Summer & Winter … and Paris

18 November 2015 – An in-between season, when summer & winter jostle each other for control. Summer has had an amazingly long run, we are all properly grateful. And in some forms, of course, it can last all year ’round.

detail, Buck Teeth Girls Club mural, 56 Berkeley St

Such as a tropical-themed wall mural, for example.

Phyllis & I are heading south on Berkeley, early stage of a walk to the lake then north to Danfoth & west again, when we see yet another contribution to street life by the Buck Teeth Girls Club. Marked 2015, & it surely is. So pristine!

full view, same mural, 56 Berkeley

Also, I’m pretty sure, commissioned by the design studio on whose wall it sits — which may account for the atypical (but striking) use of charcoal & white.

In my experience, the Girls normally run to colour, riotous amounts of the stuff — one example the alley doorway in my previous post; another this goofy-happy scene up on Croft St., which I discovered last April.

more Buck Teeth Girls, on Croft St.

But I’m a sucker for more than street art.

Heritage architecture, especially when sympathetically repurposed, always stops me in my tracks as well. One favourite: the 1889 Consumers’ Gas building at Berkeley & Front, now the Berkeley Street Theatre.

Berkeley St. Theatre, Berkeley & Front

Head east one block to Parliament & Front, & you can enjoy its younger sibling, the 1899 Consumers’ Gas Purifying Plant that now serves as 51 Division for the Toronto Police. The family resemblance is unmistakable.

51 Division at Parliament & Front, originally Consumers' Gas 1899

See what I mean? Other siblings are strewn around town, all of them industrial examples of (I read somewhere) the Renaissance Revival style. Catch anybody reviving the renaissance today, for a gas purifying plant!

Solid old buildings like that, restored & maintained, are good for any season, not just summer.

Which is more than one can say for these woebegone tropical plants on Trinity St., clearly wishing somebody had taken them inside months earlier. Or sent them to Florida for the winter. Whichever.

sad summer plants on Trinity!

Oh dear, oh dear.

And we are definitely heading toward winter.

By the time the Tuesday Walking Society reaches the Keating Channel, partway down Cherry St. toward Cherry Beach, the inlet is dark & blustery. [Later correction, thanks to the sharp eyes of follower Larry Webb: This is the Ship Channel, not the Keating Channel. I know that! But, somehow, I misremembered while writing this post.]

view east fro bridge over Keating Channel, Cherry St.

At lake edge, we watch a couple of heroic workmen slog around in the water — the very chilly water — putting the lifeguard station’s dock to rights before it has to face winter storms.

1930s lifeguard station, Cherry Beach

Brrr. Even if they are in wet suits.

Ah, but what am I saying? We are rough-tough Canadians, are we not? Winter is our season, is it not? And our sport is …

on a Logan Av front porch


Just look at that clutch of hockey sticks, neatly stacked up on a Logan Av. porch, all eager to get out there & start whacking pucks around.

Another sign of winter-readiness: someone, also on Logan, who got her fur coat out of storage in good time for the dipping temperatures.

Which allows her to loll on the bench, oblivious to the nip in the air.

Logan St. cat, snug in her fur coat

We try to sweet-talk her into opening her eyes, for some texture contrast in the photo. One narrow glance, & we are dismissed. (As if we had expected anything else.)

Up & up Logan — me secretly wishing I were as well dressed for the day as Madame Cat — and there we are, on Danforth at last. A quick stop to pick up my new computer glasses (don’t I live an exciting life?) and we carry on west, ready to patronize a terrific café. Preferably soon. We’re at 11 km-plus in this walk; we agree we have earned a treat.

Which we find in Dough, a bake shop that, along with the treats, offers very fine coffee.

Going in, I see they have added a new top line to the near side of their sidewalk advertising blackboard.

sidewalk blackboard on Danforth Av.

Coming out, I see the far side.

Dough sidewalk billboard, Danforth Av.

Throughout Toronto, throughout the world, one message.

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. DJ

     /  18 November 2015

    Buck Teeth Girls Club mural is a fantastic botanical “I Spy” – I spy Philodendron leaves, sumac, a monarch caterpillar, just for starters. And yes, let’s send our love to Paris, but also to Beirut and Nairobi, and wherever ordinary people are showing extraordinary courage to go on with warm-hearted rational life regardless.

  2. ❤️❤️❤️ lovely post Penny!

  3. Larry

     /  18 November 2015

    Hi Penny.

    Don’t want to be picky, but that isn’t the Keating Channel. That’s the practical sounding “Ship Channel” south of the Keating!

    Wow, that’s a long walk you took!

    Best, L

    Larry Webb

    (416) 508-1291

    • Oh, please do be picky. (I began my career, all those decades ago, as a copy checker.) I was misremembering where we were, & you are right: we’re on the bascule bridge & this is the channel leading to the Turning Basin. I’ll correct the attribution, credit to you, next post. Thanks!

  4. Mary C

     /  18 November 2015

    the top mural is new to me, nice find! That was a long walk!

  5. Another lovely art filled walk, but a rather long walk…gosh you definitely deserved the treats Penny💕

    • I don’t make a point of walk lengths now, not like when I was training for the Iceland trek, but I always try to be more than 10 km, and up to 20.

  6. So enjoy your dry humour – I guess everyone around the world is touched by the Paris catastrophy. In thse days where art is taking a back seat is wonderful to see such striking street art. I can’t believe that art is no longer taught in schools – what are they thinking about – so good for creativity, mental health etc. etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

  • Recent Posts

  • Walk, Talk, Rock… B.C.-style

  • Post Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 88,329 hits
  • Since 14 August 2014

    Flag Counter
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,632 other followers

%d bloggers like this: