Tiny bits of Toronto

For a long time, some people I know who worked together would often jump into each other’s offices and roar…Let’s go F’coffee! Or if it was a bit more of a political day, saunter up to doorway, lean in and whisper, I need to go F’coffee. They worked in that kind of place, you know where there was love: the kind where the boss would say, “I love you, you’re beautiful, get outta here.” Well, wouldn’t you know it? A coffee shop opened up last year and driving by it recently, well, I DID have my camera with me. It’s three minutes east of the Don River, a minute east of the bridge, on the south side. It’s one of those neat, quirky, laid-back kind of places.


F'Coffee, Queen Street East, Toronto.

About 15 minutes north of F’Coffee is a place I’ve mentioned before —  referred to in the neighbourhood as the Porn Coffee Shop, on account of the former business, a video porn, um, place, although it’s actual registered business name is Broadview Espresso.

broadview espresso

sign for Broadview Espresso, taken by GMac.

It is a lovely spot to have good coffee, even better mocha; to meet friends, talk with strangers, look at local art, just hang out reading in the leather arm chairs, or sit by the window and watch the world. I think the requirement for working there is not only being nice, but having a wonderful smile because it seems that they all do, from the owner to the few staff all have great smiles. The owner is just lovely: nice, helpful and very interested in coffee. He wears flip flops in winter…outside. In the snow. So he might be a little bit kooky, but women and some men are sweet on him because not only is he a great guy that makes good coffee, but he’s cute in that straight guy tousled, just-got-up-out-of-bed look that works. And as you know, not everyone can make it work.

Below is a local photographer’s shot of our City Hall — it was built in the 1960s.

TORONTO cityhall

Toronto’s City Hall at Night

Close to City Hall is the Eaton Centre, a large shopping mall SMACK in the city’s downtown core. (Usually I HATE shopping but Sephora and the Apple store just happen to be there and I needed stuff.) Outside the mall’s Queen Street West entrance is yet another one of Toronto’s hot dog vendors, aka street-meat stall. I tried to get Parker poodle to pose in the shot, but his nose would not stay still. A lot of fun events happen around both the City Hall and the Eaton Centre, and any city’s downtown is worth seeing once.

outside the Eaton Centre

in case you’re hungry before or after shopping

I do wonder about cookie-cutter architecture, and why  Toronto is trying its darndest to look more like New York’s Times Square.

toronto downtown at night

Downtown Toronto, looking like every other big city

I can only take  this >  < much of shopping, so off to find somewhere else in the city.  In the sort of central east part of Toronto is Allan Gardens. The park includes an off-leash area, mostly for dogs, although given the proximity to downtown and some city and non-profit shelters, there are also a number of homeless people here too. But the main attraction are the conservatories; a little bit of a haven and lots of white flowers, where I shot some photos and learned a little more about orchids. It’s a bit stunning to learn that each species of orchid requires a specific bee, moth, ant or bird to pollinate it. That got me to wondering about the whole notion of soul mate, one and only…to be riffed on another time. But can you imagine? Rather interesting specialization and quite a delicate ecological balance. What if that ant or be or bird didn’t want to? Or was sick. Or decided it didn’t like orchids any more??

allen's gardens again

inside Allan Gardens

inside the conservatory @ Allen's Gardens

In one of the conservatories at Allan Gardens + because white flowers are gorgeous

about orchids

a little story about orchids


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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