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