Sunday, September 30, 2012

Indoor Camping

When you have overnight guests and no guest room but lots of space a tent makes a perfect solution - privacy, comfort, and a room of one's own. We've had a friend camping out for the last few nights as you can see by the glow of the reading lamp in the tent and it has been great fun!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

First Sign Of Fall

One half of a Maple tree in the neighbourhood has started to turn red. This always seems to be the first tree to change colour every year for whatever reason and it was spectacular yesterday morning against the incredible blue sky!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Construction Reflection

This government building at University Ave & College St has a great reflection of the construction going on across the road and even of the cranes involved in it. The part of the glass wall installed on the new building is reflecting this building back at it - a double reflection. The people wandering about were part of the crowd at the Word On The Street last Sunday.
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click here for more reflections.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little Witch Press

When I was at the Word On the Street festival on Sunday I managed to get a pic of Sandi, the witch, who was signing cards for kids at the Little Witch Press booth. This is a tiny independent publishing house "dedicated to the production of quality, fun-to-read children's picture books".  Everyone in their booth was dressed as one of the witches from one of their books. Sandi is a green cooking machine witch who takes her food very seriously and has 2 rat friends as you can see hanging from her pot hat!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spread The Feeling

As a fervent peanut butter fan imagine my excitement when seeing this Kraft Peanut Butter Food Truck  heading into a local gas station. Apparently the truck has been touring across Canada throughout the summer serving peanut butter based goodies at various events. And I missed its stop here!
Taking part in Signs,Signs. Click here for more signs.

I seem to have been a day early with yesterday's tree post - today is Tree Appreciation Day in Canada so have another hug today!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hug A Tree Today

Today is National Tree Appreciation Day in Canada as I was informed on the radio this morning so I have pulled this shot of a cool tree trunk from my archives. This day is said to be "a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the benefits provided by trees - clean the air, wildlife habitat, reducing energy demands, " etc.  I don't know what type of tree this is but there are many large ones growing along Davenport Avenue and I've always been fascinated by their bark. Hug a tree today!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Artists At Work

The retaining wall at a local grocery store had a mural that was quite faded from the sun and I noticed recently that it had been painted over with white. Work has now begun on a new series of images along this wall that is a few hundred feet long but I have been unable to find the artists - I've found their equipment but not them on several occasions. I think it will be a beauty when finished.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Word On The Street

Today was the occasion for the 22nd annual Word On The Street - the Toronto Book & Magazine Festival which celebrates reading and advocates literacy. It takes place on Queen's Park Circle from Bloor St in the north and goes all the way down to College St with hundreds of tents set up selling books & magazines,  authors signing books, authors reading, publishers advertising and generally anything to do with reading. There were thousands of people out for the event so many that it was difficult to get clear shots but I squeezed to the front at this booth to catch some of the frenzy. There were a lot of deals to be had!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Official Now

This steel table (with make-believe lamp on top) is one of 3 that were installed guerilla style, i.e. with no permission, in a local park in the Seaton Village neighbourhood several years ago. The park is now undergoing a revitalization and the residents of the area made it a condition that the tables would have to be kept in place so this one was temporarily removed while new concrete was poured and new benches installed leaving a space for the table to sit between them.  The table is now reinstalled and officially part of the park!  The artist for these tables is William Roddy. The other tables he did are here and here.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I always like this part of Queen St West with its old buildings housing a variety of small boutiques & shops but times are changing and the rents are going through the roof resulting in the exodus of many of the old-timers. This is one of the older areas of the city as you can tell from the wonderful details on the facades. This 'Adore' sign has been there for a long time - not sure why!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sunny Day At The Park

This was Sunday afternoon at Trinity-Bellwoods Park behind the art show. It was a fabulous day so I haven't cropped or done anything to this pic. And as usual in downtown Toronto the CN Tower was overlooking the whole scene. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sign Of A Seasonal Change

The Australian Boot Company has had a store on Queen St West for many years but just recently painted their present location bright orange which caught my eye and reminded me it is time to drag out the Blundstones and clean them up for the days of sandals and flip-flops will soon be over. These boots are so popular here that I have been at dinner parties where there were 6 or 8 pairs in different sizes and colours lined up by the door.  My pair have bright red elastic inserts on the side - surprised?
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Queen West Art Crawl

The people out for the Queen West Art Crawl did more than eat despite what I showed you on Sunday. The aisles of the art show in Trinity-Bellwoods park were packed with people admiring all the work on display. I fear that for most of them it was just entertainment and I'm not sure if there were a lot of sales going on!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another Lovely Lady

I found this mural of an older lady painted on the side of a building in Kensington Market and thought that she was quite lovely. Not the usual subject matter of murals and graffiti it feels to me as if the artist painted someone they knew and liked - I love her face! 
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Food Dudes"

This weekend there was the 10th Annual Queen West Art Crawl which included a show of over 250 artists in Trinity-Bellwoods Park (home of the famous white squirrels). Queen St along the edge of the park was lined with food trucks and of course viewing all that art builds an appetite. This was the view 2 hours ago with crowds of people chowing down and sitting about in the wonderful sunshine of the day.  It was a perfect Sunday in the city!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Annex Fence

I have admired this modern fence since its installation beside an old Victorian house in the Annex. I think it is the juxtaposition with the red-tiled ceramic roof of the garage that intrigues me and in the wonderful autumn light we are having I couldn't resist a shot. The fall daisies are the added bonus! Hope your day is as nice as ours has been so far.

The view from yesterday's roof deck would be downtown, the CN tower, and Lake Ontario!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Up On The Roof

I was up on a bridge over railway lines looking for graffiti or murals when I spotted this roof garden atop a converted factory just off Sorauren Ave and so zoomed in for a pic. This street was lined with factories along the railway tracks until all the industries left and they became artist studios but gentrification has occurred and they are almost all converted to expensive lofts. This building was a Rawlings baseball glove factory in it's previous life but now contains 10 lofts, some with private elevators!
I didn't notice the ghost sign at the top until viewing the pic on my computer and I can't make it all out so will have to go back for a close-up. I have a feeling that it was something else before Rawlings was there.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Luxurious Modern Loo

Staying in the park, Jean Sibelius Square, from yesterday I though I'd show the architectural highlight of the park renewal - at least for me it is. This wonderful washroom pavilion replaces what had been a horrible, concrete, bunker-like structure that you knew you didn't want to enter! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Balancing At Jean Sibelius Square Park

Jean Sibelius Square Park is a small (about 1 acre) park in the middle of the Annex that has just undergone a few $100,000s worth of renewal including fancy climbing structures and climbing walls but the concrete wall with the park's name seems to be a popular balance beam for the kids. Just goes to prove that sometimes simple is better! The park is over 100 years old and in 1956 was renamed after John Sibelius following lobbying by the Toronto Finnish community.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Factory Conversion

This one-time commercial bakery has been converted into an artist's loft and studios as is happening all over the city. I like how the bars needed for the commercial usage have been repurposed to hold back a window box of geraniums caught here in the light of early autumn. A little hidden treasure!

Monday, September 10, 2012

T.O. Guy

I found this sort of cute little guy in a laneway in Kensington Market wearing his T.O. hat and backpack so he may be a tourist. T.O. is our abbreviation for Toronto but I'm not totally sure if it stands for Toronto Ontario or it's just Toronto with the middle cut out. Either way I like this guy - he looks a bit like someone that I know! I was unable to find out who the artist is.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Canada Permanent Detail

I thought that I would show you a close-up of some of the deco carvings found on yesterday's building since it is difficult to see them in larger shots. The whole structure is decorated with these fabulous symmetrical motifs. I love it!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another Deco Entrance

This building which was built as the Canada Permanent Building, but is now CIBC Mellon, is just around the corner from the Concourse which I have shown for the last 2 days. It was completed in 1930 and designed by architect F. Hilton Wilkes and has to have one of the most spectacular entrances in Toronto with its coffered barrel vault and ornate Deco detailing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

J. E. H. MacDonald Mosaics At Concourse

This is a closer shot of the mosaics visible in the entranceway of the Concourse building in yesterday's post. They were designed by J. E. H. MacDonald and his son Thoreau with the mosaic above the door meant to represent the concourse of earth, air, fire and water, while the  7 upper mosaics show various commercial activities involved in the Canadian economy of the time. MacDonald is well known in Canada as one of the Group Of Seven artists which was the 1st major Canadian art movement (from 1920 to 1933) - they were modern artists inspired by our landscape. There are huge collections of their work across the country and even in many schools! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Deco Entrance On Adelade St

I went on a walking tour with Heritage Toronto earlier in the summer which took us around to the Art Deco Towers of Bay Street (the financial district of Toronto). Somehow I never got around to posting any pics. This is the wonderful entrance to the Concourse Building on Adelaide St W - probably my favourite on the tour. It was built in 1928 and designed by architects Baldwin & Greene but its future has been up in the air for more than the last decades since the property was bought by developers who intended to tear it down. The world-wide economic downturn stopped that and the newest plans seem to involve keeping the structure & building a 40 storey tower behind the 16 storey Concourse. We will see what happens!  I'll do a close-up of the murals tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Court House at Old City Hall

I've always been a fan of the wonderful carvings to be found on some of the older buildings around town and our Old City Hall is an excellent spot to see many fine ones. Built in 1899 and designed by Toronto architect E. J. Lennox, part of the city hall was to be used as a court house and still is to this day even though city hall functions have been moved across the road to New City Hall since 1966.  Everywhere you look on the building there is some incredible carved detail in the sandstone!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sitting On The Dock - Ward's Island

This was my view while sitting on the dock on Ward's Island waiting for the ferry to arrive for the trip back to the mainland.  The sun had just set so it wasn't totally dark yet - super atmosphere, perfect evening, and a great view across the harbour! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Kensington Diva

I showed you the right side of this mural with the hand back in May 2011, here,  but when I was In Kensington Market for a pedestrian Sunday I discovered that the wonderful diva had been added to the doors of this unopened shop. What a great face. A local artist has taken advantage of the space to display his/her own works to the passing pedestrians!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Guard Cat - Ward's Island

Not all the creatures on Ward's Island were watching people while I was there a week ago. This orange tabby was sound asleep above a gate leading into one of the cottages and he paid no attention to me at all. I'm not sure what would have happened if I had opened the gate below him!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dog Watching People

The theme for September for the City Daily Photo Blog community is 'People Watching' which is just what this little Papillon dog was doing for the whole 30 minutes that I saw him while I waited for someone on Ward's Island. His human companion spent the whole time with his attention centred on whatever he was reading, totally ignoring the dog and the beautiful surroundings!
To see more pics on the theme click here.