Toronto

Black Creek Pioneer Village

December 12th, 2014

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Last week we visited Black Creek Pioneer Village for the first time. It’s an open air museum located just a short drive north from us. We go all in for this sort of thing, and it being close to Christmas I figured it’d be extra nice with the holiday decorations.

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Broom making house. Love the paint colour and shaker style rails.

 

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Again with the lovely paint colour, and benches.

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Chasing light in the town hall.

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Afternoon winter light in the bedroom.

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She really just wanted to see “the animals”.

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Seeing the loom was of interest, as we have been reading Pelle’s New Suit (thank you to the customer who gifted it).

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They actually sell all the things that are made in the various building, like weaving, tin lanterns and decorations, children’s bonnets, etc. Kind of clever as they teach while making.

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In the doctor’s waiting room, waiting for us to stop taking photos.

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The one benefit to having our weekends during the week is avoiding crowds.

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The horse happily trotted over to say hi, and upon discovering we didn’t have any treats, proceeded to give us some shade.

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Spoons hanging by the fireplace.

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One day we’d like to do a tour of Shaker museums in the US. This will have to do for now!

Has anyone ever toured the Shaker museums in the American NE? Would love recommendations…

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Nature Break: Centennial Park Conservatory

December 9th, 2014

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One thing I am thankful for is that the people I follow on Instagram often post about places in Toronto that I have yet to discover (@fieldguided, @framestory and @blaisemisiek). The Centennial Park Conservatory is just a short drive from us in Etobicoke. It has three sections, tropicals, cacti and seasonal. Oh and it’s free. One thing I’ve noticed about having kids, it IS expensive if you ever want to leave your house and not go to a park. A day out can cost close to $100, between parking, food and admission. So it’s always such a delight when there is something to do that is simple and free. Of course, toddlers don’t go at the same pace as we do, so we were done within 15 minutes, but I can see it being a nice place to visit in the thick of winter, for a quick escape!

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On the way home we stopped in a Ma Maison on Dundas West for a treat of croissants and lattes.

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Waterfalls of Hamilton

October 22nd, 2014

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Autumn is a time to get out and breathe in the earthy air. Lately a lot of people on my instagram/facebook feeds have been visiting the waterfalls of Hamilton, a natural wonder that I was completely unaware of (I guess Niagara Falls gets all the love in these parts, or so I assumed). Anyway, it’s totally a thing. I love it when places brand themselves “The Waterfall Capital of The World” too. I somehow doubt it but that’s ok! There is plenty to explore (waterfalls, Bruce Trail, Niagara escarpment)!

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I inquired as to what falls were toddler friendly. This website gives difficulty ratings. We went to Tew’s Falls (#15 on their list, so those other falls must be quite something) and the nearby Webster’s Falls (the top photo), which was about a 15 minute walk down a trail that was doable but nicely challenging for a toddler and mama carrying a baby.

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We were impressed. John thought I was crazy planning this outing but had to admit it was quite something. Elodie loved it but immediately wanted more, as one does when they are two and a half.

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Some nice views along the trail.

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I wonder how the fall colours are now, we went a couple of weeks ago. Would be spectacular.

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Webster’s Falls

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On the walk back to our car Elodie became exhausted (YES! FINALLY!) and had to be carried. We thought we’d have to skip lunch and head home but we decided to head to nearby Dundas (town of) to maybe grab some takeaway from Detour cafe. The main street in this small town is pretty crazy busy, which struck me as weird but it must be a thoroughfare. We had trouble finding parking and then scored a spot right out front, and Elodie hit that second wind that then prevents her from napping, so we had a lovely cozy lunch, where no food was flung, nor tears cried. WIN! Here she is feigning sleep.

All in all, a day trip I’d like to make again!

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Apple picking at Avalon Orchards

September 22nd, 2014

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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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