Archive for the ‘locations’ Category

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

Right now, the section of Sheppard Avenue East between Yonge and Leslie streets is a mix of old, middle aged and new – a hodge podge of sizes, styles and uses.   It’s neither ugly nor pretty.  It’s not sure if it’s city or  suburban.

below: The intersection of Bayview and Sheppard from the southwest.

main road with traffic, coming to an intersection, with a tall building in the background

You’ll probably never hear anyone say, “Hey, let’s go for a walk along Sheppard”.  So why was I there?   I’ve driven along this stretch many times but I have never walked it.  Have I been missing something?

below: A short distance west of Bayview is the modern brick St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, or ÁrpádHázi Szt. Erzsébet Római Katolikus Templom according to their sign.  Sunday mass is in Hungarian.   If you are driving past on Sheppard Ave, it’s easy to miss the simple steeple and cross that marks this building as a church.

steeple of St. Elizabeth of HUngary RC church, modern brick building with simple cross on the top

below: A large mosaic adorns one of the exterior walls.

mosaic on the exterior brick wall of St. Elizabeth of Hungary RC Church showing St. Elizabeth and two people kneeling beside her.

below: A small shrine is in front of the church.

small picture of Mary and baby Jesus in bright colours, on a small shrine in front of a church

below: The south entrance to Bayview subway station.  There are no escalators at this entrance  – instead, there is an elevator and a LOT of stairs.

south entrance to Bayview subway station with tall residential buildings behind and a construction site beside

below: The artwork at Bayview station is by Panya Clark Espinal, titled ‘From Here Right Now’.  Half an apple lies on the platform.

art on a subway platform, a line drawing of a very large apple that has been cut in half, on the wall and floor of the station

below: A salt or pepper shaker on the wall.  I’ve only shown two of the images in the series.  There are 24 in total and they are scattered throughout the  station.

art on a subway platform wall, a salt or pepper shaker in black on white tiles

below: There is a small park behind the south entrance to Bayview subway station, Kenaston Garden Parkette where I saw this tree in bud.   The first signs of spring are always wonderful to see.   Today it’s -12C outside so I hope the tree is okay.

pussy willow buds on a tree

below: This little park was designed by Wilk Associates Landscape Architecture and it incorporates a large number of rocks including a glacial boulder found on the site.   A bronze sculpture of a tree clinging to a rock  by Reinhard Reitzenstein is one of the features of the park.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock

below: If you stand in the park and look east,  you can’t miss the construction.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock - crane and construction site in the background

a convex mirror beside a black and yellow caution sign, condos are reflected in the mirror

the front and side of a large truck is in the foreground, right side, with a construction site beyond

Construction is everywhere on Sheppard Avenue.

below: All of the houses on Cusack Court are now gone.  Only the ‘No Exit’ sign remains.

a construction site where the houses on a a whole street have been demolished. The no exit sign for the street still remains., the site is behind a chainlink fence

a banner of the Canadian flag has fallen over and is lying on the ground behind a chainlink fence

below: The single family homes on the south side of Sheppard are slowly being demolished to make way for condo developments.  At the corner of Sheppard Ave East and Greenbriar  the proposed development of 184 residential units is the subject of an OMB prehearing on the 8 May 2017  (case number PL161113).

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below: Five houses are empty and waiting to be demolished to make way for two buildings, 11 and 6 storeys, mixed use (i.e. retail at street level) and incorporating a few townhouses.  In other words, the same old same old.

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below:  I said “same old same old” above because these types of buildings are popping up all over  many major roads that are outside the downtown core.  I suspect that Sheppard Avenue will be lined with structures like this one that’s already been built on the north side of Sheppard.

across the street is a 10 storey residential building, cars on the street, small trees in the foreground

Many people make the argument that there isn’t the density to support a subway along Sheppard.  I am of the opinion that if they’re not wrong now, they soon will be.   Development and public transit are dependent on each other, a symbiotic relationship if you will.   If you are affected by the construction along Eglinton for the new Crosstown line, you might agree that waiting for density only increases the problems and inconvenience (and cost?) of building new subway lines.   Also, have you seen photos of what the area around Davisville or Finch (and others) stations looked like when the subway opened there?   What is the required density?  Why do we want to funnel even more people towards the overcrowded Yonge line anyhow?   Is there an end to the questions we can ask?

And that’s another reason for my walk here…. to make note of the construction that is occurring whether we agree with it or not and to document some of  the changes.

below:  Two low rise apartment buildings.

two three storey brick apartment buildings with balconie in the front, taken from across the street

below: Once upon a time there were a lot of these little houses along Sheppard (even more so on the west side of Yonge Street).  At least one of these is still used as a family home but most are now offices or businesses.

a few small brick houses on the south side of Sheppard Ave

below: The north entrance to Bessarion station

looking across the street to the small north entrance to Bessarion subway station, with a small two storey plaza beside it

below: Looking east from Bessarion.  You can see as far as the condos on Don Mills Road.

looking west from Bessarion subway station towards Leslie Street and beyond,

   There is a reason that you haven’t seen many people in these pictures and it’s not because I waited for people to get out of the way.   Sheppard Avenue is a “major arterial road” under Toronto’s road classification system and traffic movement is its major function.  20,000+ cars are expected to use it every day.

I don’t like to say it, but why would you be walking along Sheppard anyhow?

below: Bayview Village parking lot at the NE corner of Bayview and Sheppard.

parking lot of a mall, Bayview village with surrounding buildings in the background.

As you might know, scroll down to the next blog post to see some pictures of Bessarion station!

 

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!

a long mural by elicser that leads from Monarch Park, through the railway underpass and to the community garden on the other side, pictures of people

If you walk south through Monarch Park this is the view that greets you as you approach the railway underpass.  Elicser has painted a large mural that extends from the park through to the Woodfield Community Rail Garden that is on the other side.  As you walk through the underpass this is what you see:

a green and white GO train passes over a tunnel that provides access between two neighbourhoods. The tunnel has been completely covered by a mural by elicser that shows people going about their everyday outdoor activities

part of a larger mural by elicser in Monarch Park - a cyclist is going fast as he goes downhill

part of a larger mural by elicser in Monarch Park - a large woman's head and many buildings

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - people walking outside

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - a girl is painting a large picture of a monarch butterfly on a wall

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - a couple sits on a bench, a cabin is behind them

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - a mother and father lead a group of noisy kids on a walk

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - young people walking, one with earbuds on and one making hand signs

mural by elicser in the tunnel that is a railway underpass - an older man on a motorized scooter, he looks sad, frowning.

a mural by elicser on a railway underpass by the woodfield community rail garden, pictures of people gardening

a mural by elicser on a railway underpass by the woodfield community rail garden that covers all the concrete of the opening. a VIA train passes overhead as a father and daughter stop to watch

It’s February so the community garden is still resting for the winter.  A shed with all four sides painted by Monica on the Moon provides some colour in the meantime.

a small wood shed sits in a community garden.  Two sides can be seen, both painted with a mural by MOnica on the Moon.  One side is a bright yellow and orange turtle in blue water and the other is a gold and brown bird with its wings open (owl? hawk?) on a bright blue sky background

The path continues…. a slight curve and you’re on Woodfield Road and on your way again.

path through a community garden continues past a large house and then towards a street

Take one ordinary semi-detached house on an ordinary street in Leslieville…
and add a decoration or two…

the front yard of a semi detached house is full of toys and stuffed animals, signs and flags, and Christmas decorations,

The above photo was taken back in November whereas the one below was taken a couple days ago.  Many, many items are the same.  The biggest change is that there a few more Christmas decorations now large candy canes, another Santa Claus, a couple of angels and an elf or two.

a massive collection of dolls, toys, stuffed animals and decorations fill a front yard of a house

Call it cute. Call it creepy. Call it fun.  Call it fascinating. Call it a mess.

below: Some of the dolls and toys are attached to wooden stakes that stand upright in the yard.

a small smiling doll with her arms up is attached to a wooden stake in the front yard of a house

below: The fence is packed full with toys and dolls and the like, including this creepy clown and ghoulish green faced doll.   The pink Powerpuff girl (Blossom?) looks happy and even Elmo doesn’t seem to mind being behind bars.

peering between the metal bars of a fence is a creepy clown doll and a green faced zombie doll, a string of Christmas lights is across the bottom of the fence

a mickey mouse plastic figure is sitting on a wire fence, his chin is his hand and he's looking upwards, other toys out of focus behind him - circles with happy faces and a couple of frisbees

below: A red candle fence lines the entrance.

frontyard of a house is full of toys and decorations, the front walk is lined by large plastic red candles, the front door is in shadows.

below: The retaining wall is also covered.  Welcome to our Garden, Boston Bruins, more Mickey Mouse, Dora the Explorer, Season Greetings and a frisbee or two or three.

under a metal fence, a retaining wall that is covered with frisbees, plaques with words on them and other plastic bits

I wonder how it all started?  And where is it going?

Shrek is between two snowmen, all plastic toys and decorations, behind the metal bars of a fence, a lot of toys and dolls and stuffed animals behind them.

I wonder what the neighbours think.

a white plastic gnome and a Disney princess are among a large collection of toys in a front yard

a red plastic toy in the foreground, a doll in a purple dress in the background

a plastic Santa Claus, a plastic angel and a pokemon

a stuffed plushie creature is attached to a pole with black electrical tape around his face such that it covers his eyes

a toy flower with a green stem, petals made of pink fabric with white polka dots, red lips and large white and blue sunglasses.

a faded blond doll with blank eyes looks down, she is attached to a wooden stake with black electrical tape

A few months ago I blogged about a large mural that Nick Sweetman painted on Queen Street East (Riverside Pollinator mural), a mural that featured a large bee.  That mural was actually Sweetman’s second gigantic bee in Toronto.  The first was at Bloor and Howland and it was painted in honour of National Pollinator Week back in June 2016.

large mural of a honey bee on a big pink flower hibiscus, with other yellow flowers growing, also a black skyline of Toronto, a large tee grows in front of the building and a van and a truck are parked close by. Photo taken from across the street.

The buzz of a green sweat bee (Agapostemon), covered in pollen as it fits itself into the center of a bright pink flower.

part of a mural, a large colourful bee covered with pollen, sits or flies in the middle of a big pink flower with pollen covered stamens

below: If you look closely, part of the globe is in its eye.  North America and the top part of South America with the blue of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

close up of a bee's eye in aa mural. A picture of part of the globe is in its eye - north america and the top part of south america.

below: The city of Toronto silhouetted against a  star filled sunset sky.

skyline of Toronto with the CN tower painted as a silhouette on a sunset sky, with some yellow flowers in the foreground of the mural.

part of a larger mural, yellow daisy like flowers growing on a black background with a large yellow, orange and red circle in the background.

But not just any squirrel.  Toronto has many, many squirrels.  Most of them are black and a few are grey or even a reddish colour.  The rarest squirrels in the city are the albino squirrels.  I’m not sure how many there are but they can most often be seen around Trinity Bellwoods Park.

It is fitting then that this mural is next to the park, in a little lane just north of Queen West that ends at Gore Vale Avenue.  It’s a very large albino squirrel; it looks like it fits comfortably into a lovebot heart.

a large mural on white wall of a red lovebot heart and on the heart is a large albino squirrel (white squirrel) with pinkish eyes and ears.