Monday, May 12, 2008

Up for a Walk?

There are two types of places I am happiest living in. One is deep in the downtown depths of a city. The other is right outside in the country. For now I am living in the former. I’m in Toronto, as is obvious, and, as I like to say, if I were any more downtown, I'd fall into Lake Ontario!

For exercise I take long, brisk walks (okay, brisk-ISH), and there are several which I do in rotation. Some of these are not pretty, part of the reality of living in a city. But some are gorgeous and occasionally on this blog, I am going to highlight some of the interesting spots I pass. Here is my immediate neighbourhood as it appeared yesterday, in the full, ardent embrace of spring. I can feel my sap rising just looking at these blossoms. And could this city get any girlier right now?

A few minutes later, and I'm puffing my way along King Street East, between Jarvis and Church streets. Here we find St. James Cathedral and its lovely gardens, so beautifully illustrated on Bachelor at Wellington’s blog, courtesy of his new Toronto friend. We look north and see the fountain and part of the gardens.

A close up of one of the dickie birds that seem to prefer this fountain to Lake Ontario, just a bit south of here, and one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. But more on that on another walk.

And a close up of the base of the fountain. I think these are cormorants, which are birds creating some real trouble for the Toronto islands, but more of that on another walk too.

Then we turn south and look at St. Lawrence Hall, the second floor of which was a beautiful ballroom and concert venue for visiting artists in the 19th century. Part of it is now the home of Opera Atelier, and is also the venue for wedding receptions and a very excellent restaurant. One of the charms here is the real gas lights that still burn outside it. I shall get a picture at dusk and post it soon. Honest guv.

We finally turn west and see the splendid cathedral. The first Anglican service was held on this spot in 1793, when the Town of York was established (now Toronto). The fifth - and current - iteration of this building opened in 1853, after the devastating fire of 1849 that destroyed so much of the city. The architect of this Gothic Revival cathedral was Frederick Cumberland, and two more of his buildings were completed the same year and still stand. More on those on another walk.

The gardens here are a delight in all seasons and a beautiful spot for contemplation. The bandstand is often a shelter at night for some of the less fortunate of our fellow citizens. Well, I reckon if you have to sleep rough, this is a good spot for it.

Well, I'm pooped. Let's head back to my place for a wee dram of Cardhu and some good bread and cheese. Good idea?


Eaglewing said...

Very nice tour, and some excellent photo shots too. Looks like you have quite the colorful place for a walk about. Beats plain old concrete and asphalt.

R.A.D. Stainforth said...

A most enjoyable walk Blog Princess G. Now I’m thirsty ...

willow said...

Lovely, lovely walk. Yes, I enjoyed that immensely and would love to head over to your place for a wee dram. :)

glamah16 said...

That all sounds loveley, the bread, vhese, and walk. Im suffering with a cold today. Nevertheless I will be in your lovely city July 30-Aug 3 for work ( Caribana). Now that I will be downtown I hope I can see more your city.

Suza said...

Cardhu - I will be right over :) - beautiful post. We are lucky lasses to live where we do. I often take it for granted and shouldn't. Ooooo, that pink is too delicious and frothy - cotton candy of the earth.