Berczy, Bard, Bouvier!

This week, close and Kensington!
But first, about last week:

The recent official unveiling of Claude Cormier’s dog fountain, in Berczy Park, was not the only reason for our walk south to the Gooderham flat-iron building, and its little triangular parkette. But really: what a fountain! I’ll let the photos speak for that, and heartily recommend that you visit in person, sometime. It’s delightful. (Cormier also designed Sugar Beach, and has plans in the works for a cat-themed park, next. Not sure whether that one will include a fountain, but I hear that there will be mice.)

But our main goal this past Sunday was to enjoy a little Shakespeare in the great summer outdoors. And enjoy, we did! The Two Gentlewomen of Verona, presented by Dauntless City Theatre, was terrific! My favourite character was, of course, “Crab” – the dog! It stands to reason, too, then, that my favourite actor was Starbuck… the adorable rat terrier who played Crab, sporting a jaunty pink micro-cowboy hat. She carried her scenes well, and even stood up for some extra attention.

The rest of the cast? Also quite fine! We really had fun, and enjoyed this adaptation of the play, despite the heat… which increased as we wandered the little park, following the action and the music. (And the dog!!! Don’t forget the dog!)

The play included a gender switch, became quite contemporary, used the space well, and and occasionally enlisted the fountain into the action, too. (The water was turned off, to make the play more audible, and the handsome Bouvier de Flandres became a chair!)

Anyway, we had a great time. Made some interesting stops on the way there and back, too. Have a look:

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, August 27, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 10:00. A LATE START! Let’s go to Kensington Market. It’s the last Sunday of the month and the Pedestrian Sunday wander can really be fun. This choice will keep our morning fairly compact. Unless you want to stay and shop or have lunch or visit every possible spot there! (All good!) Anyway, let’s go and enjoy. I’m all for some tasty snacks, iced tea, maybe some street music. The Kensington Market Art Fair should offer some great things for our admiration, too. The event actually starts at noon, so plan accordingly. But we’ll leave the Y at 10, and arrive around 11, to watch it all getting ready. You can decide how long you’d like to stay.

The forecast is sunny. Bring a hat!

COMING RIGHT UP:

What about visiting The McMichael Collection, in Kleinburg? Let’s talk about this. There’s a cost. But there’s also a reasonable bus-trip there, from downtown TO. We’d each bring a picnic and enjoy a couple of the exhibitions and a walk on the trails, too. It’s a day-long commitment (leave the Y at 9:30, bus to Kleinburg at 10:30, leave McMichael for downtown at 4:30… ). This would be wonderful. Please let me know your thoughts. (The bus trip is offered all summer, until October, and people would need to book in advance, to be sure of a seat.)

Other thoughts? The Island! Just for a walk and a picnic. It’s looking beautiful and we should enjoy it before fall. Then, what about a long trip to Bluffer’s Park? We’ve thought about it… let’s do it! Also: Montgomery’s Inn. St. James Cemetery. And shall we go canoeing on the Humber River? This too is possible! Lots of great late summer walks ahead.

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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PanAmerican Food Fest

A bit more theatre…
But first, about last week:

We really only gave the Food Fest a glance, at first! After a long walk there, sticking to the shady side on a hot early sunny morn… we arrived and things on the square really hadn’t started hopping yet! They were set up, but not ready for the PanAmerican Food and Music Fest to get rolling. So, a couple of us went shopping. And a couple of us went for coffee! Good choices, both!

The coffee drinkers returned to the square a little while later and enjoyed a food demo, a little socializing, and a walk around to admire all the interesting food available. And the coolest capoeira demo. (I still shiver, thinking of some of the flips! On a stone square! Yikes!!!) Anyway, it was a beautiful day. Couldn’t possibly have been better, for a walk downtown. (I walked home, too… because, by then, apparently everyone else was shopping! ;-))

There are also a couple of lovely pictures from Jorge here. He has just returned from a scenic and challenging hiking and exploring vacation in Newfoundland. He says that walking with us was good training, and helped him get through the great, hilly hike that he and Patricia took (5.3 tough kilometres along the Skerwink Trail). Well, I like to think that he did all the work (because… well… wait until you see the stairs!!). Amazing!

 

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, August 20, 2017
:

A LATE MEET-UP! We’re going to see some contemporary Shakespeare! Intrigued? You should be! Not only is The Two Gentlewomen of Verona updated, revised, feminist, humourous, abridged, and engagingly staged in a downtown park, we’ll also get our first look at the cool new Berczy Park dog-sculpture/fountain. (There’s a bit of a dog-theme, here – you’ll see.) This new site-specific dramatic adaptation sounds terrific.

Let’s meet at the Y at 11:00. We can decide to walk downtown or take transit (because at that point, we’ll have plenty of time). We’ll see how hot the day is. If we arrive at Union Station a bit early, we can grab an iced beverage to bring to the play. There will be a bit of standing and a little bit of walking about, at the play, so please wear comfortable shoes. There are also some seats (you know: park benches, which I bet will be grabbed up very quickly). But I gather that the play… and the audience… may move around a bit. So we’ll be up.

As usual, we can walk home… or transit! It will depend how hot and tired we feel! (Or if you must rush to an excellent after-activity.)

For purposes of planning:
We’ll leave the Y at 11:00.
We’ll arrive downtown between 12 and 12:30.
The play runs from 1:00 to 2:30.
So this will be a longer outing than usual. But great fun.

If you prefer to wander downtown with us and then head back home (without the fun of the Shakespeare!), your stroll up Yonge Street and along Bloor could include a bit of Open Streets Toronto. Always worth a look!

COMING RIGHT UP:

More excellent underpass paintings in Corktown. More Don River. Hiking in Rouge Park! Tea at Montgomery’s Inn.

And the Island! Things are looking green and beautiful over there (yes, I went to check!). I suggest a picnic there in a few weeks. The perfect fall lunch plan!

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks. See you soon.

What?!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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a Pleasant walk

Pan-Americana! (food y musica!)
But first, about last week:

We’d spoken of visiting Mount Pleasant Cemetery for ages. We’d even walked past it a couple of times, saying… sometime. That time was last Sunday. We took transit there and enjoyed wandering along the trails and paths, noticing familiar names (and others), seeking out decorative elements or thoughtful memorial comments, being wowed by some of the pomp and splendour, and also loving the flowers, trees, and even some peaceful waterworks. Then, a couple of us walked all the way home, past a few more very interesting things. Have a look.

We shall return someday, to see more of Mount Pleasant.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, August 13, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. TTC fare may be needed. We’re going right to the core of the city, to enjoy a bit of the Pan-American Food and Music Fest! We’ll walk over there, through the middle of town… hopefully sticking to the shady side of the street… and enjoy a casual morning stroll. The festival doesn’t being until 11, so if we have a little glimpse of some of the starting music and dance and maybe a taste of something delicious, I will consider it a mission accomplished! If the day is a scorcher, I bet we won’t want to stay too long in the noon-day sun, with crowds of thousands of enthusiasts. But… let’s see how it goes! You can definitely stay longer, if you like!

And we can certainly take transit home! After today’s humid heat, that sounds appealing. (But I reserve the option of changing my mind!)

COMING RIGHT UP:

More Don River? Hiking in Rouge Park? Tea at Montgomery’s Inn. The Islands!
Lots to see, many walks to enjoy.

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks. See you soon.

What?!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Hot theatre date

This week, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery…
But first, about last week:

I was away last Sunday, so had suggested that you might enjoy Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sunday. I’m not sure anyone actually managed to go! And no shame – maybe you needed a Sunday off, too! Good plan. There are a couple of Pedestrian Sundays left this year, so we shall try to go to one, up ahead.

On the other hand, a few of us did get together, mid-week, for a visit to Guild Park and enjoyed their theatre group’s presentation of Alexander Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer. It was a hot, sunny day. We arrived in plenty of time to look around a bit and have a little picnic under some trees. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance. A few of the actors were particularly confident and winning. I must admit that the sun was merciless! We were very, very overheated. And, as it turned out, so was one of the performers. The play stopped briefly, so the company could revise their plan a bit and, in true theatrical tradition, the show went on. To an interestingly modernized conclusion. (We approved of this little twist.)

As far as I know, the actor in question is now fine. The show continued to its revised finish, and to more performances, later this week. That evening, as three of us continued to a nearby pub and a tasty dinner… the rain which had held off all afternoon came pelting down. So, that evening’s show was cancelled and the overheated actors could all rest and recuperate.

Just a few pictures to share – none of the performance itself (I was much more interested in watching the action onstage than in snapping bad photos!). (Mind you, if you want a peek, there are fun photos of cast, action and the delightful Greek Theatre stage, on the group’s Facebook page. Have a look.)

Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show. 

For more pictures of this lovely park, check out our past visit, during last year’s Doors Open Toronto. What a pretty place.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, August 06, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’ll take the TTC north and east to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, famed resting grounds for many Toronto historical figures… but also a beautiful place to wander, in any season. Nothing fancy planned: just a look. I promise to research an interesting factoid or three, before we go! When we have had enough, we will discuss our method of return travel. If it’s not too hot, we’ll consider walking partway home. If it is super hot and humid, as it has been lately, we may have an iced tea somewhere and then hop back on the TTC. Sounds just right!

COMING RIGHT UP:

The Island. Tea at an inn. A bit more of the Don Valley. A possible bus trip to the Rouge River’s hiking forest.

And lots more! Let’s walk!!

Feel free to bring a friend along to share our walks.

We’ll see you soon for another great walk.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you Sunday!

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Fourth anniversary brunch!

To market, to market – in the afternoon.

But first, about last week:

Four years ago, Beth and I did a trial walk to see if this West End YMCA walking club idea could fly. It was a hot July day, and we made it over to High Park and back in about 90 minutes. I guess we allowed for stop lights and such! We’d hoped to manage it in an hour. Amusing! Dana, Jan, Marion, Heather, Anna and Paul joined us over the next few walks. Over the next year or two, so did a couple of dozen others, joining us now and then for our Sunday wanders.

Since then the West Walking group of walkers, strollers, flâneurs, boulevardiers, ramblers, and caminandos has turned into an opportunity for urban exploration and friendship. And yes, a bit of Sunday morning exercise. We rarely make it back to the Y in under 90 minutes, these days, because we’re enjoying the city and the morning too much. Rain or shine. The morning often spills over into the afternoon!

Congrats to all who have walked with us, lo these four years. It has been wonderful! And it will continue!

Last Sunday, to celebrate, we walked again to High Park – a favourite destination anyway. But made better by the inclusion of new friends and old – and some we rarely see! 🙂 And (need I say it?), MUCH better by the sharing of a tasty patio brunch.

The walk was great. We waved at Dana, on her balcony, on our walk west (fun to see you, even though you couldn’t join us!). Then, we met a lovely gardener, eager to share his gardening tips. And to crow like his rooster sculpture, startling a couple of us (yes, I thought he had an actual rooster on the front porch!). Meeting a few more friends over at the park was lovely. The company was excellent – especially the visit by Marilyn and David, met at our initial planning session, discussing a future West End Y walking club. You two rock! A pleasure to spend the morning with you. Thanks to all of you for walking and brunching and being part of the group. Here’s to another four years! A few photos, below: we’re walking, celebrating, looking around the city… and having a little snack too. What could be better?

After brunch, we split up and went our separate ways, by different methods, off to various busy Sunday afternoon plans. A great day!

Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, July 30, 2017
:

A late start? A rambling walk? I suggest you meet at 11:00 a.m.
I will be away this Sunday, so cannot join you. But I’m going to suggest you get together anyway. This will be the last Sunday of the month, and what could be better than a stroll over to Kensington Market for the Pedestrian Market Sunday? There will be artists, musicians, kids’ activities, tasty treats from all the restos, and more. The open street concept begins at noon, so I though you might like to meet at 11 and walk over there to have a look-see. We try to do this each summer. Plenty to do there. If you haven’t done so, try to find the little lane with the Escher-themed house. And if you have your phone and ear-phones with you, look for some of the Murmur Project signs and listen to a couple of Kensington stories.

Let me know what you find, what’s interesting (and tasty), and maybe send me a photo or two, to include in next week’s post, if you’d like to share. I hope you have a great day for it! And I’ll see you next time.

COMING RIGHT UP:

Our trip to Guild Park on Wednesday 02 August will leave the West End Y, by transit, at 11:30. If you are joining us for this weekday afternoon expedition to see She Stoops to Conquer, please arrange your ticket online and let me know, so we don’t head east without you!

Next – a distant park hike? Afternoon tea at historic Montgomery’s Inn? Good fun ahead.

Lots of you asked about walking friend, Sharon, and her travels. It’s early days yet, but the world circumnavigation has begun! She gave me permission to share her blog, here, so you can have a peek at photos and read travel news. It looks like an amazing trip. The link will take you to the first post… read along…

Special hello to Julie, on the east coast, and to Marion, about to travel again!

See you soon!

What?!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you in the morning!

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Art on the Square

Anniversary Breakfast!

But first, about last week:

Back to City Hall to enjoy the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. We walked over, met a few others there (including… our favourite new walking club baby!). Then we split up. We each wandered, looked, and talked to various artists. Then we met again to walk a bit more. And shared some lovely refreshments. It was an excellent morning! Thanks, all!

I didn’t take any art or booth photos. It didn’t seem appropriate. But we all saw work that we liked!

Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, July 23, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual.  A brisk walk will get us to the lovely back patio of the Grenadier Café, in High Park. Let’s have an early breakfast under the trees, and then walk back along Bloor Street. Once we’re in Bloordale – from Lansdowne to Dufferin – we can see and hear the sights and sounds of BIG on Bloor, street festival.

COMING RIGHT UP:

We planned a trip back Guildwood Park to see their theatre troupe perform.
We’ll go Wednesday, 02 August, for a 2:00 p.m. matinée of “She Stoops to Conquer.”
If you will join us, please get your own ticket(s) here. (Be sure to select correct date!)
Let me know when you have your tickets
(Choose print-at-home, or Will Call – which means you arrive early and pick ’em up).
This way, I can keep the matinée attendees in the loop about our travel plans that afternoon.

Next Sunday, July 30, I’ll be away. I’ll definitely suggest an interesting neighbourhood wander for you.

In a few weeks: afternoon tea, at Montgomery’s Inn historical property? Yes! And still more summer festivals to enjoy.

See you soon!

What?!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you in the morning!

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Turn South to Visit the Idea of North

Some Summer Art!

But first, about last week:

Last year, three of us visited TD Bank’s Gallery of Inuit Art. I knew we had to go back. And Sunday was Nunavut Day! So a larger group gathered this time, and walked south to see this beautiful Centennial collection of Inuit carved sculpture. A subtly lit open mezzanine houses most of the exhibition. Tough to photograph, as the pieces are all in glass cases. But we loved the seals and goddesses and caribou and family scenes. The soapstone and whale bone. The expressions of everyday life, and of mythology – sometimes in the same piece. This gallery is an unsung wonder – no one I’ve mentioned it to has heard of it! Mind you, I also discovered it by fluke. It’s definitely worth a visit. It’s open every day. It’s free. Oh dear, maybe I am saying too much! If you are interested in sculpture, Inuit culture, northern life, slightly rough-and-rounded beauty… you should just go. Good idea!

Here’s the post about our previous visit to this gallery.

And, below, a few photos from last Sunday’s great walk. Thanks all, for a wonderful morning.

Click on any image for larger files, in carousel slide-show.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, July 16, 2017
:

I’ll see you at the Y at 9:00, as usual.  Wear comfortable shoes! We’re going back to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) for their 56th display at City Hall. We’ll walk down to Nathan Phillips Square and agree upon a time and place to check in again. After that, of course, if you want to stay even longer and enjoy even more objects of beauty and wonder… great! If you are joining us at City Hall, arriving by transit, please be in touch, so we can plan our arrival meeting.

You may want a sunhat or an umbrella. Or both! Check the forecast that morning. The comfortable shoe suggestion is serious. On a sunny day, the square gets incredibly hot, under foot. But it is definitely worth the wandering. A wonderful annual tradition. Some of us may take transit home. We’ll discuss return plans in detail, as we’re walking.

COMING RIGHT UP:

Save the date! A Wednesday theatre afternoon in Guildwood Park, in two weeks! I mention this now so you can consider and plan ahead. And get your own ticket, online. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again! We plan to see “She Stoops to Conquer” – an Oliver Goldsmith play. If you are curious about the drama and want to read up a bit, you might start here.

Our trip east to the play, and a brief walk in the park: 02 August. Please save that afternoon.

Go here to purchase your ticket. The matinée performance is $10. ($11.34 total) Choose the Wednesday 02 August 2:00 p.m. performance, if you’ll join us.

Then, think about a tasty picnic lunch to bring. And maybe a blanket for comfy lawn sitting.

What’s next? Our FOURTH anniversary of walking! Congratulations, everyone. Yes, let’s celebrate.

In a few weeks, let’s toast our success over afternoon tea, at Montgomery’s Inn. We shall plan that soon!

See you Sunday morning for the TOAE!

What?!
You’re just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome. You really should walk with us!
See you in the morning!

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