July 25, 2004


As my wife already mentioned in her blog (along with some pictures), while my father-in-law was visiting here we did some typical Toronto activities, including a visit last Saturday to the Distillery Historic District on Mill Street. I thought I’d include a description of our activities here to give a sense of what Toronto has to offer. (Those not interested need not continue reading this lengthy entry.)

While at the Distillery District, we enjoyed some comestibles from the Brick Street Bakery, including my choice of a roast beef sandwich, my wife’s of a chicken and tarragon pie, and my father-in-law’s of a stout and steak pie:


Wonderfully fresh bread as the contented look on my face indicates.

Of course we visited the Mill St. Brewery:


If you ever have a chance, try their beers (unfortunately I don’t know how widely they are distributed). In particular, I like the Coffee Porter and the Tankhouse Ale.

We happened to have gone to the Distillery District during the Party Gras festival, part of the Beaches Jazz Festival, so we saw many great jazz bands including this fabulous trad jazz band, The Downtown Jazz Band:


The bass player had this neat electric bass on which he even played a bowed bass solo. Notice the tiny trumpet in this picture. We listened to a number of bands ranging from small ensembles to big bands. Another intriguing band we saw I can only describe as Jamaican funk jazz, and we sat for a while and sipped some beer while listening to Zydeco Storm. All in all, quite a good quantity and variety of music.

We also enjoyed the various art galleries and the historic architecture (here’s a sampling: 1, 2, 3, 4).

After a quick respite at home, we headed out to another typical Toronto destination, the Danforth, where we had dinner at our favourite Greek restaurant, Avli. After the fabulous dips with pita, as usual I had lamb chops, Aven had the rabbit pie, and Ian had the roast lamb special, and we enjoyed two different half bottles of retsina.

After dinner, we to see my friend David’s band (appropriately named The David Hein Band) perform at the Black Swan. Excellent as usual. Here are a couple of photos (1, 2). And that was just Saturday. Stay tuned for an account of Sunday’s exciting activities.

Posted by Mark at July 25, 2004 05:18 PM