A Tuesday Concatenation (with Cats)

23 December 2015 – One could always just say, “A linked chain of events,” adding, “which took place during this week’s outing by the Tuesday Walking Society.”  But what fun is that? Especially when cats pawed their way into the concatenation.

You’ll have to wait for the cats.

Let us first concatenate some architecture.

CN Tower in the mist, from Trinity Bellwoods Park

Still ridiculously mild, for late December, which means foggy as well. Here’s the CN Tower playing Dance of the Seven Veils with drifting mist as we pass through Trinity Bellwoods Park.

At that point, Phyllis & I are partway through a 15-km loop built around a visit to Long & McQuade, the musical instrument store at Bloor West near Ossington. She needs to pick up the birthday present she ordered for her husband; I am happy to gawk at all the stuff. Including — really! — nose flutes. (And I thought that was just a joke.)

By early afternoon the mist has disappeared, and sunshine sparkles up & down the latest tower to rise at Yonge & Bloor streets.

rising tower, Yonge & Bloor

I think of this as Dynamic Minimalism — very simple lines, with a slight twist to the form to add energy, to give a pulse-beat to what could otherwise be beautiful but inert. This approach seems the current trend in Toronto, and I like it a lot.

Nothing contemporary about the architecture of the Cecil Community Centre!

For that matter, nothing community-centre about these tablets embedded either side of the main doors.

tablets at doors of Cecil Community Centre, from its synagogue era

Intrigued, we go inside. The young woman at reception is delighted to tell us the long, evolving history of the building: it opened in 1891 as the Church of Christ; it became a synagogue in 1925; it became a  Chinese centre in 1966; in 1978, the City fixed it up and turned it into what it is today, the Cecil Community Centre.

“Different identities, but a focus since the start on helping others,” I say. The receptionist agrees. “And the City has preserved all those identities. You can’t go into the main hall right now, the play school is in operation, but look through the window, you can see the big central chandelier, with its many Stars of David. The chandelier was in pieces when the City took over, its Stars of David scattered all around — the City gathered up the pieces, and restored and rehung the chandelier.”

Phyllis & I enjoy this story a lot.

I bet you do, too. And I bet that, even so, you are beginning to drum your fingertips ever so gently on your kneecap , wondering when I’ll finally bring on the promised moggies.

Here they come.

First up, a cat found while we are exploring the alley immediately behind the Cecil Community Centre. On a fence, mind you, not on his own four paws.

alley cat! behind the Cecil Community Centre

There are other goofy animals to keep him company, but he is the only cat, & my favourite of the bunch.

Later, Poster Cat, part of the signage for the West End Parents’ Daycare (Dovercourt & College). And yes, I’ve cropped the non-feline half of the sign. (Chop!)

signage for West End Parents' Daycare

In between those two guys, the one that causes Phyllis to quip, “A cat with a squirrel tail.” I giggle. A little unkind, perhaps, but she has a point.

Still … who are we to tell an alley-artist how to draw his cat?

Squirrel-Cat, in an alley

One final cat in this “linked chain of events” — a real, live, on-his-own-four-paws cat.

He eyes us a moment from the safety of his owners’ garage door as we walk down the alley, then decides we are softies for felines. He approaches, stiff-legged & tall, the way cats do when they want to be friendly. We wheedle-talk our greetings to him; he chirps his replies; it’s call & response as he draws closer, our 3 voices weaving us together.

Cheers in the alley, but not an alley cat

Phyllis, meet Cheers (we read his name-tag); Cheers, meet Phyllis. Everybody purrs.

From real-cat to real-sculptor.

The Bridgepoint Sculptor 

You & I have spent the last few posts enjoying these leaping, dancing sculptures outside Bridgepoint Hospital. Remember?

e.g. of figures  between Bridgepoint & the river

And remember how frustrated I was, that I couldn’t identify the sculptor?

Now I can — thanks to a comment posted by Larry Webb, whom I am proud to say is a subscriber to this blog.

Better yet, I’ll let Larry speak for himself.

The sculptor at Bridgepoint was Bill Lishman, who also was responsible for that wonderful documentary about him being the mother goose to a flight of Canadian Geese!! Interesting guy – http://williamlishman.com/figures-faces/

I remember that documentary with absolute delight. I thought then the man was amazing & I am even more impressed with him now.  I am also so very grateful to Larry for making the connection.





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  1. S.H.

     /  23 December 2015

    Your post really emphasized the “cat” in concatenation 😉
    Here on the west coast, I’ve heard people say that Toronto can be a bit of a “concrete jungle”, albeit it’s obvious from your posts that are many, many gems to be found within the city as well. I’d love to really spend the time to explore the city and all around it, some day (been there, but never with enough time).

    • Thanks! Lots of concrete here like any big city (Vancouver included), but also great ravines & watersheds down to the lake, with major park system threaded throughout. Lots & lots of nature within the city. Great combination (also like Vancouver!).

  2. Bill married a family friend. All I remember of them is that they lived in an underground house that was surprisingly airy.

  3. Love the fog ☺️ car and sculptures…and mild weather always nice too.


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

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