“Home is a name,

it is a strong one;

stronger than magician ever spoke,

or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ”  (Charles Dickens)

I’m walking the streets in Toronto, around West Queen West.   It’s a delightful way to look  for lovely old homes brought back to life by loving hands.   These  homes have personal grace.  They display not just renovations  but something more.

They flaunt   a little magic,

A  bit of sophistication,

And a goodly amount of charm.

No staid brass numbers for this beauty but an  address  beautifully scripted above the door.

Almost but not quite a painted lady – rather a romantic  house – pale green and lavender The gingerbread trim has been loving restored by caring hands.

Someone with  a sense of wonderment and just a little bit outrageous had the courage to paint this house in  their favorite colours.   Then they screened  it with an  enchanted forest.  A fair maiden stands hidden on the balcony.

Surely an artist lives in this house.  They have painted the columns all around  with vines and flowers.  Summer and winter they welcome one and all to come inside.

For years this house was filled with the laughter and excitement of families.   Reborn, i has become a tiny, elegant cafe.  The kind of place you would stroll to for an early morning espresso or perhaps a croissant.

There’s no place like home.  Just click your ruby-red heels together and you’re there.



    • You did really well for a short stay in Toronto Tricia. Toronto is a city of neighborhoods. Where we stay when in Toronto we are in walking distance of two very well visited neighborhoods “Little Italy” and “Little Portugal”. Great to shop and eat. V.

  1. I’m clicking my heels to meet you at the lovely little cafe with the striped awning : ) Can’t wait to while away the morning with an espresso and a biscotti and chat about all things French and fabulous:) Thanks for the little vacation : ) Affectionately G

    • Ginny, we would indeed linger long over our espresso and biscotti. The sun would move around and we would still be sitting on the little cafe chairs. There would not be enough time to speak of all the wonderful things we would like to discuss. But in this life, who knows what the future my bring. XXOoV

  2. Virginia, I love the way you love Toronto, especially the Queen West area. Yes, the heritage homes are fabulous. I’m lucky enough to live in a building that’s over 110 years old, and I share your sentiments.

    • I am familiar with Spadina. The photographs of these houses was taken in the area called West Queen West. Most of them were between Queen and College. I adore Toronto, also. I love the very ethnic neighborhoods. My son-in-law’s house dates from the late l800’s and is across from the beautiful Trinity Bellwood Park. V.

      • well, I left Canada in 2002….my cousin lives in Toronto, told me that the waterfront changed so much…I’ve seen some photos but it’s not like the real thing… definitely I’ll pay him a visit soon…and also Winnipeg where some good friends live…anyway , nice remembering Toronto

  3. Do you know how these homes are? I currently live in a little Victorian that is from the late 1800’s…it is in, surprisingly, great shape!! There is a lot of history where we live, too, here in Ventura, California. It’s so neat to hear the history of little towns.

    • The area in Toronto – where I took these pictures – is quite old. Many of the houses date from the l800’s. Because of climatic conditions the have been well built to withstand the cold winters. Many of them, like the ones pictured, have been lovingly restored. V.

  4. Seeing these lovely and colourful homes, I can’t imagine how some people would want to live in a cold and glass condo. There is so much more personality in these. I’m from Vancouver and one of its oldest areas, the Strathcona neighbourhood, is full of such beautiful homes dating back to the late 19th century which are pretty well-preserved. I’m sure you’d love our community. When you come over here, definitely pay it a visit.

    • We used to live just above Granville Island, and know the city well. Strathcona is a lovely neighborhood, and people have done a wonderful job restoring these homes to their former splendor. Virginia

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