Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2021/05 Moments May 2012

Toronto, Ontario

Varsity Stadium
Varsity Stadium: Blue and white are the colours for UToronto, so the track is thus themed. Summer session officially starts in 2 days, although the pandemic stay-at-home order precludes organized athletics, even outside. View south catches the CN Tower, a landmark years before the field was constructed. (Varsity Stadium, Bloor Street West, University of Toronto) 20210501
Hamers Coffee
Hamers Coffee: Imagery of sky and hands painted on #CommunityFridge, alongside green and white sign on pantry, is more artistic than other locations. Well-kept venue is open to all, at the corner of a major thoroughfare. Shelves were almost empty, maybe turnover is faster as elderly and families came to empty their bags in, and take a few items out. (Hamers Coffee, Dundas Street West at Manning Avenue, Little Portugal, Toronto, Ontario) 20210502
Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade
Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade: Naturally rusted steel panels of varying heights obscure the trenches of construction to the south. Probably not intended as a brutalist art installation, temporary wall puts function first. Municipal facilities won’t be completed within this calendar year. (Ashbirdges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, North Service Road, east of Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210506
Leader Lane
Leader Lane: Looking south, in courtyard #AndrewPosa (1982) U. V. Ceti sculpture in honour of architect #EdwardIsaacRichmond. In the distance, the L Tower designed by #DanielLibeskind is shaped with a backward curve so that the 58-floor residential condominiums don’t block the light onto #BerczyPark. Biking down to the building, it’s the repurposing of the southern wing of #MeridianHall, formerly known as #SonyCentre, #HummingbirdCentre and #OKeefeCentre. (Leader Lane, 30 Wellington Street West, St. Lawrence district, Toronto, Ontario) 20210508
Meridian Hall Plaza
Meridian Hall Plaza: View north from triptych @HarveyValentine (2016) Dream Ballet stainless steel sculptures, against a background of reflections with buildings in mirrored windows across Front Street at 33 Yonge Street. Grey tiles confuse the shapes in the chrome with strange angels. Plaza is a natural open space for children from the L Tower to the south. (Meridian Hall, Yonge Street at Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20210512
Tommy Thompson Park
Tommy Thompson Park: Convex mirror at fork in road suggests vehicles travelling too quickly on the asphalt trail? First tried direct southbound route, but there’s a high fence because the lift bridge is still out. Doubled back to then ride east and south around the wetland cells, on the alternate road along the endikement.(Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20210517
Nelson Mandela Walk
Nelson Mandela Walk: Outdoor conversation pit features cantilevered granite plank with rectangular depression carved out of top near far end. Construction along pedestrian walk has been completed after two winters. No students on campus in late spring, a few people lounging on benches, enjoying clear weather. (Nelson Mandela Walk, Ryerson Community Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20210520

Centenary Hospital
Centenary Hospital: Father receiving second Moderna vaccination after 10 weeks, accelerated from the 16 week expectation. Hospital was proactive in following up, to offer an earlier slot. Spent 15 minutes in observation room, amongst families and younger people getting first shots. Nurses caution that full immunity takes 2 weeks, keep wearing masks! (Margaret Birch Wing, Scarborough Health Network Centenary Hospital, Ellesmere Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20210628

2021/04 Moments April 2021

Toronto, Ontario

Wilson Rail Yard
Wilson Rail Yard: Looking west into developing Keating Channel Precinct, with a sliver of land between the Don River shunted towards the city centre to the south, and the GO Transit Don Yard to the north. Metrolinx has plans for adding 5 new tracks and reconfiguring 3 tracks, to accommodate train movements for future Regional Express Rail. Land has been owned by the Toronto Port Authority for a long while, infrastructure takes time. (Wilson Rail Yard, Lakeshore Boulevard East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200401
Coffee And Clothing
Coffee And Clothing: Paid more attention to “Free Food” #CommunityFridge and pantry, outside of shop just west of @GerrardSquare. Sign says “Take what you need. Leave what you can”. “Do leave: Fresh produce, dairy, bread, protein, pantry items, grab and go foods, personal care items, PPE”. A network of volunteers in mutual aid for those struggling with food security. (Coffee and Clothing, Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20210402
Strada Lane
Strada Lane: Tracks originally leading to Toronto Container Port are covered over by pavement, southbound curving to the west. On the other side of the fence is a yard of aggregate, amongst many other piles of earth and gravel around the Port Lands. Turning basin to the west, Tommy Thompson Park to the south, Leslie Street Allotment Gardens to the east. (Strada Lane, Port Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20200407
House of Parashos
House of Parashos: Painted white house in Hellenistic theme turns heads of cyclists and drivers, northbound on the one-way residential street, in contrast with the duller-hued Victorian buildings. Patriarch immigrated to Canada in the 1980s, and freshens the paint annually. Surprised to see this style on the west side of town, Greektown is conventionally along the Danforth on the east side. (House of Parashos, Shaw Street, Christie Pits neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20210410
Massey Hall
Massey Hall: Shuter Street at Yonge Street shut down, as a crane lowered a large ladder cage from the theatre vertically to the ground. Easing the steel structure to horizontal, then crews reattached cables to swing the it over to the flatbed truck. Construction work would seem counter to the new pandemic lockdown additions announced by the province, yesterday. (Massey Hall, Shuter Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210417
R. Fraser Elliott Building
R. Fraser Elliott Building: Kosso Eloul (1978) Innercity Gate sculpture welds three black stainless steel rectangular boxes in a precarious balance. Straight lines show influences of artist’s studies with Frank Lloyd Wright. Outside a wing of Toronto General Hospital, not on a medical visit, just bicycle tourism. (R. Fraser Elliott Building, Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210425

Spadina Quay Wetlands
Spadina Quay Wetlands: Anne Roberts (1999) Bird House Sculpture is a set of buildings doll-sized, raised on stilts over the natural habitat, a dry bed at the end of winter. Harkens back to the early 20th century, when industrial businesses were alongside recreational spaces by the harbour. No apparent signs of birds interested in nesting in the structure. (Spadina Quay Wetlands, Queen’s Quay West, Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario) 20210426

2021/03 Moments March 2021

Toronto, Ontario

One City Hall
One City Hall: View southeast from 12th floor of apartment tower in historic Old Chinatown. After Asian businesses moved west to Spadina, a 12-storey office tower was built in 1974, then bombed by the Italian Mafia in 1977 and feared with bad feng shui. In 1999 that tower was imploded, and then replaced by three towers completed in 2007. (111 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210306
Eastern Avenue at Carlaw Avenue
Eastern Avenue at Carlaw Avenue: Sign of the times with “Cyclists Accommodated With Only Minor Delays”, suggesting that automobiles and trucks will be completed diverted. Consistent with the joke that Canada has two seasons: winter, and construction. Temperature swing of 10 degrees Celsius has citizens abandoning parkas. (Eastern Avenue at Carlaw Avenue, Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20210310
Jeff’s No Frills
Jeff’s No Frills: Scheduled appointment to receive AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, responding to call for under-age 65 subjects. Received quick jab in office of grocery store, in the afternoon after National Advisory Community on Immunization expands recommendation of formulation for all ages. Ontario pharmacists are now reporting that supply is depleting, hard to plan more than a week ahead. (Loblaws Pharmacy at Jeff’s No Frills, Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20210316
Centenary Hospital
Centenary Hospital: Father receiving Moderna vaccination, with second appointment scheduled 16 weeks away. Registration on vaccineto.ca led to coordination by local hospitals, decentralized registration online with friendly reminder phone call. Venue on the eastern edge of Metro Toronto has physical distancing not common in the downtown core. (Margaret Birch Wing, Scarborough Health Network Centenary Hospital, Ellesmere Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20210318
Philosophers Walk
Philosophers Walk: Looking south beyond university campus, CN Tower in the far distance, on a bench alongside @zaid___khan. Discussed science as a pursuit of better answers, with philosophy as a pursuit of better questions. The tension between attention and intention can be portrayed as a struggle between phenomenology (ecological epistemology) and teleology. Spring equinox drawing out many pedestrians with upswing in temperature. (Philosophers Walk, Queen Park Crescent West, University of Toronto) 20210321
Essroc Silos
Essroc Silos: Crews convening amongst earth movers, on the growing berm for the south end of the new Cherry Street North Bridge. On the roll-up door of the defunct Essroc cement plant, the Framework photograph of 130 Commissioners Street installed in October 19 by #VidIngelevics and #RyanWalker hasn’t faded. The industrial heritage of the Port Lands persist. (Essroc Silos, Cherry Street, Toronto Port Lands) 20210323
MEC
MEC: A trip for bicycle brake pads is mundane, but shopping in person seems extraordinary after pandemic shut down changes to pandemic grey zone. Cantilever style brakes aren’t so common these days, the charitable might describe my old bike with a steel frame as vintage. (MEC, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210327

Bike and Forth Services
Bike and Forth Services: Acquired another modest bicycle with low regret if it’s stolen. I found the vintage Miyata mountain bike on Facebook, posted by James. John installed slick tires, and tuned up the cables. Neighbourhood bike shops are getting rarer in the big city. (Bike and Forth Services, Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20210328

2021/02 Moments February 2021

Toronto, Ontario

Stargate (installation, west)
Stargate (installation, west): Public art installation of crayon yellow alien with 6 spiderlike legs, by #BlueRepublic (2016), 4.5 metres in height amongst smaller human-scale artifacts, has a blue counterpart blowing a horn across the street. Around the midtown condominiums, the theme of inhabitants moving in and out inspired the artists who were emigrants from Poland. Locale is a little farther from home than I would bike, especially on this cold but sunny day. (Stargate art installation, 150 Redpath Avenue, Mountain Pleasant west neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20210221

Don Roadway
Don Roadway: Mounds of earth, staging for a future Don Roadway Valley Wall Feature that will eliminate the risk of flooding to the east. South of Lakeshore Boulevard East, and the elevated Gardiner Extension, transformation of the Portlands continue. Snowfalls have abated, so the clear skies mean cold temperatures, still. (Don Roadway, Portlands, Toronto) 20210225

2021/01 Moments January 2021

Toronto, Ontario

Duncan Street
Duncan Street: From Queen Street West, looking due south, the CN Tower is illuminated, but not with the light show of the previous evening New Year’s Eve. Big flakes of snow starting falling, minutes after taking this shot. Return journey on bicycle covered by glove and coats in white. (Duncan Street south of Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210101
Massey Harris Park
Massey Harris Park: Pushing silver button on blue stanchion under #JamesMcLeod (2006) “Evolution Unrolling” art canopy doesn’t start water feature, both due to winter season and pandemic restrictions. Overhead pattern evokes rope, chain and DNA, reflecting the times and cultures of the neighbourhood history with headquarters for farm equipment manufacturing. Park replaced one block of Crawford Street thoroughfare, as an affordance for residents of nearby apartments to meet and/or walk their dogs. (Massey Harris Park, King Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210109
Eastern Avenue at Leslie Street
Eastern Avenue at Leslie Street: Just before lunch, electrical power went out at the house. Reports of a two truck hitting an pole led to @TorontoHydro forecast of service restoration within 4 hours. Biked over to find lineman finishing off rewiring. Lights came back on 30 minutes before sunset. (Eastern Avenue at Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210115
Riverdale Park West
Riverdale Park West: Tree carved with owls on top, and raccoon inside, located just south of Riverdale Farm. In the open air, families together and friends socially distanced in clusters, despite the local attractions closed for pandemic lockdown mandated by the province. Horses visible in the pens at the periphery behind closed gates. (Riverdale Park West, Riverdale Park Road at Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210116
Louis Kesten Lane
Louis Kesten Lane: Extreme cold alert in the laneway behind our house, with snow lingering on the ground from 3 days ago. Bundled up for a walk in the fresh air, but not for very long. Optimistically, the forecast for a week from now could be for rain. (Louis Kesten Lane, Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20210129

Humber Bay Arch Bridge
Humber Bay Arch Bridge: Skim ice at the mouth of the Humber River gives way to open water flowing south into the bay by Sunnyside. The CN Tower in downtown Toronto is visible to the east. Clear weather saw many pedestrians enjoying fresh air, bundled up for below-freezing temperature. (Humber Bay Arch Bridge, Toronto, Ontario) 20210130

2020/12 Moments December 2020

Toronto, Ontario

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Snow outside our bedroom window onto the street for the first day of December strikes fear into morning commuters. South of Queen Street East, just east of the Don River, we have a microclimate, so precipitation melted to wetness by later in day. Three weeks to winter solstice, and then we hope for brighter days. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20201201
Harry Gairey Rink
Harry Gairey Rink: Parents giving children a feel of the ice with skate helper training aids, an improvement over pushing a chair around. Slower movement on the pleasure pad to the south, faster circuits on the hockey pad to the north. Artificial ice solidified with temperatures below freezing overnight, streets otherwise clear of snow. (Harry Gairey Rink, Alexandra Park, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201205
Fontbonne Ministries
Fontbonne Ministries: New awnings over walkway are an adaptation for @FontbonneMin to continue services to commmunity who have to line up outside, with temperature dropping for winter. With #MustardSeed program, @CSJTO had changed from welcoming lunches inside on weekends, to providing lunches to go. On morning walk through neighbourhood, passed many multi-child strollers pushed by caregivers. (Fontbonne Ministries, Queen Street East, Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario).
Laneway, Leslieville
Laneway, Leslieville: Who has the keys to these locks? Two posts and a chain across laneway raises questions as to whether it’s private property, or a public right-of-way that has been obstructed. Pedestrians can easily walk around, but vehicles will be deterred. (Laneway north of Queen Street East, from Carlaw Avenue eastbound to Boston Avenue, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20201208
Jimmie Simpson Park
Jimmie Simpson Park: Snowfall is transitory; snowbanks are persistent. Young children play on a small white mound while parents observe, in a familiar Canadian moment. Shovelled our sidewalk and backyard this morning, the forecast is for slightly warmer temperatures that might or might not melt the accumulation. (Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201209
Former Union Station Bus Terminal
Former Union Station Bus Terminal: Decommissioning of terminus north of the @unionstationTO tracks, as boarding for regional @GOTransit buses move south of the tracks. The 2003 replacement for the Toronto Coach Terminal had passengers traverse outside in summer and winter, while the new gate areas promise better. No snow on ground, we have a weather reprieve for a few days. (Union Station Bus Terminal, 141 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201210
Riverdale Collegiate Institute
Riverdale Collegiate Institute: Dormant hallways momentarily spring to life with students changing classrooms in the link between #RiverdaleCollegiateInstitute wings, looking southward. Outside the front side of the building, the small number of socially-distanced masked students suggests staggered breaktimes. Playing fields and sport courts are closed due to pandemic, with playground equipment specifically reserved for toddlers in daycare. (Riverdale Collegiate Institute, Gerrard Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201211
McCleary Playground
McCleary Playground: A second life for a tree, branches downward inverted from its natural history. In a garden designed for 5- to 12-year olds, children may not think the position so strange. Just east of the railway tracks by Queen Street East, this site might be altered by future transit expansions. (McCleary Playground, McGee Street, Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20201215
Toronto Eaton Centre
Toronto Eaton Centre: On Saturday afternoon before Christmas, might have normally expected busy shoppers on Yonge Street. With Province of Ontario declaring a grey zone, retail stores can offer only curbside pickup, not the usual mode for an urban mall. Drizzling rain discourages the street performers often on the sidewalk. (Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201219
Ashbridges Bay
Ashbridges Bay: At the perimeter near the shore, patches of films of ice beginning to form in the shallows. Most boat owners seem to prefer covering their watercrafts with white, so dusk is almost monochromatic. Towards the park, parents walking with their children bundled up in snowsuits. (Ashbridges Bay, Lake Shore Boulevard East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201220
Lower Don River
Lower Don River: Looking downstream, there’s a beach on the west side with the river at a low level, that might otherwise be submerged in a flood. The Metrolinx-Go Train bridge will is to be replaced and widened with new arch bridges for the future Ontario Line. Cyclists and runners frequent the trail for exercise. (Lower Don River, Toronto, Ontario) 20201221
Devonian Pond
Devonian Pond: Loose time sees skaters in tights, player with hockey stick, child with trainer, and mother using toddler using stroller to get around the rink. Construction through campus on Gould Street now seems complete, pavement replaced by interlocking stone for pedestrians and cyclists. Hadn’t appreciated that the square with the oval pond was opened in 1978 with funding from the Devonian Foundation of Calgary. (Devonian Pond, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario) 20201223
High Park
High Park: Chose to walk around park on the west side, as our annual December 24 family day. Light rain in off-season, attractions shut down due to pandemic. A rare opportunity with all our sons in town, though no longer all under one roof. (High Park, West Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20201224
Woodbine Park
Woodbine Park: Finishing up afternoon walk south through park, across Woodbine Beach boardwalk, then back north towards Queen Street East. First visit to NPI and CL in apartment, condominium building with finishing touches and people moving in. Parents dragging toddlers on sleds through the snow. (Woodbine Park, Coxwell Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20201227

Logan Avenue, north of Dundas Street East
Logan Avenue, north of Dundas Street East: Stairs barricaded at bottom and top, alongside rail tracks for Metrolinx Lakeshore East and Stouffville corridor, pique curiosity. Walking around the block revealed large parking lots for industrial warehouses, with trees and fences barring pedestrians from danger. The planned Ontario Line will squeeze more tracks into almost the same width. (Logan Avenue, north of Dundas Street East) 20201229
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