Sunshine Sketches

I’ve lost 5 pounds.  On Friday, when I shared this with my friend Roz, she decided to get on board with my fitness plan and suggested we start power-walking for an hour a day.  I think she’s trying to run me ragged!

Yesterday we walked for an hour inside the mall as it was rainy out.  Today we were outdoors and it was glorious.  We decided to drive to nearby Whitby and walk along the Waterfront Trail. 


Ontario's Waterfront Trail


Do you know how wonderful a warm autumn day can be?  It was sunny and around 20º C (70º F).  The trail is lush with wildflowers, trees changing colour, a great view of Lake Ontario, and people of all ages enjoying the day.  We met cyclists, walkers, joggers, and even a small snake sunning itself on the path.

The coastline of the lake curves quite a bit and on a little rise in the path we were able to clearly see Toronto’s CN Tower on the horizon, about 70 km away.

The view across Lake Ontario towards Toronto.

We walked as far as Whitby’s Marina, about 3.5 km along the trail.   Out on the water a sailboat seemed to be disappearing over the horizon and we spotted a small fishing boat returning to its mooring .  It all looked so peaceful just lying there in the sunshine.

A sumac tree just starting to change colours.

On the way back, there was a small acrobatic airplane doing loops, spins and barrel rolls out over the lake We had a perfect view and enjoyed the display for a few minutes and then were on our way again.

Wild roses and rose hips in the sunshine.


This morning I did mall walking with the Sneakers Club, so my total for the day was about 11 – 12 km. (about 7 miles).  I now plan to do some upper body exercises to balance out the walking.

It is fun having another partner to exercise with and it’s good that we have the mall within a five-minute walk to provide a climate-controlled  spot to walk away from the bad weather.  It is particularly appreciated in the depths of winter and the hot, hazy, humid days of summer.

Roz is babysitting her baby grandson four days a week, and tomorrow we are going to take him along.  He is going to get into the exercise habit at a very young age.

I hope this new plan works out for both Roz and me.


The Word on the Street

The Word on the Street is an outdoor festival celebrating  books and reading. It promotes literacy and provides an opportunity for adults and children to interact with book and magazine sellers and publishers. It has been held in downtown Toronto for the last 22 years and has grown from a small number of booths to well over 200.

There were representatives from libraries, writers’ groups, poetry writers, sci-fi writers, romance writers, Giller Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, and arts organizations. I met several romance writers who invited me to come to their next meeting to be held in October.

Part of the crowd at Word on the Street, Toronto, 2011.


Many authors were on-site to sign copies of their books.  We received many free books, a few of them signed copies. There were many stages set up for author interviews where the audience could ask questions.  I saw an interview with Guy Vanderhaeghe, a Giller Prize winner and  Chef Michael Smith, who is well-known through his cooking show on the Food channel.  There were over 200 volunteers at the fair, who ensured that everything ran smoothly.

We took the GO (Government of Ontario) train to Toronto and then the subway to the fair. It was the most amazing sight!  The day was warm and sunny with a cooling breeze and the tents were set up down Queen’s Park Street and onto the Queen’s Park grounds, behind the Ontario Legislature.  Children, parents, grandparents, and  young people milled around.  Some tents were swarmed with crowds of interested people but everyone was patient and polite.

A view of Lake Ontario from the GO Train. The footbridge in the foreground is part of the Lakefront Trail.

We had both brought bags with us and they were full by the time we left the fair.  We walked down Wellesley Street all the way to Edwards Street where we had a beautiful lunch at Red Lobster.  It was almost the best part of the day!  I had grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, a garden salad, and a baked potato.  I truly enjoyed every bite.  The restaurant was busy but quiet, the waiter polite and funny, and the food amazing.  John had half of my salad, sole stuffed with cheese and rice, broccoli, and a baked potato.

Where do you think we went after that?  To the World’s Biggest Bookstore on Edwards Street.  I browsed through the Art Department and John almost bought a book by David Baum on Quantum Physics but decided we had enough books for the day.

We walked over to the Eaton Centre where we could hear music and clapping.  There was another celebration across the street in a square and we could see a group performing on a stage.  It was amazing all the activity going on, all the happy people, families enjoying being together, and all outdoors in the sunshine.

We proceeded to walk back to Union Station and we caught the GO Train back to Oshawa, a 45 minute ride.  We had such a nice day, enjoyed each other’s company, and got lots of books to read.

An interesting view of the CN Tower from Front Street, Toronto.


The only thing missing at Word on the Street was any reference to ebooks.  I wonder why the e-book publishers and sellers were not represented.  Anyone?