Sunday, November 30, 2014

Flying Turtle

My last post from this year's Santa Claus Parade shows a float sponsored by a travel company and showing us a nice warm scene. It was the turtle that I really liked in this one - he looks so joyful flying above the waves!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Searching For Santa

I loved the red bi-plane on this float which featured Finn, the teddy bear, at the controls of the "Finn's Santa tracker" as he searches the country for Santa!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Street Hockey

This float from the Santa Claus Parade shows the very popular Canadian sport, street hockey. All you need is a net, a ball and a couple of kids and you are ready to play. What makes this particular game different is the goalie the kids are playing against - it is supposed to be Jonathan Bernier of our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Going Downhill

I loved this happy snowman on his toboggan and when I watched the Santa Claus Parade on TV later there were kids sitting along the sides of the float dressed in white outfits with the same accessories as he has. It was very cute. This shot gives you an idea of how the floats were lined up in the staging area along Bloor St before the parade. When the parade began the marching bands and clowns, etc would be assembled in between the floats.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I really liked this float from Tim Hortons at the Santa Claus Parade with the work crew of elves churning out the coffee and baked goods. Tim Hortons restaurants are everywhere in Canada and apparently account for over 60% of the coffee sold here with the next best competitor being at around 7%. I can easily walk to at least 6 Tim Hortons stores from my place (if I drank coffee) for a coffee & donut!
Tim Horton was a legendary hockey player for our Maple Leafs during the 50s & 60s and started the shops in 1964.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tea Please

The 110th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade took place on Sunday Nov 16 and as is my habit I went down to the staging area early in the morning to get up close and personal with the floats well before parade time. There were 31 floats and 21 marching bands in the parade and I thought I'd show a few floats over the next days. You can see 2 young women putting the finishing touches on this float showing the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I couldn't see a teapot or a Dormouse so he must have been waiting for the temperature to warm up a bit!

Monday, November 24, 2014


I spotted this mural by the artist Elicser on a wall along Spadina Rd last week and went back to catch a pic of it. It is a reminder that November is Movember month when men all over the world grow moustaches in hopes of raising awareness of men's health issues.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This is Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church which is located downtown near Kensington Market. The church building started off as a synagogue which was built in 1926  and remained so until 1966 when the church congregation purchased it and modified it for their use. I have never been inside but I have seen the really large dome over the main part of the church when I have been up in a tall building behind it, so this is yet another church that I need to explore when the doors are not locked. 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click HERE to see more religious buildings from around the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


This large Annex home was designed by architect Frederick H. Herbert and was built in 1896. It was a single family home until the 1960s when it was turned into a group home for women which resulted in many features being lost and rooms divided up with fire doors everywhere. In 2003 it was purchased with the intent to restore it to its former glory, a process that involved replastering, having stained glass replicated by the original company, rebuilding stone stairs, and extensive brick work. Today the house is once again a single family dwelling and has been given heritage designation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's In The Details

Many of the old Annex neighbourhood homes have wonderful detail work on their facades and this one is no exception. In just this one section around the front door we have moulded terra cotta bricks, beautiful grillwork and lovely carved terra cotta. This house was built in 1890 and luckily it has been well-maintained through the years!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't Fence Me In

This former feral cat has been adopted by a local family but although she will come in to eat, she doesn't like the door closed behind her so she is still sleeping outside. They have built a small shelter for her and I'm sure she will be toasty this winter with her thick fur. Isn't she pretty!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This sign was found along a laneway beside the parking lot of a school and it was surrounded by fairly newly planted perennial plants that may one day form a beautiful garden here. The Homegrown National Park is a project that "aims to establish a green corridor through the heart of the city of Toronto along the former route of Garrison Creek". The creek ran for about 5 miles through the city until the 1920s when it was totally covered or diverted into sewers. There has been a movement going for several years to try to restore it to its former self. 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This is the mural found on the half of the front of the building from yesterday's post. The artists Shalak and Smoky are once more credited but I don't know which one did this. I wouldn't want to mess with this person!

Monday, November 17, 2014


This mural is on the other side of the building that I showed you last Monday and it was also done by artist Shalak and Smoky as part of the collective known as Clandestinos. I love all the rich colours but have no idea what story it is telling. And once again it is hard to avoid the garbage bins! I'll show you the mural just around to the front tomorrow.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I took this pic a week ago after noticing that the willow trees seem to be the last trees to start turning colour and they are still hanging onto their leaves. You don't see as many of them around as you used to but this one certainly looks happy and healthy.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quite A Ride

This is a '63 Impala in impecable condition that even has little note in its windows to please not lean against the car since the paint could be easily scratched. It's amazing how large cars were in those days!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Season Over

I took this shot several weeks ago on a Sunday morning before the brunch rush started. The patio season is over here unless we get a weird day when the temperature goes up and you can find a south facing place with a good wind block. It was great while it lasted!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Old Fence

I took this pic a few weeks ago when everything was still green. This old fence borders the tiny front garden of a Victorian house in the Yorkville neighbourhood and looks as if it could be as old as the house it belongs to. This is a wonderful area with so many restored homes from the late 1800s and they are all quite pricey - $$millions each.
Taking part in Good Fences. Click HERE to see more fences from around the world.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bay St Trees

I spotted this sign on Bay St which is one of our busiest downtown streets. It was positioned in one of several very long garden areas that have had mature trees and shrubs installed right along the roadway. What makes these areas different is that deep tree trenches have been dug and special drains placed to run storm water down to the tree roots. Most of the trees planted along the sidewalks don't fare very well because of a lack of root space and not enough water so these ones should flourish.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE to see more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Face

After yesterday's sweet bird mural I present the front mural from the same building. Not quite as friendly at all. I think this one is done by the artist Smoky. I'll show the other  side of the building next Monday.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pretty Bird

This small building on Bathurst St has had its front and both sides painted with murals by the artist collective Clandestinos which in this case is artists Shalak and Smoky. I'm not totally sure but I think this side was painted by Shalak and isn't that a lovely bird along with the cute house. I'll show you more of the front piece tomorrow. It was impossible to get this pic without getting some of the ever-present garbage into the shot.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I spotted this beauty in our local grocery store and couldn't believe my eyes. It is a special variety of cauliflower but looks too gorgeous to eat!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Deco Details

This is a shot of one of the corners from the original Tip Top Tailors Building which I showed you yesterday. I love all those wonderful Art Deco details.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Deco On The Lakeshore

This is the Tip Top Tailors Building which is located right on the shore of Lake Ontario downtown with fabulous views of the lake & parkland around it. The original Art Deco building was designed by Bishop & Miller architects and built in 1929 to serve as the factory, showroom and offices of Tip Top Tailors which is a large menswear company. The building has been historically designated and was sold and converted into lofts in 2005 and at that time the 6 glass fronted stories were added on top. I'll show you a detail of the deco features tomorrow. And of course that is one of our famous streetcars heading by. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Haunted Building

I took this pic on Halloween of an apartment building in the Annex neighbourhood that is famous for its spooky decorations. It was impossible to get the whole display into the pic but there were several more of those large figures hanging from balconies and a tree off to the left with life-size skeletons hanging from it. During the trick-or-treat time they had a fog machine going as well as a sound system with eerie noises wafting out to the sidewalk. The local kids love this place!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Dog Playground?

When walking around the condo complex where yesterday's toy soldier sculpture is located you can't help but notice all the signs telling you to "pick up after your pet".  There has been a huge explosion in the dog population in these areas, particularly of the small dog breeds and obviously many people aren't stooping & scooping. As I was walking along I can upon this very small little area in the midst of a well-planted area. I wonder if any dog has actually ever entered the space to 'play'!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE to see more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Toy Soldiers

This steel & resin sculpture by Canadian artist Douglas Coupland is titled "Monument To The War Of 1812" and it is suitably located about a block from Fort York. It was installed in 2008 in front of a condominium complex as part of the city's art requirement for new development. The "two abandoned toy soldiers pay tribute to Toronto's history" and Fort York's part in the Canadian victory in the war of 1812.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mouse On A Bridge

This is a mini mural for the day. I spotted this wee guy on the Puente de Luz pedestrian bridge from CityPlace and thought he deserved a spot on Monday Murals!
Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reuse Of Lost Space

This shot is taken along the walkway into the Fort York visitor centre which I showed you a couple of days ago. You can see a bit of the steel wall of the centre off to the left of these large supports for the Gardiner Expressway which runs overhead along our lakeshore. This area has always been rather derelict and unused but now the centre has planted grasses and put in pathways leading up to the fort and while I was there you could see people actually walking through here. It's a good thing!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Theme Day - Landmark

The November theme day for the City Daily Photo bloggers community is "Landmark" and there was really no option for me other than the CN Tower. The tower was completed in 1976 and since then it has been a common sight all over the city, peeking from behind different structures wherever you are. In this pic it is framed between some of the condo towers of CityPlace and one of the sculptures marking the entrance to the Puente de Luz which is a pedestrian bridge across the downtown railway tracks. I have shown the tower many times as you can see if you click on the label below.
Taking part in the November Theme. Click HERE to see more landmarks from around the world.