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She Craves Culture and Creativity
... museums, theaters, art stops and more


Evelyn Hannon

Of course, in a city as arts-endowed as Toronto, the opportunities for cultural, artistic and intellectual experiences are enormous. Perhaps, seen from a woman-centered point-of-view, your adventures will become just a little more fun. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Ceramic Arts...

The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art curated by Meredith Chilton houses one of the most outstanding collections of ceramics in the world. Journeywoman loved their delightful collection of 18th century porcelain scent bottles -- tokens of intriguing love affairs and dangerous liaisons. Look out, too, for the comical collection titled, "Monkey Band" -- sure to make you smile. Coming up and running until February 1999 is the museum's next exhibit, "Your Presence is Requested, the art of dining in 18th century Europe." P.S. The Gardiner Shop is jam-packed with lovely gifts ideas related to dressing your dining table (111 Queen's Park, Museum Subway Stop).



So many books -- so little time! There are some tried and true specialty bookshops in Toronto that are just too good for a woman to miss. The majority are female-owned or managed and are in the Bloor-Yorkville area. The Cookbook Store (850 Yonge Street), The Toronto Women's Bookstore (73 Harbord), The Omega Center-- a calm atmosphere devoted to self discovery (29 Yorkville Avenue), Theatrebooks (11 St. Thomas) boasting 10,000 plus titles related to every aspect of the performing arts, and The Children's Bookstore (2532 Yonge) for the kiddies in your life.

Hidden art...

So off the beaten art track that most visitors never learn about this one! In 1982, New York Psychoanalyst, Lillian Malcove left over 500 art objects to the University of Toronto. This collection of largely medieval pieces is now on display at the University's Art Center (915 King's College Circle, St. George Subway Stop). Visiting hours are irregular. Call 978-1838 for exact times and directions. P.S. Don't miss the 1538 painting of Adam and Eve. It's a real goodie!

Creative crafts...

The queen of hand-knit sweaters is crafts-woman, Laura-Jean. Her store-front studio creatively dubbed Fresh Baked Goods is located at the north end of Kensington market (274 Augusta Avenue, Tel: 966-0123). Stop in just to admire her up-to-the-minute boldly colored designs, pick up one of her catalogues or ask this talented young woman to design a one-off especially for you. Laura-Jean makes her own line of funky plastic buttons and is willing to ship anywhere. All you've got to do is ask.

Shoe Culture...


Show me a woman who doesn't love shoes... The Bata Shoe Museum (327 Bloor, St. George Subway Stop) guides visitors through the annals of shoemaking and shoes -- 10,000 styles, 4,500 years of history. View the fancy footwear of the rich and famous from Queen Victoria's ballroom slippers to Canadian ballerina, Victoria Tennant's toe shoes. Learn what the term "well-heeled" really means and how "the foot" measurement was developed. On view until the summer of 99, "Footsteps on the Sacred Earth," an exploration of the lifestyles and footwear of the American Southwest indigenous people.


The Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West, St. Patrick Subway Stop) is a treat not to be missed! The collection of massive Henry Moore sculptures is the second largest in the world and his many interpretations of the female form is fascinating. Ditto for the miniature models of "mother and child" expressed by Inuit artists. Journeywoman was especially taken with the enormous creativity of Susan Ootnooyuk, an arctic artist. Other women's work to watch for are those by the spunky Gorilla Girls, as well as Joyce Weiland and Emily Carr. P.S. The Gallery's gift shop is massive, stocked with many delightful choices. General admission is $12, but the gallery is free on Wednesdays after 6PM. Very, very inviting!

Films for women...

Over the years, the National Film Board of Canada has produced a series of provocative award-winning documentary films by and about women. Female film aficionados can now screen some of this fine NFB collection free on video at the Toronto Reference Library (789 Young Street, Bloor Street Subway Stop). Arrangements should be made at the second floor Video and Picture Reference desk. Perfect for a rainy afternoon!



A picture's worth a thousand words! Photography buffs-in the-know or those gals who simply want to know will love the welcoming environment of Tatar/Alexander Photogallery. This woman-owned, woman-run gallery will happily answer any of your questions concerning their current exhibit or the photographs they have in inventory. Use the computers for browsing calling up images and costs from their extensive data base. New collectors will really appreciate their entry-level price-tags! (173 King Street E.)

P.S. You might like to visit their website at:


Throughout history, the making of cloth and carpets has been considered women's work. At the Museum for Textiles that world-wide work is honored in an interesting and educational way. See the camel decorations used in Central Asian bridal processions, the oriental rug collection and the American crazy quilts. The gift store displays hammocks from Java, clothes from India, miniature Persian carpets and a sweet children's book entitled, " Boys Don't Knit." (55 Centre Avenue, St. Patrick Subway Stop).



Did you know that after New York and London, Toronto is considered the third-largest theater Centre in the English-speaking world? Culture-vultures can immerse themselves completely -- their choice of venue, interest and price is absolutely incredible. Pop into the recently built Princess of Wales Theater and take a peek at the gorgeous interior. Plan to tour the Elgin and Winter Garden Theater Centre: the last operating double-decker theater in the world, or find out what's on at the Alumnae Theater, one of the oldest theatrical companies founded and run by women in Toronto (70 Berkeley corner Adelaide, King Street Streetcar). TO TIX (Toronto's Half-Price Tickets) provides same-day, half-price admission to loads of fabulous productions. Check them out and enjoy! (corner of Yonge and Queen)

Wearable Art...

Take home wearable art by and for women! Toronto is the working base for many accomplished female fashion designers. Linda Lundstrom is well known for her inventive and stylish La Parka -- three coats in one - a wool duffle, a nylon water-resistant shell and a combo of the two (for when cold wet winter weather dictates) -- available at 136 Cumberland Street in Yorkville. Kingi Carpenter is queen of retro handprinted fabrics featuring funk and frivolity. She adapts her fabrics to everything from dresses and underwear to pillows and bed coverings. If you're young or very young at heart, you'll find Kingi's work (on sale at Peach Berserk Cocktails, 507 Queen Street W.) a real hoot! Finally, made in Canada is the theme at Accessity (136 Yorkville), a shop where most everything from shirts to earrings are the products of Canadian female designers. Ask to see Hilary Druxman's jewelry as well as Karen Palmer's beautiful belts. Guaranteed to be a hit in your own home town!

Walk the world...


Finally join one of Shirley Lum's scheduled walking or biking tours and learn about the city's rich cultural diversities. Explore Toronto's nooks and crannies with optional post-walk meals. Ask your guide where to find the best Italian pizza, Jewish bagels, French pastries, Portuguese goodies and Chinese Dim Sum. Shirley's a real delight. Ditto for her walks. Journeywoman can't think of a better woman to show you Cultural Toronto from a gal's point of view. Call A Taste of the World at (416) 923-6813.

Toronto Tourism

Each Girl Talk Toronto article has been independently researched by Journeywoman Online. We thank Tourism Toronto and the Toronto Transit Commission for sponsoring this female-friendly information. Together, it is our aim to inspire women to travel safely and well.
More Girl Talk Toronto. Read on!





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