If These Walls Could Speak


I’d love to give a shout out to my Murdoch Mysteries friends! Murdoch Mysteries has been renewed for a 12th season and that’s pretty cool in a time when shows come and go so quickly. I’ve had the exciting privilege to meet a few of the actors from the show. Yannick Bisson twice, first at a local breakfast spot and second at the 100th episode where he was kind enough to let me get a selfie even though he wasn’t really doing that that day. I met Helen Joy after that same event with the show’s composer Robert Carli. She was wonderfully engaging and actually chatted for some time with me about her work and allowed a few photos. My biggest thrill was landing an interview with Arwen Humphreys for my blog. She got me involved with Wounded Warriors when nominating me for a push ups challenge! She is stunning and super cool. Obviously the show is brilliant and relevant even with being set in the early 1900’s Toronto. I can’t help but wonder which area of my city they will be filming in next.

In Season 6 episode 7, Queens Park was featured in “The Ghost of Queens Park”. I decided to stroll through Queens Park on Thursday last week. My mind has been much more aware of politics over the last couple of years due to the heated political climate we seem to be facing. I walked up to the door of the Ontario legislative building and asked an armed security constable if visitors were allowed in the building. He was definitely intimidating but cordial to me and smiled and said yes the lobby is open to visitors. Since the terrible incident in Ottawa parliament in 2014 when we lost Corporal Nathan Cirillo in a shooting, there have been armed constables employed to protect Ontario’s legislative building. Their presence was not amiss however as they were very engaging and sergeant Kathryn (not sure how she spells her name) was amazing and informed me about a free tour. I was pretty excited. I love tours and I really love free tours so I signed up for the one running at 5 o’clock. The men in blue were all stunning and built like brick houses. I felt totally safe and giggly like a school girl. It was just myself and a really nice woman from Chicago. She works at a government office in the United States and apparently is travelling the world checking out other government buildings. Our tour guide was Danielle and she has been involved in the historical world for many years working at places such as McKinsey House and Black Creek Pioneer Village, just to name a couple. I’d love to do that. She took us around and shared her knowledge about this stunning historical building. The Ontario Legislative Building is a structure in central Toronto, Ontario that houses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, as well as the Viceregal Suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and offices for members of the provincial parliament. First Nations people now have a higher profile at Ontario’s historic legislature, where two large meeting rooms have been named the “Gathering Place” to showcase aboriginal art and culture which to me makes perfect sense since it sits in aboriginal lands.
Edward James Lennox was a Toronto-based architect who designed several of the city’s most notable landmarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Old City Hall and Casa Loma along with restoration of part of the grand Hall that was destroyed in a fire at the legislative building.
Along the tour stunning looking guards quietly protected the halls, smiling as we passed. I got to see the door to Kathleen Wynne’s office. I thought that was pretty cool.
Richard Alfred Waite designer of the main wing was in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The stunning wood work is called timber framing, a traditional method of building with heavy timbers, creating structures using squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs. It is popular in wooden buildings from the 19th century and earlier. You never see that type of detailing and construction today. If these walls could speak, the stories they would tell. The tour was really wonderful and again free! The public can take in a seating of the legislature Monday through Thursday from 10:30-11:30 unless scheduling issues and events occur.
There will be a Throne Speech on March 19 so there will be no legislature that day. Every city and town has its historical components. Get out there and investigate your city you just might be surprised at what you may discover.

Bruce in the City

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #11

Hey Brucesters!

It’s Beard time! I gotta say I heard this fellow beard sing on Instagram and I thought he was really good! Meet Will.

Okay, I’m an Artist, 23, fun fact about me is I once won a game of snap blinded folded, seriously, proudest moment of my life haha. I’m also a dog person, although certain cats have started to grow on me so I’m no longer completely anti feline.

Thank you and good luck on our monthly Beard contest! To vote for this talented bearded bloke just visit my Instagram @bruceinthecity and click like on his pic or his bio!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!


edited by BWC

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Surprise Me

Before I get started I want to welcome back my wonderful editor Mary Ellen. You were missed. I hope you had an amazing trip. I was creeping your posts and it looks like you had a blast and your family too! So, yes, welcome home.
Today’s blog, I have to admit, has become one of my favourites. I was at my therapist’s office on Friday (yes, I have a therapist. I think everyone should have one) and after my hour with her I felt like I needed to take a nice long walk and mull around the get together. Toronto is a great place to roam around. It was a little cool but I had my favourite Roots sweater on and so I was ready to walk. I took a few photos along the way of Dundas Square, this cool looking condo just off Queen Street with the CN Tower in the distance, and a few other pics that I posted on my Instagram @bruceinthecity. It’s so relaxing just site seeing like a guest in this old city. It was in the middle of this stroll that I passed by an interesting looking restaurant. I had wandered into Queen Street West and this part of the city seems to have a lot of fabric places and sewing shops. It seems to be where clothing designers go to get the fabric supplies they need.
A little further west I passed by La Pallette. Oh so French. I checked out their menu which was displayed on a lectern. I peeked in the window. It had a relaxed French bistro feel to it. Maybe it was the colours? Maybe the window dressing? The sprawl of black and white photographs that seemed to be floating along the east wall? The kitchen was right out there in the open with it’s heavy metalled accessories. It felt a bit “Alice in Wonderland” to me. The bearded fellow behind the bar invited me in and to sit where I like. I chose a window seat which I actually regretted because it didn’t allow for me to admire the decor very well. The bearded fellow approached me and enthusiastically shared how the menu worked and what were some highlights and then he asked me about a beverage. I chose a Pinot Grigio. When he returned I hadn’t yet decided. I didn’t want to have to think to be honest. I looked up at his impressive beard and I just said surprise me. He looked a little surprised but I guessed that wasn’t the first time he heard a statement like that. He asked me if I had any allergies or if I was squeamish. I said no, but I lied. I was a little squeamish. After he walked away I thought okay, go big or go home. I was enjoying my pinot as I rolled around how bad could it be? The place looked pretty harmless. What could he bring me that would make me squeamish? You know when I review places, I like to be inspired. Either by the impeccable customer service or the food. Since my background deals in customer service that tends to be what affects me the greatest. But this day I just wanted to be orally satisfied beyond measure. Bring me something that would take me out of my body and spin me across the universe of flavours and savourings. I think it may have been his girth of beard that had me feeling so wide open to something perfectly new. He returned with plate in hand, placed it in front of me and began to explain the contents. It sounded like a bunch of pretty words from a bearded baritone and I was certain he said horse. Then he smiled and walked away. Did I hear him correctly? The plate looked wonderful. A lovely salad, side of fresh bread, thin fries lightly seasoned and the vinaigrette dressing was lovely. Little kisses of mustard on the plate and an egg yolk sitting on top of a lovely round of what appeared to be the “piece de resistance”, but oh my god, did he say horse? I’m certain he did. I did say surprise me, didn’t I? Okay, well I had to go for it. I wanted a brand new experience and this friendly man just put his best meat forward for me to try. I had to put it in my mouth. There was just no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I had to put it in my mouth. I’m adventurous. I can do this. I want to do it. I asked for it. I took my fork and took some yolk that burst over the top of this signature dish. I overheard reactions to him by other patrons. He’s a genius! He’s the best! He knows just what his customer needs! One woman pleaded with him to bring her back to life with the perfect drink. He did. It was called Hail Satan, some espresso based alcohol beverage! That seemed to give this woman that meg Ryan moment from When Harry Met Sally, I kid you not. This guy, whom the patrons called David, was like a local celebrity and as I placed that piece of meat into my mouth I knew I was experiencing something extraordinary. It was mouth watering and gentle as it kissed my tongue. My mind was having a moral struggle but my mouth said, “Oh yes, give me more of that outstanding piece of meat”. I found myself mixing the flavours going between the mustards and the leaf of the perfect salad and complimented by perfect thinly cut fries. The experience he gave me honestly inspired me to continue writing and to be even more brave in the future when I visit the restaurants in this amazing city and maybe once again dare to say, “surprise me”.

The actual menu items:

P.S. I would have never tried this dish on my own and I’m so thankful David shared it with me. The entire experience had me floating home recalling every moment on La Pallette.


6 kisses out of 5


Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

A note from Mary Ellen

I’m much more nervous than you about food. I would have heard horse and there would have been no way that it was going in my mouth. Dave on the other hand would have tried it. The man is a food connoisseur and will try anything once.
Good for you for being brave though!


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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #10

Hey Brucesters!

Ive been really enjoying meeting all you bearded folks on Instagram and other social media platforms! The beard contest roles on with growing popularity! Of course I’m flogging it as much as possible and it’s cool all you beards are responding! Here’s this weeks Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week! Say hello to Burke!

I travel a lot. I’ve  been to 16 countries. I do landscape photography on my Instagram. I just finished my math degree and I love to cook! 🍑
Hey thanks Burke and good luck maybe you will be chosen as Beard of the month! Voting happens on my Instagram. @bruceinthecity Just click like on Burke’s solo photo or on the blog write up that is also posted to my Instagram.

Good luck!


edited by BWC

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Happy International Woman’s Day

Join me in honouring the great woman in our lives. 

Bruce in the City

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The Joy of Fashion

In honour of International Woman’s Day on March 8th, here is my very special guest writer Joy Grossman. Enjoy her story.
It all started at a very young age when i was about 5years old, my parents took me to a family wedding and I was wearing a beautiful dress with a white fur bolero jacket and matching white gloves. I looked like a little Coco Chanel. I always loved fashion and growing up I always wanted to pick out my clothes and gave my mother a hard time about it. Around the age of 16 I got into modeling and I was so excited to be so close to designer clothes and wear such gorgeous pieces that I only saw in Magazines.
I got really obsessed with Fashion! I dragged both my parents to NYC because I saw a pair of Prada Mary-Jane pumps I had to have but they were sold out worldwide. I thought if I went to the FlagShip store in New York I could get them. I didn’t tell my parents how much they were, I would worry about that when he time was right. My father left my Mom in line at to get us Threatre tickets, my father & I was off to the Prada store! On the way he asked me how much the shoes were…a lot, I said. He laughted and said “just don’t tell your mother” my dad was the best! The shoes were sold out and I was put on a 3 page waiting list. It’s about the hunt to get a special item. I never got the shoes but I was definitely a very determined girl.

As a teen I would go to Queen Street and Kensington Market and put together outfits for super cheap and look like I just walked out of Vogue. I loved the hunt of a great piece!

My father used to wait to leave to work to see what outfit I was wearing and how I put myself together. He was my biggest fan.
During my early 20’s I started working at a jewlrey store selling and then becoming a buyer and visual merchandiser.  While working I decided to go back to school for Interior Decorating and Design.
After I graduating I interviewed with a few design firms but I was offered a poistion at Holt Renfrew and decided to have fun and continue working in Fashion for a year or so…
I worked in Designer Fashion as the Balenciaga specialist and I was surrounded with all the designers I loved. I built up my clientele and enjoyed styling and selling. It was my greatest pleasure making women look and feel gorgeous,stylish and talk them out of their comfort zone.
I worked at Holts for about 3 1/2 years and decided to move to The Room at the Hudson Bay.
I continued to build up my clientele and I was often asked “where should I take my designer clothes to resale?”  This was a question that I was hearing daily.
My husband’s friend was really into fashion and he was selling his used designer clothes on EBay. My husband and I soon after thought we should do it for women’s wear…and Coutureforcash had begun!
We had a thriving business on EBay for about 4years. My husband would take pictures of all the items and I would do the client meetings and product listings and my husband would ship the sold goods on his lunch breaks.
During this busy time in our lives, I had my first baby Isabelle, being a first time mom I spent all my time taking care baby and family and not sleeping much. I found it hard doing both, my husband and I decided to stop doing Coutureforcash.
Being a mother comes first to me, when things settled down I would figure what my next adventure would be.
When Isabelle was about 18months I felt like I needed to get back to work! I went back to work at The Room and I started up my business again!
Here we are today and I just had my second little girl Juliet and she is 10months old.
I wanted to be at home with my girls and have my own business. It’s hard to do both with many sleepless nights but it’s worth it. My husband Adam is a great supporter and such a big help to me. I really couldn’t do it without him. I do POP UP shops around the city, mostly downtown and I have my own websitewww.shopcoutureforcash.com and I have all my items on EBay. We are planning to re-open a shop on EBay so it’s easier to find our items.
Follow me on Instagram @coutureforcash for postings, fashion idea’s and info about my next POP UP shop.
My personal Instagram is @joysherrygrossman
I welcome everyone to follow me and my beautiful family and business that we all worked so hard for.
Please contact me or go to my website to find out how to consign with me. I’m happy to do house visits and go through your closets with you!
Please feel free to email me with any questions or to set up and meet or to come see collection of goodies!
Joy Grossman for Bruce in the City
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Wine with Erik! A puddle of bubbles!

Hey everyone,
I am making up a theme for march right now and its going to be rainy spring? Sounds sad but I promise it wont be! I mean, who doesn’t love at least listening to the rain? For me it’s relaxing and makes me happy (but once I have to go out in it I get very grumpy haha) It also means that the flowers will start blooming soon and spring will have arrived. So I picked a wine that kinda fits this theme. It’s a sparkling rose and I’ll explain why I picked it (with the help of some friends). I picked a sparkling rose because sparkling wines are fun to drink and the bubbles are what I am considering to be the rain, they both make a kind of gentle pitter patter sound don’t you think? The pink/salmon colour is representing the beginning of spring because its pretty and I said so. This sparkling is light, fruity and fun just like spring should be, we are leaving winter behind and warmer weather is coming, lets have fun! Okay now I think I’ll get into the wine!

De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Brut Rose – $19.95
Here is a lovely sparkling to help bring in the spring weather. This wine isn’t overly complex but it still has fun aromas of strawberry, raspberry and grape fruit. The bubbles are light but creamy and the acidity is mouth watering with just a trace of sweetness to balance the wine. Easy drinking and super fun enjoy on its own or with a Caprese salad.

Also on a side note, I’ve been doing this for, I think, 2 years now and I’m running out of ideas of what to do to and keep it fresh. I want to know what you guys want to see! So let Bruce know of what you guys want to see or themes you want me to do so I can get it for the next month. I’m thinking about doing this from now on, and I know there will be more than one idea for every month so I’ll try and shoes what I like the most or what is the most popular idea. Cheers guys!

Erik F for Bruce in the City

edited by: Erik Flemming

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Journey with Germani “Prep and Pampering”

Hello BITC readers it’s Sarah G!

Thank you for reading my little food blogs. I appreciate sharing my journey and joining the online conversation about food and treating ourselves with respect and love.

This month, I really didn’t know what to contribute. I was trying to think of what was currently on my mind, foodwise.

I’ve been working a full work week with a three hour daily commute. I love what I’m doing and what I’m learning about, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time to cook in the evenings before I crash for the night.

Food prepping on the weekends has become a way for me to eat home cooked food during the week. There aren’t many healthy options close to my work place, which has been a blessing because it has forced me to improve my food prepping and helped me to plan ahead.

I had to learn to enjoy food prepping. It can be a boring task, especially when it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday, and there’s so much to do.

For me, it was learning to enjoy spending the time feeling (somewhat) organized and knowing that I’ve set myself up well for the coming week. I like to drink way too much coffee, put on some Netflix (current marathon: Ugly Delicious), and relax between time spent cooking.

Eggs cups:

Today, I decided on egg cups, muffins, and roast veggies to use for my breakfasts/lunches/snacks this week. Nothing fancy, food that you don’t have to think about too much.

For the egg cups I used my muffin pan with some coconut oil, five eggs, spinach, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapenos, and topped with a pinch of oregano and salt to taste.

No measuring involved, I used enough ingredients to fill up a tray with six portions. Cook the egg cups at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are firm.

Roast vegetables:

Next, I cut up a sweet potato and a couple of yellow potatoes for my roast veggies.

After greasing the baking sheet with some coconut cooking oil: add the potatoes, some baby carrots (I take this shortcut because, why not?), and mix them up with a few shakes of garam masala, chili powder, and a small douse of olive oil. Then added a few slices of leftover jalapeno.

40 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees F, and I have some yummy veggies that I can add to my lunches and dinners during the week.


Finally, I moved onto my muffins. I am no expert baker, and I take shortcuts to make my life easier. This time around I went with a banana muffin mix. Followed the recipe but added some cinnamon and frozen blueberries. Making a batch or two of muffins during the weekend is a great way to have affordable and ready-to-go breakfasts and snacks when you just have no extra time in the mornings.

I’m a night owl and I have to get up at 6 am weekdays; I’ve learned that I need to make things in advance in order to be kind to myself, and have these already-made options available.

That feels really strange to say, because until recently I would routinely forget or put off eating my first meal of the day until 5 pm, or until I just had to grab something a lot more unhealthier on-the-go.

I feel like food prepping has become a lot more popular and trendy, but for me, it really has helped having those already-made foods that I can just grab, and use as additions to my meals throughout the week. I still cook in the evenings, but this has been a way for me to eat in a more balanced way where I’m eating small meals, more often during the week days.

The more I spend time taking that Sunday afternoon, or few hours in the evening to leisurely cook and focus on this feel-good task, the more I know I am spending time on helping myself make healthier choices and living a happier life.

Cheers to taking that time for self-care, and to Spring on its way!

Sarah Germani for Bruce in the City

edited by: Sarah Germani

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Shut Up and Eat With Me


Dang! Spring like weather arrived in Toronto for a couple of days this week and I started feeling inspired enough to get out of bed. Then the snow came. Did I mention how much I hate February?

All through February, John and I have been dealing with that flu, which literally lasts a month, that has been kicking the crap out of North America. I’m sorry, but that has government conspiracy written all over it.

Last Sunday, we went to Medieval Times for a crash and burn nightmare I’ll be sharing next Sunday. Anyway, feeling utterly beaten up by that experience, I decided we needed to treat ourselves to a quiet dinner for two; however, when John responded, “Sounds like an idea”, I knew he was really saying, “No thanks!”. After 13 years I have learned to read my guy and his responses like a book!

So, midweek, since John and I had appointments scheduled, I decided to take full advantage of the trip to see our Doctor to revisit the dinner for two possibility.

John likes having his blood work done as much as I like February and was so traumatized he demanded a treat – like any tough guy would!! Since I was wanting to go out for something to eat we agreed to make it Fran’s – for my brave little soldier – NAH!!!! for me!!! Hook, line and sinker!

OMG, we love Fran’s! It’s been around for years and is such an important treasure at College and Yonge.

It is one of the few incredible landmarks which has not been ripped down to make way for the cancer that is condos in the ever diminishing beauty that is our fair city.

Who needs 5 foot by 5 foot condos for $500 000.00 for all those lovely foreign investors to buy up just to turnover profit when instead you can have Fran’s! It is such an amazingly cool place to hang out in. It still has that Art Deco look about it. I love the marque with all its glittery wonder, like something from old New York vaudeville days.

It’s just a small chain found only in Toronto. The flagship location was opened in 1940 by G. Francis “Fran” Deck at 21 St Clair Avenue West but sadly closed in 2001. For the classical music buffs, the St. Clair Ave. Location was a regular establishment for pianist Glenn Gould.

Getting back to our meals, John had a strawberry milk shake and I chose chocolate (which is way better than strawberry in my opinion!!!). He also had the steak and eggs and I did my fav scrabbled with all the trimmings.

Fran’s was the place I chose way back when I first met John to drag him out for breakfast. The occasion was Pride and I had been partying with friends all night long, seriously, all night! And at about five in the morning we decided to throw rocks at my new boyfriend’s apartment window. I failed to remember it was a work day for him but he reluctantly dragged himself out of bed and chose to come out and dine or lose me forever. I have no doubt after thirteen years he may from time to time think “What if I had stayed in bed” Well to that I say “Shut up and eat with me!” And I’m so glad he did!

5 kisses out of 5


Guest Editor: John P. Sigerson

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Badass B.I.T.C Beard #9

Hey Brucesters! Meet our first Badass Beard for March! Looks like March is coming in like a lion! Hear him roar!

My names Duncan ( at least that’s what I tell everyone )
My birth name is French & I always hated having to explain my grasp of the language was “oui” “non” and “merde” and not much else.
I moved around lots as a kid and that transcended into my adulthood. I can’t stay in one spot too long.
I burn all my bridges, break some hearts and get run out of town. I’ve lived in Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Vancouver, Calgary and now Hamilton.

I’m a big kid who still runs to the comic book Shoppe every Wednesday and I’m first in line to any super hero movie. I eat like I was still 10 years old, but with the money to afford it. If I want ice cream bars for dinner I will eat them mom…. get off my back. Hmmm sorry.

I’m happy you like my beard. To be perfectly honest it’s on my face purely out of laziness. About 10 years ago I realized I DIDN’T have to shave every day, and it was like a cheat code to my already low grooming standards.

My job is probably the most interesting thing of note I can tell you about. I run the Central Spa chain of men’s bath houses. Yup. I get paid if you guys show up and get laid. We need more sexy bearded guys though.

Congrats Duncan! Good luck with March’s contest! The tattooes are rocking as well! Maybe I need to do a tat contest?!?


Edited by


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