Saturday, August 14, 2021

Canucky Joe

 Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader 

Once Upon a Time (Monthly)

August 2021 - Toronto ON

August 2021 - Ingersoll ON

Ontario is seeing exponential growth in new COVID-19 cases as public health officials declare the fourth wave is underway across the country.
The doubling time for new infections in the province is now eight days, according to Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, down from 10 earlier this week.

A wet Saturday and a hot steamy Sunday. As usual we spent the weekend at home doing chores and enjoying our interests. I planned out a two day trip for Monday/Tuesday with an overnight in a hotel - first time since the pandemic hit!

Monday we headed out around 10 9:30 to do some exploring in Oxford Country which has a cheese trail. This is just a recap.

Our first planned stop was in Simcoe at the Frisky Beaver winery, never got there, this detour on Radical Rd. had us going in circles until we gave up.

Our next stop was perfect at the Bonnieheath Estate Lavender and Winery.

Next stop was unplanned, I spotted a sign for Picard's Peanuts (never heard of them). Peanuts were introduced to the Southwestern Ontario’s sandy soils of Norfolk County in 1979, by the Picard Family. We found their selection and prices so amazing we made another stop the next day at location in Woodstock. I also found a couple of closer locations for us.

Today's main stop was in St. Thomas, known as the Railway City.
In the late 19th century and early 20th century several railways were constructed through the city, and St. Thomas became an important railway junction. A total of 26 railways have passed through the city since the first railway was completed in 1856.
St. Thomas also has an amazing collection of murals, click here for Monday Mural highlighting about twenty of them.


Railway Museum. It is only open on Thursday and Friday at the moment.

Jumbo the circus elephant, said to be the world's biggest elephant at the time, died here on September 15, 1885, shortly after being hit by a locomotive. 
Did I mention how brutally hot it was? 30/32 Celsius feeling like 35C  and humidity was 92% so yes, I look hot.

I will have more to say about Jumbo in Saturday's Sculpture post. There are murals telling his story around town.

Like Toronto, St. Thomas has allowed sidewalk cafes to spring up. However, I like the way St. Thomas added a pedestrian walkway around the patios.

Benches downtown, made with train wheels.

The Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge has stood at the western edge of the city since 1929, a recognized engineering marvel of its day which at its peak carried over 40 trains each day. It was been converted into Canada's first elevated park. It is a lovely spot full of sculpture.

We were too hot even after an ice cream so we headed to the hotel in Ingersoll.

James Harris erected the James Harris Cheese Factory on the grounds of what is now Elm Hurst Inn & Spa in 1865.
Ingersoll is part of the Oxford County Cheese trail.

The Elm Hurst mansion was built in 1872 as the personal residence of James Harris and family. A fine example of the Gothic Revival style, it remained a stately family home for more than a century.
The last Harris heir sold the property in the mid 1970s, and the house was transformed into a popular dining establishment that opened in 1979. An addition was added to the rear of the original structure five years later, with the 49-room Elm Hurst Inn & Spa being built in 1988.

We took the package that included a 3 course set menu for $60 a head. We  started with the bread and oil, then a fabulous Caesar salad. Wine extra.

Prime rib so large we could have split it, but it was strangely unseasoned in both our opinions. Yorkshire pudding, potatoes and vegetables.

Dessert was topped off by a delicious cappuccino and a brandy.

Breakfast (billed at $34 a head) is also included in the room. They have you choose your breakfast and time the night before, then it is ready when you arrive, makes it fast and efficient when you want to get on the road.

It had rained overnight and it was still overcast and we would need the umbrella to complete our tour of the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum. It was first opened on August 27, 1977, consisting of a re-creation of a 19th century cheese factory. A former barn had been dismantled and the pieces moved to Centennial Park, where they were re-assembled in the shape and design of a typical cheese factory in Oxford County.

After the museum we drove into Ingersoll for a short stroll.

From there we drove to some of the cheese places on the trail.
We stopped at Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese.

We tried to find another cheese spot on the trail but the GPS took us to a JW church so we skipped it and stopped for a beer in Woodstock.

Still too full from breakfast we opted for French fries for lunch, this is across the street from Picard's Peanuts in Woodstock.

We made a few more stops in Woodstock before heading Paris.

A ‘Barnes Dance’ intersection temporarily stops all vehicular traffic and allows pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time. It was first used in Canada in the late 1940s. In recent years, its benefits for pedestrian safety has led to new examples being installed in many countries around the world.
We have a few in Toronto but I had never heard it called a Barnes Dance. We call them a Pedestrian Priority Phase (PPP), also known as a pedestrian scramble crossing.

Headed home. Some of the cheeses and wine we bought. We didn't hit as many cheese spots as we thought we would. 

We also added a beer glass to our collection.

Wednesday John golfed. He mentioned that the car registered a temperature of 35 C on his way home so the AC was blasting.

Thursday we were up and on the 9 AM shuttle downtown. Due to the pandemic we have a modified bus schedule so this was the only bus that worked for our 10:30 AGO tickets. We should have just taken the streetcar.
We walked up to the AGO with a stop for a coffee at the most efficient, friendly Starbucks ever!

King St.

Burgers and Fries Forever (BFF) does gluten free fried chicken and has gluten free buns!

I've never really noticed this mural before.

I've featured this by Vizla Bacon on Monday Mural.

I also featured Elicer's 2020 mural.

Back of the AGO Art Gallery of Ontario, I never tire of this view.

We're here for the Andy Warhol exhibit.

#EveryChildMatters is a moving memorial to the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were found buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The first of many finds the total now sits at 5,300.

Reading the article after our visit, I realize there is more to the exhibit on another floor, so I will go back.
A leading artist of her generation, Haegue Yang (b. 1971 Seoul) is celebrated for her prolific and diverse work that evokes historical and contemporary narratives of migration, displacement and cross-cultural translation. For over two decades, Yang has been transforming how we experience everyday domestic materials, turning items such as venetian blinds, light bulbs, drying racks, knitting yarn and bells into meticulously constructed installations and sculptures. To unleash the historical and emotional resonances of these objects, Yang activates them with sounds, light, air, scents and movement.

I rearranged these magnets in a row. Sad that Frida is the only woman.

Another block partially demolished beside St. Patrick Church, where I had seen the latest Homeless Jesus a couple of weeks ago. The Village Idiot Genius pub is on the corner.

I had made a reservation for lunch on Baldwin St. at a place I had never heard of or noticed. It wasn't my first choice, my choice, Bodega, is closed.
We were thrilled with Valens, our food was absolutely delicious. It's been a while since John found good mussels. I had grilled salmon with Caesar salad. Our server was so efficient. Since it was so hot out we were grateful that the sun wasn't shining.

Walking along Baldwin to Spadina, the sun started coming out. 

We picked up some fruit and vegetables in Chinatown, then decided it was too hot to walk back to the shuttle. We took the streetcar to Spadina Station and subway home.

Friday we debated going out and instead just picked up John's latest scotch. 

John then did his homework on the building's new Bell TV/internet package which gives us a better selection of stations, most of the movie channels and then an additional optional selection of 10 more as well as unlimited internet. He then called Bell and got it set up. The technician will come on Wednesday to set up the new modem, wi-fi pods, 4K PVR. 
We will no longer get a bill from Bell, it will be embedded in our monthly maintenance fees. The package is worth about $300 a month.


May 2021 - Dundas West Toronto

Saturday I did a small roast pork with roast potatoes and mashed cauliflower, turnips and carrots.

Sunday chicken wings and fries.

Monday hotel prime rib.

Tuesday cheeses we had picked up

Wednesday spaghetti arrabbiata sauce and Caesar. I also made these gluten free biscuits

Thursday BBQ spicy chicken quarters, roast potatoes and carrots.

Friday steak, fries and Caesar.


Not much watching this week.

I watched a short PBS series The Widower based on a true story.

I also watched Apple Tree Yard, I had read the book a few years ago. The series is very well done. You can see the series on DailyMotion Apple Tree Yard.


Not much reading either.
I did start Followers and like it enough to explain the plot to John. It alternates between 2015 and 2051 social media madness.


  1. I really enjoyed your trip, and agree if GPS takes you to a church instead of cheese, that means go drink a beer! Definitely. Fun to see these sites which I'll never get to visit, but I am happily vicariously enjoying your travels!

  2. To the best of my knowledge, I have never been in Ingersoll.

  3. Despite the pandemic, you seem able to get to very nice places!

    best… mae at

  4. Fun outings you've had. The shark mural is amazing. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

  5. That's a brilliant sculpture at the railway museum.
    Poor Jumbo.
    We call Barnes Crossings scramble crossing and as far as I know we only have two in greater Melbourne. There is a monster one in a popular Tokyo shopping area and perhaps a newish one in Oxford Street, London.
    I didn't know the dead children were buried in or near Kamloops, a place we visited twice.
    That package for internet etc at $300 a month sounds rather a lot. I wonder how Bell got such a large foothold in Canada. Research required.
    The red book sign made me laugh. I can just imagine.

    1. The children have been found in several locations since then.
      Bell has a terrible monopoly on phone/cable services. They are a horrible company to deal with and would never be our choice, however, the condo has a contract with them. Yes, we would never pay $300 for TV but it is a great deal that we are getting.

  6. I love the idea of a cheesse trail!

    As always, I have enjoyed your trip around Toronto and your trip

  7. Great set of photos, good coffeeshare, thanks

  8. what a great week you had. I love that shark mural, I am very fond of sharks!

    Here is my link:

  9. Elephants are my "thing" "cause"...or whatever, so I was interested in your picture of Jumbo's statue and where he died. His Wiki page lead me to his keeper's autobiography so I snagged a $5 copy off of Amazon. Poor Jumbo. Sigh.

    I want those little magnets!!!! Aren't they the cutest?

    I enjoyed your entire post, as usual. All the food looks delicious and all the places you go are so amazing. I appreciate you sharing your life with us!

    1. Isn't that typical of reading blogs? One thing leads to another and you are buying a book on Amazon.
      I loved those magnets too!

  10. I'm sorry to hear that Covid is rising there, too. It's all so very frustrating.

    I think I would especially like to visit Lavender and Winery. I enjoy seeing how many places in Canada have adapted their streets so that people can eat outdoors. The inn is beautiful. So glad you are able to get out despite the problems with the pandemic.

    I think I miss art galleries most of all. I wish we had a way to visit them safely.

    1. I am loving visiting our museums/art galleries now. Covid restrictions limit the number of people allowed inside. You must have a timed entry ticket. Masks must be worn.

  11. I always love seeing your photos. I especially love the murals and sculptures.

    I searched for a book about the Indigenous children and was shocked when I couldn't find one.

    1. The discovery of the children is too soon for a book. However, if you look for a book/articles on the residential schools you should find something.

  12. Looks like you had a great trip! And thanks to your prime rib pic, I'm now hungry.

  13. We too are starting to see a rise in COVID cases after a few safe weeks. Now they're letting the students return to the nearby university -- I'm sure we'll be hot spot again. UGH.

    A cheese trail? Count me in! So many cool things to see -- I always love the street art and murals. And how lovely to spend the night away from home again. A needlework shop!!!!! Oh what a great find.

    I've never heard of "pedestrian scramble crossing" -- but I kind of like the idea. So much good food and drink. Thanks for sharing your week.


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.