Well, I'm finally getting around to posting my images, and I have quite a few, so here goes. They appear a little blurry, but that's just the scanner I used!
I'll start with High Park, which is very much like Central Park in NYC, only half the size. A little history of High Park:
In 1836, John George Howard purchased a 160-acre (0.65 km2) property in the County of York, to the west of Toronto, for a sheep farm, at the cost of $1,000.00. It was here that Howard designed and built Colborne Lodge, a Regency-style picturesque cottage in 1837 to complement its natural surroundings as the residence for himself and his wife Jemima Frances Meikle. The Howards named their property 'High Park' as it was situated on the highest point of land along the Humber Bay shoreline. After a successful career as architect, engineer and land surveyor to the City of Toronto, Howard retired here in 1855.
In 1873, Howard and his wife agreed to convey their country property to the City of Toronto. There were several conditions to the conveyance, including that the Howards continue to live at their residence, no alcohol ever be served in the park, and that the City hold the park "for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto for ever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter High Park". The city council voted 13 to 2 to accept the Howard's conditions. The two dissenters felt the park was too far away from the city to be of any use to its citizens. At the time, direct access to the Howard property was only by boat, the Great Western Railway line to the south or a toll road. Soon afterwards the "Road to High Park" was built from the Lake Road to the park lands, today's Spring Road and Centre Road. Howard received a lifetime pension from the City in exchange for the property.
In 1876 a 120-acre (0.49 km2) portion of the Howard's property formed the original park, along with 176 acres (0.71 km2) bought from Percival Ridout east of the Howard farm. The remaining southern 40 acres (160,000 m2) of Howard's property, including Colborne Lodge, passed to the city after John Howard's death in 1890. The western addition of 71.8 acres (291,000 m2) added in 1930 was purchased from the Chapman estate. The Howards are buried in High Park, under a stone monument that is fronted by a portion of fencing from St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England, across the street from Colborne Lodge. Today, Colborne Lodge is a museum containing many of the original Howard furnishings including John Howard's watercolours of early Toronto.
Front gates of High Park, on Bloor St. West.
Giant Maple Leaf formation in High Park, on the shore of Grenadier Pond.
Grenadier Pond, is a large 14.2 hectares (35 acres) body of water located on the western edge of High Park. It is named after the local Town of York garrison of the 1800s and their use of the pond for fishing. There are two local myths circulating about the Pond. One is that British Grenadiers fell through its thin ice when crossing to defend the city in the War of 1812. Other myths include that the pond is 'bottomless', that is, its depth cannot be measured due to the amount of mud. Fishing remains a popular pastime. Fish caught in the pond are safe to eat, and fishing derbies and casting contests have been held there.
The shore of Grenadier Pond, High Park.
Grenadier Pond, looking north.
Willow tree on the shore of Grenadier Pond, High Park.
Not far from High Park is the area where I grew up and still live in today. A little history of Swansea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swansea,_Toronto
Morningside High Park Presbyterian Church. My parents were married here in 1958, my brother and sister and I were baptized here in 1963 when I was one year old, I was married here in 1987, and my sister was married here in 1990. A little history of the church: http://web.mac.com/marcdunn4/MHP/History.html
Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion, with a shot of the Sunnyside Cafe. I spent many summers as a child and teenager swimming in the pool, nicknamed The Tank. A little history of the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion:
By the 1920s, swimming at the foot of Roncesvalles Avenue had been popular for over thirty years, as there was a swimming area near a pumping station. This changed in 1913 when the pumping station was demolished to make way for the bridge connecting Lakeshore Road and the King/Queen/Roncesvalles intersection. A staircase was built for pedestrians to walk down to the shoreline. A slide was installed for bathers to slide down into the water. By 1920, this area was filled in and the beach was moved farther to the south.
On June 28, 1922, Toronto Mayor Alfred Maguire opened the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion to help bathers change for the swim in the lake. The building, constructed of concrete, cost $300,000. Each wing held an outdoor changing area, lockers and showers, the women's side on the east, and men's side on the west. It offered over 7700 lockers for patrons, a roof garden for 400. Admission fees were 25¢ for adults and 15¢ for children, and bathing suits and towels could be rented. In the center was a staircase leading to an upper terrace which overlooked the change areas leading to a rear terrace which ran the full length of the building and overlooked the beach.
The building was designed by Alfred Chapman who had designed the Princes' Gates and the Ontario Government Building at Exhibition Place for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). The bathing pavilion design was based on the bathing pavilion at Lynn Beach in Massachusetts.
The Pavilion was the site of the first 'Miss Toronto' beauty pageant in 1926.
On July 29, 1925, due to coldness of the lake during the preceding two summers, the Sunnyside Pool, nicknamed the 'Tank', was opened beside the Bathing Pavilion to the east. It measured 300 feet (91 m) by 75 feet (23 m) and could accommodate 2,000 swimmers. At the time of construction, the pool was considered the largest outdoor swimming pool in the world. Admission fees were 35¢ for adults, 10¢ for children.
The 'Tank' was especially popular with children as special streetcar runs were made to take children to the Pool directly from around the City. When built, the pool had a diving tower and bleachers on the east end. The tower was replaced with a simple diving board before 1980, and the diving board itself was eventually removed.
The Princes' Gates, at the Canadian National Exhibition. A little history of the Princes' Gates:
Often mistakenly called the "Princess Gates," the monumental Princes' Gates were officially opened by princes Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), and George (later The Duke of Kent), on August 31, 1927, during that year's Canadian National Exhibition. They were built to celebrate Canada's 60th anniversary of Confederation, and were originally to be called "The Diamond Jubilee of Confederation Gates" but the name was changed when it was found that the Princes were touring Canada the year of its dedication. First to pass through the gate was a Veterans Parade, a tradition that later became the annual Warriors' Day Parade.
The gates are made of a mix of stone and concrete. The statue at the top of the arch is the "Goddess of Winged Victory," an interpretation of the original Winged Victory of Samothrace, designed by architect Alfred Chapman of Chapman and Oxley, and carved by Charles McKechnie. In her hand she holds a single maple leaf. There are nine pillars to either side of the main arch, representing the nine Canadian provinces in existence at the time of construction. Flanking the central arch are various figures representing progress, industry, agriculture, arts and science. The gates were designed by Chapman & Oxley in Beaux-Arts style.
During the fall of 1986 the Winged Victory statue was taken down and found to be seriously deteriorating. It was subsequently replaced by a glass-reinforced polymer plastic copy in 1987, designed to withstand the elements for over a century. That same year the gates officially became a listed building under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Don't worry, all you streetcar aficionados, I didn't forget you!
Inside Osgoode Subway Station. A little history of the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission), or as we like to say "Take The Car":
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is a public transport agency that operates bus, streetcar, and subway services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1954, the TTC has grown to comprise four rapid transit lines with a total of 69 stations, as well as over 149 bus routes and 11 streetcar lines, of which 148 routes make 243 connections with a rapid transit station during weekday rush hours.
The TTC operates the third most heavily-used urban mass transit system in North America (after the New York City Transit Authority and the Mexico City Metro). In 2008, the TTC carried 1.5 million passengers per day, and there were 466,700,000 passenger trips in total. The average daily ridership is 2.5 million passengers: 1,254,600 through bus, 285,600 by streetcar, 37,800 by intermediate rail (RT), and 910,300 by subway. The TTC also provides door-to-door services for persons with physical disabilities known as Wheel-Trans; in first quarter, 2010, 8,900 trips were made through this service daily. The TTC employed 11,861 personnel in 2008.
Colloquially, the subway cars were known as "red rockets", a nickname originally given to Gloucester subway cars, which were painted bright red and which have since been retired. Its legacy lives on as the TTC uses the phrase to advertise the service, such as "Ride the Rocket" in advertising material, "Rocket" in the names of some express buses, and the upcoming "Toronto Rocket" subway train, which is due to arrive in late August 2010 and begin revenue operation in late 2010. Another common slogan is "The Better Way".
Privately operated transit services in Toronto began in 1850. In later years, a few routes were operated by the city, but it was 1921 when the city took over all routes and formed the Toronto Transportation Commission to operate them. During this period service was mainly provided by streetcars. In 1954, the TTC adopted its present name, opened its first subway line, and greatly expanded its service area to cover the newly formed municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (which eventually became the enlarged city of Toronto). The system has evolved to feature a wide network of bus routes with the subway lines as the backbone.
The CN Tower and Skydome (or The Rogers Centre as it is now called). A little history of the CN Tower: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CN_Tower
The CTV Building on Queen St. West, formerly the CityTV Building.
The Scotiabank Theatre on Richmond St. That cube is the top of an escalator that rises at such a steep angle that I have to close my eyes whenever I ride up it!
The foot of Yonge Street, looking north. A little history of Yonge Street: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yonge_Street
The Redpath Sugar factory, on Queens Quay.
R.C. Harris Water Treatment plant. A little history of the plant:
The R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is both a crucial piece of infrastructure and an architecturally acclaimed historic building named after the long time commissioner of Toronto's public works R.C. Harris. It is located in the east of the city at the eastern end of Queen Street and at the foot of Victoria Park Avenue along the shore of Lake Ontario in the Beaches neighbourhood.
With an early 20th century Toronto plagued with water shortages and unclean drinking water, public health advocates such as George Nasmith and Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Charles Hastings, campaigned for a modern water purification system.
The structure was constructed on the former site of Victoria Park, a waterfront amusement park that operated until 1906. Construction on the plant began in 1932 and the building became operational on November 1st, 1941. The building, unlike most modern engineering structures, was also created to make an architectural statement. Fashioned in the Art Deco style, the cathedral-like structure remains one of Toronto's most admired buildings. It is, however, little known to outsiders. The interiors are just as opulent with marble entryways and vast halls filled with pools of water and filtration equipment. The plant has thus earned the nickname The Palace of Purification.
Despite its age, the plant is still fully functional, providing approximately 45% of the water supply for Toronto and the Region of York. The intakes are located over 2.6 kilometres (1.6 mi) from shore in 15 metres (49 ft) of water, running through two pipes under the bed of the lake. Water is also chlorinated in the plant and then pumped to various reservoirs throughout the City of Toronto and the Region of York. In 1992, the plant was named a national historic civil engineering site by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering.
The facility grounds have been made available to the public. Despite some concerns of vulnerability to an attack on the water supply since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the grounds have remained open to the public, but security has been increased. In the summer of 2007, construction began on the installation of an underground Residual Management Facility allowing process waste to be removed before discharging into the lake. As a result of this project, the grounds are under heavy construction and are only partially publicly accessible.
Scarborough Bluffs. Some information on the bluffs:
They run 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from the foot of Victoria Park Avenue in the west to the mouth of Highland Creek in the east, reaching as high as 65 metres (213 ft), the equivalent of seventeen storeys. However, the escarpment continues westward inland, running between Kingston Road and Queen Street East, pausing over the Don Valley, and continuing on the north side of Davenport Road. The escarpment forms the old shoreline of Lake Iroquois, formed after the last ice age, which left valuable geological records as the part of the escarpment by the lake eroded. The eroded alluvial deposits from the Bluffs then settled westward to form the Toronto Islands.
The bluffs were named after Scarborough, England by Elizabeth Simcoe, the wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada. The bluffs along Scarborough's Lake Ontario shores reminded her of the limestone cliffs in Scarborough, England. In her diary, she wrote, "The [eastern] shore is extremely bold, and has the appearance of chalk cliffs, but I believe they are only white sand. They appeared so well that we talked of building a summer residence there and calling it Scarborough."
A park created from fill has been built in the lake below the cliffside named Bluffer's Park; it is accessible from the foot of Brimley Road. Natural beaches extend from east/west past the park and visitors can walk "under" the bluffs. Placing an ear on the bluffs you can actually hear movement within them. Many old cars were pushed off the top of the bluffs in the 40's-80's and the cars can still be found (with a careful eye), almost fully buried.
A nice view of the Toronto waterfront. I hope you enjoyed your tour of Toronto!