The Upside of April

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #17! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It’s been a good week with my eclectic cycling and walking excursions. It’s also month end when I reflect on what’s been happening during the month. I’d like to share some of my photos on my blog and link to a few photography challenges.

1. Spring Flowers

This week is the peak bloom period of the Japanese Sakura or cherry blossoms in Toronto. The people of Tokyo gifted 2000 Sakura trees to the people of Toronto in 1959 and we’ve been enjoying the gorgeous cherry blossoms every spring since.

Cherry blossoms.

Magnolia trees are also blooming. It’s amazing to see the trees full of flowers.

Linked to Jude’s Pink colour challenge, Becky’s Bright Square and Cee’s Flower of The Day photo challenges.

2. Architecture

I visited the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, the oldest school still standing in Toronto and the first free school in the city. It was built in 1848 when it was known as the Ward Street School for immigrants’ children to attend. It is now a historic site and museum.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 1848.
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 1848.

The school was a one-storey, red-brick building in the simple Gothic Revival style. The narrow peaked windows were trimmed with stone. The doors and window frames were painted green. Yellow bricks were inserted at the corners of the structure, around the main doorway, and in a solid multi-brick row near the roof line.

Click on any image in the following gallery to enlarge it.

Linked to Dan’s Thursday Doors photo challenge.

3. Sculpture

A trip downtown gave me the opportunity to revisit and photograph bronze sculptures that I like. Why photograph them again? Different time of day, different lighting, and different angles yield new results. Sometimes the art object is the same but its surroundings have changed.

Today’s picks: Immigrant Family honoring immigrant population in North America and The Anonymity of Prevention showing a worker working with a chisel and hammer with safety goggles.

Immigrant Family by Tom Otterness, 2007.
Immigrant Family, by Tom Otterness.
The Anonymity of Prevention, by Derek Lo and Lana Winkler, 2000.
The Anonymity of Prevention, by Derek Lo and Lana Winkler.

Linked to Sandy’s Friendly Friday: Hands & Feet photo challenge.

4. The Waterfront

One morning, on my way to Cherry Beach, I saw Toronto’s coolest new bridge over the Keating Channel. This area is under major developments and a few new bridges will be added in the next three years.

The Keating Channel is a 1 km long waterway in Toronto. It connects the Don River to inner Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario. The channel is named after Edward Henry Keating, a city engineer who proposed the creation of the channel in 1893.

Cherry Street North Bridge.
Cherry Street North Bridge.

Toronto Harbour is where I take the ferry or kayak across the harbour to reach Toronto Islands for a good time and great views of Toronto skyline.

Lake Ontario shore line is 1,146 km or 712 miles long. I’m grateful for the many beaches that I can go to for fresh air and relaxation.

Linked to Terri’s Sunday Stills: Water photo challenge.

5. April Highlights

April started off with a province-wide lockdown until at least May 20. By April 29, vaccination has accelerated. Ontario anticipates all adults over 18 will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by end of May. Here are my April highlights:

Health

  • I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • I feel fit from regular cycling, walking, body weight workouts, meditation, and yoga.
  • I stay optimistic in spite of the long lockdown.

Home

  • My sisters received their COVID-19 vaccines.
  • One niece got accepted into her first choice University with financial awards for her excellent grades.
  • Another niece and her boyfriend bought their first home and gave everyone in our family a virtual tour.

Leisure

In April I have…

Here’s the list of books I read this month with asterisk indicates new-to-me authors:

  1. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury. *
  2. Cathedral – Raymond Carver. *
  3. Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen.
  4. Someone Like You – Sarah Dessen.
  5. That Summer – Sarah Dessen.
  6. The Lost Man – Jane Harper. *
  7. The Other People – C.J. Tudor.

April was amazing. I’m grateful for all the good things that happened. I look forward to enjoying new explorations in May.

Linked to Denyse’s #LifeThisWeek.

How was your April? What are you looking forward to in May? I’d love to hear your comments.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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157 thoughts on “The Upside of April

  1. Denyse Whelan Blogs April 30, 2021 / 8:07 am

    Ah Natalie, how much we need to acknowledge who came before us and this post has much of that. Loved the sharing of the Cherry Blossoms…and the statues…and of course, school principal me (ret!) is always interested in the schools. Congratulations to those in your family achieving success….and possible best news of all, you have had your vaccination. Hoping that May brings some easing of freedom when the city is ready. Thank you for mentioning my link up at the end of this post. Much appreciated. Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:25 pm

      Denyse, I knew you’d like the schoolhouse. Mr. Turner generously funded the school and gave the gift of education to the schoolchildren. I imagine the children who passed the main door to learn and how that helped their parents and their future.

      Getting the first dose of vaccines is great news. Ontario is still fighting the war with covid-19. Hopefully by the end of May, more Ontarians have received the vaccines and we can return closer to normalcy.

      When your Taking Stock post goes live, I’ll update the link from my post to yours, like I did in previous posts. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denyse Whelan Blogs May 5, 2021 / 9:45 pm

        Thanks so much for linking up for #lifethisweek. I am always grateful to see your blog post there. Next week my guest poster is ready to comment…I have done one training session with him…and I will be there too. Cheers, Denyse.

        Like

        • Natalie May 6, 2021 / 9:11 am

          Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. Look forward to the next link-up.

          Like

  2. BeckyB April 30, 2021 / 8:15 am

    oh what a fabulous round up – you have had such a lovely week. And you have made me want to visit Toronto even more!

    Thank you so much for linking up with squares 😀

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you, Becky, for hosting Squares. Your photo challenge prompts me to use the square option on my camera more often 🙂 Look forward to the theme you choose for July.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeckyB May 1, 2021 / 2:55 am

        So glad you have enjoyed it – hopefully my July theme will be as successful!

        Like

  3. Dan Antion April 30, 2021 / 8:29 am

    This post touches so many soft spots of mine. The schoolhouse is remarkable. I love the door and I really like the narrow sharp arched windows. It’s hard to beat brick and stone. I also love bridges, so the bridge over the channel was a welcome sight. Most of all, I love learning about history, from the trees to the channel to the sculpture. And kudos for reading Fahrenheit 451 !

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:41 pm

      Dan, Thank you for your kind comment. I like the simple design of the E. Turner Schoolhouse. I think about how generous and wise Mr. Turner was to fund the school from his own money and to invest in education for immigrant children.

      The new bridge over the Keating Channel and the channel itself are examples of human ingenuity. I was impressed to learn that Mr. Keating proposed the channel creation in 1893. The new bridge was built with parts from the Netherlands, then it was assembled in Nova Scotia and barged from there to Toronto. It was then placed across the channel by cranes.

      I found Fahrenheit 451 thought-provoking and a great read. I was impressed by how futuristic-thinking the author was when he wrote it and how books, TV programs or social media affect our mind and beliefs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Betty April 30, 2021 / 8:32 am

    You are a very organized person! This post was enjoyable to read, and the pictures were great. Your post is an inspiration to get out, do things and explore. Enjoy your day!

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Betty, for your kind comment. Spring has been beautiful here. I like to explore, learn more about my city and enjoy what life offers. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill Weatherholt April 30, 2021 / 9:23 am

    Another productive week, Natalie. You’re amazing! Oh…I adore the cherry blossoms! Thanks for sharing your incredible photos. Have a great weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:48 pm

      Jill, The week went by fast. I appreciate that I don’t need to go to Japan to see the beautiful cherry blossoms 🙂 I hope you’re doing well and your hummingbirds have returned. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Molly Totoro April 30, 2021 / 9:39 am

    Fabulous pictures, as always. I especially like The Immigrants. I’m excited o learn more about this artist 🙂 Your April is inspirational. I fell off the wagon with regards to daily walks this month, but I hope to get outside more in May. I am very much looking forward to warmer temperatures and relaxing restrictions (I get my second dose next Thursday!)

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:52 pm

      Molly, Tom Otterness is the artist who created the Immigrant Family sculpture. He has an impressive portfolio. Yay for getting your 2nd dose of vaccine next Thursday! Have a great weekend!

      Like

  7. blogbyA April 30, 2021 / 9:48 am

    Nice update.. Visiting Japan seeing cherry blossoms is on my bucket list. Keep safe

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you get to see the cherry blossoms one day.

      Like

  8. blogbyA April 30, 2021 / 9:48 am

    I literally felt like I’m exploring a place through this post

    Like

  9. Suzanne@PictureRetirement April 30, 2021 / 9:54 am

    Natalie, you certainly live in a beautiful city. It is a virtual feast for the eyes! Feeling fit and healthy certainly contributes to a positive nature and you are a beautiful example of positivity. Congrats to you and your family for important achievements. Just goes to show that even in the face of a pandemic, much can be accomplished.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:09 pm

      Thank you, Suzanne, for your kind comments. I focus on the positive. We’ll get out of this pandemic eventually. Getting the vaccine is great news. My friends have also received their vaccines so once the lockdown is lifted, I’ll be able to meet up with my family and friends.

      Like

  10. Marsha April 30, 2021 / 10:16 am

    Natalie, what lovely photos. What a cool bridge, is there anything like it in the world? It’s fun. I love reading how active you have been during the week. It’s a fun post.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:13 pm

      Marsha, I don’t know of any similar looking bridge. The new bridge is cool. It was made with parts from the Netherlands, assembled in Nova Scotia on the East coast of Canada, barged from there to Toronto, and placed over the Keating Channel by cranes. There are a few more new bridges planned for that area. I hope to see them all after they’re installed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha April 30, 2021 / 5:18 pm

        It’s nice to enjoy a bit of art in architecture. Thanks for sharing it Natalie. I’ll look forward to seeing the rest of them through your eyes. 🙂

        Like

  11. Kirstin April 30, 2021 / 10:34 am

    How fun to live in a city where you can always find something new to explore. I love magnolia trees too. I always love the architecture and sculptures you share. So much history and story behind them I’m sure.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:17 pm

      Kirstin, I enjoy exploring Toronto and learning more about the city. It’s still growing so there is always something new to see. I’m glad you like my post and photos.

      Like

  12. robertawrites235681907 April 30, 2021 / 12:59 pm

    Your pictures are all lovely, Natalie. I particularly like the bronze statues. Congratulations to your niece and I’m glad you know you’ve had you first C-19 shot.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:28 pm

      Thank you, Roberta, for your comments. I let my nieces know about your congrats. Those bronze statues are remarkable, aren’t they? I admire how the sculptors achieve human expressions from hard materials like bronze. I hope you’ve been staying safe and well.

      Like

  13. Deborah Drucker April 30, 2021 / 1:44 pm

    There was so much skill and care put into building the schoolhouse. Lovely flower, sculpture, and landscape photos. It sounds like you are taking the first steps out of lockdown. Congratulations.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:37 pm

      Thank you, Deborah, for your comment. I was glad to see the historic schoolhouse in good shape for its age. The lockdown has closed most places here. I enjoy nature and public art while keeping a safe distance from people.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. SandyL April 30, 2021 / 2:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing your week. You have some unique views of Toronto that I haven’t seen before.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:41 pm

      Thank you, Sandy, for your comment. I’m glad to share some unique views of Toronto that you haven’t seen before. The city is still growing so there is always something new to discover.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. smkelly8 April 30, 2021 / 2:31 pm

    You had a great month. So much variety — from your activities, to the doors, to your reading!

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:44 pm

      I enjoy variety and try to build it in my day. Hope April was good to you.

      Like

  16. Ally Bean April 30, 2021 / 2:36 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed your month and were able to get out to snap some photos, do some things. You read a variety of books, too. Clearly the month agrees with you!

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 5:46 pm

      Ally, April has been great. I enjoy variety and build it in my day. I hope April has been good to you, too. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Barbara April 30, 2021 / 3:48 pm

    I love the virtual tours of Toronto. If I ever make it there, I will feel I know a lot about it thanks to you! Will pop by later to join coffee share.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 6:14 pm

      Barbara, I’m glad you enjoy the virtual tours of Toronto. I look forward to your coffee share.

      Like

  18. rawsonjl April 30, 2021 / 5:11 pm

    Those blossoms are beautiful! I love all the waterfront views too.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 6:17 pm

      Spring has been beautiful here. Lots of flowers in the city and the waterfront is a big draw.

      Like

  19. Jennifer Jones April 30, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    I love the history in your post Natalie, especially the Immugrants sculpture. I’m constantly amazed at the beauty of your city

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 6:43 pm

      Jennifer, I’m glad you enjoy the history in my post. I think that’s what makes a building or an art object more interesting.

      Like

  20. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 April 30, 2021 / 7:00 pm

    Spring is always a beautiful time of year, Natalie and those blossoms just filled me with joy. I’m hoping to get the COVID vaccine soon and hope you didn’t have any major side affects. For April, I celebrated my daughter’s 40th birthday and this last week, Ethan’s 7th birthday. I’ve been working on a cake for him as per my tradition. Enjoy your week and thanks for #weekendcoffeeshare

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 7:34 pm

      Hi Sue, I had no major side effects after my vaccine. I remember your photo at Rachel’s birthday celebration. I look forward to seeing a photo of your cake creation for Ethan’s 7th birthday. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  21. Heyjude April 30, 2021 / 8:08 pm

    Thanks for all your pinks this month Natalie. Toronto is such a wonderful city I wish I had spent more time there.

    Like

    • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 8:19 pm

      Thank you, Jude, for hosting the colour challenge. There are many wonderful places to explore and not enough time to experience them all. How long were you in Toronto? Most tourists stay 2-3 days to see the major sights in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude April 30, 2021 / 8:23 pm

        We were there for three days back in 2005 before catching the Canadian train to Vancouver. We did visit Niagara and loved wandering around your city. Cabbagetown was my favourite part.

        Like

        • Natalie April 30, 2021 / 8:33 pm

          Cabbagetown is great for wandering and taking photos. I’m glad you also visited Vancouver. Maybe when the pandemic is over and it’s safe to travel, you can plan another trip to Toronto.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Heyjude May 1, 2021 / 7:40 am

            I suspect my Canada days are over, if I ever fly long-haul again it will have to be to Australia as I have family there. But you do have a lovely country. Vancouver Island is spectacular.

            Like

            • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:03 am

              Yes, Vancouver Island is beautiful. The Canadian Rockies are majestic. I’d like to visit New Zealand and Australia when it’s safe to travel again.

              Liked by 1 person

  22. leannelc May 1, 2021 / 12:04 am

    Hi Natalie – yes it looks like your April was just about perfect. I love Spring and Autumn – our weather here seems very similar to what you’ve been experiencing – glorious blue skies, coolish temps but so pleasant to be outside. We’ve had lots of family visits and outings over the last few weeks – it’s been really lovely and I can see your’s has been too.

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:09 am

      Hi Leanne, How wonderful that you’ve had lots of family visits and outings. We’re still in lockdown here and indoor and outdoor social gatherings with people who are not living in the same household are banned until at least May 20. Spring and Autumn are beautiful seasons and pleasant to be outside. Have a great week!

      Like

  23. RuthScribbles May 1, 2021 / 12:35 am

    oh I love cherry blossoms! Thank you for sharing your photos!!

    Like

  24. Laurie May 1, 2021 / 7:44 am

    I have seen the cherry blossoms blooming in Washington, D.C. but never in Toronto. They are beautiful in your city too! Love the photo of the city skyline with the swan in the foreground. Sounds like you had a great month. Hope May is just as good!

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:14 am

      April was great. May is off to a good start with my morning coffee 🙂 Have a great week, Laurie.

      Like

  25. trentpmcd May 1, 2021 / 8:24 am

    Sounds like a great week and a great month! I hope your weekend goes well and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:52 am

      Thank you, Trent. You have a great weekend and a wonderful week ahead, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Bear May 1, 2021 / 8:40 am

    Such beautiful pics! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:53 am

      Thank you, Bear. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  27. Ju-Lyn May 1, 2021 / 9:07 am

    I was just sharing your post at the dinner table – in particular about the 2000 sakura trees gifted by Japan. It is so interesting that there is hanami all the way in Toronto!

    Way to stay positive during this long long lockdown! And congratulations on getting the 1st Dose of the vaccine.

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 9:50 am

      Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for your comment. Yes, Toronto has had the cherry blossoms from Japan since 1959. We also have gifted tulips from the Netherlands since WW2. It’s good to have friends in high places and surprising things you learn about a city from a resident and a blogger 🙂

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn May 3, 2021 / 7:40 am

        We had a whole conversation revolving around why Japan would send Toronto cherry blossoms (and 2000 trees at that!!!). Now I also know that you have tulips from the Netherlands as well! Fabulous

        Like

        • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:46 am

          Glad to hear my blog is a topic for your dinner conversation 🙂 It’s a compliment to me.

          The gift of Sakura trees was for Toronto’s support of Japanese-Canadian refugees after the Second World War. Since then, the city of Toronto in conjunction with the Consulate General of Japan created the “Sakura Project” which has continued to plant new Sakura // Cherry Blossom trees in High Park and throughout the city in the spirit of continued friendship between Toronto and the people of Japan.

          The Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians is for the role of the Canadian troops in the liberation of the Netherlands and Europe, as well as commemorates the birth of Dutch Princess Margriet in Ottawa during World War II—the only royal personage ever born in Canada. The annual Canadian Tulip Festival is in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, about 4 hours drive from Toronto.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ju-Lyn May 4, 2021 / 3:28 am

            Thank you for all this wonderful historical information – I can now update the family who are extremely chuffed by all these floral gifts.

            So the number of Sakura trees continues to increase in High Park? I googled some photos and saw High Park – it looks so very lovely!

            Have you been to the Tulip Festival?

            Like

            • Natalie May 4, 2021 / 9:51 am

              The number of Sakura trees in High Park is well-maintained by Toronto’s Parks employees. New trees are planted not only in High Park but in other areas in Toronto. It relieves the congestion that occurs every April-May in High Park during peak bloom period.

              I’ve been to the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa a few times. It’s stunning with carpets of tulips and so many varieties. This year it’s on May 14-24. If the lockdown is lifted, I may go to see the tulips and my family and friends who live there. If the lockdown continues, I can view online. There are also many tulips blooming in Toronto atm. May is our month for peak tulip blooms.

              Like

              • Ju-Lyn May 5, 2021 / 3:03 am

                That makes a lot of sense, to spread the trees around town.

                I didn’t realise tulips bloom in May – very close to Sakura blooming!

                With every post of yours I read, I marvel at how beautiful Toronto is. I am way overdue for a revisit (I think I last visited in the early ’90s).

                Like

                • Natalie May 5, 2021 / 8:44 am

                  If you revisit and if our schedules work out, I’d be glad to show you parts of downtown Toronto. The city has grown a lot since the 90s. It has many gems to discover.

                  Like

                  • Ju-Lyn May 5, 2021 / 10:49 pm

                    Thanks Natalie! Older Child is looking to do her PhD at some point in Canada …. Toronto is a strong candidate. Maybe I’ll see you in a few years!

                    Like

                    • Natalie May 6, 2021 / 9:18 am

                      Good for your older child to consider doing her PhD in Canada. My applause.

                      Liked by 1 person

  28. Susanne May 1, 2021 / 12:37 pm

    I’m glad you’ve had such a good month! Fantastic that the vaccinations are going forward and that your sisters have had the vaccine! It’s finally moving on quite well here too, so I’m delighted.
    Those cherry trees are amazing but I may actually like the magnolia even more! Absolutely lovely.
    Sculptures are interesting to photograph but can be difficult because of backgrounds etc.. there are some very powerful sculptures in Dublin in remembrance of the Great Famine. I tried to photograph them a couple of years ago and found it extremely difficult to capture the essence in those sculptures. I will definitely try again when I have the opportunity.
    Here, April has been good and now I’m looking forward to May with hopefully warmer weather, progress in the garden, and maybe vaccination!

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 2:15 pm

      Susanne, Yes, some sculptures are hard to photograph. I saw the Great Famine sculpture in Stephen’s Green in Dublin. The same artist created the famine immigrant sculptures for Ireland Park in Toronto. I’m glad to hear April has been good to you. Here’s to a healthy and happy May!

      Like

  29. wideeyedwanderingspoonie May 1, 2021 / 3:19 pm

    Wow, you’ve had a wonderful April! I’m lovin’ those magnolia blossoms, I haven’t seen one in ages they don’t do well here in the great plains. I think it so grand that you’re cycling and walking and weight working. I’m having some challenges in the fitness dept but as always, a good attitude keeps us going, eh? Here’s to a marvelous May!

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 5:04 pm

      The magnolias are blooming here this week, some of the blooms are huge. A good attitude is a great asset. Have a marvellous May!

      Like

  30. csuhpat1 May 1, 2021 / 8:04 pm

    Downtown Toronto looks amazing. What a beautiful place. I remember learning about Ray Bradbury when I was like 11, they had a mini-series called “The Martian Chronicles which was based on his 1950 book. Fahrenheit 451 is an amazing book.

    Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie May 1, 2021 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comments. Fahrenheit 451 is an amazing and thought-provoking book. I hope your weekend is going well. Have a great week ahead!

      Like

  31. Astrid May 2, 2021 / 8:57 am

    Wow, vaccination is really going quickly where you are. I’m so happy about that. Also so glad you feel fit from all the cycling. Those books you’ve read look interesting too.

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 9:53 am

      Yes, Ontario has accelerated the vaccination rate and more residents will be able to get the vaccine in May than in previous months. Spring has been beautiful here so I enjoy it as much as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 10:04 am

      Welcome PiP to Weekend Coffee Share! You’re the second “new kid” to join us this weekend. The other is from South Africa. I think we have several interests in common 🙂

      Do you want to enter the InLinkz link party so other Coffee Share participants can see your post thumbnail and they can see yours? It’s optional but I want to point it out in case you didn’t notice. If you want to enter, click the blue button at the end of my post and follow the prompt.

      I’ll hop to your blog shortly. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Piglet in Portugal May 2, 2021 / 11:21 am

        “Do you want to enter the InLinkz link party so other Coffee Share participants can see your post thumbnail and they can see yours? ” yes please. I’ll see if I can find the blue button

        Liked by 1 person

      • Piglet in Portugal May 2, 2021 / 11:29 am

        I don’t think I’ve entered this right.. I clicked on Gary’s link and nothing happened.

        Like

        • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 11:33 am

          Hmm, try my link or another link. If that still doesn’t work, try to re-enter your link and I’ll remove your first link.

          Like

          • Piglet in Portugal May 2, 2021 / 1:49 pm

            Nope none of them worked. Can you delete and I’ll try again. Maybe it’s because I logged in using FB

            Like

            • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 2:14 pm

              I deleted your entry. Please try again. Sorry for the trouble.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Piglet in Portugal May 2, 2021 / 2:56 pm

                I tried again and it still didn’t work. The only way I can get it to work is open the site in a new window. That’s okay. I am using firefox. I will try using Chrome. 🙂 A hate modern technology LoL

                Like

                • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 4:36 pm

                  So strange, PiP. I’m sorry for the trouble, especially when it’s your first linking to Weekend Coffee Share. I hope Chrome helps. I use Firefox myself. No participant in the link up has mentioned to me of the issue you experienced.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Piglet in Portugal May 2, 2021 / 5:08 pm

                    No probs. I have that effect on modern technology 🙂 Does it show up that I’ve even posted on anyone’s blog?

                    Like

                    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 5:16 pm

                      I usually review the stats after the link-up ends. Some bloggers moderate the incoming comments so yours may not appear right away. I’m confident that it will show that you visited and left comments on other blogs.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 5:27 pm

                      No problem. Thank you for joining us.

                      Like

  32. Terri Webster Schrandt May 2, 2021 / 10:19 am

    You’re always so busy, Natalie and April was the month to get out and about! Thanks for the tour of Toronto, it really is quite stunning to see the architecture amidst the cherry blossoms. That is quite some Bridge! Any idea when the lock down eases? I hear conflicting reports. Seems like you’re managing to get out locally. I got my second shot yesterday and other than soreness at the injection site, I feel just fine. Thanks for linking your beautiful water images to Sunday Stills and have a wonderful week!

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 10:34 am

      Terri, The lockdown is until at least May 20. Ontario has accelerated vaccination rate to all adults in May so I hope residents get the vaccine and we can all safely enjoy the summer.

      Thankfully, the lockdown has always allowed residents to go outside to exercise while keeping a safe distance from others. I cycle and walk to places where I know few people are around and also on weekday mornings to avoid crowds. I felt fine after my first shot, too.

      Thank you for hosting Sunday Stills. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Regina Martins May 2, 2021 / 10:42 am

    An incredibly busy April – the weather looks amazing and the cherry blossoms so gorgeous. Toronto is still on my list to visit – 2020 was supposed to be the year of Canada but the universe had other ideas 😉

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 10:59 am

      April was a lot of fun. I hope you get to visit Canada and I get to visit South Africa 🙂

      Like

  34. Jo May 2, 2021 / 4:13 pm

    Those cherry blossoms and magnolias, the cool bridge… Good news re the vaccines – over 50s will be eligible here (I think) very soon – and in staying positive. Mostly though, those cherry blossoms.

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 4:42 pm

      Jo, The cherry blossoms are gorgeous IRL. Lots of beautiful flowers around here at this time of the year. My phone is full of flower images. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid May 2, 2021 / 4:44 pm

    Love the pics of the cherry blossom and always enjoy your Toronto snaps – they bring back so many happy memories of our short time there – and that bridge! It’s amazing! Did you love The Lost Man? I think it was possibly the best Jane Harper yet. Hope your May is full of yay!

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 5:24 pm

      Sammie, I enjoyed reading The Lost Man very much. I borrowed more of Jane Harper’s books and look forward to reading them. I hope April was good to you. Have a wonderful May!

      Like

  36. Lizl Bennefeld May 2, 2021 / 5:28 pm

    Love the photographs, the diversity of subjects. Like wandering through streets, enjoying the sights along the way. Thanks!

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 6:35 pm

      Lizl, I’m glad you enjoy my post and photos. I hope your weekend is going well. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Debbie May 2, 2021 / 5:41 pm

    I love the magnolia shots Natalie, as they are a favourite of mine in the garden in spring! I always enjoy your round up and admire your positive attitude and get up and go. Enjoy your springtime #lifethisweek

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 6:41 pm

      Deb, Magnolia flowers are beautiful. I’ve been enjoying spring here. I hope your autumn is going well. Have a great week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. msomerville2014 May 2, 2021 / 7:06 pm

    Hi Natalie, as always enjoyed the pictures. Is the new bridge you showed a walking bridge or a bridge for vehicles? It looks inviting. Away on vacation last week’ part of it got eaten up with reactions to COVID vaccine, mine and his, but all is well. Traveled home Thursday, followed up with hubby’s doctors on Friday, leaving Friday evening and yesterday to prepare for this morning. Hopped onto my computer to read some coffee share posts. I am nothing but grateful. Hoping things go well with the vaccinations and the end of the quarantine in sight. See you next week. Michele

    Like

    • Natalie May 2, 2021 / 7:40 pm

      Hi Michele, Glad to hear you and your husband are well after the reactions to COVID vaccine. The vaccination rollout is accelerating here. Most of my family and friends have received their first dose, so far so good.

      The new bridge is for vehicles with dedicated lanes for pedestrians on its sides. There are going to be a few more new bridges added to that area.

      Hope you have a restful Sunday night and a great week ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

      • msomerville2014 May 3, 2021 / 12:12 pm

        Thanks Natalie. Glad I got to do a little reading before the end of the evening.

        Like

  39. Lydia C. Lee May 2, 2021 / 8:04 pm

    OMG. I fell in love with Farhenheit 451 when I read it (in my 40’s). I love that book so much. Went on to read the play (he wrote it 10/20 years later and in his old age changed the ending so the relationship was altered sentimentially).. The book is better.
    Love both the sculptures. The Immigrant family remidns me of another artist but I can’t think who. He has little people all over NY

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:21 am

      Yes, Fahrenheit 451 is a great book, thought-provoking and still relevant today. Tom Otterness is the sculptor for Immigrant Family. He’s done many sculptures in NYC.

      Like

  40. Deborah May 2, 2021 / 9:01 pm

    Oh wow, I love the immigrant family statue or sculpture. It’s stunning.

    As is that bridge – very futuristic!

    I’m glad you got your first dose of the vaccine – good news.

    And I’ve only read the bottom two books on your list.

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:26 am

      I enjoyed reading Jane Harper and CJ Tudor’s books. I discovered them this year. My next book is The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor.

      Like

  41. dprastka May 2, 2021 / 10:43 pm

    Such BEAUTIFUL photos of the cherry blossoms and magnolia’s. All your photos are so wonderful, Lake Ontario shoreline is eye catching too. I Love hearing about how last month went for you. Thank you for coffee, I do enjoyed visiting with you today!! ❤️

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:28 am

      Thank you, Diana, for stopping by. I’m glad you like my photos. Spring flowers have been beautiful around here. Have a great week! I look forward to reading your next coffee share.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Julie May 3, 2021 / 12:17 am

    What I am enjoying in May is getting around to do more yard work projects. If I had the energy, I would have done it myself. I will be getting help — after debating about it for long, I just knew I needed to outsource these duties otherwise it would never come together.

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:32 am

      Yes, sometimes we need to outsource to get the work done. A good landscaper/ yard worker can get your yard ready for enjoyment this year and set the stage for your DIY in the following years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Julie May 3, 2021 / 12:37 pm

        Ooh yeah that’s true. When we bought our house many years ago we thought we’d DIY the yard. Quickly we found out we did not have the resources namely the tools to do so. It just was not worth it to buy the tools. I felt a little defeated to decide we need to hire someone, but I like how you framed it. We can DIY we can do ourselves later.

        Like

  43. Sanch @ Sanch Writes May 3, 2021 / 7:03 am

    Lovely pics as always! Funny coincidence – I just read a book last week set in Toronto and it’s called Cherry Beach and has a few scenes set there. I don’t think I visited there back in 2015

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 8:34 am

      What a coincidence! Cherry Beach is a local and family beach in downtown Toronto. It’s popular in the summer with a nearby park and picnic tables.

      Like

  44. Retirement Reflections May 3, 2021 / 3:38 pm

    Hi, Natalie – That sculpture of the New Canadian Family is one of my favourites. And the Japanese Cherry Blossoms always make me smile. I’m glad that your Spring is going well. Thank you for sharing this.

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 5:16 pm

      Good to hear from you, Donna. I hope your blogging break and spring cleaning went well. Spring has been beautiful with lots of flower blooms around here. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!

      Like

  45. Antoinette Truglio Martin May 3, 2021 / 9:23 pm

    I thought I had commented, but I must of gotten distracted. Anyway, Love your photos and the inspiration to get outside and look. I especially like the immigrant sculpture.
    Have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie May 3, 2021 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you, Antoinette, for your comment. Spring has been beautiful here. I’m eager to get outside. I hope your week is going well. Make it a great one.

      Like

  46. tidalscribe.com May 4, 2021 / 6:48 pm

    What a lovely gift from Tokyo; if all countries just gave each other cherry trees what a wonderful world it would be!

    Like

    • Natalie May 4, 2021 / 7:08 pm

      The gift of the cherry blossom trees is long lasting and beautiful. A reminder to be kind and be a good friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Min Write of the Middle May 4, 2021 / 8:09 pm

    Beautiful photos as usual Natalie! I’m particularly taken with the Cherry Blossoms. I have loved them for a long time. In fact I’ve been hoping that one day I could travel to Japan at the right time they’re in bloom to see them. I never knew that Tokyo had gifted Toronto 2000 of them. How lovely! I also love your ‘Cherry Street North Bridge’. It’s architecturally so different to our bridges here! Hope you’re having a great week! xo

    Like

    • Natalie May 4, 2021 / 8:20 pm

      Hi Min, Yes, I appreciate the Sakura cherry blossoms every spring in Toronto without going to Japan. They’re stunning to see IRL. The Cherry Street North bridge is futuristic looking. It’s different from other older bridges that we have here. Toronto has been bringing in new designs and I like this bridge. I hope you had a lot of fun at your family birthday celebrations. Have a wonderful week!.

      Like

  48. Liesbet @ Roaming About May 4, 2021 / 8:55 pm

    Your blogs are as organized as you are, Natalie! I’ve seen the magnolias in bloom here in Massachusetts as well, but haven’t spotted cherry blossoms. Those are just wonderful. I vividly remember them from past visits to Washington DC. You had another productive and varied month, but I’m sure you’re looking forward to the end of May! Congratulations to your nieces!!

    Like

    • Natalie May 5, 2021 / 8:37 am

      Thank you, Liesbet, for the compliment. I organize my blog topics when I write, a self-improvement practice and my hope to make it interesting and easy to read for my blog readers.

      I look forward to specific restrictions to be lifted at the end of May e..g. re-opening of hair salons to get a haircut, resuming social gatherings with family and friends. Will see how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. Erica/Erika May 7, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Always amazing the variations in one colour, in your examples “pink.” I think I have seen the Immigrant Family sculpture in the past. Great photo capture of the bridge. Staying fit and optimistic is important.
    ❤️

    Like

    • Natalie May 7, 2021 / 10:08 pm

      I love that there are so many colours and shades of each colour at this time of the year. Cycling/ walking outside and taking photos keep me fit physically and mentally during this long lockdown. Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for taking your time to read my posts and comment. I greatly appreciate your visits.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. Forestwood May 7, 2021 / 7:43 pm

    Very nice to read of your month of doings, Natalie. You manage to keep busy despite the restrictions. Toronto’s cherry blossoms are stunning! I also find Duolingo fun, but currently learn Norwegian. I gave up on learning Polish. It was very difficult.
    Do you use a particular website for meditation or yoga?

    Like

    • Natalie May 7, 2021 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you, Amanda, for your comment. I appreciate the gift of the Sakura cherry blossoms every spring. They’re stunning to see IRL.

      I’m aware of some websites and videos but don’t use any website for meditation or yoga since I’ve been practicing both for many years. Are you practicing meditation and/ or yoga?

      Like

      • Forestwood May 8, 2021 / 1:35 am

        Yoga has been my main practice for over 30 years. I have 2 classes each week now. I haven’t yet found a meditation class in my new location, but I am looking. I turned to the online version of my former yoga teacher during Covid. What is your meditation like?

        Like

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