading Canada Dry sign.  The formula for Canada Dry ginger ale was developed in the early 1900’s by John J. McLaughlin, of the same McLaughlin family whose early automobile factory led to the start of General Motors.  This ginger ale was patented in Toronto in 1907.  Usually the words ‘Canada Dry’ are written in red, not yellow.   Is there a time when Canada Dry used yellow lettering?

An older Canada Dry advertisement sign hangs over the entrance to Eddies Convenience Store on Queen St East.

below:  At the corner of Queen and Coady there is also a ghost sign for Coady Sweets as well as an advertisement for Coca-Cola.

On a corner, Edjan Convenience Store with people walking past it. On the side of the upper floor of the two storey brick building is a ghost sign advertising coca cola and Coady Sweets. At the corner of Coady and Queen St. East in Leslieville Toronto
  below: Call it luck – even a vintage car drove past while I was there.

A black vintage car drives by on Queen St East

below: An old KitKat advertisement on the side of Boston Discount Store.  If you look closely, there is also an original Boston Ave street sign at the top right of the KitKat ad.

Side of a convenience store with an ad for KitKat, have a break, is painted on the side. Boston Discount Store on the corner of Queen St. East and Boston Ave

below: Even older are the buildings in the mural of Queen St. East circa 1926.  I am not sure if this an accurate depiction of a particular stretch of Queen Street.  It might be interesting to do some research to find out if the picture can be retaken, 90 years later.  So far I have been unable to find out anything about a Jackson Brothers store on Queen East.

Black and white mural of historical picture of Queen St East

below:  A sign of the new, some of the new TTC streetcars are now running along Queen Street.

The side of a new TTC streetcar behind a striped bench on a sidewalk

below: A mural depicting Frank Zappa along with the words
“Stupidity has a certain charm.  Ignorance does not.”

A mural of Frank Zappa on the upper floor of a two storey building. Also includes the words Stupidity has a certain charm, ignorance does not.

below: Like so many places and streets in Toronto, there are condos going up here too.

reflections in the shiny black hoardings around a condo construction site. buildings, car, people

A young man walks past the Value Village Donation Center that has a large window with 3 mannequins in it. A bike is parked in front.

below: The railway tracks pass over Queen Street.  A number of years ago the underpass was decorated with paintings of different animals and those paintings remain in good shape.

A small section of the railway bridge over Queen St. East near De Grassi. The far wall is painted light blue and there are picture of animals on it.

below: Once upon a time trains served this area.  There was a railway station here but it is long gone.

historical plaque describing the history of Riverdale train station at Queen St. East and De Grassi St in Toronto

transcription:

“In 1896, the Grand Trunk Railway opened its Queen East Station to serve Toronto’s growing east end.  Renamed Riverdale Station in 1907, the building stood here on De Grassi Street at Queen Street East.  Its dramatic turret, bay window, and a deep overhanging roof were defining features typical of small railway stations of the period.

In 1904, a streetcar collided with a freight train at the level crossing on Queen Street East, killing three people and injuring 18.  This and subsequent accidents led to the elevation of the new Union Station railway corridor above city streets and sidewalks.  The station was moved in 1927 to accommodate the new embankment for the underpass, the first of nine to be completed.  Dwindling passenger numbers during the Great Depression led to the closure of Riverdale Station in 1932 and its demolition in 1974.”

below: Looking west from under the railway bridge.

Photo taken from under a bridge, looking west along Queen St. East, cars on the street, a restaurant on the corner, and some women on the sidewalk.

below: A train themed mural in an alley just off Queen Street.

Street art painting of a brown train boxcar, with a yellow and orange tag on it, on the side of a building in an alley.

board outside Fuzz salon.

graffiti, white stick drawing of a man with a beard pointing his finger, or giving someone the finger, hard to tell

Two brick stores on Queen St East, two storey. One is the OKOK diner with a mural on the side of it that features an older version TTC streetcar.
reflections in the window of a cafe. Red benches are outside the window. People, TTC streetcar

Looking into a store window. A small model of the Statue of Liberty, a fire extinguisher, a pump and some PVC pipe parts. Reflections of sky, buildings from across the street and a yellow set of lights above a cross walk.

The painted sign on the door of Dangerous Dan's restaurant that says, No bathrooms, no change, no outside food, no kidding.

Bare branches, snow, and sometimes blue sky –
things that usually only come together in winter.

Views that are hidden behind summer leaves are revealed in winter’s barrenness.

A very large tree in winter in front of three semi detached two stroey houses on the beach.

A street scene - row houses, some red brick and some painted in green, with two very tall trees in front of them.

Trees take on a different character when they have no leaves

An interesting shaped tree with many large branches in a snow covered alley with garages along both sides of the alley.

and they cast a different shadow.

The lower part of a tree, mostly the tree trunk, beside a pale grey fence, in the snow.  The shadow on the fence shows a lot of the upper tree branches as well.

Toronto is a city of trees.  They are everywhere, and a surprising number of them are large, mature trees. 

A large tree with bare branches in front of row houses from the 19602 or 1970s.  red brick with contrasting white siding, black mansard roofs.  Don Mills.

An alley with a wood fence on the right and a brick building on the left.  A car is parked at the end and just beyond the car is a large tree.  Winter time. snow.

A view from a snow covered park.  Two large trees, the one farther away is a birch tree.  A black metal fence is between the park and the sidewalk.  Single family houses are across the street from the park but there are large apartment buildings in the distance.

Regent park housing slated for demolition, in the snow with trees,

A tree in front of an old brick house.

When we think of trees we usually think of shade on a hot day, or maybe the joy that spring buds bring, or maybe the rustle of fallen leaves in the autumn.   The winter tree is often overlooked but they too add to the character of this city. 

A large gold sparkly treble clef hangs from a tree branch. A decoration in winter.