Category Archives: Toronto a day in the life

High Park Cherry Blossoms in Toronto 2015

Looking to see the Cherry Blossoms at Toronto’s High Park before the flowers are gone for 2015?
Better go now. They reached the peak this week (Wed May 6) and I saw some lovely blooms today but there are only days left before they are gone ’til next spring.

Cherry Blossoms 1 2015
I took these three images of Cherry Blossoms on
Friday May 8, 2015 inside High Park, in Toronto.

Cherry Blossoms 3 2015

The trees I was enjoying, along with many others of all ages, are located near the Jamie Bell Adventure Park playground inside High Park.

Cherry Blossoms 2 2015

There are many more of these trees on a hill near Grenadier Restaurant. Check out this online map that shows where to find these lovely trees inside High Park.
Want to see more online images of these trees in High Park? Check this
BlogTO post and TripAdvisor and a post I wrote in 2010.
Regardless of if you make it High Park this spring or not, enjoy spring in Toronto.


Toronto a Day in the Life 15

Thankful, and thankfully, not just tonight.
By Kris Scheuer

I was not planning to write a Thanksgiving post. And this is not that, exactly. But it is a thankful observation on what happens to be Canadian Thanksgiving, Oct 10.
I was walking on this blissfully warm evening (22 C) along a residential street south of the Annex neighbourhood.
It was early evening and still too early in my mind to be dark at only 7:30 pm. I crisscrossed the streets so I would be on the side where the lamp posts are lit up, so I’d feel safer in this big city I have always called home.
I looked at each of the houses that were the most lit up that I could knock on, if need be, should someone be following me. I looked for homes where lights were beaming on the main floor or basement where someone could come more quickly should I have the need to knock on a stranger’s door for assistance.
Not that there was anyone following me. And not that I am willing any bad omens, because I am not. I have always been safe in Toronto.
But it is something that crosses the mind of a woman walking alone on a quiet residential street in the dark that she/I might not feel had I been strolling with company or on a busier street.
I noticed something along the way. In the course of four short blocks, I saw at least a dozen houses where the main doors were wide open.
The front screen or glass doors were closed, but the main doors that you lock or unlock to enter your home were all wide open to the hallways.
It was such a small town, welcoming, reassuring sight. It was nice to know in my moment of wondering, which Torontonians I could call on if need be in an emergency . It was nice to know that some of my neighbours leave their doors open.
By leaving their main doors open, my neighbours sent a message, consciously or not, that they could be called on in a flash.
It was most reassuring.  And I am thankful I got to see how open many of my neighbours feel in this big city. That they feel trusting enough to not lock their doors in the early evening. To send a message to passersby that they aren’t completely shut off from the world outside.
That they are only a door knock away, should I need to call on them for help.

Toronto a day in the life 14

Why people love Rob Ford, or think they do
Kris Scheuer

So mayor-elect Rob Ford was voted in. I talk politics all day at work as a reporter with my colleagues and other journalists. I interview politicians, residents, business people about the decisions at city hall. Then I talk with friends and loved ones more about this city, life, news, politics. I listen, read and watch politics. Ahh…
But I can always use more of a reality check into what people I don’t know think about politics and the election. I’d love to hear what you think: what are you excited about, confused about, fearful of with a new mayor Rob Ford about to take the helm?
Let me share with you some comments I overheard from strangers having conversations about Rob Ford’s policies post-election.

First up: Tuesday Oct. 26 the day after the election. It was raining. The streetcar took 15-20 minutes to arrive. It was standing room only with very little room for any more passengers when I overheard a woman ask the streetcar driver about Rob Ford’s policy to get rid of Toronto streetcars.
I could not hear well enough or get close enough to hear their 15-minute discussion on the likelihood of streetcars being shelved. But it was interesting to hear her raise this concern about what she heard regarding Rob Ford’s intentions.
During the mayoral campaign, Rob Ford spoke often about getting rid of some streetcars and replacing them with buses.
In his transit plan on page 2 he writes, ” We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars. Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes.  This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users.”
“It will also improve traffic flow,” Ford’s transit plan states.
“Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reducedpurchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.” Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 13

Are Torontonians rude?
Is it the consequence of living in the big city
What is making us so indifferent to people around us?
By Kris Scheuer

An extreme example of litter during '09 T.O summer strike. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

I am a born and bred Toronto resident who’s called this beloved city home for all my 40 years.
But really people, are we getting ruder?
I am not perfect, by all means, but I TRY to be considerate of others. And I find examples of people in this city who seem so very oblivious to others who share this same public space.
Case in point, and this is something I witness almost daily, littering. I see people tossing items from their hands in such a blatant way that it goes beyond not being able to find a trash can. It’s as if people are making a statement, “I don’t care about the city, environment or anyone around me.”
On Friday afternoon I was on a lunch break and was on the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas on my way to city hall south.
As I approached the mall, I saw two 20-something women walking towards me when one tossed a water bottle towards the Eaton’s Centre (now Sears).
I thought maybe she was aiming for a garbage can, but missed. As the plastic bottle hit the side of the H&M clothing store, I saw that no there was no garbage can. She never intended for it to end up anywhere but the street. And she did not even offer a backward glance to see where her discarded item landed. Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 12

What I learned about Toronto one Saturday
Where to fly kites and see men in dresses
By Kris Scheuer

The kite my dad bought me April 24. It will look more impressive in the sky. Where should I fly it?

I can’t remember flying a kite as a child in T.O in the ’70s and I don’t see much kite flying in the city now.
So it was sheer joy as I watched four young children and one man, perhaps a father of one of them, flying kites on a windy afternoon Saturday April 10.
The spot was Cedarvale park where Humewood Dr and Heathdale Rd meet, off Vaughan Rd north of St. Clair Ave W.
This section of the park has a bowl like valley free of trees and seemed to be a perfect spot for the group to run to catch the wind in their colourful kites and then lie back on the grassy hill and watch them dance in the sky.
The scene captured me. Later I mentioned it to a friend who told me as a child growing up in Barbados he often built and flew kites. He’s promised to build one we can fly. I can’t wait.
A week ago, I asked my dad where to get supplies to build a kite. Then an hour after posting this story on April 24, I went to visit my father and he surprised me with this Spiderman kite. Sweet, right?
Perhaps there are better places to fly kites than Cedarvale park? Let me know…

Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 11

What I learnt, observed, heard in T.O this week
By Kris Scheuer

We are all pedestrians. This is a city slogan but it’s also true.
Personally, I walk or take TTC everywhere and am also a passenger in cars, but I don’t drive.
So I am painfully aware of the ten pedestrians who were struck and killed by vehicles in the GTA in the past eight days.
I watch, each time, before I step off streetcars because often vehicles speed by the open TTC doors. And I watch before I jaywalk mid-block to make my crossing safer.
The Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume has a terrific column today on the recent pedestrian deaths (nine when he wrote it) saying, “Had the cause been gang warfare, H1N1 or car crashes, the news would be on everyone’s lips.”
The Toronto police are encouraging people to step up safety awareness by pointing them to an online resource iNavigait.
What should we do to make the streets safer?

Toronto a day in the life 10

Politics, drunks sums up big city life
What I learned about Toronto this week
By Kris Scheuer

First let’s start with POLITICS.
The city’s election campaign begin Jan. 4 and in the first week where candidates can register so far: 14 have signed up for the mayoralty race, 43 candidates for councillor in 44 wards, eight people registered for public school board.
On an unrelated matter, I was riding the 506 Carlton streetcar last night around 9 pm when a Brit came aboard and started up a conversation. He asked about the book I was reading, The Bishop’s Man by Linden MacIntyre. He was reading Raising Kanye by Dr. Donda West about singer Kanye West. This stranger on the streetcar went on to ask me to go for a beer, wine or tea on three separate occasions.
I was not interested, but as he asked if I had a PhD, Masters and seemed interested in intelligent conversation, I did not mind chatting with this him on the TTC as I passed the time. Continue reading

Toronto a day on the life 9

What I learned about the city this week
By Kris Scheuer

Toronto is a safe place, for the most part, for a city of its size of 2.6 million.
But it’s dangerous if you work in a kitchen or are already in jail.
There were two separate and unrelated murders on Nov. 7, according to police reports.

New Generation Sushi is a popular restaurant on Bloor near Brunswick in the Annex that I have frequented many times.
On Saturday Nov. 7 around 11 pm police responded to a call of a man being stabbed. A police news release states that the allegations are: the victim and accused work together at the restaurant, the men got into an argument that escalated and then one man was stabbed and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ming Yang, 27, was fatally stabbed and a postmortem done on Nov. 9 determined that cause of death was a stab wound to the chest.
Xu Wang, 25, has been charged with second degree murder.
At the time he was Toronto’s 50th murder of the year.  Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 8

What I learned, saw, heard about the city in the last 24 hours
By Kris Scheuer

Missionaries, zombies and mentally ill
Toronto is a diverse and quirky city.
Want proof?
In the course of 15 minutes last night around 8:15 pm I met and saw the following people:
While waiting for the Bathurst 511 streetcar, I was approached by two missionaries one visiting from Vancouver and another originally from Utah. They were nice enough lads and we spoke about Toronto and other cities on the ride up towards Bloor.
At Yonge and Bloor I saw a group of teens standing on the northwest corner dressed as zombies for the seventh annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
As I walked  towards Bathurst subway I saw a man standing in a boxer’s pose with his arms bent and fists by his face taking punches at a mailbox. I wanted to approach the man, who must have been in distress as he repeatedly punched the red Canada Post mailbox with his bare hands, but I have to assume he was mentally ill. And thus perhaps picturing an imaginary enemy that he was doing battle with.

Toronto day in the life 7

What I learned, saw, was told, heard in the city
By Kris Scheuer

So much to say because my latest observations of Toronto cover four days. So let’s get started.
Random act of kindness
Who says Torontonians are cold and unfeeling?
On Saturday Sept. 5, I was walking along College near Spadina when a stranger with a bouquet of daisies handed me a sunny yellow one. It was not just me he made smile with this random gesture, I saw he’d given one to a woman on a bike waiting at the corner as well.
Has anything like this happened to you in this city?

Dancing in the street
Who says Torontonians are uptight and can’t let loose?
This past Saturday night, my mom got back from California and called me to meet up. We went to the annual Fiera Street Festival in Little Italy around College and Clinton. On our way back from dinner we stopped to hear one of the live bands performing on the street, which was closed all weekend to cars and transit.
The song that stopped us in our tracks was Hey Baby (I wanna know if you’ll be my girl). We listened to the live music, sang out loud and danced in the street like fools. It was very fun to act silly and not care if people stared. Continue reading