Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

daviding

http://daviding.com

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2020/06 Moments June 2020

Most of month in Covid-19 shutdown Phase 1, so every photograph is an exterior shot. Bicycling around downtown Toronto, often exercising after sunset.
Toronto, Ontario

Ontario Place West Channel
Ontario Place West Channel: From the southeast tip of Marilyn Bell Park, boardwalk gives a view of the silos @OntarioPlace West Islands. Fond memories of the venue from my childhood, when the programming was focused on family education about the province. Pleasure boats presumably headed for the north marina. (Ontario Place West Channel, Lake Shore Boulevard West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200601
Lower Don Recreation Trail
Lower Don Recreation Trail: Don Mills Road Underpass eastbound from E.T. Seton Park is new to me, despite decades of bicycling around the city. Just north of junction of West Don River branch and main Don River, bridge wends over rail tracks. Routed from Thornecliffe Park to the north, coming down a very long hill that I wouldn’t want to bike up on. (Don Mills Road Underpass, Lower Don Recreation Trail, Don Mills, Ontario) 20200609
Ashbridges Bay Skateboard Park
Ashbridges Bay Skateboard Park: One of 14 skateboard parks open in Toronto, with city is still in Phase 1 reopening while most of province is in Phase 2. Clear, bright afternoon, although temperatures barely warm enough to wear shorts. On bike path, parents guiding children on small bicycles, while racers in spandex zoom by. (Ashbridges Bay Skateboard Park, Lake Shore Boulevard East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200616
Cruise Ship Terminal
Cruise Ship Terminal: When/if a Great Lakes passenger vessel requiring a second floor gangway docks in Toronto, the Port of Toronto is ready. However, the pandemic has pre-empted the cruising season for the year, not that many ships visit our city. The other side of the buildings has been rented out for film production offices, and the massive parking lot is cordoned off for automobile dealer inventories. (Cruise Ship Terminal, Unwin Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20200624
King Street West at John Street: Wider sidewalks by restaurants in the theatre district has enabled city dwellers finally in Covid Phase 2 reopening to enjoy a summer Friday night physically together. Bicycling by the storefronts, I noticed the interiors were largely vacant, so the 2 metre distancing wouldn’t be a problem. This cluster of open businesses isn’t the norm, however; nearby blocks see maybe 25% with lights on to welcome customers. (King Street West at John Street, Theatre District, Toronto, Ontario) 20200626
King Street West at John Street: Wider sidewalks by restaurants in the theatre district has enabled city dwellers finally in Covid Phase 2 reopening to enjoy a summer Friday night physically together. Bicycling by the storefronts, I noticed the interiors were largely vacant, so the 2 metre distancing wouldn’t be a problem. This cluster of open businesses isn’t the norm, however; nearby blocks see maybe 25% with lights on to welcome customers. (King Street West at John Street, Theatre District, Toronto, Ontario) 20200626
Paul Kane Parkette
Paul Kane Parkette: Small green space facing south, in front of facade incorporated in the 1985 construction of a coop complex on the north side of the building. Paul Kane was a painter, born in Ireland, living at this site 1853 to 1871. I’ve never stopped at this venue, but was out bicycling, and found a comfortable place to take a phone call, after passing through the relatively quiet Pride Weekend hangouts. (Paul Kane Parkette, Wellesley Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200627

Fentster
Fentster: Storefront gallery @MakomTO installation @RDavidovitz (2020) What Will Remain stained glass sculpture has cracked panes, when inspected more closely. Toronto-based artist pays tribute to grandfather who would repair broken windows in post-war Vilna (then Poland, now Lithuania). On the eve of statutory holiday, few people on the street, except for pizza pickups next door. (Fentster / Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, College Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200630

2020/05 Moments May 2020

Life at home is much the same with the pandemic sheltering-in-place directives, touring city streets on bicycle, avoiding the parks on weekends.
Toronto, Ontario

Tollkeepers Park
Tollkeepers Park: Canoe unexpectedly found in park in Humewood neighbourhood, part of the #Butterflyway @DavidSuzukiFDN project installed in 2017, natural habitats for bees and butterflies. Park has cottage from the 1850s, in use when roads had tolls for travellers on horseback or on wagons. Grass is following the unkempt trend, as city services are limited during social isolation. (Tollkeeper’s Park, Bathurst Street at Davenport Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20200505
The Silver Mill
The Silver Mill: Strangely shaped 3-storey former wooden-crib grain elevator from 1906, beside a former flour/grist mill on dead end road just north of railway tracks in east end of the city. Building was used as a transdisciplinary arts centre, with municipal art organization vacating the premises in 2018. Signage now minimized, redevelopment into a new high rise complex that will connect to the Danforth Go Train terminal was in council in 2019. (The Silver Mill, 10 Dawes Road, East York, Toronto, Ontario) 20200512
Riverdale Farm
Riverdale Farm: One of three sheep in the pen, all in need of shearing. Hair wet from recent rainstorm, temperature rising to spring normals from the record low frost warnings the past evenings. Starting route northbound on Lower Don River Trail and found unpaved sections with big puddles. Opted to push the bike up one set of stairs, ride west downhill, and then push up again into the park. (Riverdale Farm, Winchester Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200515
Ashbridges Bay East Breakwater
Ashbridges Bay East Breakwater: Rocky berm shore onto Lake Ontario put in place to control sediment from the west, maintained by regional conservation authority. The park is on lands historically a marsh. Saw a couple lounging by the point, amongst the many cyclists and pedestrians enjoying spring temperatures. Still too cool for beachwear, with strong winds from the east. (Ashbridges Bay East Breakwater, Lakeshore Boulevard East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200520
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Restored cover on backyard gazebo, spring is turning into summer. Trimmed with accent lights for atmosphere after dark. Potential for social visits with physical distancing, if guests come via the laneway. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 201200523

Kadampa Meditation Centre:
Kadampa Meditation Centre: Bicycling along residential streets in Little Italy, wasn’t expecting to find a temple for Modern Buddhism. Gilded panels on facade reflecting glare with the late afternoon son. About 90 years ago, this was a Ukranian church before the congregation moved, the use in intervening years isn’t readily apparent. (Kadampa Meditation Centre, Crawford Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200530

2020/04 Moments April 2020

Living in social isolation in our house with 5 family members, finishing off teaching courses and taking courses.
Toronto, Ontario

Kensington Market
Kensington Market: Sleepy Saturday afternoon in market that would normally be packed with shoppers, if not tourists. Lineups outside the few essential services reminiscent of a visit to Russia in the 1970s; people don’t expect to be in a hurry. Bicycling around town maintains physical distance, with only light vehicle traffic. (Baldwin Street, Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario) 20190404
Danforth Village
Danforth Village: Long stretch of sidewalk with almost no pedestrians, on a late pre-holiday afternoon with social isolation. On this main street towards the east end, storefronts are wider than in the city centre, so walks seem longer. Maybe one in ten businesses was open, and few had customers. Pedalling bicycle with light traffic on street. (Danforth Avenue, west of Coxwell Avenue, Danforth Village, Toronto, Ontario) 20200409
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Touchup on hairline, since all of our sons have decided to self-barber. The chair and clippers were already in place, since I prefer to NOT cut my own hair in a mirror, and DY agreed to learn the tools for me. She’s primarily the one who would have an opinion on my hair style. I’m just happy that my head is cooler. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20200412
King Street West at Peter Street
King Street West at Peter Street: Encountered the first raised transit stop platform in town, where bicyclists and pedestrians take turns through a narrow lane previously a parking space. On Easter Sunday, streetcars paused only momentarily, with few passengers boarding. Only pedestrians of note were lined up outside the pharmacy, with respectable distances between them. (King Street West at Peter Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200412
Underpass Park
Underpass Park: Public space unoccupied, with yellow tape not only on playground equipment, but also benches, to discourage social gatherings. Citizens mostly respecting physical distancing directions to stay at home. Dogs out walking their masters, who may get more exercise than others who aren’t leaving the house. (Underpass Park, Lower River Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190419
Distillery District
Distillery District: Unadorned and unilluminated as in @tolightfest, the #SymbolicPeace scupture by #StudioRosenblatt was first installed in early 2019. Laser cut, cold rolled steel celebrating diversity in the community stands silent on a bright afternoon where a normally teeming plaza is now deserted. Art galleries are closed, so more permanent outdoor sites have to be sought. (Gristmill Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20200422
New Century Plaza
New Century Plaza: Saturday 1pm in Chinese mall in Markham reveals gates up at non-essential businesses. Came to pick up replacement contact lens from optometrist. Transaction, started on phone, completed mostly by talking through a locked glass door. I was invited in, asked to use hand sanitizer, used pen for signatures, and was then reminded to sanitize on the way out. Terse service consistent with 14-minute drive up DVP/404 from Lakeshore Drive to Steeles Avenue. (New Century Plaza, Ferrier Street, Markham, Ontario) 20200425

Don Roadway
Don Roadway: Roadblock southbound into the Portlands now blocked to vehicular traffic, with ongoing construction. Don Roadway is being rebuilt to a higher elevation, so that major rainfalls flooding the Keating Channel won’t spill over into the lands on the east side of the road. It’s a dull afternoon for bicycling. (Don Roadway, Portlands, Toronto, Ontario) 20200430

2020/03 Moments March 2020

The month started with a hectic coincidence of events as both a teacher and student at two universities, abruptly shifting to low gear with government directives for social distancing.
Toronto, Ontario (with the latter part in COVID-19 social isolation)

Canadian Tire (Lakeshore / Leslie)
Canadian Tire (Lakeshore / Leslie): Encouraged that institution of @CanadianTire remains open when non-essential retailers are closed. Province of Ontario sign reminding “Practice social distancing. Do your best to keep at least two metres away from others.” Store personnel are wearing gloves, shoppers in dances to give others space. (Canadian Tire, Lakeshore Boulevard at Leslie Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200318
Loblaws 60 Carlton
Loblaws 60 Carlton: Appreciating orderly social distancing by Torontonians @LoblawsCarlton lined up around the block, on a clear Saturday late afternoon with temperature hovering around freezing. No shopping for me, just bicycling for fresh air and exercise along relatively quiet city streets. Our citizens aren’t totally locked down, we trust each other to maturely use our own judgement. (Loblaws, 60 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200321

Lower Don River Trail
Lower Don River Trail: Biking westbound just over Don River, Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation towards Cherry Street has reconfigured lands and erected temporary structures. Preconstruction should speed up rebuilding of the elevated roadway, where the Don Valley Parkway bends from southbound to westbound. The existing bike paths are unchanged for now, with more signs warning to not stray from from. (Lower Don River Trail, Lakeshore Drive, Toronto, Ontario) 20190327

2020/02 Moments February 2020

Winter has discouraged enjoying the outside, so more occasions for friend and family inside.
Mississauga, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario

Heartland neighbourhood
Heartland neighbourhood: Annual Superbowl ritual featuring hamburgers grilled outside, cold but not blizzard conditions this year. Broke vegan regime as indulgence with family. Larger attendance of millennials this year, some boomer regulars cancelled last minute due to colds. (Heartland neighbourhood, Mississauaga, Ontario) 20200202
Celebration of Life
Celebration of Life: Leaving long message at memorial for a friend who passed away in October. DY was a few years ahead of Mary at the same primary and high schools in Vancouver, and only got to know her through PY in Toronto. Honoured by her relatives flying into for the occasion, and coworkers relating stories of adventurous career in documentaries and journalism. (90 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20200208
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Sparkler means no candles to blow out. Departing from usual cake to accommodate preferences, donuts are less sweet, and the banana bread is even less. Packaging says plant-based, gluten-free, peanut-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and sesame-free, leaving us wondering what ingredients could potentially still be on the list. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20200211
Factory Theatre
Factory Theatre: Coming down from tiered set for bows, #ftLadySunrise @FactoryToronto update by @magicalmudge to 2005 Vancouver sees societal similarities to #CaoYu original 1936 Chinese-language play set in Shanghai. Shallow, dislikeable female characters made even less sympathetic as competitive amongst themselves, with no men cast in the production. Quite a contrast to the conventional portrayal of Asian women as passive and graceful. (Factory Theatre, Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200218
Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Professional delivery of a new refrigerator, and old one hauled away, at home. Deliveryman had tape measure to check entry, asked for a hammer, and then removed door to accommodate width. We had cleared hallway, EKI and I took a few extra moments to finishing emptying contents, mostly onto our back deck in a Canadian winter day before freezing. Evokes memories of myself doing refrigerator deliveries for Kent Tv in Gravenhurst, in the 1970s. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20200219
Woodbine Beach
Woodbine Beach: Art installation of recycled sailcloth stuffed with straw #NoodleFeed @iheartblob attracts children @winterstations on a clear, bright day above the freezing point. Some took off their boots, others jumped with them on. First bicycling day in a while, wind felt heavy travelling east and then back west. (Woodbine Beach, Toronto, Ontario) 20200223
SystemsThinkingTO
SystemsThinkingTO: Relaunch of #SystemsThinking TO @acojoaca @CatarinavM_TO meetup, guiding conversation through #GarethMorgan #ImagesOfOrganization handout http://coevolving.com/commons/20200225-stto-imagesoforganization towards reframing metaphors. Fishbowl for 15-minutes, then breakout into small groups, ending with debriefings. Participant reported enjoying opportunity for dialogue, collectively making sense of ideas. Closed out session with plans for next monthly meeting, format will evolve with experience. (SystemsThinkingTO, Loyalty One, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200225 photo by CatvM

Very Fine Seafood Cuisine
Very Fine Seafood Cuisine: Sister coming to town reserved time for family dinner. Ten courses with Peking duck, multiple fish dishes, and vegan selections. Joking about fusion tendencies, cranberries with duck, roasted potatoes with beef, lobster deep fried. Other local family out of town, otherwise we would have needed two banquet tables. (Very Fine Seafood Cuisine, Milliken Boulevard, Scarborough, Ontario) 20200229

2020/01 Moments January 2020

Back to school, teaching and learning at 2 universities.
Toronto, Ontario

Scrap Metal Gallery
Scrap Metal Gallery: Installation @ernatmack (2019) Wither, billow, waist? hanging at #ScrapMetalGallery has a feeling of lightness, with translucent fabrics. Some other pieces in the show are made of heavy moving blankets. Dark, rainy day outside, art lovers come as individuals or duos for a destination visit. (Scrap Metal Gallery, Dublin Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190111
OCADU Graduate Programs
OCADU Graduate Programs: Overview of #SystemicDesign toolkit by @redesign @OCADU_SFI class. Second lecture of term started with current thinking from the #SystemsChanges Learning Circle http://coevolving.com/commons/20200115-ocadu-systems-changes-different-from . Immersive approach to recasting language and reifying #SystemsThinking leads students to get more comfortable with ambiguity. Group had collectively decided to reschedule evening class to afternoon, so weeks following shouldn’t be dark outside. (OCADU Graduate Programs, 205 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200115
OCADU Graduate Programs
OCADU Graduate Programs: Friday morning class on #SystemsThinking @OCADU_SFI runs in parallel with late Wednesday session. Presented same slides http://coevolving.com/commons/20200115-ocadu-systems-changes-different-from , pacing content in synch. Larger group, larger room, interactions with part-time graduate students is a little different from full-time colleagues. These students have a long day, likely before homework over the weekend. (OCADU Graduate Programs, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200117
Systems Thinking Ontario
Systems Thinking Ontario: Topic of “Inferring Systems Thinking” at the 75th monthly meeting of #SystemsThinking Ontario, reviewing and reflecting on the titles, readings and discussions beginning in 2013. https://wiki.st-on.org/2020-01-20 If we’ve met that many times, what could we surmise that we’ve discussed, and what might be missing? Not everyone attended every session, but we shared collective wisdom. Some input gathered for future sessions. (Systems Thinking Ontario, Strategic Innovation Lab, OCADU, Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200120
Climate Ventures
Climate Ventures: Tight queuing for podium for 16 Earth Tech companies @ClimateCSI inauguration social. Accelerator https://climateventures.org/earthtech/ have an intensive 6 months. #BarnabeGeis posed if the darkness currently perceived is a womb, where there’s light in the birth ahead. Not-yet-elevator stories about each startup, introducing to partners, advisors and allies. (Climate Ventures, Centre for Social Innovation, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20190121
Koffler Centre of the Arts
Koffler Centre of the Arts: Exhibiting “the chrysanthemum has opened twelve times”, @artkarentam, conversing with #ShellieZhang @KofflerArts. Talk began with inspiration of formal photograph of grandfather, leading to exploration of history of staged images sent back to families in Toisan. In addition to photos, installation of portrait studio settings and backgrounds.constructed in collaboration with father and mother. (Koffler Centre of the Arts, Shaw Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20190126

PyData PyLadies Toronto
PyData PyLadies Toronto: Joint @PyDataTO @PyLadiesToronto meeting including @sereprz on Improving Law Interpretability with NLP. Unsupervised Machine Learning, using spaCy on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act data. Extract burdens (obligations), identify subjects, cluster subject (looking for homogenous groups in vector space. Used GLoVe (global vectors for word representation), with dimensionality reduction for sparse data. K-means clustering and evaluation through TD-IDF. Understood presentation, as a result of taking Big Data classes at Ryerson Chang School. (PyData Toronto, PyLadies Toronto, Intelliware, Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200129
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