Ascend

I’m cooling my heels in downtown Toronto. Husband is working here and I tagged along for a pre-Christmas visit with my youngest son. And even though I’m sitting pretty high (in a hotel room on the 42nd floor), the view from here has me looking up. Way up.

Toronto’s iconic CN Tower is practically next door. Built in 1976, and the equivalent of a 147 story building, the Tower held the title of the world’s tallest freestanding structure for 32 years. Now, I think, it ranks 9th in the world and 3rd or 4th in the western world. Something like that. Everyone wants to go UP, UP, UP it seems …

If you are so inclined, you can travel by glass elevator – through the channel in the middle of the structure – to the observation deck and dine in a revolving restaurant which obviously offers amazing views.

Last summer, my very brave (crazy?) sister participated in the Sky Walk – in which she paid for the privilege of being strapped in a harness and hung over the side of the building from a platform ABOVE the observation deck!

And at night, the whole thing it’s lit up. I noticed the colour of the elevator shaft moves and changes as the car travels up and down.

These photos are not great. My excuse is that they were all taken through the window from the warm coziness of inside the hotel.

Did I mention it’s a tad chilly here in Toronto this week? A cold snap has descended (after a pretty mild autumn) and it’s been getting colder every day! This morning we woke to -14C, with a wind chill of -27. It feels like -27 out there!!! So! Photos are being taken from inside.

You can see “smoke” off the lake this morning – as the relatively warmer water evaporates off the lake. And if you look very closely, you can see the vapour reach up for the clouds. Mesmerizing pretty … from in here.

WPC – ascend

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Beacon Hill Doors

Recently, we found ourselves in Boston, on a layover; a few delicious hours to reunite with one of my favourite cities.

Not surprisingly, we gravitated toward Beacon Hill, where the low November sun added to the ambience – even though this shot was taken at 11:00 in the morning.

The pre-Thanksgiving (American) door decorations were bang on point. Natural, understated and elegant.

There were big doors… (love the reflections)9

… small doors …

… and the door of a famous author!

Did I mention it was chilly? As in, and downright cold? These little birdies had the right idea … soaking up the tiniest bit of heat from the sunny door step.

We took our cue from them, and popped into a warm and bustling corner coffee shop.

If you find yourself in this neighbourhood, drop in. The rest of the menu looked just as amazing as the pastries and coffee.

Linked to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Charlottetown Doors

In early September, after depositing Number One son off at university in New Brunswick, we treated ourselves to a quick trip to Prince Edward Island. You know, as we were driving by anyway.

We could just manage an overnight visit and a brisk walk around Downtown Charlottetown in the morning before we were forced to head home.

But boy-o-boy, that town boasts some pretty doors …. even on cool, windy, grey morning.

Linked to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Shelburne Doors

Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to be blown away by your own history. We took a little drive. About 2 hours south. To the town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Here, we wandered along Historic Dock Street.

Shelburne has an interesting history. During the American Revolution pro-British refugees (Loyalists) gathered in New York. The wealthier classes went to England while others sought refuge here, in Nova Scotia.

In 1783, four hundred such families associated to form the Town of Shelburne (named after the British Prime Minister). Within a year the population of the town mushroomed to 10,000.

The fledging town was not prepared and could not support so large a settlement. Most of the refugees moved on to other parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, or on to England. Some returned to the United States.

But of those who stayed, many focused their entrepreneurial spirit into this Nova Scotia town, infusing it with a distinctly New England flavour.

This door takes you into what maybe the last remaining commercial barrel factory in Canada. Traditionally, barrels were used to store and transport fish, food and other items and the staves and hoops were from this factory were exported in huge quantities. Today, are used to store salt bait for the lobster industry.

Across the street is The Coopers Inn. The house was originally built for George Gracie, a blind Loyalist who started the first whaling company in Shelburne.

Next door is a lovely example of a Greek Revival building. I love the storm doors.

The next building was, during the 1780’s, the home and tavern of Patrick McDonough – who was also the customs officer.

On the water side of the street, is a dory shop where the wooden boats are still built to order. It’s part of the Shelburne Historical Society complex.

A glance up Charlotte Lane.

This impressive structure (with a relatively modest door) was the store and warehouse of George A. Cox, an (obviously) prominent merchant. He constructed his own vessels and carried on an extensive world trade.

A former store front on Ann Street.

This former mill is under restoration. That’s good news as it looks like most of the foundation is missing!

The mill is part of the Muir-Cox shipyard which was in almost continuous operation from the 1800’s to 1984. The property launched everything from square riggers and schooners to motorized rum runners, minesweepers and luxury yachts.

The shipyards of Shelburne produced whale boats, life boats, row boats and canoes which were exported to Newfoundland, Bermuda, Ontario, Quebec, the Arctic and the United States. In 1928-29 one boat shop shipped 29 rail cars of boats to Northern Ontario and Quebec in what is believed to be the largest shipment of boats in Canada. Seriously? I had no idea! This waterfront must have been booming.

It was a short visit. But we’ll be back again to visit pretty little Shelburne (pop. 1743) and her intriguing Doors. It seems that she has more stories to tell.

Vancouver Public Library

Have I mentioned that I have a passion for libraries? I do, you know. I am a card carrying member of my our local branch and seek them out whenever I’m travelling.

I think that the regard in which a community holds its public libraries speaks volumes about the place. 😉

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ine my joy when lo and behold!, I wandered past this beauty….

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ld not resist stepping inside … into this covered courtyard space or "promenade".

Designed to resemble the Roman Colosseum this main branch, on West Georgia Street, opened in 1995. The library itself is a nine-story rectangular structure which houses the usual library business – stacks and services.

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surrounded by a freestanding elliptical, colonnaded wall. Here are reading and study areas which are accessed by bridges spanning skylit light wells. The library's internal glass facade overlook the glass-roofed courtyard.

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space is formed by a second elliptical wall on the east side of the building and provides the entrance and, I suspect, lively and bright protection from Vancouver rainy winters.

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utiful balance of form and function.

Very impressive, Vancouver!! I'd come back to visit any time of year just to further explore this library.

The Theatre of Disapearance – Collage

On my most recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I kept a promise with myself and made my way to the roof-top for a glass of wine while overlooking Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. A pretty spectacular and indulgent treat, I thought. (Especially as I was alone and the wine was not inexpensive) 


To my absolute surprise and delight, I found here this extraordinary installation by Argentinian artist Adrian Villar Rojas – The Theatre of Disappearance. 


In this exhibit, the artist used the Museum itself as as inspiration. Each piece represents replicas of nearly 100 objects from The Met collection. 


Each object is a fusion (or collage) of various, otherwise unconnected pieces from the collection, drawing from thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures. 


It’s is all rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a layer of dust. 


It was equally eerie and mesmerizing.  Simply breathtaking set against that magnificent backdrop. 


I was happy to slow down and admire, taking it all in while juggling my wine glass with my camera. 

If you are in NYC, the show runs until October 29, 2017 at The Met Fifth Avenue. I recommend it!  

WPC –collage