Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring has Sprung in Toronto...
...and Michael, Dara and I made the best of it in quite a sight-seeing-extravaganza yesterday! We were blest this past Saturday to visit with FOUR of our good friends from the Chicago-area, who flew like (and with?!) the wind to spend their Spring break/vacation time with us. While Bob, Paul (M and Y's Trin friends) and Autumn left after church to head even farther East, to Montreal, Dara (friend of Y's from WA, and now IL!) gave us a great excuse to see the best of what our fair city of Toronto has to offer, on one of the most beautiful sunny days this year! A run-down, with commentary, of our expedition:

First off, as good, cheap graduate students, we packed a lunch. While this is a wonderful city, you just can't beat the price of making your lunch at home! This ended up being a great idea, taking into consideration all the walking we would do in the next few hours...

Next, we headed off to the subway stop and bought our day passes, which gave the three of us the ability to travel all day on the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles for just 16CDN--what a deal! In the course of our travels, we made good use of our passes by using (at various points) the subway, streetcar, buses and our feet--seeing more of the city than Mike and I had ever before.

Our first detour was to walk around by Bay and Yonge street (Chicagoans, read Michigan Ave.), where we showed Dara a part of "The Longest Street in the World" (Yonge). Thankfully we didn't have to walk it... As it was getting to be long after lunch time and our picnic destination was still a ways off, however, we hopped back on our trusty TTC and headed to our second major stop:

The Beaches (Following this link, we were at dot "7")! What a wonderful day for the beach. Though it reminded me of the beach behind the resort we stayed at in Puerto Vallarta (briefly... Ok, it is a bit of a stretch) the wind and the remainders of winter forced us to keep winter coats and gloves on nearly the whole time. After sitting down for a bite and watching the waves lap the shore and the dogs lap the waves (and Dara's apple core--FROM HER HAND!) we got moving again, walking up the boardwalk and picking up rocks as we went along. Realizing it wasn't really as warm as we had hoped, we ducked into a coffee shop for a warm up before getting on our way again--taking the Queen streetcar this time--to...

The Distillery District. I had suggested this kind of on a lark, since some people had reccomended it to us, but we gave it a shot--what a treat! The Distillery District is an old Victorian part of the city, where gobs of Holywood flims have been shot (Not that I have seen any of them... Cinderlla Man comes to mind, but there are plenty more). Tinsel Town was on to something when they found this place, though--it has old-timey buildings with tons of art galleries (we went into two), a chocolate-maker, paper-maker, ceramics-maker, a few restaurants (probably with some good brews, considering it is the DISTILLERY district!) and tons more.

Leaving the turn of the century (I guess I need to clarify that more now that we are in the NEXT century--20th) behind, we headed off into the sunset (literally) on our walk down Front Street past the St. Lawrence Market (closed, unfortunately). We headed for Union station, via the Hockey Hall of Fame (we are in Canada, eh?), the entrance to the Eaton Center (or should I say "Centre"??) and BCE Place (a very picturesque place with indoor gardens and lots of glass). I guess we were too busy "VIA-ing," and we missed Union station, but caught the subway at the next stop, taking it to College--our favorite and most traveled street--and then to home.

After dinner we went out again, this time for dessert close to home at the delicious Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe (Mike and I had been there before, but Dara was in for a treat!), and then we headed out to The Rex Jazz Bar--"More Great Jazz than anywhere else, all the time!," where we got to listen to some wonderful live Jazz/Blues performed by Sienna Dahlen. Exhausted after her set at about Midnight, we chatted with her for a bit before taking the TTC home again. Quite an eventful day, but we got to cover a bit of the city, and note some place that we will definitly want to hit again!

1 comment:

Kidgit said...

I won't mention anything about the fact that you can't seem to spell 'film' right which offends me to no end and instead focus on the fact that when I come to visit you at some point I want the same tour! :) Love you guys!