Toronto’s Harbourfront

Yesterday I had lunch with Sheila who I met last spring in San Francisco at the Betzina Sewing Retreat. We were supposed to have spent a week together sewing again beginning of April, but I was hit with norovirus and couldn’t go. 

She lives in a high rise building in the Distillery District on the Toronto waterfront. Imagine sipping coffee on your balcony enjoying this view:

This is the Toronto working harbour – the terminus for the lake barges and occasional ships that come through the St. Lawrence:

Behind this high rise is the site of the recent Pan Am Games:

We wandered the Distillery a district – had lunch, window shopped, dropped into some of Sheila’s favourite stores including this one (didn’t record the name) – every pair of shoes here looked like it had come from the Shoe Museum:

Last we stopped at a coffee shop for some dessert and sat outside enjoying the warm spring afternoon. We won’t have window boxes like this in Halifax for another three weeks!
We had a lovely visit and both of us are looking forward to next April in San Francisco and another Betzina Sewing Retreat.

Whiling Away The Time

It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on because of the screen on the window, but below me, in the hotel parking lot, three drivers are passing time with a game of backgammon! Other drivers join to kibbitz. This looks like a serious game. A good way to fill time on a glorious sunny spring day (that isn’t too hot).

The Bata Shoe Museum

It’s been there for 20 years but I’d never visited. After lunch Karen asked where I wanted to go. Our ultimate destination was her grandson’s daycare – her day to pick him up. So I suggested we visit the shoe museum which was near the daycare.

The hanging stained glass “shoes” in the foyer catch your attention immediately.

There was an interesting exhibit of the hazards of shoe manufacture to both maker and wearer – hazardous dyes, for example.

Irresistible to a tennis fan: Roger Federer has larger feet than I thought – larger than Bjorn Borg’s. This pair Federer wore at the French Open – you can see the clay embedded in the shoes clearly.

Sandals worn by Pierre Trudeau, toe slippers worn by one of the National Ballet’s ballerinas in the role of Cinderella – replete with “jewels”.Shoes belonging to Marilyn Munro and Elizabeth Taylor – I remember owning shoes just like these.

The shoe timeline exhibit from the earliest foot protection (found in archeological excavations) to contemporary – a must see. A museum devoted to shoes? Absolutely. Shoes reveal a lot about human culture. The Museum is definitely worth a visit. Put it on your list for the next time you’re in Toronto.

Visiting Toronto

I’m in Toronto visiting friends and family for the next several days.

Today Maxine (friend) and I took a trip downtown to visit the AGO (art gallery) to view the Outsiders – an exhibition of photos of the 60s, 70s, 80s by iconic American photographers. Very strong images. We also had an interesting tour of the gallery – the docent focused on a dozen or so paintings from the 1300s to a couple of contemporary pieces, deconstructing the content and composition of the works. I don’t know here background but she was most knowledgeable. We also had a very tasty lunch there.

However, it was Dundas St. that made me bring out my camera:

Maxine and I were returning to the car, walking past what I think is the Italian Consulate (across the street from the gallery), she commented on how ugly the dandelions were. My reaction was the opposite – I thought the profusion of golden flowers was lovely! Imagine this display in the sunshine.

The gallery is in the heart of Chinatown:

I used to visit Chinatown when I lived in Toronto but it’s become much more densely “Chinese” in the intervening 40 years – block after block of small shops and restaurants tightly packed.

All in all a great day.

Quintessential Toronto

My nephew and his gang and I attended the TSO (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) Saturday afternoon a week ago. We took the subway from the northern-most end to Dundas Street and back – the best part of our adventure as far as Charlie (age 4) was concerned. The concert (The Science Of The Symphony – a one-hour program for kids) was well put together and the two older boys enjoyed the music.

As we were leaving Roy Thompson Hall I turned back and captured the CN tower framed by two tall buildings with RTH in the foreground.

How more Toronto than that can you get?

Two Photos

I’m not usually one for taking photos from plane windows (because I prefer an aisle seat to a window seat) but today because I had a window seat I got two images worth sharing.

Leaving San Francisco – I couldn’t resist trying to capture the deep blue of the clear sky with the fog over the bay.
  Arriving in Toronto I was amazed by the extent of the ice along the shore of Lake Ontario (and the frost on the window itself)!