12.02.2005

grape heaven

Yesterday morning we applied for our Ontario Health cards. It couldn't have been easier. We filled out a form (which, like all of Canada's forms, you can get online), showed up with our documents, waited all of five minutes, answered a few questions and had our pictures taken. Et voila. We now have forms that serve as temporary cards, and our permanent cards are being mailed to us.

Then we had a cool Toronto afternoon. We drove in, and headed for the Toronto Archives. After several of you mentioned The Annex neighbourhood and Casa Loma, we saw the Archives on the map, and it sounded appealing. There was a good exhibit called "Signs Of Urban Life," about advertising and signage in Toronto from the early 1900s to the present. We like old ads and store signs, we look at them wherever we are, so this was a fortuitous find. The exhibit was really well done, with beautiful photographs and good explanations.

The coolest thing in the Archives was the "Miles of Files," an area through which you can view a vast room of boxes, each catalogued and labeled, and get an idea of the scope and breadth of the Archives' holdings.

Allan: Ooo, all that paper, all those things...

Laura: Ooo, all those boxes, neatly labeled and organized, they know where everything is...


I'm sorry I didn't bring a camera, just for this room, but I'm trying to find a picture of it online.

Next we drove down Spadina a bit, then parked and wandered around The Annex and a little in the University area. We found an excellent bookstore called Ten Editions. Beautiful old houses in The Annex. Does anyone know, are those mostly privately owned, or broken up into apartments? And here's another question. What is the mansion-like building on Bloor and St George, diagonally across from the Bata Shoe Museum?

After this, the highlight of the day: the flagship LCBO store. Do you remember long ago when I asked about where to get a better selection of wine? Lone Primate tipped us off to the Summerhill store, the flagship LCBO housed in a converted train station. Whoa. Not only is it huge, with an amazing selection and lower prices, the building itself is fantastic, both inside and out.

Allan: Ooo, all this wine. What a great place...

Laura: Ooo, all this wine. What a great place...


We sampled more than a few wines and liquers and cheeses, shopped our little hearts out, and were very impressed with the total bill. Ah, the joys of owning a car.

Our last stop was Chinatown: dim sum and bubble tea. There doesn't seem to be very good Chinese food in Port Credit, and with Chinatown only 20 minutes down the QEW, it's becoming a regular stop.

* * * *

The information I need to start the next Ancient Civs book was supposed to be emailed to me this past Monday. It just arrived this morning. The first deadline, however, remains the same. Grrr. I've been working on other assignments in the meantime, but that doesn't change the fact that my outline is due December 15. I guess I'll be very busy for the next two weeks. I'll still be blogging, but I might be a bit absent from comments.

Having said that, I'm now going to read yesterday's comments. See y'all later.

14 comments:

James said...

Beautiful old houses in The Annex. Does anyone know, are those mostly privately owned, or broken up into apartments?

There's a thorough mix all through the Annex. Count the electric meters to find out for any particular house. :)

Lone Primate said...

Our last stop was Chinatown: dim sum and bubble tea. There doesn't seem to be very good Chinese food in Port Credit, and with Chinatown only 20 minutes down the QEW, it's becoming a regular stop.

The Chinatown most people think of is centred at Dundas Street and Spadina Avenue, and that's probably what you meant. There's another node at Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road (the intersection between Toronto and Markham, not the Steeles and different Kennedy Rd. intersection in Brampton... which would be in a South Asian neighbourhood). But there's also one closer to you in Mississauga itself, ironically also on Dundas Street. It's a little west of Dixie Road, as I recall... the stretch between Dixie and Cawthra. It's been a long time since I've been there, but you might want to check it out.

James said...

Don't forget the Chinatown at Dundas and Broadview!

L-girl said...

I will definitely get to them both at some point, especially the one in Mississauga.

New York City also has three Chinatowns - the oldest, but now the smallest, in lower Manhattan, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn. Like Toronto's Chinatown on Spadina, the one in lower Manhattan is also full of Vietnamese places.

L-girl said...

There's a thorough mix all through the Annex. Count the electric meters to find out for any particular house. :)

Clever trick!

zydeco fish said...

Ten Editions is called that because the proprietors have ten children!

That big mansion is a private club. Robertson Davies used to be a member. The grounds were once much bigger, but part was expropriated by the TTC when the Subway station was built. I can't remember the name of the club.

There is also an excellent LCBO on Front Street, near the base of Yonge Street.

L-girl said...

Hooray for Zydeco Fish! Thanks for these answers to my burning questions - and one I didn't even ask!

Ten Editions is called that because the proprietors have ten children!

Yikes!

G said...

Laura: Ooo, all those boxes, neatly labeled and organized, they know where everything is...

I always suspected there was a librarian hiding in there, somewhere ...

;-)
G

Wrye said...

Don't be fooled, G, Archivists are completely different from the likes of you and me. Just ask 'em. :)

L-girl said...

I always suspected there was a librarian hiding in there, somewhere ...

*grin* You are correct, sir. When I was very young, I wanted to be a librarian. A good librarian in a research library will still stir a bit of wistfulness in me.

Though from what Wrye says, my archivist fantasy is best kept quiet...

M@ said...

A couple of things, L:

- For great dim sum in your end of town, you can get even closer: Emerald, which is on Hurontario and Eglinton (in the same plaza as Spence Diamonds, on the south-west corner). My father-in-law is Chinese and this is his #1 choice. (Get there by 11:30 to get a table quickly enough, on the weekend).

- There are other good dim sum places: Lucky, in the big Chinese plaza on Dundas west of Cawthra, and Golden Phoenix on Burnhamthorpe near Mavis (I think). These places are all usually better than what you get in Chinatown (and are definitely cleaner, and free parking too!)

- Just south of Ten Editions on Spadina is Harbord Street. There are a lot of interesting bookshops on Harbord west of Spadina, especially Atticus, which specialises in academic books.

- On the corner of Harbord and Spadina is Papa Ceo's pizza. For my money, the best pizza in Toronto. My wife and I plan our trips to the city around that place. May I recommend the Tina Turner and Marlon Brando slices? Anyhow, just the place to rest up for another round of book shopping.

Hope that helps!

L-girl said...

Hi M@! Thanks for this - excellent.

The women's bookstore is on Harbourd, IIRC, so I'll check out the whole area.

Best pizza?! Thank you!!

Re dim sum, that sounds fabulous... but we work weekends. In Chinatown we can get dim sum any day of the week. Are the places you mention Sunday only? And if so, are they good for non-dim sum Chinese food? I don't care about free parking, but Cawthra and Dundas is very close to home.

M@ said...

No fear -- all of these have dim sum 7 days a week. And all are also good for non-dim sum eats as well -- we like Emerald best for that, too. (The stir-fried cod and broccoli is especially good here.)

The place near Cawthra and Dundas is a bit west of Cawthra, on the south side of Dundas. It's unmistakable -- there's a huge Chinese-style arch over the parking lot. Lucky is tucked away in the back corner of the roughly-question-mark-shaped part of the plaza. It doesn't look like much from there but inside it's the size of a medium aircraft hanger.

Do post a review when you go to these places!

Oh, and yes, I was trying to think of what specialty bookstores there were on Harbord. There is also a Chinese bookstore and one or two used bookstores as well, I think. Not sure what else -- obviously worth an afternoon's visit!

Good luck with your exploration!

L-girl said...

No fear -- all of these have dim sum 7 days a week.

Hooray! Excellent news.

I'm not big on writing restaurant reviews, although I will sometimes post at Chowhound.

I am definitely adding these Chinese and pizza suggestions to my food list, especially the Mississauga eats.