A village mural stroll

Three days of Jane’s Walk!

But first, about last week: 

A grey and breezy day took three of us over to the Six-Points intersection of Kipling, Dundas and Bloor. By subway, of course! Then, we set about making the trek back, by the scenic route. We wandered along Dundas West through the little Village of Islington and tried to see and enjoy all 26 historical tale-telling murals along the way. I think we missed a couple by not always looking backwards!

But we enjoyed ourselves fully, as none of us had ever taken a close look at these interesting walls. All painted by the same artist, John Kuna, over the past decade or so. If you’re interested in visiting, I say, just go! (They are between Kipling and Islington Avenues, on both sides of Dundas.) And if you want a little more background, you could start here.

Or just admire our photos!

After we parted ways at Islington, two headed for the subway, and one headed for downtown, continuing on foot. I had an opera ticket and needed to have lunch and arrive by 2:00. I was enjoying the cool-ish day, and made it as far as Dundas West subway station when I realized that I’d better hop on transit and get where I needed to be! What an excellent morning. Thanks to Laurie and Veronika for great company and our nice tea-break, too!

THIS WEEKEND

Sunday, May 07 2017,
(Also Friday  5th and Saturday 6th, if you like!)

Jane’s Walk is here!

For Sunday, we have a great morning plan. WE’LL LEAVE the WEST END Y at 10:00 A.M.

We’re walking up to Prospect Cemetery for an interesting historical tour of famous (and infamous) Torontonians interred there. If you are meeting us there, please be in touch after 9, that morning, so we can arrange a time to meet you at the main gates. I suggest this just in case it’s really busy! You can decide how you’d like to get there, but you’ll be heading for St. Clair Avenue West, just west of Lansdowne Avenue. It’s well labelled. Let me know if you need more detail.

I’d like to suggest that we all check the Jane’s Walk listing online and consider walks on Friday (if anyone has time), on Saturday (I may try to fit one in, in the afternoon), and maybe even one or two after the cemetery walk.

My other SUNDAY suggestion may be appealing to many. Particularly if the weather is a bit drippy. And that is: after the walk, a tasty St. Clair-somewhere brunch. If that sounds good to you, we’ll talk! But if the sun is out and we want to keep on walking, I will have suggestions ready for another walk or two.

If you venture out on Friday or Saturday and enjoy a couple of Jane’s Walks yourself, let us know all about it!

Coming right up:

Next week: A Mother’s Day tulip walk in Riverdale Park. We know this is a very good thing!
The week after: St. Anne’s Anglican, nearby, plans an interesting guided Indigenous Neighbourhood History walk – perhaps with an art exhibit beforehand. It sounds amazing.
The end of the May: Doors Open Toronto. A hundred ideas. Let’s choose several!
Great spring walking, all!

See you soon!

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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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Thank you, Morris!

This week, a Village stroll.

But first, about last week:

We walked to Harbourfront to see the beautiful, and interesting photos of changing Vancouver Chinatown, taken by Toronto explorer and photographer, Morris Lum. I saw him at the Y today and told him we’d gone there specifically to see his lovely, large-scale pictures. He was very pleased. I mentioned that his look at city changes due to immigration and time and urban adaptation reminded me of the story of Toronto’s St. John’s Ward (“The Ward”), which has been on my mind, lately (due in part to our visit to The Ward’s very informative installation north of the courthouse).

Then, I prodded a bit… asking when we could, perhaps, expect to see a local exhibit of his Toronto Chinatown photos. Or maybe his pictures from other Canadian Chinatowns. It looks like we’ll have an opportunity to see some of the Toronto set around the end of the year. I can’t wait! I asked him to remind me. We shall definitely go!

Now, as an observer, I’m not keen to take a photo of a photo, but I did snap a couple of shots in the exhibition hallway, to give you an idea (or reminder) of this small exhibit full of huge photos with blocks of colour and urban layers. If you have a chance to take a look, Morris’ photos are part of the current Contact show, and will be at Harbourfront a while longer. Go see! The show is entitled Tong Yan Gaai, which is Cantonese for “Chinatown.”

We proceeded on our walk over there through Trinity-Bellwoods Park, where the cherry blossoms were very pretty. And then along beside Stanley Park. And down along and past and through parts of The Music Garden. We wrapped it all up later with coffee in the sunshine on King Street. What a good morning. Have a peek:

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

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. Bring transit fare. And maybe an umbrella!

We’re going to the little Village of Islington, on Dundas West (west of the Junction, even!). We’ll walk back (or at least part way back) and see the many, many murals in that neighbourhood. Little shops. A couple of historical properties. And an area of some interesting future change. Maybe we’ll have a hot cuppa tea somewhere, too. We’re walking, rain or shine! This will be delightful. I hope you’ll join us!

COMING RIGHT UP:

SUMMER! I know: it’s still spring. But I can dream of theatre at Guildwood, sitting on a blanket with a little picnic, can’t I? Lots more ahead – including, next weekend, our terrific (or is that “terrifying”?) plan to explore Prospect Cemetery. They have something in mind for us, so stay tuned. And it’s Jane’s Walk weekend! So I will suggest several other options, too. Walk one… or more! After that, we’ll revisit a hill and a whole little forest, covered in tulips, just for Mother’s Day. Riverdale Park. We’ll be there!

As always, please feel free to¬†bring a friend¬†along¬†to share our walks. We’ll see you soon.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome.¬†Let’s walk!
See you on Sunday!

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the B-I-I-I-I-I-G valley!

This week, photos at Harbourfront.
But first, last week:

What a day for a walk in the beautiful Don Valley! We started on transit, began walking in Edwards Gardens (scene of many a picnic, wander, or bike ride in my past), headed south (sort of!) through a progression of parks, both pretty and wild, following the Don River all the way to the Evergreen Brickworks. It was a beautiful day – and we had fun, even when we got a little off course! Thanks to Kathy, whose way with phone-GPS was excellent!

Some had to rush a bit at the end, to get home in time for some Easter Sunday family cooking! But a few others managed an outdoor snack at the Brickworks, and then caught the shuttlebus back to the subway. What a lovely Sunday.

Very special thanks to Julie for sharing an important date with us, with a mini-champagne toast and all! What a treat – and an honour. More sparkling wine in our future, I predict, at the Island Strawberry Tea again, this year. (Plan on it!)

Follow the photos for a brief tour of our sunny and cloudy day. It was a good one!

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

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, April 23, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. Let’s walk down to Harbourfront! We can pass through the pretty Music Gardens, to our Harbourfront destination, an exhibit of some interesting photos. Y-friend, photographer Morris Lum, has been documenting different Canadian Chinatowns for years, with a large-scale camera. This exhibit (on now, but part of this year’s “Contact,” which opens next week) shares his look at traditions and change in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The photos are contemplative and beautiful. Maybe we can compare and contrast them with Toronto’s Chinatown, as we return home, up Spadina Avenue.

COMING RIGHT UP:

Next Week: Cherry trees?? I suggest we wander further away to see a different “orchard” this year. Game to try this? More soon!

In the meantime, we’re plotting all sorts of excellent spring and summer walks. (Also: outdoor theatre, a concert, a picnic or two, at least one intriguing brunch, a visit to India Bazaar, and more.) Let’s keep walking! Rain or shine. Your suggestions are always welcome.

Please feel free to¬†bring a friend¬†along¬†to share our walks. We’ll see you soon.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome.¬†Let’s walk!
See you on Sunday!

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Oooooops!

This week, back to the Don!
But first, about last week:

Sometimes, best laid plans… flop! I was annoyed by my planning, but I don’t think anyone else minded much.

We had a great walk and covered good distance. Sunshine, fresh breezes, garden bulbs popping into bloom, excellent conversation, Yorkville sights, a bit of change happening in the former Hazelton Lanes, and even a donkey! (More on that in a moment.)

Anyway, despite my attempt to confirm the exhibit we were to visit at the library (they said open daily, so I believed!), and my sense (common sense? ha!) that the Balzac’s branch there would also be open for coffee (a couple of us have been there on a Sunday morning before!)… doors were locked. Julie arrived first, at 10:00 as planned, and she called us, still a few blocks away, to report. It was a bit of a let-down. I’m sorry!

The library now opens at 1:30 on Sunday, and we didn’t want to wait. So we made up a new plan. Veronika had recently seen some lovely front yards just starting to bloom, on Elgin, so we went over to take a look. Just a couple of blocks away. And very nice.

On our way east, we had meandered and explored our own neighbourhood a bit, saw some of the lovely houses and interesting apartments of the Annex. And then… (I know you’ve wondered) that donkey.

Since it was Palm Sunday, we think the sweet little donkey might have been in a church pageant. It seemed to be well-treated, and was just getting settled back into its trailer, so my photo, from across the street, is a bit lame. I had to include it here anyway, as it’s rare to see a donkey in TO. Wish we’d been there a few minutes earlier. We would have gone over to have a chat. ūüėČ

Our walk home included a stop at beloved Annex fixture, Future Bakery, for a coffee break. We managed to avoid sampling all twelve flavours of cheesecake. It was a delightful morning, and a pleasure to walk with all of you, despite my scheduling issue. Thanks for maintaining your senses of humour. And thanks to Laurie for spotting the donkey! That made my day!

We all went our various ways, to afternoon activities. I went to Bulk Barn (hard to get out of there with just the raw cashews, have you noticed?). Then I walked down to College Street to meet family for lunch. Enjoyed the coach houses and murals of Croft Street. I took the nephews some tiny chocolate bunnies, even though they are much too old for that!

If you want to see Eyes on the Arctic, that photo exhibit is still at the Toronto Reference Library until April 30.

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

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, April 16 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’ll take TTC north and east, and then hike back south, along the Don River Valley. Join us to for this very outdoorsy walk to admire early spring in the northern wilds, right in the middle of the city. I grew up in that ravine (and often had lunches in, picnics at and bike rides to the place we’ll start: Edwards Gardens). Some of it is pretty and manicured, though we’ll be a bit early for much floral display. The rest of the Don valley, however, is untidy and interesting. We’ve walked some of the south Don River. That was an excellent morning. Now, let’s visit more of this lovely river valley.

Wear non-leaky foot gear. Wouldn’t want you to get a “soaker,” after all! Nothing special required, but it could be damp or muddy, so I suggest we all avoid optimistic sandals! It’s not quite summer yet.

You may want to bring a small morning snack and beverage. There are washrooms at Edwards Gardens, but the rest of the walk… perhaps not so many facilities.

If we end up at the Brickworks, we may take a little brunch break, there (and catch the free shuttle bus back to the subway). Or perhaps we’ll walk all the way to Bloor before we need recharging. Let’s see!

It’s going to be a mild day. Sounds perfect! Happy Easter and good Passover, to all who celebrate. And if you choose to wear a fancy bonnet on our Sunday walk, wonderful!

COMING RIGHT UP:

Whatever happened to that dim sum plan? The New Year has passed and we’re already enjoying an excellent Year of the Rooster. Who says we can’t have dim sum any time we want? We can work up an appetite first. To be discussed!
And how about some interesting mosaic lobby murals? I have a couple in mind. Will do my best to find out building times, so we don’t end up at any more locked doors!
Then, Jane’s Walk. We might plan more than one of those (including an interesting cemetery walk and talk, that same weekend). Then there’s the wonderful Doors Open Toronto. And cherry blossoms!! (Remember last year? Fun to wander and hope for blooms, but hopefully we’ll see far more of them, this time.)

Where else shall we go? Do tell!

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

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

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

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The western Lakeshore

This week, check your references.
But first, about last week:

I felt like repeating a long (long, long) walk home from Humber College Lakeshore… and a few delightful¬† walkers were happy to join me. Little did they know that it would take most of a day! Figured we’d better get there quickly, to start the walk off with some morning energy.

We took the Queen streetcar/bus combo (yes, a detour!) out to Kipling and walked into the campus just a little way, for a very quick look at Humber , seeing the former mental asylum’s dormitories revived now, as classrooms and offices, and the beautiful view to the lake, through the trees. We vowed to return there, and spend time in the adjacent Colonel Samuel Smith Park (another favourite) at a later date.

We then started the walk back east, viewing trees, early blooming bulbs, the interesting sites and shops along Lakeshore Boulevard, and a bit of graffiti. We took a little break at one of our “part-way” destinations: the delightful caf√©, Birds and Beans. I had suggested getting a coffee to go, but everyone felt like a break. We enjoyed every sip and every bite!

Out the back door there, we crossed the patio and headed, through a little park, right to Mimico Harbour. Paths, lighthouses, bridges, ducks, swans and more, awaited us. A sunny gorgeous walk. Then, the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat. We’ll definitely return to see all of this in summer, sometime.

Then, for the challenge: to keep on walking! Well, we did it. Mostly! Two of us had other plans, so gradually we ended up as two walkers. And the day was still speeding past. We’d both be quite capable of completing the “walk home” challenge another day (given endless time and energy, that is!). But we also had stuff to do, and I admit it: I just wanted to get home. It was 3:30! So, at Roncey and Howard Park, we grabbed a streetcar. It probably only shortened the walk by fifteen minutes, but it felt like a real economy!

That one-way walking trip totalled 16.4 km. Not too shabby for a Sunday saunter.

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

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, April 09, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’ll meander over to the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge Street. Upstairs, the exhibition, Eyes on the Arctic, offers some perspective on the North American approaches to and understanding of Arctic geography and cultures. I’m very eager to see these photos! Please join me.

COMING RIGHT UP:

All sorts of spring rambles. Jane’s Walk. A cemetery tour, or two. And much more. Got walk ideas? Comment right here!

And, as always, please feel free to¬†bring a friend¬†along¬†to share our walks. We’ll see you soon.

Are you just finding WestWalking for the first time?!

Welcome.¬†Let’s walk!
See you on Sunday!

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Spring blooms, indoors

Can we trust the sunny forecast?
Let’s see!
But first, about last week:

A few of you already figured out that our last walk was on a special day for me, so I chose my favourite destination: Allan Gardens. Turned out to be a perfect day to get inside! On the way over we walked through bright, then misty, then grey, then snowy and finally, some very wild wind! (Veronika even lost her scarf!) (Don’t worry – she walked back a couple of blocks and found it.)

Gradually, our little group dwindled to just a couple of flower fans, and we enjoyed every bloom. Some of them twice. What a nice morning. Thanks to all who braved the elements to walk all or part of the way with us. And warm wishes to those who, perhaps wisely, stayed home! (Definitely no hard feelings! it was cold out!)

In case you’re a bit tired of the recent grey days, here are a few greenhouse views:

I should compare the photos I take each year, of the same blooms. How have the photos changed? ūüôā

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

Of course, we’ll go back again. But if you missed it (and if you miss it… ), you should go soon. Lots of bulb flowers were about to open. And more plants (lace cap hydrangea, perhaps?) will be added to this spring display before Easter. Lovely.

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, April 02, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. TTC fare needed. We’re going west. Far west. If the weather is mild, as predicted, we’re going to walk home from Humber College, Lakeshore Campus. We’ll see a bit of the campus, a bit of Colonel Sam Smith Park, some interesting parts of Lakeshore Avenue, a great little place to pick up a cup of tea or coffee… and we’ll carry that with us as we walk along some of the Mimico harbour. A part of Toronto that few of us see. And a view of the downtown skyline that is terrific.

Now, I have walked home from there before… but it’s rather far. So I’ll suggest that we only walk until we’ve had enough… and then hop back on transit. Sound good? I think we’ll enjoy it.

COMING RIGHT UP:

Fort York? Something pretty to do with Easter? Maybe a delicious brunch in Little India?¬† And by all means: Jane’s Walk!

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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Music so sweet…

This week, flowers!
But first, about last week:

Our walking friend, Sally, is one of the Hart House Singers. We (sort of) surprised her with a big showing of seven walkers (fans!), by attending the terrific Haydn and Beethoven choral concert, on Sunday afternoon. And what a treat it was. It was a sunny day. We enjoyed the walk over there, exploring a little bit of the U of T on our way to claim our seats. Once we three wanderers arrived, four other walking friends joined us in the Great Hall, sun streaming through the high windows. Lovely! Thanks to all who attended. Despite transit woes (getting past the St. Patrick’s Day parade!), we were in plenty of time.

Interesting things seen on the way there, too: The REDress Project (donated dresses hung from trees, in memory of thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women – an initiative and installation by artist, Jaime Black, in Toronto for the first time, in trees, in various parts of the U of T’s St. George campus). A complete surprise to chance upon the dresses. And very moving to see them moving in the light breeze. Spring was bursting forth all over (bulbs cropping up in the sunshine, here and there, people were quietly walking about). We spied a little bird’s nest in a quadrangle (still empty, mind you). And glorious sunshine. It was very nice to walk home together, sharing Harbord Street views, some post-concert endorphins, and for a few, a little coffee date with good conversation.

Another excellent walk. AND concert! Congratulations to Sally – great work! So glad we could share it with you!

Imagine: Beethoven’s Mass in C and Haydn’s Insanae et Vanae Curae. Check YouTube for some listening options. The Hart House Singers did both of them justice.

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

We had a wonderful time. More Sunday afternoon concerts? Certainly! The Hart House Singers promise another one in July. Let’s go!

THIS WEEK,
Sunday, March 26, 2017
:

Meet at the Y at 9:00, as usual. We’ll take a vote about method of transportation, depending upon weather and everyone’s Sunday schedule. We shall either walk or take the streetcar east to the Allan Gardens greenhouses. The spring and Easter flowers and bulbs display is on now, and it’s always beautiful. And scented! What we expect: 16,000 square feet of gorgeous.

The conservatory opens at 10:00, so if you prefer to meet us there, we’ll see you at the doors.

COMING RIGHT UP:

Buildings, trees, blooming shrubs! Parks, murals, installations. Markets. Neighbourhood art shows. Brunch. Maybe an excuse to wear sunglasses… and carry an umbrella, too!

Feel free to¬†bring a friend¬†along¬†to share our walks. That worked really well last week! ūüôā

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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