Saturday, September 14, 2019

Street Food

September 2019 - Toronto ON

This post is food and photo heavy! Be warned.

Last week's new murals at Carrot Common on Danforth.

Yorkville's new murals.

Saturday and these pancakes look great, but they ended up as scrambled pancakes, still tasted good. They were impossible to flip.

I had read that I could substitute almond flour 1:1 for regular flour, not sure if that caused the problem.

John wanted chili for dinner, so that was easy.

Sunday we headed to Taste of the Kingsway. We haven't been since 2014! More here.

Llapingachos (yah-peen-GAH-chos) are fried potato pancakes that originated in Ecuador. They are usually served with a peanut sauce called salsa de mani. The dish is similar to Colombian arepas. The potato patties or thick pancakes are stuffed with cheese and cooked on a hot griddle until crispy brown.

They look and sound like my mother's Irish potato cakes which I make with leftover mashed potatoes.

Very big paella!

Well, that was new to us at a street festival. Bushmills, Irish whisky, were giving out two samples per person!

And then next door, Ontario winery, Cave Springs, were also giving out two samples.

Korean hot dogs, also known as Korean corn dogs, are a popular Korean street food that has recently come to Toronto.
Korean hot dogs are a popular street food from Korea. Hot dogs are coated in batter and deep fried. They are then lightly coated in sugar before finished with condiments of your choice. The sweet and salty combination works surprisingly well. There are also several variations, including a mozzarella dog only filled with cheese (this one is especially popular on social media), and ones that are coated in potatoes or ramen noodles.

We had their lamb and it was very good.

2 for $5 with pickled carrot and cucumber.

A perogie filling wrapped in a crispy golden spring roll pastry.

Another lamb, this time from a Korean place, $8 and not good.


Seasonings for your fries.

There were rides for the kids.

The historic art deco Kingsway Theatre still shines in all its old-timey glory but 21st century prices. It used to cost 20 cents.


We hopped on the subway to Runnymede to get a new mural. Photos to come.

Dinner was lamb chops, mashed potatoes with carrots and cabbage.

Monday I got a hair cut and took a walk along King as TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing. It is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480,000 people annually.

But first, what is this at Union? Will find out more. Toronto Biennial of Art Launching September 21...

Pretty advertising on Duncan.

More on the same building.

Too early for lines forming outside Princess of Wales Theatre, one of the many TIFF venues.

Before lunch hour.

Streetcar highlighting some of the theatre coming to town.

Picked up some groceries and then home. I baked this blueberry lemon loaf with almond flour.

And got a Mongolian beef into the crockpot.

My BFF and husband dropped by for coffee.

Tuesday John had an appointment uptown so we planned to meet at Wellesley Station and go to lunch.

More on that Toronto Biennial of Art Launching September 21. It is a new international contemporary visual arts event as culturally connected and diverse as the city itself. For 72 days Toronto and surrounding areas will be transformed by free exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflect our local context while engaging with the most pressing issues of our time. The inaugural Biennial will present over 100 works by Canadian, Indigenous, and International artists installed at more than 15 sites on or near Toronto's waterfront. 

Subway ads.

This one is hard, John came up with dark horse, nope.

Really easy.

I was early so took a walk west along Wellesley. Another new condo dwarfing those old buildings at Yonge.

Tucked away in a green space behind some ugly 1970s government buildings.
The Macdonald Block Complex is the administrative hub of Ontario government operations and has a total gross building area of approximately 1.7 million square feet. The complex consists of five buildings: four office towers (Hearst, Hepburn, Mowat and Ferguson Towers) ranging from 10 to 24-storeys, connected by a 2-storey podium (Macdonald Block) with two floors of underground parking.

The majestic Whitney Block is an important Government of Ontario office building. It is located across the street from the Ontario Legislative Building, and contains the offices of the Premier of Ontario and most cabinet ministers. The building is linked to the legislature by a tunnel under the street, by a bridge to the Macdonald Block, and through there via another tunnel to the subway. The Modern Gothic-Art Deco structure was built in 1926 and the tower was added in 1932. Whitney Block is faced with Queenston limestone. The facade is ornamented by repeated sequences of quatrefoils, and figures designed by Charles Adamson, which represent abstract ideals like justice, tolerance, wisdom and power, as well as more ordinary pursuits such a mining, forestry, labour, law, education and farming.

A new burger place, Holy Chuck, that does a gluten free bun. Check out some of their burger options!

John's gluten free bun. This place has beaten out our favourite Burger's Priest.



Onto my agenda for the afternoon. On Church St., heart of the gay village.

Jeff Riffle - Seasons of Change

Down a lane Barbara Hall Park.

Church St. and the AIDS Memorial.

The AIDS Memorial reflects a particular place and time. It is a physical monument in a park in a neighbourhood that was devastated by AIDS in the early years of the epidemic.

In the mid 1980’s a group of gay men, led by Michael Lynch, developed the idea for the AIDS Memorial in response to the isolation and fear that so often characterized the experience of AIDS. Volunteers constructed a temporary memorial every year on Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, while working with friends to raise funds in the community to build the permanent AIDS Memorial. The permanent AIDS Memorial, designed by Patrick Fahn, opened in 1993 in Barbara Hall Park, behind The 519 Community Centre. Over time. the Memorial became a place for everyone infected and affected by AIDS in the broader Toronto community. Names of those to be honored are engraved and installed each year, by mid-June.

The Memorial is a semi-circle of 14 triangular concrete pillars which have stainless steel plaques attached to them. The names and dates of people who have died from AIDS related diseases are engraved on these plaques. There is a triangular concrete pad, in front of the arc of columns, with plantings on each side and behind it. As you follow the path, next to the pillars, you may feel quite alone and in a private space, depending on when you visit this Memorial, because the trees and plantings of the area provide some shelter and privacy.

Unfortunately the area attracts the homeless and druggies, making me glad I wasn't alone.

“Cry” by Michael Lynch and “Circle of Stones” by Shoshanna J. Addley are engraved on the first pillar of the Memorial. This plaque recognizes the deaths of those unnamed.

“We…will not endure these waves of dying friends, without a cry,” Canadian AIDS activist Michael Lynch wrote in his 1989 poem “Cry.” And the late poet and professor certainly did not.

Circles of Stone
To Those Unnamed
We stand at this place; among earth and stone, branch and birch –
In darkness and in light, through sun and storm, rain and trees,
leaves and breeze: Life and Death.
Our strength, though withered and sapped, regenerates here.

The Keg, an overpriced, over rated steak restaurant occupies The Mansion.

This house was built in 1867 for Arthur McMaster. This last name should be familiar to locals as this is the same family to found a university now in Hamilton. Arthur was nephew to founder William McMaster.
In 1880, Hart Massey bought the house, think Massey Hall and various buildings at the University of Toronto, such as Hart House. The Masseys were one of the most prominent families in Toronto.
Grandsons' Vincent and Raymond also became famous in very opposite ways. Vincent became the Governor General of Canada in 1952 and Raymond was an actor.

Lillian was the only daughter of Hart. She died in 1915, only 6 years after her husband.

A maid took her mistress’s death too hard. After learning of Lillian’s passing, it’s said the woman walked to the oval vestibule above the main staircase, fashioned a noose and was later found swinging above the foyer.
Some believe her death was out of grief. Others say it was related to a the maid’s secret affair with a Massey family member.


Check out the book The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that shocked a Country.

Then over to Wellesley to see the tallest mural in the world, only to realize we had taken photos of it in the spring. But never posted it.

It is a grass-to-clouds mural painted on the south wall of 200 Wellesley Street East, a 30-storey St. James Town highrise that was last in the news when a six-alarm fire forced out over a thousand residents. The mural depicts an enormous phoenix flying toward the sky, representative of the new, more vibrant outlook the project hopes to bring to the building and surrounding area. 

Fun shot across from Allen Gardens.

Toronto was often the centre of reform efforts and suffrage movements. The prohibition of alcohol was an important part of this history. The Women's Christian Temperance Union was Canada's first national women's organization and it became a forum for middle-class women to become active participants in their own communities long before they were given the right to vote.

Toronto was home to the local union, but also home of the provincial and dominion offices of the WCTU. In 1895, the Toronto union set up it's office on Elm Street and later, Willard Hall was built at 20 Gerrard Street, opening in 1911. The building is now the home of Covenant House.

Inside the Chelsea Hotel, there is a kids' check-in counter. Also some really cool murals that will have to wait for a Monday.

The hotel also displays Harry Enchin's Urban Transformations photos.

We first saw his photos in 2014. Here is a bad photo from an art show. He mixes old and new photos of Toronto.

The Toronto Official Plan encourages the inclusion of public art in all significant private sector developments across the City.

The governing principle for the Percent for Public Art Program is that art is a public benefit to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors throughout the city. The privately-owned art is intended to make buildings and open spaces more attractive and interesting and to improve the quality of the public realm. The Program requires that the artwork must be clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas.

Outside a newly opened condo complex on Gerrard.



There are 3 “snowmen” all made out of “heads” with various expressions and torsos. The largest of the snowmen, with five spheres, stands 17-feet tall. The two others were built with 3 spheres each, but one of the sculptures has its head and toque on the ground as if it has toppled off.

Interesting symbols revealed as a building is demolished on Yonge St.

New murals at Dundas Square.

John headed down a rather dodgy urine infused lane to get these.

We don't usually see Dundas Square from this angle.

We then hustled down Yonge St. to Front and caught the 3 PM bus home.
11,030 steps for our afternoon outing.

We then headed back downtown to meet my niece for dinner at King and Portland.


Another new mural at Calii Love.

My mushroom pizza at Libretto.

Streetcar home and we clocked about 14K steps for the day.

Wednesday John golfed. I had a few odds and ends I wanted to find around town.

A new piece of art. Echo Beach Far Away in Time - Juli McMillan.

New Birdo mural, really hard to capture.

New restaurant.

I did a quick stop in the AGO and found some new cool items in the gift shop.

Back to Queen St. West to continue my plan.

Some doors on Queen West.

Just Balancing outside MEC.

Graffiti Alley.

A few more stops and then I took the streetcar to Bathurst and then the subway to Runnymede to find the rest of Sunday's mural. And finally home.

Liver, cabbage, mashed potatoes, onions and onion gravy/sauce.

Thursday I had a two hour coffee catch up with a friend while John was out.

After lunch we headed to Yorkville just to wander and show John all the changes since we worked there in the early 90s.

The coat of arms below is from the Yorkville Town Hall, built on Yonge Street in 1859. It contains symbols representing the occupations of the first councillors: John Severn, Brewer; Thomas Atkinson, Brickmaker; Reeve James Dobson, carpenter; James Wallis, blacksmith; and Peter Hutty, butcher. Established in the 1830s by William Jarvis and Joseph Bloor, Yorkville was incorporated as a village in 1853 and annexed to Toronto in 1883. This fire hall was begun in 1876 and restored in 1974.

Walking the TIFF red carpet?

I showed him the new murals and they looked much nicer with some sunshine.

Another close up of Mr. Brainwash's montage.

A little odd.

John found another mural upstairs, just painted.
Mathieu Bories, also known as Mateo, was spending the next few days spray painting his mural for the first ever Yorkville Mural festival. This will be his first piece of work in the city.
I have heard that there will be at least one other addition!

Sculptor - Sylvia Lefkovitz (August 29, 1924 – April 21, 1987) .... The massive five-figure bronze 'Chorus', commissioned for the Mies Van der Rohe complex in Montreal's Westmount Square in 1967.

Walking around the neighbourhood, an odd statue on a lawn.

We stopped into Whole Foods and picked up some gluten free items, bagels and pastry crusts.

An ice cream stop.

Cafe Bora is a Korean dessert chain that loves its purple sweet potatoes. Almost everything at Cafe Bora is made from the sweet, fleshy bodies of purple yams. 
Priding itself on an all-natural recipe, the brand (which has more locations in Thailand and L.A.) uses purple sweet potatoes—or goguma— harvested and processed on a farm in Korea.
The potatoes are turned into a paste, then frozen, before being sent here in the form of Bora sauce.
Using a simple recipe of milk, condensed milk, and sweet potatoes, there's no artificial colouring to give the ice cream that pretty purple hue.

Bora means purple in Korean, so it's no surprise all the accents in the cafe are violet-hued.

Friday and John golfed. I had a library book to pick up and a mural to find.
Mission accomplished and I found these in a store in the Eaton Centre.

Odd weather, cool and then warm. Almost sun and then a threat of rain, I dithered about doing a couple of other things but then decided to come home. Just as I sat down on the bus, the skies opened so it was a good call.


Finding it very hard to to get into a good book.

Tried Bitter Orange and just couldn't get into it, odd since it is set in 1969 and Ireland.

Did start Mrs. and am finally enjoying a read.

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


  1. Whew! that was a long post but as always lots of interesting photos!

  2. What a fabulous week!!! I love fair food, even when it's overpriced. Who can resist?? Love all the murals and artwork -- the toppled snowman made me laugh. It's amazing that the ice cream matches the decor. The Massey murder is new to me. Crazy. Love the Chorus sculpture. And I I got the subway puzzle, but I don't want to say because I don't want to ruin it for others. (I checked the website to be sure.) Love your weekly wrap-ups.

  3. You had me at kebabs and those potato cakes. You always have so much to do there.

  4. The Whitney Block is quite impressive.

  5. Good to see your public transport vehicle windows aren't partially obscured by advertising, making it impossible to see outside at night.

    1. Oh, Andrew, we do have many that are covered in advertisements and it is annoying.

  6. Love potato cakes, I haven’t had them for years though, because peeling and grating potatoes is such a drag.
    Enjoyed your tour as always!

  7. What a wonderful posting! A feast for the eyes. I'm ordering the Massey murder book. Raymond had two children who were great actors as well. Anna and Daniel.

  8. The murals add so much beauty to this city. I wish we had more murals here in my little town. Lovely.

    I'm intrigued with the ice cream made from purple yams. Did you like it?

    This was a difficult week for reading for many of us. I hope next week is better for you.

    Enjoy your week!

  9. A lot of everything! I want to taste those cauliflower wings :)))

  10. I give in! You've totally worn me out this time, Jackie :) :)


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