Saturday, July 31, 2021

Sculpture Saturday

 Sculpture Saturday

A living room set isn’t the normal furnishing one would expect in a public park.

But in Welland Ontario, the city where Ablan Leon opened the first Leon's Furniture on King St. in 1909, it’s the perfect tribute to a successful businessman who built his fortune on honesty and fairness.

It features a bronze statue with Ablan sitting on a couch along with two recliner chairs and a coffee table.

My Recipe Box - General Tao's Chicken

 This recipe was part of a virtual Longo's cooking class in February 2021 at the height of the pandemic when we were locked down completely.

My notes were the pre-work and instructions for John as he was going to be cooking along with the instructor.

John was very pleased when she said that your sauce is perfect if you draw your spoon through it and it "parted like the Red Sea".

Full of Beans


July 2021 - Toronto ON

Dundas West Toronto


Things are looking up, we have tickets to three upcoming events.
Andy Warhol at the Art Gallery of Ontario AGO

Saturday turned out to be rainy so we made it a popcorn movie day.

Sunday I made myself attend a zoom exhibit I had signed up for at the Bata Shoe Museum, The Great Divide. The link to the exhibit is much better than the virtual tour. It was very disjointed and all over the place.

Monday Mural shows more of RendezViews that we visited last week.

City issued air quality warning again on Monday due to NW Ontario wild fires. Thanks to Australia and Mexico for sending us firefighters to help with the wildfires across the country.
John golfed. 
Yes, Andrew, we did buy a new printer.

I went to College Park because I needed potatoes and cheeses and also some $ store items.
I came across these outside College Park.

Strange sighting of the day came with its own music.

Tuesday I had great plans to go out to lunch - nope, the restaurant didn't open until 4. Anyway we could still go somewhere. Nope, rained all morning with thunder so John went to Costco which meant the fridge and freezer got cleaned out.
Still rainy so we settled in for a Tuesday at the Movies.

Wednesday John was off to golf and I headed to Dundas Square.

Be still my heart, William and Andrew, you won't believe it!!!! They finally opened up the renovated Bay Concourse after............more than a decade this week!!!!!
It took six years longer than expected and nearly $200 million more than the initial budget called for but the renovation of Union Station is now finally complete.
But complete is used loosely in this context. 
It says there will be 75 new businesses/restaurants but none of these spaces are ready as yet.

What it looked like in 2015.

I sent the new photo to my BFF immediately, this is where we would meet before the renovations, at the Dairy Queen, perfect as she came from the train and I from the subway.

Dundas Square.

Yonge-Dundas Square has partnered with O2 Planning + Design to celebrate the spirit of Toronto like never before, with a little twist and a lot of love from the locals.


In celebration of the unity and strength that has pulled Toronto through the pandemic, members of the community were asked what they love most about their city. Toronto’s diversity, shops, cuisine, and people topped the list. The passion and love that poured through in their answers were undeniable. The responses are being shared with the rest of the city and displayed throughout the Square in the shape of hearts. These hearts will also act as two-metre social distancing boundaries.

Today's odd sight.
This side says "Free Google: Hap2py".

Yonge Dundas has what is called a Pedestrian Priority Phase (PPP), also known as pedestrian scramble phase, which gives a walk signal to pedestrians in all directions at the same time at a signalized intersection while drivers are stopped in all directions. When this happens he would run into the middle of the street shouting his message. 
The back of his  sign said " Home Owners U are the stupid land holders for the Queen Google: Hap2py".

BTW he is not the only oddball at this intersection on any given day you can get free hugs, pick up a Koran, been entertained by buskers.

Her sign says 29 de Julio Paro Nacional por Guatemala y Sandovar.

Activists affiliated with the indigenous organization the Xinca People's Parliament (Parlamento del Pueblo Xinca) plan to stage protests and labor strikes across Guatemala July 29. The purpose of the action is to demand the resignations of President Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General Consuelo Porras following the controversial dismissal of the head of the Special Prosecutor's Office Against Impunity (Fiscalia Especial Contra la Impunidad, FECI). Although organizers have not released details concerning specific protest actions, activist leaders plan to coordinate roadblocks nationwide and have called on agricultural and political organizations to join the strike.

I was trying to figure out what the person with the t-shirt was, a friend pointed out it was a hat to shield her from the sun.

Foiled again on Thursday as it was pouring rain, so again, no outing with lunch as planned.
We’ve had 108mm of rain so far this month at #Toronto YYZ and are adding to that total today! The average July rainfall is 75.7mm ☔☔☔

Without any initial thoughts or plans, we both started cleaning out drawers in the bathroom, kitchen and John even did his bedside table. One thing leads to another so some other things got sorted. A lot of garbage was generated, items sorted, cleaned and even some duplicate items went into the charity bag. Very satisfying but needs to be completed.

Friday gorgeous but much cooler day. Lunch out or not? Decided to go out in the afternoon up to Yonge and Lawrence to a gluten free certified restaurant The Riz, that sells frozen spring rolls and dumplings. It is my birthday tomorrow and I requested sushi (pick up tomorrow) and suggested rolls and dumplings as well.

Had a Starbucks as we waited for the bus.
Things are getting back to normal! I saw the first hop on hop off tourist bus since March 2020! The streets are busy and the boys are back in town! The Blue Jays are playing their first game at home since 2019! Only 15,000 fans allowed. 
Snapped this from the bus as we went past the Rogers Centre.

John had a zoom visit with his son and family.


Saturday John did bacon in the air fryer for the first time, 10 minutes at 400 F.
ham quiche to use up remainder but burgers instead.

I had a Collective Arts cider.

Sunday I made quiche with the rest of last week's ham steak. I made a coleslaw using the shredder blade in the food processor and it was just mushy and wet. Turns our you should use the slicer blade for this very reason, lesson learned.

Monday knowing John was going to Costco I used the last of the chicken quarters spicy bbq'd as per John's favourite with roast potatoes and carrots.

Tuesday since the plan had been to go out to lunch I had bought an assortment of cheeses and pate.

Wednesday I tried this crispy chicken with sweet and sour sauce and coleslaw. I used the mango sauce instead. I did the chicken in the air fryer at 400 F for about 6 minutes.

Thursday, a rainy day, I made a stew.

Friday steak and we put it on top of onions, peppers, mushrooms in the air fryer and it worked out really well. 


Such a rainy week we had several afternoon movie sessions.

Saturday Movies
Silk Road 2021 a paid Amazon Prime movie - It is based on the true story of Ross Ulbricht who develops a website on the Dark net, an act which attracts the attention of the FBI and DEA who send in federal agent Richard "Rick" Bowden, a fictional composite of real life DEA Agent Carl Force and US Secret Service Special Agent Shaun Bridges both of whom were convicted of felonies related to theft of assets in the investigation of Ulbricht, to bring down Ross' empire.
We enjoyed it.

The Ghost Writer is a 2010 neo-noir political thriller film directed by Roman Polanski. The film is an adaptation of a 2007 Robert Harris novel, The Ghost, with the screenplay written by Polanski and Harris.

Paid for Wrath of Man on Netflix, with Jason Statham and it was surprisingly good. Read a great review here.

Follwoed by the depressingly bad Nomadland, also paid for on Netflix. I have read the book and watched the documentary The Real World of Nomadland.
The movie was sad, one dimensional and gave no background to why some of these people have to live that way, no pensions, lost homes in 2008, divorce and sometimes just because they like it. There is nothing about the working conditions at Amazon. They don't show any of the comraderies of the other nomads.


I cannot wait to see what the ending of My Sister's Bones!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Weekend Roundup

 Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveler

1. Starts with "E"
2. A Favorite
3. EVENING chosen by Tom

Starts with "E"
ENTRANCE Coober Pedy Australia

ELEPHANT EXTRA on John's t-shirt 

Red Square Moscow Russia

Déjà Brew
A catchall for leftover beer, coffee, food, motels and whatever catches my fancy!
Las Vegas, Nevada

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

T is for Tuesday Signs

Bloor St. West lately this mural has been obscured by a construction fence for yet another condo on the former property of the Kingsway Auto Service Centre. Painted in 2011 by Jim Bravo, it is 20 by 30 feet. Click here for a newer (2019) mural by Bravo.

Lots of different drinks being consumed in this mural.


Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON

Epworth Manse
To commemorate 122 years of Protestant congregations who held services in the Epworth Methodist, later United Church. What began as the Christie Street Mission around 1883, in a wooden structure at the northeast corner of Christie and Yarmouth Road, served the poor and working class families of Seaton Village. As the population and congregation grew, a permanent brick church was begun in 1886 as designed and built by architect Henry Bauld Gordon (1854-1951) with the firm of Gordon & Helliwell of Toronto. It was officially opened on August 2nd, 1890.

The Manse built behind the Church was first used by the Pastoral family and in later years by the caretaker of the Church which included an underground tunnel to the Church's basement for easy winter access.
At one point in its life, Epworth United Church could boast of a Sunday school of over 500 children. 
By the late 1970s the Congregation numbers were declining and in 1979, with the acceptance of the United Church Presbytery of Toronto, formed a three point Congregation with St. Matthews Church on St. Clair Ave. West and Oakwood Church. This kept the Church in the area but a Minister and staff were shared by all three. Finally in 1980, with the decision being made by the Congregation, it was decided that it could no longer remain as a United Church and amalgamated with St. Matthews. Epworth was sold to the East Toronto Korean Presbyterian Church and remained as their Church for 25 years. 
The Church was bought by a developer in 2005 and torn down to make room for houses.

Pirillo Lane
An application was made by Sylvia Pirillo, to name the lane east of Clinton Street, extending south from Dupont Street as "Pirillo Lane". 

"My family has lived at 908 Manning Avenue since 1959. Naming the laneway would honour the memory of my parents..."

"My father originally arrived on his own in Canada in 1950 via the ocean liner Constitution in search of a better life for his family. He worked in Montreal and Niagara Falls for General Electric, namely building the hydroelectric generating station.

He returned to Italy in 1955 to prepare his wife and three children for the move to Canada.

In 1957, he returned to Toronto where he began working at the TTC. In 1959, after working and saving enough money he bought the family home on Manning and his family arrived during the same year. Two more children were born at this home during the 1960s.

My parents sponsored 2 families from Italy in order to help them emigrate to Canada. One family in the 1960s and one in the 1970s. Both families resided at 908 Manning until they were financially stable enough to move into their own homes. My dad's generosity and compassion continued until his passing in 1987.

My mom continued her spirit of giving and helping as well. Later in life, when she needed nanny care she effectively sponsored 5 nannies from the Philippines. They also resided at the family home. This was beneficial in helping them gain stability and independence in Canada.

My sister owned 906 Manning Avenue during the 1970s. She again demonstrated a similar compassion by sponsoring a Vietnamese family within her home. The children went on to become dentists and doctors.

My families' story displays what Canada stands for. A place where a newcomer, an immigrant can make positive difference in his own life his family's life while contributing to the wellbeing of others in the neighbourhood. It is this passion that continues in my family today and it will hopefully transfer into the naming on the laneway in the rear of 908 Manning Avenue."

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural 

July 2021 - Toronto ON

RendezViews, one of Toronto’s largest patios has teamed up with Collective Arts and transformed its space into a one-of-a-kind art experience. RendezViews was born out the city's CafeTO program. What used to be a dormant parking lot in the Entertainment District is now a picnic-inspired patio space run by The Fifth and The Ballroom.

Collective Arts Brewing is based out of Hamilton and they’re known for colourful and creative labels. I've featured them several times here on Monday Mural.
I had taken photos in June when it wasn't open (opens at 4 PM).
As I approached walking west on Richmond St.

We stopped in on Friday for drinks and snacks. 

RendezViews implemented a number of measures, including social distancing, cashless payment systems and QR code menus, as part of its efforts to keep diners safe and reduce contact points. It also makes for a very efficient system.

You pay for everything as your order, no hanging around waiting for your bill.

However we did think it was a little overpriced, but then isn't everything since places started to re-open!!! Our food was from Pai, a Thai restaurant. But these drinks were overwatered as well. But we enjoyed the ambiance and finally being able to enjoy summer in the city!

  Taking over the blank canvas are local artists Bruno Smoky and Shalak Attack of Clandestinos Art. Presenting a visual story of triumph, optimism and community growth, they call their exhibition, Reflections.

"We picture the mural as a face looking into a mirror, and in the mirror are the person's reflections with many other people surrounded by nature," Smoky and Attack explain. "The floor will also work as an organic reflection of the murals, that starts with big waves and ends with smaller waves that fragment into more geometric shapes."

I took this photo last week (also closed) but I had to shoot through the fence but it gives you the size of the mural.