Last night, Karen and I completed another of our planned city walks. Last month, we explored the Danforth (see previous post) and this month, we chose Queen Street East. We walked south on Logan from the Danforth and began our adventure at Logan and Queen.
We weren't walking 30 seconds when we had to dodge a chunk of century old mortar that fell from an overhang above us. I reached for the huge chunk laying on the ground and looked up to see a badly decayed but ornate overhang with holes in it. Of course, since we were looking up, everyone else on the street also looked up and next thing you know, we had a crowd.
As it turns out, the raccoons were up there peeking through the holes and in danger of falling through the rotten mortar. I noted the address so I could call Paula Fletcher, the local city councillor and report the problem. Our aging necks soon began to ache so we continued on our journey.
As with the Danforth, we saw almost every imaginable business/store front. The only businesses missing from Queen that the Danforth has many of were "places of worship" or store front ministries.
We saw a restaurant called simply Bar and Grill that was the filthiest I've ever seen. Even the Board of Health Green Passing Grade Certificate was filthy. I was pleased to see the new restaurant inspection system was working brilliantly. In any event, the beer was cheap and the place seemed to be doing a pretty good business for 5:00 pm on a Thursday.
A little further down the street was a building with an enormous pipe smoking fish attached to the front. The sign read Kristapsons Smoked Salmon. They were closed but their sign boasted their being in business since 1953. Next to them was an upscale restaurant called Fare (was called Verviene) and their menu had entrees in the $35.00 range. By my calculation, you could eat at Bar and Grill for a month on $35.00.
Our next stop made the walk worth while, even though we were only there for 5 minutes or so. It was a vintage record (not CD) store called In The Groove. Check out their web page. It's terrific. Besides the store part where each album was meticulously placed, the middle aged vinyl freak directed us to the garage in back and it was full of more R&B and country albums I hadn't seen in years. My plan is to return and spend some time poring over the stock. Five minutes does not do it justice.
We almost missed Tomi Kro, an odd little restaurant with no sign-age. The menu looked great and the room also seems inviting but it sure is easy to miss. They call it "pan-ethnic" what ever the hell that is!
Greenwood Court is an apartment building complex that with groomed grounds and was very appealing. The large landscaped yard at Ashbridges House is open to the public should you want to go for a walk with the dog some evening. If you've never been there, treat it like a small park. And next door is a terrific coffee shop that has a real New York feel to it. If the coffee is good, it might make you forget there such a thing as Starbucks or Timothys. It's called Red Rocket Coffee and the internet access is free.
We passed the Toronto Mennonite New Life Church (no horse and buggy's anywhere to be seen) and eventually ended up at a lovely Italian Restaurant where we had a well deserved drink and meal.
The entire walk took us four hours.