Posts Tagged ‘streets’

Work continues on the Port Lands redevelopment with more buildings being demolished to make way for the new mouth of the Don River.

view of portlands includingLafarge silos, gas tanks, and construction

below: Cherry Street bridge

Cherry street bridge over the Keating Channel, green metal bridge

below: Don Roadway looking north.  The southern part is now closed (south of Lakeshore Blvd)

a pile of tree trunks, recently cut down, on a road that is now closed

looking north on the closed portion of the Don Roadway, lumber pile in middle of road, large metal hydro poles,

below: Villiers Street at the Don Roadway.  A couple of old buildings remain on Villiers but many structures between Villiers and the Keating Channel are now gone, especially at the east end of the channel near the present mouth of the Don River.

Villiers street at Don Roadway, two school buses parked here, Gardiner Expressway in the background

below: Commissioners Street, looking east.  Everything in that block, on the south side, has been levelled – the blue and white building is on the other side of the Don Roadway.

Commissioners street in port lands, with road closed sign

a glass bus shelter behind a construction fence

below: The west end of Commissioners street

Commissioners street in the port lands, road closed, yield sign on road yield to oncoming traffic, black and orange traffic cones, a plywood booth for security guard to sit in,

below: Commissioners Street, north side

construction, signs on a wood pole, Toronto skyline in the background

TTC bus stop for route 72 on Commissioners street but pole is now in the middle of a construction site, lots of dirt, orange and black traffic cones, Gardiner Expressway in the background

below: T’nT grocery store is now closed.  The red sign by the door advertises Chinese New Year specials.

back of a large laker boat parked beside an empty parking lot

below: The same boat, the NACC Argonaut, but from the south, from Polson Street.    NACC = Nova Algoma Cement Carriers.  She was built in Japan in 2003 and converted into a cement carrier in 2017.  The next year she entered service on the Great Lakes.

ship parked in channel, beside an empty parking lot with a small booth for attendant of parking lot

below: As you can see more clearly here, the Argonaut was actually parked beside the Lafarge facility.  T’nT is behind the Lafarge Cement round towers (building on the left).

large empty parking lot in the foregraound, largare cement facitily in the background, with a large laker docked beside it

large laker ship docked beside Lafarge cement

below: Shipping Channel

two boats parked in the shipping channel, one is the white and yellow Iroquois

boats parked in the shipping channel

shipping channel, port lands

below: There are quite a few old railway crossing signs in the Port Lands for tracks that have been torn up or long unused. I am surprised that no one has stolen them.

old car parked beside an old railway crossing sign, for a railway track that is no longer there

below: Boats of a different kind –    RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) on Cherry Street.

a line of large sail boats in storage, on land, covered with tarps, masts in the air, no sails,

below: Cherry Beach

a woman walking her dog beside a forest, on a beach

No construction affects the beach but these days, people are keeping their distance. Since taking these pictures the beach may have been closed, I’m not sure. The parking lot will be closed for sure.

cherry beach with not many people and cherry lifeguard station

below: Unwin Street, looking east towards the old Hearn Generating Station

unwin street in port lands

hearn generating station from the west side

part of Hearn generating plant, upper level with watch tower

below: Another Port Lands view from above.  North of the Gardiner is the construction site for the rebuilding of the Gardiner.  To the south is the Port Lands with the tall smokestack/chimney of the Hearn.   The white building with the two chimneys on the far left is the Portlands Energy Centre, a natural gas powered electricity generating station.

view of port lands and gardiner expressway from above including hearn generating station

below: The entry to the Portlands Energy Centre which is the property of Hydro One.

closed and locked gate with warning signs on it

a concrete road barrier with blue spray paint words that say have a good day

below: Think!  or rather Stop and think.   Above that, tbonez with The Forge Fury in another urban ninja squadron sticker.

2 stickers on a stop sign. one is a picture of a brain with the word think on it. the other is an urban ninja squadron sticker

below: There is a new public art installation nearing completion at the corner of Carlaw and Dundas.  When the project is done, the obelisk shaped sculpture by Pierre Poussin will be in the middle of a small park.  It is made of laser cut rusted metal and will feature internal LED lighting.

a new public art installation at Carlaw and Dundas with construction fence still around it, also a lot of utility poles around it, rusted metal cut with lasers in a design, sculpture is the shape of an obelisk

below: Shadows of the trees along a winding trail.

trees line a sidewalk that has had small curves added to it, shadows of these treees on the fence beside the sidewalk

below:  There really aren’t enough fairies in the world.  The ones that are supposed to clean my home haven’t shown up yet either.

a sign on a wood fence that says the poo fairy doesn't live here scoopy your ppop, aimed at dog owner

below: This looks like it was once an artwork pasted to a wall.  An eagle’s head is still visible at the very top.  Are those its feathers at the bottom by the shoes – one dark blue and one red stiletto.

a ripped picture, very large, of an eagle and a person with wings and high heeled shoes.

below: The northwest corner of Pape and Dundas.  The “This is Toronto” mural by J. Chiale is still there.

an intersection, looking northwest at Dundas and Pape where the house on the corner has a large mural by j. Chiale on the side, newer houses and apartment building in the background.

mural by J. CHiale on the side of a house

below: An old and worn sign

very old no parking sign on a chain link fence

below: A not so old sign with three lovebot stickers on it.

neighbourhood watch sign with 3 lovebot stickers on it

below: Old cars seen in an alley.  Any ideas on what model and year the brown car is?

2 old cars in an alley. one is an old brown car from the 40's, under a cloth. the other is a blue camaro

close up of a wood utilitypole with some paint splashes on it

 

on the side of a house, a wood panel on porch with 2 windows, 2 panels are painted blue and the last one is white

below: Santa Claus hasn’t returned to the North Pole yet!  This front yard looks quite barren

2 plastic Santa Claus figures in a front yard, no snow, in frontof a porch

below:  … compared to this one!  I am happy to report that the “doll house” still exists.   There is at least one Santa Claus in there!

a house with a front yard full of dolls and toys, on the walls, on the fence, decorations

below:  Not quite every inch (centimeter!) is covered.  Christopher Robin and Tigger, Ernie and a Picachu.  Tweety bird in a blue jacket and a white horse, Dora the Explorer is eating an apple.

some of the dolls and toys attached to the front wall of a house

below: These stickers still exist!  A Star Wars family with a dirty back window.

a star wars sticker family on the back window of a black vehicle, 2 kids, an R2D2 and a wokie

below: Usually if a couch is waiting for the garbage man it’s sitting closer to the edge of the street!

an old black vinyl couch on a sidewalk on Eastern Avenue, beside a house

below: Symmetry at the back of Bruce Junior Public School built in 1923.

back of older brick public school, Bruce Public school with pair of chimneys and rows of windows, symmetrical.

below: And then there is the asymmetry created when one side of a semi-divided house explodes upwards.

the back of a house, a semi divided house where one side is the original one storey while the other side has added two storeys and is taller than the surrounding houses, and it is narrow too

below: Leslieville has two murals.  This one covers the side of the building plus the back in pink, red, and orange stripes.   This Guidant Bikeshare mural was painted by Mediah, aka Evond Blake, in 2017.

below: Nearby at the intersection of Queen and Jones is this mural by Elicser Elliot (2016).

Leslieville mural by elicser of a man sitting under o tree in autumn

below: The Coca-Cola Coady Sweets ghost sign is still there but the convenience store under it has been replaced by a Spanish restaurant.

workmen at an intersection, white van parked, in front of building with ghost sign for Coady sweets, new Spanish restaurant on the corner

below: Queen Street East

line of stores on Queen Street East by the B & B fish and chip restaurant

Leslieville mural by iah media on the side of a building,

below: This is on the wall beside a vacant lot on Queen Street East that has been empty for years.

spray paint, large letters, wuns on a wall beside a vacant lot

Queen street east, vacant lot on the north side

below: Another vacant lot but more recently so.

looking through a chainlink fence, across a vacant lot towards Queen Street east and the brick Scotiabank building

below: An alley view, behind Queen Street East

3 storey brick building, from the back in the alley, behind Queen Street East

below: Waiting for spring?

looking through a metal gate with chainlink into a backyard with patio furniture and blue umbrella (closed)

a row of pink window boxes and red planters on a balcony of a yellowish brick apartment building

below: Dundas Street East

houses on a street with the one being an old narrow two storey house in yellowish brick

And how can we end without re-visiting the doll house?!

an old stuffed mouse with black plastic glasses, in front of a blue m & m character throwing a basketball, outside, and slightly weathered

close up of two of the dolls attached to the railing in front of house

the front steps and door to the doll house - a house covered with dollas and toys, also fake plants and flowers in pots on the stairs

Walking up Yonge Street without actually walking on Yonge Street…. with all it’s distractions and wrong turns.  We eventually get somewhere and that somewhere may actually be where we want to be!

 

a metal box with two paintings of women, on the left, woman is holding a red flower in her hand

below: I didn’t know that such a place existed!  It’s at Davenport and Belmont in case you feel the need….

at the corner of Davenport and Belmont is the Anti Aging Shop

below: I smiled even more when I went around the corner and encountered this sign

yellow traffic warning sign that says watch for seniors

below: Toronto layers

parking lot, with a row of backs of houses behind, with higher rise buildings in the background

below: The old stone stairs at Ramsden Park.  A bit muddy at the bottom but that never stopped me.

old stone stairs in Ramsden Park

below: Waiting for spring… or at least for some snow to melt.

a basketball hoop on a metal pole in the snow in the park

below: An after school skate.

children skating on outdoor rink at Ramsden Park

below: Old and new – exploring the lanes that run parallel to Yonge.   This is Paul Hahn Lane.

older and newer buildings in a lane in Rosedale area

below: Trespassers will be prosecuted.  If you can’t read the sign, does it still count?

old beat up green door on the back of a brick building, lane, garbage bins there, also an old faded sign that says trespassers will be prosecuted, metal stairs leading up to upper storeys

below: As you go north, Paul Hahn Lane becomes Sam Tile Lane.

small house at the corner of a street and an alley, now a cafe

below: The caterpillar isn’t where it was.  Is this an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland reference? Actually it’s a children’s clothing store but that doesn’t stop my from quoting Lewis Carroll, or at least a short passage.  Alice’s interaction with the caterpillar is too long to include here!

an empty storefront in a red brick building, black awning in front, words on awning say Advice from a caterpillar

“In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, ‘One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’ ‘One side of what? The other side of what?’ thought Alice to herself. ‘Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.”

below: At Summerhill there is no way to parallel Yonge because of the train tracks.  A shout out to this young man who just previous to this moment stopped to ask me if I’d taken some great photos today.  I answered that it was a bit grey to get great pictures and he concurred.

a man walks under a bridge, has headphones on and is carrying dry cleaning in a plastic cover

below: Infrequently photographed (the daring architecture!) and not well known, this is Summerhill subway station.  It has no bus connections and the only major destination nearby is the large LCBO in the old CPR station a block away (i.e. not many people use this station).

Exterior view of Summerhill subway station, a low brick building with slanted front wall

below: Something old ans something new.  I was wondering if the slate tiles on the upper storey were originals when I noticed the unobtrusive addition to the white and black house.

semi divided houses

below: Looking south towards Rosedale station (view blocked by the white and blue temporary building for the construction next to the bridge).  Tall downtown buildings in  the distance.  The tallest one is at 1 Bloor East and it is partially hidden by the Hudson Bay Centre tower on the other side of Bloor Street (the squarish building) and another tower that I am not sure of.

looking down the TTC subway tracks from just north of Rosedale station, highrises of downtown in the background, trees beside the tracks, 2 subway cars, one going north and the other south

below: Another of the many “it’s a street, no it’s an alley”, passages that you find in Toronto.

house in an alley

below: The rust and metal of an alley infill house

a bright blue shiny car parked in front of a rust coloured house in an alley

below: In an area of smaller narrow houses on small lots, some creativity is required if you want to expand.

new third floor addition on a house

below: A concrete lined hole in the ground with access from the alley but also from the street?  The beginnings of a larger development?

snow covered vacant lot with a concrete hole in the foreground, basement for a new house

below: Along the way I happened upon the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club in its winter plumage.

gates and white dome of the TOronto Lawn Tennis Club

below: Foiled! I was going to walk up through and David Balfour Park but the path is blocked… so back to Yonge Street I’m afraid.

fence and gate blocking a walkway through a park, construction zone now

below: He looks about as happy as I felt at that moment… but at least my arm is still intact.

a small wooden carving of a man with a broken arm, outside in the snow

below: Once on Yonge Street I discovered that traffic is even worse than usual because of lane closures.  Water main repairs and/or replacements by the looks of it.

looking south towards downtown, Yonge street construction, water main replacement, at Rosehill

a woman walking on a sidewalk past a construction zone

construction on Yonge street

below: This is now close to St. Clair Ave and a subway station so this is where I called it quits.  The days are still short and although the temperatures aren’t too bad, a cup of coffee seemed like a great idea at that moment (see the Aroma sign in the upper right corner?  It was calling my name).

a workman holds a stop sign at an intersection while a dump truck backs up and makes a turn, construction zone on Yonge street

below: Someone doesn’t seem to mind being in traffic!

a long haired furry beige dog with its head out the front seat window of an orange car in traffic

Stay positive & enjoy the trip, you’ll get there!

Oh, by the way, the photos may not be anything special (the grey day and all that) but I still had fun with them.

A grey day. The kind of day that when it starts to rain you head to a subway station, only to have the rain stop before you get there. So you walk more. Then it rains again so you buy an umbrella and minutes later the rain stops. So you walk more.

below: Southwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

a shoe store, a massage parlour, and a convenience store, on the southwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind

below: Northwest corner of Yonge & Wellesley

northwest corner of Yonge & wellesley, old brick buildings on Yonge with newer taller condos behind - Not Just noodles restaurant

below: Marks left behind, traces of lives once lived there.

on the side of a brick house, two storey, Victorian, the remains of marks left behind on a house that was demolished, new development going up beside it

below: Do you think that there will ever be a time when we can walk downtown without encountering construction zones?

two orange signs saying sidewalk closed, and arrows, barriers on street to form a passage for pedestrians on the street, two people walking by

below: If it’s a gaggle of geese or a parliament of owls, what’s a group of cement trucks?

five or six cement trucks parked on a side street

reflections in glass windows downtown

a sign stenciled beside a doorway that says Anything can b iced. Window beside it, with a woman sitting inside by the window

below: A new large mural by birdo at Dundas & McCaul

Dundas street, near McCaul, coffee shop and artist supply store, with a large mural by birdo above it

below: Same mural, different angle

the corner of Dundas and McCaul with a large mural by birdo looking over it

below: “Keep going” at the Children’s Healing Garden outside Sick Kids Hospital on University Avenue.

chalk writing on a low concrete wall in a small park that says keep going

below: You can do anything

chalk words on a concrete path in a park that say you can do anything

below: A large hole on University Ave

construction site, hole in the ground, a digger in the hole, one wall of the hole is a light orange colour. The Duke of Cornwall pub is on the other side of the street across from the hole

below:  There was a Dragon Festival at Nathan Phillips Square this past weekend.

arches over the pool at Nathan Phillips square with old city hall behind, and a red and gold dragon head (very large) on display for dragon festival

below: Friday was a rather quiet day at the festival, probably because of the weather.

large and colourful inflatable dragon in front of city hall, at Nathan Phillips square, for dragon festival
below: But there was lots of different food available including skewers of octopus

pieces of octopus on skewers, ready to cook

below:   There were also these fried potato spirals on sticks that are available at every festival and street function.

potato spirals, fried and on sticks, looking a pilie of them from the end

below: Hot dog vendor on Queen Street

hot dog and sausage vendor on Queen street, woman under umbrella buying something, woman working inside the booth, a man sitting behind, many signs advertising their food

view down a lane with large buildings on both sides

below: Snowmen?  This is “Born and Raised” designed by Studio How-to-See.

sculptures on sidewalk, snowmen, beside a new condo, one snowman has lost its head

below: The tallest snowman is 5 “snowballs” high, or 17 feet tall.    Oh no! The snowman in the middle has lost its head.  What would Olaf say?

tall snowman sculpture on sidewalk beside glass and steel condo, with people walking past

below:  Of course early September means TIFF.  King Street West closed and many people were walking or hanging out there trying their hand at celebrity spotting.  We are all groupies during TIFF.

two young people working in a red booth for bubly drinks, both smiling and one is giving a thumbs up

below: I wouldn’t know a famous actor or director, or anything like that, if they came up to talk to me.    My attempts to follow the crowd to get celebrity pics weren’t very successful. This is the kind of photo that I ended up with –  The eye belongs someone called Jason who is taking a selfie with a father and daughter.    I didn’t linger long on King Street.

someone is talking a selfie with a girl in a green jacket who is being held up by her father, a pro photographer is also taking their picture

below: Having King Street closed didn’t help the traffic on nearby streets.  Mind you, this is normal for Toronto especially around rush hour.  Stand at any intersection downtown and you’ll find many instances where cars block traffic when the traffic lights change.

a man walks his bike across the street, between cars who are blocking traffic, also a woman with an umbrella gets ready to start across the street too

below:  The driver knew I was there taking pictures.  It didn’t make much difference.

a woman crosses the street on a green light, traffic is jammed because a car has got stuck in the intersection on a red light

a young black woman with pink dreadlocks and a lot of rings on her fingers is on her phone as she passes by, in the background is a couple standing on the sidewalk having a conversation, the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers

below: Paste ups on Richmond Street.   I find these mesmerizing.  I love the positioning of the eye and the way that it is staring at you .

2 paper paste ups on a wall, both are the same, in grey tones, the lower part of a face with one eye beside it

below: And my last stop that day, a quiet charcoal drawing by Olexander Wlasenko at the Arbozzo Gallery at 410 Richmond Street.

a charcoal drawing of a woman by Olexander Wlasenko on the wall of an art gallery

Now, all that’s left is the pink umbrella that I bought, still unused.

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.

 

I was standing at the corner of Bay and Front, near Union Station, when the WNBR (World Naked Bike Ride) passed by.    This has been an annual event for more than 15 years now and the ride occurs in many countries around the world.  Full nudity is not mandatory, costumes and accessories are welcome, and half the fun is watching the reactions of the people on the sidewalks…. especially those who aren’t expecting to see a large group of naked people cycling past!

world naked bike ride - 3 people watching them, not sure of what to think of naked bike riders

world naked bike ride

below: I love the heart!

world naked bike ride - the behinds and backsides of a group of nude cyclists

world naked bike ride goes down Bay street, south of Front, a large group of naked people on bicycles

below: Mr. Conehead rides by

world naked bike ride - one naked man on a red bike, wearing black shoes, and wearing a conehead

below: As it turns out, this man with the suitcase is in a lot of the pictures that I took.

world naked bike ride, a man with a suitcase watches, one nude rider is carrying a Canadian flag

world naked bike ride, one cyclist is wearing Viking horns

world naked bike ride

world naked bike ride and people on the sidewalk watching them

world naked bike ride going down Bay street, crossing Front st and two large buses

If you want more information – or you want to get involved, they have a website and a facebook page.  It’s on the latter that you will find another motto, “less gas, more ass”

See you next year?

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.

It’s early November and autumn is here – I think.   Some leaves, like on the locust and maple trees below, have turned colours and begun to fall but others remain green and on the tree.  After the warm than usual October that we were fortunate to have, the weather has turned to grey and damp and all too seasonally November.   Luckily, a heavier coat and a scarf is all that is required – so off we go!

autumn street scene with locust tree with yellow leaves, sidewalk, some dead leaves on the ground, grass still green, orange leaves on the tree in the background

below: I spotted these little rusted Coke and Sprite signs on a house on Christie street.   Like the autumn leaves, the weather has changed their colours and I especially like the pale turquoise that the Sprite bottle has become.  It nicely matches the trim on the neighbour’s house.

three old rusted advertising signs for coca cola and sprite, metal signs, upper level of a building

below: Another example of the effects of time on metal.  A little less rust here but there are some interesting shapes and forms created by the peeling paint.

metal corrugated metal wall, close up detail of peeling green paint and rust

below: Looking into a shop window to see a sad and lonely cat.  Sad eyes?  or are they eyes of a cat dreaming of the outside world and wishing it wasn’t relegated to a shelf of old and empty things.

looking into a window of an antique store, a porcelain cat, sitting upright, with sad look on its face, on a shelf with empty bottles and jugs

below: More old, but certainly not sad.   It’s a bright, shiny and obviously well-loved Chrysler.

an old orangish brown Chrysler car parked in a driveway, front facing the street,

below: Advice to heed.

red words painted on the side of a white building in an alley, words say - When you love someone, let them know

below: No wise words here – just scrawls and tags.  But isn’t the orange a fantastic colour for a wall?

orange stucco wall with graffiti on it.

below: Tiny! A teensie tiny little house with a lawn that’s sparse but neatly kept.  Once you start looking for these little treasures, you realize that there are quite a few of them in Toronto.  I wonder if anyone has documented them?

very small one storey house between two large houses, green lawns, sidewalk in front,

Warning – tangent ahead!  This reminds of a children’s story called “Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball” written by Florence Heide Parry.  It’s a story of two men living in two different houses.  Benjamin was a very big man living in a very small house while Barnaby was a very small man living in a big house.  The illustrations of Benjamin squeezing into his mini sized house were wonderful (by Sally Matthews).  Of course, to live happily ever after the two men trade houses.

“Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!”

below: Benjamin Budge sleeps ‘in’ his bedillustration by Sally Matthews of a picture of a large man sleeping half on the floor and half on his tiny bed in his tiny bedroom. From the children's book Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Small

below: Veering back to the subject of architecture… this style of apartment building was very common in the 1920’s.  Three storeys, no elevator and probably no parking but with charming little details in the brickwork.  If I remember correctly, this building is on Bathurst street just south of Dupont.

three storey brick apartment building with central white door entranceway

Little vegetable gardens in both back and front yards are very numerous here, probably because of the combination of the large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled here and the popularity of ‘urban farming’ – veggies instead of grass. Being November, there were only a few remnants of this year’s harvest – a few tomato plants here and some Swiss chard there.

below: One back yard still has all its wooden stakes standing on guard. A forest of stakes.

chain link fence in front of a large number of wooden stakes that were used in a vegetable garden earlier in the season, but now autumn so there are no plants

below: Another way to garden in the city!

patio outside a house is covered with plastics bins of different kinds, all of which have been turned into planters, autumn now so plants no longer alive but boxes and coolers and bins remain.

below: Xena the warrior princess still watches over Vermont Avenue. She’s faded a bit since I last took her picture two years ago. You can see her (and others) in Neighbourhood watch good guys that I posted in 2015.

altered neighbourhood watch sign, with a picture in the center,

 There are lots of lanes and alleys in Seaton village (this part of the city).   One of last year’s blog posts ‘same, same, but different‘ is about some of the lanes.  There is some street art in these alleys but not too much – here are a couple from yesterday’s visit.

below: Art follows life or is it vice verse?

red leaves on a vine growing in front of a white fence that had a mural of birdhouse and plants and flowers painted on it.

below: Flowers? Or just smudges on a pole?

smudges on a metal pole that look a bit like flowers

below: Playing basketball beside Toronto – a rather lopsided photo I’m afraid.

basketball hoop above a garage door that has a large map of Toronto, in blue and green painted on it.

white garage door with some of the rectangles painted in turquoise, orange and purple, with swirls under the rectanagles that look like G's

semi circle covering bottom half of garage door, looks like bald head with a few curly hairs growing upwards from the scalp

mural on an exterior wall outside Kos restaurant on Bathurst Street, the mural is in the front of the restaurant by the patio, no one sitting outside, blue umbrellas are down.

below: Herringbone pattern made from bricks.

chevron pattern (herring bone pattern) of bricks on a driveway, some autumn leaves on the bricks

below: A rather forlorn looking bench and seat outside the laundromat.

front of a laundromat. blue sign that says coin laundry, an old bench and an old chair sitting outside by the front door. two windows through which you can see the washing machines

below: A newspaper rack decorated with a garland of fake ivy.  Insert fake news reference here ….

a newspaper rack outside a corner convenience store, the newspapers (there aren't many) are held down with bricks, the rack is decorated with a fake ivy garland

an old chair on a porch, side view.

looking through a park to a street with a blue house and a red house, cars parked in front, autumn leaves,

below: Today I’m going to end on a dangerous note.  Keep walking and Stay safe!

construction site with a danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to life

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!

traffic signs at an intersection, at Lakeshore Blvd East, two one way signs pointing in the opposite directions, an elevated expressway also in the picture

“There’s more than one way” describes the above picture quite nicely but it’s probably a stretch to say that it’s  relevant to this blog post at all.   Not that that’s ever stopped me!  The other day I stood at this intersection (Lakeshore and Sherbourne I think) trying to decide which way to go.  I went straight ahead because that’s what the traffic signal told me to do.  I obeyed.  “When in doubt, go with the green light”, is one of my ‘rules’ when I’m walking.

below: The artistry of hydro towers and wires framed by the Lakeshore and the Gardiner.

a view between the Gardiner and Lakeshore with the roads framing the top and bottom of the picture. Hydro towers and wires are the main part of the image

below: Shattered glass

shattered glass still in place

below: Part of “Site Specific” by Scott Eunson & Marianne Lovink, on Sumach Street at Eastern Ave.

rusted metal cut out, part of a public art installation, cut outs look like houses, polished steel cutouts below the rusty ones.

below: The view inside the streetcar.  A new 514 Cherry car was wrapped in a light blue ad.
I have no idea what it was advertising.

looking into the window of a streetcar, people sitting,

below: There are a number of this “eye” balls in the playground part of Sherbourne Common.

a large white sphere with a black circle in the middle, on a metal pole. Background is out of focus

below: Changing the billboard.  The image is printed on a large piece of vinyl (plastic? something similar?) and held to the frame by ropes.   Or at least that’s what it looked like.  It was quite a distance up so it was difficult to see exactly what they were doing.

two men are changing the ad on a very large billboard. One man is below and the other is above and he is passing a long rope to man below.

below:  Graffiti.  Two words.  In yellow.

in yellow paint, graffiti, words fuck trump written on a metal box on a sidewalk

below: Chairs.   Blue chairs.  Three blue chairs plus one reflection.

three old blue plastic chairs with metal rusty legs sit on the concrete porch of a commercial building. Windows behind them. one of the chairs is reflected in the window

below: A drab door on a drab wall.

drab double glass doors on a drab light brown brick building with a sign that says public parking with arrows pointing to the door, The sign is above the door.

below:  An entrance to a different parking lot.

looking through a parking garage to a lighted entrance with people carrying bags and returning to their cars

below: Numbers on the concrete.

close up of the side of a concrete structure on a ramp of an expressway, there are two number sequences there. In stencil it says R42-78 and in stickers, AJ48

below: More numbers.  Another code that I can’t crack.

black and orange construction cone site beside a kerb on which numbers have been spray painted in orange

below: Stonework details on an old bank building.

architectural details on an old bank building, a fancy column top (ionic?), some carvings in the stone work.

below: Another old building – now that the north building of the St. Lawrence market has been demolished, the rear of the St. Lawrence Hall has been exposed.  It’s quite a pretty building.

the rear of the old St. Lawrence Hall building, with a bright blue wood hoarding fence in front of it. a woman is walking past

below: Interior, St. Lawrence market

the interior of the St. Lawrence market, looking towards the north entrance, with the large arched window over the doorway

below: And when you’re in front of the St. Lawrence market, isn’t it obligatory to take a picture of the Gooderham building?   A Toronto iconic view.

the Gooderham building, built in the flatiron style, with glass towers behind it, downtown Toronto

below: Another icon, the CN Tower, as seen through the Distillery District from Cherry Street.
That’s a fabulous orange door!

Cherry street entrance to the distrillery district, looking west towwards the CN tower, brick road, overhead lights, bright orange door in the background,

below: Postage stamp art at 234 Adelaide East by Joanne Tod and Jon Reed.  The whole installation includes 12 images including a 1930 painting by Lawren Harris (2nd on the left) which was issued in 1967.   To the right of it is a stamp honouring the Alouette 2 research satellite.  In between those stamps is Queen Elizabeth, a fixture on Canadian stamps for so many years.   The old post office which was built in 1834 is nearby.

public art in front of a condo building that is a ribbon made of metal, flat, etched with a series of vintage Canadian postage stamps images

below: Walls.  Shored up walls of the construction hole in front of a wall of glass.

a blue crane inside a hole that is a construction site for a new condo, with many glass tower condos in the background.

below: Last, symmetrical? steps in the buildings.

a building under construction in front of another building

 

May all your lights be green!