Posts Tagged ‘walls’

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 

Or more exactly, murals on Dundas West near Brock and Sheridan.

Starting with an old favourite – I had mentioned this mural in a prior post, Bloordale to Brockton, but at the time it wasn’t finished and it had no signature.  Now it is completed and signed, Jonny Cakes and sewp.

large colourful murals in pinks and blues of a cat reaching a paw out towards a mouse, in the background is antoher mural of a woman playing a guitar. Mural is by Jonny Cakes and sewp

In the background (on the other side of Brock Avenue) is a new mural by Tilay & Aner.

large mural by Tilay and Aner - a woman with flowers in her hair is playing a guitar, an owl in flight and some white daisies.

large mural by Tilay and Aner - an owl in flight, some white daisies

If you are familiar with the area, you will know that a very large Lovebot was on a wall here.  You’ll be happy to know that he’s still here, large than life, kitty-corner from the cat and mouse.

large lovebot, two storeys high, painted on the side of a building.

Tilay & Aner have also painted another mural nearby, one with a South American flavour.  It is on the side of building on Dundas West, but closer to Sheridan Ave.

a large mural by Tilay and Aner on Dundas WEst in toronto

part of a larger mural on a wall with a window, a large painting of a woman appears to be looking at the window, a melon or gourd is in the mural too

part of a larger mural by Tilay and Aner, two South American women with corn cobs in their hair and leaves around their neck

 

We looked out side and saw that it was a beautiful sunny day!
These gals may be all dressed up with nowhere to go but I decided to hit the streets again.

looking out a store window, 3 headless mannequins are in the window, dresses in women's clothing, one has a red tam on her shoulders, one has a dress with a repeating pattern of typewriters, one has a red skirt with with white hearts all over it.

window mannequins, Doll Factory by Damzels, Queen St East

below: It seems I’m in a neighbourhood that lovebot watches over and protects!

a neighbourhood watch sign posted on a hydro pole, a lovebot sticker is on each of the three houses on the sign

below: A ghost sign that has been revealed by demolition of a building on Queen Street East .
“Relieves fatigue, sold everywhere” is part of an old coca-cola ad. I wonder if 5 cents was a bargain at that time.

an old wall has been exposed after a building has been demolished. The sign is part of an old coca cola advertisement and says relieves fatigue 5 cents.

below: Another ghost sign.  Mr. Frankfurt “Toronto’s hot dog king” opened their restaurant in July of 1984.  It is long gone but the large yellow sign remains.

a large yellow sign for Mr. Frankfurt restaurant showing a red headed girl trying to eat a hot dog that is larger than she is. yellow sign attached to building.

below:  Peace and love encounter number two!

spray paint large red lips, outline drawing, on an old wood garage door in an alley

below: Love and concern of a different kind.   Part of COUNTERfit memorial where people have scratched words and drawings into the metal.   An angel, a heart, a dove, a coffin.  “The war on drugs is a war on us”.   “For every prohibition, you create an underground”.  “Each death is an end of the world Cada muerie es un fin del mundo.”   There is more to this memorial including a list of names as well as flowers and candles that have been left at the base of the metal sculpture.

part of a metal memorial for people who died of drugs and AIDS, Counter fit (a harm reduction organization). people have scratched words and drawings into the metal, a dove, a heart, words like The war on drugs is a war on us

below: Eddie’s Convenience with it’s bit of history.  The mural on the wall is from an old photograph of Queen Street East circa 1926.   The old “drink Canada Dry” sign that hangs over the doorway is a piece of history too.  The faded words on the top of the sign say “Eddie’s Confectionery”.    Does anyone know how old the sign might be?

looking diagonally across the steet to Eddie's convenience store with it's old Canada Dry ad sign hanging over the doorway and the black and white mural taken from a view of Queen St. East long ago.

below: More peace and love!

painting on a garage door, black line drawing of a face on blue with peace written above and love written below the face

 below: It seems like everywhere I go I encounter a building being demolished and today was no exception.  The Church of Our Lady and St. Basil near Queen and Logan is in the process of coming down.  It was not an old building.

vertical windows on a birck church, behind a chain link fence. Two of the windows have panes missing and are covered with orange cloth

below: Alley access is blocked beside the church.
You can see into the church where part of the exterior wall has been broken.

orange cones and a construction fence block entrance to an alley beside a church that is being demolished

below: Dust drifts past the stained glass windows.

dust from demolition drifts up and past church stained glass windows that are now seen more clearly because one of the exterior walls has been partially removed

below: Valentine love (and Christmas bells) for all those who pass through the gate.
How can you resist smiling as you pass by?

a small archway over a gate at the entrance to a front yard, the arch is the shape of a heart and it has been decorated with flowers.

below: A different house, a different arch over a gate – this time little balloon shaped objects made of fabric with tassles at the bottom.  Do they have any significance?

hanging lantern shapes made of fabric, with tassles at the bottoms, hanging over a gate, yellow, green, orange and white

below: A large plant grows inside.

a metal grille that was painted green covers a window with a rusty metal frame and one pane cracked. A plant grows inside the window.

below: A sunny day makes for interesting shadows.

shadows on a sunny day, a metal fire escape is diagonal across the back of a light teal coloured house, it passes the bottom corner of a window

below: A little bit of whimsy.  Someone has hung three little decorative bird houses from the branch of a tree, not in someone’s front yard but by the sidewalk on Queen Street East.

three little decorative bird houses hang from a tree branch by the sidewalk

below: And whimsy is good.   This isn’t exactly cupid but it’s naked and has wings.  Cupid as a grown-up?

a wood cut out in pale pink, mounted high on an exterior green wall, naked person with wings and a funny shaped face

below: Full circle, back to Doll Factory by Damzels – have a happy day!

mannequin head, bright yellow short hair, blue eyes, red lips, pink ears, big smile on her face, wearing a beige tam

I started walking Graffiti Alley the other day but I didn’t stick to my plan.  I meandered and wandered through other alleys as well as I generally headed west.

below: A bright, vibrant, wonderful piece by birdo in an alley north of Queen Street West.

a birdo mural on a garage door of a woman in grey tones with a round red mouth in the shape of an O. she is holding her hand up near her face and a bird is sitting on it. The background of the mural is red and greenish triangles.

below: Another birdo nearby

birdo mural on the side of a building, a red high heel shoe, a brown circle, a grey head plus the colourful geometric shapes often found in a birdo mural, in reds and turquoise

below: Only remnants remain.  Was it a stikman?  Or was it something else?

a tiny bit of a stikman is left on a post that is covered with spray paint.

below: Auston Matthews already has his picture on T-shirts.
It can’t be easy having the hopes of all those Maple Leaf fans resting on your shoulders.

in front of a store that seels T-shirts, a blue T-shirt based on the famous Obama Hope poster, but this time the portrait is of a Maple Leaf player with the word hope below.

below: Of course normal is boring. What I need is a t-shirt that says “rather be walking”

Two t-shhirts in a store window, a grey woman's t-shirt with the words Normal is Boring on the front and a black t-shirt with the words rather be in bed.

below: This wall is not new but there is usually a car parked in front of it when I walk past.  King Reign and Son of S.O.U.L. were two Toronto hip hip artists who passed away in 2016.

a wall in Graffiti Alley, layers of different artist's work, some uber 5000, some elicser, plus a grey ton picture of two men wearing caps with the words son of soul king reign written underneath them.

below: Stickers on a box

stickers on a small metal box on a brightly coloured wall. almost the whole box is covered, a lovebot heart, a pink cat, a blue octopus, a shark, plus some stickers that are ads for music or records.

below: I love the juxtaposition of the car in the mural with the real cars parked in the alley. Also the alignment of the first two walls makes the painting look like one.

in an alley, a white car is parked between a blue car and a mural painting of a blue car. There is also a mural of three people with the words summertime in the city.

below: This is another painting that I saw in Graffiti Alley.
I think that it’s new, or at least I don’t remember seeing it before.

a street art painting on the back of a building in an alley, a surreal piece with a cube with one side as a face, two creatures are floating out of the top of the cube - they are tethered to each other. The bottom creature is half in the cube and the surface of the cube looks like liquid.

below: Your words of advice for today.

a street art piece in an alley that is purple background with with a dripping brownish circle with two eyes and the words don't forget to drink water. The alley is also in the picture with parts of a couple of other murals visible

below: Fake. as in Fake news. Fake people. Fake money.  Fake graffiti artist?

the man from the monopoly game is painted on a wall. Someone has sprayed a white x through his face and written the word fake on his top hat.

below: These grey paper paste-ups have appeared on top of a number of street art paintings in Graffiti Alley.
I’m not sure who did it or why.
a grid of grey paper paste ups has been put on top of a abstract street art painting on a wall in an alley.

below: Blowing bubbles. Looks irresistibly ready for someone to pop it!
It was painted by @wamurals aka WayneArt

on the corner of Queen West and a smaller side street, the Convenience Canada store with a small white picket fence outside of it. On the wall is a mural of a woman blowing a big pink bubble with gum and the words head candy written above her head.

below: Hidden houses. Being pushed out by the big boys.

three layers, in the background a high rise building, in the middle ground, the tops of three single family homes on Richmond Street, in the foreground, poster covered hoardings for construction on Queen Stree West.

below: Half of a lovebot in a doorway.

half of a large black lovebot painted in a doorway (one side of him). A black lovebot with yellow details and a red heart.

below: A whole lovebot mixing it up with another creature.  I think it’s by grominator but I’m not sure.
I like to think of it as lovebot fighting his demons.

a lovebot mural in an alley, he looks to be fighting a grominator monster

below: Look up, way up, to find the switch from love to fear.
Yikes!, it’s switched to fear now and it’s not going to be easy to change it.

high on a wall, a small 3D lovebot heart beside a light switch that is love on one side and fear on the other.

below: Lucy and trouble and a weird looking face in a messy dimly lit doorway that assaulted my nose.

in a dimly lit doorway, a lot of scribbles and graffiti including a roughly drawn face, the word Lucy and the word trouble

below: Many of the planters along Queen West have been painted including this tribute to Gord Downie.

a rectangular cement planter on Queen Street west with pine and cedar boughs in it. The sides have been painted. On the end is the head of a lion, on the side is the word courage and a picture of Gord Downie from the music group The Tragically Hip

a rectangular cement planter on Queen Street west with pine and cedar boughs in it. The sides have been painted. On the end is the roman numeral 4 and a red heart. On the side is a black cat walking on a red background.

below: A little astronaut floats away. But he’s not up in the air where you’d expect to find him. He’s way down low near the ground.  Perhaps he’s not floating away, perhaps he’s falling back to Earth?

a small paste up of an astronaut floating in space, on a black wall, close to the ground.

Don’t over think it though.  Just keep your eyes open and ready for the unexpected!