Sunday, February 27, 2011

doors I saw in Toronto

Hello dear readers,

Sorry to have been away from posting and not leaving you an explanation; I had gone to Toronto for six days to visit my sister and her family and my brother and his family. Today, I am posting a few images of doors that are among the photos I took as I walked the streets of downtown Toronto, sometimes with my sister, sometimes with my brother.
My sister, Della, her daughter, Emma, and her son, Jake, and I went to eat lunch one afternoon at Tasty Corner in Kensington Market, a multicultural neighbourhood in Toronto with a long history of immigrant settlement. Today it is a mixed neighbourhood of students, young families, musicians, hippies, the elderly, and people from all walks of life and ethnic origins. If you visit Toronto, you will see everyday multiculturalism before your eyes when visiting Kensington Market. Della's two boys live in a house in the Kensington Market area with their other band members; their band Nightbox has just released their EP and they have been playing various gigs around Toronto. I took this photo looking out to the street intersection from inside the restaurant. I ordered a potato roti that turned out to be as big as a pillow. If you are hungry, I recommend Tasty Corner.
Kensington Market is full of small independently owned businesses, many of them ethnic shops, like the fish store above (I think Portuguese in origin), which have been in business for years and years. Outside this fish shop's front door, on the small tiles it looks like an image of a young woman striding by the sea with a bag of fish had been painted some time ago.
Global Cheese, as their sign says, speaks your language in cheese. We stopped off to pick up cheese -- their selection is HUGE -- and olives. This shop is another long time inhabitant of Kensington Market. I bought some Kashkaval cheese (yellow sheep milk cheese), goat cheese, and large green olives to bring back home. I wrapped the olive container in three plastic bags, cushioned it among the clothing in my suitcase, and prayed the olives wouldn't burst out en route! Thankfully, they did not. I enjoyed some this morning as I ate a very gooey and yummy melted Kashkaval grilled cheese on pita manaoush sandwich, sprinkled with the Jordanian zatar our friend Zaid brought back from his last trip home.
My sister and I also stopped into a Tibetan shop to browse. The man behind the counter smiled at us, but he did not speak English; this, of course, is not a problem as we all know the language of money. I bought a wool hat lined in fleece for $12; she bought a pale lime green sleeveless summer top. The front window reflects the second hand and vintage shops across the street.
Just up the street from the Tibetan shop, my sister stopped in at a Jamaican shop where she likes to buy shea body butter, which she swears by. I took a photo from inside the shop looking out. I can't remember the name of the shop or the shea butter brand, but I'll ask my sister. You can make your own shea body butter, too, if you have the time.
One day, after dropping her daughter/my niece at her high school, my sister and I walked down to Forest Hill Village. This door frame is made of broken china. It frames the front doors of a closed down restaurant, Hope Street Cafe, just up from Spadina in Forest Hill, an upscale neighbourhood in Toronto.
This is a hinge on one of the doors of Grace Church-on-the-hill, an Anglican church that we passed on our walk down Forest Hill Village where we stopped in at a bookstore and a bakery. There was a sign out front that the church was holding a concert.
This is not a door, but it is what is behind the door of the Cobs Bread bakery where we stopped in to buy some raspberry danishes, cinnamon buns, chocolate swirled croissants, and other tasty sweets to bring to our brother's house for tea time later. This bakery just opened at the beginning of this year, and I must say the raspberry danishes are dee-lish.
Beside the bakery is a bookstore and beside the bookstore is another door, a door that tells the visual story of who is walking around with a camera!
Another walk, another day, on our way to the Bata Shoe Museum on Bloor Street, I noticed that above the front doors of this University of Toronto building, the embossed script read Department of Household Science.

"It's what we used to call "Home Ec" or home economics," I told my sister. "The classes where we learned the science of being housewives." This building is evidence of the institutionalizing of "domestic science" as it was called in the day. I have no idea what home ec is called today, but I am sure the schools are teaching something similar to it, but for both genders.

The Lillian Massey Department of Household Science has an interesting history; the building now houses U of T's Department of Classics and the Centre for Medieval Studies, as well, there is a Club Monaco clothing store in the section of the building fronting Bloor St.
Here's an old photo of the Department of Household Science (approximately 1920), taken before the city of Toronto widened Avenue Road, which is now a multi-lane busy downtown street full of traffic. For a history of the building read Nostalgia Tripping: The Lillian Massey Department of Household Science by Agatha Barc, which is where I found the black and white photo.
A love-ly door on a house along the way to hiking an icy trail in High Park with my brother, his wife and their two sons. Of course, we didn't know at the time that the trail was a glossy sheet of ice. However, we managed to emerge unscathed. Mercury points to the sky outside the door where I slept.


Ari said...

Perhaps you are looking for a door for Stephen Harper with a sign:"Exit only".

Merche Pallarés said...

What a wonderful tour of my dear old Toronto!!! Thank you, Taina. Kensington Market in the sixties was a Jewish market, when I returned in the eighties it was Portuguese and now I see it's international! The shea butter has intrigued me. When I have time (because now I really don't, please forgive my absence from your very interesting blog) I'll go to your link. Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

ari, definitely I am looking for the "Exit only" door for Harper and his government.

MP, I am glad this post was a trip down memory land for you. I will post some more photos of Toronto when I get a minute.