It seemed to get hotter and hotter in Toronto as time went on. Heat warnings became a regular occurrence and it became a struggle to be out in the midday heat. We tried to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, but as the humidity crept in, even going out at night became quite uncomfortable.
Thankfully there is some respite if you get close to the lake – the breeze will cool you down a little bit. Toronto has a great neighbourhood called The Beaches, which is just East of the downtown core. A very scenic ride on the streetcar took us there, and suddenly we were in a beachside resort. The streets were lined with quaint shops and restaurants and there are some lovely Victorian houses. This being Toronto, the properties in the area all cost a fortune, but what a place to live. A few blocks from the shops is the lake itself, with, you guessed it, a huge beach. Since it was so hot, loads of people were camped out there, wading in the water and eating ice cream, looking at a stunning view of the CN Tower in the distance.
Speaking of the CN Tower, we finally went to the top. The CN Tower was built in 1976 and is the largest unsupported tower in the Western Hemisphere – it absolutely dominates Toronto’s skyline. We had to wait until late in the evening to go as the lines were just too long during the day, but it is a must do in Toronto. At $35 a person, this elevator ride is not cheap; and I am not fond of heights either, so a bit scary. It didn’t take long to get to the top though, and the views of Toronto are worth it. Did I walk on the glass floor on the viewing platform? Hell no!
Across from the CN Tower we popped into the CBC building, where they have a small museum, and in it we found Mr Dressup’s Tickle Trunk amongst other things. If you are around my age and from Canada you will certainly remember the great children’s television that the CBC produced. Mr. Dressup was my favourite, but they also had artefacts from The Friendly Giant and Mr Rogers Neighbourhood.
Toronto and its surrounding area is probably one of the most diverse Western cities that I have been to. Residents like to dub it the ‘Little Apple’ and you can certainly see the similarities with New York. There are so many little neighbourhoods to explore, and the long streets and tall buildings create the ‘canyon’ effect known in New York. It is certainly the financial and arts capital of Canada, and there is just so much going on. It was so great to finally visit the area and a bit sad to move on.
I won’t miss the heat though!