Monday, August 20, 2012

The Distillery District

Think of Victoriana and Toronto usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind but we have something especially significant right on our doorstep. 

The Distillery District (clip, the fellow is a bit effusive though) 'represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America' according to their website.  The area has also been used in several feature films!  So with tolerable temperatures meaning we wouldn't melt away by lunchtime, R and I set out to stroll this fine neighbourhood while we worked up an appetite.

Parking just over a kilometer away we browsed through table upon table of antiques and colourful kitsch at the St Lawrence Market.  We scanned aged books, poked at old phones, marvelled at an album of Nazi propaganda photos and tried not to knock over a multitude of breakables.  My thoughtful husband bought a small trinket plate for me to add to my tiny collection of celebratory bric-a-brac involving the Royal family.  My latest features Prince Charles and Lady Diana from the date of their ill-fated wedding.  I sent an email to The Heiress announcing that the vision of me as an old woman maneuvering my zimmer frame around the living room, dustcloth in hand, is already starting to take shape.

Passing a few art galleries we finally walked amidst some of the most hauntingly beautiful buildings you will ever see around Toronto.  They couldn't be further from ornate but they are solid and each brick reminds you that someone stood in that very spot, almost two centuries ago, with their hands full of mortar and dust.  We had been here last year for the Dickens Christmas Marketplace but it was so cold that everyone ran about bundled up to their eyeballs, ducking into any shop with room for more customers.  It was so nice just to take a leisure stroll through the laneways and drink it all in...speaking of which. 

The Mill Street Brewery with its micro-brewery operating behind glass for all to see was a great place to have lunch.  Usually I won't hesitate to order a pot of tea while friends are sipping wine but when you are this close to massive stainless steel vats full of artisan liquid then oh, why not.  The very lady-like Raspberry Ale Frambozen was delicious and in an absolute reversal it will be me dragging my poor husband back for more.  Our dessert was in a shopping bag slung on the back of R's chair, mouth-watering macaroons, eccles cake, brownies and ginger loaf from the lovely Brick Street Bakery.  Ooh la la.  I can't tell you how uplifting it was to remember the leftovers as I was heaving around my vacuum cleaner this morning.  Anyway, it was a lovely day and no doubt there will be a return visit for some autumnal soup to go with the Coronation Chicken sandwiches we also spied at the bakery.  Since there was no visit to England this summer then I will just have to bring it to me!

p.s - the plasterwork is for JoAnn from Lakeside Musing, it was in a shop and reminded me of her beautiful dog, Zelda.

6 comments:

  1. Look, Darlene ... everything's working again! (Unexpected bonus of my computer MOT yesterday!)
    On Friday I was wandering Birmingham's jewellery district admiring our own industrial architecture. No bric-á-brac shops but when it started bucketing down with rain we fell into a pub for faggots,gravy and chips and mushy peas ... not dainty but a real English heritage lunch! (I'm now imagining your American readers reeling in shock and turning to Google!)

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    1. That's wonderful! I was cursing Blogger a couple of weeks ago myself, it's a love/hate thing.
      Ah yes, nothing like a hearty dish of faggots and peas to hold you over. It was the dish of choice being served for a St David's celebration at the Welsh Rugby Club and I felt like being brave. It was great! And if our American friends' eyes weren't bugging out before, they will be when they read the ingredient list, hee.

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  2. Oh, that is just perfect! Thank you for thinking of us. Zelda wants you to know that *her* expression is never that stern ;-)

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    1. Zelda looks to be every inch an absolute darling. She could charm the stern look right off this fellow's face no doubt!

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  3. Thanks for the visit to the Distillery District. Some day I'll get there and spend some real time looking around, though I have eaten at the Brewery.

    Speaking of royal souvenirs, I was going through some of my Mom's stuff last week and came across a souvenir handkerchief from the coronation that never was - King Edward VIII, May 1937. A quick look on ebay tells me thousands, if not millions of souvenirs were made up prior to the Abdication.

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  4. Such wonderful descriptions. You are lucky to live so close. And I smiled at the 'zimmer frame' reference. Very funny.

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