Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tea For Two

Another one of the small push-along floats from the Santa Claus Parade, with its sponsors sign (Lipton?) stuck in there waiting for the festivities to begin. Wouldn't you like to sit and have a cuppa with these two?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Frosty Scene

This a section from probably my favourite float in the Santa Claus Parade, the one sponsored by Yorkdale which is one of the best malls in the city. I love the frosty white look of the landscape and the assortment of animals. And check out all the blue eyes!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Winter Fun

Another of the tiny floats from the Santa Claus Parade showing a very happy polar bear and a companion penguin. One of them has traveled a long way from home!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


All of the floats in the parade are sponsored, most by corporations, and this one from Disney is promoting a new animated flick to be released today. Quite suitable for the parade, I love the poor reindeer who has discovered how difficult it is to walk on ice!
Taking part i Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Our Santa Claus parade was held a week ago and I make it a tradition to head down to the staging area on Bloor St early in the morning to see all the floats lined up and waiting for all the volunteer kiddies, clowns, and bands to arrive and get organized. You can get right up to the floats and it is great fun. This year there seemed to be more of these tiny floats that will each be pushed by a clown (I think) and they were all so bright and colourful that I took a ton of of pics of them. We will start off a few days of parade pics with one of the elves hinting that Santa is probably not too far behind!

Monday, November 25, 2013


I spotted this row of faces in my neighbourhood this week on a wall that is constantly being tagged and then repainted by the property owner. The faces are done by the artist Anser who has done hundreds of these line-drawings around the city over the last few years. They are not commissioned and most of them disappear fairly quickly as I think these probably will, but it was nice to see something other than ugly tags springing up here.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Clock Tower At The Fire Hall

I've taken many pics of this tower but never posted one until today. This is the clock tower at No 8 Hose Station located at College St & Bellevue Ave and it has to be one of the most recognizable landmarks in west-end Toronto. The original station was built in 1878 and housed a horse-drawn fire wagon, with the 8 storey high tower being added in 1899. The tower was used to dry hoses and also as a look-out post to watch for fires in the neighbourhood. In 1972 the station was destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist while the firecrew was out fighting a fire elsewhere, but the station and tower were rebuilt almost exactly the same as the original.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Red Chess

One of the installations at the Nuit Blanche event in October was this large chess set made from a huge variety of recycled metal bits and pieces. They were really quite fun to see and during the event a real chess game was played using them as the pieces.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Croft Details

When University College was constructed a large number of quirky carvings were included scattered about the exterior - many are of animals or weird creatures but there are also some showing portraits of the workers themselves. Here you can see some of the little pieces found under the eaves Of Croft House which I showed you yesterday. It's great fun wandering around the building looking for more of them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In The Round

This wonderful round building is Croft House, part of University College at U of Toronto. University College was built in 1859 and was the first college of the university and this round building was the first chemistry lab of the university but it is now used mostly for meetings. I've shown it before but never when the flowers and leaves were still around as they were when I took this pic a month ago. Tomorrow I'll show you a bit of detail of the carvings found under the eaves. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chinatown Mural Part 3

The last part of the mural that I've been showing this week is the closest out to the street where the windows of the shop were filled with all manner of signs. Something was for lease but the shop was filled so I don't think that was it. The faces on this mural are wonderful.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chinatown Mural Part 2

The next part of the Chinatown mural captures the multigenerational flavour of the community where one often sees an elderly person minding a youngster. I love how the 2 artists have melded their styles together for this mural.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chinatown Mural

Just along the block on Dundas St from the mural that I showed you last week, I found another wonderful one stretching down a laneway. This one is over 35 ft long and was painted by artists Alexa Hatanaka and Li-Hill, both of whose work I have shown before. It was done in 2011 and was sponsored by the city and the local business association to help fight mindless tagging in the laneway. I am going to show it in 3 pieces over 3 days since it is divided that way by doors and windows on the wall.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

St Thomas Aquinas Church

This lovely small church, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, is the church associated with the Newman Centre at U of Toronto which I showed you on Tuesday. It was originally the site of a coach house belonging to the Centre which was torn down and the church was constructed in 1926/27 in a 15th century Gothic style. It is quite beautiful inside as well and has been historically listed.
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here for more religious buildings.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Jiggity Jig"

This sculpture of a cat on a globe is found on a pole at the southern entrance, on Dundas St, into the Kensington Market neighbourhood, probably the most eclectic area in the city. The title Jiggity Jig comes from the nursery rhyme "To Market" and the globe represents the fact that Kensington Market is full of people and shops from all over the world while the cat represents the comforts of home that are found there. The artists are David Hlynsky and Shirley Yanover who have done pieces at the other entrances to the market as well. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pharmacy Reflection

The building you see in this reflection, found on a government building at College St & University Ave, is the Leslie Dan Pharmacy building at U of Toronto and towards the left of the pic, on the curved facade is a piece of the new Mars building addition. This building with its mirrored glass gives almost perfect reflections.
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click here to see more reflections.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


There were still a few spots of red leaves to be found around town last weekend, most of them Japanese Maples. There is to be a wave of cold air hitting us this week which will probably bring the autumn display to an end. This is just a small section of a beautiful tree I spotted up near Casa Loma and couldn't resist another red pic!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Modern Treats

I was wandering along College St and spotted the bright pink of this place before I realized that it was a gourmet doughnut shop. Jelly Modern Doughnuts has a store in Toronto and another in Calgary and judging by their decadent menu, there will probably be more. I had just finished brunch so didn't go in but they have many delicious-sounding varieties like maple/bacon and creme brulee. I have to go back one day when hungry! Their decor looks wonderful as does their logo.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Old And New

I've always loved this old Romanesque Revival building on the U of Toronto campus that was built in 1890 as a private residence but since 1922 has been the Newman Centre, the Catholic centre on the campus. It is gorgeous inside and out  and unusual for the city it has heritage protection for both the exterior and the interior. I've been to a couple of receptions there and the inside is spectacular but I have no pics to share. The large modern building behind it is the newly completed addition to the Rotman School of Management (part of the university) that was designed by KPMB Architects who have done a lot of wonderful work around the city. I hope to get inside it soon for a walkabout.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Great Wall

This is just a small section of a mural that I found in a laneway off Dundas St in Chinatown. The mural stretches for over 140 ft  along the building and is 12 ft tall, showing a wonderful artist's rendering of China's Great Wall. The piece was sponsored by the city and the local business association but I couldn't find an artist signature although I think it was done by Allan Bender who is known for his great murals.  This one is a marvel!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Long View Along The Subway Train

This is the view one has along the inside of one of our new subway trains which have been slowly introduced over the last year or so. Called the TR (Toronto Rocket) model of train, their most unique feature is that there are open 'gangways' between the cars i. e. no dividers allowing you to walk from one end of the train to the other. This view was taken mid-evening from the last car looking all the way forward to the front of the train!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Laneway Ivy

It has been a long time since I've posted a house found in one of the laneways around town and I happened upon this one a week ago and couldn't resist it with the lovely covering of ivy. It is such fun to discover these homes hidden away as they are.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rose Reflections

I was at City Hall a couple of weeks ago to see this art work by Boris Achour of a poem written in fluorescent lights and running for over 300 ft along the south side of the civic square. I was lucky enough to be there just as they were finishing draining the reflecting pool to get ready for the skating rink and caught this wonderful reflection, in the remaining puddles, of the piece and the surrounding buildings. The poem is by a German 17th century poet, Angelus Silesius, and reads - "The rose is without why, blooms because it blooms, it cares not for itself, asks not if it is seen". I couldn't get the whole poem into the shot unfortunately.
Taking part in Weekend Reflection. Click here for more reflections.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


We are slowly losing the lovely colours from the fall trees but I spotted this beauty just along from yesterday's sign. This yard is surrounded by trees but only the one has turned so far and I love the way it complements the orange/red corten steel of the house.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

That Sign

I was waiting for the traffic light to change when I noticed a very clean sign on this lamp post and when I read it I had to take a pic. On further investigation it seems there is a group of people putting up rather clever signs on various locations around downtown.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Autumn Study

At this time of year in Toronto you have to take advantage of the nice days that come along since winter is on its way soon. I caught this guy on the U of Toronto campus trying to get some reading done while enjoying the outdoors. Somehow that never worked for me - too many distractions!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tea Dot Coffee

I spotted this wonderfully coloured abstract mural on College St recently and was impressed by its vibrancy. I'm not sure what the tea/coffee connection is but if you look closely you can see the Toronto skyline in silhouette, with CN Tower, running through the middle of it. The artist for this one is Jimmy Chiale.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ivy Tower

It's hard to see the brickwork on the Walmer Road Baptist Church when it is covered in its coat of greenery but the church was built in the Gothic Revival style and opened in 1889 in the Annex neighbourhood. The church was built to hold 1,500 people and at one time had a congregation of over 2,000 but as the numbers shrank a decision was made to use part of the church as an open and accessible ministry known as the Walmer Centre. The centre has various spaces available for community groups, operates a food bank, serves warm meals and acts as a drop-in site 1 night a week, as well as providing space for a day care centre. It really is a hub of good works in the community! 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here to see more religious buildings.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


This bistro on Harbord St was still in its fall finery last weekend but we have had colder weather this week so I'm sure the flowers have not survived too well. The bistro started out as a pastry shop but is now a full service restaurant and for some reason I have not tried it - the brunch menu looks great so I will have to make a visit!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Heights Above London

I am not a great fan of heights but I thoroughly enjoyed the view from the bar on the top 32nd floor of the Centrepoint Building in London during my recent tour of England. From high above the Tottenham Court Rd tube station this view is looking east along New Oxford St towards Bloomsbury. It was great fun looking down on the double decker buses zooming about and the pedestrians speeding along the sidewalks. 
The November theme for the City Daily Photo blogs is 'heights'. Click here to see more examples from around the world.