Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Canada Day

happy canada day kids!
Originally uploaded by 416style
It was a crazy day yesterday with native protests all around the city, some peaceful and some threatening violent or economic measures. Things seem back to order now but it leaves us all a little jarred. Those who were inconvenienced by road or rail closures probably don't have any sympathy for protesters wishing to claim back land. I implore you all to reflect on this beautiful country and its variety of inhabitants, its history too. Try to learn something new this holiday, enjoy the land and leave no trace.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Toronto Pride Highlights

lady miss kier
Originally uploaded by 416style
Every year I get to see a bit more of Pride. My first visit threw me right into the middle of a parade overflowing on Church Street while last years' visit was overshadowed by big adverts and cheesy beer tents. This year I steered clear of both. I headed straight for the main stage to see Lady Miss Kier, front-woman for Dee-light. She broke out classics like Groove Is In The Heart, reminding my how much I loved her fun tracks and far-out antics. Lady Bunny came next to the stage whipping us with musical satire and punchy one-liners. She screamed at the crowd and we threw it back in her face. She was rude, lewd and dirty and we loved every minute of it.

For a taste of Gay Pride, check my flickr pics, a collection of highlights from Toronto Pride 2006 and 2007.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Toronto Signatures

centre frame
Originally uploaded by 416style
I've been a bit of a flickrite for awhile and been asked by poeple around the world whether my photos can be used in print and online. It's been exciting. Despite seeing my photo printed in Travel Girl, hearing Marketing Magazine used a shot (without asking I might add) and getting a Green Roof shot into Bruce Mau's Massive Change exhibit in Chicago, my highlight is having my shot of the Revue hanging in the Intercontinental Hotel's Signatures Restaurant (220 Bloor Street West).

The resto recently renovated and rebranded. Now it's filled with a stunning array of images from all our favourite spots in Toronto. I went there with my aunt recently to have a bite, and although it was a quiet Monday night the experience was fantastic. Of course the service was terrific (being that it was so quiet) and I enjoyed our server's sense of humour (no stiffness here), but it was the food and the little extras that kept popping up on our table that made the night. All the food was native to Ontario, which to me is a another huge plus. I ate the Manitoulin Island trout with soba noodles and broth - delicious - while enjoying a dark red glass of wine and looking out over Proof's beautiful patio next door. It's what summer in the city is all about.

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The Distillery District's Dark Side

The Distillery District is one of a few places I visited during last weekend's Doors Open Toronto. This heritage area can be found near Parliament and Lakeshore, just off Mill Street.

Down at the Distillery the doors had been thrown open to buildings and secret areas few of us ever get to see inside. Within the dusty Scale Tank Loft we found the tanks and scales used by the government to measure and ultimately tax the booze which flowed out of Gooderham & Worts until the 1990's.

We wandered into the open Rack House where booze was stored for 2 years at a time until it was allowed to be sold, another government intervention.

I was most excited to get into the Kilns Building and Tunnel but regrettably didn't have the time to wait in the long line leading down into these secret catacombs.

Instead, my friends and I wandered through the street level galleries, like my favourite the Monte Clark Gallery, and found some artists on the upper levels who willingly threw their doors open too. Then, a bit thirsty from the dusty air and dry heat, we stopped in at the Mill Strett Brewery for a beverage and a bite. (I had a ceasar but I do love their Organic beer).

I'd gone down with a couple friends since one had told me she'd never seen the Distillery. I'm still amazed when I hear from Torontonians that they've never visited this part of the city which boasts North America's largest example of Victorian Industrial architecture and is a popular spot for filming in Toronto.

It's lovely but packed during the day with pedestrian only sidewalks brimming with people and pooches. Given its eerie history it's fun to wander through the Distillery's dark and empty pathways by moonlight too.

Photos 1, 2 and 4 by blogTO author and photographerMike Rotenberg, photos no. 3 by me/sookie. Story originally posted on blogTO.

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