Monday, January 30, 2023

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.
My Corner of the World

The Yorkville Fire Hall, today known as ‪Toronto Fire Station 312‬ - photo below taken 2008.
The parking lot is gone, replaced by a park and the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences.

“In the early 19th century, individual citizens were responsible for firefighting. Each house was required by law to have two leather buckets and two ladders to reach burning roofs. The “bucket brigades” drew water from Lake Ontario or water tanks. The bells of St. James Cathedral were used to raise the fire alarm.

The Toronto Fire Brigade was created in 1826 with volunteers who raced to fires pulling hand-pumped engines equipped with hand-sewn leather hoses. Carters hauled water in large casks. Members of the first Hook and Ladder company, created in 1831, accessed upper storeys and roofs and used long pike poles to pull down burning buildings.

The arrival of steam-powered engines drawn by horses in the 1860s as well as rubber hoses encased in woven cotton improved firefighting. In 1871, the city installed its first fire alarm system with call boxes located throughout Toronto.

In 1874, as Toronto continued to expand, the city established its first professional fire service.” Heritage Toronto 2019.

1952 – Fire Station No. 10, known today as Toronto Fire Station 312, is located at 34 Yorkville Ave (Toronto Public Library R-1899)

1975 – Reopening day of Fire Station No. 10 after the restoration and addition was completed. Today it’s known as Toronto Fire Station 312 (City of Toronto Archives, Series 61, File 283, Item 1)

These photos taken 2019.

The hose tower dates back to 1876 and was designed by architects Herbert Hancock and Samuel Townsend.

Yorkville had a beautiful High Victorian-style town hall on the west side of Yonge St at Collier St. In 1941, that building was destroyed by fire, but the town hall’s clock and Coat of Arms were saved. The clock was transferred to the fire hall tower, while the Coat of Arms was added to the building’s front.

The crest is made of carved stone and features a beaver atop five symbols and letters that represent the town’s first councillors’ occupations, along with the first initial of their last names:
Bull and the letter H: butcher, Peter Hutty
Barrel and the letter S: brewer, John Severn
Brick and the letter A: brickmaker, Thomas Atkinson
Plane and the letter D: carpenter, James Dobson (the first Reeve)
Anvil and the letter W: blacksmith, James Wallis

1907 – Yorkville Town Hall was once located on the west side of Yonge St opposite Collier St in the Yorkville neighbourhood of Toronto. When the building was destroyed by fire, the surviving clock and Coat of Arms were relocated to what we know today as Toronto Fire Station 312‬ (Toronto Public Library R-6634)

Signs 2

Amid the modern luxury condominiums and trendy shops that have come to shape contemporary Yorkville, remnants of the neighbourhood's rich musical history lie embedded in the streetscape. Some of the buildings which housed the over 40 clubs and coffee houses that featured nightly performances in the 1960s and 1970s survived Yorkville's transition from a bohemian counterculture community into a hub of high-end retail.

Beginning in the early 1960s, old Victorian rooming houses in Yorkville were converted into "coffee houses" where patrons chatted, sipped on cappuccinos and espressos, ate snacks like apple strudel and bowls of chili or soup, inhaled both legal and illegal kinds of smoke and enjoyed the most popular offerings of Canadian folk singer-songwriters such as Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Ian and Sylvia and the early offerings of Neil Young.
The coffee houses did not have a liquor license. They were permitted to stay open well into the night and served a mixed clientele from locals to late night arrivals of people stumbling out of bars to the "weekenders" who came from the suburbs to be a part of the scene and see for themselves what the hippies were all about.

The Riverboat was perhaps the most notable of the Yorkville coffee houses. The Riverboat was opened by former coffee wholesaler Bernie Fielder and his wife, Patty in December 1964. At the beginning of Yorkville's folk scene, Bernie and his wife worked at a coffee house called The Mousehole, which was described as "charming and decidedly hip" but too small to suit this emerging scene, seating only 60 patrons. The Fielders realized the need for a larger venue and they spent 10,000$ in renovations to transform an old Victorian rowhouse into a premiere folk venue. It sat 120 people and which would go on to be hailed as "the Cadillac of coffee houses" by Canadian folk musician Murray McLaughlin.


The Penny Farthing, which opened in 1963 and served as a stomping ground for Joni Mitchell. Leonard Cohen's roots can be traced back to this venue as well, where his songs were debuted by the band The Stormy Clovers in 1966. The coffee house at 112 Yorkville featured a backyard patio complete with a swimming pool and bikini-clad waitresses. The Penny Farthing opened in late 1963 and closed in late 1968. It was run by husband and wife John and Marilyn McHugh, who arrived in Toronto from England in the 1950s. They previously ran the smaller coffee house called The Half-Beat but like the Fielders, opted for a larger property to capitalize on the popularity of the coffee house in Yorkville. The namesake of the venue was influenced by its former status as a grand old Victorian house, with the penny farthing bicycle serving as a symbol of the Victorian era. Nevertheless, not many people grasped this concept as the coffee shop received many letters addressed to a "Ms. Penny Farthing".

Folk singers on the steps of the Penny Farthing Coffehouse
Image of seven musicians posing on the stoop of the Penny Farthing coffee house in Yorkville. The frontmost man holds onto a guitar case.
Source: Toronto Telegram

The Purple Onion, opened in 1960, proved to be one of Yorkville's most successful folk music coffee houses. The venue hosted acts from comedian Rich Little, Carly Simon, and The Travellers. Local favourites Luke & The Apostles, and Gordon Lightfoot frequently played at The Purple Onion.

Purple Onion Coffee House
Image of the exterior of the Purple Onion coffee house in Yorkville, Toronto. A poster indicates Val Pringle is performing.
Source: Toronto Telegram

Founded in 1959, Eastern Sound was a renowned Yorkville recording studio that attracted many prominent Canadian and international musicians at a time when the neighbourhood was the heart of Toronto's counter-culture movement.

Located on this site in two Victorian bay-and-gable homes, Eastern Sound recorded the music of performers such as Cat Stevens, Isaac Hayes, Anne Murray, Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLaughlin, and Ian Thomas, as well as Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon at the height of their fame in the 1960s and 1970s.

Toronto holding company Manoir Industries purchased the studio in 1969 and invested in the latest equipment. Eastern Sound became one of the first studios in Canada to have a console capable of recording up to 48 tracks at a time. Elton John recorded his album Blue Moves here in 1976.

After changing owners several times, Eastern Sound studio merged with Manta Sound, forming Manta Eastern Sound. The studio here closed in 1991 and the buildings were later demolished.

Monday Mural

I'm linking up at Monday Mural

January 2019 - Mazatlán Mexico


I thought for fun, that I would reverse post my Monday Murals starting with the very first one I posted on March 18 2013.

This gorgeous mural was found last week in Cottonwood historical district.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Black (or words beginning or ending black e.g. blacksmith, blackboard, bootblack…)

 One Word Sunday

BLACKBOARD - 2022 Toronto King St. West

BLACKBERRY 2009 Toronto ON

BOOTBLACK Mazatlan Mexico

My Recipe Box - Caesar Dressing

 January 2023 - Toronto ON

February 2015 - Singapore

We love this Caesar dressing that doesn't involve raw eggs. I usually use cheddar cheese as stated, but I had the bright idea the other day (I hadn't made it in ages) of throwing some parmesan cheese into the blender, not a good idea! The food processor could not chop up the hard cheese. Grate it first!

½ clove of garlic
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard/Dijon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tinned sardine fillet /anchovy, optional
40 g Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons oil
100 g natural yoghurt
1 lemon

Peel the garlic and place in a small food processor or blender. Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and sardine fillet/anchovy, if using, then grate in the cheese. Add the oil and the yoghurt, then blitz until smooth, season with lemon juice and black pepper. Pour into a bowl and is ready to serve.

Chai and Samosa

  Linking up at Marg at The Intrepid Reader

January 2023 - Toronto ON

January 2023 - Brookfield Place Toronto ON

Saturday morning we relaxed as usual. Fruit for breakfast and bacon and tomato sandwiches for lunch.
I got everything set up for John to make a third loaf of the bread we like, knowing now what we do about our oven we tried using the bottom oven of our dual oven. We also proofed it in the air fryer as it has a proofing feature.
John commented after watching the video "that he deserved a degree after following those instructions", so I made him one.

My friend who moved to a retirement home, called as she was in her condo (closing day) and asked if I wanted her plant stand that I liked, so John scooted down and picked it up.

Sunday I did some Lunar New Year posts with photos from Singapore.

Sunday snowflakes around 1:30!!! And just a dusting, again.

Monday Mural was from Queen West last week.

John took some photos while out on Monday.

We have been having ice cream after dinner (John bought 4 last week), don't judge us, but we eat it out of the carton! I had an AHA moment and asked him to put it in a coffee mug so we are not freezing our hands off!

Tuesday I went downtown to take advantage of Rexall's (drug store) seniors' discount on Tuesdays. I also had $10 on my loyalty card that I cashed in.
When I got off the bus I noticed that the Royal Bank had a Lunar New Year Rabbit on top.

I was hoping for more Lunar decorations but I only saw this at the LCBO.

Walking by the Hockey Hall of Fame.

BTW we are being warned about a huge snowstorm today. It is called a Texas Low and coming up to us through the States.

Well, that was another non-event for us!

The kitchen guy brought his cabinet maker to do measurements. He had done an initial drawing suggesting moving the fridge, good idea but it would cut into my counter I like to use, so no to that. He will move the sink so that we have a little more room. The OTR microwave will be raised to follow the line of the upper cabinets.

We decided the dishwasher stays in the same place. 
Next steps: final drawing for approval, visit showroom to select materials, condo paperwork, schedule.

I decided to tidy up the bathroom cabinets. I wanted to put all the cold/flu items in one basket. Some pain medications are in short supply so I have been stocking up.
It's amazing what you discover while cleaning, I found I do not need a trip to Bed and Bath Works for hand soaps or air fresheners!

I had some golden pothos rooting forever in water and finally planted it into another pothos planter, it now looks much fuller.

I am also thinking about the kitchen redo and what I can rearrange. So far I have moved the slow cooker to cupboard under sink, that is the side of the kitchen that I usually use it on.
The breadmaker wouldn't fit on that side, it is too tall.

I spent time cleaning out the stationery basket, threw out pens, junk, envelopes  and consolidated everything into the desk (will sort that later)! I also found a bunch of keys that I have no idea what they are for, but just in case...note to self in sewing table drawers. Do I need to save elastic bands??
I then used the basket to store the tea towels in the kitchen.

John did a run to the butcher shop on Bloor for steaks and pork chops and picked up vegetables at a local store.

Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day so I did a post on some holocaust museums we have visited.


Saturday roast pork, roast potatoes, oven roasted broccolini and a real mish mash of leftover vegetables, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and turnips with garlic butter.

Sunday is Lunar New Year so I made moo shu pork with the leftover pork on lettuce leaves.

Monday I made a pot of pea soup for during the week.
Smash burgers aka hamburgers and potato salad. Smash burgers are smaller patties that are made by smashing the meat patty down on the grill. This creates a crispy outer crust while keeping the center of the burger juicy and moist. Instead of making two patties I made four.

Tuesday when I got home I felt like making gluten free cheese danish with lemon curd. I adjusted a recipe to my liking and added it to my recipe box. Recipe says to make 10, I got 12 and I would even make them smaller and flatter so that you could put more filling on them.

Wednesday ham and au gratin cauli potatoes.

I baked a favourite of John's, he made the topping, blueberry breakfast crunch cake.

Thursday last night's leftovers with beets.

Friday I made a batch of ham salad for my lunch and extra for the weekend, using this recipe from my recipe box (added today!) 
Steaks, lazy loaded baked potato and chimichurri.



We are going to try and watch as many of the Oscar nominations as we can before the awards, it makes it a lot more fun.
So this week we watched Everything Everywhere All At Once
We have already seen:
Banshees of Inisherin
Top Gun - Maverick


I watched a Prime series Whitechapel. It is a British police procedural in which detectives in London's Whitechapel district deal with murders which replicated historical crimes. The first series  depicted the search for a modern copycat killer replicating the murders of Jack the Ripper.
A second series depicted murders focused on the Kray twins. The third season is broken into 3 separate 2-part stories.

We watched The Iron Lady (2011) starring Meryl Streep. We had both thought we had seen this but it didn't ring any bells for us.
Streep does a fantastic job of playing the former prime minister of the U.K. at the height of her power and later as an elderly woman. There is a lot of use of flashbacks and we see the formidable woman become vulnerable with age.
However, just as in The Crown, it does not dive into the controversial issues, they merely mention them. For example, 10 Irish hunger strikers protesting Thatcher’s policy in Northern Ireland died in 1981. There is scant coverage in either.
While there are some images of violence as protesters clash with police and some surround Thatcher’s car, there is no strong analysis of her policies, again particularly with regard the coal miners.
The Princess - Princess Diana's story is told exclusively through contemporaneous archive creating a bold and immersive narrative of her life and death. It also illuminates how the public's attitude to the monarchy was, and still is. This was good as there was no added contextualizing text or talking heads. The media footage speaks for itself, as do Princess Diana and Prince Charles themselves.

The Raid: Redemption is a 2011Indonesian action thriller film. In the film, an elite squad is tasked to infiltrate a high-rise building run by a ruthless drug lord in the slums of Jakarta; among them is Rama (played by Uwais), a veteran member of the team. More John's cup of tea, than mine, I'll skip the sequel.

Vault is a 2019 American crime thriller film It was released on June 7, 2019. It is based on the Bonded Vault heist in 1975 in Rhode Island.
Two small-time criminals and longtime friends, as Deuce (Theo Rossi) and Chucky (Clive Standen), graduate from robbing pawn shops and jewelry stores and become involved in a plan to rob a mafia vault.
This was my kind of movie, we both enjoyed it.

Fauda (Hebrew: פאודה, from Arabic: فوضى fawḍā, meaning "chaos") is an Israeli television series The series premiered on February 15, 2015. It tells the story of Doron, a commander in the Mista'arvim unit and his team; in the first season, they pursue a Hamas arch-terrorist known as "The Panther".
The second season premiered on December 31, 2017. The third season takes place in the Gaza Strip and was aired in 2019 and 2020. 
We had watched this back on 2020 but since season 4 is now airing, we decided to binge watch the whole series.


Very little reading done, still on The Palace Papers!

I did read a bunch of gluten free bread making posts and cookbooks.