Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hey, The Hockey Hall Of Fame Reads My Blog

Dougie! was elected to the Hockey Hall Of Fame.

Not surprizing, since a lot of great journalists had been lobbying hard for his inclusion.

In fact, see "Who?" for some very compelling lobbying for "Killer".

Okay, you have to look way down at the bottomof the post.

Wow, the power of mindless drivel!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

You're In My Neighbourhood Now!

Oh man! That is so....uhhhh....exactly what it's supposed to be.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It's the start of Pride Week in Toronto, so store windows in my neighbourhood waste no time getting into the act.

Nice touch having a third guy floating in from the right.

Oh oh.....

Monday, 27 June 2011

Déjà Vu

If this building looks familar - it should.

See "Demolition By Neglect" for reminder.

Went on another Heritage Toronto Walk yesterday and wouldn't you know it, it started exactly where I was snapping pics the other day.

Turns out this place is not the big disaster waiting to happen that I thought it was.

Casey House (hospice for people with HIV/AIDS) owns it and is getting ready to reno it.

According to our excellent guide, Janice, they are likely to remove the paint to expose the brick, among other refurbishments.

Built in 1875, it was a mixture of architectural styles.

This walk featured "The Mansions Of Jarvis Street".

Before the great thinkers of the mid 20th century demo'd most of Toronto's architectural heritage, Jarvis St was a beautiful, tree lined boulevard of massive stone homes.

Of course, only a few remain.

So across the street from Casey House there is a row of homes that somehow missed the wrecker's ball.

The attention to detail is amazing.

From the looks of these buildings, all were built in the same 1870-90's hallucinogenic phase.

Amazing. And excellent.

Like so many of these homes, so-and-so built it, but died of typhoid or something else before it was completed.

No different with this one.

Now you may have actually been in this fine home - it is The Keg Mansion, at Jarvis and Maitland.

Like a mini castle, complete with turrets.

Like any good papa, he (began to) build this starter home next door for his son, but the son died, too, before it was completed. So another son got it.

Building homes was clearly hazardous to your health.

If you get thirsty a lot, you may also have been in this fine example of High Victorian Gothic.

Because it is the local Mac's Milk.

A couple of early (1905) apartment buildings that are still standing and still in use.

Apartment buildings?!

At the time, in this fine neighbourhood, I'm sure quite scandalous. Renters!

Here they saved this building by erecting the National Ballet School around it.

Hey, whatever it takes.

And only a few remaining examples of smaller, older buildings.

The farther south you went, the smaller the homes became.

Because in the mid 1800's, real money lived in North Toronto, south of Bloor (it wasn't until the late 1800's & early 1900's that North Toronto became Rosedale, Forest Hill, Moor Park, etc. as bridges were built spanning the ravines) with worker bees living closer to the city centre (Queen/King/Front).

So a very interesting walk. Heritage all around you that you never look at.

Especially now that Jarvis is no longer that tree lined, gracious boulevard - but a five lane, mad commuter scramble each day.

Get outta my way!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Down On The Bayou

As follow-up to last week's "A Walk In The Park", this is the return leg of the journey.

Man, did I fall down a rabbit hole hole and wind up in a Louisiana swamp?

Although I'm sure you'll be hankering to order a mint julep, from the earlier post, you'll remember those little skyscrapers are always just over the horizon.

How many different rivers and streams run down through the middle of Toronto anyway?

And somebody has taken considerable time and effort to lay stone pathways for a lot of them.

And these are not always just lazy little streams. [Make note of the wooden crossing bridge.]

Yeah, I bet. That little creek?

Oh....

That's the other side of the bridge. The washed out side.

If they have to build a flood channel this size, I guess it can get pretty wild down here in the spring.

A beautiful, soaring Giant Hogweed tree.

Now they tell me!

Thanks a lot. I've probably got poisonous little spores that are busy burrowing into my body right now.

Tranquil wetlands. Being restored to create a natural marine habitat.

Well, you can't please everybody.

I am outta here!

No wonder north Toronto took so long to catch on. Horse & buggies always getting stuck in the dad gummed mud!

Now these types of towering spanbridges are all through the ravines. Massive work involved in building all these.

More painstakingly built collection and pooling areas.

But no matter how far away from the city you feel you are.....a little bit of graffiti will remind you that you're never that far....

These ravines extend right from the tippy top of Toronto, winding all through it down to Lake Ontario.

Seems now everyone I talk to has their favourite areas. "Oh yeah, we just go two blocks from our house and hop into the ravine. We can go for hours."

Who knew? Well, I guess everybody but me.....

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oh, You Cheaters!

Following up from last week's stroll through the oh so practical post war neighbourhood of Moore Park, we do come across some instances of architectural diversity.

Or do we?

The cheaters!

That's just a stone facade.

And there's a whole row of them.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I Lied. They Lied!

I lied.....when I said "Not bad for an attempt to preserve the façade of these older buildings."

What older buildings? See "Not Bad" for the "before" view.

But They Lied (sort of) leading us to think they were trying to preserve the façade. Ha!

As you can see, the old façade is gone.

Below is a shot of the old and new, side by each.

Wow, they really had me fooled......

Friday, 17 June 2011

Much More Sensible

Today's walking tour takes us north of yesterday's ether and morphine inspired architecture (thanks for the insight, Dave) to another exclusive, but much more sensible, neighbourhood.

Symmetrical.

Practical.

No freakish turrets or multiple chimneys looking like the horns of the devil!

North, to the sane, post war neighborhood of Moore Park.

Amazing how 50 years changed the entire concept of what a dwelling should be.

Prudent. Stable.

Who says all progress is good?

House after house, street after street.

Nothing controversial here. We've just come back from the war and we are going to work hard and live a good and decent life.

Little did they know their kids (us) would be back into the glue again in no time.

And after all they did for us. Sheesh!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Hallucinogens In The 1890's?

Oh yeah!

No doubt about it.

What else could explain this architecture?

Considering how straight laced (we thought) people were a hundred years ago, some of the architecture makes you think, what were they inhaling?

Or maybe it was just some bad coal dust?



Whatever it was - it was catching.

And if these don't convince you, I recommend an afternoon at Casa Loma.....

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Walk In The Park

The retireder I get, the further I must venture beyond my four safe walls to see something new.

And, man, there is a lot to see in TO, tucked neatly away below the level streets.

You just have to know where to look, as I found out while trying to locate Craigleigh Gardens Park.

I thought I had found it, and wandered behind an apartment building.

Only to find it was the gardened backyard of a day care centre.

With many, many mothers i) dropping off their bundles of joy and ii) giving me the evil stink eye.

Luckily I could read their minds "What is a young - okay, middle aged - okay, what is an old, retired guy doing wandering around behind a day care centre?"

In a proactive measure (I still got the corporate lingo, baby!) I approached one and asked "Ha ha, do you know where Craigleigh-Park is?"

From her reaction she apparently thought i) Craigleigh-Park was a made-up word and ii) if she could get to her cell phone, I would be in safely the back of a cruiser very soon.

Whew - Google Maps wasn't lying! Found it!

Either that or the cops "Dump him in a ravine" line now makes a lot more sense.

Regardless of how I got here, down we go into the deep, cool ravine that runs essentially all through the heart of Toronto.

Beautiful. And, without all those annoying babies and mothers.

This is a park within the Don Valley Brickworks property.

Where the bricks for many (most?) of Toronto's buildings in the early 1900's were sourced.

But what that's over the horizon?

OMG!

It's Condozilla! The one that's blocking the view on my balcony!

See recent post "Holy Crapamolie!" for another view of this....thing.

It still has about 15 floors to go. There goes the pristine countryside.

Okay, maybe not all so pristine, but still.....it don't fit.

Now, stay tuned for the next post - of the shocking return journey.

You will not believe your eyes!