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.
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 Árpád–Házi 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.
below: A large mosaic adorns one of the exterior walls.
below: A small shrine is in front of the 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.
below: The artwork at Bayview station is by Panya Clark Espinal, titled ‘From Here Right Now’. Half an apple lies on the platform.
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.
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.
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.
below: If you stand in the park and look east, you can’t miss the construction.
Construction is everywhere on Sheppard Avenue.
below: All of the houses on Cusack Court are now gone. Only the ‘No Exit’ sign remains.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
below: The north entrance to Bessarion station
below: Looking east from Bessarion. You can see as far as the condos on Don Mills Road.
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.
As you might know, scroll down to the next blog post to see some pictures of Bessarion station!