Toronto, Canada’s financial capital and largest city is another first for me. I have only ever been through Toronto airport on my way to Montreal from the West Coast, so even though I have seen the CN Tower quite a few times from the air, I have never seen it from the ground. On this trip, Toronto also marks a symbolic milestone, we’ve made it to the centre of the country and probably to the half way point of our trip.
We are able to stay a few weeks in Southern Ontario, and it’s a good thing too, as there is just so much to see in this part of the country. The Toronto area is a bit like London and the South East of the UK, a large city surrounded by satellite towns, and very densely populated. Our friends, Robert and Diana in Toronto, have generously let us take over their basement for a few weeks, so we can really check out the area.
We travelled by train from Ottawa to Toronto, and our first look was a view of the stunning skyline – and of course the CN Tower. Very impressive. And tall. Made me dizzy looking up at it. We haven’t gone up yet, but I’m told there is a glass floor on the viewing platform and there are people who actually choose (and pay) to do the Edge Walk along the circumference of the roof – harnessed up outside. Madness.
We also arrived just when Gay Pride was on, and Torontonians take the parade to a new level. It is a massive event. The whole city comes together to take part. We even tried to get a selfie with PM Justin Trudeau, who marched in the parade, but Trudeaumania is in full swing and we could not get to the front of the crowd to accost him. The partying went on until the early hours of the morning with loads of concerts and event afterwards.
Toronto is also home to the only Canadian Major League baseball team, The Bluejays. It’s been a lifelong ambition to go to the Skydome and attend a game, so I was super excited to get tickets. Once inside the stadium, I got my hot dog and settled into my seat on a very humid evening – perfect to watch the game. It was a rather exciting matchup against the Detroit Tigers, but the Blue Jays pulled through and came out with a 5-4 win.
There is a lot going on in Toronto – art galleries, theatre, sport, a beautiful waterfront and so many diverse little neighbourhoods. It’s going to take a few more days to really get under its skin. It is also really, really hot. As I said about Montreal, we expected the central Canada heat, but when you are in it you have to be careful and stay cool during midday. As I write this there is another heat warning in effect – nearing 40 degrees with humidity. For once, air conditioning is my friend.
And anyone who knows me will chuckle about the fact that I have just said I like air con…..
The Guardian did a series on Canada last week, which was timely. Click here for a good article about Toronto.
We will carry on exploring this diverse area…and see what we find….