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St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood – got to love the quirky Flatiron building!

Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach – warm & sunny today, great for enjoying this repurposed space

Repuporposed space - from derelict parking lot to Sugar Beach

Repurposed lakeside space – from derelict parking lot to Sugar Beach

Distillery District - old truck

Earlier in the week: Distillery District

Distillery District

Distillery District – historic repurposed buildings and contemporary sculpture

Distillery District on a quiet Monday afternoon

Distillery District on a quiet Monday afternoon

Distillery District sculpture

Distillery District sculpture

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I’ve been meaning to visit the Bata Shoe Museum for a while and Thursday’s unseasonably cool weather seemed like an opportune time to do just that. I’d visited a number of years ago and had forgotten just how interesting a place this is!

Shoes tell a story not only of style but also of lifestyles and their cultural, religious and climatic influences. Sonja Bata started collecting shoes back in the 1940s and the museum opened it’s doors in 1995. It houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive shoe collection with 12,500 artifacts spanning 4,500 years of history.

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I started my visit with some hands-on, or rather, “feet”-on interaction. I couldn’t resist! I haven’t worn platform shoes since the 1970s and indulged in a few shoe-selfies.

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And, on to the current exhibitions.

All About Shoes: Footwear Through the Ages – an awesome historical and international exhibit

Indian. Shoes were often an indication of status.

Indian. Shoes were often an indication of status.

Chinese. The ideal size was considered to be san zun, which equates to 7.6 cm or 3 in. Such feet were called Golden Lotuses.

Chinese. The ideal size was considered to be san zun, which equates to 7.6 cm or 3 in. Such feet were called Golden Lotuses.

14th century

Detail of a 14th century artwork.

German Sabaton, 15th century.

German Sabaton, 15th century.

Notable People

Marilyn Monroe wore these red pumps while visiting Montreal.

Marilyn Monroe wore these red pumps while visiting Montreal.

Canadian author Margaret Atwood's gorgeous quirky pumps with peacock feather.

Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s gorgeous quirky pumps with peacock feather.

Collected in the Field – an exhibit highlighting the craft of traditional footwear

Mongolian, early 20th century.

Mongolian, early 20th century.

Beauty, Identity, Pride – didn’t have enough time to photograph any other artifacts from this collection

Native, South Western

Native, South Western

Fashion Victims – an exhibit of 19th century footwear

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French, 19th century embroidered boot

19th century fashion trend for bright colours was later considered gawdy by the more privileged.

19th century fashion trend for bright colours was later considered gawdy by the more privileged.

Portrait. Shoeshine boy.

Portrait. Shoeshine boy.

This was definitely an entertaining way to spend an evening. In case you’re wondering what I wore – it was my Sperry Top-siders.

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Have you been to the museum? Are you a shoe person? What stories do your shoes hold?

Linking up with¬†Sheila’s Shoe Shine.

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DSCN2312Evergreen Brick Works is a prominent example of re-adapted use of industrial heritage buildings. The environmental centre features green design and promotes sustainability through workshops, tours and a farmer’s market. The rehabilitated quarry, a result of funds raised by the City and TRCA, is now a park and natural area.

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DSCN2282It’s been almost five years since I last lived in Toronto and I’d never really spent time in the east end, so I’ve been walking around and exploring.

This afternoon I headed over to Riverdale Farm. I’d visited a few times when I was a child but I think I’ve only been here once before as an adult. The farm, park and neighbourhood are enchanting. The farm is home to traditional farm animals – cows, horses, sheep and hens –¬† historic houses look onto the farm/park and you can wander along the ravine paths.

The farm is in Riverdale Park West and the park is separated by the Don Valley. The east park offers a wonderful view of the downtown skyline.

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