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Toronto – A City Of Brick

I want to change up my style of blogging a little over the next couple of posts to give you the highlights of our month off to travel. First stop Toronto.

I have a fear of flying. Well not really. I used to, but what I do have a fear of, is being stuck in a small cylinder, cruising along at about 750kph at a height of 37,000 feet with three hundred or so other people.

I learned a long time ago that I can only deal with this for about three hours. The solution? Pop a sleeping pill. And I mean a proper prescription pill from the doctor, not some herbal remedy or melatonin. A good strong pill that will knock me the hell out. The result? A blissful flight where I’m out cold before we even take off and don’t wake for hours.

After landing, we took a train from Pearson Airport to Central Station (it’s quick and easy). From here we took a taxi to Liberty Village where we were staying with our friend Donna.

After breakfast, in an effort to practice Yoga as much as possible, we hit Pure Yoga. The studio has a cool vibe and offers (tough) hot yoga classes. I don’t usually practice hot yoga but enjoyed this for a change. I recommend this studio if you are staying in the Liberty village area.

Once we got ourselves in order we headed to the Art Gallery of Ontario which was showing an exhibition called Anthropocene. It is a photographic display of the permanent effects that humans are having on the planet. Future man made fossils or remnants which may outlive us as a race. The most stunning visual for me was the video of burning elephant tusks which had been collected over the years from poachers.

As darkness fell (across the land) we hit Casa Loma, an early twentieth century castle which done its best to scare the living hell out of us with a haunted house display. It is one of those haunted houses where you’re not entirely sure if its an actor or a dummy you are looking at until they come to life and give you a mild aneurism.

I highly recommended it if you are ever in Toronto around Halloween. It was a long line up but it moved quick. The journey through the castle took us about an hour and a half and brought us through an underground tunnel, across the street to finish in a separate building. The bar at the midway point was a welcome stop off also.

An ancient Jamaican taxi driver named Gordon Neville took us home as jazz music played in his cab and he recommended that I cuddle my “wo-man” when I got back. Or was his name Neville Gordon? Who knows. I love the random conversations like this with people who you will likely never see again.

The next day, Saturday brought us to yoga again, followed by a walk around the Kensington market area. It has great character and  diversity, I hope it will not be replaced by the poor-quality development that we see so much of in Vancouver.

 

 

The Burdock Lounge hosted Danial Champagne that night. He is a refreshingly humble Australian singer songwriter who is absolutely fantastic on the guitar.

Sunday, our last day in Toronto brought us through the Brickworks area a beautiful, quiet getaway in the Don Valley, clear from the hustle and bustle of the city but close enough to see the CN Tower on the skyline. Apparently, the history of Toronto can be told through the brown and red brick which presents itself to you everywhere throughout the City.

After this we explored the characteristic brick buildings and cobbled roads of the Distillery District where we had lunch in El Catrin. It was strange to wake up and walk to yoga at zero degrees knowing that it would be approximately thirty degrees at our next destination.

This was my third time to visit Toronto. It is too urban and vast for a country boy like me to live in but I don’t think I will ever tire of visiting here. Toronto’s defining feature, for me, is the character of the City, which shines strongly through the people, streets and buildings, brought together by the characteristic autumn shades of the yellow, red and brown brickwork found at every corner everywhere.

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