Canada, week 7


Sorry this is late!  I had to put it off because my literature review for research methods was due Monday evening and I had a presentation in that same class on Tuesday.  Fun times.  But hey, y’all are going to get LOADS of pictures and updates this time around, so it’s a win-win.

Here, then, are all the highlights from this past week:

A little bit of Locke Street, again:

Whitney Snapchats the Art Gallery of Ontario:

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The Thinker:  My memory’s a little hazy on this front, but I seem to remember this guy being in a Rodin exhibition at the Philbrook about ten, fifteen years ago.  And then I ran into him again at the AGO.


Long time no see, pal.

The Campbell House Museum:  Located at the corner of Queen and University.


I learned SO MUCH about history in the half-hour I spent here:

  • The house itself was built for Sir William Campbell, former chief justice of “Upper Canada,” and his wife Hannah.
  • Sir William stepped off the boat that took him to the US and pretty much immediately met Hannah, who was a fisherman’s daughter.
  • “Upper Canada” – what was that, exactly?  The southern part of Ontario, apparently.  As if this couldn’t get weirder, Quebec was “Lower Canada.”  Ooooooookay, then.
  • Sugar wasn’t always granulated–up until about 1900, the method used to process sugar involved draining it in a funnel-like thing, which created a cone of sugar about two-and-some feet high.
  • Subsequently, in order to chip sugar off this big ol’ cone, people would use these things called “sugar nippers.”
    Yeah, I know, it totally looks like an old-timey torture device.  Happy early Halloween…
  • The US actually tried to invade Canada during the War of 1812, and the Canadians beat them back at Stoney Creek–well, okay, I knew that part already, but it turns out it was a dang miracle that Canada won that battle.  The US had the military might and all the odds in their favor, and yet somehow a scrappy bunch of resettled former Americans, French, and god knows who else sent them scurrying back to the States.
  • Not only that, but the Canadians were the ones who set the White House on fire.
    “say maple syrup is awful one more time I DARE YOU” – a thing some Canadian commander totally said at some point

The waterfront:  guyyyyyyysssssssssss I can’t handle how gorgeous this place is

Just meandering around Toronto:

Iowa!  (Yeah, I know this isn’t Canada, but whatever.)  I spent the second half of reading week in Mason City, Iowa, visiting my extended family (if you’re reading this, hi ❤ ).  Initially I wasn’t sure I’d cover that trip in this post, but I just have to give shoutouts to a few places:

  • The Decker House.  We’ve stayed at this bed and breakfast the last three or four times we’ve been to Iowa, and every time has been fantastic.  The place itself is beautiful (as you’ll see in the photos below), and the staff is always endlessly kind and helpful.
  • The Macnider Museum, where my parents met back in 19mumble–my mom worked at the museum, and my paternal grandmother was and is super involved in the local arts scene.  My mom and I were talking about this just the other day, and she called me a museum rat, and it’s honestly one of my favorite things anyone’s ever said about me.  I kind of want it on a shirt now.

We spent a whole morning just walking around Mason City, and I got some really gorgeous shots.  Fall has come to Iowa in spectacular fashion:

There’ll be more Iowa shoutouts in the coffee and food sections…

What I’m reading:  I got free books for the class I’m TA-ing, and I’ve been reading one of them on the various planes and buses I’ve been on in the past few days–The Culture of Connectivity:  A Critical History of Social Media by José van Dijck.  Not only is it a fascinating subject, but the book itself is super accessible, and even the academic jargon is explained really well.  If you can get ahold of this book, do it.

Coffee:  I just have to talk about Jitters, in Mason City.  I adore this place.  It’s not a proper visit to Mason City if we don’t go to Jitters.  I honestly wish I could teleport purely so I could go study at Jitters.  I’ve never had a bad cup of coffee there (though I recommend the sugar-free mocha frap and the Mexican mocha in particular).

❤ ❤ ❤

Food:  Four spotlights this week!

First up is Hey Lucy, on King St. in Toronto.  It’s a really oblong restaurant, with brick-wall ambiance and a strange yet lovable mix of sportsy Harley-Davidson decor and vintage stuff.  I had the bruschetta, and the taste is still haunting me.


I also got a pic of the restaurant itself.


Also, I didn’t manage to get a picture of it, but taking up the entire left wall in that back section was a poster that looked something like this (I don’t think it’s exactly this one, but it was the closest thing I could find):


Yeah, apparently the Supreme Master of Magic is named… um, George.  I asked the waitress about it, and she said the old owner of the building knew this George guy, and they inherited that particular bit of decor from him.

Next up is Bareburger, on Dundas near Yonge.  It’s actually a chain based out of Brooklyn, but it’s gained some measure of Internet fame recently due to this sign:


I saw that when I was walking down Dundas, looking for someplace to grab dinner, and I went OMG I SAW THAT THING ON THE INTERNET.  So obviously I had to check this place out.  I didn’t end up ordering that burger, but rather creating one of my own, and it was wunderbar.  One of the spread options on the menu was guacamole, and man, did they ever deliver on the guac.  The stuff was spilling off my burger.  It was great.

Moving on to Iowa:  Borealis Station is another one of our perpetual stops.  It used to be a DX station before it was converted into a coffee-and-ice-cream place.  We all had some killer raspberry sorbet there on Saturday.


Lastly, I’ve got to sing the praises of the Decker House again, specifically of what seems to be one of their standard breakfast offerings:  eggs mornay.  Y’all, their eggs mornay are so good.  When I saw it was on the menu for breakfast, I literally heard an angel choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus in my head.  I’m not saying I’d stay there just for the eggs mornay, buuuuuuuut…

Music:  Since my literature review was all about superheroes, I’ve been listening to a lot of MCU soundtracks this week.

Whew, that was a lot of updates.  That’s it for this week, though!  See y’all on Monday!


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