A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘harbord street

[PHOTO] Fourteen photos of the laneway murals of Harbord Village

One special highlight Jane’s Walk tour of the eastern side of Harbord Village was the abundance of street art–often bright in colour, sometimes quite ingenious, never unattractive–on the garages and walls of the back alleys of the neighbourhood.

David French Lane, named after the late Canadian playwright, had its fair share.

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Croft Street is particularly rich in this density.

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Written by Randy McDonald

May 17, 2017 at 3:19 pm

[PHOTO] Six photo albums from the Jane’s Walk weekend in Toronto, 2017 (#janeswalkto)

Last evening, I kept my computer busy by uploading the more than two hundred photos I had taken last weekend, during Jane’s Walk in Toronto. At one point, I had planned to take eight, but reality and fatigue intervened so as to limit me to six, five on Saturday the 5th and one on Sunday the 6th.

  • My first was “St. Lawrence Market: Role of Public Markets in Placemaking”, led by Samantha Wiles. Wiles ably took her group around St. Lawrence Market, past the archeological excavations to the market’s north, around its perimeter, and to the south, introducing us to the market’s very long history at the heart of Toronto. Photos are here.
  • In the afternoon, I followed urbanist Richard Longley in his “Harbord Village east side: architecture old, new, diverse, domestic, insitutional, sacred, profane”, taking a large contingent through a rapidly changing neighbourhood south of the Annex. I was particularly taken by the abundance of creative graffiti in the back alleys, especially on Croft Street. Photos are here.
  • Later in the afteroon, I followed Brian Sharwood and Melinda Medley, the bloggers behind OssingtonVillage.com, on a short but information-packed stroll north in Indie Ossington, from Ossington at Queen on the CAMH grounds up to Dundas Street. Photos are here.
  • In the evening, I went down to Exhibition Place for the Ghost Walk led there by Steve Collie. As night fell, Collie took dozens of people on a stroll through some of the locales where ghost sightings have been claimed, from the stacks of the centre’s archives to the barracks where soldiers sent off to war spent their last moments in Canada. The behind-the-scenes perspective it offered of Exhibition Place was a big plus. Photos are here.
  • Late at night, at 11 o’clock, I joined the Nightwalking & Secret Staircases: Baby Point walk led by Oona Fraser. My photo album includes my pre-walk, east from Old Mill station and up Jane Street to the Baby Point Gates. Walking through the wooded parks along Humber River, up and down the stairs, underneath the luminous sky, was magic.
  • Sunday afternoon, after joining a visiting Taiwanese friend for lunch and then doing some independent walking south on Roncesvalles and east on Queen Street West to Dufferin, I joined “Here’s the Thing: A Creative Writing Walk (Part 2 / Downtown)” at Dufferin Station. Led by Denise Pinto and Shari Kasman, this was a guided walk, the participants being given (and providing) prompts at different moments on the walk to write different things. I enjoyed this late afternoon walk, a lot. My output tended more towards prose poetry than fiction, but it was fun regardless.
  • I’m not sure what I’ll do with all of these photos. I doubt I’ll post most of them to this blog, to Tumblr or Instagram. They remain on Flickr nonetheless, ready for you to peruse. (I also have uploaded them all to Facebook, too, so those of you who follow me there can see them there, too.)

    [URBAN NOTE] “Tenants seek heritage designation for 140-year-old house near U of T”

    The Toronto Star‘s Sammy Hudes describes how the status of 15 Glen Morris Street, a home 140 years old, is currently being contested by the tenants who live there and are seeking heritage designation for the house and the owners whose repairs–if they can be called them–seem more a prelude to demolition for the apartment tower they say they want to build. Clarity is clearly needed.

    Adam Wynne woke up Saturday to find his home shaking and was startled by what he saw.

    “We look outside and there’s a crew that says ‘demolition,’ ” said Wynne, one of 12 tenants of the house near Harbord St. and Spadina Ave. “They were up on the roof, they were outside the window, the whole building was shaking. It was absolutely terrifying.”

    Now when it rains or snows, he said, the inside of the house gets wet even though they’re still living there.

    Located at 15 Glen Morris St., surrounded by University of Toronto buildings, Wynne is fighting to preserve the 140-year-old house as a relic of the city’s past.

    The house is the oldest in the neighbourhood and has a unique architectural style, said Julie Mathien, co-president of the Huron-Sussex Residents’ Organization.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    January 26, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    [PHOTO] Harbord Fish & Chips

    Harbord Fish & Chips #toronto #harbordstreet #restaurants #ttc #94wellesley

    I took this picture of Harbord Fish & Chips standing in the aisle of the eastbound 94 Wellesley bus. I really should try this place.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

    [PHOTO] 85 Harbord Street, in 2008 and 2016

    Passing along Harbord Street with a visiting friend on Monday, I snapped this photo of 85 Harbord Street.

    85 Harbord Street, Morgentaler's address #toronto #harbordstreet #abortion #henrymorgentaler #morgentaler #harbordvillage

    I’d also taken a photo of this address–not a separate building, just a door in a larger building–in 2008, from across the street.

    85 Harbord

    Why so much attention to a non-descript address? 85 Harbord Street is the address of Henry Morgentaler’s first abortion clinic in Toronto, as I noted back in August 2008 when I posted the second photo. The Globe and Mail provided a potted history of the building.

    The story of this old Annex Victorian semi, among the storefronts on the south of Harbord, really begins on June 15, 1983, when Henry Morgentaler opened an abortion clinic. It was subjected to protests and pickets, and victories and defeats – for both sides of the debate. The drama might have ended in 1988, when the Supreme Court ruled that freestanding clinics were legal, but the rallies continued, reaching 3,000 strong. Harbord Street Cafe, at No. 87, closed shop, its windows papered over. A sign for The Way Inn took its place. The Toronto Women’s Bookstore moved down the street. Then on Victoria Day weekend in 1992, an explosion by arsonists blew the wall out at No. 85. No one was ever charged. A small apartment is there now, next to Ms. Emma Designs at No. 87.

    Jamie Bradburn at The Grid also wrote about this in 2013. Without Morgentaler’s clinics, which provided abortions in violation of restrictive regulations in public hospitals, abortion policies in Canada might have ended up being very different. There should be a plaque at 85 Harbord: What happened here really did shape the lives of Canadians.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    May 26, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    [PHOTO] Moon over Spadina Avenue

    Written by Randy McDonald

    August 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    [URBAN NOTE] “How one Toronto neighbourhood brought its history to life”

    The Toronto Star‘s Katie Daubs has a nice feature about an oral history project in Toronto’s Harbord Village neighbourhood.

    They are details you no longer see: the large fish that flopped out of the delivery truck onto Harbord St. in the 1960s. The ducks that went to their deaths biting at butchers in a Baldwin St. poultry shop. The way you could gain childhood prestige in the 1940s if your chestnut smashed another chestnut in battle.

    Walking through Harbord Village, you can now listen to the rich local history, as told by the people who lived here between 1930 and 1980. Their voices live in plaques, called “StoryPosts,” distilled from more than 150 hours of interviews.

    Arranged by theme, the 24 posts cover topics lighthearted and serious, including crowded homes, racism and integration, and the magic of the front porch in the era before air conditioning. Scan the barcode with a smartphone, go back in time.

    The project is the work of the Harbord Village Residents’ Association, a group that realized how important its social history was when beloved friend and neighbour Cyril Greenland was sick a few years ago.

    “We thought, we’re going to lose so much of our past knowledge when he dies,” says Colin Furness, noting that Greenland was too sick to interview before his death in 2012. “We felt awful about it, and the one legacy is that we did all the rest of this in recognition that there are lot more Cyrils out there, and we really want to preserve what we can.”

    Written by Randy McDonald

    May 11, 2015 at 10:44 pm