Craves Culture and Creativity
... museums, theaters, art stops and more
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!
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.
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!
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.
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: http://www.tataralexander.com
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)
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.
|Each Girl Talk Toronto article has been
independently researched by Journeywoman Online. We thank
and the Toronto
Transit Commission for sponsoring this female-friendly
information. Together, it is our aim to inspire women
to travel safely and well.