A detour, with pictures

Posted: April 22, 2017 in general Toronto

Not much blogging has been happening here because once again I’m on the road.  At the moment I’m spending a few days in Sophia Bulgaria.  Winter decided to give us one last blast of snow and frigid temperatures so I hid away in the National Gallery for a while the other day.

below: Three pictures. Not the brightest or the best but I was looking at the overall composition and trying to illustrate the general appearance of the rooms.  From left to right: 1. The Blue Door by Dimitar Arnaudiv (1933-1989), 2. Composition with Child by Radenko Misevic (1920-1995) and 3.  Guest by Ivan Kirkov (1932-2010).

Most of the rooms featured Bulgarian artists.  There was a few other European artists represented… a couple of Delacroix sketches and some old Dutch school painters to mention a few.

below: A larger than life statue of a painter in front of a large painting.  I couldn’t find any sign that named the painter but in one corner there is some Japanese (Chinese?) writing.  The statue is “Figure of Dechko Uzunov” by Dmir=tar Boikov (1927-2000)

Other interesting paintings and sculptures….

below: Threat by Georgi Chapkanov (b. 1943)

below:  The bust is “Portrait of Alexander Apostolov” by Nikola Chavdarov (1931-1966) and the painting is “Portrait of Valeri Petrov” by Naiden Petkov (1918-1989)

And ending on a colourful note –

below: Zoev’s House in Karlova by Nikola Tanev (1890-1962)

That’s just a brief look at some of the Bulgarian art that I have seen on my travels.  I’m not sure how much I will be blogging over the next while…. but stay tuned!  You never know (and neither do I!)

subtitle: Hanging out in front of Queen’s Park

There is a collection of statues in the front of Queen’s Park.  With the exception of the statue of Queen Victoria, they are of men who helped shape Toronto, Ontario, and Canada in the early years.    I was going to spend some time writing about what each person did but this post started to become very dull.  I don’t mean to diminish the accomplishments of these men, but reading a summary of their lives isn’t the most interesting way to spend time.   If you want to learn more about any of them, I’m sure you can find much more information online!

First, the monarch.  Queen Victoria.  She was born in 1819 (almost 200 years ago!) and became Queen in 1837 when just 18 years old.  She reigned for more than sixty years until her death in January of 1901.   Her husband, and father of her 9 children, was her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   The fact that her statue’s here is no surprise.  Queen’s Park was named in her honour after all – it was opened by her son Edward in 1860.  The statue though didn’t appear here until 1902, after her death.  It was designed by Mario Riggi.

statue of Queen Victoria in bronze. She's seated, wearing crown and holding mace/staff

Also in the front of the parliament buildings are the statues of six other historical figures:  Sir John A. Macdonald, John Graves Simcoe, Sir Oliver Mowat, George Brown, John Sandfield Macdonald, William Lyon Mackenzie, and Sir James Whitney.  Most people would recognize Sir John A. Macdonald as the first Prime Minister of Canada and some Torontonians might be familiar with the contributions of Mr. Simcoe to their history, but the other four men, who are they?

Let’s start with John Sandfield Macdonald (no relation to Sir John A. )   He was born in Glengarry County Upper Canada in 1812.  He was the first Prime Minister (Premier) of Ontario, starting with Confederation  and the formation of the province of Ontario on 1st July 1867.  He held that position until 1871.  The sculpture is by Walter Allward, 1909.

statue of a man, John Sandfield Macdonald, in front of the parliament buildings at Queens Park. An Ontario flag is reflected in the windows of the building.

 

Next,  Sir Oliver Mowat .  He was born in Kingston Ontario in 1820.  In 1840 he moved to Toronto to study law but in 1857 he was elected a Liberal member of the Legislature of the Province of Canada.  He held various government positions at both the provincial and federal levels up until his death in 1903.  He took part in the Quebec Conference of 1864 which led to Confederation in 1867.  He was the third Prime Minister (Premier) of Ontario after John Sandfield Macdonald and Edward Blake (who was leader for less than a year and has no statue).  He led from 1872 to 1896.     During his almost 24 years as leader of the Ontario Legislature he introduced the secret ballot in elections and extended suffrage beyond property owners.  He also created the municipal level of government.  Between 1897 and his death he was a Senator and then the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario.  This monument was unveiled in 1905 and was also designed by Walter Allward.

black statue of a man, Sir Oliver Mowat, standing with a book in one hand, and the other hand behind his back. The figure is on top of a grey stone rectangular column, autumn tree in the background.

below: Sir James Whitney was a member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly from 1888 until his death in 1914.  For the later part of those years he was the Premier of Ontario – he was elected four times as Premier.  The statue was sculpted by Hamilton MacCarthy and was unveiled in 1927

statue of a mna with his right arm extended, Whitney, in front of the parliament buildings at Queens Park.

I’ve also included William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861) with this group of men even though his statue is more to the west of the parliament buildings than in front of them.   He was the first mayor of Toronto (1834) although he was only mayor for a year.   He was also a leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837.

statue of William Lyon Mackenzie, shown from the waist up and missing his arms, trees in leaf behind him,

below: The oldest man of the lot is John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806), founder of the city of Toronto, the designer of Yonge Street, and one busy man in his time.

statue of a man in bronze standing on a grey stone column, yellow tree behind him. He's got a sword in one hand, with its point on the ground and he is leaning on it slightly

And last, the most well known of the men, Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada.

statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, on a grey day, in front of the Ontario Legislature at Queens Park in Toronto,

 

 

 

April 1st was International Pillow Fight day and like previous years, a group gathered at Nathan Phillips Square armed with pillows and ready for a fight.  Swinging, ducking and hitting as well as laughing and smiling, ensued.

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

below: Superman made an appearance

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square, father and son

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square, a girl and a boy wearing a hot dog costume

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square, two young girls

pillow fight

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

people, pillow fight, Nathan Phillips Square

below: A well deserved rest after a fight well fought.

two boys lie on pillos on the concrete ground of Nathan Phillips Square

Mt. Pleasant cemetery is the final resting place of about 168,000 people.  A small percentage of those are interred within mausoleums, some of which are fancier than others.   The following is a sample of the architecture of the mausoleums that I have seen there (including the doors of course).

below: The Eaton family mausoleum with its corinthian columns.   Timothy Eaton is buried here, the founder of the Eatons department store chain (that no longer exists).  Timothy apprenticed to a merchant in Ireland before emigrating to Canada.  After working in a number of stores in Ontario, he purchased a business at the SW corner of Yonge & Queen.  His store was one of the first to sell goods at a fixed price and only for cash…. no bargaining and no credit.

entrance to Eaton tomb/vault at Mt. Pleasant cemetery, two lions beside the steps that lead to the metal door, large corninthian columns on either side of the door.

fancy stone work over the top of the metal door in the Eaton vault. door is greenish colour with age

close up of a pane in a window with a metal window frame, square with lines dividing the pane into 8 triangles, stained glass window in the background. Looking into a vault at a cemetery

below: The Cox family mausoleum which was built in 1905. Sixteen people are buried here including George Albertus Cox (1840-1914) a business man and Senator, his two wives Margaret (d. 1905) and Amy (d. 1915) and their six children.   The building was designed by Sproat & Rolph who were the same architects that designed the Canada Life Building and the Royal York Hotel.  It cost $50,000 to build.

a metal door in a building in a cemetery, three large columns on each side of the door

below: Detail of the flower motif on the windows of the door above.

looking through the metal bars of a window, bars have little flower shaped metal pieces on it, looking into vault in cemetery, stained glas window in the background.

below: Robert Emmet Kelly died in 1915 while on his honeymoon in Atlantic City.  His wife Bessie had this monument built in his honour.  She was buried there when she died in 1964, 50 years after her husband.

small building in cemetery with words Robert Emmet Kelly carved in stone across the top of the door

below: Last, but not least, the Just sisters.   This mausoleum was originally built for Sir Frank Baillie who died in 1921.   His remains were moved to Oakville in the 1960’s and the building sat empty for a few years.  It was purchased by the Just family and now Gloria Irene Just (d. 1977) and Gladys Irene Just (d. 1970) are interned here.  They were daughters of Thomas Fullerton Just, a mining equipment dealer from Quebec.  Someone has left flowers.

front of cemetery tomb for Just family, wood door with engravings on it.

If you are interested in doors, there are lots of blogs that feature door photos on Thursdays…. check out Thursday Doors organized by Norm 2.0 for more information.   This post is a little late but shall we pretend that it’s still Thursday?

small painting of a red headed woman torso, amrs, and head, in a gold frame on a wall with lots of other paintings, except on e is missing and there is a white sign saying why its missing

All kinds of thoughts went through my head as I stood and looked at this painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  A little ho hum and a little melancholy and a little well what next.  There were no new exhibits since the last time that I visited the AGO and quite a few galleries were being prepared for new showings (i.e. closed).   A little bit of that’s a waste of time.   Even here there’s a painting missing.  … no, it’s only a waste of time if I let it be.

I stood and studied her face, the expression on her face, the tilt of her head and one hand held up.  What was going through her head?  Was the artist trying to tell us something about her?  Or was he just playing with composition in a limited space?  And that’s when the game began – what expressions hang on the walls of the AGO?  A sample:

 

below: part of “Time Dissolve” created around 1992 by Carl Beam (M’Chigeeng Ontario 1943-2000) using photo emulsion, acrylic and pencil on canvas.

part of Time Dissolve, an artwork by Carl Beam. Old photo of a woman seated on the ground bRed letters saying my mother are written on the woman and a red circle is around the boy's head

below: manipulating a series of portraits by Will Gorlitz (b. Argentina 1952).  The paintings were done in 1984 and are called Genre IV, Genre XVI, etc.  Nameless.   Unless her name was Genre and he’s painted her 6 times (one of the paintings in the row is not included here).

a series of 5 women's faces hung in a row on the art gallery wall, paintings by Will Gorlitz

below: Two pieces.  A sculpture called  “Eskimo Mother and Child” (about 1938) by Frances Loring and the portrait “Bess” by Canadian painter Lawren Harris.   I have talked about Loring in a previous post.

a sculpture of a woman with a child on her back, called Eskimo Mother and child by Frances Loring. She stands by a painting by Lawren Harris called Bess which a portrait of a woman in a black hat and black coat

below: part of “Melancholy”, oil on canvas, by Hendrick Terbrugghen (The Netherlands, 1588-1629)

a painting of a young woman sitting, with her hand resting on her hand, elbow on table, lit by candle light, called Melancholy painted by Hendrick Terbrugghen

below: part of “Waitress”, oil on canvas, by Shelley Niro, 1986  (b. USA 1954)

a painting of a waitress wearing black glasses serving a plate of food to a surprised looking red head woman with green eyes, called Waitress, painted by Shelley Niro

below: Engraving on paper, “Drunken Men at a Table” by Gillis Van Breen, Dutch, around 1600.

engraving on paper called Drunken men at a table, by Karel Van Mander, done late in the 1500's

below: The last picture is obviously from a painting with a religious theme. Unfortunately, the photo that I took of the tag with the artist’s name is too blurry to read.  I tried a google search on the image and the first hit was the Wikipedia page for Paul Bernardo.  Oh dear, Google that’s a fail… apparently it’s similar to a figure in a painting by Bernardo Carbone who was a painter in the 1600’s.   So Google put 2 and 2 together and got 17.   Hopefully you (and I) don’t get many 17’s!

part of a religious painting of a young man in a red robe kneeling before another man in white who has one hand on the young man's shoulder.

It was a foggy morning when I walked down McCaul Street.
The CN Tower had its head in the clouds.

looking south on McCaul street towards the CN tower, the top of the tower is covered in low cloud.

below: As I walked south on McCaul, this wall caught my eye.  It’s in an alley that runs perpendicular to McCaul but it can be seen from the street.

A quote by Voltaire in large capital letters, Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung.

below: There are a number of small lanes and alleys in the area and like most alleys, there was graffiti to be found such as these two animals – a whale and a bird having a friendly chat.

Two roughly drawn graffit animals on a wall, a duck and a whale, both in white paint with red details

below: Bugs Bunny is easy to find; he’s on McCaul.

mural of bugs bunny lying on the ground, head on elbow, eating a carrot

below: Just around the corner from the Wascally Wabbit is the Cat in the Hat from the Dr. Suess book of the same name.  This time, the cat’s mischief involves a can of spray paint.   Extra info: yes, you can still get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Toronto.

mural of the cat from the cat in the hat, the kids book by Dr. Suess, he's holding a can of spray paint.

below: More Dr. Suess, this time Thing 1 and Thing 2.  They are on the same mural as the Cat in the Hat and are running towards him.

thing 1 anf thing 2 from Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat in a mural on the side of a building.

below: Once upon a time you could smell fresh bread when you walked down McCaul but now Silversides bakery sits empty.

empty brick building, with ghost of sign that said Silversides in cursive writing,

below: Old row houses on Baldwin Street.  Most of the remaining old houses on Baldwin, especially those close to McCaul, have been converted into restaurants.

row houses on Baldwin street, three storey old brick houses with gabled roofs. One is now a restaurant.

below: A cheerful yellow house – another example of the older houses in the neighbourhood.

a small yellow bungalow is between two largeer and taller houses. It has a hedge in front and a yellow awning over the front door.

below: More colours…. evenly divided in pink and yellow.  They share a gable and a porch, both of which have interesting details in the woodwork.

a semi divided house, one side pink and the other side yellow, the gable of the house belongs half to one side and half to the other

below:  There’s not as much paint on these houses.  Instead, there is two coloured  brick pattern on all walls of the front of the house.  I wonder how many other houses have brick patterns hiding under their paint?

large semi divided brick house with a center gable and woodedn porch, also wooded oriel window over the front door.  Two colours in the brick work, eachhouse has painted wood a different colour

below: The sign beside the door says: Chinese Seniors Health & Recreation Association of Ontario.  An old Bell telephone booth sits on the corner.

old Bell telephone booth in front of a large semi divided three story house, painted white, fence in front, bikes parked against fence

below: The blue wall of the Art Gallery of Ontario as seen from the other side of Grange Park.  Grange Park has been under renovation for a number of months now but it is looking like it is close to completion.  Part of the renovation has involved creating a new space for Henry Moore’s sculpture, Large Two Forms, which sits on the corner of Dundas and McCaul at the moment.   The couple in this photo caught my eye because she’s in shorts and he’s in a parka with the hood up.

two people are walking up a wide path in a park, Grange Park, with the blue wall of the Art Gallery in the distance

below: Another Grange Park upgrade is the playground.

new playground in Grange Park with the box on pencil structure of OCAD behind it.

below: A lonely urban tree hiding amongst the clutter on the sidewalk.

a lonely tree grows out of a square of dirt on the sidewalk, street scene around it.

below: A large mural celebrating the Ride to Conquer Cancer covers the wall beside the entrance to the parking lot of Princess Margaret Hospital.

very large mural for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer showing scenes from a fund raising bike ride. Men and women and their bikes

below: This is painted in a slightly different style than the one above!

a mural showing a scantily dressed large breasted blonde woman kneeling amongst red mushrooms.

below: Sitting beside the anser face.

two pieces of street art, an anser face on one side, and a painting of a long haird blond woman sitting in a chair beside it, her back is to the viewer

below: More faces, this time two faces merged into one.

a line drawing graffiti of two faces merged into one, 2 noses, trhee eyes, two mouths,

below: Someone also has a homonym problem.

graffiti on a metal box on the sidewalk says I new this would happen. the words don't fit across the box and the en in happen are written below it

below: Not just a poser bunny, but an honest poser bunny.

a green piece of metal attached to a wood hydro pole with a white drawing of a poser bunny on it.   The word honest in white letters is written beside the bunny

below: A lone survivor.  The Richard Purdom House is the last house standing on this stretch of McCaul.  Richard Purdom was the architect and original owner of the house (1877).  It is a heritage building that “displays features of the Italinate style”.  Most of the buildings around it are hospital buildings (Mt. Sinai and Princess Margaret).  There is usually a car parked in front.

old brick house in front, modern hospital buildings in the background

below: Another bit of history – the bell tower of St. George the Martyr Anglican Church stands near the south entrance of Grange Park.   The original church first opened its doors here in 1845.  It could seat 750 people and the tower was topped with a spire that reached 150 feet.  In the early morning of 13 Feb 1955, the church burned.   The new church is behind the tower and part of the grounds is now a garden dedicated to the memory of the old church and its early congregations

old brick bell tower of a church.  The church burned down many years ago, leaving the tower.  A new church was built behind but you can't see it in the picture

below: Just before the end of the post…  I’m throwing in one window picture because every walk needs a window as much as this wall needs a fresh coat of paint!

two windows with brown frames on a cream coloured wall with the paint peeling to reveal the red brick beneath

Toronto street sign, McCaul St.

I was out earlier this evening, venturing out to a gallery opening on Avenue Road near Dupont.  It wasn’t meant to be a photo taking adventure but it was a sunny evening and rather than wait for a bus on Avenue Road, I started to walk.   It didn’t take long before the camera came out (yes, I usually have it with me!).  Have I walked here before?

a yellow traffic sign in front of a store window. Window is lit and has two female mannequins in it. Sign says Turning traffic must yield to pedestrians.

On Avenue Road just south of St. Clair West there are quite a few older apartment buildings and most are in good shape.

below: It’s nice to see that this building is being renovated.

old 6 storey brick apartment building that is undergoing renovations, bottom few storeys are covered in scaffolding.

below: Most of the apartment buildings in the area are mid to low rise.   If I remember correctly, the building on the right is the tallest  (and newest?)

three midrise apartment buildings.

side of an apartment building with a decorative panel running up the center.

below: You don’t see brickwork or stone details like these on newer buildings.

detail of the brick and stone work on an older apartment building. There are three stone women lying under each oriel window, diamond patterns in the brick on the exterior as well

below: Looking southeast, generally towards downtown, as you come down the hill on Avenue Road.  The bright green and red on the left is the De Lasalle College playing field.

view of downtown Toronto skyline from Avenue Road, just south of St. Clair.

below: Mural along the side of the lead up to the railway bridge.
The signature is Leventhal ’96

mural painted along the side of a wall that is part of the embankment for a railway bridge Mural is a country scene, grass and fields, a farm in the distance and a couple of trees.

below: Under the railway tracks.   I thought that the blue tiles were a nice feature – are there other tiles like this under any other Toronto bridges?

under a railway bridge, steel girders above, street passes under, across the street the lower part of the wall is blue tile, a man on a bicycle is passing by

two women walk past a brick house with green wood features, porch, windows, garage door.

below: The turret (steeple?) of De Lasalle College

De Lasalle Callege building, an old brick house with a turret , trees, lawn,

below: One of the entrances to the Mayfair Apartments.

decorative entranceway for the Mayfair apartment building. Woood doors, carved stone above and beside the door

below: Another of the entrances (there was at least one more).  The stonework is similar but the old light fixtures are still in place.  In the picture above, you can see the holes  where the lights once were.

entrance to the mayfair apartments. 396 Avenue Road, stone work and old light fixtures

below: Old wood door on Avenue Road.

old wood door with mailbox and number 280

below:  The first signs of a republic… I had heard about the Republic of Rathnelly  but I didn’t know anything about it, including its location.    Back in 1967  the residents of the officially seceded from the rest of Canada, originally as a form of protest against the proposed Spadina Expressway that would have physically divided the community.    The founders named their republic after Rathnelly Avenue which runs parallel to Avenue, one street to the west.   Rathnelly Avenue was named after William McMaster’s birthplace of Rathnelly, Ireland.  (McMaster Avenue is there too).  William McMaster (1811-1887) was a founding president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce between 1867 and 1887.  He was also a senator.   The special street signs were designed in 2012.

Toronto street sign that says Poplar Plains Cr and also says Republic of Rathnelly

below: A painted sign on the side of The Avenue Diner (at Davenport Road).  It was closed when I walked by so I’ve made a note to myself to go back and see if the interior has changed much since 1944.

old faded mural painted on wood on the exterior side wall of the Avenue Diner. shows people sitting at a lunch counter with an employee behind

below: Across the street from The Avenue Diner is the Havana Coffee Bar. The old building still has a ghost ‘Tamblyn’ sign on it.  To me, Tamblyns was a drug store but was it something else prior to that?  I can’t read the smaller word below ‘Tamblyn’ on the building.  …. A quick check and the answer is ‘no’ – Gordon Tamblyn opened his first pharmacy in 1904 and by the time he died in 1933, he had a chain of about 60 stores.

old building with ghost sign on the upper storey, Tamblyns, bottom part now a dry cleaners and the Havana bar and grill.  A bus shelter is beside the building and some people are waiting for a bus.

…and then I found myself in Yorkville but that’s a whole different story!

a very large fake diamond ring, single stone, sculpture size, about 3 feet in diameter, stands in front of an old fashioned clock in front of some stores