Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coca-Cola Plant

This striking Coke sign is located in front of the old headquarters of the company in Toronto, a building constructed in the 1960s. The Coca-Cola logo is one of the world's most recognized ones and has remained fairly consistent since the 1880s when Coke was first created. This sign shows the 1969 addition of the "Dynamic Ribbon" wave below the traditional script. More about the sculpture visible in the background tomorrow.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Worm Factory Conversion

I love to find interesting conversions of buildings and this one is found in the West Queen St West neighbourhood. The home was a former worm factory! (Who knew there was such a thing!) The architects were Stephanie Mills and Jonathan Crinion and of course I love the Corten steel especially with the cedar wood. I think it goes back quite a distance but is totally landlocked into the backyards of the surrounding homes so it was impossible to see.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Elephant Mural

I was driving around doing errands when I passed this fabulous mural of elephants in a fairly industrial part of town so of course I made a quick U-turn and here it is! It was painted by Viviana Astudillo and Logan Miller who work as part of the Loft graffiti/mural program that I have shown you before. Wonderful!
Taking part in Monday Murals. For more murals click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Flowers In Toronto

These Winter Aconite flowers were in bloom in my mother's garden this week. I don't ever remember seeing flowers out in Toronto in February before - such a strange winter here. These are always the first to bloom followed by the Snowdrops which have buds and will probably be open this coming week. Spring is almost here!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heritage Town Aisle

After going through yesterday's elaborate entranceway into the Pacific Mall Heritage Town this is the aisle that greets you. The aisles are all narrow and the small shops have goods spilling out into the walkway to entice you. It is an odd scene with this very industrial building containing such traditional decorations!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pacific Heritage Town

On the 2nd floor of the Pacific Mall you find Pacific Heritage Town which is a more decorative area than downstairs and has a variety of small shops and also the food court of the mall. This is the entrance into that area!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Pacific Mall

I took a field trip from downtown Toronto on Sunday and went to the Pacific Mall which required crossing Steeles Ave from Toronto and entering the town of Markham (which has a HUGE Chinese population) on the north side of the street. The Pacific Mall is the largest Chinese indoor mall in North America and is totally unlike our usual malls and is instead just like the malls in Hong Kong with lots of small kiosks arranged along narrow aisles and large restaurants upstairs serving Dim Sum. This is one of the larger kiosks with a huge assortment of the most unusual products.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Street Certified Gourmet Food"

I have seen this truck driving by many times but I finally caught it stationary getting its propane tanks filled. The explosion of colours and the assortment of signs make it hard to miss and if you enlarge and look closely at the hood you will see a frying pan with lifter and a plate attached to it! I wonder what 'street certified' means?
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Classic Clock

This lovely little clock is on an old bank building that has been marred by the addition of those ugly, cheap, back-lit signs used on stores everywhere but fortunately they left the clock and the surrounding details alone. I drive by this place all the time and only noticed the clock surround a few weeks ago so quickly pulled over for a pic. And the clock was right on time!

Monday, February 20, 2012

All In A Row

I happened upon this cute little mural and was struck by how different it was from the usual images that I find in laneways in that it looked so friendly. It was a really sunny day and so nature added the tree shadow which goes perfectly with the rest of this one. Love it! Couldn't find out who the artist is (yet).
Taking part in Monday Murals. For more murals click here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Parkdale Bike Stands 10

Another bike stand of note (!?!) from Parkdale, this one is just along from yesterday's pic. I like how they have tried to reference the long-standing businesses in the area with some of these bike stands. Let's just hope that the music store near these two prospers for a lot longer.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Parkdale Bike Stands 9

I thought it was time to show a couple more of the Parkdale bike stands so today and tomorrow I will show you 2 that are near a music shop on Queen St West. I love the elegance and simplicity of this clef and it gives lots of areas for locking a bike!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Motion Part 2

Yesterday's pic had been taken from the roof patio of Princess Margaret Hospital but I though I would show you one taken from the same level as the sculptures in order to show the scale better. Unfortunately it had to be taken through the window which wasn't the cleanest so the pic isn't the sharpest and the shadows were quite dark. As you can see the sculptures are indeed life-size and show women, men, and children in the various poses.
Enlarge to see the details.
I have removed word verification too.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I discovered these fabulous steel sculptures on the 14th floor roof of the atrium of Princess Margaret Hospital while visiting someone. There are 25 of these life-size figures scattered about on the flat area around the skylight of the atrium - all in motion of some kind such as dancing, running. stretching, etc. They can be viewed from all the floors above that and from the roof top patio. It took a while but I found that Canadian artist William Lishman did the original clay models and then Richard Vanheuvelan and Lishman's son Geordie produced them in steel. They are supposed to show what the healthy body can do and be an inspiration to the patients.
Enlarge for a better view.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scythes & Co Ghost Sign

I spotted this ghost sign last fall while walking along the railpath. I have since discovered that Scythes & Co, which started in 1910, is still in this same building although they are now a huge manufacturer of flags and banners and have rebranded themselves as Flying Colours International. Funny how a business can develop and change through the years!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Backyard Dragon

I was walking along the street and happened to look down a driveway and spotted this large (taller than me) dragon carved into a stump in a backyard. Being much braver than when I first started blogging, I headed down the driveway and into the yard. The piece is signed by artist Jim Menken who I have discovered is a chainsaw carver who lives just outside of Toronto. It made my day!

Monday, February 13, 2012


When wandering down one of my usual laneways recently, I was amazed to come across this huge wave down the side of a building which had previously been the target of a lot of tagging. This piece even wraps around the back of this building so it catches your attention from either direction. Signed by artists Bomba, Hope, Ren, & Zion it was a fabulous sight on a winter day!
Taking part in Monday Murals. For more murals click here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Up On The Roof

We finally have snow that has lasted for 2 days but as far as I got with my camera was to part of my roof and so here it is. Snow is wonderful in the way it softens and brightens everything. I could stare out at it for hours!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"November Pyramid"

Another of the pieces in High Park from the International Sculpture Symposium of 1967, this steel piece called "November Pyramid" was done by German artist Bernard Schottlander. It is situated beside one of the off-leash dog trails so gets lots of viewers especially on nice weekend days.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"The Hippie" in High Park

1967 was not only the year of the International Sculpture Symposium in High Park but it was also the 'Summer of Love' and this sculpture in the park pays homage to that. By Canadian artist William Koochin, this sculpture called "The Hippie" even sports a 'Love' button on the jacket lapel. Enlarge the pic to see it. Those were the days!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Three Disks"

In 1967 an International Sculpture Symposium was held in Toronto and the resulting pieces were installed in High Park. Originally 10 sculptures were installed although only 5 of them remain in the park with 2 having been relocated to other spots in the city and 3 I haven't been able to account for. This piece, Three Disks, by Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman is one of the most striking with its bright yellow cantilevered disks!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mail Lady

It was the sexy lady sitting on the mailbox in front of the "Nearly Naked" lingerie shop on Queen St West that caught my eye and she is probably the best type of sign they could put out front. Apparently they carry a large range of European, Canadian, and local products. The reflection shows the "Candy Lofts" which was one of the first true hard loft conversions in Toronto.
Taking part in Signs,Signs. For more signs click here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

High Park Wood Spirit

While walking through High Park on Sunday I stumbled across this wood sprit carving on a dead tree and I have since learned that the City of Toronto had commissioned carver Colin Partridge to create 4 of these in 2006. Partridge, a retired RCMP officer (Mountie), used special chisels, a chainsaw, and other tools to carve into stumps and dead trees and then stained the works to hopefully protect them for awhile. I will have to go back and look for the other 3 as it is said that to see a wood spirit brings good luck!

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Mural

I go past this building all the time and just a couple of weeks ago noticed this mural which I think is new and replaces some flowers or something that had been painted on the wall. Judging by the imagery, it would seem to be a first nation artist who did the piece but I have been unable to find any info on it so far. I love all the bright colours especially during the grey winter!
Taking part in Monday Murals. For more murals click here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunny Winter Day At High Park

It is a beautiful sunny day here with a temperature of +3˚C and no wind so I went off to High Park which is the largest park in the city. There were thousands of people there - walking dogs, skating, playing tennis, hiking the trails, and just sitting in the sun. It was also a good day to pull out the vintage car and here we have a 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer hardtop parked in front of one of the skating rinks in the park!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Parkdale Bike Stands 8

Another example of abandoned bikes is this one locked to a bike stand which is out in front of an antique lighting store in the antiquey far-west area of Parkdale. A few years ago someone locked 2 bikes to a stand in front of my place so that no one could use the stand and he would come by and to check them every once in a while. The city eventually (after several months) cut the locks and removed them after leaving a note for the owner giving notice of removal - the fellow went ballistic when he next came by to check! It's too bad this bike stand is so obscured as it is an especially nice one!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Parkdale Bike Stands 7

I find this mask bike stand to be one of the most striking of all of them - so graphic and strong! This bike has been there every time that I have gone past and I think it must be one of the ones that some odd people park around the city and abandon - they seem to come back and check that the bikes are still there and get quite upset if the city removes them - very weird fixation! Does that happen in your city?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Parkdale Bike Stands 6

I thought I would show some more of the Parkdale bike stands since there are more than 20 of them (although 4 are identical to each other). It is interesting how they decide to leave some of them to rust for a different effect rather than galvanizing the whole thing - this guitar seems to have stainless steel strings to go with its rusty frame. It is never too cold to stand out and have a cigarette!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Sister

I love the simple elegance of this sign which I found on a restaurant on Queen St West in Parkdale when I was out hunting for more bike stands (which I still have a lot more of to post). The Sister used to be called Mitzi's Sister when it was first opened by the owner of Mitzi's which is a small restaurant/gallery on a near-by residential street but after a refurbishing the younger sister dropped the Mitzi's and is doing her own thing which includes local art on the wall, live music on the weekend, and a busy brunch scene!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.