Time for another “Helen Andersen”

This 1982 gouache just got a new matte and frame. It hangs in Danica’s office. Helen painted it when she returned to Vancouver Island after a visit with us in Toronto. It was inspired by her memory of a rainy day at the College and Yonge subway exit.


Whenever I see a solo female figure in Helen’s art, I take it to be a kind of psychological self portrait. Here, a lone woman has her head down as she climbs against inclement weather. It’s not too hard to see how an artist might identify with the image.

Good day, bad day

The police board has decided not to renew Chief Blair’s contract, a decision that pleases me. On the bad side, a careless driver has sent our popular city councillor to the hospital, knocking her off her bicycle at Beach Hill’s busiest intersection. The driver has been charged and, thank goodness, Mary Margaret will be OK.

Basketball kayak and canoe-style


A bridge over the mouth of the Rouge gave Peter and me a good view of a summer camp game going on in the waters below our bicycle route.

The kids were allowed to pick up the floating basketball and bring it onboard, but could only paddle 3 strokes before they had to pass. Goals consisted of two large plastic garbage bins, one on each bank. The bins were almost full of water which helped stability and also kept the ball floating accessibly for easy retrieval.

Great fun on a perfect summer day. The players were developing good skills, learning to cooperate and just having a good time.


We found more boaters on Frenchman’s Bay. Note to self: Take a real camera next time, The iPad doesn’t cut it.

Local news


Because I associate this kind of mural painting with slums trying to tart themselves up on the cheap, I feel unqualified to comment on the artistic merit of the designs being applied to an underpass on Woodbine Avenue. I have promised to keep an open mind, and I am trying. The spray painter is wearing a protective mask and that’s definitely a good thing.


Above the work of the hired street artist, a popular illegal “canvas” has been decorated by POM. Since the shed is on railroad property, the city cannot remove graffiti from it and designs last quite a while before a competitor claims the spot.


Theory has it that taggers will leave the authorized wall alone, out of respect for the artist. I’m curious to see how it works out.

Great ride to a new park today


Not only was it cool and breezy, the bike path to the mouth of the Don River was fairly construction-free between there and our house. Good day for exploring new routes, I decided.

Cherry Street on the north side of Lakeshore was as far as I could go before fences stopped my advance, so I doubled back and discovered that a new park has already opened to the public. It’s just east of the under-construction Canary District that is being developed in time to house athletes for the Pan Am Games next summer.

You can pause the slideshow to read about the history of the park, if you are interested. There are washroom facilities and playground stuff for kids at the top of the hill. I liked the big, bright sculpture made of girders and logs, too. It sits at the base of the park.

The whole area is going to be fabulous and it’s getting very close to complete. We’ll be able to ride our bikes there easily, and on to the Distillery District caf├ęs next door. If we ever get tired of that, a fork in the path will take us up the Don River.

Click the image to jump to live web cams of the construction area.