Saturday, August 31, 2013

Deco Detail

A bit of a detail shot from yesterday's pic to give you a hint of the wonderful deco carvings all over the facade of the original College Park building.  They seem to be standing up quite well to the harsh environment of main street Toronto - i.e. Yonge St.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Deco Delight

This is one of the grand entrances to the College Park Shops found at Yonge & College streets. The building was constructed from 1928 to 30 by the Eaton's department store to be their grand new store and bring about a move north from Queen St and no expense was spared in its construction, but then the Great Depression hit and plans were changed. The original store never moved and Eaton's operated a satellite store here until it closed in 1977, with the building then being divided up into smaller stores. All the wonderful deco still exist both inside and out and the building has been historically designated. A detail shot tomorrow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bush Pilot

This bronze sculpture, titled "Thomas Lamb, Bush Pilot", was done by artist Leo Mol and can be found in the lobby of the College Park building. Mol emigrated to Canada in 1949, established a successful sculpture studio in the 60s, and went on to create many wonderful pieces including work for the Vatican. He donated a huge number of original pieces to the city of Winnipeg where they can be found in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, including the larger than life original of this one. Tom Lamb was a pioneer among bush pilots who first opened up the Canadian north to airlines.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Mayday Malone's, in the Seaton Village neighbourhood, is that rare find - a true neighbourhood pub with no pretensions, where everyone seems to know each other, knows your name and they are glad you came. Nothing fancy, but friendly and packed for most big sports events especially hockey and soccer! It looks nothing like the bar in "Cheers" but no one cares. 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Downtown Elm Tree

I was so pleased to spot this healthy elm tree growing just off Queen St W, since they have become a rare sight these days. Streets that were once lined with these gorgeous trees have been changed forever since Dutch Elm Disease hit North America. This one is right beside the presentation centre for yet another condo, so we can only hope that it survives the construction. 
The theme for September for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Pink."  To participate, link your post onSeptember 1 to the CDP theme day page.  

Monday, August 26, 2013


I was wandering past a laneway on Thursday when my eye caught a hint of red down the lane so I immediately turned and found this wonderful newly painted mural on the back of a garage. It was done by artist Colin Bloom who apparently is a university student who got a summer grant to provide murals at a reasonable rate to homeowners having problems with graffiti. It is quite nicely done and looks like a King St scene with the old building and one of our famous streetcars. He even has a couple of  bike stands painted in there!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

The theme for September for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Pink."  To participate, link your post onSeptember 1 to the CDP theme day page.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

St Basil's

This lovely Gothic Revival church is St Basil's, found at St Michael's College at U of Toronto, and it functions as a parish church as well as a collegiate church. Established in 1856 in a countryside location, it remains the 3rd oldest Roman Catholic church in the city and now finds itself in the middle of downtown as the city spread out around it. I must go by for some interior pics one day. 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here for more religious buildings.
The theme for September for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Pink."  To participate, link your post onSeptember 1 to the CDP theme day page.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fancy Ride

I see this cycle rickshaw parked on Queen St West fairly often but have yet to see anyone driving it or even better, having a ride. It looks like it has seen better days but still, it would be fun to go for a ride.

Friday, August 23, 2013

All That Remains

I have a feeling that these Corinthian columns and their bit of entablature are all that remains of what was probably a stately old building on Adelaide St, likely a bank. Now they frame the entrance to one of the many glass office towers that one finds all over downtown Toronto. I love the columns and wish I could find some pics of the original building but no luck so far!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Skyline At Sunset

I was at a loft in the High Park neighbourhood which is about 4 miles from the CN Tower and the rest of the downtown skyscrapers and caught this pic of the skyline just after the sun had set. The dark area towards the bottom is actually the well treed streets below the loft and you can see a few of the homes peeking out of the shadows. This skyline is in a constant state of change since there is so much construction going on in the city especially downtown!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Something To Crow About

This is the sign painted on the narrow walkway leading to a backyard BBQ place that recently opened by the railway tracks that run behind Dupont St.  Named after Big Crow Lake in Algonquin Park (one of the most popular provincial parks in Ontario), it is said to be inspired by the park, by canoe trips, and cooking food over an open fire. Apparently it is completely outdoors with just a roof for covering. I haven't tried it yet but hope to get there before the summer ends!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reminds Me Of Something

I have never been to Boston, but these houses in the Annex neighbourhood always remind me of Boston. They are a rarity in the area being Georgian Revival rather than the more typical Annex style with turrets, balconies etc. The 2 pairs of semi-detached homes were built in 1902 and although they are not designated, the owners have not messed with the facades and they are extremely well-maintained. I love the elegant simplicity of them!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friend On Your Shoulder

It's been a while since I posted one of UB5000's little yellow birds so I thought I should remedy that with this post of a very sweet-looking little guy that I found in a laneway along Queen St West. Just the kind you would like to have on your side!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Over The Pond

I'm going to leave the Evergreen Brick Works posts with another shot of the pond and a different perspective of the buildings from my first pond shot. It will be interesting to see how the site develops as more of the older buildings are rejuvenated and I will try to get back in the winter when the ice rink is set up or maybe to a weekend farmers' market before then.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reusing The Old

This pic gives you an idea of the condition of many of the buildings at the Brick Works when Evergreen took over the site. This is the oldest remaining building there and is not yet open to the public but it has been stabilized with all those I-beams and awaits its transformation into some new use as funds become available. They have retained all the buildings except for a few that were full of asbestos insulation and even then the roof structures were kept and form coverings for the farmers market that is there every weekend and for the winter skating rink, etc.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Faces From The Past

One of the art projects to be found at the Evergreen Brick Works is a series of really large faces high on the inside walls of the kiln house. The faces are those of some of the men who worked at the brick works when it was a brick works and they have been broken up into pieces the exact size of a brick and applied to the wall probably with wheat paste. Many of them are starting to fall off but this particular face is fairly intact although you can see a few pieces are loosening up. I imagine the men must have been thrilled to see these portraits!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I couldn't leave my series on the Evergreen Brick works without showing another of the rainbarrels/cisterns with this wonderful fox painted on it. These cisterns are very large - probably 9 or 10 ft tall, so these animal paintings are large too. I love them. I'm going to show a couple of more days from the Brick Works.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You Are Here

I'm continuing my tour of the Evergreen Brick Works and showing this wonderful steel crow found atop the direction sign. Once again there was no artist name given but he looked so good against that blue sky, don't you think? If you look on the map, the kiln house is that very long structure to the right giving you an idea of just how long those kilns were!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Let It Rain

Since Evergreen's mission is to promote sustainability, it isn't surprising that they have an abundance of rainbarrels/cisterns on the  Brick Works site and several of them have been painted by artists unknown. I checked all around on these 2 but could find no signature and I didn't want to trample the wildflowers growing around them. I would love to have a rainbarrel like these ones!

Monday, August 12, 2013


This mural is found in the parking lot at the Evergreen Brick Works on one of the supports for a railway bridge that runs over the Don Valley. I'm not sure who the artist is since the only writing is "Fatima" so I assume that this is meant to be Our Lady Of Fatima, who was said to have appeared to 3 little shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. It is beautifully done and the rust washing down from the bridge gives a perfect touch to it.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Legacy (the mud beneath our feet)"

There is a lot of art sprinkled about the Evergreen Brick Works site including a lot of graffiti but also some great murals and this wonderful representation of a pair of hiking boots by artist David Hind, made using reclaimed materials. It is a tribute to the geologist A. P. Coleman who explored the site during the 1920s and discovered a new interglacial period which came to be known as the Don Formation and which was laid down 120,000 years ago. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Brick Kiln

Most of the industrial equipment from the brickworks has disappeared but the kilns used to fire the bricks remain mainly intact in the 52,000 sq ft kiln house. The kilns are quite impressive and were originally 376 ft long and are known as tunnel kilns in which carts loaded with raw bricks would enter at one end of the tunnel and move along over the next 2 1/2 days going through areas of rising temperatures and then cooler ones until exiting as hard fired bricks at the other end. There have been some modifications made to the kilns by Evergreen since it seems that they have been shortened to provide better access to parts of the building. This is a shot looking down the interior of one of the kilns towards the starting point and shows the wonderful arched brick roof and the tracks on which the carts would have rolled.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Brick Works

The Evergreen Brickworks is an environmental community centre located in the Don Valley in the centre of the city in one of our many ravines. This was the site of commercial brick works for over 100 years supplying most of the bricks to build the older parts of Toronto, using the abundant clay and shale that was found on the property. By the 1980s the clay & shale was mostly gone and the property fell into the hands of developers but was expropriated by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority in 1987 and they proceeded to fill in parts of the old quarries to create a wonderful park with 3 large ponds and native plants. The industrial parts of the brick works were leased to Evergreen in 1997 and they have turned the abandoned buildings into a centre that "inspires and equips visitors to live, work and play more sustainably". I'll show you an inside shot tomorrow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tiny Truck

I probably wouldn't have noticed this wee truck if it hadn't been for the colourful paint job on its box but on further inspection it turned out to have right hand drive which is very unusual here. It is a Subaru Sambar Mini truck that must have been imported directly from Japan and is being used for supply runs by a Ossington Ave restaurant. So cute!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

An Annex Pub

It's nice to find an Irish style pub in a building with some atmosphere and this one is especially nice since it is a typical Annex-style house - large, with turret, and balconies.  The inside of the Pour House is just as nice with lots of dark wood panelling and many good beers on tap!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Peace & Quiet In The City

I escaped for a bit of a stroll around the Wychwood Park neighbourhood last week, hoping to see some of the resident turtles sunning themselves on the log in the middle of the pond but the sun went in and it started to rain on me so only 1 lone turtle is on that log. This is one of my favourite places to walk in the city - it is a private community meaning that the residents own all the roads and common spaces rather than the city but it is still open for all to enter - no nasty guards or gates. The main road in the 'hood circles this pond and if you look closely through the trees you can see the former home of Marshall McLuhan hidden away. I showed this home when no leaves were on the trees here.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunday Quiet

While the lineup shown in yesterday's post takes place in the rear courtyard of Osgoode Hall, the front of the building and its main entrance is quiet and peaceful. I've always loved the rich details and carvings to be found on this facade.
Today is a civic holiday in Ontario so be safe as you enjoy it everyone!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Breakfast

This is a typical Sunday morning scene to be found in the courtyard leading into the Law Society cafeteria at Osgoode Hall located right beside our City Hall. The "Toronto Lawyers Feed The Hungry" foundation provides 2 dinners and 2 breakfast every week to those in need and serves more than 1,600 meals/week from the cafeteria and has done so since 1998. The volunteers include lawyers, judges, students and people from the general public. Impressive.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Krangle Building

This is another of the elegant doorways to be found along King St W in the stretch between Spadina & Bathurst, a previously industrial area that is now filled with high-end clubs, offices and restaurants. This building was constructed in 1906 as a factory for a ladies clothing company and is now heritage-listed and was totally renovated in 2000 to begin its new life.

Friday, August 2, 2013


This is the season for all the cornflowers (Echinacea) to be in bloom in the city and it seems to be a good year for them as they are everywhere you look. I caught this one in my mother's garden just after a recent rain.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Old City Hall Streetlamp

The  August theme for the month for the City Daily Photo blog community is streetlamps and I doubt if I could find more beautiful ones than those found outside our Old City Hall on Queen St. The Richardsonian Romanesque buiding was completed in 1900 and the whole exterior is covered in rich details as are the lamps. I love the carving on the sandstone base as well as the details in the metal lamp itself.
To see more streetlamps click here.