Posts Tagged ‘mosaic’

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!

 

The other day I came across an interesting mosaic of which the picture below is just one part.  There is a plaque beside it which says “Seen at a disance the mosaic reveals a crowd of people sheering and clapping, people of all backgrounds, which is the unique mix of Toronto.  Up close, the images dissolve into abstract patterns of colour and light.”.

close up of a mural made of mosaic pieces, people seated in an arena is the subject of the mural

The mural is called ‘A Small Piece of Something Larger’ and it was designed by Stephen Andrews and fabricated in Montreal by Mosaika Art.  It is made of smalti (hand cut mosaic glass), gold tiles and hand glazed ceramic tiles.

close up of a mosaic by Stephen Andrews with his signature on it.

I’d love to show you a picture of the whole thing but I can’t.  The piece is located in the taxi drop off and valet parking area of the Trump International Hotel.   I dodged cars while I took these photos.   The wall that it is on looks cheap, especially with the dreary doorway that cuts into the mosaic.  Another strike against this piece is the very yellow nature of the lighting in this space. I played with the colour balance on the photo below to try to capture the true colour of the artwork.

mosiac art on a wall with a doorway in the middle of it

It really deserves a better location.

parking entrance and valet parking at Trump International Hotel in Toronto. A blue taxi has just pulled in, a yellowish hue in the interior of the space
The above picture was taken from the NE corner of Bay and Adelaide.
Just a few steps west on Adelaide is this mosiac (look up!):

Five vertical panels of mosaics above the entrance of a downtown building, much taller buildings are on either side of it and behind it. Bell Canada building on Adelaide West, mosaics by York Wilson, communication theme public art

It is above the entrance to the Bell Canada Building at 76 Adelaide West.  Five panels, each twenty feet tall and five feet high, of glass mosaic tile are embedded in the cement of the building.  It was designed by York Wilson and installed in 1965 when the building was constructed.

The theme of the piece is communication and each panel represents a different form of communication.   From left to right: writing, drawing, music, voice, and satellites.

five vertical panels of mosaic in bright colours on an exterior wall

Staying on Adelaide, walk east again but continue to Yonge Street.  Here you can find another hidden, almost secret, mosaic that many people have walked past and never seen.  Find the silly little entrance way to what is called the Dynamic Funds Tower on the SE corner of Yonge and Adelaide.  Stand outside the entrance but don’t go in.  Now look up.

glass mosaic ceiling that is almost circular, octagonal but the sides are not equal width.

Three very different mosaics all within a few steps of each other.

….and there’s one last stop on our mosaic tour.  It’s not a mosaic but looking at Stephen Andrews’ work at the Trump Hotel reminded me of a sculpture.  If you walk down Yonge Street, just south of the railway tracks you’ll find a bronze ‘Immigrant Family’ by Tom Otterness.

Immigrant Family, a sculpture by Tom Otterness, a father mother and baby in arms.
A roly poly mother, father and baby in arms.  A bit cartoonish but vague enough that they represent no one immigrant group.  They could be any piece in the mosaic that is Toronto.

close up of a sculpture by Tom Otterness of a family of three, mother, father and baby in arms. Father is carrying a suitcase. Title of sculpture is Immigrant Family

With a shoutout to Penny at Walking Woman since it was because of her blog post that I learned about the Otterness sculpture.

Other links:

 

The Bathhouse Raids by Christiano De Araujo is a mural on Church Street just south of Carlton.
Completed in the fall of 2013, it was the largest of the Church St. Mural Project pieces commissioned for WorldPride 2014.

The following photos were taken with a very wide angle lens
because of the size of the mural and because there are always cars parked in front of it.

large mural on the side of a building.  A number of cars are parked in front of it.  The mural depicts the bathhouse raids, an event in Toronto's history where police raided gay bath house and arrested those they found inside.  A yellow Toronto police car, a fire truck with its lights on are both in the picture.  An oversized person is in the center, hands held over her/his head.

On the 5th of February, 1981, Toronto police raided four bathhouses in what was known as ‘Operation Soap’.
Around 300 men were arrested.  Most charges connected to the incident were eventually dropped or discharged, although some bathhouse owners were fined.

part of a large mural showing a yellow Toronto police car from the 1980's, a couple of policemen and a crowd of men standing just back of the police car

part of a large mural showing a yellow Toronto police car from the 1980's, a couple of policemen and a crowd of men standing just back of the police car

The event marked a major turning point in the history of the LGBT community in Canada.
The raids led to protests – the night after the raids, 3,000 people marched on 52 Division police headquarters and on Queen’s Park, smashing car windows and setting fires.  That spring the city held its first Pride Parade.

right hand side of the bathhouse raid mural on Church St. showing a firetruck with its red flashing lights on

A little dead end alley in Kensington and the graffiti I found there.

Looking through a chain link fence towards a short laneway.  There is graffiti on the walls of the buildings that back onto the alley

A chain link fence at the end of the alley.

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Street art piece of a semi clad woman and a male nude, reaching for each other.  They are larger than life, and higher up on a wall.

I love the way that the faces are incomplete compared to rest of the anatomy.

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A graffiti piece of a black hooded figure.  Someone has tagged over part of it in large white letters.  The next person has put an orange line through the white tags and then added the words  Fuck You learn some respect

The seemingly endless battle between graffiti artists and those who wantonly tag over their work.

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A collection of small tiles that have been painted over by a larger piece of street art

squares pieced together

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Multicoloured graffiti that covers a door as well as the wall.

hidden doorway

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black outline picture of a tea cup and saucer, with steam rising from it, on top of green and purple graffiti

steaming

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Doorway covered with stickers and scribbles

chaos with stickers and scribbles

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Graffiti of a pinkish face with bared teeth.  CHainlink fence on the left of the photo.

grimacing skull by the fence

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