Shops

Bruce’s Top 10! Tiss the Season

Posted by Bruce on November 18, 2018
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Brucesters!

Its the most wonderful time of the year. Time for my top ten Christmas,Yule,Hanukkah gift giving destinations in Toronto. To help us celebrate all the great festivities we will be enjoying over the holiday season! I’m really pumped to get back to my full time Sunday blog starting back up in January!! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves so with further adieu here’s my top ten list for holiday shopping destinations!

10.Beach Toyz 39 Norwood Rd Toronto
9.Cycle Solutions 615 Kingston Rd T.O
8.LaManna Fashion For Men
2223 Queen Street East
7.Out On The Street Menswear
551 Church St
6.SPRUCE 455 Parliament, 647-748-4060
5.Flatiron’s Christmas Market 35 Jarvis St
4.The Men’s Room 465 Church St
3.Lavish&Squalor 253 Queen St W
2.Outer Layer 577 Queen St W
1.Mable’s Fables 662 Mount Pleasant 

Get out there and find those beautiful,inspiring and maybe even a little naughty gifts for the ones you love and have a wonderful Holiday Season!

Bruce in the City

This Coming Sunday!

Posted by Bruce on November 12, 2018
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Just in time for the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, Bruce releases his Top Ten Christmas shopping destinations in The 6!

Stay tuned!

B.I.T.C

The Stone Maidens

Posted by Bruce on July 22, 2018
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The Toronto summer hisses like a slithering Canadian rattler. Long days of heat and drought cause beaches and maples to be respites for the weary. Still, with each growing day of sunlight, our bodies are again filled with joy and laughter.
The winter is a distant memory and we dare to complain about the sun’s hostile take over. Soon enough the longest day of the year comes and goes but we revel in our ability to touch the earth free from its winter cocoon. Being close to the gifts of the earth are so important for our well being and positive energy flow. Let’s take the mineral lepidolite. It is a mineral of the Mica group. A “stone of transition”, lepidolite assists in the release and reorganisation of old behavioural and psychological patterns, gently inducing change. It brings deep emotional healing, soothing, and reducing stress and depression. What about amethyst? It is to some the most useful of healing crystals. Amethyst is also excellent for lucid dreaming. Additionally, fluorite protects against computer and electromagnetic stress, place a fluorite crystal at your work station to improve mental clarity and efficiency. Of course finding these earthly treasures is not always an easy task. Until these magical women popped onto the jewelry scene. Working with semi precious materials these women have created an entire labyrinth of home decor, body embellishments and mystical items of beauty to unleash the wondrous spirit in all who are empowered by the feminine mind. I met them. Very unintentionally and was immediately drawn to their hand decorative and sterling silver adornments. I was drawn to something else quite remarkable, their positive energy. It literally cascaded off them like a waterfall. I had to comment on their wares and knew immediately that these were entrepreneurs of a different calibre. Traditional and non traditional jewelry and home decor designs. Something for every woman to bring them closer to Mother Earth and embolden inner strength and beauty from within and from without. The sun may be slowly retreating but these earthly gifts from the Stone Maidens are only growing in strength and beauty all year through. May Lammas be a time of preparation for the coming days of autumn and what better way to that but to visit The Stone Maidens and awaken the magical within you.

Bruce in the City

edited by: Mary Ellen Monk

For those of you who wish to know more about the stones The Stone Maidens Work with Here is a magical list they’ve been kind enough to share with us right here on Bruce in the City!

Clear Quartz
Quartz is a power stone that has been called a “Universal Crystal” because of its many uses. This crystal is very useful for meditation and can help you think more clearly and activate psychic energy.
Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz is said to be the love crystal, attracting love, happiness, and healing broken hearts. Rose Quartz raises self-esteem and teaches us to love ourselves. While this quartz is associated with love and romance it stimulates a sense of calm for the holder/wearer. Rose Quartz opens the heart to all types of love while clearing out negative emotions including jealousy. CHAKRA: Heart ♥ ELEMENT: Water
Labradorite
Labradorite is a highly protective stone. This stone helps blocks other people’s projections, by removing mental or other hooks from your aura. Labradorite is also useful in the workplace; it brings out the best in people making the atmosphere more pleasant. Intuition and intellect are balanced by Labradorite, illusions are dismissed and true intentions are seen more easily with its use. It is believed that it is beneficial for inflammatory conditions. Labradorite focuses on improving the negative side of our personality, traits and actions, which usually rob our energy.
Amethyst
Amethyst is a natural tranquilizer, activates spiritual awareness, helps to relieve stress and tension, soothes irritability, balances mood swings, dispels anger, rage, fear and anxiety. Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone. It guards against psychic attack, transmuting the energy into love and protecting the wearer from all types of harm, stress and ill wishes from others. It has strong healing and cleansing powers while also opens intuition.
Amethyst encourages sobriety, having a sobering effect on overindulgence of alcohol, drugs or other addictions.
Selenite
Selenite is a stone of mental clarity. When there are a lot of things going on in your head and it’s starting to affect your sense of peace and quiet, selenite is a good stone to have to help you quiet your mind. It is also a stone of truth and honesty. Selenite is associated with the moon.
Blue Goldstone
“The Stone of Ambition”
Blue Goldstone provides one with wisdom, energy and courage. Assisting with learning and communication, it teaches one to see the light at the end of the darkness.
Blue Goldstone is one of the best stones for Empaths, people dealing with hypersensitivity. Associated with the Throat Chakra, it encourages acceptance of who we are.
Black Onyx
Onyx is known to separate. It can help release negative emotions such as sorrow and grief. It is used to end unhappy or bothersome relationships. Onyx jewelry is worn to defend against negativity that is directed at you. Black stones have protective energies in the sense that black is the absence of light, and therefore, can be used to create invisibility.
Black Tourmaline
Black Tourmaline is a powerful stone for protection against negative energy of all kinds as well as being a strong grounding stone. This stone will help you to release stress and if you are prone to obsessive behaviour, this stone can help you disconnect from these activities. Black Tourmaline cleanses, purifies, and transforms dense energy into a lighter vibration.
Black Obsidian
Moonstone
Moonstone is known for its high feminine energy. It helps to strengthen intuition, enhances creativity, compassion, and inner confidence. Moonstone helps find a balance between the mind and heart without losing the compassion needed within the wearer. This stone is protective especially of those who travel at night or by sea, when the moon is shining.
Black Moonstone
Black Moonstone has a very strong Divine Feminine energy. The energy from the dark flashes of silver and black are grounding to each individual. This stone is an emotional stone, in the sense of understanding deep emotions. Whether it is a past trauma or a fresh thought, Black Moonstone helps one understand the true meaning behind the feeling.

TSM 🖤

It’s Just that Good!

Posted by Bruce on June 17, 2018
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Brucesters!

Hey, so summer is unofficially here! The weather has been brilliant in Toronto. The city is a buzz with festivities and culture events. Lots of stuff was or is happening. You can check local BIA’s for info on what’s going on in different parts of the city. Did you know that? I think it’s probably a very under used and under appreciated resource for people who live here as well as tourists. There’s Cabbage Town, Yorkville, and Greek Town on the Danforth. There’s Lawrence Village, China Town, Korean Town and Kensington Market. You can’t miss Little Italy when you visit Toronto, Roncesvalles, Leslieville. I featured places from most of those areas but still I’ve barely scratch the surface of this great city.
Today it’s all about the beach. The area I’m talking about is called The Beach but it’s known locally as The Beaches. It’s been a debate in the city for years. People who live in The Beach area call it the beach and everyone outside the beach always seem to say, “Let’s go to The Beaches” as if there’s more than one in that area… there’s not. It’s just one long beach strip but whatever you decide to call it, it’s an amazing area in the city. Lots of California style culture. It’s so chill there, except for the bitchy young people who always seem to abuse a good thing. Damn I just made myself sound like an old Bitchy Queen. Well if the crown fits?!? All metropolises are wonderful places but can be very stressful. Thank the gods Toronto has many spots around this concrete jungle to escape from the hustle and bustle. My partner and I love to head down to the beach and take a stroll along the boardwalk before heading up to one of our favourite ice cream parlours. It’s called Ed’s Real Scoop. Super yummy ice cream and fudge shop. They have a rainbow of gelato too. They have shops in Roncesvalles and Leslieville too! Although to be honest, I’ve never been to those ones. Project!?! Here’s a cute little blurb you will find on their website!

“Growing up in the 1950’s as one of 6 children, I was lucky to have a mother with great cooking skills, a very limited budget, and a sweet tooth(!) so that a huge array of baked goods, sweets, and ice cream were made at home as a way of entertaining the kids and saving money at the same time. I founded Ed’s Real Scoop with the aim of offering many of those homemade treats, especially my favourite – ice cream, to Toronto. We use only the highest quality ingredients we can find to make all our artisanal ice creams, gelati, frozen yogurts and other treats.”

It’s just that good. I can’t resist a family business. It inspires me. Without them the city would be box store after box store, with no culture at all. Explore your neighbourhood. Talk to the people in your neighbourhood. Their stories will help you escape to a simpler time. Stress will be a distant reality. Even for just a moment.

Ed’s Real Scoop

BEACHES
2224 Queen St. East
Toronto, On
416.699.6100

B.I.T.C

Edit: Mary Ellen Monk

Just Down the Stairs

Posted by Bruce on June 10, 2018
Shops / No Comments

Disclaimer: Before you read this article  I wanted to be clear I am not endorsing smoking of any kind. I am only sharing my memories regarding the subject matter.

Sincerly

Brucein the City!

You know I’ve been recently asked to contribute to a very cool magazine. I know… me! It’s pretty cool and I’ve been given my first assignment. It’s pretty weird because I’ve been blogging for so long now with very little fan fare in comparison to some of the younger bloggers who also do the video blogging thing. I just feel like there’s way to much talking going on and not enough reading.
I was thinking about this when I stopped by a shop I’ve frequented often over the years. When I first moved to Toronto I was a smoker. I’m not sure I ever told you guys I used to smoke. I think I had given up the habit before I began my blog. Lucky for you or you would have had to go through the incredibly horrendous task of witnessing me butting out. My new man at the time made it pretty clear it was him or cigarettes. (Very Carey Bradshaw and Aden. He hated that she smoked and she lied through her stained teeth until inevitably she met someone bigger who just let Carey be Carey.)
So now I just go into my old smoke shop to say hello to Michelle. She runs the place. It’s on Church Street of course, my regular stomping ground. Now you’ll find me buying phone chargers all the time from her because I’m always leaving mine at home. I must have bought a dozen from her already this year. Okay, fine, half a dozen. Anyways, she’s awesome! Always a constant support in the Gay community. She’s been there for years. You know like when you’re a kid, the way you feel about the old people that ran the corner store. It was like going home. I just wanted to give her a little shout out even though I’m not smoking anymore… well, cigarettes anyway. I enjoy buying the odd summer cap from her or sniff a nice cigar. I should really have one of her Cuban cigars. One won’t kill ya. I’ve always been curious about those vapour things she sells. She tells me it’s very popular. I don’t know. I do like that I broke the habit. I look around her shop and she poses for a Pride month pic with me and we share a laugh. It’s very cool when you realize this big old city has become home and familiar like an old house pet. They’re always happy to see you and they never judge you for smoking that smoke or lighting up that pipe. I like going down those stairs to see Michelle. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s the smell of that old tobacco. Who can be sure.

Mr. Tobacconist (Michelle)
Cuban Cigars and Pipes
473 A Church St
Toronto on
M4Y 2C5
416-929-3846

B.I.T.C

Edited by Mary Ellen Monk

The Vinyl Resurgence

Posted by Bruce on May 27, 2018
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Brucesters!

Tech this! Tech that! App this! App that! Stream this! Stream that! Spotify! iTunes! Netflix!
It’s all so antisocial and non committal. It’s using someone else’s underwear. Rip it off some cyberspace and lose it all with a virus crash. Don’t misunderstand me I love all this on the spot, self gratifying, get where and when I want it, because god damn it, waiting is so last decade!
However, I gotta tell you there is still nothing like walking into a vinyl shop and cruising the record stand for the latest, or even sexier, the retro artist to spin on the crystal needle and chill. Hook me up with some vintage U2, Sarah McLachlan, Culture Club to start and then round me off with some Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind and Fire, and Electric Light Orchestra.
Pop Music has got it baby and I’m not just talking genre. The shop is called “Pop Music”. Clever, sleek, raw! The latest vinyl releases at your finger tips with all the classic retro jazz, rock, funk, and soul all in one manifesto of counter culture and popular culture! Vinyl is back with a vengeance and this fly shop is just what the doctor ordered. Records and Tees! You know I never thought I’d ever say that again on the day I bought my first CD. That soulless disc that stole the epic sound of music on vinyl. I don’t care who you are, nothing sounds as bad ass as The Doors on the turntable. Drop the needle with Joan Jett. Feel the revolution with Bob Marley and that unforgettable groove. The owner of this must visit shop is Derek. He’s into it. You can feel it as I overhear him talking weekly chart toppers and trade release on the hot or not music industry playlist with a patron. He’s got it all! He’s got it now! I still have my records that I bought when I was 12. Thriller! Olivia Newton John vol 2, Joshua Tree, Joe’s Garage! I knew it wasn’t over for that beautiful black lava. Chilled for our listening pleasure. Derek’s shop is the hub of the vinyl resurgence here in the city. New tees and records weekly and some pretty sweet collectables to fill your sack with goodness. I’ll be visiting Pop Music often to add to my already incredible collection of artists. The sound, the smell, the hiss of something so real you can almost reach out and touch it. Shop local. There’s nothing real about a download.

Pop Music Records and Tees
#ForTheFans
Derek Antonio
Owner
581 Gerrard Street East
Toronto Ontario Canada
416-546-3010
derek@popmusiccanada.ca
POPMUSICCANADA.CA
Follow Instagram @POPMUSICTO

B.I.T.C

Editor Mary Ellen Monk

Badass B.I.T.C Beard contest #21

Posted by Bruce on May 26, 2018
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Brucesters!! It’s Beard time!

Its time to vote again! May is closing in! Check out this article and then head over to my Instagram @bruceinthecity hit the ❤ On this bearded fellows solo pic and on his bio there! You can vote twice! Without wasting any valuable Beard time, this is Daniel….

Fun facts about me well; I know I have a beard but I am smooth as a baby’s  bum lol! Is that a fun fact? When You enter into my life be aware your waist line could expand because I love eating… is that a fun fact? Lol!
I like beefy men yes but I go for the chunky kind of man grrrr! I have a great sense of humour and smile all the time, when I am comfortable. Give me some food and yummmm I’m smiling all the way lol 😂

Good luck Buddy! You’d look great on that calendar at years end! Ok sexy people! Go vote! @bruceinthecity My official Instagram! 

The Men’s Room Toronto is Bruce in the City’s official prize destination for the Badass B.I.T.C Beard contest! Join them @shopthemensroom Tell them Bruce in the City sent you 💪🏻🧔🏻👍🏻🌈

B.I.T.C

edited by BWC

The Inked Butcher

Posted by Bruce on May 18, 2018
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Brucesters!

It’s the long weekend B.I.T.C’s! It’s time to get your BBQ fired up! If you’re in the Toronto area I found the baddest butcher in the city!!! Mark Michelin has been a member of Toronto’s St. James Town community located in the heart of Old Cabbagetown since 1971. He’s cool! He’s inked! He’s really a friendly, family guy and he has a passion for delivering a quality product. My visit to this butcher leaves me with some of the best cuts of meat this side of gay town. They carry naturally raised, antibiotic and synthetic growth hormone free meats which is bloody fantastic! I can’t understand why anyone would settle for less if their means allow. Just check out this list of goods (in no particular order) and tell me it’s not impressive!

Atlantic signature grass-fed, pasture-raised beef

Liberterre pork products

Claire Island organic salmon

Farm fresh poultry co-op chickens.

Just to highlight the staples. Mark prides himself on providing the highest quality cuts at some of the best prices in town. From Mark’s home-made specialty sausage to his amazing hand-smoked organic salmon. He offers Mediterranean couscous and Greek salad to mouth-watering sandwiches piled high with your choice of fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses, and condiments. It’s

just too much, in the most fulfilling way possible. It doesn’t end there! Oh no!! Mark’s regular menu includes home-stewed soups, fresh baked pastries and cookies, slow roasted ribs, Mark’s fantastic chicken schnitzel and much more.

Sounds incredible? Well that’s not all! His outstanding deli offers catering services to meet any need! Offering a beautifully glazed meatloaf to perfect pastrami sandwiches! As we feasted our eyes on the perfectly placed items I could literally feel my mouth watering as I stared at his raw meat. We chose some beautiful steak along with some wonderful deli items. It was so tender and juicy. I mean if you meat lovers aren’t lined up already then I don’t know, but that inked butcher has got me wanting his meat at least once a week!! You will too!

www.steakandchops.ca

Monday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

Check website for holiday hours

B.I.T.C

Editor Mary Ellen Monk

British Baked

Posted by Bruce on April 15, 2018
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A note to my readers: This article was written prior to the store sustaining damage caused by the recent ice storm. This location is currently closed. I’m unsure when or if they will be reopening. I will try to keep you posted. I wish them all the best. B.I.T.C

What is going on? What happened to spring? I don’t get it. It was looking hopeful and then Mother Nature barfed all over us. It’s not right and it’s not ok! (to reference the late great Ms. Houston). I’m just pretending I’m somewhere else. As much as I love to stroll the streets of Toronto you can’t in this crap. Welcome to ice storm 2018.
I’m not a huge lover of the corporate shopping malls but you know even on a day like this they really are an acceptable alternative. It was with that in mind I decided to wander around Eglinton Square. It’s an old mall east of Don Mills. It was when wandering this retro furlong that I discovered a shop perfect for my great escape. In one second I was transported to England. A little bakery called Mrs. Bridges British Bakery. With all the buzz around the royals with that handsome ginger Prince Harry getting married, what better time to get my British on. I’m Scottish though I’ve never been. I don’t do much travelling outside of Canada so I personally appreciate these specialty shops. On a side note, I think it’s a shame that people don’t dress more in their cultural dress. Some cultures do and it’s pretty obvious, but when was the last time you saw someone rocking a kilt or Lederhosen! I get tired of the same old North American fashion confines, because they really are. What’s your background? Maybe sport some of your cultural attire once a month or something. Do we all have to look like an American Eagle assembly line?
Anyway, all this going through my mind as I meet this outgoing woman named Leona. She runs the shop with another woman I’ve not had the privilege of meeting yet. Leona and I started chatting about her goods. British baked goods, Scottish crackers, cheeses brought in from the UK. I love cheese. We chatted cheese and wine a bit and then she showed me a product I knew well. Mars. You know the chocolate bar, not the planet. She challenges me to a taste test. A Mars bar from the UK verses the North American equivalent. She said, “Open the package slowly and take in the aroma”. I’m like, “okay”. She said to come back and tell her what I thought. Okay, I took that bar home, I opened it and I smelled it and I honestly couldn’t believe it. Essence of cocoa and fresh caramel. I bit into it and tasted the creamy, milky, caramel, toasty essence. You think I’m joking? I dare you to try it. I triple dog dare you. The difference between the two mars bars was literally the difference between eating a well produced chocolate bar and salted wax. No comparison! Why are we being fed this crap. I went back to Leona to share with her my experience and I asked her, “What’s the difference?” First have you ever heard of wax filling? I hadn’t until my chat with her. That is just one major difference in the way the chocolate is made in Britain as oppose to the US or Canada. They use natural ingredients while we get fed filler and man made poison literally. An American Mars bar won’t kill you but it does taste like crap when you get the chance to eat the real thing. I was kind of miffed. Why are we being sold this wax filled low grade chocolate? It’s tosh really! I’d have to say that the Mars bar from the UK was the bees knees. Every bite was satisfying and you know what else I didn’t taste? SALT! Mars Bars made here taste like salt! It’s just absolutely minging! Her shop on the other hand was not and I’ll be back to grab myself some of that British cheese to go with the Scottish crackers and of course my Mars fix! One thing I won’t be doing is eating another one of those ghastly Mars bars made in North America. Just terrible! Check out this shop. It’s a trip.

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

A word from the editor:

Interesting to know because Wesley LOVES Mars bar. They are his favourite.
Good for you for venturing out at all today. I hibernated all day. Dave even took the boys to bowling by himself. I’m still fighting a nasty cold so I rewarded myself with a two hour nap while they were gone.

 

All in the name of Jesus!

Posted by Bruce on February 11, 2018
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The ice cream/coffee shop “Sweet Jesus” on Eglinton is the third spot in the city. The name kind of shocked me when passing by but then I thought maybe someone will open a shop called Sour Mohamed someday. Since being irreverent is no big deal anymore. The business is not without controversy. I think controversy can be a good thing. 
The place always seems to be pretty busy. It’s a trendy little spot. The lineups here are far more manageable than at the John Street location.
If the demand gets out of hand, you can always vent your frustrations at this snap chat booth where one can confess their ice cream sins or bitch about other stuff no one cares about. A rip off from the “Speaker’s Corner” days at Much Music.
The mornings at Sweet Jesus are all about the espressos. Did Jesus drink espresso? Anyway, then the afternoon they crank out several different ostentatious cones at sinful prices. As per usual, the SJ menu bills paletas in three signature flavours and one daily feature ($4), plus plain chocolate and vanilla soft serve in cones and cups ($4.95/$4.25). Seriously what happened to the $2 ice cream truck? Remember soft vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Who can forget that fast hardening dip? Anyway, now we go to signature ice cream places that gently scoff at a religious figure just for the fuck of it.
Just before you snap out of the hypnosis to over spend on two pretty thoughtless flavours, how much is it really to produce a cone of ice cream? 25 cents? 75 cents? They tempt you with the caramel and vegan peach options. They do affectionally name the twisted peach thing “Life’s A Peach!” just to add insult to injury. A full sized version is $6.50. You know you can go to the Carlton Cinema on Tuesday for $5. Just saying. Then they have these Mini Pimps ($4.95), they’re slightly smaller versions of the bigger cone. One can’t forget the Red Rapture. This treat starts with a peak of vanilla ice cream and is then rolled in red velvet cake and finished with cream cheese icing, raspberry puree, and meringue crumble. I’ve not tried that one but it does look sinful.
They seem very proud of their signature flavours such as the Birthday Cake with icing and rainbow sprinkles as well as the Cookies, Cookies, Cookies, & Cream cone dressed in cookie butter, cookie dough, and crushed Oreo, Fudgee-o and chocolate chip cookies. You know for me though, I just felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. And the staff was pretty dismissive and rude. What do I know? Maybe it’s vogue to be treated like a tool while your wallet is raped all in the name of Jesus. How wonderful! Oops, I just threw up a bit in my mouth and I gotta tell ya, it didn’t taste like like no $7 ice cream!

1 kiss out of 5

B.I.T.C

edited by Mary Ellen Monk

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