Friday, September 30, 2011

More Bike Mural

Deep in the underpass from yesterday we can see the bikes riding along the wall and passing a pile of tires. This pile references the rubber factory which previously occupied the factory above the underpass and the car culture which it serviced. The whole mural is a treat to see!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Strength in Numbers

There is a wonderful mural featuring bicycle culture that runs for 400 feet along Dupont St in the railway underpass which is at the top end of the Railpath which we saw awhile ago. The lead artists were Joshua Barndt and Jamie Bradbury who worked with 5 youth artists during the summer of 2009. The whole work is titled "Strength in Numbers" and consists of a variety of images each indicative of the individual artist who worked on them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Babboe Bike

Toronto is becoming more and more a bike city - for some even in the snowy winter. We are starting to see more and more unusual bikes around town and this great one keeps popping up in front of a local restaurant. These cargo bikes are from Dutch company which suggests their use for transporting children and groceries but I have a feeling that it is delivering eco-friendly supplies to this locavore establishment!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Casa Loma Stables Carving

I found this wonderful carving on part of the fence around the property belonging to the Casa Loma stables. How lovely is that!
I am still away but will be back soon and visiting you all again.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Casa Loma Squirrel

Yes there he is - a guardian squirrel looking down from the stable's tower while chewing on a nut! A homage to one of my favourite creatures.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Casa Loma Stables Towers

The stables for Casa Loma are located up the street from the main building and besides its regular entrance there is a secret tunnel that runs a couple of hundred feet underground! During tours of the Casa they take you through the tunnel but I have to admit to never having been in Casa Loma at all so have no inside pics! But if you look high up on the towers there is a wee creature lurking about - more tomorrow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Casa Loma Entrance

Casa Loma is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Toronto and I happened to go by the entrance on a particularly lovely day. Originally built by Sir Henry Pellatt, the 98 room house was never completed by him as he ran out of money. It is now owned by the city.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Studio Door

I found this door into a stained glass artist's studio in a rather gritty area of town but I like that they still put an effort into a cool copper planter and a couple of little trees. Maybe that huge light keeps the vandals away!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Madison Lofts

Factory conversions are taking place all over the city and this one just south of Casa Loma involved converting an old hydro building into luxury lofts. The building was constructed in 1951 to store huge wire bundles of wire and features 12' ceilings but most of the units look like just ordinary condo units. It is a great looking building though!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Liberty Village Studio

Liberty Village was a major centre for funky artist studios in old factories but as always seems to happen, gentrification has taken place and now it is filled with trendy stores and loft conversions and even new condo buildings. A totally different place has developed. But I was down there wandering about my old stomping grounds and found what may be the only true studio left in the area. There was a nice woman and her dog sitting amongst these plants outside the door to the studio and a motorcycle was parked inside the space. I hope they hang in there for a long time!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Karmann Ghia

I don't think they imported as many of these cars into Canada as into the States since we don't see many of them around here. I have seen this one a few times and finally stopped for a pic! Love that paint blue!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roof Deck Spider

Friends who live in a converted factory were having problems with people climbing up the fire escape and out onto their deck so they installed a web of barbed wire to block the way and of course every web needs a spider so a wonderful steel one was given a place of honour!
I am still away so I hope the auto-posting is working. Will catch up with everyone soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trinity College Chapel

This is the wonderful chapel at Trinity College which is part of U of Toronto. Built in 1955. the chapel was designed by renowned British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who designed the Liverpool Cathedral and the famous British red telephone booths! It was one of his last works and its perpendicular-Gothic style features ceilings which are 47' to the top of the vaulting. Good friends are renewing their marriage vows here today and I am missing it but I am sure it will be wonderful!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Railpath End

This is the bridge carrying Dundas St across the railway tracks and this marks the end of the path so far and of our tour - just a short walk up the hill to the street. Hopefully the 2nd stage will be completed in the near future because it really is a great place to explore!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Railpath Train

Via is the major passenger train service in Canada and runs trains all across the country. As I was walking along the path this train came zooming along - I think this track would be connecting to the Windsor/Detroit route and into Union Station in downtown Toronto.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Railpath Spiral Staircase

I shot across the railway tracks from the path to catch this shot of another converted factory building. I love these spiral staircases leading up to roof decks. A friend had a studio next to this building but I haven't seen this conversion so will have to check it out when I get back!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Railpath Morning Glory

This piece from the "Frontier" series that I introduced yesterday will be wonderful if that Morning Glory is able to establish itself and cover the piece. These are not my favourite pieces!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Railpath Triangle

Along the railpath there are 4 sculptures by Toronto artist John Dickson. Each consists of a steel frame in a different shape with galvanized expanded steel stretched over it and as a group they are titled "Frontier" and are meant to reflect the changing landscape of the railpath as the plantings develop. I have to say that I think the face that someone has added to this one is one of the best parts of the piece!

Monday, September 12, 2011

RailPath Deer

I found this lovely deer painted on a fence that divides the railpath from yesterday's loft building. I love the fact that they have painted the mural of the deer over some tagging! If only that could happen everywhere.
I am going to the UK for a couple of weeks - London, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Lancashire and maybe more and won't have regular computer access to visit you all. I have scheduled auto-posts (hope it works) and will catch up with you all at the end of the month!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Red Door on the Railpath

This is the door into the main factory from yesterday's post - this would be where the postage stamp glue was made. This 4 storey building has been totally divided up into lofts too but I have to admit that I would prefer a bit more of an industrial vibe to this doorway - maybe it's the glass that seems wrong! The top of the building is covered in decks so the top floor would be the place to be.

Remembering all the terrible events of 10 years ago and all the heroes who lost their lives!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Railpath Conversion

As we head further down the railpath passing various industrial sites we pass this conversion of an old postage stamp glue factory which was built in 1929 and turned into lofts several years ago. This part shows the old garages from the factory which have been divided into 5 lofts - these are 'real' lofts with exposed brick, 18' ceilings and roof decks! As you can see on the left side of the path, the city has planted trees all along it so eventually this going to be a wonderfully shady place to walk or run!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Railpath

I thought I should show you a typical view down the path as we start wandering down - the whole pathway has been planted with indigenous plants and has now been left to naturalize (I even saw a warning about poison ivy in 1 area) resulting in this great swath of greenery between the path and the factories on the left and the railway tracks on the right. This large building was originally a rubber factory but is now part storage rental and mostly artist studios. As you can see the path is great for dog-walking!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fish On The Trail

At the top of the stairs in yesterday's post is this great fish mural which is suitably painted on the back wall of a fish distributor's building. I was unable to find out the artist's name but it is certainly well done and grabs attention as you head down the trail!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

West Toronto Railpath

This sign marks the north entrance to the West Toronto Railpath which is a bike/pedestrian path running along an old railway right-of-way from the "Junction" neighbourhood to a point 2 km towards downtown and eventually to downtown. A nice asphalt trail has been installed as well as great lighting and indigenous plantings along it. There is still a functioning rail-line beside it and since it runs along the back of factory buildings some empty, some converted to lofts, and some still in business, it makes for an interesting and sometimes gritty tour - lots of graffiti. I'll show some pics the next few days!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September Sunflower

The quality of light in the fall is beautiful and nothing catches it as well as sunflowers which are just now coming to maturity here. This beauty growing in a local front garden had to be at least 7' tall and a passerby informed me, as I was shooting, that it was a "Russian Mammoth" and that they can grow to 12'!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Annex Whimsy

I can't leave this little tour of the Annex without showing at least one of the turrets which the area is known for and so here is one of my favourites. I go by here often hoping that there will be no car but it is always there! These porches looks so whimsical with their little round areas at the front - like a wishing well. Another great place to sit out!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Annex Georgian

As I continued my walk through the Annex I came upon this lovely Georgian Revival mansion that was built in 1902 as a single family dwelling but which had been divided into 4 units as of last summer when it was for sale at $2.75 million. As you can see from the pic, these large Annex homes are built close beside each other with usually not even the width of a driveway between them. Many were divided up in years past but they are now being restored to huge singles - there is restoration going on all over the Annex!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Annex Tranquility

Although not as fanciful as many of the other Annex homes that have turrets and carvings, this place really caught my eye on a hot day with its tranquil setting. Imagine sitting on that lovely porch looking out at the Black-eyed Susans and watching the world go by - perfect!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Annex Carving

It is a beautiful hot summer day here (30˚C) so it is perfect for a wander through the shady streets of the Annex where I spotted this wonderful carving on a house built in the 1890s for the principal of a school. Perfect choice of a scroll and plume carving to go along with the moulded terra cotta tiles!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Street Collage

I found this unusual piece of street art on a boarded-up window just off Ossington Ave. Someone has spent hours gathering images (including one of JKF) and small items like dominoes, buttons, dice, fake money, etc and then assembling it all into this collage. Not sure what it means but it was rather intriguing to explore the various little vignettes!