Fall into a Great Routine for Car Maintenance

Fall into a Great Routine for Car Maintenance

(ARA) – Fall is already here and in a short time, winter will be upon us. As you gear up for the colder temperatures, now is a good time to take preventive measures to care for your vehicle.
Maintain Your Car’s Value and Appearance
According to the International Car Wash Association (ICA), regular professional washing and waxing will help maintain your car’s appearance as well as its value.
“Most car owners understand the value of changing motor oil regularly to protect the engine,” explains Mark Thorsby, executive director of ICA. “But if they forget and instead choose to replace the engine, the car could still be as good as new. However, a car with oxidized paint and a rusted-out body can never be economically restored. The best prevention is regular washing and waxing at a professional car wash.”
With more than 22,000 professional car washes around the world offering a wide range of services to protect a car’s finish from detoriating rusting, there’s no excuse not to keep your vehicle in great shape. Car washes offer basic to extensive operations to suit all your car care needs.
For starters, try an exterior tunnel wash to automatically provide protective waxes and undercarriage treatment. Also, consider detailing or custom polishing for more extensive protection. By applying and buffing a premium polish, you can restore the shine of your car. On the detail side, you can vacuum everything from the rugs in the trunk to the air conditioner vents.
A Quick Fix
If you are running short on time but need your car professionally cleaned, try a self-service car wash that provides a variety of effective, self-cleaning services to choose from. For best results, follow the step-by-step instructions posted in the self-serve bay that call for starting with a pre-soak to loosen road grime. Next comes the high-pressure soap wash. For gentle scrubbing, use the foaming brush next, followed by the fresh water rinse. Also, remember to take advantage of special tire and wheel cleaners. For maximum protection and shine, the wax application is a must. Finally, many self-serve washes offer a spot-free rinse. All the solutions are specially formulated to clean tough road dirt and protect you car’s shine.
Protect Your Car from Winter’s Hazards
To get a jumpstart on protecting your car from winter’s effects, remember that the most damaging thing you can do to your car during this time is nothing! Don’t worry about your car freezing — washing salt, slush and mud off your car in cold weather is vital.
The best thing you can do this winter is to wash your vehicle frequently at a professional car wash, even every few days if the temperature rises and falls from freezing and you’ve been driving on salted roads. Washing also should include an undercarriage rinse (available at most professional car washes) to remove salt from hard-to-reach areas that are likely to rust, such as the bumpers and in the wheel wells.
Now is the time to get your car in gear for the winter season with the preventive maintenance measure of having your car professionally washed — you and your wallet will be glad you did. To find the location of a car wash near you visit www.carwashes.com.

Diet And Exercise Rules For Weight Loss Success

Diet And Exercise Rules For Weight Loss Success

You have heard many other people give their input regarding weight loss, but it is time that you learn about it and become an expert on your own. While this may require an extra commitment, you will get back what you put into it. This article will provide many helpful tips for you.

Drinking a glass of juice provides your body with far too much sugar, so choose a glass of water and eating an actual fruit instead to help you lose weight. Fruit also contain fiber, which you won’t get unless you eat the skin and the pulp. Apples are excellent for a dieter!

You should try walking up short flights of stairs if you want to lose weight. It may not seem like a lot, but you can burn some extra calories by foregoing the elevator and walking up the stairs if it is just one or two floors you are going up.

Eating an apple before every meal will help you lose weight faster. Not only is it a healthy way to get lots of fiber and extra water in to your diet, but it will also fill you up before you begin eating the main portion of your meal. You will eat less of the higher fat and calorie filled foods and therefore consume less calories overall. As we all know, less calories means less pounds.

When trying to become more fit, focus more on fitness and forget about what the scales say. Some people who have a significant amount of weight to lose will give up on their exercise program just because they don’t see their weight going down immediately. Regular workouts will improve your health and the increased activity will soon melt off both pounds and inches.

Non-fat or reduced-fat foods could work for you. When they were first introduced, they lacked the taste and texture of the full fat versions. There have been many advances and now, these foods can compete well with the unhealthy versions. Do not be afraid to try these things. You may end up liking the low-fat or reduced-fat versions better than the unhealthy version.

Pay yourself to lose weight. Give yourself added incentive to walk a few minutes longer or push the plate away a little sooner. Put a tip jar on the counter in the kitchen, and put in a dime for every 10 minutes of exercise you do and a dollar for every pound you lose. After three months, use the money you have collected to buy yourself a (non-food) reward.

When cooking, try to use olive oil in place of vegetable oil. Vegetable oil contains a lot of fat and will negatively impact you on your quest to lose weight. Additionally, olive oil can add taste to the foods that you make, as it is a fine substitute to use.

In conclusion, you now have been provided with many helpful tips regarding weight loss. While you may have already known some of this information, we hope that you have either reinforced your current knowledge or learned something new. Use this information and be the controller of your own success.

DATA RECOVERY OPTIONS

DATA RECOVERY OPTIONS

Imagine this scenario. You’re working on your computer for a big project. It’s due in a few days. But your system locks up. You tried to reboot. But the computer won’t even start. Wonder what happened? You got it right. You just suffer a disastrous hard drive failure! Or, maybe you’ve encountered this situation. You delete some files in your computer only to find out that you’ve deleted something really important and urgent.

In cases like this you can do three things: panic, use data recovery software or you can go to a data recovery expert. Panic is never productive. Use of data recovery software might, if you know how. What data recovery software does is go through your file system, find all the files that have been marked as deleted and offer to recover them. You should save the recovered files to someplace other than your hard drive. Otherwise, you run the risk of overwriting other files you may want to get back. The second option is sound if you just happen to delete important files.
But hard drive failure is another thing. A data recovery service from a data recovery expert might just be what you need. Computer data retrieval is an integral part in today’s computer-oriented market. Every computer user knows that numerous threats hound the computer industry causing disruptions to data retrieval. Accidental formats, virus problems, software malfunction, file/directory deletion or sabotage – all of these are potential threat to data retrieval. Experiencing hard drive crash or data loss disaster is not uncommon. This is where data recovery services come in.
Data safety cannot be compromised. Lost data can cause severe financial problems to a corporation. Companies spends anywhere between $100,000 to $1,000,0000 in total per year for desktop-oriented disasters (both hard and soft costs) according to the 7tn Annual ICSA Lab’s Virus Prevalence Survey last March 2002.

Several companies comprised of data recovery experts exist in the market today to offer data recovery services. Some of these data recovery experts offer a compete solution of file data recovery services from software to lost data recovery programs. Others provide data recovery expert information on Data Recovery Services from hard disk drives, tapes, zip disks, CD-Rom, flash cards and other storage media.

Utilizing data recovery services from data recovery experts usually come as a last resort. But they do not come cheap. Data recovery software like, say Symantec’s, could cost something like $39.95. A data recovery expert could charge from $250 to $3,500 on their data recovery services.

Each data recovery services have a unique approach in solving the data recovery problem. But usually, the priority is to get the damaged drive running again. Data recovery service requires unique set of skills from the data recovery experts. A full knowledge of hard drive architecture and electronic circuitry are required. Data recovery experts must also have lots of innovation, experience and perseverance most of the time. Data recovery service is often seen as an impossible and risky task by many. That is why, it is necessary to hire data recovery experts only in performing such delicate tasks. One should insist on the best data recovery service.

But data recovery services cannot perform miracles. A massive head crash in the drive usually mean it’s gone for good. That is why, when massive hard disk failure occur – sit back, relax and weigh your options.

Reggae Music

<H3>Reggae Music</H3>

Reggae music dates back to the very early times for the people of Jamaica. It was in the late 1960’s that people started to take notice of it around the world. Some people were influenced by it when they traveled to Jamaica. For others, it was people originally from there that brought it to other places. As the disco age was beginning to emerge, reggae was also developing its own following. While it never exploded like disco did, it has remained true to its culture of origin.

Many individuals love reggae music because it is honest and sincere. The musical content has a beat to it that is very easy to follow. It gets in your head and sticks with a person. They lyrics are also very touching because they are about real things that real people experience in their own lives. This gives the reggae music more meaning than ever before for those that listen to it.

The sale of reggae music continues to be very popular. People love to buy CD’s or download the music from the internet. They also pay for concert tickets to see their favorite reggae bands live on the stage performing. If you have never really listened to reggae music before you should find some online and give it a good listen. You may discover it has some elements you are really impressed with. It is always fun to expose yourself to new types of music. It allows you to grow personally and to explore few places you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Some people think that reggae music is a thing of the past but that isn’t true. They simply don’t realize just how many people listen to it. There are certain radio stations out there, especially on satellite radio that covers only reggae music. There are also plenty of well know artists that continue to emerge on the reggae scene.

Even though reggae isn’t as popular as other forms of music that come and go, it does have a very secure following. You can be sure it will continue to be around for a very long time. Reggae music may be different from what you are used to hearing but it is very touching and also very interesting if you give it some time to grow on you.

  • February 26, 2018
  • News

Solar Energy – To Supply the Needed Power

Solar Energy – To Supply the Needed Power

The world is currently suffering from energy and fuel crisis. Fossil fuels are incessantly depleting and so energy bills are soaring higher and higher. Many homeowners and establishments are now complaining about their huge expenses. But did you know that there is an answer to the crisis and it has long been available to man. However, because of its inefficiency, it is not recognized as a viable solution. Solar energy is free but the cost of generating it is a bit expensive. With the vast improvements in technology, there are now more affordable options for those who want to use solar energy to supply power in their homes and offices.

Today, you can find a lot of manufacturers that market solar power kits. How effective are these power kits anyway? Many households are now utilizing the kits because they are efficient and convenient in generating the needed power from sunlight.

Battery chargers that are powered by solar energy are now widely available. Now, you don’t need to rely fully on conventional electricity to power electrical devices. If you install the right size solar panel, you may be able to decrease your dependence on conventional energy sources. The energy from the sun is free and you will simply need to invest on the kit for a good power system.

People usually think that without sunlight, power can’t be generated. The power kits are not only designed to capture the sun’s energy but also to store the energy as well. During sunny weather, energy from the sun is converted into electricity and those that are not consumed will be stored. The stored energy can now be used at night or during unpleasant weather.

With portable chargers, you won’t be able to get enough power. You can only use them for recharging small electric devices and batter packs. Cellular phones can be charged using the portable solar power chargers. The power is easily drained out and so it’s not a very efficient source of energy. Despite the shortcomings of these devices, it would help if you still have them around. Who knows… a few years from now, researchers and scientists may be able to make a major breakthrough in solar power.

Since the power kits are affordable, a lot of people are now using them. A solar panel usually has one charger where you will plug the equipment. The solar chargers are very useful and you can carry them even in your hiking trips. Just place them on your car’s dashboard where sunlight is accessible.

The portable chargers or solar panels can be mounted in the rooftop to get a lot of sunlight. The large panels are still expensive and not many people can afford to buy one. However, governments can subsidize the investment to set up the power system. If you live in a place where the government offers subsidies, grants, and loans for the use of solar power, you’re quite lucky. Take advantage of it so that you can now use free energy. Tax incentives are even offered in some places to encourage residents to go for solar power.

If you’re still not sure about the efficiency of solar power, you can start by using a power kit. You can get the kit for as low as $200 to $300. Try it now and expand the system later on.

Plastic Wall Panels Offer Numerous Advantages

Plastic Wall Panels Offer Numerous Advantages

Wall panels were traditionally wood and people are still enamored of this age-old material. However, wood has many problems as wall paneling. It accumulates dirt that is difficult to remove, is prone to insect attack and rot, and needs comparatively expensive painting at regular intervals to maintain it in reasonable condition.

Plastic wall panels made of such materials as rigid PVC eliminate most of the problems. The smooth surfaces provided by plastics do not accumulate ingrained dirt; any superficial dust can be easily cleaned through, say, pressure washing. Plastic does not attract insects and does not rot. It is also impermeable to water and is not affected by damp the way wood is.

Plastic panels are also less expensive than good quality wood panels and do not require regular maintenance actions like painting.

Other Advantages of Plastic Wall Panels

Plastic can be given many different kinds of finish. They can accommodate decorative patterns like marble, abstract, wood, flowers and so on. Plain plastic can come in different colors like white, blue, green, cream and gray. For further decorative effects, plastic wall panels can be produced to accept decorations like silver and gold strips.

Plastic panels can be made to provide flush fitting joints. They are light yet durable. They can be combined with other materials like aluminum to produce composites that have good structural properties.

Plastic walls can also be made translucent, allowing natural daylight in, with thermal and solar controls, such as UV Light filtering properties. In addition to energy savings, this solution can create a great ambience inside. While light is allowed in, noise and dust are insulated against.

With automated lighting systems, lighting units can be turned on when natural light proves insufficient, leading to excellent lighting at all times, yet achieving great energy savings. And thermal controls can prevent heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer, adding to energy savings for heating.

Yet another advantage is that plastic wall panels can be produced to meet special needs such as different shapes, desired thickness, insulation properties, blast resistance and so on. There are explosion venting wall panels, for example, that are released from their mountings when internal pressure exceeds a certain level but still remain attached to the structure to prevent flying debris.

Conclusion

Wall panels were traditionally wood that suffers from various problems such as accumulation of dirt, high maintenance requirements and rot. Plastic wall panels offer a smooth surface that does not allow ingrained dirt accumulation. Plastic wall panels require little maintenance and do not get damp. Any superficial dust can be easily cleaned through washing and surface water can be quickly wiped away or dried out.

Probably the greatest advantage of plastic wall panels is that they can be customized to meet special requirements. Translucent panels can let in daylight; insulation properties can be built in to prevent heat loss/gain; shapes, sizes and thickness can be tailored to special requirements.

Plastic is less costly than wood and can produce recurring cost savings in maintenance and energy costs.

Hello From Toronto – A Culinary Tour Of The St. Lawrence Market & An Exploration Of Historic St. Lawrence Hall

Hello From Toronto – A Culinary Tour Of The St. Lawrence Market & An Exploration Of Historic St. Lawrence Hall

October 6, 2005

Life works in really strange and wonderful ways. At the beginning of this week I talked to my brother in Austria on the phone, and he said he’d been reading this German travel magazine and there was a big write-up about a Toronto-based tour guide who provides culinary tours of the St. Lawrence Market, one of my brother’s favourite places that he discovered on his recent trip to Toronto.

I asked my brother what this fellow’s name was and he looked it up and said “Bruce Bell”. I did an internet search and within a few seconds I had located Bruce Bell Tours ; and I knew I had to meet this person. Bruce Bell, the popular history columnist for the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Community Bulletin, is also an award winning playwright, actor, standup comedian and the honourary curator of the most photographed building in the city of Toronto, the historic Gooderham Building better known as the Flatiron. Bruce just recently published a book on Toronto called “Toronto – A Pictorial Celebration”.

Immediately after I hung up with my brother I was on the phone with Bruce, we briefly introduced ourselves and he said, come down, join me on Thursday for my culinary tour of the St. Lawrence Market. Sure enough, this morning, punctually at 10 am I arrived at the souvenir shop at the main entrance of the market and I met Bruce and the other participant in our tour, a young architecture student.

As the official historian of the St. Lawrence Market Bruce has special access to all sorts of areas of the building that other people never get to see. Right away he took us up some stairs, pulled out a special key and led us into the former mayor’s office, since the market building used to be the original city hall of Toronto. The building has undergone several transitions, and the two side wings were removed to make way for a steel-girdered shed built in 1904 that was modeled after the Victoria Train Station in London.

From the former mayor’s office we had a perfect view of the market and we also had a beautiful vista of the downtown skyscrapers and the famous Flatiron Building to the west, and St. Lawrence Hall to the north. Bruce took us down the stairs in the market hall itself and shared various tidbits of history with us. The shoreline of Lake Ontario used to be right at Front Street, and after landfill was added, the Esplanade became the waterfront, and today several hundred meters of additional landfill have expanded the city’s territory to a new waterfront.

Under Bruce’s guidance we started our tour of the shops which include bakeries, butcher shops, fish mongers, fruit stands, delis, dessert places and specialty vendors of all kinds. The first place he took us to was a bakery that also serves lunches, and we got a delicious taste treat of smoked salmon and backbacon, each on a small piece of bread. I am not usually a big fish eater, but this savoury morcel was delicious. At another store we got to sample “Indian candy” – smoked salmon cured in maple syrop. What a treat!

We walked by some of the butcher shops, many of which have been in the same family for generations. I admired the creatively presented cuts of pork loin stuffed with spinach, cheese and bacon, a perfect solution for a non-chef like me – just stick it in the oven and pull out a delicious gourmet meal.

After a brief tour outside the building where Bruce explained the building’s history and early Toronto society to us, we went into the lower level, where all the dessert shops, fruit stalls and specialty vendors are located. We got several more samples: a huge variety of delicious honeys from New Zealand, a sampling of speciality jellies and jams, tender white chocolate truffles that just melt in your mouth, and for dessert – after all these sweat treats – Nutella-filled crepes. All the samples we received were utterly delicious.

Bruce took us into the bowels of the building, today mostly used for storage and refrigeration, but in previous times these areas were the men’s and women’s jails. Bruce explained that in the 1850s women had no rights and many men simply stuck their wives in prison, especially after child-birth or during menopause, when they got a little cranky. The iron hooks that prisoners were chained to are still visible on the walls.

The basement is also decorated with a number of murals that explain Toronto’s history. As the official historian of the St. Lawrence Market and a well-known columnist of the St. Lawrence Community Bulletin, Bruce is actually depicted on the mural. About 15 historic plaques throughout a variety of buildings in the downtown area provide insight into noteworthy past events and are titled “A Bruce Bell History Project”. So there is no doubt that this is a real expert, even a local celebrity.

Just outside the St. Lawrence Market used to be the terminus of the Underground Railroad, the pier where thousands of the former American slaves arrived after having made their secret passage from the American south to Rochester and on to freedom in Toronto. It’s amazing how much history there is, even in a comparably young city such as Toronto, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Bruce’s unique stories.

From the St. Lawrence Market building we walked north through a courtyard to another former City Hall of Toronto by the name of St. Lawrence Hall. It was the former city hall of the City of York, that was officially renamed the city of Toronto (an Indian word for “meeting place”) in 1856. St. Lawrence Hall is a beautiful classical building, and Bruce took us inside to show us the ballroom, the most well-preserved original ballroom in Canada. The chandelier is original, was originally lit with coal gas and today is illuminated with natural gas.

This was the heart of Toronto’s elite WASP (white / Anglo-Saxon / Protestant) society during the 1800s and Bruce shed more light on the many behavioural norms of the time. Women were not considered persons and could not walk on the street by themselves or accompanied by any man other than their husband. Men had to defend their wives’ honour in duels and sometimes ended up having to shoot their best friend as a result of a harmless (by today’s standards) misunderstanding. The city and country were run by English noblemen, and Catholic immigrants from Ireland, arriving in masses after the potato famine of 1849, were despised by the local ruling class.

As a result, the Catholics were segregated, but they did receive a spot inside St. Lawrence Hall, a big room called St. Patrick’s Hall, where they were allowed to congregate since they were barred from entering the ballroom which was reserved for the WASP elite. Irish Catholics had to enter St. Patrick’s Hall through a back staircase since they weren’t allowed to mix with the English aristocracy. The portion on the northeast side of St. Lawrence Hall housing St. Patrick’s Hall incidentally collapsed in 1967 and was completely rebuilt.

After St. Lawrence Hall we walked through a beautiful Victorian Garden outside of St. James Cathedral, Toronto’s largest house of worship, and the 5th church in the present location. Bruce took us inside and shared more historical information with us, about the original British settlers of Toronto and ruling elite of the times, which included the famous Bishop Strachan, the creator of St. James Cathedral. Bruce showed us the various stained glass windows that adorn the church, all of which were crafted at different times. Especially stunning are the Tiffany stained glass windows on the east side which have a particularly intense coloration.

St. James Cathedral marked the end of our culinary and historic tour of the St. Lawrence Market area. We had received a great introduction to Toronto’s history and enjoyed the diverse culinary delicacies of Toronto’s greatest market. Bruce’s entertaining and informative lessons on a time in Toronto’s history when women and men were segregated, when society was strictly regimented by expectations of etiquette and social status, and when Irish and English weren’t allowed to mix made me realize how incredibly far Toronto has come in the last 150 years.

Bruce Bell offers other interesting tours about Toronto’s Distillery District, its Art Deco skyscrapers and a tour called “Comfort and Steam” that takes you through the Fairmount Royal York Hotel, Union Station, the Skydome and the Air Canada Centre, among other places. Considering everything that I learned in the St. Lawrence Market tour, I hope to have a chance to catch another one of Bruce’s tours and broaden my local knowledge of this city in the near future.

Mobile Marketing At Its Best: Here’s How You Do It (2)

Mobile Marketing At Its Best: Here’s How You Do It

Did you know that mobile marketing not only covers the most commonly referenced area of mobile devices, but also mobile billboards, travelling expos and any type of advertising that is in some sort of motion. If you ever wanted to further your knowledge of mobile marketing, then check out the next few paragraphs.

Include audio and video in your mobile marketing strategy. Mobile marketing is more than text messages and e-mails. Today, with faster mobile download speeds, audio and video are key components to any successful strategy. Consider offering audio or video podcasts, short audio interviews or live, on-the-scene video to your media mix.

Make your campaign compatible with all mobile platforms. Your ads must be displayable on all different types of smartsphone applications including Android, Blackberry and the iphone. It would be a mistake to not display on one of these platforms because you would be missing out on advertising to a huge portion of users.

Because users will be viewing them on small screens, mobile advertising messages need to be brief, clear and express urgency. Every ad should focus on a call to action that tells the market to do something. Forgetting to include a call to action in your mobile advertising messages is a common mistake that beginners often make.

Perform usability testing for your campaign. Enlist your friends, family and co-workers to help you by receiving messages and responding to them. Ask for feedback on ease of use and enjoyment. They should like what they see on the display and report that it was clear and easy to follow.

Utilize mobile search engine optimization. A majority of the mobile searches that are made are done using Google, so having a strong SEO strategy is just as important for mobile marketing as it is for other online ventures. In addition, many devices tailor search results by location, so be sure to include location-specific web pages.

Integrate your mobile ad campaign into every other aspect of your advertising to optimize the effects of it! Make note of it on your blog and online social networking accounts. This way you keep in your promotional loop all potential customers, whether they are in an office, car or waiting for a bus!

Integrate all of your social platforms with any location-based accounts that you have. Connect your website, blog, Twitter and Facebook URLs with your location-based pages as soon as possible. All platforms, including your mobile-marketing one, should have a consistent representation of your brand, or you risk confusing your customer base.

Make sure your advertisements work for all types of mobile devices. If your programming is only accessible by one type, like an Android, you will lose out on entire populations of prospective clients from other platforms. Using cross-platform programming is the best method to attract the most customers to your business.

In conclusion, not only does mobile marketing cover a wide amount of media types, but it can also be used to appeal to a wide variety of customers. You should definitely give the tips and tricks provided in this article a try; and you should be ecstatic with the results that you see.

Basic Guidelines On Painting The Aluminum Siding

Basic Guidelines On Painting The Aluminum Siding

While aluminum siding have been very popular in the market, and being advertised as a maintenance-free product, the reality hits homeowners when they see their house from the outside with the siding already having a faded finish and chalking.

The solution is not to take it out and install a new siding for your house; all the more it is not a solution to just let it be, and hoping it would look better the next time you look at your house siding. Have you considered painting the aluminum siding of your house?

Painting the aluminum siding, or repainting for that matter is the way to go. Not only will this be a less hassle on your part, it will also help you save more money than having to put new siding in place. In this way, you also get to choose from among the wide choices of colors, that appeals to your liking and that fits the style of your house.

The keys to a successful paint job lie in the proper surface preparation, the painting process, and the quality of paint used for the job.

First and foremost, as with any painting job, it is advised to have the surface clean and dry. Cleaning the aluminum siding would mean making use of a detergent solution or a high quality soap, whichever you have, as long as you get the residue out during rinsing. The use of a heavy sponge and scrub brush will also be necessary along with a hose or a pressure washer. Be careful with the use of the pressure washer though, and set it only at the appropriate setting to give you just enough force fit for your washing needs.

After washing, and after making sure that the aluminum siding of the house is thoroughly dry, then you can now apply the thinned metal primer, making sure it is tinted to half the strength of the original color of your finish. Though priming is not usually required for painting the aluminum siding with a high quality 100% acrylic latex paint, a good rule of thumb is to prime when in doubt. It is also a good idea to mix in a bonding agent for the priming process.

Application of the final coating should be done within 48 hours after the application of the primer, and the paint should be a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint. Using such in painting the aluminum siding will give the best performance needed for aluminum siding. This paint is durable and offers a fade-resistant finish that can last for years.

The paint may be applied by brush, but a better alternative would be the use of a spray. Painting the aluminum siding requires one to know what he is doing, thus you have to learn more about this by reading reference materials, or better yet – let a professional do it for you.

Hello from Toronto – A Culinary Tour of the St. Lawrence Market & An Exploration of HistoricSt. Lawrence Hall

Hello from Toronto – A Culinary Tour of the St. Lawrence Market & An Exploration of HistoricSt. Lawrence Hall

Life works in really strange and wonderful ways. At the beginning of this week I talked to my brother in Austria on the phone, and he said he’d been reading this German travel magazine and there was a big write-up about a Toronto-based tour guide who provides culinary tours of the St. Lawrence Market, one of my brother’s favourite places that he discovered on his recent trip to Toronto.
I asked my brother what this fellow’s name was and he looked it up and said “Bruce Bell”. I did an internet search and within a few seconds I had located Bruce Bell Tours ; and I knew I had to meet this person. Bruce Bell, the popular history columnist for the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Community Bulletin, is also an award winning playwright, actor, standup comedian and the honourary curator of the most photographed building in the city of Toronto, the historic Gooderham Building better known as the Flatiron. Bruce just recently published a book on Toronto called “Toronto – A Pictorial Celebration”.
Immediately after I hung up with my brother I was on the phone with Bruce, we briefly introduced ourselves and he said, come down, join me on Thursday for my culinary tour of the St. Lawrence Market. Sure enough, this morning, punctually at 10 am I arrived at the souvenir shop at the main entrance of the market and I met Bruce and the other participant in our tour, a young architecture student.
As the official historian of the St. Lawrence Market Bruce has special access to all sorts of areas of the building that other people never get to see. Right away he took us up some stairs, pulled out a special key and led us into the former mayor’s office, since the market building used to be the original city hall of Toronto. The building has undergone several transitions, and the two side wings were removed to make way for a steel-girdered shed built in 1904 that was modeled after the Victoria Train Station in London.
>From the former mayor’s office we had a perfect view of the market and we also had a beautiful vista of the downtown skyscrapers and the famous Flatiron Building to the west, and St. Lawrence Hall to the north. Bruce took us down the stairs in the market hall itself and shared various tidbits of history with us. The shoreline of Lake Ontario used to be right at Front Street, and after landfill was added, the Esplanade became the waterfront, and today several hundred meters of additional landfill have expanded the city’s territory to a new waterfront.
Under Bruce’s guidance we started our tour of the shops which include bakeries, butcher shops, fish mongers, fruit stands, delis, dessert places and specialty vendors of all kinds. The first place he took us to was a bakery that also serves lunches, and we got a delicious taste treat of smoked salmon and backbacon, each on a small piece of bread. I am not usually a big fish eater, but this savoury morcel was delicious. At another store we got to sample “Indian candy” – smoked salmon cured in maple syrop. What a treat!
We walked by some of the butcher shops, many of which have been in the same family for generations. I admired the creatively presented cuts of pork loin stuffed with spinach, cheese and bacon, a perfect solution for a non-chef like me – just stick it in the oven and pull out a delicious gourmet meal.
After a brief tour outside the building where Bruce explained the building’s history and early Toronto society to us, we went into the lower level, where all the dessert shops, fruit stalls and specialty vendors are located. We got several more samples: a huge variety of delicious honeys from New Zealand, a sampling of speciality jellies and jams, tender white chocolate truffles that just melt in your mouth, and for dessert – after all these sweat treats – Nutella-filled crepes. All the samples we received were utterly delicious.
Bruce took us into the bowels of the building, today mostly used for storage and refrigeration, but in previous times these areas were the men’s and women’s jails. Bruce explained that in the 1850s women had no rights and many men simply stuck their wives in prison, especially after child-birth or during menopause, when they got a little cranky. The iron hooks that prisoners were chained to are still visible on the walls.
The basement is also decorated with a number of murals that explain Toronto’s history. As the official historian of the St. Lawrence Market and a well-known columnist of the St. Lawrence Community Bulletin, Bruce is actually depicted on the mural. About 15 historic plaques throughout a variety of buildings in the downtown area provide insight into noteworthy past events and are titled “A Bruce Bell History Project”. So there is no doubt that this is a real expert, even a local celebrity.
Just outside the St. Lawrence Market used to be the terminus of the Underground Railroad, the pier where thousands of the former American slaves arrived after having made their secret passage from the American south to Rochester and on to freedom in Toronto. It’s amazing how much history there is, even in a comparably young city such as Toronto, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Bruce’s unique stories.
From the St. Lawrence Market building we walked north through a courtyard to another former City Hall of Toronto by the name of St. Lawrence Hall. It was the former city hall of the City of York, that was officially renamed the city of Toronto (an Indian word for “meeting place”) in 1856. St. Lawrence Hall is a beautiful classical building, and Bruce took us inside to show us the ballroom, the most well-preserved original ballroom in Canada. The chandelier is original, was originally lit with coal gas and today is illuminated with natural gas.
This was the heart of Toronto’s elite WASP (white / Anglo-Saxon / Protestant) society during the 1800s and Bruce shed more light on the many behavioural norms of the time. Women were not considered persons and could not walk on the street by themselves or accompanied by any man other than their husband. Men had to defend their wives’ honour in duels and sometimes ended up having to shoot their best friend as a result of a harmless (by today’s standards) misunderstanding. The city and country were run by English noblemen, and Catholic immigrants from Ireland, arriving in masses after the potato famine of 1849, were despised by the local ruling class.
As a result, the Catholics were segregated, but they did receive a spot inside St. Lawrence Hall, a big room called St. Patrick’s Hall, where they were allowed to congregate since they were barred from entering the ballroom which was reserved for the WASP elite. Irish Catholics had to enter St. Patrick’s Hall through a back staircase since they weren’t allowed to mix with the English aristocracy. The portion on the northeast side of St. Lawrence Hall housing St. Patrick’s Hall incidentally collapsed in 1967 and was completely rebuilt.
After St. Lawrence Hall we walked through a beautiful Victorian Garden outside of St. James Cathedral, Toronto’s largest house of worship, and the 5th church in the present location. Bruce took us inside and shared more historical information with us, about the original British settlers of Toronto and ruling elite of the times, which included the famous Bishop Strachan, the creator of St. James Cathedral. Bruce showed us the various stained glass windows that adorn the church, all of which were crafted at different times. Especially stunning are the Tiffany stained glass windows on the east side which have a particularly intense coloration.
St. James Cathedral marked the end of our culinary and historic tour of the St. Lawrence Market area. We had received a great introduction to Toronto’s history and enjoyed the diverse culinary delicacies of Toronto’s greatest market. Bruce’s entertaining and informative lessons on a time in Toronto’s history when women and men were segregated, when society was strictly regimented by expectations of etiquette and social status, and when Irish and English weren’t allowed to mix made me realize how incredibly far Toronto has come in the last 150 years.
Bruce Bell offers other interesting tours about Toronto’s Distillery District, its Art Deco skyscrapers and a tour called “Comfort and Steam” that takes you through the Fairmount Royal York Hotel, Union Station, the Skydome and the Air Canada Centre, among other places. Considering everything that I learned in the St. Lawrence Market tour, I hope to have a chance to catch another one of Bruce’s tours and broaden my local knowledge of this city in the near future.

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