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Neighbourhood Bloor West, The Junction, Roncesvalles, High Park, Royal York, The Kingsway, Swansea, Babypoint

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Fall 2012 • Issue 3

C e l e b r at i n g l o c a l p e o p l e . P r o m o t i n g l o c a l b u s i n e s s .


e r u s a e l p r e v e r Fo “At the heart of my practice is the pleasure of working with a client to design something that speaks to his or her style and esthetic.”

Grace and Angeline Jewelery Studio 256 Durie Street • 416-546-5150


Neighbourhood west

NEXT ISSUE: Winter 2012 Delivered to fine homes and targeted businesses in Bloor West, The Junction, Roncesvalles, High Park, Royal York, The Kingsway, Swansea and Babypoint Reaching 20,000 readers and growing.

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Jeff Smith

Editor/Feature Writer: Tracey Coveart

2 The fantastical world of artistic blacksmith Jeff Smith 6 Sorauren Park: a community victory

Graphic Designer: Pamela Hickey Neighbourhood Promoter: Carolyn Tripp

Local Homes and Gardens

Printer: Ironstone Media Contributing Photographers: Igor Yu, Greg Barsoski, Mark Green and Arlene Hazzan Green, Miguel Mata Contributing Writers: Tracey Coveart, Mark Green and Arlene Hazzan Green, Greg Barsoski, Nathalie Prezeau, Mark Freeman

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Kevin Karst

10 Kevin Karst, master craftsman: a new edge on design 15 Growing your own is a sensory adventure 16 Autumn in the garden

Food and Celebration in the Neighbourhood

Publisher: Greg Barsoski

Neighbourhood Living Magazine is now in its third exciting year. We have created over 90 campaigns for our clients with great success. For a free marketing analysis that will help you grow your business, call Greg Barsoski at 416-402-4283 or email b5@sympatico.ca.

Neighbourhood People

18 Shakey’s: great food, great service, great times 20 Ascari: Undiscovered gems at neighbourhood wine bar 22 The Stu Sells Toronto Tankard

Local Fashion and Beauty

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BUFCO

23 Trap Door 24 Studio Fresh 25 The Earth Collection

ON OUR COVER:

In the Neighbourhood

Jeff Smith of Hammersmith Metal Works

26 Neighbourhood Source Guide 27 Upcoming events 28 NeighbourhoodWalking: The Junction ‘Off the Beaten Track’ Stroll

Want to read Neighbourhood Living online? Visit www.neighbourhoodliving.com All rights reserved info. No article or ad may be duplicated without the consent of the publisher. Neighbourhood Living makes no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the qualification or accreditation of those whose opinions are expressed herein, or with the respect to the accuracy of completeness of information (medical or otherwise) provided to, or published in, this magazine. The views and opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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The fantastical world of artistic blacksmith Jeff Smith

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There

is something mystical about the work of metal artist Jeff Smith. Perhaps it is because he uses ancient blacksmithing techniques to bring together earth, water, air and fire – the four elements of antiquity – in the creation of sculpture that is both traditional and contemporary; sensible and whimsical; practical and fantastical. Alongside elegantly crafted garden gates, benches, fireplace screens and bicycle racks, there are winged dragons rising up on glistening spires, hummingbirds captured mid-flight and mid-sip, frog princes awaiting the kiss of a princess, and grotesquely beautiful creatures of the deep. Many are inspired by nature. Others borrow from the elements of Baroque, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. All are stunning. And each is meticulously hand-forged and handcrafted, a true original. Jeff Smith had been working in graphic design for 20 years when he signed up for a community college welding course and weekend blacksmithing workshop and discovered his true calling. “I had always had an interest in metal work – wherever I travelled I gravitated toward metal art and design – but I never thought I’d pursue it as a career.” That changed in 2006. “I had a chance to take a year’s salary and move on and it seemed like a good time to follow

my passion and venture out on my own. I already had the materials and tools. So I took a week-long advanced course in blacksmithing at the Haliburton School of Art and learned at the hands of a master.” Jeff spent the rest of the year “hammering away. I had to develop my skills as an artistic blacksmith and get comfortable working with extremely hot metal. There are so many opportunities to hurt yourself!” Although he has completed one large installation – a flock of five stainless steel Canada Geese for a condominium development in Barrie – most of his work is on a smaller scale. Garden sculptures are a particular favourite and constitute 75 per cent of his business. “I love gardening, so I produce pieces that people can incorporate into their landscaping and garden design.” Although birds – geese, hummingbirds, heron – are a recurring theme, “I seem to gravitate toward fish: musky, tuna, angler fish, fantails. I really enjoy fishing and I always had aquariums growing up.” Many of his sculptures – spectacular welded, forged and manipulated creatures – incorporate steel, stone and wood. “I find these three natural elements work well together,” says Jeff. “The steel is more refined; the other two more raw. They complement each other.” Cedar root figures heavily in these pieces. “It has a great www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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“Alongside elegantly crafted garden gates, benches, fireplace screens and bicycle racks, there are winged dragons rising up on glistening spires, hummingbirds captured mid-flight and grotesquely beautiful creatures of the deep.�

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texture and colour. When you slice off the decayed surface area, you get beautiful bright red, grainy pieces. I like to combine smooth finishes with the gnarly texture of the raw wood. It really makes an impact when you put it next to steel and stone.” Jeff uses cedar root – collected from the countryside before he moved to the city in 2009 – as the ‘skull’ for his forged antler racks, the body of some of his more elaborate fish sculptures and one spectacular warthog. “I love the challenge of making something rigid look fluid.” While Jeff does sell from his rural studio, most of his marketing and advertising takes place at five or six major trade shows each year, including the Riverdale Art Walk. He made his first sale at the Christmas One of a Kind Show in 2008. “I had been working in metal art for less than a year. It was overwhelming. When I made that sale my hands were shaking. I didn’t even know how to put the credit card through!” Eventually, Jeff would like to have a studio where people can come and see him work. “I think they would find it interesting to see how blacksmithing is actually done; how

labour intensive it is and how much work goes into each piece.” Most start out as a sketch. “I’ll take a piece of chalk and draw something on my work table. I used to sketch on paper, but I learned pretty quickly that paper disintegrates when you put some hot metal to it!” And that hot metal is the exciting part: “Taking a piece of rigid steel and heating it to 1200 degrees Celcius so it becomes pliable, like clay. For 15 or 20 seconds you can do anything with it. Then it’s back into the fire.” Twenty to 40 hours later, he’s got a finished piece. “It’s definitely a labour of love. At the end of the day I have bills to pay, I want to travel, but I love what I’m doing. Yes, I could take one great piece and have it mass produced and make a good living, but I’d be bored. There is something incredibly satisfying about bringing my hard-fought design pieces – pieces that I’ve struggled with and laboured over – to a show and have people tell me they love my work. It’s that positive reinforcement that keeps me going. That, and the possibility that they might buy something!”

Jeff Smith, Hammersmith Metal Works 300 New Toronto Street, Unit 32, Etobicoke 647-203-3758 hammersmith@rogers.com www.hamersmithmetalworks.com www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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Sorauren Park: A community victory It takes a village to raise a child ... and a place for that child to play. Just ask Doug Bennet, chair of the seven-member board of the Wabash Building Society (WBS), a non-profit corporation that advocates and raises funds for an urban oasis in Roncesvalles Village and Parkdale known as Sorauren Park. The park, which opened in 1995 and now sports a baseball diamond, a soccer pitch, tennis courts, an off-leash fenced dog park, a community field house, a natural ice rink in winter, a year-round farmers’ market and one of the city’s only remaining Dutch Elm trees, was once a derelict parcel of industrial land. Situated adjacent to the Grand Trunk Rail Line in 1856, the Wabash property was eventually the site of the Dominion Steel Bridge Company, which fabricated some of the steel beams used to build the Bloor Viaduct. In the 70s, the property became a TTC bus garage, but it wasn’t until the city decided to claim the property as a works yard that area residents finally dug in their heels and demanded a park – not a garbage truck depot – for their children. Many of those children, who attended four elementary schools in the neighbourhood, were bused in for the vote on the issue at City Hall, waving Sorauren Parks flags in their fists. Along with teacher/TDSB

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Trustee Irene Atkinson and then-mayor Barbara Hall, “they won the day,” says Doug. “It was a great exercise in civic engagement.” Many of the old buildings were demolished, and Sorauren Park was developed on top of the site’s original concrete pad. In 2000, the City of Toronto purchased the vacant parcel of industrial land at the end of Sorauren Avenue and along Wabash Avenue, adjacent to Sorauren Park. It was originally the site of a linseed oil manufacturing facility and, in 2003, the City determined that the factory could be repurposed as a community centre. Amalgamation put that $12.6 million project on hold. “It’s been a line item in the city’s capital plan for 19 years,” says Doug. At present, the renovation is scheduled for 2018-2019. Frustrated with the delay, members of the WBS, who had been meeting since 1999, incorporated as a non-profit in 2006. Instead of waiting for the big picture to materialize, they decided to take matters into their own hands and chip away at their vision, bringing pieces of the project to life in phases. There was another small structure on the property, a 2,000 square foot, two-storey office building, which the WBS had earmarked for the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse, a community meeting place complete


If we build it, they will come

Live music at the main stage at the Little City Festival

Left page; Kelly Thornton, community relations specialist with Metrolinx; Susan Vandendam, director of the Wabash Building Society; and Peter White, general supervisor, parks, for Toronto and East York, pose with three of the 12 bike rings purchased thanks to $1000 Metrolinx donation to Town Square project.

Top- left; Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash, with Meri Newton, from the Office of Ward 14 Councillor Gord Perks, and Councillor Gord Perks, at the annual Environment at Sorauren Park. WBS sign and display in the background.

Top- right; WBS board director, volunteer and real estate broker, Chander Chaddah with Joanna Lang of Scotiabank, who donate pumpkins every year for the annual Pumpkin Sale in support of the Wabash Building Society www.neighbourhoodliving.com | Neighbourhood Living | 7


with washroom facilities to eliminate the need for portable outhouses and emergency trips to the bushes. The $400,000 plan was hatched in 2006 and the building opened in 2008. “We were able to leverage the 2006 municipal election quite effectively,” says Doug. “Mayor Miller, who was running for re-election, publicly committed to build the fieldhouse – and he followed through. With $250,000 in Section 37 “seed” money, the WBS raised another $60,000 through a community cash campaign, a ‘buy a brick’ fundraising program, a landscaping grant from the Evergreen Foundation and in-kind donations from supportive local businesses for the kitchen, flooring and paint. The City kicked in the remainder. It was a good deal for everyone. “The fieldhouse has been a huge hit,” says Doug. “Fitness, music, art and nature appreciation classes are offered in the meeting and activity spaces and the West End Food Co-op runs a very successful farmers’ market every Monday night all year long with as many as 36 vendors in the high season.” The space is owned by Parks, Forestry and Recreation, which doles out the permits, while the WBS makes sure things run smoothly and the park continues to grow and develop. “Our job is to build the stage and advocate for the park – and make sure everyone comes together when things occasionally go off the rails!” Because the park sits at the intersection of Roncesvalles Village, Brockton and Parkdale – three vibrant multicultural neighbourhoods – it’s a great place to bring communities together, Doug says, “whether it’s the Polish kids from Roncy, the Portuguese kids from Brockton, the Sri Lankan and Tibetan kids from Parkdale, and all the other ethnic groups in between. It’s wonderfully diverse.” And while baseball and soccer leagues bring hundreds of kids and their families together at the park each summer, Doug has a soft spot for winter. “I love the ice rink. It’s joyful to see kids skate for the first time. Many of them are newcomers to Canada and sometimes their parents are skating for the first time, too. Such smiles! As an old-timer, you get the sense they are embracing their new country.” The natural ice rinks – one for shinny and one for pleasure skating – are flooded nightly by a group of hardy volunteers. There are no schedules or rules, except for common sense. “People love that,” Doug says. “Plus, when the ice is really good, it gets the kids away from the computer screen. Sometimes they even get up early to play before school starts, and that really impresses the seniors around here.” With the fieldhouse completed, the WBS has plunged into Phase 2 of its “baby steps” plan – The Town Square, which will occupy the empty space between the field house and the old linseed oil factory. “We have a fairly significant fundraising program underway to raise money for landscaping: more trees, picnic tables, benches, a pizza/bake oven, flower and vegetable gardens,” says Doug. “It’s a $600,000 project and we have committed to the City to raise half of that.” So far, so good. “We were the chosen charity at the Little City Festival (Totstock) on Father’s Day, and we received $4,200. Our next big event is the annual pumpkin sale in October at the fieldhouse, which raises about $3,000 each year. We were also able to secure a $125,000 matching grant from Live Green Toronto.” Based on the WBS commitment ($50,000 raised to date) and the Live Green Toronto grant, the City is moving ahead and tendering the job. Construction on the 15,000 square foot project is expected to start midway through 2013. Upon completion, that will leave just the community centre untouched, the final parcel of land in the park precinct to be developed. That is Phase 3 for the WBS. “We are continually moving the fence closer to our final goal,” Doug says. “When The Town Square is completed, the fence will be virtually up against

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Action at the Sorauren shinny ice pad. All ages!

For more information on what’s happening at the park and how to apply for a permit, visit the electronic bulletin board at www.soraurenpark.com. For more on WBS advocacy efforts underway, visit www.buildwabashnow.org.

Volunteers installing the patio around the Sorauren Fieldhouse, entirely funded and installed by the WBS.

the old building. With its derelict condition increasingly obvious, we hope the City will feel pressured to go the last mile and finish the job.” Chairing the WBS is a big job, but well worth the effort, according to Doug, a “third-wave” advocate whose kids, now teenagers, used Sorauren Park for organized sports when they were younger. “I was a coach at the park and sort of of got involved organically. My kids grew up in the park and even though that ‘family’ era is behind us now, I’m still involved. My kids have seen me as Mr. Volunteer Dad and I think it’s had a positive effect on them. They’ve watched me put my time, energy and effort into building this community and I hope that rubs off on them.” Doug’s kids won’t be the only ones learning by example. Beyond the park’s seven board members, there is a core group of about 20 to 30 volunteers who help with the ice rink, the annual spring gardening day, and the WBS booth at community events. In addition to local businesses, more than 200 families and individuals contributed to the Fieldhouse Campaign. “Over the years, hundreds of people have volunteered,” says Doug, “either in the early days in the fight for the park – which was before my time – or as volunteer coaches for kids’ soccer and baseball at the park.” Two other directors, Kathy Allan and Chander Chaddah, have been involved since at least 1999 and director Brenda Shillington has been a dedicated Sorauren Park volunteer since she was pregnant with her daughter – who is now in university – and the children’s haven was just a twinkle in the eye of the community. “The park brings people together,” says Doug. “You get to know your neighbours and the neighbourhood kids and that builds a sense of community and security. The other day I saw a young man walking down Roncesvalles confidently, with a ‘ready to take on the world’ swagger. As he walked past me I recognized him: one of the little tykes who used to play in the baseball league when I was a coach. They grow up fast. And you hope the village has helped them to grow up well.”

Kids making a quilt that’s a map of the neighbourhood — with buttons showing their homes and local landmarks — at Totstock festival (now the Little City Festival) a few years ago.

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local homes + gardens

Kevin Karst, master craftsman: a new edge on design

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“People want quality. They want to know their project is my only priority. I work on one job at a time, so they have my undivided attention, and I put a lot of emphasis on aftermarket service.”

When

Kevin Karst was a little boy growing up on a wheat farm in southern Saskatchewan, his father would give him a hammer and a dull saw to keep him busy while he worked. Little did the elder Karst know that his encouragement would arouse in his son a lifelong affinity for wood, and that Kevin’s only woodworking instruction – at the hands of a local 4-H leader – would inspire a master designer craftsman. “I was always building stuff,” says Kevin. “I started nailing wheels into primitive blocks of wood and I never stopped.” Kevin received his bachelor’s degree at the School of

Industrial Design at Carleton University and stayed for six years as a Wood Technologist while he did his graduate work in Canadian Studies. A combination of architecture, anthropology, northern and native studies, his focus was the history of woodworking. “I looked at how the Plains Cree used fire to manage the aspen forest, and spent a month on Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) off the coast of British Columbia, researching Haida sustainable woodworking practices.” After 10 years in Ottawa, Kevin moved to Toronto, where he worked a series of “really interesting jobs”: as a detailer at | Neighbourhood Living www.neighbourhoodliving.com Living | | 11 http://neighbourhoodliving.dgtlpub.com| Neighbourhood 3


Craftwood Industries, one of Canada’s top millworking shops; at a small store fixture company that did high end store interiors in wood, metal and glass; at Knoll Inc., managing the custom product development department; as product manager for Irpinia Kitchens; as design manager at Ontario Store Fixtures; at Teknion, a Canadian owned furniture design company that was looking to expand into a wood furniture line; and at Aya Kitchens as director of manufacturing. It was then, in 2004, with his hard-earned pedigree in wood furniture design, that Kevin opened his own business. “I’d run my own custom cabinet shop in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, from ‘78 to ‘84, and always had a basement shop at home in Cabbagetown making custom furniture for my clients. The market was there. So I opened a small shop and built a business in custom kitchens, furniture, home office interiors and my own line of closets.” (He moved to his present space on Carlaw Avenue in 2011.) In 2006 Kevin cold-called Klaus Nienkamper, owner of one of Canada’s premier modern furniture design and manufacturing companies, to pitch some chichi office tables he had designed. Neinkamper agreed to meet and “loved the prototype immediately.” The tables won a bronze award at IIDEX/Neocon in Toronto the year they were released to the market. Kevin got as far as a royalty agreement with Umbra for a second prototype – his bentwood stacking stools – but “the world of unsolicited design is hard to penetrate.” The stools never reached the manufacturing stage, despite winning an award at a furniture exhibition sponsored by the Ottawa Association of Architects. These days, Kevin

specializes in custom cabinetry, targeting older housing stock in Toronto’s downtown core. “Those quirky, oddly shaped homes really beg for custom storage solutions.” As a journeyman cabinet maker, Kevin is a one-stop shop: from consultation, to sales, design, drawing and engineering, manufacturing and installation. “People want quality. They want to know their project is my

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only priority. I work on one job at a time, so they have my undivided attention, and I put a lot of emphasis on aftermarket service.” What really sets Kevin apart from other cabinet makers, however, is his knowledge – and love – of wood, which he shares with his clients and students at Georgian College in Barrie, where he taught cabinetmaking. “When I talk to people about how trees grow


and what kind of growth processes lead to a certain look, they think about wood in a different way.” Kevin encourages his clients to visit the shop and see how things are done. “It’s a place of ideas. I want them to get a feel for what goes on here; for how cabinetry and furnishings are built. I explain my approach and how it adds value.” That’s a productive way of looking at design, he says: adding value to materials. “Down the road, I imagine some future cabinet maker going into my kitchens saying, ‘The fronts may not be what you want but we can use the same infrastructure. We don’t need to tear anything out.’ With my frameless cabinets, you can keep those boxes in place forever. They never have to go to landfill.” Design sustainability is critical to Kevin. “Make it smart and keep that product in service for as long as possible. That’s why I use only the best materials. I don’t want anything to fail.” And that’s what so intrigues Kevin about the Haida. “Their art resonates 2,500 years later; centuries on, their art forms still have relevance. People are looking for those qualities in their current lives. The Haida understood their materials because they knew them so well, a principle I embrace in my practice. Many errors and questionable judgement we see in design today are the result of a poor understanding of materials.” Which is why Kevin works with domestic hardwoods: walnut, cherry, maple, white oak. He opts for less conventional cuts that make familiar timbers look exotic. “Quarter cut walnut is very striking, curly cherry is impossibly beautiful and figured maple is stunning. I keep my eye on sustainability and I work with what I know.” The result is breathtaking: enduring wood furniture and cabinets that tell the story of a lifetime.

Kevin Karst Design Inc. www.kevinkarst.com 388 Carlaw Avenue, Unit W22 647-206-9002 • design@kevinkarst.com Check out Kevin’s work at www.houzz.com, a designer database of ideas.

| Neighbourhood Living www.neighbourhoodliving.com Living | | 13 http://neighbourhoodliving.dgtlpub.com| Neighbourhood 5


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Growing your own is a sensory adventure Rippling through our city is a new movement that feeds our hunger for a more sustainable food system. Now taught in our schools and discussed at City Hall, Urban Agriculture is changing our vocabulary and shifting our perception of what it means to be an eater in the city. We shop at farmers’ markets, belong to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture initiatives), raise chickens (albeit illegally) and grow our own fruits and vegetables in our back and front yards. This is a dream come true for many urbanites who have nurtured fantasies of a farmhouse in the country. Arlene Hazzan Green is one of those split personalities; with one foot in the dirt and one in high heels. That’s one reason she and husband Marc quit their day jobs in the film and television business, jumped on the Urban Ag bandwagon and created The Backyard Urban Farm Company. Their goal was to inspire people by helping them to grow their own food. And they wanted to justify spending all day in their garden! Not all city folk share their nostalgic desire for a simpler life, however. Many would sooner make dinner reservations than garden plans. Their own ‘reservations’ are legitimate. But because the Greens have made it their mission to spread the Urban Ag gospel to those not yet converted, they offer the following thoughts on how growing your own food can ignite your senses. TASTE: When you grow your own, you discover how food is supposed to taste. You realize there is more than one variety of a multitude of fruits and veggies. Your palate will learn the different flavours of lettuce, strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, beets, eggplant and more. You will never – ever – taste a better tomato than a juicy heirloom picked moments after it’s ripened on the vine. Fresh cut herbs will astound you. Homegrown garlic will transform you. SIGHT: A gorgeous garden is a wonder to behold, and a vegetable garden can have it all: a rainbow of vibrant fruits, blooming flowers that attract an amazing array of butterflies and birds, even water features and outdoor furniture to make your home one room larger. Tending a garden surrounded by such beauty feeds your soul and reminds you how reviving it is to be one with nature. SOUND: The sound of a garden is a special kind of heaven. A soft breeze through the trees, love songs between cardinals, the hum of a nearby bee, even the patter of a summer rain – all do a wonderful job of drowning out the neighbour’s air conditioner. Connecting with the rhythm of a garden soundscape brings peace to jangled city nerves. SMELL: What can be more intoxicating than a long, deep inhale of Genovese basil? To caress a mound of lavender is reminiscent of a spa. The aromas drifting from a backyard garden kitchen can fill a Saturday afternoon with the promise of an evening feast. TOUCH: A vegetable garden attracts living beings of all kinds. It’s so much more than the soft soil beneath your feet or the velvety texture of a young plant’s leaves. We touch others when we invite them into our gardens, feed them from our harvest or share with them our love and awe of growing. The joy of gardening is contagious. Which is why Arlene and Marc encourage others to join the growing urban agriculture movement and plant a veggie patch. “It’s a feast for the senses,” says Arlene, “and a great way to have the best of the country in the city.”

The Backyard Urban Farm Co. 647-290-2572 info@bufco.ca www.bufco.ca www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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Autumn in the garden Paula Deresti Landscape Design www.pauladeresti.com

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paula@pauladeresti.com

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Gardening in the fall is as important as tending your lawns and flower beds in spring and summer, but as the cooler weather sets in and the sky turns grey it’s hard to generate the same enthusiasm. Fortunately, this time of year can be a time of creativity and healthy activity. Plan your new garden from scratch, expand or create new beds, make changes to tired areas, build that arbour you’ve been thinking about, lay out a pattern of spring-blossoming bulbs, collect seeds for next year’s backyard crop or research a new heirloom variety for your vegetable garden. It is also an excellent time to seek out a landscape professional to help you with a garden makeover. Autumn is the perfect season to divide perennials, put in new plants for next year and fertilize with organic matter such as compost. While you are at the compost, why not turn in the contents of your breakable clay pots and any annuals that will not survive the winter. You should also prune herbaceous perennials to the ground, with the exception of attractive summer flowers and grasses which can provide seed for migrating and overwintering birds. Apply protective winter mulch, including fallen leaves, shredded bark or something more exotic like chocolate scented cocoa shells. Remember to water well, right until the garden freezes. Perennial planters too! Fall is the harbinger of horticultural society meetings. Find your local organization – the Toronto Botanical Garden or the Royal Botanical Garden – and become a member. Take part in the wide range of interesting courses, workshops and international guest lecturers on offer. Maybe you can plan a winter getaway that includes a garden tour. Whatever your landscaping needs and desires, don your wooly sweater and your Wellingtons and experience an active and fulfilling late season in your garden.


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Sales Representative

Top 1% in Canada!*

416.236.1871 * Top 1% of Royal LePage sales force based on dollar value (since 2003) ** Based on freehold transaction units as per R.E. Stats Inc. statistics since 2007. The Kingsway being defined as postal code M8X.

joe@buyselltoronto.com

buyselltoronto.com

2003-2009

leslie@buyselltoronto.com

All inquiries are confidential. Not intended to solicit properties now listed for sale or under Agency Agreement or contract.

www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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food + celebration

At Shakey’s, you’re greeted at the door or you’ll hear a ‘Hi! How are you today?’ from the bar. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere. Everyone feels instantly at home. 18

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Great food, great service, great times

Come to Customer Appreciation Night in October and sign up for the next Dinner of the Month! Robert and Chris Lundy SHAKEY’S 2255 Bloor St West • 416-767-0608 www.shakeys.ca

Restaurateur brothers Rob and Chris Lundy know it takes more than great food to keep people coming back. That’s why they’ve made customer service a key ingredient in the dining experience at Shakey’s Original Bar and Grill. “We put a lot of emphasis on personal service,” says Rob. “We want to make sure that people feel comfortable as soon as they walk through the door.” Being customers themselves, “we know how important it is to have friendly, attentive service when you’re out for a drink or for dinner. At Shakey’s, you’re greeted at the door or you’ll hear a ‘Hi! How are you today?’ from the bar. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere. Everyone feels instantly at home.” The brothers – and all the staff at Shakey’s – make it their business to know their customers by name ... and by order. “We know who you are and we know what you like to drink,” says Rob. “And if you’re having the usual, it’s often at the table before you sit down.” The same goes for the food, which is prepared on site using fresh local ingredients. “Our customers are happy with our menu, so we’re not going to change it much,” says Chris, which is good news for Shakey’s regulars, “although I will be incorporating some more adventurous ingredients into our specials: liver, foie gras, pigs feet, and braised items like cheek and tongue.” It sounds risky, but Chris has gained a loyal following through Shakey’s quarterly customer appreciation nights, when he takes some liberties with his patrons’ taste buds. “I’ve gained people’s trust. Now they understand that if I’m making it, it’s going to be good, even if it sounds weird.” These same appreciative customers are clamouring to get on the list for Shakey’s Dinner of the Month Club, which is restricted to 12 diners, and pairs exotic dishes with local beers. At one dinner, guests enjoyed beef heart and sweetbreads. In July, it was an allseafood menu. One thing that is new on the menu this fall is Chris’ homemade veggie burger, which is getting rave reviews. Made with black beans, roasted peppers and garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, soya sauce, egg and breadcrumbs, it took Chris a year to perfect ... using his customers as guinea pigs. “I tested it out on a lot of the vegetarians who come into the restaurant. I would say to them, ‘I want you to try the veggie burger today.’ I wouldn’t charge them. It’s cool because our customers were such a big part of the final recipe. They gave me their feedback and I adjusted things accordingly.” Just how good is the meatless patty? “One of our regulars customers always ordered Dave’s all-beef burger. Now she orders the veggie burger,” says Chris. “When a meat eater orders a vegetarian burger, I take that as the ultimate compliment!” www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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Just

down the street from Table 17, the Leslieville/Riverside flagship enterprise of restaurateurs Erik Joyal and John Sinopoli, you’ll find the partners’ newest venture: Ascari Enoteca. Opened in December of last year, Ascari has a different vibe than its bistro sister, but this neighbourhood wine and pasta bar at 1111 Queen Street East makes the same commitment to great food, great wine and great service. The main attraction at Ascari, says Erik, is an eclectic wine list that changes from visit to visit. “We focus primarily on regional Italian wines, from small boutiques to wellknown producers, but we also love to find really interesting labels from other parts of the world that our customers wouldn’t normally get to experience.” There are great VQAs from Niagara and Prince Edward County, as well as more obscure selections at great price points from emerging wine markets far off the beaten path: The Republic of Georgia, Slovenia, Greece and Croatia. “We’d talked for years about opening a really great wine bar,” says executive chef John. “We offered handmade pasta at Table 17 as a vegetarian entrée, so it was a natural choice for Ascari, where we wanted our food to accompany and complement our wines rather than compete with them.”

Undiscovered gems at neighbourhood wine bar “We love to find really interesting wines from other parts of the world that our customers wouldn’t normally

Photo credit: Dine T.O.

get to experience.”

Ascari Enoteca is named after 1950s Italian Formula 1 racing legend Alberto ‘Ciccio’ (Chubby) Ascari, who had an insatiable appetite for good food and wine as well as high speed adventure. Ascari pays homage to the two-time world champion with a food and beverage menu that captures the elegance and style of the classic Italian enoteca (wine bar). The decor is modern and simple, and the space is open and inviting, with everything – tables, bar, kitchen – exposed for the eye to see. “It’s a casual, relaxed atmosphere,” says Erik, “and nothing is particularly expensive. We offer a really interesting wine list and some really great, well executed, ingredient-driven food.” The idea is to give people a place to linger over a simple, delicious meal. Pastas are made fresh daily in-house and change according to the season. As well, there are a variety of salads for sharing, meat and cheese boards ... anything that goes well with a glass – or a bottle – of wine. “That’s what a wine bar is all about,” says John. “Trying a little taste of lots of things.” And staff aren’t hung up on etiquette. “We’ll make suggestions,” says John, “but we’re not going to tell people what they should be drinking. We all have our own tastes. Some people just want a big bold glass of red wine – they don’t care what they’re eating.” It’s that relaxed attitude that has endeared Ascari Enoteca to the community. Of course, “it helps that we’ve been in the neighbourhood for years,” says Erik. “It doesn’t take people long to figure out the connection and our reputation has carried over into Ascari.” Like Table 17, Ascari is open seven nights a week for dinner from 5:30 p.m. “Monday nights, we took a page out of Table 17 with a twist,” says Erik. Although everyone is welcome, ‘Industry Night’ is geared to people who work in the restaurant business and have the evening off. At Ascari, Monday night is party night. “All our bottles of wine are 50 per cent off and we have a hip-hop DJ, a manager at Table 17, who comes in and spins tunes from the 80s and 90s starting at 9:30 p.m. There’s nothing else like it in the east end of Toronto for people who work in the service industry.” Regardless of the night, wine is available by the bottle or the glass and tasting flights are in the works. As well, there is Wine Club that meets six times a year. For $50, grape enthusiasts enjoy snacks, eight or nine different wines, and an educational talk. “We want people to know they don’t have to spend a fortune on the expensive stuff,” says John. “They can discover gems at Ascari that will blow them away without breaking the bank.”

Ascari Enoteca 1111 Queen St. E. • 416-792-4157 • www.ascarienoteca.ca www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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THE

STU SELLS

TORONTO TANKARD TORONTOTANKARD.COM | STUSELLS.CA

FR E E ION

g rlin u c s clas ckyard d l r Wo our ba in y

AD M ISS

ING THAN KSG IV AB LE IL VA A R E D IN N , AY D ON SU N 7 R E B OCTO

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

OCTOBER 5–8 HIGH PARK CURLING CLUB

100 INDIAN ROAD, TORONTO, ON WWW.HIGHPARKCLUB.COM | 416.536.8054

INCLUDING TEAMS FROM

Brad Gushue CURRENT WORLD CHAMPION Glenn Howard OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST

SOCIAL CURLING COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 – 2:00 TO 5:00 PM SPONSORED BY

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The Fall/Winter 2012 line is about playful layering. Some pieces are fitted; others drape softly, with an effortless flow. There is less focus on black this season and more on muted tones and rich hues. The look plays on both past and present, with attention to detail – texturing and/or tailoring for a style that is unique and body flattering. The result is a fun, individual piece that blends with your existing wardrobe but has a character all its own. The Studio Fresh line is created and designed by Connie Meyer. It is with great sadness that Connie has announced the temporary closing of her boutique, Studio Fresh, at 1025 Queen Street, due to a fire on August 20. The good news for fashion fans is that three west end Toronto stores will be carrying The Studio Fresh fall/winter line: Trap Door at 2993 Dundas Street West (647-827-6994; shoptrapdoor.com) and the Fresh Collective (freshcollective.com) at 401 Ronscesvalles (647-3527123) and 692 Queen Street West (416-594-1313). Make sure to check www.studiofresh.ca for announcements regarding Pop Up Sales, select viewings and Connie’s future plans.

The Studio Fresh fall/winter line is now available at:

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Trap Door at 2993 Dundas Street West • 647-827-6994 • shoptrapdoor.com Fresh Collective at 401 Ronscesvalles • 647-352-7123 and Fresh Collective at 692 Queen Street West • 416-594-1313 • freshcollective.com www.neighbourhoodliving.com Make sure to keep checking www.studiofresh.ca!


THE EARTH COLLECTION JUNCTION Clothing made from natural and recycled fabrics, that is earth-friendly and produced in a socially responsible manner.

The fall collection is here! Includes lines from Canadian designers Miik, neon buddha, Pure&Co, elroy, Paper People Clothing and FIG. Garments are made from 100% organic cottons, rayon from bamboo and other recycled and/or sustainable fabrics that flatter the figure and feel like second nature when you put them on.

3072 Dundas Street West | The Junction | Toronto | M6P 1Z7 | 416. 767. 3072

Open Wednesday-Sunday www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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Neighbourhood Source Guide 1

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9 Neepawa Avenue; 416-530-1349 info@lilayogastudio.com

uquilibriumfurnishings@gmail.com 2962 Dundas Street; 647-352-3651

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LiLa Yoga-Your Neighbourhood SaNctuarY A quiet, serene place for you to relax and unwind. Call us if you need help finding a class that’s right for you. Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yoga for 50+, Prenatal and more.

WiSe daughterS Your neighbourhood source for gifts to suit every taste and budget. The shop carries unique jewellery, bags, hats, scarves, mittens, socks, t-shirts, sleep wear, and much more, all handmade by local designers and artisans.

3079B Dundas St. West, Toronto, M6P 1Z9 416-761-1555; crafts@wisedaughters.com

equiLibrium Equilibrium’s personalized furniture service. A force to be reckoned with in the Toronto furniture market after opening in The Junction just over year ago. They offer free design advice, your own personal shopper, and unbeatable prices.

the beau & baubLe Whimsical women & girls have a one stop shop in The Junction for clothing, accessories, bags, stationery, journals, cards, wrapping paper, crafts, toys, candy, stickers, costume & fine jewellery & decor.

www.thebeauandbauble.com 3092 Dundas Street West; 416-904-6136

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Kid cuLture Funstuff for kids in a school house themed store for kids of all ages 0-12. We feature only locally handmade and Canadian designed goods. Attention to eco-friendly fabrics, organic cotton, bamboo and repurposed fabrics.

2986 Dundas St. West; 416-859-9006

Neighbourhood Living is your go-to magazine for all things local. That’s why we’re introducing our Neighbourhood Source Guide, where you’ll discover great businesses, shops and restaurants within minutes of your door. Some you may know, others are waiting to make your acquaintance. All help to make our neighbourhood a wonderful place to live, work and play. Want to introduce yourself to the neighbours? Call 416-402-4283 or email: b5@sympatico.ca to find out how!

RECLAI M YOU R PASS ION NEW C OL L E C T I O N J U N E 2 01 2

998

QU E E N ST R E E T EA S T,

L E S L I E V I L L E , TO R O N TO PHON E

416 778 8936

W W W. Z E N P O R I U M . C O M

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UPCOMING EVENTS ■

September 29

THE KIDNEY FOUNDATION’S GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE WALK. Providing a better future for kidney patients, one step at a time. 10am-1pm in High Park, 1873 Bloor Street West, Bloor Street Entrance, Picnic Area 1,2,3. Walkers are asked to raise a minimum of $100. For information, call 905-278-3003, ext. 4964 or visit www.kidney.ca. CHILDREN’S PILLAGE IN THE VILLAGE. 1-3:30 pm at the Swansea Community Centre, 15 Waller Avenue. An opportunity for families to purchase or sell gently used children’s items and clothing (ages 0-10 years). For information, visit www.childrenspillage.com. STRAIGHT A’S TO POSTURE. Kid’s Spine check day (0-18 years old) with Dr. Maureen Borghoff and Dr. Danielle Gilas. 10 am to 4 pm, Essence of Life Wellness Care, 256A Durie Street (two blocks west of Runnymede, at Bloor). Free spinal checks, Computerized Posture Analysis and backpack check (bring your backpacks!). Enjoy balloon animals, face painting, snacks and crafts. Call 416-760-0895 to book, email info@eolwellness.com or visit www.eolwellness.com. ■

September 30

RAILPATH COMMUNITY RUN to celebrate a great space and promote health within our communities. 9-11:30 am at the West Toronto Railpath (Wallace Avenue). Registration includes a commemorative t-shirt, shoe tag medal, refreshments and eligibility for draw prizes donated by local businesses. For information, call 647-309-4509, visit railpathcommunityrun.wordpress.com or register at http://www.events.runningroom. com/site/?raceId=8247. Follow the event on Twitter @RailpathRun or Facebook at www. facebook.com/RailpathCommunityRun HIGH PARK HARVEST FESTIVAL. 12-4:30 pm at Colborne Lodge, 11 Colborne Lodge Drive. Enjoy the harvest in High Park with food, crafts, music, horse and wagon rides, warm apple cider and more. Celebrate the 175th anniversary of Colborne Lodge! Children can join in a ‘Grenadiers’ Drill’ and learn about the legendary connection of Grenadier Pond to the war. Free admission to the grounds, activity and merchandise fees apply. Pay-what-you-can to tour Colborne Lodge. Call 416-392-6916 for information. ■

October 4

WABASH BUILDING SOCIETY, REGULAR MEETING. 7 pm at the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse.

October 5-8

THE 3RD ANNUAL STU SELLS TORONTO TANKARD. High Park Curling Club, 100 Indian Road. Come watch the world’s best curlers! Stu Sankey and his list of sponsors have joined together for a $43,000 Men’s Purse and $15,000 Ladie’s Purse to attract world-class teams including Glen Howard, John Epping, Brad Jacobs, Rob Fowler, Chris Gardiner and Guy Hemmings! Complete draws will be posted on the OCT website (www.ontariocurlingtour.com). Admission is free. For information, visit torontotankard. com, highparkclub.com or call 416-536-8054. ■

October 9

DINNER AT RAWLICIOUS. 6:30-8:30 pm at Rawlicious, 2122 Bloor Street West. Dinner with the Vegetarians of High Park, a social group (supported by the Toronto Vegetarian Association) for vegetarians or those interested in eating less meat who want to meet and network with like-minded individuals in the neighbourhood. Visit highparkveg.wordpress.com. ■

October 19

COMMUNITY BOOK SALE. Friday, 6-9 pm; Saturday 8 am to 5 pm. Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Road. Hundreds of gently used books at excellent prices. For information, visit www.highparkchoirs.org. ■

October 20

HAUNTED HIGH PARK. Visit Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge) and grounds by candlelight and hear about High Park’s connection to the War of 1812, as well as other legends and ghost stories about the Lodge and High Park. October 25 and 28 (7-8:30 pm) and 26 (7:30-9 pm) for 18 years and over; October 20 (6:30-7:30 pm) and 27 (6:30-7:30 pm and 8-9 pm) for families and kids. (Not recommended for children under 8 years of age.) Pre-registration and pre-payment required. For information, call 416-392-6916, email clodge@toronto.ca or visit www.toronto.ca/museums-events. ■

Fine Art Activity: Create a drawing integrating wet and dry media based on samples of 17th century baroque drawings. ■

October 31

HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE BALL. 2-4 pm at the Grenadier Retirement Residence, 2100 Bloor Street West. For information, call 416-769-2885 or visit www.thegrenadier.com. ■

November 1

SORAUREN PARK PUMPKIN PARADE. Add your pumpkin to the 2,000 on display along the edge of the path around the park. Parks, Forestry and Recreation will pick up the pumpkins for compost the following day. WABASH BUILDING SOCIETY, REGULAR MEETING. 7 pm at the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse. ■

November 25

RESIDENT CHRISTMAS BAZAAR. 1-4 pm at the Grenadier Retirement Residence, 2100 Bloor Street West. For information, call 416-769-2885 or visit www.thegrenadier.com. ■

December 1

CANTORES CELESTES WOMEN’S CHOIR PRESENTS ‘SWEET WITH STARLIGHT,’ CLASSICAL CHORAL AND JAZZ CHRISTMAS FAVOURITES. 7:30-9:30 pm at Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Road. In support of Duke’s Place at CAMH. For information, call 416-236-1522 or visit www.cantorescelestes.com. ■

December 6

WABASH BUILDING SOCIETY, REGULAR MEETING. 7 pm at the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse.

October 27

THE SORAUREN PARK PUMPKIN SALE. Starting at 10 am at the Sorauren Park Fieldhouse. All proceeds to the Sorauren Town Square campaign. ■

October 28

FAMILY DAY: HALLOWEEN MASK MAKING. 2-4 pm at the Art Works Art School, 238 Jane Street. Make Venetian styled masks with the ornate design, shimmering colours and elaborate embellishments from the baroque period. www.neighbourhoodliving.com

Planning a community event? Let us know and we’ll let your neighbours know! Email b5@sympatico.ca with details.

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NEIGHBOURHOODWalking The Junction ‘Off The Beaten Track’ Stroll Vine Ave

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We had a chatty lunch – complete with delicious margaritas – at The Revolución east of Keele. Later on, to top it off, we treated ourselves to a quarter of a pie (each!) at The Pie Shack on Annette. A leisurely walk between our meal and dessert progressed so slowly, thanks to our multiple stops to the best line-up of interesting shops, that we felt the urge to stroll down the residential streets to burn off some calories. It turned out to be the best way to end our girlfriends’ outing.

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There are plenty of options for indulging oneself along Dundas West between Keele and St. John’s: a cheddar chutney sandwich at Cool Hand of a Girl, a tasty breakfast at The Beet [1], butter chicken at Curry Twist, artisanal chocolates at Delight [2], cheese at The Junction Fromagerie [3], and a beautiful latte at Crema [4], to name a few. They all add to the pleasure of discovering the unique stores in The Junction.

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You’ll likely find free street parking on McMurray Avenue (just west of colourful Big Daddy DVD’s Shop) or on Vine Avenue, off McMurray (also accessible from Pacific Avenue and recognizable by the large mural of a train station at the corner of Pacific and Dundas).

touched by the ingenuity of the stylish adaptable clothes for people in wheelchairs developed at IZ Adaptive. We were thrilled by the interactive exhibits (and window displays) of art supplies at ARTiculations [9]. CURB APPEAL Attracted by the mature trees and a line of pretty houses, we decide to walk down Quebec Avenue, at the corner of Crema Coffee Co. It leads to The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar [10] on Annette Street, another great coffee shop in a lovely old house. (Decisions, decisions... Which to choose? They’re both so good!) I was very curious to compare The Junction’s Pie Shack [11] to the one in The Beach neighbourhood, so we walk west on Annette to Clendenan Avenue to see the bakery with its trademark giant pie cooling at the window. I was not disappointed. It is just as lovely, with the same scrumptious pies. We pause to admire the pretty fish- and turtle-shaped mosaics on the link fence of Annette Street Public School across the street,

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SOULFUL SHOPS I don’t know of any other place in Toronto where you can find such a cluster of home decor vintage shops offering amazing collections of reclaimed materials, unexpected finds and special ‘second generation’ creations. Want to treat yourself with one unique piece that will set the tone for the rest of a room? You’ve got to visit Post and Beam, Smash [5], Metropolis Living [6], Forever Interiors and Eclectic Revival [7] all located along a half kilometre stretch of Dundas West. Many other local businesses in The Junction are labours of love with a twist. We were captivated by the warmth of the wooden Scandinavian items in the beautiful Mjölk [8]. We were

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before heading south on Clendenan Avenue. As we walk down the gentle slope, the trees seem to get taller and the houses larger until we reach Ravina Gardens, a cosy park with a playground nestled at the foot of some impressive backyards. Clendenan then climbs up and turns into Glendonwynne Road, at one of Toronto’s most appealing crossroads. And the charming landscape keeps unfolding as we stroll along Glendonwynne, around the grounds of Humberside Collegiate Institute. Back on Annette, we turn left (remembering to grab a take-out pie for the kids) and return to Dundas Street from Clendenan Avenue to admire more houses. Before heading back to our car, we walk west on Dundas to see the quaint little triangular park off St. John’s Road, feeling like we’re back in the 50’s. What a cute finish to a great stroll!

The impressive Humberside Collegiate Institute, built in 1895, is said to include five large mural paintings by Group of Seven Arthur Lismer in its auditorium.

Nathalie Prezeau has played the tourist in and around the city since she moved to Toronto from Montreal 20 years ago. Her new guide ‘Toronto Urban Strolls ... for girlfriends’ made the Globe’s bestsellers’ list this summer. This article is inspired by The Junction Soulful Stroll, one of 24 new walks described Natalie’s upcoming guide, ‘Toronto Urban Strolls ... for girlfriends.’ She is also the author of ‘Toronto Fun Places ... for families,’ now in its fifth edition. You can visit www.torontofunplaces.com to access her blog, Toronto Fun Places. www.neighbourhoodliving.com

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Neighbourhood Living - West - Fall 2012