June 2004 to March, 2012

Random header image... Refresh for more!

Toronto-Danforth by-election race heats up

At first, I thought the riding next to ours was going to hand its seat to the NDP as a Jack Layton memorial. Craig Scott’s lawn signs were plentiful while Liberal Grant Gordon’s were few and small. Yesterday, I noticed that Gordon’s signs were running neck-and-neck with Scott’s. As we all know, he who wins the lawn sign race wins the election.

The March 19th showdown will be interesting because Toronto-Danforth see-saws. It was a Liberal riding for two cycles before Layton took the prize. In this case, will support for Gordon from Liberal leader Bob Rae help or hurt, considering Rae’s NDP past?

Share

February 27, 2012   1 Comment

The underside of Rosedale Heights School for the Arts

Rosedale Heights School for the Arts overlooks Bayview and the Don Valley. It sits at the south west end of the viaduct, across from Castle Frank subway station.

I wonder if the visual arts are being pursued with as much energy and enthusiasm in the classroom as they are in the concrete caverns supporting the school parking lot.

Sure the styles are derivative… but aren’t they terrific? Colourful, lively, assertive. The setting is perfect, too… cave paintings, under the car park that juts out from Castle Frank hill. Careful on the stairs. A lot of the wood is rotten and slippery when wet.

Share

February 26, 2012   3 Comments

Portrait of the Bloor Street Viaduct

Click to enlarge

Damn, I walked all the way down the stairs from Castle Frank for this shot and it’s almost identical to the one on Wikipedia. Oh well, it was another gorgeous day and the walk home was good for 11,000 steps.

East and west subway trains run below the surface roadway and I am impressed that the builders planned to accommodate a subway that wouldn’t even exist until decades after the bridge opened to cars.

When I crossed the Prince Edward Viaduct [the official name] on foot, I got a closer look at the suicide prevention “sculpture” strung along both sides of the bridge.

Click to enlarge

It’s a curious structure because the most visible parts…the girders that angle out from the bridge, seem to have so little to do with supporting the curtain of vertical stainless steel rods that actually curtail jumping. I guess it IS a sculpture rather than a purely utilitarian fence. Danica sees rows of crucifixes. For me, the wire-like rods are reminiscent of those cheese and hard boiled egg slicer gizmos. Perhaps both interpretations were intended.

Share

February 26, 2012   3 Comments

Where Imagination Went To Die

Nope. Not clever. Doesn’t work. Try harder, maybe sober.

Bloor Street West near Dundas West

Share

February 22, 2012   No Comments

A nice gift from Ruth Colombo

Ruth found a photo taken about 6 years ago and husband John Colombo sent it along. It shows my old friend Ben Viccari and his wife Anne as guests at a Big Seven Oh birthday party the Colombos celebrated at Grano’s. Ben was already well into his 80s.

It was through Ben that Danica and I met the Colombos. Ben had a great circle of creative, accomplished friends and acquaintances and introduced us to more than a few of them.

Thanks for the picture, John and Ruth!

Share

February 22, 2012   No Comments

TTC advertising not selling?

Click to enlarge

Yesterday, I noticed a bus without an ad in its poster frame and today I saw empty posters and this “TRANSIT ADVERTISING WORKS” plea in the subway station. Hmmmm. Times are tough, maybe tougher than I thought. Weren’t the Dirty 30s noted as an era of pole-sitters and dare devil stunts? Wasn’t a tightrope walk across Niagara Falls just given the green light?

Share

February 22, 2012   No Comments

Lakeside rink at the foot of Kew Gardens

Boys were playing shinny in the bright sunshine we got for Family Day. They provided me with a new blog header image, which you may see when it comes up in random rotation. There’s nothing like skating outdoors. The best!

Share

February 21, 2012   No Comments

Walled cemetery on Jones Avenue

Click to enlarge

I stopped to photograph one of the two locked gateways or doors and wondered what the history of this cemetery might be. The walls are unusual and the barbed wire on top? Keeping the zombies in? Google maps let me see over the wall, and in better weather, too.

Click to enlarge

Turns out, it’s a Jewish cemetery, still in active use. There was a burial there as recently as 2010. I’m not sure why it’s walled off. Perhaps to offer seclusion from the traffic noise of Jones Avenue, or perhaps to keep vandals out. Barbed wire surrounds some access points on a Christian cemetery near our house. Vandals get in there and tip over gravestones with some regularity.

It’s a shame to think that a Jewish cemetery would require the extra protection of locked gates and opaque walls, but maybe it does. The cemetery’s web page is password-protected.

Share

February 21, 2012   1 Comment

Family Day at the Kew Beach Petting Zoo

Interestingly, the middle shot would be illegal in the UK. A man there was actually stopped from photographing the exterior of public bus because “there might be children inside”.

–Source: Cory Doctorow, in a panel discussion Danica and I attended last year.

Share

February 20, 2012   2 Comments

A brave talk that gets my respect

It’s not a subject we want to hear about, not something that medical professionals say much about, either. Dr Goldman shares his own, personal story in an attempt to shed light on unpalatable realities.

Goldman hosts an excellent show on CBC Radio: White Coat, Black Art.

Share

February 19, 2012   3 Comments