Results tagged “street” from TWISIA
Always nice to see the streetcars. I know - they get in the way of cars. But here's the thing. They're efficient, they hold tons of people, and you KNOW where they're going to be. So how come cars can't just go on roads where streetcars aren't? Seriously. Who wants to drive downtown ANYWAYS?
Well, after a four year (!) absence, it seems that I'm back posting here. I'm taking pictures again, after several years of life getting in the way. This is a picture that I've had queued to go out for four years, but now I've finally gotten back into the groove of taking pictures, THEN processing them. Soon, I'll be posting new pictures, and we'll see if I can't get this blog back into a place where I have regular postings again.
Taking time to clean up the debris from the previous winter. I talked to these guys in the summer, and asked why it took so long to clean up the park. They told me that they were the only crew dedicated to cleanup in the entire city. I wonder if they'll be back this summer, now that winter is finally here.
As I get older, I start looking back at my life more and more. It's natural, but it's also a huge distraction at times. I am constantly reminding myself that there's no profit in watching yourself make bad decisions, over and over - it's much better to look at where you are now, and focus on making the best decisions that you can. The past is the past - unchangeable and gone. The future can still be influenced, if we pay attention to the here and now.
Looking east on Dundas from the corner at University. Lots of traffic, but it's noontime, so it's not really too bad. It's much worse at rush hour, as many people try to use University as a conduit to the northern reaches of the city. Of course, the more that people use it, the more crowded, and slow, it gets.
Trying to get off the rocks on Lake Ontario. Taken at Beaches Park in Toronto, on a beautiful, sunny day.
Sharing her lunch with the pigeons out front of Union Station.
Another mural going up at the corner of Queen and John. I was actually surprised - I didn't think that they'd be able to paint during the winter months, but there they were, painting in the cold and dark. I wonder how long it took for the paint to dry in the cold, or if they used different paint.
Another cold day, another dog left tied up outside of a store. It's really simple, people - if you have to go out to get something from the store, leave your poor dog at home, where it's warm. Especially if he's a shorthaired breed, like this poor guy.
Taken at the Beaches Kite Festival. The guy flying this kite had tremendous control over it, and he had the kids running back and forth repeatedly, chasing the bear. It was fascinating to see him holding the kite just out of reach of the kids, dropping the bear and picking it up again before they could get to it. The kids seemed to be having a good time, that's for sure.
Different choices, different worlds, passing each other by on McCaul street.
Southbound platform of the Eglinton West subway station.
I had to stop her for a picture when I saw the devil horns/cat ears that she was wearing. Taken outside of OCAD.
The view from King Street West. Nothing says Toronto for me like the CN Tower, although Roy Thomson Hall comes close. (Did you know it was originally going to be New Massey Hall?)
Walking into the spring sunshine on Queen West. Thank god that the weather is changing, and we're getting more warmth, and no more of the snow and slush.
I love the look and the cleanliness of the Chicago Subway trains. There were a lot of features of the trains that I liked - such as the recorded messages telling you not only which station the train is pulling into, but also which side of the train you'll be exiting by. I loved that the train travelled along the center median of a major highway, too - such a smart city planning decision.
Close up of the theater in the previous photo. We need more decorative touches like this in Toronto. One of the things I loved in Chicago was the number of older, more decorated buildings still around.
Can you guess what city this theater is in?
I love the detail on the building - and the way it stands out next to it's neighbours.
One of the more interesting features of Chicago is the mix of lower and upper streets. It gives you an opportunity to take interesting streetscapes, like this one, from the bridges spanning the lower streets. I loved the canyon effect brought on by the tall buildings on both sides, but I imagine that it could be oppressive if you don't like city living. As for me, I'm a big fan of living in cities, so I just find it to be exciting.
I loved the concentration of fantastic architecture in Chicago's downtown. There were more tall buildings clustered around the downtown than you could shake a stick at. Not surprising, as Chicago is widely cited as the birthplace of the modern skyscraper. The Trump Tower is an example of the modern practice of glass and steel exteriors, and it's an impressive sight, as you walk down the street. But as you can see from the other buildings in the shot, there are a wide variety of different structural styles in the city. The steel and glass looks clean, and is impressive on one hand, but I think I prefer the more ornate and organic looking buildings that I saw elsewhere.
The day we got to Chicago was warm - unseasonably warm. Melting snow and ice had formed these huge ice structures, and the 45F temperatures had everything dripping. When we planned to go to Chicago in December, I was worried about being cold as we wandered around. When that got rescheduled to February, I was even more worried about temperatures. But we wandered around the entire weekend feeling overdressed and warm, not even needing hats or scarves through most of it.
Some of my most enduring impressions of Chicago come from "The Blues Brothers" - I remember scenes of Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi racing underneath the elevated subway tracks in Chicago. A little while ago, my wife and I made a pilgrimage to Chicago, and took the time, between fabulous diner eating, to take a bunch of photos of the downtown area. This particular shot was taken on the first day of our visit.
Empty streetcar on Spadina. I occasionally have to run up to Spadina and College on my lunch hour, and it's rare that I get onto a streetcar without anyone else on it. But this time, I managed to find one that nobody else needed. Of course, it came just after and just before another one, proving that when you don't want streetcars to arrive, they're always there.
At least this winter FEELS like a winter. Last year didn't feel like winter very often - more like an extended, depressing fall. I like it when we get snow. I even like the cold, believe it or not, it makes me feel like there's a reason to spend time indoors.
Okay, I know it's been cold in Toronto, but I don't think it's been THIS cold.
The ROM Crystal seems to be growing on top of the old museum structure like some sort of mineral deposit. My wife hates the Crystal, but I like it. I like that it doesn't look like a traditional building. I like that it takes chances with architecture. God save us from boring boxes of glass and steel - give me something that challenges my perceptions of what a building can be. It doesn't have to be outrageous, like the Crystal, or like the OCAD building, but at least make it visually interesting.
A pedestrian walks by the windows of a Shoppers Drug Mart on Queen St. Lately, it seems that Shoppers is carrying more and more groceries. According to a report I heard on the radio, they're getting a tremendous margin on their groceries, and are refocusing their stores to reflect that margin. I wonder if they'll eventually morph into a grocery chain with a pharmacy.
You'd think that the designers of this park expected people to skate on the pond. The boardwalk that rings the pond is very skate friendly - no need to clip on skateguards to walk across to the benches. You can see more of the condition of the ice in this picture - it's pretty solid, as far as I could see - and it looks like these two enjoyed themselves, based on the skate ruts and scrapes that I saw.
Skating on a pond is a time honoured Canadian tradition. Skating on the Woodbine Park pond, only a couple of days after temperatures of 9C (48F) is a little bit risky. However, the ice seemed very solid, and the pond is only waist deep anyways, so I guess it's not much of a risk. I'll be heading down there more often, now that we have regular cold temperatures and snow, to see if I can get more shots.
More from the University of Toronto. I have to go back there in the summer to take pictures. We got tons of great shots, but - OMG it was cold. We were not the only people wandering around taking pictures, though. I saw at least three other people wandering around with their cameras out, braving the chills.
On the campus of University of Toronto, this sculpture sits exactly on the Toronto Meridian, and points towards the Magnetic North Pole. Apparently, this was the official designation of Toronto until 1908, according to the plaque under the sculpture. Magnetic north was almost coincident with true north in 1840, but by 1898 it had drifted westward by 5 degrees. This sculpture commemorates the designation, and shows how long the Univeristy of Toronto has been around.
Stopping to grab a quick bite before heading off to complete their Christmas shopping, no doubt. I love that the city now allows more choices than hot dogs, sausages and such at city food carts. I wish they'd administer the program a little better, and allow even more choices, but it's a good beginning.
The new home of the Toronto International Film Festival, located at King St and John St. It's a beautiful building, and I have to remember to get down there next year during TIFF to see what's going on. On a side note, it was VERY cold waiting for the streetcar at this intersection - so cold that I decided to walk to University Ave. Why is it that in the winter, you so often see huge delays between streetcars, followed by a rash of them, one after another. It happens with buses too, and it's really annoying. (Especially when the first streetcar to go by is totally stuffed with people and won't let anyone else on.)
Nothing says Bay Street like tall buildings lining each side of the street. However, the tall buildings have the wonderful effect of channeling the wind rather spectacularly. Just after taking this picture, my new hat was blown right off my head, and I ended up chasing it across 4 lanes of traffic. Lesson learned - when it's windy, and you want to take pictures - leave the hat at home.
I love the look of the ceiling in this place. The way the light streams in just makes me happy. I have to come down here more often and get shots - I bet it's wonderful early in the morning.
Looking up at the TD Tower from Bay Street. So much money. So many buildings. So much wind.
This lineup of streetcars on Queen was a result of an incident on a Queen streetcar at Broadview. The police were interviewing passengers on a streetcar just past Broadview, in front of The Opera House. I was able to get off a streetcar at the end of this line, walk up and do some errands, and get on one of the streetcars at the front of the line, at which point, the police let traffic go again. It was amazing, however, to see so many streetcars lined up at this corner.
Sometimes, it's surprising what turns up in your camera. I remember taking this shot, and I remember actually trying to get a shot of the skateboarder coming up behind her. But this one turned out better, so there you go.
I saw him waiting to cross, and all I could think was - what a great album cover that would make.
Waiting to cross the street at Queen and John. They're renovating at Much Music, and it looks like the last vestiges of Speakers' Corner are going away - too bad.
It's always interesting to walk by Much Music on weekday mornings - you never know what you'll see.
Baby's first tag!
Okay, so that's probably not why they're taking their own pictures in front of this new mural. But it definitely makes the garage look a lot better. And, coincidentally, it's likely that having the garage painted like this will make it less likely to be tagged by something stupid or lame. I like the mix of colours on this one - it reallly livens up a boring section of Dupont.
Ah well, another summer has come to an end. It's a tradition, in Toronto, that the end of the Canadian National Exhibition marks the end of summer. We went on Saturday, and had a great time - lots of food, cool buildings, fun games and rides on the Midway.
These guys are waiting for players to try the Crown and Anchor wheel, late at night. Things thinned out substantially once the buildings started closing at 10pm, and these guys seemed to enjoy the break. Next year, we have to go earlier, so that we can see all the exhibits and buildings, not just half of them.
Waiting outside the Black Market clothing store on Queen West. Somehow, I don't think that he's in the typical demographic profile for the store - but I love how he's wearing complementary colors for the signage behind him.
Do you think that he feels more real when he lights up? More solid? I never smoked, but I imagine that taking that first puff on a newly lit cigarette makes you feel more solid, more you.
Taking a break on Queen Street at University Ave. I have to admit, I periodically get a craving for "street meat" and head out to the seller near my work. It's terrible for me, I know, but there's something very "downtown" about this meal to me. Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks that. They do seem to be enjoying their meal, don't they?
I found these, sitting on the sidewalk on my way to work, and my mind immediately filled with questions. Where did these come from? How long were they here? How did they get flattened? So many questions, from such a simple thing.
They are there, every sunny day in the summer. Eating around the memorial at Univeristy and Dundas. It's a nice little spot of green and shade in the middle of the road, and it's got to be an interesting eating experience, to be sitting there, watching people go by, watching the cars go by on either side. It's not the most unusual place to eat, I'm sure, but it's a little weird.
Talking on the phone in public - it's become ubiquitous. Everybody does it, everywhere. When did we decide that it was okay to inflict our conversations on everybody else? And when will people decide that they don't want others to hear their conversations?
In the last week, I've heard people cussing each other out on the phone, arranging medical care, arranging social gatherings, and just catching up with each other - all on cellphones, on the streetcar. I have to admit, I have done it too - I get phone calls and talk, not paying attention to what's going on around me, who is listening, who is trying not to listen. It's a different social dynamic now, and I'm sure that it's going to keep changing.
The new neighbhourhood is definitely growing on me. There are so many dogs in the area, of all kinds and breeds, and there's a strong pedestrian component too. Even if there are some more obviously car-centric locations within the area - like the place I go to get the streetcar. There's a theater, and off track betting location, and a Blockbuster Video and LCBO combined parking lot. That's a lot of space devoted to very few businesses, and lots of parking as well. It kind of jars with the whole "let's be pedestrians" feel of some of the other areas around here, and I find myself wondering which is the anomaly.
I love the latticework of wires above the intersection here. In the future, when Toronto gets more surface rail traffic, will it be powered by the same network of wires? I have to confess - I like the streetcars in Toronto. Sure, they can be quite a hassle to drive behind, and I tend to take alternate routes to get around them. But they carry a ton of passengers compared to buses, they act as anchors to the streets equipped to carry them, and they're far less expensive to maintain, from what I've heard. I'd like to see more streetcars in downtown, and less cars.
Is he angry *because* there are yellow crocs behind him?
Is he angry at all, or is he just a sourpuss?
Gotta say this for them - pigeons ALWAYS know where there's a free meal. Although, for some reason, Tom Lehrer is playing in the back of my mind...
A slightly different perspective on the bus stop at the end of my street.
So, Toronto is not ALL protests, demonstrations and conflicts with police. We also have cute antenna balls, quiet neighbourhoods, and people that just want things to go back to normal - like this guy. He seems happy enough, doesn't he?
The rain wasn't hard, just annoying enough warrant a sudden profusion of umbrellas, popping up like mushrooms, filling the sidewalks and making people dodge each other as they passed. You have to wonder about the people that brought their bikes, though - were they prepared for the rain? Was it a surprise? Are they going to get that annoying streak of wet up their backs from the ride home? And is it possible to use an umbrella while you ride a bike?
Traffic along Queen Street can be very congested in front of City TV. And those staffers that take scooters to work (and there are a few of them parked in front of the studios every day) don't always have an easy time of it trying to get into traffic. I have to say that I loved the combination of the bright yellow scooter and the high heels, though.
Another example of why it's not easy being a bike commuter - making legal left turns isn't easy when you're the smallest thing on the road. Kudos to this guy for taking his legal place. Maybe if more riders did this, cars and trucks would start looking for them on the road, instead of not paying attention to them. However, I do understand the reluctance on the part of bikers to take the risk - it's way too easy to lose out to a much larger vehicle that just didn't see you.
Gotta love the warm weather - I'm so glad that summer's almost here. Picnic benches are a staple of the summer, and discussions like this one are common while the sun is out. Sunshine, summer, friends and discussions...
I wonder if plants have the same reaction to being taken for a ride as dogs do. After all, they get this fantastical rush of air, blowing across their leaves, and that's got to increase the CO2 available to them. Do they sense the increased airflow and grow more?
I don't know that I'd be comfortable, riding to work on a motorcycle. It's not that I think that they're unsafe - I just think that motorists tend not to see them as well as they see cars.
They're ripping up Queen Street at McCaul, and this guy was coming out of Renfrew, behind the stores on Queen Street. I love the look of construction equipment, but I haven't quite figured out how to shoot it.
I'm loving the whole "out of the office and into the sunlight" aspects of the lengthening days. More daylight means more chances to walk around and shoot. I saw this as we walked up Spadina from Queen, on our way to dinner.
Early evening at Queen and Bay - now (seemingly) the slowest part of the 501-E streetcar route. Every time I get on the streetcar these days, it seems to take forever to go from here past Yonge Street.
Waiting for something outside the convenience store. I was surprised to see the bag of garbage hanging on the fire hydrant - I haven't seen that since sometime around the garbage strike this summer.
Part of our photo-walk on Sunday took us by this place, on Gerrard, east of Coxwell - and the signage is awesomely retro - complete with grime and rust stains. I love old signs, especially when they show their age.
It's been YEARS since I saw an Elvis bust. My in-laws used to have booze in ceramic Elvis bottles, and I used to see them when I was frequenting the flea markets around Toronto. But I didn't expect to see one on the edge of someone's driveway, that's for sure. Oh Elvis - what have they done to you?
Every Hallowe'en, the jack o'lantern shows up in neighbourhoods around the city. This fine specimen looked particularly fierce, and I'm glad I'm not going around trick-or-treating to see him scowling down at me in the dark.
Spotted on Queen Street East, near Broadview.
He's got everything he needs for the commute home.
Waiting for the streetcar to arrive in the morning can take some time. Sometimes, there seems to be fifteen minutes between them, and it's easy to sit there and be bored.
Rain transforms the mundane lights along the sidewalk on Queen East at Broadview.
This is always a busy intersection. On a good day, you can see all kinds of different modes of transportation - from feet to streetcars and everything in between. And it's an interesting street to walk down, too. In the course of a few blocks, you can see the fashion district, Chinatown, and all the computer parts you could ever want - and that's just from King to College.
Contrasts on Queen Street.
Live music at the corner of Queen and John!
Obviously, he's enjoying telling his story. He's either talking about a HUGE fish that he almost caught, or he's describing his HUGE headache.
A Harley rider takes the evening commute across Queen West - heading off into the sunset, I guess.
He's outside the Eaton Center periodically. As far as I can tell, he doesn't do anything other than look like a rhinestone statue of Elvis. But he always seems to draw a crowd.
It really is a huge advertisement for the upcoming Guess store on Queen Street.
The city is full of hidden places, some beautiful, some not. I love the look of this alleyway that I found on one of my photowalks around the downtown core of Toronto. I mean - an alleyway that has trees on either side? How great is that?
I hate driving into the sun. I hate the glare off the windshield, and the way I have to squint - even with my sunglasses on - to see the traffic and signs. It's gotta be just as bad when you're on a bike.
One of the most common sights around Toronto is the folks standing outside a building, smoking. You see them out there, no matter what the weather, no matter what time of year it is - getting their nicotine fix. I never smoked, but I can only imagine what kind of hold it would have had on me if I did.
Is he on his way to a gig? Is he coming from an audition? Where is he headed to?
Staring into the auto shop at Queen and Lewis.
Okay - I admit it. I head to hot dog stands from time to time, when I'm working downtown. Some of my fondest memories are of coming to the city to work, and having these vendors on (it seemed) every other corner selling sausages. It was such a change for me, having previously grown up in a small town, and having worked in the suburbs. Even today, I get cravings for a hot Polish or Italian sausage with all the fixings on top, and I have to go indulge.
Waiting for the light to change at Queen and John. It's always busy after work, and you see such a huge variety of people at that corner. Usually, they're busy, heading from one place to another, but occasionally, they stop long enough to be captured in a picture.
It's got to be a great workout - walking around downtown all day long, hauling tourists behind you in the rickshaw. But it's not the safest thing to do, and I don't imagine that they get to work when it's raining out.
Another urban camouflage shot. Taken outside the CHUM-FM studios at Richmond and Duncan St.
There are certain shots that are just easier to get with my 75-300mm zoom lens. This is one of them. I don't think I've ever seen an operator working in a crane before.
Is he coming from the clinic, or going to it? Does he realize how ironic it is that he's standing in front of that sign? And, most importantly, DO his feet hurt?
Waiting for a table at a restaurant on Queen Street. Looks relaxed, doesn't he - leaning on the doorway, checking his phone.
This mural graces the wall of an auto repair shop on Broadview Ave, north of Queen.