Posts Tagged ‘windows’

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

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

 

Hello! “What’s up?”  has become “sup?”  I see.

a small collection of little things on a wall including the word sup? made with white strips of wood. Also the word hello is painted on the wall. Collage includes a large spring, a light bulb and blobs of something orange.

Well, let me show you some of what’s up in Kensington these days.

two hysro poles, one with a lot of signs on it and the other with three horizontal wood sections at the top of it. Signs are a street sign for Kensington Ave in both English and Chinese, a yellow no dumping sign that has been covered in stickers, and a no parking sign. Signs for Chinese businesses are in the background.

  It’s a much quieter place on a nippy winter morning.

below:  Does anyone have an extra jacket they could lend her?  Frostbite isn’t fun.

graffiti on a wood fence, a painting of a bare breasted woman's torso.

below:  It’s Canadian patio weather so it can’t be that cold. Right?

view into a backyard from an alley, some snow on the ground, a Canadian flag is hung on a wall over two brown plastic Muskoka chairs and a small patio table. A string of Christmas lights is above the flag.

below: Loose bricks become loose teeth.  Some guy is trying to hide under the stairs.

street art painting of a face on the side of a building beside a construction site, building is an old house that is empty. face is painted under the marks on the wall where the stairs were, and teeth are loose bricks hanging vertically. a red and purple throw up text graffiti is in front of the painting.

below: Fathom graffiti on the foundations of an old house that has been torn down.
Hot and cold perhaps?

graffiti by Fathom on a brick wall at a construction site, line drawings in black of a man's face, a steaming cup of something hot, and a popsicle. Like hot and cold.

below: Filet of sole

The globe sculpture at Kensington that sits high on a pole. Two of the fish that swim around the globe, one of the fish has a pair of black and red nike shoes with their laces tied together, over the front of the fish.

below: Cool camel with his headless (mindless!?) glittery arm candy.

a mannequin with a camel mask on, wearing sunglasses, with a large ring through it's nose, wearing a robe with a busy pattern in shades of brown, another mannequin that is headless is beside the camel. The second mannequin is wearing a dress covered in shiny sparkly gold sequins.

below: Persian stews and a pink octopus…. what’s in a Persian stew?  If beef stew is beef and rabbit stew is rabbit….   well, I’ll assume that Persian stew isn’t Persians just like Irish stew isn’t Irishes.
I also liked the way that the street art on the open gate merged with the painting on the wall behind.

blog_persian_stew_octopus_graffiti

below: Still meditating with blinking – not distracted by the Christmas balls in front of her face.

mannequin in a window sitting in a yoga position, and covered in painted patterns, multicoloured, gold Christmas balls are hanging from the ceiling around her.

below: I thought that this was a window ornament, like the kid you see as a door knocker.  But when I zoomed in more closely, I found that is was an old curling trophy!

an old weathered curling trophy sits on a window ledge, where it has been tied on. Window behind, reflection of the trophy in the window.

below: A little sparrow doing some people watching, its feathers all puffed up to keep warm.

a little sparrow (bird) sits on a railing outside that is decorated with cedar boughs and red Christmas lights.

below: A woman and a rose in black and white, by bubz

a black and white mural by bubz, grey tones actually, of a woman with long hair and a white rose

below: Outdoor office.  I told you we Canadians were a hardy bunch.

an old office chair with black padded back and seat sits up on a small trash bin made of concrete blocks. A light dusting of snow covers all surfaces

below: Druid and a Christmas tree.

top part of a brick building, two windows, a Christmas tree in one of the windows, the word druid written in yellow spray pain above the windw, a new condo being built in the background
below: Lovebot, grominator, and a poser bunny all together by the rooftops.

blog_lovebot_grominator_poser_bunny

below:  A number of these little paste-ups (the guy in the yellow frame) by t-bonez have sprung up around downtown.   This one is on Augusta.

people walking in Kensington, walking past a wall with a pasteup on it of a man in uniform saluting he's drawn from the waist up and is in a yellow frame.

part of a mural in a Kensington lane of a woman with long dark hair and a white and blue dress, she is standing. In front of her is parked a bike.

below: Taking a snowy walk in the neighbourhood that is protected by Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum from the 3 Ninjas movies.

looking down a street in Kensington, looking towards Spadina, older brick housses on the street, a group of people walking down the sidewalk, snow on the ground, winter trees, a neighbourhood watch sign that has been altered with a picture of the three boys from the movie 3 Ninjas.

below: Everyone likes Christmas!  Even a stormtrooper….

a mannequin outside a store is dressed in a Star Wars white storm trooper costume with a Santa hat and a T-shirt with the face of a stormtrooper also with a Santa hat. The store is painted yellow and has a bright red door that is open

two t-shirts on display outside a store, both are white and both have heads of famous people wearing Santa hats. One is David Bowie and the other is E.T.

below: More rooftop graffiti.  This time, with new condo development behind.  The old brick buildings with glass monsters popping up behind them – a very familiar site these days.

graffiti on the top of a red brick building, trees in front, a large new condo being built behind.

below: In keeping with the sort of PG rating of this blog, I’ll show this poster as the background!

a woman in pink gloves is taking a picture of a graffiti paste up in a street, taking the photo with her phone

below: The end, no exit. I’ll go no further, except…..

the end of a dead end alley, with graffiti on one of the walls, and a sign that says no exit painted on the wall in white.

to say have a happy New Year and I hope that 2017 is filled with lots of opportunities to walk and explore!

part of a larger mural, black line drawings on white of two smiling faces

Have a blast!

wooden decorations on the upper part of a store, cutouts painted to look like two women sitting on top of rockets as they blast into space

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

Well, not really Camden Street, but an alley that runs perpendicular to the street….  If the lane has a name I don’t know what it is.  Google maps doesn’t even include it.  It’s a very short alley that runs both north and south from Camden street and it doesn’t go anywhere.  Both sections were painted with murals 9 or 10 years ago.   Amazingly, they have survived.

Let’s start with the south side of Camden Street.

below: Mural Project, “The walls won’t know what hit them”.  The mural was painted in 2006 youth from the   Harbourfront and Cecil Community Centres as part of the City of Toronto’s Graffiti Transformation Project.

part of a mural in an alley, yellow background, blue pistol with the word mural in large red capital letters, flag at the end of the barrel that says , white hand holding the grip with finger on the trigger.
below: The mural is painted in a quasi cartoon style.

blog_art_or_vandalism_mural

below: She’s upset and she’s expressing her hurt and anger with spray paint seems to be the start of the story.

part of a mural in an alley, a woman with bright yellow hair is spray paint out of a can with a word bubble that says "He crossed me first"

below: My knowledge of slang is limited, and this is 10 years old but this sheezy is cool.  It’s probably as simple as “this sure is cool”, i.e. spray painting graffiti is cool.

This seezy is off the heezy are the words in a word bubble coming out of the mouth of a man painted in a mural, short black hair, wearing a red shirt, and spraying a can of pink spray paint,

below: Oh no! I always laugh when I hear this expression these days… is there anywhere in Toronto where property values are going down? Okay, okay, so it’s part of the story – she’s complaining that someone has sprayed graffiti somewhere nearby, the vandalism part of the story.   The angry young woman or the “sheezy heezy” guy above have been busy in her neighbourhood.

street art, picture of woman with orange hair, wearing white gloves, hands on sides of head, words saying "On no, my property value went down"

below:  As you can see, a couple of things were in the way as I was taking pictures.   I am not sure exactly how the plot of the mural progresses from here because I couldn’t see the whole thing.  There are gaps in the story line.   A few missing pages so to speak.

looking down one wall of an alley, a mural is painted on it, in the foreground is a woman in profile (she's looking down the lane), very yellow hair. Two cars are parked in front of the mural

below: Flesh tones as dots in the face of woman who plays an unknown role in this story – the mystery woman?

part of a woman's face, painted in dots, bright red lipstick, brown hair, looking at the viewer

below:  I suspect that this is the “We’ve got to get rid of the graffiti” part of the story.  Is it improper to make comments about Rob Ford and his anti-graffiti program here?  I don’t want to insult the mural or the project behind it because I think that the Graffiti Transformation Project is an excellent program.

scene in a mural, a football helmet wearing head, with words I wish my school had an art program, also two men talking about how it's time to take out the trash

below:  If there was a mural on the other side of the alley, it’s long gone.

a red car is backed into an alley, and is parked there, along the wall beside the car is a lot of graffiti spray painted and written on the wall. There is a stair case in the back part of the wall.

A short walk across Camden Street to the other half of the alley….

below: You can see the taller buildings on Richmond Street West but you can’t get there from here.
And like most downtown alleys, garbage bins are a dominant feature.

looking down a dead end alley, lots of blue rubbish bins that are slightly overflowing, tall buildings on either side. The back of a two stroey building straight ahead with taller buildings behind

below: At the entrance to the alley.  There are words under the window by the sunflowers that say that this painting is also the work of the Harbourfront/Cecil Community Centre’s Graffiti Transformation Project, 2007.

wall of an alley with a long window with worn painting around it of flowers and sunflowers

below: A very low window with green arrows

a low window, close to the ground, with a green arrow painted around it.

orange geometric street art, with the words 'stay alive' written in orange beside it

two old windows with rusted and bent metal grille on the windows, a street art painting of a woman in profile with eyes closed is between the windows, White hair

below: And last, I’ll end with a weather comment because we’ve all been talking (complaining?) about it these days – someone’s a bit overdressed for this August weather although it doesn’t seem to bother him.  Maybe he knows something we don’t.   Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

street art on a grey brick wall, head of a young man in a fur lined hood of a parka

Stay cool!

Have you ever noticed how many trees there are in this city?
Have you ever stopped to examine the visual relationship between trees and architecture, the patterns of leafless branches superimposed on straight man-made lines?

Horizontal branches of a tree growing in front of a low rise yellowish brown brick apartment building. Balconies, jutting out with the bright blue sky behind.

For the past couple of weeks I have been keeping an eye open for such relationships while I walk.   As it turns out, there are lots to be found…. and some are even interesting  🙂

Part of a mature tree, looking upwards, the greenish steeple of St. Basils church can be seen through the branches. No leaves on the tree. A very tall condo building under construction is also in the picture.

Just for fun I googled “How many trees are there in Toronto?”.  I got answers!  One link was particularly useful:  available in pdf from the City of Toronto’s website is a report titled, “Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto’s Urban Forest” (updated in 2013).   It is estimated that Toronto has about 10.2 million trees and they provides a tree canopy over between 26% and 28% of the city.

A large mature tree with no leaves, early spring, grows in front of a large glass building that has a reflection of another large building its windows.

There are at least 116 different tree species in the city.  The 10 most common species account for close to 58% of the total.   We have a lot of maple trees – Norway Maple, Sugar Maple, and Manitoba Maple were the top 3 species.  Next in the list were Green Ash, White Spruce, Silver Maple, American Elm, Eastern White Cedar, Austrian Pine, and White Ash.

When Dutch elm disease devastated the city’s elm trees in the 1960s and 1970s many were replaced by Norway maples.  These proved to be hardy but they were also very invasive and damaging to ravines and other natural spaces.  As a result they are rarely planted on city property anymore.  Still, they represent 15% of Toronto’s tree coverage.

A lone smallish sized tree in winter is growing in front of a stone building on the University of Toronto campus, snow on the ground.

Of the total tree population, 6.1 million (60%) trees are on private property, 3.5 million (34%) trees are in parks and ravines, and 0.6 million (6%) trees are on city streets.

A tree in a concrete planter in front of a tral coloured building. It's a sunny day so there is a shadow of the tree on the building.

Trees make a significant contribution to our life.  Not only do they look nice, but they also provide benefits.  They provide shade in the summer and they help improve the air quality.  They help prevent erosion in our ravines and they provide habitat for insects, birds and animals.  Our parks would be poorer places without trees.

A large branch of a tree in the foreground, condos and the CN tower in the background. The curve of the tree branch looks like its wrapping itself around one of the tall condos.

One goal that the city has is to increase the canopy cover over Toronto to 30%.  To this end, between 2004 and 2012 the city and its partners planted almost 100,000 trees per year.   That’s almost 900,000 trees.   Not all survive but progress is being made.  Tree cover increased slightly (1.3%) between 1999 and 2009.

below: A map of Toronto showing the tree canopy in each neighbourhood

A map of Toronto showing the percentage of each neighbourhood covered by tree canopy from almost white (very few trees) to dark green (a lot of trees)

in winter, some snow, part of a large leafless tree in front of an office building with a sloght curve in it.

Take a moment to look at the trees you pass, yes, look up!  Especially in the next week while the branches are still bare.  Better still, look up often and watch the changes unfold as the trees bud and bloom.  At this time of year the trees change quickly and before you know it the city will be transformed.

winter tree in front of a stone government building on Queens Park Circle, A Canadian flag and an Ontario flag are flying in front of the building.

A number of leafless trees and three lamp posts in Simcoe Place, downtown Toronto, with the CBC building in the background

A man's legs as he walks across the pond on Ryerson campus. Very little water is therem lots of reflections of the trees and buildings around. He is wearing jeans and bright orange running shoes.

leafless tree branches above an older red brick house with a mansard black slate roof and a feww yellow brick details

A walk along Queen Street East from Broadview to Greenwood.

A no smoking sign written on a piece of paper that is upside down, as viewed from the other side of the window. Looking out onto a patio.

below: Welcome to Riverside, mural at the corner of Queen and Grant streets featuring the sign on the Queen bridge as it crosses over the Don River.

People walking past the intersection where there a mural for Riverside area of Toronto, TTC streetcar in the mural. It is on the upper floor of a two storey brick building.

below: Farther east on Queen Street, at Curzon,  there is this ‘Greetings from Leslieville’ mural.

One of the Leslieville murals. Greetings from Leslieville with a postcard on it.

There are many interesting little stores on this stretch of Queen Street.
All the benches have been painted in cheerful colourful stripes.

Looking across the street at a man sitting on the edge of a concrete planter for a tree as well as a multicoloured striped bench with two women sitting on it. They are in front of two storey brick buildings with stores on the bottom level and apartments on the top. One of the stores is Bronze.

Rubiks cubes and large red and white dice in a store window, some real and some reflected in a a mirror on the wall.

looking into the window of a pharmacy, a toy troll is in a white mug. The mug has red lettering - Yours pharmacy. Also a mortar and pestle in the window along with a box with medicines for influenza

below: On the 21st of April (yesterday), Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday.
A number of stores and restaurants had displays in her honour.

items in a store window. A Canadian flag, a mountie figurine that waves, two mugs featuring Queen Elizabeth and a container of tea.

A picture of Queen Elizabeth hangs on a wall in a cafe, seen through the window with reflections of the sky. There are red chairs in the cafe

Queen Street East was developed as long ago as the mid 1800’s and remnants of various decades can be found as one explores the area.
below: … details such as this fading Canada Dry sign.  The formula for Canada Dry ginger ale was developed in the early 1900’s by John J. McLaughlin, of the same McLaughlin family whose early automobile factory led to the start of General Motors.  This ginger ale was patented in Toronto in 1907.  Usually the words ‘Canada Dry’ are written in red, not yellow.   Is there a time when Canada Dry used yellow lettering?

An older Canada Dry advertisement sign hangs over the entrance to Eddies Convenience Store on Queen St East.

below:  At the corner of Queen and Coady there is also a ghost sign for Coady Sweets as well as an advertisement for Coca-Cola.

On a corner, Edjan Convenience Store with people walking past it. On the side of the upper floor of the two storey brick building is a ghost sign advertising coca cola and Coady Sweets. At the corner of Coady and Queen St. East in Leslieville Toronto
  below: Call it luck – even a vintage car drove past while I was there.

A black vintage car drives by on Queen St East

below: An old KitKat advertisement on the side of Boston Discount Store.  If you look closely, there is also an original Boston Ave street sign at the top right of the KitKat ad.

Side of a convenience store with an ad for KitKat, have a break, is painted on the side. Boston Discount Store on the corner of Queen St. East and Boston Ave

below: Even older are the buildings in the mural of Queen St. East circa 1926.  I am not sure if this an accurate depiction of a particular stretch of Queen Street.  It might be interesting to do some research to find out if the picture can be retaken, 90 years later.  So far I have been unable to find out anything about a Jackson Brothers store on Queen East.

Black and white mural of historical picture of Queen St East

below:  A sign of the new, some of the new TTC streetcars are now running along Queen Street.

The side of a new TTC streetcar behind a striped bench on a sidewalk

below: A mural depicting Frank Zappa along with the words
“Stupidity has a certain charm.  Ignorance does not.”

A mural of Frank Zappa on the upper floor of a two storey building. Also includes the words Stupidity has a certain charm, ignorance does not.

below: Like so many places and streets in Toronto, there are condos going up here too.

reflections in the shiny black hoardings around a condo construction site. buildings, car, people

A young man walks past the Value Village Donation Center that has a large window with 3 mannequins in it. A bike is parked in front.

below: The railway tracks pass over Queen Street.  A number of years ago the underpass was decorated with paintings of different animals and those paintings remain in good shape.

A small section of the railway bridge over Queen St. East near De Grassi. The far wall is painted light blue and there are picture of animals on it.

below: Once upon a time trains served this area.  There was a railway station here but it is long gone.

historical plaque describing the history of Riverdale train station at Queen St. East and De Grassi St in Toronto

transcription:

“In 1896, the Grand Trunk Railway opened its Queen East Station to serve Toronto’s growing east end.  Renamed Riverdale Station in 1907, the building stood here on De Grassi Street at Queen Street East.  Its dramatic turret, bay window, and a deep overhanging roof were defining features typical of small railway stations of the period.

In 1904, a streetcar collided with a freight train at the level crossing on Queen Street East, killing three people and injuring 18.  This and subsequent accidents led to the elevation of the new Union Station railway corridor above city streets and sidewalks.  The station was moved in 1927 to accommodate the new embankment for the underpass, the first of nine to be completed.  Dwindling passenger numbers during the Great Depression led to the closure of Riverdale Station in 1932 and its demolition in 1974.”

below: Looking west from under the railway bridge.

Photo taken from under a bridge, looking west along Queen St. East, cars on the street, a restaurant on the corner, and some women on the sidewalk.

below: A train themed mural in an alley just off Queen Street.

Street art painting of a brown train boxcar, with a yellow and orange tag on it, on the side of a building in an alley.

board outside Fuzz salon.

graffiti, white stick drawing of a man with a beard pointing his finger, or giving someone the finger, hard to tell

Two brick stores on Queen St East, two storey. One is the OKOK diner with a mural on the side of it that features an older version TTC streetcar.
reflections in the window of a cafe. Red benches are outside the window. People, TTC streetcar

Looking into a store window. A small model of the Statue of Liberty, a fire extinguisher, a pump and some PVC pipe parts. Reflections of sky, buildings from across the street and a yellow set of lights above a cross walk.

The painted sign on the door of Dangerous Dan's restaurant that says, No bathrooms, no change, no outside food, no kidding.