Posts Tagged ‘walls’

We all know that red means stop, right?

traffic signal, red light, in front of a billboard with a father and child

What you may not realize is that’s only part of the story…
because red also means stop and take a picture!

a Bell payphone in front of a red wall.

And so I did.

a tim horton's ad on the side of a bus shelter as a woman walks past, a timbit is being dunked into the foam of a latte

back lights and part of the red of the back of a TTC streetcar

below: …. with a can of Red Bull even!
tied to a branch, two deflated red balloons and two deflated white balloons and a can of red bull drink

scalloped edged awning, in winter, with snow on the top and some froze drips of water and icicles

part of a red and white sale sign

part of sign, red background, a gold snowflake and part of a red and white Santa hat

top of a shingled porch roof with a bright red wall behind it

part of a red fabric Christmas bow in a decoration with some green pine

‘Demonstration’ by Michael Landry
at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

Now showing in the narrow Fleck Clerestory is an installation that consists of a collection of red and white paintings on paper.  Each is a male and/or female shaped silhouette figure with a protest sign.    They are pinned to the wall, from top to bottom.   Every one has a different slogan, phrase and/or image on the placard they are holding.

below: Looking down on the Fleck Clerestory from the upper level.

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory on both walls, looking down from the upper level to see whole exhibit, two women on the lower level looking at it.

The work has grown, i.e. more pieces have been added, since it was installed late in September.   Landry has been asking the public to contribute their thoughts and feelings which he then draws.  Over the course of the next few months, it will evolve and grow as more people submit their ideas and suggestions.   In the end there will be a “wall of protest”, or perhaps more aptly, it will be a snapshot of the hopes and concerns that we have.

below: Some of the issues addressed from the serious (stop fracking, end hate, no more marijuana arests, opioid overdoses) to the more lighthearted (such as ‘go topless day’, and ‘we the north’).

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory

If you have an image, slogan, or words, and you want to participate in this project, check out the submission guidelines by following this link

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory

below: “No pipeline” and  “lorsque les mots perdent leur sens, les gens perdent leur liberte”.

red and white paintings of demonstration signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory - sign says no pipeline

below: “Stop premature Christmas decorating!”

red and white paintings of demonstraion signs being held by stick figure men part of an art exhibit at fleck conservatory - sign says stop premature Christmas decorations

The exhibit continues until mid-May.

“Sing me a rainbow, paint me a dream.
Show me a world that I’ve never seen.”

The first Monday after the “fall back” time change is always one of my favorite days of the year.  That’s when I feel like I got an extra hour of sleep.  So I woke up feeling great but of course it’s November so there were some grey clouds.  Still, the phrase “I can sing a rainbow” was stuck in my head.  But I don’t sing, so I did the next best thing and took a rainbow of photos as I walked today.  Beat the blahs away by capturing the brightest moments.

reflections in the side of a red car

cracked concrete wall that is painted red

close up of an orange construction sign

part of a jack o'lantern carved pumpkin for halloween, triangle eyes and nose

yellow plastic cone in front of a pale yellow wall

yellowish green leaves hanging on a tree

slightly rotting wood painted bright green

part of a greenish blue poster

close up of a bright blue letter on a white background

reflections of blue sky in the window of a blue car

pint boxes of blueberries

part of a poster on a wall, shades of purple

purplish brown leaves, close up picture

below: And what goes best with rainbows? Why not a unicorn?! It looks like the work of #whatsvictorupto

sidewalk painting of a unicorn head, by whatsvictorupto

If you know the children’s song, “I Can Sing a Rainbow”, you will know that the colours in the lyrics aren’t in the correct ROYGBV order (or IV at the end if you include indigo).  It’s a cute little song so I will forgive the author.

And in case your childhood didn’t include this song, here are the words:
Red and yellow and pink and green,
Purple and orange and blue,
I can sing a rainbow,
sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow too.

Listen with your eyes,
Listen with you ears,
And sing everything you see.
I can sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow,
Sing a rainbow too.

 

 

Yesterday I was out near Dundas West and Dufferin to visit an art gallery, the Stephen Bulger Gallery, as they have a showing of photos of the Union Station renovation by Larry Towell.  I don’t have any photos from that exhibit, but it is on for another week if you’re interested.

a woman is looking at clothes on a rack that are for sale outside a store, chalk board syas You Babe, other people on the sidewalk, store in background is Elite Plumbing and Heating

Instead, I have photos from the walk that I took afterwards.  I started walking west on Dundas and south on Dufferin, looking for interesting doors, windows, and stores.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Of course, I was distracted (alleys!) along the way (graffiti!) but I have tried to stick to the architectural shots for this post.  Sort of.  In no particular order….

below: There was a car parked in front of this building so I cropped off the bottom.  The optical illusion covered the whole front of the building.  It’s definitely unique!

the front exterior wall of a building is decorated with a painting of 3D cubes arranged in an optical illusion

below: Two people walk past a forest of trees and shrubs.

lower part of a brick building has been covered with a mural that is orange background, and cut out (wood) flat green trees in various shapes. A real tree grows in front of it, a metal traffic box is painted with a scene of two people walking with the same orange background

below: Lisboa Hardware and Building Supplies with many household items on display outside – including barbecues, watering cans, and carpets. Old paintings linger on the tile wall.

The entrance to the Lisboa Hardware and building supply store with lots of household merchandise outside

below: A blue bike is parked in front of the french doors of the Black Dice Cafe.

a blue bike is parked outside the glass windows and door of the black dice cafe

below: A very typical two storey house in this part of Toronto.  This was the predominate style of architecture of residential buildings at a certain time – late 1800’s and early 1900’s I think (and maybe longer?).    I like the Canadian flag in the window and the new tree in the tiny front yard.

a girl on a bike rides past the entrance to an alley. Behind her is a two storey house in tan coloured siding, with darker tan trim, bay window, Canadian flad in the doorway,

below: On Dufferin Street, an increasingly common scene as glass towers pop up all over the city.  The west side of Dufferin Street, just north of Queen.

In the background, two large high rise buildings, modern, in the foreground, a row of older two storey houses

below: A similar scene on a smaller street nearby.

a row of two storey houses on a small street with a two aprtment blocks behind them.

below: Distractions in an alley – this one was a dead end (with the dead end behind me).  One of the disadvantages of having your garage in an alley like this is that getting your lawn mower from the garage to the yard involves a bit of a walk.    But look at all those doors and windows in buildings that look like they’ve been painted from the same palate.

a man walks a lawn mower down a short alley, garage doors on both sides of him as well as in front of him, back of houses behind the garages and taller apartment buildings behind that.

below: Another alley with a different character.  An open door covered with graffiti, balconies above the garages, and what is that?  – a TTC pole at the top of the stairs?

view down an alley,

below: The entranceway of an older brick low-rise apartment building on St. Clarens Ave.

The entrance to a three storey apartment building, with wood railings on fake balconies and some brick work too

below: Another distraction!  A crochet bombed pole beside a bright pink wall.

a utility pole is wrapped in crocheted squares in many colours, the house beside the pole is bright pink

below: I happened upon this cute little free library too –    so cute and whimsical with its big eyes keeping watch.   There has been some controversy about these in Toronto recently.  One owner of little library was ticketed for violating a city bylaw that disallows structures on a person’s property within 3.5 metres of a sidewalk.  It was ordered removed within 14 days or a $100 fine would be levied.   Yesterday City Hall decided not to pursue this.

a little free library in front of a green coloured house. Inside the window of the library are two large googly eyes

below: Nearby was another little free library with a little latched door.  It seems that here you can also pick up a pair of shoes along with a book!

white box on stilts, a little free library, trees and shrubs around it, a pair of shoes on the sidewalk in front of it.

below:  Did I find Toronto’s smallest house?

a car is parked in front of a very small one storey house that is between two large and taller houses,

below: Somewhere in the jungle is a front door or two!  A shared sidewalk to squabble over in the winter – who gets to shovel it.

two overgrown front yards with a sidewalk down the middle, a semi divided brick house in the background.

below:   Gates.  I’ve never understood the reason for little gates like these.  Back in their youth they probably looked quite trim and proper.  Now they are sagging and rusted and showing their age; perhaps that’s a reflection of their owners?  Not a complaint – a rusted gate has great photographic potential.

a fence across the front of two houses, each with their own sidewalk and gate.

 

below: Fire damage that is now being repaired.  The neighbours seem to have built a thriving shrine (good luck charm?, religious offering?  is there a name for these?) beside their front door.

A row of houses where one is damaged from a recent fire.  Burned front door.  Windows have been boarded over, a skip for garbage isin front, workmen on the site

below: We have our share of ugly doors on ugly walls.

two white doors side by side on a dirty concrete block wall that someone has written the words In Toronto it's okay to hate transvestites

below: Have a seat

two grey wicker chairs in front of two adjacent white doors on a concrete wall. the building beside is orange

below:  On Dufferin Street between Dundas and Queen – Once upon a time this house was totally decorated in pink and white.  Some of it remains – the arch in front of the door as well as the fence at the side of the house.  Now it is bigger, squarer, and uglier.   Even the grominator graffiti on the wall can’t overcome the ‘boringness’ of the renovated structure.

sqaure two storey brick house under renovation, with pink and white metal fence around it. a grominator graffiti on the side

below: I don’t want to end this post on an ugly note, so here’s a cheerful bright yellow door!

yellow door on a rust house

Now that Honest Ed’s stands empty, the walls and windows have become home to advertising posters and graffiti.  Here is a sample of what was there yesterday.

below: Love mix #2 says “Music is the best way for me to say I love you”.

graffiti man drawn with two cassette tapes, one as head and the other as body, love mix #2,

below: Hermes 24 Eau de Parfum at $1500 per ounce.  Not sure what “extrait” means!

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for perfume at $1500

below: Urban ninja squadron and planet_selfie get together!

urban ninja squadron man with planet_selfie character in red with red helmet, pasteup on a wall

below: Topsy turvy wall. The puzzle pieces weren’t put together correctly!

graffiti on a plywood covering

below: Another ‘Diversity is Hope’ pasteup

diversity is hope pasteup with picture of black woman with dreadlocks

below: There are a few of these “Why didn’t Drake save Honest Eds” posters on the walls.  This is the only one that has been added to with “He had $2.00 less then (sic) God” and “He made 1 billion”.

Why didn't Drake save Honest Eds poster that someone has written on

below: You are free!

you are free is written in black paint on an old glass case on the outside of Honest Eds

below: Pasteup of Heath Ledger as The Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker, paper paste up of the head and shoulders

below: Red and glittery gold.

red paper paste up with gold glitter all around it.

two paste ups on a red wall

old glass case for posters, red frame around the glass, posters stuck on the front of the glass

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for ladies watch at $3150. ad is woman holding a pine cone

advertising posters and graffiti on a wall, graffiti is a mock ad for men's shirts at $389

I’m talking to you….

Well, I’m not the one doing the talking.  In fact, no one is talking, or shouting for that matter.  The words are silent, present..  but quiet.  They are written on the walls; scrawled on the walls.  They’re rarely beautiful and they’d rarely qualify as being profound.

below: But “Sometimes it doesn’t matter”.  I love the ambiguity and flexibility of the word ‘it’ in this context.  Write your own story. Develop your own plot.

below: … even if the plot doesn’t make sense, like Trump himself.

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say I shot Trump and I'd do it again and again and again

below: From Trump we jump to conspiracy theories.  That was easy wasn’t it?

on a red door, number 911, someone has added in white letters, was an inside job

below: I have no segue for 911 conspiracies to love.   A jump in the plot?

blue spray paint graffiti words on concrete by a chainlink fence surrounding a school playground and parking lot that say Love Yourself Kids

below: Sentimental feelings – dripping with sentiment.  Oh dear.

graffiti words stenciled on a garage door that say sentimental feelings.

below: .. or wishes for feelings of being loved

small square around these words, love me plz, written with black paint on a white garage door,

below: Pull yourself together and get it together….  But.. but..  Buddha once said: “Life is suffering; suffering is just part of life.”  Sooooo if you start suffering do you stop living?  Yes, I can be insufferable, just like philosophy and psychology and a few other ologies.

below: Did I mention that sometimes the words make no sense?

black sharpie words on a concrete utility pole, says Virgin Armour

below: These words, on the other hand, make sense: Bew Are!  (not technically graffiti but my editor didn’t question it!)

And that’s the end.   No more words.  I have no more words. Fini.

Elvis has left the building.

a man is walking past a wall with street art, a construction sign is leaning backwards against the wall blocking part of the art. THe picture can't be seen but the words that went with the picture are still visible. They say The artist isn't present

Cliffside is an area around Kingston Road in the west  side of the city and the ‘cliff’ in the name refers to the Scarborough Bluffs.    The murals in this post are all on Kingston Road just west of Midland Ave.    They are the result of work of Mural Routes, an organization “dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art” since 1990.

below: ‘Spooners Garage’ by Phillip Woolf, 1992.   Art Spooner’s garage in Cliffside was built in 1926 (and rebuilt in 1947).   The mural has two parts, each showing a different time period.  They face each other.

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

below:  … and the later version

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

 

below: ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.  The Onondaga was built near Kingston in 1790 and it served with the Provincial Marine until 1797.  It was the ship in which John Graves Simcoe and his wife Elizabeth sailed across Lake Ontario to York (now Toronto) to establish the capital of Upper Canada.

 

painted mural of a schooner from the 1790s sailing on Lake Ontario

below: ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ by B.C. Johnson, 2016.   Canadian plants and animals cover all four sides of Ikki Sushi – herons, bears, moose, beaver, and fox among the pine trees. Creeks, swamp, and waterfalls can also be seen.

 

Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna,

back of restaurant with open door. Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna, inside of door is painted too

below: ‘Cliffside Golf Course’ by Dan Sawatzky, 1991.   Founded by George McCordick in 1931, the Cliffside Golfcourse was south of Kingston Road and overlooked Lake Ontario.    It closed in 1950.  The mural is faded and partially obscured by two trees.

two trees obscure a faded mural

below: The words on the mural tell the story of the golf course.

mural of two men golfing. One is swinging a golf club and the other has a golf bag slung over his shoulderh

red vintage car in a mural

mural, woman from the 1930's standing behind a vintage car and holding a set of golf clubs

The last two murals have appeared in a previous blog post that I wrote once upon a time when I didn’t know how many Scarborough murals there were.  Even now I’ve hardly scratched the surface.

below:  ‘The Half Way House’ by John Hood, 1990.  The mural is at the corner of Midland Avenue & Kingston Road which is where the inn and stage coach stop was located.   The  building was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1965.

mural depicting the Half Way House, an old inn that used to be at the corner of Kingston Road and Midland. Two men are sitting on the stairs in front of the mural

below: ‘The Bluffs as Viewed by Elizabeth Simcoe c. 1793’ by Risto Turunen, 1992.   The story is that Elizabeth Simcoe was so impressed by the view of the cliffs she persuaded her husband, John Graves Simcoe, to name the area after Scarborough England where there are similar cliffs.

Three cars are parked in front of a large mural of the Scarborough Bluffs, there is a small row boat on Lake Ontario in front of the cliffs.

There are more murals on old Kingston Road both to the east and west of these, but that will be a story for another day.

also see: Heritage Trail Mural 8 – Old Kingston Road