Results tagged “toronto” from TWISIA
You see all kinds of things at Pride. You see people celebrating their sexuality, dressing to please themselves, and coming together as a community. I'm so glad that I finally made it out to Pride this year.
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.
There were a huge variety of kites in the sky this fall at Ashbridges Bay Kite Festival. It was rather spectacular to see, and most of these were anchored in the beach, and were remarkably stable up in the sky.
Sharing her lunch with the pigeons out front of Union Station.
Waiting for the next streetcar to pass, I guess. I see the supervisors hanging out on the street from time to time, but I never know exactly what they're doing there. Don't they have radios in the buses and streetcars? Or are they there to do spot checks, making sure that the streetcar drivers dont' take their cars off the rails and go wandering through the city?
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.
Okay - so it's been a while since I posted here. It's been a busy, busy summer. My wonderful, amazing daughter has come to live with us, so we've been just a *tad* busy - adapting to life with a resident teenager is occassionally challenging, shall we say. But I still have all these photos that I want to share, and there's so much I want to see and capture.
My neighbour has a whole host of these growing on the hill in front of his house. I have no idea what kind of mushrooms these are, but they grow into huge colonies like this, then disintegate into a black goo, only to come back again. It's cool, and it's the only house on the street to have this happen. I'm sure that once he starts mowing his lawn, these will appear less frequently.
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.
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.
Okay - this is an older photo - I took it back in October. But doesn't the Distillery District look spooky-awesome at night? I have to go back there with a tripod and take a bunch of night shots.
A driver waits to pull around a stopped car on Queen Street, as Justin Bieber performs at Much Music. Traffic was pretty heavy while Justin was performing, but I don't really think that too many drivers were trying to catch a glimpse of him as they zoomed past. It's always interesting to stand at the bus stop at Queen and John and wait for a streetcar while one act or another performs there. Inevitably, the performances are going on at 5pm, when everyone is leaving. That's part of the charm of the city, though.
I love the way the sign looks when the steam is billowing around it. Bravo used to be one of the stations I watched a lot - their studios are located just south of my work, at the intersection of Queen and John. I haven't watched too much on there lately, though - there just doesn't seem to be as many programs on there that I want to see.
As you can see, we had some sunshine recently. It was wonderful to get out of the office and walk over to City Hall under clear skies.
Some of the bank towers of Toronto's Financial District, as seen from John Street. These towers loom over the city, much like the related institutions loom over the economy.
And here is another of the photos taken on my birthday photowalk. Liberty Village is a wonderful part of the city, very interesting to see, and I'll be certain to head back there again - preferably in the warmer weather. As you can see, it was snowing by the time we left to go home. What you can't see is that it was annoyingly cold. It's a wonderful tradition we have, of taking the day off for our birthdays, and going around the city taking pictures. But there are times when I wish that our birthdays weren't both in the winter.
It looks like the site of some mysterious government conspiracy - like there's aliens being autopsied underneath the dome. It's actually a dome over an outdoor stadium, but it really got our imaginations going.
Which came first, the ivy or the mural? And which will last longer? I'm always fascinated by the way ivy colonizes a wall. It seems that, in this case, the ivy is going to win, long term, unless the owners of this building get rid of it. Another shot from my trip to Liberty Village.
There are some seriously cool looking cafes and restaurants in Liberty Village. I love the name of this one - The Roastery. I wonder if their menu reflects the name - roasted coffee, roast chicken, roast beef, roast veggies... I think it would be harder to come up with a dessert menu, though.
The address is part of a former carpet factory turned into hip loft office space. I love the look of the whole neighbourhood that's sprung up around the former factory. I'd love to get a look inside - I bet it looks wild.
I love the multicultural nature of Toronto. You never know what culture you're going to run into when you walk through the city. This, for example, was nestled into a neighbourhood that looks no different than some of the suburbia that I grew up in. Down the street, the neighbourhood switched from residential to industrial. However, doesn't he look cold, sitting in the snow like that?
Every year, for my birthday, we go on a photowalk. Usually, we end up going somewhere around the city that I've never gone. This year, we headed down to Liberty Village to see what's there. It's a formerly industrial area now turned into offices, restaurants and such. The building in the middle of the shot is called the Vogue Supperclub. I have no idea if they still need the tall smokestack, but it's definitely a distinctive part of the neighbourhood.
It's kind of creepy to have a giant Marilyn head staring at you as you wait for the next streetcar. I mean - it feels like she's staring at me when I'm in this shelter. And she's larger than life size, too. I suppose it could be worse - it could be Don Cherry. (heh)
Winter, winter, winter - and along with the cold, we get snow. It was only flurries, but it is a precursor of times to come. I love the way the headlights catch the snowflakes - with the slow shutter speed, the individual flakes become streaks of light. It can be challenging to take pictures in a snowstorm. The camera tends to get wet, and electronics and moisture don't always play well together. The best thing that I've found is to rest my hands on top of the camera when I'm not taking shots, but when it's bad enough, I put the camera away, or put the body into a ziploc bag to protect it. (Put the camera in the bag, with the lens poking out - the plastic protects the electronics, and the lens is free and clear.)
Closeup of the clock tower on Toronto's Old City Hall. I hate the amount of darkness that we end up with through the winter. When it's dark on my way to work, and dark on my way home, it gets tremendously depressing, and makes me not want to go out of the house. As you can see from this picture, at a quarter to six in the evening, it's pretty much fully dark out. I can't wait for summer to come, with it's long hours of sunlight, and warm weather, so that I can go out taking pictures in the evenings again.
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.
More weeds waiting for the snow at Ashbridges Bay.
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.
Architectural details are incredibly important for setting the tone of a space. In this case, the carvings at the top of each pillar give me a sense of importance and seriousness in this space. (But then, when I look at these things, I find myself planning out the project of carving them by hand, and they were probably carved by machine, in a factory somewhere.)
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.
I've loved the look of this building since I first saw it, driving along Lakeshore Blvd. It sits, looking like a huge sculpture, north of Lakeshore, just west of Coxwell. At one point, I think that I learned that it's part of the Ashbridges Bay Water Treatment Plant, but I could be wrong. All summer long, there was scaffolding around it as they did maintenance, but most fo the scaffoldign is down now, and you can see the wonderful sculpted sides of the building. It looks wonderful in the late afternoon light, too.
The patio at The Boardwalk Pub, down at Ashbridges Bay Park, is probably not used much in the winter. But during the summer, it's open and usually full. One of the things I love about living down here is that it's just a short walk down to the beach. This past summer was really busy, but I'm sure that we'll get down here in 2011 to sample the fare and enjoy the atmosphere. Somehow, I don't think that the patio would be nearly as enjoyable in January, though.
These guys seem to hang around all winter long. I often wonder what makes one bird decide not to fly south with the rest of them. Is it that they are smarter, and know that they'll find food all year long? Is it that they're injured, so will have to expend too much energy or effort? Or are they lazy, and would rather take the chance on finding food in the northern climes? It's definitely got to have something to do with the climate effects of the cities - heat islands, more food, etc.
There hadn't been much snow so far this winter when I took this picture. It's been really strange, actually, how little snow there has been. However, as of today, there's plenty of snow on the ground, and more falling. The entire landscape has been transformed, so it's good to actually have a record of what the plants looked like before the snow got dumped on them.
More summer playground equipment waiting for spring to arrive. Could you play baseball in the winter? Probably not. I remember a few times playing in late fall where the crack of the bat was followed by a curse as the vibrations stung cold hands. And at this point of the year, the infield would not be fun to slide on. I guess we're better off sticking to games like hockey, and sports like skiing.
Winter in the park can be very lonely. It's a long, cold, dark season, and there are few, if any, people around in the park. This year, I want to get out and enjoy the season more, rather than do the usual hibernating that happens all to often. I want more fresh air, and sunshine even if it's cold air.
There's something lonely about a stadium in winter. The warm weather is gone, and the stadium sits there, unused until spring, waiting for people to visit. And with such bright colors on the track, too. It's got that nice inflatable dome over the field, but there's not much going on all winter. I wonder if the stadium hibernates...
Looking at this picture, I wonder which came first - the ivy or the electrical cables. Given the age of some of the buildings on the campus, it could be a tossup. There are some serious quantities of ivy on the walls of U of T, and it seems to like to go underneath the exterior conduit. I have to think that ivy will damage the walls, given enough time, but it seems to be tremendously popular on old buildings.
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.
Construction continues throughout the winter, all around Toronto. I often find myself wondering what it's like to work high up in a new building during the cold - do you feel it more up there? It's got to be somewhat awe inspiring to see a storm swirling around you while you're 300 feet up from the street, and to feel the wind and snow pelting you as you work in the open air. I know that I wouldn't want to do that work, but I certainly appreciate the folks that do it.
Happy New Year, folks! Did you celebrate the arrival of 2011 in style? Did you go out partying, or stay home with family? Did you stay up till after midnight, or did you go to bed earlier? The new year stretches ahead of us, filled with possibilities, lined with milestones and events. I hope all of you have a wonderful year.
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.
They really go all out for Christmas down in the Distillery. This tree is huge, and I don't even want to think about how many lights there are on it.
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.)
It was cold when the aliens landed - their vehicles were large, and found their way into the city. Their appearance provoked cries of awe and terror that quickly faded to annoyance, as the glacial pace made them more road hazard than invading force. In fact, some of the vehicles stood in place long enough that buildings were erected around them, turning them into art pieces like this one.
Seriously, though, this is a really neat sculpture down in the Toronto Distillery district. I went down to Pikto to pick up some prints for my daughter, and had to take a shot of this. Of course, with no tripod, or monopod, I had to improvise for the 2 1/2 second exposure. Walls are handy, though, so I managed to get a pretty good shot.
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.
I love this old truck in the Distillery District. It's all rusted and rough textured, and it suits the architecture so much. Yeah, I know, the Distillery sometimes comes off as a tremendously expensive tourist trap. And I know, the shops there are very specialized and snooty - but the artists that have rented space there do some seriously interesting stuff. It's worth checking out.
They city is so colorful this time of year. All the trees lose their green, and drop brightly colored leaves all over the ground. And people start wearing jackets, and pretty soon, the snow will come and make the city grey again. But for now, we have reds, yellows, and oranges scattered across the sidewalks and roads to make us happy.
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.
Another shot from our trip to Casa Loma back in August.
I saw him waiting to cross, and all I could think was - what a great album cover that would make.
Cigarette package left on the bed of the truck carrying new rails for TTC Streetcar line on Coxwell.
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.
Detail from a carousel on the Ex Midway. I loved the light at that point, especially with the grey clouds in the background.
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.
I love spotting graffiti, it's a sign of a dynamic neighbourhood. (Of course, I've never owned anything that got tagged, so my perspective is likely to be more benign than some others...) I like it even better when it's got some artistic merit. This one amuses me, because of the contrast between the tag, and the phrase "sunny disposition".
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 don't know why this particular piece of litter caught my eye. Maybe because it was at eye level, and the sun was hitting it just the right way to make it glow. Maybe because it was a Harvey's cup. But it got me thinking about the sheer volume of litter tossed out by careless, impolite people every day, and the resources that we have to put into managing that.
I remember seeing scenes set in New York in my childhood - the trash scattered everywhere, blowing down the street when the wind blew. And I remember my pride when I heard about a movie company strewing trash up and down a street on the night before a shoot, only to arrive and find that Toronto Works had received a complaint and had shown up to clean it up.
Is increased litter a sign of a decaying neighbourhood? Or does it trigger decay some way? Either way, folks, don't litter.
I love the splashes of colour on this building. And I especially love that the colour seems to be trying to escape from the window wells and onto the side of the building, in the form of graffiti. Or maybe the graffiti was there first, and it's starting to infect the staid, grey exterior of the building with bright and lively colour. Wouldn't that be a weird world if that was possible.
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...
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?
For several years now, I've seen this monument, rising above University Avenue, just north of Queen Street. I never really paid too much attention to it, but I liked the light on this day.
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.