A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘spadina road

[PHOTO] Seven photos of the underside of the Spadina Road bridge, and more

Passing underneath the Spadina Road bridge over the Nordheimer Ravine reveals, on the concrete underpinnings, surfaces dense with graffiti dating back perhaps two years. The ending of the trail to the southeast of this location, in Royston Park, is much more sedate and green in the foreground.


















Written by Randy McDonald

August 14, 2019 at 8:45 am

[PHOTO] Global Guest House, for sale

Global Guest House, for sale

The for sale sign on the front of the Global Guest House on lower Spadina Road, just north of Bloor, fit with the grey ambiance of Sunday.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 7, 2016 at 10:24 am

Posted in Photo, Toronto

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[URBAN NOTE] On my three Jane’s Walks

Especially if you include my Friday visit to the Jane at Home exhibit, this weekend has really been one dominated by the legacies of Jane Jacobs. As my aching feet remind me, this Jane’s Walk weekend I did three different walks, each taking me around a different part of my broader neighbourhood.

I will be posting more from these walking tours later, photos mostly.

[PHOTO] Eight photos from the Steps of Old Lake Iroquois

My Dupont Street lies south of Davenport Road, which lies at the bottom of the escarpment that marks the ancient shoreline of Glacial Lake Iroquois. This, an Ice Age version of Lake Ontario distended by the ice dam that prevented the lake from draining down the St. Lawrence, covered what is now downtown Toronto, changing the geography of the modern city irrevocably. The Scarborough Bluffs, the Toronto Islands, High Park’s Grenadier Pond, my home, even–all that and more are products of Lake Iroquois.

My curiosity in the changed landscape is what made me leave yesterday morning for “The Steps of Old Lake Iroquois”, one of the weekend’s many Jane’s Walks. Leader Gary Shaul ably guided a gaggle of people all along the escarpment, from Spadina Road and Casa Loma almost all of the way west to Dufferin.

The walk began at the Baldwin Steps, at the foot of Casa Loma. The view looking south, along Spadina Road towards Spadina Avenue and the downtown, is beautiful.

Ancient shore #toronto #janeswalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #casaloma #sidewalk

Baldwin Steps #toronto #janeswalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #casaloma #baldwinsteps

Spadina below #toronto #spring #casaloma #spadinaroad #spadinaavenue #spadina

Spadina House is currently being repaired.

Spadina House, being repaired #toronto #janeswalk #lovetowalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #spadinahouse #spadinamuseum

The Tollkeeper’s Cottage, currently located on the northwest corner of Bathurst Street and Davenport Road, is a vestige of the time when Bathurst Street was a toll road. Note the steep escarpment behind the building.

Tollkeeper's Cottage #toronto #janeswalk #lovetowalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #bathurst #davenportroad #tollkeeperscottage

Ancient shore #toronto #janeswalk #lovetowalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #bathurststreet #davenportroad

This flight of stairs descending to Christie Street was steep.

Down the stairs to Christie #toronto #janeswalk #lovetowalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #bracondalehill #hillcrest #christiestreet #stairs

The Glenholme Steps, east of Dufferin in the Regal Heights neighbourhood, are much longer.

Glenholme Steps #toronto #janeswalk #lovetowalk #lakeiroquois #glaciallakeiroquois #glenholmesteps #regalheights

More photos from this walk, relating to specific elements and neighbourhoods, will appear here later.

[PHOTO] Waiting in the rain, Dupont Station

To wait in the rain #toronto #ttc #dupont #dupontstreet #evening #rain

The Dupont station benches outside, on the northwest corner of Dupont and Spadina, have always been strikingly modernist. Wednesday evening in the rain under the domed lights, they looked haunted.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 26, 2016 at 5:59 am

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto will say bonjour to new French-language bookstore”

I quite look forward to this. From Metro:

Lovers of French-language books will soon have a new place to get their fill in Toronto, as a Quebec City-based bookstore plans to open a branch here by early next year.

Christophe Gagnon-Lavoie, co-owner of La Librairie du Quartier in Quebec City, told the Star that Toronto is an ideal place to open the shop, which would be the only exclusively French-language bookstore in the city.

The GTA, he said, is home to a sizeable francophone community (numbering almost 125,000 in 2011) and many Francophiles and French-language students.

“There is certainly a place, we think, for a small bookstore of French books in Toronto,” he said.

The project is being facilitated by the Alliance Française de Toronto, executive director Thierry Lasserre told the Star, and the future library will be housed at the group’s downtown building at 24 Spadina Rd.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 7, 2015 at 9:07 pm

[PHOTO] Pool on rock, Montclair Avenue Parkette

Pool on rock #toronto #parks #montclairavenue #rock #pool #water

This rust-stained pool in the top of some kind of metamorphic rock in the Montclair Avenue Parkette, on Spadina Road just above St. Clair, caught my attention as I passed by. It looks almost primeval, don’t you think?

Written by Randy McDonald

August 4, 2015 at 2:31 pm

[PHOTO] Looking south at Spadina Road and St. Clair Avenue

Looking south on the eastbound streetcar island at Spadina and St. Clair Avenue, the only sign of Toronto Water‘s underground reservoir beneath Winston Churchill Park is the sign (visible, to left).

Looking south at Spadina Road and St. Clair Avenue

Written by Randy McDonald

April 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

[PHOTO] Warning about the phantom at 1025 Lansdowne Avenue

Spraypainted on the plywood covering up one of the doors leading to the now-defunct Bonanza Video, on 392 Spadina Road north of St. Clair, is a slogan, radioactivity warning symbol in red and text in black.




Warning about the phantom at 1025 Lansdowne Avenue

I’ve blogged in the past for my full-throated support of the GE-Hitachi plant at 1025 Lansdowne Avenue. Not only are there no serious safety concerns–not only is a uranium pelletization plant not a nuclear reactor–but it’s not clear that it ever was a secret as its opponents claimed. (I was able to find out all about the plant by simply Googling the address, while neighbourhood residents pointed out that there were references to the plant’s nature in 1984 in Toronto Life and The Globe and Mail. Some secret.) Besides, expelling presumably well-paying industrial jobs beyond the confines of Toronto is a bad idea for the city’s economy.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

[PHOTO] A bit of Davenport Road

Toronto’s Davenport Road has a unique history among Toronto’s streets, starting out as one of the Toronto area’s several Iroquois trails.

Davenport Road is one of the oldest streets in Toronto. Some 12,000 years ago it was a meandering trail along the shore of Lake Iroquois first used by native hunters and traders. After the shoreline receded it continued to be an important overland link between the Don and Humber rivers. It is one of the few major streets in the city that is off the grid as it follows the original pathway.

Settlement along the area of the road, located below a steep hill, began in the mid-19th century.

In the 1850s, the old Indian path at the base of the hill was widened and called Davenport Road, after the village of Davenport, which was established near Davenport Road and Symington Avenue — west of today’s Regal Heights neighbourhood. Although originally improved by the colonial government, for many years during the 19th century the road was privately owned and people using it had to pay tolls. The 1830s cottage of the toll keeper at Bathurst Street and Davenport Road survives and is located in a park at the northwest corner of the intersection.

Travel on Davenport Road was not easy in the 19th century. A grandson of Bull described the road as “an epic of mud.” Davenport Hill was a challenge as well. Locals used to observe that horses tired from pulling wagons along muddy Davenport Road would drop to the ground at the thought of having to pull a load up the hill.

Many toll booths were set up along the road. Even now, a booth exists, preserved in a park at the intersection of Bathurst and Davenport.

Guess where I went walking and photographing one fine bright Sunday day?

On the way to Casa Loma
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At the end of Spadina Road at Davenport, a steep flight of stairs leads up the hill to Casa Loma, Toronto’s only castle.

The back of George Brown College’s Casa Loma campus
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George Brown College’s Casa Loma Campus does have some sights, industrial though they may be.

Looking up Bathurst
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Looking up Bathurst

* * *

The houses on the north side of Davenport cling precariously to the side of the hill. I like this.

Houses clinging to the hill (1)
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Houses clinging to the hill (2)
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Houses clinging to the hill (3)
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Houses clinging to the hill (4)
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Houses clinging to the hill (5)
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Houses clinging to the hill (6)
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See the Wikipedia Commons for some historical photos of Davenport Road.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 12, 2009 at 10:43 am