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.

Ball’s Mill

Ball's Mill

Ball’s Mill graces the Hamlet of Baltimore north of Cobourg. Although the exterior has been restored and is largely in good condition, the inside is crammed full of junk and looks pretty rough through the windows.

Behind the mill, a portion of the exterior has been left unrestored to show the original condition:

Rear view of Ball's Mill

Apparently, the mill was run by a 19th-century Russell Oliver:

Cash for Wheat at Ball's Mill

TTC ghost stops

TTC ghost sign on Sloane at Eglinton

Before the TTC started marking bus stops by strapping mass-produced metal* vinyl signs onto poles, they used stencils and paint. I’m not sure when they stopped doing that, but I do vaguely remember the metal signs becoming standard in maybe the early 80s. Most of those old painted signs have disappeared or faded with time, but a few of them are still kicking around on old streetcar and bus routes. The one above is painted on an old utility pole on the east side of Sloane Avenue just north of Eglinton Avenue East. The old pole has been cut down to just above the ghost stop, leaving it with no role other than displaying a bit of old paint. As you can see in this Google Street View, the metal sign was strapped over the painted one before the new pole was installed.

Another TTC ghost is on the southwest corner of Kingston Road and Glen Manor Drive:

TTC ghost sign on Kingston at Glen Manor

As you can tell by the snow on the lawns in the background, the picture wasn’t taken this winter. It looks like this stop was originally on a TTC-specific pole that carried the trolley wire for powering streetcars on this line. I’m not sure why the old pole survived; like the one on Sloane above, it seems to serve no specific function any longer.

Without a doubt, the best TTC ghost stops were in the Wychwood streetcar barns, where decommissioned poles were cut up and used as building material to shore up the floor above:

TTC ghost stops holding up the floor in the Wychwood car barns

It’s extremely unlikely that any part of these ad hoc posts and beams survived the conversion of the buildings into the Artscape Wychwood Barns, but it was an amazing surprise to see when it was there.

* Update, March 16, 2012: The newer non-painted signs are actually vinyl, not metal.