Toby’s, If Memory Serves

I must have been downtown (Toronto).  My memory is frequently jogged by something I pass by, or rather, by something that is no longer there.

I’m not sure what is in its place now (the new condo?) but I recently had a memory rush of Toby’s (“Good Eats”) Restaurants. One on Yonge Street just south of Bloor, another on Bloor near Bay (if memory serves). The Google gods tell me there still is one open on College Street.

In 1983, I actually had a meeting with a dramaturge from the Shaw Festival about a play idea at the Yonge Street Toby’s. The meeting didn’t last long. By coincidence, after, we each took in Woody Allen’s Zelig (that’s how I recalled it was 1983), playing at the now defunct Plaza cinema (Yonge & Bloor). We said hello once more when the movie was over.

Which makes me think of the now deserted Pottery Barn at Bay & Bloor, which I never went in. I wanted it to be the old University Cinema, long gone. I took a date there to see Murder on the Orient Express (the original) in 1974. The movie was more memorable than the date. So was the theatre- one grand large screen. No Cineplex boxes. I also remember a popcorn server/usher at the cinema with a tremendous lipstick-stained overbite. Hard to forget.

Are all memories still available? They just lie buried, I suppose, waiting to be unearthed. Whatever it takes to jog them.

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