Northern District Library #TPLFoodHunt

Since I work relatively close by to the Northern District library, it served as a great launching point.  Hoping to get a nice photograph of the front, I was a bit disappointed to find that we were surrounded by construction on Orchard View Blvd.  This shouldn’t have surprised me because between all the condo developments and the crosstown LRT — the whole Yonge and Eglinton area is under heavy construction.

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This is a part of the #TPLFoodHunt exploration series.

Since I work relatively close by to the Northern District library, it served as a great launching point.  Hoping to get a nice photograph of the front, I was a bit disappointed to find that we were surrounded by construction on Orchard View Blvd.  This shouldn’t have surprised me because between all the condo developments and the crosstown LRT — the whole Yonge and Eglinton area is under heavy construction.

The entrance is surrounded by construction
The entrance is surrounded by construction
The plentiful bookshelves of Northern District Library. Quite a spacious and bright interior too.
The plentiful bookshelves of Northern District Library. Quite a spacious and bright interior too.

The most fascinating thing about this library for me is how I had no idea it had been there for the past 7 years — despite walking by the building countless times.  Perhaps I am sadly oblivious to some things around the Yonge and Eglinton area after working there for so long.

Walking into the library from the noisy street and construction was an incredible feeling.  It was like walking into a suddenly tranquil environment.  I immediately started looking around and walking up and down the staircase.

People seem to have some snacks with them and their drinks as well so it appears the library does permit some food provided it isn’t too messy.  I did notice an almost cafeteria-like setting in the library where some folks were enjoying their meal while reading a book so this may be an area meant for a noisier (crunchier?) lunch and allow for a bit of mess.

The staircase is a central aspect of the library.
The staircase is a central aspect of the library.

What about the food?

So after consulting with Lisa, we felt if someone were really hungry or wanted to grab something quick — the best option was the little place just down the street — at the corner of Orchard View Blvd and Yonge.  A Viet-Thai restaurant by the name of Star King serves up some great pho and you can take out should you wish.

There’s more than just pho but I’ll let you check out Lisa’s more in-depth foodie perspective.

Star King was our local nearby choice for food!
Star King was our local nearby choice for food!

Mount Pleasant Library #TPLFoodHunt

Lined up with boutique storefronts and relatively small offices, Mount Pleasant Road is actually quite a nice street to take a stroll and take in a bit of the diversity.  What is fascinating about Mount Pleasant Library itself is that it is wedged between storefronts and is rather a quaint little library.

This is a part of the #TPLFoodHunt exploration series.

Something a little different today as I’m preparing for my trek in Tanzania.  I mentioned a few weeks back that my friend and avid food blogger Lisa Sit would make good use of the Toronto Library Passport.  The idea is to capture a glimpse into each public library, and seek out a place to put to rest those hunger pangs when they strike in the middle of your visit to the library.

Following our trip to the Northern District library (that post will be next week!) close by to the Yonge and Eglinton area, we decided to tackle the next closest library in the vicinity on Mount Pleasant.  Compared to the noisy hustle and large volume of foot traffic on Yonge, Mount Pleasant Road was practically like walking in a park.

Lined up with boutique storefronts and relatively small offices, Mount Pleasant Road is actually quite a nice street to take a stroll and take in a bit of the diversity.  What is fascinating about Mount Pleasant Library itself is that it is wedged between storefronts and is rather a quaint little library.

Despite there being a staircase leading up to a second floor as you enter the library, the main attraction is just on ground level where the bookshelves, computers, and study areas are.  Everything appears as if it is just one large room but the bookshelves serve as dividers.

The lobby area with the staircase to the left and main part of the library to the right.
The lobby area with the staircase to the left and main part of the library to the right.

Despite being a small library, Mount Pleasant was surprisingly busy.  A lot of people were on the computers or sitting back enjoying their read.  Based on our observation of folks around us in the library, it looks like snacks and coffee or tea are permitted.  I think it may be a little harder to bring a burger in here to enjoy but fear not, there is a nice cafe Lisa found nearby for a quick fix if you don’t have time (or don’t want) to sit down at one of the nearby sushi restaurants.

Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Café is just a quick walk north of the Mount Pleasant Library and serves a variety of sandwiches and baked goods.  Perfect for the “grab and read” too.  I grabbed a vegetarian sandwich but there was a little too much butter for me.  It may just be a personal preference.

What was Lisa’s opinion of the food though?  Take a look.

 

Time Well Wasted Out in the Snow

Stomping around in almost knee-high snow after the snowstorm

So over the past two days, we’ve experienced a little more snow than we’re accustomed to in Toronto.  We’re not the only ones who got hit but of course but it’s quite amazing how people in a rush to do their day to day tasks forget how amazing it is to have snow in our presence in the first place.  Then there are the folks who enjoy their time laughing or cracking jokes at Toronto (although I really don’t know if they’d enjoy the snow anymore than the average Torontonian).

Either way, I am an avid fan of snow and I only wish Toronto received more.  Nonetheless, I decided to stroll (stomp) around the neighbourhood and see how the public spaces were fairing.  Most sidewalks that weren’t associated to a private property or a public facility weren’t cleared leading most residents to walk on the street.

One can find it quite refreshing to see blankets of white across all the houses, trees, and fields.  In fact, snow-covered trees is one of the few favourite elements of winter that come to mind consistently.  Curiously, no one’s playing in this park?  Still shoveling themselves out of the driveway?

Snow-covered parkette

I’m always eager to see what the trees and the forest looks like after a good snowfall.  There aren’t really any forests per se in the neighbourhood but I knew of some public spaces with a fair number of evergreen trees so I did some more stomping and leaping in and over the snow.  Didn’t bother with the snow pants — I was only in jeans (I know, any outdoors person knows jeans are typically bad but I was feeling lazy). At least there were some fresh tracks made by others.

Fresh tracks in the snow

Given it was already early afternoon, I wasn’t expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised with a fair number of snow-covered trees.

A few snow-covered trees

Many of which were covered with icicles which was a very rare treat in Toronto!

icicles on the tree

I’m always fascinated around the use of public spaces (although I’m not necessarily one to always use them) so I went over to the community centre nearby and was happy to see people out and about enjoying a game of hockey or throwing themselves into the toboggan!

hockey and public space

I attempted to walk and leap through the deep snow only to nearly get stuck in waist-high snow — I really should have brought snowshoes but either way, it was a nice distraction and break from all the work work and school work. We may not all like the snow and the cold, but I think there’s something to be enjoyed and cherished in the brisk cold air and snow-covered landscapes (urban or nature).

trees on top of a hill