Toronto illustrations!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  I am a little bit late, but I would like to share some of my recent Christmas illustrations.  I made these illustrations for Christmas cards to sell and they were successful!  Toronto is so diverse, so that I decided to depict some Toronto neighbourhoods, typical buildings, and Canadian icons.

Here is a little tour of the Toronto features which I utilized: 

Queen Street West is one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Toronto. You can find here coffee shops, restaurants and bars, trendy stores, art galleries, and design, furniture, and antique stores.  Many textile, knitting and bead stores are also located between Bathurst and Spadina Avenues – I love to shop at them sometimes.  Also, my favourite pizzeria, North of Brooklyn, is located at Queen and Palmerston!  

The concentration of art galleries is the result of the artists who worked and lived illegally (due to potential fire hazards) in the industrial buildings on Queen Street in the middle of 20th century.  Their creative spirits still remain in the neighbourhood!

You can take a streetcar along Queen Street, and pop into all of these cute places. The old red streetcars of Toronto will be replaced by more comfortable newer ones very soon. I will miss the old red streetcars – they hold a lot of history and character. 

The CN Tower can be seen from almost everywhere in Toronto. Built in 1976, the CN Tower remained the tallest building in the world until 2010 (553.33 m)!  I have a special relationship with the CN Tower because I worked there (right at the top) for a half of a year and I enjoyed the view almost everyday.

The many Victorian houses in downtown Toronto were built around the turn of the 20th century. The semi-detached ones tend to be pretty vertical, narrow, and built of red brick.  Many of them are now rental apartments, and many are still in pretty good shape. 

I would love to own one of these cottage houses some day!  I placed a couple Muskoka chairs in the front.

You can also find a Robin (a red bird), a deer, and a squirrel  in this illustration.  These guys are shared inhabitants of our neighbourhoods and suburbs. Maybe next time, our best ‘friend’ raccoon will appear too! I am really hooked with the idea to make illustrations of other Toronto neighbourhoods, such as The Annex, Kensington Market and Distillery District, so stay tuned for that!

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