Thursday, July 21, 2005

Visite En Images Point De Rendez-vous (Toronto Visit, In Pictures)

When we landed in Toronto (at 630am) it was already 26 degrees celsius. The very first place we visited (after dropping our bags off at our Inn) was the Casa Loma. This is a shot looking down at the gardens from the open tower, after we had climbed many narrow spiral staircases to get up there (and Duncan hanging onto to the back of my pants as I leaned over to take it).

Next we walked through the University of Toronto to Queens Park in order to have a tour of the Ontario Legislative Buildings (I thought their chamber was beautiful, much more ornate than ours) and then walked down Yonge Street (longest street in the world at 1900 km) to eat at a delightful little Ethopian restuarant. By the time we had finished walking around the Royal Ontario Museum we were exhausted (as we had flown all night long) and went back to our Inn to grab a nap before spending the night up the CN Tower. We ate in the revolving restuarant (great way to see the city) and went all the way up to the Skypod.

We spent most of the next day at the amazing Niagara Falls. The mercury soared this day to an unbelievable 43 degrees (hottest place I'd ever been), so the mist from the falls was very refreshing and we didn't stay wet for long. We travelled to and from Niagara in the comfort of a black stretch limo with our own personal tour guide and free ice wine. The day had been so hot that on the way back to Toronto we fell asleep in each others arms across the wide seat of the Limo. We had the Limo driver drop us off at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where I may (or may not) have become too personal with Monet.

When I was walking on the boardwalk along the lakeshore (Lake Ontario) I was impressed at the amount of culture I saw. These people were set up painting the harbour scene in front of them, which I enjoyed watching for a while. There were also free concerts, markets and individual entertainers all the time.

This is... well, I am not sure what this is, actually, except to say that it is a piece of art similiar to others you find along the boardwalk and streets in Toronto. One side had a waterfall cascading back into the lake.

Duncan was on conference for a couple of days during our stay, and while he was otherwise entertained I enjoyed a boat tour through the Toronto Islands. For $10.28 it was a very enjoyable way to spend an hour learning about Toronto (which is derived from a Huron word for "meeting place") and the view of the skyline was amazing. It's even prettier at night.

So here is that view of the Toronto skyline I took from the Islands. This city is HUGE, and all of the buildings are very interesting in their own way. There is a (greenish) TD Building if you look closer (click on the image) that is almost all made up of corners. It was built this was after they surveyed their employees and found they all wanted a corner office!

Found this at the base of the CN Tower during my walk abouts, a little art piece depicting the Salmon Run (salmon swim up river in order to spawn) so critical to Canadians. I also found atleast 20 people trying to sell me tickets to the Blue Jays game that night, cheaper than box office price, they assured me! Duncan and I had already decided not to go - our hotel (by that time) was on Yonge Street, which turns into one large party at night and provides many things for two young people in the big city to do.

The new Toronto City Hall is an amazing building. The person who designed this initially won a prize of 1 million dollars for the design. There are no windows on the north sides of either building at all. Something about those politicians being kept in the dark!

The gardens outside of City Hall are also very impressive. A nice place to stop (if one can stop anywheres for too long in a heat wave). People skate on this in the winter but aren't allowed in it during the warmer months. And it was pretty warm, given that our average day temp was between 35 - 43 and it never got cooler than 26 degrees at night.

I could not stand here in front of this building without hearing the theme song from Hockey Night in Canada run lovingly through my head. I had to see it before they destroy it - they are turning it into a Superstore, of all things. The Horror.

What visit anywhere would be complete without a trip to Hooters? Toronto has three of them, we found this one downtown by the tower. Duncan really adores Hooters and it's usually a fun place to go (and they have the best wings ever).

Le Temple de la Renommee du Hockey. Or also known as "Allie Church." I have often said that God sent me to live in Canada only because of hockey, it really is like a religion here. So this is where I spent my sunday morning, keeping the sabbath day holy. This is a fabulous depiction of kids on their bench, watching for their team to score. I love the look on their faces, the excitement and anticipation that brings simple joy. I've missed hockey so much!

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