Vintage Glamour-The Historic Royal York Hotel, Toronto Canada

This Sunday I am going for High Tea at the Beautiful and Historic Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

I have been to this hotel many times in my life (staying there a couple of times with my family before I moved to Toronto) and every time I’m blown away by its grandeur. It truly is a sight to see when visiting Toronto, a vintage lovers dream.

Royal York Hotel Vintage Toronto

Source: Wikipedia

History

The Royal York opened it’s doors on June 11, 1929. It was the tallest building in the British Commonwealth and quickly set the hospitality standard of the day. The magnificent hotel became known as a city within a city, rising in 28 floors of architectural splendor and replete with mechanical genius and opulence never before seen in Toronto.

It boasted 1,048 rooms – each with radios, private showers and bathtubs. The 1.5 acres of public rooms included a 12-bed hospital, 12,000-book library and ten ornate passenger elevators. The Concert Hall featured a full stage and mammoth pipe organ weighing 50 tons, which surpassed anything else in Canada with 300 miles of copper wire. There was a glass-enclosed roof garden, the largest hotel kitchen in Canada with a bakery that could produce over 15,000 French rolls a day, a 66-ft.long switchboard manned by 35 telephone operators, its own bank and golf course (now known as St. George Golf & Country) (Source).

1929 Royal York hotel Opening Ad

1929 Ad for the opening of the hotel. Source: AdClassix.com

1930s Royal York Hotel Toronto

The Hotel on Front Street, 1930s.   Source: Toronto Archives

Thank you to the Fairmont Royal York for finding this AMAZING sketch of the fashions wore during the opening Gala Ball on June 11, 1929.

I will take…all the outfits!

1929 vintage fashion images

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Vintage Image of the Lobby

Postcard Royal York Hotel Toronto

The Lobby Today..pretty similar.

Royal York Hotel-Toronto Lobby

Below is a sketch of the Royal York Hotel ballroom, clearly in the year that it opened from the outfits I see.

According to the Fairmont Royal York Pinterest Page:

When the Royal York hotel opened its doors on June 11, 1929, it brought about a new social era, attracting a true “who’s who” list of royalty, celebrities, dignitaries and leisure travellers to the city of Toronto. On opening night, the Royal York hosted four grand balls where guests dined and danced until the wee hours of the morning. It set a new standard in luxury, elegance and entertainment.

Royal York Hotel Toronto Ballroom Vintage Image

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The Ballroom looks exactly like it did when it first opened-Stunning!

Royal York Ballroom Toronto

Royal York Ballroom Toronto

The Hotel did everything top-notch. Look how stylish the Bartenders look in the 1940s?

I wonder what they are making, it looks delightful whatever it is.

Historic Royal york hotel 1940s Toronto

Source: Toronto Archives

What a Buffet! Can you see the Ice Sculpture Deer in the background? I love fun details like that.

1940s Royal York Hotel Toronto

Source: Toronto Archives

Image of the 66 foot long telephone switchboard that required 35 operators to run it.

Fairmont Royal York Telephone Switchboard Vintage Image

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Of course a hotel on this grand of scale also had to have amazing entertainment.

Quote from the Fairmont Royal York Pinterest Page:

The Imperial Room was once the most sought after show room in North America, when it opened in the hotel in 1929 it was the city’s newest and most elegant dining and dancing establishment. It defined the Toronto social scene as the meeting site of high society functions and big band shows. The stage of the Imperial Room has seen headlining acts such as Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Hope.

Imperial Room Royal York Hotel toronto vintage image

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

The early bands often were employed by hotels, and many bore their employers’ names, eg, in Montreal, the Windsor Hotel Orchestra and Andy Tipaldi and his Ritz-Carlton Orchestra. The largest hotels in Canada had successions of orchestras which, by the 1950s and 1960s, also came to be used as showbands to accompany individual performers. Leaders at the Royal York Hotel (Toronto) have included Charles Bodley, Fred Culley, Rex Battle, Don Romanelli, Billy Bissett, Horace Lapp, Stanley St. John,Moxie Whitney, and Howard Cable (Source).

The band below is clearly the house band of the Royal York as the signs say “RY”. What kind of music do you think they are playing if the first row is all Violins?

Royal York Hotel Toronto Vintage Images

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Guests from all walks of life stayed at the hotel, like Bob Hope, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly (swoon) and even….Queen Elizabeth II (seen below).

Queen Elizabeth the 2nd at the Royal York Hotel Toronto

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Here is an adorable image of an Ice Follies performer in the 1940s who was staying there. How cute is that outfit??

Royal York Hotel Toronto Canada Historic images

Source: Toronto Archives

Royal York also had various advertising campaigns over the years. Here are some great vintage ads.

I adore this cute early 1960s ad (I think) for their meeting rooms. Reminds me of a Mad Men episode.

vintage marketing ads for the royal york hotel toronto

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Looking to get married? The Royal York I will do the job nicely.

This ad is clearly from the same illustrator as above, love it.

Vintage Wedding at the Royal York Hotel Toronto

Source: The Fairmont Royal York

The Royal York has even hosted fun events like this Direct Broadcast party of the Grey Cup (superbowl of Canada) in November 1956.

royal york hotel Grey cup 1950s

Source: Toronto Archives

Complete with Marching Girls.

1956 Grey Cup in toronto Royal York Hotel

Source; Toronto Archives

Many clubs and companies hosted events at the Hotel over the years, like The Electric Club from the 1930s-50s. Who apparently liked their menus to have pretty girls in swimsuits on the front (and lassie).

vintage Electric Club Menu's for Fairmont Royal York - date ranging from 1937 - 1952

Source: Fairmont Royal York

After looking thru all these photos, reading stories on the Royal York I’m thrilled the Fairmont and Toronto has seen value in keeping it standing after all these years because this truly is a fantastic piece of Toronto History.

royal york hotel 1929 vintage image

Source: Fairmont Royal York Hotel

 

So Friends..have you been to the RY? Or do you have a favorite vintage hotel? Do Tell!

Liz 🙂

My Early 1900s Vintage Car Show Adventure

This past weekend I was very lucky to be able to attend an amazing event called “The Old Car Festival” at the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Detroit Michigan area. I attended this event with my family and met up with some vintage friends from the Toronto area as well, so it was a great little group that went.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Musuem

Image courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

All I can say about this event is this…YOU MUST GO NEXT YEAR! No seriously if you live in Michigan, Ontario, or can drive or fly then you must go! I had so much fun and I did not even do half of what my friends did who attended the whole weekend.

First up there were early 1900 vintage cars..everywhere like as far as the eye could see and ranged in age from the early 1900’s right up to the early 1930’s.

1902 vintage car

That handle in the middle is how you drove the car. I prefer a steering wheel I think

Old Fashion Car Show-Greenfield Village

Old Fashion Car Show-Greenfield Village

Yours truly looking sooo not early 1900s 🙂

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

My FAVORITE CAR of all time from the show! Pierce Arrow!

A Pierce-Arrow was a status symbol, owned by many Hollywood stars and tycoons. Most of the royalty of the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in its collection. So dreamy…..

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Old car festival-Henry ford museum

There were so many cars there, that there was major street congestion as well! Traffic jam 1910 style!

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

If driving a car was not your style, you could have also rode a vintage bike. I love these ladies such style.

Old Car Festival Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

It’s a Bike Gang! How does one ride a bike like that??

Old Car Festival Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

There was also a couple of vintage trains that you could have taken a trip around the park on. Next year I’m doing this!

Vintage Train-Greenfield Village

After all that car, bike and train viewing one is bound to get hungry and the village had lots of options but the best one by far was the Eagle Tavern. A real tavern from the 1800’s that was moved to the village many years ago.

Eagle Tavern-Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village-Henry Ford Museum

The family waiting to be called in for lunch-Eclectic bunch they are 🙂

You ate by candle light, sat in old wood chairs (ohhh my bum), were served by waiters and waitress in period dress and even had your name called to your table by the town crier.

Greenfield Village-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

The coolest part of my lunch experience (beyond the delish food) was the Greenfield village beer with my name on it!

Greenfield Village Beer-Old Liz

Hey that’s me! Who are you calling old?

After we ate, we went and saw some lovely singers, sing songs from the 1920s. My favorite was the “Irving Berlin” melody.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we wandered around some more and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the festival.

Greenfield village-carousel

Took a ride on the Carousal

Greenfield Village

Enjoying the pretty views

We also admired the fashions that were in attendance. There was some dapper men (aka my friend Dean).

Old Car festival-Henry ford museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

How wonderful are these men? and Dean of course 🙂

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Musem

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

The other Dapper Canadian man on this trip, Geoffrey Holmes.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean

A favorite of mine…the cutest vintage sailor boys….ever!

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

There were also gorgeous ladies as well like my beautiful friend Amanda.

Her dress was made by her mother (I believe) and is just wonderful and I adore it on her.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we all managed to find each other for a lovely vintage group photo (excuse my 40s wear, I really have nothing 1920s).

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

After all the picture-taking it was time to find a spot for the Big Band dance and the parade of vintage cars with their gas lights on.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

It was truly magical and then we got to dance to this amazing band! The beautiful woman in the pink had the most gorgeous voice.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

Then we danced as the cars drove by.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

A great shot of Dean and I making magic on the dance floor..aka the road.

Liz Clothing Note: I’m wearing a vintage 1940s day dress that I recently purchased from “The Best Vintage Clothing” online store. I adore this dress so much. It also has buttons down the back.

OLd Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

I got to dance with all the men! Lucky me 🙂 Geoff and I cutting a rug as they used to say back in the day.

Old Car Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Dean Villafuerte

Lastly all good things must come to an end with fireworks.

Old Far Festival-Henry Ford Museum

Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Holmes

And then we went home tired but happy 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my little post on my fantastic adventure this weekend and hopefully if you live near by, you can join us next year!

I will now leave you with a great video that Geoff created of the weekend (near the end you can catch me swing dancing).

Liz 🙂

 

Viva La Espana! Vintage Travel Posters of Spain

Hello lovely readers, I hope you had a marvelous weekend 🙂 My weekend was busy because I was running around getting prepared for my next big adventure on Tuesday to…SPAIN!

Vintage travel poster of Spain

Source-Poster Corner

 

I cannot wait as Spain has always been a dream place that I would love to visit and now I get the chance tomorrow! Now I won’t get to see ALL of Spain, in fact I will only get to see 2 places while I’m there as I’m going for my Lindy Hop Teachers wedding (Yay Luis & Natalia!). However, 2 places is better than zero places in my mind, so Barcelona and seaside village of Platja d’Aro is our destinations (this trip).

I plan on taking tons of pictures while there to share with you, but in the mean time I thought it would be fun to share some Vintage Travel Posters of Spain to help you get excited along with me, AND we can all agree that vintage travel posters are just super cool to look at.

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First up the iconic image of the Spanish Flamenco Dancer. I just adore her dress in this 1955 poster.

Iiberia airline vintage travel poster 1955

Source-I desire vintage posters

Vintage Spain Travel Poster

Source-Enjoy Art

Vintage spain travel poster

Source-Travel on Paper

You cannot look at vintage Spanish travel posters and not post some of the infamous Bull Fighter

Vintage Spain travel poster bull fighter

This is a very dramatic poster

Spain TWA Poster

Source-sandiv999 on Flickr

Also the Spanish Senorita

Iberia vintage travel poster spain

Source-Free vintage posters

Spain vintage travel poster

Source-Free vintage posters

Now for some more lovely miscellaneous posters

san-sebastian 1930s travel poster

Source-All Posters

I’m a sucker for a wonderful 1940s advertising poster and this one does NOT disappoint. The wedges, her trousers and sweater are so Katharine Hepburn and I can’t get enough!

Spain travel poster 1948

Well dressed 1920s ladies in Madrid.

1920s spain travel poster

vintage TWA travel poster

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On a side note I purchased the most perfect skirt to wear to the wedding from Damzels in Toronto. It’s a Pinup Girl Clothing-Pinup Couture piece and it’s their Matador Panel Skirt. Isn’t it amazing??!!

pinup girl clothing matador skirt

So my friends, have you ever been to Spain? What was your favorite part, place? food? Do tell!

Liz 🙂

My VIVA Las Vegas Vacation-Day 2

Day 2 of VIVA #17 started with getting in line for our wristbands.

Viva Las Vegas 17

Wristbands on and now the party can really begin! And that means off to get dressed to hit up the first event “Sweet Pea’s Hooch & Smooch“.

Sweet Pea's Hooch & Smooch

Sweet Pea’s Hooch & Smooch

I love Sweet Pea’s event on the Thursday because there are always awesome bands and I find it the perfect way to kick off the weekend. This years bands were truly outstanding and I’m pretty sure I danced my feet off! I know my parents got into the dancing mood as you can see below they were dancing up a storm. Oh yes my parents came for their first time ever!

Here I am with my parents and my friend Steph.

Now even though I enjoyed all the bands the one band that stood out for me was “The Royal Rhythmaires“. They actually blew my mind away with their sound. The lead singer has a voice that is truly unique and really really powerful. We ended up buying both of their Cds because we could not leave them at Viva. Good Golly No!

{photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

During this event I was excited to run into friends from Toronto that I knew were going to be there. My friend James and his beautiful girlfriend Kassandra. Aren’t they just the perfect looking Rockabilly couple?

{photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

 

Man oh man after all that dancing I sure am thirsty 🙂

{photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

 

And hungry so we jetted off to the Irish pub next door to the Orleans that has half priced appetizers every day for happy hour. They also have a patio which makes these Canadian happy! Extreme heat, bring it on!

{photo courtesy of Steph}
I do have some gorgeous friends..gorgeous! And then there is me in all my technicolor glory lol
{photo courtesy of Steph}

 

Dinner done now it’s off to get dressed for the evening ahead. I was really excited for the Thursday lineup as it was a dancers dream. Morray Sochat & The Special 20s, Stompy Jones and Kim Lenz & The Jaquars!

Here is the gang all dressed up for Thursday night. We clean up quite nice I must say 🙂

My husband and I enjoying the show.
My necklace is from Luxulite and it’s vintage drink tags from the 1950s. LOVE!

Viva las Vegas 17

After all the excitement of the ballroom was done for the evening (at least for me), we headed to the casino to lose some money but instead I WON Money!

Viva las Vegas 17

What a great way to end Day 2 at Viva 🙂

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Did you have a good Thursday at Viva? What were your highlights?

Rest of my Viva Posts: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Liz 🙂

 

 

My VIVA Las Vegas Vacation-Day 1

Since my vacation to warm and sunny Las Vegas for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekend #17 was over several days I thought I would break it down to best serve you my wonderful readers.

Viva Rockabilly Weekend 17

So first up Wednesday-April 16th.

We arrived actually late Tuesday night but due to the time change we just wandered blindly/tiredly down the strip till we found $1 beers and hot dogs, ate and went to bed. So no exciting pictures (other then the amazing some what blurry photo below haha) from that night. So that is why Wednesday I really consider our first day in Vegas.

las vegas hotdog

Up first..breakfast, changed and then head over to get our room at the Orleans where Viva was being held.

Since I knew that night was Tiki night with my friends at Frankies Tiki Room I decided to wear my 1950’s vintage Hawaiian Jansen tunic I got on Etsy (Butterfly Vintage) to get in the mood. I kind of look like I’m IN A mood in this picture but I think I’m more tired than anything here 🙂

Viva Rockabilly Weekend 17

We made it! Woot Woot!

Viva Rockabilly Weekend 17

After everyone arrived we got dressed and hopped in cabs to head over to Frankie’s. But first we got this great picture taken while waiting at the taxi stand.

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly weekend 17

{Photo Courtesy of Liisa} 

My dress and my friend Vanessa’s dress beside me are “Di Brooks-OuterLimitz” sarongs. I love her designs and actually own a second piece as well (to be shown later).

Now let the Tiki Party begin! This was my very first time at Frankie’s and I was very very excited because I have heard so many awesome things about it.

Frankies Tiki Room

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

Frankies Tiki Room

Bright outside…but soooo not bright inside.

Frankies Tiki Room

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

The Tiki gods await you…in a very dark room! So that you can partake in yummy Tiki drinks 🙂

Frankie tiki room

 {Photo Courtesy of Steph}

The ladies again.

Side Note: I’m sure I will never meet this person again but to the kind women who told us about seats (there are not many) THANK YOU!

Frankies Tiki Room

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

The lovely Dean with his Dr. No: “Savagely Sophisticated, this spicy delight of scotch, pear nectar and spices will turn any NO into an immediate YES!” hehehe that made me laugh..a lot when I read that.

frankies tiki room

{Photo Courtesy of Steph}

After we finished with our Tiki drinks we hopped back in the cabs and headed to the strip for some dinner and some shopping.

vintage reproduction clothing

{Photos courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

So many pretty colours at the Beach Bash store in the Forum Shops.

Beach Bash store

Then we headed next door for some more shopping at “Tatyana

Vintage Reproduction Clothing store

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

Where my husband found the man area 🙂

Reproduction Clothing store

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

And I bought an awesome flask that in this picture looks as big as my head!

vintage reproduction clothing store

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

After shopping we stopped for a great photo outside of Caesars Palace (my husband is one lucky guy).

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 17

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

And then headed to the LINQ for some food.

Link las Vegas

On our way to the restaurant we passed a cupcake store that had a Cupcake ATM! You put your money in and the cupcake spits out at you. Okay it drops not spit but that was the vision I first had in my head.  Love it!

Link las Vegas

We finally found our restaurant-The Yard House where my husband proceeded to order the biggest beer I have ever seen. It’s Huge!

The food was really good as well and the prices were excellent for being on the strip, fyi.

yard house las vegas

{Photo courtesy of Dean Villafuerte}

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And that my friends concludes day 1 of our Las Vegas adventures. If you were in Vegas on the Wednesday for Viva how was your evening?

The rest of my Viva Posts: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Liz 🙂

 

 

 

Vintage Vacation Anyone?

If you read my blog then you know that I was just in Las Vegas for “Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend“. It was a fun weekend of amazing bands, dancing, vintage shopping, retro pool parties, vintage car show and 1000’s of well dressed 1940’s and 50’s ladies and men. For 4 days I really felt like I was on a “Vintage Vacation” and it is really really hard being at work today.

vintage_tired_housewife

Me at work today 🙂

I’m currently going thru all my pictures, friends pictures etc. of my trip but while I do that lets take a look at some vintage travel ads and maybe help plan your own vintage vacation in the near or distant future.

vintage TWA travel poster

Ahhh Spain, that would be a beautiful and wonderful vacation (of which I’m going to in June for a wedding).

vintage vacation michigan

I grew up in South Western Ontario right on the border with Michigan so I have spent a lot of time in that State. Wonderful state to visit with lots of water activities courtesy of the 4 Great Lakes.

Hotel Nacional Cuba

Photo Courtesy of Havana Journal

I have been to Cuba many many times as I just find it to be a beautiful and fun country to visit. You can’t get anymore “vintage” than Havana with all its vintage 1950’s cars and Art Deco buildings.

Greyhound vintage travel ad

This ad is not taking you anywhere in particular but it’s a great Spring ad and it allows you to dream of all the places you could go..in comfort of course.

Brazil vintage travel ad

Photo Courtesy of design-is-fine.org

Brazil..Sun, Sand, glorious music and yummy food. That would be one amazing Vintage Vacation!

Vintage travel ad

This ad sure does make Rhode Island look mighty appealing, I might have to visit it one day.

vintage miami travel ad

Miami….nuff said.

TWA vintage ad

Are you up for a Quickie vintage vacation? TWA can help you out!

fredricks of hollywood vintage

Now with all this travelling one does need the perfect outfit for each location. It looks like Frederick’s Hollywood has thought out all those details with some of the most amazing dresses and swimsuits. WOW!

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Are you planning a trip anytime soon? Does it have a vintage flair to it?

 

Liz 🙂

Dreaming of Viva Las Vegas

In just a few short weeks (like a week and half to be exact) I will be leaving still cold Toronto for the warmth of Las Vegas for the “Viva Rockabilly Weekender“! I’m so excited! I have started my “what to bring list, wear list, bands too see list” etc. etc. etc. and I’m currently in the process of driving my husband nuts with non stop talk of all the fun we are going to have 🙂 I really can’t wait to go.

So in the spirit of the fun that is about to happen, I wanted to share some of the highlights from last years VIVA adventure with you. So grab your viva souvenir glass and let’s go!

My husband and I meeting the head chef at Gordon Ramsey’s English pub on our first day in Vegas.

We are here!

All the gang is together and already the shenanigans have started 🙂

Finally learned how to stroll last year so there I am in the middle of the action.

At the car show, in front of my dream car.

Got to meet one of my favourite vintage ladies “Amanda Lee of The call of the Jitterbugdoll“.

Pool time with my ladies!

Meeting new friends, who we get to see again this year!

Checking out one of our favourite Toronto bands that played-Tennessee Voodoo Coupe.

My husband being silly with this gorgeous ladies hat, that she made herself!

Looking good ladies!

Ultimate photobomb lol!

This is late late night fun on Sunday. I think we have lost it by now lol!

After Viva finished a few friends stayed for a few extra days so we hit up old school Vegas-Fremont St. Here we are doing our best James Bond pose 🙂

Lol you can fill in the blank 🙂

Then we won a million dollars!! I wish :p

Then we thought it was a good idea to weigh ourselves. I contributed 20 lbs to that number lol!

Toronto beer festival

This year we are adding an edition to our group and I’m so excited! My friend Steph is coming too!!

Excited faces looking forward to this year!

Are you going to VIVA? Looking forward to it too? If you see me, please say hi! Would love to meet you 🙂

OH P.S. If you are going and want to see an amazing Toronto band then check out at 1pm on Sunday the “Millwinders” in the Bienville room! You seriously will not be disappointed.

 

Liz