Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: AllanGardens

Ice Storm!

All this inclement weather lately has put me in mind of the infamous Toronto ice storm in late December 2013. This happened 11 years ago now, so I guess it qualifies for one of my so-called From The Vaults posts (i.e. Toronto events and photos from several years past).

At the time of the storm I took a little walk around the neighbourhood to see everything more or less encased in ice:

The massive ice storm began on December 19, 2013 and dispersed on December 23, 2013. In addition to hitting Ontario the storm also reached Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Maine, New England, New York, Michigan and even Arkansas. In Toronto, the ice was so heavy it resulted in damaged hydro lines and trees weighing down onto roads and vehicles.

The 2013 ice storm consisted of 40-plus hours of freezing rain and more than 30 millimetres of ice, leaving 416,000 customers without power, 500 wires down and two million trees damaged. During the ice storm, Toronto Hydro said 73,000 metres of service wire and 80,000 pieces of hardware had to be replaced. The storm had a total cost of $200 million.1

The storm killed 27 people, particularly from carbon monoxide poisoning in enclosed and poorly ventilated areas as people attempted to keep warm and cook with gas generators and charcoal stoves.

Streets And Cars Were Shrouded In Ice…

An Icy Allan Gardens

Lots Of Broken Trees…

At the time I remember thinking how weird everything felt; the city had mostly came to a halt throughout the storm. The ice storm of 2013 remains yet another Toronto vignette I will never forget.

1 Stats courtesy of The Weather Network

A Christmas Walk

Well, it is a black and rainy Christmas this year in Toronto. Regardless, I took a little photo-spin yesterday to see how the city is setting up for the season.

There are some much-loved (at least by me) Toronto traditions missing this year: unfortunately no festive windows at The Bay on Queen and Yonge (due to the massive construction of the new subway on Queen Street). The Flower Show at the Allan Gardens conservatory is extremely scaled back due to the renovation of the Palm House, and “Holiday Fair”, normally held at City Hall, was moved to Mel Lastman Square in North York (I suspect, again, due to the mess caused by the Queen Street subway project). Despite these, it is still Christmas in the city… a special time. Here is a bit of what I encountered yesterday:

Allan Gardens Christmas Flower Show

I wish I had more shots to post here, but the few below were the extent of the Flower Show this year:

“Winter Glow” at Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square had a mini-festival going on, although I only saw a couple of people there. There were carnival rides, a 45-foot-tall Ferris Wheel, the “Great Canadian Carousel” and a few midway games.

On the Yonge Street side there was a 40-foot “Remembrance Tree”, sponsored by the Rotary Club. Visitors make a donation to the cause, then receive a yellow ribbon on which to write a message to a loved one who has passed.

Eaton Centre

As usual, the Eaton Centre was abuzz with people, a massive Christmas tree (114-foot high, said to be the tallest in North America) and giant glittering reindeer:


From The Vaults: “The Nindinawemaaganidok / All My Relations” Mural Project

It’s time for another installment of what I’ve dubbed From The Vaults, which are TOcityscapes from several years past. These shots are from January 12, 2013 so I think they qualify as Vaults material.

For about 4 years in the early 2010s, there was a huge wooden hoarding/fence on the south side of Allan Gardens. The hoarding surrounded the main construction site of the Gerrard Watermain Replacement Project. Allegedly the size of 2 football fields (719 feet), the hoarding served as a massive art canvas for Toronto Aboriginal community artists.

Entitled The Nindinawemaaganidok/All My Relations Mural Project, the artwork was a visual representation of First Nations life and culture in Toronto. Led by nationally recognized and award winning artists Tannis Nielsen and Philip Cote, 21 artists from the First Nations community came together to design and paint the mural.

The mural depicted 5 different topics combined with Aboriginal history in the city of Toronto:

  • Aboriginal women who have been murdered or have gone missing across Canada
  • A time line of the creation story to present day
  • The North and South Indigenous nations coming together
  • Indigenous teachings
  • The importance of water

Here’s how it looked:

    I couldn’t find any further history as to what happened to the mural after it was dismantled. At one point I heard it was to be auctioned off during the Pan Am games when they were hosted in Toronto a few years; I don’t know if that ever came to pass, though. At any rate, it proved to be an inspiring and beautiful mural for a number of years in Allan Gardens.

    Winter Flower Show at Allan Gardens Conservatory

    As it is every Christmas, the Allan Gardens conservatory is decorated and filled with thousands of flowering plants, over 30 varieties of poinsettia and seasonal topiary masterpieces made entirely of plant material.

    There are floral scenes with thousands of colourful blooms, vines and lush plants from around the world. The Flower Show is a welcome respite from the cold and grey of December, and has a nice festive feel to it.

    © 2024 TO Cityscapes

    Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

    Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

    Subscribe to TO Cityscapes

    Join my mailing list to receive an email alert when I publish a new post.

    You have successfully subscribed! Check your email for further info.

    Pin It on Pinterest