Posts Tagged ‘streets’

Streetcar, giraffe, and dinosaurs – these are three words that most people would never have the opportunity to put together in one sentence without talking nonsense.

First, here is the streetcar that I am refering to.  It is a mural on Connaught Avenue, on a building that is part of the TTC’s Russell Carhouse (also called Connaught Carhouse).   The house in the mural is the Ashbridge Estate which is across Queen Street from the TTC yard.   The sign over the door of the streetcar says 505 Hillsdale; I haven’t been able to find out why it says that.

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a house

a mural of a ttc streetcar and a heron

Next on the list is the giraffe  –  a mural by birdo.

a tall mural by birdo of a giraffe in many pieces, a yellow and orange head, a blue and red body and a number of multicoloured legs

I’m sure that you can see the pattern developing!  You’re obviously thinking, “Because the third word is dinosaurs, there must be a mural depicting dinosaurs.”  .. and you’d be right.  There are four dinosaurs on Sears street to be exact.

a mural featuring two large dinosaurs with text tags in between them. Realistic looking, two storeys tall.

Three of the dinosaurs are on the same wall – the two above and the one below.  All of them were painted by Mike Kennedy.

part of a mural with a stegasaurus dinosaur

The fourth one is across the street.  Sears is a street in name only, it’s narrow like an alley.

part of a mural with a dinosaur

None of these murals is new but they are in out of the way places and I suspect that not many people have seen them.   I hope that they were new to you!

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!

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

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

 

There is no theme to this blog post.  I never really had a purpose in mind as I walked yesterday.  I walked to enjoy the spring day.  I walked wherever my feet took me…  and they took me on a route that wove between Bay Street and University Avenue and from Grenville south to Dundas.

two women dressed up and walking down the street. One is in a puffy black dress, black tights and black shoes. The other woman has long red hair and a polka dot sweater on.

below: “Jimmy Mount Rushmore” mural on the side of Jimmy’s Coffee featuring four famous musical Jimmys: Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jimmy Buffet and Jim Morrison.

mural on the side of Jimmys coffee, monochromatic in rust, pictures of what Mount Jimmy Rushmore would like, four famous Jimmys, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jimmy Buffett and Jim Morrison

below: ‘Inner City Gate’ by Kosso Eloul.  1978.  A balancing act of stainless steel boxes on the lawn of the R. Fraser Elliott building (part of the old Toronto General Hospital), Elizabeth Street.

black metal sculpture of three boxes precariously balanced, the upper box is almost horizontal and it is being supported by the other two who are falling down but still balancing

below:  A blight on the sidewalk, so-called information pillars that are really just a sell-out to Astral Media.  They needlessly obstruct the sidewalk and obstruct the view of  cyclists and motorists.  Unfortunately they are part of a 20 year contract that the city has with Astral Media which doesn’t expire until 2027.

cyclists ride by an information pillar that has a large ad jutting out towards the street.

below: Incised into limestone blocks on the Edward Street side of McClelland House (originally the McLean Hunter building) is half of an artwork by Elizabeth Wynn Wood (1903 – 1966) called “Communication”.  The woman is sending a message to a man who is apparently shown on the other side of the building.  Sadly, I missed the man so there is no photograph of him here.  When the work was completed in 1958, the incised lines were inlayed with gold colour.

outline drawing of a woman floating in the sky, incised into limestone facade of a building. She is releasing a bird.

below: Across the street from the ‘floating woman’, 480 University Avenue is getting a facelift.

lower part of building have its facade upgraded to glass panels
below:  This picture shows most of the front of 480 University and you can see the different stages of the recladding process.  At the top of the building, the precast concrete grille that was part of the original 1968 Global House office tower is still in place while new glass panels have already been installed on the lower floors.   It is interesting to watch the metamorphosis of an 18 storey office building into a 55 storey condo tower.   Four levels of underground parking have also been added to the site and a new indoor entrance to St. Patrick subway station is in the works.

Tall office building is having its concrete facade replaced with glass. The upper floors are still concrete, the middle floors are bare and the lower floors have new glass

below: Abstract in blues and greys

very close detail shot of glass and reflections that make diamond shaped abstract in blue and grey

There is a lot of building and redevelopment in the area where I walked.

below: Womens College Hospital is totally new.

a lone man walks by the new Womens College Hospital building with its light grey stone facade, large glass section, and large pink glass section.

below: The corner of College and Bay, looking southeast, is now a wall of glass.

cyclist rides through the intersection of College and Bay streets. A wall of glass condos in the background.

below: The new wing of Sick Kids Hospital dwarfs the older buildings on Elm Street.

view from a parking lot, a row of the back of older two storey brick buildings with some mature trees, then taller modern glass buildings.

below:  The old and the new integrated into one building, Princess Margaret Hospital.

Princess Margaret Hospital, with the older stone building at the bottom, and the new modern addition above and beside it.

below: Even the street is being redone.  The center of Bay Street from Dundas to Elm is torn up because of  TTC streetcar track replacement.

A digger and other equipment working on a torn up section of Bay street.

below: Little quirky details:  First, the cross shapes made of contrasting brick on the back of the Red Cross building.  Second, the workings (or barrier?) of the compressed gas tanks that have been made to look like ice.

part of the addition that was added to the Red Cross building, two cross shaped features in contrasting brick on the upper levels. In front of that building are large compressed gas tanks.

below:  Another piece of public art, ‘Liquid Echo’ by Catherine Widgery, 1999, is in front of 750 Bay Street.  They look like stiff and lifeless frozen metallic fountains… or maybe just 12 pencils 🙂 .   Circular vent shafts for the underground parking have been incorporated into the artwork.

public art installation outside 750 Bay street

below: A  lovebot watches over the people passing through the bus station, unaware that he is there.

large lovebot wheatepaste paste up above the downtown Toronto bus terminal. A white bus is parked in one of the bus bays. Condos in the background.

below: And last, a colourful collection of squares and rectangles. Blue and green.  Red and white.

green and blue glass of a building's facade, with a storefront below. The windows of the store are filled with red and white pillows arranged in a grid.

Watching over some of Toronto’s streets are a number of ‘good guys’ from TV series, video games,  and movies.  These first appeared a little over a year ago.  In fact, they were mentioned in most of the Toronto media last summer.  Although I had heard of them before, I only recently noticed a few of them.

below: just south of Dupont Street, Steven Seagal

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A picture of a man looking over the top of his sunglasses has been added to the sign.

There are now more than 75 (or even 90?) pictures glued on to existing Neighbourhood Watch signs.
They are the work of Andrew Lamb, a pseudonym.

below: In Kensington, Wesley Snipes as Blade

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A picture of a black man wearing sunglasses and with a machine gun on his back

below: Xena the warrior princess watches over Vermont Ave.

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A woman. Xena the warrior princess character.

 below: On Roxton Road, Agents Mulder and Scully from the TV series, the X Files.

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A man and a woman, agents Mulder and Scully from the TV series X Files

below:  A faded picture of a group of Transformers on Palmerston Blvd.

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A faded picture of a large group of transformers, the superheros from the old TV series.

below: Super Grover from Sesame Street on Wright Ave (near Roncesvalles)

altered Neighbourhood Watch sign, Grover from Sesame Street in a superhero costume flying through the sky

below: Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as Roger Murtaugh, good guys from the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies, watch over Atkins Avenue.

Neighbourhood watch sign by Atkins Ave.., picture of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover has been pasted on it, two actors from Lethal Weapons movies.

below: Samus Aran from the Nintendo video game Metroid

An altered Neighbourhood Watch sign. A picture of a superhero dressed head to toe in pink (or is it faded rad?) and holding a large weapon has been added to the sign

below: Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in the ‘Alien’ movies

Neighbourhood watch sign with picture of Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in 'Aliens, carrying a child and a very big gun

below: The Thunderbirds from the 1960s British TV series watch over the north end of Borden Street.  They were part of International Rescue, an international life saving organization and their story was told using electronic marionettes and scale models.

blog_neighbourhood_watch_space_animation

 

below: Grace Jones and Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Conan the Destroyer’

Neighbourhood watch sign with Grace Jones and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie 'Conan the Destroyer'
This is only a small sample of the heroes that adorn our streets.  Maybe you have seen some of the others – Batman, Nancy Drew, the Hulk, Robocop, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Yoda, and even Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable.   As I researched these signs I found them online so if you haven’t seen them on the streets, here is the link to the website that has photos of them all.

In the early 1900’s brothers George and William Dempsey bought a store on the northwest corner of Yonge and Shepard from the Sheppard family.  It became known as Dempsey Brothers.

 below: The store in the 1960s

An old black and white photo of Dempseys store which was on the NW corner of Yonge & Sheppard.  It was a large 2 storey brick building with a porch across the front of the building.  You can see Yonge St. in this photo and some of the old cars that were stopped at the intersection.

In 1989 the property was sold to developers but the store remained on that corner until 1996.  At that time it was moved a few blocks north to a site on Beecroft Ave; the site is now known as Dempsey Park.  The building was renovated and became the home of the North York Archives, an arrangement that didn’t last long.  In 1998 Mike Harris and the provincial Conservative government of the day amalgamated the old city boroughs into one City of Toronto.  North York ceased to exist and their archives merged with those of the new city.  Instead, the old Demspey Brothers store is home to Beecroft Learning Centre.

old Dempsey store, restored and now in a park setting.  Two storey brick house with some yellow brick trim, porch that wraps around the front of the building.  Surrounded by trees, winter time so no leaves and there is snow on the ground.

The restored Dempsey Brothers store, now at 250 Beecroft Avenue.

 

Where Dempsey’s once stood, there is now this….

Northwest corner of Yonge and Sheppard in March of 2015, low rise building angled across the corner with McDonalds and 7 11 stores.  Tall apartment building behind.  The intersection is of two 6 lane roads so it is big and wide.

… a 7 Eleven and a McDonalds. I doubt that anyone thinks “nice corner” when they look at it.

 

below: Looking southeast from the front of Dempsey Brothers store many years ago.

An old black and white photo from 1955 showing the intersection of Yonge and Sheppard.  Not much development, an old car is waiting at a street light.

The billboard is an ad for Simpsons, a department store that is long gone.

 

For a long time, a grocery store stood where the billboard is in the above photo.  But now that corner is changing again.

 

below:  An attempt to replicate the location and angle of the above photo

Looking diagonally across an intersection towards two tall buildings with a midsize building with a curved front in between them.
below:  Looking south across Sheppard Ave. East at the north side new Hullmark Centre including the new subway entrance. 

looking at glass buildings where there is a lot of reflections.  An entrance to Sheppard subway station is part of the building.

below:  Looking north up Yonge Street from just south of Sheppard Avenue.
The new Whole Foods store is the first building on the right.

view looking north on Yonge St.  from just south of Sheppard Ave.
The southwest corner is also undergoing major changes.

below: The greenish coloured Emerald development is almost complete.  And yes, the tops of the buildings are meant to curve that way!

Two tall condos under construction beside a tall bluish colour commercial building.  The condos are a greenish colour and they are curve outwards a bit at the top.