Saturday, December 12, 2020


 Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader 

December 2020 - Toronto ON

We continue in lockdown and another region will go into lockdown come Monday. Which means people will be flocking to the unlocked areas this weekend.

We have been warned!
Those who plan to gather with family despite COVID-19 restrictions this holiday season may not only face hefty fines, but also personal liability if someone falls ill under their roof.

Nearly one-third of Canadians plan holiday gatherings despite pandemic restrictions: poll


Our neighbourhood now.

And then...fascinating article with many photos of the motel strip along Lake Shore Blvd.

Enough of this staying in! We took the 11AM shuttle, only people on it. Then we headed to find the new bus terminal. After a couple of wrong turns, the signage was pretty dismal, we found it.

A new escalator in the historic entrance to the Scotiabank Plaza. It's been under construction for so long it used to be called the Air Canada Centre.

Looking back towards Scotiabank Centre and Union Station.

Construction continues on the new CIBC building as we cross Bay Street.

Pretty quiet as John walks into the terminal.

Looking down on Lake Shore Blvd and the Gardiner.

A story about the Toronto bus terminal.

We waited for the 1PM bus and waited and waited along with one other resident. John called the concierge who said the driver had called to say he was stuck on the Gardiner due to an accident. We chatted and chatted. She mentioned that there had been a movie made about a real murder that had happened in our building!

Here is the Wikipedia article about the Patrick Kelly who killed his wife by throwing her off a Palace Pier balcony.

Murder Most Likely - the whole movie can be seen here. I ended up watching it on Wednesday.

The bus finally arrived just before 2, it had been a 1.5 hour journey for the passengers, normally a 20 minute ride. I think the longest I've ever taken was pre-pandemic and it took an hour in rush hour traffic.

Monday was cooking and baking. Also had a stove repairman come as my oven just doesn't seem to be heating up properly. All my baking and cooking are taking a lot longer than normal. Yup, it was the temperature sensor so he will bring a replacement.

Received my order of teas and chocolate. My parents always had Quality Street at Christmas and I wanted them this year.

Tuesday John went to Costco but the line wrapped around the building so he skipped it and headed out before 8 AM on Wednesday. No crowds and he was home by 9:15.

More additions to the lobby.

Thursday and we decided since it was so warm out we would go to Yorkville to see the lights.

As we took the 4:45 bus (the only passengers) the sky was on fire. Shots taken from bus.

Outside the Four Seasons Hotel.

So sad to see the empty streets and shuttered shops. No restaurants open for holiday cheer.

Along Cumberland. 

Over the past year, the BIA installed 60 benches along Bloor, dubbed Urban Campfire Benches, in Toronto’s popular Yorkville area. These benches have a 270-degree circular shape and are crafted out of wood, granite, and stainless steel.

I went down downtown on Friday to get some groceries, mainly as a reason to get out on a very warm winter's day.

The headline (not really a headline, just a title in a local free newspaper) reads " 
Union Station Has Transformed Into An Icy Wonderland With Glowing Glaciers You Can Explore". I guess you need to see it at nighttime.
As for exploring, I didn't see any entrance.

I went down Bay St. to see the outside of the new bus terminal, this is the bridge we walked through, and I realized that they built the new terminal right on top of the old one.
The glass in the forefront is the new canopy at Union Station, this covers what was originally open to the elements.
The tall building in the middle is the still under construction new CIBC headquarters.

The bridge from the other side.

Inside Union Station.

Another funny pandemic request to wear a mask.


Saturday - Singapore noodles (carrots, onions, celery, bok choy) and pork belly. I also added white and black sesame seeds with the spring onions.

Sunday - Roast beef, mashed potatoes with turnip and carrots.

Monday - hot roast beef sandwiches with salad.

Tuesday - again leftover roast beef dressed up as beef with noodles, green peppers and onions.

I also made a pot of freezer soup. This is what my freezer bag looks like after it has accumulated all the bits and pieces. It sure does make good soup!

I made these gluten free cheese Danish. They were good, but this was when my oven was acting up so I had to use the broiler to brown them!! The texture is more like a biscuit.

Since I use GFJules flour I will use her recipe the next time for puff pastry cheese Danish.

Testament to my ailing oven, I had to use the broiler to get them brown.

Wednesday we had shrimp and Caesar salad with my quick dressing from Jamie Oliver. Recipe is in my cookbook.

Thursday - since we were going out early evening I prepped chicken thigh fajitas.

Friday - steak baked potato mushrooms, green peppers and onions.


I forgot to mention we watched Knives Out last week.

This week we watched Child 44

Friday night we went for some lighthearted fun, a musical The Prom.

The best Canadian fiction of 2020

Best 2020 Christmas ad! John Lewis.

Cookiepedia I was looking for a book on the basics of baking cookies but this turned out to be mainly recipes. 

I decided to buy How to Bake by Paul Hollywood (watching way too much Great British Bake-Off). I searched local bookshops and even sent a note to McNally's who replied that it was out of stock everywhere.

I did succumb and ordered and received it from Amazon.


  1. How Toronto has changed. Thanks for the richness of this post. I love how you pack up the soup in the freezer. I had a client on Cumberland for many, many years. I loved that area. The promenade of the rich and famous which entertained me greatly but I fondly look back on the days of my hippiedom before it was gentrified.


  2. For being in lockdown, you sure get out a lot. I love the photos of the city lights at night, especially the Christmas lights. Tea and chocolate sound good, too.

  3. Very pretty sky and I love the festive decorations. I asked Doug about the other bourbon you mentioned, Virginia Black, and hadn't heard of it. But now we we will ask next time we go to the liquor store.

  4. Your lockdown is not like ours! We REALLY do not go anywhere. Toronto really looks like a fabulous place!

    be safe... mae at

  5. Lovely photos but so weird to see your city so empty. Still, I enjoyed seeing all the lights. We're pretty much stuck at home. Mr. BFR has been riding his bike when the temperatures are above 40F. I would walk, but a two neighbor families are in the COVID is a hoax camp and don't respect anyone's desire to remain socially distance. I'm always afraid I'm going to run into one of them. I've been baking, mostly bread and pies for some reason. Now I need to check out the Paul Hollywood book.

  6. Popping back in ... hahahahahaha -- apparently I bought an eBook of the Hollywood cookbook a few years back. But now I kinda wish I had a hardcover.

  7. I really enjoyed the photos with all the lights and holiday decorations. I am in Florida in a condo and we don't see much of it! Love your DEc. 2019 photo-Toronto really comes to life! Stay safe for the holidays!

  8. It sounds like it is very quiet there, with people staying home. It is a shame not so many will see the great Christmas decorations out and about. I hope the infection numbers are reflecting the appropriate restrictions in force.

  9. Looks and sounds different then here in United States, majority of people has no mask on in local stores here.
    Stay Safe and Coffee is on

  10. I've been so frustrated with my neighbors. Yesterday the Rotary Club across the street had a Christmas market. Oodles of people. Only a few masks. Sigh. You folks in Canada are so thoughtful of others.

    Love the beautiful photos, especially overview of the city and those sky photos. And the Christmas lights. We have found that when we do our morning walk many people still have their lights on, and that is lovely.

    I broke down and bought the Paul Hollywood book when I first started watching The Great British Baking Show. I've heard good things about the holiday edition.

  11. Oh the Great British Bake Off, those were such fun episodes - mainly watching the inventiveness of the participants and their emotional reactions as their work was rated. A lot of sadness seeing everything closed, but at least the big stores did not forego on their holiday lighting! Like the benches - inventive! The pot freezer soup - what an ingenious idea, Jackie! Loved going though this post for All Seasons. At least I have now seen some Christmas lights (next to our own tree, I just did yesterday). You must through your last chocolates of the Advent calendar, because next week it's the 25th!
    Have a fun week, Jesh

  12. The mention of advent calendars made me laugh. My daughter got three this year, two with chocolate and another one with little toys. She let me have one of the chocolate ones. After the first chocolate, I was done. I love chocolate, but that was not good chocolate. LOL My daughter admitted she didn't like the chocolate in hers either and never had. I asked her why she ate it then. So now she opens the windows and throws away the chocolate.

    I loved your photos. So pretty.

    I hope you have a great week.


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