Posts Tagged ‘waterfront’

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

This is the 6th annual Winter Stations art installation event at Woodbine Beach.  It was officially opened on Family Day, February17th.

below: Tying yellow ribbons on the yellow metal frame in “Mirage”, designed by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo.  The orange frame is parallel to the lake and the yellow sections are perpendicular.    Depending on where you are standing, you see either a red transparent sun setting or a light and bright rising sun laying on the horizon.

5 people working, two up on ladders, Lake Ontario in the background, tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

tying yellow ribbons on an orange metal frame, finishing touches on an art installation called Mirage

below: “The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble” by Centennial College while under construction.

woman holding a shovel, on beach, by some yellow and pink boxes, installing a public art display at Woodbine Beach

below: The end product.  There is now graffiti on the boxes

tagged and graffiti covered pink and yellow boxes stacked on the beach, art installation by Centennial College students.

below: and cowbells hung from the underside of boxes in a couple of places.

smal cowbells hang from the underside of a yellow box that is stacked on top of two other boxes, one yellow and one pink

below: “Kaleido­scope of the Senses” is a strong piece designed by Charlie Sutherland of SUHUHA (An architecture studio in Edinburgh).  People were lining up to take turns sitting on the lifegusard chair.

people lined up to take a look inside a portion of art installation at Woodbine Beach

a father lifts up a young boy in a red winter coat so he can sit inside an art installation over a lifeguard station at the beach

below: “Noodle Feed” by iheartblob was very popular on the Sunday before Family Day (the official opening of ‘Winter Stations’).   It wasn’t designed to have a jumping feature but that’s what all the kids were doing that day.  The fabric tubes are filled with straw.

a girl jumping off a lifeguard station onto rolls of fabric stuffed with straw, on the beach

below: When I returned to the beach a few days later, the installation was gone.

a metal frame lifeguard station, raised seat, with a red board against the back and a sign on the front that says do not jump off lifeguard chair

blue pole with two small signs, both with snow on them, the top sign just has the number 3 on it. the other sign has its back to the camera so it can't be read

Information about the installations can be found at winterstations.com

It’s been a while since I posted here mostly because I’ve been away.  But I’m back in Toronto and back to walking.  The other day didn’t start as planned!  A locked gate stood in my way.

winter scene, base of Bathurst street by old Canada Malting Co silos, black gate to Ireland Park path is locked, snow, bench,

Shortly after, I saw a sign …. I’m not sure that it references locked gates specifically, but at the minimum it’s a reminder to remain flexible.

an art installation on the exterior wall of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, words in pink letters written over an river landscape scene. the words say If you end up with the story that you started with, then you're not listening along the way.

As anyone Canadian city dweller knows, winter in the city rarely means white snow – the brown slush quickly takes over.   Here, at Spadina and Queens Quay, the road has been painted red to alert drivers to the fact that this is a streetcar lane.

new TTC streetcar turning left from Spadina to Queens Quay, slushy streets after snowfall, people waiting at bus stop,

Lake Ontario has only begun to freeze, and only in quiet protected places.  The first part of January was warmer than usual.  Even as I type this it is raining and all the snow is melting.  There probably isn’t much of this ice left this afternoon.

a couple of boats docked at wood docks, lakefront, waterfront, some thin ice in patches on the water between the shore and the boats. Lake Ontario

below: A “Danger due to” sign that has blown in from somewhere else but is just as relevant here as it is at any construction site.

Toronto red tug boat in the water with brocken bits of ice in the water, also a red and white danger due to sign that has fallen onto the ice of Lake Ontario

below: The Music Garden hibernating for the winter.

along the waterfront, view of CN Tower, with sculpture and dead or hibernating plants at Music Garden

below: Kayaks at Harbourfront resting for the winter months.

red, orange, and yellow kayaks on the ground for the winter, mostly covered with snow

below: The fire rescue boat was out and about the other afternoon.

yellow umbrellas and painted muskoka chairs in the snow at H T O beach, with red fire rescus boat just offshore

a large flock of sea gulls take flight beside Lake Ontario and in front of H T O beach

three people skating at an outdoor skating rink

Now on at the Harbourfront Centre is “Future Retrospectives” which is a group exhibition of works by artists and designers who use the past as a lens to look at the future (until 29th March).

below: The coloured shapes with the words, are the work of Hannah Claus.  They hang on a clear background so the installation on the wall behind shows through (also the work of Hannah Claus).  In fact, the two go together.  At first I thought the coloured shapes represented tombstones but in fact they are a replica of the plaque on Hochelaga Rock. This rock commemorates the village and people encountered by Jacques Cartier in 1535; it is on the McGill campus in Montreal.  It is also featured in the photos on the far wall. The English words (bottom half) start with “Near here was the…”.  More information.

Near Here was art installation or Harbourfront Artport gallery

below: Will we be able to understand a future time?  Also part of Future Retrospectives.

will we understand future time, video art with some other bits and pieces, Harbourfront Artport gallery

below: Timeless.  Eternity. Waiting for the bus.

three people at a bus shelter waiting for a bis, two are standing and one is sitting. They are underneath a large photo of stars and the night sky

below: This is ‘Loop’ an interactive “Winter Station” public art installation.  In past years, there have been 5 or 6 different art installations along Queens Quay as part of the Winter Station project.  This year, there is just this one which is located at York Street Park.   The circles are large enough for two people to sit face to face.  There is a metal bar which can then be moved back and forth between the pair.  This movement makes an inner circle spin and activates some lights.   It is the creation of Olivier Girouard ; it is scheduled to remain here until the 9th of February.

black circular structures that are part of an interactive art installation called Loop, arranged in a semi-circle at Yor Street Park, snow on the ground, trees with no leaves, no people there

below: Harbour Street, looking east towards Yonge Street from the elevated walkway that runs north from WaterPark Place, over the Lakeshore and under the Gardiner.

view east on Harbour Streeet from the walkway between Waterpark Place and Scotiabank Arena, construction of new high rises in the background, traffic,

below: Reflections on the walkway.

reflections of people walking in glass walled elevated walkway om downtown Toronto

below: After passing under the Gardiner, the walkway wraps around the west side of the second floor of the Scotiabank Arena (originally the ACC).

interior, Scotiabank Arena people on elevated walkway between Waterpark Place and Scotiabank Arena

below: The south entrance to Union Station, from the walkway.  This is also a good view of the new glass platform over Union Station (train shed roof?) – this is something that I need to check out in more detail.

Union Station entrance, a couple of people walking in front, Royal York hotel in the background, taken from elevated walkway beside Scotiabank arena

below: Also under renovation is the Bay Street exit of the Scotiabank Arena.  A new walkway between it and the building being constructed across the street is almost complete.  It is on the same level as, and immediately beside, the railway tracks.  This walkway will connect to the new Union Station bus terminal

from the inside, looking out, construction of the new exit, and new elevated walkway to building being constructed across the street

below: Exit onto Bay Street and look up!  Upward.  And to the future…. wherever that leads us.

looking up towards the sky at the Bay Street entrance to Scotianbank arena, wall of old arena, top of new building being constructed across the street,

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

snow fence beside Lake Ontario at Woodbine Beach

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

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

below: Leuty Lifeguard Station closed up for the winter.

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

below: Ready to run

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

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

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

 

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

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

below: Bright red ribbons tied around a small tree.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

night, Christmas lights on a tree

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

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

 

shiny green Christmas garland wrapped around part of a snow fence

Happy Canada Day!

below: Canada Day merchandise for sale at Yonge Dundas Square

on a table outside, piles of Canada Day merchandise for sale, hats, cowboy hats, flags, etc

front of Queens Park buildings, parliament buildings, on the grass a couple stand by a tree, looking at group under a tent, Canada Day celebrations

below: Great sign!  We’re on a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch!

a group of people on the grass at Queens Park, with a sign that says we are having a picnic because Doug Ford is out to lunch

a young girl runs with a kite that her father has just let go of

below: A Canada flag in a heart, face paint to celebrate the day.

a woman in a purple and yellow clown hat apples a red maple leaf Canadian flag face paint on a girl's cheek

a mother and son pose in one of the o's in 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips. Mother is dressed in red and white and is holding two small Canadian flags

one woman takes another woman's photo with an ipad in front of the Toronto 3 D sign

a balding black man sits on the edge of the pool at Nathan Philips square, taking a picture of his dog who is in the water. Dog has Canada flag bandana on

a red head girl in a large advert on a building beside a man in red adjust a microphone on the top of a red double decker tourist hop on hop off bus

below: Under a red umbrella.  There were quite a few performances at Yonge Dundas square, all of which were celebrations by different ethnic groups.

three women in red under a red umbrella watching a Canada day celebration

two womenin national costume, or traditional clothes of another country, walk through Dundas Square, an Asian man is looking at them with a strange look on his face

a group having their picture taken at Yonge Dundas Square, one Asian man and four women. Three women are in costume as they are about to perform on the stage in that square, Canada Day celebrations

two black women walk past a man sitting in a chair with a large red and white Canadian flag umbrella. he is giving away free quran books on the sidewalk by Yonge street, traffic passing by on the street behind them

a woman weth pinkish hair carried a half watermelon with a straw and a little green paper umbrella in it, she is the middle of three people standing in Yonge Dundas square

a young woman in a red and white Canada t shirt holds a small white dog with a red leash and red outfit

a small dog with a red scarf around its neck stands on a man's shoulders as he talks to another person

four people walk past a man sitting on a stool, all dressed in red and white with flags and Canadiana

a crowd of people at a TTC stop on Queens Quay

cyclists and pedestrians on Queens Quay

people in a yellow plastic paddle boat on a man made pond near the waterfront, a fountain is spraying them, they are paddling past a group of people on sitting on the edge of the pond

the CN Tower peaks out between two tall buildings, in front are Canadian flags and flags from all the provinces

a lot of masts from sailboats standing upright, a man walks on one of the boats as he gets it ready to go back in the water after the winter

Getting ready for spring. RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) is nearby.

There are a few changes happening down at the Port Lands.

a man in orange stands beside his bike on the side of a road, sity in the background

below: Aerial view of the present configuration of the Keating Channel, Don River, and part of the port lands beside a drawing of the planned changes.  Rerouting the Don River will create an island, Villiers Island.

two maps side by side, one is an aerial photo of the port lands and the other is a drawing of the new route of the Don River through the port lands and the planned changes to the area.

In the 1880s, the lower part of the Don south of the former Winchester St. bridge (just north of Gerrard St) was straightened and the mouth of the river was placed in a channel to create additional harbour space and industrial dock space for boats in what is known as the Port Lands.   This project was called the Don Improvement Project. The Don River now empties into the inner harbour through the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd passes over the very south end of the river and because of its height (very low), boats can not enter the Don River.   Boats may still enter the Keating Channel by going underneath a lift bridge at Cherry St.   The straightening of the Lower Don also allowed for construction of the railway line parallel to it.

 

below: The cars are parked on vacant land between Lakeshore Blvd and Lake Ontario/Keating Channel. Mounds of gravel have been dumped off the end of Essroc Quay and beside Keating Channel. You might also have noticed the nine green bins that have been laid across the water (very left side of the photo). They too are full of gravel. These are part of the beginning of the renovations of the port lands. The Keating Channel will remain, but the area south of it is slated to be changed. In the middle is the GFL (garbage collection) transfer station. The low reddish brown building was a recycling facility. It was the site of a fire a few months back and most of the south end sustained substantial damage.

view from higher, over Keating channel, Essroc quay and towards Centre Island, Port lands in Toronto, mounds of gravel in the water, parked cars, boats in the water, light industrical development, trees,

Access to the western portion of the port lands is via the Cherry Street bridge.

bridge with traffic lights in the background.

below:  Here it is being lifted to allow a boat to pass through the Keating Channel.   This bridge was built in 1968 and is at least the fourth bridge at this location.

lift bridge is up so a boat can pass under

below: In 1900 a wood swing bridge was built with just a single railway track that was operated by the Grand Trunk Railway.  There are still remnants of the tracks that serviced the industries located in the area.

vintage photo, black and white, 1910 of wood swing bridge in open position, some boats around, Keating Channel, Cherry Street, Toronto,

below: Two steel drawbridges were subsequently built here, one in 1912 and one in 1932. This is a circa 1915 photo of the lift bridge at Cherry Street.

photo from the Toronto Archives of the liftbridge at Cherry Street, open position, black and white photo taken about 1915, found on Wikipedia.

source: Originally from the Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 1482 but found on Wikipedia

The plans for the redevelopment of this area show that the south end of Cherry Street will be moved to west of its present location – the jog in Cherry where it joins the Lakeshore for a short distance will be eliminated.

below: This is a close up shot of Essroc Quay at approximately the new location of the new Cherry Street bridge.  The Keating Channel is in the foreground.  This quay, and the water channel behind it, will be turned into wetlands and parkland.  Essroc is a landfilled pier and is publicly owned as is Cousins Quay (the one behind it with the GFL transfer station).

 a mobile crane on tractor wheels, green body, is helping dig a hole in the ground on a flat piece of land that has water on two sides. lots of orange and black construction cones around the piece of land

below: A new fence too.

behind a chain link fence, a line of green dumpster bins, laid end to end, stretch across a channel in Lake Ontario,

below: Looking across Essroc Quay to the Toronto skyline

view of Toronto skyline and CN Tower from the Port Lands, with construction for the new Cherry street realignment, and flood plain protection plan in the foreground.

There are many reasons for rerouting the Don River.   The Port Lands are no longer used by many industries, land use has changed.  As the city grows and changes, this area has become prime real estate but it is also a flood plain.  Before any development can occur, flood control measures need to be taken.    The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project will stabilize the local shoreline, protect land from flooding, and create a new landmass to begin the re-naturalization of the Don River’s mouth.   The river would be re-routed through the middle of the Lower Don Lands between the Keating Channel and the Ship Channel. The area being filled will become part of ‘Promontory Park’, a new major green space across the harbour from Toronto’s skyline.

The project will also allow for a realignment of Cherry Street so that it no longer merges with Lakeshore for a short distance.  At the moment, the Cherry street and Lakeshore Blvd intersection is problematic, especially for pedestrians. Once upon a time there wasn’t much reason for people to walk there I guess. Now, if you are on the wrong side (the west side) of Cherry street, you get stranded at Lakeshore.

two people standing on a sidewalk as they try to figure out how to cross the street, two large billboards behind them, train tracks (elevated) behind that.

The Keating Channel isn’t exactly beautiful.  Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner Expressway run along the north shore of the channel.  There has been discussion & debate about the fate of these roads but so far nothing has changed.  Will they demolish this section of the elevated Gardiner?  Or won’t they? (Probably not).

raised expressway road on concrete pillars, runs above another road and beside a channel of water, CH tower and downtown Toronto in the distance

below: The very south end of the Don River at the moment.   Not much to get excited about is it?  It looks like there is work being done under the bridge?  (something’s happening there but I don’t know what).   Hopefully it will look better in a few years.

bridge over the Don River, grey, flotsam in the river,

The Ship Channel is south of the proposed changes described above.

ships docked

below: Piles of salt on the south side of Ship Channel. These arrive by ship.  The old Hearn Generating Station is in the background.

piles of salt on a dock, power generating station in the background.

small boats lined up along a dock, tugboat,

And south of it all, Cherry Beach.

woman sitting on a bench under large trees by a beach, two dogs running towards the beach, some people standing by Lake Ontario

two sikh men in turbans stand on beach, early spring, wearing jackets and long pants.

More info on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project

Ice Breakers returned to the Toronto waterfront once again last month.   In mid-January five interactive art installations were built along Queens Quay West between the Harbourfront Centre in the east and the Music Garden in the west.

 

below:  Appropriate for a space called the Music Garden, is a large structure supporting many wind chimes.   This is “Ensemble” by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joana Correia Silva of Portugal.

the back side of two red muskoka chairs in a snow covered park with a large art installation of wind chimes in the background

a man is touching and pushing a series of wind chimes that are part of an art installation at Toronto Music Garden as he walks by it. Snow covered ground, red muskoka chairs, park, large tree,

There are two installations in H2O Park.

below: On the west side of the park is “Winter Fanfare” by Thena Tak of Vancouver.  It is made from painted layers of wood.   After I had walked past this installation I happened to look back to see a group of boys using these wood forms as protection as they had a snow ball fight.

6 or 7 large wooden forms in convex and concave shapes in a snow covered park with highrises in the background. An art installation that is part of Ice Breakers 2018 on Toronto waterfront.

below: Also in H2O park is “Through the Eyes of the Bear”.  This giant bear, or rather parts of a bear, is the creation of Tanya Goertzen of Calgary.

a large red head, and four red paws of a bear arranged to look like its on its back and that the bear is partially covered by the snow covered ground.

below: The large head of the bear is open at the back.   With a little crouching you can go inside and look out through the bear’s eyes.  It’s got a great view of the CN Tower!

the CN tower with bright blue sky, as seen through the hole in a sculpture, the eye of a large red bear.

below: Close to the Simcoe Wave Deck (at the bottom of Simcoe Street) is a structure called “Black Bamboo” that you can walk through.   It was designed by Bennet Marburger and Ji Zhang of China.

a tunnel like structure made of black bamboo poles loosely intertwined and joined together on the sidewalk beside Queens Quay, snow on the ground, condos in the background.

below: Last is “Root Cabin”, a small hut constructed from large tree roots.  The day that I walked past these Ice Breakers was early on when they weren’t quite complete.  The roots were being arranged, like a puzzle being put together.   The pink frame was being used as a guide and the plan was to remove it once the roots were in place.   This installation was designed by Liz Wreford and Peter Sampson from Winnipeg.

pink wood forms a frame in the shaipe of a small cabin with a pointed roof, it is being covered with large tree roots.

For more information, Ice Breakers

These installations remain until the 25th of February.