Saturday, May 12, 2018

Coffee Break

May 2018 - Toronto On

April 2018 - Mystic Muffin Diner Toronto ON


Was a beautiful day after the incredible winds we had Friday. Three people were killed and numerous people injured as signs and patio furniture went flying.

We decided to head out to Doors Open Hamilton. We ended up spending our time at three buildings in Stoney Creek.

Stoney Creek is 45 miles or 72 km from Toronto along the Queen Elizabeth Way QEW.

The historic area, known as the "Old Town", is below the Niagara Escarpment.
The Niagara Escarpment is a long escarpment, or cuesta, in the United States and Canada that runs predominantly east/west from New York, through Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The escarpment is most famous as the cliff over which the Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls, for which it is named.
The Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It has the oldest forest ecosystem and trees in eastern North America.

On a clear day you could see Toronto on the right side of this photo.

Our first stop was the Erland Lee Homestead which is on the Escarpment.

In 1972, the Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) purchased the Lee family home. FWIO wanted to preserve the vintage home as a memorial to the birthplace of the Women's Institutes (WI), and feature the vanished, middle-class, rural Victorian lifestyle. It opened as the Erland Lee Museum the same year, with the exterior and the 1873 additions restored to their 1897 beauty.

The Women's Institute (WI), a community-based organisation for women, was founded in Stoney Creek, Ontario, by Adelaide Hoodless in 1897. It was based on the British concept of Women's Guilds and it later spread to other countries. Many WIs belong to the Associated Country Women of the World organization.

It opened as the Erland Lee Museum the same year, with the exterior and the 1873 additions restored to their 1897 beauty.

We had passed this sculpture and had to stop as we returned to town.
Augustus Jones (c. 1757 – November 16, 1836) was an American-born Upper Canadian farmer, land speculator, magistrate, militia captain and surveyor. Jones trained as a surveyor in New York City, and fled as a United Empire Loyalist to Upper Canada. In Upper Canada, he worked as a crown surveyor in the Nassau District, where he quickly rose to the position of Deputy Surveyor General, the highest position in a district of Upper Canada. He occupied that position from 1789 informally, and 1791 formally, until his retirement in 1799. During that time he laid down many of the township boundaries in the Niagara Peninsula and on the north shore of Lake Ontario.
Sculptor Les Drysdale.

From there to a church - more next Sunday.

Our next stop was a Masonic Temple, other than Dan Brown and a fascination with Templars of old, we had no idea.

We decided to have cheese and pate for dinner, never realizing it would be quite the excursion. We left the Masonic Lodge and decided against visiting another venue and head home. It was 3 PM, traffic was heavy so I estimated we'd be home at 4 with a detour to the Cheese Boutique (they have the best pate). It was after 4 when we pulled up to the Cheese Boutique, excited there was parking. Duh, yes, because they were closed due to a power outage, all caused by the high winds.

Where to now? Not wanting to be in any more traffic, we went up to Bloor St. West or Bloor Village as they like to call it. Parked and walked until WOW
I spotted THE cushions for our new couch in a shop window. Thirty seconds later...

And John's face...

Oh, yes, we did get the cheeses, no pate and headed home.

Those cushions?

The images are of Bloor West Village, done by David Crighton.


Another church on Jarvis St, last week and shadows on Front St.

Lazy day, our Sundays are usually "hygge".
There is a very nice Danish word "hygge" which means something like "cozy" or "home-like warmth".

We had a leisurely breakfast, this week I made the low carb coconut flour pancakes  and added some chopped apple to the mix, served with sausages.

John caught up on his PVRd hockey games, watched Coronation St. online, then some golf.

I did some loads of laundry, worked on some posts.

Dinner was slow cooker ribs  and creamy Dijon dill potato salad.


John headed out to hit golf balls and I decided to see the Yoko Ono exhibit at the Gardiner Museum.

While I was on the subway I decided to go to the Jason Robarts Library at the University of Toronto to see the cherry blossoms (as seen on Twitter).

High Park has the largest number of sakura trees in the city but it gets very crowded. I only realized this year that we have trees scattered around the city.

Click here to see the cherry blossoms in High Park in 2014. You have to go during the week, the weekends are crazy.

Magnolias outside the University of Trinity College.

Sorry, not impressed luckily only $11 wasted senior rate.

No photos allowed - taken from the hall outside.

From the Toronto Star
Stone Piece features a pile of river stones that have been honed and shaped by water over time. Ono has inscribed some of the stones with words, such as dream, wish, and remember. Visitors are invited to pick up a stone and hold it, concentrating on the word, and then placing the stone upon the pile of other stones in the center of the room.

UPDATE - $17,000 stone stolen.

Line Piece is comprised of a series of low tables with notebooks in which visitors are encouraged by Ono to “draw a line to take me to the farthest place in our planet.” Visitors may also extend a string across the gallery space using hammers and nails to secure it from one point or another, creating a web that will grow and evolve over the course of the exhibition.

In and out in under fifteen minutes.

Walked along Bloor St. West

Dolce and Gabbana window display.

Clock in Manulife Centre or BMT to John and me.

I WANT this globe/lamp!! Perfect in our living room, but where to plug it in??

Dinner - burgers and leftover potato salad.


Where to start? The plan was to take the streetcar to Trinity Bellwoods to see the cherry blossoms and then have lunch.

Five hours later, 12.5 km and 15,NNN steps later!

Then we thought, why not just take the shuttle and walk to Trinity Bellwoods and then have lunch? It's not that much further than Graffiti Alley from last week.

But then we made stops along the way.
Along King St.

Old nestled against new.

Up Bathurst

Market 707 is a stretch of sidewalk near Dundas and Bathurst lined with upcycled shipping containers that offer sweet and savoury foods, services, and everything in between.

I would try this!

Not so sure about this one!

Rather faded mural.

Click here to read a detailed post on Kensington Market.
Kensington Market is a distinctive multicultural neighbourhood. The Market is an older neighbourhood and one of the city's most well-known.

Cat on a globe. The globe in “Jiggity Jig” symbolizes the fact that people come to Kensington from all over the world: immigrants see where they’ve come from, and where they are now.

Its approximate borders are College St. on the north, Spadina Ave. on the east, Dundas St. W. to the south, and Bathurst St. to the west. Most of the neighbourhood's eclectic shops, cafes, and other attractions are located along Augusta Ave. and neighbouring Nassau St., Baldwin St., and Kensington Ave. In addition to the Market, the neighbourhood features many Victorian homes, the Kensington Community School and Toronto Western Hospital.

Bunners - a gluten free bakery.

Burgers - gluten free available.

 Lunch time - not where I planned but had a wrong address for the Argentinian place, next time...or maybe burgers...

Crepes being made.

Gluten free beer

Shared brie, pear walnut.

Shared apple cinnamon.

Back on Dundas west towards Trinity Bellwoods, our original objective.

Trinity Bellwoods is a 14.6 hectare park on Queen Street West at Strachan Avenue once the home of University of Trinity College (Trinity College). The park sits atop the now buried Garrison Creek and features three ball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two volleyball courts, an artificial ice rink, a dog off-leash area, a picnic area, a wading pool and a children's playground.

And the main purpose of our outing, the cherry blossoms.

This grove of Sakura Cherry trees are a gift from the Consulate-General of Japan -- part of an international program of plantings -- that was made in the spring of 2010. (A similar gift was made to High Park in 1959 and again in 2001 through their Sakura Project).

John lay on the ground for this photo.

Our return journey took us along Queen St. W.

I am a huge fan of Fluevog shoes and love visiting the stores. I will buy a pair one day! This location has been on my Toronto bucket list for a while!

When John Fluevog heard that a space previously used by a certain national bank was to become available on Queen St, he could think of no safer place to house some of Toronto’s most precious Fluevogs. So after a long and historic 26-year reign at 242 Queen St W, John Fluevog Shoes made the move down the street to 686 Queen St in 2015. The building’s former bank vault has been transformed into the world’s first ever, gravity defying Vog Vault.

Dancing on the ceiling.

Hanging from the ceiling.

This and that.

I mention the King St. transit pilot below and this is just one of the seats/benches that have been added.

Caught the 4:45 shuttle and quite happy to be home.


Men's golf league started today and I headed out with my BFF to Yonge and Bloor to check out the new Nordstrom Rack, meh, not impressed.

We did drop into the Reference Library.
It doesn't matter how many times I enter this building. I just love it.

While here we had to visit Sherlock Holmes.
The Toronto Reference Library has one of the world's foremost collections of library materials devoted to the life and work of Arthur Conan Doyle. Much of the collection, of course, is devoted to Doyle's most famous character, Sherlock Holmes.


You can drop in for a game of chess in a Victorian atmosphere. The pieces are based on Conan Doyle characters.

In the words of the Great Detective, "Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same."

The construction on Toronto is crazy but it is even crazier around Yonge and Bloor.

One Bloor St. is 76 stories. Across the street another condo has broken ground and it will be 85 stories high.

We had lunch at an old favourite Olympic pizza.

This tower in question on Yonge St was originally part of a Fire Hall, which was built in 1872. Towers were a pretty common features of fire stations from this period because they were used to store and dry the hoses.

Speaking of construction, that empty space on the right is another construction site that will incorporate the clock tower.

I showed you this new mural in March. It is at Yonge and College, and today was finally warm enough to get a close-up.

On the other wall of the building is this mural.

Once home  I watched the first episode of Derry Girls, an Irish TV series I had heard about and it was hysterical, well for me, being Irish and taught by nuns.

Dinner was pea soup.


A look at some doors on Yonge St. last week and a historic adult entertainment venue.

I headed down to Union Station to check out the flower/plant/craft sale.

My BFF thoughtfully gifted me with a china cup and saucer and a mug from her mother's collection this week.

The mug immediately went into my mug cupboard and I am inspired to make a scented candle like this with the cup.

Stained glass.

We hadn't had anything sweet, other than ice cream for a while, and we do enjoy a sweet with our afternoon tea, so I made a Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix I had bought a while ago. I made it into muffins and I must say, they were good, good enough to keep a box or two around for a quick bake.

Dinner was lemon lamb chops with mashed potato/sweet potato mash and broccolini.


Weekend Roundup at U of T, King St. W and Kensington Market
City Hall at Weekly Reflections

I don't often get on my soap box but...
There were two interesting American encounters this week dealing with a lack of knowledge of Canada.

Bobby Bones is an American on-air radio personality and entertainer. He is the host of the nationally syndicated weekday radio program The Bobby Bones Show, originating out of WSIX-FM in Nashville, Tennessee. We love listening to him when we are driving in the States. 
Rogers Media in Canada has just picked up his weekday program. He was here in Canada for the Canadian Music Week.
So here's my beef:

This comment of his led to a lot of people correcting him that Toronto is not in Quebec and French is not needed for a visit.

Then Colbert had a skit about refugees in the States fleeing to Canada through Plattsburgh NY. The presenter is in a cab as the refugees take a cab to the Canadian Border. When she approaches the border, which is in Quebec, she says "is that Toronto?" as she refers to Canadians as cousins to Americans.

Done venting.

While John went to Costco I went downtown and it was chilly out. All week has been warm and suddenly these gorgeous blooms were shivering in the cold.

Some of the winning numbers for tonight's lottery were out for a stroll.

I am loving the new King St. It is so quiet and pleasant. I'm not too worried what the drivers think!
The King Street Transit Pilot between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street aims to improve transit reliability, speed, and capacity, the Pilot launched on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The Pilot is changing how King Street works by not allowing private vehicles through intersections and instead giving priority to streetcars.

A creative use of these crates to provide more seating. There will be a farmers' market in the square beside here so it will be busy at lunch hours with diners.

I headed to Michael's to get the materials to make my china cup candle.

 Back on King St. this is the first Contact exhibit I have seen this year.
I will be looking out for more.

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural experience in Canada, with over 200 exhibitions and happenings throughout the month of May in the Greater Toronto Area. Founded in 1997, CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and fostering the art and profession of photography.

A quick run into Longo's for weekend sustenance and then home.

I used last night's two potato mash to make potato pancakes.

Ready to be cut out.

 After some housekeeping I settled in to fun stuff.

Steak and a baked potato loaded with broccoli and cheese for dinner.

We haven't had a good sunset in a while but we did tonight.

With the upcoming royal nuptials of Harry and Meghan we watched "Meghan Markle: An American Princess". It was interesting as it dealt with her background, the only sour note was having to see and watch Piers Morgan.


May 2018 - Erland Lee Museum Stoney Creek ON

Finished Pen 33 and will warn you that it is a very graphic explicit story about pedophilia.
Finished The Wangs vs. The World, rather silly, I didn't finish it.

Commuting read - Killing Kate rather predictable plot.

Odd Child Out deals with racism and discrimination, exclusion and privilege along with overhyped journalism, making it feel scarily current. I cried.


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


  1. Your posts always make me wish I lived in Toronto. What a great city -- so much to see and do, and you guys really take advantage of getting out and about. I'm especially happy to see all the blooming trees; I'm so happy it's spring!

    I have a copy of Pen 33, I think I'll try to read it. Good to know about Wangs vs. the World, maybe I'll pass.

  2. What a feast for the eyes! Everything, from buildings to food, takes us on a journey through this gorgeous city. Thanks for sharing, and here are MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS

  3. And my big excitement was finding a painted rock in the Wetlands. Need to get out more - we do that is.

  4. Your photos of Toronto really intrigue me -- I need to get back there. I'm only 5 hours away (plus whatever it takes at the border). Bloor Street always makes me think of the Toronto-based books of Margaret Atwood.

    best... mae at

  5. Always love reading your posts Jackie. You cram so much into your week! I love love love those cushions. Craig would probably have the same reaction as John haha!

    Thanks for sharing with #MMBC. Hope you have had a great weekend :)

  6. You certainly crammed a lot in! Love the new couch and how cool is the dancing on the ceiling? What fun!

  7. Doesn't the blossom make you want to whoop with delight? :) :) Actually, the Cheese Boutique might do that too, Jackie :) Many thanks for the link, hon!

  8. Your weeks are so full of fun and variety. Dancing on the ceiling, hahahaha I was reading aloud your comments on the Yoko Ono exhibit to the Husband so that he can laugh with me. That's too bad stones were stolen, but they must've known it would happen. I definitely would've bought those pillows, too. If I hadn't, I would've regretted it when I got home. Thanks for last week's tour. :-)

  9. You hanging from the ceiling makes me smile. My sense is you will be in your nineties, still doing stuff like this, smaile:) Interesting that that women's art organization started before the had the right (in the USA) to vote!. Thw white blooms are amazing, blooming so profusely! Many thanks to bring life and color (eh, white this time) to All Seasons! Have a great week!

  10. That's quite a variety of things to see!

  11. The upturned room shots are cool! The blossoms are beautiful!

    You being close enough to drive out to some of the Doors Open sites in southern Ontario is good. I think Halton and Mississauga have them in September. Ours is a week after Toronto's event.

    Piers Morgan is one of those people who, when his heart gives out someday, will be that rarity where I'll refrain from the usual not speaking ill of the dead motif and say good riddance.

  12. So much to see and do, and your photos are fabulous. I particularly like the rose mural, and the new cushions are just gorgeous :)


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