Posts Tagged ‘trees’

I’d heard that there were some Christmas lights brightening up the sky at Kew Beach.   What I didn’t know then was that this is now an annual tradition;  it was started by DeClute Real Estate in 2007.  Since there was still some daylight left, I started my walk at Woodbine Beach, a bit west of Kew.

snow fence beside Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach

below:  Small waves crash over the rocks at the shore.

slow mo pic of waves crashing over a rock at the beach

below: Leuty Lifeguard Station closed up for the winter.

Leuty lifeguard station in late afternoon, snow fence, some snow on the ground, lights on,

below: Ready to run

between a snow fence and Lake Ontario, a woman is in the process of throwing a ball for her dog who anxiously awaits the throw

long snow fence running parallel to the shore at Woodbine beach in December, some snow, no people

sunset behind Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach, snow fence, some snow on the ground

 

below:  Once I got to the Kew Beach boardwalk I discovered that there are other reminders that it is now December.   And what could be more appropriate than some Christmas decorations to add some cheer ? Pine and poinsettias on a bench.

bench decorated with fake pine, pine cones and a red poinsettia flower

below: Bright red ribbons tied around a small tree.

 

ribbons tied around a small tree trunk and branch, one red ribbon and one red and white striped ribbon, Christmas decorations

below: Shiny Christmas ornaments hanging from branches and a wreath on a tree trunk.

a shiny silver ball, Christmas ornament, hangs from a small tree, in the background is a red ball also hanging from the tree, as well as a green Christmas wreath attached to the trunk of the tree

below: More signs that Christmas is soon –  Some of the trees along the bike path and boardwalk at Kew Beach have been decorated with Christmas lights.   As the daylight begins to fade, the Christmas lights become more noticeable.

late afternoon as it starts to get dark, along the bike path at Kew Beach, some Christmas lights on a few of the trees

below: Looking back towards the city as the sun goes down.

looking towards downtown Toronto from the boardwalk at Woodbine beach, sunset, orange colour with small clouds, some snow on the ground

 

below: The mood and atmosphere of the beach changes as it gets dark outside.  The light shining on the Muskoka chairs highlights the pink and green colours and almost makes the chairs look translucent.

after dark, lights shining on two Muskoka chairs beside the boardwalk at Kew Beach

dusk, Kew Beach, snow, lights, snow fence, and trees,

night, Christmas lights on a tree

after dark, Christmas lights on tree, lights beside path, snow on the ground, small puddles on path

The lights remain until well into the New Year.  More information can be found on the Light Up the Beach website.

 

shiny green Christmas garland wrapped around part of a snow fence

Yikes!  Preparations are already underway in the Distillery District for their annual Christmas market.

men on a blue lift crane at the distillery district, old brick building

At least their sign that counts down the number of days until Christmas is not hung yet.  I am not ready to think about Christmas yet!

 

leaning against the side of a building, on its side on the ground, the sign at the distillery district that says how many days left until Christmas

I was hoping for some sun as I walked the other day but October seems to have ended with clouds and rain.  November is here and it is notorious for being grey and depressing.   The clouds on these hoardings seemed appropriate.  They are around a construction site on Lower Sherbourne street, at the southeast corner of Lower Sherbourne and Front.

a woman walks past hoardings on Sherbourne street that are shiny and have pictures of clouds on them

below: This is the hole behind the hoardings.

construction site at Sherbourne and Front

That intersection, (LS & F), has construction sites at both the southeast and northwest corners.  At a third corner, the northeast, there is a development notice sign.

an Esso gas station at the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, also a Tim Hortons and a convenience store

Yet another developer wants to build yet another 37 storey building here.  At least one person has voiced their displeasure.

blue and white city of Toronto development notice on the northeast corner of Front and Sherbourne, now an Esso gas station, but developers want to put a 37 storey building there

And other signs of discontent nearby….

in blue marker, graffiti that says Doug Ford kills

time and space condo hoardings where someone has written the word no in front of space, so you have time and no space condos

below: Looking west on King Street East at Jarvis.

King street east,, looking west from Jarvis Street towards steeple of St. James Cathedral and the trees in front of it in autumn colours

below: St. James Park gets new walkways

chainlink fence around parts of St. James park as new walkways are constructed

below: In the Sculpture Garden across the street from St. James Cathedral is a collection of wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them.  This is an art installation by Lou Sheppard called Dawn Chorus/Evensong 2019.  It is part of the Toronto Biennial of Art that is on now (until late in December).  It “interrupts the denaturalized landscape with music created through the transposition of spectrograms of birdsong…”

in a garden, on flat space, grass, wood poles with small speakers attached to the top of them

below: ‘Haunted City’.  One of a few Halloween decorations along Queen West.

a skeleton wrapped in black hood and cape in a window, with reflections of stores and street on Queen West

below: While walking up Spadina this bike caught my attention because

bike decorated with many used tea bags parked beside a tree on Spadina

below: … it’s decorated with many, many used tea bags. On closer inspection, there seem to be quite a few different brands. My guess is that this is one of a kind…. or at least I hope so!

close up of bike decorated with many used tea bags

a black and red motorbike is parked by a mural in Chinatown of a person carrying babies in baskets.

below: I’m not sure just what these added words mean.  Is now real?  Can we be sure?

orange fence around a tree, tree protection area, someone has written on the sign: Now is the only thing real

below: A few remaining campaign signs from the federal election back in October.  The Liberals won every Toronto seat.

side of a building in Chinatown, stores and restaurant, bike parked there, also three large Adam Vaughan election signs.

looking across Spadina to a store in Chinatown

two women standing on a sidewalk, talking to each other,

skeleton graffiti on a metal street box

below: Discarded and left in a pile in an alley, JFK and Bobby Kennedy rugs.  Not one but four? or five?

small blue carpets in a pile on the ground, about 4 of them, with pictures of John F Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, a brown eagle, and some words

below: Uber5000 birdies riding in tandem, along with an old banana seat bike affixed to the wall.

an UBer5000 mural of two yellow birdies on a tandem bike. An old bike is affixed to the wall beside the mural

below: A grumpy sign?  Or just a sign with fangs?

at the entrance to an alley, a red and white do not enter sign has been altered, a face has been drawn it in black sharpie

part of a tuquoise painted house beside an alley with fall foilage, a truck and man in the distance

below: Van Gogh can still be found on Huron Street

a portrait of Vincent Van Gogh on an exterior wall, street art mural

below: This is part of the CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) building at College & Huron Streets.  There might be a certain charm in the concrete buildings of this era… when it comes time to renovate them or tear them down, will there be an effort made to save them?

tree with a few remaining yellow leaves in front of a concrete building with long vertical recessed windows

below: Nearby, this “artwork” on the exterior of 215 Huron Street, is from the same time period.

a black metal bench, outside, sits in front of a wall with an artwork on it made from different colours of concrete and pebbles

below: Reflections in a window on the University of Toronto campus.

reflections in a set of windows

below: U of T playing fields on Hoskin Ave with the black/darker brick Trinity College behind.

University of Toronto playing fields, from the south, with Trinity College behind and then city buildings behind that

A few more “campus in autumn” photos

large tree in autumn colours on University of Toronto campus

orange plastic fence, orange and black cone, and autumn trees in a corner of U of T campus

yellow and orange leaves in front of a grey stone building

below: There were still lots of leaves on the trees at Queens Park too.

autumn trees in Queens Park

below: Some of the oak trees had multicoloured leaves.

oak leaves in greens, yellows, reds, and oranges

autumn trees in Queens Park including some pinkish coloured leaves

below: End.  Yes, this is the end.

large black letters make the word end on a red brick wall

I’m not sure what the allure of the cherry (aka sakura) blossoms is.  Has it become a symbol of spring and who doesn’t like the long awaited end of winter?  Is there something special about the cherry flower?  Or is it more ‘exotic’ than the magnolia that flowers about the same time, or a bit earlier?  Why not celebrate the lilac trees?  Or other trees that blossom in the spring?

below: A couple of cherry blossoms along with some buds and partially opened flowers.

sakura cherry blossoms on a cherry tree along with some pinkish coloured buds, white petals and yellow centers.

Although there are a number of places around the city to see sakura trees (14 I think), High Park seems to be the most popular place.  True, they have the oldest trees and the most trees planted in one area.   It has become the site of an annual pilgrimage by thousands of people to see the blossoms.   Even though the ‘sakura watch’ website said that ‘peak’ blossom hadn’t yet arrived, I decided to check out High Park yesterday.

below: Lots of signs to direct pedestrian traffic to the cherry trees.  The roads were closed to most cars.

pink sign on the grass by the entrance to High Park that says Please keep of the bloomin' trees.

large trees in the park, people walking on the path on the other side of the trees, green grass, shadows, some blossoms on a couple of the trees

below: There were a couple of school groups there for the morning. Although there weren’t too many blossoms to see, it was a beautiful spring morning and many of the kids were making the most of it.

three girls have a crab walk race down a small hill

a black person walks a dog on a leash up a hill on a paved path through HIgh Park, other people are behind. Some pink and white flowers are starting to grow on the trees

below: An Instagram moment I suspect.

an Asian woman with a bright pink handbag holds a branch of a cherry tree in front of her face while another woman takes her picture with a phone.

people enjoying a day in the park, some taking pictures of cherry blossoms

below: An engagement photo shoot

an engagement photo shoot at high park, man on his knee presenting a woman in a bluish green dress a box that presumably has a ring in it. Another man is holding a stand with a large light on it.

Yesterday there were many more buds and partially opened flowers than there were blossoms.  By the weekend, there will probably be a profusion of white petals… as well as a swarming of people.  I had to search for flowers to take pictures of but at least it was a relatively quiet and peaceful morning.

sakura cherry blossoms

As winter passes into spring
A walk around Edwards Gardens in early spring

below: A red cardinal in a tree

a red male cardinal perched on a branch with no leaves, early spring

below: Red berries that have wintered on their thorny branches.

close up picture of small red berries on a thorny stem

below: The remains of coneflowers on their sturdy stems.

two dead conehead flowers, just brown prickly cone shaped part at the top, on tall dead brown stems,

below: Pussy willows just emerging

pussy willows on a branch, just opening up

below: On a small twig, both an old leaf and new buds.

one dead leaf on a small branch that has need buds, spring time

below: A squirrel enjoying the seeds that someone has left for it. w

a brown and grey squirrel sits on a stone ledge eating seeds

below: Dead and dried, seed pods that opened long ago.

dead seed pods on dead stems, flowering shrub type of plant

below: New fuzzy magnolia buds

new buds on a tree, fuzzy greenish brown

below: A sparrow with its back to the camera

a little sparrow perched on a small branch of a shrub

below: These strange looking growths are the beginnings of skunk cabbage plants.

three skunk cabbage plants beginning to grow in the marshy areas at the edge of the snow, where the snow has just melted , a purplish bulb shaped plant

many dead plants with prickly cone shaped heads and stems, macro shot, those in front in focus, many out of focus in the background

below: The pale yellow of the willow trees as their leaves begin to bud.

a yellowish coloured statue stands in front of a large willow tree that has just begun to bud, also some tall dark green pine trees in the background

Exploring new places often leads to interesting finds.  I’m not sure if you think demolition/redevelopment sites are interesting, but I came across this one when I went to Moccasin Trail (next blog, scroll up).

An empty building.  The grey hoardings completely block the view of whatever is inside.

grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down in a residential neighbourhood

I tried walking the perimeter, but there is no access or viewpoint.  There are actually two buildings.  Apparently one of the buildings was damaged by fire (arson) in 2008.  The buildings have been empty since 2011.

a tall tree, winter time, stands in front of a grey plywood fence in front of a three storey brick rental apartment building that is empty and will be torn down

The old sign still stands beside the fence. It is faded enough that I can’t read it, even with some manipulation in photoshop.  The building in the background is also part of the redevelopment plan.

old faded sign on grass side yard beside grey plywood fence around building about to be demolished. Across the street is another building from the 1950s or 1960s.

The year on the development proposal sign is 2013.  It also states that three buildings will replace the ones being torn down, one of 10 storeys and two of 4 storeys.  That was six years ago.   In March 2017 a plan was approved by city council for an 8 storey condo and a 4 storey rental replacement building.

Development proposal sign in front of a three storey brick apartment building.

When I saw the state of the building above, I started taking some pictures.  I thought the building was empty.  But then I heard music coming from one apartment.  Then a woman came out on to a balcony to hang up a blanket.

40 moccasin trail building, three storey apartment

Two years ago, back in March of 2017, 12 of the 34 units were occupied.   I am not sure how many people are living there now.   When it was first built, it was probably quite nice – very suburban, very Don Mills.  Now the building is in very poor condition but I’m sure that’s because the landlord is waiting to be able to demolish the building.

papered over window and old white door on apartment, overgrown saplings in front

crooked metal railings beside a concrete set of stairs, brown and white building behind.

concrete steps, side of a brick building

overgrown trees in front of an apartment

City of Toronto report on this site (May 2017)

two low rise apartment buildings, grass between them and a large tree

The Last Day of February

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

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

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

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

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

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

two sculptures of cows lying down, snow covered lawn,

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

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

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

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

below: Rust and snow

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

below: Outside smoke break shadows.   Brrrrr

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

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

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

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

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

below: Wet tree branches glistening in the sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

below: It’s nice to still find lovebots!

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

yellow sign on sidewalk that says Caution Falling Ice Overhead

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

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

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.