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Painterly Blue Skied Wonder--A Trip to the Big Smoke

I've spent a lot of time in Toronto. My family lives there. London is a pretty short trip to Toronto, so we visit family fairly often. I wanted to visit Pikto because I had ordered some prints and it's located in the beautiful, historic area of the Distillery District  , much beloved area of Toronto. 

I love the skyline while driving into Toronto (since this was a solo trip, I couldn't take pics on the highway in, stay tuned for that when my chauffeur gets back to work!). When I arrived in the St. Lawrence Market area I parked and left my car for the day. I made my way up the Esplanade toward the Distillery area. 

This was the sort of day I was faced with--painterly blue skied wonder

The walk from St. Lawrence to the Distillery District is only about a 20 minute stroll through a bustling condo community. People walking their dogs and children playing in the inner city parks. 

One of your first views upon entering the Distillery District. This is not an optical illusion, this is actually how narrow this building is. 

The most striking thing about this area is the contrast between the old and the new. It's so well preserved, yet the new is seamlessly intertwined with the old. Neither takes over the other, they really fit beautifully together, generations of buildings living harmoniously. 

I love the new looming over the old, the old is close and comforting and the new is on the outlook for what's to come...

Patient pup... 

A little window shopping...

The Distillery District is generally a bustling hive of activity, but because I arrived very early in the morning, I basically had the place to myself! 

This sweet little Café called out to be be enjoyed...

There are interesting and eclectic shops, cafés and galleries in this area. It's really a destination, you could spend a full day there. There is so much diversity in the shops and restaurants and cafés it makes this area feel very worldly. 

After the Distillery District , my destination was Kensington Market

Back through the Esplanade toward Queen Street West. Inner city park areas. 

More inner city parks... 

The walk to Kensington is pretty exciting, so much to see. Again, so much of the new peppered with the old. 

Who doesn't love a good Ghost Sign...

I walked along Front Street and arrived at the newly renovated Union Station. This station brings back memories of meeting my beloved Bubbie after a relaxing two hour train ride. My grandmother would dutifully meet the much younger me at the Station, miles and miles away from her home. We would wander the streets together. So exciting for this small city girl! 

I'll take that as a sign... Union Station up close and personal. 

Union Station. 

The perfect day for minimalist architectural photography. 

I love this sculpture against this building. 

This bricked beauty with its colourful windows along Spadina. 

I walked slowly, drinking in the bustling atmosphere--a stark contrast from the quiet at the Distillery District. Walking along Spadina brings you directly into China town, the hustle and bustle of the street markets and its one dollar goods. 

And beans... so many beans...

And more stunning architecture. 

You can't walk a single step without seeing something interesting. The streets are wide and full of streetcars and buses and people hustling to their next destination. Thankful for a beautiful day, I drank in the scene before me... snapping away as much as I could. 

An adorable shop...

One of my favourite things to shoot, streetscapes, just outside of Kensington. 

Finally found a house! But it's a daycare/school facility now. Lovely building. 

Not a great shot, but I'm at the mercy of wires, signs and vehicles in the big city. This is a very typical build for this area and for a lot of Toronto, semi-detached or duplex dwellings. 

A beautiful single-dwelling that looks like it should be shouldered by other builds. 

A row of colourful townhouses. These are great!

Another colourful streetscape, no shortage of these in Toronto. 

I made my way up Bathurst Street to the illustrious Queen Street West. Queen Street is a bustling hive of activity. Shops, cafés and restaurants abound! This was a stark contrast to the early morning quiet of the Distillery District. This colourful, happening area is all about movement, traffic, buses, streetcars and destination-driven pedestrians. 

Graffiti art in the Queen Street alleys is the colourful backdrop to this bustling area. 

This new YMCA building may have been my favourite of the day! The blue sky was a major BONUS!

I made my way back along Queen Street back to Front Street, back toward my car. My feet were getting pretty tired (I was at about 20,000 steps at this point!!). And still sooooo much to see! 

Glazed terracotta facade. Beautiful. 

Because I had walked so far and I was getting so tired I made my way to the beach, of course! Located near St. Lawrence Market,  Sugar Beach is a man made beach overlooking the Redpath Sugar Refinery. Its whimsical pink sun umbrellas dot the tiny beach. It was the perfect place for me to sink, exhausted, into one of the white muskoka chairs and muse over my day of meandering through one of my favourite cities. 

The perfectly pretty Sugar Beach. The perfect ending to a perfect day...

Toronto is sometimes referred to as the City of Neighourhoods. It's a massive city. The walk I did is one of my favourites. I know there are many other beautiful areas in this city. I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on my little walking trip through the great City of Toronto... stay tuned for more trips through this great city. 

Thanks for reading! 


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