Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mini Billboard

It seems that Minis and Smart cars are used for advertising more than any others. When walking past this Mini yesterday, it was the great pic of the Taj Mahal on the side that grabbed my attention!
Taking part in Signs, Signs, for more signs click here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Morning Glory"

When you enter yesterday's subway station you encounter this wonderful playful surreal enamel mural as you proceed to the stairs. Titled "Morning Glory", by Canadian artist Louis de Niverville, who is most well-known for his collage work, it draws on imagery from his childhood and his dreams. Perfect for that dreamy state of mind many of us are in during the morning commute! I took this shot just after last week's snow so its illuminating skylight is still covered.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Subway House

The Kendal Ave entrance to the Spadina subway station is located in this 19th century house which has been restored and renovated to provide subway entrance on the main floor and community space for rent upstairs. When the station was built in 1978 the house was put on tracks and wheeled back from its foundation while the work was done to connect the entrance to the station and then the house was returned to its original site. Nice way of fitting into the neighbourhood!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jewel at UC

I will end this tour of University College with this wonderful window located on the landing of a particularly dark and moody staircase at the west end of the building. It was a bright , sunny day outside when I was there so this window looked spectacular especially in its dark surroundings!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Up in the Turret

While wandering around in University College, I discovered this lovely little staircase that goes up into the turret at the east end of the building. After climbing to the top all I found was a locked door with a number on it! Beautiful stained glass and carved wood along the way though!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

West Hall at University College

This pic shows the magnificent West Hall at UC which is used mostly as a lecture hall and for writing the dreaded exams. It is a fabulous space with much carving (there are 267 carved roundels along the top of the oak panelling showing faces, animals, monsters & geometric designs), stained glass, and just the scale of the place. I had never been in here before and I was awestruck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dragon at University College

When you enter University College you really do enter another century - its hallways paneled with beautifully carved wood, lovely multi-coloured tile floors, stained glass windows and particularly the main staircases are from a time of craftsmanship not to be seen today. All the staircases are impressive but the east one with this fabulous carved dragon (or griffin as some think) newel post is unbelievable! Tradition has it that touching him will bring good luck and great marks so he is well- polished.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Main Door at University College

This is a shot of the main door to UC which is under the centre tower in the pic from 2 days ago. The wonderful carving is representative of the work that is found all over the building both exterior and interior. I love it and the metal work on the door itself. I actually took a stroll through the inside of the building today and will show you some shots over the next few days - couldn't get into the round building as there was a meeting going on in there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Croft House at UC

This is a close-up shot of the far left part of yesterday's pic and it shows "Croft House" which was the 1st part of University College (UC) to be built and was built as the chemistry lab of the university. It is named after the 1st chem prof, Henry Croft, and is now used as a place for departmental meetings. I love all the details and just the quirkiness of being a round building! It is visible in the background of the snowy walk when you hit the University label below.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

University College

This is University College, the oldest and probably most significant building at U of Toronto. Designed by architects Cumberland and Storm in rugged Romanesque revival style, it was built in 1859 and was the 1st building at the university and remains the centre of the campus. An incredible building with its turrets and towers and wonderful stone carving on the exterior, it was designated a National Historic site in 1968. The interior is spectacular too so I must head down for a photo trip soon! Click on the 'University College' label below to see the shots of the cloisters.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Same Garage

The garage in yesterday's post is at an intersection of laneways and so its side is exposed as well as the door. The same artist was commissioned to paint a mural along the side - not quite as arresting a sight as the lady but still rather nice. The vast majority of garage doors in the lanes don't have wonderful art on them and many are tagged with graffiti but for a lane-wanderer like myself it is fun to discover how many people have had interesting things painted on the doors. Glad you all like them!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lovely Laneway Lady

I happened to be wandering up a laneway just a block away from last week's laneway paintings when I discovered another lovely lady painted on a garage door. She too is beautifully done and it is nice to see that no taggers have touched the door. I am going to tour some more lanes in this area to see if there is some kind of theme going on there!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Old Vic in the Snow

I must post my snow shots before we forget winter. This shot was taken a couple of weeks ago and shows 'Old Vic' the original building of Victoria College which is part of U of Toronto. This lovely old building was designed by architect William Storm (who died 2 months before its completion) and finished in 1892. It is a great example of Richardson Romanesque architecture with its large arches, stonework, towers & turrets, and its coloured decorative patterns - a striking sight at the north end of Queen's Park!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lofty Den

This shot shows the top floor in the bell tower from yesterday's church. You can see the old stone walls, the original windows, and the wonderful light that floods into this space from all 4 sides. Out through the windows you can see over the tops of the mature trees of this neighbourhood. A great retreat after a busy day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another Lofty Church

This wonderful old stone church building in the Sunnyside area was built in 1910 and designed by architect William George Burns. It served as the home for several different religious denominations until the early 2000s when it was sold to developers but luckily the building had been designated as historically significant and so the exterior of the church had to be kept intact - it could be restored but not changed. The building was divided into 24 lofts all of which feature interior stone walls and wonderful old stained glass windows. One of the lofts includes several floors in the bell tower (which is 90' high) and even has a deck at the top of the tower offering incredible views of the lake and the city. Fortunately for me, that loft belongs to close friends and I have had many a good time there! An interior shot tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Runneymede Library

One of the more attractive buildings in Toronto is the Runneymede Library in the High Park area. Designed by architect John Lyle with a Canadian theme and yet modern style, it was opened in 1930 and features many architectural elements inspired by indigenous traditions and details. This pic shows the front door of the library framed by carved stone totem poles of stylized ravens, beavers and bears - lovely!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eerie Neighbours!

Just to show you how eclectic the laneway paintings can be, this garage is just across from the last 2 posts. There is not one bit of tagging anywhere near it - the whole garage is pristine black - taggers beware! It is really well done but I think in the dark it would be a wee bit eerie!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lady in a Red Hat

Right beside the garage in yesterday's post is this garage with this lady in a red hat who seems to have a resemblance to Angelina Jolie (to me). Not as beautiful as yesterdays lady but still quite striking!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Best Laneway Art

I was wandering, in the pouring rain, up the laneway behind this week's houses and came across this wonderful painting on a garage door and was stopped in my tracks. The rain was too hard for pics so I went back this morning to catch this fabulous lady - it's the best painting I have seen in a laneway in Toronto. Definitely art not graffiti!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Carved in Terra Cotta

I have a particular fondness for the wonderful terra cotta carvings that you find on many of the older buildings around town and this is a beautiful example that has been meticulously maintained over the years. It has been raining here for the last few days so I am showing a detail pic that I took in the fall of the top peak of the York Club which I showed you here in its winter surroundings. It's sad that the craftspeople who did this wonderful carving seemed to work with little recognition and it is impossible to get any info on them!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Modern Neighbours

Across the street from the houses that I have shown you this week is this great modern home clad in steel with a wonderful glass facade. Completed last year, it is actually a 600 sq ft addition to a original wood 1880s workers cottage which had been there since before the surrounding brick Victorians were built. Since the cottage was built well back on the lot, architect Gary McCluskie was able to put the 2 room addition on to the front without disrupting the streetscape. I actually found an article with interior shots of the 15' high ceilings and a pic from last summer without the snow! To see these click here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"A Guy in a Store That Fixes Leather"

A landmark for over 25 years is the building of the Sandalman who has more signs on his shop than most. He also has billboards around town and even ads on our buses and in the subway - he's everywhere! It certainly gets the message across about what he does and what he fixes.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more cool signs click here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Different Strokes

These are the next-door homes to yesterday's house and they are the typical downtown Toronto homes - semidetached, brick, and built in the late 1800s. As you can see from the pic it is common to find that each half of the building is decorated completely differently from the other. In this instance the house on the right has been modernized while the left one has been kept more traditional. The split in colour goes right down the middle of the brick support for the centre column and even the shingles on each half of the roof are different. I like the one on the right - what's your favourite?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pleasant Purple

Wandering around near the University, I spotted this cute little purple house and had to capture it. It stands out in the street for being only 2 stories high and also for its rather startling colour scheme - I'll show you the 2 neighbouring houses tomorrow. I am betting it looks quite cute in the summer so I will be keping an eye on it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cool Gate

A new student residence, Morrison Hall, was built at U of Toronto in 2005 in a very tight infill space on St George St which is one of the main streets running through the campus. In such tight quarters, the delivery area had to be positioned right along the street but there was no budget for a gate so the architect, Eb Zeidler, designed one as a gift and this is it. It does a wonderful job hiding the loading area and also adds a touch of whimsy to the streetscape!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Church Lofts

A lot of the old, large churches in the city are facing dwindling congregations and many have been or are being converted to lofts. On a sunny day earlier this week, this one in the middle of its conversion was a real stand-out against that sky. It's unfortunate that the stained glass windows have been removed but those spaces have been turned into great balconies. Love the copper roof on the tower! Friends have bought in here so I will show some interior shots after move-in.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lemon Delights

The Artist Project had a theme display where each artist did their own interpretation of "Lemon". This is just a small section of some of the works that were submitted. More colour for a dreary, rainy day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something Fishy

Found lots of colour yesterday at The Artist Project, an art show running through the weekend at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. Mostly painters, there were also many sculptors, photographers, and mixed-media artists. These colourful low-relief fish were eye-catchers!
Today is the 1st birthday of my blog which I started knowing nothing about the whole process. I love doing it and hearing from everyone and seeing everyone's posts daily! Thanks!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Park Your Bike Today

I love this sign for bike parking by a small cafe on Harbord St. I featured the parking spaces here. The little metal bike really pops out of the rich brick wall - someone has made an effort! Super.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs, click here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Queen's Park"

This is the Ontario Provincial Parliament building which is located in Queen's Park and is referred to here as "Queen's Park" when speaking about the provincial gov't. Designed by architect Richard Waite, it was erected from 1886 to 1892 in Romanesque style out of beautiful sandstone. It is situated on land owned by U of Toronto and sits at the north end of University Ave, offering a wonderful ending to that wide boulevard!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Favourite Part of Town

The theme for the month is "my favourite part of town" which I find really difficult - I like too many areas like the Annex, Yorkville, and the U of Toronto campus, etc. But if I have a free day I love to head down to the lake especially around the harbour and up into the financial district looking for public art. So here is my shot taken from Harbourfront, showing the CN Tower and some of the towers of the downtown area.