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    What a Difference Six Months Make : Walking in a Blizzard

    snowstorm in toronto blizzard grange park february

    Hello! Not to be one who goes on about the weather, but today's post is, umm, well, about the weather.

    While we swelter here in Toronto on a hot muggy day that feels like 30 degrees (86f), with a forecast that calls for Sunday to feel like 37 (99f), we are still very much in the throes of summer.

    I'm reminded of a riddle that was in a colouring book that I had as a kid. The whole book was riddles and I remember thinking it was one of the best things ever. I realize now, that the jokes were as corny as can be, though. For example Q : What kind of keys don't open doors? A : Donkeys and turkeys. And, the reason I bring it up now -- Q : Why is the letter "G" so hot? A : Because it's in the middle of August!

    If you, too, are are sweating right now, perhaps the power of suggestion brought on by these photographs will cool you off a little bit. They were taken on February 13th, exactly 6 months ago, to the hour, while I walked through Grange Park.

    Back then, I'd already posted about massive snowfall we'd had in the city the previous week (seen here), so I held back on sharing more pictures of snow. Until now, that is, when I think they might be more appreciated for their oddity.

    Not that I'm wishing summer away because I'm definitely not, but some of my favourite walks have been those that were taken in the midst of a blizzard!

    Neighbourhood Exploration : Toronto’s Financial District

    buildings in toronto financial district

    Hello and welcome! My previous post (aka : Part 1 of our really long walk!) was about an afternoon spent with my friend Meghan, where we checked out Toronto's St. Lawrence / Old Town neighbourhood.

    This is Part 2, as we continued walking, going westward along Front Street, and took a look at The Financial District, which spans roughly from Front Street on the south, up to Queen Street West, between Yonge Street and University Avenue.

    Now, I understand that this might not sound like the most exciting part of the city to explore, but hopefully after seeing what we saw, you'll agree that Toronto's business affairs are conducted within a pretty spectacular looking forest of concrete and glass.

    In this particular neighbourhood, fewer historic pre-1900 buildings are found when compared to the rest of the downtown core. That's because a large swatch of the area burned to the ground during The Great Fire of 1904, when 118 buildings were totally destroyed in eight hours. (I discussed another "Great Fire" in the previous post, which occurred in Old Town in 1849, but as far as damage goes, this second one was the greater of the two, for sure.)

    To give scale to the devastation, it caused the loss of 5,000 jobs in a city of 200,000 people at the time. Considering that it was mostly men who worked back then, and families were quite large, this would have meant that a high percentage of families lost their main source of income. To this day, it remains the largest fire ever to have occurred in Toronto. Thankfully it happened at night, so no one was injured. One man, John Croft, an explosive expert, died while clearing the ruins afterward, though.

    So, that happened in 1904 and the first of the skyscrapers that currently make up the Financial District went up in the 60s, leaving about 50 years in between. I can find little information about what happened to the burned out landscape in the interim, except that The Royal York Hotel was built, opening in 1929, and the "new" Union Station opened in 1927 (it replaced the "old" Union Station that had been located to the west.)

    On with our walk!

    Neighbourhood Exploration : St. Lawrence / Old Town

    church street and wellington front historic old town neighbourhood in toronto

    Hello. As I say whenever I write about one of Toronto's many neighbourhoods, exploring different parts of your own city is said to make you smarter (based on this list entitled, "25 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter"). So, I'm doing what I can for the grey matter while hopefully providing you with something interesting to read!

    Considering that one of Toronto's nicknames is "The City of Neighbourhoods", and having nearly 100 officially recognized ones downtown, there are plenty of areas to choose from. Today, we're visiting a part of town known as "St. Lawrence", aka "Old Town".

    Technically, based on map boundaries, "St. Lawrence" and "Old Town" overlap one another, but the street signs have both names listed simultaneously. It's confusing and the name changes depending of what you're reading, so I've just joined the two.

    A Garden Party for Two : Lunch and Crocheting with Julie

    first crocheted swatches

    I'm not sure if it's the same all over, but here in Toronto, "summer hours" are a common thing -- that's when employers let staff have Friday afternoons off. As self-employed people, Nick and I usually treat ourselves to summer hours, too.

    So, a week ago Friday, after she'd finished up at work, my friend Julie came over for a little r and r on our patio. We had lunch followed by a crochet lesson.

    At the Gallery : A Look at What’s On at The AGO – Summer 2019

    mask made from nike air jordan sneakers sculpture by brian jungen art exhibition ago toronto

    No doubt, there is plenty to see at The Art Gallery of Ontario this summer! I was invited for a look around last week and took a bunch of photos to share with you here. However, of course, with art, pictures just don't do justice, so, hopefully you'll have a chance to go and see it in person if/when you're in Toronto. It's a perfect opportunity to partake in their new admission fee, where those 25 and under always get in free, and others pay $35 once a year for unlimited visits.

    I'll just dive right in, beginning with photos of the solo exhibition, "Friendship Centre" by Brian Jungen.