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Mount Pleasant flowering trees in spring

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Tree in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in bloom
We were driving down Yonge Street today, just south of Davisville, and noticed that a few trees in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery were full of wonderful pink flowers. Once we were home we jumped on our bikes, and took the beltline across to the cemetery to take some pictures.

The cemetery is beautiful at any time of year, but these trees obviously add a lot of colour, especially in the spring when the trees aren't filled in just yet.

I have a whole collection of my photos from the cemetery online here and a collection of historic photos from the area online here.

Moore Park Ravine in early spring

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Photos from Moore Park Ravine
At long last I finally got out on my bike for the first time this season!

One of my favourite places in Toronto is the Moore Park Ravine, stretching north from the Don Valley Brickworks, just east of the site of the old Chorley Park the last Ontario Government House then up to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Here are a few early-spring photos to remind us how wonderful and lush the ravine is when the trees are finally green!

Few changes in 77 years at the corner of Hepbourne and Ossington in Toronto

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Hepbourne and Ossington 77 years apart
Certain sections of Toronto have changed quite a bit, and others, like the corner of Hepbourne and Ossington in Bickford Park have changed very little.

So maybe the neighbours couldn't decide on the colour of the roof, and there are certainly more trees and greenery in the modern picture (a screen capture from Google Street view), but overall very little has changed from the March 22nd, 1934 photo (from the City of Toronto Archives). In particular it is nice to see that the detailing above the store window has survived.

Alexandra Gates on Bloor Street near the ROM

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Alexandra Gate on Avenue Road ca 1901
I've finally started categorizing the historic Toronto Photos I've been geo-tagging, and used the Alexandra Gates on Bloor Street near the ROM as a sample while I get the code working as I'd like.

Built in 1901, they originally stood on the south side of Bloor at Avenue Road, but you can see all the details and a variety of sketches and photos on the Historic Alexandra Gates in Toronto webpage. Here's a wonderful postcard looking north through the gates around 1901:

January snow in Toronto

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Seems like whenever we have snow in Toronto we need to blog about it, or at least post a picture or two, so here you go - my two photos of snow on our street, Saturday January 8th, 2011:

Perfect day for a walk, the little convertible's not going anywhere, even WITH snow tires and a hardtop.

Sunnybrook horse stables and walk in the Glendon forest

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We took a quick walk through the Sunnybrook horse stables then north through the Glendon forest along the Don River. Even in early November there were still some late fall colours, and lots and lots of dog walkers. Always a great hike right in the middle of Toronto. For more details on the area, see this page with the specific location, and more photos.

Bike paths after the Don Valley flooding

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There was an awful lot of rain on Sunday, and when I made my way down to the Don Valley trails there was lots of evidence - muddy paths, one tree down, and the plants along the river all patted down.

Certainly passable, but the mud was really slippery in sections.

85 years of Dundas and McCaul

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Old and the new Dundas and McCaulYou've probably seen some great blendings of old and new photos, and I thought I'd give it a try. This one is of a Toronto Archives photo from May, 1923, and the Google Street View from the same corner. I resized the two photographs to match, then blended them using The Gimp.

The streetcar tracks and houses on the north side of McCaul haven't changed too much, but the AGO on the south is rather new. As with many photos of Toronto, the telephone and hydro wires and poles bring the two images together nicely.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) 1933 Rotunda and gold Venetian glass mosaic

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Looking up at a pillar and the ceiling.
One of my favourite buildings in the city of Toronto is the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM for short), and my favourite space in the ROM is the 1933 rotunda with the spectacular gold and blue venetian glass domed ceiling. On this page I've collected some history and description of the room, some photos, even an audio tour from the ROM. It is a wonderful space, especially now that it can be enjoyed in relative peace, rather than as the cramped, busy, and loud main entrance to the museum. No visit to the ROM is complete without stopping in to the rotund for a moment or two.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery Visitation Centre


East side of the new visitation center
I passed through the south end of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery and noticed that the outside work on the new Mount Pleasant Visitation Centre is pretty much complete. The visitation centre ( don't call it a funeral home ) has a long, protracted history reaching back to initial plans in 2004. It looks like they've done a nice job of the building and landscaping, and the running/walking/biking path is now open. Here are some photos from the end of September, 2009.

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