Sunday, December 5, 2010

Margin Notes: Tiger, German Market, Redwood

A tiger was noted displayed for the holidays in Toronto, Ontario's Koreatown on 4-December-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - One of the disadvantages of doing most commuting underground in the subway is that one is completely oblivious to what's above ground. Apparently, the holiday light display shaped like a tiger pictured above has graced Koreatown here in Toronto near Christie Pits Parks each December since 2008. I didn't notice it until this year, and I have to say it may be my favorite lighted sculpture in the city.

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The crowds were so thick it was difficult to move near the performance stage during the opening of Toronto Christmas Market on 3-December-2010

Genuinely new this year is the German-style Christmas Market in the Distillery District of Toronto. I arrived late to the opening ceremonies on Friday night to discover that so many people had shown up that it was almost impossible to move around the stage, as shown above. This event is the best approximation of a German Christmas Market that I've seen in North America; I'll have more to say about it in a future post as I plan to go back at a quieter time--but it only runs through next Sunday.

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Winter will probably arrive in Toronto by next Sunday. We haven't had significant snow accumulation yet this season, but there were snow showers off and on all day today, and for the first time I decided to pull out my warmest winter hat to deal with a wind chill factor approaching -10 C even at mid-day. Of course, in a month, that will probably seem warm.

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It's warm inside the John Street Roundhouse this winter, the first season with interior heating in the museum stalls. The roof of a 1931 Canadian Pacific sleeping car is currently under restoration in those stalls, including the replacement of rotten wood. The kind of wood found on that roof was not what I would have expected--the restoration contractor, Tom Murison, identified it as California Redwood. If California Redwood was used on Canadian passenger cars in the 1930's, its use must have been quite widespread in the industry!

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