What’s Been Happening | January 2023

The last Friday of January is a good time for me to reflect on what’s been happening and what I enjoyed during the month. January has been a calm and joyful month in lots of ways.

Exploring Outdoors

I enjoyed time in nature – always a happy time for me. Outdoor cycling and walking supplemented my indoor fitness routine. Toronto has experienced relatively mild temperatures throughout January and just had a major snow storm on January 25.

A glorious winter day
Canada geese having a snack
Beautiful blue space
Resilient Hellebores flower in winter
Snow on tree branches
Holly berries give a pop of colour
Snow on evergreens

Socializing, Art and Culture

I celebrated New Year’s Day and Lunar New Year’s Day with my family. Good food, good company, and twice in three weeks, what not to love? We all hope for a year of good health, peace and joy.

I also met up with friends for a few fun outings. Outing #1 was to the Bentway Skate Trail which is under the Gardiner Expressway, a major road in Toronto. On display at the skate trail is artist Shellie Zhang’s Beacons installation of five colourful flame-like features that light up at night.

Outing #2 was a nature walk and coffee catch up in the downtown core where I photographed Thing’s End sculpture by artist James Carl. I love the crafty title, the unique design of a rubber band and the soft blue colour.

Thing’s End, 2012 by James Carl

Outing #3 led to discoveries of public art in Chinatown.

Blogging

My blogging and hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup has been going well. Thank you to all who have shared updates, comments and/ or photos from around the world. Here’s the links for January’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:

For more blogging fun, I’m linking up with Ju-Lyn‘s #TheChangingSeasons and #WBOYC hosted by Donna, Sue, Jo and Deb.

Reading

This month I enjoyed discovering four new books and three new-to-me authors (Mandel, Patchett and Picton). While all four books are very good, the most delightful is The Knighton Women’s Compendium. It was published on January 4, 2023, set in Australia, and told from a child’s point of view.

  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • The Knighton Women’s Compendium by Denise Picton

What’s the best book you read in January?

Weekend Coffee Share

I’d love for you to share what’s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #104 InLinkz below.

Please note that starting in February, I’ll end the WCS linkup on Sunday at 5 p.m. Toronto time. The start date and time stay the same. This change should not affect regular participants since all add their links on Friday or Saturday and before 5 p.m. on Sunday. If any blogger wants to join in after the linkup is closed, feel free to leave me a comment with the link to their WCS post or a pingback. Thank you.

Happy February!

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Happy New Year 2023

I would like to wish everyone a healthy, joyful, and fulfilling new year. I hope you had a lovely holiday season. Mine was enjoyable and relaxing. Nature has given us here a gentle start to 2023 with light rain and mild temperatures, high 4C or 39F, on New Year’s Day.

To ring in 2023, I watched the 15-minute fireworks display launching at midnight across Toronto’s waterfront. I celebrated New Year’s Day with a healthy breakfast, a gentle yoga session, a good lunch, a bike ride, a delicious family dinner, chocolate, and an intriguing book. It was a wonderful day!

Forecast and Outlook

My activity forecast for 2023 follows nature’s four seasons: Quiet reflection and preparation in winter (January-March), emergence and new beginnings in spring (April-June), abundance and growth in summer (July-September), and gentle wrap-up in autumn (October-December).

I have an optimistic outlook for 2023. While we don’t know what this new year will bring us, I know there are at least three things that I can and love to do:

  1. Maintain my health and fitness in various ways.
  2. Show support to family, friends and community.
  3. Explore and enjoy life via my hobbies and travel adventures.

On the Blog

During my break, I did some blog housekeeping behind the scene and on my Home page:

  1. Changed my blog header image from a beach to an island.
  2. Updated the pages on the menu at the top of my blog.
  3. Updated the widgets on my blog sidebar.

I hope to continue documenting my explorations and discoveries with pictures on my blog. I have a few outings in the queue to write up. For this week, I am sharing a recently painted mural that I discovered on one of my walks. I like its nature theme and cheerful colours.

The Bathurst Quay Mural featuring artwork by Shawn Howe depicting birch trees growing against a purple, pink and orange sky with a stream surrounded by rocks in the foreground and a large moon or sun in the sky.

Bathurst Quay Mural, 2022, by Shawn Howe
North side
West side

Weekend Coffee Share

I continue hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Welcome to WCS linkup #101! This weekly linkup allows bloggers to come together to share what’s been happening, simple joys from their week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world.

Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own WCS or PPAC post each week and then sharing your link in the InLinkz dashboard or comments below, anytime between 8:00 am Friday morning and midnight Sunday night (Canada Eastern Time). I look forward to hearing from you.

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Wrapping Up 2022

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 50 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #100 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

This is my last post for 2022 before the holidays. I’d like to wrap up my 2022 with beautiful lights and gratitude. Below is my selection of blue light displays for PPAC and Sunday Stills photo challenge.

Beautiful Lights

I started my walk at Nathan Phillips Square to see the 56th annual Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto. The event is on from November 26 to January 7. It includes lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree and thousands of energy-efficient bulbs adorn the heart of downtown Toronto.

Along Bay Street, all the major banks have glittering trees and holiday decorations. Royal Bank of Canada displays their signature blue and silver tree for the holidays.

I ended my walk at Union Station. The Pixel Matrix, created by Michael Awad and David Rokeby, is a three-dimensional cube made up of 30,000 individually controllable LED lights on strings, with constantly changing lighting effects.

The Pixel Matrix, 2009

On another walk, I discovered an intense blue aluminum sculpture. I thought it would be fun to add it to this post.

Blue Chip, 2016 by Brendon McNaughton

Gratitude 2022

On January 2, 2022 I hoped to continue focusing on Health, Home and Leisure to live a healthy and enriched life. Reflecting on 2022, I feel truly grateful for an amazing year.

Here’s the gifts in 2022 for which I am grateful.

  1. My good health throughout the year. I enjoyed cycling on recreational trails, exploring from Hanlan’s Point to Ward’s Island, kayaking around Toronto Islands, playing disc golf, sailing in Toronto Harbour in the summer, and walking. I love being with nature and taking in the beauty around me.
  1. My family and friends near and far. I’m grateful for the opportunities to meet some of them in person in Calgary, Hamilton and Toronto after a long gap due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  1. My home and city with many cultural and recreational opportunities. I appreciate Toronto’s festivals, events, art, history, parks, gardens, beaches, ravines, rivers, Lake Ontario, trails, and more.
  1. Hobbies that are fun and enriching. I celebrated my 6 years of blogging in October. I appreciate all the visits, likes, and comments on my blog and contributors to my weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup and Photographing Public Art Challenge, as well as my fellow blog hosts. I’m grateful for easy access to books and films from the Toronto Public Library.
  1. Travel: I’m grateful to be able to explore amazing natural wonders in Newfoundland and Labrador, on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and enjoy fun adventures, historic sites, delicious seafood and desserts in these three beautiful Canadian provinces.

My three ways to give back in 2022:

  1. Met with family and friends at local eateries and Indie cafés to support small businesses.
  1. Volunteered to run my first food drive for Daily Bread Food Bank, and helped out at one public art event and six running races.
  1. Traveled in Canada to support Canadian airlines, hospitality and tourism industry.

A friendly reminder that there is no WCS linkup on December 23rd and 30th. I’ll return with a fresh post on January 6, 2023.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Enjoying the Holiday Season

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 49 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #99 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming holidays? By next weekend, I would have hosted fifty consecutive Weekend Coffee Share linkups in 2022. So, I look forward to taking a blogging break and enjoying the holiday season.

I started my holiday fun with two walks: 1) Gingerbread Lane at Royal York hotel for their incredible displays and 2) Fleurs de Villes Noël in Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood for their gorgeous floral designs. Both events are free to the public.

I’m sharing my pictures for #ThursdayDoors photo challenge and PPAC. Click on any image in the gallery and use the arrow to move through the pictures.

1. Gingerbread Lane

The life-sized Gingerbread Lane consists of about 8500 gingerbread bricks and 12 different types of candy. The floor-to-ceiling bricks are glued together using royal icing and the lane is 90% edible!

Along the lane are windows that look like storefronts with twinkly lights and festive scenes of gifts, gingerbread, decorative cookies and candies. I love everything about this Gingerbread Lane. Such a creative and “sweet” theme!

2. Fleurs de Villes Noël

Fleurs de Villes Noēl is a festive floral trail of over 30 gorgeous floral installations, created by Toronto’s favourite florists. Some of the installations are floral mannequins and some celebrate world-class Canadian figure skaters.

I’ve attended a few Fleurs de Villes events in Toronto and Niagara Falls before. The florists continue to amaze me with their designs using fresh flowers and greenery.

3. New Badge

December 16th-18th is the last Weekend Coffee Share linkup for 2022. It’s also the 100th linkup that I have been hosting since January 2021. I hope to ‘see’ you there before the holidays. After the holidays, I’ll be back with a fresh post on Friday, January 6, 2023.

For 2023, I created a new Weekend Coffee Share badge and added it to my blog sidebar. Weekend Coffee Share and PPAC contributors are welcome to display the badge on their blogs. I look forward to your contributions.

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Amazing Walks and Art in November

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 48 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #98 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea and let’s chat.

This weekend is a good time for me to reflect on November and my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. The first half of November was filled with wonderful bike rides, hikes and walks thanks to well above average and record-setting warm temperatures (daytime high 25C or 77F on November 5). The second half of November brought wet snow on November 15, cooler temperatures and the start of festive events.

Here’s my monthly recap for November.

1. Health

I hiked in High Park and along Grenadier Pond a few times. High Park has all sorts of trails to explore. Flat and easy trails as well as long hills, steep staircases, winding trails through woods with more challenging terrain. On each hike, I used all my senses to connect with nature and immersed in the beauty around me.

2. Family

My family and I picked a beautiful sunny 18C (64F) day to stroll along the water’s edge from Kew Beach to Woodbine Beach and Ashbridge’s Bay. A few days later, we had our first dusting of snow that signaled the transition from Autumn to Winter. I took a few ‘fresh snow’ pictures before it all melted.

3. Friends

A friend and I enjoyed wonderful walks at Evergreen Brick Works. Evergreen Brick Works was a clay and shale quarry for one hundred years. The 16.5-hectare (40-acre) area is now a thriving green space, with ponds and many varieties of nature trails to explore and wander. We love seeing turtles, fish, grey herons, ducks and beaver dams in the wetlands.

Evergreen Brick Works connects to Moore Park Ravine so we walked in the stunning ravine as well. Tall trees tower above and envelope us while leaves crunched beneath our feet. We feel fortunate to have such beautiful green space right in the heart of the city.

4. Photographing Public Art Challenge

Here’s a sampling of public art at Evergreen Brick Works.

My favourite is Legacy (the mud beneath our feet) sculpture by Dave Hind. It’s 10′ x 10′ made by reclaimed steel, aluminum and wood. A.P. Coleman’s legacy as the geologist who put the North Slope of the Brick Works quarry on the map is represented in a sculpture depicting a pair of his boots.

Legacy (the mud beneath our feet) sculpture by Dave Hind, 2010

5. Blogging

Photography – I posted square images with a brief caption on four Wednesdays in November. It’s my way to support Becky at The Life of B blog while participating in her Walking Squares and other photo challenges. These posts have the #photography tag in their titles.

Weekend Coffee Share – On November 11th, I started hosting both Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) and Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) under the weekly WCS linkup. I’ve included the links for November’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up.

December schedule – Please note the following:

  • December 9: Linkup #99
  • December 16: Linkup #100
  • December 23: No linkup
  • December 30: No linkup

I’ll repeat this announcement on December 9th and 16th since some bloggers don’t participate every week. I’ll be taking a break in the last two weeks of 2022. After the holidays, I’ll resume the Weekend Coffee Share linkup on January 6th, 2023.

I’m grateful for all the good things that happened in November. Happy December!

Linked to Ju-Lyn’s #TheChangingSeasons.

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Loving Life in October 2022

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 43 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #93. Come on in for a coffee or tea and let’s chat.

It’s the last weekend in October and a good time for me to reflect on my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. Here’s my monthly update for October.

Health

Fall colours have been stunning this October. I enjoy views of yellow, orange and red leaves and feeling the crisp, cool air when I go cycling and walking. There’s no shortage of interesting places waiting to be explored.

One of the parks that I was thrilled to revisit this month is Tommy Thompson Park. I wrote about it here. I cycled on the Waterfront Trail, passed the brand new Cherry Street South bridge to Cherry Beach and all the way to and through Tommy Thompson Park. It was pure bliss to be surrounded by the sights, sounds, and feels of nature on the trail and at the park on a gorgeous, sunny day.

Home

After an active summer with monthly out-of-town trips, October is the month for me to relax at home with family, reconnect with friends and complete home maintenance tasks.

I enjoyed small gatherings with family and close friends to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and Thanksgiving. It so happens that the special occasions spread out in October so there is a celebration every week. It was wonderful to catch up on what’s been happening with everyone.

In addition, there was a coffee date with my sister, a 8 km family walk on Toronto Islands, another 8 km urban walk with a friend, and a coffee date with another friend. We visited the Manulife Elevate Global Photography Exhibition in a beautiful garden and the World Press Photo Exhibition 2022 at Brookfield Place.

For the family walk on Toronto Islands, we walked from Hanlan’s Point to Ward’s Island, visiting the beaches and trails in between. It was a gorgeous morning with blue sky, soft white clouds, calm wind, and the water mirrored the scenery.

Leisure

I balanced outdoor physical and social activities with indoor quiet and creative activities. I baked, listened to podcasts and music, read books, sorted my pictures, wrote blog posts, and researched potential travel destinations.

Photographing Public Art – In August 2012, a group of twenty three emerging youth artists and volunteers created an amazing 80 foot long mural from beautiful tiles and grout, under the artistic guidance of artist Cristina Delago.

Here is the Shore Stories mosaic mural located by the Toronto’s Ferry Terminal exit. Enjoy the following images and if you have 6 minutes and 20 seconds, watch this YouTube video on how the mural was created.

Toronto Harbour and ferry mosaics
Shore Stories mosaic mural

Writing – I’ve included the links for October’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up:

Overall

I’m grateful to have special occasions to look forward to and enjoy with family and friends throughout a beautiful October. I hope to share the first post on my adventures on the Bay of Fundy next week.

Happy November!

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Ward’s Island Homes and Gardens

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 42 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #92. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

During one of my island summer getaways, I took a walk to explore the residential area on Ward’s Island. There are 262 homes on Ward’s Island and approximately 650 people live there year round, including many seniors.

The following gallery shows some of the unique homes and gardens on my walk. Some are old cottages and some have been renovated. Note the cute self-serve library and art gallery. A number of artists live on Ward’s Island and Algonquin Island. I plan to do an art walk to see their artworks on another day.

The top left image in the gallery is The Waiting Shed which was built at the Ward’s Island ferry dock in 1916. Among its charming features that have survived are the bell-cast roof and multiple-pane windows. Over its 100 years, the shelter was modified in various ways.

In 2017, the city government responsible for parks and heritage, along with Island residents, began restoring and modernizing the aging building. Windows and doors have been replaced and the entrance made more accessible.

Click on the top left image and use the arrows to move through the gallery. Brief captions included.

I also visited the Grow TO Greens Food Security Project. It’s a joint urban agriculture initiative of the City of Toronto and the Toronto Island Café. All the organic produce grown in the Café garden is planted, tended, harvested, weighed and transported weekly (by bicycle) by volunteers to downtown Toronto food banks.

In front of Ward’s Island Association Club House is the beautiful 12-foot diameter Willow Square Mosaic, created by a group of Islanders to celebrate the Island’s history: its history, people and the natural world that has shaped it. The mosaics were inspired by the works of Maggie Howarth, a renowned pebble mosaic artist working in England and Europe.

The image represents an island with a central willow tree whose intertwined trunk symbolizes the two communities of Ward’s and Algonquin. The roots of the tree reaches into the surrounding water. The mosaic focuses on the natural world, with a small band of ceramic houses, bicycles and carts bringing Island community life into the image.

I always enjoy exploring the Toronto Islands. Last weekend I returned for a 8 km (5 miles) family walk on a beautiful sunny day. I hope to share pictures from that walk in my monthly update for October next week.

How was your week?

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Loving Life in September 2022

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 39 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #89. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

It’s the last day of September and a good time for me to reflect on my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. Here’s my monthly update for a social and adventurous September.

Health

I maintained my wellness routine and enjoyed a lot of cycling and walking throughout September. There is always something beautiful and colourful to see along the way.

Home

Family – My sister and I had a nice evening out together. We enjoyed good conversation, tasty dinner at a new-to-us pub and a walk along the waterfront. The Redpath Waterfront Festival was on that weekend so we saw the For A Better Planet floating installation by Bonterra and Theodore TOO Tugboat, the 65-foot working replica of the original TV character.

Community – I was up early on two Sunday mornings to volunteer for the annual Terry Fox Run and the 40th Longboat Roadrunners Toronto Island Run. The Terry Fox Run raises funds for cancer research. Longboat Roadrunners partner with SchoolBOX North, an organization whose mission is to make education possible for kids in Indigenous communities across Canada. It felt good to contribute to these events.

Friends – A friend and I went for a two-hour walk on a beautiful morning, followed by a break at Dark Horse Café where we got delicious coffee, quick service and nice outdoor seating. This is the last stop of my Tour of Indie Cafés for 2022 which I started in April.

Four friends and I rented a sailboat to go sailing in Toronto Harbour. We lucked out with the weather and enjoyed a glorious, sunny afternoon. It was a fabulous farewell to summer 2022. In the image gallery below, our boat is the closest to the dock on the right.

Leisure

Blogging – I’ve included the links for September’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up.

Traveling – My adventure of the month was to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I started and ended my tour in Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia.

An adventure from beginning to end, around and across the Bay of Fundy

After I arrived in Halifax, I met with Dar (An Exacting Life blog) for dinner. I greatly enjoyed our first meet-up and conversation. In hindsight I’m glad that we met before hurricane Fiona hit Eastern Canada.

I had a wonderful trip, visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nova Scotia and exploring the Bay of Fundy and surrounding cities and towns in New Brunswick. Now I have loads to write about, but it will have to join the queue.

I was in Saint John, New Brunswick when hurricane Fiona hit east of Nova Scotia on Saturday September 24. By the time I returned to Halifax on Sunday September 25 afternoon, the sun came out and downtown Halifax was lively.

While I was safe and didn’t experience any hardship, many people in Atlantic Canada experienced devastation caused by the hurricane. I found ways to help. Here’s how to donate to Fiona relief for Atlantic Canada.

Gratitude

When I think about my 100 days of summer this year, I’m grateful for a summer of health and happiness. I’ve explored and enjoyed Toronto’s beautiful beaches, islands, parks and Lake Ontario. I’ve supported local businesses and volunteered for community events when I could.

At the beginning of 2022, I hoped to resume travel to see family, friends and explore new-to-me places. I’m grateful to have an amazing adventure to Newfoundland and Labrador in June, joyful time with family in Hamilton in July and in Calgary in August, and a wonderful tour in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in September.

Happy October!

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Ward’s Island Summer Getaways

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 38 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #88. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

With Autumn officially arrived on September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, I want to wrap up my summer 2022 with a post about a few getaways that I made to the Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands have been my go-to destination for quick getaways and vitamin N (Nature) for many years.

I wrote about Ward’s Island and some of its historic landmarks here. This summer I explored Ward’s Island on foot, by bike and kayak on different trips. Here are some of the highlights of my getaways in pictures.

Getting there

By ferry or water taxi. From Toronto mainland to Centre Island or Ward’s Island, the ferry ride takes about 12 minutes.

Getting around

By bike or on foot. Only authorized vehicles are allowed on Toronto Islands. You can bring your own bike or rent a bike in the summer. Without traffic noise and nature all around, the islands are tranquil and beautiful to experience.

Ward’s Island has a long boardwalk with panoramic views of Lake Ontario. Sandy pathways at the east end of the island lead to Ward’s Island Beach. Ward’s Island Beach has earned blue flag certification. Its calm water makes it ideal for swimming.

Exploring by kayak

The calm waters in the lagoons of the islands offer adventure around every corner, great views of the city and wildlife abound. Paddling around Toronto Islands has a seductive power that I enjoy.

There’s a calming effect revealed while I’m isolated and floating on the water, and it’s only broken by splashing cormorants, gulls calling from above, turtles getting on and off tree logs, dragonflies dancing across my kayak, and herons or egrets taking off.

From Centre Island to Ward’s Island, I kayak by a few floating homes and under three bridges. The first bridge connects Ward’s Island with Snug Harbour, the second bridge connects Ward’s Island with Snake Island and the third bridge connects Ward’s Island with Algonquin Island.

The sights of blue sky, white fluffy clouds, green trees, brown soil, clear water that expose aquatic plants, reflections on water, and the smell of summer air make me feel like Mother Nature is pampering me with the best natural spa experience.

Every time I go to the Toronto Islands, I come home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I will be back.

Shared with Denyse’s WW&Pics, Jo’s Monday Walk.

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Loving Life in August 2022

Trumpet vine flowers

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 34 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #84. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

The last weekend in August is a good time for me to reflect on my 2022 focus on Health, Home and Leisure. I was in two cities, Calgary and Toronto, this month. Here’s my monthly update for August.

Health

I continue my wellness routine throughout a hot August. To manage the heat waves in Toronto and Calgary, I drink a lot of water, wear sun protection, and go out earlier in the morning when it’s less hot. While I was in Calgary, I took daily walks on a trail near where I stayed.

In Toronto, most mornings I cycle along the shore of Lake Ontario, stop by a park and enjoy nature. I also go to the beautiful Toronto Islands to kayak and explore the many waterways. I love being enveloped by nature and seeing aquatic plants, waterbirds and turtles from my kayak.

Click on any image in the gallery to see its bigger version and caption.

Home

Family – Home in August is with my family in Calgary and Toronto. Calgary is in the western Canadian province of Alberta, about four hours by plane from Toronto. My flights to and from Calgary were both on time. I traveled with a carry-on so there was no waiting for baggage. It was my first time back in Calgary since the COVID-19 pandemic started and it was joyful to be with my family there.

Friends – After my trip to Calgary, I had some catching up to do in Toronto. My friends and I continued our Tour of Indie Cafés of 2022 and met up at Fahrenheit Coffee. Fahrenheit Coffee is within walking distance to St. James Park so we took our cappuccinos there and enjoyed our coffee chat in the lovely gardens. We hope to meet again in September and will end the tour once the weather gets too cool to sit outside.

Community – In August I volunteered for two events:

  • The SuperPower race: Funds raised through the SuperPower race go directly to the Holland Bloorview hospital to help kids with disabilities.
  • The Terry Fox Run: Funds raised through the annual Terry Fox Run support cancer research. Even though the Terry Fox Run is in September, there is work to do before race day. I’m happy to be sharing Terry’s message of hope, courage and determination and giving back to my community.

Leisure

Photography – I discovered many amazing artworks on my walks. Here’s a sampling of some of the colourful murals that I’ve seen. They depict Toronto’s urban wildlife with remarkable details and realism.

Which mural is your favourite?

Another source of joy is summer blooms in public gardens. August blooms include different varieties of bougainvillea, coneflowers, daylilies, dahlias, daisies, hibiscus, hydrangeas, marigolds, moss roses, sunflowers and more. The flowers in my header photo are Trumpet vine flowers. I’m sharing a sampling of some of the gorgeous daylilies below.

Which daylily would you choose for your garden?

Reading – In August, I read four books. Here’s my list by author’s last name:

Writing – Before today’s post, I wrote three posts about my experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ve included the links for August’s posts in case you missed any and want to catch up.

Overall

Similar to July, August has been a beautiful and joyful summer month. I’m grateful for time with family and friends in Calgary and Toronto and all the good things that happened in August. Happy September!

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