Let’s start with the intersection itself. It’s where the 504 King car turns north to Broadview station and it’s where Jillys dominated the corner for many many years, more than 30 years in fact. Does anyone admit to lamenting the loss of Jillys 2 years ago? The building has stood on the corner for 124 years and was also home to the Broadview Hotel although I doubt it was the kind of hotel you’d book your mother into (well, at least not my mother!). Believe it or not, this isn’t a condo development.
below: Instead, the New Broadview Hotel, built by Streetcar Developments, will have 57 rooms, a rooftop bar and a ground floor restaurant. It will look approximately like this (from Broadview):
There was a reason I chose this intersection, and it wasn’t Jillys. I went looking for a new mural but I didn’t know exactly where it was. While I was looking, I explored and took some pictures because that’s what I do.
It wasn’t this street art painting I saw in an alley,
or this painting way up high beside a parking lot,
or this woman in a lane.
I passed by Debre Selam St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Such a long name! All over Toronto there are churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship for a lot of different religions. I am not sure how many there are but I’d love to find out. This Orthodox religion was new to me so of course I had to look it up. I learned that it was once part of the Coptic Orthodox Church which has existed since the 4th century. It split off in 1959 but remains a member of the Oriental Orthodox family. The church has 38 million members in Ethiopia. This church on Broadview is not the only one in Toronto, there are at least 2 others. I’m not sure how many people in Toronto are members of the church, or attend services here. (additional note: It’s located beside the Royal Canadian Curling Club which I think is a great juxtaposition).
The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes have their building just up Broadview from the Ethiopian church. They aren’t a religion but I had no idea what they were. When I think of “orders” of buffaloes I think of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble and their Loyal Order of Water Buffalo. Apparently the “Buffs” have been an organization since 1882, originating in London England. According to Wikipedia, “Membership is open to all males over the age of 18 who are willing to declare that they are “true and loyal supporters of the British Crown and Constitution”. Discussion of politics or religion is strictly forbidden at gatherings, as is gambling.” The building looks like it was once a school…. looking for ideas where to start looking for its history? Oh, that word ‘antediluvian’ – it means ‘before the flood’ as in the flood in the Old Testament, that one with Noah’s Ark.
I noticed some quirky things like this window. Any guesses as to what it used to be?
I walked through Joel Weeks park where I came face to face with a fox.
We exchanged glances for a moment or two but its interest was elsewhere ….
perhaps this rabbit?
Also in the park, four little squirrels with a giant acorn!
All it needs is a Scrat to come along and steal it!
Whoa, a little off track!
When I still couldn’t find the mural, I bought a cup of coffee and a bite to eat at Merchants of Green Coffee (no picture I’m afraid) and did the research I should have done previously. Coffee finished, then mural found.
below: Riverside Pollinator Mural by Nick Sweetman. (3 photos)
below: I also noticed this. I know that that’s tomorrow but for those of you who are keen and read this blog soon after it was published, you may still have time to get there! Free cake too! It’s at 777 Queen Street East.
As I walked north towards Dundas Street, I found myself on the grounds of Queen Alexandra Senior Public School and Seed Alternative School. Here is door 5. An excellent example of unkempt 1950’s and 1960’s public building architecture. I don’t mean to belittle the school and the people involved in making it work. I just think that it’s a sad looking place; schools should be inviting.
One could probably do a photoessay on the condition of the building and what it says about Toronto’s attitudes to school construction and maintenance, and perhaps by extension, what it says about Toronto’s attitudes to public buildings in general.
While we’re on the subject of architecture, there is a mix of lots of types in this area of the city. There are still lots of older houses, many of which have been renovated.
below: Side by side, old and new. ‘Second Empire’ architecture featured mansard roofs and dormer windows, both of which are seen in these old rowhouses. This style originated in France and arrived in Canada in the mid 1800’s where it seemed to remain popular for some time.
below: This house is a variation on the Workers Cottage (or Gothic Cottage style). A peaked roof over a central front door with one window on either side is the characteristic look of this style. This one is interesting in that it is actually the end one in a row of three.
below: I could go on and on about architecture. Instead, here’s one last picture of a jumble of styles (or non-styles!). Take a look around at the buildings that you see. Toronto doesn’t have much variation when it comes to the structure of the buildings, especially the older ones. We do know how to make them look unique though!