Toronto

Apple picking at Avalon Orchards

September 22nd, 2014

julihowellavalon

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It’s been too long since we’ve been able to do much blog posting but things are simmering down now that Howell is 5 months old. Also, we’re shifting gears from running to and from the cottage every week to staying in the city, which makes for a less chaotic week.

Now that Elodie is two and a half, we’re ready to engage more with the city and its surroundings. I am looking forward to creating new traditions for our family! The first one is apple picking!!!

Several friends recommended Avalon Orchards, a no frills organic orchard about 45 minutes from Toronto in Innisfil. Originally I was going to take us to one of those places that has tons of things to do (corn maze, playground, petting zoo) but then we talked about it and figured a two and a half year old can only handle so much, and since apple picking is the main attraction, it made sense to keep it simple.

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Avalon has a little shop (above) where we picked up some apple cider.

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Elodie picked out the wagon – as you can see, she’s very inspired by the “Little Red Wagon” song. There were only a couple of this type and she bee lined right for it.

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It was wonderful being able to pick the fruit right from the tree and taste it. They had Freedom, Nova Mac and a few Pricilla’s ripe for the picking. Not the sweetest selection, maybe these types come earlier or later?

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Most excited about the teepee.
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After a picnic lunch, we went on a little hiking adventure. Avalon has a really nice property with some interesting trails, that are just long enough for a toddler, and interesting and varied enough for adults.

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Rare family portrait of a mother and her two kids.

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Fiddle Leaf fig ficus

April 14th, 2014

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I just hauled up a huge 3-stem Fiddle Leaf fig ficus up two flights of stairs and man oh man is it big. Jurassic park big.

We purchased it from a lovely little plant shop called Dynasty on Queen West.

I haven’t even potted it yet, I just thought since it is a rainy day it would be a good opportunity to take a couple photos of it. I’ve seen people actually prune off the bottom leaves and train these into some incredible shapes, maybe something to consider down the road, however we like the simple vertical of this one.

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The Spanish chair with its terracotta like natural leather upholstery. I’ve had a lot of customers tell me they don’t like terracotta pots, and whenever I hear this I think it is such a shame. It is a simple and beautiful material, and the colour is spectacular, especially after it ages and devolopes stains and calcium build ups on the exterior.

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It’s also creating a little privacy screen before you enter the living room.

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I think I have to stop buying plants….

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From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru

April 1st, 2014

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Last week we went to see the exhibition From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru at the Textile Museum. I thought I was being a good blogger bringing my camera along, when lo and behold, it was missing the card! Classic. So I bring you a bunch of unpublished instagrams to at least give you an impression of what the show is all about.

Above, a print of Ichimaru.

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Kimono detail.

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Kimono detail.

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Ichimaru on vinyl.

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Elodie: “I don’t like it.” To be fair, the singing style is quite unfamiliar to Western ears, and the samurai dance pictured above was probably pushing the limits of what a toddler can handle.

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This is pretty much how we saw the exhibition. You don’t get to take much in, just a whirlwind visit like this post.

Quite a lot of kimonos on display, as well as hair accessories, a pair of shoes, and a musical instrument. To read more about the show visit the Textile Museum. There are also related events listed.

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City of Toronto 2013 Urban Design Awards

September 12th, 2013

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Last night we attended the City of Toronto 2013 Urban Design Awards and were honoured to receive, along with Peter and Christine of Studio Junction, an award of excellence for our building, including the front facade restoration, the retail space and home! It was nice to be recognized in this manner because Studio Junction and their crew worked extremely hard on this project, and for us it’s nice to be acknowledged for bringing back the historic live/work aspect of a localized small business strip.

No one knew what big box stores would do to not only our shopping habits, but how we interact (or don’t) with the cityscape. We are so pleased to be a part of a new generation of small businesses working to regenerate the street life that makes our city a vibrant place to live.

Visit the list of winners.

The jury report summarizes the results of the competition.

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Rainy days

June 11th, 2013

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Toddlers are notoriously terrible with staying cooped up indoors.  What to do with all these rainy days we’ve been having? Any and all suggestions welcome…places to go, things to do at home.

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Edwards Gardens

June 3rd, 2013

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Last Monday on our day off we headed across town to visit Edwards Gardens for the first time.

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I am uncertain whether Elodie liked the gardens. In every photo she resembles a fancy Wednesday Adams.

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We decided to free the child from her stroller, which we then had to confiscate as she couldn’t NOT push it. Toddlers, part 1.

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Overlooking the gardens from the lookout mound.

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Toddlers, part 2. Teeny tiny rocks.

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Ladies with matching hats.

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Toddlers, part 3. Running off to clearly out of bounds areas.

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A pretty boring green house. Geraniums? Also, I’m not going to lie, we were a tad disappointed there was no Japanese garden. I guess Vancouver has us beat on this front.

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Toddlers, part 4. More of the same.

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Some nice greenery over here…

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Sniff, sniff!

The cafe was disappointing, but to be expected as I think it’s city run and they just cannot seem to get their game together. I mean, let’s not even begin to discuss the High Park restaurant. Could be amazing.

All in all, it was a nice place to wander around, though we have High Park so I am not sure we’d head across town when we have our own little piece of idyllic parkland right in our back yard.

 

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