Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2021/07 Moments July 2021

Toronto, Ontario

Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park: If Queen Victoria (reign 1837-1901) looked over her shoulder, she would see J. Sandfield Macdonald (first premier of Ontario, 1867-1864). Government offices are closed on the public holiday, visitors can enjoy the green space on bright summer day. City has started to open up from pandemic shutdown, optimistic for more social time. (Queen’s Park, Wellesley Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210701
Leslie Grove Park
Leslie Grove Park: Tai chi group would seem to convene at 10 a.m. in this east end green space. Those presuming the Chinese commmunity centered on the west side around Spadina Avenue may not have appreciated residential property was more affordable on the east side, even in the 1970s and 1980s. Outdoor ping pong table was in use, slightly to the south. (Leslie Grove Park, Queen Street East at Jones Avenue, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20210702
FedEx Ship Centre
FedEx Ship Centre: In the Port Lands district, dropping off laptop computer return, with job change. Original Thinkpad carton fits exactly in the large shipping box, must be more than a coincidence. Distribution centre has tall grasses indigenous to the Toronto Harbour marshes, better than a lawn. (FedEx Ship Centre, Commissioners Street, Port Lands, Torotno, Ontario) 20200706
Toronto-Dominion Centre
Toronto-Dominion Centre: During the heat warning, the shadow on #JoFafard (1985) The Pasture cools the seven bronze cows on the lawn. The installation was originally south of Wellingston Street, when I worked in that tower in the late 1980s. Looking between the TD North Tower and E&Y Tower in the Mies style, in the distance, are the Commerce Court South Tower by I.M. Pei and Scotia Plaza modern tower with parallelogram floorplan by WZMH Architects. (Toronto-Dominion Centre, Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210706
The Bentway
The Bentway: Roller skaters on southern branch of loop, through cross-court installation #EsmaaMohamoud (2021) Double Dribble, past basketball nets oversized and undersized, at impossibly high and child heights. Without rules to guide participants, play is negotiated interactively at this underpass under the Gardiner Expressway West. Varying levels of proficiency on wheels suggests that most have rented equipment from the pop-up store, rather than bringing their own. (The Bentway, Fort York Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20210710
Charles Sauriol Parkette
Charles Sauriol Parkette: Modest green space with benches facing west, with only dense forestry as the scenic view. Just beyond the trees is the sharp drop to Pottery Road. History says the old Pottery Road roadbed used to end here, but the south end was moved a few hundred meters south (by the Dairy Queen) in the 1960s, to reduce the gradient for automobiles. New landscaping and seating area renewed this patch of land in 2015. (Charles Sauriol Parkette, Hillside Drive at Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Onrtario) 20210715
Craven Road at Gerrard Street East
Craven Road at Gerrard Street East: Travelling eastbound through Little India, bright splash of colour reveals itself down the side street. With Leslieville School of Dance and Music now occupying the space, the solid beige was boring, and a potential target for tagging. Along the main street, restaurants and cafes have extended over the sidewalk onto the curbside lane. (Craven Road at Gerrard Street East, Little india, Toronto, Ontario) 20210717
Bellair Street
Bellair Street: Public space has been reallocated into curbside patio, with the restaurants taking over the whole street. The brick lane only runs two short blocks, and can easily be circumnavigated by cars on a slow one-way loop. Businesses were active with customers, but not like the usual summer festival seasons for the city. (Bellair Street, Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario) 20210718
Hong Shing
Hong Shing: Family dinner at restaurant in Toronto Old Chinatown, updated by a second generation owner. Cantonese cuisine with northern options featuring numbing Sichuan peppers, background house music might be better appreciated by late night crowd. Guests visting in city swap with son #3, they’re in Vancouver liviing in Eastern Time. (Hong Shing, Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 20210721
Crothers Woods
Crothers Woods: Long stroll with @redesign from Broadview Avenue down through Todmorden MIlls, around Cottonwood Flats. Is this an old CP Rail line towards Belleville? We encountered two acquaintances and said hello, dispersed social interactions still under pandemic distancing. (Crothers Woods, Broadview North, Toronto, Ontario) 20210722

Lisgar Park
Lisgar Park: Sculptural playground climber of logs may be better than artificial materials, planned as a safe place for toddlers. In the plaza beyond, trees sparsely ring the open space, yet it seems unlikely that children would attempt ascending. Park is a former 1900s warehouse site, constructed between 2014-2016, with the rise of apartments in the district. (Lisgar Park, Abell Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20210723

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