Archive for the ‘Summer Walks’ Category

Summer Walks: West Queen West to Queen West

May 18, 2009
Victoria Day 2009 Walk

Victoria Day 2009 Walk

Not such a lengthy walk today, a little over 5kms total (2.5kms each way), but a productive one. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to devote to walking, but it had been awhile since we’d made it to Queen West – so we drove down and parked just outside the Drake Hotel at Queen West and Beaconsfield and walked down to Spadina and back. A few highlights:

  • We stopped into Urban Barn and picked up an awesome decorative accent piece: A bright orange and very happy Buddha. I’ve always been a bit on the fence about Buddha knick-knacks for decor… but… I can’t look at this guy and not smile. He’s so happy!
  • Look at that smile!

    Look at that smile!

  • We grabbed a bite to eat at The Dog’s Bollocks, primarily because the name is pretty awesome. A really nice solid pub meal with great service – Adam had a burger which he seemed pretty wowed by, and I had a simple grilled cheese. A nice relaxing and yummy break from our walk.
  • That’s… about it. I guess it wasn’t so productive. But it was a pretty awesome couple of hours.

Summer Walks: Corso Italia to The Annex

May 3, 2009
Our walk - May 3rd, 2009

Our walk - May 3rd, 2009

Not a hugely exciting walk this weekend – but it was still nice. We did the same route there and home – a total of about 8kms.

Our best discovery of this walk was a market on Christie between Dupont & Bloor: Fiesta Farms.  I had no idea this place existed – but it seems pretty fabulous. It has a huge garden center, but is primarily just a giant grocery store. It clearly focuses on organic foods, but it isn’t exclusively organic. We picked up groceries for a simple dinner on the way back.

We also stopped at Pain Perdu, a small french bakery along St. Clair to pick up some dessert. We’ve passed this place many, many times but this was our first time actually stopping in… and wow. If the desserts we picked up taste close to as good as they look? I’m excited! It was a good sign when the woman working behind the counter spoke in a very thick French accent. It wasn’t cheap – we spent $14 on three pretty small things – but the quality looks amazing. We got a lemon tart, a mocha eclair, and a bag of meringues. 

We needed to get to the Annex to go to Grassroots, an environmental products store that had called me to let me know that the soapnuts I’d had them put on hold had come in. Yay! I’m excited to try soapnuts – the online reviews I’ve read so far sound pretty awesome, so fingers crossed!

And now we’re home, sipping leftover wine and eating meringues while Adam works on some work projects he brought home and I post to our blog and work on Relay For Life volunteer stuff. What a great weekend!

Summer Walks: Corso Italia to the Danforth

April 19, 2009

We did a lot of walking on Saturday. We started with the fairly brief walk over to Green Barn Market, about 3 1/2 kms total round trip in the morning. That was nice and leisurely – a good way to start the day.

Then we decided to walk to our friend’s party at Danforth & Broadview – now that is a walk.


8.5km walk

About 8.5kms in total. Go us.

A few interesting things of note:

  • We stopped into Sonic Boom for Record Store Day in hopes of picking up an exclusive single – Elvis Costello – but no luck. Ah well, we’re saving up for Amoeba next week. (Ok, Adam is saving up)
  • We went to Grassroots (both of them, actually) in attempt to get some soapnuts. I’ve been reading about them and want to give them a try – they are the only place I thought might have them locally – but no luck. Both were out of stock. I did find something containing soapnuts at a few other places, but it wasn’t in raw form… it seemed to be ground up and pre-measured into pouches. Eh.
  • There is an amazingly crazy house on Shaw north of Bloor. Big and white with odd sculptures out front. What’s with Greek people wanting everyone to know they’re Greek?
Seriously - what's up with this?

Seriously - what's up with this?

  • Apparently it takes about 2 hours to walk from our house to Ankle’s apartment – and yet the only part that feels long is between Sherbourne & Broadview.
  • We went to Kalyvia for dinner and had a super-fast and cheap meal. A filling trio of pita & dips plus salad for me and gyro for Adam. Very yummy and only $30 – and we were out of there in about a half hour.

Today was also a fabulous day – but no time to post about that now. In all, a fantastic weekend. I wish every day could be such fun.

Green Barn Market

April 18, 2009
Cari explores Green Barn Market

Cari explores Green Barn Market

Although Cari and I have lived in the Corso Italia area for over two years, we’ve found the area of St. Clair east of Dufferin to be a bit more appealing than the relatively homogenous stretch between Lansdowne and Dufferin.  Khmer Thai and Mezzetta have become two of our favourite restaurants, we’ve delighted in The Cupcakery, and 2Q Video has become our go-to place for DVD rentals like recent favourites Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Rachel Getting Married.

For every place we’ve visited, eaten at or explored, there’s been at least five or six places we keep passing by and commenting, “we need to check this place out!”  The Green Barn Market, located in the Artscape Wychwood Barns just south of St. Clair on Christie, was not one of these places.  In fact, when my sister Melissa told us about it, we had no idea where she was talking about.  Our curiousity was piqued, so we decided to make our way there this morning to check it out.

Heading south on Christie, you definitely won’t miss the Artscape Wychwood Barns.   What was once a streetcar depot is now the home of a Saturday morning farmer’s market, open from 9am to 12pm.  In reading up about it, we realized that this farmer’s market is affiliated with an outdoor one we had seen driving by on St. Clair.

This multi-generational string band was a nice touch

This multi-generational string band was a nice touch



The west-end farmer’s market that gets talked about the most is Dufferin Grove, but when it comes down to it, Cari and I have never been all that impressed with it.  This one was a completely different story, reminding us of a lot of the farmer’s markets we’ve been to in other cities like Vancouver and Seattle.  Not only were we greeted with a lot of fruits and vegetables, there were also vendors selling everything from eggs, cheeses and meats to yarn and homemade soaps to pastries and crackers.  We ended up buying a pound of Kurtis Coffee‘s Wychwood Barns Blend and the vendor treated us to two cups of same blend to drink outside.  Fresh, bold and delicious.

Outside the Artscape Wychwood Barns

Outside the Artscape Wychwood Barns

Green Barn Market is open every Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm, and during the summer will have extended hours and extend into the large outdoor space.  We’ll definitely be back.  A weekly tradition, perhaps?

Summer Walks: Corso Italia to The Junction & High Park

April 11, 2009


Our route

Our route

Today we took advantage of the lovely weather for a nice long walk. Hopefully there will be lots more of these in the months to come. According to Google maps, our total walk was about 11kms or 7miles. Not too shabby.

We walked from our house to the Junction and were impressed with how much the area as developed since we were last there. Lots of great furniture shops, an impressive used book store with a nice vinyl collection, coffee shops, and more. Then we popped down to the Neumans’ for a quick visit before trekking back. Took us about two hours to get to Pacific Ave/Bloor with lots of moseying and stops along the way, and almost exactly an hour to get home with no stops. 

And yeah, we know it’s not summer yet… but that’s ok.