Saturday, August 21, 2021


August 2021 - Toronto ON

July 2021 - Kensington Market Toronto

Ontario to keep COVID restrictions “indefinitely”.
There are reports the province will tighten public health measures later this week now that Ontario has entered the fourth wave.
The Ford government will reportedly mandate vaccinations for workers in hospitals and other health-care settings and halt the current plan to lift step 3 public health restrictions once vaccine targets are hit, according to media reports.
Citing unnamed government sources, the Toronto Star reported on Friday that Moore will announce the vaccine mandate for health-care workers, booster shots for vulnerable populations and a pause of the economic reopening plan on Tuesday.

Usual stay at home weekend, doing chores and relaxing. It is a busy week ahead with early morning risings most days.

Monday I went for a haircut (King and Victoria) and we had time to kill before so we did a wander down King St. East.

St. James Park is one of Toronto’s oldest and most beloved downtown public spaces, situated immediately adjacent to the historic Cathedral Church of St. James, just north of the St. Lawrence Market.

The new bench featuring Scott Eunson's metal art looks lovely with the new and improved gardens.

Plant it Forward by artist John Notten, is a mini-ecosystem where virtually every component had a previous life just as every part will live on elsewhere in the community. The lumber comes from a 150-year-old Distillery building and the plywood framing from an old factory. Rain water is collected up top and stored in containers with built in hoses for watering the plants, which are tended and harvested by the local community. 

A new neighbourhood amenity, the open-air pavilion and stage at the heart of St. James Park is set in an enlarged plaza where diagonal paths form a vital neighbourhood crossroad.
Designed with heavy timber columns and trellis canopy with recessed lighting, it is in part, inspired by the arches of the cathedral’s Gothic Revival architecture.

The naming of the pavilion is due to the efforts of his long-time friend, Barbara Bell, who used to live in the neighbourhood. Shortly after Michael died from cancer in September 2012, she started a petition to name a local asset in his honour, which generated a swift response. She worked with the late city councillor Pam McConnell on several possibilities, but it was not until the idea formed of a new bandstand for St. James Park, as part of its revitalization, that they landed on an appropriate way to recognize Michael, one that evokes his love of music and his efforts to bring music onto the streets of the neighbourhood.

A play area has been added. The play sculptures and structures integrate nature and natural materials to represent the physical space of a historic market as well as playful food elements available for sale. Food market stalls and over-sized stacked wooden fruit and vegetable crates are the landmark playground features. Surrounding them, children will find a spilled ice cream cone with three rubber mounds of chocolate, pistachio and vanilla ice cream. The mounds are spongey so adults and children can bounce and jump from one to the other! Not wanting to forget the vegetables, children can climb up the asparagus sprouts or balance across the carrot balance beams.

Tuesday and yet another early rising. We had tickets for Beyond Monet which I had bought ages ago. I quickly checked that we had the right date for the tickets, we did and headed out on the 9 AM shuttle. The forecast was for showers so I packed the umbrella and we both wore sensible shoes should we be caught in a downfall. Since our tickets were 10 AM we strolled over to One Yonge at Yonge and Queen's Quay. Something made me look at my tickets as we got there, the Van Gogh sign perhaps?? Yup we were in the wrong place Monet was at the Convention Centre....It is 9:45. Tried hailing a cab only to be ignored. Instead we used Uber and Omar was here in 3 minutes and we were at the Convention Centre in no time.

Unlike a traditional art gallery, the works at 'Beyond Monet' are animated, moving across massive screens, filling the walls and ceiling as music plays. From Impression, Sunrise- to his series of water lilies, the paintings of Claude Monet come alive as part of a new, world-premiere experience.

Love the social distancing rules that don't allow venues to be crowded and provide, in this case, mirrored circles to stand on. These looked like water as the paintings were reflected.
Your own little island.

We were finished at 11 and killed time by wandering slowly over to the restaurant, Benares for our noon reservation which BTW I had to change as I had booked it for tomorrow SIGH as John said I was batting 2 for 2 which he then changed to 3 for 3 as the sun came out and it was so warm. 
I have passed this restaurant many times and wanted to try it. I think we have found our go to Indian.
All curries are their menu are gluten free and other items are clearly marked as gluten free.

Onion bhajis with tamarind and mint sauces.

Chicken Vindaloo, lamb korma, rice and garlic naan.

After that we ran a couple of errands and then came home and had a nap!!

Wednesday and we had to be up early again (third morning in a row) as Bell was coming at 8 AM to set up the new modem, wifi pods and new package, he was done by 9. John went to golf and I went to Winners and Longos. Longos had a special on pork chops and I got nine for $7.
I finally bought a duvet and cover set and we got it set up.

Thursday we didn't need to be up as early. We had tickets for Illusionarium.
We caught the streetcar bus at 9:30. The streetcar tracks are once again under repair so they are using buses. On a good note it stops right outside our place. But buses are much smaller than streetcars and there wasn't much social distancing happening. Even at this time of day you get the crazies, someone, a woman we think, kept acting like she was listening to her phone but in reality she kept playing, loudly, a ringtone (?) that sounded like cars blowing horns after a soccer game? Go figure. So, good thing we left when we did, we got to University around 10:15 hopped on the subway to Union and then walked over to One Yonge for Illusionarium at 11.

Scotiabank's 25th Contact Photography is taking place around the city.
We passed this one on our way.

Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us, By Us)

No photography allowed "to preserve the secrets"...
Some reviews compared it to Illusions which we saw at the AGO last year.

I think this was overrated and overpriced but somewhat entertaining. It does come across as a little hokey. I think the smaller kids enjoyed it although one little guy had a total meltdown and refused to go into another dark room.

Using 3D projections, life-like holograms and live magicians, ILLUSIONARIUM offers the chance to experience some of the greatest, grand-scale illusions in the world within a physically distanced setting. The first-of-its-kind installation will occupy the third gallery space in the historic Toronto Star printing presses.

Conceived by British high-tech magician Jamie Allen (iMagician), this experiential exhibit blends Jamie’s encyclopedic knowledge of the history of magic with state-of-the-art technology, bringing the illusions of the past into the 21st century. Comprised of a series of a series of four magical rooms, each representing a different era in starting with the 17th century, visitors are guided through ever-evolving styles of magic spanning hundreds of years.

Upon entering ILLUSIONARIUM, visitors are welcomed by renowned illusionists, starting with Harry Houdini and Robert Houdin. Giving audiences a peek behind the curtain, these famous magicians share the essence and fundamentals of magic. The sequence of rooms – PALAIS ROYALE, THE EGYTPTIAN HALL, ON-AIR STUDIOS, and EVO-LUSION HALL – connects via passageways displaying magic artwork and historical artifacts evocative of the time and place in history each room portrays – fully immersing you in the culture and soul of the era.

Cool looking condo building right on the lake.

We're walking along Harbourfront looking for a lunch spot. It is sunny and hot 29 C but the humidity has dropped to about 50% so it is more pleasant than the last few days.

Inspired by Spirographs, Amanda McCavour thought back to her childhood drawing toy as a design guide for this floor mural.

We would usually cross the bridge and were surprised to see this gap.

We settled on Amsterdam, not usually a favourite of mine. But today was a good (first time) experience. Our service was pleasant and efficient and our burgers were great. John even got a gluten free bun but no the onion ring wasn't, so I ate it.

Friday John headed to golf, it was another hot and steamy sunny day.

I headed out to see an exhibit at the Gardiner ceramics museum.

The Gardiner Museum and No.9 Contemporary Art & The Environment have partnered to encourage action on important social and environmental issues, and amplify the work of prominent and emerging BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ identifying artists. Each artist has created poster artwork in both an open edition—a version that can be customized and remixed by you—and an artist edition. The artist editions are now on display in our street-level light box signs.

Civic Engagement and Leadership

Here is a close up of the description.

It was too hot to be bothered walking to Bay and Bloor so I hopped back on the subway, our transit cards allow unlimited travel within a two hour period.

I found a new gluten free white bread at Loblaw's for *GASP* only $3.99! Normally we pay $6-7 a loaf. Hopefully it is good.

I had also bought Schar's sourdough this week $5.99 for 5 slices and John said it was dry, he didn't care for it.


Saturday chicken divan and Caesar salad.

Sunday roast pork, mushy peas, roast potatoes.
I also made apple fritters for breakfast.

Monday shrimps diablo.

Tuesday we had cheeses and crackers after lunch out. We bought these crackers as the only resort at Metro. They were just like Premium crackers, we both loved them. I checked a couple of places on Wednesday and they didn't carry them so I ordered at Amazon as they were the same price as Metro $6.99.

Wednesday I made a stew with beef short ribs and lamb kidney along with vegetables and potatoes.

Thursday we opted for salad and salmon.

Friday air fry steak with mushrooms green peppers and onions. We put the vegetables in for about five minutes and then put the steak on top for about eight minutes (John can correct me on the times).


I started watching PBS Professor T on Prime. It is filmed in Cambridge England, and it makes me want to go there. 
Goodness, I thought I was anal, but the professor is on another level.
There is also a level of black humour. However, by the third episode I have to admit it isn't quite working, different crime same format.

I started watching PBS Manor House series which brings class to reality television. Nineteen volunteers from the modern world find that life of a grand country house in the early 20th century is plagued by all-too familiar themes: money, power and position. I enjoy learning what went into running a house like this. 
The PBS website is full of interesting information providing the job descriptions for each of the servants.
Did you know why they were called footmen? They were paid by how tall they were.
The rules that everyone has to obey. There is a cast of servants as well as the "aristocratic" family upstairs who also have to act and dress as if it is 1906. These young people, playing the servants would never have survived in those times!

We watched and enjoyed  the latest, very short, four episodes of Grace and Frankie.

We also watched the Australian Halifax: Retribution season 1.

A blogger recommended Van der Valk series set in Amsterdam.


I started reading Hairpin Bridge but abandoned it.

Am now reading Shuggie Bain and am loving it. It was the Booker prize 2020 winner. However, it would be a tough read for anyone unfamiliar with Scottish dialect and idioms. Think of a Billy Elliot coming of age story with bleakness and hopelessness of life in the Thatcher era.

On a brighter note I bought a book called Free the Tipple Kickass Cocktails by Iconic Women, with my hero Frida Kahlo on the cover.  

It is written by Jennifer Croll. Beth Fish Reads had mentioned Art Boozel also by Croll a few weeks ago. I did look at the Art Boozel but was drawn (naturally) to the Frida cover.

BTW Dora at Having Coffee with Peppy they have a Virginia Wolff cocktail.

Google images Free the Tipple and you will find many of the recipes and photos.


  1. You have so many lovely outdoor areas in your city! I love the bench with the metal art.

    1. Yes, we do have a lot and the bench is a delightful addition to King St.

  2. Oooh I love the Croll book you got. It has a very similar feel as the one I mentioned. I'm going to have to see if my library has the one you got. Manor House is pretty fascinating. We've got 1900 Island (similar PBS show) on our list. Ha on the Monet venue, but phew that you made it in time for the right place. The exhibit looks stunning. Love the photo of the sailing ship and the timberframe pavilion. We've been self-isolating again as our numbers start to rise again. Sigh.

    1. I knew you would like it. I've never heard of 1900 Island, I will look for it.
      I said to Deb, below, that it is a shame you have to self-isolate due to stupid people.

  3. St James Park looks terrific. A very good effort indeed.
    My classic mistake. I think I know directions or where to be and don't check. It is essential to check things as you get older.
    The Monet exhibition looks very interesting.
    I am wondering if Canadians normally eat mushy peas.

    1. But I hate being wrong, Andrew, as I expect you do too! I will check more closely in future!
      No, Canadians don't eat mushy peas but we do see them on fish and chips menus. Only people with a UK background would. My mother always cooked them and she called them Irish peas.

  4. I love that bench!k It's so lovley. We are supposed to be getting a Van Gogh exhibition here soon, but goodness only knows whether we are going to get the exhibition here or not now. I guess time will tell.

  5. Beyond Monet looks great. Good to know about Benares. I think it's fairly new. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

  6. I enjoy and look forward to your weekly posts, they have become one of my favorites. I always feel like they are a bit of a holiday. The places you visit are always so pretty.

    Here is my link:

    1. Thank you for your kind comments! I popped over and read your post from which I added a couple of books to my TBR list at the library.

  7. A great week for getting out into the world for you, I think. I'm especially taken with the Beyond Monet exhibit. I'd love to see it. Honestly, I'd love to see any sort of art right now. It's been so long since I dared to go into a museum. Thank goodness for your blog!

    I don't think I'll be able to read Shuggie Bain. I've had trouble with books before that were written in dialect. I'm glad you are enjoying it so much, though.

    It's fabulous that you found a great spot to eat Indian food. With the huge upsurge of Covid here, we've settled back into a stay-at-home/outdoors/virtual existence again.

    1. Not all our museums have reopened. I am glad we have such strong distancing/occupancy rules in place at the museums, it makes for a much more pleasant visit.
      We have been watching with dismay as your covid numbers rise. It is infuriating that these selfish covidiots are ruining it for the rest of you. Funny, we have opened the border to US visitors and yet the US hasn't opened their side to us.

  8. I would enjoy Beyond Monet! I think those mirrored circles are beautiful and a genious idea! I love Monet and that doll is so cute!

    I love Chicken Vindaloo and Naan (just not garlic).

    The architecture of the condo is amazing, as is the Spirograph floor!

    What an amazing place to live, I would be taking trips to see the city every chance I got

  9. That Beyond Monet exhibit is gorgeous!! There's been a similar Van Gogh exhibit in various US cities... I would love to see both of them! Glad to hear you're enjoying Shuggie Bain... it's on my very long tbr list. Have a good week.

  10. Wow. I seriously need to visit Toronto someday. LOVE all the photos.

  11. Wonderful photos! I hope to visit Toronto someday--it looks incredible.


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