Tuesday, August 31, 2010
This is the space behind the fence in yesterday's post. This used to be a concrete block building with an asphalt parking lot in front and now it is this wonderful loft & beautiful secluded courtyard. I love finding these little gems in such unlikely spots throughout the city!
Posted by RedPat at Tuesday, August 31, 2010 No comments:
Labels: laneway, little Italy, lofts
Monday, August 30, 2010
Trees Grow in a Laneway
This pic actually shows 2 buildings that are located in a funny little laneway. The steel doors on the left belong to a building that is a photography studio, while behind the grasses and fence this building is a live/work studio. I first visited a friend at this place several years ago when there was no vegetation and actually no fence - just an asphalt parking lot with 2 studios opening onto it. What a wonderful change! Will show you behind the fence tomorrow.
Posted by RedPat at Monday, August 30, 2010 No comments:
Labels: artist studios, laneway
Sunday, August 29, 2010
There is nothing like the gorgeous flowers of summer to help you forget all the pettiness and hassles of the world. This lovely bunch is growing in Rosehill Gardens which are in the park with the fountain from Fri. The surrounding neighbours raised the funds to put in the gardens and the city of Toronto maintains them. Super idea!
Posted by RedPat at Sunday, August 29, 2010 No comments:
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Waiting for the Crowds
Early on a Saturday morning in north Toronto, this restaurant is set for the huge crowds that will be out to enjoy the great weather. It is located in Don Mills, one of the early suburbs from the 1950s & 60s that is no longer considered to be "out in the burbs" since the city has grown around it.
Posted by RedPat at Saturday, August 28, 2010 1 comment:
Labels: Don Mills, restaurant, rows
Friday, August 27, 2010
Space Age Fountain
This fountain, near Yonge & St Clair, sits in a wonderful park which was built overtop of 1 of Toronto's water reservoirs in 1966 (supposedly to protect it from nuclear attack!?). The fountain and a connecting system of shallow pools were installed in 1967 which was Canada's Centennial year when a lot of such projects were done across the country. I couldn't find any info on the artist or title and even the subject matter is open to debate - is it space age or is it representing an atom or a molecule? Either way it's cool and the water pools have become a favourite place for dogs to cool off in the summer.
Posted by RedPat at Friday, August 27, 2010 No comments:
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Style at 60 Richmond St E
I love this newly opened apartment building on Richmond St right downtown. A joint venture between Toronto Community Housing and Toronto Housing Co-operative, it offers affordable housing to low income families. Designed by Stephen Teeple, it is built to LEED environmental standards and has still managed to be a positive visual addition to this mostly commercial neighbourhood. Quite an improvement over the usual square box apartments!
Posted by RedPat at Thursday, August 26, 2010 2 comments:
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A bench in a local park has been turned into a real gathering place by the addition of a steel coffee table with an eternal checkers game welded onto the top. Any time of the day you can spot someone with their feet up, coffee on the table, and just enjoying the park. The artist is William Roddy.
Posted by RedPat at Wednesday, August 25, 2010 2 comments:
Labels: artist, park, sculpture, Seaton Village
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I couldn't let summer go by without a shot of one of my favourite houses in Toronto. Located in the Casa Loma area, it was constructed in 1913 and designed by architect J.A. Harvey for Jeremiah Dinwoody. Most of the homes in this part of town were built from 1905 to 1940, many in the Arts and Crafts style but none more successfully than this one. All the proportions work and together with the landscaping it is just beautiful. Would love to sit on one of the porches drinking lemonade watching the world go by!
Posted by RedPat at Tuesday, August 24, 2010 6 comments:
Monday, August 23, 2010
Toronto Sculpture Garden
This small downtown park which opened in 1981 is a partnership between the City of Toronto which owns and operates the park and the Louis L. Odette family whose foundation funds and administers the exhibitions. They have become a leader in commissioning contemporary sculpture by hosting 2 installations a year. This summer's installation is "Beside Myself" by Ted Bieler and consists of a series of benches scattered about the park each with a cast aluminum head occupying 1/2 of the bench and will be replaced in Oct with the next commission. It seems to be a popular resting place for tourists.
Posted by RedPat at Monday, August 23, 2010 4 comments:
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Hotdogs On King St
There are hotdog stands all over downtown Toronto but one of the best is on King St in the theatre area - Mike's Hotdogs where you can get beef, chicken, veggie, or Polish sausage, German sausage, and even breakfast sausage in the am. With toppings galore, you can make a whole meal from a dog with the works. Early on a Sunday morning business hasn't started yet.
Posted by RedPat at Sunday, August 22, 2010 3 comments:
Labels: King St
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Last Day on Croft St
This pic shows 2 units that were constructed on the site of an old warehouse that had been used as photography studios for years. It was purchased with the intention to do a large spread-out development but the neighbourhood went crazy and the developers were forced to put all of the building on the laneway itself and leave the back of the property landscaped so as not to overlook the surrounding homes. It is right beside yesterday's post and seems to overwhelm the other older structures in the lane.
Posted by RedPat at Saturday, August 21, 2010 No comments:
Friday, August 20, 2010
Croft St Lofts
These 5 lofts covered in the ivy were carved out of an old building that had been a munitions factory in WW 1 and since the 1920s had been a turkish rug cleaning factory. In the 80s it was finally converted into lofts after great opposition from the city of Toronto was overcome. Each loft is 2,000 sq ft, has 2 decks, and has had a parking space carved out of the 1st floor. These were among the first loft conversions in Toronto but there are now hundreds all over the downtown area. I left the pic wide so you could see how narrow a laneway Croft St really is. One more day tomorrow on Croft St.
Posted by RedPat at Friday, August 20, 2010 3 comments:
Thursday, August 19, 2010
More on Croft St
This place looks like it was probably a coach house in its first days but looking up through the top windows you can see that it has been really upgraded and renovated. It may now be an artist studio of some kind and often people tend to leave the outsides of these laneway conversions looking relatively messy so as not to attract too much attention from thieves etc.
Posted by RedPat at Thursday, August 19, 2010 No comments:
Labels: artist studios, Croft St, laneway
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Croft St Day 3
Continuing further along the laneway there are several more dwelling conversions - some from old factories, some from old coach houses and some that were probably houses all along. This pic shows one that was probably a house and has been refurbished (it still has a building permit in the window) and more of the great ivy planted. Wouldn't it be great to see behind the door!
Posted by RedPat at Wednesday, August 18, 2010 1 comment:
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Laneway Conversion Plus Greenhouse
Obviously I like laneway housing and this conversion which is right beside yesterday's house is one of the best for me because it has a greenhouse on the roof surrounded by a huge deck. It must have been an old factory but now is a fairly large dwelling with great usage of that roof. Would love to see the interior!
Posted by RedPat at Tuesday, August 17, 2010 3 comments:
Monday, August 16, 2010
More Laneway Discoveries
I went for a walk along Croft St which is actually a laneway in mid Toronto. There have been a lot of conversions in this lane, some from old factories and some where smaller existing structures have been "renovated" beyond recognition. It's hard to get neighbours to accept new laneway construction so it usually has to start with a pre-existing building. This super modern house, designed by Kohn Shnier Architects, has been constructed on the site of a tiny old house.
Posted by RedPat at Monday, August 16, 2010 1 comment:
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Sunday in the Annex
One of my favourite places to go on a Sunday afternoon is one of the decks of the Madison Pub located on a beautiful street in the Annex district of Toronto. Situated in 3 Victorian mansions it consists of 6 pubs with 5 decks that alone will hold over 400 people. In the last few years they have expanded next door into another mansion which has become The Madison Manor Boutique Hotel - all done up in the style of an English inn (or what Canadians think of as an English inn). The location is great - close to the subway, the university, etc.
Posted by RedPat at Sunday, August 15, 2010 1 comment:
Labels: Annex, restaurant
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Real Folk Art
I keep going past this house that has an eccentric assortment of birdhouses, planters and just decorative things and I finally stopped when I saw an older man out installing some more pieces. He didn't speak English but understood I would like to take a photo and was pleased with the attention. This Noah's Ark birdhouse was my favourite and a little sparrow popped out of 1 of the openings just to show how well the birdhouse works. You can see him on the left of the 2nd rail.
Posted by RedPat at Saturday, August 14, 2010 1 comment:
Friday, August 13, 2010
In the Pink
This pink building is the home of the Umbra Concept Store where the Canadian company Umbra, known for contemporary products for the home, shows off its product line and also limited edition items of clothing and furniture. Opened in 2007, Kohn Shnier Architects took an existing building and by cladding it in pink plastic panels have created an eye stopper just off the Queen West shopping district in downtown Toronto.
Posted by RedPat at Friday, August 13, 2010 No comments:
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This 9 ft high sculpture called "Uniform Measure/Stack" by Stephen Cruise was installed at the corner of Spadina and Richmond in 1997. This is the traditional centre of the fashion district and it is meant as a monument to the district with its stack of buttons topped by a bronze thimble. The painted 25 metre long tape measure that wraps around it appeared in 2006 with no authorization. Its artist, Victor Fraser, had been planning his addition since first spotting the thimble. Guerilla art at its best!
Posted by RedPat at Thursday, August 12, 2010 2 comments:
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Toronto City Hall Green Roof
Toronto's City Hall consists of a large podium that supports 2 towers with the council chamber nestled in between them. This summer the whole roof of the podium has been turned into a green roof with 35,000 sq ft of plants (grasses, sedums, perennial flowers, trees, etc) as well as lovely seating areas. This sets an example for the new Toronto bylaw requiring all new developments over a certain size to have green roofs and at the same time will cut down on energy costs at City Hall!
Posted by RedPat at Wednesday, August 11, 2010 No comments:
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Mountain in the City
This untitled sculpture is found on Front St in Simcoe Park (that is the CBC building behind it). Created by renowned British sculptor Anish Kapoor, it was installed in 1995 and is made of multi layers of aluminum that have been water-jet cut to form the mountains. Kapoor is now widely known for creating the highly reflective "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park.
Posted by RedPat at Tuesday, August 10, 2010 No comments:
Monday, August 9, 2010
I discovered this wonderful courtyard in front of a commercial building on Adelaide St E. There is a fountain and other landscaping but the best part are these stainless steel planters each on a cart. They are so hard edge and still work so well with the plantings - would love to have one!
Posted by RedPat at Monday, August 09, 2010 3 comments:
Sunday, August 8, 2010
No Time for Chocolate on Sundays
This is the window from Stubbe Chocolates - they specialize in incredible truffles but also provide chocolates, pastries and decadent cakes. They often have a seasonal chocolate sculpture in the window but this chef is super and the whole thing is edible! Some of the best chocolate in town but not on Sundays.
Posted by RedPat at Sunday, August 08, 2010 1 comment:
Labels: sculpture, Seaton Village
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Another Laneway House
This house, called "the Courtyard House", was converted from a contractor's warehouse in a westend laneway into a home and studio for a family of four. A 2nd floor courtyard was cut out of the warehouse to provide light into the centre of the building and a ground floor courtyard leads to a wonderful studio structure - hence the name Courtyard House. The architects were Studio Junction and they were their own clients. The house has had a lot of media attention where shots of the interior can be viewed. (There always seem to be little clothes hanging in the 2nd floor opening.)
Posted by RedPat at Saturday, August 07, 2010 3 comments:
Friday, August 6, 2010
I happened upon this work across the road from Roy Thomson Hall (see Aug 2 post) and couldn't believe that it had been there since 1990. Titled "Lineal Order" the Canadian artist, George Boileau was commissioned by the condo development (Symphony Place) - another example of the city of Toronto's art budget requirement for new development. Love this piece!
Posted by RedPat at Friday, August 06, 2010 2 comments:
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This landmark discount store at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst was the foundation of Mirvish Productions mentioned in the last 2 posts. Opened in 1948 by Ed Mirvish, it has grown to occupy the whole block along Bloor and is famous for its marketing stunts like free turkeys at Christmas and street parties with free food and give-aways. Over the years the whole square block was purchased by Ed and he turned the Victorian buildings into Mirvish village with boutiques, restaurants, galleries and artist studios. This sign with 23,000 lights is impossible to miss!
Posted by RedPat at Thursday, August 05, 2010 1 comment:
Labels: Bloor St
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The back of the Princess of Wales Theatre is actually more interesting than the front since it has this huge Frank Stella Mural on its wall. This is just a small service road so the mural overwhelms as you approach it. Unfortunately the colours have faded over the years making one wonder what it will look like in another 20 years.
Posted by RedPat at Wednesday, August 04, 2010 No comments:
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Princess Of Wales Theatre
In the same block as yesterday's post, sits the Princess of Wales Theatre - one of 4 theatres in downtown Toronto owned by Mirvish Productions. Designed by architect Peter Smith, the 2000 seat theatre opened in 1993 and has one of the deepest and widest stages in North America enabling it to show all the large productions available. On a quiet early Sunday morning the outside appears unassuming but at night it is aglow with lights. Inside, the spectacular interior features the work of dozens of craftspeople and artists - in particular over 10,000 sq ft of murals by renowned artist Frank Stella!
Posted by RedPat at Tuesday, August 03, 2010 1 comment:
Monday, August 2, 2010
Roy Thomson Hall
The building to the left with its pond and patios is Roy Thomson Hall, one of Canada's premier concert halls and home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This circular building with its curvilinear honeycombed glass canopy was opened in 1982 and was designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erikson with Mathers and Haldenby. In the background you can see the CBC building in the centre and Metro Hall (government services) to the right. It is quite an interesting block on King St to explore.
Posted by RedPat at Monday, August 02, 2010 2 comments:
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Restaurants In the Theatre District
This is an early Sunday morning shot of the restaurant row along King St before the brunch crowd was out and about. Most places in Toronto don't take reservations for Sunday brunch so it can sometimes involve a long wait for a table. It's usually worth the wait.
Posted by RedPat at Sunday, August 01, 2010 1 comment:
Labels: King St
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