Archives: toronto

spadina station

There have been many Toronto visits the past month.

Last weekend I headed into the city to meet with my friend Vern, to check out City of Craft, and to show my support for the Day of Action rally at Queen’s Park (my first rally ever!).

I didn’t take a lot of pictures this visit.  But one picture I did manage to snap was this one of Spadina station.  I love how a lot of the subway stations in Toronto still look so retro.  I particularly like the contrast of this red bench against the rusty yellow honeycomb-esque tiles.

spadina station, toronto, ontario

I’m looking forward to sticking around Hamilton for the next few weekends with tons of stuff going on like Canada’s largest food truck rally on Ottawa Street, The Brain’s Deep Groove Record Swap, Lee Fields‘ funk show at This Ain’t HollywoodDoors Open, and Steve’s art opening at b contemporary (for the May artcrawl).

the old haunt

On a weekend visit to Toronto to meet up with some old friends I happened by my old neighbourhood and stopped for some coffee and treats.

Eight years ago when I had just moved back to Canada from Japan, I remember taking a photo of this corner.  It was an old portrait studio from the 50′s that was closing down (sorry I couldn’t find the photo).  Now it is home to the super minimal and swish Nadège patisserie at Queen West and Gore in Toronto (next to Trinity Bellwoods Park).

nadege patisserie, 780 queen st. west toronto

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the hunt for a good croissant or pain au chocolat.  In a city the size of Toronto you think this would be easy, but in fact a good croissant can be surprisingly hard to come by.  My go to place was always Clafouti, and now (well it’s been there for a while) just a stone throw away from their café I can add Nadège to the list of satisfactory places to find delectable croissants among other delicate and delicious confectionaries.

nadege patisserie, 780 queen st. west toronto

nadege patisserie, 780 queen st. west toronto

nadege patisserie, 780 queen st. west toronto

My friend sampled a chocolate, caramel mousse creation, and I tried my first macaron -old-fashioned marshmallow and a salted caramel, which was amazing!

nadege patisserie, 780 queen st. west toronto

In addition to sweets Nadège had a full lunch menu with sandwiches, fresh soups, salads and the like.  I couldn’t help eyeing the table next to ours, with their delicious home-cooked vegetable soup!  If you’re looking for a light and quick lunch with a bit of class this is a perfect park-side stop.

I love the occasional weekend trip to Toronto.  It’s never as far as I think, and always good to see old friends and visit new places.

when we was young

Back when we were young(er -ahem), Steve and I lived in a very old storefront building on Queen West at Ossington in Toronto.  It was in truth a bit of a ram shackle dive but we liked it, the rent was cheap, and we had no lease!  It was a 2 bedroomer and had a giant urban rooftop.  The master bedroom was huge and doubled as my workspace, and the 2nd bedroom operated as Steve’s studio.  We threw some legendary parties in that apartment for many a year, and Steve along with the art collective A Collection of Foreign Objects even had an art show in the temporarily vacant apartment below us.

Looking back I can’t believe that we lived there for 4 years! We saw the neighbourhood go from dodgy to mega hipster.  We moved to Hamilton just in time to miss the Ossington super explosion of gentrification and boy am I glad we got out of there when we did.  Queen Street was getting progressively rowdier and the local watering holes were no longer really servicing the locals. I couldn’t be bothered to wait in line ups, compete for taxis or navigate through crowds of overpacked swassy bars.  Don’t get me wrong I still think it is a great area and I still love going back to visit to check out all the new places that are continuing to pop up on that strip and beyond.  However, I do have to say that I really adore where we live now. Hamilton, I have no regrets!

seema narula, queen st. west, toronto

Walking down the old 'hood back in winter of 2006.

Fluorescent green kitchen. Note the tape collection. Awwe I kinda miss our eating nook.


edible garden

I love that Hamilton’s City Hall has an edible garden.  Purple cabbage, kale, parsley, and Swiss chard fill the garden beds out front of the shiny new refurbished City Hall.

Hamilton, city hall, exterior, edible garden

Hamilton, city hall, garden, cabbage heads, cabbage patch

After passing the cabbage patch out front of Hamilton’s City Hall, I biked past a small splatter of chalk messages to the late Jack Layton on the sidewalk.  It was a very sweet tribute to Jack from local Hamiltonians.  Still, nothing can compare to the overwhelming and touching response to the recent passing of NDP leader Jack Layton in front of City Hall in Toronto.

Remembering Jack Layton at Nathan Phillips Square

Crowds gather in front of Toronto City Hall, Nathan Philips Square, to read chalk drawn messages dedicated to Jack Layton.


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This past weekend we hit our first wedding of four five.  The happy couple greeted their guests to dinner with an absolutely fabulous tap dance to Harry Connick Junior’s It Had To Be You.  It was in Toronto by the lake.  The view looking out onto the water was still and pretty.

swan, Lake Ontario

fishing boats, Lake Ontario

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