June 20 was a great day for Baltimore Oriole nest watchers - two babies orioles fledged the nest. One perched high enough for a photo during dinner.
PHOTO: Ann Brokelman

Spring migration is a treat for birders

It is finally that time of year again, when the most beautifully coloured orange, red and yellow birds arrive and sing the uplifting songs we haven’t heard in far too many months. Just the other day I was at Rosetta McClain Gardens with my birding buddy Carol, and we were blessed to hear a ‘chick-burr […]

The East Toronto Gospel Hall, shown here some time around 1910, previously
Morton’s Hall, also functioned as the East Toronto town hall.

A tour of former East Toronto: Part 2

Read part one of the history of the former town of East Toronto. After its initial formation in 1888 to serve employees and businesses serving the Grand Trunk Railway yard bounded by Main Street to the west, Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Danforth to the north and Gerrard Street to the south, the village […]

pet-Patrick in backyard post-op

Meet the official beagle walkathon wiggler

Don’t tell anyone, but before I started my little beagle rescue, I had a habit of mixing up beagles with basset hounds. I know the difference now. While they might both resemble cartoon characters, beagles are less exaggerated. No offence to basset hounds of course, but the body parts of your average beagle are in […]


Deja Views for May 31, 2016

I shot the first panorama four years ago. It showed the major overhaul of Kew Beach United Church, that had recently merged with Bellefair United. The church building on Bellefair was sold to developers, which in turn helped finance the massive renovation of the church on Wineva, now called Beach United Church. In the last […]

Every warm day is a barbecue day

B-Day season – short for barbecue day – has begun with a vengeance. No longer the hearty soup, the sustaining stew. At last, the freedom to the great outdoors and grilling. Right on cue is the availability of lobster, local pickerel, Ontario lamb and as accompaniments, fiddleheads, asparagus, new potatoes and tomatoes, and, of course, […]

Don’t leave this world intestate

Howard Hughes, the eccentric aviator, film producer and billionaire, died on April 5, 1976 without leaving a will. It took 34 years for his estate to be settled, finally winding up around 2010. One scrawled will that surfaced early was declared to be a forgery. The famous and reclusive Mr. Hughes died without a will, […]

In praise of the bubbly – water, that is

I love sparkling water. For me, it’s more refreshing than still water and I love the way the bubbles feel in my mouth and throat. I also find it cleans my palate better than still water between wines. It’s been available for a long time now and with the introduction of home carbonators like SodaStream, […]

Celebrating Victoria Day with food

The 24th of May (celebrated in Canada yearly on the last Monday before May 25) is the first of the much-anticipated summer long weekends – Queen Victoria’s birthday. It is celebrated with gusto – cottage openings, the first dip in the lake, fireworks and, of course, all sorts of al fresco dining, whether barbecues or […]