Posts Tagged ‘waterfront’

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.

Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

The water levels in Lake Ontario are higher than normal this spring – some beaches are under water and a large percent of the Toronto Islands are flooded.  In front of the Power Plant Art Gallery the water level is even with with the concrete walkway… but not high enough to deter people from enjoying the waterfront this past weekend.

a young couple sits by the waterfront, on a stone bench. He has his arm around her. There is yellow caution tape behind them because the water level in Lake Ontario is high.

It seems appropriate that the artwork on the exterior wall (facing the lake) of the Power Plant features an image of water – white crested waves on a large lake.  The piece is “Bound, Hupfield 2017” by Maria Hupfield; it is 19 feet high and 31 feet wide.   The central image is a seascape painted by the artist’s mother, Peggy Miller, many years ago.  It is being wrapped (unwrapped?) with grey felt-like material.
Is it a treasured artwork that is being readied for storage?
Is it a painful memory that is being covered up to be forgotten?
Is it a family heirloom that is being brought out for someone to admire?

a large art installation on the south exterior wall of the Power Plant contemporary art gallery, with a small tree in front of it.

a girl sits on the rail between the walkway on the waterfront and the water while she reaches a hand out towards a duck. Her mother and younger sister watch.

a mother crouches down beside a young child who is wearing a helmet and is on a scooter, the mother is waving at the Kajama as it docks, the Kajama is a boat with sails that gives tourists rides on Lake Ontario

If you are interested in more information about Maria Hupfield, check the CONTACT website.

“Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail a trace of a human gesture, and trigger reactions and memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. In her artistic practice, Maria Hupfield reveals the interrelational potential triggered by objects between humans or cultural environments.”

The finishing touches are being put on five installations for the new Ice Breakers event along Queens Quay West and the waterfront.  Everything will be up and running this weekend and the installations will remain until the event ends on the 26th of February.    Ice Breakers is the result of a collaboration between the Waterfront BIA and Winter Stations (the people that brought the winter warming stations installations to the Beaches)

below: The first installation that I saw was ‘Incognito’ which stands out in Rees Street Parkette on Queens Quay.   It is by Curio Art Consultancy and Jaspal Riyait.

a public art installation in a park, winter time but no snow, no leaves on the trees, muddy brown grass, condo in the background. Artwork is a series of shapes stacked in a pile, all shapes are painted in black and white wide stripes. The stripes are horizontal, vertical and diagonal in the resulting structure, called incognito, by Jaspal Riyait and Curio

below: Set your sails and round you go!  Sailboats that go in circles.  ‘Leeward Fleet’ by RAW design sailing at Canada Square.

with the lake in the background, art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round.

art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round. CN Tower in the background as well as some of the downtown condos.

below: ‘Icebox ‘ is a black box on HTO beach which is where the yellow umbrellas are.  Alan and Alex of Anex Works were putting the finishing touches on it when I walked by.   Polymetis designed it, but Anex Works built it.  In fact, they are the ones responsible for construction of most of these installations.   I didn’t take any photos inside the box in part because it’s not complete… but the inside walls are made from hardened spray foam insulation and that’s all I’m going to tell you.  This one will be more fun if it’s a surprise.   I definitely plan to go back later in the month to check out the finished product.   And yes, it is reminiscent of the black box that was one of the Warming Stations in 2015, Hot Box, because it was the same artist (or group of artists).

black box on a beach with muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas,

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach

below: From across the street it looks like two hands gesturing like “It was this big!”
Or perhaps they are holding that grey building up?

looking across Queens Quay west to the buildings and condos in downtown, the edge of the Skydome (Rogers Center) is just visible, two large hands rise upwards as part of an art installation.

below:  The hands are made of wood.  The palms are covered in a shiny gold coloured material that will reflect the light that shines from the bottom of each hand.   “Tailored Twins” by Ferris + Associates.

two large wooden hands face each other, beside the sidewalk, condos behind, the plams are covered with shiny gold,

below: And last, an installation that probably looks much better in the dark when each diamond shaped module is lit from inside.   This is ‘Winter Diamonds’ and it was designed by Platant, a Danish design and artistic consultancy.  Their website is in Danish but it does have some interesting pictures on it, including an installation similar to this that was in Copenhagen last winter (I think!)

public art installation in a park along Lake Ontario, diamond shapes stacked in a pile, 10 pieces altogether, 5 on the bottom, 4 on the next row and one on top, grey in colour, bare trees and boats covered for the winter are in the background.

#TOicebreakers | #TOwaterfront

Note: Winter Stations returns to Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches on the 20th of February.

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach