Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: QueenStW (Page 1 of 2)

Street Art in Renfrew Place

Renfrew Place sounds like a posh street but in actuality is a back alley. It’s located one block north of Queen Street West and runs between Simcoe Street and John Street:

An interesting and colourful segment of Renfrew Place is the small section between St. Patrick Street and McCaul Street, which is where I captured these images:

Crossing McCaul Street and moving toward John Street, the alley is a little bland at first but becomes more interesting and colourful as you progress further west:

The Green Glow of Renfrew Place

As I moved further west down Renfrew Place I became aware that everything was bathed in this odd green light. The green glow in these shots is from the setting sun reflecting off the green exterior of the Umbra building on the corner of Renfrew Place and John Street. It was late afternoon when I took these shots, so the slowly setting sun was strong, illuminating everything in the alley and turning it green:

More Elicser

If you’ve been following TO Cityscapes for a while you’ll find the occasional post about the very talented Toronto street artist Elicser. I’m a big fan of his urban art. His style is instantly identifiable and his murals can be found in so many interesting spots in the city. I was pleased to find some more of the man’s work in this alley.

If you’re interested in reading some of my previous posts featuring Elicser’s mural art, please check out the posts below:

Barbara Barrett Lane

Barbara Barrett Lane is located just south of Bloor Street West, running between Brunswick Avenue…

Read More

“Apple Alley”

I call this street art site Apple Alley because of its location: the first alley…

Read More

Alleyway Art

I discovered this street art in an alley off King Street West, east of Strachan…

Read More

Continuing On…

The colours of these Elicser murals may seem a little odd but, again, the alley was bathed in a strong reflected light from the Umbra building on John Street:

And here is the very building which was casting the unusual green light on the alley

Renfrew Place terminates at John Street. Just before exiting the alley to John Street, a couple more Elicser murals can be found:

Looking back at Renfrew Place from Queen Street West, one more Elicser mural can be found atop the building. Note the Umbra building in the background, responsible for casting such an interesting green glow on the alley.

Remembrance Day 2023

A sombre Remembrance Day ceremony took place today around the Cenotaph at Old City Hall, 60 Queen Street West.

The City focused this year’s events around the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement that brought about the end of the Korean War. Other milestones honoured today were the 75th anniversary of Canadian participation in peacekeeping missions for the United Nations and the centennials of the Naval Reserve of Canada and HMCS York, a Royal Canadian Navy Reserve Division in Toronto.

The ceremonies began at 10:45 AM, starting with the singing of our national anthem, a reading of In Flanders Fields, a two-minute silence at 11:00, and a trumpeteer playing The Last Post:

A fly-past by the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA)
Mayor Chow delivered her Remembrance Day message
The laying of wreaths on the Cenotaph
The ceremony concluded with people leaving their poppies on the Cenotaph
A special “Toronto Remembers” presentation on Queen Street West, outside Old City Hall

Other locations for today’s Remembrance Day ceremonies were:

  • Scarborough War Memorial: 2190 Kingston Road
  • East York Civic Centre – Memorial Gardens: 850 Coxwell Avenue
  • York Cemetery – Cenotaph: 160 Beecroft Road
  • York Civic Centre Cenotaph: 2700 Eglinton Avenue West
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre – Cenotaph: 399 The West Mall
  • Fort York National Historic Site: 100 Garrison Road

Panorama India 2023

Panorama India 2023, with the support of the Consulate General of India, celebrated India’s 76th anniversary of Indian Independence Day on August 20th, 2023 at Nathan Phillips Square.

The Panorama India Parade

The Panorama India event celebrated the vibrant culture, art and heritage of India. The event started with the Grand Parade down Bay Street, across King Street West, up University Avenue, then back to Nathan Phillips Square on Queen Street West. There, Nathan Phillips Square was transformed into a lively place with the sites, sounds, and flavors of India.

These two gentlemen on Queen Street West were preparing for the Panorama India Parade, which was gathering at Nathan Phillips Square
On Queen Street West, arriving back at Nathan Phillips Square

Panorama India Celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square

As the parade wound down the crowd returned to Nathan Phillips Square. There was plenty of food, entertainment and dancing for the rest of the day:

At Nathan Phillips Square
Henna application
Dancers from the Tamil Nadu Cultural Society Of Canada

Toronto Ghost Bikes

Ghost bikes are to be found across Toronto wherever a cyclist has been killed. Members of the cycling community have been installing these tributes for more than 20 years.

On Queen Street West

This ghost bike, outside Old City Hall at 60 Queen Street West, commemorates the spot where bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard was killed on August 31, 2009 from a vehicle altercation with former Attorney General Michael Bryant. I remember reading and hearing about this altercation at the time; the incident was more violent than most. The tragedy was compounded by a controversial decision by an Ontario government-appointed independent prosecutor to drop criminal negligence and dangerous driving charges against Bryant.

Throughout the ensuing years, the memorial has been maintained by Sheppard’s family and their supporters. The memorial has served as the meeting place for semi-annual gatherings calling for a more equal justice system for cyclists killed on Toronto’s roads.

On Davenport Road

Another ghost bike resides on the corner of Avenue Road and Davenport Road. Adam Excell was riding his bike on Avenue Road, near Davenport Road on June 13, 2015, when he was struck and killed by a car that did not remain at the scene.

Eaton Centre Pedestrian Bridge

Located at the busy intersection of Yonge and Queen Streets, the Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge is a dramatic public landmark that replaces the previous pedestrian bridge, which was completed in 1978. The bridge spans Queen Street West and links the Toronto Eaton Centre with The Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue on the south side of Queen Street West.

The design challenge involved carefully merging the contrasting buildings the bridge links – on one side the historic 1896 sandstone Hudson’s Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue (formerly Simpsons – anyone remember that?) with Romanesque revival features, and on the other, the contemporary glass and steel forms of the 1977 Toronto Eaton Centre.

From the architect’s website:

The new bridge was designed as a beautiful, sustainable addition to Toronto’s streetscape and pedestrian infrastructure. Conceptualized as a metaphorical handshake between these two seemingly opposing architectural styles, the geometry of the bridge transitions from the circular arches found on the historic Hudson Bay facade into the rectangular forms of the Eaton Centre. In addition to its steel, bronze and glass appearance echoing the materials and iconography of the historic buildings it links, the Bridge maintains the original ethos of the Eaton Centre in its honest use of simple materials. In total, the structure is comprised of 190 patinated bronze panels and 210 double, curved glass panels, each unique in shape and curvature. The Bridge has transformed the link between the historic buildings it sits aside. It enhances, rather than overshadows, the architectural features of each building.

In order to minimize disruption to the busy intersection of Yonge and Queen Streets, the bridge’s main structural components were assembled on nearby James Street and moved into place in one piece. I took these shots on May 28, 2017 while the bridge was still very much a work in progress on James Street:

Moving the 218 metric tonne bridge in place required a highly specialized hydraulic lift system given the minimal clearances on both the Eaton Centre and Hudson’s Bay sides. The entire process took several hours in the early morning hours on a weekend, shutting down this section of Queen Street. The remainder of work was done in place allowing the street to remain operable.

After The Move

The new bridge opened in late 2017. I took these shots of the completed pedestrian bridge on April 10, 2021:

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