Tag Archives: toronto

It Depends How You Look At It

I spent last weekend in Toronto with my husband Dave.  I had planned the weekend as my 65th birthday celebration.  I would attend a children’s writers conference, we would go and see the musical Come From Away, we’d visit the art gallery, a book store, and have meals in some good restaurants. Looking back on our weekend I am reminded of the blog post I did about Daniel Kahneman who says we can choose how we will remember an experience. If I choose to remember the things that went wrong during our time in Toronto I will think of our holiday as a negative experience. If however I choose to remember the positive things we will have had a successful holiday. 

Not everything went right during our weekend in Toronto as my husband’s face demonstrates

So I will choose not to think about the fact that ………..

it was freezing cold and pouring rain when we arrived in Toronto. My husband’s navigating skills went a little awry so we took a wrong bus and ended up walking several kilometers with our luggage in the freezing conditions to our bed and breakfast. I was completely soaked and my fingers were icicles by the time we arrived. 

 I got the times wrong for the movie we wanted to see one afternoon and when we arrived at the theatre the movie was half over. 

We walked by an art gallery featuring the work of Robert Wiens who my husband knew as a teenager. Robert’s show had just closed the previous day. 

We missed an art show by a friend of my husbands’ by one day. 

The  private consultation I had arranged for with a children’s book editor about a manuscript of mine was disappointing. He told me while my book was  funny and well written, there simply wouldn’t be a big enough market for it because of its content.

So I will choose to remember the fact that……….

The conference I attended had one great speaker after another and I met so many interesting people who were all children’s writers. 

The musical Come From Away was simply marvelous and engaged my full attention from start to finish. 

There were lots of great things to see at the Art Gallery of Ontario

There were so many new and fascinating things to see at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

We discovered a marvelous new little coffee shop called The Library.

My birthday weekend in Toronto was a success.  That’s how I will choose to remember it!


Filed under Toronto

The Caplansky Experience


Zane Caplansky’s face which is featured on the front of the menus at his famous deli in Toronto might look familiar to you.  That’s because Caplansky has been in movies, on television programs like Dragon’s Den, has a weekly radio show and a large Twitter following. caplanskysOur son, whose work as a professional musician takes him to Toronto frequently, recommended Caplansky’s Delicatessen for lunch and he didn’t steer us wrong. caplansky borschtThe borscht had a tomato rather than a beet base.  It was thick with vegetables and smoked meat bits and had a kind of sweetness about it which I loved. 

lunch at caplanskysMy smoked turkey sandwich was thick with meat and I enjoyed trying some of the Caplansky signature mustards with it. beer at caplanskysBy the way the beer at Caplansky’s is served with a pickle.toronto mural boy on rooftop

We ate on the patio and I had a great view of this mural of a young boy on a rooftop surveying the city.  Loved the look of joy and wonder on his face. Art, great food, a meal shared with family equaled a perfect lunch!

Other posts………

A Bike Ride in Toronto

Tasting Toronto

String Em Up at the Handlebar

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Toronto

Sleeping in an Art Gallery

breakfast in an art galleryOur bed and breakfast in Toronto was housed in an art gallery.  We had our breakfasts in the downstairs gallery surrounded by the unique art on exhibit. We slept in one of the five clean and minimilastic rooms upstairs each with its own ensuite and decorated with great artwork.

index bed and breakfastThere was even artwork in the stairwells and cat doorway index art galleryaround the front door. 

index art galleryWe discovered to our delight that Holly Lee and Lee Ka-sing the art gallery and bed and breakfast owners were from Hong Kong and had moved to Toronto in 1997. We compared notes about Hong Kong where we also lived for six years. morning index art gallery torontoHolly and Lee bought the Index Art Gallery in 2006 when it was a convenience store and turned it into a popular gallery space and bed and breafast.  

mini art at the index art galleryThere were all kinds of interesting art pieces on display but the gallery specializes in these tiny minature canvases. 

reason to talkAt breakfast we chatted with the set designer of a play orginally produced in Belgium which was just about to open at a Toronto theatre.  The play was the autobiography of a young Iranian woman and we met her one morning too.  Unfortunately their play Reason to Talk was opening after we left Toronto. 

forty poems by lee kasingI found a book called Forty Poems in our room.  It was created by our host Lee and had many photo poems about China and Hong Kong that were fascinating. 

the hero playing with a rubber bandThis one was titled The Hero Playing With a Red Rubber Band

genki room indexOur room was named The Genki which is a Japanese word for friendly and lively.  dave makes toast in art galleryThe Index Art Gallery was in a lively neighbourhood and both our hosts and fellow guests were very friendly. 

We will definitely stay at the Index again on future trips to Toronto. 

Other posts………..

Retirement Advice From New Zealand

Not the Harlem I Expected

Hawaii Two Very Different Weeks

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Toronto

Watching the Jays Hit One Out of the Park

Yesterday the Toronto Blue Jays scored twelve runs in their game against the Texas Rangers and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion had six RBIs, a home run and two doubles. Encarnacion has been struggling at the plate. What made the difference last night? Could it have been the Driedger contingent in the crowd cheering on the Jays?dave and samWe watched the game with our nephew Sam, our niece Grace, and Grace’s boyfriend Steve. The Jays gave us lots to cheer about especially in their two big innings when they scored 11 of their 12 runs.

grace steve and marylouIn all honesty after the game I had to look up a few facts up about last night’s action at the Rogers Centre because I was so busy visiting with my niece Grace and catching up on what is going in her life that my eyes and mind weren’t always on the game.

rogers centreThere was a good feeling in the building as the crowd cheered their home team on to victory and a good feeling in our section of the stands as we got to spend time with a niece and nephew we don’t get to see very often. 

Other posts………

Driedger Reunion Arizona Spring Training

Watching the Blue Jays Win in Quebec City

Blue Jays and Yankees

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Sports, Toronto

The Berlin Wall in Toronto- Only in Freedom Can the Human Spirit Soar

freedom arches nathan phillips squareDid you know there is a piece of the Berlin Wall in the heart of Toronto? After November 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, the arches over the skating rink and pond in Nathan Phillips Square were named The Freedom Arches.  They had originally been installed for aesthetic purposes and as tracks for lighting. 

piece of the berlin wall in torontoA piece of the Berlin Wall was embedded in a concrete slab on the south side of the centre arch with a plaque that says……….

The Citizens of Toronto dedicate these arches to the millions who struggled including Canadians to gain and defend freedom and to the tens of millions who suffered and died for the lack of it. May all that we do be worthy of them.  Only in freedom can the Human Spirit soar.  Against the human drive for freedom nothing can long succeed.dave at the berlin wall in toronto
I was curious about how many other pieces of the Berlin Wall are on display around the world. I found out there are more than a hundred sites in places as diverse as Kyiv, Capetown, Singapore, Buenos Aries, Ottawa and Chicago where they have received pieces of the wall.

Truth be told there are nearly a hundred pieces of the Berlin Wall on sale on eBay right now, some priced as low as a dollar.

A PBS special in April reported a controversy brewing in Berlin over the small section of the relic that remains standing. 80% of the Berlin Wall has been shredded and paved over. Now developers want to knock down even more to build apartments.

Some Berliners, especially senior citizens are opposed. They say the wall is a memorial to people who died during the Cold War. A  government spokesman claims new building at the former Berlin Wall site is part of an ambitious renewal plan that is vital to the city’s economic development. 

It seems the Berlin Wall is still causing conflict. If the remaining section gets knocked down, perhaps pieces of it, like the one in Toronto will become more valuable. 

Other posts about Toronto……..

The Eye of Government


A Taste of Toronto

Sweet Revenge

A Bike Ride in Toronto

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Politics, Toronto