Okay, it wasn’t really a walk around the neighbourhood, more like a walk through the hood to check out some cameras at Henrys. I didn’t take any photos, so you’ll have to put up with my description of the changes.

Starting with the ugly Theberge building at Carleton, the “much anticipated” (insert sarcastic grin) Southam Design location is way behind schedule. It doesn’t reflect well that they’re still not open, given it was supposed to be open in August. Next door, a new coffee shop will be opening up. I imagine Caffe Mio may be affected when it opens.

I can’t believe how quickly the addition is going up on the back of the building that used to house Silk Road Treats and before that my hairdresser, just across the street from the Diner.  I don’t know where the future restaurant clients are going to park and am guessing Rudy is going to keep his weekend “no parking” sign up on his garage lot.

The canopy at Blueprint had disappeared and I can’t remember whether the cow at the top of the building was still poking its head out. Collected Works still hasn’t finished off the last of the renovations with a new sign. And every time I walk past Max’s Shoe repair,  I’m still confused as to what they are: cobbler? Purse shop? Key cutter? It’s a puzzle to me.

Not much progress has been made at Bella Via, at the corner of Parkdale and Wellington. It’s another puzzle to me why some businesses paper over the windows while they work and wait to put up a sign. And others put up a sign and do no work.

As we got into the heart of Hintonburg, the purple Right Bikes were getting used. We did a pit stop at Suzy Q Donuts and decided to splurge. Instead of sharing a donut, we each picked our own. After all, our plan was to walk downtown and back. (More on that later). NosyNeighbour tried the Jane’s Addiction, which is a filled donut, so it costs a bit more. I had the caramel crunch. Both were so fresh and gooey. I was licking sticky off my fingers for a while.

When we arrived at the western edge of Chinatown, we noticed the northeast corner at Preston and Somerset has had a bit of a spruce up. Flower beds and shrubs now line the outer ring, at the site of a future museum. The walk through Chinatown was quieter than expected, given that it was a sunny fall day. We noticed the Chinese animal stones scattered along the sidewalks and the new metal benches have been installed too. These, along with the new metal garbage cans, reinforce that you’re walking through Chinatown.

Our walk ended at Henrys, on Bank at Cooper. I’d brought bus tickets in case it started raining. But when we were done our window shopping at Henrys, we saw a bus coming down Bank St. and decided to walk around the corner on Somerset to take the #2 home.

It’s always an interesting cultural experience, made even better on a weekend. A group of twentysomethings got on just ahead of us and headed to the back, continuing their chatter of weekend plans. A man sitting just behind the back door was demanding why the bus driver wasn’t moving faster.

A woman grasping her shopping bags chatted with a new arrival who sat down across from her. I wouldn’t have thought they’d have known each other. He was grey-bearded, long haired and scruffy looking. But when he spoke, you could hear the kindness and see the twinkle in his eye.

An older gentleman boarded and was flagged down by an elderly woman sitting in front of us. The two chatted quietly catching up on news. When his stop was called out (quietly by Alex Munter’s son’s voice), he almost forgot his shopping bag. His female friend wished him luck as he stepped off the bus. But our experience was made complete, when he exited at the Metro for some groceries. As we walked through the parking lot, a scruffy man in his 40s approached us, asking for 50 cents to take the bus. At the same time, we both pulled out or still-valid transfers. He looked at us wondering if they were still valid and we assured him they were. And then he was off walking to Westboro Station mumbling about the #2 taking too long to get to Kanata.

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