Sam James Coffee Bar on Harbord. A seriously ‘Less is More’ aesthetic and killer coffee.
Travel is always an adventure, right?
While it may have been work travel, it’s still pretty sweet to get out and enjoy a new city when the opportunity presents itself, especially when it’s a gem like Toronto.
I grew up visiting family in this city (I have always been a West Coast girl) and have many fond memories of it.
Toronto is where I got my ears pierced (behind my parents backs), where I first rode public transit on my own, and where the many colorful stories of my immediate family history originated (of which there are so, so many).
Turns out it’s still a pretty cool place. It may not have the hills, the ocean, and the ozonated air like home does (how many great cities actually do?), but it’s got its charms.
- Sam James sidewalk.
Having visited a lot of coffee shops in my life (what can I say – it’s my job!), Toronto has a little something special going on as far as the local coffee scene.
Add to that the bustling, gritty charm of Kensington Market, the gorgeous grounds of the University of Toronto, and the many great restaurants that pop up out of no where, and downtown is not a bad place to traipse around.
Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.
~Frederick B. Wilcox
Sitting pretty at Kensington Market.
IPOM is certainly not a travel blog, but it is a place to celebrate the little things, and traveling is a bit of treat (IMO), whether work related or not (unless it isn’t).
Here are just a few of the moments I snuck in between more serious tasks.
Thanks for joining me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
As always, I am a total nerd for market style food shots. Lettuce and live herbs outside the convenience store on College Street? Why not?
If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.
The same goes for these apples, proving there is always a healthy alternative within reach in big cities.
It’s not Whole Foods, but it might just be as good (or maybe better).
A stroll through Kensington yielded a visit to a very inspiring and beautiful store called Good Egg.
I could have spent a week in there looking at food, cooking, and agriculture (the list goes on) books, drooling over their refined selection of kitchen stuff, and generally trying to memorize everything about it so I could open my own here at home. I am always dreaming.
Listen to the color of your dreams.
~ The Beatles
Seriously. I was so, totally in love.
I’ve said before that grocery stores are my happy place.
Well, I’d like to take that a step further and say that outdoor vegetable markets are my ultra happy place!
Baskets of gorgeous, bright fruits and vegetables are always a feast for the eyes and this stall at Kensington Market was no exception.
My husband thinks I am downright nuts on account of this (always has).
I maintain that’s just a part of my charm.
Cruising the University (cutting through from Yorkville to Little Italy) – I got a nice hit of charm from the gorgeous buildings and green everywhere. All these years I’d never seen this.
It was gorgeous, and a breath of fresh air in the middle of town.
Artisans are everywhere in this city, from behind the espresso machine, to behind the roaster, to behind the glass windows of the local flower shop.
I am a sucker for roses, especially this antique pink. This lovely arrangement stopped my breath at a little shop called Jaiden’s Petals on Ossington, I loved the sparse interior and the taste of the flower selection and merchandising in there.
Are you a sucker for flowers like me?
Catching a spot of sunshine was easy on the patio at Mercury Espresso bar in Leslieville.
Just looking at the seats made me happy. Imagine once I sat down 🙂
We also visited Te Aro, a new roaster from New Zealand doing superb things with coffee here in Canada.
I was so inspired there I bought myself a Chemex coffee maker and risked the trip home in my luggage (not that I couldn’t have picked one up here at home).
It totally made it unscathed – and I am now on the hunt for the right filter (thinking of the Coava cone) and a new grinder (considering a hand grinder for this).
Visiting the Junction, we headed to Crema Coffee, and a stop at a little shop getting a tremendous amount of buzz from locals and folks here at home – Mjolk – I’ll let you discover them here – is a pretty amazing store.
Honestly, I wasn’t feeling rich enough to afford anything in there (and if I could have would not have risked trying to get it home unbroken), but it’s worth checking out if you are at all interested. These guys have a totally cool blog too, that is super styley and worth a look at if you are inclined!
Of course looking at these gorgeous wooden cups now, I am kind of wishing I brought one home after all. At least they have an online store!
The street art is pretty prevalent, and I love the bright vibes and loose feel to this. Kinda makes you want to dance in the streets a little!
Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
– Martha Graham
Me and my buddy dressed identically.
Imagine us looking each other up and down at 8 in the morning. Ridiculous.
There were a lot of super fun highlights. Great dinners with great company at Delux and Gusto, and proof that I am not the only vegetable nerd around that loves a good raw kale salad and shaved brussels sprouts with vinaigrette.
My fave moment of all?
Training for Paris, of course!
Returning home has been fabulous, and the weekend was spent enjoying the pleasures and comforts of home, complete with plenty of time in the kitchen 🙂
On that note – I’m going to leave you with an invitation to a little party coming up!
Annie over at an unrefined vegan has completely blown me away by arranging a blogging feast for this coming Saturday, May 12th.
Many of you are attending, but for those who wish to join us for the feast, there will be 60 bloggers taking part with 60 vegan dishes prepared just for the party – not all of the bloggers are strict vegans (including yours truly) but the deal is the dish for this little shindig has to be.
So watch for it! I am looking forward to it and am super excited to see what everyone has in store (and I am pretty excited to share mine!).
Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?
~ Frank Scully
So thanks to Annie for her amazing effort in putting this all together, and to all the blogging buds far and wide taking part!
Here’s wishing you all a super fab Monday!
Welcome to all the new IPOM readers this week, I am so happy to have you here, and I hope you’ll join us in the conversation too!
- Are you a potluck fan?
- What’s your favorite potluck dish?
- Anyone out there from Toronto (I know a few of you are!)
- Anyone make the kale salad over the weekend?
Let us know how you all are doing!
Your comments are always welcome here with open arms.
Yours in Less,