Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Guild

Cat People, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

I discovered The Guild today thanks to my friend, Jude Marion. The Guild sits on bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario and includes a number of historic buildings within a public park. Surrounding the buildings are more than 70 architectural fragments and sculptures within its gardens.

As per the City of Toronto's website:

Originally a private residence, the main building was renovated extensively to become a public hotel, and the buildings which surround it were pressed into service to become The Guild of All Arts, a Depression-era arts and crafts colony. The extensive private gardens surrounding the buildings became the site of a personal building conservation program by Rosa and Spencer Clark, whereby fragments from demolished buildings in and around Toronto were rescued by their efforts and re-erected to create a sculpture garden. Passing into the public domain in 1978, the grounds became a public park and the art and sculpture on display in the gardens became a unique attraction to this lovely setting atop the Scarborough Bluffs.

If you haven't been before, I'd highly recommend it. Thanks for the tour Jude.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

At the End of the World

At the End of the World, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

The skateboard park in the 'hood was deserted today. I thought there might be the odd hearty kid trying out a new Christmas skateboard but we had the place to ourselves. Wimps. I like to wander the oddly shaped concrete forms and try out a picture or two while walking the dog. I understand the TTC has agreed to pay for Phase II of the park as part of the new streetcar yard deal. I can't wait to see "the pool" and some of the more extreme features of the park that weren't included in the original development due to budget issues.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Automolove, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

This photo recently placed first/best overall in the City of Toronto's Photo Contest in the citybiz or business category. Winners were invited to a reception with the mayor at City Hall in January.

I took this picture of a neighbourhood storefront since I once had a black MGB and I've always liked the concept of a car in a shop window. My MGB was a fine and fun automobile and I enjoyed every kilometre in it.

The name of the photo was inspired by Queen's song, I'm in Love With My Car.

I'm in love with my car
Gotta feel for my automobile
I'm in love with my car
String back gloves in my automolove

Congratulations to all of the other winners in the City's photo contest. See you at Dave's party.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fred's Not Here

Fred's Not Here, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

Years ago, when my Dad lived in Toronto, we occasionally went to a restaurant on King Street West called, Fred's Not Here. It was, and I believe still is, a happening joint and we had a lot of fun and a lot of great food. When I took this picture in the neighbourhood, the name of the restaurant came to mind along with the many memories.

Featured in the The Daily Photoist: December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Storm Warning

Winter Storm Warning, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

Well, the first storm of the season arrived yesterday. It wasn't as big as the media would have led us to believe but it did mess up the morning commute. I hope that's it for the year and spring is just around the corner. Yeah right.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Transit Tales #48

Transit Tales #48, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

This diminutive woman boarded the streetcar while a second TTC employee stood beside the driver talking - as they tend to do. She awkwardly shuffled and squeezed her cart by the standing guy and sat down in the first seat in her red accessories after glaring at the TTC employee for partially blocking the aisle.

After a few moments, I noticed her anxiously looking around, checking her pockets and obviously distressed about something. Suddenly she lunged at the standing TTC driver at the same time that I glanced down to see what turned out to be her missing red glove firmly planted under the TTC employee's big dirty boot. He was still talking to the driver and unaware of his indiscretion. She literally dove at him, poking him in the leg, causing him to lift his foot in surprise thereby freeing her bright red glove. He was startled but after realizing this woman wasn't actually trying to kill him, cautiously resumed his conversation with the driver.

The woman returned to her seat glaring with disgust at the guy with the inconsiderate boot, smacked her glove back and forth a few times on the railing to knock the dirt off it, placed the glove back on her hand and sat back with her ensemble once again complete. I took this picture shortly after the return of the glove although I was careful not to get caught in the act lest I face her considerable wrath as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Fat Lady Has Sung

The Fat Lady Has Sung, originally uploaded by Michael Mitchener.

Metro has announced the three winning entries for each Canadian contest category. The image, Cloud Factory took first place for my category, Climate Change. Congratulations to romwar, 'tis a fine image.

Thanks once again for your support and votes over the last few weeks. I went from initial apathy to a full marketing lather and enjoyed every minute. I was honoured to be selected as a semi-finalist and enjoyed sharing the spotlight with the talented uwajedi (last year's worthy winner).

In the immortal words of Hot Chocolate, "Everyone's a winner, baby..."