Location, Location, Location

It’s often said that where you buy a home is all about location, location, location.

And I agree.

But the neighbours are a big part of that detail too.

Good neighbours are good, great neighbours are great.

And so it was on a recent Friday evening that I dined alfresco with my great neighbours at our annual Laneway Party.

(A laneway being the lane at the back of houses shared between 2 adjacent streets providing each neighbour access to their parking/garage/backyard.)

Introductions were made,            Laneway Party


There was a meet and greet for all ages,    Laneway Party


Entertainment for the kids – a piñata stuffed full of candy,   Laneway Party

Metro’s finest on horseback visited (entertainment for the adults!)   Police on Horseback


The table was set with white linen and real utensils – no plastic here.  Laneway Party

Laneway Party


Platters of food, candlelight and plenty of wine kept the revellers going into the night,  Laneway Party

Plus it helped that the kids were occupied with movies in ‘Bill’s Man Cave’.  Remember Bill (& his lovely wife)?     Laneway Party


A head count was done around the table and 53 neighbours were seated for dinner!  Laneway Party


These 2 ‘party planners’ were pleased!  Thanks to all who helped to make the party a great success!            Laneway Party

All in all a fabulous evening shared with my ‘great’ neighbours making my home’s location the best!

All images via MODMISSY

Surviving the Winter in a Man Cave!

Geez…….it’s been a long winter.

Had enough yet of the cold, freezing cold, snow and more snow?

Survival is to adapt.

Dress warm and get outside – don’t let Mother Nature dictate!

And so it was that I found myself once again in my neighbour’s garage a.k.a. “Bill’s Man Cave”, watching the Olympic gold medal Men’s Hockey Game at 7 am in the freezing cold with all my other winter crazy neighbours.

The Garage

Man Cave Garage

The Man Cave   Man Cave

The Rules       

The Host and Hostess

The Hosts

The Dress Code

The Dress

Willing Participants.  Woof!

Olympic Dog

 The snacks – Coffee, Bubbly and Timbits.

Olympic Munchies

The Cheering!


 Thanks for the memories Bill!

All images via Modmissy




Oh Look…..it’s Me!

I went for a bike ride yesterday along Toronto’s waterfront bike trail.

Absolutely perfect weather and no crowds.

The bike trail was all mine to enjoy; very peaceful.  I pedaled along with nary a thought in my head.

Until I was quickly brought back down to earth when I saw a vision of myself posted on a billboard.



The likeness was uncanny even to me!                          Condo Billboard.

I’ve written previously about billboards, (see here) specifically billboards advertising new home developments with images of happy, smiling people living charmed lives but I never imagined I would be one of those people.

But there I was (or at least someone who looked a lot like me) rolling along the bike path, part of a new, vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood pictured in a huge billboard for all to see.  I had become that common face, the ‘this could be you’ person, living a life full of opportunities.  Charmed.

The billboard was part of the hoarding surrounding the upcoming Bayside Development.  The condos are being built directly on Toronto’s inner harbour of Lake Ontario transforming an underutilized, industrial area into an active and diverse mixed-use community and thriving waterfront destination.  With great views of the lake and a prime location to downtown Toronto who wouldn’t live a charmed life here.   Bayside Development

Toronto Inner Harbour

Fabulous, but am I ready for condo life yet!?

All images via Modmissy

A Room with a View

Last week I wrote about the view from my kitchen window (see here); the inspirational changing of the view from season to season.  It is my ‘picture’ window to the world outside (or at least to my neighborhood).  Since writing that post many of you have shared with me stories about the view from your window and some even sent photos.

Imagine looking out your window and seeing this view as one reader does!!

Well today, I am going to visit that reader’s home to experience first-hand the view from that window.  This photo was taken last week while the fall colours were still in their heightened glory.  Beautiful.  And oh, by the way the reader lives on a houseboat!

So stay tuned…….more photos to come.


The Ladies’ Lounge

I live in a neighborhood close to downtown Toronto nestled on Lake Ontario.  In the early 1900’s the neighborhood was used as a summer retreat for Toronto residents less than 10 miles away.  Large private homes and ‘cottages’ sprang up in the area which still remain standing today.  Many of the homes originally built were never intended to last 100 years – but they have.  Garages constructed to originally house buggies or Model T’s were narrow wooden structures built apart from the house.  One of these old wooden garages belongs to a friend of mine who I have named ‘Superwoman’.  Superwoman (SW) is capable of anything – she can leap tall buildings if she puts her mind to it.  SW has transformed her old wooden garage into a ‘ladies lounge’ – the female version of a ‘man cave’.  What SW started with was this:

And this.

At some point in the history of this garage a former owner had built a chimney and drywall the inside. (I suppose to use as a workshop.)  There were remnants of old linoleum on the floor and many, many holes where raccoons and squirrels entered to take up residence.  Of course SW had a lot of her own ‘junk’ in there too.  But once SW decided that this valuable piece of real estate could be better used there was no stopping her.  Out went the junk, the drywall was ripped down, the chimney was dismantled, the numerous holes were covered, the linoleum was pulled up etc. etc. etc.  SW had her work cut out for her.

But after many months of hard work the Ladies’ Lounge is finally ready.  Stay tuned for the reveal!

Lilly Factory Towns

I recently came across this fabulous billboard advertising a new home development in Toronto’s east end.  I thought it was a wonderful departure from the typical billboard for new home developments showing an artist’s impression of lovely homes, mature trees and blue skies.  Nice enough, very typical but not head turning.  Or the classic billboard of a future development showing a happy couple in a big embrace with huge smiles on their face making me think that possibly this to be an advertisement for teeth whitening!  The Lilly Factory Towns sales centre billboard is a colourful and unique display of creative, outside-the-box thinking.  Sixty four colourful cups are lined up in the shape of a huge cup on a glossy black background.  Some of the lettering is also in bright pink.  Very fun and catchy; made my head turn.  The Lilly Factory Towns development has been named in tribute to the Lily-Tulip Cup Corporation factory that had stood on the property for many years.  The famous Lily paper cup was manufactured at the factory that became a well-known community landmark because of its huge two-story white cup marking the entrance into the building.  A definite head turner.  As a child whenever I saw this building I imagined it to be a place where cups of pop were handed out to anybody who knocked on the big white cup door!  Just as the huge white cup was distinctive so is the new billboard.  Which now makes me wonder, “Does each of the colourful cups hold a cold drink in them too?” 


            Image via Modmissy

Beach Bicycles

In past posts I have written about bicycles, Bikes for Bikes – July 12, and signage, Keilhauer Sign – September 13, but this time I am going to write about bicycles as signage.  This past weekend was the fall Beach Studio Tour in Toronto.  The tour is advertised in magazines, local newspapers and this year the event was advertised in a new, very creative format – on painted bicycles.  Many brightly painted yellow bicycles with yellow signage were positioned throughout the neighborhood.  Some bicycles had baskets containing flowers and pamphlets attached to the handlebars.  I thought this was a great way to advertise versus the usual and common A-Frame sign (the kind you usually see Real Estate open houses advertised) or flyers stapled to telephone poles both of which I never even take notice.  The signs even had a QR Code for obtaining further information.  Advertising is the key to the success of the event and the key to advertising success is getting noticed by as many customers as possible.  I believe these bright, eye-catching, fun bicycles made you turn your head and take notice.  The yellow bicycles were a wonderful departure from the ordinary and as Bill Moyers, White House Press Secretary, news commentator, journalist, once said “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous”.


Riverside Architecture

It may seem that I have a preference for contemporary architecture and that I lean towards the mid-century modern style but I do appreciate other eras.  Recently while on a search for the perfect orange coloured fabric (time to replace the chartreuse yellow cushion on my living room sofa – see post April 7th) I ended up in the Riverside district, located just east of downtown Toronto.  It was such a beautiful day and while looking up and admiring the bright blue sky I also happened to notice the great architecture that was around me.   At the corner of Queen and Saulter, is an outstanding example of some of the older architecture in Toronto.  Built in 1913 and designed by architect E.J. Lennox, (who also designed Toronto’s ’Old City Hall’) the building originally housed a post office, then a Town Hall and now it is home to the Queen/Saulter Library.  The building is truly ‘photo worthy’ and so I snapped away.  If I had not told you that this building was in Toronto you may have thought I had just returned from a vacation in Europe. 


Across the street I spotted another ‘photo worthy’ example of older Toronto architecture.  At the corner of Queen and Boulton St is the Poulton Block.  This building was constructed in 1885 for William B. Poulton, a painter and a Mason, as a Masonic Orient Lodge.  The building was designed by Kennedy, Gaviller and Holland Architects in the Gothic Revival style.  From 1888 to 1910, Toronto’s first library east of the Don River was housed in rooms at the back of this building.  Once again I snapped a bunch of photos.  Through the wonders of technology I was able to view the photos asap and noticed that the shots of the Poulton Block made the building appear as if it existed as only one wall!  It was as if you looked right through the windows and out the back of the building but actually it was the reflection of the sky from the very tall windows. 


I like these photos and am thinking about enlarging them to black and white or maybe sepia toned and framing them.  Actually a friend has been looking for some architecture prints for above her sofa so I may consider that too. 

All Images via Modmissy


Hudson – Un Style de Vie!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time in Hudson, Quebec.  Truly a story book town; quaint, charming and picturesque.   I felt I had stepped back in time and was strolling through a Dickens novel.  Located along Main Street which ran parallel to the river was the town hall, churches with bell towers, the barristers’ office, bakeries (with the most amazing goodies), ladies attire shops, the village playhouse, farmers’ market, the newspaper office, a school and many beautiful homes built of stone or brick that were well over 100 years old.  And gardens! Everyone took such pride in their gardens.  The gardens around the shops, churches, businesses and homes were spectacular.  Many homes had tall cedar hedges instead of fences which made the town feel very green.  Colourful flowers were abundant.  But stepping back into the 21st century Main Street also had the conveniences of today; a grocery store, realty offices, pizza takeout, video shop, car dealer, salon and spas and many restaurants all housed in period-looking buildings.  As a banner hanging on Main Street identified exactly what I felt, “Hudson, A way of Live/Un style de vie!”  I knew I could live in this idyllic town forever and be quite happy.




                  Images via Modmissy

Hudson, Quebec

I am heading out for a gal’s weekend to beautiful Hudson, Quebec.  The picturesque town (population ~5000) located 60 km west of Montreal was once voted as one of the top places to live in Canada.  Originally settled by French Canadian farmers and “voyageurs” in the early 18th century, the region became known for its large English farming community in the early part of the 19th century. The immigrants were mainly from northern England, with others coming from Ireland, Scotland and the United States.  Nestled on the Ottawa River (Lake of Two Mountains) surrounded by farms and forests, Hudson is known for its large, turn-of-the century homes, various boutiques and antique markets, wonderful restaurants and hiking trails.  I believe a trip to the well-known Finnegan’s Market will be on the agenda to check out the ~100 vendors offering antiques, handicrafts, organic produce, home baking, local wine and lots of seasonal goodies.  Cheers!