Bits and Pieces : December 2013

Hi! Here is the monthly post where I put the photos that I took during the previous month, which didn’t find a home in any other post. I try to choose them carefully so that they’re interesting. I hope you like December’s selection which admittedly is somewhat Christmas-centric, but alas, that was what was to be had in Toronto at this time of year.


↑↑ No Flyers Please : I guess this household didn’t want Santa and his reindeer coming by (hardee har har). I love the colour of this door and the simple wreath. You’ve seen this same door in a “Bits and Pieces” post before, from October when they had a pumpkin out, here.

santa-cats-chalk-drawing outer layer

↑↑ Santa and His Cats : There’s a neat gift and stationery store on Queen Street West called Outer Layer, who has this chalkboard outside, on which they draw and/or write something different every few weeks. This has been going on for years and the message never fails to bring on a smile. There are little doors and a padlock that they close up after hours. Again, this chalk-board was shown in a previous “Bits and Pieces” post for August, seen here.


↑↑ Red Velvet and Tartan : This was the Christmas display in one of the vintage stores in Kensington Market. I wonder if anyone bought that awesome red velvet jacket.


↑↑ Queen Street West with a streetcar : The building behind this scene is one of the city’s older ones that remain standing, Osgoode Hall erected in the early 1800s. (I wrote more about this building here when Nick and I checked out the grounds during a walk last summer.)

If you are curious, Toronto has electric streetcars on the major downtown streets, that are connected to overhead wires for power. They connect with the subway train system (seen in my stories here and here) and the buses and we pay one fare to transfer from one method of transportation to another.

old-vs-new-adelaide-st 342 adelaide street

↑↑ Old versus New : I love the look of this old house, amid all kinds of development going on on Adelaide Street near Peter Street. I can’t help but wonder about what must have been the extravagant personality of the man (and we know it would have been a man in those days ;) who had it built back in 1858. I know someone lives there now because I once saw a guy coming down those stairs and watering some huge sunflowers that were out on the deck. That was before the new wooden fence was put up, so since they went through the effort of putting that up, I assume this relic of a building is staying put for now.

To give you a feel of how quickly things are changing around it (and to see it without the wooden fence), I included this same building in a post written this past August, when that new building you see popping up to the right was only 3 stories tall.

As for the fur store that was added to the front of the building, with a sign stating they’ve been there since 1923, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone coming or going from there, nor have I seen anyone wearing a fur coat in years. (Maybe I just don’t go to the right places for such things!)

old-yellow-house-toronto 618 richmond street

↑↑ Too Old to Keep Going : That tiny yellow house on Richmond Street just east of Bathurst was built sometime in the late 1800s, and is a unique structure that remains standing … for now. But sometimes something old must go to make room for something new, and the sign in the window of this house and the row of others to the right of it indicate big changes are coming to this strip, in the form of them being torn down to make room for a new condo tower development. There’s a historian in the city who does an excellent job of looking into the background of old buildings, and you can see what he discovered about this yellow house here.

barrel-christmas-tree jack daniels king street

↑↑ More Fun than a Barrel of Monkeys : This tree built from Jack Daniel’s Whiskey barrels was an interesting site on King Street West throughout the holidays. Apparently the tree, which is made from 40 empty barrels and standing 23 feet tall, was first set up in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Jack Daniel’s is made. If you’re interested you can read more about this unique holiday decoration here.


↑↑ Vintage Christmas Diorama : This is just one of the many scenarios set up in the window of a downtown department store called The Bay. To give you a sense of scale, the little girls are about 18 inches tall. I can’t say how long they have been putting these in their windows but it is a very old store and it seems like forever. I did a dedicated post on them last year (here), where I showed a bunch of the other scenes too, but last year for some reason the animations weren’t working when I went by. This year they were and it added a whole layer of fun to the display. For example the girls’ arms moved up and down in this scene.


↑↑ Fire Escape in an Alley : Toronto is filled with alleyways to explore. I only venture into them in the light of day as they can be a bit remote in spite of there being a bustling street just on the other side of the buildings. This particular shot was taken in the alley that runs parallel to Queen Street West on the south side.

Thanks very much for taking a look.