Elmsley Place

This house in Toronto’s Annex was purchased by St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto in 1920 and still serves as student housing. I wanted to sketch it because of it’s Hogwarts feeling and the unique brick buttresses under the upper storey tower room. These days it is connected to two additional houses on the block that collectively house about 70 students in double and single rooms. The Annex was Toronto’s first subdivision and is now a mixed neighbourhood of mansions, frat houses, rooming houses and houses converted into multi-unit dwellings.

37 Madison

37 Madison

I saw this house in a real estate listing for about 7 M. It is currently being used as offices for an advertising agency. I think the sunrise light bathing the bricks and stone in yellow and orange really appealed to me.

Cabbagetown rowhouses

Cabbagetown brick rowhouses

These tiny 2 story rowhouses are in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood on Alpha Avenue.

Cobourg Town Hall

We travelled the full length of Ontario’s old Highway 2 from Toronto to the Quebec border this summer and discovered a lot of new sites along the way. This elaborate town hall in Cobourg caught my eye.  It really reminds me of St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto which was Toronto’s first City Hall.

Kensington Market-Cheese Magic

Cheese Magic in Kensington Market

This is the Cheese Magic shop in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood.  A predominately Jewish owned shop location in the 1950’s and 60’s, it has welcomed numerous waves of immigrant shop owners and now is an iconic tourist destination.

It was also the setting for a much-loved CBC sitcom “King of Kensington”.

I was drawing from a photograph in this sketch and working only in markers. 

I have been taking a course in using markers and I think I’m getting the hang of these new techniques but. . . really missing my water colour box.

The “L”

The L

Something reminded me of a sign above a hotel in Dryden, ON where only one letter remained illuminated. Locals referred to it as “The ‘L'”.

Church Street Pawn Shops

This month was voting day in Ontario and our polling station was at the Metropolitan United Church on Church Street in Toronto.  There’s a couple of blocks of Church between old Toronto and the Church/Wellesley village where things get a bit seedy and there’s a concentration of pawn shops, loan outfits and nail salons. As I looked at this colourful block early in June, I noticed upstairs windows papered over and empty stores. I suspect this block is going to be developed soon. Probably they’ll keep at least the older storefronts.

Sketching Bombay Palace

When I got my first job in Toronto about 20 years ago, the staff at the theatre took me out to lunch at the Bombay Palace where they had a great Indian lunch buffet. Over the years I’ve seen it have boom times and bust times but it keeps hanging on. It’s a bit off the beaten track tucked away on an unfashionable end of Jarvis Street but just across from the lovely St. James Park.

Houseboat on Ward’s Island

Houseboat "Maybe"

What a great name for a house boat–Maybe.  We’re not quite ready to brave the crowds on the Centre Island ferry but snuck in a weekday trip to Wards Island before the summer crowds hit.