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.

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The Charming Town of Trinity

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 36 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #86. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Trinity is a small town located on Trinity Bay on the Bonavista peninsula in Newfoundland, about 3 hours by road from the capital city, St. John’s.

The harbour at Trinity was first used by fishing ships around the 16th century. The Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real named the location “Trinity” as he arrived on Trinity Sunday, 1501.

Floating docks at Trinity Harbour

Before 1700, Trinity Harbour was mainly a summer station used by merchants and shipowners. After 1700, several major merchant houses from Poole, England selected Trinity as their headquarters and under their patronage Trinity developed as one of the main Newfoundland trading centres in the English fishery.

Trinity Harbour

The waterfront area on which once stood the commercial and fishery buildings of the Taverners, Lesters, Garlands and Lester-Garlands during the period 1700-1906 and in the twentieth century Ryan Brothers is named the Lester-Garland Provincial Historic Site. Some of the buildings were restored or reconstructed and are open for visitors.

The Lester-Garland Provincial Historic Site in Trinity

I picked up a map from Trinity’s Visitor Centre and explored on my own. A walk along Trinity’s scenic harbour and winding lanes lead to houses, museums, art galleries, and other historic buildings preserved from the 19th century. Information boards posted at the historic sites give helpful explanatory notes.

A grassy lane
Business signs
Lovely walking path

I created an image gallery of some of the historic sites and community buildings that I visited in Trinity below. For more history details on the buildings, check out the Town of Trinity website here. Click on the top left image and use the arrow to move through the gallery. Brief captions are included.

I thoroughly enjoyed my walk in the charming and historic town of Trinity. I found out after my visit that Trinity was named one of the 12 best small towns in Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2021. I hope to take you to another scenic town next week.

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Prime Berth in Twillingate

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 35 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #85. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Before reaching St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, from Western Newfoundland, I passed through many small fishing communities and headed north to the town of Twillingate, located on the Twillingate Islands on the north east coast of Newfoundland.

Twillingate gets its name from the French word “Toulinquet,” given to the islands by French fishermen, who compared it to a group of islands off the French coast near Brest also called Toulinquet. Twillingate is known for icebergs, whales, ocean experiences and outdoor adventures. It was a historic fishing community (since the 1500s), but because of the decline of the fishing industry, its economy now relies more on tourism.

One of the attractions in Twillingate is the Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre. It is a private interpretive fishing center and craft studio created by David Boyd, with the support of his wife Christine, as a tribute to his fisher forefathers. Captain Dave also runs boat tours for iceberg viewing and whale watching.

Prime Berth refers to the age old practice of each spring holding a draw, or lottery of sorts, to determine the place, or “berth” where fishermen would set their cod traps during the coming summer. Everyone hoped and prayed that they would be lucky enough to draw the best spot, or “Prime Berth”, as it was called. In David’s case this was personal and special as all the fishermen gathered in his father’s kitchen each May for the annual cod trap draw. In honour of this tradition, and as a tribute to proud people so dear to his heart, David decided to call his heritage centre – “Prime Berth”- meaning literally -“the best spot!”

Prime Berth Fishing Heritage Centre

The following two slideshows highlight some of the displays that I found interesting at Prime Berth. Click on the arrows or swipe to move through the slides.

Buildings and Doors

These brightly painted buildings house fishing artifacts and tools. There are hundreds of items on display in the buildings and on or above the doors. The last picture shows the jaw bone of a fin whale found at Trinity Bay in the 1950s.


These murals depict life in a fishing community. Look closely to see fish, icebergs, whales, seabirds, boats, clapboard homes, fishermen and women, the ocean and the rocky coastline. The island of Newfoundland is nicknamed “The Rock” because of its rocky terrain and high cliffs.

I hope to take you on an easy walk in a charming and historic town next week.

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5 Scenic Walks in Western Newfoundland

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 32 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #82. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In my previous post I shared a sampling of the delicious meals that I had in Newfoundland and Labrador. I worked them off by taking as many walks as possible. It was easy to do because the province has 29,000 kilometres of pristine coastline and close to 300 hiking and walking trails.

Here are five scenic walks that I enjoyed in western Newfoundland. As always, click on any image in the galleries to see its bigger version and caption.

1. Corner Brook Stream Trail

I was staying at Glynmill Inn and the Corner Brook Stream Trail was steps from the inn entrance so I did two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon in opposite directions. The trails are well defined with minimal elevation.

The morning walk took me along the beautiful trail to the wetlands and into the forest. Pretty wildflowers, bright dandelions and adorable chipmunks were part of a wonderful start to my day.

The afternoon walk took me to another beautiful forest, then a bridge that crosses rushing waters and Glynmill Inn Pond with swans before I returned to Glynmill Inn.

2. Trout River Boardwalk

Trout River is a small rural fishing town located on the southern coastal edge of Gros Morne National Park, near the Tablelands. This town is known for its boardwalk and trails that connect to the National Park. I enjoyed the views over the water and a walk through town.

Trout River was settled in 1815 by George Crocker and his family, who were its only inhabitants until 1880. In 2014, a blue whale carcass washed up along the shore in Trout River which attracted international attention. The skeleton of this whale was later put on display at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

3. Shallow Bay Trail

This 1.3-km loop trail is easy and perfect when short on time. I extended my walk to see St. Mary’s botanical garden, St. Mary’s church, and Dr. Henry N. Payne Museum & Craft Shop (the longest running museum on the West Coast of Newfoundland). I returned to Shallow Bay just in time for a spectacular sunset.

4. The Dorset Trail, Port au Choix

The Dorset Trail winds across limestone barrens and through forest and heathland to coastal archaeological sites dating back 2,800 years. This was one of my favourite trails for the unusual landscape. Although the ground may look bare, when I took a closer look, to my delight, I discovered many plants living and thriving on these barrens.

5. Bottom Brook Trail

Bottom Brook received its name due to its location at the bottom of St. Anthony Harbour. The 1.4-km loop trail is an easy walk on a beautiful morning to start my day. After the walk, I took a boat tour from St. Anthony Harbour to see icebergs, seabirds and whales.


I love the uniqueness of the above walks and their beautiful natural surroundings. They are simple walks that I could fit in first thing in the morning to warm up, or last thing in the evening to wind down. I hope you enjoy the landscape as much as I did.

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

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5 Notable Lighthouses in Newfoundland

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 29 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #79. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In my previous posts, I wrote about three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites and my incredible iceberg viewing experience in Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s post is about my road trip to see lighthouses.

Newfoundland and Labrador has over 29,000 kilometres of twisting coastline, laden with submerged rocks, hidden inlets, and icebergs. The province also has hundreds of lighthouses to guide fishermen and sailing vessels to safety on foggy and stormy nights. To make them easier to spot from a distance, many were painted plain white. Some have red and white stripes.

Lighthouses: A) Point Riche B) Lobster Head Cove C) Long Point D) Cape Bonavista E) Cape Spear

Here are five notable lighthouses that I visited on the island of Newfoundland. As always, click on images in the galleries to see bigger photos and captions.

A) Point Riche Lighthouse

Built in 1892, Point Riche Lighthouse is still active. The structure is 19 metres (62 ft) tall. The white wooden tower is octagonal pyramidal in shape; the entry door and lantern room are painted red. Its location is a windswept landscape with exposed ancient seabeds and expansive ocean views. I saw sea birds and whales here.

B) Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse

In the heart of Gros Morne National Park, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse has guided ships into Bonne Bay since 1897. The tower is of iron, cast in St. John’s. Iron was fireproof, long-lasting and could be shipped to the site in pieces. The light is from England, built by Chance Brothers. All parts were landed below and hauled uphill by cart-and-oxen, overseen by first keeper Robert Lewis.

The setting of Lobster Cove Head Light was carefully chosen. The view gives the light beam a 180-degree sweep from north to south and out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In fine weather, it can be seen over 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) offshore.

C) Long Point Lighthouse

Long Point Lighthouse, built in 1876, is located on a prominent headland at the entrance to Notre Dame Bay, in Twillingate on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. At more than 300 feet above sea level, its location provides an open view of the islands that dot this section of coast, of shipping activities and of icebergs that drift south in the spring.

Along the cliff trails, tuckamores survive. Tuckamores are trees that have been bent and sculpted by constant strong onshore winds. The salt spray kills exposed buds, so growth only occurs on the tree’s sheltered inland side.

D) Cape Bonavista Lighthouse

Built in 1843, the light at Cape Bonavista is one of the few in the world where you can still climb up the stone tower and see the same seal oil fueled catoptric light apparatus that was used in the 1800s. I took the guided tour to learn about the hard life of the lightkeepers and see their quarters that have been restored to the 1870s.

As the place where John Cabot first made landfall in Newfoundland in 1497, Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is one of the most visited Provincial Historic Sites in the province. This is a prime location to view whales, icebergs and puffins. I was delighted to see hundreds of cute puffins fly from the cliffs and a fox family outside the lighthouse.

E) Cape Spear Lighthouse

Cape Spear, Newfoundland’s oldest surviving lighthouse and a National Historic Site, has served as the chief approach light for St. John’s harbour since 1836. Constructed by local builders, it consists of a stone tower surrounded by a frame residence, a common lighthouse design on Canada’s east coast.

The light mechanism in use in the 19th century came from Inchkeith lighthouse in Scotland. Modern equipment was installed in 1912 and remains in use in the concrete tower built nearby in 1955. Much altered during the 19th century, the old lighthouse has been restored to its original appearance.

On the day of my visit, it was foggy and windy on Cape Spear, a perfect opportunity to see the light flash from the new tower and hear foghorn sound.

Cape Spear is home to the most easterly point of land in North America. In this place on the edge of the continent, you can watch the sun rise first before anyone else in North America. Pretty cool, eh?

Cape Spear
Cape Spear

Are you road tripping this summer?

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These Icebergs Made My Day

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 28 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #78. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Iceberg viewing is one of the outdoor activities that I hoped to do when I traveled to Newfoundland and Labrador last month. While late May and early June is the best viewing time, there is no guarantee to see icebergs because it’s up to Nature.

To view icebergs, I headed north and took the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon across the Strait of Belle Isle to the shores of Labrador (C in the map below). It was a clear and sunny day, high 18C (64F).

My itinerary in Newfoundland and Labrador
My itinerary

Iceberg #1

As we approached Blanc Sablon, I spotted a ‘dry dock’ iceberg with a U-shaped slot at water level, and three pinnacles or columns. It was a beautiful first sighting.

Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Iceberg near Blanc Sablon
Same iceberg, different angle

Roughly 90% of icebergs seen off Newfoundland and Labrador come from the glaciers of western Greenland, while the rest come from glaciers in Canada’s Arctic. It takes an iceberg about two to three years to reach Newfoundland and Labrador from Greenland – a distance of 1,800 nautical miles.


Iceberg #2

Two days later, I boarded a tour boat from St. Anthony (D on my itinerary map) and headed out to sea. St. Anthony is located in Iceberg Alley, an area that stretches from the coast of Labrador to the southeast coast of the island of Newfoundland.

Once again, I was fortunate to have a gorgeous, clear and sunny day, high 11C (52F). About fifteen minutes after the boat departure, I spotted two icebergs in the horizon. One ‘tabular’ iceberg had a flat top and one ‘dome’ iceberg had a rounded top. It was amazing to see these magnificent 10,000 year-old giants float silently in open waters. However, they were a bit far for good pictures.

Until we got close to this ‘pinnacle’ iceberg with one main pyramid on it. It was much bigger than the iceberg I saw in Blanc Sablon. Zoom in to see the streaks on its surface. Regardless of size, each iceberg is unique. As are the bluish-green streaks breaking through the bright white ice.

Iceberg in St. Anthony
The back of the same iceberg
Iceberg and small ice chunks
Iceberg and smaller ice chunks

Iceberg #3

As the tour boat rounded the corner, I saw a massive ‘wedged’ iceberg, with steep surfaces on one side and gradually sloping on the other, thus forming a wedge. And when I considered that 90% of an iceberg is actually below the surface, I was in awe to see this iceberg. Just stunning!

The boat captain turned off the engine so we could listen to hear the melting ice, the faint pops releasing the fresh, clean air previously trapped for thousands of years. As we circled around the iceberg, I realized how deceiving its first appearance was and how an iceberg sank the Titanic because there was more behind its massive size.

Iceberg in St. Anthony
Iceberg in St. Anthony
Streaks on iceberg surface
Beautiful streaks on the iceberg surface
Same iceberg, different angle
Same iceberg, different angle

Most icebergs weigh between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes, and some, though more rare, as much as millions of tonnes. There are bergy bits the size of a small house and smaller ones called growlers that get their name from the sound they make as they plunge into the swelling seas. Icebergs are harvested to produce Iceberg Vodka, Gin, and bottled water in Newfounddland and Labrador.


On the way back to St. Anthony, I saw bergy bits and growlers. I touched and tasted the iceberg ice that the boat captain scooped up using a net. Icebergs are created from pure, fresh water and snow so iceberg ice is safe to consume and is not salty.

Bergy bits
Bergy bits
Iceberg ice
Iceberg ice

Since these icebergs and I have traveled thousands of miles to reach Newfoundland and Labrador, I was so happy we met on two beautiful days. Iceberg viewing is one of the highlights of my trip and a memorable experience for a lifetime.

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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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Weekday Walk: Exhibition Place

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 18 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #68. Come on in for a cup of coffee or tea and let’s chat.

Last week I took a self-guided architecture walk at Exhibition Place to revisit some of the buildings and public artworks. I’ve shared a few structures on the grounds of Exhibition Place on my blog before such as the Princes’ Gates, Fort Rouillé, Scadding Cabin, and Liberty Grand.

Dufferin Gate

On this walk, I started from Dufferin Gate, located at the north-west end of Exhibition Place, to visit the Gouinlock buildings first.

Dufferin Gate

This gateway to Exhibition Place has been rebuilt three times (1895, 1910, and 1959). Before the Princes’ Gates were built, the Dufferin Gate served as the main entrance to the grounds. In 1959, construction of the Gardiner Expressway necessitated the demolition of the 1910 gate, which was replaced with the current parabolic arch.

Exhibition Place website

Gouinlock Buildings

From 1905 through 1912, fifteen elaborate structures by architect George W. Gouinlock were constructed in the west end of Exhibition Place. The five still standing buildings are designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. The oldest is the Press Building with its façade in Beaux-Arts style.

The Press Building
Original name: Administrative Building; Current name: The Press Building, built in 1905
The Music Buidling
Original name: Railways Building; Current name: The Music Building, built in 1907
Toronto Event Centre
Original name: Horticulture Building; Current name: Toronto Event Centre, built in 1907
Medieval Times
Original name: Government Building; Current name: Medieval Times, built in 1912
Fire Station 346
Original: Fire Station; Current: Fire Station 346, built in 1912

Other Buildings

Walking towards the east end of Exhibition Place, I chose the following buildings for their unique architectural styles:

Horse Palace
The Horse Palace built in 1931 in Art Deco style
Stanley Barracks, built in 1841
Stanley Barracks, built in 1841, in military style
Stanley Barracks looking east towards Hotel X
Stanley Barracks looking east towards Hotel X

The British army established a military post here in 1840-41 to replace aging Fort York. Known as the New Fort, it consisted of seven limestone buildings around a parade square, and a number of lesser structures. Massive defensive works were planned for the perimeter but never built. In 1893 the fort was renamed Stanley Barracks in honour of Governor General Lord Stanley. Canadian forces assumed responsibility for the post in 1870 and garrisoned it until 1947. The barracks then served as public housing until the early 1950s, when all but this building, the Officers’ Quarters, were demolished.

Text from the Stanley Barracks plaque
Beanfield Centre built in 1929 by architect Douglas Kertland, in Classical and Modern styles

Exhibition Place has many buildings and public artworks. I enjoyed my Architecture walk on a sunny spring day. The approximate distance was 5 km (3 miles). I’ll be back for an Art walk.

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

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Running My First Food Drive

Hello and welcome back to Weekend Coffee Share #51! I hope you’ve had an enjoyable holiday and a great start to the new year. Let’s catch up while we enjoy our hot coffee or tea.

If you’re new to my blog or the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-up, welcome! Please check my guidelines before linking up.

Week 1/ 52

I had a wonderful blogging break and returned with my Happy New Year 2022 blog post last Sunday. On Tuesday I finished my first Community Food Drive. In previous years, I donated food items and money to food banks. A few events compelled me to take a more hands-on approach.

Heart display at the Distillery District

My First Food Drive

Here are 5 things I’d like to share about my first Community Food Drive:

1. It started with an e-mail

In early December 2021, I got an email from the office of my community centre advising that during COVID-19, food banks will not pick up donations from our traditional collection boxes at the community centre. They pick up from fire halls or participating grocery stores. In the same week, I read articles about increasing food insecurity, food prices, and use of food banks.

Both the community centre and a local fire hall are on my walking route. They’re about 800m (0.5 mile) apart. For pedestrians, it’s easy. For drivers, it’s a nightmare due to the street layout and no public parking at the fire hall. Without the convenient pick up from collection boxes, food banks may get less donations. I saw a service gap that I could bridge.

2. It was easy to set up

I contacted Daily Bread food bank and the community centre to inquire about having a collection box to run a food drive. I volunteered to pick up food donations from the collection box and walk to deliver them to a local fire hall.

After a few emails, the community centre agreed to set up two collection boxes with Daily Bread’s list of Most Needed Food Items posted, and a message out to residents in my neighbourhood.

3. It was a contactless project

Following public health COVID-19 guidelines, I had no contact with the donors or staff. Pick-up and drop-off locations were unattended and outdoors. I specified a start date and an end date for the food drive: From December 13th to 31st.

I took a blogging break in the last two weeks of December to work on the food drive. It was a good decision. I picked up the food donations, sorted them to balance the weights, and walked to drop them off.

Samples of food donations
Samples of food donations

4. It was heartwarming

Since it was my first food drive, I had no idea what to expect. The donations were heartwarming. One neighbour left me a message to say my generosity has inspired other residents and they offered help if I needed assistance moving the donations.

The donations and that message affirmed my faith in humanity. Good people are out there and we care about our community.

5. It ended with excellent results

My food drive collected three hundred fifty (350) non-perishable and most needed food items, or about $1500 in cash equivalent. I shared the results with my neighbours and thanked the donors for their generosity.

Together, we contributed to help those in need and make our community a better place. It was an excellent way to start the new year.

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Going Back To School

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #36! 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 sunny days and pleasant temperatures. A weather system passed through on Tuesday evening and brought thunders, lightning, and rain. By Wednesday morning, it was nice again.

It was also the first week back to school for students in Toronto. Last year most students were doing online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year with the available vaccines, vaccine mandate and indoor masking mandate, most students are returning to in-person learning.

I went back to the University of Toronto (informally known as U of T), not as a student but as a hobby photographer wandering at a relaxed pace. Originally established in 1827 as King’s College, the university is older than Canada itself. In 1849, King’s College was renamed to University of Toronto.

University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada by enrollment. The university has three campuses: St. George campus (downtown), Scarborough campus (east end), and Mississauga campus (west of Toronto).

St. George campus is huge with a mix of old and new buildings. From September to early May, the campus is busy with thousands of students. I made my trip before school started to avoid the crowds.

On this visit, I chose to photograph three buildings that have interesting architecture and significant history:

1. University College

University College is the University of Toronto’s founding College. Established in 1853, it was named the Provincial College, with a charter to make education available to every student regardless of religion or social status.

University College entrance.
University College entrance.
University College.
University College.

2. Victoria College

Victoria University, named in honour of Queen Victoria, was founded in 1836 by royal charter from King William IV, and federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College (informally known as Vic), an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college associated with the United Church of Canada.

Old Vic at Victoria College.
Old Vic is the oldest building of Victoria College. It was designed by architect W.G. Storm and built in 1891 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

3. Annesley Hall

Designed by architect George Martel Miller and built in 1903 in the Queen Anne style, Annesley Hall was the first residence built specifically for women in Canada. The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

Annesley Hall.
Annesley Hall.

Annesley Hall was home to the first female resident at the University, as well as the first woman to graduate from a Canadian medical school. The building was renovated in 1988 and houses female students in single, double and triple rooms. No two rooms are the same.


It was a fun walk on a beautiful day. I enjoyed visiting the historic buildings at the University of Toronto. I’ll go back to take more photographs at St. George campus in the future.

Shared with #LifeThisWeek, PPAC#13, #SundayStills, #ThursdayDoors.

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