Monday Window – Humber College -South Campus

….this is all about the old vs the new

Most of the buildings on the south campus of Humber College are from the late 18th century when the grounds were the Psychiatric Hospital. Originally built as a branch of the Toronto Asylum for the Insane, the hospital officially opened its doors in 1890 as the Mimico Asylum — the first such institution in Canada to be built on the cottage system. After the hospital closed in 1979 the buildings stood empty and in 1988 it was declared a heritage site.

When Humber signed a 99-year lease for the land and buildings in 1991, it began a complete restoration of the cottage buildings. Today the buildings have been restored to their original beauty and serve as classrooms and studios for the students. In between some of the old building a few new modern structures have been built. It’s a nice contrast between new and old.

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Thanks to Ludwig for hosting Monday Window https://mondaywindow.wordpress.com/2021/03/22/monday-window-march-22-2021/

Monday Window – Oak Hall

thanks to Ludwig for hosting Monday Window https://mondaywindow.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/monday-window-march-15-2021/

On our outing last week to Niagara Falls I noticed a grand building high up on the cliffs and my husband told me that it was Oak Hall. Once we explored the falls, the river and Dufferin Islands we got in the car and drove up to the top of the cliff to take a closer look.

Oak Hall is a 37-room, three-story Tudor-style stone mansion that was built in the late 1920s for mining tycoon Harry Oakes. The Oakes family lived there for six years before moving to the Bahamas. Oak Hall was purchased by the Niagara Parks Commission on May 25, 1952 and for a few years, it housed displays by the Niagara District Art Association. Oak Hall currently houses 23 offices, meeting and storage rooms. Displays of Niagara Falls art and the furnished rooms are still open to the public. 

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The house overlooks the Niagara River and the Dufferin Islands. I can only imagine that it is a lovely place to sit in the summer while enjoying the view.

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Toronto Power Generating Station – Thursday Doors

….thanks to Dan Antion from No Facilities for hosting Thursday Doors https://nofacilities.com/2021/03/11/waterbury-union-station-thursday-doors/

The Toronto Power Generating Station is a former generating station located along the Niagara River on the Canadian side. The building was completed in 1906  and was built by the Electrical Development Company of Ontario, hence the name inscribed above the doors. It supplied hydro-electric power to nearby Toronto, ON.

The plant is built on top of a deep wheel pit and when it functioned turbines at the bottom of the pit, turned generators at the top by means of long vertical shafts. The water from the turbines ran out at the base of the falls. In its prime, it had a generating capacity of 137,500 horsepower (102,500 kW).

The plant ceased operations on February 15, 1974. In its place Ontario Hydro used the water downriver at the power station in Queenston, ON. The plant is now vacant and was designated a National Historic Site in Canada in 1983, due to its importance in the development of business, industry and technology in Ontario. It is the first wholly Canadian-owned hydro-electric facility at Niagara Falls.

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Thursday Trios – February 18, 2021-#8

….if you have photos of anything with three people or three things why not join the fun

This week I’m posting a photo of my great grandmother and her two older sisters. I suspect that this photo was taken in the late 1800s or early 1900s. My great grandmother was married in 1902.

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If you’d like to join the challenge, simply copy my link and paste it into your post. Have fun.

Fired Up No More – Day 26

thanks to Becky B. for hosting January Squares, https://beckybofwinchester.com/2021/01/26/square-up-26/

Thanks goodness that this cannon is no longer operational. It sits in front of Colborne Lodge, the home of the late John Howard who donated his property to the city. It is however a very rare specimen once used to protect the citizens of York. It was manufactured in 1845 and is only one of two or three that can still be found in the city. There is talk of moving it indoors because over the years this brass cannon has been vandalized and a few brass pieces have been removed.

In 1873, the Howards deeded the property to the city for use as a “Public Park for the free use benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of the City of Toronto forever.” The property was 165 acres in size. In 1876, the city purchased another 172 acres to the east and in 1930 they purchased an additional 71 acres to the west, which included Grenadier Pond.

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Poppies for Remembrance Day

….a time to reflect on my Father’s life

Dad always said that November was the hardest month of the year for him. It always made him feel sad, especially in the last few years of his life. He was a very young man, only 17, when he joined the army and he saw many of his friends die before his eyes. He often wondered why he was spared.

The other thing that I think he found difficult was the fact that he fought for the ‘other side’ and he knew that no one, here, would be thanking him for his service. He never talked about it but I know that it weighed heavily on him. I do know that he was always very grateful for the friendships he forged after the war, first with the Americans who helped him after he escaped the Russian prison camp and then with the English who gave him his first job.

Years later he emigrated from Germany to Canada with his new and growing family. He quickly got a good job at the Royal York Hotel in his chosen line of work. He was able to buy a car almost right away and four years after arriving in Toronto he bought his first home in Oakville. Dad always made friends easily with other German immigrants and Canadians alike. No one seemed to look down on him because he fought in the German army.

Over the years Dad pursued a variety of jobs but his happiest days were as an entrepreneur. When I was 16, Mom and Dad started their own fabric and sewing machine business and never looked back. Again Dad was at the top of his game when he was surrounded by people and both he and Mom had close ties with the business and local community.

As the years passed, Dad lost my mother while vacationing in Mexico in 1993 and then his second wife in 2017. When he turned 90 in 2016 we had a big party for him. Despite having lost numerous friends already he always made new friends where ever he went and yet come November he would always reflect on those who had died before him and he would fall into a deep depression.

Dad passed away almost four weeks ago. This Remembrance Day I will reflect on all the good times I had with him in my lifetime. It will be bittersweet. This painting is dedicated to you Dad.

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A Photo a Week Challenge – Tower

…thanks to Nancy Merrill for hosting the Photo a Week Challenge

Toronto has one of the most famous towers in the world. The CN Tower was the tallest standing structure in the world for decades.

The CN Tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years until 2007 when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa, and was the world’s tallest tower until 2009 when it was surpassed by the Canton Tower. It is now the ninth tallest free-standing structure in the world and remains the tallest free-standing structure on land in the Western Hemisphere. (copied from Wikipedia)IMG-0129
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I’m a Fan of….#33….the ROM

….thanks to Jez for hosting Fan of Challenge

The ROM is the Royal Ontario Museum located in downtown Toronto. I’ve been a member for several years and whenever I’m in the area I like to drop in and see what’s new. Recently I went to to see the Treasures of a Desert Kingdom.

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The jewellery in this collection was quite amazing.IMG-3394
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Amassed over the course of nearly four centuries, these treasures reflect the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore dynasty, one of the longest continuous royal lineages in the world, that ruled this desert kingdom until India’s independence in 1947. (Copied from the ROM website)

Unfortunately the show ended September 2. I was hoping to return and spend more time in the gallery.

London – Day 6 – Palace of Westminster to Gordon’s Wine Bar

….day six continues along the River Thames

After leaving the Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey we continued walking towards the River Thames. Right behind the Abbey lies the Palace of Westminster which holds both houses of Parliament for the United Kingdom. It was originally built in the eleventh century and rebuild in the 1800s after it burned down.

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As you can see from the photos the structure was under quite a bit of construction. The one big disappointment was that Big Ben was also under construction but we knew this before we arrived in London. What I didn’t know was that the entire tower would be covered in scaffolding. The refurbishing is scheduled to take three years to complete and during the renovation the clock bells have been turned off.IMG-8945

From many parts of London one of the sites that stands out above many of the building is the giant Ferris wheel called the London Eye. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames in London and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually.IMG-6999
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As we continued along the River Thames we came across the Golden Jubilee bridge built in 2000. It is a steel truss bridge located in Lambeth borough.

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From here we headed over to Gordon’s Wine Bar but on the way we passed through the Courtauld Institute of Art. At the time we had no idea what we were looking at but we liked the sculptures and the architecture.IMG-8961
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Gordon’s Wine Bar is located on the Strand. It is thought to be the oldest wine bar in London having been established in 1890. The bar is very much a family affair, owned by Wendy Gordon who is the wife of the late much loved Luis Gordon, and now overseen by Luis’ eldest son Simon. The building itself was a warehouse built in 1790 and in 1880 it was converted to accommodations.

We entered through the cellar doors. You need to stoop to get to your rickety candlelit table – anonymity is guaranteed! If the sun is out you can also sit outside in Watergate Walk and enjoy watching the world go by. The bar is loved by many and seems to be a place where time has stood still. It serves only wine, sherries and port and simple food, ranging from homemade pies to mature cheese. If you’re in London you should definitely check this place out. You can find more information here.

A word of warning. If you do go into the cellar watch your head because the ceilings are low and it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust to the dark. I hit my head three times in the space of a minute making my way to our table.

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London – Day 6 – Westminster Cathedral vs Westminster Abbey

…..I had no idea that they were two different churches

The main difference is that the cathedral is Roman Catholic and the Abbey is part of the Church of England. Also the cathedral is much newer. It was built in 1903 and is the largest Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. One of the things that struck us as odd about the interior of the cathedral is how dark the ceiling in the main part of the church is. According to the guide at the entrance, the ceiling is almost black because the main lighting source when it was first built consisted of candles and the soot from the them has darkened the interior. I thought that was odd, considering how wealthy the Catholic Church is but according to history churches built in the early 1900s had to be debt free before they could be consecrated. The interior of the cathedral was never completed but it was consecrated none the less in 1910.

The cathedral is built in the Byzantine style.

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The Abbey on the other hand is much older. It was first constructed in 1245 and was originally Catholic. Henry VIII changed that when the Catholic Church wouldn’t grant him a divorce and he formed the Church of England. In 1560 Queen Elizabeth I re-established Westminster as a “Royal Peculiar” – a church of the Church of England responsible directly to the Sovereign, rather than to a diocesan bishop.

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We didn’t get in line to see the inside of the Abbey but my cousin in Germany has convinced me that when we go back we need to take the tour. It sounds fascinating and worth the money. It is certainly rich in history.

In the next post I will continue with day 6 and describe our walk along the Thames River.