Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Starry Night

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone and I hope the stars are out wherever you are!
These stars are each made from one square of paper which is folded in a precise pattern and then cut just once with scissors. Magical!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Moose In The Business District

I spotted these moose on the Sunday morning that I was heading to the Christmas Market as they walked through the quiet financial district downtown. I imagine they must be spectacular at night but even in the morning light I immediately pulled over for a pic.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Art In The Park

This mural was done this autumn on the side of a house which borders Alexandra Park and which was a constant target for taggers. The city commissioned the artists Elicser (whose work I have shown many times) and Troy Lovegates (aka Other) to paint a piece and solve that problem but as you can see some of the taggers have been at the mural, a major no-no in the street art community.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Over The Wall

This pic was taken by standing on an icy picnic table pulled up to yesterday's stone wall and leaning through one of the low spots in the wall to catch a wonderland of trees and deer. I had watched them installing these trees a few weeks ago - they are fibreglass and come in pieces which are fitted together on site. I think there are a dozen of them. I'm not sure how many deer there were but there was also a small group of squirrels way off in the distance. I'm planning on visiting Casa Loma over the holidays so will find out what other wee creatures are around. (I also liked the angel whose silhouette you can see just to the right of the lower chimney.)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Casa Loma At Twilight

I have shown you similar shots of Casa Loma before but not in the dark and not at Christmas with lights all around. In the forefront you can just make out the stone wall around the Casa and tomorrow I will show you what is behind the wall.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Casa Loma Sleigh

Across the courtyard at Casa Loma from yesterday's tree, there is this wonderful pair of horses pulling a sleigh. Beautiful in the darkness, I can't help thinking how lovely it would be in the snow. If we get any I will head up for a pic!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

This giant Christmas Tree is located in front of Casa Loma and is just part of the wonderful light display they have set up this year. I'll show you some more for the next few days.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Waiting For The Big Guy

The reindeer are ready and the sleigh is loaded up ready for Santa to head out for the night's deliveries. This is the final float every year in our annual Santa Claus Parade and the one the kids look forward to the most!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Tree Again

Another shot of the tree from the Christmas Market at the Distillery District just because I liked the old clock sitting by the tree and the Canadian flag blowing away in the sunshine up above. It was a cold north wind that morning!

Monday, December 22, 2014

On A Carousel

At the Distillery Christmas Market they had a Ferris Wheel and this wonderful Carousel set up for the kids. Even though it was quite cold there were a lot of kiddies up for a ride!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Back In Time

Another post from the Christmas Market at the Distillery District gives a bit of a view of some of the 40 heritage-designated buildings found on the 13 acre site. This is the largest collection of Victorian-aged industrial buildings in North America although now they all house shops, galleries, studios, & restaurants rather than the Godderham & Worts distillery. The stalls for the market are set up along the 10 pedestrian streets running through the area. I was too early on a Sunday morning to try some mulled wine, unfortunately.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Market

I finally made it down to our Christmas Market which takes place in the Distillery District, the old and wonderfully restored Gooderham & Worts Distillery. It was a cold but sunny Sunday morning when I went but the place was already very busy with families bundled up against the cold. I'll show some more pics for the next few days.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Getting Ready

This is another of the floats from our Santa Claus Parade, taken in the staging area before the parade began back at the beginning of November. This one shows the boxes of decorations and toys coming out of storage and ready to be displayed around the home. And also  a young woman posing for a pic beside the float which is one of the advantages of going to this area before the festivities begin.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Prince

This is yet another sculpture that I am sure is by Patrick Amiot & Brigitte Laurent, this one found by the front door of the gallery where I found the bird of a week ago. Wouldn't it be fun to have this wonderful Frog Prince greeting you every day?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fish Anyone?

This wonderful deli opened recently offering a great selection of smoked fish and all the delicious things that you need for entertaining. The building is behind a restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes owned by the same person and I have eaten there and loved it all! I showed this building in another incarnation when all those branches were covered in Wisteria blooms (click HERE). I think the colourful fish is a fine addition to the facade.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter Sky

I left for a walk this day in the sunshine but the clouds had appeared and it was getting pretty cold by the time I got back. This is a view taken from up by Casa Loma, looking down Spadina Ave to Lake Ontario. Brr!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baldwin St Beauty

I spotted this lovely lady on a wall in a laneway off Baldwin St which is a nice street lined with small interesting restaurants and shops. I like the way the square bricks form a grid over the whole piece. This is another mural by the artists Shalak and Smoky working under the name Clandestinos.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tough Birds

You can see yesterday's Yellow-bellied Sapsucker down towards the bottom of this pic with a Pileated Woodpecker working away above him. This sculpture is found in front of the south building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and has been there since 1997. The 30 metre high steel column has many holes presumably as a result of the work of the birds. The artists for this piece are Fastwurms, aka Kim Kozzi & Dai Skuze.  There is a lot of construction in this area and I took the pic a while ago so hopefully it is still there!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What A Bird

A very sturdy looking bird, this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was spotted close to Lake Ontario. I'll show you tomorrow exactly where he was.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Little Visitor

I was wandering around near St Clair Ave when I spotted one of UB5000's little yellow birds on one of the posts of a front porch on a home. It is a paste-up and it made me wonder how it would get to such a spot - could this be where the artist lives, or maybe a friend? I'm sure it gives everyone passing by a bit of a smile.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Through The Gate

I took this pic a couple of weeks ago at Spadina House before the Japanese Maple had dropped all its red leaves. It is quite a contrast to a shot of this gate I had shown from the other side during warmer times (click HERE) but I still love it.
Taking part in Good Fences. Click HERE to see more fences from around the world.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Doggie day care places are a common sight all over the city these days. It makes you wonder what all the dogs did in the old days - sleep around on the sofa all day, snack a bit, and just take it easy. Now, many of them are busy all day with their friends. I do like the Scottie dog logo of the place.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Different Tastes

Semi-detached homes of various vintages are common all over Toronto and sometimes one of the halves will undergo big renovations such as we see here. Originally both sides of this pair would have looked like the home on the left but someone with modern taste has rebuilt and changed the right side a lot. I really like it and think that they work well together. Taken when the weather was warmer than now!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bloor Life

While this building on Bloor St is being renovated it has been boarded up and the artist Elicser was commissioned to decorate it with a mural. He has titled it Bloor Life and it is quite suitable with the images of the 3 old guys on a bench watching the world go by. And doesn't that fellow passing by fit in perfectly!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE for more murals from around the world.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Grand Entrance

This is the grand entrance to a condominium complex on Avenue Rd in the Yorkville neighbourhood. Aren't those lights spectacular! I posted a detail shot of the sofa you can see in the background, way back in 2010. Click HERE to see that shot.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


This semi-detached home in the Annex neighbourhood is undergoing a total renovation as you can see from this pic I took in September. It was built in 1892 and I'm sure this isn't the first time it has been fixed up but I bet this is the most extensive since they have even lowered the basement floor to give more head space down there. If we ever get some sunny days I will head by for a progress shot.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wilderness In The City

I came upon this little scene out behind one of the galleries in the Yorkville neighbourhood and was thrilled to find the little bird. I am certain that it is a piece by Patrick Amiot & Brigitte Laurent who were originally from Montreal but have been based in California for quite a while now. It is rather nice that he is seated by the bears exploring one of our native trees!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Little Bit Country

I stumbled upon this scene a couple of weeks ago when heading out to check up on one of the Little Free Libraries. This certainly looks like it could be out in the country, especially with that wonderful fence, but it is actually located in the very urban area near Casa Loma and there is a city sidewalk hidden under those leaves.
Taking part in Good Fences. Click HERE to see more fences from around the world.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Victory Bonds

When visiting Fort York I toured the inside of the visitor's centre too and they have a wonderful collection of old posters and signs on display. I particularly liked these ads for buying Victory Bonds.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE to see more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Stone Magazine

I showed you the visitor's centre from Fort York a couple of weeks ago and since then I visited the fort itself on a cold sunny Sunday. The fort has a fine collection of old buildings and this is one of the best, the stone magazine, built in 1815, which was used to store 800 barrels of gunpowder. Its walls are 2 metres thick and inside there is a wonderful vaulted ceiling. All the fixtures are copper which is spark-proof and a simple mechanical ventilation system kept everything dry. Isn't it beautiful?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Theme Day - Worker

The City Daily Photo community's theme for December 1 is 'worker' and with that in mind I offer this shot of 2 guys on the outside of a building which I was touring around in looking for art. There was a huge addition to the building going on as you can see in the background. Where would we be without construction workers who often risk life & limb to get the job done?
Taking part in the theme day "worker". Click HERE to see more examples from around the world.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Flying Turtle

My last post from this year's Santa Claus Parade shows a float sponsored by a travel company and showing us a nice warm scene. It was the turtle that I really liked in this one - he looks so joyful flying above the waves!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Searching For Santa

I loved the red bi-plane on this float which featured Finn, the teddy bear, at the controls of the "Finn's Santa tracker" as he searches the country for Santa!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Street Hockey

This float from the Santa Claus Parade shows the very popular Canadian sport, street hockey. All you need is a net, a ball and a couple of kids and you are ready to play. What makes this particular game different is the goalie the kids are playing against - it is supposed to be Jonathan Bernier of our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Going Downhill

I loved this happy snowman on his toboggan and when I watched the Santa Claus Parade on TV later there were kids sitting along the sides of the float dressed in white outfits with the same accessories as he has. It was very cute. This shot gives you an idea of how the floats were lined up in the staging area along Bloor St before the parade. When the parade began the marching bands and clowns, etc would be assembled in between the floats.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I really liked this float from Tim Hortons at the Santa Claus Parade with the work crew of elves churning out the coffee and baked goods. Tim Hortons restaurants are everywhere in Canada and apparently account for over 60% of the coffee sold here with the next best competitor being at around 7%. I can easily walk to at least 6 Tim Hortons stores from my place (if I drank coffee) for a coffee & donut!
Tim Horton was a legendary hockey player for our Maple Leafs during the 50s & 60s and started the shops in 1964.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tea Please

The 110th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade took place on Sunday Nov 16 and as is my habit I went down to the staging area early in the morning to get up close and personal with the floats well before parade time. There were 31 floats and 21 marching bands in the parade and I thought I'd show a few floats over the next days. You can see 2 young women putting the finishing touches on this float showing the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. I couldn't see a teapot or a Dormouse so he must have been waiting for the temperature to warm up a bit!

Monday, November 24, 2014


I spotted this mural by the artist Elicser on a wall along Spadina Rd last week and went back to catch a pic of it. It is a reminder that November is Movember month when men all over the world grow moustaches in hopes of raising awareness of men's health issues.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This is Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church which is located downtown near Kensington Market. The church building started off as a synagogue which was built in 1926  and remained so until 1966 when the church congregation purchased it and modified it for their use. I have never been inside but I have seen the really large dome over the main part of the church when I have been up in a tall building behind it, so this is yet another church that I need to explore when the doors are not locked. 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click HERE to see more religious buildings from around the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


This large Annex home was designed by architect Frederick H. Herbert and was built in 1896. It was a single family home until the 1960s when it was turned into a group home for women which resulted in many features being lost and rooms divided up with fire doors everywhere. In 2003 it was purchased with the intent to restore it to its former glory, a process that involved replastering, having stained glass replicated by the original company, rebuilding stone stairs, and extensive brick work. Today the house is once again a single family dwelling and has been given heritage designation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's In The Details

Many of the old Annex neighbourhood homes have wonderful detail work on their facades and this one is no exception. In just this one section around the front door we have moulded terra cotta bricks, beautiful grillwork and lovely carved terra cotta. This house was built in 1890 and luckily it has been well-maintained through the years!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't Fence Me In

This former feral cat has been adopted by a local family but although she will come in to eat, she doesn't like the door closed behind her so she is still sleeping outside. They have built a small shelter for her and I'm sure she will be toasty this winter with her thick fur. Isn't she pretty!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This sign was found along a laneway beside the parking lot of a school and it was surrounded by fairly newly planted perennial plants that may one day form a beautiful garden here. The Homegrown National Park is a project that "aims to establish a green corridor through the heart of the city of Toronto along the former route of Garrison Creek". The creek ran for about 5 miles through the city until the 1920s when it was totally covered or diverted into sewers. There has been a movement going for several years to try to restore it to its former self. 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This is the mural found on the half of the front of the building from yesterday's post. The artists Shalak and Smoky are once more credited but I don't know which one did this. I wouldn't want to mess with this person!

Monday, November 17, 2014


This mural is on the other side of the building that I showed you last Monday and it was also done by artist Shalak and Smoky as part of the collective known as Clandestinos. I love all the rich colours but have no idea what story it is telling. And once again it is hard to avoid the garbage bins! I'll show you the mural just around to the front tomorrow.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


I took this pic a week ago after noticing that the willow trees seem to be the last trees to start turning colour and they are still hanging onto their leaves. You don't see as many of them around as you used to but this one certainly looks happy and healthy.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quite A Ride

This is a '63 Impala in impecable condition that even has little note in its windows to please not lean against the car since the paint could be easily scratched. It's amazing how large cars were in those days!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Season Over

I took this shot several weeks ago on a Sunday morning before the brunch rush started. The patio season is over here unless we get a weird day when the temperature goes up and you can find a south facing place with a good wind block. It was great while it lasted!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Old Fence

I took this pic a few weeks ago when everything was still green. This old fence borders the tiny front garden of a Victorian house in the Yorkville neighbourhood and looks as if it could be as old as the house it belongs to. This is a wonderful area with so many restored homes from the late 1800s and they are all quite pricey - $$millions each.
Taking part in Good Fences. Click HERE to see more fences from around the world.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bay St Trees

I spotted this sign on Bay St which is one of our busiest downtown streets. It was positioned in one of several very long garden areas that have had mature trees and shrubs installed right along the roadway. What makes these areas different is that deep tree trenches have been dug and special drains placed to run storm water down to the tree roots. Most of the trees planted along the sidewalks don't fare very well because of a lack of root space and not enough water so these ones should flourish.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE to see more signs from around the world.