Posts Tagged ‘words’

It’s early November and autumn is here – I think.   Some leaves, like on the locust and maple trees below, have turned colours and begun to fall but others remain green and on the tree.  After the warm than usual October that we were fortunate to have, the weather has turned to grey and damp and all too seasonally November.   Luckily, a heavier coat and a scarf is all that is required – so off we go!

autumn street scene with locust tree with yellow leaves, sidewalk, some dead leaves on the ground, grass still green, orange leaves on the tree in the background

below: I spotted these little rusted Coke and Sprite signs on a house on Christie street.   Like the autumn leaves, the weather has changed their colours and I especially like the pale turquoise that the Sprite bottle has become.  It nicely matches the trim on the neighbour’s house.

three old rusted advertising signs for coca cola and sprite, metal signs, upper level of a building

below: Another example of the effects of time on metal.  A little less rust here but there are some interesting shapes and forms created by the peeling paint.

metal corrugated metal wall, close up detail of peeling green paint and rust

below: Looking into a shop window to see a sad and lonely cat.  Sad eyes?  or are they eyes of a cat dreaming of the outside world and wishing it wasn’t relegated to a shelf of old and empty things.

looking into a window of an antique store, a porcelain cat, sitting upright, with sad look on its face, on a shelf with empty bottles and jugs

below: More old, but certainly not sad.   It’s a bright, shiny and obviously well-loved Chrysler.

an old orangish brown Chrysler car parked in a driveway, front facing the street,

below: Advice to heed.

red words painted on the side of a white building in an alley, words say - When you love someone, let them know

below: No wise words here – just scrawls and tags.  But isn’t the orange a fantastic colour for a wall?

orange stucco wall with graffiti on it.

below: Tiny! A teensie tiny little house with a lawn that’s sparse but neatly kept.  Once you start looking for these little treasures, you realize that there are quite a few of them in Toronto.  I wonder if anyone has documented them?

very small one storey house between two large houses, green lawns, sidewalk in front,

Warning – tangent ahead!  This reminds of a children’s story called “Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball” written by Florence Heide Parry.  It’s a story of two men living in two different houses.  Benjamin was a very big man living in a very small house while Barnaby was a very small man living in a big house.  The illustrations of Benjamin squeezing into his mini sized house were wonderful (by Sally Matthews).  Of course, to live happily ever after the two men trade houses.

“Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!”

below: Benjamin Budge sleeps ‘in’ his bedillustration by Sally Matthews of a picture of a large man sleeping half on the floor and half on his tiny bed in his tiny bedroom. From the children's book Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Small

below: Veering back to the subject of architecture… this style of apartment building was very common in the 1920’s.  Three storeys, no elevator and probably no parking but with charming little details in the brickwork.  If I remember correctly, this building is on Bathurst street just south of Dupont.

three storey brick apartment building with central white door entranceway

Little vegetable gardens in both back and front yards are very numerous here, probably because of the combination of the large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled here and the popularity of ‘urban farming’ – veggies instead of grass. Being November, there were only a few remnants of this year’s harvest – a few tomato plants here and some Swiss chard there.

below: One back yard still has all its wooden stakes standing on guard. A forest of stakes.

chain link fence in front of a large number of wooden stakes that were used in a vegetable garden earlier in the season, but now autumn so there are no plants

below: Another way to garden in the city!

patio outside a house is covered with plastics bins of different kinds, all of which have been turned into planters, autumn now so plants no longer alive but boxes and coolers and bins remain.

below: Xena the warrior princess still watches over Vermont Avenue. She’s faded a bit since I last took her picture two years ago. You can see her (and others) in Neighbourhood watch good guys that I posted in 2015.

altered neighbourhood watch sign, with a picture in the center,

 There are lots of lanes and alleys in Seaton village (this part of the city).   One of last year’s blog posts ‘same, same, but different‘ is about some of the lanes.  There is some street art in these alleys but not too much – here are a couple from yesterday’s visit.

below: Art follows life or is it vice verse?

red leaves on a vine growing in front of a white fence that had a mural of birdhouse and plants and flowers painted on it.

below: Flowers? Or just smudges on a pole?

smudges on a metal pole that look a bit like flowers

below: Playing basketball beside Toronto – a rather lopsided photo I’m afraid.

basketball hoop above a garage door that has a large map of Toronto, in blue and green painted on it.

white garage door with some of the rectangles painted in turquoise, orange and purple, with swirls under the rectanagles that look like G's

semi circle covering bottom half of garage door, looks like bald head with a few curly hairs growing upwards from the scalp

mural on an exterior wall outside Kos restaurant on Bathurst Street, the mural is in the front of the restaurant by the patio, no one sitting outside, blue umbrellas are down.

below: Herringbone pattern made from bricks.

chevron pattern (herring bone pattern) of bricks on a driveway, some autumn leaves on the bricks

below: A rather forlorn looking bench and seat outside the laundromat.

front of a laundromat. blue sign that says coin laundry, an old bench and an old chair sitting outside by the front door. two windows through which you can see the washing machines

below: A newspaper rack decorated with a garland of fake ivy.  Insert fake news reference here ….

a newspaper rack outside a corner convenience store, the newspapers (there aren't many) are held down with bricks, the rack is decorated with a fake ivy garland

an old chair on a porch, side view.

looking through a park to a street with a blue house and a red house, cars parked in front, autumn leaves,

below: Today I’m going to end on a dangerous note.  Keep walking and Stay safe!

construction site with a danger due to sign that has been altered to say danger due to life

free weed

Posted: October 24, 2017 in nature
Tags: , , , , , , ,

free weed

a wooden fence, someone has wrriten the word free in white, under it is an arrow that points downward to the sidewalk. There is nothing on the sidewalk. There is a large weed growing between the bottom of the fence and the sidewalk.

What else is there to say?

Women in the Walls was/is a mural project where most of the painting was done on the last weekend in August. Twenty women participated to create murals in the alley behind the north side of Gerrard Street East near Craven, Rhodes and Woodfield. One van and one car were also painted.

below: Courtney Binns and Kerry Marie (kairo) work on their murals.

two women painting a mural, one mural each, one on the back of a building in an alley and the other on the side of the same building.

a woman sprays paint, light blue, onto the background of a mural that she's painting, blue, green and pinks that merge together with no defined lines or edges

street art painting of a fuzzy orange fox, lying on the ground by C V Binns

a woman is in the beginning stages of painting a mural portrait of a woman outside

below: Princess Nokia

portrait of a woman on a wall, a mural by kairo, long dark hair, a blue bow on the top of her head, some blocks of the concrete block wall are painted in shades of pink

below: Caitlin Taguiboa paints her mural starting with the black and white background that will turn into ripples and reflections on water.

woman spraing black on a black and white mural, standing beside a ladder, on a garage door in an alleyy paint

pink white and orange flowers by a black pool with with and pink reflections and ripples

below: Kim adds some blue to the background of her mural.

a woman is painting a street art mural

on a garage door, a painting by Kim, blue background, close up of two yellow women pilots in a green airplane

below: The deer mural was preserved (it’s been on this wall for a number of years).  You can just see the faint outlines of a salamander that @mmnador is creating.  That’s Kim working on her pilots (astronauts?) in the background.

two women painting murals, Kim is in the background painting on a garage door while another woman is outlining a picture of a chameleon on a wall

a dark purple salamander in a street art painting on a background of orange, yellow, and light blue polygonal shapes with 3 to 5 straight sides on a wall with a tree to the left

below: Rolling on the pink, background that is.  Anya Mielniczek’s latest mural is a woman’s face in shades of pink and green.

woman rolling paint to make pink background on a mural

street art mural of a woman's face in greens and blues on one side, moving to pink on the other, lots of black hair. red lips, yellow eyes

partially finished mural on black background in an alley, green stripes near the bottom, blue circles beside brown squiggles, milk x weed

below: Painting a tribute to Smokey the cat, by Stacey Kinder.

a woman is crouching beside a wall where she is painting a picture of a blue cat, on the wall beside her is a large black section that has just been painted in preparation for another mural

a woman with long blond hair, Stacey Kinder, is painting a picture of a blue cat on a wall,

finished mural of Smokey the blue cat, with a sunflower behind his head,

below: Up close to the central portion of a mural painted by Chief Ladybird and Auralast.

detail of center of mural of an indigenous woman with long braided hair and feathers

below:  The words in the stripes are “One Voice”.  There is a blue and a pink stripe that didn’t make it into the photo, on them is written “Powerful”.

part of a mural by chief ladybird and aura of an indigenous woman with a feather in her hair, in front of the sun and circles of colour, red and blue flowers on the outer layer of colour (light blue)

below: A shout out to Debbie who lent her car, Lightning, to the cause.  Here, a black stenciled dog adorns the back door panel – in memory of Harley.

side of a car that has been prepped, for painting partially painted with turquoise section and pink splotches, also a black stenciled dog, called Harley, by the back wheel,

below: Lightning is now fueled with flower power!

back of painted car, large flower and many colours in the background, a bumper sticker that says Honor Diversity

below: And the last, a van.  It was parked behind the Flying Pony while one side was painted by Erika James….

a woman is taping stencils onto the side of van. The stencils are of words, Don't worry you haven't hit your stride yet

below:  … and the other by Jieun June Kim.   When I went back later in the week to take pictures of the completed murals, the van wasn’t around.  If you see it, let me know!

a woman spray paints on the side of a van that is being covered with street art, masking tape to keep the spray paint in straight lines.

below: Hands and stylized florals

black background mural with stylized floral in bright colours, also a hand in the middle in many colours

part of a mural with magenta background, green arms reaching up from foliage and weeds at the bottom, hands open, revealing a large blue eye on each hand

This project was supported by StART program at StreetARToronto as well as Cultural Hotspot 2017.  The latter is a summer-long initiative whose aim is to encourage art, community, and culture in the east end of the city.

below: Monstawall by Monica Wickeler (aka monicaonthemoon), one of the principal organizers of the weekend.

small street art mural of many stylized abstract goofy faces in bright colours, on a wall.  a car is parked in front of it and some is reflected in the windshield

“Cupid draw back your bow
And let your arrow go
Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me”
(from ‘Cupid’ by Sam Cooke)

green background to a piece of graffiti that is black line drawing of cupid shooting an arrow. The target is a real tap in the wall that has been painted bright red

This has me thinking about taps and faucets as hearts.  Is there a metaphor to be found here?  “Pouring out your heart”, or maybe “Let your love flow”, or maybe just a little “love tap”?

below: Graffiti Alley has been love bombed.  Hearts and unicorns by @heart_bomb bring their colourful messages of love and togetherness to the lane.

graffiti on a door in an alley, pink and purple hearts with the words, you've got to let love rule, a piece by heart_bomb

graffiti on a laneway door, two unicorns, one yellow and one blue, looking at each other with a heart above them, words say: stronger together, a piece by heart_bomb

below: Nearby, elicser has a more philosophical take on love.

street art by elicser of a man holding (hugging) a child, in blacks and white, with words, sometimes it's like holding fire.

below: Keeping the message simple (even when love isn’t!).
I also love the three little monkeys at the bottom.

the word love in white block letters that are outlined in red, background is turquoise bubbles. below that are three brown pasteups of monkeys

And that’s why I love to keep going back to Graffiti Alley!

words painted on a sidewalk in blue, love all art

people walking down Graffiti Alley on a sunny afternoon

I found myself on a sunny Friday afternoon with time to spare.  I haven’t walked Graffiti Alley in the warmth for quite a few months so off we went, hunting for new things, forgotten things, and special ‘are they still there?’ things.

below: Vitality at 505 “It’s showtime baby girl, own it”

street art painting of a black woman's head, short hair, eyes closed, also on the door is the word vitality and the number 505

below: I guess that it’s painful to have your face stuck on a wall.

a dark grey three 3D rendition of a man's face. He looks like he's in pain.

below: Some black line drawn figures on top of text street art.

two figures, drawn abstractly with black marker on top of orange street art,

a drawing of a large eye on top of pink and green street art

on top of pink and green abstract swirly street art, a drawing in black marker of a hand, with a face (eye and mouth) coming out of the back of the hand.

below: Arty strings by lek_gold

a man on a lddder, a car parked, multi coloured strings used to make art by stretching it between nails on an outside wall.

below: This little giraffe has aged well.

a small stencil of a giraffe stands at the bottom corner of a wall

below: It looks like he has a strawberry beard and I’ll assume that that’s a can of spray paint in his hand, not a can of shaving cream!

street art painting on a garage door, turquoise background, a man standing with a spray paint can in his hand, awkeardly drawn, simplistic, man with only one eye and a large beard that looks like a strawberry

below: A yellow monster rises from the barrels.

behind a red van and two green metal barrels, a yellow monster street art painting on a wall

below: I didn’t touch it.  I just took a picture of it.

street art in blues and greys over whish someone has written in blue marker, don't touch this.

below: Anyone seen a guy running around in his underwear?

a pair of blue jeans are lying on the ground at the foot of a wall that has pink and green street art on it.

‘Making Peace’ is a traveling exhibit that is being shown in Toronto at the moment.  It was produced by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and was first shown in in 2010 as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 1910 Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to IPB.  It’s purpose is to promote peace as well as educate and inform.

It can be seen until the end of June on Front Street East in the Canary District (by Corktown Commons, east of the Distillery District).    In Toronto, the exhibit involves short four-sided pillars that line the sidewalk and each side of every pillar has a photo with a description or a quote from a famous person.  There is also a temporary gallery in an indoor space ‘loaned’ to the exhibit by one of the developers in the Canary District.

below: A painting in progress by Ford Medina showing Nelson Mandela in five colours.  These colours carry over into the outdoor exhibit and each colour represents the five main elements that IPB considers necessary for peace:
1. disarmament and nonviolence (purple)
2. conflict prevention and resolution (red)
3. economic and social justice (orange)
4. human rights, law and democracy (blue)
5. environment and sustainable development (green)

indoor temporary gallery for the Making Peace exhibit, a painter is in the midst of creating a large painting of five copies of a picture of Nelson Mandela, each copy is in a different colour, purple, red, orange, blue and green,

below: The display extends into Corktown Commons.  Here the pillars are green as this is the section for the fifth element named above, the environment.

outdoor exhibit, Corktown Commons, short pillars with 4 sides, each side has a picture and a description, the background colour is green which represents the environment and sustainability.

below:  Photo by Ribeiro Antonio.  The words that accompany this photo are: ” On 25 September 2015, the 193 countries of the UN agreed to an historic plan of action, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.  This plan contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.  These include ending poverty and hunger, improving health education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.”  If you are interested in this, there is more information on the UN website.

a photo of a person dressed in a large blue and green Planet Earth costume, holding the hand of a young boy as the walk on a beach towards the water

below: Blue is for human rights, law, and democracy and here you have an old black and white photograph of Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-1960), a British campaigner, apparently taken when she was in Australia speaking out on behalf of woman’s rights as part of the Suffragette movement.  The Suffragettes (or Women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU) was founded by a small group of women in 1903, including Sylvia, but during WW1 Sylvia was expelled from the WSPU because of her pacifist views and anti-war actions.  Her sister Adela shared similar views – she immigrated to Australia where campaigned against the First World War.

a vintage black and white photo that is part of an exhibit, outdoors, called Making Peace

below: Two photos.  The one on the right, of the woman holding the flower in front of the armed soldiers, was taken at a Peace March against the Vietnam War in Washington DC in 1967.  The photo on the left was taken in 2001 and is the back of a Kamajor fighter in Sierra Leone.  They played a role in the civil war that occurred in that country between 1991 and 2002.

2 sides, taken from the corner, of a box like structure, with black and white photographs on the two sides, one of the back of a man with a rifle across his shoulders and a backpack that says Lets go to school. The other photo is a woman standing up to a line of soldiers with bayonets.

below: A couple of the red pillars on Front Street with the blue sculpture, “The Water Guardians ” behind them.   The images on the closest pillar are of inside the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem as well as UN peacekeepers in Bosnia.

an outdoor art exhibit on peace, two of the structures used for mounting pictures on, with the blue sculpture on Front Street, Canaray District, in between the two boxes.

below: Closer to home, this pillar celebrates the work of the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.   Working with the city as well as with community groups, businesses, and individuals, they help to increase  Toronto’s tree cover.

a set of four photos about planting trees on the side of a square pillar, one of many pillars that are arranged in a line on the sidewalk.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”  Gandhi

below: Homeless migrant worker, China

picture of a woman sleeping underneath a picture of a woman lying on a bed, shown outdoors so there are some tree leaves in the picture

The exhibit continues until mid-September.

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!