Archive for the ‘windows and walls’ 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!

Early Saturday morning was cold but beautiful –
brilliant blue overhead with the sun still low in the sky.

below: Striped grass

low sun rays shining through a fence made of vertical metal bars, so that the shadows on the grass make the grass looked striped

below:  This is the Bell building from the Simcoe Street side.  The blue glass, vertical lines in the concrete, blue sky and strong tree shapes made for an interesting few minutes while I experimented with different angles and views.

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour exterior of the building,

looking up a building with strong vertical lines made by concrete shapes on theglass is reflecting strong blue colour

below: The ghostly look of reflected light

light reflecting off a glass building and landing on a black wall on the building beside it

looking up a tall building that is black on the exterior and has light reflected from a glass building beside it.

below: A single pole and its shadow, alone on a wall.

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

sun shining on a wall, one post with a sign on it is in the picture, along with its shadow

below: Three reflected windows reserved for the president.

beige wall with greenish covering over a window, light reflected from the building beside it makes it look like a row of windows along the wall

below: A half house, a fun find.  Once this was a semi-divided house where the shared wall created the peak at the front of the house.  With its partner gone, the remaining house looks incomplete.

a semi divided house, where the house on one side has been demolished leaving half a peaked roof.

below:  A tree in silhouette seems to dance in front of the other buildings.

tree in silhouette in the foreground, buildings in light in the background,also blue sky

below: Phantom balconies, mirages on the concrete.

light reflecting from balconies along with shadows make phantom balconies on the building beside it

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!

Another reason why I haven’t posted recently?  I’ve been sick.  Icky sick; can’t get out of bed sick.  This morning was the first time that I’ve walked Toronto streets in many, many days.

It was a beautiful blue sky morning but I made a mistake and stopped for coffee first.  Clouds rolled in and we were back to greyness by the end of the first mug.  Argh.   Maybe back inside for a secong mug?

In the end I’m glad I got my momentum back.  I walked streets I’ve walked many times before but I walked it with a long lens in hand.  I started searching for details that I’ve missed before as well as shots that are easier (and sneakier!) with a lens zoomed out to the max.

In no particular order….

below:  The front of Betty’s on King street.  These magnets have been here for a while now although their numbers may have magnified.  In hindsight, I should have gone over and written something like, “Hi my name is Joe and I’m the Prime Minister of Canada”.

store front, front of Bettys bar and restaurant, with grey door. Walls are magnetic and they are covered with kid's letters of the alphabet magnets.

below: The bright colours of this exposed wall caught my eye.  It’s been revealed because of the demolition of a building at Victoria and Lombard and I suspect that it will get covered up again in the near future.

a large construction site at Victoria and Lombard, one wall of a neighbouring building has been exposed that is orange and white

below: This is a closer view of the men in the photo above.  I hadn’t purposely taken their picture but I like the portrait look of the picture.  A kind of Mike Rowe’s ‘Dirty Jobs’ image comes to mind.

two men working on a construction site

below: Banner for the Pacific Junction Hotel.

banner made of flags for the Pacific Junction Hotel strung in a tree on the sidewalk

below: Drink Coca-cola

a red and white drink coca cola sign sign hangs in a window of a bar

below: Sitting together in silence.  Black and white.  Alive and not alive.
Both aren’t moving and both don’t see me.

a man sits on a bench in a small park, wintertime, a snowman is at the other end of the bench

below: I have always been intrigued by these vertical windows at St. James Cathedral, especially with the winter trees in front of them.  I’ve taken pictures here before but none have been satisfactory.  This one is certainly not perfect but the sense of scale that the woman provides is a big help.

vertical stained glass windows of St. James cathedral, from the outside in winter, a woman is walking past.

below: These two small ionic-ish columns help support an archway over the door.

a small column with an ionic like capital, embedded in a brick wall. The column looks to be supporting an arch over the doorway

below: A bit of a rant.  At one point did it become acceptable for people to be sleeping on the sidewalks?  How did we learn to walk past?  When someone walks past a person sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk, what thoughts go through their head?  Is there a solution?  Or is so normal now that we don’t consider it a problem?   This man was right in the middle, there was no easy way to avoid him, but avoid him we did.

people walk by on the sidewalk as a homeless man sleeps under blankets on the corner.

below: Trying to cross King Street.

a man in a red jacket is waking two dogs, waiting to cross King Street, with St. James in the background. traffic, and parked cars too.

below: An exposed support beam, two wood planks on end sandwiched between steel I beams.

on an exterior brick wall, the end of a support beam is visible. the beam consists of a wood beam on end between two steel I beams

below:  High on a brick wall he suffers in anguish as the pigeons keep pooping on him.

carved stone piece high on a brickwall, exterior of a building, relief sculpture of a man's face with his hair made to look like long leaves that surround his face

below: A bit of a cliche.  Walking the dogs in the park on a winter day.

a woman walks three dogs on the path through St. James Park on a winter day, snow, no leaves, some buildings in the distance

below: The Christmas lights are still wrapped around the trees in St. James Park.

a string of red LED Christmas lights is wrapped around the trunk of a tree

below: Two mis-matched windows side by side.  Old brick, rusty metal.

an old brick building with two windows.

below: Above 10 Toronto Street is this royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom.   The unicorn represents Scotland and in the royal coat of arms for Scotland, the lion and the unicorn are reversed.  You’ll also noticed that the unicorn is chained.  Apparently this is because in legend, the unicorn is a dangerous beast.   I’m not sure what this says about Scotland!  The words on the banner below the lion and the unicorn say “Dieu et Mon Droit” (= God and My Right).  The words around the middle circle say “Honi soit qui mal y pense”.   This is the motto of the Order of the Garter and it translates to ‘shame upon him who thinks evil of it’.

sculpture of a coat off arms above 10 Toronto Street, a lion and unicorn and a motto in Latin.

below:  This is the building that used to house Starbucks on King Street near George Brown College.  Many months (more than a year) ago there was a fire in the building and Starbucks closed down.  The windows and doors were boarded up and then nothing happened.   That looks like the makings of scaffolding lying on the sidewalk so maybe some renovation work is about to begin.

a man walks past a boarded up doorway

below: A ghost building outline.

The ghost outline of a building, in white, on a black brick wall. Tree branches without leaves hang in front of the wall.

below: An octopus runs up the stairs. Or would it slither?

a blue drawing of an octopus on the second storey exterior wall, beside a metal stair case (fire escape?)

below: Passing by the five faceless naked men who silently and stoically watch over the intersection of Queen and Victoria.  A sculpture “Full Circle” by Peter von Tiesenhausen.

wood sculpture of naked men in a circle with their backs inward, at Queen and Victoria streets, two men walking past the sculpture

below: I also met James Beaty this morning.  He too stands silently but he is tucked away in a dull and quiet corner so he doesn’t get much to look at.   The original James Beaty was born in Ireland 1798 and came to Canada as young man.   He was a leather merchant, he established the newspaper ‘Toronto Leader’ in 1852,  and in 1867 he became a federal politician.

a black bronze statue of James Beaty, standing with a folded newspaper under his arm, about life sized,

below: Any idea what this might be?  Dancing figure?

small black and white stencil

below: It was a puddle jumping, slushy kind of day.  I’m sure that there are lots more of those ahead!

reflections of trees in a puddle on a path that has snow and ice on it was well

below:  There are always more paths to walk and more chances to see what’s around around the next corner and through the gate!

looking down a driveway that passes under a very high square arch to the street beyond. Cars are parked on the street and a pedestrian walks by

 

The Roden in the title of this blog post refers to Roden Public School.  In their schoolyard they have this colourful mural, a fairly accurate map of the area with the school in the center.  The original school on this site was built in 1907-1908 as Ashdale School.  In 1910 it was renamed to honour Mr. E.P. Roden a long time school trustee.  The present school was built in 1969.

a mural on a conrete wall in a schoolyard that is a map of the area with the school in the center, colourful, about 8 feet high and twelve feet wide.

below: The school is just north of Gerrard St., between Coxwell and Greenwood, and south of the railway tracks.  I suspect that the 100 in the circle that marks the school has to do with the 100th anniversary of the school although I haven’t been able to find any information about the mural online.

close up of the center of a mural on a conrete wall in a schoolyard that is a map of the area with the school in the center, colourful, about 8 feet high and twelve feet wide.

All day Sunday, and well into the early hours of Monday morning, it snowed.  It’s been many months since I’ve walked on a snowy day.  It was a bit grey and there wasn’t a lot of contrast (as in light and shadow) in the scenery yesterday afternoon when I walked, but the novelty of white snow kept me interested (and warm!).   From Roden school I wandered westward.

below: Walking home after school.

A woman walks her two young children home from school, down a snowy lane, one on each hand. Their back is to the camera, houses, trees, hydro ples, a car on the street they are about to cross.

below: A cosy brown scarf and red hat, an avocado smile, celery arms are two doggie treat buttons on his tummy – a snowman living the easy life.  No standing around in the snow for him!

a little snowman stands on a chair outside. A red cap, celery for arms, avocado for mouth

below: This was my friend who accompanied me for part of my walk, meowing loudly most of the time.   I’m not sure what it was trying to tell me.  Maybe it was out enjoying the snow?  More likely it was looking for a warm place to snuggle.

close up photo of a black cat in an alley with some snow on the ground, garage doors and a large tree

below: Busy steps, quiet steps.

the back of two buildings, one has undeisturbed snow behind it and a sign over the door that says R Coin Laundry. The building beside it (and attached to it) is three storeys high. The upper two levels have a wood railing and balcony out the back. Snow on the ground but lots of foot steps in the snow.

below: Keeping an eye on the garage.  Eye spy!

An old single car garage with grey shingle material covering it. Yellowish beige garage door with a small brightly coloured street art piece on it that includes an eye

below: Bikes and deer in the alley.  A mother deers keeps watch over her fawn.

mural of many bikes, as well as some deer. Deer look life like, standing in the alley watching you. Graffiti animals, street art painting of deer on a cement block garage wall.

below:  On one hand, I want to say that  for those who want to look, there are many little surprises to be found in the lanes and alleys of this city.   But on the other hand, there are an incredible number of old cars parked in city backyards.  Some are neglected and clearly not roadworthy while others still have some life left in them.

looking through a hole in a blue fence, an old light blue car is parked in a backyard, covered with snow, the white of the house is behind the car.

below: Another car.

Close up of chainlink fence, rusty, but in focus. Out of focus behind it is an old blue car that is covered with snow. It is parked between two black vehicles.

below: Clowning around in a window.

A small figurine of a clown holding his hat above his head, blue jacket, red pants, black bowtie, small figurine in front of a plant with green and purple leaves.

below: I think it’s dub monkey, duh?

white stencil on a concrete wall that says dub monkey with the face of a monkey

below: Looking south to Gerrard Street.  Snow and slush, very Toronto in the winter.   The orange construction sign is also very Toronto, but in all seasons these days.

looking towards a street with two sem-detached houses, one is boarded up and the other isn't. A construction sign, a pedestrian on the sidewalk, a black dog.

below: Someone added some colour to the alley when they shouldn’t have.

a bright red shopping cart has been abandoned in front of a green garage door in a snowy alley

below: A mural by kairo, on a pink that packs a punch on a grey winter day.

mural of a woman's head by kairo. Background has been painted a dark pink, with white spots. WOman has long reddish brown hair.

below: More alley colour to brighten the day.

Back of a house in a lane. Gate covering bac is lopsidded, on an angle. The garage that faces the alley has a bright yellow door. Two storey semi detached houses, one brown and one reddish.

below: Someone loves their bike.  I find it a bit creepy that the picture is a skull.

a small painting that has been hung a fence. A white skull with the eyes drawn as the wheels of a bike. The words say I love my bike, with the word love being a small heart.

below: Wall art of another kind.  Shades of yellow.

Yellow wall with rust coloured upper part. Tags and graffiti have been painted over with different colours of yellow paint to produce a patchwork like effect.

below: Little ups and downs in the lane.   A large majestic winter tree stands over the lane.

looking down an alley, a two storey house, a large mature tree with no leaves, the brightening sky of the late afternoon as the cloud cover lifts enough to let a but of sunlight through. Snow in the alley, with tire tracks from a few cars that have driven over it.

below: A peacock mural.  Lahore Halal Meat store on the corner of Gerrard is a reminder that this part of Gerrard was/is referred to as Little India because of the large number of Indian (Southeast Asian) shops and restaurants.

building on the corner of two streets, two storeys, as seen from the back. Shops on the lower level and apartments upstairs. Large mural of a peacock on the side of the building, a large billboard on top of it. Lahore Halal Meat store on the corner.

below:  This photo is from the entrance to Lahore Halal Meat store in the above photo.   The material on the inside features brides and grooms within heart shapes and surrounded by white flowers.  Not what you’d expect in a meat shop!

An open door, glass paneled door, of a store, a red and white Open sign is at the bottom of the door, part of the exterior wall is blue tiles that are starting to fall off, the counter inside is covered with a blue and white material that is pictures of brides and grooms in heart shapes surrounded by flowers.

below: Textured concrete, broken bricks, and the remnants of a black stencil.

a wall. Upper part is brick. A swath has been painted white, but some bricks have broken off in front to reveal the brighter orangish red underneath. The bottom part of the wall is grey concrete that has been texturized with slanted lines.

below: Sunflowers reach for a sunny place.

looking down a lane. A mural on a wall is on the left. It is bright yellow sunflowers under a blue sky. Snow in the alley with car tracks from a few vehicles, trees, a house, osme garages,

below: A fork in the alley.  A jumble of lines.

snowy and icy alley, dooking downhill towards a fork in the road, garage doors on all sides, backs of houses in the background, alleys and lanes of east part of Toronto

a large sign advertising Kawartha Dairy ice cream, on a sidewalk on a sluchy winter day, large pink ice cream cone picture,

beige wall on top, rust coloured wall below, with orange splotches. Orange metal trash bin on ground, two window in upper part, both recessed. One with a bike and one with flower pots.

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.

intersection, TTC street car turning left, a grey car near the intersection, a few pedestrians, a large building wrapped in black netting as the building is being cleaned and renovated.

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):

drawing of the New Broadview Hotel being renovated to incorporate an 124 year old brick building, new glass portion at the top of the building.

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,

text street art painted on a garage door

or this painting way up high beside a parking lot,

upper level of a store, backing onto a parking lot, painting on the exterior wall of rays eminating from a center circular source

or this woman in a lane.

streeet art picture of a woman in pink and purple

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).

front of a white building, two storeys, with round top windows, two flags flying by the door. Sign says Debre Selam St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Small cross above the entranceway

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.

brown brick builgin, one storey with peak roof, small veranda in front, blur front door, Canadian flag out front, sign above door says Royal Antidiluvian Order of Buffaloes.

I noticed some quirky things like this window.  Any guesses as to what it used to be?

window of a coffee shop where some of the letters have been removed. It now says Kids Bar. Shadows of the letters are on the blind that covers the inside of the window of the now closed shop

Dark Horse Expresso Bar

I walked through Joel Weeks park where I came face to face with a fox.

a small sculpture of a fox on top of a rock. The fox seems to be looking right into the camera

We exchanged glances for a moment or two but its interest was elsewhere ….
perhaps this rabbit?

sculpture of a fox on top of a rocl. Carved into the rock is a relief picture of a rabbit and some flowers

Also in the park, four little squirrels with a giant acorn!

a sculpture in a park of a giant acorn with the point pointing upwards, 4 small squirrels are at the bas of the acorn trying to hold it up

All it needs is a Scrat to come along and steal it!

cartoon character Scrat from the movie 'ice age' holding onto an acorn

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)

part of a mural, a large bee

a man is painting a mural, this part is a honeycomb with some bees on it. Dark blue background.

large mural, Riverside Pollinator mural, by Nick Sweetman, of a large bee, a clock, clock gears, a few small bees, a honeycomb and a flower and a very large tree

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.

a poster is stuck into a sidewalk planter, advertising a launch of a mural on Saturday 10th September.

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.

blue double doors in a drab brown brick building, with brown metal inserts covering what was once a large window above the door. Two small windows remain.

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.

three windows arrange horizontally in a brick wall. windows are not high

a box in front of a wall of a school has been painted with the word choose and two white hands.

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.

old brick rowhouses to the right, with a large tree in front, and new construction of row houses on the left.

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.

workers cottage, or gothic cottage, behind a large hedge

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!

two semi detached houses with mansard roofs, one with a purple front door and one with a black front door.

green second story door at top of metal exterior staircase, on a wall that is a different shade of green

green ivy leaves poke their way through the gaps in a blue weathered wooden fence

black and white sticker graffiti on the side of a Bell telephone box