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Adventure | A Guide to East Toronto

Adventures, TorontoLesley PocklingtonComment
  Adventures | A Guide to East Toronto by Swell Made Co.

Adventures | A Guide to East Toronto by Swell Made Co.

Since 2007, East Toronto has been my home. I love East Toronto. While there have been some breaks (I am currently in Peterborough, ON), I'll always be an East Ender. I know every East End street, I have defended it fiercely over the years, my son was born there, and every time I arrive in the East End, I just feel a sense of calm. It's my happy place.

You may think you know Toronto's East End; but do you, really? It's a part of the city that sometimes lays low. You have to dig a little  deeper to truly know it. Come east of the DVP with me, as I take you on a guide of my favourite spots in the neighbourhoods including The Beaches, Leslieville, and Riverdale. The Danforth and Little India and everywhere in between. Welcome to the beloved other side.


  Bodega Henriette | Cafe, shop bar and eatery on Gerrard Street East, Toronto.

Bodega Henriette | Cafe, shop bar and eatery on Gerrard Street East, Toronto.

Often considered "lacking" in the culinary department, I'm going to challenge that. It's not the case, at all. Sure, you'll find Toronto chainlets like La Carnita, Sweet Jesus, Tabule, Queen Margarita Pizza, Dark Horse and Box Car Social (all wonderful) and other transplants in these 'hoods, but here's where it's really at.


EAT + DRINK

The Shore Leave
Head to the Danforth's Tiki style bar for in-house tropical drinks and snacks. This spot promises a fun night out. Bring a group of friends and share a punch bowl. It might be quiet on the outside, but it's buzzing and warm inside.

Bodega Henriette
Tucked away on Gerrard Street East this local coffee shop, convenience shop, bar and eatery is as sweet as they come. Delicious food and drinks with chic decor keep the locals coming back to this spot on the corner. Try their other corner spot, Eulalie's, mentioned below.

The Green Wood
You'll find this hip spot Queen Street East just before Coxwell. Brunch to dinner options are served here, as well as items to grab on the go. It has a comfy and bright California vibe and loads of fresh options made with love.

Lake Inez
In Little India, you'll find Lake Inez. A mix of Asian street food and craft beer that just works so well. If you're familar with the Wren on the Danforth, you'll love this spot. Just look for the unassuming, but welcoming, door to find out what's inside. You'll enjoy it. Guaranteed.

Eulalie's Corner Store
Just a few doors up and over from Lake Inez, Eualalie's Corner store is another neighbourhood secret that offers delicious in-house cocktails and casual eats. I love the chicken and waffles, and the flamingo wallpaper. Start or finish your night here.

Maha's
Egyptian brunch is a must-try at Maha's on Greenwood. This place is always packed, so be prepared to arrive early or wait. It's worth it. Traditional Egyptian food paired with a honey cardamom coffee is the best way to start any day. Just not Wednesday, because Maha's is typically closed.

Lady Marmalade
A mainstay in the East End on Queen Street East, Lady Marmalade is another delicious brunch spot offering savoury and sweet waffles, Eggs Benny (with mango and avocado, yes!) like nowhere else. Plus, more! Again, be prepared to line up Portlandia style unless you arrive early.

Tori's Bakeshop
Now available in the Canary District, Tori's originated in the Beach neighbourhood on Queen Street East. Natural, organic and vegan baked goods that will blow your mind can be found all day. Having lunch? The coconut bacon BLT is the BEST. You may bow down and never go back to real bacon. 

Godspeed Brewery
The long anticipated Godspeed Brewery is finally open on Coxwell south of Gerrard. You can buy local brews at the retail space and the unpretentious brewpub is scheduled to follow soon.

Left Field Brewery
The established East End brewery, Left Field, offers craft brews inspired by a love for baseball. With names like Wrigley and Maris. High on hops, they offer distinct beer that can stand on taste alone. 

  The Green Wood | Queen Street East, Toronto.

The Green Wood | Queen Street East, Toronto.

  RC Harris Water Treatment Plant | Art Deco Architecture in East Toronto.

RC Harris Water Treatment Plant | Art Deco Architecture in East Toronto.

There's so much to see and do in this part of the city. Toronto truly is a "City of Neighbourhoods" which all have their own distinct personalities and flavours. Its' what makes Toronto, so Toronto. Come to the East End and you'll a chill and relaxed vibe. Soak it in all year round at some of my favourite spots.


  Girls, girls, girls | Tribute wall art in the stairwell of the Broadview Hotel, Toronto.

Girls, girls, girls | Tribute wall art in the stairwell of the Broadview Hotel, Toronto.

SEE + DO

Beaches Boardwalk
See what all the fuss is about on the Beaches Boardwalk. It turns out, it's worth it, right? Stroll a long the shores Lake Ontario and the city's most beautiful beaches on the Boardwalk from Woodbine moving east. A Great Lake in the city! How lucky are we? Want to head further east? The Scarborough Bluffs are equally stunning, but may I suggest choosing a weekday visit? Unless you love crowds.

Glen Stewart Ravine
A hidden gem and perfect way to discover Toronto's green spaces, the Glen Stewart Ravine is a place that feels miles away from Toronto. Soaring trees and bubbling creeks follow you on your walk as you pass happy dogs and neighbours. 

RC Harris Water Treatment Plant
A pristine example of Art Deco architecture, you must visit this gigantic space on the shore of Lake Ontario. Tucked away at the end of Queen Street East (where the streetcars turn), you can wander the outdoor space surrounding this gorgeous building. Better yet, come during Open Doors TO for a peek inside. It's fascinating to think this type of architectural detail was dedicated to a water treatment plant.

The Broadview Hotel
The newly refurbished building at the corner of Broadview and Queen (formely Jilly's) is about to have its official grand opening as The Broadview Hotel. This beautiful boutique hotel features a roof top restaurant and terrace, and cafe and bar to enjoy brunch to dinner. Every ounce of this space is stunning and definitely worth visiting, or booking a room for a little staycation.

This hotel will transform the East End. Just think of it as the West End's Gladstone Hotel with a similar style and vibe that's be designed just for the East End. Queen East will rival Queen West with this new neighbourhood gem. 

Riverdale Park on Broadview
The best views of city (aside from the Island) can be enjoyed from this rolling and expansive green space. Grab a coffee from Rooster Coffee House on Broadview and enjoy a good book or some simple downtime in this relaxed space in the middle of it all.

Danforth Music Hall
Some of the city's best musical acts perform at the casual Danforth Music Hall. This is my favourite spot to see live music in Toronto. Mostly because it's close to home, but also because the vibe is so chill. See your favourite bands here first in the "intimate" atmosphere. If you're looking for a place to eat before a show, Seven Numbers offers up a pre-show Italian family style meal. Mmmm.

Little India
Little India or The Gerrard India Bazaar is one of my favourite 'hoods in the East End. It's teeming with good food, eclectic finds, spice markets and fun events. If you're up for Indian food, my two favourites are Lahore Tikka House and Udupi Palace (vegetarian). After dinner, grab Kulfi pops from any convenient store and stroll around. You'll also find recently rooted restaurants and shops mentioned above and below.

  Collected Joy | Kingston Road in Kingston Road Village, Toronto.

Collected Joy | Kingston Road in Kingston Road Village, Toronto.

  Birch & Co. | Gerrard Street East in Toronto.

Birch & Co. | Gerrard Street East in Toronto.

Some of Toronto's best brands and shops are located in the East End. Here are just a few of my favourite spots to pick up all kind of goods. Small is the new mall. Avoid the crowds and shop local at these sweet shops.


SHOP LOCAL

Birch & Co.
Owned and curated by East Ender, Tanya, this sweet shop has perfect finds for gift and home. Lots of local goods can be found in store.

Collected Joy
In Kingston Road Village you'll find one of my favourite shops, Collected Joy. Everything in store truly brings you joy. From the huge stationery wall to the local goods from brands like Lovefresh, Dalish, Akai Ceramics and even Swell Made Co. Grab a caramel at the counter. They're the best. 

Good Neighbor
Found in a tiny house at Carlaw and Queen, is this hip boutique for men and women. They also have gifts, housewares and cute things for kids. Come for the fashion, stay for the best sneaker collection in the East End.

Token
Token in Riverdale has cute and quirky gifts and a great record collection. You'll know you're there when you can't stop staring at the hologram wallpaper as you walk in. Tiny, but fierce; this shop is a gem.

Black Rooster
Straight out of the pages of a magazine (literally), Black Rooster has everything for gift and home with an extra bit of panache and style. Top-quality furnishings that are made to last are their specialty.

Queenie's Cards
Newly opened, Queenie's cards is a bubblegum pink shop full of fun at Coxwell and Danforth. Longtime lovers of Queenie's cards (and so much more) will find her entire line a long with other cute Kawaii inspired brands like Pusheen and Pocky.

Toronto Yoga Mamas
This zen yoga and learning space for mom and baby is also home to a lovingly curated gift shop. you'll find the best local goods in  skincare, nursery decor and baby fashion. I can never say no to a tiny baby bathing suit!

Enjoy the East End, swell friends. Did I miss anything? Just let me know by commenting below.

Hot Toddy & PJs Guide to Shopping Local

Holiday, Toronto, GiftsLesley PocklingtonComment

This collective of Ontario e-boutiques invites you to throw on that onesie, pour a drink, and turn on a holiday flick while shopping local... online! We have you covered with curated gift ideas, all shopable from the coziness of your couch. Here's the guide in Steller.

This weekend, meet the peeps behind these Ontario online shops - Dec 10th 9am - 5pm at Creeds Coffee Bar, 390 Dupont Ave in Toronto. See you there! There will be coffee, of course. 


Smithery

Smithery is an e-boutique where we curate unique brands, model the pieces on real women, and provide styling tips for every purchase.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Mulled Wine
Fav Holiday Movie: Home Alone

Knock their socks off with:

Graphic Tees - designed in Toronto with a portion of the proceeds going toward mental health awareness
Bralettes - pretty colours, comfy fit, and a fan favourite at $20 bucks a pop
Super Soft Blanket Scarves - they come with styling tips and a box of tea, making a thoughtful gift  

 Smithery

Smithery

Liel and Lentz

With a sleek contemporary aesthetic, Liel and Lentz creates timeless jewels that are sophisticated chic. Designed in Toronto with love.

Favourite cocktail: Negroni
Favourite Christmas movie: Elf

Knock their socks off with: 

Mini Bar studs: A must-have in your jewelry box for everyday
Arc necklace: Our signature L&L piece, this necklace looks amazing on anyone and is loved by everyone
Chain Tassel bracelet: Sometimes a bracelet is all you need. Plus, a tassel never hurt anyone! 

 Liel and Lintz

Liel and Lintz

swell made co. 

Swell Made Co. creates paper goods + gifts that make a statement. They literally make a statement with witty sayings. They visually make a statement with their simple design - and they're gold!

Fav Holiday Cocktail: That's easy, anything made with Champagne!
Fav Holiday Movie: Love Actually

Knock their socks off with:

Oversized tote bags now available in black for the Fall/Winter season
A versatile art print that can be easily framed for any space, from nurseries to living rooms
Little hearts pendant + chain to show a love for books, wine, tacos, sleep and more. Mix and match! 

 Swell Made Co.

Swell Made Co.

da lish cosmetics

These uncomplicated essentials got their start as kitchen-made cosmetics. Today, they're a favourite for women seeking anti-oxidant rich makeup made with as many locally sourced, natural ingredients as possible.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Rum & Eggnog
Fav Holiday Movie: A Christmas Story

Knock their socks off with:

Lip & Cheek Balm Kit: fiveall-time best selling shades of this creamy, versatile fave. 
Legendary Lipgloss: non-sticky, slightly sheer, full pigment shades with a hit of vanilla scent. 

 da lish Cosmetics

da lish Cosmetics

Surfing Ninjas Clothing

Designed by a Toronto mama, inspired by the fearless adventures and playful spirit of her own two little ninjas! These rad threads are comfy, unisex and sweatshop-free!

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Champagne (it’s always a good time for champagne!)
Fav Holiday Movie: The Grinch, especially now that both my kiddos are old enough to watch

Knock their socks off with:

Hot off the presses, our new, custom-knit Ninja Toques for everyone in the family!
Long sleeve “Love Muffin” baby onesie!
Best seller - Our ever classic PLAYGROUND NINJA black sweatshirt!


Cheerfully Made

This e-boutique and retail shop is a handmade hub for local area makers and the people who love them. Owner Emily curates delightful gifts with a focus on the Ottawa valley.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: The Split Tree Hudson Bay

1.5 oz bourbon
1/2 oz of Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz of Fernet Branca
3/4oz of Split Tree Rhubarb & Elderflower Cordial
3-4 dashes of Rhubarb bitters
Add ice to mixing glass, add all ingredients and stir. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Fav Holiday Movie: Prancer

Knock their socks off with:

At the Office: “World’s Okayest Boss” Mug or Reindeer Farts lip balm and "Enjoy your job" breath spray for your secret santa
For the coffee lover: Black Coffee Apparel baseball tee + toque
For your best friend: “Emotional Baggage” duffel
For your mum: Literary Tea Co tea, Hatchet Made shibori handbag

 Surfing Ninjas Clothing

Surfing Ninjas Clothing

Gold apothecary

Gold Apothecary revives the traditional apothecary experience for a modern audience with high quality ingredients, exquisite scents, and gorgeously nostalgic packaging.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Cranberry Ginger Ale and Spiced Rum
Fav Holiday Movie: Little Women

Knock their socks off with: 

The bath salt of the month club - a beautiful jar ofhandmade bath salts delivered to their door Jan thru March. 
Handmade Soap Set: Seasonal scents of orange spice, earl grey tea, and rosemary peppermint tea.

 Gold Apothecary

Gold Apothecary

mai lin jewelry

This dainty silk reminder bracelet echoes the 'string around your finger sentiment' it ties on the wrist and stays fastened through life's beautiful adventures. 

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Ginger Spiced Negroni
Fav Holiday Movie: Jingle All The Way

Knock their socks off with:

Original Friendship Bracelet - The perfect gift for your long distance bestie. Include a personalized, hand-painted watercolour card at no extra cost and have it sent straight to her.
Black Spinel Reminder Bracelet - This one has all of the holiday glitter in the most perfectly neutral way.
Traditional Holiday - It's the holidays so why not echo the gifts of the season - Peace, Love and Joy! 

 Mai Lin Jewelry

Mai Lin Jewelry

present day gifts

Present Day Gifts is an online gift box boutique in Toronto with a focus on local, artisan goods. Every box is curated with a keen eye for design and quality in both the packaging and the products with full customization available. All items can be delivered within the city, or shipped across Canada & the US.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: As the weather turns cooler, I love to make a classic Old Fashioned cocktail with Dillons DSB bitters and local maraschino-style cherries.
Fav Holiday Movie: My best friend and I try to watch Little Women (with Winona Ryder) every year around the holidays. We’ve been doing that since we were in Grade 8! The movie starts with a Victorian Christmas scene and it always makes me feel like Christmas is finally here when I watch it.

Knock their socks off with:

Our Shareable Sweets box filled with local, artisan foods as a great holiday client gift or hostess gift. 
Men’s Grooming Kit with local products for any guy in your life. Includes useful items like a shoe kit, sea salt soap, beard and hair oil, etc, all wrapped in a modern gift box. 

 Province of Canada and Present Day Gifts

Province of Canada and Present Day Gifts

province of canada

A 100% made in Canada lifestyle brand blending quintessential Canadian style with modern sensibilities. From lake to city life, these cozy men’s and women’s pieces are a new classic.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Does Chocolate Fudge Crackle Peppermint Chocolate Ice Cream count as a cocktail?
Fav Holiday Movie: Every Christmas Eve we watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation – it never gets old.

Knock their socks off with:

Best Seller Unisex Sweatshirt, crafted with the coziest fleece fabric this will be their new go-to
Skinny Unisex Sweats, slim enough to grab a coffee in and comfy enough to catch a flight. 
Socks they actually want to get for Christmas! 


refluff

Made in small batches in Toronto, these sustainable products for the family have style and longevity in mind. ReFluff transforms earth-friendly textiles into modern, imaginative pieces.

Fav Holiday Cocktail: Mulled Cider
Fav Holiday Movie: It’s a tie between Home Alone and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Knock their socks off with: 

The super cool, super soft Harem Pant in your pick of premium cotton prints.
Reversible Bandanas to keep little ones dry in style
Our family fave, the mason jar travel mug

On Saturday Dec 10th, we invite you to change out of your PJs and join us for a Holiday Market at Creeds Coffee Bar 390 Dupont Avenue from 9am - 5pm. See you there!

 

Do Good | Help a Syrian Refugee Family

Do Good, TorontoLesley PocklingtonComment
 You Are Loved Art Print - $30 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to our Syrian refugee family.

You Are Loved Art Print - $30 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to our Syrian refugee family.

I must admit, October is flying by and I've been neglecting the blog. Don't worry, there are some great posts in the works for Halloween, and more Love It lists on the way. Sorry folks, but I'm sure you'll understand. I've been working with a group of Torontonians called Syrians Welcome Sponsorship Group to fundraise and welcome one Syrian refugee family to Toronto. Embracing families that seek a new life in Canada is the fabric of our communities, and a longstanding Canadian tradition. We can all take part by opening our hearts and doors. 


Like so many others, we awoke to the reality and magnitude of the Syrian crisis the day photos of three-year-old Alan Kurdi appeared in our newspapers. We felt we couldn’t just sit by and watch it happen. So we decided to do something – and we hope that you’ll join us.
— Syrians Welcome Sponsorship Group

We're currently in fundraising mode with a goal of raising $40,000 to cover the cost of living in Toronto for the first year of their new life in Canada. This is a life-changing initiative and I'm very proud to be part of such a passionate and talented group of people. 

Collectively, we have so many great events and initiatives that are raising funds in support of our important cause. I encourage you to check them out. They include a concert with a line-up of Toronto's favourite bands called Home Sweet Home, two yoga practices - Open Hearts, Open Doors and Sadhana for Sanctuary, plus an online silent auction coming up in November. There are so many ways to help a family in need, feel welcome.

In an effort to help, Swell Made Co. has created a limited edition gold foil art print (8x10) with a simple, but profound message. You are Loved. Prints are $30 and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to helping our Syrian refugee family. They are lovely gift or addition to welcome into your own home. Grab one quickly, because they're going fast. 

If you would like to donate or get involved, please visit www.syrianswelcome.com. Thank you so much for your support!

swellmadeco-youareloved.jpg

Love It | Coffee

Love It, Giveaway, Gifts, TorontoLesley PocklingtonComment
swellmadeco-loveit-coffee.jpg

This love it list is an obvious one. A love for all things coffee which is pretty much a universal love. Speaking of which, there are days for that. Tuesday, September 29 is National Coffee Day in many countries, and Thursday, October 1 is International Coffee Day. What a week to celebrate. We have a fun giveaway coming up in honour of our favourite drink. Stay tuned! If you have one of our coffee prints, tag it #swellmadecoffee. We'd love to see the prints in your spaces!

Here is a quick list of fun things for yourself and your home that profess your mad love for coffee, whether it's drip or espresso.

  1. But First, Coffee art print by Swell Made Co
  2. Moscow Copper Mule Mug available on Giftagram and West Elm. Take your love for coffee into the evening with a cold coffee cocktail in this mug.
  3. Chemex Coffee Maker
  4. Design Letters Mug by Arne Jacobsen
  5. That Hot Barista Candle by Coal and Canary from Little Blue Canoe
  6. It's Better Pure Coffee art print by Hatch Show Print. I was given this print as a gift and I LOVE it. 

To top off this fun list of goods, we also have a list of our favourite coffee shops in Toronto to celebrate National Coffee Day. 

  1. Rooster Coffee on Broadview - Great coffee in a quaint, but bustling spot. Stunning views of Toronto too. Take a seat inside, on the patio or across the street in the glorious park.
  2. Reunion Island in Roncesvalles - A bright spot with delicious coffee in Roncy. 
  3. Bar Raval - Known for tapas and nightlife, Bar Raval is also open early and serves up fine coffee and breakfast to go (or stay). 
  4. My House - I make a mean latte. Iced or hot. When you're up before the coffee shop, you're required to have some coffee making skills. 

Other Notable Spots: Te Aro in Leslieville, Dark Horse Espresso with multiple locations throughout Toronto, Balzacs Coffee throughout Ontario, and Dineen Coffee in the financial district. 

Enjoy your cup!

Adventure - A Guide to Claude Cormier in Toronto

Adventures, Toronto, InspirationLesley PocklingtonComment

Back in May, we were part of Q&A Letterbox's stationery subscription. It's so dreamy if you're a paper lover. Check them out! Q&A Letterbox asked me "Who are some of your favourite Canadian Designers/Artists?". You'd expect me to give a typical Graphic Designer response like Marian Bantjes (who is also fabulous - huge fan), but I didn't hesitate in saying Claude Cormier

Claude Cormier is a Montreal based Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, amongst other unofficial titles. His work is fascinating and multidisciplinary, graphic and playful. An example that good, accessible design prevails when you can stand behind your concept and cut through bureaucracy. Claude and his team are very familiar with that.

The projects transform neighbourhoods and landscapes through introducing happy spaces for everyone to enjoy and take pride in. Want to watch a video to learn more? Check out this Vimeo on the topic of Happy Design

It's distinct, and lucky for us, Toronto just happens to have some of the best examples of his work. His work is seen throughout the world and internationally acclaimed. In this post, I'll take you through a brief tour of Claude Cormier projects that you may already know quite well if you're from or have spent some time in Toronto, but will come to appreciate even more. 

Within each project, we navigate webs of political, environmental, historical, social, and economic entanglements, seeking to extract a simple, clear idea that encapsulates it all. Once this single concept is identified, we meticulously unfold it to guide all aspects of the project, from global organization to the finest construction detail. This results in complex, consistent environments that communicate loudly and clearly. We believe that a bold landscape image can brand a company, define the identity of a city, or simply entice passers-by to take a closer look.
  Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL AND RESIDENCES - Bay Street in Yorkville
First up, you might recognize this space in Yorkville which is inspired by the Victorian era and homes in the neighbourhood. You'll see playful ways in which they depicted icons like an urban rug, a "traditional" cast iron fountain and a rose-less rose garden. 

"Known for its nineteenth century Victorian houses, Toronto’s historic Yorkville neighbourhood is poised for the new millennium with the arrival of a metropolitan scale skyscraper and world-class hotel, The Four Seasons. The contradiction between these two eras and scales is reconciled in the landscape, where stylistic elements from the former period are amplified to fit modern day perceptions."

  HTO. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

HTO. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

Next, we'll visit Toronto's ever-changing waterfront. Claude has designed two fun and very engaging, if not iconic, Toronto spaces.

HTO was the first to be completed with a landscape that gently slopes up and away from the city and down to the lake where you'll find a restful urban oasis.

HTO - Toronto Waterfront
"HTO reveals, honours, and celebrates Lake Ontario, source of the identity and cultural expression of Canada’s largest city. We developed an urban beach that encourages residents and visitors to rediscover the water, luring them from the hustle and bustle of the city. The atmosphere: a modern re-enactment of Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte (1884-1886), with its bright colours, play of light and shadows, and sense of peaceful refuge."

  Sugar Beach. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

Sugar Beach. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

Head a bit further east and you'll find the loveable Sugar Beach. This is a sequel to HTO, but pulls it's inspiration directly from it's surroundings and neighbour the Redpath sugar factory. 

SUGAR BEACH - Toronto Waterfront
"Tinted by sugar spray carried on westerly breezes from the neighbouring Redpath Sugar Factory, a series of hard rock candies with coloured stripes and dozens of pink umbrellas are scattered across a sandy wedge of beach along the Jarvis Slip. Integrating the future Waterfront Promenade, along with a plaza for programmed and unprogrammed events, the design playfully adopts some of the most enduring elements from Toronto’s emerging landscape identity — beaches, bedrock, trees, and water — as well as the urban horizon and a trace of the city’s past industrial mood."

  Evergreen Brick Works. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

Evergreen Brick Works. Photo by Claude Cormier + Associes.

In Toronto's Don Valley you'll find the environmentally based community centre, Evergreen Brickworks. It's one of my favourite places in the city. It's hidden away, but accessible, immersed and engaged with its natural surroundings and pays homage to its gritty industrial background. All, while being a welcome and whimsical place. 

EVERGREEN BRICKWORKS - Don Valley 
"Our conceptual approach focuses on the transformation of this post-industrial ruin into a “green” site. Seeking to transcend the overused term “sustainability,” the proposal emphasizes the idea of trajectories of movement through the site – of water, cars, electricity, trains, and wildlife. The plan addresses a need for higher site porosity as a means to create a free-flowing system of sustainable components in, around, and through the area.

That concludes the Toronto tour. There are MANY projects still in the works by Claude Cormier and Associes. You'll see them emerge as the city transforms over the years including Berczy Park behind the Flatiron building, Garrison Point and additional waterfront spaces. 

Watch for another post with projects featured from Montreal, including my two favourite (seen above) Lipstick ForestLes Boules Rose (Photos by Claude Cormier + Associes). 

Adventure | Toronto's First Post Office + Paper Fair

Toronto, Adventures, EventsLesley PocklingtonComment
TFPO-mail-boxes

Next week, on June 16, 2016 from 6-9 pm we'll be taking part in Toronto's First Post Office's Paper Fair. In anticipation of this unique event, Kat Akerfeldt, the Assistant Curator At Toronto's First Post Office (The Town of York Historical Society), is kindly taking over our blog today to tell you everything you need to know before you visit. Thanks so much Kat for sharing about gem that should surely be on your list of urban adventures in Toronto. 


Toronto’s First Post Office is neatly tucked into Toronto’s Old Town neighbourhood, behind two flags and a Canada Post box.  It often comes as a surprise to discover that this demure little museum is not only an operating post office, but a National Historic Site and one of the oldest buildings in Toronto as well. 

In fact, the Post Office pre-dates the city. In 1833, the town of York was booming, and letter-writing was booming too. The Postmaster, James Scott Howard, had bought land in the center of the town, between mighty Bank of Upper Canada and the home of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and built York’s fourth Post Office.  On March 6, 1834, it became Toronto’s first.

TFPO-facade

Then as now, the Post Office is open 7 days a week, and features a Canada Post outlet, post office boxes for rent behind hand-painted windows, and a reading room supplied with paper, quill and ink. Then as now, visitors and townsfolk alike gather to share the latest news, shoot the breeze, or, as one of Canada’s earliest and most prolific letter-writers said, to “take advantage of the happy and marvellous invention of transmitting thoughts on a sheet of paper over any distance imaginable.”

Admission to the museum is free, including our permanent exhibit on the Royal Mail in Upper Canada, a model of the Town of York in 1837, changing exhibits on the buildings and the people of York and early Toronto, and all kinds of writing equipment! If you would like to send a letter using 19th century materials (cotton paper, goose quills, ink, and sealing wax), our Postmistress will supply you with instruction and everything you need for only $2.

Letter-writing is enjoying something of a renaissance, and Toronto’s First Post Office is a regular destination for those who love stationery and unusual writing equipment, and appreciate a Postmistress who knows her business. We hold regular letter-writing and mail art meet-ups, and now, with Paper Fair, we’d like to introduce some of the best paper goods makers in Toronto to our community, and to our gift shop!

Paper Fair will be held at Toronto’s First Post Office, at 260 Adelaide St. East, on June 16, 2016, from 6-9pm. Bring a bag for your new stash of beautiful stationery and paper goods!


Toronto's First Post Office
260 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 1N1

416-865-1833
www.facebook.com/TOs1stPO
www.townofyork.com

 

Meet Our Stockists | Collected Joy

Stockists, TorontoLesley PocklingtonComment

In the neighbourhood of Kingston Road Village you'll find this gem of a shop -- Collected Joy. Owner, Sharon, lives in the neighbourhood and has breathed new life (and a little panache) into the little strip of Kingston Road which is also known as the "Upper Beach".

I also happen to call this neighbourhood home. I love it because it feels like a little town within a city. It's a bit more laid back, but with all the pride and awesomeness that is, Toronto. It's a quick walk down the hill to the Beach, steps away from the Glen Stewart Ravine and my favourite gastropub in Toronto, The Beech Tree. You can grab a slice of pizza at The Stone Pizza, or a renowned Swedish cinnamon bun at The Beaches Bakeshop. Mad Haus offers the best coffee (Pilot, in particular) in conjunction with live music and art.

Head over to Collected Joy and you'll find gifts that are local, Canadian-made, and from afar. All beautiful and carefully selected by Sharon in small batches. You'll experience pure joy as you peruse jewelry, housewares, glassware, linens, stationery and so many special items. I have fallen in love with this shop and I'm so glad it's in my neighbourhood.

This strip is lovely and it's thanks to so many great businesses and their commitment to community. Shop local and support dreams. 


Collected Joy
Collected Joy is a collection of favourite things that will cater to all of your gifting occasions - for you or for the ones you love.

1035 Kingston Road, Toronto, ON
1-416-546-5989

www.collected-joy.com

 

Meet Our Stockists | Birch & Co.

Stockists, TorontoLesley PocklingtonComment

In Toronto's vibrant Gerrard East - India Bazaar neighbourhood, you'll find our newest, lovely stockist - Birch & Co. Birch & Co is located in an ever changing and emerging strip of Gerrard Street amongst sweet cafes and shops and some of the city's finest Indian cuisine. 

Tanya Dercach has been working and living in the neighbourhood for years, but she recently opened her gift emporium in November. It's a welcome addition to the east end and features beautiful gifts and homewares carefully selected by Tanya. She has impeccable taste for things that are modern, well-designed, unique and bit quirky. A perfect fit for Swell Made Co. which is now part of her lineup! 

Visit Tanya at Birch & Co if you're in Toronto's Little India! It's delightful and she'll take the special time you need to help you choose something unique. The vintage barware is stunning! While you're at it, visit some of my favourite stops on the strip including: brunch at Laisy Daisy's Cafe, coffee and art at Flying Pony, fine cheese at the The Pantry and the BEST vegetarian samosa chaat and Indian snacks at Udupi Palace. It's a fun day in an equally fun Toronto borough.

Birch & Co will also be participating in the Gerrard E Holiday Block Party happening this Sunday, December 7, 2014. 


Birch & Co - Home & Gift Emporium
Home decor, furniture, hand made, vintage finds, local and North American curated gifts.
Modern - Vintage - Eclectic


1487 Gerrard Street E, Toronto, ON
1-647-655-5652
www.birchandco.ca