Posts Tagged ‘streetcar’

For a number of reasons, I started walking late yesterday.
It was overcast and the the light was flat.

a woman on the sidewalk, with people on the other side of the street in the background

  There were a few people sitting around and/or hanging out – on their phones, alone with their thoughts,  meeting with friends, or just passing by.

three people, two sitting, one smoking and the other on her phone. The third person is male, lying down with head on lap of woman on her phone, outside,

Catching moments and freezing them in time – is that what photography is?   To call the images random would be farfetched.  They are edited starting from the first decisions such as where to aim the camera and at what moment do I take the picture.   But they are candid in that the people are unaware, unposed, and to me, more natural.  These women are just hanging out outside the Eaton Centre, together, yet separate.  Are they waiting for someone?  What is the woman on far left reacting to?

women in head scarves standing beside glass window of a store, other women walking past

men sitting on a bench, a woman walking past

As I mentioned above, the light was flat.  It was a grey afternoon and that is always a challenge.  As the day becomes darker, the ambient light provide by windows increases.

below: Is it my imagination or is her neck longer than most?  I don’t think that I’d be able to wear four leather rings around my neck even if I wanted to.

head of a mannequin in a store window, white, large sunglasses, leather rings around her neck

As I was processing some of my photos, I got to thinking about my grandmother.  I remember driving with her at dusk and into the early night.  She would get excited about being able to look into people’s windows after they’d turned on their lights but before they’d closed their curtains.  We could only get a quick glimpse as we passed by – were there pictures on the wall?  What was on TV?  What were the people doing?  But even that was enough to spark our imaginations and we would create stories about the possible lives of the people in those houses.

below: Talking at the bar

from the outside, looking into a bar. Line of bottles on a back lit shelf, two women takling near the window

below: Sitting at Timmies

three people at Tim Hortons, sitting at a table. Seen from the outside, a poster on the window blocks the view of one of the people

Night windows offer a different view.  Things that are hidden during the day become visible.

below:  Interior renovations in progress

looking in the window of a construction site, two ladders, square panes of interior glass on a wall

below: The mundane and austere railing and fluorescent light in the stone bank building caught my attention.  As I was lining up the shot I noticed the woman (who had obviously noticed me first).

evening, from outside, a lit window in a bank of Nova Scotia building shows a hand rail, a woman stands outside the window

people in the midst of getting on and off a streetcar

two people, slightly out of focus pass by a lit window

And then it started to rain.  My feet were getting wet and my umbrella wasn’t big enough so I called it quits and went home.

a woman holding an umbrella crosses the street

red chairs and white tables in an empty restaurant

Today.  Wonderful

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

and Shiny.

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

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

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

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

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

(early enough to beat the crowds!)

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

The early morning criss cross shadows and reflections.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lots of wires were down too.

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

Not everybody was up with the sun this morning.

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

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

below: The reigning champ and I!

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

Well, that was quite a weekend.  An April winter storm with snow, sleet, ice pellets, freezing rain, and even some just plain rain.   The streets were icy and the sidewalks were slushy and wet.   Chunks of ice have fallen off roofs, tree branches have broken off with the weight of the ice that formed on them.  And then there was the wind that blew hard.   Of course I went out!

hazy, blurry picture of a person walking with an umbrella up Yonge street with other people, cars, wet sidewalk,

below: Dressed in our April finery. Black parkas.

people walking in the rain, downtown Toronto

below:  There is a small, but interesting, exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Asquith that I wanted to see.  It’s called ‘Toronto Revealed’ and it’s in the TD Gallery on the main floor.   It features drawings and paintings of Toronto’s past.

sign in the window of the Toronto Reference library re the display at the TD gallery, Toronto Revealed, pictures and paintings of Toronto in the past

below: One of the paintings in the exhibit is this one, ‘Cherry Street Hotel’ by Gerard Lazare (1978).  The Cherry Street Hotel was built in 1890 at the corner of Cherry and Front Streets.  It later became the Canary Restaurant (1965-2010).  The building is still there but it stands empty.

painting of the Canary restaurant on the corner of Cherry and Front streets

below: There was a display of small artworks by Nicholas Hornyansky (1896-1965), including this one of St. James Cathedral (1938).  Hornyansky was born in Hungary and immigrated to Canada in 1929.  He is known for the etchings and aquatints (another print making technique) that he did of Toronto buildings and landscapes.

small framed painting of Saint James cathedral in Toronto, by Nicholas Hornyansky, painted in 1938 .

below: Most of the paintings were very realistic (documentary) except this one – a wacky view of Bloor Street looking west from Yonge towards Bay by Carlos Marchiori, painted in acrylic in 1976.   Even then, it is fairly true to reality.  The darker tower on the right is on the NW corner of Bloor and Yonge.  Stollerys store (the low building on the SW corner) is long gone.

bright painting of city landscapre, Yonge & Bloor, bendy buildings, cars as coloured blobs on the streets, puffy clouds in bright blue sky, by Carlos Marchiori

While I was at the library, I wandered around and took a few pictures of its vast open spaces.  It was warm and dry!  I was expecting to be told to put my camera away, but no one seemed to care.

interior of the Toronto Reference Library from the fifth floor, semi circular tables, reddish carpet, open concept architecture, rows of books,

below: Most were too busy working to notice.

looking down an aisle between two stacks of books (book shelves), a woman is sitting at a table studying and writing, there is a window behind her

below: One more picture from the ‘Toronto Revealed’ exhibit is this painting of the intersection of King and Jarvis by Vernon Mould.   It was painted in 1979.  Was gas really 20 cents a gallon in 1979?  No! That was the year that prices went metric and a litre of gas was 20 cents.    I came back to this picture because I chose to chase down that intersection to see what it looks like today.

painting, in mostly brown tones of a three story building at the corner of King and Jarvis, Toronto, with a small gas station across the street, sign says gas 20 cents, 2 gas pumps,

below: Et voici, same intersection, approximately the same angle.  There is now a building (with a Second Cup on the ground floor) where Mould would have stood.   By the looks of it, the three storey brick building on the NE corner has been fixed up since 1979.  So glad to see that it hasn’t been replaced by a glass condo tower!

intersection of King and Jarvis, looking north, three story brick building,

below: I wanted to find out more about the building, so I googled Sportsman’s Shop and I found a wonderful old picture of it from the 1970’s, obviously taken before it was renovated.    Apparently, it was fixed up in the early 1980s.

old black and white photo of the Sportsmans Shop at 150 King East in Toronto, three storey brick building

photo credit: Gary Switzer, source: Urban Toronto

below:  The next photo was taken as I stood on the same corner of King and Jarvis, but pointing my camera in different direction – looking west on King towards St. James Cathedral.  This is the eastern limit of the King Street streetcar project which is why the multicoloured barricades block part of the righthand westbound lane.

looking west on King street from Jarvis, St. James Cathedral and park on the right, downtown towers and office buildings in the distance, rainy day, TTC streetcar,

below:  These women are waiting in the wrong place.  Although the city changed the location of the streetcar stops along King Street, the bus shelters haven’t been moved yet.   At least they were (sort of) out of the rain.   They soon realized their mistake.

below: Looking back, the prerequisite photo of a TTC streetcar through a rainy day window.

looking out the back window of a streetcar, rainy day, raindrops on the glass, another streetcar is passing by

It’s always better to end a blog post on a happy note, right?  It may be a dream (I hope not!) but spring can’t be too far away.  April showers bring May flowers, right?  On my second warm up stop I saw this cheerful, hopeful drawing tacked to a wall.   It was one of many on the wall, all the work of Maihyet Burton.  They were at the Artscape building at the Distillery District.

a pen and ink drawing of spring flowers, poppies, in blues and purples, and fiddleheads in bright green

below: Headed home again.

two people with their back to the camera wait on the subway platform as a train arrives

Don’t put away your boots and hats yet!

people walking past a window, dark outside, reflections of the traffic in the window

It was a rainy commute home for many people last night.  Not too miserable though, just enough drizzle to bring out a few umbrellas and create some wonderful reflections to play with.

woman with umbrella in the foreground, traffic on a rainy night in the background

two white cars in front of a stopped streetcar, 514 Cherry, new streetcar, in front of the Elephant and Castle bar on King Street, people sitting on the streetcar are visible, dark outside, wet and rainy evening

city street on a rainy night, pedestrians on the sidewalk, traffic, trees with autumn foilage, dark blue sky, lights in highrises

lights reflecting on a wet street, crosswalk

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

Spadina doors, stores with doors wide open to take advantage of the summer days.  Spadina was once the center of the garment industry in Toronto.  Then it evolved into Chinatown, especially the area south of College and north of Queen.  It still retains some of its Chinese character although there are many other Asian and South Asian influences.  There have also been some changes as the Asian merchants and residents move to the suburbs.

below: Racks of clothing for sale on the sidewalk

racks of pants and t-shirts for sale, on the sidewalk outside a store

below: A quiet corner for a cigarette break

fruits and vegetables for sale outside a food market on Spadina, beside it is another more business like entrance, with stairs, with a young man in an orange vest at the top of the stairs smoking a cigarette

below: She’s standing outside a restaurant that’s covered with signs and menus.

sculpture of a little Asian girl dressed in red holding a large soup bowl, standing outside a restaurant with a lot of signs in the window and on the door

below: There are usually many vendors with small tables of items for sale, such jewellery, herbs & other plants, small household items, clothing, knick knacks, etc.

a man sells items outside a Vietnamese restaurant

a woman in a pink saree and a man in a turquoise turban stand outside the entrance to a clothing store on Spadina

two women outside a store,looking at a phone, a woman inside is crouched on the floor, working.

below: And last, an open door of a different kind.

front end of a Spadina streetcar, evening, door ope as people getting on, ad on the outside with a picture of a woman,

As you can see, the doors themselves are uninteresting, it’s the context that counts here.

This is a “Thursday Door” post.  If you are interested in doors, there are lots of blogs that feature door photos on Thursdays…. check out Thursday Doors organized by Norm 2.0 for more information.

 

Streetcar, giraffe, and dinosaurs – these are three words that most people would never have the opportunity to put together in one sentence without talking nonsense.

First, here is the streetcar that I am refering to.  It is a mural on Connaught Avenue, on a building that is part of the TTC’s Russell Carhouse (also called Connaught Carhouse).   The house in the mural is the Ashbridge Estate which is across Queen Street from the TTC yard.   The sign over the door of the streetcar says 505 Hillsdale; I haven’t been able to find out why it says that.

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a house

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a heron

Next on the list is the giraffe  –  a mural by birdo.

a tall mural by birdo of a giraffe in many pieces, a yellow and orange head, a blue and red body and a number of multicoloured legs

I’m sure that you can see the pattern developing!  You’re obviously thinking, “Because the third word is dinosaurs, there must be a mural depicting dinosaurs.”  .. and you’d be right.  There are four dinosaurs on Sears street to be exact.

a mural featuring two large dinosaurs with text tags in between them. Realistic looking, two storeys tall.

Three of the dinosaurs are on the same wall – the two above and the one below.  All of them were painted by Mike Kennedy.

part of a mural with a stegasaurus dinosaur

The fourth one is across the street.  Sears is a street in name only, it’s narrow like an alley.

part of a mural with a dinosaur

None of these murals is new but they are in out of the way places and I suspect that not many people have seen them.   I hope that they were new to you!