Posts Tagged ‘street’

The Last Day of February

below:  These boots are made for walking… walking through the snow and slush on a sunny day.

reflection in a shiny stainless steel panel of a person in pink boots walking on a snowy and slushy sidewalk

February has come to a close but it’s still winter and there’s still lots of snow on the ground.  There was a bit of a respite from the cold the other day but rumour has it we’re headed back to some very cold temperatures in the near future.  Of course, slightly warmer temperatures mean slush and puddles on the streets and sidewalks of Toronto.

below: The CN Tower is reflected in an oily puddle.

the CN tower is reflected in a large puddle with a bit of an oil slick, on a sidewalk downtown Toronto

below: The cows don’t seem to mind the snow!

two sculptures of cows lying down, snow covered lawn,

below: And the dogs at Berczy Park are all sporting scarves!

a light scarf is tied around the neck of a sculpture of a dog

below: Slow thaw.  Melting and dripping down the window.

looking through a drity window that has melting ice on it and something red behind it is out of focus

below: Rust and snow

close up of rusty bicycle gears and chain, bike is parked in the snow

below: Outside smoke break shadows.   Brrrrr

a man in a suit and tie is standing outside, his back to a bright turquoise wall, he is looking at his phone and has a cigarette in the other hand, shadows,

below: Sun and reflections, southwest corner of King St and University Ave

buildings on the southwest corner of University Ave and King Street, traffic lights, entrance to St. Andrew subway station

below: Flip yourself around….  and now looking north up University Ave past the northeast corner of University and King Street West.

looking at the northeast corner of King Street and University Ave., entrance to St. Andrew subway station, a man is coming up the stairs and out of the station, Canada Life building and other tall buildings in the background

below: Wet tree branches glistening in the sun

trees with no leaves in front of a building that is reflecting another building

below: More tree branches, but soft and feathery this time

winter, snow on tree, dead leaves on tree, wispy leaves, in front of a rust coloured building

below: These two little birds now watch over the dogs in Berczy Park.

two yellow birds, not real, little sculptures, perched on the bar of a street lamp

below: A section of a picture on display at Union Station.  It is part of an exhibit called “A Thousand Paths Home” and is the work of Torontonian Yung Yemi aka Adeyemi Adegbesan aka SoTeeOh.  A write up of his work appeared in Afropunk.

part of a picture on display, art work, Union station,

below: There were also some real people at Union Station, or at least parts of people.

looking along a wall at Union station, there are photos on the wall, part of an exhibit, between the pictures there are recesses in the wall with benches and people sitting on the benches, only their legs show in the photo

below: Looking north up Lower Simcoe Street towards the railway bridge

Lower Simcoe Street, looking north from Bremner Blvd, GO train on the trains on the bridge above the street

below: Salt and dirt and slush and snow, yes, the city in winter.

part of a very dirty blue car, parked in the dirty brown slush at the side of a street, snow, winter time,

below: It’s nice to still find lovebots!

large lovebot sticker on the back of a sign. Three lovebots in different shopes, with the words uploading love

yellow sign on sidewalk that says Caution Falling Ice Overhead

Falling snow and ice from above, and slush under foot. That was February.

a white star on the dark sidewalk, with dirty slush on top of it in blotches

Back in November, before I went away, a friend and I ventured out to New Toronto because we had heard that there was a new Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street. Just north of Lakeshore Blvd., 30th street passes under the railway tracks.  This is where the new mural is.  It’s a collaboration with fellow artist Phil Cote and it’s nearly 500 feet long.

below: North of the railway tracks

a large section of the mural by Nick Sweetman on 30th street as it passes under the railway tracks

Photos of the mural, in no particular order:

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, close up of the face of a creature with white whickers and a blue nose

a butterfly

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, large butterfly

some turtles

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a large turtle and a smaller turtle, by the railing along side the sidewalk

two birds in flight – all of a redwing blackbird and part of a cardinal

a red wing black bird in flight and the back part of a cardinal, part of a mural

a bee on two orange flowers

a bee, on two large orange flowers, Nick Sweetman mural

some fish

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a yellowish fish with blue fins

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a purple fish with yellow speckles and fins

a fox, a duck with duckling, and a purple owl

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a fox, a duck with yellow duckling and a purple owl

a cute furry animal

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a small furry animal bside a plant with pink flowers, as well as a person standing on the sidewalk and taking a picture of the mural

… and hiding under the tracks in a place where it’s difficult to take a picture is this large moose (elk?).

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street, a moose or elk with large antlers

part of a Nick Sweetman mural on 30th street - plants, with a real tree growing in front of it

 

It was the last night of October, the rain had stopped earlier in the evening, and Church Street was closed between Gloucester and Wood streets.  It was ‘Halloween on Church’, an annual street party filled with costumes on display wanting to be seen and other people wanting to see and take pictures.   These photos represent only a small selection of what there was to be seen that night (obviously!).

below: A one night stand to remember

a person at a Halloween costume dressed as a one night stand, table up to neck, a clock, and a picture on a frame on the table, or rather, the night stand

below: Glowing red and green

two women pose with three people wearing oversized skulls on their heads, with lights inside that make the eyes appear bright, two red eyed skulls and one with green eyes

below: Japanese ghouls, dressed to kill?

two women in elaborate embroidered red silk kimonos, one with a parasol too, one with a make up gash on her cheek

below: White man on keyboard.

man in black tux with white cloth overhis face plays a keyboard that he has around his neck

man dressed in a dress that is made of yellow police caution tape, also wearing a police cap. Posing with a woman who is also wearing a poilce hat

below: A group of people went as the 3D Toronto sign.

a group of people pose for a photo. Each is holding a 3D letter and together they spell Toronto, a miniature copy of the 3D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square.

below: More playing with lights, this time as stick people.

two people in jogging suits with hoods, with lights down the front so it looks like stick people

Church Street, Halloween party, a couple in costumes suitable for day of the dead celebrations, juxtapositioned with a man holding a baby

a man in an elaborate gold embellished old fashioned scuba diving mask with glittery gold coloured rays emanating from it

two people standing under a clear umbrella with little lights dangling from it, one person has a black mask on and a costume like the invincible movie character

couple posing for pictures at the corner of Church and Wood, both are dressed in Halloween costumes, night time,

below: Looking at instagram in a new light, from a different point of view.

a photographer has made it look like he's a live instagram photo

below: With a doll and a lit candle

a man in a black and white striped shirt is holding a doll and a lit candle

below: With a doll and a dog.

A woman in long braids holds a green fabric doll and a small dog in her arms. Her face is covered with makeup that makes her look like a skull with large black eyes, a black nose and a mouth with notches (stitches?)

below: This one is for Jude, something about wanting to take this one home with her…..

a topless man leans against a concrete pole to pose for a photo. He has a large tattoo that covers most of his right arm. He is wearing a rubber mask with rabbit ears and a bandana over his face as well as large goggles.

below: With pale pink hair, a shimmering dress, and a big smile

a person with a pale pink wig and shimmering fabric dress

three people in big long haired wigs, one red head and two blondes

below: Crossing light sabres with Darth Vader.

a woman crosses light sabres with darth vader, hallowwen party on Church St. in Toronto

below: Kermit only has eyes for Miss Piggy….. or else!

two people in costume, one as a life sized Kermit the Frog and the other as Miss Piggy, both from The Muppets

People watching at Kensington Pedestrian Sunday

a woman in white sleeveless top and with very red dyed very curly hair, carrying a bottle of ginger beer,

a young black man in black wide brimmed hat sings in front of a microphone, part of a band performing ouside in front of a mural on a wall

below: The Spontaneous Poet, poet 4 hire

woman with green felt hat with floppy brim, smoking a cigarette, sitting at a small table and typing on an old Smith Corona typewriter.  She has a sign on the table that says, poet for hite, the spontaneous poet.

older man with white beard and mustache, wearing sunglasses and teal baseball cap, leans on a garbage can while smoking a cigarette

a young black woman with long dreadlocks has a large snake on her forearm, she's smiling. A man with grey grey beard and moustache watches her.

man standing in an alley with street art on one wall, holding a guitar, he has just finished playing and singing, a man is behind him on a bike

balding black man with the Queen of hearts playing card stuck on his head makes a muscle man stance with fists clenched, he's performing magic tricks while people watch him

below: #whatsvictorupto painting the word ‘together’ on the sidewalk.

victor painting on the sidewalk in Kensington.  He's wearing a shiny sparkly mask over the top of his head. people are walking past #whatsvictorupto

an older man in tweed jacket and cap with long white beard and mustache, black rim glasses, white plastic bag over one arm, walks down the street

young black man dancing on the street, part of a group, Pedestrian Sunday afternoon at Kensington, people in the background watching

young Asian womanin a straw coloured wide brimmed hat, smiling as she dances, she is holding the brim of her hat with both hands so it doesn't fall off

a male mime, black hamburg hat, lime green shirt, black suspenders and red carnation on the suspenders, beckoning to the crowd, outside, street festival, pedestrian sunday at kensington

a black man dances on the street, slow dance, with an older blond woman,

two women dancing, one with long hair on the top but shaved on the sides, wearing an intricate black necklace, double, one woman in focus in the front, the other slightly out of focus, purple and black sleeveless tops, close up of head and shoulders and one hand with grey fingernails

woman in short velvet close fitting top, large necklace, and holding a white parasol walks down a street in a crowd of people

young girl in Minnie Mouse tshirt and frilly pink skirt, pacifier in mouth, sits on the street beside a bike while she watched a performer, summer afternoon,

black woman with very short hair, round sunglasses and white top, wearing many strands of beads, sitting on a bench on her phone

a man wearing a purple vest and white hat, stands on stilts with long trousers covering, juggling 4 different coloured bats (or pins?) shaped a bit like bowling pins, two in his hands and two in the air.  outside on the street

 

A new mural in town,
Equilibrium, by Okuda San Miguel, aka Okudart

below: As seen from Sherbourne street.  It’s tall!  23 storeys tall in fact.  Not just a new mural but also a new landmark.

a man walks up Sherbourne street, on the sidewalk, past a vacant lot, in the background is the back of some older brick buildings and beyond that is a tall building with a mural on it, equilibrium by okudart

below: As seen from Allan Gardens.

Allan Gardens conservatory with its glass dome roof in the foreground, tall buildings in the background. The side of one of the background buildings has a colourful mural on it with a rainbow striped background

below: It’s painted on the side of the Parkside student residence (once the Primrose Hotel) on the SW corner of Jarvis and Carlton streets.   It looks finished although the ropes and lifts are still in place.  No one was painting when I walked past this afternoon.  The artist, Okudart, has already signed the piece.

car stopped at street light at Carlton and Jarvis. Behind the car is a very tall mural, bright colours, geometric shapes, some human like figures too, with blue conical noses, equilibrium by okudart

below: The very top portion.  A blue conical beak and feathery wings on a female human like figure who is sitting on three large heads.

very top part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Just a bit lower on the mural – more beaks but this time they look like carrots.  A black and white globe with a mouth in Africa.  One blue eye in the Atlantic Ocean and one orange eye in Asia.   Is that a man on the left?

middle section of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Under the globe another female figure with a blue nose.  Nude but discreetly so.

lower portion of equilibrium by okudart

The background of the mural consists of large rainbow coloured stripes on top and black on the bottom.  These were painted by local artists before Okudart finished the piece.

below: Street level

street level part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: The church across the street does not have stained glass windows.  The colours are reflections from the mural.

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

The mural was part of the STEPS Initiative Program and it also involved StART (StreetARToronto), the owners of the residence, and a number of other partners.

A Saturday walk about with friends

a group of people walking over the raised pedestrian bridge between the Eaton Centre and the Bay, 4 women, one man and a boy

Looking at people.  Ordinary people.  Going about their summer lives.

man with beard and moustache, one a bike that is stopped in front of a red and white TTC bus, man wearing a blue baseball cap with red Air Canada maple leaf logo on it

young Asian woman under a black umbrella, standing in a TTC bus shelter, reflections off her umbrella of other people, plus a stella artois beer ad

man in an apple store, orange T-shirt, leaning on the counter, with headphones on, looking closely at the screen of a laptop, other men in the store too

a young woman with bright yellow hair tied back in a short ponytail, tattoo covering most of her arms and upper part of body that is visible , wearing sleeveless black top, walking past Cheese Magic shop in Kensington market, Toronto

two people, one is a woman holding a coffee cup from Jimmys Coffee, she is laughing. The other is black, hair tied back, pink long sleeved shirt and sleeveless jean jacket, scowling,

a tanned older man in sleeveless black shirt leans against metal railing at the Eaton Centre, mannequins in a store window behind him, womens' sporting wear

a man sits with his son on the floor of the Eaton Centre, next to the glass railing. reflections from the railing make it look like there are two boys

looking into the window of a women's wear store, two dresses, on mannequins, each holding a handbag. a red dress and a dress with big red flowers, a red head woman is standing beside the mannequins

people walking across pedestrian bridge between the Eaton Centre and the Bay, one woman has long light pink hair and is wearing jeans with many rips and holes in the front,

a couple sitting in a restaurant, across from each other, in the window, window is open, drinks on the table .  Woman has glass of white wine, man has something orange

a woman standa against an exterior wall, beside a tottoo place. The word tattoo is in large yellow letters beside her, her hair is multicoloured, she is wearing a short dress, knee bent with one foot against the wall, phone in hand, black jacket over her shoulders

three people sitting on a concrete bench outdoors at Yonge Dundas Square. An older woman with teal long sleeeved shirt and light blue hat, a man in a white t-shirt with black moustache, with a woman leaning against his shoulder with her eyes closed

a couple standing facing each other, talking to each other,

an older woman carrying a pale purple umbrella, and a handbag with pictures of cats on it, a blouse with orange flowers on it

mother and son posing for picture, Asian, boy is lying on the ground between his mother's feet

bald black man with black sunglasses is taking a selfie while holding a large ice cream cone

a young man holds a sign that says hug me we need it

black man with blue t-shirt holds a blue bubble maker and he is making bubbles as he walks down the street

young woman in sunglasses poses in front of a fountain

couple, one is smoking, man in yellowish orange shirt, standing by a chinese restaurant, pictures of the food on the wall behind them.

There is no theme to this blog post.  It’s just a description of some of the things that I saw as I walked down Bathurst Street the other day after taking the 512 streetcar to St. Clair West station.   In a lot of ways its like other busy Toronto streets, some houses, a few corner stores, and an alley or two along the way.   A little bit of architecture and a little bit of history round out the story.

At St. Clair West and Bathurst, the northeast corner remains vacant. About four or five years ago there was a gas station and car wash on this corner.  St. Clair West subway station is just to the east, just beyond the trees on the right hand side.

northeast corner of Bathurst and St. Clair West, vacant lot, St. Michaels College in the background as well as a couple of highrise condos.

below: I went looking for an old photo of this corner and this is what I found.  It’s from 1924.  If the streetcar’s destination is Caledonia, then it is going westward.  In 1924, St. Clair was the northern edge of the city and very little development had occurred here.  It is interesting to note that the streetcar tracks came first, then the development.   In addition, I’d love to be able to read the sign about dogs but the resolution of the photo is not good enough.  An ad?  A sign saying no dogs allowed?  Or something else?

vintage black and white photo from 1924 of a streetcar on the St. Clair line stopped at Bathurst to pick up passengers.

below: Of course, no vacant lot remains that way for long.   At the moment, three 30 storey towers joined with a 6 or 7 storey podium has been proposed for the site but it is still in the re-zoning and planning stages.  The light brown building to the left is St. Michael’s College School (boys school).

blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign on a small hill, by some trees, in front of a vacant lot. Highrises in the background

below: New development on the southeast corner of this intersection is almost complete. People have moved into the units above while the finishing touches are put on the lower retail floors. Developments like this are all over the city. Developments that look great (maybe?) on paper but are lackluster and banal at street level.

street level of a new glass and steel building, empty retail space available for lease, just finishing being built

below: As I walked south on Bathurst, this mural caught my eye.

mural in a laneway, painting of many trees with red and yellow sky, dark brown earth, and a few small black figures, some words beside it

Words written beside the mural:
“Long before concrete and steel
Punctuated the landscape
The land was pure and natural
This mural acknowledges and honors 13 trees and 21 medicinal plants that have thrived here since time immemorial.”

The mural was funded by Toronto’s Start program (street art) and Na’Ma’Res Sagatay, a residence for indigenous men that is nearby.

close up of mural, large trees with wavy red and yellow sky, small black figures standing under the trees

I will admit that the main reason that I was walking in this area is because I wanted to check out the new public artwork that I’ve read about at Bathurst and Vaughan.  It is “Three Points Where Two Lines Meet” by Christian Giroux and Daniel Young and apparently there is some controversy about it.

below: For those who don’t know that intersection, it is V-shaped.  This photo shows the approach to  the intersection from the north, on Vaughan.  I took this photo because my first reaction to the scene was “Ugly.  Ugly is what Toronto does”.  From this angle the sculpture gets lost in the visual noise.

sidewalk, lined by tall hydro utility poles, wood, road, some buildings, approaching the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan

Cities have rules and regulations for public art. It needs to be weatherproof and graffiti-proof.  It can’t block the view of drivers and pedestrians.  No sharp edges or structures that people might hurt themselves on – note the two black poles are to prevent people from hitting their heads.

A woman walks past Three Points Where Two Lines meet

From Giroux & Young’s website:  “Taking its form from the orphaned triangular site on which it sits, this artwork produces a new urban room by combining a multicoloured truss structure, the triangular plot of wild grasses it encloses, and an encircling sidewalk thats acts as a podium and plinth. Located between the converging energies of uptown and downtown, the structure densifies an intersection already clotted with utilities and challenges established forms of urbanism and spatial representation in Toronto.”  Think of that what you will.  While you’re thinking, you can check the website for more photos and information.

Three Points Where Tao Lines meet, a public art sculpture in bright colours, metal grid like construction cranes, by Daniel Young and Christian Giroux at the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan.

below: An interesting (unique?) roofline on what turns out to be The Occult Shop.  I made one mistake – I neglected to cross the street to go inside and find out just what one can buy here.

brick building with a large rounded roofline, the bulding is a semi, one half has doors and windows covered with white from the inside, the other is the occult shop

below: These people can still be seen in the space above the doorway at 1358 Bathurst.

the space above a doorway at number 1358 Bathurst is painted with pictures of people (head and shoulders) in shades of brown

Continuing south on Bathurst, as you go downhill towards Davenport Road, there is a retaining wall beside the sidewalk on the west side.  This wall was painted back in October 2013.  The city paid $23,000 to two Brooklyn NY street artists (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, together known as Faile) who designed the mural and in turn paid other artists to paint it.

The mural is quite long and I only have a few pictures of bits and pieces of it.

mural, large blue and white owl, with words in large letters that say no change my heart

mural, large painting of a blond boy sleeping, head on pillow, head and shoulders only

mural, by faile, orange car, woman driver, the word vanity written on the side of the car

below: Apparently Davenport Road is considered to be one of Toronto’s oldest roads.  It follows the base of a ridge and provided a route between the Humber River in the west and the Don River in the east.

toronto historical society plaque for Davenport Road, 1995, description of the history of Davenport Road

below: There is a park on the northwest corner of Bathurst and Davenport, The Tollkeeper’s Park.  The old house, the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, is now a museum run by The Community History Project.  It is open on Saturday afternoons (and some Sundays during the summer)

The Tollkeeper's Park, sign, green space, trees, and an old small wood frame house, now a museum,

below: And across the road is Tollkeeper’s Lane.  There are chairs everywhere in this city not usually as comfy looking as these.

two comfy chairs in an alley withtheir backs agains a grey garage door

below: An old Comet parked in the alley

a yellowish beige Comet car, old, parked behind a house in a lane

below: Tomatoes and other vegetables growing in a front yard.

small front yard packed full of vegetable plants looking very green and healthy

below: A hand, part of an Elicser mural.  This mural, which is on both sides of the railway underpass just north of Dupont, is still there.  Photos can be seen in a blog post from Nov 2014 (Yikes!  Have I been blogging that long?!).

part of a mural, a blue hand horizontal on a wall with some weeds growing in front of it

There are a few remnants of a more industrial past in the area near the railway tracks.

a window consisting of 18 panes of glass, 6 across and 3 down, some have texture and some are clear. the clear ones are reflecting the blue sky and clouds.

old wood door, once painted green but the paint is peeling

below: Another door –  I doubt that it’s open now, or that it ever will be again.

back door of an empty house, window boarded over, door with board nailed across it, open sign in the window, also a sign that says beware of dog

below: These windows, and the house too, probably won’t be here much longer either.

green trim around roof and windows of an old house

below: A very standard row of semi-divided houses; a common sight.  Hundreds (thousands?) of these were built around the city.

a semi divided house on bathurst street, two storey, bay windows on upper floor, porches, stairs to front door

below: And a not so usual semi.

a semi divided house on bathurst street where one side has been rebuilt into a taller square structure

below: A touch of art deco.

two doors side by side with art deco motifs, on a low rise brick building

below: Slight larger houses, with turrets even!  (or is there another name for this architectural element?)

a semi divided house on bathurst street both with small turrets above upper floor bay windows

below: This is part of Coopers Hawk Lane which is just south of Dupont.

buildings and garages in a lane, Coopers Hawk Lane, garage doors have street art on them.

painting of a wooden box with papers in it, pictures of people on the papers

below: In another nearby alley …. a pink cat eating ice cream

two doors in an alley, painted, one in colours, the other in black and white

below: And a gate with a frame, and the laundry beyond.

a chainlink fence and gate in a back yard, laundry hanging out to dry in the yard, brick houses, some green grass

red octagonal stop sign with a sticker on it that says take a breath