The weather for the past two months has been unseasonably colder than usual. Last week there were a few warm days that allowed for patio drinking, a Toronto past time. We’ve just about had it with this prolonged winter/spring that doesn’t seem to want to end. At least this morning there was sun, instead of the persistent rain we’ve been enduring throughout April.
So with camera in hand and shoes on my feet, I did what I do best: I walked. And then on my journey I found a $20 bill lying on the ground and I bought brunch with it! This is about the only good luck I’ll ever be afforded so I might as well enjoy this one morsel while it lasts.
Now I think I’ll lie in bed and take a nap. Oh what a sweet life.
Here I am checkin’ out the bodies ’cause the room is full of hotties. Tomorrow is Family Day in Ontario so naturally I checked out the drag show at Woody’s. It was fun! Time for bed. An overly hot Chilean man took this photo of me.
Here is another video of Maude at the cottage.
The Redevelopment of Regent Park is well underway and the area has never looked better. The first phase of the 10 year plan began in 2005 in an effort to spruce up the neighbourhood and to bring an end to its physical isolation from the rest of Toronto. For those of you unfamiliar Regent Park is Canada’s oldest and largest social housing project. According to Wikipedia the average income for Regent Park residents is half the average of the remaining Torontonians. The majority of families in Regent Park are classified as low-income earners. For years Regent Park was ignored and as it began to age, costly repairs were desperately needed. Toronto developed a plan to demolish and rebuild the entire neighbourhood over a 10 year period with a goal of retaining the cultural flavour that belongs to its many diverse inhabitants.
Restaurants and bars are popping up all over the place and one new business of particular interest is the Paint Box Bistro. The staff are hired from the neighbourhood and have trained at George Brown’s culinary program. Their objective is to improve the quality of life for the people in Regent Park, and they offer training, career and business development opportunities, as well as a catering service that targets downtown Toronto.
I had their omelette and it was extremely filling, that I couldn’t even finish it, which is unusual for me, as I tend to scarf down my meals without breathing. It was carefully prepared and delicious.
I’m really enjoying Regent Park, as it’s also in close proximity to Cabbagetown and Riverdale Farm. I would recommend you check out the redevelopment of the neighbourhood and indulge yourself at Paint Box Bistro.
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Kale is all the rage these days!
There’s so much snow falling on the streets of Toronto this morning, and it’s leaving a huge smile on my face. Although it’s cold outside, the snow has a way of making me feel warm, and comforted. I was in Argentina last winter, so I haven’t witnessed a hearty snowstorm in a couple of years. Considering that Canadian winters are getting warmer each year, the snow flakes are a gift from the Universe!!! So naturally I ventured downtown and snapped a few more photographs, and because I’m into black and white, I edited them to reflect my interest!
Oh and here’s a little diddy to get you in the mood too!
For the past two weeks I have had visions of fire. They involved my cat Beenie. As a result, I was trying to spend more time with her because during the holiday season she is often left alone for long periods.
Yesterday morning there was a fire in an east-end Toronto condo building. My building. Beenie’s building. It was contained to a single unit on the sixth floor, and one man died. You can imagine the scene, and to be honest, I was frightened.
Thankfully Beenie is fine, but the tragedy is another reminder of how precious and finite life is. I didn’t know the man who died, perhaps we crossed paths at some point in the past, but I feel bad for his family, especially as we prepare to enter a new year.
Last night Toronto was blanketed by 15 cm of snow. It was a little late for Christmas but welcome nonetheless. I woke up this morning and walked through High Park to take some photographs. I edited them to make them black and white because I like the contrast. It was cold, and I forgot to wear my hat, but I survived. Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy New Year!
Can you spot her?
A typical Toronto street
With umbrella firmly in hand I woke early this morning and ventured to Bloor West Village for coffee and photography. Clearly I’m an amateur, but I’m learning a lot and my skills are developing, albeit slowly. I love the rain so much. It offers an opportunity for self-reflection. Good enough.
Chapters book store near Runnymede
Chapters book store, if you can believe it
Runnymede public library
A nice park
The above photo was taken three summers ago after we had all eaten dinner. We were inside the cottage when one of us recognized a blue heron sitting on the dock reflecting pensively across Balsam Lake.
The sun was beginning to set after a long day, and there stood this beautiful creature. She looked so peaceful. Perhaps she was reflecting on her day, or maybe even her life. Maybe she was a mother, taking a moment for herself before returning to her brood.
Now when I look at this picture my own reflections present themselves to me. Every summer I spend a considerable amount of my leisure time by the water enjoying the tranquil sounds emanating from the lake. My favourite part about cottage life is when the rain swoops down to clean the toxins from the air and nourish the grass back to vitality. The sound of heavy rain drops on the roof — while I close my eyes ready for sleep, dreaming of the approaching day — are comforting memories.
I suppose my dreams and memories are no more valuable than those of the blue heron. After all, we both awake each day and try our best to survive. We both have emotions, and crave affection. We both reflect, and remember fondly on times now past, and wait with bated breath for what the future holds.
Reflection, when we’re open to it, brings harmony.
Photo courtesy of BlogTO
Today Toronto’s disappointing mayor was removed from office over a conflict of interest. Good riddance. In the past two years since his election Rob Ford has courted mostly controversy, and limited success. He is the first and only mayor in Toronto’s history to be evicted from office, and I’m happy to see the end of his buffoonery and public embarrassments. He ran a campaign of “transparency” but when elected refused to answer reporters’ questions or make his weekly schedule available to the public, something every mayor before him had no problem with doing. What was he hiding? The fact that he wasn’t doing his job because he was too busy coaching high school football.
You might wonder how someone with his lack of skills was able to assume the highest office in Canada’s largest city. Well folks it’s not that hard, and in fact, from my experience working in the public sector, people like him are often rewarded for their underhanded and deceitful practises. With no self-awareness and the mind of a child, the sky is the limit.
So in honour of the best day ever, I have developed Rob Ford’s guide to success… and failure. Obvs.
1. Be born into a wealthy family.
2. Have below average intelligence.
3. Assume that because you are rich you are free to do whatever it is you please.
4. Don’t read.
5. Have only one interest. In Rob Ford’s case, football.
6. Lie when caught doing something wrong. When irrefutable evidence is presented that you are in fact lying, provide a back-handed apology.
7. Have your brother do your job for you. He’s smarter anyway.
8. When backed into a corner, or having a discussion with someone who disagrees with you, play dirty. Real dirty. Have no shame in assassinating their character by any means necessary.
9. If anyone challenges you, have them fired.
10. Believe you’re a dictator, stop talking to media reporters and convince some mediocre radio station to give you a show where you can spew your propaganda.
11. Never complete a full sentence.
12. When asked questions that you find difficult, blame the person asking and call him/her an “elitist.”
13. Continue to run on a platform that you’re going to clean up City Hall. Citizens love to hear that you’re going to take on the corrupted. This way you distract the public from the realities of your own corruption.
14. Take no accountability or responsibility for your actions.
15. Ensure that your only friends are high school football players and skip all your meetings to hang out with them. They’re so cool!
16. Publicly make disparaging comments about ethnic, gay, physically active and disabled people. Don’t support any of the causes that they find important.
17. Shun inclusiveness. Maintain a clear message that everyone should be just like you.
18. Run a reelection campaign with 2.5 years left in your first term. It’s not going well anyway, and your colleagues refuse to listen to you.
19. Under no circumstances listen to your peers and build consensus with your colleagues. It makes you look weak.
20. Get fired when all the above tactics become tiresome.
Good-bye Robby, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Oh yeah, and thanks for this doofus: