Posts Tagged ‘alleys’

It was a foggy morning when I walked down McCaul Street.
The CN Tower had its head in the clouds.

looking south on McCaul street towards the CN tower, the top of the tower is covered in low cloud.

below: As I walked south on McCaul, this wall caught my eye.  It’s in an alley that runs perpendicular to McCaul but it can be seen from the street.

A quote by Voltaire in large capital letters, Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung.

below: There are a number of small lanes and alleys in the area and like most alleys, there was graffiti to be found such as these two animals – a whale and a bird having a friendly chat.

Two roughly drawn graffit animals on a wall, a duck and a whale, both in white paint with red details

below: Bugs Bunny is easy to find; he’s on McCaul.

mural of bugs bunny lying on the ground, head on elbow, eating a carrot

below: Just around the corner from the Wascally Wabbit is the Cat in the Hat from the Dr. Suess book of the same name.  This time, the cat’s mischief involves a can of spray paint.   Extra info: yes, you can still get Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Toronto.

mural of the cat from the cat in the hat, the kids book by Dr. Suess, he's holding a can of spray paint.

below: More Dr. Suess, this time Thing 1 and Thing 2.  They are on the same mural as the Cat in the Hat and are running towards him.

thing 1 anf thing 2 from Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat in a mural on the side of a building.

below: Once upon a time you could smell fresh bread when you walked down McCaul but now Silversides bakery sits empty.

empty brick building, with ghost of sign that said Silversides in cursive writing,

below: Old row houses on Baldwin Street.  Most of the remaining old houses on Baldwin, especially those close to McCaul, have been converted into restaurants.

row houses on Baldwin street, three storey old brick houses with gabled roofs. One is now a restaurant.

below: A cheerful yellow house – another example of the older houses in the neighbourhood.

a small yellow bungalow is between two largeer and taller houses. It has a hedge in front and a yellow awning over the front door.

below: More colours…. evenly divided in pink and yellow.  They share a gable and a porch, both of which have interesting details in the woodwork.

a semi divided house, one side pink and the other side yellow, the gable of the house belongs half to one side and half to the other

below:  There’s not as much paint on these houses.  Instead, there is two coloured  brick pattern on all walls of the front of the house.  I wonder how many other houses have brick patterns hiding under their paint?

large semi divided brick house with a center gable and woodedn porch, also wooded oriel window over the front door.  Two colours in the brick work, eachhouse has painted wood a different colour

below: The sign beside the door says: Chinese Seniors Health & Recreation Association of Ontario.  An old Bell telephone booth sits on the corner.

old Bell telephone booth in front of a large semi divided three story house, painted white, fence in front, bikes parked against fence

below: The blue wall of the Art Gallery of Ontario as seen from the other side of Grange Park.  Grange Park has been under renovation for a number of months now but it is looking like it is close to completion.  Part of the renovation has involved creating a new space for Henry Moore’s sculpture, Large Two Forms, which sits on the corner of Dundas and McCaul at the moment.   The couple in this photo caught my eye because she’s in shorts and he’s in a parka with the hood up.

two people are walking up a wide path in a park, Grange Park, with the blue wall of the Art Gallery in the distance

below: Another Grange Park upgrade is the playground.

new playground in Grange Park with the box on pencil structure of OCAD behind it.

below: A lonely urban tree hiding amongst the clutter on the sidewalk.

a lonely tree grows out of a square of dirt on the sidewalk, street scene around it.

below: A large mural celebrating the Ride to Conquer Cancer covers the wall beside the entrance to the parking lot of Princess Margaret Hospital.

very large mural for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer showing scenes from a fund raising bike ride. Men and women and their bikes

below: This is painted in a slightly different style than the one above!

a mural showing a scantily dressed large breasted blonde woman kneeling amongst red mushrooms.

below: Sitting beside the anser face.

two pieces of street art, an anser face on one side, and a painting of a long haird blond woman sitting in a chair beside it, her back is to the viewer

below: More faces, this time two faces merged into one.

a line drawing graffiti of two faces merged into one, 2 noses, trhee eyes, two mouths,

below: Someone also has a homonym problem.

graffiti on a metal box on the sidewalk says I new this would happen. the words don't fit across the box and the en in happen are written below it

below: Not just a poser bunny, but an honest poser bunny.

a green piece of metal attached to a wood hydro pole with a white drawing of a poser bunny on it.   The word honest in white letters is written beside the bunny

below: A lone survivor.  The Richard Purdom House is the last house standing on this stretch of McCaul.  Richard Purdom was the architect and original owner of the house (1877).  It is a heritage building that “displays features of the Italinate style”.  Most of the buildings around it are hospital buildings (Mt. Sinai and Princess Margaret).  There is usually a car parked in front.

old brick house in front, modern hospital buildings in the background

below: Another bit of history – the bell tower of St. George the Martyr Anglican Church stands near the south entrance of Grange Park.   The original church first opened its doors here in 1845.  It could seat 750 people and the tower was topped with a spire that reached 150 feet.  In the early morning of 13 Feb 1955, the church burned.   The new church is behind the tower and part of the grounds is now a garden dedicated to the memory of the old church and its early congregations

old brick bell tower of a church.  The church burned down many years ago, leaving the tower.  A new church was built behind but you can't see it in the picture

below: Just before the end of the post…  I’m throwing in one window picture because every walk needs a window as much as this wall needs a fresh coat of paint!

two windows with brown frames on a cream coloured wall with the paint peeling to reveal the red brick beneath

Toronto street sign, McCaul St.

I thought that I would see if I could find door pictures today.  When I first stepped outside, I wasn’t sure what that meant.   I just knew that it was a beautiful day and that I would find an answer to my doorish quest.   “Que sera sera” as Doris Day once sang.

Well, what is a door?

door: nounA hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier at the entrance to a building, room, or vehicle, or in the framework of a cupboard.

doorway: noun. An entrance to a room or building through a door.

Well duh, I think most of us know what a door is, at least in the literal sense.   As an image just a door on its own is often blah, B O R I N G.   There are exceptions of course, but if that was all I was looking for today, I wouldn’t be taking many pictures.

an ornate double door with windows in both doors, red brick house, stairs to the doors. closed.

I also think that most of us realize that “door” is so much more.   We find them intriguing. Door metaphors abound.  Open doors are opportunities and invitations, think “My door is always open”, or  “When one door closes, another one opens”.  Closed doors are mysteries, obstacles, or dead ends.   We talk about not knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

below: Closed for good. No mystery here, just a dead end.
With a smile for being upside down.

the front door of a small apartment complex that is about to be demolished. There is a blue metal fence in front of it with a danger due to demolition sign on it. The sign is upside down.

A closing door has a slightly different imagery – “slam the door in his face”, or “show someone the door”, or “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.   Can you picture the scene in a movie where the hero walks into a strange room only to have the door close behind him.  Can you see the look on his face when he hears it being locked from the other side?

Doors, and their cousins gates, are both entrances and exits.    Entrances to buildings and rooms.  Entrances to other worlds such as “at death’s door”.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture to illustrate ‘entrances to other worlds’.  

below: But maybe this entranceway leads to something exotic?    That’s a better explanation than ‘someone went to Home Depot and bought lots of cheap corrugated plastic’.   It juts out like a sore thumb from an otherwise well maintained, nice looking house.

an old brick house painted turquoise with green trim. wrought iron fence in front. A corrugated plastic covering has been made to cover the entrance to the basement door. the covering comes out from the house to beyond the fence, all the way to the sidewalk

Doors are associated with privacy, protection, and control.   We feel more secure when we lock our doors.   Closed doors, especially locked ones, can keep things in or keep things out.  Closed doors separate, open doors connect.

below: Waiting at the door.   I can’t decide if he’s patient or impatient.  Perhaps bored?

a white metal door on a white concrete wall. A bright ornage line drawing of a man standing in front of the door with his arms crossed.

 

Back doors are private, hidden from view.  The expression “through the back door” suggests sneaking around.  Front doors are part of the face that we show the world.   They can be welcoming or not, a lot like the people who live behind them. 

below: Or they can just be a long way up.  How are your knees feeling today?

a small narrow one storey house. Many steps to get up the hill to the front door. The incline has been covered with patio stones.

side yard and side entrance to a wood clapboard house with one window on the side at ground level.

below: A bright red chair brightens the picture.   I wonder who usually sits there?

a bright red chair sits on the sidewalk beside the entrance to a building. The door has a large window which is covered by a curtain on the inside

below: Another bit of cheerful red.

a small house painted blue with white trim, a bright red door.

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

crooked concrete steps and metal railing lead to a front door.

below: Another closed door waiting for demolition.
How many people have passed through those doors since 1913?

blog_blue_church_door_1913

below: I’ve always been fascinated by the sign above this door.

an older woman in a bright red jacket stands on a corner waiting for a green light. On the other side of the street is the Emerald Isle Seniors Society

below: This door seemed to be out of place on the Danforth… it’s an entrance to the apartment above, not to the hair salon on the left.   I like to think that she keeps watch over the doorway.

blog_etched_glass_beauty_salon

below: These two doors (especially the green one) caught my eye as I walked along the Danforth.   On my first pass I had the wrong lens on my camera.  After changing lenses, I doubled back.   Just as I was getting ready to take a picture of the two doors together, the one on the right opened.  Dilemma – to shoot or not to shoot.  I’m not brazen enough to shoot someone in the face so to speak; this over the shoulder and hope it works shot is only second rate (or third!).   I only include here so I can briefly go off on a tangent and mention my #1 problem with door shots.  People.   Pointing my camera at someone’s house often makes me feel uncomfortable and I have no desire to have any kind of confrontation, even a friendly one.

two doors, one faded green and one greyish black . a man with a rather large stomach is standing in front of the latter.

below: What to do with leftover tiles.

a door with 1242 on it, brownish colour, green door frame, the wall on one side is covered with small mosaic tiles in squares

below: A contrast in colours.  The door is in the picture but it’s become just an element in the composition.

a green door is beside a large store window. The interior wall is painted yellow, the sun is shining in the window and the blinds are partially open and partially down

below: This is the last of the Danforth door photos that I took today.   Again, the doors are just elements; the mailboxes provide the focus and the interest.

three black mailboxes with mail in them, between a white door and a black door.

below: Doors are part of a building.   What you can do with a door is often limited by the structure of the house.

a small white house with a large tree in front of it, winter, but no snow

Having said that,  if you walk around the city there is a lot of variety.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through all the permutations and combinations that I saw today!  I’ll limit myself to a few (sometimes I can do that!).

below: A few stone steps lead to a simple white entrance.

a red brick house with a white rectangular doorway. driveway beside the house leads to a garage with a white door.

below: A study in compare and contrast – the wonderful result of semis where next door neighbours with dissimilar tastes, habits, and decorating ideas share a common wall.

a semi divided house, on the left, a bright yellow door. On the right, an open porch with lots of clutter.

Many steps and many hours later I find myself nearing the end of this post.  It’s been a bit of a ramble, both in the route that I walked today and in the thought processes that helped create this post.    I hope that I have entertained you at least a little bit.    And with one final photo I will close the door on this post.    Last one out turns out the lights.  Adios.

looking down a street to an T-intersection. Two houses across the intersection with a large truck parked in front of them. A man is sitting in the truck and looking at the camera

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”  John Barrymore

We looked out side and saw that it was a beautiful sunny day!
These gals may be all dressed up with nowhere to go but I decided to hit the streets again.

looking out a store window, 3 headless mannequins are in the window, dresses in women's clothing, one has a red tam on her shoulders, one has a dress with a repeating pattern of typewriters, one has a red skirt with with white hearts all over it.

window mannequins, Doll Factory by Damzels, Queen St East

below: It seems I’m in a neighbourhood that lovebot watches over and protects!

a neighbourhood watch sign posted on a hydro pole, a lovebot sticker is on each of the three houses on the sign

below: A ghost sign that has been revealed by demolition of a building on Queen Street East .
“Relieves fatigue, sold everywhere” is part of an old coca-cola ad. I wonder if 5 cents was a bargain at that time.

an old wall has been exposed after a building has been demolished. The sign is part of an old coca cola advertisement and says relieves fatigue 5 cents.

below: Another ghost sign.  Mr. Frankfurt “Toronto’s hot dog king” opened their restaurant in July of 1984.  It is long gone but the large yellow sign remains.

a large yellow sign for Mr. Frankfurt restaurant showing a red headed girl trying to eat a hot dog that is larger than she is. yellow sign attached to building.

below:  Peace and love encounter number two!

spray paint large red lips, outline drawing, on an old wood garage door in an alley

below: Love and concern of a different kind.   Part of COUNTERfit memorial where people have scratched words and drawings into the metal.   An angel, a heart, a dove, a coffin.  “The war on drugs is a war on us”.   “For every prohibition, you create an underground”.  “Each death is an end of the world Cada muerie es un fin del mundo.”   There is more to this memorial including a list of names as well as flowers and candles that have been left at the base of the metal sculpture.

part of a metal memorial for people who died of drugs and AIDS, Counter fit (a harm reduction organization). people have scratched words and drawings into the metal, a dove, a heart, words like The war on drugs is a war on us

below: Eddie’s Convenience with it’s bit of history.  The mural on the wall is from an old photograph of Queen Street East circa 1926.   The old “drink Canada Dry” sign that hangs over the doorway is a piece of history too.  The faded words on the top of the sign say “Eddie’s Confectionery”.    Does anyone know how old the sign might be?

looking diagonally across the steet to Eddie's convenience store with it's old Canada Dry ad sign hanging over the doorway and the black and white mural taken from a view of Queen St. East long ago.

below: More peace and love!

painting on a garage door, black line drawing of a face on blue with peace written above and love written below the face

 below: It seems like everywhere I go I encounter a building being demolished and today was no exception.  The Church of Our Lady and St. Basil near Queen and Logan is in the process of coming down.  It was not an old building.

vertical windows on a birck church, behind a chain link fence. Two of the windows have panes missing and are covered with orange cloth

below: Alley access is blocked beside the church.
You can see into the church where part of the exterior wall has been broken.

orange cones and a construction fence block entrance to an alley beside a church that is being demolished

below: Dust drifts past the stained glass windows.

dust from demolition drifts up and past church stained glass windows that are now seen more clearly because one of the exterior walls has been partially removed

below: Valentine love (and Christmas bells) for all those who pass through the gate.
How can you resist smiling as you pass by?

a small archway over a gate at the entrance to a front yard, the arch is the shape of a heart and it has been decorated with flowers.

below: A different house, a different arch over a gate – this time little balloon shaped objects made of fabric with tassles at the bottom.  Do they have any significance?

hanging lantern shapes made of fabric, with tassles at the bottoms, hanging over a gate, yellow, green, orange and white

below: A large plant grows inside.

a metal grille that was painted green covers a window with a rusty metal frame and one pane cracked. A plant grows inside the window.

below: A sunny day makes for interesting shadows.

shadows on a sunny day, a metal fire escape is diagonal across the back of a light teal coloured house, it passes the bottom corner of a window

below: A little bit of whimsy.  Someone has hung three little decorative bird houses from the branch of a tree, not in someone’s front yard but by the sidewalk on Queen Street East.

three little decorative bird houses hang from a tree branch by the sidewalk

below: And whimsy is good.   This isn’t exactly cupid but it’s naked and has wings.  Cupid as a grown-up?

a wood cut out in pale pink, mounted high on an exterior green wall, naked person with wings and a funny shaped face

below: Full circle, back to Doll Factory by Damzels – have a happy day!

mannequin head, bright yellow short hair, blue eyes, red lips, pink ears, big smile on her face, wearing a beige tam

A few things seen while walking Dundas West (and the alleys behind it) near Dufferin Street.

below:  Dundas Street West, looking east from Dufferin Street, March 2015

view of Dundas St. West, looking eastward towards downtown from the intersection with Dufferin St.

below: At the corner of Sheridan Ave and Dundas West.

building on the corner of Sheridan and Dundas is a two storey brick building. On the whole of the side wall is a large Dundas West mural featuring a large butterfly painted on it.

a Jarus street art painting of a woman sleeping on a bed. She has long black hair and is wearing white clothes

On a wall that has been painted a couple of shades of red is a painting of a green head with a green and red striped head dress on

sign on the door of a store that says Solicitors will be fed to the chihuahua, with a picture of a little chihuahua dog below the words

large colourful mural on the side of building, two stylized musicians, a drummer and a guitar player as well as two people dancing.

large mural of stylized people, 2 people, a drummer  and a dancer

garage door with three black line drawn foxes, there is a construction site to the right of the garage
A brown car is parked in a driveway beside a door with a yellow man's face painted on the bottom half of the door. He's bald, little round ears and his eyes are closed.
blue door with faded paint and a metal grille in front of it, beside a garage door with graffiti on it including the words Idle no more. Upper storey has an exterior door that goes nowhere

garage door with a picture on it titled Casa Nostra, a picture of a man playing a large guitar and a woman standing beside an outdoor table with food on it.

black and white street art on a garage door that is partially obscured by trash bins and wooden structure.   The art is geometric shapes and includes the words Kick out the Jams

mural behind a small tree on a red brick wall, spiral of DNA, medical symbols, butterfly

black stencil of a man's head on a white brick wall

Yes, there has been a shortage of blog posts here recently.

The reason?  A trip to Montreal for MuralFest, and a chance to walk parts of that city.

The result?  … of course! ….  a few blog posts about Montreal!  They are more to come over the next few days, but you will find them on the page labelled ‘Montreal’ – (link) or on the black menu bar that’s across the top of the page.