Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Book ~ "The Don: The Story of Toronto's Infamous Jail" (2021) Lorna Poplak

From Goodreads ~ Conceived as a “palace for prisoners,” the Don Jail never lived up to its promise. Although based on progressive nineteenth-century penal reform and architectural principles, the institution quickly deteriorated into a place of infamy where both inmates and staff were in constant danger of violence and death. Its mid-twentieth-century replacement, the New Don, soon became equally tainted. 

Along with investigating the origins and evolution of Toronto’s infamous jail, The Don presents a kaleidoscope of memorable characters - inmates, guards, governors, murderous gangs, meddlesome politicians, harried architects, and even a pair of star-crossed lovers whose doomed romance unfolded in the shadow of the gallows. 

The Don Jail was a jail in Toronto, east of the Don River, built between 1858 and 1864, with a new wing built in the 1950s.  When the original Don Jail building stopped being used for housing offenders in 1977, the east wing remained in operation as the Toronto Jail and continued to serve as a jail until 2013.

It was originally designed as a reform prison and once dubbed the "Palace for Prisoners" because of its progressive approach to the wellness and living conditions of inmates.  The reputation of the Don Jail soured over the years, though, due to overcrowding and other things.  The east wing was constructed to house 276 prisoners but at the end of its service its capacity was 550 (its average prisoner load was about 620).  It was not designed with adequate visitor facilities, exercise areas, telephones, lawyer meeting rooms, showers or laundry facilities.

Twenty-six men were hanged on the jail’s indoor gallows and it was there that Canada's last to be hanged (in 1962) before capital punishment was abolished.

When the Bridgepoint Health demolished the Riverdale Hospital to replace it with a new facility, the Don Jail building was renovated to serve as the administrative wing for the hospital.

The author does a good job in telling the history of the Don Jail, what was going on in Toronto at various times and how it affected the Don.

I never got to visit the jail before it was demolished and converted.  Doors Open had tours but it attracted a lot of people so I didn't head over ... one day I will.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Coronation Park, Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail, and Ontario Place, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk (about 8.5km) this afternoon and headed south to Coronation Park ... it was sunny and a warm. It's been a while since I've been there.

I kept going to Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail ... I love this park and trail!

Friday, 16 April 2021

Nova Scotia's Community Haul ~ April 2021

I received my April Nova Scotia's Community Haul subscription box today.

Weddings and school concerts, charity bake sales and chase-the-ace - our community halls are where Nova Scotians have come together for generations to celebrate and support one another. Since we’re together apart for the foreseeable future, we’ve transformed the community hall into a Community Haul. 

Community Haul, partnered with Symplicity Designs set out to create a safe and fun way to help the small business community through the next year. Our product forges connection, creates community, and offers you the opportunity to explore Nova Scotia - all from the safety of your home. 

We've launched a local subscription box to celebrate Nova Scotia business owners and help reboot the regional economy. By pledging your community support with a subscription, you can help keep the lights on for dozen of small businesses during these economically stressful times. What's more, every box sold will support the IWK Foundation to provide care for the women and children in the Maritimes.  

I'm originally from Nova Scotia and have been enjoying receiving stuff from "back home" and helping support their economy.

CAUSEBOX, Spring 2021

Last month I purchased an annual subscription to CAUSEBOX ... I received my first box (the spring box) today.

CAUSEBOX is a quarterly curation of socially conscious lifestyle products for women. Every box is filled with products that have a story and make a difference! Inside of CAUSEBOX you’ll find the best jewelry, homewares, skincare products, accessories and more each season. And we tell you the stories behind each brand. Many of the products are exclusive CAUSEBOX collaborations that you can’t get anywhere else!

In addition to the newsletter, here's what I received ...

I was able to customize my box and here's what I chose:

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Castle & Coal, Toronto, ON

On my way home from my walk, I stopped in at Castle & Coal (Dovercourt/Queen Street W). Gord has stopped in a few times and picked up some of their tarts for us.

I bought a couple of double chocolate chunk cookies ... we've never had them before. They were good! Very very chocolaty with a sprinkle of salt on top.

I love love love lemon meringue tarts and pies and their lemon tarts are delicious! The meringue is light and fluffy and the lemon cream is sweet but tart. Yum! I picked up a couple for dessert.

KC's tree, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk this afternoon to Trinity Bellwoods Park and checked out KC's tree ... I hadn't been since the fall.

The leaves are just starting to bud!

Nature's Wellness Box - April 2021

I received my April Nature's Wellness Box today.

Aromatherapy-focused, lifestyle & wellness subscription & gift boxes all non-toxic, natural, vegan and cruelty-free.

What is in the Box?
The box features 5-6 full-size, natural, vegan and cruelty-free products worth $80+! We designed our boxes to feature practical and fun products you can use every day.

What is Not in the Box?
You’ll find no toxic chemicals in your box. We select all of our products carefully, with love, so that you can relax knowing they are eco-friendly. You can always count on that.

Here's what I received ...

Friday, 9 April 2021

COVID vaccine #1

Ontario and Canada has been very slow in administering COVID vaccines.  Ontario recently went into our third lockdown ... only essential businesses are open.  It seems we are worse off than we were a year ago when this all started.  

Vaccines have been rolled out by age group, with our seniors rightfully being targeted first as they are the most vulnerable.

Gord got his first shot last Thursday at one of our hospitals because he is a transplant patient.  And because of this, he doesn't have to wait three months to get his second shot ... he's getting it next week.  Yay!

Last week my age group could start registering to be notified when appointments are available.  I registered at a couple of our local drug stores but didn't hear anything.  This morning I did it again.  With Rexall, you have to register at specific stores so I did at some downtown.  Within an hour, I received an email from a Rexall that I could make an appointment and when I checked, I could have one today.  Today!  So I scheduled one for 4:10pm.  Right after that, I received an email that I could register at another Rexall downtown. 

The Rexall I went to had been out of vaccines for a while and had gotten a shipment this morning.  It's encouraging to see things are finally moving.

Here I am getting my shot ... thanks, Ruth Anne!

Big relief to get shot #1!  I can't wait for shot #2!

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.

I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Book ~ "Thereby Hangs a Tail" (2010) Spencer Quinn

From Goodreads ~ What first seems like a walk in the park to wise and lovable canine narrator Chet and his human companion Bernie "to investigate threats made against a pretty, pampered show dog" turns into a serious case when Princess and her owner are abducted. 

To make matters worse, Bernie's on-again, off-again girlfriend, reporter Susie Sanchez, disappears too. When Chet is separated from Bernie, he's on his own to put the pieces together, find his way home and save the day. 

Bernie Little is a private detective and Chet is his canine partner.  Bernie is having money issues so when he is offered the job of protecting a show dog named Princess and get paid $2,000 a day, he's amazed.  Unfortunately Princess' owner isn't impressed with Bernie or Chet and they get fired before they even begin.

When Princess and her owner are kidnapped right afterwards, Bernie and Chet feel obliged to investigate whether they are getting paid or not.  When Bernie's ex-girlfriend, Suzie, who is a reporter, disappears, he has an even more vested interest in finding out what's going on.

I love dogs!  I love mysteries!  It's written from the perspective of Chet, which is interesting and funny as you get into the mind of the dog who is easily distracted and where chew toys rock!

I liked the writing style.  I had read the first in the series, Dog On It, when it came out in 2009 and thought it was cute.  For some reason, I didn't read any more in the series.  I'm going to have to fix that.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Fajita-Style Chicken Bowl, Hello Fresh

Gord and I received a Hello Fresh box last week with four meals for two.

I made the last one for supper this evening ... Fajita-Style Chicken Bowl.

The kit came with pretty well everything.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Turkey Milanese with Pesto Green Beans and Creamy Potatoes, Hello Fresh

Gord and I received a Hello Fresh box last week with four meals for two.

Gord made one for supper this evening ... Turkey Milanese with Pesto Green Beans and Creamy Potatoes.

The kit came with pretty well everything.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Twist and Shout knitted dishcloth

The Year of the Dishcloth is organized by the Kitchen Sink Shop. April's pattern is Twist and Shout.

I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn and a 5mm needle.

Cast on 37 stitches.
  • Row 1-3: K37
  • Row 4: K3, P31, K3

Twist and Shout pattern
  • Row 1:K3, P1, *K4, K2tog, K3, YO, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 2: K3, *K1, P5, K4* 3 times, K4
  • Row 3: K3, P1,*K4, K2tog, K2, YO, K1, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 4: Same as Row 2
  • Row 5: K3, P1, *K4, K2tog, K1, YO, K2, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 6: Same as Row 2
  • Row 7: K3, P1, *K4, K2tog, YO, K3, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 8: Same as Row 2
  • Row 9: K3, P1, *YO, K3, SSK, K4, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 10: K3, *K5, P5* 3 times, K4
  • Row 11: K3, P1, *K1, YO, K2, SSK, K4, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 12: Same as Row 10
  • Row 13: K3, P1, *K2, YO, K1, SSK, K4, P1* 3 tiimes, K3
  • Row 14: Same as Row 10
  • Row 15: K3, P1, *K3, YO, SSK, K4, P1* 3 times, K3
  • Row 16: Same as Row 10
  • Repeat Rows 1-16 two more times (3 times total)

  • Rows 1-4: K37
  • Bind off and weave in the ends.

Ghost Kitchens, Toronto, ON

Ghost Kitchens opened in our 'hood at Queen Street W/Dovercourt Road late last year. 

The concept is they freshly prepare well-known and comforting food brands in one kitchen and location for delivery or pick-up. 

Though we could have ordered online and picked it up, we stopped in on our way home from our float and ordered via their machine.  It's an interesting concept ... you can get something from different providers in one spot!

We both ordered wings.  Gord got plain wings with sweet chilli sauce on the side and I ordered wings with jerk sauce through Canadian Jerk.  They were good wings and we'd get them again.