Saturday, July 3, 2021


July 2021 - Toronto ON

June 2021 - Toronto ON

We moved into Stage 2 on June 30th. Malls are allowed to open, retail stores can increase their occupancy to 25%, hair and nail salons can open with stringent rules, patios can now accommodate more than four people per table.

It was supposed to be a Noah's Ark kind of weekend rain!
Saturday was a lazy, get up late, bacon and tomato sandwich kind of day. I did my usual blog reading.
Sunday again no rain as forecasted. We forgot that someone was bringing us a tomato plant at 10, still in robes, thank goodness for concierge phone call and slow (due to social distancing rules only 2 person per) elevator we managed to throw on some clothes before she got here.
Tomato plant in place.

Reflection as I sat reading in the bedroom.

Sunday night sunset.

Monday John golfed and I headed downtown. 

Alicia Golden drew this PRIDE chalk mural for the Royal York Hotel Clockwork patio.

Clockwork Patio

Not a Tim Horton's fan but this made me smile.

I stopped into The Bay the first time since early spring when they were open for all of a week before we went back into a lockdown.

A series of concrete barriers along the Richmond St. bike lane east of Jarvis are now covered in beautiful murals and art designed by local street artists thanks to a Toronto StART initiative.


Wang Xulin (she/they) is an award-winning illustrator, cartoonist, writer, and muralist based in Toronto, raised in Alberta.
Another StART initiative.

Lots more art to come. The city was marking the barriers for further work.

A sneak preview of a future Monday's Mural in the distance.

The iconic CHUM building and sign. The CHUM Radio sign is a Toronto pop culture landmark since the late 1950s.

I stopped for a bite at the Artful Dodger on John St. 

John St. is like a war zone.

So this is where all those sirens were going as I had lunch. John and King. I never did find out what was going on, but the firefighters were standing and intensely looking up at a condo on the right.

Tuesday was hot and humid as John went to Costco, Lanzarotta and Rexall.
We had looked at heading out for a patio lunch but I couldn't get a reservation which ended up being a good thing.

This was the view when I came out of the shower and we were glad we didn't head out as the rain moved in. We decided on a Tuesday at the movies instead.

Wednesday June 30 and the malls were open so I headed into the Financial District stores, it is so quiet there as the office towers are still not occupied.
It was lovely to poke in a bookstore!

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) golden tower.

I got a pair of pants and these tops, the tshirts were $8  (reduced from $30) and the green was 70% off!!!

Thursday Canada Day, a more sobering day than usual as Canadians reflected on the shameful history that is unfolding as more graves of children are found.

We went out after lunch to Ontario Place. Other than going to a concert (Alan Jackson) years ago, an IMAX movie (Jurassic Park!) and I had been here in its heyday in the 70s, we had never walked around here.

Come back Monday for the reason for our outing, a mural.

Wikipedia defines the current Ontario Place as an entertainment venue, event venue, and park. The venue is located on three artificial landscaped islands just off-shore in Lake Ontario, south of Exhibition Place, and southwest of Downtown Toronto.
It opened on May 22, 1971, and operated as a theme park centered around Ontario themes and family attractions until 2012 when the Government of Ontario announced that it would close for redevelopment. It has since reopened as a park without admission but without any of the old attractions. The Government of Ontario is currently considering further redevelopment of the site.

May 14, 2019, Toronto City Council carried a motion to include Ontario Place on the Heritage Property Register.

October 29 2019: Ontario Place is one of 25 sites added to the World Monuments Fund's 2020 World Monuments Watch list of at-risk sites of historical significance.

Until the pandemic the Budweiser Stage was still staging live shows. 

During the pandemic the parking lots are being used as a drive-in theatre.

Conservation area - habitat enhancement project. If you look closely there were several people fishing.

There are fire pits, a skateboard park and segway tours available.

A marina, sheltered by three sunken lake freighters operates seasonally at the site.

The Cinesphere, the original IMAX theatre, reopened with new projection equipment and showed films regularly until Covid.

Memorial of three anchors for the sunken freighters.

Kayaks are available for rent.

The Pavilion, commonly known as the Pods, comprises of five mast-hung, steel and aluminum pods that are suspended over the water and connected by walkways. They were originally used to host an exhibit about Ontario, but were designed to adapt to different functions.

City view as we walk back to the car ($10 parking fee).

Friday had more dire warnings of rain and thunder but John headed out for golf anyway and I went downtown.
I would love these kitchen appliances I saw at The Bay, but I didn't even look for a price considering their cheapest appliance like an electric kettle starts at $400, and a set of knives is $900. the interest of proper reporting I googled Smeg at The Bay site. They didn't have these multi-coloured items, but a solid coloured stove is listed at $8,000, a plain ventilation hood is $2,400. A plain refrigerator is $4,000.

I was home by 3:20, no rain. The skies opened around 4 and John messaged he got rained out at the 10th hole so was heading home.


No photo this week, John wanted Bloody Caesars, not a new one to us.
A Caesar is a cocktail created and consumed primarily in Canada. It typically contains vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime.


Mai Tai with orgeat which is new to us
Tequila Sunrise
Rob Roy required bitters which we had never bought
New York Sours 
Gin Fizz
Rusty Nail
Vodka Sidecar
Vodka Cosmopolitan
The Perfect Storm
Side Car
Jalapeno Margarita
The Godfather
Peach Cosmo - FAIL
The Barista
Blue Diablo
Kentucky Mule
Bloody Caesar

If you like sweet things you must check out Darren Purchese YouTube channel.

Saturday we finally settled on chicken Alfredo with broccoli on the side I chopped up after cooking and added to the Alfredo..

Sunday I tried a new recipe banh mi salad with pork meatballs. Blame Tommy on Masterchef Australia 2021 who is a master of banh mi.

Speaking of MC AU look at this crazy recipe they had to duplicate to avoid elimination.
Pork Wellington with Lattice Crackling and Flavours of Banh Mi
Vietnamese spin on the classic pork wellington! Featuring lattice crackling and chicken liver pate.
You can find the episode at DailyMotion it is series 13 episode 42.

Monday panko crusted haddock and chips.

Tuesday sheet pan chicken fajitas, first time doing them like this. So easy I think I will do them this way in future. I would double the spices though and I added a jalapeno. 

Wednesday I prepared a stew of beef ribs and lamb kidneys in the slow cooker before I went out.

Thursday John made a gluten free grilled cheese sandwich in the air fryer, a first and a success. No dirty pan, no smell.

Dinner was chicken divan and I made biscuits with this recipe. I was not happy with the way they turned out.

Friday steak and skillet garlic cauliflower mushrooms that turned out a little mushy.


Tuesday at the movies.

Above Suspicion 2019 crime thriller was a decent watch.

But the next movie packed a wallop! Why had we never heard of this Oscar and Golden Globe nominated movie???

Mudbound 2017 American historical drama. The film depicts two World War II veterans – one white, one black – who return to rural Mississippi each to address racism and PTSD in his own way.

Hockey took up three evenings as the Canadiens played Tampa Bay in Florida.

Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, a true crime docuseries was a good watch.

On my laptop The Curry Guy Bible (release date October 2021) was a pleasure to browse after that awful one last week. It is well written, interesting and full of good recipes. 
There are gluten free options along with Vegetarian and Vegan. Note to the wise - these symbols appear above the recipe title not at the end, a little confusing at the beginning.
He recommends a friend's blog The Tiny Taster, also on Facebook.
You can find most of his recipes on his blog Great Curry Recipes.

Spicy stuffed green chilies YES!

Chicken 65 new to me until last week when it was made on Masterchef Australia!!
New to me panch poran (paanch phoron) - Indian five spice. I will look for this in Indiatown but you can also make your own with his recipe.

From his blog - Indo-Chinese pork belly bites is going on my menu.

Base curry sauce - big batch that freezes well. I am on it!
Chicken korma made with the base sauce.

After a great week of reading it took me a while to latch onto another good story.
The Push, a multi-generational psychological thriller about mothers and daughters.
The ending is a smack in the face as I gasped!

Finished The Quiet Girl had me hemming and hawing and a little bored at the beginning. It takes a while to understand how the two narratives fit together. Then it draws you in!!!

Started Songs for the End of the World about a pandemic, hit a little close to home. The characters are not really likeable but a decent read.


  1. I have sheet pan fajitas planned this week! Love the look of yours. I think The Push sounds pretty good, I will check that out. Those ovens and fridges with all the colors are crazy!

    1. The Push was spectacular! One pan fajitas would be especially good for a crowd. I happened on a clip with The Pioneer Woman where she made quesadillas for a crowd in the oven.

  2. Your header is so small now, I thought I was on the wrong blog! That painted fridge and stove look like they belong in a Dr Suess book or something. I do like the painted curbs too.

    1. You can blame the same header on Blogger making an unannounced code change where you can only have that size. Other bloggers had been complaining about it but I only discovered it when I went to change my header for July. I am hoping they fix it.

  3. I love the wild and crazy decorated kitchen appliances. I know there are actual people who have their kitchens redone every few years, and it would be perfect for them. I have all white, did it 30 years ago, plan to keep it until I leave this house. But those crazy patterns really look entertaining.

    best... mae at

  4. I haven't been to Ontario Place, aside from a concert that I believe was there, since I was a kid.

  5. The orange cart and umbrella made me smile, very cheerful and you can't beat tomato and bacon sarnies - yum!

  6. I always enjoy your beautiful photos which give me a taste of Toronto. Glad things are opening up for you in Toronto and I do love all of your tops and quite good prices I might add.

  7. Sure been a pretty sun set. I could image $10 parking fee, they no parking fee in my community.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  8. Tim Hortons is such a convenient place for tourists, and it was so popular with city office workers. I guess it has been struggling too.
    I like the look of your snack at the Artful Dodger.
    I meant to wish you happy Canada Day, along with a couple of others. We enjoyed our Canada Day in Whistler a few years ago.
    Our Smeg kettle and toaster turned out to be a terrible buy and have been replaced by much better Russell Hobbs.
    Your cocktail sounds awful. Not for me.

    1. Tim's still can't have dining inside as yet, you can walk/drive in and get your coffee to go. When I worked it was our go to for coffee break.
      I'm not surprised that Smeg is a terrible buy and I would never pay their prices.
      The drink is much like a Bloody Mary.

  9. I so want to go to the restaurant run by the chef who set that Vietnamese Pork Wellington! I tried to book in on the night it was shown here but their website was down! I have a whole list of places that I want to go to dinner after this series!

    1. I would want to go to his restaurant too! I want to put together a list of restaurants around the city that I want to try. Right now we are limited to patio dining and the weather is not being very cooperative.

  10. How nice that things are easing up a little! I liked the happy murals, especially the chalk one. I've never seen a chalk mural that wasn't made by little kids.

  11. Wow, those appliances! I loved the road dividers, nice touch to please the senses when driving and commuting.

  12. Some lovely photos here, and I'm happy to hear about reopenings in your area. The room with your tomato plants looks fabulous, and I really like the clockwork patio!

  13. I love how colourful Toronto looks in June. Thank you for contributing to #weekendcoffeeshare.

  14. Wow, those appliances are amazing! So colorful. Glad to hear restrictions are easing up. Have a lovely week!

  15. I'd love to have the refrigerator and oven at my house. If I had my way, I'd paint everything here.

    I'm glad to see that you are getting out more and enjoying your lives. I think the art is amazing in your town, and I'm always happy to see the things you share with us.

    We will look for Mudbound. And The Push sounds great.

  16. You live in such a beautiful city!
    The Push definitely has an ending to make you gasp.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  17. Hope things remain open there. Love that mat on your patio.

  18. I just started making sheet pan fajitas a couple of months ago... my new preferred method. It's so much easier! As always, I love seeing all of your photos.

  19. Thanks for sharing the curry sauce video! I watched it and jotted down the ingredients and measurements. I would've never known to blend it and then water it down! And I'm really surprised at the small amounts of spices that go in the base sauce. Can't wait to try it.

    Got myself on the wait list at the library for Push. Fingers crossed that the ending makes me gasp like it did you!

  20. Oh, I'm going to have to try sheet pan fajitas ... on a cool-ish evening. Love those appliances; but the prices!? We love Mudbound. And love all the street art you find on your adventures.


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