Monday, April 30, 2018

Foto Tunes

Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

I am a little obsessed with Gordon Lightfoot music these days, I borrowed (electronically) a looooong album from the library, Songbook, a career retrospective album released by Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot on the Rhino label in 1999. The album contains 88 songs covering Lightfoot's career, 16 of which are previously unreleased tracks. The only material not covered is the album Harmony which was released after Songbook.

We also have tickets for his concert at Massey Hall in June.

So expect more Gordon. 

September 2015 - Cliffs of Moher Ireland

Us, with friends, we couldn't have had a worse day to visit the Cliffs. Thankfully John and I have been here before.

Rainy Day People

How rainy was it?

You can even hear the rain.


Wordless Wednesday  Wordless  Be There 2day

April 2018 - Toronto ON

Monday Mural

I'm linking up at Monday Mural

April 2018 - Toronto ON

I was checking out the new Winner's (Canadian T J Maxx) in a newly opened office building on Lake Shore at York. The building is impressive and I saw this intriguing display.

Demolished in 2011, the Workmen's Compensation building had stood on this property from 1953 to 1973.

From 1973 to 1995 it was known as the Old Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters.

Three slabs of limestone from the eastern pier of the back facade of that building were preserved by the developers.

  The slab contain a stencil of a "Police Guard Pink Balloon Dog,” an artwork created by Banksy in 2010 which was saved by the developer and is now on display at One York.

In 2010, Banksy released the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, a commentary on street art and how it is marketed. While Banksy was promoting this documentary, he left a few pieces throughout Toronto during an overnight visit. Initially, three pieces were spotted. Four more would follow before Banksy’s publicist confirmed the artist had indeed been sharing his work on Toronto’s streets. Of the original seven, only one near the corner of Church and the Esplanade remains visible to the public today. Note to self: track it down.

It was originally in a lane surrounded by garbage cans when the developers rescued the slabs, preserved and professionally restored during the construction.

Here it is on the original building.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Past Meets Present

Past Meets Present #PastMeetsPresent

April 2018 - Toronto ON

Massey Hall has been Toronto's premier music hall for more than a century. Its intimate confines and rich acoustics have made the Shuter St. building a mecca for music aficionados and a magnet for classic performances.

We have attended several performances here and the acoustics are amazing as is the intimate atmosphere.
We are going to a concert in June and I will be sure to get some interior photos.

Hart Massey, born in Haldimand Township, Ontario, inherited his father's agriculture business aged 33 in 1856 and built it into a wildly successful equipment manufacturer.

At the time, many of the farms in Ontario were relying on basic tools. H. A. Massey and Company held the Ontario production rights for a mower, reaper, combined reaper, mower, self-raking reaper, and other important implements that would later prove invaluable and indispensable.

The business continued to grow with the creation of new foundries for forging parts and in 1867, the same year the company won an international award for its combined reaper and mower, Massey brought his son Charles on as partner.

Tragically for Hart, Charles died suddenly from typhoid on 12th February, 1884. The family decided the best way to commemorate their beloved son would be a $100,000 (almost $2,000,000 today) gift to Toronto, where the Masseys had many dealings. Charles was a skilled organist and pianist and it was felt his legacy should be musically inclined.

Massey Hall in 1912, after a portico and fire escape had been added to its north facade on Shuter Street. Photo from a book published by the City of Toronto in 1912.

inSPIREd Sunday

April 2018 - Toronto ON

Why haven't I posted St. Michael's Cathedral before? It's been closed for five years of renovations and there is still work being done on the outside.

The Archdiocese of Toronto says the cathedral is the oldest church in Toronto still being used for its original purpose, was rededicated with a new designation from the Vatican. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments granted the cathedral the title of minor basilica.


"As such, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Toronto will be known moving forward as St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica, in recognition of its historic and current significance as a place of worship and sacred celebration in our archdiocese, our province, and our country," said a statement from the Archdiocese.

You can read about the history of the cathedral here, including some background of the influx of Irish immigrants to Toronto.

St. Michael’s Cathedral is located at 200 Church Street in Toronto. The building is oriented on an off-east-west axis aligned perpendicular to church street with its main entrance on its west side located off Bond Street. In adherence with the tradition of medieval churches the cathedral's high altar is in the east end of the building, facing Jerusalem.

You can see there is still fencing surrounding this side. On the other side there is still extensive work being done on the foundations.

The restoration work included conservation of the exterior façade and the 84-metre tower, reinforcement of the foundations, construction of a new balcony and a crypt chapel, as well as new public bathrooms.

There are also new floors, the celestial ceiling was restored, and 13 statues were added, while 26 were restored.


Stations of the Cross

There is also a new custom-built Casavant Opus 3907 organ, which has 4,143 pipes ranging in size from around a centimetre to almost 10 metres.

And oh the stained glass!!!


The stained-glass in the Cathedral is of the “antique” variety which is hand-blown in typical medieval style resulting in deeper colour when compared to typical machine-rolled glass used in other churches at the time. The largest piece of stained glass, located on the east side of the building was imported from France in 1858 and created by Étienne Thévenot, the same artist who created some of the windows for Notre Dame and various other churches in Paris. The stained-glass windows located on the north and south walls originate from Austria and Bavaria and were installed during the late 1800s and early 1900s replacing the original clear pane. Despite the intentional Gothic style evident in many of the designs of these windows they are actually late-baroque in style.

Above the altar, the focus of the church’s interior is the stained glass window of the crucifixion. The tableau was installed in 1958 by Étienne Thévenot, a French pioneer of the medieval glass revival. Blue, yellow and red are the most prominent colours in the window. The deep blue sky with small blood-red squares of glass leading in the regular grid fall into larger and smaller bands of maroon, plum, and purple enlivened by emerald, viridian and gold. The central panel of the oculus there is a depiction of the Blessed Sacrament symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Underneath the stained glass window is an intricate wooden reredos with gold and green detailing.

St. Michael's is one of three churches in this area that are worth a visit.

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow Shot Sunday

April 2018 - Toronto ON

Allan Gardens.


2011 - Myrtle Beach NC


This alligator is feasting on a raw whole chicken!

"A chicken dinner in Las Vegas used to cost less than $2.00 and the usual bet at that time was $2.00, so when you won you had enough for the chicken dinner. Hence "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!"

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Love Food

April 2018 - Toronto ON

April 2018 - Toronto ON


I made these low carb coconut flour pancakes with some additions I had seen in another recipe, I added lemon juice, zest and unsweetened coconut. These were delicious and light, you didn't have that bloated feeling that some pancakes leave you with.

Then a lazy pajama day...

Gluten free pizza with lots of toppings for dinner.

We watched a movie that was inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.


I had a pork roast and made a rub of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and I used remainder on mushrooms which I also roasted. Served with roast potatoes and broccolini.

John had an appointment and I ran some errands.

I caught a peek of white flowers in the lobby of the Royal York so I decided to investigate.

There was a reporter interviewing a woman she introduced as a royal fan.

Once home we had lunch watching an episode of The Leftovers which led to an afternoon of binge watching without cell phones. Until around 6 PM we started getting messages asking if we were both okay as there was a terrible accident at Yonge and Sheppard. Puzzled we logged on, laptops and TV to discover nine people were dead with more injuries as a man drove a van down the sidewalk mowing people down until a police officer arrested him.
The count soon was ten dead and fourteen injured.

Stunned we ordered dinner as we sat and watched more coverage and then the hockey game. Security was on high alert around the ACC Centre with Toronto beat Boston.
Listen to the fans singing the national anthem loud and proud.


Toronto was a different city this morning. Cement barricades went up outside Union Station and several other spots in the city.

Union Station often hosts various performances, today was the Fall For Dance North in rehearsal.

I met my BFF and with no particular plan in mind, we walked to City Hall and grabbed lunch from the chip wagon.

A grey day in more ways than one, the flag is at half mast and the Toronto sign dimmed to honour the victims.

But it felt like perhaps spring has sprung!

We strolled through Nordstom's, looking at the shoe section.

$400 flip flops...

Then a stop in H&M where I garnered two summer dresses for $40, a lot less than a pair of flip flops! BFF got a top.
Then a walk up Yonge to Marshall's and Bed Bath and Beyond before walking back to Union Station.

Fabulous fridge magnets on a billboard at Dundas Square.

Brookfield Place had a display for Earth Day.

When I was cutting up the leftover pork to make moo shu pork I thought, oh well, it won't be great but at least we are making use of it. WRONG it was absolutely delicious!!

I know April showers should bring May flowers but enough already!!!

John and I headed out for lunch in the Assembly Hall, luckily we get the bus outside our door and can go underground once we are downtown.

We both chose the Thai green curry from Little Khao.

Delicious but I could do without the tofu.

Then a trip to the Bay for John to get some sports socks.

Then to the Eaton Centre to track down Bath And Bodyworks for some candles.

I made my first batch of ice cream!! Fresh raspberry, so delicious!

Burgers for dinner.


I saw this billboard in Toronto and loved it.

I met John downtown at College for lunch.

My won ton noodle soup and John had black bean chicken from China King.

A glorious spring day as we walked over to Allan Gardens to see their spring flower display.




A funny diner.

Discovered a couple of churches and murals on our way. And this tall guy.
Brickman by Inges Idee

It was such a gorgeous day we walked along Jarvis to Adelaide then backtracked
to Shuter to see the renovated St. Michael's Cathedral.
Step inside here.

Massey Hall near the Eaton Centre.

On Bay St. we found a new craft beer pub serving local breweries' products. They even carry gluten free beer!
These kegs decorate the windows.


I decided to check out a new store on Lake Shore and York, in a new office tower.
It is connected to the PATH which is an underground/above ground system of indoor options to move around downtown. You can get to Union Station from where you can go all the way up to the Eaton Centre or City Hall without ever going outside or west to the CN Tower or King St. and John and south to Harbourfront.

And I discovered a gem, Banksy!!

Following the PATH to Longo's I was able to look down on Union Plaza where they were setting up for tonight's Raptors' game. The square gets closed off for fans to watch the game on the large screen.

Inside the lobby of the Air Canada Centre, ACC, where they play along with the Maple Leafs.

Dinner - steak, sauteed potatoes, green peppers, onions and mushrooms.


April 2018 - Royal York Hotel Toronto

I finished The Night The Lights Went Out and plan on reading more of her books even though it was easy quite early on to figure out how this was going to unwind.
I especially loved the Southern fried charm of the 92 year old Sugar and her gritty sound advice.

My commuting read is Diane Arbus: A Biography, interesting but lacking real information as none of the family would cooperate with the author, so it reads rather mundane.
The jacket compares her to two of my favourites, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe, which I can't/don't see.

Slowly working my way through Truly Madly Guilty, my first by this author. Many reviews said it was too slow and drawn out with boring characters but I liked the way it was drawn out and I think the characters are just ordinary people in a difficult situation having their relationships tested.


Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy.
Sundays in my City

Monday Walks
Monday Morning Blog Club
Through My Lens Monday
Our World Tuesday
Wanderful Wednesday #wanderfulwednesday