Around St Lawrence, and a Patch of Green

St James's Church, Toronto

Well Readers, it’s another murky day here in Toronto but spirits are high because the local ice hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs (sorry about the incorrect plural but hey, I didn’t invent it) have won in the playoffs against Tampa Bay Lightning and are through to whatever happens next for the first time since 2004. There was so much blowing of car horns and cheering and general carry-on last night that I was delighted that we were on the 20th floor, but it’s nice for people to have something to celebrate, even though the sport is something of a mystery to me. All I know is that it seems to involve a lot of padded clothing and people whacking one another with sticks. In the next round the Maple Leafs appear to be playing against either the Bruins or the Panthers, so I expect a lot more excitement next week.

Today, one of the lifts at the hotel was out and the place seemed to be packed (mainly with people watching not only the ice hockey but the baseball (Toronto Blue Jays in case you don’t know, as I didn’t). When we got on, there was a chap wearing only  shorts and a towel who’d been to the sauna upstairs and was attempting to get to his room on the eighth floor. The lift stopped at every subsequent floor until we packed to overflowing with suitcases, children, sports gear, backpacks and various other paraphenalia. By the time we got to the eighth floor the poor semi-clad guy was looking more flushed  with embarrassment than I imagine he’d been in the sauna. We all tumbled out on the ground floor looking very dishevelled.

And then it was off into the rain. We were heading for the antiques market at St Lawrence, but first we passed the third of the great yellow stone churches of Toronto, the Cathedral of St James. I rather liked this photo of it caught in a web of streetcar lines. It’s in gothic revival style and is built with Ohio sandstone, which gives the churches around here their distinctive yellow colour.

On one side there is a children’s playground and some rather fine maple trees, much needed in this nature-deprived downtown. At the exhibition about neighbourhoods that we went to earlier this week, many people had commented that the centre of town needed some more greenspace, although I did find a rather lovely spot later on this walk.

The cathedral as seen through the park

Some maple leafs!

We walked on towards St Lawrence Hall, which has been the home of the food market for years. Just around the corner there used to be the antiques market, but alas this has now moved to Missisauga.

There is some building work going on just across the street, but the trees seem to be being well protected, something our councils at home should definitely look at. Notice how all the trees are wrapped in two layers of plywood.

There are very strict signs about what should and shouldn’t happen in the vicinity of the trees.

And here is the road in all its glory. I imagine it is a very shady spot when all the trees have leafed up, something that will be very welcome during the baking, humid Toronto summer.

Today, though, the rain is pretty persistent…

…and fairly gloomy….

And then, in the rain, we find this little park, right in front of where the court house used to be. How welcome these spots of greenery are amongst all this concrete! It reminds me of how delighted I used to be when I found some green in the City of London when I was working there. Even on a damp and dreary day it lifted my spirits, especially as it was filled with the chirping of yet more sparrows.

And finally, how about this, an actual gas lamp! It’s all that’s left of the 1841 gas-lighting system that used to brighten up Toronto. I’m not quite sure why it’s on during the day, but then we need all the light we can get when it’s as dank as today. It certainly cheered me up.

2 thoughts on “Around St Lawrence, and a Patch of Green

  1. Ann Bronkhorst

    Your photo of the TPZ notice is interesting. I wonder how its wording compares with anything similar here and whether anything similar even exists …


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