Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Creativity in Spring

I love Spring for so many reasons! Other than the obvious stuff about flowers and rain and warmth (and my birthday), Spring seems to be when people's creative energy comes into full bloom. And with that comes art fairs and cultural happenings!

A long-standing tradition I uphold is to get my cultural fill of all that Toronto has to offer in April and May. So here's my shortlisted guide for things to check out in the sunny months ahead:

Holy Trinity Anglican Church Rummage Sale - April and October
Happening biannually just off Yonge and between Centre and Clark in Richmond Hill lies the best church sale I have ever been to. Every time I go, I find a bunch of hidden gems. Here's the deal: I line up sometime around 8:00 AM for the doors which open at 9:00. I am generally the youngest person at the sale by about 40 years. You've got your cute little old ladies with their sharp little elbows, your "American Pickers" looking for a lamp with a two-dollar label that they can flip for $200, and then there's me.

I get in there and go straight for the clothing. This is a godsend to anyone needing some smart office clothing for a new job (although I'm probably leading the horse before the cart on that front). Anything you can stuff into a medium-sized garbage bag - and close - is yours for a flat seven dollars. Still a great deal, but it used to be five dollars. Oh well, we can't live in the past. Not to mention, you can't hesitate, much less try anything on. If you spend even a single moment deciding whether to grab an item or not, odds are that it will get snatched up by someone else. So I stuff anything remotely good-looking into my garbage bag without a second thought.

This year, some winners were a DKNY dress, a MAX studio dress, and an authentic Danier leather jacket. In a bright yellow tone. Why not! My favourite part of the whole thing is when I get home and remember all of the treasures that I stuffed into the bag. There are so many and it happens so fast that you can really forget about a great item until you find it later. And I am always mesmerized at how well everything fits me. I guess it comes with practice.

That's a winner!

City of Craft - April and December
If you like tiny artisan-made items that are one-of-a-kind and overall awesome, check out the City of Craft sale. I always find something wonderful (which I have mentioned in a previous blog post!), and this year, I decided to blow $40 on a two-foot crocheted cactus to match my little one. Happy birthday to me! Other wonderful treasures to be found include greeting cards, vintage clothing and housewares, plants, edible sweets, jewellery and more. And for a one dollar entrance fee, you really can't go wrong.

Jane's Walk - May 1, 2 & 3
Do you love walking tours? I definitely do. Coming up in a couple of weekends is the annual Jane's Walk in Toronto (they are all over the world), which features a list of great walking tours. The leaders of the tours are self-described experts in whatever they choose to theme their walk on, and they're all free. You just meet at a specific spot, and you get some culture. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the idea behind my Hear & Now app. Learn more about the city you live in through the eyes of another person. Everyone has their secret little corner of the city!

Some selections of mine include the Leslie Street Spitpublic art in the city, and art and parks hidden between buildings. It'll be fun! Even if it rains!

Doors Open Toronto - May 23 & 24
Another annual event that happens all over, but Toronto has its own dedicated weekend. Doors Open is exactly what it sounds like. Lots of different establishments around the city open their doors to the public to get a good look around. Certainly a must-see for the dangerously curious. The establishments can be anything from religious centres to factories to residences. Last year I visited a water pumping station, a jail, an architectural firm, and Corus key. This year, who knows! Not to mention, my record for places visited in one day is seven. See if you can top that!

My selections include Denegri Bessai StudioThe Aga Khan Museum, CJ Skateboard Park, Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, Gilda's Club, and High Park's Greenhouses.

And as a bonus, I have never been to Allan Gardens. It's open every day of the year and has no admission, so this is my year for that. I love greenhouses and looking at beautiful gardens (probably because I can't really grow anything myself!)

Lots to do!

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