Friday, February 26, 2010


Since it is our choice what to showcase about our town, I thought I would share some photos taken last winter at the Guild Inn.

Linda had marking to do for her class and I had a camera full of film when one of the heaviest snow falls of the winter finally stopped and the sun shone for the first time in days. Picking up the camera I headed for The Guild Inn, formerly owned by our Great Uncle John Fraser, hoping for some good shots.

I found the Guild sleeping quietly under the deep winter's blanket of snow. No longer in use, great icicles hung from its eves. The future of the Inn is in serious doubt, but not its serenity.

I walked the vast grounds of the Guild in amazement. Not only were they empty, not a foot print disturbed the pristine beauty of the scene. The sun was almost disturbingly bright after days of black, angry skies and the weather began to warm. The peaceful quiet was almost mystical.

Some of the most beautiful facades of Toronto's famous buildings have been preserved in various locations around the guild. Some look oddly lost and alone. Many were inspired by the ancient Greeks and provide remarkable contrast to the cold snows of Canada.

The Guild was recently purchased by Centennial College to house their International Studies program. I will also feature a large restaurant, banquet hall and a wedding chapel. The grounds of the Guild are a favoured spot for wedding photos.

Unfortunately, to house the new programs, Centennial College is having to dismantle the old building to replace it with a more modern structure. The grand staircase and the library in the old Guild will be preserved and will be featured in the new structure.

And here is a brief video I shot during an Arts and Crafts festival that was held on the grounds of the Guild last summer.

Friday, February 19, 2010

FSO--Town Plaza

I've been hearing bells.

And its been distracting me.

So this post is a complete cheat. Not only is it a repeat of something I posted in 2009 but its a video, not photographs.

Although I hope to add some photos to this later in the day. But it is about our town plaza and it is short and kind of fun to watch.

September 27, 2008 saw the end of 3 years of uncertainty, demolition and frantic construction on the site of the old Morningside Mall in the heart of West Hill.

Neglected and in severe decline for many years, the Mall was finally purchased by First Capital who announced plans for the complete demolition of the Mall and the construction of a modern shopping centre in its place.

Today the dream of a completely new and modern shopping experience was unveiled. As Dori Segal, President and CEO of First Capitol Reality declared the new Shopping Centre open steel drums were playing, kiddies were enjoying a carnival atmosphere and parents were heading for the new stores.

On hand to welcome the new facility to West Hill, on behalf of the City, were Councillor's Ron Moeser from Ward 44 and Paul Ainslie from nearby Ward 43.

The new Centre meets the stringent LEED environmental standard making it the Greater Toronto Area's first Green Shopping Centre. A milestone commemorated by a plaque unveiled on the site.

90% of the old Mall was reused on the site; the Centre uses 25% less energy and 30% less indoor water consumption. A 500 cubic metre storage tank is buried under the main parking lot to store captured rainwater from the roofs of the buildings to be used for on-site irrigation. Parking lot lighting is all focused down where its needed and not up into the night sky blocking the view of the stars.

But it wasn't the Centre's environmental friendliness, the rides, the free gifts, the food or the band that was exciting the thousands who came out to celebrate this newly reinvigorated centre of the West Hill area, it was the new shopping experience and the beautiful new stores.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

FSO--Aquariums of the Toronto Zoo

Unlike last week's theme when I found "circles" where ever I looked and didn't even need to leave my home to complete the shoot out, this week (no matter how hard I tried) I couldn't find a single aquarium in my house.

Where in the Community of West Hill, where I live, could I find an aquarium?

Well there was only one logical answer.

The Toronto Zoo is actually located in West Hill, about a 15 minute drive from my front door.

And they have aquariums.

They have aquariums in their African Pavilion and their Pavilion of the Americas and in their Austro-Asian Pavilion.

The aquariums have graceful, colourful fish, and deadly dangerous fish....

fish that live amid colorful coral....

and one aquarium that is almost a mystical experience.

Of course while I was at the Zoo I ended up taking a whole bunch of other pictures. Now I wonder if I could talk Ginger and ChefE into making our next Home Town theme on Orangutans. lol

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday My Hometown Shoot Out--Circles

The shootout this week is
Where would I find any circles in West Hill?
I looked at the clock on our mantle to see
How much time I had.

And discovered a circle.

Then I looked at the little zen garden
On the kitchen counter
And discovered more circles.

Seeking inspiration,
I went to our basket
of various teas
And found still another circle.

And I hadn't left the house yet!
Looking up I found two more
And began to think,
Circles are everywhere!

I was encircled.
Circles were ubiquitous.
Even the front of our refrigerator
held a circle.

And I came to realize
I didn't need to go anywhere
To find circles.

So I made a Tim Horton's coffee.

And relaxed
Encircled by my circles.