Tag Archives: goats

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A WALK BACK THRU TIME IN TORONTO’S HISTORIC CABBAGETOWN NEIGHBOURHOOD

Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day that I decided to down tools and step away from the ‘puter to enjoy a leisurely stroll thru one of Toronto’s historic old neighbourhoods – Cabbagetown. This was where I lived in the late 70’s when, as a starving actor/waitress, I shared a 3 storey semi at the end of Wellesley Street with 3 other actors & musicians, and next door to the fabulous Carole Pope & Kevin Staples of Rough Trade fame (Canada’s edgiest new wave/punk bands of the era).20160415_133443Above left is #445, my old house – I had the large master bedroom on the 2nd floor front – the dormer that jutted out over the front porch was the cosy alcove where I had my bed. Next door at #443 (above at right), I would watch an amazing procession of fabulous celebrity house guests knock on my neighbour’s front door …all manner of music stars would hang out with Carole when they came to town. I remember watching legendary Dusty Springfield wander up the garden path one afternoon – how exciting!  Cabbagetown was a haven for artists, actors, musicians and hippies back then…it was affordable to share the houses, most of which were run-down shadows of their former grand selves. But at the royal sum of $500 a month all inclusive, we still never quite made rent on time…LOL! But walking east on Wellesley yesterday, heading into this charming little enclave (below) brought back so many memories of innocent (but fun) times….come take a walk with me now.20160415_132759The residents association has been busy over the years, creating walking tours of the streets and gardens and they’ve posted all sorts of plaques designating certain homes as historical landmarks. I never knew a member of this famous Hollywood family once lived on Wellesley Street…did you?20160415_132834A couple of blocks south is a street full of picturesque workers’ cottages, now sympathetically renovated to suit their 21st century owners – this is Amelia Street. I always loved walking along here back in the 70’s as although most of these homes were rundown and scruffy, you could see the great “bones” and 19th or early 20th century design elements. Look at these gorgeous little chocolate box homes….20160415_14432420160415_14440420160415_14441420160415_14473320160415_145018I remember wanting to move into this charming 1920’s/30’s apartment building (above) as it looked so cool, even 40yrs ago when it was rather shabby and unpainted. Rent was about $275 to $350 a month back then…now, probably closer to $1500/mo.
This was once a cute handcrafted furniture store (below) when I lived in the ‘hood but it’s now been made into a private residence. Wouldn’t it make a lovely little antique shop or even a cosy tea room?20160415_144847This (below) has got to be one of the cutest cottages on the street, now the home offices for a design firm…20160415_145413…and opposite that is this modern make-over. I love the back-split balconies and the paint colour.20160415_145127Of course, being a vibrant community there are always notices posted about upcoming events as well as pleas for help finding lost loved ones. On one lamp-post I saw this rather sad flyer…I hope Lefty comes home soon!20160415_145154On a happier note, I took a quick side trip to the Riverdale Farm (below) – back when I lived there it was still called a “zoo” as they had all manner of exotic beasties living there including highland cattle and some bighorn sheep…50 or 60 yrs ago they kept a sad assortment of wild animals including bears and big cats in tiny cruel metal cages -I think the old deserted bear house may still be there down the back near the ravine. But yesterday it was all about the cute baby farmyard critters…20160415_141258 20160415_141351 20160415_142218 20160415_142256 20160415_142059 20160415_141708 20160415_141645 20160415_142415Opposite the park and farm used to stand Jeremiah’s Ice Cream Store which served up frozen treats to generations of families. Now the shop has been made into a private home (below) but at least they still operate an ice cream and snack food bar out of the side window. 20160415_141107In the park stands a noticeboard pointing out all the houses that once were home to various leading lights in Toronto and Canadian history (below). These correspond with the plaques posted on each property (like the Walter Huston one). Sadly, I couldn’t find a plaque for one of Canada’s greatest Olympic ice skaters and fine artists, Toller Cranston, who had a home and studio on Winchester near Parliament Street. I remember walking past, looking up into his studio window and seeing Toller busy painting – he would often wave back at me. I think it’s time to make amends and get the 70’s groundbreaking ice skater and avant garde painter properly acknowledged.20160415_143423As I walked out of this timeless village and back into reality on Parliament Street, I walked past Nettleship’s Hardware – this store has been there for decades and I remember when I worked part-time at Tom Foolery (one of the first vintage clothing stores in the city back in the 70’s), the owners and I used to hang out with Donny, the son who ran the shop. I betcha he’s still there. Must make an effort to go in and say hi next time I’m in the neighbourhood.20160415_145927(0)So I hope you enjoyed this little pictorial stroll thru my Cabbagetown. I definitely recommend visiting, esp the first weekend of May when they host a neighbourhood-wide Forsythia Festival. The trees are just now starting to bud and there are a few early spring flowers popping up…so much to see but make sure you look up as well, then you’ll notice antique weather veins such as this one (below) or you may even spot a couple of pink flamingos still dressed in their winter scarves & toques (bottom).20160415_14403520160415_145048

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GOATS AND HORSIES AND MODELS, OH MY!

Several weeks ago, my friends Carcia and Telly Campbell of ItsMusicFashionLife.com web-magazine asked me to suggest a rustic, farm location for their upcoming fashion shoot and without missing a beat, I suggested the new Haute Goat farm in Newtonville, just ouside of Port Hope. So yesterday, we packed the clothes, accessories and photographer/creative director Aleyah Solomon (co-founder of the brand new HereandThere magazine) into the car and headed east through the the glorious fall colours to meet the models, and the goats and horses owned by Debbie and Shain of hautegoat.com20151017_111333 20151017_111241As soon as we pulled into the farm driveway, we realized the shoot would be stunning – the farm house was perched high overlooking the rolling hills and woodlands around Clarington County (see below).20151017_121311 20151017_132815We were soon joined by gorgeous models Tara and Taylor, along with make-up and hairstylist Alexandre and photo assistant Candace….and set to work rounding up the 4-legged livestock  who turned out to be fabulous models, too.20151017_134930 20151017_135046 20151017_121618The wee goats (above) were such hams! Many tried to pull focus from Tara’s posing…bleating and bah’ing making us all laugh so hard.  When Taylor came out in his winter fashions (below), the goats fell in love with him, following him around, nuzzling and begging his attention. We now call him the “goat whisperer”!20151017_150532 20151017_150640 20151017_145955Above, Aleyah was laughing so hard at the goats swarming Taylor sometimes it was difficult to shoot. Debbie (the goat mum) joined in the hilarity. Carcia (below with Taylor) enjoyed a cuddle with one of the baby goats while sister Telly (centre, 2nd pic) quickly snapped shots between pats.20151017_150721 20151017_150749Carcia’s and Telly’s bestest selfie ever!20151017_150238

20151017_150804…and above, Eden, one of the wranglers at Haute Goat, posed with one of our favourite goats, Yoda, as the models went inside to change for their next look. Below, Jack the farm’s guard dog got into the modelling act, too, and loved Aleyah’s impromptu ukulele concert on the lawn!20151017_135738 20151017_135806Next, it was time to cowboy-up. Tara and Taylor got their city-meets-country looks on and Shain and Debbie’s Icelandic horses got into the act, too.20151017_155315 20151017_155634 20151017_155653Alexandre and Taylor had fun taking horsie selfies!20151017_155007And I had quite the “Legends of the Fall” moment snapping this shot of Taylor (below) who looked so like Brad Pitt as “Tristan” dontcha think?20151017_160205I was thrilled to be invited on an ATV ride through the woods behind the farm while more photos were being taken so I jumped at that opportunity…have you ever tried taking photos while riding on an ATV? Naaah, too shaky, but when I got back to the farmhouse, I relaxed in the huge kitchen and snapped a few pics of the decor as well as the awesome goats milk treats Haute Goat produces and sells: soaps, body creams, lip balm, caramel corn, fudge….you can guess what came home with me!20151017_143337 20151017_162821 20151017_162847 20151017_162851 20151017_162857 20151017_162902None of us wanted to leave the Haute Goat farm last night but the big city lights beckoned us home.  Here are a few more parting shots of the lovely farm and wee beasties.20151017_150055 20151017_181851 20151017_142200

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20151017_121610 20151017_150259Don’t forget to check out ItsMusicFashionLife.com for the upcoming photo essay, as well as HauteGoat.com for more product info and sales of their handcrafted skin care and edible treats, esp. now you’ve met the goat workers who make it all!