Hawthorne Cottage and Brigus

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 37 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #87. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

The beautiful town of Brigus is situated on the Avalon Peninsula, about 70km (43 miles) from the capital city of St. John’s, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brigus was founded in 1612. The name “Brigus” is derived from “Brickhouse”, an old English town.

While in Brigus, I completed a self-guided tour of Hawthorne Cottage, a National Historic Site of Canada, then took a leisurely hike around charming streets sloping up into green cliffs to explore the town. Brigus’ well-kept old-style architecture, rustic stone walls, lush green gardens, and winding narrow lanes are reflective of its English, Irish, and Welsh heritage.

Here are my pictures of historic structures and scenery in Brigus. Except for the first two pictures, I grouped the rest of my pictures into three galleries. Click on any image in the gallery to see its bigger version and caption.

Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site

Built in 1830, this charming cottage was the former home of Arctic explorer Captain Bob Bartlett, who took American explorer Robert Peary to the North Pole in 1909. I highly recommend the tour of the cottage. Many artifacts commemorate the family and Bartlett’s achievements as the greatest ice navigator of the 20th century.

Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site

During the more than 50 years of his seafaring life, Captain Robert (Bob) Abram Bartlett skippered some of the most famous, dangerous, and controversial exploratory expeditions to the Arctic. He travelled further north than almost any other living person, was shipwrecked at least 12 times, survived for months in the inhospitable Arctic after sea ice crushed his ship, and journeyed hundreds of miles by dogsled to reach civilization. Despite these hardships, Bartlett returned to the Arctic whenever circumstance allowed and almost always came back with photographs, film reels, and scientific data that greatly contributed to the world’s understanding of the north.

Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage web site
Hawthorne Cottage
View of Hawthorne Cottage from its gardens

Historic structures built in the 1800s

From top left, clockwise: St. George’s Heritage church built in 1876; Stonewalls line the river; The Tunnel bored through solid rock on Brigus waterfront in 1860; Pinkston’s Forge built in 1889; The Leamon Museum: Ye Olde Stone Barn built in the 1820s.

Brigus Bay and Bishop’s Beach

From top left, clockwise: Steel Sails Monument erected at Bishop’s Beach in 1972 commemorating Captain Bartlett; Directional signs in Brigus; Blue bench at Payne Family Park; View of Brigus Bay; Stone table and bench at Bishop’s Beach.

Brigus Homes and Town Hall

From top left, clockwise: Brigus Town Hall in a beautiful blue; Brigus winding lanes; Birdhouses on a post; Side door at the Baldwin’s; Door with green trimmings; A house in Brigus.

My visit to Hawthorne Cottage and Brigus was informative and enjoyable. I hope to take you on an idyllic island getaway next week.

Shared with #ThursdayDoors, PPAC#64, Jo’s Monday Walk.

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Postcard from St. John’s

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 33 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #83. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Today’s post is my postcard from St. John’s. After a long stretch of beautiful sunny days in Newfoundland and Labrador, I finally experienced overcast sky and brief periods of rain, drizzle and fog in St. John’s. I came prepared with my rain gear and took a long walk to explore this historic, artistic and colourful city.

St. John’s (always abbreviated and with an apostrophe) is the most easternly city in North America and Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital. St. John’s is not to be confused with Saint John in New Brunswick, another province in Atlantic Canada.

Art Works

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope Mile 0 Memorial

“I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try; dreams are made if people try”

Terry Fox (1958-1981)

If you don’t know who Terry Fox is, please read about him here.

Our Newfoundland and Labrador Dogs sculptures by sculptor Luben Boykov
Our Newfoundland and Labrador Dogs sculptures by sculptor Luben Boykov
A Time sculpture by sculptor Morgan MacDonald
A Time sculpture by sculptor Morgan MacDonald
A Time sculpture
A closer look at A Time sculpture
Making Fish sculpture by artist Jim Maunder
Making Fish sculpture by artist Jim Maunder

Historic Sites

Cabot Tower at the highest point of Signal Hill National Historic Site of Canada
Km 0 marker outside St. John's City Hall
Km 0 marker outside St. John’s City Hall
Km 0 marker of the Trans-Canada Highway that links ten Canadian provinces

Officially opened in 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) is one of the longest highways in the world. From St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Victoria, British Columbia, the TCH covers over 7821 km and crosses six time zones.

Jellybean Houses

There are blocks and blocks of brightly painted houses on the hilly streets that rise from St. John’s harbour.

Jellybean houses
Jellybean houses on Victoria Street in St.John’s
Jellybean houses in St. John’s
Colourful houses at St. John's Harbour
Colourful houses at St. John’s Harbour

Pubs and Music

George Street in downtown St. John’s has some of the best pubs and restaurants in Newfoundland, as well as all types of music – Irish, blues, rock n’ roll, dance, country and traditional music.

YellowBelly Brewery in St. John’s

It was a wonderful discovery walk in St. John’s.

Shared with #PPAC60, #WQW31.

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3 Amazing World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 27 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #77. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In June, while in Newfoundland and Labrador, I explored three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province:

  1. Gros Morne National Park
  2. L’Anse aux Meadows
  3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In case you’re unfamiliar with local name and geography, the official name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two areas: 1) Newfoundland and 2) Labrador.

This post includes the highlights of my visits to the three sites. The first two sites are along the Viking Trail on Newfoundland’s west coast and the third site is on Labrador’s south coast. I included links to Parks Canada and UNESCO official websites for more information. As always, click on photos in galleries to see a bigger version and read their captions.

1. Gros Morne National Park

In 1987, Gros Morne National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its unique geological history dating back 1.25 billion years and its exceptional scenery. Gros Morne French meaning is “big lone mountain” or more literally “great sombre.”

The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.

UNESCO Gros Morne National Park

I visited the majestic Western Brook Pond, a fresh water fjord which was carved out by glaciers. The photo below shows the Long Range Mountains where the fjord is located. The steep escarpment on the right marks a crack (or fault) in the Earth’s crust. The fault was created when continents collided about 400 million years ago.

Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond photo in my hotel room

I took a boat tour on beautiful Bonne Bay. It was a clear and sunny day so the 806 m high flat-topped Gros Morne Mountain and the Tablelands with a dusting of snow were visible.

I also visited the park’s informative Discovery Centre and hiked the picturesque Tablelands Trail. The landscape is so spectacular that I can easily spend two weeks here to explore more hiking trails.

***

2. L’Anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows was designated a National Historic Site in 1975 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is the only authenticated Viking site in North America and the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America. It comprises 80 square kilometers of forest, bog, coast, bay and islands.

L'Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts
L’Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts

Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine, were searching for Norse landing places along the coast of North America. With the help of local resident George Decker, they would uncover the only Norse encampment ever to have been discovered in North America. Following excavations, they determined Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers arrived here and built a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over a thousand years ago.

My visit started from the Visitor Centre to watch a short documentary for an overview and to see the authentic artifacts that proved the site’s origin. A tour guide took visitors along a beautiful boardwalk to the Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture, created by Luben Boykov and Richard Brixel and unveiled in July 2002. This sculpture symbolizes the meeting of human migration from the east through Asia to North America and from the west through Europe to North America. The two groups met when the Norse landed at L’Anse aux Meadows. Anse French meaning is “cove“.

Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture: Viking ship (left) and Aboriginal sword (right)

We continued to the actual site to see the fascinating archeological remains of three halls and five smaller buildings where the Vikings lived and worked have been carefully preserved as they were when discovered by the Ingstads. We then followed the boardwalk trail to the reconstructed sod huts and met costumed interpreters.

***

3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is the earliest, most complete and best preserved 16th-century Basque whaling site found anywhere in the world. Red Bay was listed as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979, and designated a World Heritage Site in 2013.

Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

For about 70 years beginning in the 1530s, whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France used the harbour at Red Bay as a seasonal base for hunting whales and producing the whale oil that lit the lamps of Europe. Each spring as many as twelve ships and upwards of 2000 men arrived after a dangerous voyage from Europe to set up operations at Red Bay, one of about a dozen seasonal whaling stations along the south Labrador coast.

To visit Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, I traveled from Newfoundland to Labrador by ferry. Labrador means Big Land. At the Visitor Centre, I viewed a remarkable collection of original artifacts, archaeological remains, videos, models and the restored 16th century Chalupa, the oldest known whaling boat in the world. Behind the Chalupa exhibit is a stunning ‘whale and mariners’ mural created by Newfoundland-born artist Lloyd Pretty in 1999.

***

I’m grateful to be able to visit these three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. I hope you enjoy them through my lens.

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Visoleil, moonGARDEN and Dreaming

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #60! 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.

Week 10/ 52

A lovely evening outing gave me an opportunity to photograph three modern art installations in downtown Toronto. Here they are in pictures with excerpts from their information boards.

1. Visoleil

Visoleil sculpture, 2021.
Visoleil sculpture by CIBC SQUARE and Delos Labs, 2021.

Sunlight has great potential to impact our well-being and the circadian rhythm by which we operate. Visoleil, designed by CIBC SQUARE in conjunction with Delos Labs, is a light-emitting public sculpture that simulates natural sunlight to help alleviate the negative effects caused by lack of bright light during the harsh winter months.

The 8 ft circular sculpture generates full spectrum bright light that may help improve circadian rhythm alignment, alertness, and mood by suppressing melatonin and stimulating serotonin production, helping to give observers an energized start to their day.

Visoleil at CIBC SQUARE

2. moonGARDEN

moonGARDEN traveling art installation includes a set of five giant illuminated spheres. The spheres range from six to twelve feet in height, and are filled with immersive animated shadow theatre designs. It was created by Montreal-based design firm Lucion in 2012 and has travelled to about 20 cities around the world.

moonGARDEN by Lucion, in Toronto in Winter 2022.
moonGARDEN art installation by Lucion, in Toronto in Winter 2022.

The colours and light brightness of the spheres change as music plays and the animated theatre designs appear. Sometimes all the spheres show the same colour, other times they vary. It’s mesmerizing to watch the changes.

Click on the arrows to see the slides.

Storytelling with shadows originated around 1000 BC in India and China. They were used to tell local legends and caricature current events. They became a symbol of the wishful, subjective fleeting emotions; the antithesis of light and reality.

moonGARDEN’s shadow theatres are used to project an evanescent dreamlike vision. Much like the effect of music, the visual composition evokes a whimsical poetic moment reminiscent of the imagery we mused over as children.

The multiple shades of grey, the quality of the images, the ever changing positions creates abstract mandalas which flavours daydreaming.

Displayed in a cluster of extra large spheres, bathing in a magical soundtrack, the installation underlines the all inclusive nature of the Set Theory.

moonGARDEN – Lucion

3. Dreaming

Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa created Dreaming in 2017. It was installed in Toronto in September 2020. Created with polyester resin and marble dust, this sculpture is over eight meters high. At first glance, the large and powerful, white sculpture represents a portrait of a young girl with closed eyes.

Dreaming sculpture by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, 2017.
Dreaming sculpture by Jaume Plensa, 2017.

As you walk around it, its look and feel changes depending on where you are standing. From some angles, the head appears giant and somehow soft. From others, it appears tall, long, and angular. The sculptor’s skills and creativity are impressive.

Dreaming and moonGARDEN together.
Dreaming and moonGARDEN together.

These art installations make me think of the sun, the moon, the galaxy and dream of peace on earth.

How has your week been?

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Cycling The Lower Don Trail

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #59! 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.

Week 9/ 52

The local weather forecast for March looks promising for cycling so I create a short list of cycling routes to explore during the month. Today I’d like to share a recreational trail that I love and a few photos that I took in Fall 2021.

The Lower Don Trail

One of the most well-used recreational trails in Toronto is the Lower Don Trail. The trail runs along the Don River, from Corktown Common to Pottery Road, passing a number of different parks and sights along the way. It’s five kilometres long (3 miles) and is primarily used for cycling, hiking, mountain biking, walking and running.

I love cycling and hiking on the Lower Don Trail and come here as often as I can.

The Lower Don Trail
The Lower Don Trail is nice and quiet during off-peak hours.

Starting from Corktown Common going north, the first kilometre of the trail goes over bridges, under overpasses and near old railway lines. It has a bit of a wild feel to it. I enjoy nature, an array of plants, animals, and sights of the Don River.

At the 3 km mark on the trail, my favourite sight is the Bloor Viaduct, officially known as the Prince Edward Viaduct, built between 1915 and 1918.

Prince Edward Viaduct
Prince Edward Viaduct

The impressive Prince Edward Viaduct crosses the Don River Valley and the Rosedale Ravine, linking Bloor St. with Danforth Ave. Built to designs by architect Edmund Burke between 1915 and 1918, the bridge was originally a controversial project due to its high cost. Because Danforth Avenue was sparsely populated at the time, the viaduct was dubbed ‘the Bridge to Nowhere.” On the recommendation of engineering firm Jacobs and Davies a subway deck was incorporated into the viaduct, a foresight that saved significant time and costs to the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway line 50 years later.

Source: Prince Edward Viaduct signage
Prince Edward Viaduct and a subway train passing by
Prince Edward Viaduct and a subway train passing by

A short distance north of the Bloor Viaduct is an interesting public art display known as Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality by Cree artist Duane Linklater.

Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality, Duane Linklater, 2017
Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality by Duane Linklater, 2017

It is a series of fourteen cast concrete sculptures that are scattered in a field along the trail like forgotten ruins. The sculptures are cast replicas of gargoyles adorning prominent buildings in downtown Toronto.

Two of 14 cast concrete gargoyle sculptures by artist Duane Linklater
Two of fourteen cast concrete gargoyle sculptures, Duane Linklater, 2017

I love cycling along the Lower Don Trail, then take a walk beside the river’s edge and explore the side trails to see local wildlife on these less used trails.

The Lower Don Trail
The Lower Don Trail
The Don River, looking north
The Don River, looking north
The Don River, looking south
The Don River, looking south

The Lower Don Trail offers a peaceful and scenic outdoor escape with beautiful views, serene sounds of the river, art exhibits, wildlife and access to green spaces. From Pottery Road, the trail connects to more parks and recreational trails.

In the winter, when the Lower Don Trail is snow-covered, I use other available bike paths. The City of Toronto has started making improvements to the Lower Don Trail. I look forward to cycling on the Lower Don Trail again soon.

How has your week been?

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Art Near Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #47! 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.

This Week

If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve already enjoyed Canadian Thanksgiving in October so this week has been a regular week for me with several good happenings.

  • Plenty of sun and some clouds every day, except light rain on Thursday
  • A few enjoyable bike rides and lovely walks in nature
  • I saw a red fox in a park (first time this year)
  • Phone chats with my family and friends in the USA
  • A 5K walk-and-chat with my neighbour on a mild and sunny Sunday morning
  • I completed my regular meditation, language lessons, strength training and yoga
  • I had my haircut

Water-Themed Art

On one of my bike rides, I passed by Sugar Beach. The urban beach with pink umbrellas is named Sugar Beach to draw upon the industrial history of the area and its location adjacent to the Redpath Sugar Refinery that has been on Toronto’s Waterfront since the late 1950s.

Here are my photos of public art near Sugar Beach. They share a common theme: Water.

Light Showers art sculptures by Jill Anholt.
Light Showers: Three nine-metre-high art sculptures designed by artist Jill Anholt. Treated water flows from these sculptures located at Sherbourne Common to a channel then out to Lake Ontario.
Olamina art piece.
Olamina sculpture designed by Queen Kukoyi, Nico Taylor and Quentin VerCetty. Olamina is inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable series, taking its namesake from the main character of Butler’s novels, Lauren Oya Olamina, and the folktales of the African water deity, Mami Wata. 

The next four images are the four-panel Water Clans mural created by Anishinaabe artist Que Rock. Each panel tells a story of water as a healer, a teacher, a protector, and a source of life. I transcribed the explanations from the Water Clans information board for each panel below.

The first panel tells the story of Turtle island and the original Anishinaabe peace treaty between the 6 nations: Plant, insect, bird, fish, animal, and human. The Grandfather Sun with seven rings around it representing the Guiding Principles of the Anishinaabe: Love, respect, courage, truth, honesty, humility and wisdom.

Water Clans first panel.

The second panel explores the duality of all life, both past and present thinking. The two spirits featured in the middle represent humanity and our role to defend and protect the Water Nation. Offering Tobacco to the water is a ceremony the Anishinaabe still practice to this day.

Water Clans panel 2.

The third panel symbolizes the teachings of water as a protector and how the Water Nation is the source of all. The loons represent unconditional love and duality of nature, as well as the connection to Grandmother Moon and Mother Earth. In the background, you can see many layers of sacred geometry based on traditional teachings of the medicine wheel, along with other patterns.

Water Clans third panel.

Lastly, the fourth panel tells the story of the human nation and the Wolf Clan and how we walk parallel through life together. What happens to the wolves affect us and vice versa; we are all connected. The 7 rings around the Grandfather Sun represent the 7 Grandfather teachings. The Rivers that flow in the background operate as the arteries of Mother Earth, if the rivers change so will she.

Water Clans fourth panel

I hope you enjoy the art work. Have a wonderful weekend!

Linked with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC24.

How was your week?

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What Made September Special

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #39! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a mainly sunny week with daytime high temperatures around 19C (66F). I had a fun week that included a day trip to Niagara Falls. Today is the first day of October, a new month, so I took a look back at September and appreciated the month just passed.

Here’s my summary of what made September special.

Health

Sunnyside Park.
The weather was pleasant and nature was beautiful throughout September. It’s been a joy to go cycling, play disc golf, and take walks most days. These outdoor activities complement my exercises at home (meditation, language lessons, strength training and yoga).

Family Outing

View of Toronto skyline from Centre Island ferry dock.
My family and I enjoyed a visit to Ward’s Island on a gorgeous morning. This is the view of Toronto skyline from the island with swans in the foreground.

Friendships

Asters.
I chatted with a dear friend who lives in the USA on her milestone birthday last weekend. We both appreciated her birthday more since she recently recovered from a serious health issue. Asters are September birth flowers.
Christie Pits Park labyrinth and playground.
I had a fun coffee catch-up and a labyrinth walk with two local friends at beautiful Christie Pits Park on a sunny morning.
A yellow hibiscus.

Sisters’ Time

Leisure

Photography: I enjoy taking photographs when I go outside. I’ve shared many images of nature, buildings, flowers, murals and sculptures on my blog. Here are two additional artworks that I like:

Monument to Multiculturalism.
The Monument to Multiculturalism sculpture was designed by Francesco Perilli and the base by architect Nino Rico. The monument was unveiled on July 1, 1985 at Union Station entrance.
Humanity art installation is made up of 35 words that reflect what humanity means to Masai Ujiri. Ujiri is the president of Toronto’s basketball team Raptors.

Reading: I finished seven books in September and updated my Books in 2021 page. I love opening a new book and see where the story takes me.

Travel: My sister and I took a day trip to Niagara Falls and had a fantastic time. We enjoyed sunny weather, stunning waterfalls and beautiful flowers. Good food and good conversation again. More details in a future post.

Writing: I wrote five blog posts and enjoyed hosting and blogging every weekend in September:

Gratitude

Humanity art installation.
East view of Humanity art installation. The artwork uses light to create a ripple effect with its words, symbolizing the need to spread more humanity.

Looking back, what made September special was the heartwarming social time that I had, either in groups with my family and friends, or one on one with my sister and my neighbour. On weekends, I enjoyed virtual coffee shares with my blogging community.

I’m grateful for all the good things that happened in September.

How was September for you?

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Recent Reads and Golden Finds

Sunflower and bees.

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #37! 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 was a week of mostly sunny days with thunders, lightning and rain on Tuesday night. Daytime high temperatures ranged from 22C to 27C (72F to 81F) although cooler in the morning and evening. The parks are still full of green trees and beautiful flowers like the flowers I feature in this post.

It was also the week before Canada’s Federal Election. Election day is on September 20. I went to cast my vote first thing in the morning on one of the advance poll days. There was no line-up. It felt good to get this important action item done.

One of my neighbours called and asked me to go for a walk with her. At 80+ years of age and living alone, B is active and sharp as a tack. She talked, I listened and we did a 3.2 km (2 miles) walk. She’d like to walk with me again next week.

The rest of the week went well. I cycled most mornings, saw herons at a conservation area, took several walks, played disc golf twice, completed my mind and body exercises, chatted with my family and friends, and did house chores, reading and writing.

Recent Reads

I’m pleased to contribute to the #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads by author’s last name include:

  1. The Outlander – Gil Adamson
  2. Lock & Key – Sarah Dessen
  3. The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes
  4. Lily and the Octopus – Steven Rowley
  5. Peace by Chocolate – Jon Tattrie (non-fiction)
  6. The One We Fell In Love With – Paige Toon

I was pleased to discover Jon Tattrie and Paige Toon who were new to me. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 5 stars to Peace By Chocolate, 4.5 stars to The Giver of Stars and 4 stars to the other books. I linked the book titles to GoodReads.

While both The Giver of Stars and Peace by Chocolate are excellent stories of human resilience, compassion, kindness, love, family, friendship and community, I give an extra 0.5 point to Peace By Chocolate because it’s a true story of a family of Syrian refugees who settled in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The book is an easy read at about 200 pages. Does chocolate play a role in the story? Yes, Peace by Chocolate ships worldwide (this is not an affiliated link).

Golden Finds

Inspired by Cee’s Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC#14) and Terri’s Sunday Stills Colour Challenge – Harvest Gold or Citrine, I took photos of a few golden bronze art objects and flowers that are in the gardens.

Mural by unknown artist.
Mural by unknown artist.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
U.V. Ceti by Andrew Posa.
U.V. Ceti sculpture by Andrew Posa, “Dedicated to Edward Isaac Richmond, architect, 1908-1982. A kind man who shared his love of beauty.”
'Cherokee Sunset' Back-eyed Susan flowers.
Black-eyed Susan flowers.
Citrine Coreopsis flower.
Marigolds.
Marigolds.
An Autumn Beauty sunflower.
An ‘Autumn Beauty’ Sunflower is a showy mixture of colours including golden yellow, bronze, brown, and burgundy.

Shared with #LifeThisWeek.

So how did your week go? What’s on your bookshelf?

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Tasty Meal and St. James Park

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #31! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate or a cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny days with fluffy clouds and fun activities. In this post, I’d like to share a new-to-me recipe and my walk in St. James Park.

Asparagus and Sausage Penne

This tray bake by chef Adam Liaw is a winner. I substituted asparagus for broccolini and penne for spaghetti. I skipped the optional anchovies and the red chili. It was an easy-to-make, quick and tasty meal. Sharing for #WhatsOnYourPlate challenge, hosted by Donna at Retirement Reflections and Deb at The Widow Badass.

Asparagus and sausage penne

A Walk in St. James Park

St. James Park is located at the intersection of King and Jarvis Streets in downtown Toronto. From spring 2018 to spring 2021, the park has undergone improvements and is a beautiful space to stroll and relax. The park layout has four entry plazas, one central plaza, plenty of benches and a formal garden. On the west side of the park is St. James Cathedral.

St. James Cathedral: The Cathedral Church of St. James is an Anglican cathedral. It is the location of the oldest congregation in Toronto, with the parish being established in 1797. The cathedral, with construction beginning in 1850 and opening for services in 1853, was one of the largest buildings in the city at that time. It was designed by Frederick William Cumberland and is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture.

Click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view. Sharing for #ThursdayDoors.

Arbour: The clematis covered wrought-iron arbour at the northeast entry plaza was added to St. James Park in the early 1980’s.

Lighting feature: The new lighting feature at the northeast entry plaza is a sculptural abstract interpretation of the St. James Cathedral in silhouette. It looks better at night when the lights are on.

Sculpture: The Robert Gourlay bust welcomes visitors coming into the park from the northwest entry plaza. Robert Fleming Gourlay (1778 – 1863) was a Scottish-Canadian writer, political reform activist, and agriculturalist. The bronze bust was created by Toronto sculptor, Adrienne Alison.

Robert Gourlay sculpture by Adrienne Alison.

Playground: Families with young children enjoy the new market-themed playground that features elements such as the asparagus climber, giant-sized produce, a tower made of stacked farmer’s baskets, a merry go-round, a flexible seating platform under a tree perfect for story time and a small water-play area.

St. James Park playground.

Pavilion: A new open-air park pavilion located on the east side of the enlarged central plaza. The pavilion, made of heavy timber columns and a trellis canopy with recessed lighting, is in part, inspired by the Gothic arches of the cathedral’s architecture. It’s suitable for a variety of community events.

St. James Park Michael Comstock Pavilion.

The pavilion was officially named Michael Comstock Pavilion this summer. After a long lockdown, live music at an outdoor concert in St. James Park brought me tremendous joy. Below is the north view of the pavilion and the garden.

Garden: Walking trails traverse the grass and tree dotted area. The St. James garden in Victorian garden style was renovated in 2003 by landscape designer Wendy Shearer. It has several rose beds, shrubs, ornamental stone statues, and a fountain.

Seat Wall: The seat wall in the southwest plaza near the cathedral features a bronze silhouette of the architectural skyline of the area through several historic periods by Canadian artist Scott Eunson.

Bronze silhouette by Scott Eunson.

Linked with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC8.

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5 Things To See at Berczy Park

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #27! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or a cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a typical warm week of summer with showers mid-week. Toronto’s cycling network has new routes, some are permanent and some are temporary pilots. I’m excited about new cycling possibilities and nice places to see, such as Berczy Park.

Berczy Park.

Berczy Park is named after William Berczy. Born as Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll in 1744 in Wallerstein, Germany, he later changed his name and studied at the Academy of Arts in Vienna, before sailing to the Americas in 1792. He was co-founder of York (now Toronto) in 1794 when John Graves Simcoe was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

Here are 5 things to see at Berczy Park for your weekend.

1- Gooderham “Flatiron” Building: The red brick building in the Gothic Revival style was designed by architect David Roberts and built in 1892 for George Gooderham, the president of Gooderham and Worts Distillery.

Gooderham "Flatiron" Building.
Gooderham “Flatiron” Building, 1892.
Gooderham "Flatiron" Building plaque.
History plaque.
Gooderham "Flatiron" Building.
Gooderham “Flatiron” Building, 1892.

2- Flatiron Mural: Canadian artist Derek Besant created the Flatiron Mural on the rear wall of the “Flatiron” Building in 1980. It’s a beautiful optical illusion. Check out the amazing details and their ‘trompe l’oeil’ effects.

Flatiron Mural.
Flatiron Mural, 1980 by Derek Besant.

3- “Dog” Fountain: The park’s centrepiece is a two-tiered “Dog” Fountain with a unique and whimsical theme. 27 dog sculptures – and one cat – are situated around, in, and on the fountain, each spraying water from its mouth. A golden bone sits atop the fountain.

The fountain was turned off during the pandemic until June 11, 2021 when Ontario reopened. The flowing water is a welcoming sign that things might be returning to normal.

Dog Fountain at Berczy Park.
Dog Fountain, 2017 by architect Claude Cormier and Associates.

4- Jacob’s Ladder: Designed by Toronto artist Luis Jacob, the artwork encompasses two giant bronze hands, with a rope lattice suspended between the fingers, forming a whimsical string game. The rope lattice is to be installed. Once it’s in place, it’s perfect for climbing, swinging, or a backdrop for a play.

Jacob’s Ladder, 2018 by artist Luis Jacob.

5- The William Berczy Family sculpture: The sculpture was designed by artist Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey and is in the south-east corner of the park.

Berczy became a well-known Canadian painter, architect, surveyor and writer before dying en route to England in 1813. His older son, William Bent Berczy, was a Member of The Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and a gifted painter. His younger son, Charles Albert Berczy, was the first president of the Consumers’ Gas Company from 1847 to 1856 and Postmaster of Toronto.

William Berczy Family sculpture.
William Berczy Family sculpture by artist Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey.

One more thing…The Garden in Berczy Park is lovely with a mix of plants, shrubs, trees and pretty flowers.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Linked with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC4, #ThursdayDoors, #TreeSquares.

How was your week? I’d love to hear your comments.

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