Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gratitude for where I am and what I have...

I wrote this blog on Sunday morning just past. I have resolved to publish one and only one blog early each morning. In order to make this possible on busy days, I am now writing in advance of publication dates. So instead of being behind and skipping a day when I get busy, I should in this way be able to maintain my schedule to publish each morning.

Sunday Morning Happiness

I woke early Sunday prepared for a lazy morning. The business of last week and the social “trucking around” times of Friday and Saturday gave me license for a reading/writing day – and hopes to fit in a long walk – a completely self indulgent day for me.

I woke quite early, as the sun was coming up. This is the best part of the day, just at sunrise. Made coffee and lazed in bed for a few hours reading blogs and doing a bit of work on my Vegas travel blog. I love waking early and lounging about. As I sat in my comfy bed listening to the radio, I noted that it was going to be a warm spring day! Still in my PJs I trotted outside to see if it was as nice out as it looked.

YES! The sun was coming up blazing hot (ok, not hot, just warm  ) over the city skyline to the east. The air was calm and I decided that the day had great potential. The lake was misty grey on this morning and blended into the grey-white sky. It was deceiving - it was much nicer outside than it looked from my bedroom. I have posted lots of stuff on Liberty Village - just check the tag cloud.
If you want to see what I see from my bedroom in winter and why it is a perfect cocoon spot see this earlier blog. There are literally hundreds of things to look at from my apartment, here in downtown Toronto. Today, I can hear the sound of music. I am curious.

Historic Fort York and Mystery Music

Looking out my balcony I can see lots of cars parked in the field at Fort York, which is just 10 minutes to the south east. Fort York is a restored garrison billed as the 1793 birthplace of modern Toronto, and is home to Canada's largest collection of original 1812 buildings and is a designated National Historic Site. The fort bore witness to the climax of the Battle of York fought on April 27, 1813 and for my foreign readers, this is just about as old as landmarks get here.

These days it is used as a venue for events – maybe the music was coming from there? Hmmm, couldn’t really hear what the music was like – it was coming over a distance. I imagined that there was a African beat to it, but maybe not. It is Sunday so maybe it was a gospel revival? It didn’t sound like religious music. It sounded calypso or reggae. I was sure I could hear steel drums. Soon I could make out piano in another number. And a male voice singing.

Maybe I listening to the rehearsal sounds reverberating over the distance from the Molson Amphitheatre? That venue is due south at Ontario Place and big name Internationally known musicians do concerts there all summer and last summer I did hear rehearsal sounds. Did some quick research and didn’t come up with anything.

I got out my binoculars to check out the action at Fort York more carefully. For sure something was going on over there. Lots and lots of people and for some reason an American Flag was flying! There was nothing that looked like a concert. I decided to do a bit of searching on the net.

I went to the Fort York Web site and found:

Fort York Historic District Walking Tours in association with Jane’s Walks “200 years of Lakefront Development” Sun. May 3, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Explore the history and evolution of Fort York, the Garrison Common and the nearby Lake Ontario shoreline from the early British colonial era to the present day. Hear about the origins of the Fort, the fortification of the harbour, and the subsequent transportation, industrial and recreational development of this vital area.

Jane's Walk - May 3rd 2009
So the gathering was part of the Jane’s Walk Toronto City Event. I need to digress and explain about Jane’s Walk. I excerpted this from their Web Site:

Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since it’s inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in twelve North American cities: Toronto, New York, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax, Guelph, Charlottetown, Thornbury, and Salt Lake City. More partner cities and towns are being added in 2009 including Montreal, Regina, Boston, Chicago and New Orleans. Jane’s Walk honours the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs who championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centered approach to planning. Jane Jacobs, OC, (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-born Canadian urbanist, writer and activist.

As I am writing this, I see a long snaking line of people walking the boardwalk along the lake and I can hear a man’s voice on a bull horn telling everyone about the points of interest. The sounds I have been hearing are all related to Jane’s walks which are happening all over the city on this Sunday.


I am so close to so many different venues here in my Liberty Village condo. The soccer stadium, Ontario Place, the CNE, and Fort York Toronto Island beaches are all within view. Toronto City events happen all around me. The planes take off and land at island airport runway, trains choo-choo by, the highway is a river of motion and tram cars make an appearance every once and a while. I have a prime viewing spot for the Air Show, Nights of Fire Fireworks and (when they get new backers) the annual car racing event.

There is energy in all this noise and motion and at the same time I am above, hovering as it were over the maddening crowd. The cornucopia of sounds and sights of the city from the birds eye view of my condo are always vibrant and interesting and I am so lucky to have this place, a 20 minute walk from work.

This morning’s thought is gratitude. I am so very lucky. I thought I would share this with you and show you a few points of interest from my condo balcony today. The following says it so appropriately: Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life.


  1. Bob and I will have to make a trip to Toronto one day. I've been in Toronto one time, in November 1998. Bob, his daughter Stacey and I went to see the play "Phantom of the Opera" at Pantages Theater. We went shopping at Eaton Centre. We didn't do any sightseeing.

  2. I have visited your interesting blog.Do You want visit the my blogs for an exchange visit?Grazie.

  3. After living in the Phoenix area for a couple years now (especially after living in Toronto), I absolutely agree with Jane Jacob's ideas compared to a car-centred approach to city planning. The Phoenix area was built with the car-centric approach, and the result is the polar opposite of Toronto. It's ridiculously easy to get to the other side of the valley, 60+ kilometers away, in no time at all, but it means that you always have to use a car to get anywhere. It removes the feeling of local community, you know? It never feels like there's anywhere interesting I can walk to, unless I want to go to a Wal-Mart or strip mall. I love walking so much that I'd move Kara and me back to Toronto just for the walking if she'd agree to it! :P


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