Leslieville pop-in

We surprised Cheryl and Lloyd Cooke when we popped in to the opening of a group show Lloyd is participating in, along with 7 other artists. He didn’t know we knew about it.


Lloyd was showing two pieces from his Mexico and Havana series, sharing a wall with Gravenhurst artist David Dawson‘s vivid gouache abstracts.

The Ben Navaee Gallery is a small Leslieville art space with lofty goals. For Ben Navaee, the endeavour is a labour of love. His non-profit operation is supportive of artists, offers affordable contemporary art and opens its room for events and worthy causes.

A million on Kippendavie

We went to see what the buzz is about. Here’s what a million dollars just bought on the Beach’s Kippendavie Avenue.


Unoccupied for years, the house is unserviced and in total disrepair.

The new owner will incur demolition and removal expenses before getting down to what they really want … a lot that is about half a block from the park along Lake Ontario’s shore. The narrow lot backs onto another park/school playground.

It will be interesting to see what is built at 41 Kippendavie Avenue. I wonder how long it will take.

This way to Wychwood Park

Our trip today to see Marshall McLuhan’s old home was inspired by this Andrew Horne painting. It plays off a vintage photo of an old sign, but replaces the words with a quote from McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage.

horne-mcluhanSigned, limited edition prints available at the Flying Pony Gallery/Café

Brian Hickey spotted a print of the painting in Andrew’s café and realized that it would be a perfect image-icon for changes his wife is implementing as new principal of her school. Jolanta agreed and bought one of the larger prints for her office wall.

Brian also mentioned that, as a young man driving a delivery truck, he had visited the McLuhan home on a few occasions. He didn’t remember the address exactly, but it was in Wychwood Park. Danica and I went to find it.

Brian might not recognize the place now. A helpful neighbour said it used to be white with a very traditional green trim. She also said we should note the carvings that have been done on the trunk of a dead tree by the driveway.

Around back, the house sports an added-on deck that McLuhan would never have seen, but might have liked. It offers a splendid view over a natural pond, fed by the underground Taddle Creek. The neighbour told us that a lad had released his pet turtle into the pond during WW I. It lived there for many decades, growing bigger and bigger, until it was removed to a sanctuary while the pond was cleaned up. It did not survive to return. Is the little turtle we saw a relative? Not likely. Someone probably put him/her in there. Pet goldfish are put in, too, and grow to be very large.

Anyway, that’s where Canada’s best-known media guru used to live. Not too shabby. You’d never know that it was smack in the middle of urban Toronto, near Bathurst and Davenport.

Wychwood Park consists of private yards and houses, heavily treed and gardened, but without fences and sidewalks. Winding asphalt streets are open for the public to walk through. The area has been described as a gated community where the gates are open. It would be a lovely place to live, but extremely expensive to buy into. Homes come on the market rarely. McLuhan’s present owner purchased the house about 7 years ago. We were told who it is, but why intrude on their privacy?

A sensible answer

A tourist was visiting a small village in Newfoundland. He approached a local person and asked “What’s the quickest way to Marystown?”

The local, scratched his head. “Are ya walkin’ ER drivin’?” he asked the stranger. “I’m driving,” said the stranger.

“Well, that’s the quickest way.” said the Newfie.

Thanks to Ian and his sister Eileen

Clothes shopping in the cloud


I don’t like clothes shopping, so I would welcome an opportunity to make the process more convenient and efficient. In my limited experience, online shopping isn’t it. How is it better to guess how something will look, fit and feel, wait for it to be shipped, try it on and then send it back? Or take it back to the store?

Online shopping destroys the hope of a shopping commando raid, where you go into a store, try on a few candidate items, pick one if you’re lucky, and get out fast. If you leave empty-handed, at least that’s fast too.

Online shopping sucks you into a vortex of choice, speculation, comparison, guesswork and review reading. Too much information, too much time wasted. It is neither efficient nor convenient and you are still quite likely to come up empty-handed because you haven’t tried anything on.

You could try something on in a store, note its product ID and size if you like it, order it online, and wait for it. This isn’t better. Your time is probably worth a lot more than any small savings you may achieve.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!