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Wednesday, 20 April 2022

A Weekend In Paris

Paris Ontario Over The Grand River

 Location: Paris, Ontario, Canada
Address: 106 Grand River St N.
Date: March 2022
Website: www.brant.ca

    Even though travelling is a little harder these days, we still managed to get away for a weekend in Paris. Paris, Ontario that is. Paris was not named after the city in France, but named for the nearby deposits of gypsum which were used to make plaster of Paris.  Paris has often been referred to as the prettiest little town in Canada. The restaurants and other businesses on the main street look out over the Grand River. We visited on a cold weekend in the off season and still found a lot to keep us entertained.

Paris or Toronto Road Sign.

    Paris, Ontario is only about an hour and a half drive from Toronto.  As we approached the town even the street signs wanted to remind us that we were not really that far away.

Arlington Hotel in Paris Ontario

      We stayed in the Arlington Hotel which was built in the 1850s and is now a boutique hotel with themed rooms.  The hotel stands tall and proud at the corner of William Street and Grand River Street.

Mona Lisa Hangs Over Bed In Paris Ontario Arlington Hotel.
The Da Vinci Suite At The Arlington Hotel in Paris Ontario.

   Each room of the Arlington is themed for a different artist.  We stayed in the most Parisian room of them all, the da Vinci suite.  Why not have the Mona Lisa hanging directly over your bed?

TARDIS elevator Arlington Hotel Paris Ontario

    The elevator of the hotel was decorated like a TARDIS time machine from the Doctor Who television shows.  TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space.

The Grand River Flows Past Paris Ontario.

    The Grand River that flows past Paris is almost 290 kilometres long and ends its journey at Lake Erie.

Paris Ontario from The Grand RIver

   Despite the cold, we decided to walk from town and check out Penman's Dam.  We could feel the warmth of Paris calling us back.

Penman's Dam Paris Ontario

  Penman's Dam was created to run one of the mills for Penmans Limited Clothing Company.

Welcome To Paris Grand River

   The area around the dam is a launching point for some of the canoe and kayak groups in the town.

Snow Over Penman's Dam Paris Ontario

    As we were leaving the dam, it started to snow. Snow in Paris, France is a rare occurrence, but in Paris, Ontario it is quite common.

Two Dogs Walk Beside The Grand RIver In Paris Ontario

  The only other travellers we saw near the dam were a pair of dogs all by themselves.  We headed back to the warmth of our hotel.

Hiram Capron Founder Of Paris Mural

  We ventured out again to explore the town.  At the north end of town is a mural showing Hiram Capron.  Hiram was the founder of Paris and lived and died in the town he helped incorporate in 1849.

Lest We Forget Clock Great War Monument.

   At the south end of town is a clock and a war memorial.  "Lest We Forget" the men and women of Paris who were lost during war. 

Cobblestone Common Paris Ontario

  Paris is also known for its use of cobblestone in the construction of many buildings around the town.  Cobblestone Common is the name of a park located beside the river.

Charles Mitchell House

  Charles Mitchell house is a good example of cobblestone used in construction.  If you look closely you can see all the little stones mixed into the front wall.

Cobblestone Restaurant & Pub Paris

  A local pub is even called The Cobblestone in honour of all the stones used in town.  We'll drink to that!

Paris Public Library Ontario

  The rest of town has some interesting places to visit and more interesting architecture.  You can also tell stories of your trip and dream of being in Paris, France.  "I read the most interesting book in a library in Paris".

Paris Baptist Church Ontario.

    There are many different churches to see in Paris.  Nothing quite compares to Notre Dame Cathedral.

Paris Jewellers Eiffel Tower Ontario

  The Paris Jewellers had an Eiffel Tower in their window to further make you feel like you are in a different Paris.

Chocolate Sensations Paris Ontario Frog

  Frog legs have long been a delicacy in Paris, France.  Chocolate Sensations offered many sweet treats including chocolate frogs.  They are just solid milk chocolate in case you were wondering.

Paris Ontario Home Hardware.

  Just as we started to feel as if we were somewhere in Europe, we spotted a Canadian hardware chain.  The local Paris Home Hardware reminded us where we were.  Not a bad place to be.  We enjoyed great food, interesting architecture, a quirky hotel and more.  We were told we need to come back in the summertime when the city is filled with flowers and at the peak of its beauty. 


Map of Our World
Paris, Ontario
Post # 310

Sunday, 20 March 2022

Little India

Flower In a Jar Mural

 Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 1432 Gerrard Street East
Date: Feb 2022

    Little India is the name given to a stretch of Gerrard Street East between Greenwood and Coxwell avenues.  It is named after the many Indian restaurants and businesses in the area.  We took some time to take a walk through this part of Toronto.

Mural Of Walking People South Of Gerrard Street Toronto

   We started our journey just south of Gerrard Street East on Greenwood Ave.  The people on the back of this building were also headed north.

Brickyard Mural Greenwood Ave. Toronto.

      The next building paid homage to the clay brickyards that used to reside in the area.  The mural shows children playing in the streets and the signs above list some of the brickyards.  Some of the brickyards are John Price, Taylor, Wagstaff, Russell and more.  The building also used to hold the Brickyard Bistro.

Greenwood Rail Yard Formerly Brickyard Toronto.

   The brickyards used to operate further north on Greenwood Avenue.  Once all the clay in the area was used, the yards became a city dump and finally became the property of the Toronto Transit Commision for adding trains to the Bloor Danforth subway line.

Subway Trains In Greenwood Yard

    We visited the Greenwood Rail Yard during one of Toronto's Doors Open days.  As part of the event we were given a free subway ride around the yard.

Peacock Mural Little India Toronto.

    We headed along Gerrard Street and finally encountered our first bit of India.  At Glenside Avenue we were greeted by a giant peacock painted on the wall.

Athens Villa Toronto.

   As with most of Toronto, no area is all just one culture or style.  Right across from the peacock is a little bit of Greece at the Athens Villa apartments.

Little India Elephant Toronto.

  One thing that we noticed a lot during our walk was elephants.  There were elephants up on the rooftops.

Little India Elephant.

   If you knew where to look.

Elephants Ashdale Branch.

    There were elephants on the fence outside of the local library branch.

Ashdale Branch Little India Fence.

  There were also dancers, tigers and the Taj Mahal.

Cats And Bird Little India Toronto.
Koala Grafitti Little India
Uncle Pennybags Utility Box Toronto

   Here are a few more works of art we noticed on our walk on Rhodes Avenue.  There was a group of cats waiting to pounce on a bird.  There was also a spray painted koala and Uncle Pennybags, better known to some as Mr. Monopoly.  Lastly, as we made it to Coxwell Avenue we came across Super Dave Convenience which always reminds us of the late, great Super Dave Osbourne. 

  These are only a few of the treasures hidden in Little India, we will have to return again when we can explore further.


Map of Our World
Brickyards Mural , Peacock Mural, Little India Elephants, Toronto Public Library - Gerrard/Ashdale Branch, 1465 Koala, Swizzle Cats, Utility Box (Uncle Pennybags), Flower In A Jar
Athens Villa, Super Dave Convenience
TTC Greenwood Yard
Post # 309

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Downsview Park

Downsview Park Buildings.


 Location: North York, Ontario, Canada
Address: 70 Canuck Ave.
Date: Feb 2022
Website: en.downsviewpark.ca

   Downsview Park has always been involved in aviation.  There is still an active airport on the grounds.  In 1929 de Havilland of Canada manufactured planes that were used in World War II.  After that the Royal Canadian Air Force used the grounds.  The area has been used for large events such as Pope John Paul II visiting in the 80s or The Rolling Stones coming to Toronto after SARS.  The latest chapter has the area being used for mostly sports and recreation, but you are constantly reminded of the park's history.  Let's take a look at some of the things that Downsview has to offer.

Fighter Jet At Denison Armoury.

   As you curve around the Downsview grounds on Sheppard Avenue West you will pass Denison Armoury where some former Canadian Armed Forces equipment is on display such as the fighter jet above.

Downsview Hangar.

      The old airplane hangars have now been repurposed as a sports recreation facility.

Hoop Game Downsview. 
 
Within the giant hangar spaces you can now take part in volleyball, soccer, basketball and more.
 
True North Climbing At Downsview Park.

    There is even a rock climbing facility of which we were briefly members.  Remember to double check all your gear and put your trust in your partner before you start to climb.

The Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Campus.

     Centennial College has a campus on site in the former de Havilland of Canada building.  Here students can learn to be aviation technicians or aerospace engineers.

Centennial College Dwonsview Campus Plane.

     Next to the college campus was a yard with some planes which we assume were for the students to practice their skills on.

Downsview Park Merchants Market & Farmer's Market.

    As you head further west on Carl Hall Road you will come to a long building which houses a merchant and farmer's market.  A great spot to pick up some fruits and vegetables, buy and sell some old household items and more.

Downsview Mural In Front Of Film Studio.

    The side of the building with the merchant's market also now has a large mural painted on it.  Behind that wall is a film studio.

Ulysses Crazy Legs Curtis Mural Downsview

  Back along Carl Hall Road is a mural dedicated to Ulysses "Crazy Legs" Curtis.  Ulysses was the first full time black player on the Toronto Argonauts football team.  After his retirement he was a teacher  and worked closely with the youth of the Downsview area.

Downsview Park

    The next part of the park is our favourite.  It is the urban park portion which many wild creatures call home.

Wind Socks Downsview Park

     Some wind socks show you which way the winds are blowing today.  This area gets some strong winds as much of it is open and flat.  All the better to land a plane.

Airport Themed Playground.

  A plane had landed nearby in the children's playground.  The playground was airport themed so children get a chance to play pilot or air traffic controller.

North Plaza Downsview Park.

    The North Plaza is the start of the Sesquicentennial Trail.  It depicts the story of the Mississaugas and early settlers.  It was unveiled as part of Canada's celebration of 150 years since confederation.

Popsicle Bird House Downsview Park.

    In the wooded areas there are several bird houses set up.  Downsview is home to many small types of birds.

Dark-Eyed Junco Downsview Park

    There are often dark-eyed juncos which are a type of sparrow.

White-Throated Sparrow Downsview Park.

    There are also many other types of sparrow such as this white-throated sparrow above.

Cardinal Downsview Park

  Bright red cardinals stand out against the snow.  

Canada Flag Downsview Park.

As do Canada Flags.

Downsview Muskoka Chairs.

 And big wooden muskoka chairs.

Tall Grass Meadowlark Downsview Park.

  Some signage lets you know to return in the summer when you might see other birds such as meadowlarks, bobolinks and more.

Baby Squirrel Downsview Park.

     Not to be outdone, there are many small mammals also in the park.  As with most of Toronto there are many squirrels.  This little squirrel above was part of a squirrel nursery that had taken over a tree.

DHC-2 Beaver Plane Downsview Park.

  You should be able to spot a beaver while in the park.  Real beavers are found within Toronto and therefore not an impossibility, but still very unlikely in this park.  This beaver is a DHC-2 Beaver which is an early bush plane developed at Downsview in 1947.

Rabbit Hiding At Downsview Park.

  If you look carefully you may spot a real rabbit hiding in the bushes.  As darkness falls, these rabbits need to watch out for coyotes in the park.

Raccoon Downsview Park.

  Raccoons can be found in the park and they don't bother to hide from anything.  They are content to sleep the day away wrapped around a tree.

Red Tailed Hawk Downsview Park.

  Where there are small birds and creatures there will also be larger birds of prey.  Red-tailed hawks can be found in the park year round.

Long-Eared Owl Downsview Park.Short-Eared Owl Downsview Park.

    Owls are sometimes seen in the park.  The pictures above are of a long-eared owl and a short-eared owl.  We are hoping you can figure out which is which, or should we say who is who?

Toronto Wildlife Centre Downsview Park.

  All of the animals in the park and around the city are glad to know that the Toronto Wildlife Centre is located on the Downsview grounds.  The centre helps injured animals get back out into the wild where they belong.

The Mound Downsview Park.

  One feature of Downsview are the giants mounds which you can climb.  This mound is comprised of all the dirt taken out when a man-made lake was created in the park.

Wind Rose Art Project Downsview Park.

  At the top of one of the mounds was an art project called Wind Rose.  It is a series of flags and is named after a tool used to show wind speed and direction in a particular area.

CN Tower From The Mound At Downsview.

  The top of the mound is a good spot to look past the Bombardier buildings and see the familiar Toronto skyline.  As always the CN Tower stands tall above everything else.

Planes of Downsview Park.

    Downsview Park is a great place to explore our connection to the skies from the safety of the ground.  Whether it is from the top of The Mound or above the rim at Hoop Dome.  We can dream of flying, like the many planes that were made here or like the birds that call the park home.



Post # 308