Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday's Walk

November 2015 - Toronto ON

The plan was to visit Toronto's Sculpture Garden on an extremely rare warm day in November. On November 3 it was 21 C or 70 F with bright sunshine. A short walk, 7 km or 4.2 miles.

We got off the bus at Union Station and started walking east. Old against new, Toronto's skyline is constantly changing. Now if only this crane would finally disappear!

It's fall and there are lots of great autumn displays outside the office towers and restaurants in the financial district. Click here for more photos of the skyscrapers in this area.

I cannot believe that some buildings already have their Christmas displays up.

No, we didn't eat, we had already had lunch at home.

I don't think I've been inside the King Eddy!! Afternoon tea, anyone?

Not so many skyscrapers in this part of town. This looks like an old-fashioned steak house.

Am I in Dublin???
A pub John remembers being in. Says we have to come for lunch one day.

Back on King St. We have driven hundreds of times along here when we lived in the east end but have rarely walked it.

 The sculpture garden was a big disappointment. It took all of two minutes to view it.

However we did take a photo of the Toronto Discovery map for the area and decided to find some of the landmarks on it.

Looking across at St. James from the sculpture garden.

The map directs us to walk through St. James Park.

Waiting for the lights we noticed this branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce now known as CIBC.

Once we cross King St we are stunned by the beauty of St. Lawrence Hall, you can't notice it when you are in a car.

St. Lawrence Hall was built by the City of Toronto in 1850. Designed by architect William Thomas in the Italianate style, it provided an elegant meeting place for Toronto's 19th-century elite. The ground floor was designed as commercial space, the second as offices, and the third to house a 1000-seat assembly room. The building was a major cultural venue for lectures, concerts, balls and receptions attended by the city's most notable citizens. These events included several important Abolition meetings in the years when Canada was receiving thousands of Underground Railroad refugees from American slavery. St. Lawrence Hall was restored in 1967, and has once again become an active cultural centre.

Walking into St. James Park we see this guy feeding the squirrels. Not something I would do.

Honestly had never heard of this fella until we saw this sculpture.

Banished from Upper Canada in 1819 on false charges of sedition brought by the Family Compact. His writings had an impact on events leading to the 1837 rebellion. Robert Gourlay championed reforms ahead of his time. In Scotland - a vote for every man who could read and write. In England - a living wage for workers. In Canada - fair land distribution. "The first question in political economy should be, can the mass of the people live comfortably under this or that arrangement? But this most necessary question was forgotten, and many of the people have perished." R. Gourlay, Statistical Account of Upper Canada, 1822.

John thought the missing glass looked like three glasses of beer.

Back to the map, we are looking for Courthouse Square. Not looking its best at this time of the year.
I did like this sculpture of  law books though.

The Courthouse Square behind the old Adelaide Street Courthouse. Although it appears quiet and peaceful today, this wasn't always the case. According to a plaque on Alan Brown's website:

"Between 1826 and 1838, Court House Square was used for a variety of religious and political gatherings. Supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie rallied here after his ejections from the Legislative Assembly in 1832. With its proximity to the Home District Court House and the jail, the square was used for public floggings and for punishment in the stocks - their last recorded use: Ellen Halfpenny, for drunken and disorderly conduct in 1834. The first hanging here was on 23 October 1828: Charles French for the midnight shooting of Edward Knowlan. The most famous hangings, and the last performed here, were on 12 April 1838: Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, for their participation in the 1837 Rebellion."

I do spot this on the bottom of the wall where there would be a fountain in the summer. Not sure what to make of it.

We turn around and find this mural! It is in a parking lot that is crammed pack with cars in every conceivable empty space.

Perhaps I'll feature it on a Monday Mural post in the future.

Next stop is the Cloud Garden but with a few distractions first.

In the late 1880s, Toronto Street, a block long between King Street and Adelaide Street, two blocks east of Yonge Street, was Toronto's financial area. This head office building was part of that.


Here's this 1985 Toronto Historical Board plaque attached to the building with the details:

In 1852 the Consumers' Gas Company of Toronto established its new head office building on this site in the prestigious financial district of the city. Expansion to the north in 1876 added a second building at 19 Toronto Street, designed in the renaissance style by architect David B. Dick, whose later alterations in 1899 unified the fa├žades of both buildings. The company remained in this location for 125 years.

When we first moved to Toronto in the early 90s it was still called Consumers' Gas but not any longer.

It is now called the Rosewater Supper Club. We would be interested in coming back to see the inside and also to sample their bar menu.

This plaque refers to the lamp above. These lamps (there are two) were unveiled to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Consumers' Gas.
The company was first known for its lamplighters who illuminated the gas lamps on the streets of Toronto.

Across the street is Toronto's first post office.

Toronto's First Post Office (or Fourth York Post Office) is the oldest (1834) purpose-built and the only surviving example, of a post office that functioned as a department of the British Royal Mail. After its use as a post office, it was part of a Roman Catholic boys' school and later a cold storage building. Located at 260 Adelaide Street East, the building now houses a museum and a full-service post office, run by the Town of York Historical Society.

Courtyard of the Metropolitan Restaurant.

New places we need to try.

Now the Cloud Gardens, I think it will need a separate post. So just a glimpse.

Next on the Discovery Map are places we know very well so we headed  to Nathan Phillips Square or "new " city hall.
New - our Blue Jays made it to the semi-finals in the American League.

The sign from the Pan Am games is now painted solid white. They are getting ready to set up the reflecting pool for its winter ice rink.

We got some amazing shots.

Old city Hall.

Love his pink socks!

New signage.

Brooks Brothers men's store window. Not a clue what this is meant to represent.

Back waiting for bus, lovely flower arrangements in middle of Front St.

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  1. Love the reflections, Jackie! :) There's always something interesting if you go looking, isn't there? Thanks for sharing.

  2. I enjoyed this walk around Toronto, Jackie! I haven't been there for decades. A lot has changed. Have a good one!

  3. St. Lawrence Hall really stands out to me. I've never been inside.

    I haven't fed squirrels, but I recall one occasion holding the water fountain on so that a squirrel could have a drink.

  4. Hi Jackie, thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting walk around Toronto. My aunt and uncle have lived there for 59 years and I have never been. Lots going on and lots to see. Love the statues and buildings. I don't know anyone who has been on holiday there , except my mum who went to see her sister.(my aunt).

  5. I love the idea of a photo walk through Toronto! I never would have thought to include the historical signs, but I love the idea!


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