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Lunch at the St. Lawrence Market

Lunch was just a sesame seed bagel with cream cheese from the Future Bakery counter, but it was the FRESHEST bagel I have ever eaten. Delicious. The coffee was good, too. I even got a café table, which was great because the place was bustling.


 
I have included shots to show the exterior of the main market and the big, “temporary” tent that will soon hold the farmer’s market and Sunday antiques market. By June 1st, the North market will be closed and the tent south of the big building will take over. It’s at Lower Jarvis and The Esplanade.

What will happen to the old North Market building? Wrecking ball. It’s being replaced with a new, 4 storey building. When complete, the markets will move back in on the ground floor. Plans for the upper floors are still sketchy but no condo residences. Community activity spaces are favoured and perhaps innovative startups.

Something we try not to notice

The driver didn’t know why the streetcars were backed up and couldn’t say how long we’d be stuck, so I tried to peek by shooting out the window. Turns out it was a minor fender-bender, but look what my blind zoom shot (badly aimed) showed me about the corner of Queen and Coxwell.

mess-o-wires

Bad behaviour at the Textile Museum

textile

We unwitting took photos we weren’t supposed to. Who knew? Usually photos are OK (without flash), but the current show full of well-known 20th century artists is different. Oh well, we shot some before we were told. Slideshow soon.

Meanwhile, these nifty Chinese Hats for Children are legal. They are in the permanent collection.

chinese-hats

Cinco de Mayo under the cherry blossoms

A charming Brazilian girl photographed the happy couple under the cherry blossoms at Queen’s Park today.

cherry-blossoms

We celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary by returning to the Keg Mansion where we had our reception back in 1989. Steak dinners followed by a complimentary dessert of Jack Miner mocha ice cream pie.

keg-mansion

Adding the 10 years we were together before we got married, Danica and I have been a couple for 36 years now.

A quote worth keeping

Ad agency executive John Miller was an urbane gentleman. Invited by a supplier to go on a fishing trip for valued clients, John declined saying, “Where the sidewalk stops, so do I.”

Fine dining beside the Boardwalk

family-on-rug

Danica drew my attention to the beautiful carpet spread on the grass for a friendly family of picnickers. Style! She aked if she could take a picture. They said OK and even offered to share a bite of kebab. We had to catch up with our Jane’s Walk, but a kind invitation.

bbq-signTechnically, it’s not permissable to bring your own portable BBQ to the park. Danica spotted this sign. You are supposed to book one of the city-installed BBQs and pay a fee.

Nevertheless, families do gather and cook all the time. It’s one of the nicest sights on the beach, seeing happy people playing and eating together, enjoying an affordable feast.

 I wish Toronto Parks would lighten up with their weird rules and concentrate on chasing the scofflaws who let their dogs run loose.

Jane’s Walk: Number Three

Politics in the park

issues

Today’s walk kept us close to home as we trekked the Boardwalk from the Balmy Beach Club to the infamous restaurant complex by Ashbridges Bay. The theme was private ownership in public spaces.

bikers

Key things I learned.

A privately-owned family business now called Tuggs, Inc. was granted a monopoly on all concession sales along the Beach Boardwalk between Ashbriges Bay and Glen Manor. The deal was approved in secret and also broke city rules about sole-sourcing. The local councillor was defeated but Tuggs still rules all commerce on the main part of the beachfront for decades to come.

icecreamtruck

Personally, I try not to make Tuggs richer, avoiding the restaurant. Today I learned that they got me anyway, because I have had ice cream at the food trucks and coffee at a mid-beach food stand. Oh, oh. Both Tuggs. Now I know.

To his credit, a recently hired Tuggs PR guy came on the Walk, facing a potentially hostile crowd. He wants to ignore the bad deal that his employers are enjoying and consult community groups more about what Tuggs does with its control of business on the Beach. Lipstick on a pig?

Pantry Park is another hot potato, but the lease isn’t signed yet. In exchange for reliquishing an option to build a school in Woodbine Park, the City has told the school board that it can take over Pantry Park during school hours for use as a schoolyard. The existing schoolyard may now be sold, to raise cash for a debt-laden school board.

guess-who

Both issues emerged from those disastrous years when the Harris government stopped funding support of municipal services and programs in order to cut taxes. Equally frightened of tax increases, city councillors simply sold their responsibilities to businesses. So doing, they gave up much of their power to represent the public interest.

Voters who consider only promises of “no property tax increases” are partly to blame, but so are non-voters who don’t even bother to go to the polls.

Post-park parable

An acquaintance recently told me of his visit to a small African country, now having trouble maintaining a democratic government. It was true, he said, that a tribal group representing 15% of the population had governed very badly. The problem is that 85% of the population had let them do so.