Posts Tagged ‘village’

There is a vacant lot on Florence Street that is now mostly hidden behind a wood fence.
These hoardings are now home to a mural by Adrian Hayles.

chain link fence with barbed wire above it on the left side and then a wood fence on the right, wood fence has been painted with a mural and here in the mural is a man walking a dog past a building

 The black letters in the mural spell the words Brockton Village.

a car is parked in front of a mural painted on wood hoardings.

part of a mural, stylized woman in high heels with seemingly no clothes, walks past silhouette of buldings

The blackness and the shininess of the mural makes it quite reflective.

two old mattresses lean against a fence that has been painted with a mural in black, red and light blue.   Along a sidewalk with cars parked beside, a few small trees.

part of a mural, man walking a dog

 

The dapper, larger than life Alexander Wood has stood on his corner at Church and Alexander streets for 11years now.  The bronze statue by Del Newbigging was unveiled in May 2005.

Wood came to Upper Canada from Scotland and settled in Toronto (known as York at the time) in 1797.  He was a successful merchant, magistrate, and lieutenant in the York militia.  The plaque on the granite pedestal tells his story.

 

statue of Alexander Wood, a young man with long coat, and a hat in his hand. The statue is on a large square pedestal so his feet are close to eye level.  Below the statue is a plaque detailing his life as early settler of York, of being a gay, and of being involved in a scandal in 1810.

“Militia Officer, Businessman, Public Servant, Justice of the Peace, Gay Pioneer

Alexander Wood came to Canada in 1793, settled in York in 1797 and started a mercantile business, one of only three stores in York at that time. Within a year he was a lieutenant in the York Militia; he was appointed magistrate in 1800 and by 1805 was a Commissioner for the Court of Requests (a senior planning officer). He was involved in a homophobic scandal in 1810 and fled to Scotland, but in two years he was back in Canada and resumed his duties. In spite of ridicule and discrimination he had a successful career in public service: he was on the executive of nearly every society in York, often as treasurer; he was manager of several businesses and acted for clients in land transactions. Wood died in 1844 at the age of seventy-two while in Scotland. The British Colonist paper called him one of Toronto’s ‘most respected inhabitants’.”

***

There is another bronze plaque on the back of the pedestal, complete with shiny bits.  This plaque adds more details to the story of the 1810 scandal that Wood got himself into.

plaques on a statue. The top is of a man with his pants lowered, the bottom is the story of the scandal that led to Alexander Wood having to leave Canada.  The bare bum on the plaque is shiny from repeated rubbing by passers by.

“1810 The Scandal
In 1810 a woman reporting a rape to Magistrate Wood said she had scratched her rapist. Wood inspected several suspects privately, requiring them to undress. To avoid the scandal caused by his unconventional behaviour, Wood fled to Scotland. After two years he returned to Canada but suffered ridicule and discrimination for the rest of his life.

Alexander Wood 1772-1844
Militia Officer, Businessman, Public Servant, Justice of the Peace, Gay Pioneer”

***

In 1810, word had spread quickly around the town (of 700) and Wood had become known as the “Inspector General of Private Accounts”.    The worst of the scandal blew over while Wood was in Scotland; he was back in York in 1812 and resumed all his previous occupations, including magistrate. At that time, “molly’ was a derogatory word for a gay man and he was nicknamed Molly Wood.

In 1826 he purchased 50 acres of land east of Yonge St. and north of Carlton St. in the neighbourhood where his statue now stands.  It is also the “Village”.  In Wood’s time it was referred to as ‘Molly Wood’s Bush’.  Wood remained in Toronto until 1842 at which time he returned again to Scotland where he died two years later.

Along Dundas St. West between Islington and Kipling there are a series of more than twenty murals that depict scenes from the history of the area. 

In 1793, Simcoe’s Queen’s Rangers cut a route through the forest for Dundas Street.  It was meant to serve both as a military route in case of war with the U.S. and as a route to increase settlement in the area.   Settlement of what became the village of Islington began a few years later with the arrival of the Johnston family in 1808.

The first mural was a picture of the Methodist church painted on plywood.  It no longer exists.

mural 2 – The Way We Were, part 1 by John Kuna, 2005.
Looking east along Dundas St. towards Cordova Ave in 1912.  It includes Hopkins store and the Methodist church.

large mural on the side of a building that shows people in old fashioned clothes walking down a street.  A man in a horse drawn wagon is coming down the street.

part of a large mural on the side of a building that shows people in old fashioned clothes walking down a street.  A man in a horse drawn wagon is coming down the street.

mural 3 – They Way We Were part 2, 1912, by John Kuna, 2006.
Because of the car that was parked next to it, I don’t have a good photo of the whole mural.

a mural showing a group of men in clothing from the 1930s shoveling in the dirt.

part of a mural, a man leading a horse out of the stables, the Islington Hotel behind.  Two ladies are standing on the balcony of the second floor of the hotel.  A man is reclining on a chair on the front porch of the hotel.

mural 4 – Timeline: Islington Then and Now, by John Kuna, 2006.
Showing Dunn’s store (NE corner of Dundas & Burnhamthorpe Cres) as well as the flowering catalpa trees that used to line the street (on the right in the picture)

part of a mural depicting the main street of town as it was in the 40s and as it was in 2006.  cars, street, people shopping,

blog_islington_here_right

mural 5 — Honouring Islington’s Volunteer Fire Brigade, by John Kuna, 2007. 
Islington had its first motorized fire truck in 1931.  In the 1940s and 1950s the volunteer firefighters would use water from the Mimico creek to flood part of Central Park, on the west side of the creek, to create a skating rink.

looking across the street at a mural on the side of white brick building, a winter scene, some people are skating, lots of bright red jackets, there is also an old fashioned fire engine with firefighters sitting in it.  At the right edge of the picture is a small wood hut with a sign that says Refreshments on it.

close up of a mural showing people skating on a frozen pond in the winter.  In the foreground is a traffic sign that says no trucks, also blue street signs for Cabot St. and Dundas Street West

mural 6 – Riding the Radials, by John Kuna, 2007.
From 1917 to 1931 the old Guelph Radial Line (or Toronto Suburban Railway) ran close by this site.  It was an electric rail line between Toronto and Guelph.

A mural showing the front of an old electric train car with the conductor sitting in front.  Two boys are hanging out the doors, one on each side of the train car.

mural 7 – Briarly, Gone but not Forgotten, by John Kune, 2007.
Briarly, also known as Gunn House was built in 1840s. From 1870 to 1985 it was owned by the Montgomery family and their descendents.

mural 7 - Briarly, Gone but not Forgotten, by John Kune, 2007.  Briarly, also known as Gunn House was built in 1840s.  From 1870 to 1985 it was owned by the Montgomery family and their descendents.

A woman and a girl in long light blue dresses are walking in front of a house.  The woman is carrying a blue parasol.  There is a white picket fence and flowering shrubs in the foreground of the picture.

mural 9 – Harold G. Shipp’s Firt High Flier, by John Kuna, 2008.
The story behind this mural: “In 1944 Harold Shipp convinced a Lancaster bomber pilot who ferried supplies from Toronto to England during the war, to fly over the school’s football field and drop hundreds of leaflets, a few of which could be traded for tickets to the school dance. Unfortunately, a rogue wind scattered the leaflets across the Chinese market gardens near Montgomery’s Inn. In the ensuing mayhem, excited football fans frantic to secure a winning ticket, stormed the field and trampled the carefully tended cabbages”

mural showing men playing football in the 1920s, with a low flying airplane overhead.

mural showing men playing football in the 1920s, with a low flying airplane overhead, as seen from an angle - form this perspective you can see that the mural is actually two pictures.

mural 10 – Portraits from our Past by Sarah Collard, 2008.
Inspired by pictures taken in the early 1900’s. “These include: Apple Packers at Bigham family orchards, Rathburn and Martingrove ~1917; Sunday Afternoon, a scene showing the family of famous Islington photographer Walter Moorhouse on their veranda at 34 MacPherson Ave. (now Aberfoyle); Islington’s First Car, a 1917 Chevrolet owned by the Appleby family; and the Village Shoemaker, Mr. Nelson in the 20th century.”

mural in 4 parts, 1 on the left, 1 on the right and 2 in the center.  The left depicts a man selling apples, the right depicts a cobbler fixing shoes.  In the center: bottom, a family in old fashioned car.  Center top - a family sitting in a livingroom including a man in a rocking chair

mural 11 – Mimico Creek in Fall, ca 1920, by John Kuna, 2008.
Looking north towards the Dundas Street bridge.

A large mural of a creek.  On the left back are two painters with their easels set up beside the river.  On the right bank are two boys and a man

Gordon’s Dairy, by John Kuna, 2008.

A mural on the front of the Islington Senior's Centre showing dairy carts.

mural 13 – The Old Swimming Hole by June Kuna, 2009.
Swimmers at the mill pond.

large mural of people swimming in a creek in bathing costumes from the 1920s

closer view of part of the mural of people swimming in a creek.  In this part of the picture, kids are climbing on a water wheel.  The mural is reflected in the window of the store next to it.

mural 14 – The Pub with no Beer, by June Kuna, 2009. 
A scene from the Prohibition Era in the late 1920’s.   Men collecting empty pop bottles from outside the Islington Hotel.

mural showing men loading an old flat bed truck with crates of empty pop bottles, 1920s

Fox and Fiddle bar, a two storey brick building,

mural 15, Faith of Our Fathers, part 2, by John Kuna

mural showing the building of a chirch

mural 16 – The Manse Committee by John Kuna 2010

mural on the side of a two storey white brick building.  The picture looks like the outer wall has been removed to reveal a family house from the early 1900s.  A cook is working in the kitchen,

blog_islington_16kitchen

The Prodigy, by John Kuna, 2011
A satellite branch of the Royal Conservatory of Music was located in this building from the 1950s through the 1980s.

mural depicting a boy playing a piano in front of an audience.  A man is helping to turn the pages of the music.

mural 19 –  Aftermath by John Kuna, 2011.
After Hurricane Hazel on 15 Oct 1854, most of Islington Golf Course and the low lying areas around Mimico Creek were flooded.

large painting of men in boats, helicopter overhead

mural 20 – Ontario Gothic, by John Kuna, 2011

A mural of a man and a woman standing outside a two stroey farm house.  A white car is parked in front of the mural and it blocks the bottom right of the picture.

mural 21 – Toboggan Hill, by John Kuna, 2011

large vertical mural depicting a hill in winter.   Bare trees, kids on tobaggons.

Close up of the bottom part of a mural whowing kids on old fashioned wooden sleds, or toboggans.

Fishing in Mimico Creek, by John Kuna, 2012,
with Riding the Radials seen in the background.

 includes largemouth bass, rainbow trout, pumpkinseed sunfish

The Faces of Islington, by John Kuna, 2013

The Faces of Islington, by John Kuna, 2013

blog_islington_21part

the mural with no sign

mural of a group golfing in clothes typical of the 1940s

 more information – village of Islington murals website