Saturday, October 24, 2020

Coffee To Go

  Weekend Cooking is now hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader 

Sunday Salon

October 2020 - Toronto ON

2017 - Jimmy's Dundas West Toronto


Ontario reported an additional 826 cases of COVID-19 on Friday  Premier Doug Ford hinted that more regions could be headed for a modified Stage 2 next week.

Currently Toronto, Peel. Ottawa and York are still in our 28 day lockdown for eating inside, anywhere. Durham and Halton regions may soon be joining us.

Which means restaurant owners are getting desperate for business as weather gets wet and colder.
This is the Harbour 60In 1917, the Toronto Harbour Commission first opened its doors in what was then New Toronto. Eighty-two years later, in the very same building, Harbour 60 was established as the city’s premier steakhouse.
This is their patio set up in the parking lot behind their iconic, historic building.

The fire proof tent is ventilated with two walls open as is required by public health, so no air lingers in the tent.

Now that winter is coming the restaurants had to remove their curbside seating areas in anticipation of snow removal.
Toronto’s bars and restaurants are scrambling to winterize their patios setting up canopies, awnings, tents and wind barricades. Many are selling blankets that you can take home with you. Sidenote, when we were in Edinburgh back in 2015, blankets were offered to patrons. 

What are the patio rules?
All tables are six feet apart, menus are by QR code, all staff is temperature checked daily.
The number of patrons inside any restaurant or bar will be limited to 75 at a time, down from 100.
Staff will also need to collect contact information for every customer, not just one person from each party.
Only six people will be allowed per table, down from the current limit of 10.Restaurants and bars will also have to turn down background music to the “volume of a normal conversation” to discourage patrons from leaning in closer to hear each other.
As I walked around the entertainment district on Friday I saw many restaurants and bars keeping the plexiglass companies in business. Gas heaters are now allowed as well.


Saturday we headed to Evergreen Brickworks intending to wander around on a lovely fall morning. It was so crowded with lines for the farmers' market that we couldn't find a parking spot so said we would come back during the week.

From there we decided to try a coffee place I had on my list. With the weekend road closures to cars we had to detour.

This was our plan for coffee but when we stepped in to order we were told they were only doing "beans", no drinks.

However, as we were parking I noticed we were beside a park I had on my list.

This is a new to us and the city neighbourhood. Although this is where we were last weekend as well. In last week's post I showed the cidery, the bridge and the Broadview Hotel.

The Riverside spans 10 vibrant blocks of Queen St East from the iconic Queen Street viaduct (Riverside Bridge) at the Don Valley, to just east of the world-famous De Grassi Street. Rich in history and art, the area boasts over 100 unique eateries, shops, and attractions. It is home to the Riverside bridge – illuminated nightly in dynamic colours – The Broadview Hotel, The Opera House, two breweries and Toronto’s first cidery, and much more to explore.

Riverside runs alongside the Don River – an icon in Toronto’s landscape and history. The name ‘Riverside’ dates back to the 1880s. As you wander Queen Street East in the heart of Riverside, note the curving blue brick ‘river’ in the sidewalks and the public art referencing that connection throughout. 

Here is an article explaining who Joel Weeks was and how the neighbourhood has changed.

Joel Weeks Park is named in honour of Joel Andrew Weeks, an eight-year-old boy who lived in the community and drowned in a nearby sewer Easter Sunday 1982.

The reason it was on my list? To see the acorn worshipping squirrel sculpture created by Mary Anne Barkhouse, an Indigenous artist acclaimed for her sculptures and jewelry, who’s based in Haliburton.

The park includes a beaver and a puffy-tailed fox perched on rocks that are carved in bas relief with fish and other wildlife.

Back in the car and we went looking for coffee.

Oh look, let's make a stop!!

See more of these artworks in the link below.

These were in the windows of a condo near where we parked.

Still looking for coffee. We parked around the corner from one of the murals.

The embassy of Indonesia, here? 

I had read about the murals at the George Street Diner and they were still here.
Serendipity! It also helped that I knew the owner was Irish.

During the initial lockdown in March when restaurants were closed she kept her staff busy making and delivering their Irish soda bread.

They have tables lining the curb along the street.

They do a full Irish breakfast so it is on our list, hopefully we will have some more warm days.

But we snagged the perfect table here in the sun for our coffee and soda bread.

Randomness as we drove home along Dundas.

Sunday we stayed home and Monday was a very rainy day which ruled out John's golf game.

I decided to clean out the freezer properly. Then I made a batch of meat sauce and a pot of soup stock (ends from the freezer).

Tuesday we went back to the Brickworks and it was easy to park. I had pointed out these murals last week when we spotted them from the other side of the Don Valley Parkway at the Chester lookout.

The Don Valley Brick Works (often referred to as the Evergreen Brick Works) is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River Valley. It operated for nearly 100 years and provided bricks used to construct many well-known Toronto landmarks, such as Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Massey Hall, and the Ontario Legislature (links will take you to our visits to these landmarks). 

Since the closure of the original factory, the quarry has been converted into a city park which includes a series of naturalized ponds, while the buildings have been restored and opened as an environmentally focused community and cultural centre by Evergreen, a national charity dedicated to restoring nature in urban environments.

We wandered (I don't think we were allowed in there as the exhibits are currently closed due to Covid)tThe Kiln Building where we admired the industrious looking tunnels, now silent and cold. The building is 53,000 square feet showcasing the history of the brickworks.

The kilns, and the tracks that served them, were in operation from 1957 until the factory ceased production. The tracks enabled metal carts – holding upwards of 1,110 bricks at a time – to be moved throughout the Brick Works site.

Watershed Consciousness

Artist: Ferruccio Sardella
Media: Steel, copper, brass, plants, water

Watersheds are areas where all waters drain to a common body of water. “Where is your watershed address?” is the question this installation asks, as it depicts the rivers that flow through city and raises awareness about our extensive ravine system.
Toronto’s largest living map; Watershed Consciousness is a living work that looks and behaves differently in each season and responds to the changing conditions of its environment.

Deep Time

Artist: Ferruccio Sardella, 2011
Media: Mixed
This installation is a poetic interpretation of the geologically significant north slope. The artwork interprets two glacial periods with an interglacial period between. The panels within the doorways represent a snapshot of this interglacial period approximately 120,000 years ago—a time when this place was home to giant prehistoric beavers, bison, deer and catfish—entire ecosystems thriving in a carolinian temperate that was 2 degrees warmer than today.

Native Tenants
Artist: Ferruccio Sardella
These large-scale sculptural representations of native plants are poetic emblems of the transformed brick factory. They are a reminder of the importance of nature’s place in urban communities, and remind us that the division between nature and the built environment is socially constructed.

We walked up to the lookout.

Wednesday John golfed and I went out for a few things.

Thursday we had 10AM tickets to see the Mummies exhibit at the ROM but it was dreary and we decided not to go. As members, the tickets are free and we can rebook for an afternoon.

Since they were coming to do our windows and spider treatment for the last time this year, we cleaned up the balcony and took the plants inside until they are done.
Laundry got done.
I baked a cranberry soda bread and then experimented with a jalapeno and scallion loaf.

These guys didn't use a platform, they were in a harness!

Friday's forecast was for a high of 24C!! And this was our view when we got up.

John headed out to golf, the view at noon.

It was still swirling around.

I decided to go to the entertainment district and went into Marshalls, Michael's, Kitchen Plus, no purchases!

This blew me away as I looked up John St. I had worked in this area for years so I knew every nook and cranny. 

This was a parking lot forever until the hoarding went up and we lived through the construction the last couple of years.

The PJ Condos at John Street & Pearl Street have a total of 41 storeys with 373 Units.

Across the street, the northeast corner of Adelaide and John.

As I said I worked in this area, in fact I worked in that building behind the crane in the middle.

Snapped as I lined up to buy potatoes and broccolini in Fresh and Wild.

At the LCBO.

Came home and headed out for ice cream, I had to stand in line as only two customers are allowed inside at a time.

Fall cleanup outside the condo.


George Street Diner - Toronto ON

Saturday I used up the leftover pork in  easy stir fry pineapple pork.

Sunday John requested pot roast so I used the slow cooker and served with mashed potatoes and cauliflower.

Monday I made meat sauce for spagetti.

Tuesday we had the rest of the pot roast with Irish cheddar soda bread, so delicious! I must make soda bread more often, no mixer required and only 20 minutes to bake. I used gluten free flour.

Thursday baked ginger soy glazed haddock, roast potatoes and sauteed bok choy. This was a new recipe and I wasn't sure if John would like it, but he did!

Friday steak, baked potatoes and sauteed brocolini.


Check out this curious recipe from the LCBO magazine miso wasabi goat cheese truffles.

We watched The Trial of the Chicago 7 and really enjoyed it, enough that we are both interested in reading more.

Click here to see what the movie didn't tell you.

We also watched Beirut with Jon Hamm.

We also got caught up in The Staircase the true story of Michael Iver Peterson (born October 23, 1943) is an American novelist who was convicted in 2003 of murdering his second wife, Kathleen Peterson, on December 9, 2001.

I am very late to the Great British Bake Off party. I am watching the current season as well as going back in time to the beginning. I have finished season one and have started season 2.

I also finished the Ruth Reichl book and loved it, I plan on reading her others.
I started the Cresswell Plot and didn't love the first chapter but now I am engrossed.

I really enjoyed Secrets of Great Second Meals and even learned some things.
My favourite line "no canned soup was injured in the making of this cookbook".

A new one to me was a vinegar barrel used in many restaurants, as we know chefs are notorious in keeping their food costs low. The barrel is used for ends of wines to make their own vinegar.
I didn't know that restaurants had cheese refrigerators, kept at a warmer temperature than normal fridges.
The author prefers gochujang over sriracha, I use both. Gochujang is a new favourite this year and I am almost finished my first container.

Now this I thought was brilliant for making uniform size meatballs.

AHA what to do with the jar of tahini I have in the fridge.

Add mustard and horseradish to mayo for egg salad or devilled eggs. 


  1. I so love exploring Toronto with you. I especially like that acorn & squirrel sculpture--very fun! ;-)

    We finally consistently lower cases to make it back to Tier 2 this week and restaurants can seat indoors in groups of 5 or less, but tourism opened up so I am sure cases will rise. It's going to be an interesting winter.

  2. It’s hard to see how you pack so many explorations into just one week! Your fall colors are really pretty.

    be well... mae at

  3. I feel like I've been to Toronto through your very interesting photos. Lovely Fall colors too.

  4. The few coffee shops I been into seems to do a little for protection of either server or the customers. If I go into a shop I have my mask on and aware of my social distance.

  5. You do more in a week than I do in SIX months. LOVED the squirrel and the water shed. I'm always interested in water projects, so that spoke to me.

  6. What brilliant Autumn colours. It's a going to be a long hard winter for you. Melbourne was up to over 700 new infections a day in June, midwinter and it took until mid October under lockdown to get down to single digits. Lovely and interesting photos.

  7. You always manage to get out and about and see such interesting things in and around your city.

  8. Wow, this was an overwhelming post! Sooo much to see, but what was stuck is the man cleaning your window, boy, you live like really high up! Do you sometimes take the stairs?
    Yikes, yes, same here, restaurants and so many other struggle so hard, it´s a shame.
    The fall pics are beautiful. Leaves tumble down here now like snow, soon all will be naked, how sad and ugly...

  9. I'm so sad for Toronto. I worry a lot about our restaurants. We have always eaten out about once a week; we try to do the same thing now. I like the idea for the outdoor tents. And blankets are nice. They gave us blankets when we ate outdoors in Paris last February.

    The fall trees are beautiful. Just beautiful.

    And the murals and sculptures make your city special.

    So glad you liked the Reichel book and the Second Meals book. "No canned soup..." Love it!

    Have a great week.

  10. First the good: I love the signs of fall and thanks for taking us along for your adventures. Yay on the Reichl book. And I must get Second Meals... sounds like my kind of book. Now, so sorry that Toronto is seeing such bad numbers. Our area is still doing poorly, but I think once they close down the university for 2 months (from mid-Nov. to mid-Jan.), we'll see a slight improvement. My current days are filled with following election news ... hope my fellow Americans do the right thing.

  11. Lovely photos of fall colored leaves. I need to get out more to see some of the leaves changing around here, with the exception of our backyard. My Sunday Salon post

  12. That squirrel park looks amazing! love all the pretty fall pics too. Gorgeous area there with plenty to see. Thanks for sharing.


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