FESTIVE SUNDAY STROLL IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO

It was a grey old day in Toronto but unseasonably warm, and having suffered with severe bronchitis over the past 10 days, I really needed some outdoor exercise so on went the good walking shoes and I headed down Yonge Street (the longest street in the world, apparently) to take in the Christmassy sights.

20141130_130611 20141130_130641My first stop for quick snaps was the gorgeous old College Park building which still has a number of its original bronze light fixtures (above) and architectural details in tact. when I first arrived in Toronto in the mid-70’s, this was a big department store called Eatons, with many floors of clothes, furniture, home decor, toys and haberdashery – it even had a wooden escalator which, I’m told, is still there hidden behind false walls. The building has been converted into stores, offices and condos – sad but that’s progress for you. If you look up and also up close you’ll notice beautiful carvings and bronze roundels (below)

20141130_130702 20141130_130803A few blocks further down and I came to the Yonge-Dundas Square, a gathering place for tourists, students and shoppers, and today there was a community event promoting drug-free student life with all sorts of exhibits and displays (below)…..

20141130_131722 20141130_131838 20141130_131655

20141130_131623 20141130_131617… sadly, all I could smell in the air around the area was dope!! At least the folks in the Square were doing their best. Surrounding this square is a mass of billboards and advertising hoardings, sorta like a mini Times Square…and the famed Hard Rock Cafe (below)

20141130_131758 20141130_131856 20141130_131921Moving further down Yonge St, I walked past the stunning Elgin Theatre (below) where the annual Christmas pantomime Cinderella was playing. Look at this magnificent entrance….

20141130_132035Last night, the annual lighting of the city’s official Christmas Tree took place – this year I stayed in bed with a box of tissues, Buckley’s cough medicine and crap on TV, so as I wasn’t able to enjoy the entertainment and fireworks in person, I decided to pop over to Nathan Philips Square and take a few shots of the tree, City Hall & the skating rink in daylight and without all the crowds.

20141130_132827 20141130_132850 20141130_132921Heading to Yonge Street along Queen Street I looked at the festive windows of The Bay department store – how cute are these?

20141130_133300 20141130_133411 20141130_133424 20141130_133442In the store’s display windows at the corner of Queen & Yonge I found these cute sheep promoting the store’s own traditional blankets and colours….

20141130_133554 20141130_133600 20141130_133617As I walked back up Yonge, I noticed a large tent with signs saying it was a pop-up Christmas market featuring local artisans and craftspeople so I popped in for a quick look-see and the first vendors I met were a delightful couple featuring African hand-crafted cushions, carvings and other home decor pieces.

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Jean-Renaud (above left) and Kalinka (above right) told me about the beautiful cushion covers that Kalinka designs – leather corners and heavy cotton with stunning tribal prints. She is an interior decorator (Klemya Interior Decoration) as well as designer [ http://www.klemya.com ]  Jean-Renaud (JR) heads up a company called mTIDI which represents beautiful handcrafted items from Cameroon [ http://www.mTIDI.ca ].  Directly behind them was Rococoa Chocolates, a local chocolatier with delicious treats including these dark chocolate pearls…

20141130_140701…and (below) chocolate covered Oreo Cookies…complete decadence! http://www.rococoa.ca

20141130_140729I started feeling a bit fatigued – this was my first real outing since being in bed for 3 straight days) – so decided to grab the subway home. Caught myself in the mirrored advertising display at Yonge & Bloor subway station…hmm, not looking too worse for wear, eh?

20141130_144139I more block to go before bed and a nice cuppa tea. One more photo opp of the Christmas tree 1 block from home.

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Whew! Made it…am now sitting down, watching The King’s Speech on TV and enjoying a nice refreshing mug of Earl Grey tea.  And how was your Sunday afternoon?

 

 

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