Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End Of Another Year!

I posted this shot back in May but couldn't decide whether to use it for tomorrow's 'pic of the year' so I am posting it now as the sun sets on 2013!

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hockey Time

I was wandering around in an industrial area in the east end of the city and spotted this hockey goalie painted on the emergency exit door of a factory. Our Toronto Maple Leafs are much loved in the city even though they haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1967, and it is almost impossible to get tickets to a game here and if you do you will be paying big bucks for them. New Years Day is a big event for Toronto hockey fans since the Maple Leafs will be playing the Detroit Red Wings outside at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor Michigan, a stadium that holds 105,000 fans and is only a few hours drive away. Busloads of people from here are heading down to the game, if they can get tickets!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

After The Storm

This is the view down the street running beside the park and although the road hasn't been well cleared, the city has cleared the sidewalks and moved all the large fallen branches out of the way. These trees were still coated with ice and snow so it was a spooky walk along the sidewalk when you could hear all the creaking above you. And this gives you an idea of the number of trees there are lining the streets in the city.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Broken Tree

I finally ventured out to check on the tree damage in the park and it was sad to see this wonderful old Silver Maple had lost so many large limbs in the ice storm. It's hard to believe what the weight of ice would have to be to pull down such strong branches. Luckily it seems that none of the park furniture or playground equipment were hit by damaging branches.

Friday, December 27, 2013


I spotted this unusual window display back in November when I was out shooting the Santa Claus parade. The space seems to be some type of artist studio and I thought the use of feather dusters was superb! If you look closely in the right reflection you can just make out a giant Smurf waiting for the parade to begin.
Taking part in Weekend Reflection. Click here for more reflections.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Before The Ice Storm

This is a view of the playground in the park where I showed you the benches last week, taken before the huge ice storm that hit Toronto on the weekend. Many of the trees visible in this pic and especially in the pic of the looong bench have lost major branches or have fallen over completely. I am preposting this post but as of Monday afternoon it was a dangerous place to walk so I have no pics of the devastation because I just scurried by. There are still 250,000 homes without electricity in Toronto although I am lucky in that we never lost power and therefore have had heat but many of my friends and relatives have not been so lucky!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tiny Santa Claus

This little guy is one of my favourite Christmas decorations. I don't know where he came from but he is only about 1 1/2 inches tall and quite sweet. Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it!

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Starry Night

Hopefully we have a clear night tonight so that we can look for the Christmas star but just in case here is a little stand-in one. Wishing everyone a good Christmas Eve.

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Monday, December 23, 2013


I showed you a couple of examples of these line drawings by the artist Anser a few weeks ago and thought I'd show this one which I discovered earlier in the fall. The previous 2 examples have now been painted over which is the fate of most of Anser's work since they are not commissioned pieces. 
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter Up On The Roof

In summer this roof deck which faces south into the sun is a hot place with a Mediterranean-like microclimate that produces loads of tomatoes and other veggies. Not so much now as you can see from the pic!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snowy Turret

The older parts of Toronto have a lot of semi-detached homes of various styles. The Seaton Village neighbourhood has a lot of these nice ones each with a little turret on the second floor in a style that I've not noticed in other parts of the city. Usually the master bedroom is located at the front of these houses and I assume that these ones must have a nice little seating area there.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowy Bench Plus Table

On the other side of the playground from yesterday's bench you find this snowy bench which is protected from the playground by a steel fence that keeps the kids from running out onto the street. It is a nice spot to sit and watch the neighbourhood go by when the weather is a bit warmer.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Looong Bench In The Snow

This is just part of a long, 2-sided, serpentine bench that was installed in a local park to offer seating to park-goers but to also separate the playground from the rest of the park which is an off-leash area for dogs. So far the system seems to be working and it is much nicer than more fencing would be. There were no takers for a seat on Sunday morning though!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Church St Christmas

All the lamp poles along Church St are decorated with these lovely snowflakes which I think must light up at night, as well as the banners which are there all year. Church St is the main street running through the 'gay village' an enclave special to the LGBT community and it is the site of all the festivities of Pride Week held every summer. 
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Peanuts In The Snow

We got a good load of snow on Saturday so it was a nice time to go for a wander on Sunday morning. As you can see, the Peanuts characters, especially Snoopy, have almost disappeared in the snow on this front garden. I seem to remember that Woodstock was on the top of the doghouse now covered in the fluffy stuff. And the poor little tree is perfect for a Charlie Brown Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy In Black & White

I found this mural in the same laneway in the Kensington Market area as the Seven Lives seafood taco sign/mural that I showed you last week. I could find no artist signature at all but whoever did it gave us a lot of happy faces to look at!
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

St Helen's

This beautiful Gothic Revival church, St Helen's Roman Catholic, can be found on Dundas St West in the Brockton neighbourhood. It was constructed in 1909 and originally served a mainly Irish congregation, but as the population around it changed so has the congregation and it is now predominately a Portuguese centre. The church has been given heritage status and is the second largest Catholic church in the city after St Michael's Cathedral. 
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here for more religious buildings.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Deco Bank

The Bank of Nova Scotia building on Bay St in the financial district is a deco delight. It was designed in 1929 but construction didn't take place until after WWII although the same Art Deco features were kept from the original design. The exterior of the building has quite a collection of these bas-reliefs by German artist Fred Winkler which all seem to be based on Greek mythology. I'm not sure what these 2 refer to at all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Deco Doors

I've shown you a couple of pics of the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema before since the building was lovingly restored last year but I never managed to catch the wonderful doors without a crowd of people in front of them. Well early one morning last week I was the only one out front and somehow caught this pic with a great reflection of some of the restaurants across the road, but mysteriously I don't appear at all!
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click here to see more reflections from around the world.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Community Art

I took this pic earlier this fall when the weather was still warm and I just happened to pass by the activity as a community group began painting a mural in a railway underpass. The work continued for several weeks with an artist fine-tuning the painting that had been done by the volunteers. The theme of the piece is hockey and it still seems to be a work in progress so I will wait a while before getting a pic of the finished piece!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seven Lives

This mural/sign is found on the side of Seven Lives, a restaurant in Kensington Market serving "SoCal & Tijuana style seafood and tacos". I haven't tried it yet but the reviews sound great. This wall had been the location of one of the little yellow bird murals so I was shocked to see that it had been painted over but that is to be expected when the tenants of a building change! The artists for this one are "Oasis Skateboard Factory" which in actual fact is an alternative school that is part of the Toronto School Board that works with kids who don't fit into the usual school environment.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Vintage Citroen

We don't see very many Citroens here so they get a lot of attention when you do see them, especially such a vintage one as this. I know little about them so can't even hazard a guess as to this one's age. Isn't it cool though?

Monday, December 9, 2013


I may have been on holidays in September but I was still on the look-out for street art and I found this great one in the Place Stravinsky in Paris. Titled 'Chuuuttt' (Hush in English), it is by the well-known French stencil artist Jef Aerosol who was commissioned to do the piece in 2011. It is over 350 sq metres and features his trademark red arrow which he includes somewhere on all his works.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Notre Dame

This is a shot of the Notre Dame in Paris, taken when I was there in mid September, showing the east facade of the church with the 15 m long flying buttresses around the apse, as well as the spire. The pic was taken in the Square Jean XXIII with the lovely Fountain of the Virgin in the foreground. This was a peaceful spot in contrast to the west facade of the church and the main entrance which was teeming with tourists jostling in lines to get in.
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here to see more religious buildings.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Library Guardian

This noble creature is found by the main entrance to the Lillian H Smith Library on College St and does a fine job guarding this place of knowledge. This library is part of the Toronto Public Library system and it is known for containing an extensive collection of children's books as well a collection of science fiction. I think he is a Lion Griffin.

Friday, December 6, 2013


I was visiting a friend in a building along University Ave and caught this reflection in a government building across the road. It was fascinating to see the exhaust from the tall chimney reflected so well in the windows.
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click here for more reflections.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Coffee And A Doughnut

Tim Hortons is probably the most popular coffee and doughnut place in Canada with thousands of locations across the country so it is fitting that they had a float in the Santa Claus Parade. The doughnuts looked so real that the little charmer in front of the float was refusing to leave and wanted someone to lift her up to touch the treats! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Play

There were lots of polar bears in the Santa Claus Parade this year and they seem to be quite good at skating. This float was sponsored by Canadian Tire which is the go-to place in Canada for sports equipment as well as auto things so it is suitable that their float feature sports. Once the parade got underway, little kiddies were sitting in the toboggan.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bear Biplane

Back to the Santa Claus Parade pics - I have had a bit of flu and then a cold so haven't been out for many new pics the last couple of weeks. When you go down to see the floats before the parade, many of them are having work done to them and in this pic you can see a man busily working away on this one. I had just watched them attaching the end pieces to each wing on the plane as I assume the float was too wide to go through traffic to this starting line with them attached.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Topsy Turvy

Taking a break from Santa Claus Parade pics, here is another of the line drawings done by Anser - this one found in a laneway just down the street from last week's 4 head piece. I've never seen one upside down before and wonder if he was challenging himself to see how well he would do.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Looking Out For Humpty Dumpty

Another one of the small floats from the Santa Claus Parade, this one features one of my favourite nursery rhymes. The king's men look ready to catch Humpty before he falls this time!
The December theme for the City Daily Photo blogs is "looking out". To see more posts on the theme from around the world click here.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tea For Two

Another one of the small push-along floats from the Santa Claus Parade, with its sponsors sign (Lipton?) stuck in there waiting for the festivities to begin. Wouldn't you like to sit and have a cuppa with these two?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Frosty Scene

This a section from probably my favourite float in the Santa Claus Parade, the one sponsored by Yorkdale which is one of the best malls in the city. I love the frosty white look of the landscape and the assortment of animals. And check out all the blue eyes!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Winter Fun

Another of the tiny floats from the Santa Claus Parade showing a very happy polar bear and a companion penguin. One of them has traveled a long way from home!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


All of the floats in the parade are sponsored, most by corporations, and this one from Disney is promoting a new animated flick to be released today. Quite suitable for the parade, I love the poor reindeer who has discovered how difficult it is to walk on ice!
Taking part i Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Our Santa Claus parade was held a week ago and I make it a tradition to head down to the staging area on Bloor St early in the morning to see all the floats lined up and waiting for all the volunteer kiddies, clowns, and bands to arrive and get organized. You can get right up to the floats and it is great fun. This year there seemed to be more of these tiny floats that will each be pushed by a clown (I think) and they were all so bright and colourful that I took a ton of of pics of them. We will start off a few days of parade pics with one of the elves hinting that Santa is probably not too far behind!

Monday, November 25, 2013


I spotted this row of faces in my neighbourhood this week on a wall that is constantly being tagged and then repainted by the property owner. The faces are done by the artist Anser who has done hundreds of these line-drawings around the city over the last few years. They are not commissioned and most of them disappear fairly quickly as I think these probably will, but it was nice to see something other than ugly tags springing up here.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here for more murals.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Clock Tower At The Fire Hall

I've taken many pics of this tower but never posted one until today. This is the clock tower at No 8 Hose Station located at College St & Bellevue Ave and it has to be one of the most recognizable landmarks in west-end Toronto. The original station was built in 1878 and housed a horse-drawn fire wagon, with the 8 storey high tower being added in 1899. The tower was used to dry hoses and also as a look-out post to watch for fires in the neighbourhood. In 1972 the station was destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist while the firecrew was out fighting a fire elsewhere, but the station and tower were rebuilt almost exactly the same as the original.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Red Chess

One of the installations at the Nuit Blanche event in October was this large chess set made from a huge variety of recycled metal bits and pieces. They were really quite fun to see and during the event a real chess game was played using them as the pieces.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Croft Details

When University College was constructed a large number of quirky carvings were included scattered about the exterior - many are of animals or weird creatures but there are also some showing portraits of the workers themselves. Here you can see some of the little pieces found under the eaves Of Croft House which I showed you yesterday. It's great fun wandering around the building looking for more of them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In The Round

This wonderful round building is Croft House, part of University College at U of Toronto. University College was built in 1859 and was the first college of the university and this round building was the first chemistry lab of the university but it is now used mostly for meetings. I've shown it before but never when the flowers and leaves were still around as they were when I took this pic a month ago. Tomorrow I'll show you a bit of detail of the carvings found under the eaves. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chinatown Mural Part 3

The last part of the mural that I've been showing this week is the closest out to the street where the windows of the shop were filled with all manner of signs. Something was for lease but the shop was filled so I don't think that was it. The faces on this mural are wonderful.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chinatown Mural Part 2

The next part of the Chinatown mural captures the multigenerational flavour of the community where one often sees an elderly person minding a youngster. I love how the 2 artists have melded their styles together for this mural.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chinatown Mural

Just along the block on Dundas St from the mural that I showed you last week, I found another wonderful one stretching down a laneway. This one is over 35 ft long and was painted by artists Alexa Hatanaka and Li-Hill, both of whose work I have shown before. It was done in 2011 and was sponsored by the city and the local business association to help fight mindless tagging in the laneway. I am going to show it in 3 pieces over 3 days since it is divided that way by doors and windows on the wall.
Taking part in Monday Murals. Click here to see more murals from around the world.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

St Thomas Aquinas Church

This lovely small church, St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, is the church associated with the Newman Centre at U of Toronto which I showed you on Tuesday. It was originally the site of a coach house belonging to the Centre which was torn down and the church was constructed in 1926/27 in a 15th century Gothic style. It is quite beautiful inside as well and has been historically listed.
Taking part in Inspired Sunday. Click here for more religious buildings.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Jiggity Jig"

This sculpture of a cat on a globe is found on a pole at the southern entrance, on Dundas St, into the Kensington Market neighbourhood, probably the most eclectic area in the city. The title Jiggity Jig comes from the nursery rhyme "To Market" and the globe represents the fact that Kensington Market is full of people and shops from all over the world while the cat represents the comforts of home that are found there. The artists are David Hlynsky and Shirley Yanover who have done pieces at the other entrances to the market as well. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pharmacy Reflection

The building you see in this reflection, found on a government building at College St & University Ave, is the Leslie Dan Pharmacy building at U of Toronto and towards the left of the pic, on the curved facade is a piece of the new Mars building addition. This building with its mirrored glass gives almost perfect reflections.
Taking part in Weekend Reflections. Click here to see more reflections.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


There were still a few spots of red leaves to be found around town last weekend, most of them Japanese Maples. There is to be a wave of cold air hitting us this week which will probably bring the autumn display to an end. This is just a small section of a beautiful tree I spotted up near Casa Loma and couldn't resist another red pic!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Modern Treats

I was wandering along College St and spotted the bright pink of this place before I realized that it was a gourmet doughnut shop. Jelly Modern Doughnuts has a store in Toronto and another in Calgary and judging by their decadent menu, there will probably be more. I had just finished brunch so didn't go in but they have many delicious-sounding varieties like maple/bacon and creme brulee. I have to go back one day when hungry! Their decor looks wonderful as does their logo.
Taking part in Signs, Signs. Click here for more signs.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Old And New

I've always loved this old Romanesque Revival building on the U of Toronto campus that was built in 1890 as a private residence but since 1922 has been the Newman Centre, the Catholic centre on the campus. It is gorgeous inside and out  and unusual for the city it has heritage protection for both the exterior and the interior. I've been to a couple of receptions there and the inside is spectacular but I have no pics to share. The large modern building behind it is the newly completed addition to the Rotman School of Management (part of the university) that was designed by KPMB Architects who have done a lot of wonderful work around the city. I hope to get inside it soon for a walkabout.