Posts Tagged ‘winter’

It’s been a while, I know.   Part of my excuse – the holidays got in the way.  But more importantly, it’s been very cold with bitter winds adding to our discomfort.  The very cold days are beautiful with their bright blue skies.  Although I have walked once or twice in -20C weather, the pictures here are from a warmer day when it was possible to take pictures without freezing my fingers off.  Unfortunately, in the winter warmer often means greyer.  I thought of calling this post “In Search of Winter” but that would be silly as no search is needed, it hits you in the face and it surrounds you.  Everyone is talking about the cold.

below: Winter in the city isn’t always picturesque.  Salt and sand and snow mix together to form slush.   Brown ugly slush, especially on the roads and sidewalks as seen here on Queens Quay West.  Of course, if you live in Toronto you are already well aware of this!

dirty slush along the streetcar tracks on Queens Quay

below: H2O park now has a pink #TOwaterfront sign (sculpture?) to go with its yellow umbrellas and white Muskoka chairs.  The weakened winter sun tried to break through the wall of clouds.

H 2 O park on Toronto's waterfront with yellow umbrellas over white Muskoka chairs on what is a beach in the summer but is covered with snow in the picture. A pink sign that says #TOwaterfront made of pink wood that is supposed to look like pieces of driftwood

below: The other morning there was a small group of Toronto firemen all dressed for the icy water as they practiced winter rescue procedures.  Both men were tethered to the shore.

two Toronto firemen in their yellow cold water suits, life jackets on, and tethered to ropes, practicing breaking through ice and then recovering by makng their way to stronger ice, practising ice rescues

below: Just a few footprints in the snow. I wasn’t the only one walking this way but there certainly weren’t any crowds.

a few footprints in the snow on a bridge

below: A cold and lonely barbecue, as well as one under wraps, waiting out the winter on the dock.

barbecues under tarps on snow covered docks in partially frozen harbour

below: Access to the docks along the waterfront was discouraged. It was easy to get out there but I suspect that if I’d fallen in I would have gotten in trouble, and not just from being wet. I wonder how thick the ice was there?

a danger do not enter sign and yellow caution tape across a dock on the waterfront, windswept snow, old railing,

below: Instead of comic relief, we have colour relief!

close up of porthole and red wall on boat in the harbour, railing and rope knotted, both with snow on them

below: Ducks on ice.  Have you ever seen a duck land in the snow?  It looks exactly like a landing in water but with a much shorter skid at it comes to a stop.   Or maybe that was obvious because how else would a duck land?

ducks onthe ice on Lake Ontario in the foreground, Canada Malting Co silos in the backgrounds

below: More ducks… ducks swimming in the small patch of open water.  There can’t be much food for them these days.

snow covered docks with one small snow covered boat, harbour, some ice and some open water

tall ship in harbour, with condos along Queens Quay in the background

snow covered boats on snowy docks, bottom of larger boat is in the background.

ice covered ropes that are holding a boat tied to the shore

below:  Lake Ontario with the Port Lands and the Toronto Islands in the background.  Windswept snow on the ice.

frozen harbour, Lake Ontario, with some snow covered docks

Stay warm everyone!

And don’t lose your gloves!  There are so many lost and lonely gloves out there… I hope that this one isn’t yours because if you’re like me, you lose at least one every winter.  I wonder they end up? In landfills?  … where archeologists of the future will dig up all these single gloves and mitts and wonder what it says about our society?  [smile!]

one black wool glove that has been dropped on a slushy wet sidewalk in winter

Early Saturday morning was cold but beautiful –
brilliant blue overhead with the sun still low in the sky.

below: Striped grass

low sun rays shining through a fence made of vertical metal bars, so that the shadows on the grass make the grass looked striped

below:  This is the Bell building from the Simcoe Street side.  The blue glass, vertical lines in the concrete, blue sky and strong tree shapes made for an interesting few minutes while I experimented with different angles and views.

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour exterior of the building,

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour

below: The ghostly look of reflected light

light reflecting off a glass building and landing on a black wall on the building beside it

looking up a tall building that is black on the exterior and has light reflected from a glass building beside it.

below: A single pole and its shadow, alone on a wall.

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

below: Three reflected windows reserved for the president.

beige wall with greenish covering over a window, light reflected from the building beside it makes it look like a row of windows along the wall

below: A half house, a fun find.  Once this was a semi-divided house where the shared wall created the peak at the front of the house.  With its partner gone, the remaining house looks incomplete.

a semi divided house, where the house on one side has been demolished leaving half a peaked roof.

below:  A tree in silhouette seems to dance in front of the other buildings.

tree in silhouette in the foreground, buildings in light in the background,also blue sky

below: Phantom balconies, mirages on the concrete.

light reflecting from balconies along with shadows make phantom balconies on the building beside it

Another nice day, another ramble.

below: My starting point the other day was Castle Frank subway station (Bloor Street East, close to the top of Parliament Street).  This station opened in 1966 although the entrance that you see in the photo was an addition that was added only a few years ago.

photo taken from sidewalk on north side Bloor Street East, just outside of Castle Frank subway station, looking west towards downtown. Subway station in the foreground, high rise buildings in the background

below: An interesting round window in the station entrance.  You can see part of the window in the picture above, peaking from around the side of the tree trunk.

a round window with a metal grille inside. Grille is made of trapezoid shapes in a repeating pattern.

below: The subway “tunnel” between Sherbourne and Castle Frank stations isn’t really a tunnel at all.  This view surprised me – I know that I have driven under this structure on Rosedale Valley Road.  I don’t recall knowing that it was for the subway.

Downtown Toronto is in the distance. The subway tunnel between Sherbourne and Castle Frank stations is in the foreground. It's really a covered bridge as it passes over Rosedale Valley Road.

below: “It’s never too cold for rainbow shoelaces.”  Sage advice for the winter time.

words spray painted on a low concrete fence, It's never too cold for rainbow shoelaces.

below: Graffiti under the bridge…  even though I am drawn to bridges I didn’t go down the hill to investigate.  That can be another blog post at another not so muddy time.   This spot can be accessed from the Rekai Family Parkette which is at the SE corner of Bloor and Parliament, tucked in between Bloor and St. James Cemetery.

graffiti under the arches of a bridge, white skull painting, lots of trees, winter time but no snow. No leaves on the trees, brown ground.

below: More graffiti seen from the parkette.

graffiti on the side of a concrete bridge, based on the letter P C and E.

below: St. James Cemetery was opened in July of 1844 at a time when the population of Toronto was around 18,000 and most of them lived south of Queen Street.   The cemetery would have been out in the country but now, more than 150 years later, the cemetery is in the middle of the city.  There are 89,000 interments here including two of my great x 2 (or 3?) grandparents and some of their descendants (they’re not shown in the picture though!).

many tombstones in a cemetery, different shapes and sizes, a couple of crosses, a couple of rectangles with rounded tops, a tall one in the shape of a skinny keyhole, trees in the background, no leaves

below: A little reminder that Christmas wasn’t all that long ago.

a small statue of an angel sitting on a pedestal in a cemetery, a Christmas wreath in green with red bows and brown pine cones is behind the angel.

The fastest route from Castle Frank to Cabbagetown is straight down Parliament Street.  But of course, the direct route is rarely the one that I take.  The area is full of little alleys and lanes and they all call to me.

below: These animals are part of a mural painted in support of Riverdale Farm which is nearby.

on Darling Lane (street sign in the picture), a mural of two horses, part of a larger mural featuring farm animals

below: Reading the news, many newses.

a street art piece, a bench and man are painted on a wall, the man is holding a newspaper that is a made of paste ups of the word news many times.

below: In Flos Williams Lane there are a number of stenciled words.  “Guilty until proven rich” I first saw here a couple of years ago.  I don’t walk this lane very often so I’m not sure how long ago the other sayings appeared.

below: Like most walks, there were interesting windows to be seen.

two windows on a red brick house with stone foundation, basement window and first storey window. The upper one has a red curtain

below: …and doors too. A very bright orange door!

a very bright orange front door.

below: But unlike most walks, there was a giant gecko or lizard.

a life like model of a giant green gecko on the small roof over a window of a pet store.

One of the appeals of Cabbagetown is the number of older houses, many of which are heritage buildings.

below: This house was built in 1858 and its first resident was Charles MacKay, a customs official who lived here from 1858 to 1865.  The infill line of townhouses behind it are a much more recent development.

an old historic brick house with black and white trim, a small statue in the front yard, set back from the sidewalk, large tree,

below:  Cabbagetown has more of these ‘workers cottages’ or ‘gothic cottages’ than anywhere else I’ve walked.   This arrangement of three identical houses in a row is especially rare (but not unique, at least not yet).

a row of three gothic cottages joined together, all pale yellow with dark green trim

below:  This cottage is in the middle of another threesome but they are not identical.  The yellow door on the pale blue house is a wonderful colour combination.  A little bit of sunshine.

a gothic cottage painted pale blue with white trim,also a bright yellow front door.

below:  Even though it has been renovated and an addition added to the back, this house still retains some of its historical roots.

a renovated and modernized gothic cottage with an addition out the back.

below: And more history…  I was attracted to this building by the beautiful double doors.  Once I was close to the house, I noticed the ghost sign hiding behind the tree branches. The Daily Herald is no longer but it the mark it made here remains.   A mysterious mark though because I can find no record of such a publication.  In fact, probably “the sign had been part of a play or film that the home’s owner was involved in and he installed the sign on an act of whimsy.”  (source, bottom of page)  You gotta love whimsy!

an old brick building, two storeys, now a house, with double doors in a dark teal colour. Ghost sign above the window that says Daily Herald

below: Whimsy you say?  Bright pink flamingo whimsy in a store window.   They look like they’re ready for a rainy day.

three bright flamingo heads as umbrella handles in a shop window. Pink flamingos and pink umbrellas.

below:  There were also some store windows that were a bit more serious.

store window, selling statues of religios figures, many statues of Mary and Jesus.

below:   I think that Carlton and Parliament is one of the most colourful intersections in the city and I always enjoy passing this way.  This is the view if you are standing in the middle of Carlton street and looking east towards Parliament.

looking down Carlton street towards parliment, brick stores directly ahead, some cars on the street,

below: This large colourful mural on the wall of Cabbagetown Corner Convenience,  NE corner of Carlton and Parliament, has become a landmark since it was painted by Ryan Dineen in 2005.

mural on the side of a building in cabbagetown. people in old fashioned clothing plus swirls of colour. street scene beside it, people on sidewalk walking in front of stores.

below: The 506 Carlton streetcar makes its left turn from Parliament.   It’s never a quick and easy turn.  In fact, it’s usually frustratingly slow.

TTC streetcar, Carlton car, turns from Parliament street onto Carlton, stores, sidewalk and people in the background, reflections in street car windows.
And in case you were wondering, yes, you can find cabbages in cabbagetown. This big one is on the Cabbagetown mural on the side of the LCBO building.

painting of a cabbage in a mural

And yes, there is a lot more to Cabbagetown than this…
and I will use that as an excuse to return another time!

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

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

window mannequins, Doll Factory by Damzels, Queen St East

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

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

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

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

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

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

below:  Peace and love encounter number two!

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

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

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

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

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

below: More peace and love!

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

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

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

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

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

below: Dust drifts past the stained glass windows.

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

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

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

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

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

below: A large plant grows inside.

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

below: A sunny day makes for interesting shadows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you do something lazy like sleep in and then stay in your jammies all day?
Did you stay home and stay warm?

I know a few people that did just the opposite! More than 60 people took the plunge and got wet, frigid cold wet that is. The 12th annual Polar Bear dip at Sunnyside Park was well attended this year and these are some of the brave and crazy people who were there (and the less brave and crazy who came to watch, support, and take pictures of the swimmers).

 

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

below: The event is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and over $64,000 was raised this year. Habitat for Humanity had a team who participated, they could be spotted wearing orange T-shirts and orange hard hats.
people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - Habitat for Humanity team wore orange T shirts and orange hard hats

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - members of bearded villains team

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

blog_crowds_water_polar_bear

blog_fuzzy_brown_robe_guy

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man with large black beard and many tattoos is wearing a pink tutu held up with bright green cord

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a series of 3 shots as a boy gets into the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a man does the front crawl in the water

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario - a swimmer with a Santa outfit sort of, apron and tie

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

people participating in the 12th annual polar bear dip at Sunnyside Park in Toronto, in the icy cold water of Lake Ontario

#dothedip | #topolarbear

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of the fence along Craven Road that has been decorated with artwork and old artifacts.  I was south of Gerrard Street when I took the photos.   I didn’t realize at the time that I missed another outdoor gallery on the other side of  Gerrard.  Today I took some pictures of those on display on the north side.   Here they are in no particular order:

below: Looking north up Craven Road along the fence.
That tropical sunset on the left looks very inviting!

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, looking down the length of most of the gallery, small pile of snow against the fence, painting in the foreground is warm Caribbean sun on beach with palm tree, Craven Road

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, an evergreen bough hangs over the top of the fence, above a painting of trees in a forest in winter, low sun, and long blue shadows.

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road in Toronto, two paintings of black trees (no leaves) on red, and one grey tree on orange background,

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, a black tree on a blue background. Snow has been blown against the wood fence and some of it has stuck to the fence, Craven Road

below: Some of the paintings are small words in another language and another alphabet.  Can anyone translate for me?

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, four paintings. One black tree on light brown paper, and three small paintings with words in a different language with a different alphabet, Bengali perhaps

small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, Craven Road, trees on blue and green background
small amateur paintings displayed on a wood fence, with trees and houses in the background, snowy day, three paintings, one is a fish

By now I’m very curious about this street and this fence.  I found a long, detailed, and interesting history written by local historian Joanne Doucette that you can read here.

 

You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town

… and he arrived on Saturday amidst the gusty winds and light snow.   Winter arrived on the same day!

Before the parade there was the Holly Jolly Fun Race, a 5 km race along the Santa Claus parade route.

Holly Jolly Fun Run, before the Santa Claus parade, runners getting ready to start the race - group shot, woman in Mrs. Santa outfit, man in ho ho ho toque and red Santa jacket, woman in blue and another woman in a white Toronto hoodie

Holly Jolly Fun Run, before the Santa Claus parade, runners getting ready to start the race - a boy with black scarf over most of his face, wearing red gloves, gives a two thumbs up

Santa Claus parade - two clowns in fuzzy hair wigs mingle amongst the crowd before the parade starts, lots of smiling faces.

Santa Claus parade - two kids in shiny orange, green, red and yellow costumes, sitting on a float in the parade, they have their hands in mitts covering their mouths and chins trying to keep warm.

Santa Claus parade - Toronto mayor JOhn Tory poses with two kids at the start of the parade

Santa Claus parade - people walking in the parade dressed in large blue and white rabbit costumes, all carrying large stuffed carrots.

Santa Claus parade - a girl is looking cold, sitting on a float in chef's jacket and hat and large orange scarf. She is sitting beside a large sculpture of a woman sitting on a wood chair with an orange cup in her hand

 - a boy is sitting on a float in a white chicken costume, two fake but real looking chickens are beside him

Santa Claus parade -

Santa Claus parade - a float with a very large replica of Thomas The Tank Engine with three kids sitting beside it.

Santa Claus parade - two kids wearing Toronto Maple Leafs sweatshirts and toques sitting on a float with a loarge replica of Carlton the Leafs mascot. The skate and end of the stick of a large statue of a hockey player is also in the picture.

Santa Claus parade - a young boy stands with his back to the camera. He is in front of people sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to start. It is snowing and people are all bundled up. In this case, a mother and her daughter are dressed in white jackets and have a white blanket over their knees.

Santa Claus Parade - a young woman with a gold crown decorated with little red hearts, wearing a pale yellow dress, walking in the parade, waves at the camera

Santa Claus parade - the mascot for the Toronto Raptors basketball team is standing on the back of a golf cart driven by two people, others in costume walk behind, people standing on the sidewalks watching the parade go by

Santa Claus Parade - a man dressed as a clown with frizzy orange hair and a polka dot outfit laughs as the wind tries to blow his wig off

Santa Claus Parade - a black woman in a red jacket and brown scarf poses with a man in a clown costume with bright red hair.

Santa Claus parade, pokemon float, with a large yellow pikachu in front

Santa Claus parade - many people dressed like raggedy Ann dolls in pink, orange and yellow with bright red hair.

Santa Claus Parade - a young Asian boy stands beside a float featuring large sized characters from the Peppa Pig story books.

Santa Claus parade - three people walking in the parade with costumes that make it look like they are clowns that are walking on their hands, people on the sidewalk watching the parade.

Santa Claus parade, along the beginning of the parade, off to the side, a character in a Chase costume (a character from the TV program Paw Patrol) is posing with two little kids and their father

Santa Claus parade - a young woman in a clown costume with large fuzzy white wig, waves, she is wearing white gloves

two kids dresses as Christmas elves in green, red and white wave to passersby as they sit on a float with a large Grinch reading a book, Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade - a woman in hat and plaid shirt has a puppet of a long necked white goose on her hand and arm

boys cheering and watching floats in the Santa Claus parade, some people dressed in costumes like gold and blue toy soldiers, a fox on a float.

Santa Claus parade - at the end of the parade, Santa arrives on his sled being pulled by reindeer

people standing on the sidewalk cheering and waving at the Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus parade - two girls huddle under blankets and parkas while sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the parade to start

#TOsanta | #TOsantaparade