Thursday, September 20, 2012

Parking Day Street Art Port Credit (Mississauga) Ontario

Mississauga Marking International Park(ing) Day 

September 21 is International Park(ing) Day, when participating cities around the world replace some of their metered street parking spots with car-less projects that range from free health clinics and free bike repair shops, to tiny green parks and art installations.

 Park(ing) Day began in 2005, in San Francisco, with one two-hour metered spot; in 2011, some 162 cities, in 35 countries took part.

This year, the City of Mississauga is taking part for the first time, with four art installations along Lakeshore Road East in Port Credit. Taking Park(ing) 'Day' to Park(ing) DayS, these installations will remain in place for 10 days to encompass next weekend's Mississauga Culture Days events (see below).

Parking Day art installation outside LCBO store on Lakeshore Road East in Port Credit.
Setting up on Lakeshore Road East Outside LCBO 
The most easterly of the four installations is outside the LCBO store on Lakeshore Road East, in Port Credit, adjacent to the site of the Saturday Farmers Market.

Red parking cones hold flowerpots in a temporary garden in a parking spot on Lakeshore Road East in Port Credit.
Parking Cone 'planters' for Flowerpot Garden 
The second installation, a flowerpot garden set on parking cones (the only installation that looks good from all angles, in my opinion) is located a few steps west from the first project, and also adjacent to the Farmers Market (LCBO parking lot). These locations are east of Hurontario Street (Hwy 10).

Bright yellow slide in parking spot on Lakeshore Road, Port Credit, with abacus of Xs and Os.
Yellow Xs and Os West of Hurontario on Lakeshore in Mississauga 
From the south side of Lakeshore, this installation looks like something, but what, I cannot say, since I had to leave this morning's 'media launch' prior to the tour reaching this point.

I will let you know what it is when I find out. But at least, from this viewpoint, it looks like Something. Not sure if kids are intended to climb and slide, or spin the Xs and Os. The absence of signage on any of the projects, which have been in place for the past two days, has left many passersby scratching their heads. Perhaps the signs will go up over the coming days.

Rear view of art installation looks like a dumpster parked on Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga.
The View from Across the Street: A Dumpster?
As I mentioned, the flowerpot garden looks good from all angles. This occurred to me when I spied the Big Yellow Slide thing from across Lakeshore Road. With no signage, it looks more like a dumpster than a Park(ing) Day installation, and any impact is lost on passing traffic.

Van outside post office in Port Credit has new deck and steps of blue, yellow and white planks.
Abandoned Van or Art: Outside old Post Office 
Outside the old Post Office on Lakeshore just west of Stavebank Road, this modified van has colorful wooden decking and seating. Again, are people welcome to sit a spell? Or not? The streetside door has a single wooden bar across the opening. A live traffic lane is just the other side of the van. Where's Health and Safety when we need them?

Burgundy van and orange parking cones are part of an art installation outside old Post Office in Port Credit.
The Far Side View: Art Not on Display from across the street.
Again, from across the street (Lakeshore Road East, at the old Post Office, which is west of Stavebank Road), or as glimpsed from passing traffic, this van looks like it's recently been in an accident and waiting for the tow truck. More road distraction than art installation. And two parking spots to boot.

Advertising from City of Mississauga for Culture Days and Park(ing) Days.
Brochures for Parking) Day and Mississauga Culture Days
Park(ing) Days in Port Credit sets the stage for Mississauga Culture Days taking place next weekend, Sept 28-Sept 30, that includes the popular Doors Open Mississauga on Saturday Sept 29. For a list of venues, times etc see Doors Open Mississauga site and 2010 blog post. The former Small Arms building in Lakeview (number40 on the list) will have veterans and former employees on hand to talk about their experiences.

New but temporary signs encourage walking and cycling in Port Credit.
New Signs are Part of the Art in Port Credit.
These new but temporary signs, again, with no indication that they are part of the Park(ing) Day installations, are set up in various points through Port Credit. Out of context, they look a bit odd.

Ward One Councillor, Jim Tovey, beside 'Art Sign' near Ten Restaurant
This sign says Bike, with arrows pointing to the street (Lakeshore Road East) and to the sidewalk outside Timothy's coffee shop just west of Hurontario. As if we don't have enough cyclists riding on the sidewalk; now they have this unofficial sign that implies it is fine to so do.

Tovey had a hand in the 'piano-keyboard' crosswalk design at the intersection of Hurontario and Lakeshore directly behind him in the above photo. That looks amazing and will last for years.

Sign says No Cycling on sidewalks in Mississauga.
NO Cycling on Sidewalks in Mississauga (or Toronto, for that matter)
And just a few steps west of the misleading cycling sign is one of many such signs along Lakeshore and adjacent streets in Port Credit. (MiWay is the Mississauga bus, passing by). It's really tough being a pedestrian, what with devil-may-care cyclists weaving around pedestrians on the village sidewalks, little scofflaws if you will, who make walking an extreme sport, especially on weekends. Rather have Bylaw Enforcement educate the bike riders than put up 'art' signs that muddy the issue further.  Cyclists, Get off your bike and WALK or get on the street.

A few thoughts about the temporary patios in Port Credit:

Temporary patios and wooden boardwalks Lakeshore Road E between Stavebank and Elizabeth St.
Patios Lakeshore Road Port Credit, looking east towards Elizabeth St.
Not really part of the art installations for Park(ing) Day (and boy, is that getting tiresome to type), and just as temporary, are these series of wood patios and boardwalks also located on Lakeshore between Stavebank and Elizabeth streets. Note the large signs with large arrows directing traffic.

These signs with large arrows (Please Use the Boardwalk. Please Don't Walk on the Street) are good to have, though it took several weeks of many bewildered pedestrians who inferred the sidewalk was closed and proceeded along the live traffic lanes to get past the restos. Interesting yet dangerous times.

These temporary and wood-heavy patios are another Port Credit pilot project that is met with mixed reviews from resident walkers and those looking for a place to park. No word on how the patrons felt about sitting out in traffic with cyclists and pedestrians pausing to check out the food they were  forking in. Adjacent business said they were not very happy as customers couldn't park close by.

Wooden boardwalk replaces concrete sidewalk, Lakeshhore road, Port Credit
Boardwalk along Lakeshore Road Port Credit.
A lot of wood, a lot of flowers, and it looks good. But will it return next year? Should sidewalks be usurped by bars? Granted, the sidewalks along this stretch of the village could really use some updating, but I am not convinced this is the way to go. This patio section is on the south side of Lakeshore; a smaller version is across the street.

A plank wood wall faces Lakeshore Road in Port Credit.
Patio Viewed from Lakeshore Road in Port Credit.
Again, the view from the street: A wall of wood. As far as I know, no vehicles have crashed into it, though, and it may help slow speeders along this block.

Sidewalk south side of Lakeshore Road East seems to end up in a restaurant patio.
Looking West along Lakeshore Road south sidewalk.

Here's the view walking west; the large direction signs are not visible until you are upon them, with some pedestrians still opting to walk along the live traffic lanes. 

Oddly enough, this stretch of Lakeshore Road in afternoon and early evening, is the hottest and least windy part of all of Port Credit. One has to wonder if a rooftop or backyard patio would better suit those patrons who enjoy patios with their restaurants. One also has to wonder on the return on investment for these temporary structures. I can hardly wait for next summer to find out.

But back to Park(ing) Days and Culture Days:

While I applaud the concept, and appreciate the hard work by both City staff and artists in setting it up, I think the execution can be improved in coming years.

 Do come and take a walk in Port Credit, and let me know if I am just nit-picking or if I do have a point. Either way, it's a lot of fun to live here, and I am learning to go with the flow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Taste of Port Credit, BBQ Book Launch at Lighthouse

Community, businesses, media barbecue on the patio at Port Credit Lighthouse launches summertime events  

Several Port Credit area chefs at lighthouse book launch and bbq.
Taste of Port Credit Chefs Barbecue
A number of chefs and staff from Port Credit restaurants served up grilled meats, seafoods, veggies and fruits today on the Lighthouse patio to kick off the Taste of Port Credit 'passports' campaign that runs from June 15 to August 15.

About 39 "Places to eat in Port Credit' are listed on the passport, from ice cream parlours to fine dining restaurants, pubs and pizza parlours, and slow cooked and fast food. Taste of Port Credit passports are being mailed to residents, and are also available for pick-up at participating restaurants and at the Lighthouse on Lakeshore Road at the Credit River, in Mississauga.

Over the next two months, dine out at participating businesses and get your passport stamped for a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate.  See Taste of Port Credit on the Paint the Town Red web site for details.

Canada Day Display at Port Credit Lighthouse Barbecue
Canada Day Paint the Town Red display continued the day's red and white color theme. The Port Credit lighthouse is the office of the local BIA, and the site of many community events, indoors or out on the patio that overlooks the Credit River and Lakeshore Road bridge. One can only wonder the thoughts of passing motorists during outdoor events. The lighthouse was a transfer point for the Olympic Torch relay in December 2009.

Dave Barrow,  Singer  Songwriter, Mississauga Ontario
And to add to the ambiance, Mississauga's Dave Barrow strummed and sang for the lunchtime barbecue crowd. Yes, he takes requests, and is most gracious when audience members sing along. Barrow is set to perform at the Paint the Town Red celebrations on Canada Day. See his website for more information.

John Bozzo and Rob Rainford at Port Credit Lighthouse Barbecue
John Bozzo, left, owner of La Villa Fine Foods and Bakery, a major sponsor of many community events in Port Credit, talks 'grilling' with author/chef Rob Rainford, who was on hand to sign Born to Grill , his new barbecue cookbook.  See Rainford's web site for more information on this Jamaica-born Canadian chef who knows his way around a grill.

Breadsticks and Barbecue Port Credit Lighthouse Patio
Bozzo and Rainford and friend with loaves of fresh-baked bread in the foreground, and the Port Credit arena in the background. In between lies Memorial Park, the venue for this weekend's free Mississauga Waterfront Festival and Port Credit's Canada Day fireworks, concerts, market stalls and entertainers on July 1.

Strawberries dipped in chocolate, brownies and protiferoles dessert at bbq.
Desserts and Cook Books at Taste of Port Credit
And just when guests thought they could eat no more, this fabulous dessert platter appeared, with chocolate-dipped strawberries, cream puffs and iced brownies. Oh, well, room for a bit more!  Today's sampling of Taste of Port Credit included jerk chicken skewers with spicy mango cubes, chunky sirloin bits, chicken skewers, lamb burgers, mini-sausage sliders, gazpacho and grilled zucchini.

Lighthouse and Over-Sized Grocery Cart Port Credit
An oversized shopping cart serves to remind us that not everyone has enough to eat. The shopping cart is a collaboration between Xtreme Tire Garage and La Villa Fine Foods and Bakery.

The cart will be part of the Port Credit Canada Day parade; the goal is to fill it with non-perishable food items to be donated to the Mississauga Food Bank.

Out-sized Grocery Cart at Port Credit Lighthouse
John Bozzo (right) located the out-sized cart near Ottawa, ON, and although it was in poor condition,  arranged to have it picked up and brought to Port Credit. He contacted Jason Segato (left) at Xtreme Tire to refurbish it. New wheels and more, hours of sanding and painting, et voila! A great shopping cart. To give scale to the size of the cart, Bozzo and Segato climbed aboard for the photo.

Always something happening in Port Credit!

More Port Credit events this weekend:

  • MWF (Mississauga Waterfront Festival) Friday, Saturday and Sunday. See my MWF parking blog post for parking info.
  • Farmers Market Saturday (see post for location) See my blog post about the MWF and Farm Market here.
  • Art in the Yard Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 47 Mississauga Road South at Saddington Park parking lot. (Google Map).  Look for the Art in Yard poster around Port Credit and drop by and to support our local artisans

Poster for art community event in Port Credit Ontario June 16 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Farm Market, Waterfront Fest, Canada Day Port Credit Summer Fun

Farmers Market Saturdays,  Mississauga Waterfront Festival on Fathers Day Weekend, and Canada Day July 1 parade and fireworks: Port Credit launches summertime festivals and events. And DO come to lunch this Wednesday!

Undeterred by yesterday's forecast rain, a lively throng turned out for the opening ceremonies on the first day of the 2012 Saturday Farmers Market, the unofficial start of Port Credit's summertime festival season.

Canada Day, Buskerfest, Famers Market logos on Port Credit BIA trailer.
Port Credit BIA Festival Trailer at Farmers Market
The gaily-painted Port Credit BIA trailer shows all the major summer festivals and events in the Village: MWF is the Mississauga Waterfront Festival, Paint the Town Red is Canada Day celebrations, Buskerfest is street theatre (mid-August) and Southside Shuffle is the jazz and music fest that is held the weekend after Labour Day (September).

Councillor Jim Tovey Opening Ceremony Farmers Market
 Port Credit area councillor, Jim Tovey (center), welcomed market-goers at Port Credit, along with representatives of the BIA and the Paint the Town Red committee. For a full list of events this summer in Port Credit, see the BIA site.

La Villa bakery  farmers market stall, Port Credit ON.
John Bozzo, La Villa Bakery stall Farmers Market
 Johnny Bozzo, the driving force behind Port Credit's 'Paint the Town Red' committee and the owner of La Villa Fine Foods and Bakery, mans his stall at the Farmers Market before his opening-ceremony duties. La Villa sponsors many events in the village, and always has a stall at the market.

Buns, pizza, muffins and coffee cakes tempting wares at Port Credit famers market.
Coffee Cakes and Bread La Villa market stall Port Credit.
 As I was taking photos of the Opening Ceremony, the aroma of something delicious wafted by. I turned to see these gorgeous coffee cakes laden with fruit. How tempting are they? But I resisted, and instead came home with fresh bagels and muffins.

See photos of produce and more from last year's market here (and a map). (I'd forgotten the Bollywood connection for last year's launch until I went to look up the post.) The market sets up in the city parking lot adjacent to the LCBO store.

Baskets of annuals and bedding plants for sale at Port Credit Farmers Market.
Bedding Plants at Farmers Market
 At this time of year, several vendors offer bedding plants, annuals and shrubs at the market, such as these cheery petunias shown above. Another vendor had large potted shrubs and perennials.  The market offerings change from week to week with new and different stalls setting up each Saturday.

Colourful pots and vases of cut flowers and tropical plants surround Stavebank Florist stall.
Stavebank Florist Stall at Farmers Market 
 Local flower shop Stavebank Florist set up a very fetching stall at the Farmers Market -- just the ticket to brighten a cloudy day! The store is located just west of Hurontario on the north side of Lakeshore Road East.  Note that street parking is paid parking weekdays and Saturdays, though some side streets have free parking. There are also a limited number of free parking spots at the market itself.

Local business Taste the 4th Sense display of jars of Bone-Sucking Mustard at farmers market.
Taste the 4th Sense Jars of Mustard 
Show me a stack of jars labelled Bone Suckin' Mustard and you just know I will take a picture! Demonstrating the diversity of offerings at the Farmers Market as well as in Port Credit at large are these tempting jars from Taste the 4th Sense on Lakeshore Road East, a few blocks east of the Market.

Ellen Timms (microphone) Farmers Market Opening Ceremonies
And that's a wrap! Ellen Timms, general manager Port Credit BIA, wraps up the Market opening day launch with an invitation for everyone to come to Port Credit next weekend -- June 15-17 -- for the annual Mississauga Waterfront Festival as well as Sunday, July 1, for Canada Day all-day and evening celebrations.

Come for lunch This Wednesday!
“Taste of Port Credit” Media Launch hosted by The PCBIA and Paint the Town Red Port Credit Community Association at the Port Credit Light House (105 Lakeshore Rd. W.) 
Wednesday June 13, 2012, 11:00am – 1:00pm 
Special Guest Celebrity Chef  is Rob Rainford of the FoodNetwork Canada’s License to Grill 
Food and refreshments will be provided by local restaurants. 
 Local chefs will be barbecuing on site.


  •  All events at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival are free this year; in previous years, tickets were sold for the main stage shows.
  •  Canada Day events are free, including the fireworks at 10:15 p.m. July 1, with a reminder that no private fireworks are allowed.

See for full list of events this summer in Port Credit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day in Mississauga a Walk in the Gardens

Spring has definitely sprung in Mississauga, and down on the lake in Port Credit, there's a riot of blooms, especially at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens on Lakeshore Road West. The rhododendrons and azaleas are coming into peak bloom, and a magnet for visitors from the Greater Toronto Area. This is a great place for a Mother's Day walk. Just look for the sign below, and the Gardens sign beside it.

Sign at Godfreys Lane and Lakeshore Road West Port Credit Mississauga Ontario.
New Welcome to Port Credit Sign
 This is the new sign that's seen from the west when you drive east along Lakeshore Road from Clarkson (Southdown Road). If you are coming from the west, this means you've missed the Gardens. Turn around and head back to the light. Look for the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens sign on the south side at the lights at Shawnmarr, and turn right.

 From Mississauga Road, drive west two lights on west on Lakeshore Road West and look for the bright new sign (see bottom photo). Look for the left turn lane at Shawnmarr Road into the parking lot.  If the lot is full, there is free on-street parking on Shawnmarr. There is also a Missy transit bus stop here for No. 23 bus that runs every 15-20 minutes every day.

PJM rhododendron mauve flowers at Brueckner Gardens Mississauga, Ontario.
Mauve Rhododendrons at Brueckner in Port Credit
 There are several dozen rhododendron beds throughout the Gardens, so take your time and walk the trails to see them all. Early blooming rhodos and azaleas have bloomed and gone, but there are many more to come over the next few weeks.

Pink Japanese Cherry trees in full bloom at Mississauga public garden in Port Credit.
Japanese Cherry Trees in Full Bloom
 From the parking lot main entrance, walk due south past the Kennedy Memorial Plaque amid a bed of tulips to the main trail. You cannot miss the Japanese Cherry trees in full bloom. The trail continues up the hill towards a lookout over Lake Ontario. The hill walk is a bit steep, but take your time. There are several  benches at the top, down the trail and at the Lookout.

Rhododendrons in bloom on Mother's Day  framed by Japanese Cherry trees Port Credit Mississauga Ontario
Japanese Cherries at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
 The Japanese Cherries in full bloom almost overshadow the showpiece rhododendrons and azaleas. In this photo, the split rail fence separates the heritage Brueckner Rhododendrons from the walking trail. There is a gate into the rhodo beds, and visitors can wander among the plants and take photos. Note that the Gardens may be booked for wedding party photos especially on weekends, and that dogs are NOT allowed in the rhododendron beds at any time.

Foot Bridge to East Garden Flower Beds
 Stand at the Japanese Cherries, turn your back on the rhododendron beds, and look across the meadow and rose gardens to the far trail. That trail along a creek has three foot bridges to access the East Garden and more rhododendron beds, so be sure to have a look.

Apple blossoms white blooms Mississauga Ontario (port Credit)
Apple Blossoms for Mother's Day in Mississauga
 Be sure to look up, above the rose garden, the walking trails and the bridges. There are many fruit trees in bloom for Mother's Day: Apples, pears, crabapples, cherries. These trees are a legacy of the former farm; the seating area garden just east of the parking lot marks the site of the first Interim Place shelter for women.

White apple blossoms against a deep blue sky in Port Credit Mississauga Ontario.
Apple Blossom Time in Mississauga Ontario
Close up of the white blossoms against a blue sky: The clear sunny warm weather forecast for Mother's Day this weekend is great for the blooming fruit trees and shrubs. One good rainstorm could put an end to this great spring show.  Roses and peonies won't be in bloom for about three to four weeks, so plan to return in early June to get the best show.

Pink mauve flowers come out before the leaves on native Ontario redbud trees, shown here in full bloom May 2012
Redbud Trees at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
 As you enter the Gardens at the parking lot, you cannot miss the native redbud trees in full mauve-pink bloom. The flowers don't last long, and this week may be the peak show.  There are new plantings of small redbud trees to the south west of the parking lot. Look too for lilac trees in bloom in the East Garden, south side near Godfreys Lane.

Early blooming tiny blue wildflowers at Brueckner Gardens line the Waterfront Trail along Tecumseh Creek.
Blue wildflower in bloom Mississauga Ontario
 I was told the name of these tiny blue wildflowers and promptly forgot it! I will repost as soon as I can, with the correct name. Look for these low growers along the west bank of the creek, south of the footbridge closest to Lakeshore Road, just behind the building with the restrooms.

Closer look at tiny blue wildflowers
Here's a closer look at these tiny flowers that carpet the creek bank. There are similar flowers nearby, more pink/ mauve than these and larger: those flowers are the perennial geraniums, and make a very fine show in their own right. The Credit Valley Conservation Authority oversees the planting along the naturalized area along the waterways, and wildflowers such as these can be seen along the banks and other woodland areas.

New sign marks Port Credit boundary - the side facing east shows Leaving message.
Leaving Port Credit new sign Godfreys Lane at Lakeshore Road West
Leaving Port Credit sign view at Godfreys Lane that is seen when arriving from Port Credit (east). Annuals are scheduled to be planted in this and other beds over several day following the May long weekend.

For more information, including a map, see Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens. Note that this is Mississauga's only designated public garden, and not a park. There are several parks in the area, however, such as Saddington and Memorial Park east of here and close to the Port Credit Lighthouse at the Credit River, and Jack Darling Park and Richards Memorial Park a few kilometers west from here.

There's no shortage of places to eat in Port Credit or Clarkson, but Mother's Day usually means they are fully booked. Some don't take reservations, though, so check around. There are several coffee shops in Port Credit (Tim Hortons in the gas station at Mississauga Road and Lakeshore, and at Hurontario and Lakeshore (north east corner, it's new). There's a Starbucks across from the lighthouse and a Second Cup at No Frills.

Another nice spot to stop and sit on the rocks along Lake Ontario is at the foot/ end of Godfreys Lane. Turn on this narrow little road just east of the Port Credit sign, and drive slowly and carefully down the lane, past the south east entrance to Rhododendron Gardens. Continue up the hill  to a tiny parking area. Look west for three large tree stumps that have been carved with The Sirens. There's another bench overlooking Cranberry Cove and the Gardens beach area. Walk south from the parking area to the large rocks with views along the lakeshore.

What a great way to mark Mother's Day! Hope you can make it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Art Show Toronto Canada One of a Kind

The renowned One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale is on in Toronto this weekend, with about 450 Canadian artisans showcasing a wide range of handmade products at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. Here's a sampling of what's available. Plan to spend at least 3 hours at the show. While there is a lot of walking involved, there are also lots of places to sit and snack. Get a hand stamp when you arrive and you can come and go as the spirit moves you.

Exhibition Hall Direct Energy Centre Toronto
Visitors at the exhibition hall are treated to vibrant lilac carpeting that cushions feet on the concrete floor while bringing a hint of spring to the space. Pick up a show guide for a list of all the booths and artisans. Note the hanging banners in mauve and turquoise with white letters; they denote the aisles, and each booth has a number. See One of a Kind site for information.

Wabi-Sabi Pottery Booth
First stop was at Wabi-Sabi Pottery (L-08), located near the start of the aisle as I came in. I know the potter, Adam Beales, and wanted to see his recent work. He specializes in tea pots, but has lots of other functional pieces too.

Handmade Pottery Wabi-Sabi Pottery
 A closer look at teapots, some with matching mugs, as well as storage jars, vases and bowls. Wabi-Sabi Pottery is located in the Port Credit area of Mississauga, Ontario.

Stinson Studios Wooden Bowls, Sculptural Burls
If you've been to One of A Kind shows in Toronto, then you've likely seen the gorgeous handcrafted wood bowls and burls crafted by Jesse and Don Stinson, of Stinson Studios, located in Tamworth, Ontario, northeast of Belleville. Booth K-04.

Oh Dina! Fascinating Fascinators !
Just in time for Easter: A fascinator! Milliner Nicole McInnis at Oh Dina! created these mood-lifting, perfect-for-weddings and graduations feather and ribbons and bows hair accessories, and brought them from her studio in Halifax to show them off. Booth L-10.

Pebble Art of Nova Scotia
Sharon Nolan, whose studio is in Pictou, Nova Scotia, displays some of her rocky creations at the Pebble Art of Nova Scotia Booth, L-31. We all like to pick pebbles at the beach, but Sharon turns them into something special and beautiful.

Roman's Fine Arts Handpainted Glass
Continue down Aisle L to Booth L-28, and the glittering colours of Roman's Fine Arts are sure to catch your eye. Oakville, Ontario, artisan Mella Roman offers a wide range of hand painted glassware, from platters and bowls to tear-drop sun catchers.

Atelier Tout Autre Chose Funky Footwear
What's a sale without shoes? And such colourful handcrafted leather shoes and sandals! These beauties are the creation of Denis Lapointe and Catherine Gineste, of Saint Romuald, near Quebec City. Booth L-36.

Garneau Sheepskin Slippers
If you've got cold feet, then Noemi Garneau, of Sheepskin Slippers by Garneau, Asbestos, Quebec, has just the thing to keep them warm and dry all year round. And such brilliant colours, too! Booth P-04.

Yellowdog Walking Sticks
Beautifully carved, shaped and painted, these colourful walking sticks are just the thing to take on the trail. Created by Ray Anderson, of Cambridge, Ontario, they are on display at Booth K-07. Haven't seen his work before at One of a Kind? That's because some artisans are here for the first time.

Yellowdog Walking Sticks and Wabi-Sabi Pottery are but two of the new artisans at this spring's show.

How Long to Stay at the Sale? Bring the kids - there's day care, too!
As I write this, it occurs to me that 3 hours is really not long enough to see all the artists, so consider making a full day of your trip.

There are a number of cafes and food outlets set up in the building -- there's even a place to get crepes in the exhibition hall. And mustard, chutney, jellies, fudge and other food sellers offer samplings of their fare. There is free day care/ babysitting near the entrance. And lots of handy washrooms.

Look, too, for one of a kind clothing and scarves, sun hats and children's clothing, bunting bags and goldsmiths, leather handbags, home decor, and on and on goes the list. Some 450 artisans, people! That's a lot of serious Canadian talent to see!

Have a great time, and be aware that artists are a friendly lot, so do stop and chat.

A Word about GO Transit Exhibition Place Stop:

If you plan to take the GO Train to Exhibition Place to take in the show, then be prepared for a bit of a walk once you leave the train. The signage for the entrance to the One of A Kind sale was non-existant at the time of my visit, though if staff did as promised, it will be set out by today.

  • To get to the correct entrance for the Direct Energy Centre exhibition hall:
  • Go left on Manitoba Street (the first street after leaving the GO station area).
  • Continue east to the marked crosswalk.
  • Cross the street and continue down the full length of the covered walkway. This ends in front of a wide entrance terrace.
  • Keep walking due south until you get to the south end of the Direct Energy Centre.
  • Turn left and follow the sidewalk into the building, then walk straight on til you see the ticket booths.

There is a large parking lot off Prince's Blvd, though it may be busy on the weekend.

See the google map for this area.