Where Toronto children’s author Andrew Larsen likes to stroll

In Andrew Larsen’s hottest e-book, “The Hen Feeder,” a child spends time with his grandmother in her last days even though sharing in the small-scale drama happening at a chicken feeder exterior her hospice window.

Montreal-born but Toronto-raised, Larsen wrote the first draft soon after encouraging his own mother verify into a hospice in 2019. “We went in on a Friday and by the stop of the day Saturday, I experienced prepared most of the textual content,” he states. “I never confirmed it to her due to the fact I understood she would not like the ending. But it assisted me get by that knowledge.”

Larsen has produced a career of turning his activities into photo books. He formerly worked in the restaurant market, but when he and his spouse Esther had young children, they made the decision she’d go back to perform and he’d stay house. Primarily based in the Annex, the relatives doesn’t have a car or truck — Larsen doesn’t even travel — so it was parenting daily life that was all about strolling all-around the neighbourhood.

“I was examining them a lot of stories. And then I thought perhaps I could do this,” recollects Larsen, who took to producing about the planet as a result of the eyes of his young ones, consequently his publications about libraries, hockey and baseball.

Now, quite a few decades and 18 books later on, the young ones really don’t create as quite a few story ideas — the youngest is 17. “I guess it comes about to urban mother and father as the children get older, now I’m walking about with the puppy. So I’m no for a longer time wondering about parks and libraries, but pet parks.” Therefore, his future e-book will be identified as “Sally’s Big Working day,” influenced by his mini golden doodle’s working experience in puppy dog college.

Andrew Larsen has written 18 children's books. His next will feature his dog, Sally, who accompanies him on many of his walks around the city.

What are some spots in the neighbourhood you like?

I appreciate libraries, and with my children we went to a good deal of libraries and their perform teams. We went frequently to the Lillian H. Smith Library, which experienced a really fantastic children’s group. Lillian Smith improved the confront of what libraries are, and invited little ones to have interaction in them at a time when youngsters weren’t actually welcome in libraries at all. It’s bought a great children’s selection and incredible rooms for programs. The Wychwood Library, which was just renovated and reopened, is pretty interesting because it is a Carnegie Library. Andrew Carnegie funded around 2,500 libraries all-around the world, including some in Toronto.

We appreciate the Sizzling Docs cinema. We employed to go a couple of situations a month. I have a buddy who is a documentary filmmaker so he normally tells me about great things coming out.

Some outside destinations in the place?

A favorite walk is in the Nordheimer Ravine. We applied to connect with it “the character stroll.” It is like you’re going for walks in the country. It is not that extensive of a walk so when the young children acquired older we’d go on on alongside the Cedarvale Ravine. Right after my mom died, I walked through that ravine practically each day for months it was a spot wherever I sorted out my decline and did my grieving.

We dwell in a flat so when my children were minimal, they acquired to do stairs on the ways that go up to Casa Loma and the Spadina Museum (also recognised as Spadina House). I do all those ways with the canine now. I really like to walk on the grounds up there. A large amount of the operate that I do is contemplating about how to move tales alongside, so when I’m going for walks the canine, I’m accomplishing function in a lot of approaches. It’s pleasure, but it is operate too.

My son beginning participating in baseball when he was in Grade 1 or so and it grew to be a passionate thing for him. I would go to all the online games and then I turned a mentor due to the fact they essential support with corralling the young ones and schlepping things about. In excess of the several years I have used a whole lot of time at Christie Pits with baseball. I often check out the Toronto Maple Leafs (section of the Intercounty Baseball League). The dog likes to sit and look at persons go by and I like to sit and view baseball.

What are some of your favourite foods in the neighbourhood?

Through the pandemic we started out ordering in a large amount. We order from Banjara on Bloor Road, which has wonderful butter rooster. And we purchase in from Swatow on Spadina, which has what I think is probably the world’s biggest fried rice. It is a thing I have experimented with to replicate at house but simply cannot. We purchase a ton of fried rice and then reheat it so we have leftovers for times.

We buy pizza from Fresca Pizza & Pasta on School Street. It is just really superior outdated university pizza. If we take in there, we will sit on the picnic tables exterior or just carry it dwelling. We generally get the marinara or the pepperoni. You have to paint the basil garlic oil on your pizza, it’s pleasant — it was my son who turned me on to this.

In which do you go outside of the Annex?

I have some close friends at Yonge and St. Clair, Yonge and Eglinton, and we’ll go walking in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. As soon as on a time I would under no circumstances want to go going for walks in a cemetery, but it is an extraordinarily beautiful speed with so lots of different trees, so a lot of different birds. The gravestones get your thoughts wandering about who these men and women were being and what their tale was.

And there’s a area that I’ve just identified referred to as Dessert Girl, on Sultan Avenue around the outdated Windsor Arms. I like to go there and have a latte sitting outside on the patio. You are a block from Bloor Street, but it doesn’t sense like that — it’s a beautiful very little enclave.

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