Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Doe With Fawns"

Just down Bloor St from the Manufacturers Life Insurance building (with the great lawns) is another Insurance headquarters, that of the Crown Life Insurance Co. This building was constructed in 1953 and has 2 wonderful bas relief works by artist Louis Temporale. This one is, not surprisingly, called "Doe With Fawns". I'll show you the other one on another day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

White Squirrel

I was wandering in a west-end laneway when I happened upon this cute little squirrel painted onto this quite large garage door. I think it is the only graffiti that I've seen that I would leave on my property if someone painted it there! Later, I found a couple of black squirrels but this is the cutest.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE for more murals from around the world.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Golden Door

This gorgeous door is the front door to the Manufacturers Life Insurance building that I showed parts of last week along with shots of their lawn. This is the kind of door that instils confidence in a company!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Houses All In A Row

This group of row houses is typical of the housing you will find in the older areas of downtown Toronto. Attached to each other but all painted differently while keeping the common elements like the arched doorways consistent. These all look nicely renovated and I imagine would cost a pretty penny!

Friday, September 26, 2014


I was wandering around off the paths in High Park, which is one of the largest parks in the city, when I happened upon this scene of discarded pin-back buttons. Most of them are fairly old political buttons supporting members of the Liberal party. I'm sure there is a story behind this but I have no idea what it is!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sunday Evenings

Every Sunday evening since the spring, a local restaurant has had musicians playing out on their patio which is right along Bathurst St. You can hear the music wafting through the neighbourhood and I was a bit surprised to hear it a week ago since it was a bit of a cool evening. Obviously it takes more than a chilly night to stop these guys from having a good time. The horn player was especially good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Towering Over Yonge St

Yonge St is the main street that runs north/south through the middle of Toronto and acts as the dividing line between west-end Toronto and east-end Toronto. All street numbers on the crossing streets start with #1 at Yonge St so you can tell from the address of a building how far it is from Yonge. The street itself starts at Lake Ontario and leaves the city to run all the way up to Lake Simcoe.  The clock tower in this pic is the tower that remains from Fire Hall #3 which was built in 1872 but closed in 1929 and now it is surrounded by commercial buildings. This stretch of Yonge, north of College St, has hundreds of small stores and businesses many in quite old buildings and displaying a lot of signs!
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dancing In The Streets

During the Open Streets TO event in August when sections of  Bloor & Yonge St were closed to vehicular traffic there were various groups performing along the streets. One of them was this group of Morris Dancers who were out in front of Varsity Stadium at U of Toronto. They were very enthusiastic and despite it being a hot day they jumped and reeled and entertained everyone for a long time! Morris dancing is a type of English folk dancing that has been around since at least the 1400s and usually involves the wearing of bells on the legs and swinging handkerchiefs in the hands while performing set moves.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Under Foot

These little guys, each known as Stikman, have been popping up around the city and I have spotted several of them on roadways as was this one that was in the middle of Bloor St. The artist who is believed to live in New York City is anonymous but he has placed them in many different cities. They seem to be made of some thick rubbery material that obviously stands up well to traffic.
I'm counting Stikman as a small mural and am taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE for more murals from around the world.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Church On Bloor St

I've shown several churches that are located on Bloor St and this is one of the most lovely, St Paul's Anglican Church. What you are seeing is actually 2 churches - the smaller one to the right with the striped roof is the first church which was built in 1860 and designed by Edward & George Kent. The congregation outgrew it and the larger church on the left was built in 1913 and was designed by Edward Lennox who designed Casa Loma and our old city hall both of which I have shown many times. In 2006 a glass atrium was built to join them (slightly visible in the middle). The small church is now used for offices and has a chapel. I took this pic standing on the lawn of the Manufacturers Life building which I have shown the last few days. On the right edge of the pic, that is a still healthy American elm tree. 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click HERE to see more religious buildings from around the world.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What A Lawn

This is one of the smaller lawns around the Manufacturers Life building whichI showed you yesterday. The grass is creeping bentgrass like they use on golf courses and it has been here since 1926 when the first building was constructed. It requires mowing twice a week to maintain this wonderful look! More to come tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dome Reflection

This is the entrance to the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company head office on Bloor St E, showing the domed pavilion which joins the original 1926 south building to the 1983 north building with the gold-coloured windows which you see here. It is one of the largest insurance companies in the world and these buildings sit in a large park-like setting with probably the best lawns in the city. I'll show you some more of it over the next few days.
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click HERE for more reflections from around the world.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wild In The City

These wild creatures were found in a tiny parkette tucked in between buildings at Bloor & Church St where many office workers eat their lunch. The steel sculptures are by artist John McEwen whose work I have shown you several times (click on the McEwen label below) in particular the wonderful sleeping teddy bear in the Wychwood Park neighbourhood. This installation is titled "Patterns For The Tree Of Life" and was installed in 1989. There is actually one more wolf and some tree cutouts in the park but I couldn't get them all into 1 shot.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Retro Fun

Early on a Sunday morning I was wandering just off Yonge St, which is our main street, when I spotted this row of retro metal chairs. And then I saw the sign! Of course I ran over for a pic but the place wasn't open yet so for a look at the interior I hit their website. Apparently Duke's Bar is an outpost of a bar found in Muskoka (cottage country north of the city) and it has been open since last December serving good pub food and they have 40 beers on tap. It is officially on my list of must visits. And I got quite the reflection including moi.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For Rent

I was wandering the laneways off Dundas St near Sorauren Ave when I spotted this bright rental house for rent.  Close to public transportation, the Sorauren Farmers Market, and the shops along Roncesvalles Ave, I bet the rent isn't cheep!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ma Petite Fleur

I was wandering down a laneway off Bloor St when I encountered this rather sad looking flower. I have seen these flower pieces before, although not all of them were sad, but I have no idea who the artist is. I quite like it!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE for more murals.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Playing In The Street

Another shot from the Open Streets TO event when parts of Bloor & Yonge Streets were closed, this one shows an activity area for the wee kiddies. "A Fantastica Bateria" which is a samba percussion group had set up an area with small drums on the road & pails full of drum sticks. Some of the kids really got into it although others were a bit hesitant to leave the shelter of an adult, as you can see!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Autumn On The Way

You can tell that summer is coming to an end when all the corner stores start putting out displays of chrysanthemums for sale. This store on Bathurst St in the Seaton Village neighbourhood always has a wonderful floral selection and as usual you can find a beautiful plant for your front porch here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Dancers

During the second Open Streets TO event when Bloor St & Yonge St had portions closed to vehicular traffic, these colourful dancers were performing outside of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). I think they were there to publicize the "Forbidden City" show with the treasures from the Beijing Palace Museum. They were wonderful to watch and each dancer had a small stick in each hand which they used to knock on those drums they were wearing. That together with the cymbals provided all their music!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Wall

This wall and fence runs along Bloor St on the side of the property of the York Club which is a private club that has been at the corner of St George St for many years. Its building was constructed in 1889 as a private home but the wall isn't present in archival shots that I have seen so I am not sure how long this fence has been here.
Taking part in Good Fences. Click HERE to see fences from around the world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Slow Down

In mid july a 7 year old girl was hit and killed by a van as she crossed the road from a playground to go home. Since then someone has started to produce these signs and they are springing up all across the city. We can only hope that they are working to remind people to watch out for the little ones. 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lovely Evening

This is a late evening shot of a house that I have always liked, in the Casa Loma area. There is something appealing to me about that curved line of the roof over the porch and over the eyebrow window and together with the lovely windows, it just seems to work so well!

Monday, September 8, 2014


I passed by this wonderfully painted utility box and did a fast U-turn to get a pic. The city has been hiring artists to paint these boxes in an effort to discourage graffiti and since most of the artists involved have deep roots in the graffiti world, their work is being left untouched. I think this one by artist Peru 143 is one of the best I've seen. He says on his site that his latest work is "a celebration of the feeling of home". It works for me!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click HERE for more murals from around the world.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Church Of The Redeemer

I've shown this church before but never from this angle but since Bloor St was closed to traffic during the Open Streets TO event I was able to stand in the middle of the street for a different view. The Church Of The Redeemer was designed by architects Smith & Gimmell and built in 1879 when this was countryside. It now stands at one of the busiest corners in the city, across from the Royal Ontario Museum.
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click HERE for more religious buildings from around the world.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Meeting Place"

I have shown a couple of pieces by sculptor Kosso Eloul but have never been able to get a good shot of this one located at Church St & Bloor St since there is usually so much car traffic and pedestrian traffic on this very busy corner. But during Open Streets TO, Bloor St was closed so I stood in the middle of the road early on a Sunday morning when the office building behind was empty. Eloul has more than 40 pieces scattered about the city so I will have to get out and find some more of them.

Friday, September 5, 2014

High Heels

This is the latest window display at the Bata Shoe Museum on Bloor St. I had watched the artist paint those squares on the background over at least 2 weeks - he taped off each square and then painted a colour and then would tape off for the next colour, etc! A very patient man although he did seem to stop for a lot of smoke breaks. I missed the installation of the 3-D shoes made from inter-locking rectangles. I could find no info on the window's designer at all. In the reflection along the right side of the window you can see the Bloor St United Church which is across the street.
Taking part in Weekend Reflection. Click HERE to see more reflections from around the world.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When There's A Will ...

I have watched this sunflower growing from this very small planter for the last couple of months. I pass it every day on the way to buy a newspaper and never thought it would flower and actually expected it to tip over, but here it is and there even a few smaller blossoms starting to open!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Miracle Or Mirage

I was wandering along St Clair Ave when I spotted this round sign located atop an 8 ft pole that has been installed in the sidewalk in front of an assisted living building for seniors. I thought it was quite suitable for the location. I could find no info about it but Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto novelist.
Taking part in Signs, Signs, Click HERE for more signs from around the world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Encountering Cuteness

All of you may not know that Airedale Terriers occupy a special place in my heart but they do and so it was a real treat to meet this sweet pup as he was tied up waiting for his owner on Bloor St. He is named Major and is only 6 months old, not fully grown and his colours have not totally changed yet - so cute! And surprisingly calm for an Airedale.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Theme Day - Rust & Ruins

The September theme for the City Daily Photo community is "Rust & Ruins" These wee birds have rusted into place on this little dish found on a very hot roof deck. They are bit like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz and could use a drop of oil to get them moving again!
To see more examples of Rust & Ruin from around the world click HERE.