Toronto Sidewalk Safari - Queen Street West

It was brilliantly sunny and bitingly cold in Toronto on Saturday.  I didn't let the chill and biting winds stand in the way of a quality walk in the City.  I retraced some familiar territory -- I visited Toronto a lot as a kid and always stayed in the downtown core.  I was excited to get a little further afield today.

I noticed a number of smokestacks standing side-by-side with skyscrapers in the heart of the City which I thought was unusual.

I liked how the old was intimately dispersed with the new.  This old arch along Yonge St. is all that remains of what must have been an old impressive building.  Vintage houses stand just beyond. 
No visit to Toronto is complete without a visit to the Eaton Centre.  This is a shopper's mecca although it has lost its luster a bit for Americans because the currency exchange rate no longer provides an attractive discount.  There was a flock of bronze Canadian geese installed in the main corridor of the mall.
We popped into The Bay department store.  Run by the Hudson Bay Company, it's amazing to think that this organization has been around since 1670 and got its start in the fur trade.

Interestingly, The Bay has a wig department.  I've never seen anything like it in a department store.
After shopping, we made our way to Queen Street West on the convenient TTC streetcar.  The neighborhood was eclectic, quirky, and really fun to explore. 

I liked this character in the window of Magic Pony Shop and Gallery.
The Red Tea Box had some amazing looking cakes in the window.  I wonder if they taste as good as they look. 
We ventured far enough and this mural indicated that we'd arrived in West Queen West.  Apparently, Queen Street West is gentrifying and the artists are fleeing to the edges of the neighborhood and thus West Queen West was born.
Another great mural.  I think they are encouraging bicycle use.  What's the burned out warehouse trying to convey?  Let's fight urban blight?
The giant sunflowers on the side of this house made it feel a bit like spring even though the temperatures were still well below freezing.
A Muscle Monster hides out behind a Do Not Enter sign.
Ontario is interesting.  Most beer is sold through The Beer Store.  I used to think these were government run but Wikipedia assures me that they are privately owned but that they have a near monopoly on beer sales because of certain provincial laws.
I liked this sign: "Odds and Ends" since it was made from...odds and ends!
We stepped off the streetcar next to a store called MissBehav'n.  Two women were standing in the window in their sexiest lingerie dancing it up as people walked by.  I attempted to get a picture but didn't want to be too obvious about the fact that I was taking a snap.  Plus, I like to keep this blog G-rated...we'll maybe PG-13 is more like it.
There are diverse neighbors co-existing in this neighborhood.  I loved these wholesome little knitted creatures on display at Romni Wools.
We stopped into Tval Skincare which featured a variety of handmade soaps including many different types molded to look like cupcakes! 
We took the streetcar back downtown and made a final stop at the World's Biggest Bookstore.  I also have fond memories of this bookstore from my childhood.  Alas, it has been bought by Indigo (the Canadian equivalent of Borders or Barnes and Noble).  At least they kept the name and it's as fun as ever to browse the afternoon away.
Overall we covered about 3.5 miles on foot during our cold walk in Toronto.

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Sidewalk Safari: Toronto Sidewalk Safari - Queen Street West
Toronto Sidewalk Safari - Queen Street West
Sidewalk Safari
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