A = Allan Gardens

Today is the first day of the A to Z Challenge and I will start with a visit to Allan Gardens in Toronto.

In 1983, Gilles and I were preparing for an October wedding.  Between the two of us, we didn’t have much of anything and our wedding was planned on a shoestring budget. By September, one of the last details outstanding revolved around our wedding photos.  We had asked a friend to act as photographer and all we needed was a location.

Since we lived downtown, our wedding was planned close to our Toronto apartment. Down the street from the small church where we would be married was Allan Gardens – one of the oldest parks in Toronto.

The crown jewel of Allan Gardens was – and still is – a conservatory built in 1910 with a cast-iron and glass dome.

Allan Gardens

September 1983. Photo adjusted in Lightroom for clarity and exposure.

The month before our wedding, we went to the park and scouted out various locations for outdoor pictures.

Allan Gardens 2

September 1983. Photo adjusted in Lightroom for clarity and exposure.  Oh – to be this thin again!!

Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as planned.  The warm and dry weather we had been experiencing all summer and into the fall finally decided to turn.

It poured rain on our wedding day and in our infinite wisdom, it didn’t occur to us to have a backup plan for that possibility.  The end result was a panicked last-minute decision to take our photos inside the hotel where our reception was planned … not the beautiful outdoor keepsakes we had hoped to have.

It turns out that this September 1983 pre-wedding visit would be our last one to Allan Gardens – at least until this past winter when I finally made a return trip.  I discovered that the outdoor gardens had been dramatically changed over the past 30+ years.  The fountains were gone and the entrance leading up to the Palm House has been modified.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It seems I will need to return in the summer … hopefully to find some of the warm beauty and magic that attracted us to the gardens so many years ago.

A

I promised cookies to everyone who was kind enough to visit me this month.  Thank you so much for coming. Please help yourself to an Almond cookie to celebrate the letter A.

ChineseAlmondCookies_1

Photo from dashofeast.com

 

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge - 2015, Around Toronto, Family, Memories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to A = Allan Gardens

  1. Pingback: Not Mr Roger’s Neighbourhood | My Life Lived Full

  2. jannatwrites says:

    I had to laugh at your comment about being that thin. It made me think of something my mom told me years ago… I was complaining because I’d stepped in front of someone taking a photo (I didn’t know they they were) and there was my backside in the middle of it. She told me to keep that photo because years down the road I’d appreciate it. Yeah, she was kinda right… but don’t tell her that 🙂

    Like

  3. Beautiful photos! Dropping by from the A-Z challenge!

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  4. Heyjude says:

    Somehow I missed this post on my Reader 😦
    Oh, I visited the Allan Gardens when I was in Toronto (2005) and loved them, but was unable to go inside the Palm house as it was being renovated.
    Anyway I shall help myself to an almond cookie and be on my way (now how DID you know that I love almond?)

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  5. Great post and you’ve encouraged me to try and get to Allan Gardens again. You are very smart about organizing these posts ahead of time. Would that younger you have thought of that? There are benefits to being older and wiser!

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Carol. We have so many wonderful little pockets to explore, we have a tendency to forget about the little treasures we’ve enjoyed in the past.

      I’ve so glad I started preparing for this challenge so many weeks ago. This theme has required a lot of work 🙂

      Like

  6. mel says:

    Love the retro photos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. M-R says:

    Yum ! – delicious, JS – thanks ! 😀
    It’s sad about that change to the gardens; one always wonders what in the name of all the god makes our elders decide to do things like that …

    Like

  8. Alex Hurst says:

    That’s a really beautiful conservatory. I’m so sorry it rained on your wedding day! What poor luck. 😦 The garden reminds me of the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, too.

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Alex. I didn’t remember the inside of the Conservatory from 30 years ago, but I really enjoyed walking through it in February 🙂
      I think gardens are so important for cities to develop and maintain.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, brilliant start to your A to Z! No pressure or anything. 😉
    Those virtual cookies are just cruel. I am on the Eat As Little As Possible So We Save Money travel diet and I’d mug someone for a chocolate biscuit right now.

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  10. Joe says:

    Wonderful post Joanne 🙂

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  11. I love historical places! I would love to visit Allan Gardens some day!

    Elizabeth Mueller
    AtoZ 2015
    My Little Pony

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  12. It rained in our wedding day as well but I had planned the entire ceremony outside. 18 years later we are still together and happily seeking the sun.

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  13. The Widow Badass says:

    I have you to thank Joanne, for making me aware of the A to Z challenge. Just the thing I needed to get me working on my blog again. I was googling hiking the Bruce Trail and one thing led to another. Now I’ve added your blog to my Feedly and look forward to reading your posts!

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  14. Outstanding start, Joanne. Love the before and after pictures of the conservatory. Gorgeous each for its own time. Woo hoo. Who IS that young lady? ❤ ❤ ❤

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  15. Aw, what beautiful gardens, and what a pin-up! The French say “mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux” – rainy wedding, happy marriage”. We returned to our wedding location for a photo on our 20th anniversary, and it tipped down with rain. The place hasn’t changed a bit, it was very eery. PS. I leapt onto this post because I saw my son’s name in the title 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      Hi MM!! How nice to see you 🙂
      I’ve heard a similar saying, but the French have a way of making it sound so much nicer 🙂
      I LOVE your idea about returning to the location your wedding for a photo. It actually sounds very romantic!
      You’ll have to tell your son he has a garden named after him 😉

      Like

  16. treerabold says:

    I’m excited to be participating in this A to Z journey with you….I hope I can keep up.
    I like your A choice! Sorry about the rain back in 1983…can never trust Mother Nature…NEVER!
    Great photos and thanks for the cookies!!

    Like

  17. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Great location! I look forward to when you can go again when the gardens are in bloom.

    Thank you for the cookies. Almond is very underrated, but they are so good!

    Like

  18. Ooh, this is off to a GREAT start! You know how you and I seem to share our history? Well, here’s where we still sync and where we depart. I too was first married in October. The 22nd. It was indoors, though. And 9 years earlier. I know, I was a BABY!

    I, too, look back at the skinny mini-me from those days and wonder, how in the world did I think I was fat?

    Thanks for the low-cal cookie (she said, adjusting her considerable poundage that has since accumulated from decades of cookies) and enjoy the A-Z!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Maggie! Looking back to the time, marrying in your early 20s was normal. My family considered me a ‘late bloomer’. In comparison, I look at my 27 year old and think “yikes” – much too young!!
      …. and I do appreciate that my love for sweets is not helping my quest to remove my considerable poundage!! We can commiserate together!

      Like

  19. Thanks for the beautiful pictures, and for the cookie! (I was wondering how you were going to pull that off!)

    Like

  20. Helen C says:

    A+, Joanne! I thought you would have your wedding pictures inside of the conservatory… Thanks for the cookies. I think I’ve gained a pound. 😉

    Like

  21. Sammy D. says:

    LOL on the thin lament as I thought the same for a 1987 photo I posted today! I can understand why you didn’t even think of a Plan B. In that lovely pre-wedding visit, you probably thought that magic perfect weather was de rigeur for those gardens! Thanks for the yummy cookie. Great start to A to Z 😋

    Like

  22. And so your journey begins. Thanks for the cookies!! (They were rather tasteless though…)

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  23. Great choice for “A”. I grew up near there. Allan Gardens always reminds me of my grandfather. We used to take him there for a change of scenery and picnics. The park had nice paths that he could travel by scooter on.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lynn says:

    What a great way to start your challenge Joanne. Can’t wait to read your daily posts!

    Like

  25. A is for Awesome! Loved this post, Joanne! We were married outside too but it didn’t rain. The sun made up for the fact that the Justice of the Peace had forgotten we were coming and was mowing the lawn when we pulled up. And the beat goes on….

    Like

  26. Tim says:

    Wow, 30 years. To bad it rained on your wedding (but it does make for a good story).

    Like

  27. NancyTex says:

    Great story, Joanne! Our wedding photos were done at Edwards Gardens – May 23, 1987.

    Like

  28. Chrys Fey says:

    I adore gardens. If I could see every garden in the world, I’d be so happy I could float.

    Yum! I love almond cookies. 🙂

    Like

  29. Sue Slaght says:

    So fun to see you back in the day Joanne. We were married in 1983. I hope somewhere in the alphabet we see some wedding photos! I am heading to Sask and Internet and even cell coverage is spotty so if I don’t keep up on a daily basis you know why. 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Sue – I actually had a lot of fun poking through old photos for this challenge. I had toyed with the idea of adding a wedding photo, but decided to save it 😉

      If I remember correctly, your wedding day was also in October wasn’t it? One more thing we have in common 🙂

      Enjoy your trip home!

      Like

  30. Now that was worth the wait and has definitely whetted our appetites for more! Wonderful memories there even if it wasn’t exactly as you wanted it…..it’s still part of your beginning and thus, makes it an even more appropriate post to begin your A to Z journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Fantastic gardens and thank you for sharing your story, Joanne. I, myself, have never been to the Allan Gardens but they look lovely. 🙂 A little bit of Eden in the big city.

    Like

  32. kimlhine says:

    It looks very beautiful there.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Even though I was surprised and rather disappointed that the fountains were gone, I liked the new winter photo and walking through the Palm House on a cold winter day was balm for the soul 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  33. mihrank says:

    wow – beautiful journey!

    Like

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