May 20, 2013

In the Neighbourhood, Part 2 (Harbourfront)

View of boats and harbour from Toronto Music Garden

View of the the WestJet Stage

Sailboats and Toronto Islands in the distance

Nice view of Harbourfront Centre, with CN Tower in the background

Looking westward on the boardwalk

View of Toronto Music Park and Billy Bishop Airport from our balcony

View of the Spadina Wave Deck and pier with a tall ship from our balcony

View of HTO Park West from our balcony

View of HTO Park from our balcony

Great view looking westward from our balcony

Looking down onto our condo's BBQ area, tennis court, and mini park.

The runway at Billy Bishop Airport, with the Toronto Islands as a backdrop

The view when you walk out our condo's front entrance

View of the harbour from the pier at the foot of Spadina Avenue

View of our condo tower from the harbourfront

View of CN Tower from Toronto Music Garden. Our condo is at left.

Sailboats racing, with Billy Bishop Airport in distance

May 19, 2013

Tables, Bagels, and Beer

We awoke late on the Saturday of the long weekend, and strolled over to relatively new Le Neuf Cafe, which is a little taste of Paris. We both enjoyed the Eggs Benidicto as we sat in their giant bay window overlooking Clarence Square Park. The cafe is in a 19th century townhouse that is part of Clarence Square Terrace, built in 1879-1880. The food, the service, and atmosphere evoke a slice of a true French cafe experience. Lovely.

We then hit the pavement and walked all the way over to the Design District on King Street East to check out the stores and, finally, to purchase a reclaimed teak coffee table at EQ3 we have been coveting for a month or so.  While they had one in stock it was in their adjacent warehouse and we could not pick it up until 3:30 so we found ourselves with having to kill 3 hours.

We decided to stroll over to nearby St. Lawrence Market. Mark got a dozen Montreal-style bagels at St. Urbain Bakery and I got a pound of Kenya AA coffee at Luba's Coffee Boutique, both on the upper level of the south building. We then continued our window shopping of the amazing furniture stores along King East and then decided to go for a well-deserved break--and beer--at the locally beloved dive bar and watering hole Betty's. To say this place has character is an understatement. I wish we had gone with a group of friends. Mark had a pint of Hoegaarden  while I supported Quebec with a pint of Blanche de Chambly.

After a good chat and relaxing for an hour we headed back over to EQ3 to pick up our package, stuffed it in the trunk of a cab and brought it home to unwrap, assemble, and proudly display. It's gorgeous and, whew, it's obvious this is no particle board (i.e. glued sawdust) number.  Beautiful!

May 16, 2013

In the Neighbourhood, Part 1

View of our condo tower (centre) from Roundhouse Park, just east of our complex

View from Roundhouse Park of new towers going up south of Front Street

Another view of our tower (centre) and Rogers Centre from Roundhouse Park

Look up...waaaaaay up!

Another great view of growing skyline from Roundhouse Park

Welcome to Mariner Terrace! Our tower is in background.

Superclub, our massive recreation complex.

Another view of the front of Superclub, adjacent to our tower.

Our tower, or at least most of it.

Entrance to the Superclub.

Approaching our tower's front entrance.

Our BBQ area.

View when you step outside our front entrance.

Our lobby lounge.

May 11, 2013

Saturday Strolls

We started our first full weekend in our new apartment by waking up late and then heading out to have a delicious breakfast bagel sandwich at nearby Spot Coffee, opposite Rogers Centre.

With our tummies full, we then headed northward up to Yorkville's Toronto Reference Library in order to walk around the 10th annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival. TCAF is not a comic convention ("ComicCon") but rather a festival for comic artists and graphic novelists to display their wares, meet the public, and make some sales. While there are always tables with established presses, most displays are by independents and you get to see the whole range of publishing and work of all sizes, quality, and genre. Of course, TCAF brings in well-known authors and this year's featured guests included Art Spiegelman (Maus), Jeff Lemire (Essex County), and Seth (Palookaville).

As we headed west along Bloor Street to window shop, we started to smell that distinctive aroma of weed as we approached the Museum subway station. I joked to Mark that there must be some sort of pot parade going on. Little did I know how right I was! When we reached the corner of Bloor and Avenue we were stopped in our tracks by the Toronto chapter of the Global Marijuana March. Never in my life have I seen so much pot being smoked at one time. I thought to myself that this is what it must have looked and smelled like in the muddy fields at Woodstock. The contrast between the well-heeled set strolling along Bloor Street and the mob assembled along Avenue Road was hysterical.  I turned to Mark and remarked, "Well, as least there should be no rioting".

We enjoyed the very peaceful protest for a few minutes and then headed back downtown via subway to Brooks Brothers so I could browse the men's collection in order to pick out a set of shirts for the new season. The Official Preppy Handbook (1980) describes the Brook's Brothers oxford cloth button-down as "the classic shirt" and cheekily winks that "it is widely supposed that no one except Brooks has ever been able to achieve that perfect roll to the collar". I ended up choosing four button-downs, three dress shirts and one sports shirt. Brooks Brothers introduced the button-down shirt to America in 1896, Madras in 1920, and argyle socks in the 1920s.  It's the place where Ralph Lauren got his start in the business.

Delighted with my new shirts, and the always attentive service, I happily wandered out in the direction of home. Along the way we decided to poke into the Leon's inside the historic train roundhouse across from the CN Tower. The building was stunning and it was huge at 40,000 sq/ft. What surprised us, however, was that so much of the furniture seemed to be more applicable to the suburbs and not the 3,000 condo units hovering all over the area. We found much of the offerings bulky and not ideal as what you would find at EQ3 or CB2

May 7, 2013

The (New) View from Here

It's been enormously busy lately with quite a few work events and our move last Tuesday into Harbourview Estates in CityPlace.We finished our unpacking on Sunday morning by hanging our art collection and put up our feet and enjoyed our new home with a great sigh of relief. I thought I would share photos I took of the view from our perch on the 42nd floor.