A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘grange park

[PHOTO] Four photos looking south from the top of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Friday was a foggy and misty day in Toronto, cloud softening skylines. I thought the weather entirely appropriate for my outing to catch Impressionism in the Age of Industry, actually, what with how works in that genre so often featured fogs and mists.

Seen looking south over Grange Park (1) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey

Seen looking south over Grange Park (2) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #ocad #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey

Seen looking south over Grange Park (3) #toronto #artgalleryofontario #ocad #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey #green

Seen looking south over Grange Park (4) #toronto #artgalleryofontario  #skyline #grangepark #fog #mist #grey #steel

Written by Randy McDonald

April 28, 2019 at 7:45 am

[PHOTO] Tower into the blue

Tower into the blue #toronto #artgalleryofontario #cntower #skyline #financialdistrict #grangepark #tower #blue

Written by Randy McDonald

December 31, 2018 at 11:30 am

[PHOTO] Three photos of Toronto over Grange Park from the Art Gallery of Ontario (@agotoronto)

The top of the staircase at the Art Gallery of Ontario, five stories above Grange Park and looking out on downtown Toronto to the south, lends itself to spectacular photos of the city.

Looking out over the Grange #toronto #artgalleryofontario #grangepark #skyline #cntower #financialdistrict #bmotower

Park below #toronto #artgalleryofontario #grangepark #cntower #path

Cranes to the west #toronto #skyline #evening #artgalleryofontario #cranes

Written by Randy McDonald

January 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

[PHOTO] CN Tower in red and blue, from the AGO

CN Tower in red and blue #toronto #artgalleryofontario #cntower #skyline #red #blue #lights #night

The rear staircase of the Art Gallery of Ontario, extending five stories above Grange Park and overlooking the skyline of downtown Toronto, offers dramatic vistas.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

[PHOTO] On the half house at 54 1/2 St. Patrick Avenue

Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (1) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick

Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (2) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick

Half a house, 54 1/2 St.Patrick Street (3) #toronto #grangepark #stpatrickstreet #house #oddities #54stpatrick

The strikingly halved house at 54 1/2 St. Patrick Avenue, lone survivor of what was a stretch of row houses on this street north of Queen Street West and just a couple minutes’ walk west from University Avenue, has received international attention, from sites like Atlas Obscura and Amusing Planet. In April of 2013, blogTO’s Chris Bateman explained how this building came to be and just how it managed to survive.

The row of houses was built between 1890 and 1893 on what was first Dummer Street, then William Street, then, finally, St. Patrick Street. The names of the roads in this part of the city area have been shuffled more than most: St. Patrick Street used to refer to the stretch of road that’s now part of Dundas west of McCaul; McCaul used to be William Henry Street, then West William Street, for example.

For much of its past the street was blighted by poverty. Early photos show severe faces, crumbling wall cladding, and backyards strewn with detritus. More recently the area between University and Spadina has been home to a large Chinese community.

Starting in 1957, most of the block bound by Queen, McCaul, St. Patrick, and Dundas Street was purchased in pieces by Windlass Holdings Ltd., the company that developed the Village by the Grange, sometimes using aggressive tactics to secure land deeds.

The owner of 54 St. Patrick Street – once part of the original terrace – complained to the Toronto Star that the company’s actions were “an extreme example of blockbusting,” claiming he had received over 300 directives on his property in a single year.

Despite some resistance, the owners of the homes sold up at different times, and the row was pulled down in pieces like tooth extractions. The sole-survivor pictured here was once in the third house in the row from the south – the similar buildings next door are a later addition built on top of a laneway.

Instead, the company demolished its neighbour to the north with surgical precision, ensuring not even the woodwork on the facade of the hold-out building was disturbed. An internal supporting wall became a blank exterior when the house next door came down.

Also in 2013, Patty Winsa wrote in the Toronto Star about the house from the perspective of its current owner.

The 120-year-old residence at 54 ½ St. Patrick St. bears the scars of a development battle.

The Victorian row house was awkwardly severed from its neighbour in the 1970s when the owners refused to sell, and it lacks the symmetry of another side.

It is literally “half a house,” says its current owner, Albert Zikovitz, laughingly from his adjacent office in the Cottage Life Magazine building. “Everybody looks at it.”

The house is one of a few single-family homes left on the densely packed street near Queen and University. But Zikovitz, who purchased the house last year after the owner went into a retirement home, says he won’t tear it down.

“I love the house,” says Zikovitz, who is president of the magazine. Plans are in the works this year to restore the exterior of the building and turn the interior into office space.

Work was being done on the house when I passed by Tuesday evening. Here’s to hoping this anomaly survives: the reflexive double-take of passersby is fun.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

[PHOTO] Fourteen photos of the new Grange Park in Toronto

I was alerted earlier this week by the likes of blogTO to the fact that renovations in Toronto’s Grange Park had been completed. Walking over there with a friend after catching the Monday night performance of The Seat Next To The King, we concluded that the work was a success. This marvelous green space in the heart of Toronto, with the Art Gallery of Ontario and its Georgian Grange Manor and Frank Gehry wing of glass blue titanium to the north and OCAD University with its simple stunning Sharp Centre for Design to the east, the refurbished Grange is a relaxing friendly place for people to walk and recharge. The Henry Moore sculptures, Two Large Forms, relocated here from their former location at Dundas and McCaul amid some controversy last year, belong here–indeed, surrounded by organic forms of all sizes and scales, they arguably look better than they did directly on the street.

Entering the Grange Park


Along the promenade

Tower through trees

Towards the AGO


Playing amid fountains



Grange and stairs

Stairs above

Playing on the green grass

Henry Moore, Two Large Forms

Beneath tall trees

Written by Randy McDonald

July 12, 2017 at 8:00 am