historical toronto

Carmilla Movie Locations!

When I was in Toronto for Fan Expo this year, I decided to pay a visit to the various locations used in the upcoming Carmilla movie!

1 (one) Spooky Mansion (aka Glanmore National Historic Site)

Dancing House (aka Vincent Massey Mansion)

Domestic Hollstein (aka 1091 Queen Street East)

Oh Hey It’s Toronto (aka Riverdale Park East)

Bonus Round, from the teaser:

Cat on a Bike (aka Unwin Avenue)

Hot for Teacher (aka Sugar Beach Park)

For my photography class at Toronto Film School we had to take a historical painting, put a celebrity face on it and add an exotic animal. 

I chose Claude Marie Dubufe; I don’t know a lot about him myself but I liked the photograph because I knew I wanted to use Johnny Depp as the actor and he gives off a very dark sense so it worked perfectly for the idea I had in my mind on how I wanted it to look in the end. 

For the exotic animal I wanted to use a panther not only because they are my favourite but also because they are very dark creatures so it fit.


Why I Love Toronto Reason #100

Happy First Birthday!

Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens

Yes, in honour of the Leafs getting bought by Bell and Rogers (depending on if you see that as a good thing or not) I decided to make my post about the new occupants of the Leafs original home. Now this post will be brief because Reason # 50 was dedicated to Maple Leaf Gardens, its history its exterior, everything. Today we are going to talk about the Loblaws/ LCBO/ Joe Fresh inside the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Yes some of us may say that this is a bad thing! They should not have turned one of the hockey’s greatest arenas into a supermarket, but come on, it was either that or it probably would have become condos. Now I have always wanted to go inside the historic building and even though it wasn’t the same as when the Leafs played there a little over a decade ago, it was still amazing.

As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a blue maple leaf made from the old arena chairs that were in Maple Leaf Gardens. And as you walk around, it just gets even better. There is a section for everything, dairy, fish, cheese, tea! It’s honestly outstanding it is definitely a shopping experience. Anyways some highlights of this Loblaws location are:

The Wall Of Cheese. It is a large wall with cheese it in it!! Like come on I have never seen that much cheese in my life/ I had such a cheese craving after looking at I considered going into the wall to buy a piece of cheese even though I am really lactose and tolerant.

The Bakery, below you have all the breads and above you can actually see them working away making the breads.

Isle 25. Has a big red dot. To those of you who are like why is there a big red dot, it marks centre ice, where the puck would drop at every leafs game.

The pillars. They have historical facts on them from the concerts that were held to when the leafs won their Stanley cups.

The tables. Eugenie and I ate there we had a pasta salad and pizza bun whereas I had a mini chocolate cheese cake and she had a red velvet cupcake. The table in the area in which we sat were all covered with newspapers clippings and historical facts. The historical fact I ate on was the Queen’s visit!

The Maple Leafs  made out of chairs. It is a great homage to the leafs former home.

The Mural in the café area which depicts the Gardens history

The big chocolate block that they have to chisel chocolate off of.

The beautiful cupcake/ cake displays that remind me of a being in a Paris bakery.

So for all of you maple leaf fans who are upset about the fact the Gardens became a Loblaws, don’t fret Ryerson will be opening soon. But what Loblaws has done is absolutely amazing. They give you a shopping experience beyond anything else and take you on a journey into a part of Toronto’s history that is dear to many of our hearts.

Also as I walked down the isles I kept saying to Eugenie “this is probably where they were holding the Stanley cup, this is probably the same path that Elvis walked on or this is probably where the stage was when the Beatles played!! I was walking on the ground that some of the greatest people in the world walked on. Check out this video of the closing ceremonies in 1999 when the leafs played their last game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-EMBfLZvjU.

That is why I love Toronto.  


Cumberbatch joined fellow stars Michael Shannon and Nicholas Hoult and director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to talk about the historical drama at the Toronto Film Festival at the Variety Studio Presented by AT&T.

1958 Gibson ES-335 At Twelfth Fret Toronto today. Wow. First year. Wow. Unbound neck…which apparently only happened for a short time on the very earliest models . WOW. I am standing in the presence of history…one of the very first “semi hollow” guitars ever made. One of the first “thinline” semi hollow guitars ever made. WOW.

My Recommendations For Doors Open Toronto 2015

It`s that time of year again! This weekend Doors Open Toronto will open its doors to some Toronto`s historic, modern and most beautiful buildings for free! Aside from being free, most of these buildings are restricted for the  public and are only open to certain individuals. So if you’ve ever been curious about the inside and history of a building like the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, then this is your chance.

This year`s theme is dedicated to the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and is appropriately dubbed Sports, Recreation & Leisure. There are plenty of great sport facilities open this year including BMO Field and the Regent Park Aquatic Centre. This year also sees 55+ new buildings joining the roaster - although most are sports related there are a few new historic buildings.

In this post I will provide you with my Top 10 recommendations. Following this post I will highlight my Doors Open Toronto plan.

Remember to use the hashtag #DOT15 and tag me @whyilovetoronto as well as @Doors_OpenTO in your photos!

**Please note most buildings are open from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday with last admittance between 4:00pm and 4:30pm. I have noted below any venues that deviate from these times.

**Please also note that all titles are active links leading to my original post about the venue!

Cheers :)

1) Bridgepoint Active Healthcare (Don Jail)

Where: 14 St. Matthews Rd.

  • Step inside an old jail cell that could hold up to three prisoners
  • See the segregation room
  • Visit the gallows where capital punishment was enacted
  • Walk around the stunning rotunda whose balconies are supported by dragons, who were said to judge the inmates
  • Learn about some great escapes that happened here

2) Commerce Court North

Where: 25 King St.

  • Built by famed architects Darling and Pearson
  • Was once the tallest building in Toronto
  • Was the tallest building in the commonwealth until 1962
  • Modeled after the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.
  • High ceilings, amazing chandeliers and gold coffered ceilings
  • The exterior was featured in the film Total Recall 

3) Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

Where: 189 Yonge St.

When: Saturday and Sunday from 10:30am to 4:30pm

  • The Winter Garden Theatre provides a nature feeling with leaves hanging from the ceiling, tree trunk columns and murals depicting the outdoors throughout the venue
  • The theatre has welcomed Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
  • The theatre was abandoned for 60 years starting in 1928. When they began the restoration process in 1985 a crew entered in hazmat suits. When you visit you will learn about its restoration project!
  • Fun fact my mother worked at the Elgin Theatre while they were restoring the Winter Garden Theatre!
  • One of the seats was the last seat John Dillinger ever sat in!
  • It has a haunted elevator, which supposedly is haunted by a woman who was stabbed

 4) CAMH

Where: 1001 Queen Street West

When: Saturday from 10:30am to 5:00pm

  • An interesting look at how doctors thought mental illness should be treated
  • The tour illustrates how the patient built walls had some flaws that led to escapes

 5) St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church

Where: 115 Bond St.

When: Saturday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and Sunday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm

  • Beautiful iconography.
  • Has a rare depiction of St. George in civilian clothing in front of Jesus.

6) Artscape Youngplace

Where: 180 Shaw Street

  • Former Shaw Street School
  • Opened in 1914 during WWI and was immediately converted to help with the war efforts
  • Learn about the school rich athletic history
  • They shot Mean Girls here . I have watched the movie a ton of times and I am pretty sure they used the main foyer in the Girls Gone Wild scene – watch the clip and check it out on Saturday or Sunday to tell me if I’m right. Link here

7) Canada Life Building

Where: 330 University Ave.

  • The 17th floor has the most stunning view
  • Standing underneath the famous weather beacon
  • Check out the Beaux-Arts styling built by Sprott and Rolph

8) Amsterdam Brewery

Where: 45 Esandar Drive

  • End your day here and grab a pint on their beautiful patio overlooking Lake Ontario! It’s going to be sunny and between 19-24 degrees
  • Sample award-winning brews like the new Cruiser All Day Pale Ale
  • Learn about the brewing process and the history of the beer
  • Must be 19+

9) Bata Shoe Museum

Where: 327 Bloor Street West

When: Saturday regular time and Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

  • Turned 20 this year!
  • See Sonja Bata’s show collection from around the world
  • Over 10,000 shoes
  • Still a famous brand in Europe even though operations ceased in Canada in the 00′s

10) Osgoode Hall

Where: 130 Queen Street West

  • Check out the American Room – it is stunning!
  • The Great Library is dubbed “the most beautiful room in Canada!” It might be because of its fireplace, cork floors, intricate ceilings and/or etched glass
  • Learn about its history and its multiple architects
  • Check out the stained glass windows
  • Learn about its haunting

Other Notable Mentions

  1. Campbell House Museum
  2. Church of the Holy Trinity 
  3. Design Exchange
  4. Gladstone Hotel (12:00pm to 5:00pm)
  5. MacKenzie House
  6. Old City Hall