Thursday, February 28, 2013

What A Contrast!

This is a shot of St Bernard Elementary School showing its wonderful new addition on the left side and the older brick sections on the right.  The addition was designed by ATA Architects and was completed in 2012 while the rest of the school was built in 1956 with additions through to the 1970s. I can't get over the difference and have to think that the kids find it so much more visually stimulating too. I wonder what the interior is like but it isn't easy to wander into a school these days.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Satin Finish

I was running errands in the north end of the Weston neighbourhood of Toronto on the weekend and just caught a glimpse of the trees at the edge of this sign which is located high on a silo on the grounds of Satin Finish Hardwood Flooring. Of course I made a detour to get a better view and discovered that the company has been in business here for more than 90 years since 1922 and still operates from this same location and is still Canadian owned. And a whole flock of birds was coming in for a landing atop the structure which was pure luck! 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Beltline

The Kay Gardiner Beltline Park is a 4.5 km long linear park that runs through the middle of the city following the route of a railway line that ran there from the 1890s until the 1960s. It is a really popular hiking, biking and running trail especially in the summer since it is well-shaded and so treed that in parts of it you can forget that you are in the city. This pic was taken along the part of the trail which runs along the  northern edge of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery and as you can see, it is not cleared of snow or ice at all so it can be a challenging route in winter!

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Let's Eat Sandwiches Together..."

I've been back to the famous graffiti laneway off Queen St West and discovered that the artist, Elicser, has painted over an older mural that he had done in this framed space. The old one had been tagged several times so it is good to see a new piece here.  I've shown several of Elicser's works before including the "Hug Me Tree" (click here) and his work is quite recognizable with its soft figures and landscapes. I'm not sure what the sandwich caption means.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chalmers Headstone

Wallace Chalmers was involved in perfecting and patenting a rubber suspension system for vehicles and his family chose to have a very unique headstone made for him. This granite tire is 36" wide and 6"  deep and has to be one of the most unique I have ever seen! The reflection in the middle is a little added feature.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mt Pleasant Cemetery Gates

This is the Yonge St entrance to Mt Pleasant Cemetery which opened in 1876 on the outskirts of Toronto but is now is located in the centre of the city as the city grew around it. It is the largest (over 200 acres) and most beautiful cemetery in the city with its wandering paths and trails which lead you through the park-like arboretum that is one of the finest in N America. The cemetery was named a "National Historic Site of Canada" in 2000 based on its beauty, its variety of wonderful sculptures, and the many important people who have their final resting places there. It's a great place to wander on a sunny cold winter day as it offers a bit of protection from the wind. Tomorrow I will show you probably the most unusual headstone to be found there.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Spot Of Flower Fun

It is really cold here this week and it is so wonderful to see the Amaryllis Christmas gifts coming to flower and giving us a hint of warmer times to come. I haven't seen this variety before - it is called "Dancing Queen" and is a real beauty and a double. I can never decide which colour I like the best but must admit that nothing can compare to a bright red Amaryllis!
Taking part in Today's Flowers. Click here to see more flowers.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Shelter

This old doghouse has been sitting unused in my parents backyard for years until this year when a couple of feral cats have moved in and are using it as a home base. It is well insulated with styrofoam so I bet they are toasty in there! I took this shot a week ago on a cold clear evening and love how the flash lights up mainly just the snow - it  looks as if it is out in the wilderness and not in a city garden.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blue Bird Building

This is the name of a small commercial building on Adelaide St W which is slowly being surrounded by condo buildings and may itself be on the verge of redevelopment so I though I had better catch their pleasant signage before it is gone. At first I thought it was just a whimsical name but info I found suggests that it was originally built for manufacturing for the Blue Bird Dresses company many years ago and is now occupied by various small businesses. Nice sign.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Downtown Neighbours

I thought I should show you a shot of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) which sits diagonally across the intersection from the Church Of The Redeemer which I showed you on Sunday. This addition to the 1933 museum building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, couldn't be any more of a contrast to the Gothic Revival church. It makes for an interesting corner!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bright Bird

I'm back to the laneway off Ossington Ave which is filled with wonderful murals. This one is so wonderfully colourful to see at this dull time of year that I'm sure you would smile every time you went in or out of your garage. The artist for this piece is Peru 143, aka Peru Dyer Jalea.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Downtown Church

This is the Church Of The Redeemer which I gave you a peek of in yesterday's post. This Anglican church was completed in 1879 at Bloor St and Avenue Rd and had a flourishing congregation until the 1970s when faced with mounting debt, the church sold off their land surrounding the building and actually also sold the air rights above the church. This enabled developers to build a condo complex around the church and use the air rights to go higher than would normally be allowed for this site, and enabled the church to do major renovations to this old Gothic Revival structure. This is one of the busiest corners in the city with the Royal Ontario Museum  (ROM) located diagonally across the intersection and Queen's Park directly south. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Xs Mark The Spot

It was the nice shadows cast by the metal trim that first grabbed my attention for this shot and then I noticed how this opening frames part of the Church Of The Redeemer so well. Shadows can be so fascinating! I'll show you the whole church and its interesting location tomorrow.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I spotted these 2 figures in neigbouring yards in the Annex 'hood and had to smile. Somehow I don't think that the 2 homeowners have the same aesthetic but they do have a sense of whimsy in putting the pieces back to back. It's nice to have a friend to watch your back!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate "LOVE"

I couldn't resist taking a shot of this white chocolate LOVE that has appeared in a local chocolate shop's window. Based on the image designed by American Pop artist Robert Indiana in 1964 as a Christmas card for the MOMA, it is a very familiar design and has been reproduced in many forms - not sure how many have been chocolate though. I didn't notice the reflection of the workers on the roof across the road until I opened this on the computer.
Happy St Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Duke Of York

I was wandering about last week before the big snow storm hit on Friday and was pleasantly surprised to see how bright and clean the exterior of the Duke of York Pub was at a time of year when most things are dull and grey here. Located in the Yorkville/Annex neighbourhood close to the U of Toronto, the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), and the Royal Conservatory of Music, you will find a very eclectic clientele here at most times of the day. I'm not sure if Deb (from York) would find it authentic but it is a great place for a cool pint! 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Politics In Sculpture

I've always been fascinated by this sculpture which is in Queen's Park beside the main legislature building of the Government of Ontario. It looks religious to me but its inscription tells you that it was done in memory of William Lyon MacKenzie who was the first mayor of Toronto (1834) and also a member of Parliament. The piece commemorates "the struggle for responsible government in Upper Canada and the pioneers of a political system which unites in free association the nations of the British Commonwealth". The bronze and granite piece was done in 1940 by artist Walter Seymour Allward who did many of the commemorative sculptures around town.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Laneway Buddies

I'm back to the same laneway as last Monday - just off Ossington Ave. I love these 2 guys just leaning in the doorway watching the world go by and waiting for something to happen. They look to be a friendly pair! Once again I could find no artist signature on this one.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

After The Storm

I couldn't let the big snow storm that we had on Friday go by without a pic. This was taken in my parents' backyard on Saturday morning which was a beautiful sunny day here as you can see. The yard backs onto a park with a baseball diamond, playground, etc, but when I was a kid and winters were colder there were also 2 natural skating rinks out there too. Climate changes! I hope everyone in the NE  USA has survived your big dump of snow from that Noreaster. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Doors Of Government

This lovely door and surrounding facade belongs to one of the Ontario government buildings oat Queen's Park. I love all the carving and details that were used in older times - such wonderful craftsmanship!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Food Truck

I spotted this wonderfully painted bus at the Farmers' Market at the Wychwood Barns back in the fall. I watched it for a while to see which farmer it belonged to but had no luck. Wonderful images of hard work and comradeship decorate all the sides of the vehicle. It must be quite a sight to see going down the road! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Infill Housing

There have been a lot of infill housing projects lately in downtown Toronto and this one on Richmond St W is one of the nicest. Designed by Core architects, it consists of just 9 units and the location is wonderful - 1 block south of Trinity Bellwoods Park and of Queen St West. This dog is probably heading to the off-leash area at the park! Or it wants to be.

Additional info - Infill housing refers to new development that is put into an older neighbourhood perhaps where a few houses were or more likely where some small commercial building had been. The units in the above building would be priced like downtown Toronto - $$$ - not cheap at all. I have no idea what they were priced at. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spices And More

I have never ventured into this store on Queen St West but I always admire the window and it looks to be quite lovely inside. They specialize in organic herbs and spices as well as quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I think I will have to venture in and treat myself to some nice balsamic one day. And the bonus is that their always clean window gives a perfect reflection of Trinity Bellwoods Park across the road!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Osgoode Hall

I showed you a detail of some of the carving found on the facade of Osgoode Hall on Sunday and now present the whole facade of the centre hall of the building. As you can see it has been beautifully maintained and any weathering seems to have been repaired and restored. It sits on a beautifully treed site right in the middle of downtown! I'll have to get a summer shot with trees and flowers.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I found this wonderfully executed mural in a laneway off Ossington Ave and thought that the abandoned couch added a bit of 3-D detail to the piece. I have no idea who the artist is but I really like it. And when was the last time you saw saddle shoes?
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Carving At Osgoode Hall

This is a detail shot of some of the carving that can be found on the facade of Osgoode Hall which was constructed in the mid 1800s and being co-owned by the Government of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada, it is a focal point for much of the legal activity in Ontario. I am amazed at how wonderfully preserved the carvings are for a building of its age and also because of the building's location at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Toronto. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dream Here

I can't remember where I was when I shot this pic in a laneway during nicer summer days but I have since seen this "Dream Here" stencil turn up in other places. I'm not sure of the meaning but it does get you thinking! It's always with the same background.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Steeled Against The Rain

The February theme for those of us photo bloggers in the City Daily Photo community is "Umbrellas" and I was on the hunt for a good shot. It is hard taking pics in the rain when you are balancing your own umbrella so instead I present this steel woman which I spotted in a downtown gallery. She looks ready for any downpour that  happens. And I love her shadow!
To see more of the theme day pics from around the world, click here.