The Distillery District and My Favourite Fountain

Dear Readers, so after a bright-ish start we’re soon back to light  rain and blustery winds here in Toronto, but we did have a brisk walk to the Distillery District, for a coffee in Balzac – this is Canada’s own coffee chain and very nice it is too. The company often uses old industrial or historic properties, and so each place is different. This time, it was pretty busy inside – normally we sit outside and admire the Dogs of Toronto (of which more later). But today, with a bit of London-style table ninja-ing we managed to get a seat, and it was good to catch up with my husband – we’ve spent so much time with his ageing Mum that we’ve lost touch with one another a bit. It’s always good to reconnect.

View through the old distillery buildings

Much of the Distillery District is now very fancy shops – there’s a John Fluevog shoe shop, lots of places selling ice cream and hot chocolate, a few mini-breweries, some art galleries and one place the size of a warehouse (which could actually once have been a warehouse) that sells skin cream, inevitably containing hyaluronic acid. This is something  that our joints make naturally as a lubricant, and which is sometimes injected into arthritic knees to help with the pain. Whether it makes any difference when smeared onto the skin is anyone’s guess.

I imagine that, with all the bars and restaurants, this is a cool spot on a lovely summer’s evening. Alas, on a damp spring morning it feels a little tired and down at heel. Or maybe that’s just me.

Anyhow, on we go to something that always cheers me up – Berczy Park. It contains the famous dog fountain that I discovered last time I was here but hey, here it is again. I love the way that the dogs around the fountain are admiring/worshipping the golden bone at the top, but the cat is eyeing up two birds on an adjacent lamp post.

Here are the dogs….

…and here is the cat and the birds.

And here is a rather splendid real bird – I’m seeing a few of these chestnut-coloured pigeons, and very pretty they are too.

And then John pointed me in the direction of another little pocket park, just behind Yonge Street. I’d been a bit disheartened because it appears that an 81 storey condominium is going to be constructed right next to the Courthouse Park that I wrote about yesterday, and I have fears for its survival, but maybe I’m being too pessimistic – the courthouse itself is going to be preserved in its entirety, so maybe the park will be too. Plus Torontonians can be very fierce when something they love is threatened, so let’s see what happens.

Who would have guessed that this was here? A few trees bursting into green in a space that could not be more urban, and the walls were echoing with the chirps of the ubiquitous sparrows.

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