Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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

2020/11 Moments November 2020

Toronto, Ontario

Queen Street Viaduct
Queen Street Viaduct: Sunset arriving earlier, after the shift back to Standard Time. Looking westward along Queen Street East, the lit windows of bank towers on Bay Street and the CN Tower are familiar orientation points. Temperature dipped, so first day for winter wear for bicycling. (Queen Street Viaduct, Toronto, Ontario) 20201103
Russell Carhouse
Russell Carhouse: North side of maintenance facility for streetcars has painted curves marked “no parking” and “fire route”, towards exit door #1. Tracks curve around the west side, and down Connaught Avenue to the east. Facility was rebuilt in 1924, with other part of fleet housed overnight at Roncesvalles. (Russell Carhouse, 1411 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201105
Sherbourne Common
Sherbourne Common: From the north of three #JillAnholt (2011) Light Showers towers, water isn’t flowing, probably not restarted in spring 2020 before pandemic shutdowns. The original design treated storm water, to be aerated trickled down the mesh veil southbound to the lake. Unseasonable almost-summer temperatures drew teenagers to hang out arond the playground equipment. (Sherbourne Common, Merchants Wharf, Toronto, Ontario) 20201108
Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s'kyj Park
Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s’kyj Park: Sunset view of Toronto skyline attracts photographers, couples, and friends who take selfies. Crowd lingering, I wonder what event will signal the visit is complete. Official park is a small patch of green, renamed in 1998 after a 6-year who posthumously received a citation for bravery, in trying to protect her grandmother from an attack from a schizophrenic father. (Jennifer Kateryna Koval’s’kyj Park, Polson Street, Toronto Portlands, Ontario) 20201109
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street
Hudson’s Bay Queen Street: Santa Claus still uses mainframe green screen terminals and pneumatic tube transport containers. List of names and geographic coordinates have presumably been checked twice. Animated Christmas displays in store windows have shown up by Remembrance Day. (Hudson’s Bay Queen Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201111
Ossington Laneway
Ossington Laneway: Rattlesnake sculpture mounted on second-floor alley wall for @thestrumbellas 2019 album release endures. Installation was an unexpected sight while pedalling along Queen Street West, leading to explore a route northbound. Path led to a series of murals on garage doors seeing weather, dropping temperature may see snow within weeks. (Ossington Laneway, Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario) 2020114
Dundas Street West Chinatown
Dundas Street West Chinatown: Huron Street Square, designed by #KenLum #PennDesign, a modern alternative to traditional arches marking gates into Chinatowns throughout the western world. Modification of the original vision persists one-way street on ordinary days, convertible into a public space on special days. Only a few local residents in the neighbourhood on a cold fall evening. (Huron Street Square, Dundas Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20201116
South Central Letter Processing Plant
South Central Letter Processing Plant: Animation loop @winnietron “Interchanges” #BigArtTO inspired by seed dispersion in urban flora, and connecting with friends via tangible mail. Three large screen projectors aimed above cars in the parking lot, onto the north wall of a major Canada Post sorting station. Creative invitation to enjoy art in the evening in local neighbourhood, with minimal physical distancing issues during the pandemic. (South Central Letter Processing Plant, Eastern Avenue, Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario) 20201119
Village of Yorkville Park
Village of Yorkville Park: Clusters of red lights in the crabapple trees, and extra lights in the pergola, brighten up pedestrians walking by the dense public park. Warmer than normal temperatures have encouraged visitors to sit in twilight at the movable tables and chairs. Couple appreciate the illumination for selfies. (Village of Yorkville Park, Cumberland Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201120
Power Plant Gallery
Power Plant Gallery: Between two large screen animations @ThePowerPlantTO, #HowieTsui (2019) Parallax Neon (White Camel Mountain) is a transparency print in lightbox. Show #FromSwellingShadowsWeDrawOurBows mixes Chinese and Colonial cultures in disasporic animations of scrolls. Nightmarish, violent illustrations. (The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20201121
St. Michael’s Cemetery
St. Michael’s Cemetery: Opened in 1855, and at capacity by 1900, the Catholic graveyard originally well outside the city became urbanized with the 1954 arrival of the original Toronto subway system extended one stop further north. Approached from the south, when I noticed headstones beyond a residential driveway. Office towers and apartment buildings to the north, and commercial businesses to the east, hide the sacred grounds to the general public. (St. Michael’s Cemetery, Yonge Street south of St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario) 20201123
Yonge Street at Dundas Street
Yonge Street at Dundas Street: Sign asks “Which side are you on?”, presuming only choices are binary. Peaceful demonstration of the Shut Down Canada Solidarity Action had police on bikes redirecting traffic one major block each direction. Pandemic shutdown means the practically no disruption, with activist serving entertainment on a sleepy early evening. (Yonge Street at Dundas Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20201126

Cherry Street North Bridge
Cherry Street North Bridge: First of four bridges @WaterfrontTO arrived earlier in November, now staged west of the original bascule lift bridge built in 1968. Connection from Corktown south into Villiers Island of 2024 will be linear, straightening out the east then south current routing. Expect new parkland promenades both north and south of the Keating Channel. (Cherry Street North Bridge, Lower Don Lands, Toronto, Ontario) 20201128

2020/10 Moments October 2020

Toronto, Ontario; Vancouver, BC

Chester Hill Lookout
Chester Hill Lookout: Cool autumn morning shows leaves starting change colours in view northwest towards Beltline Trail and Moore Park. In the foreground, Evergreen Brick Works should be quiet on a weekday, and the Don Valley Parkway is below capacity for morning rush. Overlook had a few clusters of neighbours presumably enjoying the clear weather. (Chester Hill Lookout, Chester Hill Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20201001
Grange Park
Grange Park: Grass around #HenryMoore 1966-1969 Two Large Forms, contrasts with the hard sidewalk at the original installation of 1974 on the southwest sidewalk of McCaul Street and Dundas Street. In summer 2017, the sculpture was moved onto the Grange property. To the east, the Sharp Centre for Design at OCADU was first opened in 2004. (Grange Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20201005
Former Bayview Avenue onramp from River Street
Former Bayview Avenue onramp from River Street: The entry between Queen Street and King Street descended onto Bayview Avenue before 2011, after which the Flood Protection Landform routed traffic south towards the new Corktown Commons. Parkette seems temporary, with fences and construction machines at the bottom of the slope. The green space should eventually get a name when redevelopment is completed. (River Street, between Queen Street and King Street, Corktown, Toronto, Ontario) 20201017
Clarence Square
Clarence Square: Cut tree trunk with branch, light showing through hollows in two dimensions, closed on the bottom. In a park by busy streets, did planners or city workers design to leave a small point of interest next to the mature tree? Dog run to the south, many pedestrians with canines happy to see each other. (Clarence Square, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) 20201021
Logan Avenue, south of Queen Street East
Logan Avenue, south of Queen Street East: Unnamed laneway eastbound to Morse Street, blocked for paving. In parallel, local neighbours promoting Laneway Park-ing project for greening the public street behind commercial buildings leading to residential right-of-ways. We’re on the west side of Logan Avenue, where redevelopment at the end of the street transformed our laneway. (Laneway south of Queen Street East, from Logan Avenue to Morse Street, Riverside, Toronto, Ontario) 20201022
Toronto Pearson Airport
Toronto Pearson Airport: Maple Leaf Lounge isn’t the same, in the pandemic. On way to Vancouver, may visit family, if they can bear the social isolation count below 6 in BC. (Maple Leaf Lounge, Domestic, Toronto Pearson Airport, Ontario) 20201023
Twin Falls Bridge
Twin Falls Bridge: The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge was closed, so we walked further downwards to the fixed crossing to the south. Long wooden stairs down, and boardwalk planks meant steadier balance. No real photo opportunities in the canyon, we followed the paths well above the flowing water below. (Twin Falls Bridge, Lynn Valley Ecology Centre, North Vancouver, BC) 20201025
Lighthouse Park
Lighthouse Park: Practically as far west in continental Canada as possible. Hike to the overlook of the Port Atkinson Lighthouse was posted as 10 minutes down, and 25 minutes back up to the parking lot. Pedestrian route through old growth forest, thick trunk hemlock trees with more than 500 rings. (Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, BC) 20201025
Lord Strathcona School
Lord Strathcona School: Strolling with Chinatown memories back to the 1960s, remembering the elementary school for KY, TW and DI. Sons getting history of the family, first-hand accounts of growing up in the neighbourhood. Population was practically all Chinese in those days, houses nearby are now gentrified. (Lord Strathcona School, East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC) 20201025
Strathcona
Strathcona: Walked from front of building to the east side, to appreciate the multi-level unit that was home to a family of 9. Decades later, everyone has now moved out of the neighbourhood, most with families of their own. Recalling the places called home, within a few blocks of each other, and the distances walking to school. (718 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver, BC) 20201020
Simon K.Y. Lee Senior Care Home
Simon K.Y. Lee Senior Care Home: Window visit with DY’s mother, as we aren’t the designated family visitor for the month to the eldercare facility. She recognized us through the glass, and was happy to see us. Helpful staff at the centre said that she knew we were coming from Toronto, as we had phoned ahead to make arrangements. (Simon K.Y. Lee Senior Care Home, Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC) 20201026
Kitsilano
Kitsilano: Reminiscing back to July 1984, when DY moved into my apartment, followed in the next month as an uncommitted girlfriend leaving Vancouver for an uncertain future in Toronto. I had lived in the apartment with the big picture window since November 1982, as a graduate student at UBC. The building looks much the same today, although the West 4th Avenue commercial strip has since densified. (1960 Waterloo Street, Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC) 20201026
Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver Art Gallery: Alienated by the Euro-Canadian style of the period, #EmilyCarr (1935) “A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth” adopted the expressive power of the forest in a deliberately limited palette of greens and blues. In later reflection, she said that she was interested in the abstraction of #LawrenHarris, but chose to retain her vision of being of nature, rather than next to it. Part of the exhibition of “Rapture, Rhythm and the Tree of Life”. (Vancouver Art Gallery, Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC) 20201027
Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver Art Gallery: Showing “nothing”, #ZhuJinshi (1977) “The Tao of Rice Paper II” sees folds of sheets hanging over bamboo in a floor-to-ceiling installation. The artist sees abstract as really from Western philosophy and aesthetics, not from the Tao of Chinese philosophy. Part of the “Common Language exhibition. (Vancouver Art Gallery, Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC) 20201027
Richmond Art Gallery
Richmond Art Gallery: Serigraph #GuXiong 1993 “Cafeteria #3” originally shown in the 1994 exhibition The Basement, reflecting the experience of working as a new immigrant working in the UBC cafeteria. Originally from Chongqing, now a professor of Fine Arts at UBC. Gallery just reopened with show celebrating 40th anniversary. (Richmond Art Gallery, Minoru Gate, Richmond, BC) 20201028
Gulf of Georgia Cannery
Gulf of Georgia Cannery: Just outside the National Historic Site, a working fishing boat maintaining its nets. Inside was a rather complete history of British Columbia canning from pre-European days, through the World Wars, to the 1970s when production ended. Full-scale model of canning production line, with progress demonstrating technological advances. (Gulf of Georgia Cannery National History Site, Fourth Street, Steveston, BC) 20201028
UBC Belkin Gallery
UBC Belkin Gallery: Musical score background, with wood-burning fire ring and tripod stools, #TaniaWillard (2018) “Surrounded / Surrounding”. Leather seats have words etched into the leather. The Sounding exhibition is a combination of visual and aural installation, we observed mostly artifacts and social distancing sensibilities. (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC) 20201029
Seymour’s Pub
Seymour’s Pub: Trio #WinstonMatsushita, #WynstonMinckler, #ToddStewart in casual north shore venue. Pianist had studied jazz at UToronto, moved back home to Vancouver. Small group of music enthusiasts separated from clientele more interested in big screen sports or socializing. (Seymour’s Pub and Grill, Lillooet Road, North Vancouver, BC) 20201029
Tightrope Impro Theatre
Tightrope Impro Theatre: Concluding award in Gorilla Theatre show @TightropeImpro, counting bananas over forfeits for directors of each scene. Five performers in protective face masks, our family were front and centre at a table socially distanced from other audience attendees. Walking through Chinatown to arrive at venue revealed the district has become popular with hipsters, filling restaurants both inside, and on outside patios. (Tightrope Impro Theatre, East Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC) 20201030
Kitsilano Beach
Kitsilano Beach: Volleyball courts full on a sunny day, next to English Bay, with the mountains of the north shore as background. Leisurely stroll west to Elsje Point, and then west to Point Grey Park. Bright days like this leads visitors to forget the grey days from November through March. (Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, BC) 20201031

2020/09 Moments September 2020

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

2020/08 Moments August 2020

Toronto, Ontario

Don Valley Drive
Don Valley Drive: Facing west, loud traffic noises beyond the 40 metre steep forested drop into ravine alongside the river, with the Don Valley Parkway on the other side. Dead end residential street is close to city centre, yet hidden away. More than one freestanding basketball hoop on the roadway. (Don Valley Drive, North Broadview, East York, Ontario) 20200806
St. James Park
St. James Park: Playground with market theme includes stacked crates, asparagus spears. Open in summer 2019 as part of Phase 1, other Phase 2 areas still fenced off either for completion, or due to pandemic interruption. We often pass by on Adelaide Street or King Street, but haven’t stopped to notice the details. (St. James Park, King Street East, Toronto, Ontario) 20200818
Mud Creek
Mud Creek: View northward from Cat’s Eye Bridge, overlooking the Belt Line Trail by Heath Street East. Bike ride descending from Mount Pleasant Cemetery, with a long climb back up Milkman’s Lane. Route is originally a train line opening 1892, purchased in 1972 in a land swap for the land by the Metro Convention Centre. (Mud Creek, at Heath Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20200820
Edward Gardens
Edward Gardens: Annual visit to the nuptial site, 35th revisiting of our commitments. Sons remarking on the number of return trips yet to come. So warm outside, plans to dine at a patio were abandoned in favour of the first seated restaurant meal in six months, following social distancing protocols. (Edward Gardens, Don Mills, Ontario) 20200824
Ashbridges Bay
Ashbridges Bay: Bench under shady trees facing pleasure craft, with few visitors on a cloudy day. Popular area for children on bicycles with training wheels, while other parents hold hands before crossing the paved path. Volleyball courts seem more popular than boardwalk, rain arriving within the hour. (Ashbridges Bay, Toronto, Ontario) 20200826

Princes Gates
Princes Gates: Rear view, looking eastward toward the city centre, of the Goddess of Winged Victory, with a single maple leaf in her hand. The last two weeks of August normally see this street busy with the Canadian National Exhibition, but the pandemic led to cancellation. Statue commemorated in 1972 was poured concrete, replaced by in 1987 by a polymer copy. Nine pillars represent the nine provinces at that time. (Princes Gates, Princes Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20200829

2020/07 Moments July 2020

Toronto, Ontario

Riverside neighbourhood
Riverside neighbourhood: Working from home, new workplace arrangement, as office sent me a 27″ monitor for laptop. I already had a laptop and and monitor, plus computer tower under desk. Setup took 3 hours of company time, a slow day on a holiday weekend. More tweaks are expected, I spend many so many hours at the keyboard. (Riverside neighbourhood, Toronto, Ontario) 20200703
Jack Layton Ferry Terminal
Jack Layton Ferry Terminal: The William Inglis ferry returned to service over the past week, destined for the Ward’s Island dock towards the east. The ship was first put into service in 1935, built by the local company that produced marine engines during World War I. On a late Monday afternoon, saw people lounging on the benches by the boardwalk, consistent with social distancing guidelines. (Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario) 20200706
Yonge-Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square: At @YDSquare, waterplay fountains installed by #DanEuser #Waterarchitecture circa 2002 have been turned back on. This signals progress in reopening of the city, after the pandemic shutdown. Filtration system keeps the sprays above pool-level quality. (Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, Ontario) 20200714
West End YMCA
West End YMCA: Stone sculpture “Little Champion, Le Petit Champion” installed in 2014, donated and created by Dr. Harry Rosen, a professor of dentistry from McGill University. By the entrance on the west side of the YMCA Building constructed in 1890, with The Great Hall becoming a separate venue in a 2016 restoration. (West End YMCA, College Street at Dovercourt Road, Toronto, Ontario) 20200714
Queen’s Park
Queen’s Park: Privileged to live in a city where children can run free in a public park, and parents are trusting, without regard to their ethnicity or socio-economic status. The King Edward VII Equestrian Statue was installed in 1969 more for the horse, than for the monarch on horseback. Any traces of defacement by protesters are gone, a brief moment in the larger context of time. (Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario) 20200721
Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial
Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial: In 1885, the last spike on the railroad joining Canada from east to west was driven in British Columbia, the same year that Canada imposed a head tax on Chinese immigrants. Location of memorial is on the south side of the tracks, facing north towards the most of the city, with Lake Ontario to its back, and the Rogers Centre currently not hosting baseball games. Pedestrians out on the small strip of parkland, enjoying summer weather. (Chinese Railroad Worker Memorial, Blue Jay Way, Toronto, Ontario) 20200727

18 Yonge
18 Yonge: South of overhead rail tracks, @OtternessStudio 2007 “Immigrant Family” bronze in front of #Lanterra building reflects the hope for the future amongst new arrivals to the city. Migrants from Eastern Europe arrived after WWII by ship to Halifax, and by train to Toronto. In the block just north of the elevated Gardiner Expressway, the sculpture is well lit, but the site isn’t on the beaten path for pedestrians. (Immigrant Family sculpture, Yonge Street north of Lake Shore Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario) 20200728
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