rfmcdonald: (photo)
Last evening, I kept my computer busy by uploading the more than two hundred photos I had taken last weekend, during Jane's Walk in Toronto. At one point, I had planned to take eight, but reality and fatigue intervened so as to limit me to six, five on Saturday the 5th and one on Sunday the 6th.

  • My first was "St. Lawrence Market: Role of Public Markets in Placemaking", led by Samantha Wiles. Wiles ably took her group around St. Lawrence Market, past the archeological excavations to the market's north, around its perimeter, and to the south, introducing us to the market's very long history at the heart of Toronto. Photos are here.

  • In the afternoon, I followed urbanist Richard Longley in his "Harbord Village east side: architecture old, new, diverse, domestic, insitutional, sacred, profane", taking a large contingent through a rapidly changing neighbourhood south of the Annex. I was particularly taken by the abundance of creative graffiti in the back alleys, especially on Croft Street. Photos are here.

  • Later in the afteroon, I followed Brian Sharwood and Melinda Medley, the bloggers behind OssingtonVillage.com, on a short but information-packed stroll north in Indie Ossington, from Ossington at Queen on the CAMH grounds up to Dundas Street. Photos are here.

  • In the evening, I went down to Exhibition Place for the Ghost Walk led there by Steve Collie. As night fell, Collie took dozens of people on a stroll through some of the locales where ghost sightings have been claimed, from the stacks of the centre's archives to the barracks where soldiers sent off to war spent their last moments in Canada. The behind-the-scenes perspective it offered of Exhibition Place was a big plus. Photos are here.

  • Late at night, at 11 o'clock, I joined the Nightwalking & Secret Staircases: Baby Point walk led by Oona Fraser. My photo album includes my pre-walk, east from Old Mill station and up Jane Street to the Baby Point Gates. Walking through the wooded parks along Humber River, up and down the stairs, underneath the luminous sky, was magic.

  • Sunday afternoon, after joining a visiting Taiwanese friend for lunch and then doing some independent walking south on Roncesvalles and east on Queen Street West to Dufferin, I joined "Here's the Thing: A Creative Writing Walk (Part 2 / Downtown)" at Dufferin Station. Led by Denise Pinto and Shari Kasman, this was a guided walk, the participants being given (and providing) prompts at different moments on the walk to write different things. I enjoyed this late afternoon walk, a lot. My output tended more towards prose poetry than fiction, but it was fun regardless.


  • I'm not sure what I'll do with all of these photos. I doubt I'll post most of them to this blog, to Tumblr or Instagram. They remain on Flickr nonetheless, ready for you to peruse. (I also have uploaded them all to Facebook, too, so those of you who follow me there can see them there, too.)
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Tower in the night, north towards Davenport


    The signals tower on the rail line to the north of my home was just barely perceptible, late last night, against the bright clouds.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Levelled, 10:56 pm #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #demolition #night


    1120 Dupont Street used to have a building here, but in November it was torn down to make way for a future storage building.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Demolition, Dupont between Dufferin and Bartlett #toronto #dovercourtvillage #dupontstreet #demolition


    1120 Dupont Street, once home to Harry's Motors and located just east of Dufferin, has been in the process of demolition by Teperman over the past few days. The official Toronto website notes that an application for a six-story self-service rental building has been submitted.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Orange mums on a cloudy morning #toronto #dovercourtvillage #orange #mums #warmth #saturation


    This photo is one of the few where I've made extensive use of Instagram's filters, maxxing out warmth and saturation. The vivid orange of these mums outside a Dovercourt Village convenience store just did not survive the ambient light conditions of a cloudy grey morning. They still did not, but this way I got something that was at least eye-catching.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    @teammazer at work. This is one of several signs for Toronto city council candidate Alex Mazer I passed yesterday morning.


    This is one of several signs for Alex Mazer, Toronto city council candidate for Ward 18 I passed yesterday morning.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    1068 Dovercourt Road, scene of a fatal fire 7 March 2014


    There was a fatal fire in my neighbourhood early on the morning of Friday the 7th, in a second-floor four-bedroom apartment above the empty storefront at 1068 Dovercourt Road. (The storefront until recently hosted a business called International Electronics; I don't think I took any notice of it when it was around.)

    Four people lived in the apartment--a nice one, according to its description in an ad--and one, then two, then three died.

    “All four victims were found on the second floor. They were pulled out by firefighters,” Division Commander Dan MacIsaac said.

    Firefighters were called to the apartment, located above a store at 1068 Dovercourt Rd., around 3:10 a.m. on Friday. The fire began in the living room and kitchen area, MacIsaac said.

    According to firefighters, there were no working smoke detectors on the second floor where the victims were found.

    Smoke detectors were working on the main floor.

    The cause of the fire and the cost of the damage are not yet known. However, early estimates put the cost of the fire at around $100,000. There were no signs of hoarding and no evidence of criminality.

    The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.


    The Toronto Star has a couple of articles, one profiling the four young friends in their early 20s from exurban Georgetown, another emphasizing how the third victim to die saved five lives with her donated organs.

    Men had gathered in front of the location this evening--workers to gauge the damage, perhaps? In front of the storefront window a memorial had taken shape, sombre bouquets of flowers and a Simpsons comic.
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    I took a few photos as I walked to Christmas dinner about 5:30. Snow was still falling, and was rather quite pleasant. It had been a while since I'd experienced a white Christmas, and I hadn't realized how much I'd missed it.

    Walking east on Dupont towards the intersection with Dovercourt Avenue early Christmas evening, all was calm and white. Even the traffic seemed cheery.

    On a wintry night (1)

    Looking south onto Dovercourt at the interection of Dupont and Dovercourt, the scene was quiet.

    On a wintry night (2)

    Walking south on Dovercourt towards Hallam was quietly pleasant.

    On a wintry night (3)

    A taxi parked while, in the far distance, the few cars about on Hallam approached Dovercourt.

    On a wintry night (4)
    rfmcdonald: (Default)
    I took this photograph standing in the parking lot of 1110 Dupont Street, an address that is home to both Dupont Automotive Services--well-reviewed at Yelp--and to Affinity Car Rentals. I was looking north, across Bartlett Avenue towards the rail tracks and Geary Avenue just beyond.

    Looking north on Dupont beyond Bartlett
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    I took a quick snap with my cell phone of the placard of the Belarusian Greek-Orthodox Church of St Ephrasinia of Polatsk, one of the two Belarusian churches that I know of in downtown Toronto. Located at 1008 Dovercourt Road, I photographed the building in 2009, here.

    In front of the Belarusian Greek-Orthodox Church of St Ephrasinia, 1008 Dovercourt Road
    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    The Casa do Alentejo (1130 Dupont Street), just north and east of the intersection of north-south Dufferin Street with and east-west Dupont, is a community centre for Portuguese Canadians taking its name from the mainland Portuguese region of Alentejo. This February 2012 article noting the centre's celebrating its 29th anniversary--30th this year--makes for interesting reading.

    Casa do Alentejo, 1130 Dupont Street


    This plaque, dating from the 24th of October, 1999, commemorates a visit by the Portuguese consul-general in Toronto to this Portuguese community centre.

    Plaque of the Casa do Alentejo, 1130 Dupont Street


    This graffiti, located on the east side of the Casa do Alentejo (1130 Dupont Street), just north and east of the intersection of north-south Dufferin Street with and east-west Dupont, was apparently commissioned by the building's owners. This photo was taken in October 2010, but the graffiti remains.

    Casa do Alentejo Graffiti, 1130 Dupont Street


    See this YouTube interview dating from 2008.

    rfmcdonald: (photo)
    Dovercourt Road is the north-south street around which the neighbourhood called Dovercourt Park by Wikipedia and Dovercourt Village by everyone else takes form. Many of the buildings on Dovercourt Road began as storefronts but, with the continuing consolidation of the retail sector, have since become residential units with unusual front windows or else offices of some non-retail kind. Many of the new occupiers of these post-storefront buildings have made artistic displays in the front space.

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