Big Bobbers, a Gigantic Canoe and Good Vendors : CityFest Toronto


Meghan and I went to another festival in the city on a recent Saturday afternoon : CityFest Aside from its location within a relatively new park that I’ve been wanting to check out, called Canoe Landing Park, this festival stood out for its cool downtown vibe and really good selection of vendors.

I’ve been curious about this location since I first spied the tip of a gigantic red canoe peaking over the hill adjacent to the highway that runs along the southern end of Toronto. You can’t help but see it as you drive by below, but the tip of the canoe is all that you can see of this park from the roadway.

One day at the beginning of the summer, after yet another drive-by of this mysterious sight, I simply had to know what it was. So I googled “Big Red Canoe Toronto” and discovered that the canoe is part of a public art installation by Douglas Coupland. Yes, that is the prolific writer from Vancouver whose works include 13 novels, 7 non-fiction books and two collections of short stories. His lesser known talent lies in the creation of visual art and Toronto, and this park specifically, has the honour of having a series of his sculptures on permanent display. In addition to the canoe, there are a some huge fishing bobbers, and some park benches shaped like icebergs.

Canoe Landing Park is the green-space provided to the residents of the multiple condominium community called CityPlace although it is open to anyone.

CityPlace, which is still in the process of being completed on what was once unused railway land, will be the largest residential development ever created in Toronto.



Cityfest is an annual festival hosted by this community and dedicated to the celebration of city life.




As mentioned, there were good vendors there. Here’s the list.

I got photos at some of the booths …

Revintage TO who beautifully reinvent vintage items.



Studs, who were offering a wide assortment of very unique cuff links (I can’t find a site link for them, so maybe they only sell at festivals.)



Illbury and Goose who were showing cotton tees and beautiful leather pieces, amoungst other things. They have a store opening soon on Queen Street West near Trinity Bellwoods Park.



The Vintage Acorn with some lovely handmade jewellery.



G Fox Gems. This shop would particularly appeal to beach goers as most of their items (including hats, watches, sunglasses) float!



Langsura, an online boutique selling very nice women’s clothing. Their booth was set up inside an Airstream Trailer, complete with fitting rooms. (In a different life I’d have an Airstream and go all over the place in it!)

Meghan got the outfit she’s wearing in the photo.



↑ The friendly lady working the booth ↑



↑ It’s a taker ↑


The Big Bobbers were just outside the entrance of the Airstream …



After checking out the festival we headed over to the big red canoe.

Although I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere in relation to the sculpture, I know that Toronto’s shoreline was originally right about where the canoe is situated, way back before much of the city was built. Anything south of that point is landfill that was added in the last century, forming more landmass and using up all the excess dirt that resulted from the digging of all the basements and underground parking lots.





↑ My tote bag is made from vintage fabrics and is the one mentioned in this post. It was a gift from my cousin Lisa, that she picked up at a Makers’ Fair in Winnipeg. ↑



Cityplace is separated from the rest of the city by train tracks, so in order to connect the residents, this footbridge, called Puente de Luz, which means Bridge of Light, designed by Chilean sculptor Francisco Gazitua, was built in 2012.




On our way home we came upon this funny scenario … a Buddhist Monk from the Fu Sien Tong Temple was walking his dog without a leash. The dog suddenly bolted into the street, with the monk hot on its heels, and I just happened to have my camera ready to catch the action. The dog was safely brought back to the sidewalk.


Thanks very much for checking out my post,
xo loulou