Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Sort of like window shopping but different….

three grey femail mannequins dressed in pale blue in a store window

below:  Peering through the window at the remains of Yuk Wing cleaners on Gerrard St. East

interior of now closed dry cleaners, looking through the front window of Yuk Wing cleaners, pale green counter, old signs, still remain

below: Sometimes you can’t look in the window – something is in the way!  It wasn’t until I was looking at the picture on my computer that I noticed that the newspaper is in a language that I don’t understand.   I typed the headline to the left of the heart into google translate, “Niemiecka chemia zapanuje nad swiatem” and it told me that the words were Polish and translate to “German chemistry will dominate the world”.  The article is about the purchase of Monsanto by Bayer.

a small red heart is painted on the window of a store that is now empty and newspaper covers the inside of the window.

below: A portion of the black cowboy silhouette remains in the now empty Tortilla Flats restaurant.

looking in the window of an empty restaurant, green and black walls, red bench, bike, top part of a silhouette of a cowboy on the wall

below:  The effects of morning light shining into the Thai Luna restaurant.

looking into the window of the Thai Luna restaurant, sun behind, shadow of the words of the window show up on the maroon coloured bench, black tables

below: More morning sunlight, this time it leaves traces of fried chicken.

looking into the window of a fried chicken restaurant, chair upside down on table, words on the window show up on the floor because of the sunlight coming in the window

below: Strutting in the window with miniature camels

looking in the window and doorway of a womens clothing store in the Eaton Centre, mannequins in the window, saleswoman in the door,

below: Laundry day, with 24 hour surveillance

looking in a laundromat window, people, washing machines,

below: The chicken, and its head, really was that colour.

looking in a restaurant window, meat hanging in a windiw including a rather yellow chicken, some ribs,

below: What little remains.

looking through a window into a large open space, some construction equipment is against the far wall, large door open across the room

in the window of a store, dirty window, brother sewing machine, with small barbie doll standing against it and leaning against a large spool of pink thread

 

below: The sign over Kensington but I guess that’s obvious.

metal sign above the buildings, says Kensington in capital letters

Kensington pics from a warmer Saturday morning earlier in September.

 

below: Liz says eat more cheese

old framed black and white photo of Queen Elizabeth, on top it someone has given her a word bubble that says eat more queso (Spanish for cheese), in the window of a cheese store

below: A smoke and a phone.  Swiping right or left?

a woman in a white blouse sits on a bench ooutside a restaurant, on a wood bench, smoking a cigarette

below: A homemade sign

a hand made stop sign, red octagon, with the word stop in large white letters and racism written in black letters underneath

below: Well dressed Swiss Misses

3 half mannequins dressed in tops, standing in two old containers that say swiss miss puddings

below: Walls and skin

a young woman with blue hair and many tattoos is looking at her phone as she sits on a kerb

below: Just a part of the van.  If you’ve been to Kensington you may have seen this van – it’s totally covered with stickers.

part of the side of a white van that is covered with stickers

below: Churro chairs

two metal chairs outside a churros place

below: Morning coffee.  Saturday mornings in Kensington begin quietly.

the patio in front of Moonbean coffee shop, with two men sitting at tables

below: Faded and forgotten

two fake sunflowers, very faded, in a window, between the glass and the bamboo blinds,

below: These poser bunnies are a recent addition to the street art in Kensington

poser bunny mural on a brick wall, a pinkish bunny and a yellow one, the yellow bunny is holding a bottle of alcohol

below: Mona Lisa and her fruit basket still look out over Kensington Ave.  She still hasn’t eaten that banana.  The black and white part of this now iconic mural (with the banana) was painted more than 30 years ago.  The rest of the fruit was added after.

realistic mural of Mona Lisa holding a basket of fruit, high on a wall in Kensington

below: Looking a little frayed around the edges, like some of us at the end of the hot summer!

red and white striped awning above a store, tattered

the side of a building covered with graffiti

below: Not long ago there was only Mary in this window. Jesus is now keeping her company.

the window of Crows Nest Barber with a statue of Mary and a statue of Jesus in the window

Amen

The summer of the heat continues into August.  It’s still hot and humid.   But it was also the long August weekend, Simcoe Day or something like that,  so there was lots happening around the city.

I went searching for breezes and I walked on the shady side of the street as much as possible, often as the drops of sweat ran down my back.  A few stops in air conditioned stores (indoor window shopping) and a cold drink break or two made the days bearable.  It helped that, as usual, there was lots to see!

below: Be curious … and stay curious.

on a graffiti covered wall, a stikman picture with the words be curious written across it in white

below: Jumping skate boarders at Dundas and Bathurst

two young men skate boarding, both jumping at the same time, arm in air,

below: Casimir Street mural on Dundas (near Bathurst)

a man cycles past a pale yellow house on Dundas St that has has a bright coloured mural across the bottom of it, text, in blues and pinks

below: Sitting by the pool

a man site on a bench, in silhouette, with an outdoor pool in the background with people sitting around it

below: A shady spot for reading.

a woman sits outside a coffee shop reading a book. the window of the coffee shop is open and there are 4 people sitting inside

below: A front yard full of tall yellow flowers

many tall yellow flowering plants in the front yard of a white house

below: Not everyone has a green thumb.  A rose is still a rose even in death.

outside a window with white window frame, on beige house, a plant pot with dead roses

below: An even sadder window sits behind a metal fence.  Plywood.  Waiting for demolition.

behind a metal fence, an old house with a boarded up window

below:  Sitting in the painted window, Graffiti Alley. It looked like they were filming a music video.  I’m not too sure what they thought of me (I didn’t think that I was disturbing them, long lens used).

graffiti alley, a group is shooting a music video, black man in on window sill lip synching the words while a woman films

below: A quiet spot for a cigarette.

a man with a yellow t shirt sits on a back step in an alley and smokes a cigarette

below: Red hot.

a man leans against the wall in a doorway of a building, the building is all red including the doors

below: An old mattress and head board lean against the side of a house.  Great juxtaposition here as the mural is called ‘Lust’

an old mattress and white head board lean against the wall, outside, of a house that has a large mural painted on it of legs with feet in bright red high heeled shoes

below: Jelly window on Queen West – What is a modern doughnut? Especially one spelled the old fashioned way? The store was closed, so it’s still a mystery.  Beautiful painting on the door.

front window of Jelly, a modern doughnut store on Queen West, small tree in front of it

below: Cycling in the jungle.  I say ‘jungle’ because I see the lion and think “King of the jungle” but lions don’t live in the jungle so maybe I need to rethink that caption.  Cyclist as prey?  Bikes on safari?

a bike is parked beside a mural with a lion on it

below: Prince is now at Kensington Market. A purple Prince.

a poster with the picture of Prince on it, on a pole, up high beside sign saying Kensington Market

below: Graffiti in Kensington. Frowning while watching them fight. Little black figures with rifles. Are they angels that are shooting back or devils?

graffiti, black stencils of men with rifles and angles with rifles, shooting at each other, about 20 to 25 of them on a wall beside a brown frowning face drawn on yellow

below: More violence. What happens when you pull this pin?

small black stencil of a hand grenade on a fence, the top of the grenade is a girl's head in profile, with a ponytail

below: It’s wedding season which mean wedding photo season.  Picture perfect.

a bride adjusts the groom's collar, long white dress with lacey sleeves and veil tied back on the bride. groom is in a blue suit

below: Or maybe even wondering why?  (I hope not!)

a bed of flowers in a garden, red and white begonias. The red flowers make the shape of a question mark. In the background are a bride in a white dress and a groom having their wedding photos taken.

below: Honest graffiti

behind a green hedge is a wall with graffiti on it

below: Blue wall in rectangles of glass.

three two storey houses on a street with a tall building behind with blue windows, mostly glass

below: Missing a black glove anyone? Tucked behind the wire.

a black glove has been left on some wires by a wall with street art on it

below: Lots of wires.

a utility pole with a lot of wires coming out from the top of it in front of a pale grey wall with a window that is reflecting the blue sky

below: Reflections and lots of stuff including the painted lady in the House of Energy, Augusta Avenue.  Life.

window of a store in Kensington market area, mannequin sitting cross legged that has been painted

below:  Death. How many skulls in the window?

skulls and other things in a shop window, with a bike parked outside

below: Lots of smiles

two faces, black line painted on a white background, smiling faces,

I’ll be smiling more once the temperatures cool. I think that it’s been hot long enough that I can complain about it – perhaps even long for winter? How Canadian of me!  In the meantime, as long as there is shade I’ll keep walking (and sweating!).

below: Waiting for the green light.

a group of scantily clad black women wait to cross University Ave

A new mural in town,
Equilibrium, by Okuda San Miguel, aka Okudart

below: As seen from Sherbourne street.  It’s tall!  23 storeys tall in fact.  Not just a new mural but also a new landmark.

a man walks up Sherbourne street, on the sidewalk, past a vacant lot, in the background is the back of some older brick buildings and beyond that is a tall building with a mural on it, equilibrium by okudart

below: As seen from Allan Gardens.

Allan Gardens conservatory with its glass dome roof in the foreground, tall buildings in the background. The side of one of the background buildings has a colourful mural on it with a rainbow striped background

below: It’s painted on the side of the Parkside student residence (once the Primrose Hotel) on the SW corner of Jarvis and Carlton streets.   It looks finished although the ropes and lifts are still in place.  No one was painting when I walked past this afternoon.  The artist, Okudart, has already signed the piece.

car stopped at street light at Carlton and Jarvis. Behind the car is a very tall mural, bright colours, geometric shapes, some human like figures too, with blue conical noses, equilibrium by okudart

below: The very top portion.  A blue conical beak and feathery wings on a female human like figure who is sitting on three large heads.

very top part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Just a bit lower on the mural – more beaks but this time they look like carrots.  A black and white globe with a mouth in Africa.  One blue eye in the Atlantic Ocean and one orange eye in Asia.   Is that a man on the left?

middle section of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: Under the globe another female figure with a blue nose.  Nude but discreetly so.

lower portion of equilibrium by okudart

The background of the mural consists of large rainbow coloured stripes on top and black on the bottom.  These were painted by local artists before Okudart finished the piece.

below: Street level

street level part of mural, equilibrium by okudart

below: The church across the street does not have stained glass windows.  The colours are reflections from the mural.

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

part of mural, equilibrium by okudart, reflected in church windows across the street from it

The mural was part of the STEPS Initiative Program and it also involved StART (StreetARToronto), the owners of the residence, and a number of other partners.

A Saturday walk about with friends

a group of people walking over the raised pedestrian bridge between the Eaton Centre and the Bay, 4 women, one man and a boy

Looking at people.  Ordinary people.  Going about their summer lives.

man with beard and moustache, one a bike that is stopped in front of a red and white TTC bus, man wearing a blue baseball cap with red Air Canada maple leaf logo on it

young Asian woman under a black umbrella, standing in a TTC bus shelter, reflections off her umbrella of other people, plus a stella artois beer ad

man in an apple store, orange T-shirt, leaning on the counter, with headphones on, looking closely at the screen of a laptop, other men in the store too

a young woman with bright yellow hair tied back in a short ponytail, tattoo covering most of her arms and upper part of body that is visible , wearing sleeveless black top, walking past Cheese Magic shop in Kensington market, Toronto

two people, one is a woman holding a coffee cup from Jimmys Coffee, she is laughing. The other is black, hair tied back, pink long sleeved shirt and sleeveless jean jacket, scowling,

a tanned older man in sleeveless black shirt leans against metal railing at the Eaton Centre, mannequins in a store window behind him, womens' sporting wear

a man sits with his son on the floor of the Eaton Centre, next to the glass railing. reflections from the railing make it look like there are two boys

looking into the window of a women's wear store, two dresses, on mannequins, each holding a handbag. a red dress and a dress with big red flowers, a red head woman is standing beside the mannequins

people walking across pedestrian bridge between the Eaton Centre and the Bay, one woman has long light pink hair and is wearing jeans with many rips and holes in the front,

a couple sitting in a restaurant, across from each other, in the window, window is open, drinks on the table .  Woman has glass of white wine, man has something orange

a woman standa against an exterior wall, beside a tottoo place. The word tattoo is in large yellow letters beside her, her hair is multicoloured, she is wearing a short dress, knee bent with one foot against the wall, phone in hand, black jacket over her shoulders

three people sitting on a concrete bench outdoors at Yonge Dundas Square. An older woman with teal long sleeeved shirt and light blue hat, a man in a white t-shirt with black moustache, with a woman leaning against his shoulder with her eyes closed

a couple standing facing each other, talking to each other,

an older woman carrying a pale purple umbrella, and a handbag with pictures of cats on it, a blouse with orange flowers on it

mother and son posing for picture, Asian, boy is lying on the ground between his mother's feet

bald black man with black sunglasses is taking a selfie while holding a large ice cream cone

a young man holds a sign that says hug me we need it

black man with blue t-shirt holds a blue bubble maker and he is making bubbles as he walks down the street

young woman in sunglasses poses in front of a fountain

couple, one is smoking, man in yellowish orange shirt, standing by a chinese restaurant, pictures of the food on the wall behind them.

There is no theme to this blog post.  It’s just a description of some of the things that I saw as I walked down Bathurst Street the other day after taking the 512 streetcar to St. Clair West station.   In a lot of ways its like other busy Toronto streets, some houses, a few corner stores, and an alley or two along the way.   A little bit of architecture and a little bit of history round out the story.

At St. Clair West and Bathurst, the northeast corner remains vacant. About four or five years ago there was a gas station and car wash on this corner.  St. Clair West subway station is just to the east, just beyond the trees on the right hand side.

northeast corner of Bathurst and St. Clair West, vacant lot, St. Michaels College in the background as well as a couple of highrise condos.

below: I went looking for an old photo of this corner and this is what I found.  It’s from 1924.  If the streetcar’s destination is Caledonia, then it is going westward.  In 1924, St. Clair was the northern edge of the city and very little development had occurred here.  It is interesting to note that the streetcar tracks came first, then the development.   In addition, I’d love to be able to read the sign about dogs but the resolution of the photo is not good enough.  An ad?  A sign saying no dogs allowed?  Or something else?

vintage black and white photo from 1924 of a streetcar on the St. Clair line stopped at Bathurst to pick up passengers.

below: Of course, no vacant lot remains that way for long.   At the moment, three 30 storey towers joined with a 6 or 7 storey podium has been proposed for the site but it is still in the re-zoning and planning stages.  The light brown building to the left is St. Michael’s College School (boys school).

blue and white city of Toronto development notice sign on a small hill, by some trees, in front of a vacant lot. Highrises in the background

below: New development on the southeast corner of this intersection is almost complete. People have moved into the units above while the finishing touches are put on the lower retail floors. Developments like this are all over the city. Developments that look great (maybe?) on paper but are lackluster and banal at street level.

street level of a new glass and steel building, empty retail space available for lease, just finishing being built

below: As I walked south on Bathurst, this mural caught my eye.

mural in a laneway, painting of many trees with red and yellow sky, dark brown earth, and a few small black figures, some words beside it

Words written beside the mural:
“Long before concrete and steel
Punctuated the landscape
The land was pure and natural
This mural acknowledges and honors 13 trees and 21 medicinal plants that have thrived here since time immemorial.”

The mural was funded by Toronto’s Start program (street art) and Na’Ma’Res Sagatay, a residence for indigenous men that is nearby.

close up of mural, large trees with wavy red and yellow sky, small black figures standing under the trees

I will admit that the main reason that I was walking in this area is because I wanted to check out the new public artwork that I’ve read about at Bathurst and Vaughan.  It is “Three Points Where Two Lines Meet” by Christian Giroux and Daniel Young and apparently there is some controversy about it.

below: For those who don’t know that intersection, it is V-shaped.  This photo shows the approach to  the intersection from the north, on Vaughan.  I took this photo because my first reaction to the scene was “Ugly.  Ugly is what Toronto does”.  From this angle the sculpture gets lost in the visual noise.

sidewalk, lined by tall hydro utility poles, wood, road, some buildings, approaching the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan

Cities have rules and regulations for public art. It needs to be weatherproof and graffiti-proof.  It can’t block the view of drivers and pedestrians.  No sharp edges or structures that people might hurt themselves on – note the two black poles are to prevent people from hitting their heads.

A woman walks past Three Points Where Two Lines meet

From Giroux & Young’s website:  “Taking its form from the orphaned triangular site on which it sits, this artwork produces a new urban room by combining a multicoloured truss structure, the triangular plot of wild grasses it encloses, and an encircling sidewalk thats acts as a podium and plinth. Located between the converging energies of uptown and downtown, the structure densifies an intersection already clotted with utilities and challenges established forms of urbanism and spatial representation in Toronto.”  Think of that what you will.  While you’re thinking, you can check the website for more photos and information.

Three Points Where Tao Lines meet, a public art sculpture in bright colours, metal grid like construction cranes, by Daniel Young and Christian Giroux at the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan.

below: An interesting (unique?) roofline on what turns out to be The Occult Shop.  I made one mistake – I neglected to cross the street to go inside and find out just what one can buy here.

brick building with a large rounded roofline, the bulding is a semi, one half has doors and windows covered with white from the inside, the other is the occult shop

below: These people can still be seen in the space above the doorway at 1358 Bathurst.

the space above a doorway at number 1358 Bathurst is painted with pictures of people (head and shoulders) in shades of brown

Continuing south on Bathurst, as you go downhill towards Davenport Road, there is a retaining wall beside the sidewalk on the west side.  This wall was painted back in October 2013.  The city paid $23,000 to two Brooklyn NY street artists (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller, together known as Faile) who designed the mural and in turn paid other artists to paint it.

The mural is quite long and I only have a few pictures of bits and pieces of it.

mural, large blue and white owl, with words in large letters that say no change my heart

mural, large painting of a blond boy sleeping, head on pillow, head and shoulders only

mural, by faile, orange car, woman driver, the word vanity written on the side of the car

below: Apparently Davenport Road is considered to be one of Toronto’s oldest roads.  It follows the base of a ridge and provided a route between the Humber River in the west and the Don River in the east.

toronto historical society plaque for Davenport Road, 1995, description of the history of Davenport Road

below: There is a park on the northwest corner of Bathurst and Davenport, The Tollkeeper’s Park.  The old house, the Tollkeeper’s Cottage, is now a museum run by The Community History Project.  It is open on Saturday afternoons (and some Sundays during the summer)

The Tollkeeper's Park, sign, green space, trees, and an old small wood frame house, now a museum,

below: And across the road is Tollkeeper’s Lane.  There are chairs everywhere in this city not usually as comfy looking as these.

two comfy chairs in an alley withtheir backs agains a grey garage door

below: An old Comet parked in the alley

a yellowish beige Comet car, old, parked behind a house in a lane

below: Tomatoes and other vegetables growing in a front yard.

small front yard packed full of vegetable plants looking very green and healthy

below: A hand, part of an Elicser mural.  This mural, which is on both sides of the railway underpass just north of Dupont, is still there.  Photos can be seen in a blog post from Nov 2014 (Yikes!  Have I been blogging that long?!).

part of a mural, a blue hand horizontal on a wall with some weeds growing in front of it

There are a few remnants of a more industrial past in the area near the railway tracks.

a window consisting of 18 panes of glass, 6 across and 3 down, some have texture and some are clear. the clear ones are reflecting the blue sky and clouds.

old wood door, once painted green but the paint is peeling

below: Another door –  I doubt that it’s open now, or that it ever will be again.

back door of an empty house, window boarded over, door with board nailed across it, open sign in the window, also a sign that says beware of dog

below: These windows, and the house too, probably won’t be here much longer either.

green trim around roof and windows of an old house

below: A very standard row of semi-divided houses; a common sight.  Hundreds (thousands?) of these were built around the city.

a semi divided house on bathurst street, two storey, bay windows on upper floor, porches, stairs to front door

below: And a not so usual semi.

a semi divided house on bathurst street where one side has been rebuilt into a taller square structure

below: A touch of art deco.

two doors side by side with art deco motifs, on a low rise brick building

below: Slight larger houses, with turrets even!  (or is there another name for this architectural element?)

a semi divided house on bathurst street both with small turrets above upper floor bay windows

below: This is part of Coopers Hawk Lane which is just south of Dupont.

buildings and garages in a lane, Coopers Hawk Lane, garage doors have street art on them.

painting of a wooden box with papers in it, pictures of people on the papers

below: In another nearby alley …. a pink cat eating ice cream

two doors in an alley, painted, one in colours, the other in black and white

below: And a gate with a frame, and the laundry beyond.

a chainlink fence and gate in a back yard, laundry hanging out to dry in the yard, brick houses, some green grass

red octagonal stop sign with a sticker on it that says take a breath

 

For a number of reasons, I started walking late yesterday.
It was overcast and the the light was flat.

a woman on the sidewalk, with people on the other side of the street in the background

  There were a few people sitting around and/or hanging out – on their phones, alone with their thoughts,  meeting with friends, or just passing by.

three people, two sitting, one smoking and the other on her phone. The third person is male, lying down with head on lap of woman on her phone, outside,

Catching moments and freezing them in time – is that what photography is?   To call the images random would be farfetched.  They are edited starting from the first decisions such as where to aim the camera and at what moment do I take the picture.   But they are candid in that the people are unaware, unposed, and to me, more natural.  These women are just hanging out outside the Eaton Centre, together, yet separate.  Are they waiting for someone?  What is the woman on far left reacting to?

women in head scarves standing beside glass window of a store, other women walking past

men sitting on a bench, a woman walking past

As I mentioned above, the light was flat.  It was a grey afternoon and that is always a challenge.  As the day becomes darker, the ambient light provide by windows increases.

below: Is it my imagination or is her neck longer than most?  I don’t think that I’d be able to wear four leather rings around my neck even if I wanted to.

head of a mannequin in a store window, white, large sunglasses, leather rings around her neck

As I was processing some of my photos, I got to thinking about my grandmother.  I remember driving with her at dusk and into the early night.  She would get excited about being able to look into people’s windows after they’d turned on their lights but before they’d closed their curtains.  We could only get a quick glimpse as we passed by – were there pictures on the wall?  What was on TV?  What were the people doing?  But even that was enough to spark our imaginations and we would create stories about the possible lives of the people in those houses.

below: Talking at the bar

from the outside, looking into a bar. Line of bottles on a back lit shelf, two women takling near the window

below: Sitting at Timmies

three people at Tim Hortons, sitting at a table. Seen from the outside, a poster on the window blocks the view of one of the people

Night windows offer a different view.  Things that are hidden during the day become visible.

below:  Interior renovations in progress

looking in the window of a construction site, two ladders, square panes of interior glass on a wall

below: The mundane and austere railing and fluorescent light in the stone bank building caught my attention.  As I was lining up the shot I noticed the woman (who had obviously noticed me first).

evening, from outside, a lit window in a bank of Nova Scotia building shows a hand rail, a woman stands outside the window

people in the midst of getting on and off a streetcar

two people, slightly out of focus pass by a lit window

And then it started to rain.  My feet were getting wet and my umbrella wasn’t big enough so I called it quits and went home.

a woman holding an umbrella crosses the street

red chairs and white tables in an empty restaurant