Tag Archives: Yorkville

MURANO GLASS, the fabulous art from Venice’s historic island of craftsmen

My friends at Gallery 36 in Yorkville (Toronto) invited me over yesterday to check out their ever-growing collection of stunning art glass from the island of Murano, home to some of Italy’s greatest crafstpeople. In this cozy boutique gallery you will find breathtaking pieces from glass “masters” such as Rossi, Alfiero, Medici, Russo, Bellisio, Mercato and others, in all shapes, sizes and a rainbow of colours.

20150314_145320I found some functional bowls and vases as well as sculptures of animals, birds, even festive crustaceans!

20150314_145118 20150314_145157 20150314_145921 20150314_145342I had a chuckle when I spied these cheeky kitty-cats (below)

20150314_145814 20150314_145832and all the other wee glassy beasties….

20150314_145751 20150314_145925 20150314_155513Gallery owner Trevor was busy changing the window display so a snapped him hard at work…

20150314_145524 20150314_145520…. and dusting his friend, the zaftig bronze ballerina (below). I just love her!

20150314_145421The gallery is chock-a-block full of wonderful and affordable pieces suitable for your mansion, apartment, loft or basement hide-away.

20150314_155445 20150314_155500Just look at these bowls and the intricate art found inside each…

20150314_145213 20150314_145632 20150314_155428 20150314_155434The glass is created using the “lampwork” technique – made from Silica which becomes liquid once it reaches an extremely high temperature. As it starts to harden, the “glass” is still soft enough to allow the artisan to shape the materials. You can see the amazing results of this all around you at Gallery 36. I recommend popping in and I’m sure you will find something that fits your home and your wallet. And say hi from me.

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92  Avenue Road, Toronto, ON M5R 2H2  T: (416) 962-7636  http://www.gallery36.ca

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20150129_215343That Canadian Guy Glen Foster (above) brought his comedy pals back to The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (Toronto) again tonight for the last show in his Comedy Aces series of stand-up showcases. This week’s show featured more of Canada’s greatest headliners and as special guest MC for the night, TV and Newstalk 1010 radio personality Mike Bullard!  Mike hit the ground running, chatting with a group of ladies in the front (below) who were ready for a really good show…

20150129_201435…before introducing the first act, Mark Walker (below) who regaled us with spot-on impressions including Sean Connery and Col. Klink (of Hogan’s Heroes) that was not lost on the predominantly 45+ audience.

20150129_202520Mike then intro’d a Canadian comedy legend who paved the way for so many comics now working the clubs. The one, the only…Mike MacDonald!

20150129_204103Mike (above) shared with the audience that it’s been a year (in March) since he received a new liver; the fact that the transplant took place on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 had the entire room raising a celebratory glass…oh the irony of it all!
Next up, another legend whom I had the honour of rep’ing along with Mike, Mike and Glen waaaay back in the 80’s – Mr. Kenny Robinson. Last year, Kenny was the recipient of the Phil Hartman Award at the annual Canadian Comedy Awards.

20150129_205344Mr. Bullard closed out the first half of the show amidst raucous applause, cheers and a quick rush to the bathroom for all of us who had been laughing so hard for the past hour we nearly pee’d ourselves!

20150129_212219 20150129_212157Opening the second half of the show was stand-up comic and tv writer extraordinaire, Lawrence Morgenstern, who was one of the writers from Mike’s TV show back in the 90’s. Lawrence is currently working on a number of new TV and web-based comedy projects but I hope he keeps up with his stand-up as he was f*cking hysterical.

20150129_212356 20150129_212421…and then it was time for That Canadian Guy himself, Glen Foster (below)20150129_214657So for the past 3 weeks, Glen brought some of the funniest comedy pro’s to The Pilot where the mainly “boomer” audiences finally got the entertainment they deserved…..that made them (us) laugh, giggle, and occasionally scream with delight (thank you for that one, Mike Bullard) and brought back memories of the last great era of stand-up that was the 1980’s.
My friend and fellow ex-comedy agent Leatrice Spevack and her husband Greg were there again tonight, along with other comedians in the audience like Simon Rakoff (who killed as MC last week) and Ronnie Edwards (pictured with Leatrice below)

20150129_224120Thanks for all the memories and laughter, Glen….we want more, lots more, please.

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Check out Glen’s website for news of the next series of Comedy Aces, hopefully coming soon. http://www.thatcanadianguy.com/ 



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It’s been thirty years since I watched them on stage, thirty years since I booked them on tours around the country in to fancy theatres, colleges, bars and dives. But they’re still brilliant, hysterically funny and the crowd went wild…the boys are back in town!

20150122_223500L to R: Evan Carter, Glen Foster, Simon Cotter & Derek Edwards

Award-winning comedian, writer, TV performer and one-time ad man, Glen Foster, has rounded up several of his best and funniest mates to present a series of comedy concerts at The Pilot Tavern in Yorkville (Toronto), just 2 blocks from where the legendary Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Kabaret once stood in the 80’s (another bloody hi-rise condo now stands at 1280 Bay).  Tonight’s show (there’s one more next Thursday) had a dream line-up of headliners – a million dollar show – that had the capacity crowd laughing, clapping, banging their hands on the table in recognition of the observational jokes that hit their marks right between our collective funny bones. We were a room full of boomers – 50 & 60-somethings who had been living thru a comedy drought for the past decade or so…we wanted to laugh, needed to laugh but had no place to go to be amused. Tonight the Comedy Aces delivered!  First up, MC Simon Rakoff (below) whom I frequently booked throughout the 80’s as he was the most reliable host when it came to reading a crowd and delivering the laughs.

20150122_201100Simon http://simonrakoff.com/ immediately took control of the room, warming us up with his sizzling opening set then intro’d Simon Cotter (below)

20150122_202456 20150122_202511Apart from making a good living in the corporate comedy arena, Simon has toured the world performing in Europe, Africa, Asia (I’ve never heard of stand-up comedy clubs in India but apparently he was a big hit there…Black Hole of Calcutta, table for 2?), has won multiple awards and appeared on comedy specials in Canada, the US and the UK.  http://simoncotter.ca/

MC Simon then intro’d the brilliant Evan Carter (below). Evan and I go way back…I had booked him as the opening act for some of the biggest show biz legends including the one and only Marvin Gaye (on his Sexual Healing tour when it touched down in Toronto) http://www.evancarter.com/

20150122_203651 20150122_203658Evan rocked out with teenager/parental relationship jokes and although I’m not a parent, every single reference to teens and their attitudes he made brought me close to tears – I was laughing so hard along with every other person in the room. After Evan, Simon took the stage again…..

20150122_201105….to introduce another award-winning funny man, Derek Edwards (below). OMG…make it stop, Derek is just too f*cking funny, I need Depends. Help!!

20150122_204955 20150122_204959Back in the mid-80’s when I was first booking Derek as an opening act, I never knew who to pair him up with as he was so unique, it was hard to find anyone who could follow him…bravo, Derek, what a career. http://www.derekedwards.ca/

Quick intermission/bathroom break, thank goodness – we needed a time out from laughing…I know my ribs were hurting. Then back we came for David Merry, one of the funniest stand-up comic magicians you will ever see.

20150122_213429 20150122_213443Tonight David stuck to straight stand-up (with a few props) but his fast-paced timing kept us all on our toes as punchline after layered punchline flew off the stage. The multi-award winner currently appears on the new “Too Much Information” tv show.  http://www.davidmerry.com/index2.html

Now…drum roll please….Simon intro’d us to the big man, That Canadian Guy – Glen Foster.

20150122_214853 20150122_21485030 years ago this year, Glen quit his day job with a big time Mad Men-like ad agency and dedicated himself to full-time comedy writing and performing and we are all better for that decision! The audience went wild after his bee imitations (yes, bee – the buzzing kind) and his non-stop banter about adult ADD, OCD and other comedic afflictions had us all begging for mercy. I just couldn’t catch my breath from laughing so hard that I had to reach for my Ventolin inhaler more than once. I was simply….ROTFLMAO!

You MUST go to next Thursday’s show – Lawrence Morgenstern (below) who was in the audience tonight, will be joining Glen along with 3 or 4 other brilliant comics. 20150122_194734

For details of next week’s show and ticket info, visit Glen’s website: http://www.thatcanadianguy.com/

And see what you missed tonight…Glen fueling up earlier for his performance (below)

20150122_194750Crowds filling up the room (below)

20150122_195701And my dear friend and comedy colleague, Leatrice Spevack (below R), was in the audience with her husband Greg. Leatrice was Jim Carrey’s former manager who first took him to NYC and LA and busted down all the doors for the future comedy icon.

20150122_225639It was nice to laugh again to intelligent jokes by comedians who know how to write a punchline and seal it with another. Congrats to Glen and the boys for a fantastic night. See you there next week.

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Decided to be a “tourist” in my own back yard today. Weather was a bit warmer (balmy compared with Tuesday’s -12!) so I wandered into Williams-Sonoma on Bloor St to meet some of the food artisans who were showcasing their wares.  First off, DAVID MARCUS from DAVID’S CONDIMENTS  www.davidscondiments.com who was sampling his hot’n’spicy rubs, marinades and seasonings.

20150117_131646 20150117_131649 20150117_131653Then I met the cute couple behind BURNER HOT PEPPER SAUCE who were busy heating up the cold shoppers. Check out their online store for all the flavours and levels of heat.  http://burnerpeppersauce.com/shop/

20150117_131614 20150117_131619Next door to Williams-Sonoma is the new Holt Renfrew Men’s store and I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this thru the window….

20150117_131759 20150117_131804 20150117_131908A giant head sculpture by Douglas Coupland called Gumhead – you take a piece of bubblegum from the old-school dispensers, chew it and then stick it on the head. Hmm, I don’t think so, but I did plant a kiss (no tongues!) on the statue for good luck.

I then popped across the street to the Bloor St Market in the Manulife Centre to pick up a few groceries and I found SUMMER’S ICE CREAM being sampled. OMG…..Summer’s is THE best locally made ice cream and I frequently drop into their ice cream parlour on Yorkville Ave for a scoop or two during the summer months. They’re now selling their super deelish treats in tubs in selected grocery stores  http://www.summmersicecream.com

20150117_132742 20150117_132752As I headed back home along Bloor, I walked past the famed STOLLERY’s clothing store at Yonge & Bloor that had recently closed after 114 years and my heart broke to see what was being done to the beautiful building….

20150117_135450 20150117_135441 20150117_135426 20150117_135532… ripping out the beautiful window frames, friezes and stone carvings, as well as peeling off all the copper flashing. Their website  http://www.stollerys.com/ says the store was to close at the end of January but I guess the greedy developers couldn’t wait to get their wrecking balls on this iconic piece of Edwardian architecture.  This makes me sad, angry and very disappointed with the City of Toronto for allowing this to happen yet again to one of our beautiful old buildings.

Hope you liked joining me as I played tourist in my own neighbourhood ….follow my blog for further adventures and scroll down for other cool news and previous events.


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20150110_165843Dropped in yesterday to say happy new year to Gallery 36 owner Trevor Allen and his lovely gallery colleague Violetta yesterday. They recently moved from their original space in Hazelton Lanes (now under yet another renovation and reconstruction) over to 92 Avenue Road (opposite the west entrance to the Lanes). The gallery is chock-a-block full of colourful original paintings, Murano art glass and stunning bronze sculptures.

20150110_170218 20150110_165801 20150110_165746Gallery 36 now represents UK-born Canadian artist Gary Pilkington, whose unique work not only stopped me in my tracks, it’s got me saving up my pennies (and planning to return my forest of wine bottles for refund$!!) to possess one of his pieces. Check out Gary’s work below….

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20150110_165606 20150110_165718Here’s the artist’s statement: Every piece is extraordinary, and diverse in design, so it makes sense that Gary’s approach to painting is also uncommon: “Instead of applying a medium with my hands, paintbrush or pallet knife, I let gravity, chance, luck, and randomization take control over the painting.” Gary uses an unconventional technique called “pulling paint,” using different channels to pull it down. Here, he finds the exhilarating feeling of exploring colour, inspiring his creative presence and ingenuity. He also uses tiles, plexi-glass, and aluminum sheets, reinforcing his deviation from the norm. Pilkington’s influences include Jackson Pollock, Keith Tyson, Damien Hurst, and Jason Martin; these influences are revealed in Gary’s work – abstract and fluid.

You can find out more about Gary here: https://pilkingtonsart.wordpress.com/ 

The Murano glass (made in Italy) is stunning and a real favourite of mine. I have a number of handcrafted rings and some small art glass pieces but would love to add some of Trevor’s catalogue to my collection (many more wine bottle refunds are needed, tho! LOL)

20150110_165923 20150110_165928And look at these beautiful glass hummingbirds (below)….so delicate, yes?

20150110_165944 20150110_170005Thanks for the hospitality, Trevor, and I look fwd to attending your planned Gary Pilkington reception, hopefully in the spring.




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I’d heard about the latest fab Yorkville fashion boutique, ARCHIVES, so I just had to pop in for a quick visit while out for my daily walkies this afternoon….and WOW! Located at the north end of the new Four Seasons Hotel on Bay St, the chic all-white store has soaring ceilings that give the feeling of light and space, and there are plans a-foot to incorporate a designer/goldsmith work bench so we can watch the magic being made by their in-house jewellers.

20141107_132024I was invited to peruse the showcases of unique designer gems, many of which are exclusive to Archives, and I fell in love with at least a dozen or so pieces, especially the wee piggy rings, pendants and bracelets by Dickson Yewn, the fabulous Chinese designer who “put a ring on it” for First Lady Michelle Obama’s dinner with HM Queen Elizabeth in London (Jade and diamonds, below)


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20141107_131124Assistant Mgr, Kate Nishida, modelled the 18ct. rose gold piggy ring (above), encrusted with diamonds and complete with tiny curly tail. You MUST go visit and learn the story of each piggy in the collection – there is a cute mamma pig pendant (pictured below) with tiny rubies as teats under her belly and black diamonds for eyes. And the daddy pig gets “excited” when you press his back…LOL!

7c3f90b9-9dc0-4dbb-abd8-7e3fbbc0ec98_lArchives also carries some unique totes, clutch purses and chic “backpacks” like this iridescent one (below)

20141107_131355The store is also home to a stunning line of Meissen porcelain pugs – figurines and cute pendants (below)

v1rgdw_v0222_01So many beautiful, girly-girly things to see, try on and imagine wearing to a fabulous gala, on the red carpet or just for afternoon tea with your best friend. Go in and say hello to Kate and the ladies…tell them I sent you.  http://www.archivesltd.com/







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Well, I finally surrendered to the whole anti-aging thing and got a facial, courtesy of the brand new Yorkville spa, FOREVER FLAWLESS located at 108 Cumberland (lower level) .

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Over the past weekend, I was wandering around the neighbourhood, checking out some of the new businesses & stores opening up in the village when a charming young lady, Yuval Ohana (pictured below) stopped me and invited me (with my bestie, Erena) into the new space that was previously a crappy jewellery bar – it had been completely made over into a chic and shiny new spa.


Yuval explained how Forever Flawless offers “diamond infused” skin care lines containing natural, genuine diamond power as an exfoliating agent. This apparently enhances the penetration of the most advanced anti-aging ingredients deeper into the skin. Forever Flawless is a more non-invasive, affordable alternative to the traditional diamond microdermabrasion and diamond peeling treatments done at other leading spas.

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So I decided to give it a shot …my skin has been a bit dull and in need of a boost thanks to the crazy weather & humidity so today I took the plunge.  But first a modest disclaimer: I usually look a lot better than this – I went “commando” ….no make-up. Yikes!

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Throughout the process, Yuval explained all the lotions, potions and unctions used (boy, they smelt good) and she has such a great touch with the face massage, I could have stayed there and fallen asleep…but all I kept thinking was “will this really make a difference on my weathered old hide?”.  Hell, yeah!


I may never be a supermodel or cover girl, but my skin simply sparkled when it was all over and I can’t wait to get all dressed up with full war-paint on Friday night. Va-va-voooom, baby!


Yuval then described all the products to me, showing me jars and bottles containing diamond infused lotions, creams and gels – my goodness, I must have had hundreds of dollars’ worth on my face!  It’s now close to midnight and my face still looks radiant, wrinkle-free and feels so soft and fresh. Forever Flawless truly is extraordinary and I want to send a big thank you to Yuval for working her magic on my face.  I highly recommend you drop in to check out the products and say hello to the lovely Yuval.

The store’s # is: 416-922-6041 and you can check out their entire product line and the history of the company at: http://www.foreverflawless.com  and follow them at Facebook.com/ForeverFlawlessCosmetics







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Renowned Yorkville gallery owner, BRIAN LISS, is pleased to present a series of etchings by talented Vancouver artist MARIKO ANDO.

20140222_132534I dropped in this afternoon just as gallery assistant Mardi was hanging the pieces and I was blown away by the playful yet dark imagery of Mariko’s imaginative creatures. Each etching is a Limited Edition in a stunning frame and none of the pieces are over $1,000.

While I was there, I overheard that 5 of the pieces had already sold so do hurry in and enjoy the show. Imagine Alice in Wonderland on ecstasy…!  Drop in and say hello to gallery director DAVID REED who will be pleased to tell you Mariko’s story.  www.lissgallery.com

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Ice Fest

The fabulous folks who run the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Association (BIA) are hosting another terrific ICE FEST this weekend on Cumberland & Bellair streets in Yorkville (Toronto), featuring stunning ice sculptures, fun activities for the whole family, yummy treats courtesy of local food vendors – all benefiting the Heart & Stroke Foundation [ www.heartandstroke.on.ca ]

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Lots of fun photo opps for all the family and the lovely ladies at Sassafras are keeping the grown-ups well lubricated!  There was a great DJ keeping everyone “dancin’ in the streets” and a variety of food vendors keeping us well fed and watered.




I ran into my friend and favourite snow bunny, Rafael, who runs the super cool Italian espresso bar, Zaza Espresso Bar [http://www.zazaespressobar.com]. As usual, Rafael (below in yellow) was welcoming everyone in for a hot beverage and letting all of us ladies know how pretty we looked in our winter finest.


And I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies from  http://www.hazeltonlanesdental.com (below) who were handing out teeth whitening advice and free toothbrushes – always a good thing!

20140222_125401Must admit I was thrilled to hang with the dolphin from HydraSense [http://www.hydrasense.com ]. Something about blue and white plush makes me smile !

20140222_125206Thanks to all the hard working BIA members and volunteers who are helping to make this weekend a success. ICE FEST ’14 continues tomorrow, Sunday March 23rd.

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The lovely people at MONSOONS [www.monsoons.ca] located at 144 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, have just brought in some lovely colourful goodies for the home and your own fashion statements.

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I love the red decorative jars (above) decorated with gold bands, and what home doesn’t need a Buddha or Hindu goddess?

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The bamboo candles (above) come in two great sizes and burn safely for hours. Check out the hand carved wooden candlesticks, too.

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And what girl wouldn’t love one of these sparkly, blingy clutch purses?! Everything is very affordable and beautifully displayed. Drop by and say hi to store clerk Angel and owner Aparna – the ladies will help you choose the coolest accessories for home and wardrobe. Winter be damned…sparkle sparkle sparkle, baby!

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