Retro in Toronto

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Retro in Toronto

After several trips to Toronto in this past year to visit one of our sons, I have compiled quite a few snapshots of life there.

I love to see how others do “vintage”. I also am a history buff so visiting an old city is full of inspiration.

This beautiful city does not disappoint.

Of course, what kind of vacation would it be if we didn’t check out the local eateries?

The Lakeview is on old diner. It was featured on the popular television show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

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The Kit Kat is a great Italian place, nestled in an old building downtown. You have to walk through the kitchen and around a large tree growing up the center of the restaurant.

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I love the neon signs. And the food.

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Did I mention how pretty the currency is in Canada? It is in mid-century colors: aqua, green and lavender. It makes it much more fun to spend! They match my vintage French wallet.

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We always managed to hit up some vintage shops. Like any big city, prices are high but still fun to look. Someone made a cool Christmas scene in this old television.

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Retro and mid-century lighting:

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And of course you must go to a Farmers Market. This is the biggest one in Toronto.

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We also took a boat ride to the Islands. How cool is this Tiki themed taxi-boat?

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This was the counter in a coffee shop.

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Pretty macarons in a French Bakery:

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This is the Canadian National Exposition, similar to a Worlds Fair for Canada. The fairgrounds are quite old.

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I am a little obsessed with chairs. Here is some retro seating in the reception area of our sons office.

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This chair is just crazy cool. Love the little tray for your laptop, paperwork or coffee.

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This cool light fixture is in the historic Drake Hotel. They have an awesome brunch.

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We do lots of walking when there. I love to snap photos of mid-century architecture. Look at those railings on the balconies of this apartment building.

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This 1877 building is all that remains of the old Central prison. It is the former chapel. As you can see it sits among the high rises and is protected from demolition.

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We love the coffee shops. And old pots. And coffee.

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Some vintage themed travel posters:

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This cool motorcycle shop was a must see:

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They like Richie and the Fonz as much as we do.

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I hope you enjoyed these few snippets of our travels this past year. These little trips were a nice distraction from the long reno going on here at home.

Come back soon as I fess up about my latest obsession: vintage bedding. My collection is outgrowing my linen cabinets.

Thrifting the Summer Away

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I thought I would share a few things I have picked up this spring and summer at yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets.

This big stack of atomic star burst melamine dinner plates were at a local thrift store. How cool are these! The blue and gray go perfect in my new kitchen.

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Love me some Blendo.

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And several pieces of this dinnerware. It closely resembles the Biscayne pattern. The colors are great for the fall months.

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We also made it to a once-a-month flea market out of town. This trip did not disappoint!

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These Christmas (?) ceramic holly leaf candy dishes are just so cool. I love the speckled colors. And sweet Rudolph! I am always on the hunt for Kitschmas items.

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A bargain hunting friend found me this pair of goldish-yellow chairs with original Frieze upholstery for $25 at a garage sale! I still don’t know what I am going to do with them but for that price I just could not pass them up.

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Here is the mate:

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Here are more thrift store goodies. I am loving the Fire King Spring Wreath pattern and always trying to find more pieces. I think the open baker turquoise Pyrex is a little more rare than the divided dish. The salad bowl reminds me of my mom🙂

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This tablecloth is large enough for my big kitchen table AND it matches my aqua and orange themed kitchen.

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Well, these are just a sampling of my newest stash.

I promise to post more of my finds in the next week or so.

How about you? Has this summer been good for thrifting?

Mid-Century Reno: 8 Months Later

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As promised, I wanted to let you know how I felt about my new kitchen (and baths) after the long remodel was over.

It has been 8 months so I have had plenty of time to reflect on our choices and live with the results.

I am pretty much in love with everything. My kitchen is the largest and most efficient I have ever had. Both bathrooms turned out great. I love having the laundry in the hall bath, close to the bedrooms.

Here is a condensed rundown:

We used IKEA Ringhult Thermafoil cabinets in white. I have had many guests comment that they look like the old-time steel cabinets. They are so easy to clean (just wipe them off with a damp cloth) and the options I chose are perfect for us. I cook and bake daily and needed a functional space that would also work for entertaining. The uppers all have horizontal doors that swing up. The lowers are all 2 deep drawers with the top drawer having a hidden drawer inside. I have a place for everything now; no digging or moving things aside to get at what I need. I also used 2 corner base cabinets with double pull out trays. These are great for heavy pots and pans, canned goods and small appliances. No getting down on the floor to reach anything. I was thinking ahead since we plan to be live here awhile.

We also purchased all appliances, sinks, faucet, hardware, bathroom vanity, medicine cabinets, under cabinet lighting and drawer and cabinet organizers from IKEA. So far I am happy with everything except the kitchen faucet. It seems to splash everywhere and I am constantly wiping up behind it. I will soon be getting a different style.

I am super happy with the Wilsonart Betty laminate.

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And the Practical Props ceiling lights:

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The Jonathan Adler bow tie sconces look great flanking the sink.

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The silver starburst decals were from Etsy. I have received many compliments on them.

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The ceiling tile was a special order from Lowes. The original was no longer made and had to be replaced.

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The NOS fabric was also an Etsy find. By the time we were ready for drapes, I was tired of the remodel and it was nearly Thanksgiving. I paid a local seamstress to make them.

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The floor is Armstrong VCT in 3 colors, special ordered from Menards. The installer helped me with the pattern.

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My advice to anyone contemplating such a huge endeavor, plan for it to take much longer and cost more. There are so many surprises lurking in an older home.

We have spent most of the last few months working on the exterior of this mid century ranch. The new roof is green, which we thought seemed appropriate.

With the new green roof the original wooden garage doors needed a face lift.

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We are in the process of getting new gutters and downspouts and a mid-mod front door. Check back soon to see what we ended up with!

I also will be sharing a few of my recent thrifted finds.