The Tragically Hip Concert Broadcast at The Horseshoe Tavern

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One in three Canadians watched a special concert on Saturday night — the final show of The Tragically Hip’s tour across the country.

I imagine most people know that what made this particular concert so important is the fact that the lyricist and singer of the band, 52 year of Gord Downie, was diagnosed with brain cancer in December, a terminal form of which there is no hope of recovery. Given a short time to live, he chose to spend a month travelling from the city of Victoria on the west coast, to the city of Kingston located about 2 1/2 hours drive east of Toronto, giving his vast number of fans a gift of 15 stadium concerts. Tickets for those shows were treasured indeed.

The tour ended in Kingston because this is where the band of five musicians began 30 years ago. This is also where Gord is being treated for his illness. While the venue accommodated only 7,000 people, (including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), another 25,000 gathered in the city square in that city alone to watch the show which was aired live by the CBC.

That was only one of hundreds of listening parties hosted across Canada on Saturday night, held in private homes, movie theatres and concert halls, culminating in a reported 11.7 million people watching the concert. The show went on for three hours, with three encores and 30 songs performed.

Attendees of the concerts and guests at the viewing parties were invited to contribute to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, raising $265,000 and counting.

Nick and I, along with our friends Meghan, Andrea and Dean, joined the crowd at The Horseshoe Tavern to watch the broadcast. This is the very place that the band got their first big break in the mid ’80s, after the President of MCA at the time, Bruce Dickinson, heard them play and subsequently signed them to a record deal.

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People wrote messages in a book that was sent to the band …

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I’ve been to The Horseshoe many times, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this many people there, nor have I heard such loud cheering in that room before. As Meghan pointed out, it felt strange to clap and cheer for a video, but clap and cheer we all did. The atmosphere was electric.

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^ The crowd at The Horseshoe blending right into the crowd seeing it live ^

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While the evening had a celebratory feel to it, there were also many tears shed, as, of course, the situation is very very sad. I can only imagine how the men in the band feel after three decades of such close comradery. It was heart-breaking to watch them embrace at the end of the show and to watch Gord Downie wave goodbye.

Thanks for reading,
xo loulou

Posted in Bars in Toronto, Live Music, Queen Street West | 3 Comments

A Neighbourhood Walk with a Stop at Death In Venice Gelato

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My friend Meghan moved to our neighbourhood a year ago last spring and since then she and I have done a heck of a lot of walking around together. It’s great to have a friend nearby who likes walking as much as I do.

Here are some shots I took on a recent Sunday afternoon get-together — we met in Trinity Bellwoods Park, sat on a bench for a bit and ate strawberries, and then set out with no particular destination in mind.

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^ Meghan found her cute cotton eyelet dress in Paris in April ^

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Leaving the park at the south eastern corner, we headed east on Queen Street West.

Here I am beside Sanko Japanese Trading Company

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Further to the east we passed a beautiful newly renovated building. We now have a pretty swanky place in which to buy our beer, and fans of the store Anthropology have a lovely place to shop …

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We crossed Bathurst and squeezed onto a narrow sidewalk, made so thanks to an ongoing construction project on that stretch of Queen Street West, that’s been going on for months and doesn’t show signs of being finished any time soon.

Tucked behind the fencing and equipment, is a new place I’ve been wanting to try, Constantinople bakery, the home base of Death in Venice Gelato Co., where you can get gelato is the most amazing flavour combinations. Started by a recent chef school graduate, their goal is to provide Toronto with freshly made product using healthy seasonal ingredients. You can read all about their concept in this article in Now Magazine, if you’d like to know more about them.

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^ they also offer sandwiches and Montreal Style Bagels if you fancy something savory ^

The interesting flavours of gelato change with the harvest and on the day we visited included : Chocolate Fennel and Granola, White Wine Pear and Walnut, Thai Peanut Soy Fish amoung, other choices. They give small samples to help with the decision making. I just had to try the Peanut Soy Fish one, and was surprised by how tasty it was.

Meghan ended up going for the Licorice Rhubarb and I chose Pina Colada Pineapple and Rum.

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We found a seat at the big communal table in the front window.

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^ The gelato is available to take home ^

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^ or on-the-go through the front window looking out to Queen Street ^

I hope that all that construction, right out front of their shop doesn’t cause them too much trouble because we’re so happy to have this unique place in our neighbourhood and want them to stay! If you can’t get there yourself, their gelato is available in quite a few stores around the city and they offer a delivery service, sending a few flavours right to your door on a monthly basis. Check out all the flavours of Death in Venice Gelato here.

Fueled by our sweet (but not overly so) treat we continued on our walk, turning north at Ryerson Avenue, going up to Alexandra Park, and walking diagonally through it up to Dundas Street West and Bathurst.

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We passed the Dunbat Skateboard Park

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Then we went back westward on Dundas Street West …

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These two had just gotten married! …

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We ended up back at the northern border of Trinity Bellwoods Park, where we separated and each headed home, with pretty tired feet, I might add.

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I might have fallen in love a little on the way home, but don’t tell my boycat Eddie …

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Meegs and I are in for another long walk this Sunday, as we check out the car-free festival up on Bloor Street, including lunch at one of the Korean restaurants up there.

Thanks very much for checking out my post. I hope you have a great weekend.
xo loulou

Posted in Queen Street West, Restaurants of Toronto, Streets of Toronto, Trinity Bellwoods Park | Tagged | 9 Comments