Posts Tagged ‘sunshine’

Yesterday afternoon was perfect for a stroll along the boardwalk.  I hadn’t been in that part of the city since the flooding occurred earlier in the spring.  The lake levels are still high but that doesn’t prevent people from enjoying the sun and sand.

at the beach, a woman with a large yellow hat and red top lies under a red, orange and yellow striped umbrella, lake and sky in the background

below: Party time behind the fence! This scene caught my eye because of the positioning of the chairs behind the fence (part of the beach is closed after the flooding). It wasn’t until I looked at the picture on my computer that I saw the LCBO bag between two of the chairs and the can of Palm Bay on one of arm rests.

three Muskoka chairs, red, blue, and yellow, on the beach with the tops of three heads showing, a dog lies in the sand beside them, Lake Ontario in the background. An LCBO bag between two of the chairs. A large thermos mug on the armrest of one chair and a can of Palm Bay vodka drink on the arm of another. An orange plastice fence is in front of them because that part of the beach is closed because of high water levels

below: The lifeguards are now manning some of the stations.   Because of the flooding, there is a pool behind the lifeguard where there was once beach.

lifeguard at Woodbine Beach, the beach is flooded so that there is also water behind the lifeguard. two chairs, one yellow and one green, sit in the flooded part

below: The remnants of sandbags ebb and flow with the waves.   Grounded.   Just enough sand to keep them from floating away.

the remains of ornage and yellow sandbags on a beach, some sand still in them so they don't float away.

a woman with red hair lies under a blue and white umbrella on the beach by Lake Ontario

a man sits on a red Muskoka chair in the flooded part of Woodbine beach. A red and yellow flag flies behind him.

below: The high water levels have encroached on the dog park.

flooded beach, fences in water, remains of orange temporary fence, a tree in the water

a man is lying on his back on Kew Beach, by Lake Ontario, a Canada goose is swimming by.

a woman sits on top of a picnic table onthe beach because the sand comes up to the level of the seats, lake and rocks in the background.

below: Look! An aerial view of Stonehenge! LOL.  And with that smile (I hope!)…  and with sand between my toes and in my sandals, I’ll leave you for another day.

a ring of pebbles in the sand on a beach

below: I doubt she’s saying that she loves the sunshine THIS MUCH!  but I’d like to think she is.   That’s certainly what was going through my head for most of the weekend so I’m going to pretend that she agrees with me!… especially since I am writing this as the rain falls outside my window.

a group of women walking down College Street at Montrose on a sunny winter day. One of the women is wearing a black coat and she has her arms open wide.

But back to those ravens and flamingos that I promised you…..

below: But not everyone’s happy.  Witches brewing with ravens and crows nearby.   There always seems to be symbolism associated with these large black birds so I went searching for information.  Ravens and crows are found throughout most of the northern hemisphere so many diverse cultures have their own mythologies surrounding these birds.  The best summary I found was this,  “On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void.  Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. ” (source)  We don’t know exactly what Fiya Bruxa, Shalak, and Bruno had in mind when they painted this mural but I doubt that it was something positive – those witches look rather angry and nasty.

a mural on a wall of two angry women's faces. One is pale pink and the other is yellow. Many crows or ravens are flying upwards from the women. The mural is on the side of a store that is part of a row of three storey brick storefronts.

below: From the vengeful looking faces above to these hopelessly romantic flamingos is just a matter of a few steps along College Street.  They’re the center part of a larger mural by Katia Engell.

part of a largeer mural of two pink flamingoes with the necks intertwined and their beaks together in a kiss, red petals behind them.

large pink flamingo painted on a wall, part of mural of 4 pink flamingos by Katia Engell

There are 4 flamingos altogether and they are in between two other murals.
In the picture below you can just see the yellow of an alphabet mural by runt

three pink flamingos. Two with entwined necks and one looking on, street art,

below: Too many things in the way makes for an awkward photo but you can still see enough of it to play the game of what creature goes with what letter!  R is for robot dog?  Z is for zlithering thingy with rings?

a mural by runt on a bright yellow background with letters of the alphabet in black and many imaginary creatures in bright colours.

below: J is for jumping purple blob?  C is for coughing-up- dinnersaurus?
And look, an alley to explore……

blog_runt_alphabet_creatures_mural

Wait! Before going down the alley I want to take a few steps backwards. Remember that I mentioned that the flamingos were between two murals?  This is what is on the other side…..

below:  Three cowboys in a mural signed by J Bizzel 4 Shizzel.
The one with his shirt off is the one under the air conditioner.

a mural of three cowboys, one tall, one in the middle and one short, purple and orange scenery behind them.

below: This strange but happy fellow was waiting in the alley.

face of a creature with bulging eyeballs, a large oen mouth showing many big rounded white teeeth, and a long tongue that can make a spiral as it curls back on itself.

a man is spray painting street art on the back of a building in an alley. Two others are standing in the lane watching him

part of a mural of a boy with headphones on, seat crossed legged on the ground and pointing downwards. He seems to be pointing at a collection of spray paint cans sitting on the ground below the mural.

below: If you look closely at this painting, you will notice that the wavy lines continue behind the bars of the railing and that there is only a small distance between the railing and the wall.    That was not a simple paint job.

a white staircase is diagonal in the picture, with white metal bars and railng, immediately behind it is a street art picture of an orange face blowing down towards the stairs. White wavy lines radiate from the open mouth

below: ‘Such a fool’ and someone to agree with it.

paste up graffiti that says such a fool. Someone has written true in large letters beside it.

below: I’m not too sure what to say about this one.  Vermut? or Vermouth?  Too much vermouth and you take your clothes off, versmut?  Bad joke.

a tall green bottle painted on the wall with the word vermut written vertically. Beside the bottle is painted a naked woman draped in red with breasts showing.

street art picture of a triangular shaped face looking upwards, open eyes and partially open mouth, behind the face is streaks of blue, yellow and red.

That’s the end of our little tour.
Find a sunny spot and pull up a chair and rest your feet for a few minutes.

chairs and a set of drawers outside a store full of antiques and stuff, the door is open and you can see into the store where there are two men shopping.

Tomorrow there will be puddles to go splashing through…
but that’s a story for another day.

afternoon in the park when the snow and ice begin to melt. Lots of water, big puddles, a few people walking dogs on the path trying to stay dry, reflections of them and many trees in the puddles.

 

 

a variety store on a corner of 2 streets in a mostly residential area. Green awning on one side of the building, an orange umbrella stands over the corner. sign on store says Sunshine Variety.

So excited!  So happy to be able to walk on the sunny side of the street and not be struck down by heat stroke!

below: You could say that we’re walking on cloud nine at the change of weather.

metal cutout figures of people walking, alongside a chainlink fence as part of an art installation

This past Sunday was a great day for a walk.  Luckily, it was also the day that Penny (author of ‘Walking Woman’ blog) and I had set aside to explore westward from Christie subway station.   Actually, we were going elephant hunting.  Well, it started off as an elephant hunt, but it turned into a treasure hunt – a treasure trove of Toronto quirkiness.

shadows of a railing along the side of a street with no sidewalk, just narrow space between the fence and the kerb, green bike lane. At the top of the photo is a shadow of a pedestrian walking, backpack on.

Eureka! As it turns out, it was also a great day for elephants to hang around outside.  This is Sally, a lifesize fiberglass elephant that stands nearly 3 metres tall.  She’s been standing here since 2003 and despite a little crack at the top of her trunk, she’s looking pretty good for her age.

a large white plaster? elephant stands in the frontyard of a house, tree beside it, bikes parked behind it. Residential street.

It was also a good day for gorillas to sit in trees.  A shout out to the man who was standing under this tree talking on his phone, oblivious to this furry creature above him.  The same man who gave me a strange look when I walked over with my camera, but then who shared a laugh with me when he too looked up and saw the monkey.

a large stuffed gorilla sits in the V formed by a tree trunk and a large branch of a tree, gorilla is wearing red boxing gloves.

Quirky treasures like woolly headed scarecrows.

a scarecrow in pink shirt and wooly hat stands high over a garden, between a garage and a fence in an alley.

below: Tartan columns holding up shady porches.

a shady porch at the front of a brick house with two columns painted in black and red tartan, or plaid.

below: Pet waint at Lansdowne subway station.

a sign that says pet waint on a sign that says Toronto in front of Lansdowne subway station entrance

below: A solitary dandelion in a lawn of astroturf. Even fake grass isn’t immune to the ubiquitous dandelion.

a single dandelion grows in a lawn of astroturf (fake grass) where it meets the concrete sidewalk

below:  We encountered many Little Free Library boxes.  This is not just a Toronto phenomenon and I’d have to say that it is beyond the “quirky” stage.  There is now a Little Free Library organization where you can register your library.  They claim to have over 40,000 registered libraries in over 70 countries.

a woman in a white baseball cap is reaching into a 'little free library' shelf of books outside a house

When I checked their website, I found a map of Toronto locations.   There are the libraries that are registered with the organization; I know that there are more than what is on this map.  What the map does show though is that these little libraries are numerous and that they are spread around a lot of the residential areas of the city.

map, from google maps, of the locations of little free libraries in the city,

below: Quick, get your Valentines Day roses while they’re still on sale!

a sign in front of a store selling plants and flowers that says Valentines Roses on sale, 10% off

below: The middle way, in case you’re lost?  There was a man standing there, the middle man so to speak, but he didn’t hang around long enough for me to get his picture.

two houses with a small walkway between them. Someone has written mid on one side and dle on the other so together they spell middle

below: Figures watching over a front yard, including angels and a buddha.

upper part of a statue of a young girl with decorated wall behind. Coloured picture of a biblical scene, 2 small angel statues and a buddha statue

below: And of course, what’s a Toronto walk without a lovebot?

lovebot and a lovebot nintendo gameboy on a wall above a graffiti bird with a word bubble that says everybody got a hungry heart

Near the end of our walk, we passed what is known as the Terracotta House.

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them. upper part of front of house

This house was built in 1905 by John Turner, a builder.  In the late 1800’s terra cotta tiles went out of style and there was a glut of them on the market.   Mr. Turner was using up excess stock that he had on hand?  Or advertising his business?  Or just taking advantage of a cheap material?   Whatever his motives, the house is still standing and is still a unique piece of architecture more than 100 years later.  I wonder what his wife thought of it?

house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

detail of house covered with terra cotta tiles with different designs on them.

May all your walks, or cycles, be on the sunny side …

part of a mural called Strength in Numbers, on a wall, a painting of two cyclists. One is a black man with dreadlocks and the other is a woman in a polka dot dress with a box on the back of her bike.

… no matter how long they are!

an old tree trunk has been turned into a support for many little arrow shaped signs that point the direction to cities around the world along with how many kilometres it is to those cities.

Yesterday the Portuguese community in Toronto held their 29th annual Portugal Day parade.   It was a lively, happy occasion.  Hundreds of people lined Dundas Street West between Lansdowne and Trinity Bellwoods Park to watch the parade.  They showed their Portuguese colours with flags, banners, hats, soccer shirts, and lots of red clothes!  Young soccer players demonstrated their skills.  People of all ages wore traditional dress from different parts of Portugal as they walked and danced along the parade route.  There was music too – bagpipes, marching bands, and music to dance to.

A man pushes a cart from which he is selling popcorn, candy apples and cotton candy to people watching a parade. A black truck is behind him with a boy in the passenger side who is hold a banner out the window that says Portugal on it.

Two boys holding a red banner for a marching band in a parade. Lots of flag holders behind them, a Canadian flag, an Ontario flag, a Toronto flag and a Portuguese flag.

A young girl swirls her long skirt as she dances in a parade. Portugal Day parade on Dundas West, Little Portugal, in Toronto

A boy is wearing a Rinaldo soccer shirt, and sitting beside a Portuguese flag. His father is with him

men, members of a Labour Union, walk in a parade. They are wearing orange shirts with short blue sleeves that say Portugal Day on them.

Women dancers in traditional Portuguese dress, dancing in a parade. One of them pauses to look at the man selling cotton candy and popcorn froma cart.

On a street, Dundas West in Toronto, there is a parade, people on the sidewalk watching, and dancers performing in the parade. Portugal Day parade.

People in a parade, three people holding two flags, Portugal and Benfica. A man behind them is holding his arms up in the air.

Two girls in traditional Portuguese dresses are dancing in a parade, onlookers sitting on the sidewalk behind them.

A young woman is wearing a large tall hat in squares of the colours of the Portuguese flag. Beside her is a person draped in the Portuguese flag. They are watching a parade

Four kids sitting crossed legged at the side of a street watching a parade. They are holding Portuguese flags. The older boy has a red whistle in his mouth.

Two Toronto policemen in yellow safety vests watch a parade, women dancing past them.

members of the Cobourg Legion pipe and drum band, four bagpipers in their blue and red kilts marching in a parade

A float in a parade featuring the Portuguese Radio and TV stations, Camoes,

Close up shot of the hands of three men dancing in a parade. The faces of only 2 of them are visible. They are wearing white shirts, black vests, and black hats. Portugal Day parade

Spectators in a parade hold small Portuguese flags as they watch traditional dancers perform.

A woman holds a colourful banner in a parade

A woman from the crowd watching a parade, goes over to a float that has a live sheep and goat on it, she is hesitating to pat the sheep.

people watching kids kicking around a soccer ball as part of a parade. The kids are all in red uniforms.

A woman is giving out small portuguese flags to people watching a parade. She is wearing a t-shirt in support of local politician Anna Bailao,

Spectators at a parade, sitting on chairs, one of which has a Canadian flag on the back. Passing by is a marching band in dark pants and white shirts. Portugal Day parade on Dundas West.

Reflections I noticed as I walked up Simcoe and across King  this afternoon. 

Reflections in the building across the street, some women are walking by with their bicycles, a street car is just coming into view.

I often see tourists stopped here to take photos. I decided that it was my turn today. The CN Tower is also reflected in this building, along with St. Andrews Church.

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More downtown reflections of tall buildings.

Curved window beside the entrance to St. Andrews subway station.

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Two small trees in the foreground.  Some tall buildings reflected in the windows of another building are behind the trees.

Roy Thomson Hall just sneaks into the lower left corner of the picture.

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Reflections of streetlights in a window, lots of horizontal blue bars are in the windows too.

My selfie for the day!

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This year the long August week-end (Aug 3, 4 and 5) was warm and sunny.  Like most summer week-ends in Toronto, there was lots going on.  On both Sunday and Monday afternoon I dropped by the IRIE festival at Nathan Phillips Square.

people watching a performance at Nathan Phillips Square on a sunny afternoon

There was a small but appreciative crowd at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday afternoon for the IRIE festival.

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Samba Squad, a group of musicians, performs on stage.

Samba Squad performing on Sunday afternoon.

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4 men dancing on a stage.  they are wearing green pants and white sleeveless T-shirts.

They were called the TD dancers and they were one of the opening acts on Monday afternoon.

A man and a woman dancing. The woman has long hair that is bouncing around as she moves.

Their performance was twelve minutes of non-stop, high energy movement.

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Seeking shade and a place to rest.  Men sitting around the base of 'the Archer' sculpture at Nathan Phillips Square.  One has a large hat on and another has a shirt over his head to keep the sun off.

Seeking shade and a place to rest.

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Two Asian male photographers and their cameras with very long lenses taking pictures of a performance on the stage at Nathan Phillips Square.

There were not a lot of cameras clicking away during the performances that I saw. One exception were the four men with their long lenses that stopped by for a few minutes, took some photos, and left.  I thought of African safaris as I watched them.

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A girls wearing a light blue jacket is standing beside the pool at Nathan Phillips Square while her mother takes her picture. The mother is wearing light blue pants and is holding a light blue umbrella.

Photo op in light blue.

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Nathan Phillips Square from the south, showing one of the arches over the fountain. Some vendors are there as well as some tourists and other people enjoying the sunny afternoon.

There were also a few vendors selling food & drink, clothing, and jewelry.  Mostly it was a pleasant way to spend some time on a sunny summer afternoon.

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