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Monday 30 May 2016

Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Kick at the Darkness til it Bleeds Daylight.

Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2822 Eglinton Ave. E
Date: March 2015
Website: www.barenakedladies.com

   In 1991, The Barenaked Ladies recorded a wonderful cover version of Bruce Cockburn's Lovers in a Dangerous Time.  The music video shows the band in the back of a truck driving all over Scarborough and then holding a record signing.  We thought it would be fun to visit some of the locations seen in the video.

Here is the Church.  Where is the Steeple?

  The video opens with some random shots of Scarborough.  The first of these is the Faith Baptist Church (pictured at the top of this post) on Lawrence Ave. East which is wedged in between two apartment buildings.  One interesting thing we noticed is that the church has a steeple in the video, but when we took our pictures the steeple is now missing.  We are not sure how the church came to be "de-steepled".
B as in Banana.  Four.  G like Grapes.  Forty-Seven.

Another shot is of Club Bingo further west on Lawrence Ave. East near Brimley Road.  This bingo hall has now become a Top Food Fresh Mart.

Don't the hours grow shorter as the days go by.

  The lyrics begin with Barenaked Lady, Ed Robertson, singing on the back of a pick-up truck that is driving through the parking lot of Eastown Centre.  Eastown Centre is not a typo of East Town Centre but is really the plaza's name.  The truck drives along headed towards the dollar store (below) which used to be a Woolworths.

If I Had $1000000 I could buy a million things here.
  Next the Ladies are on the opposite side of Lawrence Ave in Knob Hill Plaza and headed east again.  You can see the Opticians and a teak furniture store behind them in the video.  The Opticians was still there, but the furniture store and old signage is slowly being consumed by various small businesses.  You can only see the LLERY left of what we believe once read TEAK GALLERY.

Fine Scandanavian & Contemporary Furniture. We also have jewellery, financial advice, baked goods, cellphones and more.

  The Barenaked Ladies drive along several Scarborough residential streets and even drive through a street hockey game. "Car!"  There are also some scenes where two girls are running  from their apartment and through a hydro field.  Scarborough has a large hydro field corridor that cuts diagonally through the entire district.  We are not sure exactly where the girls run into the street as the Barenaked Ladies pick-up drives past.  We took our photo below where Brimorton Road crosses the hydro corridor.  This is right across from Churchill Heights Public School where Ed Robertson and Steven Page attended school.

Fight The Power Scarborough Style.
2 MOJO Burgers, Fries with Gravy and two Milkshakes please !

  If you follow Brimorton Drive westward you will get to the corner where it intersects with Markham Road.  Here you will find The Real McCoy restaurant which has been in business at this location for almost 50 years.  The Barenaked Ladies drove their pickup through this plaza and we can only assume that they also enjoyed a few burgers here as well.  The Ladies are also seen playing their instruments near the very eastern end of Lawrence Ave. East where it becomes Rouge Beach.  They are on a hill near Ridgewood Road and the camera turns to show the train tracks running along the edge of Lake Ontario.

 Barenaked Ladies Today.

  The video ends with the Barenaked Ladies holding a record signing at an A&A record store.  This store was located in a field between Trudelle Street and Eglinton Ave. East.  It used to sit all alone in the middle of that field.  It is now an automotive repair centre and has residential houses built beside it.  The last time we visited, the field was being torn up to make way for a French school.

Speedy VS La Grande.

  The crowds rush into the record store and across the road behind them you can see the blue Speedy Muffler shop which still stands today.

Barenaked Ladies Field.

  The crowds rush in and head to the Rap Dance section of the store.  Only the two girls who had been running throughout the video stop to ask the Ladies for autographs.  The video ends with an impromptu performance in the field next to the store.  The Barenaked Ladies had their first hit with Lovers in a Dangerous Time and they would go on to greater success.  This video is a nice little time capsule and homage to their Scarborough beginnings.

Map of Our World
Eastown Centre , Knob Hill Plaza , A&A Records Scarborough
Scarborough Hydro Corridor , Faith Reformed Baptist Church
Club Bingo , The Real McCoy
Rouge Beach

Post # 116

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Nadege VS Delysees

 Nadege & Delysees

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 780 King Street West
Date: Jan 2016
Website: delysees.com

  Near the end of 2015 we took a chocolate tour of Toronto.  We decided that we should return and determine who has the best macarons in the city.  Even if we couldn't find a clear winner we knew that it would be a very tasty experiment.  We purchased some macarons from Delysees and they came in a decorative box that closed with a magnetic lid.  We purchased some macarons from Nadege and they came in a small gift bag.  We took all of these macarons with us and prepared a blind taste test.  We also had a box of macarons from Costco which we added to the test.

Vanilla Macarons.

  One of us closed their eyes while the other prepared three vanilla macarons on a plate.  The first one was instantly recognizable as the Costco macaron and clearly did not just come from a French bakery.  The second one was taller than the first and had a pleasing texture and taste as well a nice thick center.  The third one had a larger diameter than the previous two and was also a tasty delight.

Chocolate Macarons.

  The process was repeated with a plate of chocolate macarons, but now the size and texture made it easy to determine which macarons belonged together.  The French bakery macarons also had now spoiled us from enjoying Costco macarons ever again.  In the chocolate taste test it was still the thicker, creamier macaron that won over our taste buds.
Which bakery was the winner?  It was Delysees that came out on top as we both chose it as our favourite.

 You can read more about our chocolate tour here.

Map of Our World
Delysèes Authentic French Bakery , Nadege Patisserie

Post # 115

Friday 20 May 2016

Girl in a Wetsuit

Girl in a Wetsuit is Part of Your World.

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Address:  Stanley Park
Date: June 2005
Website:  vancouver.ca

  Just off the edge of Stanley Park is a rock in Vancouver Harbour.  On top of that rock sits what at first appears to be a mermaid.  This is actually a bronze sculpture created by artist Elek Imredy.  Upon closer examination we determined that it is a woman wearing flippers and a wetsuit.  She has her scuba goggles up on her forehead so she can look out across the harbour. 

Vancouver Harbour.

Map of Our World
Girl in a Wetsuit

Post # 114

Sunday 15 May 2016

Western Rock Nuthatch

Western Rock Nuthatch.

Location: Delphi, Greece
Address:  Τ.Κ. 33054, Delphi
Date: Aug 2015
Website:  odysseus.culture.gr

  When we visited the sacred site of Delphi, Greece we noticed more than just ancient ruins.  Some little birds hopping amongst the rocks grabbed our attention.  These are the aptly named Western Rock Nuthatch and are found in rocky, mountainous areas throughout Greece.

Camouflaged Western Rock Nuthatch.

  Their colouring often makes them difficult to see against the rock, but the fact that they are constantly on the move and constantly chirping makes it easier to spot them.  We took the video below of nuthatches singing while we tried to keep the camera on them as they bobbed about.

    The rock nuthatch prefers being on the ground and spends its day looking for insects.  They build their nests in the crevices of the rocks and the nests are made mostly out of mud.  While our tour guide explained the history and significance of ancient Delphi, we found ourselves distracted by our small, feathered friends.  That is okay as the history will always be there for us to read about later, but we were enjoying the sights and sounds of the moment.

Nuthatch on the rocks.

Map of Our World
Western Rock Nuthatch

Post # 113

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Headquarters of The Man

Mr. Feather, The Man wants to see you.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2701 Queen St E
Date: May 2014
Website:  www1.toronto.ca

  How would you like to visit a place where Doogie Howser, The Godfather of Soul, Sistah Girl, one of the Butabi brothers, Charlie Sheen's ex-wife, and Lando Calrissian all came together?  Well you had better go to the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant in Toronto.  Throw in comedians Eddie Griffin and Dave Chappelle and you have most of the cast from Undercover Brother.  The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant appears in the movie as the headquarters of The Man. It is shown as a fortress situated along the cliff edge of a tiny island. Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin) and the members of the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. are trying to stop The Man and must infiltrate the fortress.

Say it loud.  I'm black and I'm proud.

  James Brown (aka The Godfather of Soul) appears as himself in the movie.  He is kidnapped and taken to the headquarters where Mr. Feather plans on administering his mind control drug.  This is the same drug they used to control General Boutwell.  Mr. Feather is played by Chris Kattan who is best known from Saturday Night Live and as Will Ferrell's brother in A Night At The Roxbury.  General Boutwell is played by Billy Dee Williams who is best known as Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars movies.  James is seated in front of the signal pylon (above) which is found in the rotunda of the water treatment plant.  Behind Mr. Feather you can see other workers in the long hallway of the Filter Building.

Very clever Mr. Undercover Brother.

     The rest of the B.R.O.T.H.E.R.H.O.O.D. which now includes Neil Patrick Harris (child star of Doogie Howser) and White She-Devil (Denise Richards), sneak into the headquarters under the guise of being the Island Fortress Cleaning Service.  They are let in by the guards located between the buildings of the Pumping Station.

I'm with Island Fortress Cleaning Service sir.

  Then they pull their van up in between the pumps and all exit out the rear of the vehicle.

Hey, this isn't Taco Bell.

  The movie ends with a final fight between Mr. Feather and Undercover Brother as they battle just outside the entrance of the Filter Building. They fight on the elevated platform that the movie uses as a helicopter landing pad.  Below you can see the area through the staircase window and again in the picture at the top of this post.

 Showin How Funky Strong Is Your Fight.

  They battle it out while the Michael Jackson classic, Beat It, plays in the background.

It Doesn't Matter Who's Wrong Or Right.

  Mr. Feather ends up chopping off a chunk of Undercover Brother's afro which turns the tables.  You mess with the fro, you got to go!

You mess with the fro.  You got to go.

  The Man's helicopter tries to land and then decides against it.  Mr. Feather grabs onto the helicopter and hangs from it as the copter heads out over the lake.  Mr. Feather falls from the helicopter and is eaten by a shark.  Most sharks could not survive in a fresh water lake, but the bull shark can.   We could not find any record of a shark ever making its way into Lake Ontario.

Shark Infested Lake Ontario?

  Undercover Brother was a fun movie that we enjoyed very much. We recommend you grab an orange Big Gulp from 7-Eleven and try not to spill it as you drive on down to the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant to check out where the movie was filmed.

You can read more about the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant here.

Map of Our World
Headquarters of The Man

Post # 112

Thursday 5 May 2016

R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant

The Palace of Purification

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2701 Queen St E
Date: May 2014
Website:  www1.toronto.ca

   The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant produces about 950 million litres of water per day.  This is almost half of the water required by the city of Toronto.  Not only is this building providing an important service, but in its Art Deco style it is also one of the most interesting buildings in the city.  The plant opened in 1941 and was named after Commissioner of Works, Roland Caldwell Harris.  We visited the buildings during Doors Open 2014 and learned how the whole process works.

RC Harris from Lake Ontario

  The first step for getting clean water to the citizens of Toronto is to pull the water through intake pipes that reach as far as 5 kilometres out into Lake Ontario. 

We are here to Pump.. You Up.
  The water is pulled in by huge pumps in the Pumping Station.  When it first arrives the water goes through a screening room to remove larger objects and debris.  One need only walk along a Toronto beach to get an idea of what some of those objects may be.  At the end of the Pumping Station is what looks like an elevator.  This is not an elevator at all but an elaborate way to display which pumps are active.  There are numbers from 1 to 13 which light up when the pump is being used. Also for some reason 3 and 4 have both an A and B.

Going Up!  Next Floor 4B.

  This building warned of hearing damage if spending too much time surrounded by the buzz and noise of the pumps.  The large pumps on the upper level send the treated water for distribution across the city.  The smaller pumps on the lower level send the water to be filtered.  We took a few pictures and then followed the water to the largest building which is the Filter Building.

Pumping Station (Left) Filter Building (Right)
Filter Building Entrance.

  The entrance to the Filter Building is very impressive.  You enter through a huge arch and head up the staircase.  There in the rotunda you see the signal pylon.  It looks like a clock and is made of different types of marble along with chrome and bronze panels.  It does indicate time as well as filter backwash conditions.

Signal Pylon.

  The water has chlorine added to it to kill bacteria.  It also has Alum added which causes small particles to clump together and form larger groups called "floc".  The heavy floc settles to the bottom of the tanks while the water is drawn into the filters.

R.C. Harris Hallway.

  The filter rooms are located along 2 long hallways which run east and west from the rotunda.  The water filters through layers of carbon, sand, and gravel to remove impurities.  Below is a picture of one of the filter tanks.

Filter Tank.  No Lifeguard on Duty.

  After being filtered, the water goes into storage tanks where more chlorine, fluoride, and ammonia are added before finally being pumped out of the plant and across the city of Toronto.  There are other smaller pumping stations and storage tanks, like the one below on Warden Avenue, that help get the job done.

Warden Water Tank.

  The R.C. Harris building is a beautiful piece of architecture doing a beautiful job of providing clean water to the largest city in Canada.  To really appreciate it you should try to see it from the inside, or at least view it from the Lake Ontario side.  The plant was designed so that its grand entrance faces out over the lake keeping watch across the precious water supply.

The Back Of The RC Harris Plant Facing Queen Street East.

  Below is a video of some swallows which make their homes along the Art Deco edges of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant.

Map of Our World
R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant , Warden Water Storage Tank

Post # 111