Monday, February 28, 2011

Modern Cloister at University College

This cloister is on the same quadrangle as the post from 2 days ago but it didn't appear until 1964 when the one open side of the quad was finally closed by the construction of the College library. There is quite the contrast between the two cloisters but I think they each work aesthetically!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

U of T Walkway + Snow

We got a surprise drop of snow last night and I was going by the birch walkway this morning so here it is with snow. Some snow had started to melt off the branches but who knows if we get more this year so this is probably my last chance.

I am having trouble with my internet today so I won't be able to comment anywhere so will hopefully be back in business tomorrow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cloister at University College

The old building visible in yesterday's pic is University College, built in 1859, and the oldest college at U of T. This shot shows the cloister of the inner quadrangle of the college - it feels like a trip back in time to wander along here. I have been working on a shot of the front of the college but haven't liked my results yet so stay tuned!

Friday, February 25, 2011

No Blizzard

We were supposed to have a major snow storm last night and this morning but all we got was this and the sun is out now. This pretty walkway is on the U of Toronto campus and had always been rather non-descript but a few years ago it was planted up with lovely birch trees and so I planned on a beautiful "snow on birch tree" shot today. It is still a pleasant path even without the snow and that is part of University College ( the oldest college at U of T) visible in the distance.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Snakes and Lattes" Board Game Cafe

This cafe opened in the Annex area of Bloor St last fall and is unique in Toronto for its offering of over 1,500 board games to play for a small fee of $5/day. No internet in this place. I love their name and their signage!
Taking part in Signs, Signs - for more signs click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Unknown Student"

This bronze sculpture installed in 1969, by Dale Heinzerling and the students of the Rochdale Sculpture shop, is located on Bloor St near U of Toronto in front of what had been a great experiment in student-run alternative education and co-op living - Rochdale. Housed in a brand new 18 storey building, 840 students were to pursue knowledge in a free environment. Unfortunately, the idealism of the 60s lost out to the drug culture and within a couple of years Rochdale was one of the largest drug-distribution centres in N America! It finally closed in 1975 after many famous raids by the police and the building is a seniors apartment complex now - perfect for the same people who first lived there!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Enter With Caution

There are several fences in the neighbourhood with little creatures perched on them but this has to be the best of the bunch. This wonderful steel beaver has been sitting above this gate for a few years and has taken on a lovely rusty patina. The beaver is the national animal of Canada so we see it used in many places such as on some of our coins. And yes there is a bizarre dog behind that gate!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blue Gate in the Snow

We got our snow back last night, but at least it is bright and has been fairly sunny today! I've been admiring this gate in the Annex for awhile and the snow sets it off nicely. If you look closely at the top of the post on the right you can see one of the little metal creatures that have been scattered about along the fence. And I did peek through the grill to see snow-covered lawn furniture waiting for summer!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Orange in the Annex

Always on the look-out for colour, I spotted this house in the Annex earlier this week before our snow all melted. I love it! Even their snow shovel, just barely visible on the porch, is purple. I like these people!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Train Entering the Station

While driving in traffic in the trendy West Queen West area of Toronto, I happened to look down a side street and there was this striking mural of a subway train painted on the side of a house. Naturally I had to get a pic, so did some winding around in one-way streets to come out in front of the house and get this shot. There is an on-going debate here about what is art and what is graffiti - I think this is art! Any opinions?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Totem Pole on Spadina

This wonderful red cedar totem pole carved by Canadian artist Don McLeay was installed in 1980 in front of the 'Native Canadian Centre' on Spadina Rd. The centre is an urban Aboriginal community centre offering many services to the Aboriginal community (seminars, counseling, gift shop, etc) and to the community at large. I took a snow shot of the pole last week but I think this shot from last fall shows it in a truer light!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Have a Cold One

Most of the wonderful old ads painted on walls are disappearing either behind construction or simply fading away. A local independent brewery here has added some new ones to our urban landscape in the last several years.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Over the Garden Wall

This is part of the side of the York Club from yesterday's post and a section of its garden wall running along Bloor St. There is something about a wall that makes me very curious to see what is on the other side. As you can see, this pic was taken in the fall when all the trees were still in leaf - something that caused a lot of difficulties for getting a shot of the club as it is surrounded by trees!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The York Club

This large house on St George St in the Annex is home to the York Club, a private club which has owned and maintained this magnificent Romanesque building since 1910. Designed by architect David Roberts and constructed in 1892, it was built for George Gooderham who was the wealthiest man in the province at the time and had 11 children so needed lots of space. (He owned Gooderham & Worts, the largest distillery in the British Empire - there is a lot of $$ in liquor). It is still one of the finest buildings in Toronto!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Terrier

I visited my little friend Ana on the weekend and she was all prepared for Valentine's Day but has decided to stay bundled up till spring! Hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wacky Wood!

One last shot of of an eccentric building for the time being. This garage is covered in little discs of wood which are cut from branches and then individually screwed onto the walls of the garage and also the house out front. The yard of the house is so full of statues and fountains etc that you can't really get a clear shot of it so I present the garage instead! If you look closely there is also a fine assortment of little figurines and toys attached to the surface. The Christmas light display at this house is a must-see!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Plaid Tidings!

To go along with the house with a clock from yesterday, I present a house with plaid columns and a very diverse selection of colours. There is always an eclectic mix of items around this house including a 54/55 Chevy that is normally parked in the driveway but it is the plaid that catches the eye - never seen it before on a house!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Continuing my painted house theme of the week, I present this nicely painted one. The ivy on the walls is all painted on to the creamy walls and makes a perfect setting for various mobiles, bird statues, chairs, etc. The best thing about this place is the clock which apparently comes from England and is especially made for the outside of stables. At 2:30 this afternoon this is the first time I have ever seen it showing the wrong time! Maybe it can't take the extreme cold we have had this week!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Something To Say

When I was out hunting for colour the other day, I spotted this car plastered with bumper stickers. This visiting American obviously has some opinions on most things it seems!

Taking part in Signs,Signs. To see more click here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cranberry Modern

I have been watching the construction of this in-fill house for the last year and in my quest for colour headed out today in the cold, sunny weather for a pic. Surrounded by typical Toronto, brick, semi-detached houses, this one really stands out for its colour and style. I quite like it - there needs to be a tour of private homes so hat we could peek inside! And what a great reflection in its windows.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brunswick Colour

Continuing the theme of coloured houses, I ventured out today on a very cold (-20C windchill!!) but sunny afternoon to catch this eye-catching yellow and purple house. Then I realized the neighbours had painted their place too but in a more conservative blue - which one pleases you the most? The other half of each of these semis is very neutral.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Red House

Several years ago an architect bought a boring little house in Seaton Village (just west of the Annex) and after a major renovation this wonderful little house appeared! Lovely in the summer, in the snow, the red really pops and the warmth of the wood is super. I would love to see the inside!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


It was warmish here today (+2C) but dull so I went out looking for some colour in the Annex area and look what I found! I can't help but wonder what each of these neighbours thinks of the others colour choices. Even I found the yellow overwhelming and I was craving for a blast of brightness!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Downhill at Christie Pits

The sequel to yesterday's post - the 3 young girls made it to the top of the hill, turned around, threw down their sleds, and they were off again with the girl in red out front! The downhill thrill well worth the uphill trek.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Going Uphill at Christie Pits!

The one thing about tobogganing that you forget is that the 10 second ride downhill results in several minutes of struggling back to the top. I watched these 3 young girls on the right, slip and slide their way up one of the hills at Christie Pits Park for about 5 minutes, giggling all the way. As they neared the very top the girl in red grabbed onto that little tree for dear life. It was almost more fun watching the uphill adventures than the downhill but not as exciting for the kids!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Red Door in the Snow

I always admire this well-kept house and its wonderful red door and thought that it looked especially nice during yesterday's snow storm. Someone had already been out to shovel!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day

We are having our biggest snow storm of the season so far and even the schools are closed (a "snow day") since much more snow was predicted than we actually got. So I decided to walk over to one of the bigger hills downtown to check out all the toboggan action. This was my view as I walked along - the big flakes were beautiful, just like in a snow globe! More shots over the next few days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Harbord Collegiate

This is one of the wonderful entrance doors on Harbord Collegiate, one of the oldest public high schools in the city. Originally built in 1892, it was renovated in the 1930s when much of the original decoration - towers, turrets etc were removed and the front of the building was rebuilt. Up in the corners of the doors are funny gargoyles attempting to study while birds are pecking at their heads! The security camera, no smoking sign, and wheelchair info are necessities of our modern world.