For sale: Toronto’s sketchiest sketch pad.

I’ve always wondered about the house at 216 Richmond St West in Toronto. It has no windows, and looks scary from the outside. My friend Evan tells me that there used to be security cameras covering the front door, and there used to be bikers hanging out front a lot, which makes sense seeing as it looks like a biker clubhouse.

For sale: Sketch Pad

Places like this make me wonder:

  • What did this house look like before?
  • Why did they close off all the windows?
  • Who decided that was a good idea>
  • What does it look like inside?
  • Who would live in a house like this?
  • Who owns this house?
  • How much is a house like this worth?
  • Is the house evil?

Well, now that this house recently came up for sale, I contacted the real estate agent and asked them how much they were selling for. The agent was very nice, and informed me that this house is being sold with it’s neighbour directly to the east, each selling for $1.3 million. Yes that’s right, for a mere 1.3 million dollars you can own one of the sketchiest looking sketchpads in the city. Obviously, this property is being sold for it’s land value, and the intention is that the buyer would probably buy up all of the surrounding properties and build a condo on the spot.


If I ever open a Dutch restaurant

I’m totally using this font on the front window. Beautiful, and has an interesting story behind it’s history (via IloveTypography).

My restaurant would serve the following:

Pancakes, Oliebollen, StammpotHollandse Hazenpeper met Kruidkoek (Dutch Hare Stew) and of course Croquettes, which were the first thing I ate when I went to Amsterdam with Lauren on our honeymoon. Suddenly, I’m very hungry.



The 2012 Academy Awards.

- Oscars were last night, and once again they were pretty bad. Hosted by that barely watchable cheeseball Billy Crystal (why?), but I watched it anyways, as I usually do. Here some of my thoughts on this years “gala”:

  • Audio issues seem to be a constant problem with the telecast every year, and this year was no exception. The problem even birthed a new Twitter handle – @OscarsAudioGuy (now suspended… damn you Academy!). Some of the better tweets:
  • Other Twitter accounts spurned by last night’s event include:
  • Apparently all anyone does anymore is tweet during these shows, and Ontario is a pretty big part of that conversation according to Mashable.
  • I often wonder why terrorists don’t target the Academy Awards. High visibility, high value targets, etc. Although it’s not obvious during the show, the agencies responsible for security including LAPD, and the FBI, pull out all the stops in preventing any attacks.

An open letter to the Americans who I gave directions to last weekend.

I was the guy who overheard you asking where Little Italy was in Toronto and, being a resident of one of the two places in town with that name, I felt compelled to offer my assistance last weekend in Niagara Falls.  I mean, when I just happen to be walking by you and overhear as you ask the front desk staff for driving directions to my neighbourhood in Toronto I thought, “Well, that’s odd”. When I heard that front desk girl say “I’m sorry I’ve never been there” I knew I had to act, and introduced myself to you and enthusiastically gave you the directions you were looking for.

Anyways, I just hope you found my directions easy to follow, and that you enjoyed your visit, and that my enthusiasm for my neighbourhood wasn’t unfounded.  I now realize that your wives were probably looking for somewhere to shop and after walking the dog down the strip tonight, I realized that they may have been. The fashion selection of Little Italy probably wouldn’t be considered its main selling point, although it does have a few holdout stores that I would most certainly qualify as “Euro”.

As far as architecture is concerned, it’s nothing special, there’s no real defining landmarks anymore, maybe other than the Royal Cinema.

From Flickr user skewetoo

I will say, that with it’s gentlemen social clubs, restaurants, patios and beautiful people on the weekends, the strip does have character. Hope you got a glimpse.

Tonight, the day after Thanksgiving, it was a graveyard, with the restaurant staff generally sitting at the bars our standing out front smoking. But the bridal shop was open.


Edit: Here’s a video of what driving down the strip might have seemed like to you.

The White Squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods Park

My personal Bigfoot is an albino white squirrel that lives in Trinity Bellwoods park. Sometimes I see it repeatedly for multiple days in a row, then not again for months. Some people have claimed that they might be magical. There is a cafe named after them, and a nearby road. I have occasionally had a chance to photograph them, and today I had another, although I’m glad others, like Michael Werner are able to do a much better job of getting his picture.

The white squirrel of Trinity Bellwoods Park

Trinity Bellwoods dog park and the mysterious circle of desertification.


The off leash area at Trinity Bellwoods is fantastic for area dog owners. I’ve been going to “the pit” for about five years now, and I’ve always wondered why the grass doesn’t grow in this one area, a perfect circle near the stage.

Sunset over the dog park at Trinity Bellwoods

Sunset over the dog park at Trinity Bellwoods

In this stunning photo (taken by Miles – , you can see clearly a circle of hard packed earth, where nothing ever grows. I recently found out from a long time (20+ years) resident that there used to be a wading pool in this location, and that when the City of Toronto decided to move the kid’s playground to where it is now, they simply filled the pool in.  So much for my alien landing pad theory.