Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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2021/09 Moments September 2021

Summer slowly turning int autumn, sons travelled to California, leading to more couples time and eldercare.
Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Eaton Centre
Toronto Eaton Centre: The shooting fountain opened in 1977 remains covered and silenced, alongside many signs requesting that masked visitors keep moving. Volume of shoppers was moderate for the Friday of a Labout Day holiday weekend. It could be 2 years since I’ve been inside the building. (Toronto Eaton Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210903
Congee Queen Agincourt
Congee Queen Agincourt: An extended afternoon of straightening out my father’s mobile phone service led into a casual dinner out on a holiday weekend. My vegan diet wasn’t planned into their shopping for the weekend, so going out for dinner was an easier option. Followed by a few more hours of wrangling with smart devices that aren’t so straightforward for senior citizens. (Congee Queen, Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario) 20210904
Front Campus
Front Campus: Big dig project at centre of university campus started in June as the Landmark Project, with a 3-year completion date. Boreholes 240 metres deep will enable a geothermal exchange field below a new underground parking lot. I remember the days in the 1970s when the ground would be saturated in the spring, as the submerged Taddle Creek would re-emerge. (Front Campus, King’s College Circle, University of Toronto, Ontario) 20210905
Neville Park Loop
Neville Park Loop: In daylight #TheliaShelton (2021) Share the Love sculpture from March @makewavesTo Luminosity exhibition doesn’t have the red glow visible at night. Installation sees empty streetcars loop from eastbound to westbound multiple times per hour. Driftwood endures beyond the one-month official period int he spring. (Neville Park Loop, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200909
Lakeshore Boulevard East
Lakeshore Boulevard East: On weekends, the roadway eastbound from Cherry Street has been shut down, as the overhead concrete surfaces are being crushed and removed. There was an alternative not taken to remove the whole structure, so the pillars for a fixture for the foreseeable future. Weekday drivers to the east end are still getting used to alternative routes. (Lakeshore Boulevard East, east of Cherry Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210911
Art Gallery of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario: Sculpture of formica and plexiglass bound with Everlast boxing wraps @juliadault (2014) Untitled 36, reinstalled here on November 2, 2020. Brighter colours inside the loops than I recall with (2013) Untitled 26 that I saw at #ScrapMetalGallery in 2019. Exhibits on display this visit may have more content indigenous to Canada, convenient since transcontinental shipping is likely reduced with the pandemic. (Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210915
James Canning Gardens
James Canning Gardens: Urban playground nearby benches where philosophical gymnastics with @zaid___khan extended beyond our western-dominated education. Late afternoon with no signs of children playing, cooling temperature called for a jacket on the bike ride home. Originally named Dundonald Street Parkette, there’s more greenspace in the sections of the Yonge Street Linear Park directly north. (James Canning Gardens, Gloucester Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210919
Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street
Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street: Looking west from the south curb, the surface of the ramps have been removed, leading nowhere up to an elevated road that has been removed and crushed. Surface traffic appears unimpeded, with daylight a welcome change to the prior shadows under the Gardiner Expressway extension. In the distance, the CN Tower is clearly visible towards the west waterfront. (Lakeshore Boulevard East at Bouchette Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210921
Ryerson Student Learning Centre
Ryerson Student Learning Centre: Late afternoon weekday, few students evident on campus, light pedestrian traffic on Yonge Street north of Dundas Street. Surprised by more bike lanes occasionally reducing automotive traffic on Canada’s main street to two lanes north and south. Unseasonably warm temperatures may see one of the last days bicycling around in shorts. (Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210927

The Beaches Cinema
The Beaches Cinema: Arrived just in time before screening of #ShangChi at the local cinema. Unintended private screening for two, by consciously paying full price for 7pm show on a Monday. Inspection at front door for verification of double vaccination, with matching photo ID, masks on while in motion. (The Beaches Cinema, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20210927

2021/04 Moments April 2021

Short bike rides around town, in variable spring weather under pandemic stay-at-home orders,
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

2021/02 Moments February 2021

Limited excursions outside for the month, due to extreme cold weather, and the pandemic shutdown.
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

2020/09 Moments September 2020

Discovering more of the neighbourhood, bicycling mostly in the mornings.
Toronto, Ontario

Philosopher’s Walk
Philosopher’s Walk: Placid footpath following contour of Taddle Creek, east of Trinity College and west of the Faculty of Music, attracts pedestrians after work, and dogs with their walkers. This week would normally be the calm before students move into residences, and the campus coming alive. New school term will surely see new protocols. (Philosopher’s Walk, Queen’s Park Circle, University of Toronto) 20200901
Jimmie Simpson Park
Jimmie Simpson Park: Physically distanced conversation with @cdnorman, updating each other on #SystemsThinking projects. So many years of electronic communications, to discover he walks by my street almost every day. Park bench is a convenient plan while the weather is favourable. (Jimmie Simpson Park, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200903
Warden Woods Hydro Corridor
Warden Woods Hydro Corridor: Footpath between Pidgeon Street and Chestnut Crescent connects two residential neighbourhoods with townhouses backing onto the hydro towers. West side is new townhouses, east side is more established detached houses. Found cycling route as a detail on map, to avoid street descending into St. Clair Ravine and then having to climb out again. (Warden Woods Hydro Corridor, Pidgeon Street to Chestnut Crescent, Scarborough, Ontario) 20200905
Nathan Phillips Square
Nathan Phillips Square: Quiet and cool Labour Day morning, found city plaza devoid of both tourist visitors and civic workers. Barricades at edge of pond discourage contaminants in water. Feels like autumn is arriving soon. (Nathan Phillips Square, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200907
Front Street East
Front Street East: Turned faucet handle, no water. Unlikely location for public tap, presumably of potable water, in the median between eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic. Is this an artifact of the Old Town, before indoor plumbing became common? (Front Street East, east of Church Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200908
Artscape Distillery Studios
Artscape Distillery Studios: On Case Goods Lane, #distillerywisdom installation invites visitors to write memories on wooden plaques to be hung, or on small stones placed at the base of a cylindrical frame. Messages left by participants from many parts of the world, and in many languages. Art that changes daily, and is durable in weather fair and fowl. (Art Distillery Studios, Case Goods Lane, Distillery District, Toronto, Ontario) 20200911
Lakeview Park
Lakeview Park: Bright Saturday day trip westbound, as opportunity for outdoor date with social distancing. Sunflowers were planted in rows, by developers as phytoremediators to purify the soil by absorbing toxins. Site of Lakeview Generating Station, demolished in 2007. (Lakeview Park, Lakefront Promenade, Mississauga, Ontario) 20200912
Riverdale Farm
Riverdale Farm: Since 1975, the old zoo has been domesticated, hence the flock of sheep now part of the urban park. Immediate vegetation is overgrazed, as animals are restricted to the pen. Many toddlers and preschoolers guided by elders, routes now clearly marked with arrows to reduce human collisions. (Riverdale Farm, Winchester Street, Cabbagetown, Toronto, Ontario) 20200914
Metro Hall
Metro Hall: About half of the 17 bronze rabbit-dog sculptures #CynthiaShort 1992 Remembered Sustenance, originally installed expecting that children might play with them. Small grass parkette is popular with dogs and walkers, who seem to ignore the figures. Just south of the theatre district, where the stages are dark. (Metro Hall, Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200915
Villiers Street
Villiers Street: Unplanned encounter of #VidIngelevics #RyanWalker Framework installation @ContactPhoto with photomural of 130 Commissioners Street of January 2020. The Lower Don Lands is now under major construction, with streets blocked and fenced properties with warning signs. Bicycling is/was the best way to view the display from August 2020 to April 2021. (Villers Street, Toronto Portlands) 20200916
Concord CityPlace
Concord CityPlace: From Front Street West, Puente de Luz (Bridge of Light) pedestrian bridge spans north to south corresponding to Canada and Chile of sculptor #FranciscoGazitua. Installed in 2012, bicyclists and pedestrians can cross over to Canoe Landing Park and Concord CityPlace. Inspired by nature, skeletons and armatures are bridges. (Puente de Luz, Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200918
Bala Rail Underpass
Bala Rail Underpass: In the mouth-of-the-Don district, a passage fot pedestrians and bicyclists from the Lower Don River Trail westbound towards Corktown Commons. On The Canadian passenger train from Union Station 4 days to Vancouver, the next step is Washago, and then Parry Sound. Constructed in 2007, the interior murals painted for the PanAm games in 2015 have faded, with external clearance hazards now more prominent. (Bala Rail Underpass, Lower Don River Trail, Toronto, Ontario) 20200921
Lane South Queen East Knox
Lane South Queen East Knox: Wrought iron sign of Ye Olde Blacksmith Shoppe has entry fence locked up, with shell of a building to the south. This laneway seems to be one of many in Toronto yet to be named, running dead end into TTC Russell Carhouse at Connaught Street first established in 1916. Entry to the building northbound from Minto Street is obstructed by a prominent fire hydrant. (Lane South Queen East Knox, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20200923

Unwin Avenue
Unwin Avenue: Industrial age rail leading to space age satellites? Tracks rarely used from Toronto Container Port to the southwest, curve north beyond fence parallel to Leslie Street, then westbound alongside Lakeshore Boulevard as Keating Yard. Earth stations that upload and download broadcast television video, and Internet to rural and remote areas on land leased from the city, will be moved to another Ontario location before year’s end. (Unwin Avenue, Toronto Portlands, Ontario) 20200928
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