Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: CarltonSt

City Walk on a Foggy Day

This post was originally from a couple of weekends ago when the weather was not cooperating. I am reposting this one as I don’t believe it was published recently given all my trouble with my automated sender.

This post is one-part city walk mixed with two-parts photography experiment.

Does anyone remember what sunshine looks like?

It’s a distant foggy memory, much like the weather we’ve had recently. Given that, I thought it would be interesting to take a walk in the fog/darkness and shoot in black and white to emphasize the moodiness.

I love shooting in black and white; it makes everything look so different and dramatic – details stand out, creating emotions. In addition to shooting in soft black and white I used a diffusion filter which removed much of the “digital edge” from modern digital cameras, leaving a soft B&W treatment looking like it was shot on film. The shots are intentionally dark and muted, and the fog enhanced the effect.

Condo on Jarvis Street, below Gerrard Street East. Taken from Mutual St.
Mutual Street below Gerrard Street East
Condos at Jarvis Street & Dundas Street East. Shot from Mutual Street
St. Michael’s Hospital, Shuter Street
Fran’s on Shuter Street
Diamonds on Shuter Street

Inside OctoZone

Located at 247 Yonge Street, across from the Eaton Centre, is OctoZone. OctoZone is a huge claw machine-themed gift shop. The interior is very Asian-styled, infused with copious amounts of bright turquoise and hot pink neon (the effect lost, of course, in my black and white shots). I’ve passed this place several times and have always wondered what it is; this time I decided to take temporary refuge from the fog and drizzle, go in and check it out. It’s quite an interesting place: click here if you’d like to watch a short YouTube video about OctoZone.

Later, Back On Yonge Street…

Looking north on Yonge Street. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The electronic billboards of Yonge-Dundas Square in the fog
“I see you”: Eaton Centre in the fog
The Aura condo in the fog. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The World Food Market at 335 Yonge Street, below Gould Street
336 Yonge Street, below Gerrard Street
Ryerson, from Gould Street
The corner of Church Street & Carlton Street

Next stop: home, where it’s warm and dry! 🙂

TOcityscapes is One Year Old!

That’s right – I started this blog on July 31, 2022. Happy First Birthday!

Thank you to all my loyal subscribers for sticking with me all this time. There’s still a lot more TOcityscapes to come!

If you’d like to take a look back at the year that was, I’ve created an Archives page where you can select and view any post from the past year.

As a bit of a retrospective, here are links to a few of the posts that generated the most viewer response or comments from the past year. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for a whole lot more to come…


On the east side of the Parkside Student Residence on the corner of Jarvis and Carlton Streets, there resides a colourful multi-storey-high mural entitled Equilibrium. Created by Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel in 2018, the mural was produced by the PATCH project, which works to strengthen communities through producing public art projects which transform public spaces into opportunities for civic engagement.

From the plaque on the mural:

A culmination of a multi-year international collaboration aimed at celebrating the diverse communities that host the work, this mural was painted in 2018.

Equilibrium references the universal balance between nature, humanity and knowledge. Spanish artist, Okuda San Miguel has incorporated a totem-style as used across a diversity of cultures throughout history. It is the artist’s intention that individual viewers should find their own meaning and personal connection with the work, but has thoughtfully selected colours and imagery that conjure feelings of positivity and unity.

A signature element in the artist’s work, the Kaos star at the base symbolizes each individual’s internal compass. Regardless of origin each person must find their own path on Mother Earth (represented by the female figure in the work’s lower sections).

Representing the merging of humanity and nature, the avian-faced women reflect the need to balance these two worlds by holding the globe between them. The featured trio of faces represent the combined importance of knowledge and wisdom (grayscale), alongside innovation (coloured). Multi-coloured bodies are symbolic of diversity, while star-studded eyes reflect the inner universe present in each of us. The face on the globe depicts the eyes of the world watching humanity.

Connecting to the surrounding community, the foliage found throughout the design pays homage to the neighbouring Allan Gardens, meanwhile the angelic figure atop the work connects to the church to the east and serves as a symbol of freedom. A pride-inspired flag was integrated in response to the resounding support the project received from the Church-Wellesley community throughout its development.

The project was made possible through a collaboration among The STEPS initiative, Parkside Student Residence, Knightstone Capital Management, and StreetARToronto (StART), an initiative of the City of Toronto that supports, promotes and increases awareness of street art and its unique role in adding beauty and character to neighbourhoods across Toronto.

The Mural Slowly Takes Shape

Continuing to grow
A closeup of lower section
Mural’s title
Artist’s monogram

“Flow Blue”

Flow Blue is created by artist Marlene Hilton Moore. Located at the Encore Condo at 23 Carlton Street, this treed walkway leads from the condo entrance to neighbouring Granby Street. The blue trees were installed in 2008 and are 17 feet high. The design was inspired by the numerous trees on nearby Granby Street.

By night the vault of the Archway is illuminated with blue LED lights, simulating the sky. I have no shots of that, unfortunately… time for another visit – nighttime next time around.

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