Posts from the “Adventures” Category

Toronto Adventure: King Edward Hotel

Posted on September 24, 2013

Did someone say Crystal Ballroom? Those were all the words I needed to decide to put the King Edward Hotel on my list of places to visit for Doors Open Toronto. This year’s trip had me travelling along King Street, so my third stop was supposed to be One King West, but the line was a little bit crazy when we got there so we skipped ahead to this one instead. It also had a bit of a line, but since both places are hotels, a lot of that had to do with elevator capacity.  Thankfully, once you get into the lobby of the hotel there was someone there entertaining the line with information on the history of the hotel and the Crystal Ballroom. Turns out, the room was actually being renovated at the time, so the chandeliers in the lobby were the most crystal you’d get to see at this location {magpie Laura sad}.   

King Edward Hotel
King Edward Hotel King Edward Hotel King Edward Hotel King Edward Hotel
King Edward Hotel

This is the view out of the window from the image above this one. Can you spot the Monsanto GMO protest?

King Edward Hotel King Edward Hotel King Edward Hotel

Apart from hanging out in the lobby, the tour takes you up to the Crystal Ballroom and you’re free to wander about in there. It’s actually a really lovely room, even in the midst of renovation. It would make an amazing location for a fashion editorial shoot or a music video. I forget which floor it’s on {I want to say 18}, but I remember being surprised by how high up we were once I got a look out the windows {from street level you can’t actually tell how tall the building is}. There’s a pretty nice view looking down King Street East and all the way over to the lake.

 

There wasn’t much more to it than that. All in all, I hope I get to see it again once it’s been restored!

 

Previous: Toronto Carpet Factory, Commerce Court North

Coming soon:  One King West

 

*chandelier graphic by hotpinkscorpion

 

Toronto Adventure: Commerce Court North

Posted on September 14, 2013

Looks like I’m following my usual pattern of not uploading photos of my Doors Open Toronto adventure until many moons after the fact. At least I’m consistent! My second stop this year was Commerce Court North. I can’t remember if there were tours running through this one, but I just kind of wandered around with my camera pointed at the ceiling {and what a ceiling!} so I probably wouldn’t have been paying attention to them anyways.

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

Commerce Court North

This place is enormous… vertically. It was actually a fairly quick path to walk through, but just being in a room with such a high and distractingly pretty ceiling keeps you there a bit longer. They had some back-in-the-day easels set up with photos and information on the history of the site. I was too busy looking up, so I can’t say I learned anything note worthy. It’s a little dark in there, but it’s a gorgeous space to walk through. I wish we still produced buildings with such amazing details. If I had any sort of seamstress skills I’d be hunting down some material with the same pattern as that ceiling. So pretty!

 

I shot way too many photos in here that required merging later on. I need to stop doing that, or just learn how to do it properly. Or get the proper lens for this stuff, I don’t know. Either way, I just never got around to tackling these because I hate waiting for Photoshop to render the files together. Oh, sharing obstacles.  

 

Previous: Toronto Carpet Factory

Coming soon:  King Edward Hotel, One King West.

Toronto Adventure: Toronto Carpet Factory

Posted on June 23, 2013

Last month was yet another Doors Open Toronto weekend, which I was more than happy to get my tourist on with! I recently exchanged all of my pennies on a brand new lens and couldn’t wait to try it out {PS I’m in love}. It’s only been a month now too and look I’m already posting about it! Blame the rain. It’s occasionally useful for tackling the backlog of unedited photos in my collection.

 

So, let’s talk about the first stop I made this year; the Toronto Carpet Factory. I’m going to file this one under cautionary location. If you’re a Doors Open fan for the purposes of learning and hanging out in mad olde buildings, this one may be a bit of a let down. The actual site is gorgeous, with its hidden courtyards and back walkways and ivy covered everything. But! Inside is actually just a bunch of offices and the tour consists of… touring those offices. You start off in the basement where they keep all the start up companies, which I guess as they grow continue to move up floors to bigger spaces, until finally you’re on the top floor and you really know you’ve made it in the world. Unfortunately that’s about as educational as it gets. The rest was literally learning about two particular companies; one start up custom wallpaper business in the basement, then up to the top floor where you’ll find some internet provider. 

Toronto Carpet Factory Toronto Carpet Factory Toronto Carpet Factory Toronto Carpet Factory

I give the tour a resounding meh. Riding the freight elevator up from the basement was pretty fun though. So there’s that. If you’re planning on visiting this place, I recommend just hanging around on the grounds. I’m pretty sure you can do that anytime though, so no need to wait for Doors Open 2014!

 

Coming soon: Commerce Court North, King Edward Hotel, One King West.

Toronto Adventure: Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre

Posted on February 16, 2013

With approximately three months to spare before the next Doors Open weekend, I finally get around to concluding my adventures from the 2012 edition. Welcome to my favourite and final stop on my Doors Open Toronto tour: the gorgeous Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre.

Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre

I’m pretty sure what I saw was just the Winter Garden Theatre as I vaguely recall hearing that the Elgin was being used by a film crew at the time {the nerve}. They are both in the same building, being a double decker theatre and all, I’m just not sure where one ends and the other begins, or if they even share anything at all. Regardless, the Winter Garden Theatre is basically the coolest. THE COOLEST.  I felt like I needed to be more fairy-like, or just straight up transform into a moth and live out my life fluttering around the ceiling of this place. It’s. So. Cool.

 

I was, of course, busy taking photos the whole time so I wasn’t paying anywhere near my full attention to all the fun facts about the place. What I did learn though, is that sometime in the 80s or 90s when it hadn’t quite been revived yet, the theatre made most of its money from showing adult films. Classy joint. Did it still look like this at the time? I hope so.

 

{Don’t quote me on that. I’m unreliable and easily distracted by shiny things. Someone go take a real tour and fact check for me. They’re free for the next week!}

 

Anyways, this is by far my favourite stop we made. I felt like I was in a completely other world the whole time. It’s just so fancy. I almost didn’t make it as they only allowed people in at set times throughout the day, so I managed to squeeze in at the very last minute of the very last tour. Unfortunately my buddies didn’t make it in due to a situation involving my tripod getting left behind at our refreshment stop coupled with my, then, awful cell service. Sorry guys! Alas, maybe I’ll plan to go back this year to see the Elgin side of things and they can see it then.

 

Definitely looking forward to running around the city playing tourist again this year! If you’re interested, the next one is scheduled to run the weekend of May 25 & 26, 2013.

 

Previous stops: Campbell House Museum, Osgoode Hall, Old City Hall

Toronto Adventure: Old City Hall

Posted on February 2, 2013

Third on the Doors Open Toronto tour: Toronto’s Third City Hall; or rather Old City Hall, because most of us wouldn’t know what else to call it. It’s the pretty building next door to our current City Hall… that weird looking one they blew up in a zombie movie that one time.

 

If you asked me what my favourite building in Toronto was, I would normally say this one. Or I would have anyways. I think it has one of the most detailed and gorgeous exteriors of any building in the city {even with the hilarious amount of AC units hanging out of every window}, but not going to lie, the interiors are a bit of a let down… 

Toronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City HallToronto's Old City Hall

Overall I think my favourite part about the interior was the cracked mosaic tile floor. There’s nothing spectacular about it… it actually kind of looked like Dupont station (meh?). The cracks made it really interesting up close though. I feel like there wasn’t much available for the public to view, considering the size of the building. It could just be that there isn’t much to see here though. None the less, it’s worth stopping by for a look if you’ve never been in it! Just try not to get swept up by the swarms of tour groups.

 

Coming soon:  The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre

Previous stops:  Campbell House Museum, Osgoode Hall

Toronto Adventure: The Island

Posted on November 13, 2012

What a busy bee I have been. Now that the time has done the annual fall back until the spring, it’s basically dark when I get up for work and dark when I leave for home. Brilliant… and by that I mean sadface. I miss the sun.

Luckily, I still haven’t posted my photos from one of the most perfect summer days I’ve experienced. I was waiting to finish up with my Doors Open Toronto posts before I did this one, but I’m missing our beautiful blue summer skies too much to wait.

Toronto Island

The boyfriend and I had never been to Toronto’s Island(s) before and decided, perhaps on the busiest tourist day ever, to go on the Civic holiday long weekend. Aside from the mild frustration of figuring out how to get there when everyone else in the city is attempting to do the same, it was all I could ask for in a summer day. Gorgeous blue skies, a cool breeze, a nice warm sun, and the best of company. Winning combination.

Unfortunately I still haven’t been on the big ol’ Centreville ferry, but we did take a Water-Taxi to get to the island, which is pretty darn cool. They fit maybe ten passengers, so you’ll probably be in line for just as long as the ferry, but it’s a pretty fun ride with cushy seats and a lot less crowding. The view of Toronto’s skyline was still fantastic, so I was happy! I recommend it if you’ve never tried. It’s $10 instead of the ferry’s $7, but it’s worth it.

Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island Toronto Island

Special thanks to Miss Tess Marie of Wanderaboot for finding me the elusive plain clear glass sphere that I’d been looking for for oh so long. You’ve made my dreams come true. Apologies to Craig for all the d’aww photos. You humour me, and I love you for it.

 

I’m almost done at least one of my classes soon, so hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to hang out over here. Oh the fun. Happy November, everyone. 

 

*Craig took the photo of me on the pier and with the sphere. What talent!

 

Toronto Adventure: Osgoode Hall

Posted on September 9, 2012

Osgoode Hall was the second stop I made on my little Doors Open Toronto adventure. This is a place that I’ve passed many a time since I moved to Toronto, but I never really knew what it was. It’s definitely a place I’ve always wanted to visit though, even to just go hang out on the grounds {which are gorgeous all on their own}. The interior though, ohmygosh that interior. It’s got to be one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever been in. Granted, I haven’t been to that many places, so I may say that again in the future, but for now let’s just let Osgoode Hall have that one. It’s pretty nice.

Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall Osgoode Hall

I’m not sure what their rules are in terms of the public being allowed to roam around inside at any other time during the year {I’m guessing they like to keep riffraff like me out}, but my gosh I have to go back. That library! I’ve got some portrait ideas that need to happen there. Putting that room on my photography bucket list for sure. See you next year, Osgoode Hall.

 

{Thanks to Craig and Joe for all your patience at this one.}

 

Coming soon: Old City Hall, and The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre

Previous stop: Campbell House Museum