This blog is by an Estonian discovering her childhood dream country Canada. Based in Toronto, but sometimes traveling. Looking for an Estonian connection in the far away country and giving away tips about what to see, what to do, what to experience. Hence the name of the blog: Toronto. Canada. Estonia.

Friday, December 30, 2011


My host family inspired me and through a year I developed my little project, which was to renovate this little night dresser. I found this when I was cleaning somebody's storage room, I saved it at my host family's barn and then little by little I started working on it. First removing the old paint, then filling the cracks, primering it few times, then I came up with an idea which I would like to present through my painting. I was inspired by the host dad who introduced me to kente cloth, which is African national clothing. I chose Ghanian, as I wanted this to be a present to Evelyn. 

Here is is :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Brrr, today is a very cold weather -18 C! Better bundle up!

When I first arrived to my host family in rural Ontario, one of my first big jobs was to scrape off the old painting from their house. I put a great effort into that. When I came back there after few months being away in Toronto I helped them to paint the house, which needed two layers. By Christmas, the mother had created a design of a maple leaf on the corner of the building. Great way of showing your patriotism in a creative way!

The house looks good, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


This Christmas season has been wonderful, snowy, pleasant, but today when I was outside taking photos it was thawing, which added few nice droplets on my lens to create an additional feel to the very Christmassy photo.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tire art

Who would on earth think that these pieces were made out of tire.

Doesn't it all look just wonderful and attractive and makes you love tire not hate it and think of it as a poisonous and smelly material. Creativity can move mountains.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

Across the National Gallery of Canada is located Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. It looks very beautiful outside and I am sure even better inside, where we didn't manage to go, but I snapped this photo, not the best, but at least gives you an overview. The cathedral is a national historic site.

Exhibits in National Gallery of Canada

I was able to grab some shots of the exhibits I saw during my visit.

I am especially happe over the Andy Warhol's Brillo boxes. Here you can read more about them.

Nature was brought to a museum. How cool is that.

National Gallery of Canada

We had some extra free time so we could visit National Gallery of Canada. Here are the shots revealing some of the huge buildings architecture.

It is very large and strong building. I saw a great photography exhibition there featuring Man Ray, Andre Kertez, Helmut Newton and other such, but I couldn't take a single shot, as the security was too tight ;) Therefore you are left with these shots here.

Read more about the gallery HERE.


When in Ottawa, you gotta try the BeaverTail :)

BeaverTails and Queues de Castor are a Canadian-based chain of pastry stands operated by BeaverTails Canada Inc. The chain's namesake product is a line of fried dough pastries, individually hand stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail. The chain originated in Killaloe, Ontario in 1978 and opened its first permanent store in Ottawa two years later. It now has franchises and licenses in four countries: Canada (the Maritimes, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, where the franchise is called "Queues de Castor"), the United States (Keystone, Breckenridge and Horseshoe in Colorado), South Korea, and Japan.

The BeaverTails pastry is similar to several other fried dough pastries and is topped with a choice of sweet condiments and confections, such as whipped cream, banana slices, crumbled oreos, and Nutella. BeaverTails Canada Inc. through franchising currently operates 33 stores and 43 BeaverTails and Queues de Castor stands worldwide.

"Women are persons"

The outing in Ottawa goes on. More to discover and share!

Inaugurated on October 18, 2000, this monument entitled "Women are Persons!" is a tribute to Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards. Known as the Famous Five, these women won the "Persons" Case, a 1929 court ruling which legally declared women as persons under the British North America Act and made them eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate.

The monument is located just at your right from the Parliament building when facing it.

Canadian Parliamentary Cats

I had heard a little about this interesting volunteer-run base for cats in Parliament Hill. I finally was able to see it myself and how cool it actually was. Though I once had already seen it in summer, but due to lush green I couldn't get a very good glimpse, but still saw and took photos of my first raccoon. Basically it is a place where stray cats get food and home due to a number of volunteers who help to run the place. It has become a good tourist attraction and something so Ottawa. When in there, definitely go and have a look.

More about the Canadian Parliamentary Cats HERE.

Parliament Hill

Me and another German volunteer who was staying at my host apartment were taken to Ottawa for a day outing there, so we wandered around and took photos of what we saw. What a great way to spend the first Christmas Holiday.

This is the famous landmark in Canada, located in Ottawa, the country's capital - Parliament Hill. This is where Canadian Parilament is gathering. Other than that most important events and gatherings also take place in front of the building. If you are in Canada this is what you have to definitely visit and it is good in summer or winter.

Read more about the place HERE.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Dinner

Here I am celebrating my favorite holiday - Christmas first time in Canada. I must say I didn't have many expectations, but it sure did turn out alright. Great presents, amazing home-cooked vegetarian food and perfect winter weather. 

If any of you is wondering what it is on the last plate, then the answer is, that is the fudge. Famous sweet milk candy.

Tiger loves my laptop

Family cat Tiger was really eager during Christmas Day when he probably felt a need for extra love due to a holiday season. She showed that definitely nicely on my laptop.

Christmas Day

I have seen it in the movies and heard so much about it, but I had never seen it with my own eyes. So when at night I went to pee I saw the wonderful Christmas tree and presents under it. It sure looked like a true North-American Christmas to me. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter wonderland

Unfortunately the white balance is off, but this was the best shot I got while at our hunt for Christmas decorations. More or less this is what you get when traveling in Ontario during a Christmas season.

Carolyn and her wonderland

Ever in my life I could imagine that on Christmas Eve, which is THE day for Estonians during Christmas time, I will find myself in a complete strangers home in the middle of nowhere. Wow. 

We noticed amazing decorations at the outside of the building and we tried to take some photos, but a guy who was smoking called us in and said that you guys should better check the inside, too. This what we saw was something we couldn't even imagine. 

Imagine living in the household like that for three months - for visitors it may cool, but for yourself - a little crazzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyy! What you think?


Friday, December 23, 2011

"Green, green is the color of your eyes"

Not much to say, but just run your imagination wild and free.

At home we usually cook different things in the pots, but yeah, liberalism comes first!

Happy pre Christmas Eve - I have arrived to the countryside


My first Christmas is so close to happen, as I arrived just a day before Christmas Eve to my Canadian family, who will host me as part of their family for my first Christmas in Canada!

I am blessed to be here!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas party at Estonian House Café

I stepped in for a moment to Estonian House Café to be part of the Canadian choir which has been practicing there for years and years, Christmas party. Since it was my first real Canadian Christmas party, I was really excited to be there. Unfortunately I have only one lousy photo photo of the event!

Next week I am off to countryside! See you later!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kristen in her kitchen

Here is more from Kristen's kitchen. She has tokens she had made herself out of old Estonian coins which are no longer valid, as we got Euro as of the beginning of 2011. The lovely picture presents Estonian folk dancers and if I remember correctly it was done by her grandmother.

I will continue my shoots in 2012, as I will be soon off to my vacation and more excitement from there.

Kristen - Am I Estonian project

Second shot didn't allow to wait itself for too long and this time I visited Lisa's sister Kristen at her Toronto home. She welcomed me with her good-looking boyfriend and a cat :) Kristen is Lisa's sister by the way! :)

This time I did better, as I got a nice background to her photo as it was a gift from her grandmother and it portrayed fragment of one of the many Estonian national costume patterns. 

We had lots of fun with Kristen and she showed me around her household, so therefore there is more to share about visit to her home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lisa - Am I Estonian project

I am participating in composing an exhibition. Though I help also to work out the texts for every participant, my main job is to portrait all 14 people who are part of the 3rd generation Estonian-Canadians.

My first visit was to Lisa's. I met her and her lovely cat for a short photo shoot. Idea was to capture the participants in the most relaxed way, possibly revealing some of their Estonian background. While Lisa was the first to take photos of I didn't quite manage that, but hope the best for the next session.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Letter to Santa...and a reply!

My first Christmas in Canada is approaching and I want it to be the best. So I decided to e-mail to Santa Clause, as it was encouraged in Canada Post website and at the post office, when I was sending parcels off to home.

I wrote the letter and explained my situation and everything and for my great surprise, I got a reply back immediately confirming, that my letter to Santa has been received and it may take a little for Santa to get back to me.

After a little while I got the nice and long reply from Santa itself :) Yayyy!!! Isn't that ta great boost for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sound Academy!

I won free tickets to a random rock-concert. I invited Annaliis with me there and shot this lousy phone photo. I think there will be more photos of this place to come, as I really liked the venue. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Later the same day..

When I came to check how my friends are doing then I noticed that the party was over and just "a few" plates needed washing ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Verivorst season is on!

I was asked to go and take a photo of something in a kitchen. So I found these lovely hand-made blood sausages drying and get ready for eating :) This is a sign that Christmas season is on!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All about recycling

My friends pulled a prank at me. I like to recycle, especially cans when I see them here and there. So one day when cycling home from Estonian House I found something weird attached to my bike, which said "Just Recycling" and a handful of cans attached on a thread behind my bike. 


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Would you pay the equivalent of an iPad to save a polar bear?

There are several great and free newspapers that offer a great entertainment when in bus or subway.

This time I had to take a photo about a nice quiz about polar bear or an iPad. Thank god the world is still in its right place!