Yesterday, the sun was shining bright as I joined up with the folks from Canadian Daytrippers to enjoy a railway trip along the York-Durham scene railroad. As the coach wound it’s way thru country roads, the passengers were lively and full of anticipation…
It only took about an hour to reach the rail-head in Uxbridge where we were set to depart for a 2hr trip with a 3-course luncheon served in vintage Pullman coaches.There were several vintage trains and carriages on show in the rail yard (above) – who doesn’t LOVE trains??
We were soon off and running after a very careful boarding of those passengers with physical challenges. The railway station offers a special hoist for wheelchairs and walkers so everybody was able to enjoy the trip. We were greeted by the friendly staff who came around ensuring that our menu choices were confirmed – steak or salmon…mmm, yummy.Then off we rolled, gently winding our way throughout the York-Durham region countryside. Sadly, the sun disappeared behind a bank of clouds so the fall colours did not “pop” and the scenery took on a somewhat grey pall. But the company was animated and full of good humour, swapping travel tales, family histories, embarrassing situations and silly stories – nobody seemed to mind the unfortunate lack of scintillating scenery. But when I checked out my photos later, I noticed that many of my pics took on an almost Impressionist-like feel…see what I mean:As we chowed down, I noticed one of the passengers who REALLY enjoyed her lunch..More lovely countryside views on the home-bound leg of the trip, and as we pulled back into the Uxbridge station, we went past the legendary Ontario Northland carriages..All good things must come to an end so we alighted with laughter, smiles….. and several satisfied burps!Big thank you to all the railway staff, and especially our charming (and very patient) tour guide, Debbie, from Canadian Daytrippers (below).If you’d like to learn more about Toronto day trips with this groovy group that caters to seniors/zoomers, visit their website at: www.canadiandaytrippers.com. They offer evening group trips to theatre festivals, Niagara Falls events and unique experiential trips to the country…like this train journey, or the Muskoka Lake cruise I wrote about last month. See you on the bus!!
Big CONGRATULATIONS to local author GEORDIE TELFER on his packed-house book launch last night held at Toronto’s Dominion Pub & Kitchen. He entertained his guests with selected readings, music and original songs that told the tale of the disappearance of Toronto theatre mogul & millionaire, Ambrose Small (pictured below), who led a life of dodgy dealings and showbiz shenanigans.“Hogtown Empire” is a tale of money, deception and betrayal with a cast of captains of industry, socialites and would-be con artists. It’s the culmination of several years of research, interviews and scouring official police and news archival records, much of which led Geordie in different directions complete with red herrings and false starts.Here is an exciting true-crime adventure story. Ambrose Small and his wife, Theresa, were wealthy entertainment impresarios who owned a prominent chain of theatres in southern Ontario. On December 2, 1919, the Smalls banked a cheque for $1-million, a down-payment on the sale of their theatrical empire. That night, as dusk fell, Ambrose disappeared into the darkness and was never seen again. What happened? Was he murdered? Did he disappear of his own volition? No body was ever found and, as far as anyone can tell, he took none of his money with him. Ambrose left behind his wife, his mistress, and his frustrated secretary. The case prompted an international man-hunt that spanned the globe and had renowned psychics of the day hearing voices and seeing visions. There were lurid rumours of infidelity and accounts of suspicious activities by Small’s enemies….so many enemies. The subject of films and TV shows, Canada’s longest running cold-case remains unsolved after 100 years. Ambrose Small was famous for his HUGE handlebar mustache so we made sure all the guests had their very own moo-stash on a stick…which worked well for the sing-along during the “Ambrose Small’s Mustache” song. It also provided lots of laughs at the photo wall, too!If you would like more information about this fascinating real-life unsolved mystery and to purchase a copy of Geordie’s book ($24.95), visit the official website: www.HogtownEmpire.com The book is also available from Amazon.com or .ca Geordie also hosts regular Hogtown Empire podcasts, also found on the website.And thanks to the Dominion Pub & Kitchen for the great service, deelish food and frosty drinks. Check them out in person: www.fabrestaurants.ca/restaurant/dominion
Yesterday, Sat. Oct 5th, multi-media artist Osvaldo Napoli launched his latest solo show E-POQUE at Toronto’s Urban Gallery. I spoke with Ozzie earlier in the week and he shared his thoughts and inspirations for his current works…
We walked around the gallery together as Ozzie told me the stories behind each piece….Across one wall, Ozzie showed me his collection of “smalls” – each incorporating computer & tech salvage into the artwork to tell the story of humanity intersecting with technology.
…and one piece in particular, Ozzie told me, focuses on the issue of cyber-bullying and how technology impacts the young via social media.
Ozzie will be in the gallery every Saturday during October between 3-6pm to meet with art lovers and share his unique perspectives on technology and the human condition. URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto www.UrbanGallery.ca
Well wasn’t that a fun time?! Not having kids of my own, I’ve never been around little people for any length of time but today I had a blast with lots of mummies, daddies and adorable tots at The Baby Show currently hosted in the Enercare Centre (Hall B) at Exhibition Place, Toronto. The show runs throughout this weekend – 1 more day left Sunday Oct. 6 – so hurry on down for all sorts of freebies, samples, information on baby’s health, food, furniture, fashions and lots of booths promoting support services for new mums and dads, too. Here’s the show’s Founder Sandy Pedrogao to tell you all about it…
Along with hundreds of families, I wandered around the aisles, meeting some of the vendors and learning so much about 21st century parenthood versus how my mum & dad raised me in the 50’s & 60’s…give the kid a cardboard box, some string and a wooden spoon and voila…there’s your toys, Glenda…haa haa!
Loved these folks (below) from www.babynimbus.com who offer cute onesies and other fun things with doodles and pics from local artists. I then met the charming couple (pictured below) operating www.thebabymamabox.com a monthly subscription box offering all sorts of samples and goodies delivered to your door. Boxes are customized for various age groups and also offer boxes just for mama herself. Products are hand-picked and mama tested so you’re sure to get the best.Here’s talented baker Walaa Alwan of Fantasy Cookies (yummm) who creates all sorts of delicious and oh-so-pretty cookies for special occasions like baby showers, christenings, baby’s 1st birthday…even engagement parties and wedding favours (get a head start on growing your family) Just along the aisle from Walaa, I ran into the crafty lady who knits & crochets cute critters for cute kids under the name www.monimon.ca They are soooo adorable and it reminded me of toys my mum used to knit for my sister and me back in the 60’s – I still have a little penguin she made me….aaaaaw.www.mondobebe.com (below) offered a very elegant booth with luxury furniture and accessories for the most discerning babes. They have stores in Quebec and one a little closer in Mississauga.The Baby Brands Gift Club was a hive of activity as they gave out all sorts of treats, samples and informative brochures and magazines to show attendees. As you can see by the photo below, they were very popular! Check out all the brand name products they offer at www.babybrandsgiftclub.caSo I was thrilled (and surprised) that all the wee ones were quiet and I witnessed very few tantrums or crying. I guess the babies picked up on the vibe that this show was just for them! There were samples and contests for parents and lots of booths offering comfortable changing facilities as well as peaceful feeding areas curtained off to provide privacy and calmness.Congratulations to Sandy and her publicist Jakki for a successful showcase of all things baby! Follow them on Fcbk: TheBabyShowToronto as well as Instagram: @TheBabyShows. Watch for announcements for their Spring show here in Toronto.