Posts Tagged ‘Yonge St.’

below: A lonely ladybug and bumblebee await the return of the kids.   Playgrounds still closed because of Covid-19.

playground with a large ladybird to sit on and a webshaped climbing ropes also with a closed for covid-19 sign

below: Barriers around the pool in front of the Toronto 3D sign at Nathan Phillips Square.  A perfect spot for a quiet picnic.

3 D toronto sign in front of city hall

A couple stands behind the o in 3 D toronto sign, barriers in front of sign, most of the water has been removed from pool in front, so have puddles with reflections of sign and city hall

below: New mural on Charles Street – painted September 2019, by Justus Becker (from Frankfurt Germany) as part of the 2019 StART mural exchange program.  One lens of the glasses is reflecting Toronto while the other lens mirrors Frankfurt.

tall mural onthe side of an apartment building, about 10 storeys high

below: Behind College Park (777 Bay Street)

behind 777 college street at college and bay streets, large tall condo buildings with a park in between

street scene

reflections in a large window on Yonge Street, a woman walks towards the window, the reflections of a man walking the other way are in the window

two men sitting on the sidewalk feeding pigeons, many pigeons, a security guard stands by a door behind them and a woman with a face mask walks past

a slightly arched window in an old brick building. Some panes of glass are gone and holes boarded up with plywood. Other panes are cracked. A pigeon rests on the window ledge by a gap in the window

s couple standing on a corner on Yonge street waiting for a light to change, and talking

below: If plants die on city property and no one is there to notice, does it really matter?

pale lime green planters in front of a concrete building, with dead plants in them.

below: Two big rats anthropomorphized into a cute little Chinese couple on a Canada Post box.  They appear on some of the stamps issued by the post office in honour of the Year of the Rat.  The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the  12 year cycle of the old Chinese calendar.  The rat also represents the hours of 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., in other words, both midnight and the beginning of a new day.   Perhaps we are approaching midnight and our new day is just around the corner?

Canada Post mailbox decorated with a picture of a mouse couple dressed in Chinese traditional outfits, cartoon-like, to celebrate lunar new year and year of the rat

below: Is this seat taken?

two mattresses discard in a lane beside a blue railing

below: Who can resist Unicorn Beauty?

two store fronts on Yonge Street, Unicorn Beauty and a Japanese restaurant

Social distancing can be challenge even when most people are staying home.  The way that the city and construction sites manage the sidewalks downtown barely worked before.  Now, the confinement of the sidewalk space makes it impossible for two people to pass and still comply with safety guidelines.   With some awareness, along with the ability to walk on the streets, it is possible to give everyone ample room.  There is a debate going on about whether or not to close some streets, or at least close some lanes to traffic, to provide more space for walkers.   Those on the “no” side such as the Toronto Public Health,  claim that it just encourages more people to be out when they should be at home; it undermines “directives against people congregating in groups”.

More recently, a program called CurbTO has begun whereby some curb lanes are opened to either pedestrians or to parking for curbside pickup from stores.  But even here, it’s not necessarily for walkers, but for people lining up to get into stores.   It’s going to be a very different situation once pedestrian and  traffic levels start to return to what they were in the old days and there are going to have been some infrastructure adaptations.

below: Navigating the sidewalks while still complying with what governments and health officials are suggesting.   Note the poster on the wall “We are all in this together”.

a woman walks down Yonge Street under a covered walkway (for construction) and towards a man half sitting and half lying on the sidewalk, with one leg stuck out into the sidewalk

below: It’s not often that traffic stops on Yonge Street for pedestrians and their pets.

a car stops on Yonge street to let a man and his white dog cross the street

below: On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gerrard, the facade of an old building is being preserved.

building on south east corner of Yonge and Gerrard is being demolished except for the facade which is being preserved

facade of a building on a corner being saved while rest of building is demolished

below: Brick and roofline details.

corner of a facade being saved during construction, old brick and detail work, window with no glass, showing metal supports keeping the wall up

below: I was impressed by the engineering that is involved in keeping these old facades intact while the interior is gutted.

metal framework and concrete weights that are used to shore up the walls of a facade being saved during redevelopment

a man sits on the stairs in front of the Ryerson Student Union building while another man walks past

ambulance with paramedics talking to a man who is sitting in the ambulance, at Yonge and Dundas in front of the Easton Centre

In front of the zanzibar club, sign, with flags and words, that say no corona here we only sell Molsons,

below: Talking to the polaroid guy.

a woman in a yellow and black striped scarf stops to look at a picture on a wall decorated with many black and white stripes going in many different directions, on the stripes is an enlargement of a polaroid picture of a man standing in a field with an airplane flying over him

a woman walks towards the side of a TTC streetcar as it crosses over Yonge Street

below: No standing takes on a new meaning

street signs now partially obscured by covering over sidewalk at construction site

below: Looking south on Bay Street from Queen.

Bay street, looking south from Queen

below: Richmond Street construction, west of University Avenue.

Richmond street, construction, looking west from University Ave

This was my first time on the subway since mid-March.  There were very few people there so it was easy avoiding them but once again, safely re-opening a city is not going to be easy.    The packed buses and subways are going to be problematic.

below: Only some subway seats can be occupied.

empty seats on TTC subway car, signs on seats saying do not sit here, social distancing measure re covid-19

 

or maybe chicken fight.   ‘Fight’ seemed a little too violent whereas ‘squabble’ seems to minimize the protesters concerns.  Somewhere in the middle lies the truth perhaps.  I am referring to the scene outside Canada’s first Chick Fil A restaurant here in Toronto – at Yonge and Bloor of all places.

some people at a protest in front of Toronto's Chick Fil A restaurant on its opening day. One man is wearing a trans flag and holding a sign that says one fight for Animal freedom and LGBQT rights. a woman has a placard that says Chick Fil A, dead body with a side of homophobia

In case you are unfamiliar with the backstory – Chick Fil A is still a family business (the Cathy family) yet it is the largest chicken restaurant in the USA as well as that country’s third largest fast food restaurant.   There are more than 2300 Chick Fil A’s south of the border.

a woman with a chicken head costume on, draws with chalk on the sidewalk while other people stand around her

The controversy started a few years ago when the Cathy’s came out against same sex marriages and their family foundation donated to organizations that were anti-LGBQT.

a young woman holds up a black sign with a large gold heart on it and the words love for all

police block off a lane of traffic to make sidewalk wider to accommodate a protest

below: Police controlling the numbers of people who enter the restaurant.

people control the people coming in and out of a restaurant while a small protest goes on

two men standing beside a police bike on the street. on the right, a construction workman with orange reflective vvest, holding a slow sign upside down and on the left, a young man in a purple t shirt and dark shorts, watching a protest on Yonge street

a man across the street from a protest holds up a sign that sign that says good food knows no orientation

a protest sign lies on the sidewalk as people pass by

a man wearing a red t shirt that says Chick Fil Hate

 

Nothing special happening, no special events.  Just people going about their Saturday afternoon.

At Yonge & Dundas

at the south west corner of Yonge and dundas, people. A man is playing drums, a woman sits on the sidewalk, other people are talking to each other, a man is dressed in outlandish clothes and is sitting on a stool giving out papers to those who pass by

by one of the entrances to the Eaton Centre, outside, a man leans against a wall while a woman with reddish purple hair talks to him. She is wearing floral pants and has a pale pink handbag. Other people are coming out the doors of the Eaton Centre

a man stands on the sidewalk beside a red car. He is looking at his phone. A man in the background leans against a store window, two other men are walking past

a father and son stand in front of a large store window with lots of reflections. Father is wearing a Toronto blue jays shirt

Along Queen Street

two women walking across the passage from the Eaton Centre to the Bay, over Queen Street. One is wearing a pink dress and is pointing to something. the other woman is trying to figure out what she is pointing at

a woman talks into a microphone, about religion, a man sleeps on the sidewalk in the background as people and a TTC streetcar pass by. A mother and daughter are walking on the sidewalk and longing down at the sleeping man

a man sleeps under a bright orange blanket on the sidewalk on Queen Street while people's feet pass by

flowers in the foreground, a woman standing alone in a bus shelter, reflections in the shelter of the flowers

a woman in black on a bike is stopped for a red light in front of a bus shelter. A woman in blue is walking past on the sidewalk, reflections in a store window, a woman in a grey U of T hoodie stands beside the bus shelter. two orange and green taxis are in front of the bike

At Nathan Phillips Square

two men playing chess outside. One man has very long hair and is wearing a red shirt and a black baseball hat an dark sunglasses

a young girl in a Canada T shirt sits in the O of the 3 D Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips square, people walking behind her, a man turns to look over his shoulder and appears to be looking at the girl

a young Asian woman in a wide brim hat and large sunglasses sits on a concrete bench at Nathan Phillips square as a man walks behind her

large trees in a park, a person walking in the park along with a white dog

below: After the rain the leaves lie stuck to the path and tangled up in the grass.

wet path in park, after a rainfall, leaves on the ground, on the path and amongst the blades of green grass still growing in the park

below: Or stuck in the fence

a few yellow and pale orange leaves have been caught in a chainlink fence, close up shot

in a park, after the rain, autumn, red leaves and yellow leaves on the trees, many leaves on the ground

below: You can’t escape the cranes…..

in a park, with picnic bench in the foreground, some people walking on the path, houses on street in middle ground and construction cranes and highrise under construction in the background.

below: … or the hoardings.

a small construction vehicle parked beside a sidewalk with orange barricade and sign that says pedestrians use other sidewalk, a path has been made on the side of the street for pedestrians.

large square brick house from the early 1900s, windows boarded up and green plywood hoardings in front

below: Magnus and Angel are missing…. Is this a coincidence?

two lost posters on a utility pole, one for Magnus the cat and the other for Angel the bird.

below: Pink flowers and a purple door.

closse up of the front of a row of white houses, a garden with plant with large pink flowers in front, one of the houses has a light purple front door

old black and white no parking sign on the side of a stone church, with engraved stone above it that says A.D. 1897

below: Built in 1892, this building was once the Church of the Messiah Rectory. The church is the next building to the right (with the slightly yellow stones)

stone building, with castle like features, former Church of the Messiah Rectory on Avenue Road, now office building and medical clinic. Three storey grey stone

below: Faded flower of a different kind

faded metal sunflower wedged between a fence and a small tree

below: Building behind the Rosedale Diner, as seen from Crown Lane

side of a garage painted with a couple of large red flowers

below: Locked door

particle board door on a shed, painted pale blue and with a large red flower

below: Graffiti on private property.

private property no trespassing sign on chainlink fence, trees and building behind, graffiti on the building

below: The limestone Summerhill LCBO store which was originally the North Toronto Canadian Pacific train station.  The clock tower is 43m high.

view of front of Summerhill LCBO store, former CP train station, olf light brown stone building.

below: From a different angle, the station when it was first built in 1916.  The tracks are still there but only freight trains pass by these days.  It only lasted as a passenger station until September 1930.   Back in the day if you wanted to take a train to Lindsay or Bobcaygeon, this is where you’d go although you could also get a train to Ottawa (via Peterborough & Smith’s Falls) or Montreal.

old black and white phot of North Toronto train station when it opened in 1916. It is now the Summerhill LCBO store on Yonge Street.

below: No stop ahead

trees and woods behind, a yellow diamond shaped sign with picture of stoplight, telling people that there is a traffic signal ahead, except that the red light has faded and disappeared

below: “Help negro and white people mass (?) produce painted stones and hide them” plus a lot of other lines and shapes that might be letters or words.

small sapling growing beside a concrete wall that has graffiti words written on it

below: I also came across this box yesterday – Sam the Chinese Food Man and other signs.

painted metal Bell box on sidewalk, painted with an old scene from Yonge street with signs for stores and restaurants

below: I have vague memories of such a Sam’s restaurant so I went online to find out more about it.  What I found is this image in a “Lost Toronto” blogpost.  It is Yonge Street just south of Gerrard (the Rio Theatre was 373 Yonge Street).   Did you know that Toronto once had a wax museum?

old colour photo of part of yonge street

Photo source:  ‘Lost Toronto’ blog, post titled ‘When Yonge St Was Fun

… and it ended with a trip down memory lane.

Art on construction hoardings.

below: Looking northwest at the intersection of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West where seven large collages by Daniel Mazzone dominate the corner.

intersection of St. Clair and Yonge, looking northwest, construction hoardings, people crossing the street

below: On the right, James Dean.  It’s difficult to see in this photo, but there are some pink letters on either side of his face.  On the left it says “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  On the right is says, “Live as if you will die today”.

a man stands at a bus shelter on St. Clair Ave, two large paintings on construction hoardings, by Daniel Mazzone, are behind him

below: She repeats.  This woman is at the two ends.  As far as I can tell, the only difference is the colour of the pattern in the background.   On St. Clair it’s purple while it’s red on Yonge.   Superman is on her forehead and, in fact, most of the pieces that are used in this artwork are from Superman comics.

large maural by Daniel Mazzone, on construction hoardings, a woman's face and head, created by a collage of smaller images

below: Charlie Chaplin above the bus shelter.  Many of the images used to create the face are also pictures of Charlie Chaplin.

a man sits on a bench at a bus shelter on St. Clair, with a large collage picture of Charlie Chaplin behind him, created by Daniel Mazzone

below: Love sees no colour, with Michael Jackson above Yonge Street.

two murals by Daniel Mazzone, one of which is Michael Jackson in his red Thriller jacket, and the other is a woman in a cap blowing dandelions white puffy stuff, other flowers and butterflies too along with the words Love Sees No Colours.

below: “Looking for Beauty” by Daniel Mazzone.  Does she see any?  There are a few Supermans here too, especially in her face.  “Splow” is written in green on her neck.

mural above the sidewalk, as people walk by, Yonge Street street sign, traffic,

two young women holding signs that say, Love Open Streets, prove it. #openstreetsto

Open Streets – the second, and final, Open Streets for 2018 was held last Sunday.   Large sections of Bloor and Yonge Streets downtown were closed to traffic leaving lots of room for cyclists, pedestrians and a number of activities.

below: Axe Capoeira

a man is flipping upside down in front of an audience on the sidewalk

below: Mayada’s Belly Dance at Yonge & Bloor

the intersection of Yonge and Bloor at Open Streets, belly dancers performing for an audience, Nordstroms Rack store in the background

below: And other dancing in the street too – or rather, a very active fitness session!

four young people dancing in the street, two male and two female.

below: It looks like animals can dance too… this dog seems to be having a great time!

people in life size animal costumes including heads, dance along in a fitness session on Yonge street during Open Streets

below: Little drummer boy on a fancy Home Depot drum set!

a young boy uses wooden drum sticks to bang on upturned orange plastic buckets from Home Depot, outside, activity at Open Streets

looking east on Bloor past the Royal Ontario Museum, no traffic, for Open Streets, some cyclists, tall buildings in the background

below: Decorating bikes and scooters

close up of hands decorating a scooter with flowers and foam shapes

below: Sharing a hammock in the middle of Yonge Street.

a young couple share a hammock strung between two trees on a diving strip own the middle of Yonge Street, their bikes are parked beside the hammock

a woman with flowers in hair in profile

below: Trumpet lessons

a man teaches a boy to blow a trombone, outdoors, activity on the sidewalk during Open Streets

a couple cycles together up Yonge street, on rented Bixi bikes, holding hands

below: Yoga in the park

doing yoga on grass laid down on the street, Bloor Street, temporary park for Open Streets

below: And for those who were looking for something less active…

a man has fallen asleep on the grass beside the OPen Streets Park sign,

below:  Yonge Street was also on the route of the 2018 Toronto AIDS walk

a policeman on a bike leads an AIDS walk up Yonge Street, people holding a banner follow him and then many people wearing red T-shirts

people wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs, walking in a walk to raise funds and awareness for AIDS, on Yonge Street.

below: A Lamborghini.  0 to 60 in how many seconds?

turquoise Lamburghini bike locked along with other bikes

two women sitting on the steps of a building having a discussion, a yellow bike is in the foreground

two women walk with their young children, strollers, down Yonge Street during OPen Streets, downtown Toronto in the background

While walking on Yonge Street on the day of the Pride Parade, I noticed that the St. Charles tavern clock tower was visible once more.  Also on that day, I heard someone ask the person beside them what the tower was.  The answer was something like, “I don’t know what it is but it looks interesting.”  I went back this weekend to take some pictures – not quite so many people in the way!

below: The St. Charles as it was back in the 1950’s.  It was built by Charles Hemstead who had made his money in real estate and horse breeding.  Hemstead sold it in 1958 but it continued as the St. Charles until 1987.

black and white photo from 1955 of the St. Charles Tavern and it's clock tower on YOnge Street

photo credit: 1955. Photo by James Salmon, originally found  at Toronto Public Library. I found it online at Toronto.com in an excellent article about  the history of the building and its role in the LGBQT community.

I have always associated the tower with the St. Charles Tavern but I now know that the tower pre-dates the St. Charles by many decades. It was built as part of Fire Hall Number 3 in the 1870s. Although the fire hall is long gone (it was replaced by the fire hall on Grosvenor Street in the 1920’s), the clock tower has survived several changes of ownership.  It is also going to survive the next change which, of course, is the building of a large glass and steel condo on the southwest corner of Yonge & Grosvenor.

below: The site has been cleared.  Looking south from Grosvenor.

construction site, downtown Toronto, clock tower of St. Charles tavern, tall condos, construction equipment

below: Looking north up Yonge Street towards Grosvenor.  The yellow scaffolding is holding up the brick facade of 480 and 482 Yonge Street.  It too will be incorporated into the new development.  Can you count how many new condos there are? Did you notice that the two clock faces say different times?

looking north up Yonge Street towards Grosvenor, clock tower still there, yellow scaffolding holding up the facade of an old brick building

The clock kept time until 1969.  It had been maintained by the city up until then.  Repairs and upkeep stopped when the city decided that the cost was too much.   Maybe it will function once again in the near future.

St. Charles tavern clock tower stands on a construction site as a woman on a bike cycles past

below: An archway has been built into the back of the clock tower.

close up of the lower part of clock tower, with archway that has been constructed at the back

looking up, condo towers and the clock tower from the St. Charles tavern