Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Casa Loma Lion

High up at the top of one of the towers of Casa Loma sits this statue of a lion standing guard over the building and watching all who enter. 

Monday, April 29, 2013


My camera was in for repairs in the east end of downtown (not my normal side of the city) and when I came out of the shop, I spotted this wonderful mural down a side street. I could see no signature but I am sure it is by the artist Elicser and could find no info on when it was done either. The building is called The Magic Building and he has certainly chosen great images for it although I have no idea why that is the name.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another Sign Of Spring

We finally got a bit of sunny weather this week and the Narcissus have started popping open all over the city. With the cool spring we are having the flowers should last longer than normal, I hope. I captured these beauties on the hill leading up to Casa Loma.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Orenda" Part B

The driveway into yesterday's condos is nicely landscaped and all along Front St the gardens are bordered by these stainless steel panels that have shapes of willow leaves cut out of them. I particularly like the shadows which they throw onto the sidewalk. The artist for these is Marlene Hilton Moore, the same as yesterday.

Friday, April 26, 2013


The wavy structure seen in yesterday's pic is actually a pedestrian walkway joining 2 condo towers that  is part of an art installation called Orenda. It was designed by Canadian artist Marlene Hilton Moore and installed here in 2003 at CityPlace as part of the city required art component of the development. The swirling stainless steel pieces are said to represent the branches of a willow tree wrapping protectively around the skywalk.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

More Condos

These are even more condo towers from the CityPlace area where the wonderful pedestrian bridge and the art pieces that I have shown lately are to be found, although these are on the north side of the railyard just down Front St from Draper St and its old cottages. There is a lot of controversy over the number of towers being built in this area but construction seems to be continuing and more and more people are now living in this previously industrial space. Tomorrow I will give you a close-up of the wavy structure visible in the middle of the pic towards the bottom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yorkville Coat-Of-Arms

This is the coat-of-arms visible on the clock tower in yesterday's pic. It was originally installed on the Yorkville Town Hall, which was located around the corner on Yonge St, when the hall was built in 1859. The Village of Yorkville became part off Toronto in 1883 but I'm not sure when the town hall was demolished and the coat-of-arms moved to the firehall. The symbols represent the occupations of the first councillors of the village - a brewer, a bricklayer, a carpenter, a blacksmith, and a butcher.
The letters below each symbol stand for the last initial of the respective councillor. The Beaver is the official animal of Canada and has been used on coats-of-arms since the 1600s.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yorkville Fire Hall

The Yorkville Fire Hall is found just down the street from the Pilot Tavern which I showed you last week. It is one of the oldest fire halls in the city being built in 1876 to serve what was then the Village of Yorkville and was restored in 1974. It is one of a few halls in Toronto with a clock tower. I'll show you a close-up of that coat-of-arms on the tower tomorrow. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Rose Grows ....

I'm back to the Ossington Ave laneway to another of the murals that were painted on most of the garage doors in order to discourage taggers. This one is by the artist Horus who has done a lot of street art around the city. It would be nice to be greeted by this lovely rose when entering your garage!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Draper St

The south end of the Puente de Luz which I have shown the last few days takes you to all the modern condo towers while at the north end you will find this wonderful little street running off Front Street. Draper St consists of a block of mostly Empire-style cottages that were built in the 1880s and while all around them became an industrial area in the 20th century, this little street survived intact as a residential area. It has been designated as a Heritage Conservation District which means that the outsides of all the homes must remain as they are - no modern renovations will take place here.  I'll have to go back in summer when the street looks especially pretty and take some shots of individual homes. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Puente de Luz" Part C

This arch is located at the south end of the bridge, where the condos are located, and it acts as a gateway onto the bridge. The artist, Francisco Gazitua, has also done some other sculptures in the complex which I will show you soon. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

"Puente de Luz" Part B

This pic was taken up on the bridge looking towards the condos. I was there early on a Sunday morning so there were few people out and about - just this one cyclist who was stopped taking a look along the railway tracks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Puente de Luz"

Part of the construction of the huge condo complex by the railway lines, where I have been showing you the sculptures lately, included the installation of this pedestrian bridge spanning the railway and giving the residents access to Front St. The bridge was designed by Chilean artist Francisco Gazitua and was finally completed in October 2012. Its name in English means Bridge of Light and I assume that it refers to the wonderful yellow colour. I love the sculptural elements at this north entrance to the bridge. And of course you see the ever-present CN Tower. More pics for the next couple of days.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gassing Up

When I was in the stables at Casa Loma there was a room with automotive memorabilia but no explanation as to why they were there. This wonderful old gas pump was found there - not sure how old it is but it belonged to Imperial Oil and distributed their Premier Gasoline. I bet it is from the 20's.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On The Wall

I found this wall piece at the same condo complex as the large fishing bobs of a couple weeks ago, the bear on the very tall stand, and also the red piece from Saturday. As part of new development in Toronto there has to be an art component and since this is a large complex there are a lot of interesting pieces and more arriving as more buildings appear. I couldn't find any info on the artist of this one (it may be Francisco Gazitau) but I quite like it and it certainly turns a boring wall into a thing of interest.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wilderness In The Laneway

I haven't shown anything from the laneway off Ossington Ave for a while so I thought I would present this wonderful piece by artist Li-Hill. It was done during the project to put murals on most of the garages along here in an attempt to stop the tagging and so far that idea is working fairly well.I like how he has even painted the covering on the wire coming down from the left.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have seen this Mini a few times around the neighbourhood and finally found it parked and caught a pic. It belongs to a young woman with her hair cut just like the graphics on her car! I love it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"Flower Power"

This wonderful steel sculpture, titled "Flower Power", by American artist Mark di Suvero was originally created for and installed during the International Sculpture Symposium that took place in High Park in 1967 (the 'summer of love' and the height of 'flower power'). As the years passed the condition of the sculpture deteriorated and it was taken down in 2008 and sent to di Suvero's studio to be restored and it was reinstalled in 2010 in this prominent location downtown, surrounded by condos and overlooking the main rail line into the city. The train is a Go train from our commuter train system.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I have started keeping my Amaryllis bulbs after they have finished flowering and just keep watering them a bit all year and they are rewarding me by flowering again each spring. This red beauty is from 2 years ago and it has just opened up this week which is a treat since spring seems to be late arriving here.  The bulb from 3 years ago has a large bud too so I am looking forward to a show from it in the next week or so!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Pilot

I thought I would show you the whole building where yesterday's door was found.  It is quite an unusual look for downtown Toronto but being a fan of corrugated metal I quite like it. The Flight Deck patio up top is not open full time yet but hopefully we soon will get some consistent warm weather!

Update: It is snowing here today so the Flight Deck is definitely closed!! Snow on April 11?!?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Flying Away

This is the door leading to the patio (Flight Deck) and party room (Stealth Lounge) of "The Pilot" which is a tavern located downtown in the Yorkville neighbourhood. It originally opened in 1944 on Yonge St but development of its old building sent it around the corner in 1972 where it has continued to flourish. It's a great watering hole and even has jazz every Saturday!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Definitely Something Fishy

This is the building where I found yesterday's mural (far down along the right just out of the frame). This type of building which is totally in the laneway (no street frontage at all) between Queen St and Richmond St is super desirable here in Toronto both for residential and for commercial usage and they sell for big bucks in our expensive real estate market . I get the feeling that this one is all commercial and probably something creative, based on the decision to cover the whole facade in such a cool manner!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Something Fishy

I happened upon more work by UB5000 in the graffiti laneway behind Queen St West although this time I could find no little yellow birds. There are a lot of yellow fish to see along with all kinds of other sea life doing various activities - check out that poker game. He has painted over the whole exterior of the building which is exposed to the laneway and I will give you a shot of that tomorrow.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Elegant Horse Stalls

These are the quite elegant  stalls to be found inside the Casa Loma stables which I showed you yesterday. The stables were built to house the pedigreed horses belonging to Sir Henry Pellatt who was the man that had Casa Loma built. They also contain a potting shed and a conservatory but not all have been restored to the degree that the stalls have!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Casa Loma Stables

I have shown you many pics of Casa Loma before and this is a pic of the stables belonging to it. They are located up the street from the Casa and are connected to it by an 800 ft long tunnel that runs 18 feet below the street. I have been in the stables (but not the Casa itself) and will show you a pic of the quite elegant horse stalls tomorrow!

Friday, April 5, 2013


This is the 2nd part of yesterday's installation of "Stardust & Time" by John McEwen and it consists of several of these large sheets of corten steel that have had numerous stars and arrows cut out of them and are mounted along the walls of the courtyard. I love the richness of the corten steel and have found some pics of the pieces lit up from behind at night where the stars glow but you don't see the wonderful colour of the steel so I think I'll go for daytime.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Urban Bear

I was wandering around the huge complex of condos where the fishing bobs of a couple of days ago are to be found and happened upon this wonderful bear high over the entrance courtyard to one of the towers. It is part of an installation called "Stardust & Time" and was done by artist John McEwen in 2009 as part of the city requirement for art in new developments. I have shown some of his work before  as you can see by clicking the label below - in particular the sleepy steel teddy bear in Wychwood.  This piece is said to combine McEwen's love of animals and astrology with the bear referencing the constellation Ursa Major while the base has many cut-out stars. I will show you the 2nd part tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ghosts Of Signs

I just spotted these ghosts of signs past recently even though I have passed by them hundreds of times. It is amazing that no one took them down years ago before the neighbours put up their awning or before that pipe was installed. I'm sure that the Coke collectors would have loved those top two!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


These giant fishing bobs are among my favourite art installations in the city. They were designed by Douglas Coupland and installed in Canoe Landing Park when it opened in 2010 and they seemed to have handled the weather and have avoided vandalism since. In the background you can again see some of the cranes that are being used to construct more condo towers downtown! 

Monday, April 1, 2013


This very long mural is located at a railway underpass on the north side of Dupont St and was completed in 2008 by artist Joel Richardson. The same artist did a mural in 2011 on the south side of Dupont and was paid by the city to do the work. Unfortunately some zealous workers in the anti-graffiti   department of the city decided that that one was graffiti and had it removed. There was a huge uproar and the artist was again paid to repaint it. This one on the north side managed to avoid all the confusion! I have no idea what the mural means.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.