summer in the city

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It's the first day of summer and this day always gets me excited about the impending three months of fun.

We don't have any grandiose plans to speak of (except a trip to NS to visit the fam) but I generally enjoy summer in Toronto. Many Torontonians high-tail it up the 400 (sit in traffic) leaving our little city nice and peaceful for those of us that aren't so lucky. Here's my top 10 list of the summer stuff I like to do right here at home:

  1. Laze away the day under a tree and people watch the hipsters at Trinity Bellwoods Park
  2. Play Ultimate Frisbee Monday nights - we're the Budgie Smugglers and we rock.
  3. Do some local food shopping at the various farmer's markets.
  4. Evening walks along the boardwalk in The Beach and daytime walks along the waterfront and in High Park.
  5. Window shopping with an iced latte along Queen Street West.
  6. Bixi (haven't tried yet, but plan on it).
  7. The Toronto Islands (how can I forget) and live music along the waterfront!
  8. Late night dinners on patios.
  9. Dolce Gelato on College West.
  10. Weekend BBQs and beers in our cute little backyard (our own piece of heaven in the middle of the city).

What are your favourite summer escapes in the city?

Get excited!








the condos are coming...

As you know the Hubs, L'il E and I live in Queen West in Toronto and over the last five years it has exploded (it's become a desirable place to live). It's exciting to see the busy sidewalks on sunny Saturdays and new restaurants, coffee shops and stores open up, but when developers start crashing in on our party, that's when I get my back up.

When they broke ground for the new condos at the foot of Northcote Ave my heart broke a little, but now that they're almost complete I'm not as upset (they're sorta fitting in). Just last week however, we received a letter about a new 86 unit high rise condo planned for development on Gladstone (kitty corner to the Chopper). Not into it! For an eloquent reason why we should stop this development check out

So why am I bringing this up? BECAUSE 1) we don't need/want this 86 unit high rise in our neighbourhood and 2) I want you to sign this petition to help us STOP the development.

Can you do that for me please? Thanks!

drivers please be careful

Yesterday an innocent pedestrian was struck and killed by a streetcar heading west along Queen Street.  He was dragged for several blocks and the streetcar driver was so oblivious (probably reading/texting/talking) of the accident he had to be flagged down by policemen on bicycles to get him to stop. Being a commuter pedestrian myself (I walk to and from work along Queen Street West everyday) I thought this was a perfect opportunity to raise one of my personal beefs about being a pedestrian in the city. TTC drivers and drivers in general are on autopilot during the morning and afternoon commute, so much so, that I nearly get wiped out at least once a week (and I'm a very cautious walker). In fact, this morning I saw my life flash before my eyes as a massive snowplow came rumbling down Ossington Avenue to turn right onto Queen Street without even stopping at the red light. He didn't even notice that I was inches away from stepping into the intersection to cross.

This is my call to ask drivers, TTC and regular vehicles, to be a little more vigilant when driving around the city. Pay attention and maybe get off your blackberry/iPhone.

Yours truly,


pop-up shop

A new pop-up shop catering to all you bag ladies (me included!) has popped up on Queen Street West. Zane Aburaneh is at the helm and I had the pleasure of meeting him the other day at the shop. I was pulled into the store by a display of colourful O clock watches; at just $40 I had to have one (they're almost disposable!) Zane gave me the full run-down on his shop and the merchandise he carries. The shop will be open until January so if you're looking to buy a nice purse/bag for your girl or guy this holiday season A2ZANE is your best bet.

I've got my eye on one of the Hoi Bo bags but for now I'm loving my new wrist watch!




November 10, 2010 — Alanna Banks