Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Memoir du Futur"

I love this sculpture, "Memoir Du Futur", which is located in Metro Hall, the building in the background of yesterday's pic. By French artists Anne & Patrick Poirier, it was installed in 1992 as part of the art requirement for new development in Toronto. The highly polished stainless steel and the misaligned sections of the Greek pillar make for an impressive sight when entering the building!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fountain at Metro Hall

This sculpture/fountain at Metro Hall on King St in the theatre district has the strange title of "The Poet, The Fever Hospital" - who knows? By Toronto artist, Bernie Miller, the sculpture of black granite, galvanized steel and bronze was installed in 1992. It is quite majestic with the water flowing into a reflecting pool and situated between Roy Thomson Hall and Metro Hall.
*A follower has directed me to info that this was the site of the Toronto Fever Hospital opened in 1847 to care for Irish escapees from the potato famine who were arriving ill with various fevers. Thanks. Title makes sense now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa's Ride

The last float in the Santa Claus Parade is always Santa's Sleigh float. As you can see everyone is ready to go and is just waiting for the man himself!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"The I'm Lovin' It Band"

The penguins waddled north for the parade and their band was quite a hit with the crowds. As you can see a lot of kids were having their pics taken beside the floats before the parade began. It was still 3 hours to start time when I took this shot. And cold!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Presents on Parade

A few more days of Santa Claus Parade floats ( I promise not to post all 31! ). I have always loved Teddy bears and this one is a fine specimen!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Birds At Work

Another float from the Santa Claus Parade - one of my favourites! Building a better birdhouse! The white dots and streaks in the pic are snow flakes which started to come down as I toured the floats.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Babar on Parade

Another shot from the Santa Claus Parade, this float features Babar and friends in a tropical setting totally unlike the actual weather!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mother Goose at the Santa Claus Parade

Sunday was the 106th annual Santa Claus Parade in Toronto and the first float in the parade has traditionally been Mother Goose. I went down to the gathering area early in the am before the parade when you are able to get close up & personal with the floats. The people riding the floats aren't there yet so they appear a bit empty. There were 31 floats, 24 bands, and 1200 walkers (clowns etc) in the 5 km long parade. It was a cold and windy day but thousands and thousands of people came out for the festivities!

Monday, November 22, 2010

"The Wilderness Award"

Another shot from the CBC Museum. This equipment was used in 1963 during the filming of "The Wilderness" about the people & the wildlife that inhabit the remote areas of northwestern Canada. Unfortunately the producer and the 2 cameramen were killed in a plane crash during filming and "The Wilderness Award" has been established to commemorate them and to recognize outstanding contributions to the field.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

50s TVs

This is another shot from the CBC Museum showing their showcase of 50s TV sets accompanied by 50s era home accessories and everyday things. I love the space-agey look of the old sets.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Speak into the Mike!

This is just one section of the large collection of microphones in the CBC Museum. These ones are from the 1930s through to the 1950s. I love all the details in the metal and chrome work. The radio and mike down in the right corner are from the late 1930s.

Friday, November 19, 2010

CBC Museum

Made a visit to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - our equivalent of the BBC) Museum. It is full of wonderful old broadcasting equipment and receivers some of which I will show in the next few days. I totally love their sign which uses the old CBC logo from the 1940s as the main image.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pretty in Pink

On a dull afternoon last week, I happened upon this house and the pink door and the accessories really caught my eye. Wonder if they have a lot of pink inside?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Parent 1"

This wonderful bronze sculpture by renowned British artist Barbara Hepworth was installed on King St in the financial district in 1984. Created in 1970, it was part of her "The Family of Man" series that included parent and children pieces. It may be the only public work by Hepworth in Toronto as far as I know.
My posts may be later in the day for the next few days - involved in an event.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is another sculpture from a courtyard on the grounds of St Mike's College at U of Toronto. This bronze by Canadian artist Joe Rosenthal was installed in 1996 and represents one friend consoling the other - it's quite touching. It is the 2nd of 2 pieces by Rosenthal at St Mike's.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shaftesbury Laneway

This quirky laneway house was built in the 1880s as a blacksmith shop and through the years became a horse shed, then a sculptor's studio, and is now an award-winning single family home by Superkul Inc Architects. The building occupies the whole lot so a 2nd floor courtyard and roof-top garden were built and skylights run the length of the roof. On the exterior some panels of steel were salvaged from the original siding and were combined with new Corten steel panels on 2 sides while the other 2 sides have wood siding. It suits the historic Summerhill neighbourhood.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Friends

I was on the trail of a laneway house that I heard about in the Summerhill neighbourhood when I bumped into these 2 beautiful Airedale girls (Amber and Amy) out for a walk. After we visited for a while they posed nicely for me and I was on my way. Ten minutes later I ran into them again and they got as excited as if they had known me for years! Super dogs!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It was a strange sight to go by a local garden centre and see several of these Happy Buddha statues sitting on a ledge and chained to a fence. What could they have done to deserve that? Still smiling though!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Before the Parade

The pipe bands were gathering for a Remembrance parade honouring the 48th Highlanders last Sunday as I went through Queen's Park. Not sure what regiment this was but they were certainly impressive in their kilts and wonderful red jackets!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

This is Remembrance Day in Canada when we honour and remember all the brave people who have served in our military. The Ontario Veterans War Memorial at Queen's Park in Toronto is 98 feet of granite, laser-etched with photographic images of the Canadian military in action through the ages. It was designed by Allan Harding MacKay and unveiled in 2006. It is an incredible piece - the photos bring the action and the horror to life! This is just a small section showing action from WWI.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cn Tower at Night

When I had the tripod set up for yesterday's pic, I turned around 180 degrees and there was the CN Tower framed between the trees of the park and some of the condos in this new area. The tower is lit up with different coloured LED lights every night sometimes appropriate to the day e.g. green on St Patrick's Day. You can see it from all over the city glowing away but the park is only minutes away from the tower.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Canoe Landing Park at Night

Since it was a clear night, yesterday was the time to go to the park after dark. Unfortunately the LED lights on the hill weren't working but the fishing bobs were under spotlights and many of them have bands of lights that were glowing. The beaver dam in the back of the pic changes colour (red, purple, blue, yellow) every few seconds so overall it was a successful journey. There were also a lot of people at the park with dogs running around which was good to see in this new downtown neighbourhood that was previously railway lands.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Businessman On A Horse"

Another one of William McElcheran's befuddled businessmen, this bronze sculpture was hard to find as it is tucked away in a lovely courtyard at St Mike's College, part of U of Toronto. McElcheran claimed that this sculpture represented the "non-hero" on his trusty steed. Love it!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bike Mural

I never noticed this nice mural behind a local shop until recently because all summer it is blocked by numerous bikes up on stands being repaired. The bike shop is very tiny and so most of the work goes on outside but the bike season is winding down here and so voila - the mural is visible. Some people try to ride all winter even in the snow but most of us put the bikes away until spring.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free-form Metal

I love this railing/fence/bench that runs for a few hundred feet along the side of a condo down by the lake. The bottom concrete part has indented areas for sitting scattered along it while the galvanized metal ripples along seemingly at random reminiscent of the water in nearby Lake Ontario. I haven't been able to find out the designer but the whole thing is brilliant whoever did it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Big Red Canoe

This is the enormous Douglas Coupland canoe from Canoe Landing Park (hence the name). A large hill was created with earth from the surrounding construction and the canoe has been placed at the top of it looking down onto the Gardiner expressway and Lake Ontario. The canoe is visible from all over the surrounding area. The white bench visible beside it is one of a few that were built to represent icebergs and which glow at night. Apparently the hillside has had a network of LED lighting installed that form waves of white light after dark. A field trip to the park after dark is going to be a priority - have to see all these special effects!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beaver Dam Fountain

This is the beaver dam fountain, designed by Douglas Coupland, which is visible in the background in yesterday's pic from Canoe Landing Park. Unfortunately all the decorative fountains and drinking fountains in the city have been drained for the winter so there is no water for the beavers. Apparently the logs light up at night in a myriad of colours so I will have to try to get there at night to capture that. Also, it seems there are waterjets, scattered about in the concrete amongst yesterday's bobs, which shoot up at random. Have to get back next summer!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Downtown Fishing

Probably the newest park in Toronto, "Canoe Landing Park", finally opened this summer in the middle of an area down by the lake on former railway lands that are being filled with condo towers. The 3 acre park has 2 playing fields, a 1 mile running path, and several art pieces by Canadian author/artist Douglas Coupland who was involved in some of the design of the park. I love these giant fishing bobs that he has designed and placed in a lovely area looking down on the playing fields. Just behind them you can glimpse the beaver dam fountain which I will show tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Last night (Nov 1) we had the "2nd Annual Pumpkin Patch" in our local park where neighbours brought their Jack-O-Lanterns from Halloween to the park and a display was set up along one of the paths. This year there were just under 400 pumpkins in 2 rows! With free apple cider, pumpkin cookies from a local bakery, and calm weather it was a great night. Luckily I found a short break in the crowds to catch a shot of some of the display. Had to use the flash to be able to see the action.

Monday, November 1, 2010


A local independent brewery has a fleet of vintage trucks that they use for delivery and promo. My favourite is this 1956 Dodge Fargo truck which in its past life was a postal vehicle. Now wonderfully restored and painted their trademark green, it is call "Chuckles" because of all the smiles it gets.