Friday, August 23, 2019

But First, Dessert

The Dessert Kitchen Harbord St Toronto ON 2019

John and I treat weekends as our stay at home and do chores and enjoy our interests. That way we can be out and about during the week without the crowds.

Other than doing groceries we spent Saturday at home. It was a very rainy foggy morning, and then a really hot and humid afternoon.

Gorgeous flowers in our lobby.

Dinner was spare ribs with a creamy cole slaw that John said was delicious.

Sunday started as a foggy morning and then hot again, with humidity hovering around 98%!
We had a couple of ideas but decided to stay home. Laundry got done, John worked out.

I got caught up on some posts.
Brains 2019 WIP
Toronto Brews
Mural from last week
It's Alive ROM exhibit of horror movie posters

Did some work on Toronto Women Artists now have to go to see more of their work at the AGO and Spadina Museum.
To read more about any of the neighbourhoods we explored this week just click on the label/tags below the post.

Monday John had an appointment and did some pant (3) shopping. I went looking for some Brains.

Then we went back to the Distillery District to find those brains we missed due to rain last week.

Condo gardens.

Distillery District.

Do you see any brains, nope, neither did we.

Just a fluke that comment is followed by this photo. John and son at dinner.

Tuesday we went out at 11:20 on one of my mystery tours. We took the subway to St. George and then walked south.

The George Gooderham House, architect David Roberts Jr. built 1889-1902, now the York Club.

Just so happens this is the Gooderham of the Distillery District mentioned above. It is also only one of several homes he had in Toronto.

The story of The Distillery District begins in 1831 when James Worts came to Canada and opened a mill for grinding grain with his brother-in-law, William Gooderham, along with their families. Two years later, Worts’ wife died during childbirth, and he ended his life. However, Gooderham continued with the business, partnering with Worts’ eldest son.

In 1837, in response to the increase in harvest grain from Upper Canada farms, Gooderham added a distillery to the mill, producing his first spirit – whiskey. By the 1850s, the Gooderham and Worts distillery was fully functioning – and thriving to say the least – including a wharf, storage facilities, an icehouse, cooper shop for barrel-making and a dairy in addition to the already operating distillery and flour mills. In 1859, Gooderham opened a new distillery on Mill Street, which is said to be the most important contribution to Toronto’s manufacturing business; although a fire destroyed parts of the main building in 1869, forcing Gooderham to reconstruct the building, his business continued to thrive.

We turned right on Harbord and headed west.

A U of T building at corner of Bathurst.

Also at U of T a statement on climate change.

Destination - The Dessert House. Yikes! We can't pass this up.

You seriously, have to check out their menu!

16 scoops of ice cream! The cute little kitty was a hard ice cream, it dawned on us at the end, that we could/should have set him into the warm chocolate fondue.

The two-level space features multiple unique live moss walls throughout.

Across the street.

Crystal Mountain mural by Pam Lostracco on The Rock Store.

Corner convenience store with a garden centre.

There are many laneways containing some great murals.

Lots of really interesting architecture.

Click here to see more of the murals we found.

Mural by The Buck Teeth Girl's Club.

An absolute hole in the wall, I've heard they do the best fish and chips!

Her Father's Cider Bar, not open on Monday and Tuesday. We've eaten here and it was good.

A stop for bagels at this gluten free bakery.

Onto the 510 streetcar to Union, only it was turning back at Queen's Quay due to the EX,  no worries, happen to have some Brains here while we wait for the 509.

You can just see two brains on the far right.

Home and homemade broccoli and other vegetables soup for dinner.

Wednesday John headed to make some wine and then play golf.

I set out with several options and ended up going to Yorkville.

I had posted this sculpture a couple of weeks ago.
The artwork, Safe Hands, is by Israeli-born artist Ron Arad and commissioned by Great Gulf, the developers of One Bloor East, 76 stories high.
As seen from across the street.

The installed sculpture is 88 feet tall, and consists of two 31-metre stacks of intertwined metal tubing, looking as if it’s climbing the building, and occupying a smallish space where Bloor meets Yonge.

Looking north on Yonge, yet another condo.

Toronto Reference Library has a great bookstore, loved this bag, and especially its laminated tag, aborrower library card.

Close up on another bag.

There is a gallery in the library with rotating exhibits.
Click here for an article with close up photos.

Toronto Public Library's award-winning Chinese Canadian Archive provides a home for materials that capture the fascinating history of Chinese Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area. Through photos, correspondence, diaries, memorabilia and other donated records, the Archive documents Chinese Canadians' daily life, community spirit and contributions to our city and to Canada.

Chinese immigrants were issued certificates as proof of head-tax payment from 1885 until 1949, the year Newfoundland ended its head tax. Officially classified as C.I.5 certificates — C.I. meaning “Chinese Immigration” — these documents identified names, ports and dates of arrival, and amounts paid. Anyone travelling to China needed an official stamp on the certificate to re-enter Canada. Otherwise, returning travellers had to pay the head tax. Although the certificate was amended at least four times, the most significant revision added a photograph in 1912 as a means to curb illegal immigration.

Toronto’s main Chinatown is located west of the heart of the city and stretches along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue, with a second area, East Chinatown, thriving along Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street. Toronto has one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and is one of six Chinatowns in Greater Toronto, including Mississauga and Markham.

From there I dropped into Kitchen Stuff and got a new runner for our small table.

Then I walked along Yorkville Avenue. When we first came to Toronto in 1991 I worked at Bay and Bloor and I got my first library card at this branch.

Yorkville Branch Library opened on June 13, 1907, in what was then the city's north end. It was the first of four libraries constructed with a $350,000 grant made by Andrew Carnegie to Toronto Public Library in 1903.

Next door to the library is Station 312 built 1878 for Yorkville Fire Department, became TFD 10 upon annexation in 1883. It is one of the city's oldest active fire halls. The two-storey structure has a five-storey clocktower with three bays (additional bay added later). It has a coat of arms from the old Yorkville Town Hall.

Those two towers behind have only sprouted up in the last few years.

Almost nothing of the old buildings I knew remain across the street.

This park and another are in between the library and the fire station are also new. They would have been lovely spots for lunch when I worked around there.

The Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Toronto is a 55-story residential condominium tower and a 125-meter, 30-storey hotel tower which opened on October 5, 2012. Located at 60 Yorkville Avenue, at its intersection with Bay Street, the complex is situated one block east of the former Four Seasons Hotel Toronto building at 21 Avenue Road.

The Claude Cormier-designed fountain complements the "rug" it sits upon, however it will rise in stark contrast to the distinctly contemporary towers above. This juxtaposition has unsurprisingly ruffled a few feathers; stark modernists claim it degrades architectsAlliance’s design, while others dislike the seemingly empty historic reference. Source

Park beside hotel. Writing this makes me want to go back and take more photos of the street and highlight the contrasts. I also need to check out the hotel lobby.

The Four Seasons is sponsoring some of this year's Brain project. Link at top of post.

This is a trendy (read snobby, overpriced) market.

I cut through the York Lane to Bellair and found some more of the brains.

Planned on fish tacos to use up the frozen Costco (never buy again) haddock but when I reached for the bag it was empty! But there's always ground beef so I made lazy cabbage rolls.

Thursday my BFF and I headed to Dupont Subway station and headed to the Spadina House/Museum.

We passed by Casa Loma.

Click here for my detailed post.

Spadina Museum offers a glimpse of Toronto during the 1900-1930 period through the lens of the Austin family. The museum highlights the effects of transformative events on the Austins such as the First World War, the Great Depression and societal changes in Canada. Spadina Museum opened in 1984 and completed an extensive interior restoration in 2010. Spadina’s artifacts feature the family’s contributions to the financial, business and cultural development of Toronto through an intact collection and archival holdings, music, art and decorative arts.

The site includes six structures: a three-storey large house built in 1866 and enlarged several times up until 1912/1913; a two-storey garage and chauffeur’s residence built in 1909; a stable/ gardener’s cottage circa 1850; and a greenhouse built in 1913.

In its day, the Austins had huge orchards that they were proud of. The apple trees are still bearing fruit that was being picked today.

While we waited for our tour to start we visited another exhibit.


Whether you’re a fan of Frankie Drake Mysteries, the 1920s, the City of Toronto or history in general (or all of the above!), the Making History: The Women of Frankie Drake Mysteries & 1920s Toronto exhibit at Toronto’s Spadina Museum is sure to meet your fancy!

Visit this special exhibit and travel back in time to the era of flappers, gangsters and rumrunners to peek inside the lives of six women—featured on Frankie Drake Mysteries, which returns to CBC for its second season this fall—and how their characters reflect what life was really like for women in 1920s Toronto.


The tour was 45 minutes and we then grabbed a quick lunch and headed back downtown.

We whiled away some time watching people go to Fan Fest. It opened today so tomorrow's people watching will be better.

Dinner was lamb chops with garlic and rosemary, mashed potatoes, marinated tomato salad and sauteed cabbage.

Friday John booked golf and I had good intentions to track down some brains. But between allergies and a head cold, I did head downtown only to turn around and come back home, where I lounged about.

But I did get a couple more Fan Fest attendees.

And the new casino billboard.

Dinner - steak, baked potato and grilled cauliflower.


Toronto Reference Library Yonge St.

Finished Peter Robinson's 25th Inspector Banks Careless Love. I enjoyed it but didn't think it was quite up to his usual par.

Borrowed Normal People on a 7 day loan.


Taiyaki NYC Japanese Dundas W
Dainties Macaron ice cream macaron sandwich Spadina
Arctic Bites Thai stir fried ice cream rolls Baldwin St.
The Dessert Kitchen chocolate fondue Harbord St.

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by A Web of Stories.
Sunday Salon


  1. ...But First, Dessert, works for me. I love the love blocks!

  2. What a colorful artys place and the bakery does look divine.
    Coffee is on

  3. So many wonderful and interesting photos as usual. I don't know where to begin as I was interested in everything. Wish I had flowers in my lobby that were that beautiful and I could go for some of that ice cream.

  4. You have so much to see and do in Toronto. Love the/photo of John and son, the architecture is amazing and I like the lamb dinner!

  5. The Distillery District looks so cool. And that ICE CREAM! Gorgeous painted buildings, Fan Fest costumes, and everything in between. That Chinese immigrant exhibit looks amazing. I think I need to escape my small town!

  6. The old fire hall is my favourite of the set.

  7. There is so much energy in this city. It must be exciting to be there.

    After seeing these wonderful murals, I'm oh-so tempted to paint one on my house. Our town needs more murals, I think.

    I especially love the library. Great wisdom in the Plum Blossom exhibit.

    Have a lovely week!

  8. Immigration problems are nothing new, are they? Can I have my dessert now, please, Jackie? :) :)

  9. I didn't know that Andrew Carnegie also donated money for libraries in Canada, or that Canada had anti-Chinese legislation around the same time as the United States. So much to know. As always, I'm leaving your blog wanting a snack of something tasty.

  10. A restaurant dedicated to dessert is my kind of place. - Margy

  11. The distillery district looks like where I would like to walk - attractive. Even though you couldn't find any brains here:):) The wall of moss - gorgeous! Sigh so many interesting things and exhibits to see. The Spadine museum, and its gorgeous greenhouse I would like to see in person. The fan fest also looks very interesting -am thinking what I would like to dress up like:):) Never dull moment in Toronto! Many thanks Jackie for capturing all these worthy projects for All Seasons to share! Have a great and adventurous rest of the week! Jesh


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