Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bike Stands at the ROM 2

This is another of the bike stands installed outside of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). I have made it a mission to try and catch a shot of each of them with no bikes attached but there always seem to be some that are never empty! I will keep trying!

Friday, April 29, 2011

More Art at the Spadina Subway

These are K'san Village house posts which are to be found just inside the entrance to the main Spadina subway station. Installed in 1979 and carved from British Columbia cedar by artists from the Gitksan Tribe of Hazelton B.C., the posts represent an owl, wolf, and hawk. House posts are much shorter than totem poles and were traditionally used as support posts inside a house.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Planetary Outpost On College St

I love the simplicity and elegance of this sign for MaRS which stands for Medical and Related Sciences. This is a charitable organization formed to connect the worlds of science, business and government and their headquarters contains the original brick facade of Toronto General Hospital on College St. This pic was taken on a particularly cold day in January - hence the snow!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pharmacy Pod Detail

This is the view from the other side of yesterday's pic showing the 2 catwalks that enter the pod. The bottom walk enters the 60 person lecture hall and the upper one leads to an open study room on the top of the pod. The smaller upper pod which I haven't shown holds a 24 person classroom with a faculty lounge on top. Apparently the pods are lit up at night in various rich colours that change every 15 minutes so the next clear night that we have I shall head over to catch that!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Startled at the Pharmacy Building

When you enter the Leslie Dan Pharmacy building from yesterday's post this is what you discover - 2 of these large steel baskets hanging in the atrium. They are slightly visible through the glass in yesterday's pic. The architect, Norman Foster, created an atrium that runs up through the whole structure lighting all the floors and then created these wonderful pods, each containing a lecture hall, that are suspended like space ships over the main floor lounge. I could have stayed in there all day staring at them! Another pic of them tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pharmacy at University of Toronto

This is the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy building at U of T. Designed by the world-renowned British architectural firm Foster and Partners, it was completed in 2006 and has since won many awards for its design and for the technology used in its construction. Located on Queen's Park, it has a fabulous site across from the Ontario Legislature building. I think it is my new favourite building at U of T - mainly for what's inside (which I will show tomorrow)!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Door

Wandering through the Yorkville area of Toronto I came across this lovely green door with its Easter wreath. The house is an old workers cottage style and is unusual for our city because most of our buildings are brick. Have a Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bike Stands at the ROM

The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) commissioned a group of artistic bike stands that reflect their collection. The galvanized steel stands by Toronto artists Jack Gibney and Phil Sarazan were installed in 2008 along the stretch of Queen's Park beside the ROM. Each of the 12 stands is a different design - obviously this is an owl!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring at Last

I just returned from one of my favourite spring time walks past the Faculty of Law at U of Toronto. Every spring for as long as I can remember the lawns around the faculty become a carpet of blue when the Scilla bloom. The Scilla has become naturalized and has spread throughout the whole area along Queen's Park Circle. Gorgeous!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food Out of This World

Mars, this wonderful retro breakfast restaurant has been in business at this location on College St since 1951 and the interior looks the same now as it did then. Famous for their muffins and all day breakfast menu, it is like stepping back in time to eat at Mars!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Great Fire of 1904 part 3

This mural tells the tale of John Croft who was killed during the demolition work on the ruins of the Toronto fire in 1904. Croft was involved in detonating explosives to clear the area and was killed when one of the dynamite charges failed to go off but detonated when he attempted to remove the fuse from it! This laneway/street was renamed in his honour in 1908. If you click on the pic the story is written out towards the top of the mural.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Great Fire of 1904 part 2

This mural sets the location and details of the fire which claimed no lives during the fire but one victim afterwards - John Croft (shown in the portraits) - hence the location of this mural along Croft St which was named after him. The mural itself is showing a bit of wear and tear so hopefully it will receive some attention soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Great Toronto Fire of 1904

Just by coincidence, I went last week to catch 3 murals commemorating the huge fire of 1904 that burned down an enormous section of downtown Toronto and was the largest fire ever in the city. I didn't realize then that the fire started on April 19 so this is the anniversary week of the fire that destroyed over 100 buildings! This mural is on the back of a building facing out onto Croft St which is a laneway where I have shown you many laneway houses in the past. 2 more murals to come.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mid-Morning Subway Station

I don't think that I have ever had a whole subway station to myself before - both platforms were completely empty. So this is my shot of a completely deserted Spadina subway stop. A wee bit creepy I must say - I'm accustomed to a lot of people around in the city! And I haven't noticed a public phone in a long time!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rainy Saturday

I was sitting in the car waiting for someone this morning, watching an ever-changing scene through the windshield - the distortions were fabulous. I kept hoping that someone would come by with a red umbrella but no such luck!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Hat Occasion

A local milliner has decorated his window as a tribute to the up-coming royal wedding in England where one assumes there will be a lot of fanciful hats. Our national TV networks will be covering the event from about 2 am the day of the wedding - I wonder how many people will get up to watch?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ms Lube

Ms Lube, in the little Italy area of Toronto, was the first and possibly is still the only all-female automotive service centre in North America. All the mechanics are women! There was some controversy over the name and a lawsuit was started by Mr Lube over trademark infringement but the name remains so I think the suit was thrown out.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This highly polished stainless steel sculpture by British artist John Robinson was installed in front of the Fields Institute of mathematical research at U of T in 1997. To quote the artist - "this symmetrical combination of interlocking hollow triangles, no two of which are linked, is an example of 'Borromean Rings' studies in knots". That is way over my head but I quite like the piece!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This mural is painted on the back of a building just across the lane from yesterday's post. It has been signed by a community recreation centre's group of kids that has painted many murals in the neighbourhood and it always seems that the taggers leave their pieces untouched. The women in the mural look like they have spent a lot of time in the gym!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jazz Band

This mural is found on the rear of the Victory Cafe which is known for its great selection of microbreweries on tap and for the Wed night jazz during the winter months. The summer finds most of the patrons out on the huge patio!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


It is finally feeling like spring here although rainy today. This week I spotted my favourite spring flowers - these cute little yellow crocuses (croci?) that were growing in a garden on the sunny south side of a house! Hurray.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Moose in The City"

For 6 months in 2000 there was a city-wide show of 326 life-size moose sculptures that had each been decorated by artists. Unfortunately the antlers became prized trophies and it was difficult to find a moose with its antlers intact. After the event many of the moose were auctioned off for charity while others can still be found sprinkled about town. Imagine the shock of spotting these 2 moose (with antlers) on the roof of a front porch of a relatively small semi-detached home in mid-town. One is painted as a Toronto Maple Leaf (our beloved hockey team) and the other as a Toronto Blue Jay (our baseball team). I really wonder what the neighbours think of this one!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Knox College Cloister

If you walk right through the hall in yesterday's post you exit into this lovely cloister which divides the college's quadrangle into north and south quads. I have a feeling that they are beautifully landscaped in the summer so I will have to go back. In the meantime, even on this day which was cold but sunny the cloister was a great place to sit!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gothic Excellence at Knox College

When you come through the doors in yesterday's post you enter this breath-taking hall with its wonderful Gothic columns, vaulted ceiling, and railings. I took loads of shots in this little space - this one from the stairway leading to the library. I can't believe that I have never ventured in here before!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knox College

My recent schedule takes me through the University of Toronto's large, downtown campus (over 50,000 students!) a few times a week so today I feature another one of the university's colleges. This is one of the entrances to Knox College which is affiliated with the Presbyterian church. Designed by architects Chapman & McGiffen in a Gothic style modelled on Oxford and Cambridge, it was built in 1912-15 as a neighbour to University College. It is used for many movie shoots and in fact "Poe" for ABC was being filmed there a week ago! Enlarge the shot to see some strange carved faces above the door.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Casa Loma Unicorn

Every house needs a unicorn and Casa Loma is no different! High up on one of the towers is this majestic looking creature who stands on guard over the castle.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Casa Loma Towers

Casa Loma is a 98 room house built in the early 1900s and is now owned by the City of Toronto which operates it as tourist attraction. Next to the CN Tower it is probably our most famous attraction and it is also rented out for weddings, movie sets, and other events . Built on a steep hillside, its towers are visible from all over mid-town but the hill is covered in trees so getting an unobstructed shot is difficult. I have tried many times and this time attempted a side shot before all the leaves come out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Surrealism in the Laneway

Just a little way along the laneway from yesterday's pic is this large surrealistic mural that covers the back of some commercial buildings on Bloor St. You can spend a lot of time looking for bizarre little images throughout the whole piece!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Top Hat

I have ben wandering the laneways again and came across this cool stencil on a long black wall. I love it and I think if it was my wall I would leave it intact!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quilted Art

Returning to the Kendal Ave entrance to the Spadina subway station of a couple of days ago, I have to show you this magnificent quilted and appliqued hanging that covers the whole wall inside the turnstiles. Titled "Barren Ground Caribou", it was done by Canadian artist Joyce Wieland in 1978 and depicts 17 of this subspecies of caribou that is found in Canada's north country and in western Greenland. At 8 ft by 30 ft, it is quite spectacular!