Greetings! My coffee share today is my self-guided art walk to see the Women Paint Riverside ‘Currents of Change’ Mural Corridor in Toronto’s Riverside district in downtown east.
About Women Paint Riverside Mural Corridor
Women Paint Riverside Mural Corridor is an open air gallery of twenty+ murals that celebrate Toronto’s waterways and the traditional keepers of those waterways. All of the murals were created and completed by women and gender diverse artists from various backgrounds in September 2021.
The mural corridor spans three city blocks. Each mural has an information board that provides the mural title, the artist’s name, their background, their inspiration and about the Women Paint Riverside program.
It took me about 1.5 hours to complete the walk, including pauses to read the information boards and photograph the murals. On a weekday morning I had the entire mural corridor to myself. I greatly enjoyed my walk and would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in walking and murals.
The Murals: Part 1
I’m sharing ten murals today and the remaining murals next week. Since most of the murals are painted on or near doors with pink in them, this post is my entry to Dan’s #ThursdayDoors photo challenge and Terri’s #SundayStills June color challenge (Pink).
Weekend Coffee Share
Which mural do you like?
I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #122 InLinkz below.
The last weekend of the month is when I do my monthly review. What have you been up to in the past four weeks? Here’s what’s been happening in my corner of the world and what I enjoyed in May.
Family & Fleurs de Villes
My sister visited our Toronto family for ten days. The weather was mainly sunny during her stay. We did family activities together, including multiple outings, BBQs and a Mother’s Day celebration. The ten days flew by. I’m grateful for the quality time we shared.
While my sister was here, we walked the Fleurs de VillesVoyage floral trail on a beautiful sunny day in the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. We oohed and aahed over more than thirty incredible floral arrangements. It was my sister’s first time to a Fleurs de Villes event and she really enjoyed it.
I include a slideshow of ten of the floral designs below, five outdoors and five indoors. To me they are art and since the event is free, it’s public art. Click on the arrows to move through the slides.
Fitness & Friendship
It’s been lovely to get outside and enjoy spring. I continue my cycling, walking, strength training and yoga. After having so many beautiful bike rides and walks this month, I feel like a multi-millionaire. Spring is in full swing which means everywhere I look there are newly blooming flowers.
Some of my 8K walks are with friends. We choose a different route for each walk and since we are in a big city called ‘A city within a park‘, we often start and end in a park. I greatly appreciate our friendship and the green space to absorb the peace and natural beauty of the outdoors without leaving the city.
Last weekend I traveled by train to Montreal for a three-day visit. As I was in Montreal more for family than tourism, most of my time was spent with family. I took walks every day and enjoyed being in this dynamic city.
In the following gallery, top left, clockwise: Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, a National Historic Site of Canada; The Cathedral dome seen from Dorchester Park; Murals in Montreal Central Station designed by Toronto artist Charles F. Comfort and carved by Sebastiano Aiello depict Canadian life, cultures, industry and passages of the national anthem.
On The Blog
The weekly Weekend Coffee Share and Photographing Public Art Challenge continued to thrive in May. Thank you to all who have shared updates, comments and/ or photos from around the world. I wrote my three ‘Postcards from Portugal‘. Here’s the links for May’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:
The last weekend of the month is when I do my monthly review. What have you been up to this past month? Here’s what’s been happening in my corner of the world and what I enjoyed in April.
Week 1 of April was the second half of my adventures in Portugal that I started in the last week of March. I had good weather throughout my trip, with daytime high temperatures ranged from 20C to 27C (68F to 81F). My itinerary included Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, Evora, Fatima, Tomar, Coimbra and Porto.
I used local transportation systems to get around, walked to explore every day, visited several incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, met other travellers, savoured Portuguese cuisine and enjoyed Port wine tasting in Porto. I returned home with wonderful memories and many photos. I’ll publish my ‘Postcards from Portugal‘ starting next week.
Week 2 was a fantastic homecoming week. The highlights include Easter weekend with family and catching up with friends. During week 2, Toronto set new temperature highs (26C-28C) a few days in a row. Suddenly we had summer weather in mid-April. I enjoyed seven consecutive fun outings that include bike rides, walks with friends, bird and turtle watching, and seeing spring flowers in bloom.
Week 3 highlight was the viewing of cherry blossoms or Hanami Sakura. The warm temperatures in week 2 encouraged cherry trees to bloom early this year. The cherry blossoms are spectacular but peak bloom lasts only about a week. Such fleeting beauty. I feel grateful to see these delicate flowers every spring.
Week 4 highlight was an evening walk to see public art at the Lumière: The Art of Lightfestival. This free outdoor light exhibition allows visitors to explore Trillium Park and experience sixteen light art installations developed by Ontario artists. The theme Renewal of the exhibition celebrates the change of seasons from winter to spring.
To see some of the light exhibits, use the arrows to move through the following 8 slides. For more information about the artwork and artists, click here.
On the Blog
The weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup and Photographing Public Art Challenge have been going well in April. Thank you to all who have shared updates, comments and/ or photos from around the world. Here’s the links for April’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:
This week I resumed organizing my digital images. Today’s batch includes five utility boxes designed and painted by three Toronto-based artists. I organized these images under the Outside the Box | People theme and listed them by artist’s last name below.
Gary Taxali’s Designs
Gary Taxali is a Canadian contemporary fine artist and illustrator known for his iconic retro style pop art and illustration. The following two “Good Fun” boxes have subtle differences between them.
Colin Tea’s Design
Colin Tea is a Toronto-based artist who is also known as Colin Turner Bloom. The design is meant to transport those passing by into the tranquility and beauty of nature.
Madeline Yee’s Designs
Madeline Yee is a Canadian illustrator and animator. The designs on two back-to-back boxes feature people activities in the neighbourhood.
Weekend Coffee Share
I enjoyed checking out the designs on these boxes and discovering Toronto-based artists. I usually look up the artists after my walk to learn more about their art portfolios.
Did you like any of the above designs? For more door photos, visit Dan’s #ThursdayDoors photo challenge.
I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #115 InLinkz below.
It was my first week back from Portugal and back to the familiarity of home. I resumed my exercise routine, chatted with family and friends, booked coffee and walk dates, restocked the refrigerator, did laundry, and caught up on emails and blogs.
It was also a week with plenty of sunshine and unusually warm temperatures. The daytime high temperatures reached 29C (84F) on Wednesday and 31C (88F) on Thursday. I was happy to cycle to some of my favourite places in the city. I also took daily walks, met friends and together we enjoyed spotting spring flowers and watching birds and turtles.
Seven Fun Outings
Here’s a selection of my nature photos from Toronto, taken in the past seven days.
To continue my floral theme, for the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) this week, here’s a mural painted by Alexandra. It was on the side of a flower stall in Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal. Obrigado means thank you.
Weekend Coffee Share
How was your week? I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #114 InLinkz below.
I’ve been away for about two weeks and have some catching up to do. Reflecting on the month just passed, here’s what’s been happening and what I enjoyed in March.
1. Sisters Time
My sisters and I had a fabulous reunion in the first week of March in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States. We had fun catching up, exploring and discovering Charleston together. I am grateful for the wonderful quality time we shared.
2. Friends Time
Last year I started my Tour of Indie Cafés and enjoyed discovering a dozen cafés with family and friends. I decided to do a second tour with a selection of new-to-me indie cafés this year. A friend joined me for a 8K walk then we kicked off the 2023 tour at Neo Coffee Bar known for their coffee drinks, tea and pastries.
3. Winter Stations
I cycled to Woodbine Beach for a beach and art walk on a gorgeous sunny day. I enjoyed viewing the Winter Stations public art exhibition with the theme Radiance. To see the winners of the 2023 Winter Stations competition, use the arrows to move through the following 7 slides.
In my corner of the world, Spring officially arrived on March 20 with sunny skies and daytime high 6C (43F). I was delighted to spot some pretty crocus flowers, dwarf irises, snowdrops and winter aconites on the first day of Spring. Birds are active and their vocals fill the air. I’ve been enjoying longer bike rides and long walks. Time in nature is always a happy time for me.
5. Exploring Portugal
I recently returned from Portugal. I had a wonderful time revisiting this beautiful country. On my previous trip, I explored Lisbon, Sintra and the Algarve. On this trip, I revisited Lisbon and Sintra, then continued north with a few stops until reaching Porto. Watch this space for my travel ‘postcards’.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, a few of my planned trips were cancelled. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel abroad again. I look forward to enjoying more travel adventures this year.
Weekend Coffee Share
I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #113 InLinkz below.
As mentioned in my previous post, my sisters and I had a reunion in Charleston, South Carolina in early March. The Charleston Historic District is a photographer’s dream and anyone interested in architecture and history would enjoy wandering there. During our stay, we walked every day and admired many beautiful and historic homes and buildings.
Since I live a car-free lifestyle, I love that the Charleston Historic District is walkable and the streets are kept clean. Even though the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) operates three routes on the Charleston peninsula and the ride is free, we chose to walk and explore at our own pace.
Today’s galleries include photos of Charleston-style houses, doors and gates in The Battery and King Street neighbourhoods. I love the house architecture and unique black iron gate designs. Click on an image in the gallery for better view and use arrows to move through the gallery.
I learned about five distinguishing features of a Charleston single house: 1) A long, narrow shape 2) A wider side 3) A faux front door 4) A porch, and 5) A consistent interior layout.
The Charleston single houses have tall, narrow fronts and are typically only one room wide on the home’s street-facing side. From the side, however, they can be the width of several rooms. Although single houses appear to have a centralized front entryway, this door actually leads to a small piazza or porch.
The piazzas always appear on the side of the house with the front door which, to take best advantage of local winds, will be the south or west side. The true entryway was typically placed along the porch, so the house residents could have more privacy entering and exiting their homes.
The Charleston double house faces the street at its full length—rather than just one room’s width. Charleston double houses are less common than single houses.
This gallery includes photos of gates at different heights. Some gates are flanked by green plants or lion statues. The gate with the lamp atop is the entrance to the historic Edmonston-Alston House circa 1825. The pink house adds privacy with green plants on two of the three archways. The double wooden doors in the last photo are solidly handsome.
This gallery includes three narrow single iron gates and three wide double gates. Two of the single gates are slightly ajar. The hanging planters with pretty flowers and the red bricks are lovely to see.
Weekend Coffee Share
I spotted this mural near Charleston City Market and thought it was perfect for today’s Weekend Coffee Share and Photographing Public Art Challenge.
What do you think about Charleston-style houses? Did you see any door or gate you like? For more door photos, visit Dan’s #ThursdayDoors photo challenge.
Please note that there will be no linkup on March 31 as I’ll be taking a blogging break next week. I’ll return with a fresh post and resume hosting Weekend Coffee Share on April 7. Thank you.
I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #112 InLinkz below.
This weekend, on Sunday March 12, daylight saving time begins in my corner of the world. I am looking forward to more greenery and warmer temperatures outdoors. In the interim, I cycled to Allan Gardens Conservatory and visited the Arid House, one of five greenhouses in this indoor botanical garden.
Exploring the Arid House
The Arid House is located on the northwest side of the conservatory. It is home to a large display of unusual cacti and succulents including collections of agave, opuntia, haworthia and aloe.
Walking through the Arid House, I enjoyed examining the plants, their shapes, sizes, and colours. Their fun names made me smile. I was mindful of where I was standing to take pictures as many of the plants have thorns.
The Arid House was nice and warm. I felt rejuvenated and relaxed after being with the plants. I headed home feeling pretty good about my choice of outing for the day.
Welcoming Public Art
Last week I stopped over at Philadelphia International Airport while on my way to meet my sisters. I discovered the beautiful Over the River and Through the Wood mural created by Philadelphia artist Constance Culpepper. I found the mural soothing and cheerful.
“My painting is a place where everyone is welcome. Explore, smell the peonies, drink a cup of tea, feel the grass between your toes, look up at the clouds in the sky, take a seat. Maybe here, you can discover something or someone anew.”
A few weeks ago I cycled to Toronto’s Downtown Chinatown or West Chinatown, then walked along Dundas Street West to photograph murals that I’ve seen on another visit.
The history of Toronto’s Chinatown stems back to the late 1870s. Although the West Chinatown (Dundas Street West/ Spadina Avenue) is more well known, there are also East Chinatown (Broadview Avenue/ Gerrard Street East) and other Chinatowns in the Greater Toronto Area.
Here are five huge murals in Chinatown, located on the south side of Dundas Street West, between Beverley Street and Spadina Avenue.
1. Mural at Number 397
Located at 397 Dundas Street West, this mural features people and young children. I took photos of it in four sections. Unfortunately I was unable to find the artists’ names.
2. The Great Wall Mural
Located at 421 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Blender, John Nobrega, Rick Sauve, Brian Broders, Jesse McCuaig and Ming Lau in 2013. It features the Great Wall of China and is the longest of the five murals. I’m sharing six sections although the mural has about a dozen of them.
3. The Forbidden City Mural
Located at 433 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Blender, John Nobrega, Jesse McCuaig, and Elaine Teguibon. It features two fierce lions outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
4. Milky Way Mural
Located at 449 Dundas Street West, this mural was designed and painted by Blinc Studios artists Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Azadeh Pirazimian and Jieun June Kim in July 2017. It features the Chinese fairy tale of the Herd-Boy and the Weaver-Girl.
5. Dragon Mural
Located at 493 Dundas Street West, the Dragon mural was designed and painted on a metal surface by Blinc Studios artists Allan Bender, John Nobrega, Jesse McCuaig, Azadeh Pirazimian, Chris Brown, Frannie Potts and Mohammad Jaberi in 2016.
Weekend Coffee Share
It was a fun walk to see the murals in details. The list of artists shows that it was a team effort to paint them. The finished murals look beautiful, coherent and impressive. They’re my contribution to Terri’s #SundayStills Out of this World photo challenge and Jo’s Monday Walk.
Which mural do you like?
I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #109 InLinkz below.
The last Friday of February is a good time for me to reflect on what’s been happening and what I enjoyed during the month. February has been a calm and joyful month that is ending with an exciting travel plan.
Health & Fitness
I continued my outdoor cycling and walking which supplemented my indoor fitness routine of cardio, strength workouts, meditation and yoga. I was pleased with how often I was able to cycle this winter. I enjoyed time in nature – always a happy time for me.
Up until this week, February weather conditions have been mild with above normal temperatures on most days. On Wednesday, an overnight winter storm brought about 15 cm of snow. With a few days left of this short month to go, this would be Toronto’s only significant snowfall for February.
Family & Friends
My sisters and I made plans for a reunion next week. If everything works out, we’ll be together for the first time since the pandemic started. I’m looking forward to this exciting trip and quality time with my sisters. Stay tuned for my destination reveal in March.
I enjoyed three walks with family and friends to explore public art exhibits and free cultural events in February.
Walk #1 was the Icefest 2023 Dreams and Fantasies ice sculpture trail. The daytime high temperature reached 8C (46F) so we arrived early to see the sculptures before they melt. We all oohed and aahed over more than thirty incredible ice sculptures. For my complete Icefest23 image gallery, click here.
Walk #2 was to the Art Gallery of Ontario where we saw the remarkable bronze Couch Monster elephant sculpture by artist Brian Jungen. Check out the information board or the link provided to learn why he called this creature “couch monster”.
Walk #3 was to Toronto Sculpture Garden to see the Afrophilia sculpture installation by artist Frantz Brent-Harris. These sculptures in their vibrant orange and red reflect the energy and attitude of young Black people. This installation celebrates a culture of self acceptance.
What public art have you discovered recently?
I continued hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup and Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Thank you to all who have shared updates, comments and/ or photos from around the world. Here’s the links for February’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:
For more blogging fun, I’m linking up with #TheChangingSeasons hosted by Ju-Lyn and Brian, and #WBOYC hosted by Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.
Aside from reading up on my travel destination to prepare for my trip, I also read or listened to four excellent books and discovered four new-to-me authors. Thank you to all who shared the best book you read in January. I read three of the books you shared. Here’s what I enjoyed reading this month: