Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The city and all its treasures v. 2

Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.
Nichiren Daishonen

On a grey and dirty Tuesday in February, I came about strolling with a friend the deep immensities of beauty Toronto beholds. There was almost a Victorian-like atmosphere with the way the sky looked and the places I went, as well as being abnormally warm where I took it to be a cold day.
Stopped for lunch at La Maquette (111 King Street East) where the view was simply lovely, overlooking the St. James Cathedral, one of the most historic beauty darlings within the city.
My curiosity as usual overwhelms me and it was after lunch I very much wished to take a step into the St. James Church.
I took it to be grand, but not as such a scale as I have expected. There is something about cathedrals or churches that seem to draw away every ounce of worry in one's mind where reflection and inner spirituality then, tides over.
Oh the intricate details among such a stature of immense stronghold of magnificence.
Seeing those candles made me want to close my eyes and usher a prayer: to behold the never-ending sights and senses and hope that they will never leave me.
It was then I came across the small park where I had once mentioned before this past summer titled "Glittering. Elegant. Intrigue. Seamless." What a different theme it now holds. This sense of barren abandonment, of dabs of loss and the feeling that you can't shake off those dark clouds that linger above you.

Putting away all such negative thoughts aside, I turned to more of precious things I would thus explore, often forbidden, but nonetheless explored by moi.

A glimpse of what the city looked like, the St. James Church holding down its fort amidst a Gothic scenario.
The St. Lawrence Hall. I cannot cease to exclaim how ever so glad that we continue to preserve and hold such buildings as these within the city. Of course, the modern high rises and skyscrapers are a wonder to behold in itself, but it does not surpass the classical structures of buildings as this one, when it comes to timeless pieces of architecture.

When entering the building, my heart gave a small leap as if I came across something blissfully wonderful to be held in store. As I went up the dark-red carpeted stairs, its as if I left the year 2010 behind and went back into the 1890's. I felt as if I were really in one of those BBC classics as Sense and Sensibility or Emma where the estates that they showed equaled this amount.

A view such as this one, made me feel that I was truly back in time.
Windows with white laced curtains, honestly have me another small bliss.
I came upon the second floor and stepped into a hallway, where doors opened into this wonderful small ballroom.
I honestly thought I stepped into the set of one of Jane Austen's novels, where Lizzie or Emma would arrive to such a place to hold a ball and meet their Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley's. I could not tell you just how immense my heart felt- it was such a rush of joy!
Even better, they still do it the old-fashioned way where all the lighting is used in gas lamps, so there were actual flames and not silly electric bulbs! By now I was bouncing.

As I slowly walked further into the room, taking this scenery all in, there stood a fireplace and a couple of chairs. Oh how I wish I brought a book and sat there, or I imagined I would paint or write, overlooking the scenery outside the window.

And how divine the light pouring through. I moved my face closer in its bathing warmth and closed my eyes, if but for a moment, absorbing this wonderful and magical place.
The view from the window. I could imagine how lovely it would be when the branches hold leaves, and summer echoes all around.
Turning around and out from the ballroom, I came across this room. Can you guess the next thing that I bounced for joy at?
An old grand piano! There is nothing that sets my heart aflame than finding a room with a piano.
I slowly let my fingers glide among the old keys, hitting a note or two to find that some were out of tune, but made me love it all the more.
I then sat down on the wooden bench, creased and scratched with age, and began to play a few simple pieces. The melodic notes and the graceful harmony of the music that rushed out into the air made me feel at ease. I knew that such a moment like this, was all it takes to know what it means to live life, to find that paradise.
Even the paintings along the walls were graced with such artworks as these. The windows portrayed such a view as this:
Eventually I left the grand piano's side and entered into another room once more, where it could easily suffice as a Reading Room or a Meeting Room of sorts. I was also quite fond of it as well.
A painting of what St. Lawrence Hall must have looked like back in the day.
Even the little details such as this, was simply wonderful.
There were more stairs to climb up and eventually another floor up or two, I came across... the Opera Atelier.
It was quite bustling with activity, a costume here and there, and the entire place was filled with music from Chopin.

Upon entering another room, there stood ballerinas practicing, stretching, and being graceful as always. I also had the opportunity to meet the stage director ,who was mightily helpful in telling about the programs coming up and little things of that sort. He was extremely kind and I was glad I had the chance to meet him.

And that's all for now, ciao!

(Note: these pictures were all taken by me, so if you wish to use one of them, feel free to contact me)



  1. I look forward to visiting Toronto one day soon. It looks so romantic! Beautiful images...and great post! BTW, I haven't taken the time to watch the BBC series on youtube, but thank you for letting me know. I can't wait to indulge...

  2. Thanks so much Mel! That would be lovely if you ever come to Toronto someday. Yes! You must watch it very soon, cannot wait when the dvd set comes out.

  3. I would love to visit Toronto one day! Your photographs and descriptions are wonderful! You have great attention to all the details and that piano is beautiful!

  4. You have captured the beauty of this maginificent city we live in.

    Keep exploring and taking pictures! I will live vicariously through you, since I am a hibernating bear in the Winter :)

    Lovely post xoxo

  5. @ Emily- Thanks so much Emily..i know, i secretly died a bit inside upon touching that piano
    @cookie- toronto will always have a part of me
    @Kato- you're amazing, I most definitely will continue, thank you :)

  6. Toronto has some beautiful buildings and churches. I always wanted to get married at St. Michael's but the hoops you have to jump through...

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh my goodness! This looks so magical! When I visit Toronto, I
    am definitely going to ask you to take me around! Just lovely.

  8. @ SogniSorrisi- yes I can definitely second that about Toronto having beautiful buildings and churches, the things we often take for granted...
    @ Emma- Yes! That would be simply wonderful, lots of love :)

  9. Oh how wonderful, it transports you to another era. Really lovely post, thank you for sharing.

  10. To Dustjacket Attic and Margaux: Thank you a million for your kind words


Thanks for brightening my day! Always love to hear what you have to say.


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