This past weekend, we scored some free tickets to the Green Living Show in Toronto. Its been six months since I left Toronto, so it was nice to come back downtown. My part time job sometimes has me coming into the uptown part of the city, but it had been ages since I’d actually gone into the real thick of it.
The show had so much to offer and we spent the whole time oohing and ahhing at the displays.
My favourite was Timeless Materials, an Ontario company that takes reclaimed materials from factories, barns, churches and schoolhouses and turns them into something new.
There was also a great display by the friendly folks at Pure Green Magazine. I loved the old wine crates with herbs growing in them, and the exposed brick wall.
With the warmer weather coming soon, everyone was a buzz around the Sheridan Nurseries booth. It was full of beautiful Gerbera daisies (one of my favourites!), fresh herbs and large ferns. They had many of their staff on hand to answer questions about how to start up your garden this spring.
The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund and Loblaws to do an interactive display on Canada’s Arctic habitat. They had great displays on fish, polar bears and crustaceans. Loblaws also set up a cooking display on how to prepare fish when buying from sustainable resources. I’m not a fan of fish, but I appreciated all their tips and advice for buying and preparing it.
There were many live animals there too for kids to pet, including this tortoise and a cut pot belly pig.
A local wildlife reserve also brought some local bird species for people to see up close. The owl kept looking straight ahead at me and I was convinced she was going to attack the lens. The little guy was a type of falcon (I can’t remember which one) and was super tiny, but apparently very strong. It was great to get up close with them.
Another focus of the show was on recycling materials, including housing materials and cardboard, like this forest made by TD.
The forest led you into the interactive kids zone, which included cardboard houses to decorate, cardboard games like table hockey and cars for kids to play in and even a craft table where they reused recycled materials.
One exhibit that was not for kids was this electric bicycle which was supposed to be a very efficient mode of transportation, but really just looked a little too dangerous for my liking. This guy was all over the “road” as he tried to drive it. I kindly passed it up when they offered me a ride.
Some this that was a little more my speed is hot yoga. I used to go to Moksha Yoga when I lived downtown and love their classes.
They had classes running where you could donate to a local charity to participate. I was all gungo ho to join in, until Garrett reminded me that I had on jeans. Good point.
One lady who had no problem stripping down, was this friendly protester for PETA who demonstrated how going vegan can conserve water, which you can use for a shower.
Swapsity was on hand for you to trade in your CDs and DVDs and pick up new ones. I wish I hadn’t just dropped off a bunch of mine at Goodwill! I would have loved to have picked up some of the films I’ve never had the chance to see.
Garrett’s favourite booths were the ones that offered environmentally friendly burials. Basically they don’t embalm the bodies and bury them in a pine or cardboard box in a field, rather than traditional cemeteries which have embalming fluid seeping into the ground water. As disturbing as these booths were, I have to appreciate their goal to make this stage of life less ecologically and financially demanding.
Onto a cheerier topic – the best exhibits had to be in the food section, hands down. We couldn’t get enough of all the great smells…and samples!
We came across a huge line in front of Olympic Krema yogurt and when we got to the front we could see why…they were serving coconut flavour! It was fantastic and we both ended up going back for seconds to try the vanilla (and buy some tubs to take home too!)
Whole Foods was on hand with a colorful mason jar bean display. I have something similar in my cupboards at home, but not nearly as bright and cheery.
I loved the worn wood farmhouse table they had on display with the mix and match chairs.
My favourite local chocolate company, Chocosol, was there to give out their delicious hot chocolate. Funny enough, I first posted about them a year ago today when I accidentally came across them at a farmer’s market. A year later and I still love it!
A great fellow blogger display was the folks at Freedom Clothing Collective. I loved all the creative pieces they presented and their eclectic booth. They also featured these adorable bunnies made by Cristina Larsen of Textile Platypus (check out her blog!). I wish I’d found these before Easter!
Preloved was one of my favourite clothing stores to window shop when I lived in Little Italy. They take the fabric from old pieces, breathe new life into them and create these incredibly beautiful pieces. I’m hoping that I can find some ways to take pieces I have at home and recreate my own new pieces as well.
These edge and fun handbags are made by Carysbelle using environmentally sustainable jute material.
With a few friends having babies this summer, I thought it would be fun to pop into Simply Green Baby and scoop out all their adorable (and green!) products.
…and rich terra cotta pots. We could have filled our bags with so many goodies if our wallets had allowed.
There were plenty of great displays for local attractions as well, which had Garrett and me planning out our summer vacation. Ziplining, hiking and cave exploring are on the top of our list this year.
The last exhibit we looked at were these yurts, which are portable housing used by Monogolians. They are trying to promote people in Canada using them as affordable housing, yoga studios and guest houses at the cottage. The construction of their was pretty impressive with a lattice structure on the sides and poles from the top. Aside from the height issue on the sides, they were actually pretty cool.
No show would be complete without samples, right? We only grabbed ones that were things that interested us or that we used. We walked away with environmentally friendly tissues, several flavours of Zevia soda (cream soda was my favourite), lemon & herb seasoning from the Loblaws display and earth friendly Elmer’s glue.
We also bought a few products that we really loved, including coconut oil (Score! I had been trying to find it at home!), Olympic Kreme yogurt in coconut (our new dessert treat) and some of the Chocosol chocolate.
To wrap up our little date in the city, we headed over to our favourite tex mex place – Chipotle!
I got a burrito bowl, which temporarily fulfilled my craving of them. I tried the barbacoa, which was good, but next time I’m going back to my fav, the chicken.
Garrett gave into one of their massive burritos. It is impossible to eat this without going into a food coma, but we enjoyed every last bite.
We had a great time in the city and at the show, and we came back with so many great ideas on how to make our home greener. We try our best, but there are always new things to learn!
Courtenay@Creek Line House says
Hey fun! I used to live in Little Italy too! That was like 10 years ago now. And thanks. Now I’m hungry!
I loved Little Italy…and you’re right the food was fantastic. Its probably one of the things I miss most about there. I used to go to this little place off the beaten path to get pizza slices – Bitondos. And California Sandwiches for big huge chicken sandwiches.
I left because it was getting to be way too crazy with traffic and construction in that area. I’m sure you’d hardly recognize it after 10 years. So many of the cute little places are being converted into big homes, including my old place.