East Barracks uncovered

Archeological dig, East Barracks of New Fort York (Stanley Barracks)

An archaeological dig across from the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place is uncovering the foundations of the East Barracks, part of the New Fort that replaced Old Fort York in the 1840s. The only one of the original buildings that survives intact is the officers’ quarters, commonly referred to as Stanley Barracks (which was actually the name of the whole facility). The site supervisor told me that they dug exploratory trenches about four years ago and discovered that the old foundation was still mostly intact, stretching a couple of hundred feet under the parking lot. The dig is in front of the site of the new hotel that has exclusive rights inside Exhibition Place. The developer is planning to cover the majority of the remaining foundation with glass and use it as a feature in the entrance.

A short image gallery is after the jump.

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Ned Hanlan on the move

Ned Hanlan on the move

The Ned Hanlan, the tugboat beside Stanley Barracks at Exhibition Place, has been pulled out of its dry berth and will soon be moved, appropriately enough, to a new display at Hanlan’s Point. The middle of a parking lot at Exhibition Place may seem like an odd place for a tugboat, but it actually used to make sense: Stanley Barracks was home to Toronto’s Marine Museum until it was moved to Harbourfront in 2000 and then promply shut down as a cost-saving measure.

Ned Hanlan on the move

Park mail

In an article in Spacing a few years ago (“Letters to a park,” Spacing, Winter/Spring 2007), Jessica Johnston lamented not being able to send mail to her favourite park. Although many parks have street addresses, Canada Post told her that “Parks aren’t customers … We can’t deliver to the third oak tree.” Well, she might have more luck getting that letter to the third oak tree now that there’s an actual mailbox tacked onto a signpost in Sunnybrook Park:

Mailbox in Sunnybrook Park

Despite riding by here quite regularly, I’d never noticed this mailbox until I saw a Canada Post truck pull up and deliver a load of mail to it this morning. A city employee who happened to be passing by while I was taking pictures said that it’s a shared mailbox for Sunnybrook Stables and the city works yard tucked in at the north end of the park below the sports fields. Canada Post won’t deliver mail all the way up the road and it’s too dangerous to stop at a mailbox placed at high-speed Leslie Street, so they reached a compromise with this mailbox located almost 200 metres inside the park where there’s room to safely stop and turn the mail truck around without having to reverse up the roadway. He also said that this particular box is new, having replaced the original wooden one that was installed in the same location last September. And I do remember seeing the old wooden one on this post, but never twigged to the possibility that it was for mail delivery.

Dysart et al

Municipality of Dysart et al

I suppose that you really have to come up with something shorter to fit on road signs when the full name of your municipality is the United Townships of Dysart, Dudley, Harcourt, Guilford, Harburn, Bruton, Havelock, Eyre and Clyde. The initialism of UTDDHGHBHEC doesn’t look much better and isn’t very catchy. But you’d think that since the initial amalgamation of the first four of these in Haliburton County in 1867, the township et al’s residents would have been able to let some of the names slip into history.

On the other hand, living in Toronto et al, formed in 1954 with a full name of the United City of Toronto, Scarborough, East York, Leaside, North York, Forest Hill, York, Weston, Swansea, New Toronto, Mimico, and Long Branch would have its charms.

Sign-eating tree

Sign-eating tree

Sign-eating tree

These signs were being eaten by a tree until a crew came along a few months ago and chopped the tree down while clearing and marking a path above the pipeline. It looks like they couldn’t extricate the signs from the tree and chose instead to work around the obstruction, leaving a chunk of the tree still enveloping the signs.

Another TTC ghost stop

East face of TTC ghost stop on Gerrard at Jones

Here’s another TTC ghost sign, this one on the northeast corner of Gerrard Street at Jones Avenue. The east face, above, is hard to miss. The west face is much more faded but the “AR S” of “CAR STOP” is still barely visible. In the photo of the west face below, you can see the bright white rectangle of the original sign as well as very faint outlines of the “R” and “S” just above and below the big rust patch in the middle of the post:

West face of TTC ghost stop on Gerrard at Jones

A little farther east on Gerrard there’s also a ghost Sunday stop, but it’s only visible as an area of faded yellow paint on a utility pole with no discernible lettering.