What do you love about your city?

August 17, 2017
by Lindsay
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DIY feature in The Simple Things magazine

Photo courtesy of Leanne Prain’s Strange Materials

Confession: I had never followed a sewing pattern before I wrote this one for the Love Your City tote bag. I’m a bit of a wing-it sewer (along with a wing-it baker, and wing-it just about everything. I’m in the “measure never, cut a million times” camp). BUT, this pattern works! And I’ve never had a conversation starter quite like this one. Holding it on my lap on the streetcar is gold and starts the most fascinating conversations. The thought of a small army of handmade city-loving tote bags parading all over Canada, the US and the UK fills me with delight.

The original design was included in Leanne Prain‘s brilliant book Strange Materials: Storytelling Through Textiles, and it’s now being featured in the August edition of The Simple Things, a lovely UK magazine (and on their blog!)

June 22, 2017
by Lindsay
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Farewell letters for Fixt Point

After 10 years at 1550 Queen Street West, FIXT POINT is saying farewell to its storefront studio.

At one time a rehearsal hall, a radio studio, a performance space, a living room, an all night party zone, a kids’ drama school, and most recently our office – it’s been the POINT where they have been FIXT for a decade now.

The FIXT POINT crew has gathered so many memories about so many other community spaces, but we barely have a record of our own and so, before we move out, we’re gathering a few tales about FIXT POINT’s own story here in Parkdale.

Join us in saying goodbye to FIXT POINT by writing a farewell letter. Share your favourite FIXT POINT moments, your FIXT POINT highlight reel, the most wonderful/inspiring/ridiculous moment you had at 1550 Queen St. W. We’ll post all the letters up on FIXT POINT’s storefront window as they come in.

Here’s how to get your letter to us:

Thanks for helping us to capture this decade of our history, and for being a part of it all.

xo


PS: We’re having one last party on Wednesday June 28th to raise a glass to the last ten years! FIXT POINT’s FINAL FAREWELL: 1550 Queen St. W from 9pm-late. Join us!

Farewell letters brought to you by FIXT POINT and The Love Lettering Project

 

 

May 15, 2017
by Lindsay
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The buildings that make up our cities (+ more postcards!)

L.A.’s Aero Movie Theatre: It opened before the WWII (showing continuous 24-hour movie theatre for aircraft workers!) and is still lighting up the neighbourhood with its pink and green fluorescent marquee. The vintage movies, make it the best spot for a date.

In 2010, Australian-born illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, began drawing all the buildings in New York, that’s right EVERY building in New York. Not just Grand Central Station, or the Chrysler Building, but every single one of the 900,000 buildings in NYC. Narrow five storey walk-ups, iconic brownstones, fancy hotels, imposing towers and everything in between. How amazing is that?

His website is filled with these illustrations and he’s since published a book called “Every Building In New York (That I’ve Drawn So Far)” that is an illustrated love letter to the architecture, both grand and overlooked in the city.

Toronto’s got its own documenters of buildings big and small, with Daniel Rotsztain’s project, All The Libraries project, where he drew every single one of Toronto’s 100 library branches, his current project, All The Historic Sites, where he’s drawing every single one of Toronto’s historic sites.

And Jake Tobin Garrett’s Every House on Palmerston project is drawing every single house on Palmerston Blvd – one of the grandest, most wonderful streets in the city (in my opinion…I used to live at 405!) You can follow his progress down the street on Instagram!

~

A few weeks ago, I put an all call out for city-based postcards (after these incredible ones from New York!) and check out these amazing L.A.-based postcards:

Meditation is the upside to traffic! I found my true self after, only after, living in L.A. traffic on the way to (and from!) work.

Pico Blvd Trader Joe’s: Yummy, affordable and with the nicest staff I’ve ever found – such a wacky, unique, and colorful spirit. Orchids and pineapples and an amazing chocolate aisle. Always a trip.

 

 

 

April 19, 2017
by Lindsay
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Postcards: Bodegas and donut shops and carousels

A postcard to the Riverbank State Park Carousel in New York, where the animals are made from children’s drawings

Have you looked at a twirly wire display of the postcards for your city recently? They all are the same: the skyline with a setting sun, the skyline with mid-day sun, an iconic building, a famous statue (Hello, Statue of Liberty!), but do they really show off your city, the one you spend your days in? Chances are, probably not. The geographical places that make up our days are usually far less photographed, and usually nowhere to be found in tourist guides, but isn’t that the best thing about our lived-in cities?

This spring, I asked a bunch of New Yorkers to draw postcards to their favourite places in the city, and there was not a single Empire State Building to be found. Instead, check them out:

MARTINEZ GROCERY

I get limes and candy from the local bodega only from time to time, but Mr. Martinez says hello to me every single morning. Then every single evening, Mars, the friendliest bodega cat in the world, says hello. He meows, he purrs, he shows me his belly. He gets his fur all over my pants. If it’s nice out, he might be asleep in his basket behind the tomatoes, but he lets me poke him to wake him up so I can get my daily greeting.

PETER PAN DONUTS

I lived in Greenpoint for years before trying Peter Pan Donuts. People would say, “Oh! You live in Greenpoint! Don’t you love Peter Pan?!!?” Honestly, I didn’t think there could be anything special about a donut. I was so wrong! These donuts are something to write home about and the character of the place makes them taste even better. It’s full of 80-year-olds, the coffee is terrible, and the cashiers are surly…but at least they’re forced to wear these adorable old-fashioned uniforms. An excellent way to spend a Sunday morning.

Aren’t they amazing???

What are three local landmarks that anchor your day? You don’t have to be an incredible illustrator to turn the familiar into something to be lauded and celebrated. A few quick lines on a piece of paper or cardstock, with a description on the back is enough! Post them to Instagram and Twitter with #loveletteringproject and #happyhere!

March 26, 2017
by Lindsay
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Floraffiti: plants + placemaking + community engagement

Photo courtesy of Floraffiti

Green is just starting to reappear here, tiny tips poking through the occasional morning frost, making their appearance through the oak leaves we forgot to clean up last fall. There is one lone yellow crocus in the backyard that is the embodiment of all of my hope and belief in the sun and the return of warmth and spring (and eventually, SUMMER!)

And so imagine my deep delight when scrolling through Instagram and stumbling on Floraffiti: a gardening + placemaking + community engagement project based in Portland, Oregon and this spring, in North Carolina. Such amazing, inspiring community engagement work!

March 6, 2017
by Lindsay
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So much love at Honest Ed’s final farewell

Honest Ed’s is such an iconic building – the Vegas-style flashing light marquee, the cheap wares, the free turkeys given away at Thanksgiving, the bizarre Elvis busts filling the basement. It was an honour to be able to head back inside for one last visit during Toronto for Everyone’s An Honest Farewell event and chat with folks about what we love about Toronto (and hear so many stories about Honest Ed’s!)

Check out some of the letters penned during the Community Hub:

This is one of my very favourite love letters of all time.

Writing love letters to parks with wee Clara!

(Isn’t this printing exceptional!?!?!)

TADA! So! Much! Fun!!!!

Farewell, Honest Ed’s!

xo

February 22, 2017
by Lindsay
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Feb. 25, 2017: Toronto 4 Everyone’s Community Hub

This city is full of amazing community organizations, and a bunch of us are coming together for a drop-in fair at the Town Hall for All: Community Hub, as part of An Honest Farewell, on Saturday, February 25 from 1-3pm (AND IT’S FREE!). I seriously can’t wait to be back in Honest Ed’s for one last time. What an iconic place!

Come and write a love letters about your neighbourhoods with me, learn to make signs like the Ed’s classics with Ligatures, test your skills with CultureLink, see a talent show organized by Clarissa Magalhaes, hear spoken word from theToronto Centre for Community Learning & Development (CCL&D), speak with Passages Canada, and even participate in an improv workshop withBad Dog Theatre Company.

There will be no place like this space, any place!

Produced and presented by:

February 15, 2017
by Lindsay
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An inspiring Valentine’s Day at the library

On Valentine’s Day, I had the great pleasure of hanging out with an English conversation circle  at York Woods Library. I cannot imagine a more perfect way to spend Cupid’s Day than talking about what we love about where we live. The participants came from all over and had such insight into what makes Toronto Toronto. It was really inspiring.

This woman was from Iran — and her note about clean water made me pause — I take that for granted. It reinforced for me how important it is to reflect on (and share!) what we love about our homes.


A hidden letter in the stacks!!

What do you take for granted about where you live that could use a little spotlight?

xoxo