Thursday, June 30, 2011

Queen St West & University Ave (WW1)

Sorry that I have been away, I have been enjoying the summer to its full extend. I wanted to make sure that I got another entry in before heading off to the cottage for the long weekend. Today I look at the intersection of University Ave and Queen Street West. This street got its name since it was the main route to the university at the north end of the city. The road for many years was very green and had an island with trees in the centre dividing the north and southbound lanes. This has been preserved with the islands which are still present today. Many have monuments to specific events and people who were important during their time of creation.

I really liked the images I found this week because they were set either during the First World War or right afterward. There are tanks, planes and cute military men in uniform. My good friend Alison came along with me to help photograph the various position the other day.

I am sort of chagrined to admit that I have passed the monument at Queen and University so many times and didn’t really know it’s name or what it stood for. It’s the one with the angel and I figured it was for one of the world wars. WRONG. This is the South African War Memorial (also known as the Second Boer War) which was built in 1908. It became a rallying point for the other wars to follow it seems. I think that my favorite image is the one asking “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” talk about a guilt trip.

Friday, June 10, 2011

St. James town

When I lived in the neighborhood I used to love to go for a walk to the St. James area, in the daylight of course. Parliament Street was named after the government buildings located near front street. The road was built on a trail that Governor John Graves Simcoe made to get to his summer home, fondly nicknamed Castle Frank after his son Francis Gwillim. This area was at the outskirts of the city and the family compact gave the un-favored residents of the city this land because it was uneven and hard to work.

I discovered Howard street when trying to make my way east from Yonge to Parliament. That is the street that is just south of the huge billboard you see when you exit the DVP at Bloor. There are a few large homes and you still get a feeling of what the neighborhood used to look like. As you can see from the images St. James Cemetery has been around for a while (1844), it is one of the oldest ones in Toronto and it is still in operation today. You can see that one of the out buildings (one I think they use for cremations) is still standing today on the south end of the property. It is also interesting to see what Wellesley looked like around 60 years ago. It almost looks a little idyllic in the 40’s, it is a shame now that this neighborhood has more of a sketchy feeling to it .

Friday, June 3, 2011

Christie Street Underpass

I selected this location because I was visiting a friend in the neighbourhood last week. We are going on vacation in two weeks and we had a clothes trying on session (shut up, I’m a girl, that is what we do). After searching the archives I found these two images and I liked how they are of the same spot a few years apart. One image when the train tracks were at street level in 1912 and one during the construction of the underpass in 1915 (or as they call it subway). This area has a lot of factories and I can imagine the construction of an underpass would have been of a great convenience to everyone. Christie Street was named after William Mellis Christie (aka Mr. “Christie, you make good cookies”). There used to be a Ford manufacturing plant, a planters peanuts factory, a TTC repair “barn” and a veteran hospital at this intersection back in the early 1900’s. Recently it is known as having the Loblaws which had the rodent infestation a few years back. There are quite a few of these underpasses in the city and what I really like are the murals that are on the walls. I really hope that no more murals are painted over in Mayor Ford’s bid to eliminate graffiti.