It's hot in Toronto this week. It's not as hot as a hot day in Ottawa - we always seem to time our summer visit to Ottawa during one of their July heatwaves so I have a basis for comparison - and it's not as oppressive as a hot day at the cottage - where a fan just pushes around more hot air, and the cooling effects of a swim wear off in two minutes - but it's still really, really hot. In other words, exactly the right time to go to a French cafe with a secret back garden...
... for a midmorning break with a like-minded friend.
Okay, that turned out not to be the best way to enjoy a very hot day. It is VERY hot even in the shade of a lovely urban garden, and I lost badly at cribbage, and even delicious cafe au lait and a black&blue berry custard tart can't compensate for that.
I had much better luck by taking the heat out of the equation and focusing on the visual with my phone's camera.
I love the Rosedale subway station... actually, I love the whole area around Rosedale. It's an affluent residential neighbourhood just north of downtown Toronto, lovely for long leafy walks past gorgeous turn of the last century homes, and the stretch of Yonge Street that borders it on one side is densely populated with
interior decorating shops and restaurants and cafes and florists and other aesthetically pleasing businesses.
But my favourite thing about the station (except maybe in February) is that it's outdoors. Riding through that stop, your phone suddenly gets reception. You get natural light; you can see what the weather will be like when you eventually get off the train. There are trees at the fringes.
North of Rosedale, you pop back underground for two stops, and then the track emerges to run alongside Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where everybody goes to run and ride bikes and admire its trees, which were planted for diversity. You stay outdoors for Davisville station too, but I feel that Davisville's architecture lacks Rosedale's simple charm. Not to mention its proximity to quite so many of the finer things in life.
You know what though? The very best way I've found to deal with the heat is to stay home. At the condo, I mean. There are double doors at both entrances, and when you walk through the first set you are instantly not hot any more. It's not that the air conditioning is crazy fierce or anything - it's just kind of effective. Every time I come back I am amazed by the spontaneous transformation between crazy hot and comfortable.
I'm not sure the house will serve us as well, but the spray insulation got started today and that should go a long way to keeping the heat out in the first place.
Meanwhile: there is a cottage to open this weekend, and a very large scented sheet to hang out in the forest there. I had kind offers from Trish and Jennifer to make use of their clothes lines (thank you so much!!) but this is a HUGE sheet and I wouldn't wish the perfume on either of them. Beside which, I can torment the mice and biting insects with it, which is an opportunity not to miss. The air at the cottage is the best thing about it, apart from bobbing around in the water with a life jacket on - I swear, that never gets old - and if it can't clear up the last of the scent, nothing can.
Hope you've been having a good week, whatever the weather!