Trekking the PATH


It isn’t hard, when you are in downtown Toronto’s underground PATH network of connected tunnels, to imagine that you are inside a gigantic spaceship. The environment is utterly unnatural, every surface synthetic. Weather doesn’t exist. Public space is designed for cleaning machines, not the littering, spilling crew of workers and shoppers. There’s a hardness about everything, because the public cannot be trusted with soft things. Tile, terrazzo, polished steel, concrete, stone and plastic. Nothing flammable or sharp, either.


The best parts of the PATH are the newest ones, because they emerge from the subterranean engine rooms of commerce, allowing views to the outside world and sunlight. Head south of Union Station and over the Skywalk. Construction is ongoing, but someone washed the windows within the last month. Continue reading

Farfard fan retires to pasture

I have always liked Joe Fafard‘s ironic cows, lying in cement-cordonned grass beneath the bank towers downtown.

Our friend Sue owns a Fafard sculpture, so Farmer Bill gives her a shout out. Photography by a friendly guy from Elmira, in town for the day. “I could never live down here”, he said. He has plenty of real cows to look at back home.

The quirky conversationalist

Today on the streetcar, on the streetcar, this guy behind me was talking to a friend, to a friend. He never finished a sentence without like, like, backing up and taking another, taking another run at it.

The gimmick would, would make a neat character routine, character routine for a, for a sitcom. Writers who got paid, got paid by the word could, like, like, get a lotta, a lotta mileage out of very little.

Scotiabank bungles badly

A friend of mine decided to get a Scotiabank prepaid debit card for online transactions. That was last week. It’s still not working, days after he got it. First, the bank failed to load the card with the cash amount asked for… the customer’s own cash, this wasn’t a loan. A trip to the bank branch gained corrective “assistance” from a teller who chose a method to load the card which tied up my friend’s cash for another 2-4 business days.

So, transactions have failed, appointments have been lost and Scotiabank is still sitting on money that isn’t theirs. They won’t be ashamed, but they’ve certainly earned a mention.

Pub kills pun

The sign is a bit weather-beaten and the interior can use the spruce-up that is to come, but I’ll miss the old name when Lion on the Beach becomes simply The Stone Lion. The Beaches Queen Street strip is a pretty relaxed, easy-going neighbourhood, especially in the summertime when the pub’s outdoor tables are popular. The silly name seemed to fit and made me smile.
I hope they preserve the cool lion with his sunglasses, perhaps as a wall hanging inside.

Danforth shop window art

I don’t know if it was a juried show, but the display was pretty high calibre, Danica and I thought. It’s really hard to shoot through windows because of reflections, so I’ll just show you a small sampling of the pictures done by kids in ColourCreative classes on the Danforth.

maxwellThe one above is by “Maxwell”. We loved it. Next, a couple of nice owls, interpreted in completely different ways. Artists: “Daniel” on the left, “Andria” on the right.


There were many more paintings and drawings, all well done and all appropriately inspired by animal subjects, because the window hosting the show belongs to Wag On The Danforth, a pet supply store.

Beach Hill Brueghel scene

View of Fairmount Park from Upper Gerrard Street East Temporary hockey rink.
beach-hill-brueghelWhenever I see figures against a snowy landscape, especially from an elevated point of view, I am whisked back through the centuries to the Lowlands of Western Europe and the timeless paintings of Brueghel.
The Hunters in the Snow, 1565, oil on wood. By Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

Lakeshore Loblaws wifi woe

loblaws-no-wifiWith a logo like theirs, wifi would be a natural, no? No. The big box supermarket has been renovated and redecorated. Tables and chairs are offered in the deli section, if you are inclined to nosh. There’s even a new cafĂ© counter. But a public wifi signal? Not so far. I have written, of course. [UPDATE] Loblaws replied saying that, while no date has been set, there are plans to offer a public wifi signal.

Beautiful slip joint hinges

Joni is working on a project I’ll probably say more about later, but it involves the use of slip joint hinges. She sent this photo of some handmade wooden ones that I admire as sculpture.

IMG_0853.JPGThere are many kinds of slip joint hinges but one kind that most of us know is part of ordinary pliers. You know how they work, to open the jaws wider, don’t you? Simple and ingenious.