Posts Tagged ‘tracks’

It’s easy to view railway tracks from bridges, in this case from a bridge on Finch Avenue East between Markham Road and McCowan.  The is CPR Toronto Yard.

seen from a bridge, two bright red CPR train engines on tracks, beside the watch tower

It is a marshaling yard, also known as a classification yard, which is where railway cars are separated onto one of several tracks and joined with other cars with the same destination.

boxcars and tankers waiting on tracks at the CPR yard

Sitting on over 400 acres, CPR’s yard in Scarborough is one of the largest in Canada.  There are 311 switches and about 140km of track on which freight cars are shunted between tracks.   The site was opened in 1964.

across the tracks, lots of red CPR engines, with skyline behind

seen from a bridge, a train passes below, engine, flatbed cars, a tanker, and a boxcar

…but getting to track level can be more of a challenge.

below: It sometimes involves getting lost and having a chat with a security guard or two (but not until after you have a few good wall & shadow pictures)

a security guard walks down a road between two white metal buildings

below:  In other places, access is simple.

a small dead pine tree in front of a large puddle in a parking lot, a line of red boxcars behind it

a man in a safety vest stands beside two boxcars, one yellow and the other orange,

three tanks on towers above train cars at CPR yard

below: I’ve never thought too much about graffiti on trains until today – How many miles has this little guy traveled?  Where did he come from and who painted him when?  How many people have seen him as he shuttles back and forth across the country (or perhaps farther than that?)?

the graffiti on the side of a red boxcar

below: Looking right back at you!

graffiti on the side of a train car - painted pale blue with two big eyes that seem to be looking at the viewer

reddich colour boxcar with pink and blue blobs, graffiti

below: A westbound train leaves the yard at McCowan Road.

two bright red CPR engines at the front of a train, black tanker cars behind, as it crosses over the bridge at the entrance to the CPR railway yard

below: Back in 1964 the community of Browns Corners was at the corner of Finch Avenue East and Markham Road(not to be confused with the other Browns Corners on Woodbine Ave and Hwy 7).   There are no more traces of the community or the farms that surrounded it.

trucks parked beside a long low grey building, in the distance. in front is a vacant lot

I only walked around part of the yard and I didn`t take very many pictures of the buildings that are there – seniors residence, medical clinic, a few offices, etc.

pattison billboard beside a street, on a vacant piece of land
a bus shelter on the side of a street, with vacant land behind and a large billboard advertising a radio station

the backs of trucks parked by a vacant lot

I would like to end this blog post with one building that I saw that was different.

below: The Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre is nearby.  I think that I have it right – the Sathya Sai Organization is not a religion but a “universal approach to life” whose teacher and spiritual leader is Sathya Sai Baba.   Each of the five petals in the flower contain a word or phrase: truth, right conduct, peace, non violence, and love.

 

Sri Sathya Sai Baba centre

below: There was a column-like structure near the door topped with a large lotus flower.  The base was square and on each were printed words.  “Offer all bitterness in the sacred Fire and emerge grand, great and Godly.”

part of the base of a column with words that say offer all bitterness in the sacred fire and emerge grand, great and godly

below: “Remember the wheel of Cause and Consequence of Deed and Destiny and the Wheel of Dharma that rights them all”.  I assume that the other two sides also had inscriptions but I couldn’t see them because of a fence with a locked gate.

part of the base of a column with words that say remember the wheel of cause and consequence of deed and destiny and the wheel of dharma that rights them all

Back on McCowan and back home… (still no TTC in my life)

a row of cars for sale, seen from the back

Staying on the side of caution, I haven’t been on the TTC for almost two weeks.  Instead, I have been using this time to venture into areas where it’s easier to drive to including some parts of the city where I rarely (if ever) go.   This is the story of yesterday’s adventure.

below: Two old rusty acorn-style street signs.

street signs, 2 old acorn signs, for Maclennan Ave and Rosedale Heights Drive, rusty

concrete wall between hillside and sidewalk, houses and trees above, street below

a man jogging past concrete wall and elementary school, at bottom of ramp to pedestrian bridge, street lamp above the ramp

below: On the concrete embankment below the elementary school is a very faded mural.

on an old faded mural of white flowers, someone has written in blue, love is love, and also a purple heart has been drawn

below: I doubt this car was a new model the year this mural was painted…. maybe? LOL

old faded mural of a small white car

sidewalk splits, half goes to ramp up to a pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks and half follows the road that curves and goes under the bridge beside the tracks, blue railing

below: Two together, locked beside each other.  Below are the CPR tracks, the same ones that run through the middle of the city from West Toronto, past the Junction and through to the railway yards at McCowan Road in Scarborough.

2 combination locks locked on a chainlink fence on a railway bridge

below: A small sliver of land between the tracks and the street, just big enough for a narrow house.

view from pedestrian railway bridge, Summerhill Ave., with houses, tracks, street, and trees, early spring

very narrow brick house has been gutted and has no windows

houses and yards as seen from a railway bridge

below: Magnolia buds in a front yard.

magnolia buds on a tree in a front yard

below: A very old pine tree in Chorley Park

large old pine tree in chorley park

below: Chorley Park was once the site of the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor.

large houses in the background, park with large mature trees in the foreground, Chorley Park in Rosedale

below:  It was built in 1915 and was modelled on various chateaux of the Loire Valley in France.  In 1937 it was closed down for financial reasons – during the Great Depression of the 1930s,  the annual costs of heating and electricity were the subject of political debate.   The federal government bought it, using it first as a military hospital and then as RCMP headquarters.  In 1960 the city of Toronto purchased the property, tore down the building, and developed the site as a park.

old black and white picture of a mansion, Chorley Park, stone, long curving driveway, three storeys, many chimneys,

below: From Chorley Park there is a path that winds down the hill to part of the Beltline Trail and the Brick Works park beyond that.

winding path down the hill from Chorley Park to the Beltline trail and Brick works park

below: Part of the path down the hill is being rebuilt.

orange plastic fencing around site where a new path and trail are being made down the side of a hill with lots of trees, early spring, no leaves

Mud Creek as it enters the brick works park and widens to a pond

below: Mud Creek.  It was about here that the word ‘dun’ popped into my head; that was definitely the word of the day…  dull greyish brown colour.   Mud creek, dun views.

old rock wall along the banks of Mud Creek, trees, path,

below: Maybe dun but that doesn’t mean uninteresting.  It won’t be long until there are leaves and then lots gets hidden and houses like this get more of their privacy back!  I’ll gladly stare while I can 🙂  I wonder if anyone uses those stairs?

the back of a house under construction, at the top of a hill on a ravine, trees and dead leaves on the ground, early spring,

below:  Governors Bridge passes over the trail that I share with very few people and about as many dogs as people.

Governors Bridge, where Governors Road passes over the Beltline trail, early spring, no leaves on trees, one person jogging on the trail, path,

below: The street art on the concrete pillars of the bridge look fairly fresh.

part of a bridge, concrete supports with street art on them, a culvert where the creek comes back to the surface, creek, ravine, no leaves on the trees,

Quick diversion to the top of the bridge!

below:  The bridge itself is very plain and the best part of being on it is the view. You can see (barely!) the red brick chimney of Todmorden Mills just below the two taller buildings on the left. That places those buildings at Broadview and Pottery/Mortimer which means that this view is more to the west than to the south.

below: Straight down to the path below. I shot this one blind and was pleasantly surprised to see a bright hat add a bit of life.

2 people walking on path through trees, taken from a bridge high above them

And back down again (you can pretend that I jumped off the bridge)

below: Just a bit farther north the trail passes under the railway tracks.   You might recognize this as a railway bridge as all the Toronto railway bridges over ravines were built in a similar style (and probably all about the same time).

path under a railway bridge, very high, a man walking his dog on the path, lined with trees with no leaves because its early spring

below: The last bridge on the Beltline before it reaches Mt Pleasant cemetery is this one, Cat’s Eye bridge.

below: Unfortunately, that’s where you have to leave the trail for the time being as the path is being refurbished all the way to Moore Ave.

construction, re-doing of path along the Mud Creek

below: The Moore Avenue entrance is blocked for construction – Mud Creek Restoration Project Reach 6,  completion date, summer 2020.

Beltline trail at Moore Ave., blocked by fence because of construction, no entry signs,

And so we leave the path there and make our way back through the neighbourhood to find my car.

three older houses on a street, the one in the middle has been gutted to the other walls, side only, open roof, new beams beinginstalled for a third storey

older houses, three, the one n the middle is white with blue trim and two large trees growing right in front of it

below: Someone wrote this on the pavement on the Cat’s Eye bridge.  I hope they’re wrong!

written in white chalk on greyasphalt are the words no future

This is another “walk about” post; in fact, it is the product of two nearly identical walks a few months apart.

below: Standing at the corner of King and Spadina while TTC workmen clear the streetcar tracks of excess dirt and sand.

two young women standing on the corner of King & Spadina

below: Looking east along King Street.  The LCBO on the corner is now closed.

looking eastward along King St from Spadina, high rises, billboard, traffic, city,

below: Spadina, south of King.

construction on Spadina south of King, beside the red and white Petro Canada gas station

below: Looking through a parking lot on Wellington.

backs of buildings as seen through a parking lot on Wellington street

below: Looking south on Draper Street

looking south on Draper street to condos south of the tracks

below: The CN Tower from Draper Street

the CN tower as seen through a vacant lot on Draper street

below: Construction continues on the old Globe and Mail site south of Wellington and north of Front.

construction on the site of the old Globe and Mail building between Wellington and Front

below: A pink pig still celebrating Valentines Day.

a pink plastic pig on a porch, wearing heart shaped sunglasses and a necklace of heart shapes

below: Looking east along the tracks from Portland Street.  In November when I walked here, there were many movie trucks parked along Front Street.

looking east along the north side of the railway tracks from Portland Street towards downtown, cranes and construction site, high rises

below: The new condos on the north side of Front Street that face the railway tracks.

a line of glass and concrete condos on Front street that face the railway tracks, cars and trucks at construction site beside the tracks, below street level

pasteup graffiti on a yellow post, faces with eyes collage, by jeremy lynch

below: Crossing the Puente de Luz, Toronto’s yellow pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks.

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

three people crossing the puente de luz, the yellow pedestrian bridge that crosses the railway tracks

looking eastward to the puente de luz bridge and the city skyline beyond, railway tracks, cranes, new buildings,

below: On the south side of the railway – the green building is the Library District condo.

fish eye lens view of side of green library condo building and the other across the street, Queens Wharf Rd

below: Bathurst Street at Fort York Blvd., with the overhang from the library which is on that corner.

overhang from the library roof, Bathurst street, south of tracks, condos, street,

below: Bathurst streetcar southbound.

TTC streetcar passes over Bathurst street bridge over the railway tracks, new condos in the background, crane

below: The grassy green mound that separates Fort York from the city…. with the city creeping up behind it.

edge of the grounds of fort york, green grass on hill, with new high risse condos in the distance

below: Orange bars across the eyes, graffiti

graffiti, three black and white photos of faces with orange streak painted through their eyes, pasteups on concrete

below: The Bentway, under the Gardiner Expressway (a previous post on the Bentway)

the bentway, the new development and park under the gardiner expressway, words on one of the concrete posts that says Welcome to the Bentway a shared space kind of place

Garrison Crossing is actually two stainless steel bridges, both over railway tracks.   Both have spans of close to 50m.  In the middle is a peninsula of land that is in the process of being developed into condos and a park.  Almost 20 years ago there was a proposal to build a bridge here – to be opened in 2012 for the anniversary of the War of 1812.  Mayor Rob Ford was opposed to it (too much money) and the plans were shelved.  A change of mayor (and some help from developers) and a change of plan again.  Construction began in 2016.  It provides a much needed link between the two sides of the railway lands.

below: Southern span – walking north from Fort York

fisheye view of first garrison crossing bridge with new condos in the middle

below: City view from the new park in the middle, train tracks (difficult to see in this picture) on two sides of the triangle.

view from Garrison Crossing, in the middle, CN Tower and Toronto downtown skyline

below: Yellow construction fences still line the edge of the path through the middle section between the bridges.

yellow construction fences line the pathway through the middle of Garrison Crossing as it is not quite finished construction

below: People crossing the northern portion of Garrison Crossing (looking south).

people walking across the Garrison Crossing bridge with high rise condos behind them

below: Looking northwest from the second span of Garrison Crossing towards Strachan Avenue and beyond.

railway tracks north of Garrison crossing looking towards Strachan Ave

below: Garrison Crossing ends at Wellington Street close to Stanley Park

park, green space, baseball diamond with lights, and a row of bright coloured houses behind

a garage door completely covered in paint, street art in red, black and yellow

street art on a garage door including a large pair of white hands

street art on two metal boxes on the sidewalk, one is a zipper opening to reveal a brick wall

below: Found – one city snowplow parking lot, between the railway tracks and Wellington Street (at the end of Walnut Ave).

parking lot for red snowplows, city property, also a dome shaped storage for sand, condos in the background

below: Immediately to the east of the snowplows is the old brick building. It has its own access road from Wellington including a bridge with three arches.   The road is overgrown and blocked by a fence.  There is no sign by the road.

cars in a parking lot with an old boarded up brick building, 2 storeys. The building has a road and 3 arched bridge leading to the upper storey

below: It took some time on google but I finally found the answer to the building above.  Here it is in 1925, the year that it was built – the Wellington Destructor.  It was used until the 1970s when burning garbage was banned; it has been a heritage building since 2005.  I found the photo online on a CBC News webpage where there a great description of the building and its history,  along with some pictures of the interior.

old black and white photo of garbage incinerator built in 1925, Toronto, large brick building

below: And that brings us back to the Bathurst Street bridge over the railway tracks on the south side of Front Street.  Did you know that it’s officially called the Sir Isaac Brock Bridge?  It spent most of its life as the Bathurst Street Bridge until 2007 when it was renamed.

traffic at the intersection of Bathurst and Front. Brown metal bridge for Bathurst over the tracks, CN Tower and new condos in the background

below: It is a steel truss bridge that was built in 1903 (one of the oldest bridges in the city).  It’s first life was a railway bridge over the Humber Bridge but in 1916 it was disassembled, moved to Bathurst, and reassembled.

brown metal bridge, Bathurst street over the railway tracks,

below: Bathurst bridge, 1919, from the west (Lake Ontario is on the right hand side).

vintage black and white photo of railway tracks and bridge over Bathurst street, 1919, from Toronto City Archives

The view from the Municipal Abbatoir Building, looking southeast. The building with the water tower on top is the Matthews Blackwell meat packing company. On the left, you can see part of the cylindrical tower belonging to Consumers Gas Company

 

below: Someone has given this rusty guy some eyes!  He too is watching out for interesting stories.  He’s also thankful that you made it this far!  At least he can’t roll his eyes!

two large black and white googly eyes have been glued onto a rusty piece of metal on a fence

street sign for Victoria Park Ave., top part says Wexford Heights

Victoria Park Avenue used to be the boundary between North York and Scarborough back before the boroughs were all amalgamated into the city. As a result, it suffered a bit from being ignored by both. I started my walk at Vic Park and Eglinton in part because I have driven this route a few times but never walked it. In addition, the arrival of the LRT here will probably have an impact on the area so I wanted to see the “before” picture.

below: A blue and white City of Toronto development notice at the NE corner of Eglinton and Victoria Park. This was once the western edge of the “Golden Mile”. In the 1950’s and 1960’s there were numerous factories including a General Motors assembly plant. Commercial developments were attracted to the area such as the Golden Mile Plaza built in 1954 (and visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1959). This notice pertains to the plans to develop a large piece of land between Victoria Park and Pharmacy Avenues with housing, retail, and parks. The new Crosstown LRT will service the area with two stops, one at Vic Park and one at Pharmacy.

blue and white toronto development notice sign on a section of grass by a parking lot, stores in the distance

The only snow on the ground when I walked north from Eglinton were the dirty piles where snow plows had dumped the snow over the winter.

a green street sign for Eglinton Ave lies on the ground, on a pile of dirty snow, a bull dozer is in the background.

below: Looking north from Craigton which is the first street north of Eglinton. There are a lot of lowrise apartment buildings in this area.

back of a TTC bus as it stops at Victoria Park and Craigton, a woman is standing at a bus stop

three lowrise white apartment buildings in the distance, hydro wires, vacant land

below: Community garden on the hydro right of way.

community garden surrounded by orange wire fence, under hydro poles,

hydro poles, utility poles, electricity, and wires

wooden pole with street sign for Elvaston and a no truck sign, in the background, signs from stores in a strip mall

below: Sale only until Dec. 24 so hurry in…. a little late? or too early?

two people walk past a store with a sign in the window that says hurry up because sale ends Dec 28. photo taken in March

below: Commercial development took the form of strip malls when there was lots of space and density was low.

blue wire fence around an empty strip mall

old and empty Prince Cleaners (dry cleaners) in a strip mall that is empty and fenced off and waiting for redevelopment

signs for retail on a strip mall

old no apartments for rent sign outside a brick apartment building

The first settlers in the area were mostly farmers until the late 1940’s.

below: St. Judes Anglican church was built in 1848 by the Rev William Stewart Darling and the Anglican families of the Wexford area; it is the oldest surviving Anglican church in Scarborough. A more modern church was built behind it (just out of the picture) in the mid 1950’s when the population of the neighbourhood boomed. The cemetery began as a private burial plot for the Parkin family – the infant son of Patrick and Ann, Edward, was buried here in 1932.

a small white church in a cemetery, St. Juds Anglican church built in 1848

below: The intersection of Lawrence and Victoria Park. A bit forlorn.

empty parking lot at the intersection of two roads, Victoria Park Ave and Lawrence ave., truck and some other traffic, Damas middle eastern restaurant and a Shell gas station

below: Low rise, flat roofed townhouses. Most of the development on Victoria Park dates from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

1960's low rise, flat roofed townhouses in front, with red brick apartment building behind, large trees, winter, no leaves, grassy area in front

below: Some small postwar bungalows line the street, and the side streets on the Scarborough side.

a small bungalow on a side street that faces the main road, Victoria Park Ave

a few cars on the street driving past some small bungalows

below: A railway corridor passes under Victoria Park north of Lawrence.

looking from a bridge onto the train tracks below and downtown in the distance

pine tree growing in front of a brick building

two lowrise apartment buildings side by side on Victoria Park Ave., one in red brick and the other is yellow

below: A wonderful wide W shaped roofline

a wide W shaped roof line on the cover over an entrance to an apartment building

below: H is for Hockey and Hockey Sticks

a teal coloured, large H in front of an arrangement of hockey sticks, artwork on the top of a wood fence

below: No trespassing signs on the bus shelter?

empty building, with fence around it and no trespassing signs

Victoria Park continues north to beyond Steeles Avenue but I didn’t get anywhere near that far! North of Ellesmere and York Mills Road it becomes much more suburban and not as interesting. It’s more of a thoroughfare and less of a city street.

… and vicinity

The Bentway is a new park being built under the Gardiner Expressway between Bathurst and Strachan.  I walked it almost two years ago when the park was only in the planning stages.   I thought that I’d take a look at it again the other day.  Originally, it was supposed to be ready last summer so it’s a bit behind schedule.  Surprised?

Walking south on Strachan from King, and whoa, there are changes happening here too.  Cranes everywhere.  Holes in the ground.   How many people are employed in the construction industry in Toronto?  in the GTA?

below: Looking eastward from Strachan Avenue, immediately south of King Street.

looking east from Strachan, immediately south of King, past older brick buildings to the CN Tower and city skyline

below: The view from a few metres farther south on Strachan.  The metal grid covers the railway tracks and supports the retaining walls on either side.  It also makes an interesting pattern.  These tracks turn northward – they are used by the UP Express to the airport and GO trains to places like Georgetown and Barrie.   There’s the CN Tower again – just in case you’re a CN Tower junkie like me.  I can’t resist taking pictures of it, especially when I find new angles, new foregrounds.

looing over the railway tracks to city skyline and CN Tower, construction of new building on the right

below: Immediately south of the train tracks is Ordnance Street.  Until recently it was a sleepy little dead end street of light industrials.

cement truck on street in front of construction site, cranes, fences, building about 20 storeys high

below: Ouch! Look at all those transformers on the poles.

 

white crane in the background, many hydro utility poles, with large grey cylindrical transformers on each of them

below: The east end of Ordnance Street is at Strachan.   It doesn’t actually end there, but continues on the west side as East Liberty Street.  This is the eastern edge of Liberty Village.

the NW corner of Strachan Ave and East Liberty Street, construction site with fence and hoardings.

Sorry, we haven’t got to the Bentway yet.  If you are a Torontonian you should now have your bearings and know at least approximately where you are.  Not far to go now.  It’s a beautiful day and we’re walking slow!

The Ordnance Street development is on a triangle of land with one side as Strachan Avenue and the other two sides as railway lines.

below: You’ll have to take my word for it that the construction on Ordnance Street is just behind the bushes on the left.   These are the tracks that run to the west and the bridge over the tracks is at Bathurst Street.  By this time, the two sets of tracks have come together as they approach Union Station.

railway tracks and CN Tower

below: One of the first views of the Bentway.  More construction.  I was standing on Strachan when I took this picture.  This is the beginnings of a new entrance to the Bentway – a large staircase down the hill from the street.  The steps are wide to allow for multiple uses – a place to gather, a place for entertainment.

construction under the elevated Gardiner Expressway, making a large set of stairs down from Strachan Ave to Grenadier Common near Fort York

below: This end of the Bentway parallels Garrison Common.  The Ordnance Street development can still be seen but there is also another structure being built on Garrison Common side of the railway tracks.

construction of an elevated ramp beside a park from a distance, with condo building going on behind it

below: A closer look.  It appears to be a ramp to a pedestrian/cycle bridge that will cross the tracks and join Ordnance Street to the Bentway, Fort York, and the streets/paths to the south.  I also really like the billboards – one with graffiti and the other is empty.

billboard beside construction of an elevated ramp beside a park

below: The new rusty entrance to the Fort York Visitors Centerentrance to Fort York visitors centre, rusted metal panels on exterior walls and as covering over doorway

 

below: Just beyond the visitor’s center, the Bentway is closer to completion. There was a skating rink here this past winter.

concrete path winds under the bents and pillars of the Gardiner Expressway

below: Also here is an installation by Dana Claxton called ‘Forest of Canoes’.  Colourful images of canoes on the concrete pillars.  Light-wise, they are probably best seen in the morning but that’s not when I was there.

at the Bentway, Dana Claxton's 'Forest of Canoes' art installation of pictures of canoes on the concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway - grey canoe on black background

The Bentway follows the shoreline of Lake Ontario that existed before landfill was used to create a space for the railway lines.  Canoes were once an essential means of transport.  Now their images sit on concrete pillars that hold up the Gardiner Expressway where thousands of cars pass by every day.

at the Bentway, Dana Claxton's 'Forest of Canoes' art installation of pictures of canoes on the concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway - blue canoe

at the Bentway, Dana Claxton's 'Forest of Canoes' art installation of pictures of canoes on the concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway - cedar strip canoe

below: In the bottom left corner of this picture is what looks like a bluish blob.  My apologies to the artist for calling it a blob but I’ll blame it on the lack of light and therefore, the lack of detail, in the photo.  This is another art piece.  It is ‘Future Snowmachine in Kinngait (Colossus)’ by Janice Qimirpik, Moe Kelly, Embassy of Imagination, and PA System.  Embassy of Imagination is a collaboration between PA System (Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka) and youth in the Cape Dorset community of Kinngait.  This sculpture started with small playdough models of snowmobiles made by Qimirpik and Kelly.  They were then scaled into a larger than life sculpture.

at the Bentway, Dana Claxton's 'Forest of Canoes' art installation of pictures of canoes on the concrete supports of the Gardiner Expressway

The next part of the Bentway is under construction and there is still no pedestrian crossing across Fort York Blvd and is passes diagonally under the Gardiner.   There is (was?) one in the plan.

below: This sculpture is on the corner of Fort York Blvd and Grand Magazine Street.  It is ‘Fountaingrove’ by Carlo Cesta and Nestor Kruger, 2014.  It sits above the Garrison Creek Culvert that carries the now buried creek to the lake.  Like the name states, it represents water in fountains.   Of course there is a white crane hiding behind it.

part of a metal twisty sculpture, condos behind, blue sky, sun spot

below: Just west of Bathurst Street

blue surface, window relief sculpture in it, other side is artifical rock, under the Gardiner Expressway, lock stone ground,

below: Getting cosy.  Condos rise up right beside the Gardiner Expressway.  If you’ve driven across the Gardiner, you’ll know just how close some of the buildings are to the traffic.   How useful is a balcony if it’s metres away from a highway and from all those cars and trucks?  They keep being built and people keep buying them.

below: I couldn’t resist all the yellow and orange bits and pieces!

yellow circular bike rack, bikes, condos,

below: On the east side of Bathurst is the construction of a new Loblaws.  It never ends does it?

construction site that is partially covered by the Gardiner Expressway

This blog may have been a bit heavier on construction photos than you were expecting, especially since the title was about canoes. There was just so much work going on in that area that it was hard to avoid.  The next time that I walk this area it will probably be totally different… unfortunately new buildings are a lot duller to look at than construction sites so there may not be many photos!

on grey construction hoardings, a sign tat says post no bills. Someone has added 4 stencils of different Bills, Bill Murray, Bill Clinton.

Dana Claxton canoe image at Bentway, Forest of Canoes, multicoloured, bright colours,

The other day I headed towards Dupont and Dundas West because I heard about a mural that I didn’t recall having seen.  Here it is … and more.

below: The most westerly part of the mural is on the north side of Dundas West where Old Weston Road and Annette Street meet.

mural on a wall beside a busy street

mural with a bird, chicakdee or sparrow beside a large orange tiger lily

mural, large painting of a tiger lily and a sparrow

 

It continues along the side of the railway underpass on Dupont (it’s a confusing tangle of streets here!)

car stopped in traffic under railway bridge, driver is looking at the mural that is painted under the underpass

….and on the stairwell up to the West Toronto Railpath.

part of a mural, a robin and an orange rose, outside, beside a staircase

colourful mural outside beside a staircase, large flowers and leaves including an orange maple leaf

It was a gorgeous day so I walked around a bit more, of course!

below: On Dundas West

street art of a young person writing on the wall with red letters that say it's just a phase

below: A row of houses with wonderful facades.  You don’t many like that anymore! .. at least not on houses.

older two storey row houses with facades that extend above the roof line,

below: These fooled me at first.  Interesting black and white photos looking grubby and worn… with a small McDonalds logo on the bottom right.   The photo on the bottom left also has a few words in small print that give away the fact this is a McDonalds promotion.  I don’t think I’ve seen any like these elsewhere – or have I missed something?

4 large black and white photos of people eating hamburgers, that is actually a mcdonalds ad

below: The large black metal staircase at the end of the footbridge over the tracks at Wallace Ave are gone.  The replacement stairs are dull and bland.  This change was meant to accommodate new development on Wallace.

new stairs at the end of a footbridge over the train tracks at Wallace street in Toronto, beside the West Toronto Railpath

below: Railpath window reflections.

reflections of the sky in a window

below: Also on the West Toronto Railpath, someone has hung this colourful ‘curtain’ on the fence in order to add a splash of colour to a sitting area.  Once upon a time there were more chairs here.  And a table if I remember correctly.

fabric hanging from a rope beside a footpath, large green cylinder stoarge unit behind it.

below: One of two chalkboards installed by crazydames where people have written notes to cyclists imploring them to slow down and use their bells.  I totally agree!  Just before I came upon this, a man on an electric bike came up behind me, silently and fast.

large chalkboard on an orange brick wall with notes to tell cyclists to slow down and ring their bells.

below: This little gnome still stands by the entrance to a convenience store.  This guarden gnome has been here (Bloor West) for a few years.

a small gnome painted on the wall beside a door to a convenience store. The door is open and people are walking past

below: Reduce, reuse, recycle – here the R used is reuse.   Truck and tractor parts and other bits and pieces craftily arranged and put to use on the outside of the Farmhouse Tavern.  It should look better in a couple of months!

planters on an exterior wall, made of truck and tractor parts

below: A fairy in a garden of mushrooms.

a mural of a fairy, woman, with wings, holding something in her hand and looking upwards, in a garden with large mushrooms,

graffiti on a black wall, white bird like head on pick square

One last look at part of that mural!

mural with flowers, shadows in front

part of a mural, large light purple flower with yellow center and dark pink at inner most part of petals

 

What to do on a cold day when the wind is vicious and blows right through you?   It blows through my hat, my ears and my brain.  It makes my head hurt.  Not the ideal walking day even with all my winter layers on.   I have been thinking about my walk along Sheppard Avenue and some of the issues with public transit and while doing so I realized that I had never been on the Scarborough Rapid Transit.  With all the talk about Sheppard subway vs LRT, I decided that maybe I should check it out.  So instead of a walk, I went for a ride and took the SRT to McCowan and back.

First I had to get to the SRT which starts at Kennedy subway station.

reflections of a woman in a red jacket sitting on the subway, reflected in the window beside a woman who is standing on the platform

At Kennedy I was a lost tourist as I searched for the route between the subway and the SRT.  Here the SRT trains run above street level so it took a couple of escalators and some stairs to reach the platform.

below: Standing on the platform and waiting for the train.  Kennedy station is at Kennedy & Eglinton and I think that this is the view looking east from there.

SRT tracks curve away from platform, outside, apartment building in the background, some snow on the tracks

below: The train arrives.

platform at Kennedy SRT station with people waiting as a blue train arrives

below: Leaving Kennedy station.   The first part of the route is north and runs parallel to the CNR & Stouffville GO line train tracks.     The red and white cars are the original colour from when the SRT opened in 1985.  In 2015 the TTC began painting the cars blue to match the colour scheme that now goes with “Line 3” on the TTC maps.  They also began two switch over the name of the SRT to Line 3 Scarborough.

the Scarborough RT train as it leaves Kennedy station, the track curves so you can see the front of the train out the window

below: I wasn’t the only tourist on the train!  After being on the subway, it felt a bit like being on a toy train.  The cars are smaller.  The trains are powered by linear induction motors which are quite different from conventional motors.  They push themselves along the tracks using alternating flat magnets.   That’s a very simplistic description of the science of induction motors but I’m sure that you can use google to find more information if you are interested!

looking down the length of an SRT car, two young women are looking out the back window. seats down either side, red on one side and blue on the other

below: The Scarborough RT,  also referred to as TTC line 3, covers  6.4 km on its route from Kennedy station to McCowan station.  There are six stops, Kennedy, Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland, Scarborough Centre, and McCowan.  Note the blue colour on the map!

a map of the SRT route is on the wall behind two red seats of an SRT car, view out the window is not easy to see but it is the platform at Lawrence East station

below: Ellesmere station. Apparently it is the least used station in the system, less even than Bessarion.

interior wall of Ellesmere station, covered (plastic?) glass wall, large black letters saying Ellesmere, and a bright red bench, snow on the curved translucent roof

faded TTC symbol on the exterior of a rapid transit vehicle

below: Looking out the back window.  The tracks are standard gauge whereas the subway runs on tracks that are wider so the TTC can’t run their subway cars on these tracks.

looking out the dirty window at the back of a SRT vehicle, tracks and some cityscape

below: This is the view at McCowan station, the end of the line. Although it was a very quiet ride to McCowan, the train was full on the ride back to Kennedy with Scarborough Centre being the most crowded station.   It took 40 minutes to go from McCowan to Bloor/Yonge.

a SRT train is stopped at McCowan station,

***

blurry person standing on the platform at Greenwood station, with reflections of people sitting on the subway

reflections in the subway window along with people sitting on the train

This looks like an ordinary entrance into a TTC subway station.  It is.
It’s Bessarion station on Line 4, the Sheppard Line.

escalator down into Bessarion station

The red arrow points to one of a series of little photographs of hands that run beside the escalator to street level.

I’d be willing to bet that none of you have been to Bessarion subway station.  If you’ve heard of the station it’s probably in the context of complaints that no one uses the station so why did the city spend so much money building it.   One of the reasons for the low volume of traffic is that there are no bus routes (besides Sheppard) that serve this station.  Apparently in 2014 an average of 2380 people used the station on weekdays.  If true, then 2379 plus me where there today (although the stats may have increased since then).    I took some pictures for you – you will now have an idea of what the station looks like without having to go there.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over the metal turnstiles for entry into the station, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: An art installation called ‘Passing’ dominates the yellow walls of the station concourse level.  It consists of a band of black and white photographs of legs and feet taken by Sylvie Belanger.  The little pictures of hands that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog are also part of this installation.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over and beside two Bell pay phones, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: The pictures of legs and feet run around the whole concourse level of the station.

below: Down the escalator to the lower level.

looking down the main escalator at Bessarion subway station, the upper level has yellow walls and the lower level (track level) can also be seen.

below: I was not alone!

pillar covered in red tiles and with a black and white photo of the back of three peoples head, a man with a turban and a woman in a head scarf and someone with curly hair.

below: The artwork at track level is a continuation of the photographs by Sylvie Belanger.  This time the pictures are of the backs of people’s heads and they are incorporated into the red pillars.

close up of black and white photo of the back of peoples heads, one child's face turns to the camera and is slightly out of focus, Passing by Sylvie Belanger at Bessarion subway station

below: The outer walls are bare concrete and there are very few ads or posters on the walls.

from the subway platform at Bessarion subway station looking toward the concrete wall at the edge of the tracks, signs for the station, and direction signs.

As you all know, the TTC is replacing their older streetcars with new longer Bombardier streetcars.   Or at least they are trying to 🙂  Because they are longer, they don’t fit into existing “garages”, hence the new Leslie Barns facility.  Located on Leslie St., south of Queen, it is the new streetcar “home”.  It is where streetcars are parked, maintained and repaired.  It has been in operation since Nov 2015 but the first chance the public got to peak inside the finished complex was at Doors Open on the 28th of May.

below: While waiting for a streetcar at the corner of Queen and Broadview on the way to visit the Leslie Barns, I saw this renovated TTC streetcar from the 1950’s.

An old restored TTC streetcar, maroon and yellow, on Queen St. East

below:  The streetcar tour involved riding a new streetcar through a maintenance bay in the building and then around the parking lot out back.

People at Doors Open in TOronto, at the TTC LEslie Barns streetcar facitlity, lining up for , or just getting off of, streetcar tours, riding the new streetcars around Leslie Barns

A group of people inside Leslie Barns streetcar facility, standing aside to make way for a new streetcar that is taking other people on a tour.

people riding in a new streetcar, photo taken from the outside, most of them are waving

A man in black T-shirt and black cap is taking a picture of people riding in the new streetcar, inside Leslie Barns at Doors Open

below: Exterior, parking space for at least 100 streetcars

the massive concrete parking lot for streetcars with all the overhead wires. The building that houses the workshops and cleaning and office for the ttc is in the background.

below: Special bays have been constructed with space for workers to access both the underneath and the top of the streetcars.  Because the cars have been designed to ride low, a lot of their workings such as the HVAC and propulsion systems are built into the roof of the car.

the back of a new streetcar as it passes through interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

A streetcar sits in a repair bay of the Leslie Barns, space underneath the streetcar for workers to go down and work on the underside of the streetcar.

below: It’s a big space!  …. 17,510 square metres (188,500 sq ft) in fact.

interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

below: A spic and span shiny paint room

interior of the paint room at Leslie Barns, where streetcars go to get painted.

below: A myriad of colour coded pipes

A myriad of pipes running up walls and across the ceiling, blue, pink, red, grey, all colour coded, interior, Leslie Barns

below: There were renovated vintage streetcars on display.  On the left is a 1921 Peter Witt streetcar and next to it is a PCC streetcar from the early 1950’s.

a number of people waiting to go inside old renovated vintage TTC streetcars

below: Interior of a refurbished Peter Witt streetcar with its wood trim.  The Witt cars were built for the newly formed TTC in 1921.  They entered service on Broadview in October of that year.  By 1923 they were operating on seven routes.  The last Witt streetcar was retired in 1963.

A young boy stands in the back of an old restored ttc streetcar. A black and white picture of an old street scene has been put across the back window to show you what the view out the window might have looked like at the time the streetcar was functional. Old ads on the upper part of the interior, wood trim

below: Looking out the window of a PCC streetcar built in 1951.  PCC stands for Presidents’ Conference Committee, which was a group of operators from the USA and Canada  who got together in 1938 to design a new electric railway car.  By the late 1950s, the TTC owned the largest fleet of PCC’s in the world.  The last one was retired in 1995.

A young boy wearing a hat looks out the window of an old restored streetcar while his father takes a picture out the window

below: Streetcar wire maintenance truck.

a special TTC truck sits outside Leslie Barns TTC facility on Doors Open day, the truck is designed to run on streetcar tracks and is used to repair tracks and wires. There are people looking at the truck

#DOT16 | #TTC

A walk down Brock Ave, well sort of.  I don’t think I’m capable of walking in a straight line.

 

Brock Avenue, just north of Bloor, the Haven Espresso Bar, a tiny little place with good coffee. I don’t usually start my walk with a cup of coffee but I was intrigued by the smallness of the space.

below:  This is the mural on the wall beside the coffee bar.  It’s just the word Haven but there are some interesting details in the letters.

two chairs and a small table in front of a wall with a mural on it. The mural is the word Haven. Each letter is decorated in a different way.

Close up of the letter V in blue on a larger mural that spells haven. Different shapes and colours of jewel stones are painted in the point of the V.
White ducks or geese in silhouette flying on a bright blue sky, a close up of a mural. Amongst the birds are some buttons with the word Joy on them.

 

below: The local park is called Susan Tibaldi Parkette, named for a woman who was active in the community. This cheerful toucan overlooks the park.

street art mural of a toucan on the side of a garage that faces a park

There are a few painted walls and garages in the area around the park.

  below: Including this spud bomb covered garage door.

Garage door covered with spud bombs street art

garage door, half greed and half red, with black letters diagonally across it

mural on a garage door, of two hands reaching for each other, in the style of Michaelangelo, with the word Chase written below on a brown banner.

below: On a wall, ‘Building with the Gods, James Massey R.I.P’

Blue curvy lines on the bottom, a pair of blank white eyes in the middle and a scarab like creature in the middle of the top section.

part of a garage door mural woman in pink walking, green man's head talking

garage door mural of red poppies by bright blue sky.

part of a mural high on a bright wall painted black. An ice cream cone and other sweet things.

blog_tibaldi_parkette_streetart

blog_streetart_rock_rishi_le

light blue geometric lettering graffiti on a background of two toned pink triangles.
below: I spotted this on a pole just before I headed south.  A little bit of sparkle to brighten the day.

Small graffiti piece of a paper cut out dragonfly with sequins glued onto it's body and a small part of the wing.

The area south of Bloor was once the village of Brockton.  Back in 1812, one hundred acres of land from what is now Queen Street, north to Bloor Street, and west of Dufferin Avenue was granted to James Brock (yes, a relative of Sir Isaac).  After James died, his widow Lucy had a road built that run down the center of the property.  This road was Brock Avenue.  She subdivided the property and sold the lots to smaller land holders.  This settlement became Brockton.  In 1884 it was annexed by the city of Toronto.

below: Colourful cat and mouse games on a wall just south of Dundas.  I couldn’t find any ‘signature’ on the wall and I haven’t been able to find out who painted this.  I’d love to know.

large mural of a cat chasing a mouse done in bright colours.

below: Malabar Ltd.  It looks unkempt and I thought it was abandoned.  The gate to the parking lot was open and there were a couple of cars parked behind the wall.  A quick search online and I discovered that this site is still operational, but only serves the professional opera and theaters industry.

box like brick building with square awnings over the windows, large empty parking lit beside it, white and blue fence behind the parking lot, taller apartment building beyond the fence.

Two stickers on a metal pole beside a railway bridge. The top sticker says Love Skateboards and it has picture of a skateboard on it. The lower sticker says Bunk Bed has a Posse and a black and white drawing of a man's head is also on it.

After passing under one of the greyest, dingiest railway bridges, I came to a street – not sure what it was!

A Toronto street sign in blue and white that is covered with a vine

I checked a map – it’s Cunningham Ave.

.
But it afforded me an unobstructed view.
A view of the CN TOwer and the Toronto skyline from north west of downtown. Railway tracks are in the foreground.
I looked around a bit but there wasn’t much of interest on my side of the tracks and I wasn’t about to cross over!  I did notice that there is graffiti on the track side of the wall around the Malabar parking lot.  Something to explore another time… when I don’t have to dodge trains!

Short Union Pearson express train as it passes by

As the leaves fall off the trees, the houses are hidden less.  I like looking for older and/or unique architectural details that are now easier to spot (and take pictures of!)

below: The first time I saw one of these “half houses” I was quite surprised (it’s behind the large tree).  I now realize that there are a number of them in the city but it was still a fun find.

looking up an alley towards a street with some old houses. There is a large tree and behind the tree is a house that looks like it was cut in half vertically

below:  Brick and wood trim details being preserved and restored on an old house.

An old square two storey brick house undergoing restoration.

details of the carved wooden trim on a brick house being restored.

below: There are a number of old square houses in the neighbourhood.

an older square brick house on a corner of a residential street in Toronto.

below: A house with an old second storey wooden structure.  I don’t think it can be called an oriel window but I don’t know any other architectural term to describe it.

second storey wood structure protruding from house, almost the width of the house, with three vertical windows in it. A small balcony is above it.

blog_wood_porch

below: Although it’s not as easy to see in this picture, this house also has an old window and wood structure.  The fence around the neighbour’s yard is probably not as old as the porch, but it to is from a bygone era.  Is it from the 1960’s?  I suspect that they were very trendy at one time although I have seen this sort of design more as balcony railings than as fences.

a large brick semi-detached house with trees around it in fall foilage. The side of the house closest to the camera has a glassed in porch. To the left is a small house with a black metal fence around the front yeard. The fence has diamond shaped black metal pieces joined together in squares.

below:  Symmetrical but not symmetrical

A group of row houses. In the middle are two semis that share a peaked roof but the semis are totally different. One has a pink roof the other has a brown roof. One is white and the other is green. One has a front porch but the other doesn't

below: The back of Bike Pirates, a DIY bike workshop on Queen West, has a mural by Jonny Cakes.

In a laneway, painted by Jonny Cakes @thehalfdecent, the wall of a workshop, shed or garage, is painted with a big skull wearing a red bike hat. Two white cats, one on a unicycle and one on a bicycle, and the words BIKE PIRATE written over the door.

below: Someone’s got a leg up!

A fake leg, bent at the knee, with fake blood along the top of the thigh, attached to a wall over a door, the leg protrudes from the wall.
Up over a door that is…. this door in fact.

A red door with some items attached to it - a squished ping pong ball, an old dirty grey glove with a clip attached to the end of one finger

 

below:  And there were a few other little amusements along the way.

Someone hsa taken a red marker to a no dumping sign so now it reads grnoom dumping. The sign is nailed onto a post and there is an old blue truck parked behind the post.
scrawled in cursive writing with black spray paint on a white garage door are the words love yourself

close up of two stickers on a blue and white bike route sign. One sticker is a brown one with the words Vote Spud and a picture of skull wearing a floppy hat. The other is a red cartoon character

part of an old wood door, plywood wall beside the door with a black line drawing of a worm like creature with a big head with four eyes and a smiling mouth

small paper taped to a hydro pole on a residential street. On the paper are typed the words: WHy doesn't Harper want a parliamentary oversight of his security and police forces? Could it be because Hitler didn't want it either? Why do young people run away from Canada to join ISIS?

A car with a Virginia state licence plate that says Chil Out