I bookended the long weekend of August 2022 with visits to Toronto’s Queen Street. On Friday night I hung out on the east side, and on holiday Monday I was on the Queen West. Queen Street runs all the way across Toronto, from “Roncy” in the west to Victoria Park over in Scarborough.
Queen Street is around 14km / 9 miles long and encompasses countless neighbourhoods and demographics. It is divided in the middle, more or less, by (Neil) Yonge Street. Yonge St. is a bit like Woodward Avenue in Detroit, or Broadway in New York City.
By sheer coincidence I was at or around 500 Queen Street both east and west, a distance of 3.5 km / 2.2 miles. So this post is just a very small piece of the yummy pizza that is Queen Street.
Friday night arrives without a suitcase
I made plans with an old friend I don’t see nearly often enough to check out a suspenseful and thrilling new band called Dean and the Koontz on Friday night. However, due to “supply chain issues” the performance was cancelled. My feelings on the no-go for Dean et al incorporated elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.
As fine Canadians we simply partook of a few beverages on the patio at a fine establishment called Dominion Pub and Kitchen. It is a fine establishment, be sure to pay it a visit if you are in that magical hood. Here’s how it looked to my eyes, or at least to my phone’s eye on that evening.
Queen Street East, Toronto
These pics are taken around Queen and Sumach, Toronto’s Corktown. It seems to have withstood the onslaught of the condo pandemic, for now, so check it out while you can. Here’s The Magic Building:
And just up the street there is this. Apparently a particularly disgruntled Toronto Maple Leafs fan went out of their way to let Leafs Nation know just how disgruntled they are.
Meanwhile, back under Yonge Street
I saw this wonderful bit of vandalism on the subway platform while waiting for my train. The kids are still alright!
Monday, Monday (bah-da bah-da-da-da)
I HATE holiday Mondays, I mean, REALLY hate them. I’d rather work on a Monday than have it off, that is how much I hate holiday Mondays. But I’ve had more than my fill of being cooped up, so I decided to ‘xplore s’more.
Once upon a time “Queen Street West” was exceptionally cool
Graffiti Alley is just south of Queen Street, and once upon a time “Queen Street West” was exceptionally cool. A bit like Greenwich Village, I suppose. Nowadays it ain’t, but there are still very good reasons for visiting. Graffiti Alley is one, of course, but even before venturing down the unlikely tourist attraction, there is great stuff to check out.
Please allow me to serve these appetizers to ease your grey matter into a full visual assault:
These two were taken just north of Queen Street, both kinda helping to make up the perimeter of a parking lot.
So about this Alley you speak of…
A condo being cool?
A nearly completed condo bordering the alley has been pre-emptive and had their service entrance painted so that it is consistent with the hood. This gives a decent idea of how immersive Graffiti Alley an be.
Couple of clowns.
Black and white
Hey, you forgot something!
Hopefully they reschedule that Dean and the Koontz show
I’ll be there like words on a page! In the meantime, here’s what the sky looks like when you are waiting for a northbound streetcar at Spadina and Queen. Notice the corporate pollution and government sanctioned art that is actually quite cool.
Until next time, Happy Gawking.