Friday, August 9, 2019

Into The Big Smoke

Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario, and business central for the country. It bears its share of nicknames, including the Big Smoke and Hogtown. This is actually the first shot I took on the road trip, in an area beneath the downtown core. This being late on a Saturday afternoon, the area was largely deserted.

Pretty much the same view, but on the morning that I was getting into Toronto to return home. The PATH network is a system set beneath the downtown core linking numerous office buildings and landmarks. Retail stores abound here, and it's particularly busy at rush hour. I was here around nine thirty in the morning, so rush hour was over. 

I had arrived in Toronto around a half hour earlier in Union Station, which is linked to PATH. The station is a grand one, constructed between 1914 and 1920 and is the third of its kind. The last time I was in Toronto it was under the siege of renovations. That appears to still be the case, as pedestrian detours and construction cladding was still to be found. This transportation hub handles passenger trains, city transit, and GO commuter services.

Here we have a view of the building from the outside.

I had time on my hands, so I decided to get some walking and photography in. The Eaton Centre is a large mall downtown with a glass roof overhead. It also features a set of life sized sculptures of Canada geese hanging from above. Flight Stop is a 1979 installation of fibreglass that is an institution in the city, by the artist Michael Snow.

This particular monstrosity is called York-Dundas Square. This was deemed a revitalization effort and a public square, finished in 2002. The fountains are a nice touch. But the place is surrounded by endless billboards and corporate logos, which leads me to muse on strangling the bloody prat who came up with the idea.

Nearby a street view includes a glimpse of the iconic CN Tower.

And for today I finish with something that's iconic in a way that would shock the Sisters Of Little Or No Mercy. Zanzibar is a nightclub that goes back decades along Yonge Street, and which has been a strip club since at least the 1970s. More from Toronto to come.


  1. Dundas Square is "our" Times Square.

  2. Lovely shots -but how amazing that the station is that empty on a Saturday!

  3. Unusual wirh the empty station. Nice with the bird installation.

  4. Surprisingly the station is quite deserted.

  5. Toronto looks mre "new" then Ottawa ! We have so many strip clubs in Brussels,that nobody is shocked, lol !

  6. Give a few days and I might find something interesting to say about Toronto.

  7. Those first two photos look like a setting for a sci fi movie. Everything looks so clean.
    Hope you are enjoying your trip.


  8. Hello, I like the geese hanging from the ceiling. Hope your day is great, happy weekend!

  9. ...the Big Smoke, I never knew that!

  10. Gosh what did you do with all the people? Your pictures are extremely unpopulated, especially the ones of the PATH and Union Station! Amazing!

  11. I too like the geese sculptures. I wonder how Toronto got that nickname. :-)

  12. There don't seem to be as many nice architectural sites a your home town. The geese are nice though.

  13. @Catarina: it's hideous!

    @Lady Fi: this would have been past five PM, and on a Saturday the network is lightly traveled to begin with.

    @Stefan: I have always liked that installation.

    @Nancy: relatively so.

    @Gattina: oh, we have strip clubs here.

    @David: I got a lot of photographing in.

    @Marianne: so do I.

    @Janis: I did enjoy the trip, but it's now well behind me.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Tom: it's an old nickname.

    @Shammickite: let's just say I was judicious with angles.

    @DJan: both nicknames are odd.

    @Barbara: I do like those geese.

  14. The most used nickname for Toronto is "T.O.".

  15. I wouldn't recognize my city from these pics with the lack of people!

  16. Toronto looks like an interesting city William ✨

  17. There's a lot of great history in the old station. The type of use has changed over the years but it's still a place to move people.

  18. I like that glass roof. It brings so much light inside.

  19. i enjoy all the natural lighting ... as well as the real lighting. way cool!! ( ;

  20. I've been in the Eaton Center and enjoyed that glass ceiling very much.

  21. Lovely photos of what I found to be very elegant and historical too when we visited Toronto ~ That last photo is interesting !

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  22. Beautiful Union Station. The Eaton Mall is lovely with the glass roof and Geese.

  23. @Catarina: true!

    @RedPat: tomorrow will be a bit different as I was amid a crowd.

    @Grace: it has its moments.

    @Red: it is a grand station.

    @Marleen: it does.

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Sharon: it's different!

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Parsnip: thanks!

    @Janey: indeed.

  24. Wonderful spaces a views of the great town! I had forgotten about the Path system! It's been decades!

  25. Those geese are a nice attraction, I like them.

  26. Nice photos. Those old train stations have an adventurous vibe. The Canada are neat.

  27. Toronto is so made over since I last was there. It's wonderful, warts and all.

  28. It looks like you had an interesting trip. "Branding" seems to have polluted every inch of open space in some areas.

  29. It´s all so beautiful and clean.
    Here you have to watch your step, I already lost a pair of shoes to dog poo.
    The geese are wonderful.

  30. The station looks impressive and I like the Canada Geese in the Mall:)

  31. I worked summers across from Union Station. My mom worked in the Royal York Hotel at the Rotary Club offices. I helped her out there, as well.

  32. Zanzibar has fine decoration! Love the arched roofs too.

  33. the station looks impressive, it is interesting to see it so empty.

  34. @Cloudia: I never seem to get lost down there.

    @Bill: so do I.

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Joanne: it changes all the time.

    @Kay: I hate corporate branding.

    @Iris: yuck!

    @Rosie: so do I.

    @Jennifer: small world!

    @Linda: it's quite a building.

    @Klara: that can be deceptive, as I was trying to avoid photographing people.

  35. I love that installation at Eaton Center. I need to get back to Toronto soon.

    1. I haven't been back since this trip, thanks to Covid.