Archive for the ‘public art’ Category

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

traffic signs at an intersection, at Lakeshore Blvd East, two one way signs pointing in the opposite directions, an elevated expressway also in the picture

“There’s more than one way” describes the above picture quite nicely but it’s probably a stretch to say that it’s  relevant to this blog post at all.   Not that that’s ever stopped me!  The other day I stood at this intersection (Lakeshore and Sherbourne I think) trying to decide which way to go.  I went straight ahead because that’s what the traffic signal told me to do.  I obeyed.  “When in doubt, go with the green light”, is one of my ‘rules’ when I’m walking.

below: The artistry of hydro towers and wires framed by the Lakeshore and the Gardiner.

a view between the Gardiner and Lakeshore with the roads framing the top and bottom of the picture. Hydro towers and wires are the main part of the image

below: Shattered glass

shattered glass still in place

below: Part of “Site Specific” by Scott Eunson & Marianne Lovink, on Sumach Street at Eastern Ave.

rusted metal cut out, part of a public art installation, cut outs look like houses, polished steel cutouts below the rusty ones.

below: The view inside the streetcar.  A new 514 Cherry car was wrapped in a light blue ad.
I have no idea what it was advertising.

looking into the window of a streetcar, people sitting,

below: There are a number of this “eye” balls in the playground part of Sherbourne Common.

a large white sphere with a black circle in the middle, on a metal pole. Background is out of focus

below: Changing the billboard.  The image is printed on a large piece of vinyl (plastic? something similar?) and held to the frame by ropes.   Or at least that’s what it looked like.  It was quite a distance up so it was difficult to see exactly what they were doing.

two men are changing the ad on a very large billboard. One man is below and the other is above and he is passing a long rope to man below.

below:  Graffiti.  Two words.  In yellow.

in yellow paint, graffiti, words fuck trump written on a metal box on a sidewalk

below: Chairs.   Blue chairs.  Three blue chairs plus one reflection.

three old blue plastic chairs with metal rusty legs sit on the concrete porch of a commercial building. Windows behind them. one of the chairs is reflected in the window

below: A drab door on a drab wall.

drab double glass doors on a drab light brown brick building with a sign that says public parking with arrows pointing to the door, The sign is above the door.

below:  An entrance to a different parking lot.

looking through a parking garage to a lighted entrance with people carrying bags and returning to their cars

below: Numbers on the concrete.

close up of the side of a concrete structure on a ramp of an expressway, there are two number sequences there. In stencil it says R42-78 and in stickers, AJ48

below: More numbers.  Another code that I can’t crack.

black and orange construction cone site beside a kerb on which numbers have been spray painted in orange

below: Stonework details on an old bank building.

architectural details on an old bank building, a fancy column top (ionic?), some carvings in the stone work.

below: Another old building – now that the north building of the St. Lawrence market has been demolished, the rear of the St. Lawrence Hall has been exposed.  It’s quite a pretty building.

the rear of the old St. Lawrence Hall building, with a bright blue wood hoarding fence in front of it. a woman is walking past

below: Interior, St. Lawrence market

the interior of the St. Lawrence market, looking towards the north entrance, with the large arched window over the doorway

below: And when you’re in front of the St. Lawrence market, isn’t it obligatory to take a picture of the Gooderham building?   A Toronto iconic view.

the Gooderham building, built in the flatiron style, with glass towers behind it, downtown Toronto

below: Another icon, the CN Tower, as seen through the Distillery District from Cherry Street.
That’s a fabulous orange door!

Cherry street entrance to the distrillery district, looking west towwards the CN tower, brick road, overhead lights, bright orange door in the background,

below: Postage stamp art at 234 Adelaide East by Joanne Tod and Jon Reed.  The whole installation includes 12 images including a 1930 painting by Lawren Harris (2nd on the left) which was issued in 1967.   To the right of it is a stamp honouring the Alouette 2 research satellite.  In between those stamps is Queen Elizabeth, a fixture on Canadian stamps for so many years.   The old post office which was built in 1834 is nearby.

public art in front of a condo building that is a ribbon made of metal, flat, etched with a series of vintage Canadian postage stamps images

below: Walls.  Shored up walls of the construction hole in front of a wall of glass.

a blue crane inside a hole that is a construction site for a new condo, with many glass tower condos in the background.

below: Last, symmetrical? steps in the buildings.

a building under construction in front of another building

 

May all your lights be green!

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!

 

This looks like an ordinary entrance into a TTC subway station.  It is.
It’s Bessarion station on Line 4, the Sheppard Line.

escalator down into Bessarion station

The red arrow points to one of a series of little photographs of hands that run beside the escalator to street level.

I’d be willing to bet that none of you have been to Bessarion subway station.  If you’ve heard of the station it’s probably in the context of complaints that no one uses the station so why did the city spend so much money building it.   One of the reasons for the low volume of traffic is that there are no bus routes (besides Sheppard) that serve this station.  Apparently in 2014 an average of 2380 people used the station on weekdays.  If true, then 2379 plus me where there today (although the stats may have increased since then).    I took some pictures for you – you will now have an idea of what the station looks like without having to go there.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over the metal turnstiles for entry into the station, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: An art installation called ‘Passing’ dominates the yellow walls of the station concourse level.  It consists of a band of black and white photographs of legs and feet taken by Sylvie Belanger.  The little pictures of hands that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog are also part of this installation.

photos of peoples legs and feet in black and white on tiles on a yellow tiled subway station wall, over and beside two Bell pay phones, artwork by Sylvie Belanger

below: The pictures of legs and feet run around the whole concourse level of the station.

below: Down the escalator to the lower level.

looking down the main escalator at Bessarion subway station, the upper level has yellow walls and the lower level (track level) can also be seen.

below: I was not alone!

pillar covered in red tiles and with a black and white photo of the back of three peoples head, a man with a turban and a woman in a head scarf and someone with curly hair.

below: The artwork at track level is a continuation of the photographs by Sylvie Belanger.  This time the pictures are of the backs of people’s heads and they are incorporated into the red pillars.

close up of black and white photo of the back of peoples heads, one child's face turns to the camera and is slightly out of focus, Passing by Sylvie Belanger at Bessarion subway station

below: The outer walls are bare concrete and there are very few ads or posters on the walls.

from the subway platform at Bessarion subway station looking toward the concrete wall at the edge of the tracks, signs for the station, and direction signs.

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

 

 Two empty chairs sitting in the sun.  This photo is only a half truth; it suggests that the beach was sunny but empty yesterday when I took the photo.    Sunny yes, empty no.

two empty muskoka chairs on the beach beside Lake Ontario on a sunny February day

Back in the winter of 2015, I discovered the first “Winter Stations” event on a day when the temperature was -20C.  There weren’t many people there that year!   In contrast, yesterday was a beautiful and unseasonably warm February Sunday.  Temperatures hit the double digits and lots of people come out to take advantage of the weather.  It was also the first weekend of the 2017 version of ‘Winter Stations’.  Although the installations officially opened today, all but one of them were completed and ready for the public yesterday.

below: One of the installations is “North” which was designed by studio PERCH in Montreal.   Yes, it’s Christmas trees hung upside down.  They are prickling to walk between.  This year there seems to be a recycling and reusing theme in a lot of the installations.   At least I hope these trees weren’t cut down specifically for this project.

on the beach, people in winter jackets stand around looking at an art installation that consists of evergreen trees, Christmas trees, hung upside down.

below: Another installation is “Collective Memory” designed by Mario Garcia (Barcelona Spain) and Andrea Govi (Milan Italy).   People are encouraged to leave messages in the bottles.

an art installation on the beach, people in winter clothes, two parallel walls about 10 feet high made of a layer of horizontally arranged empty plastic bottles with the opening facing in, people are writing on paper and then putting the messages in the bottles.

below: Paper is provided as are the bottles.  The walls are constructed of horizontal empty plastic water bottles with the openings all on the inside of the structure.

a boy is rolling up a piece of paper in inserting it in the opening of an empty plastic bottle.

below: The sun shining through the plastic bottles makes for some interesting effects.

sunlight shines through a wall of plastic bottles, some people walking in front of it. Collective Memory installation at Winter Stations 2017 on Toronto's waterfront.

below: Like most of the installations, “Collective Memory” encloses a lifeguard station.

an art installation on the beach, people in winter clothes, two parallel walls about 10 feet high made of a layer of horizontally arranged empty plastic bottles with the opening facing in, people are writing on paper and then putting the messages in the bottles. view form one end, the walls enclose a lifeguard station, 4 kids are on the lifeguard platform

below: The installation that wasn’t ready yet is “The Beacon” designed by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva (Porto Portugal).

a woman pokes her head inside a hole in a tall wood structure on the beach, other art installations are in the background, lots of people, some people sitting on chairs.

The installation in the background in the above photograph is “BuoyBuoyBuoy” designed by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani, and Julie Forand (Toronto Canada).

below: One of many photo ops!

three kids stand on top of a lifeguard station that is enclosed by an art installation that is construction of many oval shapes joined together. Some are white, some are clear and some are reflective. A mother is taking a picture of the kids.

below: Notched ovals made of wood and clear plastic were used to build this installation.  The wood pieces were either painted white or covered with silvery reflective material.

 close up photo of part of an artwork made of wooden oval shapes that are notched together.

kids climb up the center of an art installation called buoy buoy buoy, standing on the lifeguard station platform that is the middle of the artwork. Made of wooden oval shapes that are notched together.

below: More reflections, this time in “The Illusory” designed by a group from Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology.

a girl in a turquoise t-shirt is reflected many times in a wall of relfective material and several posts around the wall covered in the same material.

below:  Someone has already written on (scratched?) the surface.

three men are reflected in a shiny surface on an art installation. Someon has scratched the word LOVE into the surface

below: “The Illusory” in front, “Flotsam and “Jetsam” behind, and lots of people in between.

lots of people walking past and looking at two art installations on the beach as part of Winter Stations event

below: “Flotsam and Jetsam” was designed by a team from the University of Waterloo.  It consists of cubes made of wire cages.  The cages on the bottom are filled with empty plastic bottles of different colours and shapes.

people looking at an art installation on the beach made of wire cage cubes stacked on top of each other. The ones on the bottom are filled with empty plastic bottles of different colours and shapes. The upper cages are empty and they are joined together to look like the head of a creature.

two boys peer out from behind a wall of wire cages filled with empty plastic bottles. One of the cages is empty as looks like a window

sun shines through empty plastic bottles and looks like the bottles are lights

empty plastic bottles in a wire cage sits on the sand of the beach

a tower of plastic bottle filled wire cages stands in front of Lake Ontario

***

a father and daughter link fingers behind the mother's back, the women are in winter coats, father is in jeans and plaid long sleeved shirt

The Winter Stations will remain until the 27th of March.

You can almost find it by following your nose!

I’ve been in many alleys where the smell has been less than desirable but today I was taking pictures in an alley that smelled wonderful!  A small alley running south from Bloor Street beside the The Dirty Bird restaurant….or more accurately The Dirty Bird Chicken & Waffles.

And the pictures that I was taking there?
Well, they were of chicken and waffles and people eating of course!

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman is sitting at a table in the restaurant

Elicser has painted a mural in the alley alongside the restaurant.

a man in a red baseball cap on backwards is drinking,

below: I love how the straw is placed!

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a man is sitting at a table in the restaurant . he has a very large chicken and waffle sandwich in front of him as well as a pink milkshake. The red and white straw of the miclkshake is actually a venting pipe

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman and a man are sitting at a table in the restaurant eating chicken and waffle sandwiches

from a mural by elicser along the exterior wall of the dirty bird chicken and waffle restaurant - a woman is sitting at a table in the restaurant with a very tall chicken and waffle sandwich in her hands