Walkabout – The Beaches Boardwalk

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Friday, March 8, we were lucky to have a bright sunny day with above 0°C temperatures. My wife and I decided to drive down to The Beaches which is only ten minutes from our home. Parking can be a challenge on weekends, but during the week it’s easy to find lots of free parking. The first street east of Woodbine Avenue is a one-way street running south called Kippendavie Avenue. If you go to the end of the street and turn left, there is lots of parking on Kew Beach Avenue. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 08-03-14, 10.50.04 AM

Typically the boardwalk is home to joggers, walkers, mothers with strollers, and dogs — lots and lots of dogs. There is an enormous off-leash section south of the boardwalk and it extends right to the edge of Lake Ontario. Technically dogs are to be on a leash everywhere else in this area, but many owners were allowing their dogs to run freely all over the beach.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_1_2014-03-07_14-52-02_DSC_1442

Ice had formed on the shoreline as well as on the rocks and the groynes (breakwaters).Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_5_2014-03-07_14-53-43_DSC_1446 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_7_2014-03-07_14-56-48_DSC_1459 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_14_2014-03-07_14-59-00_DSC_1466

what looks like snow/ice is actually a thin layer of slush on the lake near the shoreline

what looks like snow/ice is actually a thin layer of slush on the lake near the shoreline

the often-photographed Leuty Lifeguard Station silhouetted against the Toronto skyline

the often-photographed Leuty Lifeguard Station silhouetted against the Toronto skyline

Needless to say, no lifeguard was on duty!Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_32_2014-03-07_15-14-18_DSC_1484

We came upon this large frozen mass and sitting on the slush were two swans and a single white goose.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_35_2014-03-07_15-18-36_DSC_1487Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_53_2014-03-07_15-21-38_DSC_1505Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_39_2014-03-07_15-19-03_DSC_1491

As curious as we were to get up close to the swans and the goose, the off-leash dogs wanted to see them as well. A few smaller dogs slipped off the edge of the ice and more than one stupid owner had to go in after their pet. There were two enormous Great Danes that decided they wanted to get a closer look at the birds, but their owner screamed at them to get out of the water. This Great Dane is actually standing in the water:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_55_2014-03-07_15-22-23_DSC_1507Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_72_2014-03-07_15-25-37_DSC_1524Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_73_2014-03-07_15-25-39_DSC_1525Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_79_2014-03-07_15-27-57_DSC_1531 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_85_2014-03-07_15-29-39_DSC_1537

We continued along the shoreline taking more photographs.Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_59_2014-03-07_15-23-03_DSC_1511 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_64_2014-03-07_15-24-02_DSC_1516 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_65_2014-03-07_15-24-38_DSC_1517 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_68_2014-03-07_15-24-50_DSC_1520 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_69_2014-03-07_15-24-57_DSC_1521Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_102_2014-03-07_14-53-57_DSC_1447 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_106_2014-03-07_14-54-38_DSC_1451 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_111_2014-03-07_14-55-05_DSC_1456Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_81_2014-03-07_15-29-16_DSC_1533

We left the boardwalk just west of the Balmy Beach Club and went north on Fernwood Park Avenue. This home is right on the edge of the Martin Goodman Trail:

the last house on Fernwood Park Avenue

the last house on Fernwood Park Avenue

A home was undergoing renovations and the City insists that existing trees must be protected on any construction site. It makes me chuckle when I see more lumber used for the protective fence than in the tree being protected:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_94_2014-03-07_15-39-32_DSC_1546

My wife thinks I am crazy, but I am searching for a manhole cover from the year of my birth – 1952, which I have yet to find. The Beaches is a very old neighbourhood and here are some very old manhole covers:Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_91_2014-03-07_15-38-39_DSC_1543 Mar_7_WalkaboutTheBeaches_95_2014-03-07_15-41-22_DSC_1547

it's hard to read, but this one is 1910!

it’s hard to read, but this one is 1910!

We walked up to Queen Street East and stopped at Cobs Bread for our favourite Cape Seed baguette, and then back to the car and home. It was a fabulous couple of hours in the sunshine.Screen Shot 2014-03-08 at 08-03-14, 10.10.55 AM

Hansen’s Danish Pastry Shop

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Hansen’s Danish Pastry Shop is a family-owned and -operated bakery that has been serving the people of East York for over 50 years. They have an amazing selection of sweet treats for such a small store. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

1017 Pape Avenue, East York

1017 Pape Avenue, East York

The store is always decorated to suit the season. Here is a fabulous gingerbread house from the Christmas season:November_28_DanishPastryShop_4_2012-11-28_12-02-10_DSC_8171

In advance of St. Patrick’s Day, the store and products have an Irish theme:Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_17_2014-03-06_11-55-54_DSC_1428

Cookies of all shapes and sizes:Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_12_2014-03-06_11-54-47_DSC_1423Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_5_2014-03-06_11-50-33_DSC_1416Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_11_2014-03-06_11-54-44_DSC_1422

The front window is always a treat for the eyes. Multiple kinds of strudel, cupcakes, classic Danish pastry and Chelsea buns are just a few of the offerings.Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_7_2014-03-06_11-53-04_DSC_1418Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_16_2014-03-06_11-55-37_DSC_1427Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_8_2014-03-06_11-53-07_DSC_1419

Sweet treats are not all that Hansen’s has to offer. They have a selection of imported items from Denmark and Scandinavia including herring, Läkerol from Sweden (my favourite candy), plus deli sandwiches and quiche.

Everything here is so amazing and picture perfect!Mar_6_HansensDanishPastry_10_2014-03-06_11-54-15_DSC_1421

Walkabout – Crothers Woods

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today, my wife and I decided to get bundled up and go for a walk. The temperature was -6°C and with the wind chill it felt like -13°C. One of our favourite places to walk is the Lower Don River Trail which leads to a trail that loops around Crothers Woods. There are numerous access points to the trail, but we decided to travel to Beechwood Drive which runs north from O’Connor Drive. Beechwood ends at the bottom of the hill and we were surprised at the number of vehicles that were there today. Most of the people who drove brought their dogs, many of which were off-leash but very well-behaved. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.) Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 05-03-14, 1.30.38 PM

There had been a light dusting of snow overnight, but with the number of people and dogs that had already been out on the trails, the depth of snow did not pose a problem for a nice leisurely walk. Part of the reason for choosing this section of the valley was that it tends to be less windy in the valley and we certainly didn’t need the discomfort of a wind chill in our faces.

It has been a while since we visited this area and we were surprised with the work that was being done to preserve and protect the Cottonwood Flats.Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_2_2014-03-05_11-02-27_DSC_1363

Cottonwood Flats with a new protective fence

Cottonwood Flats with a new protective fence

It’s a shame to see graffiti on this beautiful bridge:Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_7_2014-03-05_11-03-35_DSC_1368

During our walk it was sunny for a moment, then it became cloudy, then it began to snow lightly and then the sun came out again!Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_12_2014-03-05_11-09-49_DSC_1373Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_15_2014-03-05_11-20-30_DSC_1376

We came upon two women who were out walking five large dogs, all of which were very friendly. A couple of the dogs were staked out at the bottom of a tree. They were just staring up at a lone squirrel in the tree.Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_19_2014-03-05_11-21-25_DSC_1380Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_23_2014-03-05_11-22-29_DSC_1384

The ever changing sky and weather

The ever-changing sky and weather

It was surprising to us that the Don River was not frozen over. I guess the speed of the water at this point prevents it from freezing:Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_28_2014-03-05_11-25-45_DSC_1389Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_33_2014-03-05_11-28-56_DSC_1394Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_44_2014-03-05_11-37-52_DSC_1405

I never miss a chance to photograph my favourite railway trestle. This is an active line which has commuter GO trains traveling on it:Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_32_2014-03-05_11-28-22_DSC_1393

This part of the path continues on towards Pottery Road and Todmorden Mills, and continues further south to way below the Bloor Street Viaduct and all the way to Lake Shore Boulevard:Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_38_2014-03-05_11-30-46_DSC_1399Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_47_2014-03-05_11-42-01_DSC_1408Mar_5_WalkaboutCrothers_50_2014-03-05_11-42-13_DSC_1411

We walked for just under an hour and covered 3.5 kilometres, which was enough for today.

Christine Manning – portrait of an entrepreneur

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May_29_FairmountFarmersMarket_276_2013-05-29_15-36-44_DSC_2165

I first met Christine in November 2012 when she was doing a demo of her products at a local butcher shop. I had been buying her products from that shop and wanted to meet her. Camera in hand, I photographed Christine while she handed out samples and spoke with passion about her products. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

November_10_ChristineManning_7_2012-11-10_13-18-12_DSC_6434 - Version 3November_10_ChristineManning_9_2012-11-10_13-20-55_DSC_6436

Christine’s company is called Manning Canning, with a product line of jams, jellies, marmalades, pickled items, relish and mustard. My personal favourites are her spicy pickled carrots and spicy tomato jam. Her latest product is a sun-dried tomato mustard which is getting rave reviews, and I am anxious to try it.Feb_28_ManningCanningProducts_22_2014-02-28_11-05-47_1PV_1298

Until last year, Christine held down a full-time job and Manning Canning was a part-time endeavour. She worked on weekends developing and scaling recipes and doing in-store demonstrations and was also available for private preserving classes done right in your own home.February_2_ChristineManning_6_2013-02-02_14-51-10_DSC_7958February_2_ChristineManning_62_2013-02-02_16-30-39_DSC_8008

Manning Canning was taking up more and more of her time, so in 2013 Christine quit her full-time job to devote all of her attention to her business. In addition to packaging and delivering her products to customers, Christine also attends a few farmers’ markets in the city. One of them is the Fairmount Park Farm Marketan outdoor market that runs from May to October on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Sept_4_FairmountMarket_60_2013-09-04_15-18-01_DSC_6704Sept_4_FairmountMarket_36_2013-09-04_15-15-08_DSC_6680July_24_FairmountFamersMarket_49_2013-07-24_15-40-12_DSC_4261

Christine’s fame has continued to rise and she has had articles written about her in Elle Canada and Toronto Life, and her products were recently featured in the LCBO magazine Food & Drink.

Christine’s raspberry jelly won a first place award at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and her orange onion marmalade just won an award at Mad for Marmalade.Feb_28_ManningCanningProducts_35_2014-02-28_11-10-57_1PV_1311

Sept_18_FairmountMarket_132_2013-09-18_15-40-32_DSC_7617

April_11_ManningCanning_11_2013-04-11_12-07-54_DSC_0216Feb_28_ManningCanningProducts_40_2014-02-28_11-16-52_1PV_1316

All of Christine’s recipes are her own and many have been passed down from her grandmother and her mother. This farm girl from Drayton Valley, Alberta, is certainly gaining attention and success in the big city of Toronto.May_29_FairmountFarmersMarket_90_2013-05-29_15-06-58_DSC_1979

Grilltime Gourmet Meats – Andy Elder’s gem in Leaside

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

November_3_Grilltime_6_2012-11-03_14-00-36_DSC_6187

Grilltime Gourmet Meat Shop is the creation of its owner, Andy Elder. Andy certainly knows his way around the hospitality and food industry. Prior to establishing Grilltime in 2008, Andy was senior vice-president of Mr. Greek Restaurants. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

62 Laird Drive

62 Laird Drive

Described as a “Gourmet Meat Shop,” the store provides steakhouse quality meats and seafood, prepared foods, sauces, rubs and marinades. Andy also offers classes in grilling and can provide catering services as well.

Grilltime’s steaks rival those of any butcher shop in the city. We are big fans of their pre-marinated Korean ribs, chicken supreme, pulled pork and flank steak.

Korean ribs on our grill

Korean ribs on our grill

Grilltime is located on a busy stretch of Laird Drive in Leaside. Andy is a long-time resident of Leaside and participates in and contributes to local events along with other local businesses such as Amsterdam Brewery and Leaside Hockey Arena.

Andy has an amazing number of sauces and marinades which complement anything that you are going to grill. Sauces and marinades from Summer-Kitchen, pickled items, mustard and relishes from Manning Canning, salsa and tortilla chips from Neal Brothers Foods, and his most recent addition, Mexican hot sauces from No. 7 Hot Sauce.

Photo courtesty of No. 7 Hot Sauce

Photo courtesy of No. 7 Hot Sauce

Photo courtesy of No.7 Hot Sauce

Photo courtesy of No. 7 Hot Sauce

Andy and Christine Manning (Manning Canning) at the Winter Wonders show

Andy and Christine Manning (Manning Canning) at the Winter Wonders show

April_11_ManningCanning_11_2013-04-11_12-07-54_DSC_0216

Andy likes to tweak the layout of his store, so displays change from time to time.November_3_Grilltime_27_2012-11-03_14-25-53_DSC_6208May_7_Grilltime_15_2013-05-07_14-12-33_DSC_0803November_3_Grilltime_18_2012-11-03_14-18-11_DSC_6199November_3_Grilltime_21_2012-11-03_14-18-39_DSC_6202

Andy is the nicest fellow you will ever meet, and his staff are super friendly and eager to serve. Don’t hesitate to ask Andy or his staff for grilling tips on any type of meat—they are all expert chefs!

We are so lucky to have this gem in our community.

Gourmet finds – update

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

It has been quite some time since I updated the “Gourmet finds in the neighbourhood” tab on this blog.

Sadly, a few businesses have closed, but I have found many more to add and will be doing full blog posts on all of these additions:

Andrea’s Gerrard Street Bakery – 635 Gerrard Street East

Grilltime – 62 Laird Drive

Hansen’s Danish Pastry Shop – 1017 Pape Avenue

East York Civic Centre Farmers’ Market – Tuesdays, 8 a.m.—2 p.m., May to October, at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer

Fairmount Park Farm Market – Wednesdays, 3 p.m.—7 p.m., May to October, at 1725 Gerrard Street East

Royal Beef – 1968 Danforth Avenue

Big House Pizza – 962 Danforth Avenue

Manning Canning – available online and at select stores throughout the GTA

No.7 Hot Sauce – available online and at select stores throughout the GTA

A bit of an explanation is required for the last two finds on my list. Neither of them have a physical retail store but both offer online sales and their products can be found at many locations across Toronto. Their products definitely fall into “gourmet finds” that you must try!

Lots of photos and stories will follow over the next few days.

Don Valley Brick Works

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

My wife and I visited the Don Valley Brick Works or Evergreen Brick Works as it is now known. The Don Valley Brick Works has a long history dating back to 1889. The brick factory produced bricks for most of the homes in East York and the bricks in our home came from there. The factory produced bricks for almost 100 years.

After brick production stopped, the buildings fell into a state of disrepair and became a favourite location for photographers to do urban exploration or urbex as it is better known.

Back in 2005 a photographer friend of mine and I gained access to the kiln building. The building had holes in the roof and was home to many homeless people who lived there and had smokey fires which provided images such as these. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_1_2014-02-22_11-13-43_DSC_1232_DSC2462b_DSC2471b

The Toronto Region Conservation Authority along with federal and provincial funding enabled the Evergreen Brick Works to open in 2010. The site enables people to enjoy nature, culture and community events.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_47_2014-02-22_12-06-34_DSC_1290

Evergreen features a year-round farmers’ market and it was great to see our friends from Monforte Dairy, Round Plains Plantation, and Bees Universe who are all regulars at the East York Civic Centre Farmers’ Market during the summer. 

Ruth from Monforte Dairy

Ruth from Monforte Dairy

Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_20_2014-02-22_11-37-08_DSC_1263October_13_EvergreenBrickworks__1_2012-10-13_10-18-50_DSC_5478

In the past, Evergreen has hosted events such as the Toronto Garlic Festival and Cask Days to name just a few.

Toronto Garlic Festival

Toronto Garlic Festival

Cask Days

Cask Days

Our most recent visit to Evergreen was to see Sauha and Michael from Louise Prete. They were providing samples of their new sauce Sugo Pomodoro all’Amatriciana that features double-smoked bacon from Perth Pork in Sebringville, Ontario. Michael’s sauces are available for sale in the Evergreen Garden Market.

Sauha & Michael from Louise Prete

Sauha & Michael from Louise Prete

Feb_22_LouisePrete_4_2014-02-22_11-24-08_DSC_1253Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_14_2014-02-22_11-15-51_DSC_1245Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_18_2014-02-22_11-16-25_DSC_1249

Evergreen is a very popular destination on weekends in the summer. Parking can sometimes be a challenge but the #28 Davisville TTC bus arrives right on site. And you can also catch a free shuttle bus from the Broadview subway station.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_6_2014-02-22_11-14-53_DSC_1239Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_8_2014-02-22_11-15-07_DSC_1241

On our recent visit it was a glorious and sunny day. It was so great to see the ice rink that they have built for children. Skates and helmets are available for rental.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_22_2014-02-22_11-37-47_DSC_1265Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_12_2014-02-22_11-15-30_DSC_1238Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_2_2014-02-22_11-14-34_DSC_1233Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_3_2014-02-22_11-14-39_DSC_1234Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_5_2014-02-22_11-14-47_DSC_1236

When you walk to the back of the buildings there is a huge greenspace to explore.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_38_2014-02-22_11-56-44_DSC_1281Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_30_2014-02-22_11-55-58_DSC_1273Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_36_2014-02-22_11-56-30_DSC_1279Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_40_2014-02-22_12-00-28_DSC_1283

Evergreen is situated in the Don Valley and there are numerous trails nearby.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_44_2014-02-22_12-04-39_DSC_1287

Evergreen is such a great place to visit and is only five minutes from home for us. It really is a gem in the heart of Toronto.Feb_22_EvergreenBrickworks_15_2014-02-22_11-16-11_DSC_1246

Left Field Brewery Open House

Tags

, , , , , , ,

On February 22, 2014, Left Field Brewery held an Open House at the home of their new brewery located at 36 Wagstaff Drive. The event ran from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. and the event organizers encouraged attendees to walk or take the TTC. Wagstaff Drive is located just south of the TTC subway barns on Greenwood Avenue. For me it was a short 20-minute walk from home. (click on any photo to see a larger version)

36 Wagstaff Drive

36 Wagstaff Drive

I arrived shortly after they opened and was surprised at the number of people that were already there.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_11_2014-02-22_14-24-17_DSC_1303Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_8_2014-02-22_14-23-50_DSC_1300

Beer tokens were being sold for $5 each and food was also available from Big House Pizza.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_45_2014-02-22_15-21-06_DSC_1337

There were three beers available so I bought three tokens in order to try them all.

Currently the brewery is just an empty warehouse. There is no beer-making equipment such as tanks or a bottling line. The owners, Mark and Mandie, have about a year ahead of them to get their space transformed into a working brewery.

Mark & Mandie

Mark & Mandie

I started with a pale ale called Maris which was served to me by a friendly chap named Austin.

Austin

Austin

I’m not a beer expert by any means, so I won’t try to describe the tastes and nuances of the beers except to say that they were fresh and very flavourful without any bitter aftertaste.

Also available for sale was a variety of merchandise. Here are Jen and Courtney.

Jen & Courtney

Jen & Courtney

Mark got behind the bar to help serve his products.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_26_2014-02-22_14-39-34_DSC_1318Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_34_2014-02-22_14-44-01_DSC_1326

The crowd was predominently in the 25–35 age range, and I was probably the oldest guy at this event. What did puzzle me were the number of people who brought their children to this event. Everything from babies in arms, toddlers in strollers, and some as old as 8 or 10. This was a beer open house and as such, there was not much for children to do at this event. I’m sure the organizers weren’t expecting people to bring their children, since they had shelled peanuts available and everyone knows how militant parents get about peanuts in schools.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_52_2014-02-22_15-22-03_DSC_1344Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_38_2014-02-22_15-08-08_DSC_1330

The other beers being served were Eephus, an oatmeal brown ale, and Resin Bag, an American IPA.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_62_2014-02-22_16-04-39_DSC_1361

There was a brainstorming room where you could leave your ideas and suggestions for the brewery.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_50_2014-02-22_15-21-47_DSC_1342

After an hour the room was jam-packed.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_41_2014-02-22_15-19-41_DSC_1333Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_55_2014-02-22_15-22-36_DSC_1347

It’s a wonderful thing to see two young entrepreneurs making their dream come true. I welcome Mark and Mandie to the neighbourhood and wish them the very best for this venture.Feb_22_LeftFieldBrewery_57_2014-02-22_16-04-24_DSC_1356

2014 Canadian International AutoShow

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I love automobiles. The skill and art of “driving” are passions of mine, and I am sure that in another life I would have been involved in competitive car racing. My Achilles heel is that I am over six feet tall and as such, fitting into most racing cars becomes a problem for me.

Toronto is blessed with having an annual International AutoShow. Despite my love of automobiles, I do not attend this show every year, and I only attend the show in the year for which I am in the market for a new vehicle. 2014 is such a year.

Over the past many years, we have found that leasing a vehicle as opposed to an outright purchase is a far better option based on our circumstances. Any financial manager will tell you to never purchase something that depreciates to the degree that a new vehicle will. I look after our cars, put on low mileage, and like having a new car every three years without having to do any major repairs or maintenance. Therefore, leasing works for us.

Our current lease for a 2011 Subaru Impreza comes due this summer. And we are now in the market for a new vehicle. I cannot begin to say how much I have loved the Subaru. It is absolutely unstoppable in the snow and is such a joy to drive, especially with its 5-speed stick shift.

And this year brings me to the AutoShow. I find attending the AutoShow to be a love/hate relationship. Before I retired, I was forced to attend the show on weekends. This would be the time that the show was jam-packed, and you had to deal with families with kids and strollers in tow. I do not understand how the car show fits into being a family outing. The children get bored, then they get cranky, then the parents get cranky and it ends up being not a fun day for them or anyone around them who gets a stroller jammed into your ankles.

The AutoShow is not meant to be a playground for children. Young kids sitting behind the wheel of expensive cars pushing and prying all of the buttons is not what this show is designed for. Yet many families use the car show as a substitute for the Toronto Zoo or the Ontario Science Centre. I certainly pity the poor car dealers and their staff who have to work this show and deal with all the “tire kickers” and their children.

You are certainly entitled to disagree with my comments, but I am a consumer ready to spend money and do not to want to wait my turn for some kid to get out from behind the wheel to see if I can even fit in the vehicle. My two easy tests for any vehicle are headroom and legroom. If these are a no-go, then I move on. But if I have to wait for your kids to finish playing in the car, I might just have to say something!

I visited the show on the day after Family Day which I can only imagine was hellish for all the poor people who had to work the show that day.

What follows are my photographs of automobiles, shapes, designs and thoughts on this year’s show. In no particular order, here are some of the images that struck me. Click on any photo to see a larger version.

And my pick for the show—the Subaru Crosstrek. This will be our next vehicle.

Bentley

Bentley

McLaren

McLaren MP4-12C, $245,000

McLaren carbon fibre mirror

McLaren carbon fibre mirror

Nissan GT-R Premium, $89,900

Nissan GT-R Premium, $89,900

Subaru Canada

Subaru Canada

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI in World Rally Championship Blue

Subaru WRX STI in World Rally Championship Blue

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Subaru BRZ D-45 Engine. Notice the cross-bracing on the suspension towers.

Subaru BRZ D-45 Engine. Notice the cross-bracing on the suspension towers.

An impressive booth for Subaru.

An impressive booth for Subaru.

Travelling from the North Building to the South Building at the Metro Convention Centre brought me to Muscle Car Alley.

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible, 383 cu.in. Magnum V8

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T Convertible, 383 cu.in. Magnum V8

Feb_18_AutoShow_54_2014-02-18_12-02-04_DSC_1033Feb_18_AutoShow_70_2014-02-18_12-08-40_DSC_1049Feb_18_AutoShow_80_2014-02-18_12-10-20_DSC_1059

1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe V12

1939 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe V12

Feb_18_AutoShow_50_2014-02-18_12-01-14_DSC_1029Feb_18_AutoShow_75_2014-02-18_12-09-41_DSC_1054

1956 Ford Thunderbird

1956 Ford Thunderbird

Feb_18_AutoShow_69_2014-02-18_12-07-33_DSC_1048

1932 Ford

1932 Ford

Feb_18_AutoShow_65_2014-02-18_12-06-33_DSC_1044

Feb_18_AutoShow_83_2014-02-18_12-11-22_DSC_1062

The 800 level of the South Building brought me to a massive floor with cars from a huge number of auto manufacturers.

BMW i8

BMW i8

BMW M6

BMW M6, $155,000

Feb_18_AutoShow_97_2014-02-18_12-19-27_DSC_1076Feb_18_AutoShow_101_2014-02-18_12-20-33_DSC_1080

BMW M4, $100, 145

BMW M4, $100,145

Jaguar

Jaguar had some truly pheonomenal looking vehicles.

Feb_18_AutoShow_113_2014-02-18_12-23-52_DSC_1092Feb_18_AutoShow_116_2014-02-18_12-24-12_DSC_1095Feb_18_AutoShow_119_2014-02-18_12-24-34_DSC_1098

Audi RS7 Quattro

Audi RS7 Quattro

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder—a spectacular vehicle!

Feb_18_AutoShow_137_2014-02-18_12-37-57_DSC_1116Feb_18_AutoShow_141_2014-02-18_12-38-55_DSC_1120

This is something from Ford that every Toronto Maple Leafs fan would buy.

This is something from Ford that every Toronto Maple Leafs fan would buy.

Feb_18_AutoShow_154_2014-02-18_12-58-37_DSC_1133

Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman

Hidden way down on the 100 level of the North Building was the Auto Exotica exhibit. This is where the truly expensive stuff was to be found.

Feb_18_AutoShow_178_2014-02-18_13-09-59_DSC_1157Feb_18_AutoShow_185_2014-02-18_13-11-12_DSC_1164

Ferarri F12 Berlinetta, 740 HP.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 740 HP.

Ferarri FF. Four seats, four wheel drive.

Ferrari FF. Four seats, four wheel drive.

All of the Maserati cars were simply breathtaking.

All of the Maserati cars were simply breathtaking.

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, $87,200.

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, $87,200.

Modena: "the capital of engines", since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati and of course balsamic vinegar!

Modena: “the capital of engines”, since the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati and of course balsamic vinegar!

Feb_18_AutoShow_222_2014-02-18_13-17-30_DSC_1201

Astin Martin Vanquish Volante, $358,164.

Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, $358,164.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, $584,684.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, $584,684—too glitzy and left me feeling just “meh.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 949 other followers