Saturday, September 11, 2021

Village Square

September 2021 - Toronto ON

September 2021 Port Stanley ON

Things are slowly getting back to "normal". Our shuttle bus returns to the regular schedule before March 2020. Our two buses are back in service and we now have service from 6:30 AM to 9 PM.

We have a federal election looming in a couple of weeks. We can vote by mail and I think we will, although they always set up a voting station in our building.

The main candidates. I will be voting Liberal Justin Trudeau. Guy in the middle is old white rich guy who would fit right in in Texas. 

Labour Day long weekend and the air show is on. It was cancelled last year due to Covid but we had watched it from our rooftop in 2019 and took lots of photos click here. A favourite.

Monday we were woken around 6 AM by thunder and lightening but by the time we were on the road it was a gorgeous sunny day. We had booked a night in Port Stanley on the shores of Lake Erie.

We'd seen this guy walking up Talbot St. when we entered town and he appeared as we were having lunch.

Many places around this area had gluten free options which was great. 

We wanted to find the rest of the murals that we had given up on last time due to the heat. Another Jumbo mural at the Railway City Brewery.

Just a note that we were booking for Labour Day Monday.

Our room at Inn on the Harbour in Port Stanley. One of my pet peeves, only one bedside table, never mind how close the bed was to the wall. The outside patio was very nice, overlooking the water. It did have air conditioning, a fire place, fridge, coffee maker (no coffee) and microwave. It also had, to my annoyance, two bureaux (chest of drawers) that were totally redundant and served no purpose except to clutter the room.

I had wanted to stay at the Windjammer Inn based on a blog written by Lauren in July. It is the most expensive place to stay in town. Their website doesn't take reservations *SIGH* so I had to phone and was told, very curtly, she wasn't taken bookings for Monday!
Plan B the Kettle Creek Inn looked like a good choice, I saw that they didn't do dinner on Mondays, but sent them a note asking if they did breakfast and the response was "we do a modified continental breakfast, delivered to your room the night before, and there is a coffee maker in the room"...

So on to Plan C, Inn on the Harbour, didn't offer any food, fine.

The Inn in the middle.

Took a walk to the beach on Lake Erie. 

Beach town, long weekend, gorgeous weather shouldn't be a problem finding somewhere to eat. So Lo, one of only two "finer" dining was across the street, but fully booked for the evening. 
Two Forks looked inviting, no reservations, first come first served, closed at 9.
At least five 5!! casual places in town weren't open on Monday!

Long weekend, LCBO (Liquor Board of Ontario) is closed. Must be somewhere to get a bottle of wine and relax on our deck...asked the women at the desk, no wine store in the town. I said we were thinking of getting cheeses and eating in our room. We like doing that. So they suggested we drive 15 minutes into St. Thomas to the Great Canadian Superstore and we could find everything. Perfect! As we are hopping into the car, one of them also suggested GT's on the beach.
Off we went, empty parking lot...

How could 4 of us forget?? It is LABOUR DAY, everything is closed.

Oh well back to hotel.
Around 7 we walked to GT's On the Beach, and it was a good solution. 

Since we are sitting on Lake Erie, we order Lake Erie yellow pickerel and perch.

Delightful server, Jazmin, average food, could have been hotter, great setting, all is good.

The food saga continues. We had walked by a couple of coffee shops on the way back and noticed the opening times and I said I would get up first and go and get us coffee and a treat (one place even had gluten free options). We both slept in until 9:30 so we headed out together. First place CLOSED. Second place CLOSED. Now we are ticked off head back to hotel and check out. As we pull out we see a woman with a coffee take- out. Hey!! There must be somewhere, sure enough, across the street from the closed places is Art and Soul Cafe, we park and get coffee and pastries.

Fortified we headed back to a market we had passed and picked up all local produce. Corn on the cob, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, new baby potatoes, onions red and cooking, garlic, apples, peppers.

Sparta Tea Room does proper afternoon teas.

Big enough??

A few weeks ago we had been foiled by a construction detour that led us in circles trying to find this winery.

We did a tasting, 3 for $5 and if you bought 6 bottles you received two wine glasses ($7 each). So we bought 6 (not the crappy wine!) and the cost of the tasting is deferred as well.

Next stop Port Dover also on Lake Erie. We had been here in 2014 with friends.

John, waiting for our lunch at Willie's, who also offered gluten free options.

I guess she got tired of waiting.

Wednesday was John's weekly golf game and I headed downtown.

New banners went up outside Union celebrating the 100th anniversary of the TTC Toronto Transit Commission.

I went to St. Lawrence Market to pick up 3 things. The new north market building getting there. The North Market building was underutilized and did not maximize the full potential of the St. Lawrence Market Complex. The redevelopment of the North Market building will improve the utility of the St. Lawrence Market Complex for vendors, visitors and shoppers, while contributing to the economic development of the area. You can see the artist rendering here.

The North Market was primarily known for its Saturday Farmers' Market, a tradition begun on this site in 1803 and continues today but in a temporary structure south of the south building, as the producers of Southern Ontario bring their seasonal produce to market in the city.
This photo was taken in 2011.

Three items morphed into more. Baking potatoes at Longo's 1.99 a pound, Loblaw's 2.50 and the market 0.79. 

Thursday we were up early to head to friends' cottage in Niagara on the Lake. We were smirking as we went west as traffic was horrific going into Toronto.  Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say a truck fire closed lanes of the QEW in Burlington for hours on Thursday morning.
Commuters were impacted by a road closure after a load of batteries on a tractor-trailer caught fire. Police say the incident was called in around 3:30 a.m. and led to the shutdown of the highway between North Shore Boulevard and the 403 for a cleanup and investigation. And right behind that there was another accident. Nothing was moving anywhere in Hamilton as people tried to get around this.

The guys went golfing and my BFF and I got caught up and went shopping at the outlets.. We haven't seen each other since the spring and only once last year (after March). After we had lunch at the outlets the skies opened and it poured. The guys were soaked through and didn't manage to play their last holes.
After some snacks and a drink we headed home. Estimated travel time 1.5 hours. Well, we weren't laughing as we approached the scene of the accident and the radio and signs were saying "2 right lanes closed" and the cars were backed up to Centennial parkway. We got off and cut through Hamilton to the 403, it was bumper to bumper in Hamilton as others had the same idea. We decided to take the toll road 407 which is never busy but it does take us quite far north so we got off at Dundas St. and came across that way. Our trip home ended up being 2.5 hours. They hoped to have it cleaned up by morning.

Friday home.


I'm still watching Downton Abbey. John watched SAS Red Notice.

We're both watching Fauda, an Israeli series. 

And War of the Worlds.


Saturday John suggested chicken Caesar salad.

Sunday crispy parmesan haddock  and fries with salad

Monday Port Stanley perch and pickerel - photo above.

Tuesday corn on the cob from the market. Delicious!

Wednesday corn on the cob and poutine, with homemade gravy.

Thursday doner kebab kebabs  tomato and salami sandwiches.

Friday steak broccolini and baked potato.


There are some excellent book suggestions in this week's NOW Toronto magazine.
I've listed a few (not all) that jumped out at me.
I've added Red X, Dante's Indiana, The Moment
Misfits, Hunting by Stars, I couldn't find at the library.
Guy Vanderhaege's August into Winter wasn't at the library and many of his other books were so I added Homesick to my TBR list as I have never read him.
Katherena Vermette's The Strangers also wasn't there but I marked The Break.

On my laptop - Year of No Clutter interesting read, I would say she was a hoarder!

On my phone - Not a Happy Family not a bad read, but not great BUT I loved the ending.
Started reading Good Company.


  1. Despite the glitches, sounds like a nice trip. I grew up sailing and fishing in Lake Erie -- lake perch is soooooo good. I've marked down some of the books you listed. Most are new to me.

  2. Your saga of trying to find food on a holiday is pretty hair-raising! I would hate to have that experience.
    Good that it worked out in the end!

    best…. mae at

  3. Street preachers are among the many reasons I want nothing to do with organized religion.

  4. I too would vote for Trudeau but Singh might tempt me, as would perhaps Paul.

    Port Stanley looks like a very nice place to visit. Train Rides!

    With many visitors I would have thought it would be a good day for shops and cafes to be open and make good money.

    We have never paid for a wine tasting and guilt leads us to invariably buying a bottle of something.

  5. I would also vote for Justin Trudeau.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  6. A night away sounds perfect but I can see why it would have been frustrating! It does look like a lovely place to visit though.

  7. What a frustrating trip. I read your tale of woe with trepidation as we are planning a road trip to Chicago this Wednesday. Will be face so many closed places? It makes me worry.

    Ah, Texas. I used to be so proud of our state. Key words: "used to." Is it too late to look for a new home?

    I will look for War of the Worlds. I loved the old movie. Curious about this version.

    1. So many places have closed and the others are finding it so hard to find staff these days.

  8. Living in a tiny Arkansas town, I feel your searching for food on a holiday pain every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and holidays. And in the summer restaurants take a full week's vacation! Since people COME here for summer lake and river activities, I don't understand why you would close down with all those potential customers, but, whatever.

    Other than that and the traffic getting home that one day, it sounds like a wonderful time.

    I love that you can see the air show from your own building! I've always wanted to see one but didn't want to drive and deal with the crowds. That picture is incredible.

    1. I agree they only get tourists in the summer and since they had to close down for months during the lockdown you think they would want to make some money.
      Come visit next air show and you can watch it from here!

  9. Glad you got a lot of fresh produce from the market in spite of the food saga. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.


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