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

This is a Thursday Doors post. 

I wanted to find a poem or a quote or something like that to accompany this post.  A post about opening doors to get home.  I only found poetry best said at a funeral…  not so good for a sunny March afternoon.   I’ll save the poetry in case I ever do a series of cemetery doors.

How many doors do you go through in a day?

You aren’t going to find any historical doors here nor have I taken any pictures of colourful, ornate, or classy doors for this post.  Instead, I decided to use photos of a few of the doors that I had to pass through on my way home the last time I went exploring, starting with the subway at St. Patrick station.

a woman is opening the glass doors of St. Patrick station, at street level, on University Ave

two sets of double doors, TTC subway station, metal doors with glass insets.

doors to bus platform at Davisville station, bus platform, are slightly ajar, a bus has just pulled up (and facing the camera) and people are getting ready to get on it.

people getting on a TTC bus at Davisville station

These are doors that I pass through frequently yet I rarely notice them.   Usually I see them more as an impediment to where I want to go.   Maybe I should pay them more attention?

***

For Thursday Door posts by other people, see Norm Frampton’s blog at Norm 2.0.  He is the originator of the Thursday Door idea and he also keeps track of which other blogs have participated.

 

 

I happened across this mural on Church Street the other day.

a long horizontal mural across the bottom of two buildings beside a parking lot in downtown Toronto, the Dream Chaser

It is called ‘The Dream Chaser’ and it was painted in 2016 as a Wallnoize project.

below: Be creative….

left side of dream chaser mural

middle section of dream chaser mural

one end of a colourful mural with many shapes and colours, with the title of the mural, The Dream Chaser

below: With a big thanks to…..

signatures and notes of thanks to all those who helped create the Dream Chaser mural as part of wallnoize project

If you stand with your back to the Dream Chaser mural, you can see this one on the other side of the parking lot.  It was also painted in 2016.  I think that the text/tag on the right is Vista but I am not sure about the one on the left.

a mural across the bottom of a red brick building, beside a parking lot, eyeball in the middle, a tag on either side, the one on the right is probably vista

big eyeball painted in the midlle of a mural

legs and feet of girls in frilly green tutus as they dance in a parade

St. Patricks Day Parade, 19 March 2017

bagpipe player wearing a green hat for St. Patricks day

Watching floats, bands, banners, flags, leprechauns, bagpipes, drums, dancers, hurlers, soccer players, dragons, shamrocks, leprechauns, crazy hats, green hats, green everything, but most of all, people.

woman holding a metal flag pole, she's wearing big shamrock shaped glasses

feet and legs of two girls dancing on a float in a parade

a woman in a green cowboy hat with a green fringe, a green shamrock sticker on her cheek and wearing a green, orange and white scarf

a retired fireman with a green tam, moustanche and a big green bowtie

st. patricks day parade, man wearing a costume that makes it look like a large leprechaun is grabbing him around the knees

a man holds one end of a white banner that says County Kildare, St. Patricks Day parade

boys running a parade. one is wearing an orange body suit that also covers his face, also green tshirt and white shorts and green bowler.

a flute player in a blue uniform plays and walks in a parade. Other musicians in the background

two women with little green hats perched on their heads watch the St. Patricks Day parade

Ramses shriners band marches and plays in the St. Patrick Day parade. Red trousers, black jackets, large green shamrocks decorating their drums

a man playing the bagpipes in a St. Patricks day parade. he's wearing an oversized green and white striped hat with a band of shamrocks on it. Also wearing a big green bowtie

a middle aged woman in a fireman's jacket sits on a float in a parade (firetruck?) whe is holding a small teddy bear with a green sweater and a young girl is with her

a man is walking a dog in a parade. the dog is wearing a grewen hat for St. Patricks day

a group of adults and youth from Scouts Canada walk in the St. Patricks day parade, carrying lots of Canadian flags

a girl wearing green sunglasses and a scout uniform

a man stands on a sidewalk along with other people. he is dressed a costume that is a green beer bottle, his head is the neck of the bottle

adults and kids sitting on the sidewalk watch drummers go past in a parade. girl with big green bowtie and boy with long green tie and green bowler hat

three boys among a crowd of onlookers at a parade. The boy in the middle is wearing green and dancing as he watches

five kids sitting on a float in the St. Patricks day parade

liuna union members walk in the St Patricks day parade in Toronto

a young girl with a liuna union jacket on walks in a parade. she is wearing beer bottle shaped glasses

St. Patrick in the parade, talking to spectators on the sidewalk

a woman with a big smile and wearing purple gloves is holding up a white banner in a parade

a father and daughter have seats on the sidewalk as they watch a parade go by

two old yellow police cars in the St. Patricks day parade

chinese dragon, with two people inside it working it, walking down the street in a parade with spectators standing on the sidewalk

people standing and sitting on a small outdoor patio, on the sidewalk, watching the St. Patricks day parade go past. The bar is the Smiling Cow.

an older man in green Irish tophat and green coat and green bowtie

a man is dressed in an elvis costume, he's silver Elvis - skin all with silver makeup, holding a guitar

two boys wearing hats and oversized green ties watch a band march past in the St. Patricks day parade, bag piper in the very foreground.

a man and his two kids watch a parade. They are wearing big green and white hats

a woman cheers as she watches a parade from the sidewalk. Her partner is standing beside her

from the back, not much of his face is visible, a man wearing a green wig and a green tam with a pom pom on top

Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario, talks to a policeman and another man outside, before the start of a parade

 

What to do on a cold day when the wind is vicious and blows right through you?   It blows through my hat, my ears and my brain.  It makes my head hurt.  Not the ideal walking day even with all my winter layers on.   I have been thinking about my walk along Sheppard Avenue and some of the issues with public transit and while doing so I realized that I had never been on the Scarborough Rapid Transit.  With all the talk about Sheppard subway vs LRT, I decided that maybe I should check it out.  So instead of a walk, I went for a ride and took the SRT to McCowan and back.

First I had to get to the SRT which starts at Kennedy subway station.

reflections of a woman in a red jacket sitting on the subway, reflected in the window beside a woman who is standing on the platform

At Kennedy I was a lost tourist as I searched for the route between the subway and the SRT.  Here the SRT trains run above street level so it took a couple of escalators and some stairs to reach the platform.

below: Standing on the platform and waiting for the train.  Kennedy station is at Kennedy & Eglinton and I think that this is the view looking east from there.

SRT tracks curve away from platform, outside, apartment building in the background, some snow on the tracks

below: The train arrives.

platform at Kennedy SRT station with people waiting as a blue train arrives

below: Leaving Kennedy station.   The first part of the route is north and runs parallel to the CNR & Stouffville GO line train tracks.     The red and white cars are the original colour from when the SRT opened in 1985.  In 2015 the TTC began painting the cars blue to match the colour scheme that now goes with “Line 3” on the TTC maps.  They also began two switch over the name of the SRT to Line 3 Scarborough.

the Scarborough RT train as it leaves Kennedy station, the track curves so you can see the front of the train out the window

below: I wasn’t the only tourist on the train!  After being on the subway, it felt a bit like being on a toy train.  The cars are smaller.  The trains are powered by linear induction motors which are quite different from conventional motors.  They push themselves along the tracks using alternating flat magnets.   That’s a very simplistic description of the science of induction motors but I’m sure that you can use google to find more information if you are interested!

looking down the length of an SRT car, two young women are looking out the back window. seats down either side, red on one side and blue on the other

below: The Scarborough RT,  also referred to as TTC line 3, covers  6.4 km on its route from Kennedy station to McCowan station.  There are six stops, Kennedy, Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland, Scarborough Centre, and McCowan.  Note the blue colour on the map!

a map of the SRT route is on the wall behind two red seats of an SRT car, view out the window is not easy to see but it is the platform at Lawrence East station

below: Ellesmere station. Apparently it is the least used station in the system, less even than Bessarion.

interior wall of Ellesmere station, covered (plastic?) glass wall, large black letters saying Ellesmere, and a bright red bench, snow on the curved translucent roof

faded TTC symbol on the exterior of a rapid transit vehicle

below: Looking out the back window.  The tracks are standard gauge whereas the subway runs on tracks that are wider so the TTC can’t run their subway cars on these tracks.

looking out the dirty window at the back of a SRT vehicle, tracks and some cityscape

below: This is the view at McCowan station, the end of the line. Although it was a very quiet ride to McCowan, the train was full on the ride back to Kennedy with Scarborough Centre being the most crowded station.   It took 40 minutes to go from McCowan to Bloor/Yonge.

a SRT train is stopped at McCowan station,

***

blurry person standing on the platform at Greenwood station, with reflections of people sitting on the subway

reflections in the subway window along with people sitting on the train

Last week I visited what remains of Mirvish Village, that stretch of Markham Street just south of Bloor Street next to Honest Ed’s store.  As most of you know, Honest Ed’s closed at the end of 2016.  All the stores and businesses in the first block of Markham Street have now closed too.  The buildings still remain although they are empty and a blue temporary fence now separates them from the sidewalk.   I am not sure if they are going to be demolished, or the facades retained, when that area is redeveloped in the near future.   I was interested in documenting what remains and/or what is going to disappear as Markham Street undergoes yet another transition in its long and storied life.

Some of the photos that I took were of doors.  For a few weeks now I have been following the blog My Life Lived Full .  Joanne (the author of said blog) participates in “Thursday Doors” which is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.  I like doors and have many photos of doors.  I’m not sure I’ll be a regular contributor to “Thursday Doors” but I thought that I would add my collection of Mirvish Village doors to this weeks feature.  The following door pics were either taken last week when everything was empty or on the last day of 2016 when businesses were winding down.

below: The upper level was a gallery.  The words ‘No Man’ are still on the door.

a pile of green chairs in front of the steps up to a pale blue building, lower level is painted yellow.

feench doors painted blue with a small blue picket fence in front, two white chairs upside down in front of the door

single door with large pane of glass, reflections in the glass, snow on the porch, a pigeon standing in the snow

below: This is one of the photos from the 31st of December. Tintin is no longer there.

the door of a book store, with a cut out of Tintin beside it and a drawing of a creature with 4 legs and 4 arms, the hands are all holding something

grey door, white porch, crooked grey steps

two doors on a brightly painted buidling. a flower is painted around the door, blue paint,

the doors at the entrance to the Apiecalyps Vegan restaurant, whose symbol is a raccoon. glass doors, steps down from street level to the entrance

below: Entrance to the Victory Cafe with the Christmas lights still wrapped around the post and a clipboard in one of the windows.

two purple doors side by side at the top of 6 stairs, on a red brick building

below: The back of one of the buildings on Markham Street.  This photo was taken from the parking lot behind Honest Eds.

grey metal door at the top of a steep staircase, back door, upper storey of a beige building with windows covered with stuff on the inside

below: Honest Ed’s exit onto Markham Street with its overlapping and out of date shopping hours sign over the door.

exit doors of Honest Eds store, 2 sets of glass double doors, red walls beside, store opening hours painted above the door. Galss is covered from the inside

This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys.  The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects.  For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches.  Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables.  There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below).  It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.

two women looking over a table with art displays on it , in an art gallery

below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida.  It was unsuccessful.  He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.

a young man is looking at two video screens that are mounted on the wall

a line of little sailboats on the floor, all parallel to each other, the base of the boat (hull) is a flip flop or sandal.

below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.

4 small green and yellow pictures on a pink wall

Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.

a display of pictures, paintings, drawings, sketches, and notes as part of an art exhibit

below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan.  There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.

3 wood benches in front of a table mounted to a wall, art on the table, a video screen on the wall with a movie about kids in Afghanistan flying kites, some people in the background

below: Weapons made of found objects

in a yellow room with two small pictures hanging crookedly on the wall. A table in the middle of the room, glass covering artwork on the table. Sitting on the table is an automatic rifle (artwork) made of found objects

below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here

close up of a sculpture of an automatic rifle where the round of ammo is replaced by a reel of film

a circle of art weapons, automatic rifles, made of found objects, with barrels all pointed inwards,

The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.

a little wooden human figure is doing the front crawl, one arm outstretched, on a bubble of clear plastic on a table top