Dear Friends and Culture Lovers,
West Queen West is changing dramatically, while its history remains rich and long.
Please join me on a FREE Culture + Food Walk in the Art + Design District this coming Thursday September 8, 2016, from 6 to 8 PM.
Feel free to bring a friend, just let me know if you are doing so.
Looking forward to hearing about your summer adventures.
FREE WEST QUEEN WEST CULTURE + FOOD WALK
6:00 – 8 PM, Thursday Sept.8, 2016
Sponsored by the West Queen West Business Improvement Area
Led by Betty Ann Jordan; LATE? cell 416-453-3120
GETTING THERE: Our first stop is one block east of Shaw and Queen West. If travelling there via Queen, try to get a 501 Queen west Replacement Bus which goes as far west as Shaw. Alternately, if you take the 501 Queen Streetcar west,owing to construction, it takes a 15-minute-detour (during rush-hour) down Spadina, and across King West, reconnecting to Queen West at Shaw. So add 15+ extra minutes into your travel timing.
OVERVIEW/ WEST QUEEN WEST Art + Design District extends for 19 short blocks on West Queen West between Bathurst St. and Gladstone Avenue. Declared the “2nd coolest neighborhood in the world,” by Vogue magazine (Sept. 2014,) it is Toronto’s official Art + Design District because of art galleries and independent, arts-and-design related boutiques and studios. Historically it has been a working-class, newcomers’ reception area. Not every block has been gentrified, but it is uniformly energized by the presence of creative people in all disciplines.
NOTE: We will only be visiting the venues with times beside them; others will be discussed curbside.
5:45 to 6:00 PM MEET @GRAVEN FEATHER GALLERY + WORKSHOP/ 906 Queen Street West, basement level (east of Shaw). Housed in the Artscape artists’ live-work building at same address; GATHER inside the gallery, founded by printmaker Pam Lobb along with two others, to be a flex-space for artist members, renters/visiting artists and a venue for exhibitions and community oriented events
6:00 – 6:15 PM @GRAVEN FEATHER GALLERY 906 QSW/ to VIEW Clipped Wings, an exhibition of collage works opening officially later tonight. MEET founder Pam Lobb to LEARN about recent collaborative and educational projects. Also MEET artist Danielle Cole for the backstory behind this series which centres on “the absurdity of extreme wealth and the compulsion to secure the most au courant objects.” The main occupants of the over-designed spaces depicted in her modishly surreal interiors are birds who have forgotten how to fly.
6:20 AND FOR REST OF WALK>>> PLANTER-ART WALKABOUT + PHOTO-OP/ Instead of Pokemons, tonight Walkers are invited to FIND new or recently created MINI-MURALS on the cement planters lining the sidewalks. A project funded by the West Queen West Business Improvement Area, our Walk Group is invited to LOCATE + (if you wish, PHOTOGRAPH or TWEET or INSTAGRAM images of the artworks.) Post-Walk, Betty Ann will buy a refreshment of choice for the person who photo-documents the most planter-murals. In the case of a draw… we’ll cross that bridge! En route we will pick by show of hands, the most visually striking mural.
6:30 – 6:45 @ OLD FAITHFUL SHOP 886 QSW/ Lovely, spacious, high-ceilinged boutique that draws one in with its serene vibe. Vancouver proprietor Walter Manning started the original store in Vancouver’s Gastown, inspired by fond memories of the general stores owned by both sets of his grandparents. MEET manager Hailey to LEARN about quality goods for everyday living, well-made heirloom pieces such as blankets, aprons, housewares, ceramics and a unique collection of international lifestyle books and periodicals such as Apartmento. It’s Canada’s answer to the Japanese lifestyle brand Muji.
6:50 – 7:00 PM @TRINITY BELLWOODS PARK @PLAQUE SET INTO PAVEMENT S.E. Corner at Gore Vale/“The Park was once a lush ravine with a meandering creek that emptied into the lake near where Bathurst St. is today. Shortly after European colonials arrived, they named the creek and ravine ‘Garrison,’ after the Fort York garrison established at the creek’s mouth. In the late 1880s, this area of Queen St. was a fashionable strip, lined with large estates overlooking the Harbour. At that time, the creek was straightened out and encased in concrete, becoming a sewer to serve the neighborhood. The only traces of the filled-in ravine are in the “bowl” in the centre of the park, and the dip at its south-east corner. LEARN MORE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Bellwoods_Park and http://www1.toronto.ca/city_of_toronto/parks_forestry__recreation/trails/files/pdf/DW_Garrison.pdf
7:00 –7:45 WALK-ABOUT:
-FLOORPLAY SOCKS 762/ Cool socks are great ice-breakers and this is sock-heaven! ASK knowledgeable owners why mercerized cotton socks wear longer + absorb more; about the pros and cons of bamboo as a sock fibre; and their desirable, well-priced FloorPlay line of socks in current styles and colours
-YKNOT 829/ Back to School sale of Canadian made school bags and knapsacks
-QUEEN SPECIFIC GALLERY 787 ½ (immediately west of Dufflet)/ Smallest gallery in Toronto, founded by artist Joy Walker. Vertical window 6 ft tall and 12 inches wide with changing commissioned installations. SEE Chris Foster’s clever model-sculpture entitled Infill #1, a miniature “infill” building that mimics the dwellings that are popping up in formerly unoccupied spaces between and behind downtown buildings
-KHAO SAN ROAD (POP-UP) 785/ Famed Thai restaurant pop-up on Queen West while construction of new resto at 11 Charlotte St. continues. Not sure how much longer so don’t delay in checking out Lunch on QSW, Mon. – Sat. + Dinners Mon + Tues only. Food from all four regions of Thailand, not usually seen in North America, dishes such as laab (ground meat seasoned with herbs and toasted rice), pork satay seasoned with palm sugar, and a traditional noodle soup that’s commonly served off riverboats in Northern Thailand.
-CROWN FLORA +GREENHOUSE JUICE COMPANY 740 QSW/ Crown Flora (a beloved Parkdale flower shop and venue for plant-oriented maker workshops) and Greenhouse Juice Co. have teamed up on this new storefront: “a combination of hip flower shop and a juice bar that also serves smoothies and does terrarium workshops.” BUY green-thumb gifts and accoutrements including pineapple-shaped pots. DRINK Smoothies with cacao in them that have all the most indulgent cold-pressed ingredients.
-FLEUVOG SHOES 686 (at Euclid)/ Boutique is marvelously designed in a former bank building; unique hand-made shoes for men and women. SHOP FOR new designs each season, hybrid retro and pop and contemporary styles, not afraid of colour, texture, unusual silhouettes and heel profiles. Love their update of Beatle Boots or Carnaby-Street boots. PHOTO OP in what was once the vault, walk-in art installation featuring a room decorated to appear as if tilted on its side. Don’t miss the very cool Fleuvog private courtyard for events, accessed via the store.
(TBC FOOD SAMPLES) 7:45 to 8:00 PM @NANDO’S 739 (east of Tecumseth) / Very affordable, Afro-Portuguese; this location has a great large front patio set in from the street, and interior décor features strong contemporary art and decor; Food is varying degrees of spicy (primarily) chicken offerings, seasoned with Nando’s sophisticated “peri-peri” hot sauce; VEGETARIANS note: We highly recommend the peri-peri grilled vegetables, plus other vegetarian options include spiced rice, potato wedges, coleslaw and casa salad.
8:00 TOUR OFFICIALLY ENDS
8:00 – 9:00 PM [OPTIONAL] POST-TOUR REFRESHMENTS + DEBRIEF @ NANDO’S Peri-Peri Chicken 739 QSW WALKERS invited to join us (at your own expense) for post-tour drinks + food We have a reservation for 8 people but there’s room for more….
SAVE THE DATE/ NEXT WALK on WEST QUEEN WEST > THURSDAY October 15, 6 to 8 PM; RSVPs required via Meetup.com or inquiries >firstname.lastname@example.org<