COVID-19 Pandemic in Toronto

Martino Manor: On Hold for Halloween 2020

If you live in the Parklawn/Queensway area of South Etobicoke and take your kids trick or treating, you've probably enjoyed the spooktacular house just south of Mamma Martino's Italian restaurant. The Martino family loves Halloween and have been transforming their home for years into a terrifying yet somehow also family-friendly spectacle of frights that the kids absolutely love. It's terrific and so much fun. A couple of years ago, the Martino's decided to take their love of scaring the hood up a notch and opened an indoor haunted house and outdoor maze just off the Queensway at 7 McIntosh Ave, directly behind their famous restaurant. It's called Martino Manor.

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Unfortunately, the MM Haunted House is closed this year because of COVID-19. But the spirit is definitely there and will hang on until 2021, when we can hopefully enjoy being scared by non-virus things once again. Rosie :)

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Mamma Martino's | Toronto Restaurants with Patios

Ontario reported over 200 new cases of COVID-19 again today. That's the highest single-day increase since June 29, when there were 257 cases reported. The weather is cooling, there is no avoiding that, and it's concerning for restaurants and bars that have no outside seating. As the pandemic stretches past the six month mark there is no denying that many are tiring of the isolation and missing the things we did regularly in our "normal" life, including going out to eat. For the restaurants that are fortunate enough to have patios, many like Mamma Martino's have created beautiful, physically distant spaces that allow us, for even a short time, to forget how difficult a time this is. It's important to continue to support our local communities as best we can while staying safe, so even if your favourite restaurant doesn't have a patio, considering picking up dinner one night instead. Wear your mask and hang on, hopefully in a few weeks we'll see those numbers drop back down again. Rosie :)

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Lithuania Park at Keele & Glenlake

**Update: August 17, 2020**

At the end of July, Toronto moved into in Stage 3 of reopening which includes the city's playgrounds. This park has undergone some updates since I last wrote about it in 2012. The recent renovations to the playground have residents of the area concerned. The new pathway that runs along the playground has quite a high drop all along one side- 55cm- which can be seen in this photo taken by community resident Mike Simpson:

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One can certainly see how excited little ones could take a serious tumble while running along the path. Do you live in the area? Comment below with your experience at the playground, as Mike is going to start a campaign to correct this. It seems odd to me that a guard rail wouldn't have been installed, just to visually signal the edge of the path and the vertical drop below. Rosie :)


**Original post- August 2012**

Likely unimpressed with the planned afternoon activity of watching his mama watch Olympic men's swimming, my little man starting tearing around the house post-nap exhibiting levels of energy that only an excursion involving water play would even begin to exhaust. Weary from a busy morning of watching men's gymnastics (what a emotional roller-coaster it's been for Kohei Uchimura) I knew the answer was Lithuania Park. Located just north of High Park, it has the perfect wading pool for toddlers. Mamas and nannies can really phone it in here; the kids just entertain themselves. Once my little guy armed himself with a suitable twig, he was ready to get his pool on.

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Or so I thought I was going to phone it in. This pool proved to be so fun that little man insisted I join him. Glad I dressed up. Go Canada!

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The playground here is great, if your child lets you out of the pool long enough to get to it. I love all the lovely leafy shade at this park, and the huge beautiful trees.

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Apparently in the winter, the toboggan hills at this park are awesome. Lithuania Park is located at 155 Oakmount Road, north of High Park at Keele and Glenlake. Rosie :)

Counting Down The Hours to Stage 2 in Toronto

Toronto is moving to Stage 2 tomorrow... indoor malls will be reopening, hair salons can start welcoming back their clients, and we can enjoy dinner and drinks on restaurant patios on these beautiful summer nights. On the eve of the city coming back to life, here are some pics taken throughout the pandemic... a time of uncertainty and struggle, of small business owners showing creativity in the face of extremely difficult times, and people coming together like never before. Rosie :)

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Bluestar PPE Store on Queen West

Driving along Queen this week I noticed a brand new PPE store selling face shields and other protective equipment. First brick and mortar store I've seen dedicated to selling face protection items. Sign of the times. It's located in Parkdale Village next to Easy Restaurant, on the south side of Queen. Rosie :)

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