Yesterday I had to go downtown for a friend's party, and with the whole G20 hoopla, and expected "significant traffic delays" due to closed highways, freeways, streets, and protesters, I left an hour earlier than needed.
While I hadn't previously been downtown many times before this year, in the past month or so I had already been there three times, and was able to find an alternate route easily after hearing a warning on the radio that my anticipated exit was closed. So, lo and behold, I ended up downtown an hour early. I didn't have my good camera with me, but I did have my point-and-shoot, so took a few pictures as I walked around.
Overall, I'd say it was quite deserted. Might have been because it was a Friday night, or maybe because the G20 was scaring many away, I'm not sure. Every store seemed to have a security guard out front, which isn't normally the case.
Here is Toronto's Flatiron building, also known as the Gooderham Building. Located at 49 Wellington Street East, it was built in the early 1890s. On the left, above the "Le Papillon" sigh, you can see a sliver of the CN Tower.
I like the crazy fire escape. It's also interesting to compare this photo of the building today, with all the giants in the background, to this one of it shortly after it was built. Everything was the same height back then!
On the backside of the building is a mural facing a small park, which was painted in 1980 by Canadian artist Derek Michael Besant in 1980. I sat down on a bench and took a picture of it and some hydrangeas, and then went over to the bottom right corner to read a plaque about the history of the mural. When I walked away a security guard shouted to me "You don't have to leave, you can stay and enjoy!" which made me chuckle.
This bird was drinking out of a dribbling water fountain. There were also lots of pigeons about. And The Ice Bear Project was also kind of dropped off in the middle of the little park area (I say dropped off because it really seemed mishmashed into place, it wasn't centred, the stand was weird, kind of looked like it had just been dropped off as an afterthought. Unfortunately I thought I'd be able to find good photos online and didn't take one of my own. It was a little more than half melted, the sculpted skelton's entire upper body was exposed. The concept is that it's a comment and demonstration of global warming, and that global warming not only effects all of us, but also is caused by all of us. In town for the G20, I wonder how many working on climate change policies have seen it.
Here's the only real G20 business I saw in effect. This is looking west from the corner of 1 Front Street West. There were a whole lot of people taking pictures of this, and not a whole lot was going on. And apparently anyone within 5 metres of this fence has their rights revoked.