Posts Tagged ‘trees’

Howdy!

little metal character made of found objects and rusty metal, hat, fishing net, overalls,

There are rumours of a vaccine being available but at the rate at which people are being inoculated, we’re going to be living this socially distanced life for a few (many?) more months.  To help alleviate the feelings of isolation without jeopardizing anyone’s health, I have started walking with friends in their neighbourhoods.  My previous post, about Glendon College, was the result of a walk that I took with my mother and it was that afternoon that I decided to make a point of walking with friends more often.  The result of the first of these walks, near South Kingsway & Bloor, is what you see here.

yeard decorations of two small metal bikes, one blue and one yellow, in front of a house with Christmas wreath on the door and other Christmas greenery decorations too

stret of houses and large trees across from Rennie Park, single family homes, residential area, large trees, winter, no leaves, some snow on the ground.

bench in park, snow on ground, large tree, lots of long shadows,

a melting snowman with a blue and black plaid cloth around it, looks a bit like a large bid witha sharp curved beak

below: Rules of the rink for these Covid-19 times.

outdoor skating rink at Rennie Park, winter, with two signs regrding the rules for outdoor rinks during covid times, a few people are skating

outdoor skating rinkm some people getting ready to skate, enclosed rink for hockey etc with more natural rink beside it

child in red pants and blue winter coat pulling a sled across a park, houses and trees behind it

looking down a hill towards a park with a playground, backyards and houses beyond that. orange snow fence, railings of the stairs going down the hill

two adjacent two storey houses with lots of white statues and fountains in the front yards

white statues in front of a house

A little house!

older smaller house beside a larger newer one

older light grey stucco house on lot with grass and large trees

chainlink fence beside a path through the woods in early winter, no leaves on trees, some snow on the trail

below: Be careful where you walk!

wooden bridge over creek, ground at end of bridge has been flooded, hill onthe other side of the bridge with aprtment buildings (low rise) on top

below: Evidence of beaver activity!

beside a pond, thin layer of ice on the water, dead leaves on the ground, some medium sized tree trunks, one that a beaver has tried to take down

below: The muddy path beside Catfish Pond

path beside a pond that is muddy, boards placed on top of mud to make it passable

below: Morningside High Park Presbyterian church, built 1917.

front entrance and steeple of Morningside High Park, a stone church built in the Gothic style in 1917

below: In the distance, highrises near Bloor West and Keele

street curving downhill towards park, city skyline ion the background, a house or two beside the road

small white house behind a large pine tree and between two larger houses, on a small hill with stairs leading up to it

below: High Park

below: The very north end of Grenadier Pond.  Work is underway to remove invasive species of plants from this part of High Park and replace them with native vegetation.

a man is going down a long set of stairs towards a park, winter time,

and back up the stairs to Bloor West

older small apartment building from the 1920s, brick,with white wood trim and balconies

With thanks to Alice for being my tour guide.

a woman taking pictures in the woods, winter

The main entrance to Glendon College is via Lawrence Avenue on the west side of Bayview; here Lawrence becomes the driveway for the college.   The first building that you see is glass with the word welcome in several languages etched into it.   On the left is “boozhoo” which is Ojibwe, “she:kon” is Mohawk, and “tansi” is a greeting in Cree.

glass wall of newest Glendon college building, glass with the word welcome in different languages etched onto it, reflections in the glass

In 1924, Edward Rogers Wood (1866-1941) and Agnes Euphemia Smart (1868-1950) moved into the house that they had built on 84 acres of ravine land at the north end of Bayview Avenue,  in what was then suburban Toronto.

below: Glendon Hall now, on a grey winter day.

Glendon Hall, in winter, the old house on campus of Glendon College built in the 1920s

When Agnes Eupemia (Phemie) died in 1950, she left the estate to the University of Toronto to be used for a university botanical garden.  Ten years later U of T gave the site to the newly formed York University to use as their main campus.

below: Another of the older buildings at Glendon

old bungalow house on Glendon college campus, winter, green tile roof, white walls, black shutters,

below: Residence building being renovated.  They were built in the late 1960s.  Glendon College has just under 3000 students but the campus was very quiet (on a Sunday in January 2021).

residence building, Glendon College, three storey red brick building with windows

below: Lionel Thomas (Canadian,1915-2005), The Whole Person, 1961 metal mounted on the exterior of one of the buildings on the College campus.

metal 2 dimensional sculpture by Lionel Thomas mounted on a red brick wall, title is The Whole Person, a man is holding a burning lamp

below: Metal sculpture by Ray Spiers (b. Canada 1934), Untitled 1, 1975

metal boxes with open ends, sculpture on the ground, with snow, Glendon campus, by Ray Spiers in 1975

below: Sculpture of a more temporary nature.

small, partially melted snowman with stick arms,

residence building, Glendon College, winter, path, large trees

The main part of the campus is up high, above the ravine formed by the west branch of the Don River.  At the bottom of the hill is the pool and tennis courts as well as access to trails along the river.

below: Athletic Center and bridge over the Don River

single lane bridge with wide sidewalk and bright red metal barricades on side, brick building in the background, trees, winter,

 

path in woods in winter, with orange snow fence lining the walkway

2 dogs on a snow covered path in the woods

below: The end of Lawrence Avenue on the east side of Bayview.

the end of Lawrence Avenue at Bayview, the Bayview bridge crossing the ravine far above

below: Under the Bayview bridge which was originally built in 1929 with financing help from E.R. Wood, and expanded in the early 1960s.

concrete pillars with some graffit on them, holding up a bridge, over snowy ground

below: Before 1929 this is where traffic crossed the Don River.  The bridge, Watson’s Bridge, was built in 1895.   In the distance, you can see the Chedington condos; they sit where a house for Muriel Wood once stood.  E.R. Wood built the house (also called Chedington) for his daughter in 1927-28 but it was destroyed by fire in 2009.

single lane unpaved road through woods, and then over old bridge, winter

below: Watson bridge, built 1895

an old concrete bridge over the Don River by Bayview, some graffiti on it, seen through the woods in winter, no leaves on the trees, over the Don River,

below: Beyond Bayview the paths were very icy so we didn’t venture much farther that day.

ice on the path, beside creek, in woods,

More details about the history of the Bayview bridge can be found on a City of Toronto website.   They have lots of pictures!

 

 

row of stores and cafes on Danforth, covered with street art, the Only Cafe,

My walk the other day started with a coffee and a croissant from Broadview Espresso, just north of the Danforth. It was a bit chilly and damp to be eating & drinking outside but that’s the way of the world at the moment, at least in Toronto. At least walking helps keep you warm! Anyhow, just outside the coffee shop was a sidewalk unicorn painted by whatsvictorupto. There was one on each of the 4 corners of the intersection of Broadview and Pretoria. Here are two of them.

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a blue unicorn surrounded by 4 blue hearts, all on a pink background, the work of whatsvictorupto

painting of a unicorn on the sidewalk, a brown unicorn head and neck with white mane and horn on a green background

whether you’re walking

upper part of a mural on the Danforth of a man walking on a map of the area, around two windows of the building on which it is painted.

Part of a mural by Monica on the Moon

or on a bike

on the side of a Chinese restaurant, a mural of a woman on a bike. She's holding the handle bars but her legs are straight out behind her. She's wearing a red dress and has long black hair. There are three signs on the restaurant, First, Indian Hakka Chinese Food, second, 7 dim sum, and third, we deliver

there’s always something to see along the Danforth or behind in its alleys.

a utility pole on the street decorated for Greektown, in blue and white vertical stripes and an oval with the words Greektown on the Danforth along with a Roman column

There are windows to look in

two shelves with head mannequins, wearing different wigs, covid masks, hats, and halloween masks

below: A great assortment of Covid masks

fabric covid masks for sale in the window of a store

below: Multilingual covid signs on the window of the Greek grocery – where shelves with oregano, tomato paste, pasta, coffee beans, grape juice, eggplant, and candy are all display.

the window of a Greek grocery store, with food, also signs re covid rules in Greek. for sale, oregano, Nescafe coffee, tomato paste,

There is more street art and graffiti to find, sometimes at your feet

below: Grounded Together, A painting by Caitlin Taguibao on the sidewalk

a painting on the sidewalk, a circle with words grounded together, pictures of women with plants and flowers, a dog chasing a bird.

and sometimes closer to eye level.

below: Skull and sticker

large dark blue stencil of a skull in profile on a blue newspaper box. There is also a sticker that says end white supremacy

Posters with social/political messages can also be found.

below: End White supremacy above, and now a poster re stats in Toronto “Black people in Toronto are 20 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police”. Source: from the Human Rights Commission, 2018.

a poster on a metal utility pole with a graphi to illustrate how black people are more likely to be shot and or killed by the Toronto police

In this case, wake up and see the climate crisis. A faded bee on pink juxtaposed with the black, red, and white butterfly painted on the street box.

2 posters on a utility pole plus a painted street box behind. One poster says climate crisis wake up disobey. The other poster has a pink bee

below: I get the no peeing part. I suspect that those aren’t eggs and this is a warning? or a threat?

wood fence, exterior light, and a sign, picture of man peeing with a red line through it, below that is picture of a pair of scissors and two eggs.

And then there is artwork of a different kind – on the front of St. Irene Chrisovalantoy Greek Orthodox Church built in 1974

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls, with a Greek flag flying between the two of them

2 pictures, exterior, front of Greek Church, white walls,

stained glass over the front entrance, from the inside

stained glass window over the front entrance of Greek Church

Even on a grey day there are colours to be found, not just in the artwork and stained glass windows, but in the nature around us.

below: Some sunshine in bloom

a sunflower in bloom

below: autumn vines with a street art background

autumn coloured vine leaves cover a wall that has street art painted on it

below: This tree dominates with its abundance of red leaves. You may have also spotted the murals in the background.

Felstead Park, a tree with a lot of red leaves on it, as well as on the ground below it, dominates the picture

below: These are the murals in the second Butterfly Laneway project (2018). Check this link (metamorphosis in the lane) to see all the murals.

trees in autumn colours, with butterfly murals on the garages beyond the park

below: One of the murals is carefully put aside while work is done on the back of this house.

a house, seen from the back, being renovated, backyard is also being fixed up, fence between house and park has been removed, but garage door with mural on it has been preserved

below: More renovations. Apparently, people staying home because of covid = a boom in home renovations. Both Home Depot and Lowes reported increases in revenue for the second quarter of 2020, both were more than expected.

2 houses side by side, one with pale blue siding on upper floor, the other with yellow siding, both with porches in the front, the one n the right is being renovated and has a bin out the front

old car and old garage in front of a large new modern house

below: The unusual roofline and trim on these two houses caught my eye. I also love the fact that they are attached yet have a distinct character of their own. Brick vs stone, little peaked roof over the door vs. green and white metal awning, rectangular window vs bay window. Like identical twins trying to be their own person.

two adjacent houses with barn like rooflines, one in brick and the other in stone,

Danforth subway line, Donlands station. Ten years ago, it was decided that Donlands station needed a second exit and that it would be on the corner of Strathmore and Donlands, One building, 17 and 19 Dewhurst would have to be torn down to make way for the new exit. 19 Dewhurst was sold to the city in 2018 and just last year the property at 17 Dewhurst was expropriated.

through a chainlink gate, front yard is square concrete patio stones, yellow front door

front yward is overgrown, white railing on porch, dark porch and front door

Across the street at 14 Dewhurst, the old Temple Baptist Church (1925) is being redeveloped as condos, the Sunday School Lofts.

large old brick church, Temple Baptist church, is being redeveloped as residences, plus an addition added to one side of it

The home remodeling business may be doing well but the restaurants are hurting. As of the end of October, indoor dining in Toronto was prohibited.

below: Abyssinia restaurant. One of the many different ethnic restaurants along the Danforth. Although it is still referred to as Greektown, and the Greek influence is still strong, you can eat a wide range of foods from different cultures. As you move east along the Danforth, there is a strong African (especially Ethiopian) presence.

a man pushes a stroller along the sidewalk past a store and the Abyssinia restaurant on the Danforth

below: Did you know that gourmet cinnamon rolls was a thing? Did I run across the street to buy one? (Almost!!).

a woman walks past Cinnaholic, a store selling gourmet cinnamon rolls

below: The northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands. You can choose between halal chicken and pizza, or dim sum.

northwest corner of Danforth and Donlands, two storey brick

Other little graffiti stickers, posters, and paste-ups:

below: Another flying bicycle

stencil on paper on a utility pole, in orange and black, a girl riding a bike, with wings on her back

below: Mad Dog Wrecking Crew

2 graffiti stickers on a Canada Post box, the top ones says gewn snail, the bottom one is an abstract drawing in black and white

below: A very sad man

paper pasteup on a metal pole, sad man

below: Checkerboard sneaker and a big tooth-ed skull by mr. Toon.

two stickers. the bottom one is a skull by mr. toon and the top one is a no laces, slip on sneaker in black and white checks

below: The paper is torn but it is: “She clasped my face in her bones and kissed silence into my mouth” a quote by Amiri Bakara (I saw one exactly the same in Kensington last summer).

paper pasteup on a metal pole, top is a skull looking down, bottom is a man looking up, with words

below: With a car parked in its mouth

dripping paint in blue and red on a wall with a hole in it, two eyes drawn above the rectangular hole. A car is parked on the other side of hte wall and shows through the hole

below: Does the blue haired woman know whats lurking behind her?

two wig mannequin heads in a store window. the one in front has pale turquoise hair, the one in the back has black hair.

Happy November – let’s keep walking and see what we can see along the way…. and in case you need help…!

display of eye glasses in the window of a store

Back in the early spring of 2019, I wrote about accessing the East Don path from Moccasin Trail.

below: Last week, the view from the east side of the tunnel under the DVP leading to Moccasin Trail Park.

semi circular arch and tunnel under the DVP from the East Don trail, autumn with fall colours on the trees, paved path, grass beside,

Now, in a different year and a different season, I have explored more of that trail starting at the north end, near Lawrence Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). Originally, Lawrence Avenue curved south down the east side of the ravine before it crossed the Don River. The remains of part of that road provide access to the East Don path at Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. Sauriol (1904-1995) was a Canadian naturalist who played a leading role in conserving many natural areas in the province including the Don Valley.

Here, the Alexander Milne family first settled in 1832. Over time, a woolen mill and a sawmill were built, other families moved in, and the village of Milneford Mills was born; it thrived until the early 1900’s. The old woolen mill remained derelict until it was demolished in 1946. Between Hurricane Hazel floods in 1954, and the expropriation of land to make way for the DVP construction, most traces of the village have disappeared.

below: All that remains is one house. It’s been behind chainlink and “under renovation” for MANY years. When I went searching for any kind of story about this house, I discovered a blog post from 2011 about Charles Sauriol Park and the house was fenced in then. Apparently it was covered in graffiti back in 2008/9. I’m not sure that Mr. Sauriol would be impressed.

old white house, built 1878, now in park, with metal fence around it because of renovations, autumn, with trees in golds and oranges

autumn colours in the leaves on the trees, oranges and golds, and some red sumach

below: The Rainbow Bridge from the north side.

the rainbow bridge on the east don trail, a semi circle arch tunnel painted like a rainbow

below: The trail passes underneath the Canadian Pacific (CP) tracks.

a man walks his dog along the path through the Don River ravine, autumn trees, and the path goes under the tall CN railway bridge with its metal girders

below: Footings for the CP bridge

concrete footings on a metal railway bridge over the Don River

below: As the trail crosses land owned by CP Rail, it is covered by a metal frame canopy. It’s difficult to see in this photo but there is a series of small laser-cut metal artworks between the grey railings. The whole structure is “A Walk in the Woods” and it is the creation of both Robert Sprachman and Arnaud Boutle.

a metal canopy over a path and under a metal railway bridge

gnarly old dead tree that looks like screaming face

a woman walks along a path at the bottom of a hill. the hill is covered with leaves that have fallen off the tall trees

2 people walk on the sandy river bank on the side of the Don River, autumn with leaves in different shades of red and gold

below: Farther down the trail is another railway bridge. This is the same line that goes north to Oriole GO station and beyond. The scaffolding under the bridge is for the construction of another canopy similar to one under the CP bridge (above) as well as an art installation.

workmen on a railway bridge

below: Part of art installation “High Water Mark” by Robert Sprachman that is almost complete. There are 15 rocks each with a year on them. The height of the rock on a metal pole represents the height of the flood water on the Don River that year (but is not an exact height). There are four rocks in this picture and from left to right are 1926, 1934, 1942, and obscured (the last is behind the wood. Ooops).

Artwork called High Water Mark, rocks at levels that match the flood levels of different years, on metal poles by a bridge beside the Don River

below: Oak leaves

leaves on a small oak tree have turned a rusty red colour around the edges

below: Backs of houses overlooking the park

a white house up on a hill behind autumn trees that are starting to lose their leaves

below: A chickadee holding onto a dead flower as it eats the seeds.

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

chicakdee holding onto dead flower as it eats the seeds

below: Fish. Yes there are fish in the Don River, about 21 species apparently. This one, salmon?, although large is unfortunately also dead. Over the past 30 years the Don River has received a lot of TLC which has helped to reduce the level of industrial pollution as well as the amount of litter and trash found along the banks.

a large dead fish has washed up onto the sandy shore of the Don River

below: We were told “It’s not the best time” when we asked if we could continue on the trail. South of here the trail is a construction zone. Eventually (soon? I may have visited a little too soon?) the path will join with those farther south so that there will be a continuous trail from Lawrence to the lake. In the meantime, this is Wynford. You can exit here, or retrace your steps back to Lawrence. Next time!

two people with their backs to the camera stand on a path and watch a digger in front of them, there is a bridge over the creek ahead and workmen have parked their truck on the bridge, autumn colours in the trees around them.

path through the woods, autumn

three dried berries on a shrub with one red leaf, autumn

I have been looking for places to find autumn colours and one idea I had last week was to visit Pinehills cemetery in Scarborough.  I didn’t find many colourful leaves but I did find a few things.  The most noticeable was the mix of names on the stones – Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and more, all mixed in together.  In Toronto we often live side by side and it seems that we are also buried side by side –  as in the three people below: Baffa, Rajamohan, and Gutierrez.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery with flower arrangements on top of them

below: Black stones with crosses on the top seem to be the prefered headstone for those in the Greek community who are buried here.  Sometimes the name is in English, and sometimes in Greek.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery
below: Cemeteries are fascinating in that they give us a glimpses into cultures and traditions.   The decorating of grave sites with flowers and figurines adds a bit of joy to an otherwise somber setting.  You know that these people are remembered and their lives celebrated.

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

decorated monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

below: A large shamrock.  Beneath it, a Miss Kitty doll in purple and a pair of boxing gloves with the Irish flag.   Doesn’t it make you wonder why?  Was Frank Murphy a boxer?  What will my descendants leave by my grave?

monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery including one with a shamrock etched on the front

below: I assume that the red tape covers an inscription that is already on the headstone for the spouse of the departed?  Perhaps a name and birthdate?  Written vertically in Mandarin…. and I wish that I could read some of them.  Is there something written about the deceased? Is there an epitaph?  I’ll have to be content to look at the lotus flower, bamboo, and dragons that decorate the stones.

Chinese tombstones in Pinehills cemetery, in Manadarin, one red tape over part of one stone

below: As I was leaving, this coyote came sauntering across the grass.  It wasn’t the least bit afraid of me (in my car).

coyote lying in front of monuments, tombstones at Pinehills cemetery

light brown coyote

 

The other day I was near Yonge and Sheppard when I found myself with some extra time so I decided to drive around the nearby neighbourhood where I once lived.  A little trip down memory lane along with something new.

below: On Florence Ave looking northeast across Yonge Street.

at the intersection of Yonge and Franklin in North York, older houses on Yonge street that are now businesses, with large new condo buildings behind

I discovered that the little house where my family lived when I was grades 4 and 5 is still there and is one of only a few that haven’t been replaced or enlarged (no photos!).  Continuing on my tour, I passed the local school, Cameron Avenue P.S., before I thought that I would take a look at Gwendolen Park.  I have vague memories of it but it was just far enough away from home that we didn’t go there often.

Gwendolen Park sign with tennis courts in the background
park with exercise equipment and large trees

Southeast from Gwendolen Park there is a path through the ravine that is well worn. It passes among some of the tallest trees I have seen in the city – maples, oaks, and others.  It is darker than most ravine walks.  It is also quieter.  I didn’t encounter any one else while I was in the woods.

dirt path in the woods, with many large trees with exposed root systems

3 tall trees that have fallen beside a ravine path

below: A tiny little bird house with a brown plastic beetle.

a very small bird house with a bronw plastic insect glued onto the side, hanging from a large tree

a lean to built in a ravine off many fallen branches

below: At the bottom of the hill is Don Valley Golf Course.  The bridge in this photo is the 401 jst west of Yonge Street.  I was trying to figure out the best route to the bridge but I happened by this spot at the same time as the course marshal.  He kicked me out.

Don Valley golf course from the north end, looking towards the 401 bridge over the valley

Getting to the bridge was not an important goal but when someone tells me I can`t do something I feel that I have to try to find a way to do it.  Google maps shows this space as green but there is no differentiation between golf course and park.  I tried bushwhacking my way around the edge but I couldn`t find an easy enough way to make it worth my time.  So I retraced my steps…. but not before finding a souvenir of the day.

hand holding a taylor made 3 golf ball

large old dead tree trunk in forest

large gnarled tree roots exposed on a path

Don Valley Golf Course from up the hill near Gwendolen Park.  September has only started and already there are some colours appearing on the trees.

big willow tree and other trees, some just starting to turn to autumn colours, on Don Valley golf course from the hill on the north side of the course

below: Cliff by the park

cliff and trees at Gwendolen Park

below: Part of the path passes behind the tennis courts.

looking through the netting around a tennis court

below: Luckily there is a hole in the fence otherwise it`s a steep drop to the left!

hole in the chain link fence along the path behind the tennis courts at Gwendolen Park

below: The path continues to the northwest but a few drops of rain persuaded me to return to the park where my car was waiting.  Earl Bales Park is the next green space along the path although I am not sure if there is access.   Another day’s adventure.

large old trees with green leaves

below: This cat loves Mondays.

street art on the back of a blue metal sign, a yellow cat head and the words I Mondays, with a red heart between I and Monday, therefore I love Mondays

below: Perhaps I’ll follow the sign to the North Pole for my next walk?  Oh oh – I think that it says 4800 (kms? miles?) so maybe not…..

at an intersection, Radine and Franklin, someone has nailed a sign saying north pole onto the utility pole

A long weekend in May (Two Four Weekend) + the first sunny warm day in a while + two months of “shelter in place” = people out enjoying Tommy Thompson Park’s trails and waterfront.

a couple sit on a rock by Lake Ontario

below: Flow Like a River

bikes parked against a fence with signs on it, with graffiti words that say flow like a river, in the background a mound of dirt with two young men standing on top of it.

below: Keep ur distance

a girl in a red bike helmet walks on top of a yellow concrete barrier

cyclists on a bike path, seen through tree trunks and long grass

below: Three people, three positions – up tall and straight, flailing legs middle, and collapsing feet at the end.    Also notable are the mounds of tangled rebar that dot the shoreline.

three young people trying to do headstones on the pebbles at the shore beside Lake Ontario, Tommy Thompson Park, with old rusty rebar in piles on the shore two, washed up old trees and roots,

father and child standing on rocks at the shore of Lake Ontario

below: She’s sitting on some very rounded rocks that have been shaped by the waves and water.  Are they chunks of man-made concrete and not the more solid  rocks formed by nature?

a woman looking at her phone, sitting on rocks by Lake Ontario, her bike is on the ground behind her

The park has come a long way since construction of the Leslie Street Spit started in 1959.  In the beginning, it was to be an area for “port related activities”.   In the early 1970s, it was decided that Toronto didn’t need an expanded port.  Since 1973, the focus has been on developing the area as a park but keeping as much “wilderness” as possible.  If you are interested in the history of Tommy Thompson Park, they have an excellent website with aerial pictures that show how the park has grown.

tall smokestack in the distance, a park in the foreground, with a bike path and cyclists running through the park, early spring

below: Nature slowly takes over, and the piles of rubble and construction waste that were used to help build the foundations of the park become grown over and buried.

grassy, rocky part of Tommy Thompson Park in spring with shrubs and trees just starting to bud

below: Late afternoon fishermen on their way in.

people walking on a trail in Tommy Thompson Park, early spring, trees just starting to form leaves

below: If you look closely, you might see that one of the bikes has a bell in the shape of a skull with red eyes.

4 bikes parked on the shore, among leafless shrubs, beside Lake Ontario

piles of rock, concrete bits, rebar, construction waste, forming parts of Tommy Thompson park

below: There were lots of noisy redwing blackbirds as well as many other kinds of birds – orioles, grosbeaks, goldfinches, robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows.  During spring migration, up to 300 different species can be seen here.

a male redwing blackbird in a tree, making noise

long droopy buds on a tree, dark red on top and golden yellow on the lower parts, out of focus trees in the background

In the foregeound, trees and stumps in the water at the edge of the harbour, looking across the water to the Toronto skyline

two sailboats exit the marina harbour and pass by the Toronto skyline (seen from the east)

below: Construction on the east side of the park.  This is the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project scheduled to be finished in 2025.  Three shore connected breakwaters and a headland/beach system are being constructed.

filling in part of Lake Ontario, walls of rocks with dirt between them

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

Scarborough Bluffs Park on sunny but windy Sunday afternoon in March.

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The red twig dogwood is looking redder and the trees are barely starting to bud.

a couple walking together on a path at park, with tall grasses and leafless bushes beside

signs in a park, Scarborough bluffs, that say danger unstable soils and naturalized area do not disturb

2 teenagers climbing a cliff face at Scarborough bluffs

a few people standing on a path in a park with cliffs behind them

Scarborough bluffs, cliff by Lake Ontario

The water and air are still cold enough that icicles form on the overhanging branches that get hit by waves.

a woman with black hair and weraing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone, waves crashing against the rocks along the shore below the tree with the icicles

icicles on a branch that overhangs Lake Ontario

a woman with black hair and wearing a blue winter coat is taking picture of icicles with her phone

men in the water with wet suits on as they try to surf in Lake Ontario

a woman in a white parka is watching men surf in rough waters and high waves of Lake Ontario

two women in winter clothes sitting on a blanket on rocks by the lake, one is pointing at something

shoreline of Lake Ontario, rocks and trees, early spring, no leaves,