Posts Tagged ‘weeds’

Another story of changes underway;
more documentation of buildings about to disappear.

trees and overgrown yard, two large signs advertising townhouse developments to come

On a leafy stretch of Bayview Avenue, there are some buildings that now sit empty.  The weeds have taken over the yards, as have large signs advertising the townhouse development that will be built there.   Actually the signs are only on one yard, this one:

below:  There are curtains in the window but some shingles are missing and the frontyard is overgrown with weeds – 2716 Bayview Avenue, sitting empty.   If you drive past it on Bayview you’d probably miss it because of the large trees between the house and the street.

small brick house with attached garage, overgrown front yard, tiger lilies growing by the front, piles of mulch on driveway, some ivy on front of house, some shingles missing from the roof

below: Nature takes over very quickly if you let it.  The lilies haven’t lost to the thistles yet though.

thistles, orange tiger lilies, and ivy, growing in a garden at the front of a house

below: The backyard was very overgrown too. The side door was open but I didn’t go in.  The basement appears to be in good shape.

an open basement door on the side of a house, overgrown yard, pile of debris in the foreground

If you go to their website, only 7 townhouses are shown in the drawings while the properties on either side of it (4 in total) are included in the plans as “future development”.   If you look at the original application on the City of Toronto website, the whole plan called for 20 townhouses facing Bayview Ave and a single family dwelling facing the street behind.  Each townhouse is 4 storeys (including basement level which is half garage and driveway) and 18’9″ wide.  The above ground levels are 47′ deep.   The site drawings and architectural plans were from June 2017.   I am not sure why the discrepancy.  It’s not uncommon for changes to occur between the planning stage and the final product…   So take the measurements that I just gave you with a grain of salt.

below:  One house to the south, 2710 Bayview.  A newer style house than its neighbour with part of its front yard hidden behind a glass block wall.   It too is set back a large distance from the street.  Once upon a time, someone put some love and care into this house.   I hoped that it was well used in its time.

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

modern style house with glass brick wall in front, around a front porch, large spruce tree, overgrown driveway,

double red doors, front entrance way to an empty modern design house

below:  Moving north, this is 2720 Bayview.  There is evidence that large trees have already been cut down.  At the moment all the evidence is well hidden from passers-by.   A year ago, farther south on Bayview a developer cut down 30+ large trees without permits from the city because they were building townhouses on the site  The outcry was big but the penalty is small.

white stucco bungalow with the remains of a chopped up tree in front

below: But….  if you have permission to build townhouses, there is no way the trees can stay.  Any plan that involves creating 20 new townhouses in less space than four single houses doesn’t leave room for large trees.  Those will be a thing of the past on this stretch of Bayview.  The one below was so big that I couldn’t reach around the trunk of the tree.

a large mature broadleaf tree in summer, green

below: The fourth building, 2722 Bayview, was originally built as a residence, but it has been a medical clinic for decades.  If you peer in the window, there are still posters on the wall (Is It Flu?) and even reading material on the table ([something] Task Force).  There is a sign on the front door that says that 2 June 2017 was the last day the clinic was open.

interior of medical clinic, no longer used, looking in the window, chair, posters on wall,

weeds coing up through the cracks in the pavement of a parking lot in front of an unused medical clinic, front entrance of the clinic, full length windows

Lastly, I took a picture of this house too as it is beside the ones above.   The “Notice” sign on the fence was a bit of a surprise considering how new the house was.  My original assumption was that the house was going to be demolished.  In fact, the planning application says that the house will be moved to the back of the property and three townhouses will be built in front.  One driveway down the north side of the property will access both the new townhouses and the moved house.

Apparently the application was submitted in December 2016 –  However, I noticed that the original application called for three 3 storey townhouses (and is on the City of Toronto website as such).  The sign says three 4 storey townhouses and a three storey single family dwelling.  The house in the photo is only 2 storeys.

a city of Toronto blue and white notice of development sign is on a black wrought iron fence in front of a large stone faced two storey house with a large front yard, grass and shrubs

What I’ve also learned while researching these properties, is that there is an official document called, “Bayview Townhouse Design Guidelines” that covers Bayview Avenue from the 401 south to Lawrence Avenue East.  It was adopted by City Council late in 2015.   In fact, large portions of the city have design guidelines and you can find them online.

I was curious to find out how many ongoing development proposals/applications there are in the city.  There is an interactive searchable map online that I used.  When I searched on ward 25 (where the above sites are), it showed 52 locations.  When I tried searching on the whole city, there were too many results.  If you’re interested in development, you can play with the website too!

thistles, close up of flower part of thistle, one purple flower

weeds growing out of cracks in the pavement of a parking lot, handicapped parking sign still there.

a man walks away from the camera as he walks down an alley that has graffit and street art on the garages and buildings

Sometimes graffiti and street art have a short life span.  Many taggers don’t care about what they are tagging over.  Street art can also be “interactive” in that stickers and paste ups can get “added” to a piece.   Anyone with a marker can have their say.  On the bright side, new murals get painted and new paste -ups appear.  And that is why I go back to the my favorite alleys every once in a while.  This morning I walked the Milky Way again.

two stickers on a pole in an alley. one is a pink and purple striped tail of an animal disappearing down a hole. the other is a white face with angry expression and cigarette in mouth

below: The Parkdale mural by Race Williams is still looking good.

mural in magenta and turquoise that says greetings from parkdale, large magenta streetcar in the mural by Race Williams

below: The naked women are a bit more modestly dressed than they once were .

street art mural of three naked women. Someone has painted white over the private parts

The most noticeable change is the fact that many pieces are now at least partially covered by greenery – small shrubs and tall weeds have proliferated and are looking quite healthy.

below: This lion is looking more and more like the king of the jungle even as the words faded and peel.

tall weeds and small shrubs grow in front of a painting of a lion (from the Lion King) painted on an unused doorway in an alley

below: The small aliens at the top of the building are now in the shade of a fast growing tree.

small aliens painted along the top of a building are now partially covered by the branches and leaves of a small tree

below: And the larger aliens on the fence really need a hair cut now.

space alien mural painted on a corrugated metal fence are now partially covered with vines from the top and weeds from the bottom.

below: A large pink peony (at least that’s what it looks like)

street art painting of a large pink peony

below: The fence around the garden.

wooden fence around a backyard that has been painted with garden scenes, cabbages, flowers, sun, and a donkey

a line of black and green rubbish garbage bins along a wall that has street art on it, picture of a boy with a spray paint can in his hand along with some text , stairs leading up to the upper level of the building as well

text graffiti on two buildings in an alley

Previous Milky Way posts
Back to the Milky Way – Sept 2015
Walking the Milky Way – Oct 2014

metal gate that has rusted. large numeral 47 on it as well as some graffiti scrawls

But not a running, or even a jogging, track!  No, yesterday’s walk was an oval-ish loop at walking pace from Dundas West station, up one side of the railway tracks and back down the other.

below: Just past the subway station I saw the mural on “The Friendly Trini’s” which is now closed.  If the mural is telling the truth, they once served butter chicken, curried goat roti, jerk chicken with rice and peas, as well as drinks in coconuts and pineapples.  Feeling hungry already, and I’ve only just begun my walk.

a mural on the side of the Friendly Trinis restaurant that is now closed. Two women are walking on the sidewalk by the restaurant, a sign for Jennys bar and restaurant is in the background. The mural has drinks in coconuts and pineapples as well as a list of some of the food they served

below: Also on Dundas West, the King’z Convenience and Dollar Store which sells Filipino products and delicacies is adjacent to the Slovenija meat & delicatessen.  Multicultural.  I regret not taking pictures of the window of the Slovenian store – juice and beer brands that were unfamiliar to me.

two storefronts on a street, one is a slovenian grocery store and the other is a convenience store

below: Detail, boy riding an old fashioned bike on a little hook above a door.

a decorative ornament hanging high on a brick wall, a hook that extends from the wall about 8 to 10 inches, on top is a flat rendition of a boy on an old fashioned bicycle

below: And someone has decorated their balcony.

a balcony railing has been decorated with different colours of fabric that has woven between the rails

below: Just before I reached the bridge over the railway tracks I saw these words on a wall.

graffiti on a wall, in white paint on grey wall, the words "I have a dream'

below:  The dream theme continues on the metal steps up to the bridge.  This one was small and I almost missed it.  I’m not sure if it was painted black to blend into the background, or if the painting was an attempt to “clean up” the graffiti when prying off the letters proved to be too difficult (the D is broken so maybe someone tried).  Insert words about killing other people’s dreams here.

a raised word, 'dream' in cursive that has been stuck on the side of a set of stairs and then painted black to match the steps

below: From the top of the steps looking south.  The minimalist new Bloor GO and UP (Union Pearson) station is finished, top left of the photo.  Don’t you think we should call it ‘Get UP and GO’?  The street is Dundas West and yes, that mural is new.

view from a bridge, a street, and a railway and some buildings in between. There is a mural at the bottom of the steps.

below: Helping to hold up the bridge, west side of the tracks.  He’s carrying the weight of the world, or maybe just the bridge, on his shoulders.

mural on the concrete base supporting metal struts bridge supports.

After crossing the bridge, I walked north along the West Toronto Railpath. The fencing along the path has all been upgraded.  There used to be some spots where you could get through the fence (non-railway side) but those are gone.  Between the tracks and the path there is a new clear (glass? plastic?) fence.  Of course it has already been ‘vandalized’ or ‘tagged’ – choose your verb.  Because I was there on a sunny afternoon, the sun was shining through the ‘artwork’ and making interesting designs.  A few thistles and other weeds added some compositional elements.

glass that has been spray painted yellow and orange, with some black that has run, weeds are growing in front of it, the sun is shining from behind it

a bright red heart has been sprayed painted onto a glass wall, weeds growing front, train tracks behind, the sun shining through the glass.

There were quite a few hearts on my route, especially around the Dupont exit of the Railpath.

below: Many hearts on the fence.

two street art pieces painted on a glass wall. the first is a red and black heart with a white banner across it on which the word love is written. the other is 8 little red hearts on white stems growing from the ground below.

below: A heart for Hex and Nish wherever, and whomever, they may be.

a bright red heart painted on a man made boulder, words hex and nish written on it

below: Three heart balloons on the Dupont sign.  You can get a good view of the fence here.

glass fence beside railway tracks, path, trees, also a metal sign on which three red hearts on white stems have been painted.

below: Part of the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside Planet Storage, an large old brick building.  There used to be a lot of street art along the side of the building but it’s all been painted over.   A few tattle tale remnants remain.

wall, part of an older brick building that has been painted a rust colour, with windows, some of which have metal grilles over them. Remnants of old graffiti on the metal grilles.

below: My favorite, little details like the bright yellow giraffe looking at the clouds.

looking into a window, toy yellow giraffe on the window sill as well as two toy trolls, one with yellow hair and the other with orange. Reflections of clouds in the window

below: There is one mural on the Railpath, the back of Osler’s Fish Market is covered with a fish and fishing themed mural.

back of Osler Fish Market covered with a fish and fishing mural

below: Fish heads in the weeds.  Queen Anne’s lace, that plant with the white flowers, was growing in abundance along the path.  You might know it by its other name, Wild Carrot.

detail of a mural, fish heads, on a wall with Queens Annes lace and other weeds growing in front.

mural with fisherman bringing in a load of fish to the shore, boat in the background, more fish in the foreground.

mural, man sitting, mending fishing nets, woman on the shore carrying a bundle towards some fishing boats.

below: A splash of red on a street just off the railpath.

the top part of an old Victorian brick 2 storey house, painted red with white trim

below: The sign on the table says: “Hi! La Witch Cat here.  Enjoy the space, but PLEASE do not litter.  I provided a garbage can. Use it!  This includes cigarette butts.  Put in trash once extinguished.  Thanks!  XXO”.  Marvellous!  I sooo agree with the part about cigarette butts.  Why do people who don’t litter still consider it okay to throw cigarette butts wherever they please?  I smiled but I didn’t stop to rest.

In a veryshady spot, against a metal fence, two old chairs with a white table between them, a sign on the table and a small garbage can to the left.

below: At one point I found myself at this intersection.  What is a pedestrian to do? It’s possible I walked where I shouldn’t have, or at least where foot traffic is rare.  All the roads in the photo are Dundas West; it’s where the street splits as it approaches Dupont and Annette.  There was a small park behind me, called Traffic Island park.  The name sums it up I think.

wide intersection where two roads meet in a V shape. not much else in the picture, only the nose of one car, no other traffic. hydro poles and wires in the picture

two old Toronto street signs, slightly rusted, on a hydro pole, one for Dundas St. WEst and one for Dupont street

below: A lament for the streetscape.  One more line in an elegy to public spaces.  The result of a half hearted attempt.  Massive hydro poles on the narrow sidewalk.  A large ad. A green space that needs attention.  If you look carefully, you can see  a plaque on a small stand.

sidewalk right beside a road, with hydro poles on the sidewalk, a small stretch of green space (about a metre) befoew a large fence that is concrete on the bottom and glass on the top. A couple of small trees that are dying are in the green space.

below: This is the plaque.  According to the words, this strip of land was replanted in 2001-2003 with a number of native species with the plan that they would spread and “create an oasis in the middle of the city”.   It mentions three plants – Nannyberry tree, Staghorn sumac, and Bottlebrush grass.   Disconnect alert.

plaque describing the railside garden with words about its history and some picture of the plants that grow there

below: On my way back to the subway station I spotted this 24 hour lovebot.

a lovebot sticker on a TTC bus stop pole, between the sign that says 24 hours and the symbol of a bus, older industrial building behind it.

…. that was where I walked yesterday but before I leave, a few small details.  Ciao!

graffiti on a grey metal door of a girl's head with lots of pink hair. A pink heart beneath her with the word love under that

red background, silhouette of sumac leaves

blue background, graffiti drawing of man's head, wearing large crown, sad eyes, heart in word bubble

a plate in a window that says Good Morning Sunshine, also two small ceramic figures of cats, and one ceramic dog

A week or so ago I explored a lot of little alleys and lanes in Seaton village.  Once upon a time it was a village, named for John Colborne, 1st Baron Seaton, who was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836.  The land here was originally settled and farmed by loyalists Colonel David Shank and Captain Samuel Smith.   Eventually, George Crookshank acquired the property and he laid out the plans for a village here in the 1850’s; it wasn’t developed until around 1888 when the area was annexed by the City of Toronto.

Today it is the rectangular section of Toronto north of Bloor street to the CNR train tracks by Dupont and between Bathurst and Christie streets.  It is part of The Annex.

When I started to write this blog post my plan was to focus on how all lanes are the same yet different.  Their characteristics usually reflect the neighbourhood around them and the way the lanes are used.  Every lane has a personality.

below: Vermouth Lane, one of the greenest lanes I’ve seen in Toronto.  Why?  Probably because there are no garages in the lane, except for the two that were beside me when I took this picture.  The backyards that are on this lane are not big.  There are one or two houses that have made room in their backyard for a car, but that takes up most of the space.  The lane itself is also rather narrow.

a lane with old wood fences and a lot of green, trees, weeds, ivy on the fences, shrubs beside the lane. narrow lane

below: In contrast,  Col David Shank Lane (there’s that name again!) ends at a wide alley behind the stores and services on Dupont.  It’s a working alley.

wide lane behind Dupont Street in Toronto, an old car is parked there, back of an auto repair shop, sturdy looking two storey brick buildings.

But that’s only stating the obvious, isn’t it?

On a brown metal door, a white line drawing of a grinning face with many teeth and semi circular eyes

Like the city around them, lanes are a mix of old and new, interesting and bland, plus well kept and neglected.

from a lane, two garages, a wood fence painted faded green between the garages, the tops of the houses can be seen behind.

They are the less public side of city life.

backyard, and back of an old building that has been boarded up. The ashphalt shingles on the back of the building are torn , there is a graffiti face painted on one wall

below: As I looked for things that make alleys different, I kept finding little details like the old blue plant pot with its contrasting orange wall.

A planter in blues and blacks with a partially dead and drooping plant sits beside an old wall that has been painted bright orange. The wall behind the plant is brown.

below: The textures and bright colours in the design made by aging paint on a garage door caught my eye.

part of red garage with paint starting to peel where blue lines have been sprayed on.

below: A vegetable garden dominates the backyard.

the back of a house and its backyard which has been planted with a vegetable garden.

below: A simple plant in a window in Tandy Murch Lane.  Walter Tandy Murch (1907-1967) was a painter who was born and raised in the area.  His mother, Louise Murch (nee Tandy), was a popular singing teacher

white door on white wall. Someone has drawn a window on the door with a plant in the window. Bottom of wall is red, three black horizontal stripes on the wall, one vertical blue pipe on the left side

below: Through a hole in the wood, a glimpse of what lies beyond.

an old wood fence, unpainted, rusty nails, with a hole in it. Looking through the hole is part of a window but it's out of focus

below:  Abandoned plumbing fixtures lead to all kinds of jokes – outdoor plumbing

a white toilet, with a lid, sitting beside a yellow painted brick wall with weeds growing up beside the toilet, in a lane

below: A once proud tree

a big dead tree with the tops of the branches cut off, in a backyard, view from the lane behind, including the three storey building on the property

below: A garage door that stands alone and not in a row with others.

an old garage at the end of a backyard of a small white house, lane view, chainlink fence, well kept lawn, no trespassing signs, signs saying pick up after your pet, five signs in all,

below: Possibly a Rorschach test?  A brown face is what I see.  Do you?

a brown stencil of a man's face on a wood fence but the paint was a bit heavily applied and there are some paint blobs

below: And another test – can you find the paintbrush?
Not sure how it got there!  Or how it’s staying there!

a used paintbrush is lying under the eaves of an old shed that is a mottled pale green and pale blue, branches of a tree and its leaves partially block the paint brush from view

below: This could become a game.  An “I Spy” kind of game.  I spy a face.

part of an old blue garage beside part of an old reddish and green garage, the shape of the faded paint on the blue, looks like a ghostly face

below: Or perhaps we could play peek-a-boo?

looking through the gap between two garages in a lane, into a backyard with a chair on the lawn, and a ladder and steps that look like a ladder up to a door at the second storey level

And this is where I am going to leave you…. until another day when I walk more lanes and find more little details, more differences, to make me smile.  And then we’ll play again!

The End

close up of a wood pole beside a white garage. Written in capital letters, black ink, is the word Amen

Fairbank station is not really a station, at least not any more; it’s the access point to the York Beltline trail at Fairbank Street.   The York Beltline trail is the western portion of the beltline trail.  It is a few blocks north of Eglinton Avenue and it runs from Times Road (west of Marlee Ave) westward to the railway tracks that run parallel to Caledonia Road.   Up until the 1990s this was a spur rail line used to service industries in the area.  There are still some small industrial buildings close to the Beltline, including some at Fairbank Street which is where I found these:

below:  Three anser faces on the far wall and a whoisrandom James Dean up close with sunglasses.

the sides of a couple of buildings covered with street art including the head and shoulders of James Dean wearing sunglasses with a beachscene, a green animal head and three anser faces.

below: Green fur and sharp teeth, a creature by blackburn

On the side of a building, a large street art painting of the head of a green animal. Open mouth, big fangs. Small ears and eyes. Bear? or maybe large bobcat?

below: by braes, or braesoner

A street art by braes of a boy in a red and white baseball hat and red shirt. The bat signal is beamed onto the wall beside him, black bat symbol in a yellow oval. The boy has a backpack full of tools.

below: by mska (left side) and paula prezende (right side)

two women painted on a purple dumpster. The one on the left is by mska and the woman has a skull mask on. The other is by paula prezende and is a woman with long red hair but with a big hole in her chest.

below: by deadboy (note raccoon on mud flap)

on the back of a truck, two white skulls with wide open mouths in profile, a raccoon and all signed by deadboy.

below: by poser and ABM Crew

Poser bunny in blue on pink and black background, painted on the back of an old truck container. Weeds growing in front and a tree to the left.

below: by Nick Sweetman

What looks to be a multicoloured underside of a very large beetle or similar creature with tiny legs, segmented body and numerous antenae. Painted by Nick Sweetman.

very bright coloured geometric street art on a garage door

graffiti on the side of an old truck container on wheels that is parked where the weeds are growing up around it. There is a large rose painted in grey tones as well as a black and white piece by The Crew
A crocdile swimming in the water with a little orange birdie sitting on his head - a street art painting on the side of concrete block wall. The croc is swimming in the water, with his mouth open wide and showing his teeth

below: By brunosmoky

a street art painting of a makeshift boat with stove pipe smoke stack, painted to look like boat is made of boards haphazardly nailed together. On the the side of a building, but with weeds growing up in front of it.

 

a row of stickers all with faces on them on a vertical pole beside a garage door that has also been painted in many bright colours.

a stenciled sign that says Citied Feed Zombies

Nassau Street that is, just south of College and just west of Spadina.  There is an alley that runs north from Nassau directly behind Spadina.  A dead end lane runs perpendicular to it, behind the houses on Nassau Street.  Like most alleys in Toronto, there is street art there.  Some old, some new, and unfortunately some scribbled over.  All in all, this lane is looking a little worn.

Buildings in an alley with lots of graffiti on them.

a wall with a painting of a woman's head on the left (in grey tones), a door with metal bar gate in the middle, and part of a tag like graffiti piece on the right.

large geometric street art piece on a brick wall in an alley

Black and white street art painting on a reddish brick wall, signed Jaroe

Two large poser bunnies on a wall in an alley

buildings in an alley with lots of street art on them

A lovebot and a pair of anser eyes on a wall in an alley. Lots of empty cardboard boxes on the ground by the wall.

A wall with a small window with a metal grille over it, covered in street art, with weeds and goldenrod growing up in front of it

view down an alley late in summer when there are leaves on the trees and lots of weeds growing at the edges of the pavement

An old wood door on an alley building has been painted with a large yellowish green face with big pink lips and brown teeth

graffiti on a garage door

Two black lovebot robot stickers on a yellow protective sleeve around a cable that is helping to hold up a pole.

In an alley, the back of a house is being renovated, all the windows are boarded up and some of the exterior brick has been removed. There is a metal gate across the back of the property. The garage to the left is covered with graffiti.

Newer garage in an alley with a crooked metal wire gate beside it. The garage has graffiti on the side wall and on both of its garage doors.

looking towards the end of an alley that has a large wheatpaste 3D lovebot high up on it. Beside lovebot is another wheatpaste

Wheatpaste high up on a wall, a large face like thing. The words 'dying inside' are part of the picture

below: Only the eye remains from a previous painting

Just an eye from a previous street art painting hasn't been covered by a white tag

below:  Two photos from the south side of Nassau street

Two women pushing a stroller walk past some street art on Nassau St. in Toronto, a large orange piece ta

The front and side of a garage are covered with street art. The front is not very very visible in this picture but the side is. A man from the waist up with his finger pointing upwards is beside a picture of city buidings and a poser bunny.

The other day I walked a number of lanes and alleys, Max Hartstone Lane, Ken Lai Lane,   and Oscar Ryan Lane, to name a few.

I’m not sure if it was the greyness of the day or the preponderance of ugly tags but I was feeling rather uninspired as I walked.  An interesting green wall caught my eye so I started searching more out green things.  This is the result of that search.
Close up of a green wall and door, showing the hinge which is also painted green

streaks of greenish discoloration as well as rust on the side of a corrugated metal wall

An old boarded up window on a wood wall, all painted green

A greenish coloured figure of a girl with the word Cloth written beside her

A green garage in need of paint.  A window frame is sitting on the ground beneath the window.  Dead leaves on the ground.

A brick wall painted in two shades of shiney green paint.  There is a large crack running diagonally across the wall.