Oh, Canada.Our home and native land, True patriot love, In all thy sons command…
Note to self: Stop reading other people’s blogs as it makes one very self concious about your own ramblings (Damn you Steve, UkCuz, etc)
P.S I should’ve asked Steve how to Geek up my blog before I left Australia 😦
Okay so on with what will no doubt be a verbose account of most of my time in Toronto. We arrived in Toronto pretty late at night. It was about 8pm last night by the time we got to our Hilton Downtown hotel – a good hotel, way better than all the hostels but definitely not at the standard of the Hilton we were in at Niagara. We were on the 11th floor (again…it is getting freaky) and although the bed had adjustable softness on the side, which is impressive, We still “only” had one room with both king sized beds in it and the view was of “just” the CN tower.
My initial thoughts about Toronto were that it was very Melbourne like. Maybe it is because of the similar history of being English Colonies that are still part of the Commonwealth (Sup Queen Liz!), but the similarities were there to see. The buildings were similar designs, there was a street very similar to Chapel St we walked down, the streets named similar things (King and Queen Sts for example) and hell they even had trams as well! There were some obvious differences though, even to this untrained eye. Firstly the crossings made bird signals instead of clicking when it was time to cross (another case of “awh bless” for the canadians) and secondly there were signs for ABMs all over the place. The ABM being an Automated Banking Machine…ATM to us Australians or Cashpoint to the English.
Although it was late when we arrived, as is Joey and my style we hit the ground running. We strolled in to the now rainy streets of Toronto in search of a bar. On the “Chapel Street” of Toronto we found the Rex Hotel, just opposite a condom shop (they still make me giggle haha). The Rex was a Jazz club and for just $7 Canadian we were in and sipping Sleeman Beer and watching the Matthew Newton Quartet. It was a good place, had many awards on the wall for “best jazz venue in Toronto” and was good place to stumble across. It was a respectful instead of quiet music bar if that helps you get the feel of the place. The Matthew Newton were good, but probably better individuals than a band. Too many solos, too little cohesion and just lacking something. Good but high standards must be kept 😛
This morning, as the sun was shining and not a cloud could be seen in the Toronto sky, we headed up the CN tower. As this was the last of our ‘tall things’ and claimed to be the tallest structure in the world, with the highest observation deck we bought the all inclusive pass. By the way, if anyone knows of an asian building that has overtaken CN please remind me as I am sure that it was no longer the tallest building but it was repeated constantly. “Le Tour Total” we did the 1st observation deck, the glass floor (which is freaky to stand on but I even had the guts to jump up and down to test it out haha), a movie in the Maple Leaf Cinema about the construction and design of the tour (they really love the Maple leaf here) as well as the Himalamazon experience. All of it was a great experience. To stand up so high and lookm out for miles never gets old. Especially going up another 30 odd stories to the skypod and realising that the 1st observation deck wasn’t THAT high is a thrill. The one bit that didn’t quite connect was the Himalamazon thing which was basically a 4D ride about going through a futurist saw mill. Once again we got sprayed and shaken around, it was fun, but somewhat random. Toronto is a beautiful city from the skies though!
We then walked through Toronto to the Distillery district. We had hoped to find, well, a distillery here or even an old one but no luck. It has been turned in to an art/cafe place of town. Great location for all that and the old distillery buildings were fun to walk around…but come one, at least give me some history about the original distillery. The strolling continued past the Winter Garden Thearte and to the Eaton Centre – Toronto’s big shopping centre. Joey was amazed at its size and the amount of shops on offer, although the quality of shops was somewhat lacking. However, as a Melbournian who has grown up next to Chaddie all his life, it wasn’t that impressive. Chadstone is MUCH bigger and a MUCH better place to shop. I have challenged Joey to find out for himself 😛
Our march through the streets of Toronto continued as we set about trying to find Fort York. Originally this was a fort built on the original coastline to defend the city (Toronto formerly known as York). However, much like Boston over the years landfill has changed the coastline and the Fort is now no where near the coast. It is also really hard to find. Especially with our badly scaled map, but in the end we did find it. Quite a few of the old buildings still remain and some have been converted to interesting displays. The artillery building was a fave of mine as it not only explained all the “old timey warfare” you see in movies, but had big guns and I am male after all (Despite what Christina says LOL).
After a stop at Tim Horton’s (okay it was our second one of the day…but those Strawberry Bloom donuts are GORGEOUS I TELL YA!), we were back in our hotel for some relaxing time to make the most of the Hilton facilities. We were in the pool and spa for a bit, although I was more spa and Joey was more pool as I like to sit more than ‘do stuff’. The idea of a law office in a big spa has come to mind for my future office I must admit hehe. We then watched some bad TV (which is always fun) before heading out for dinner and some comedy.
After walking past a lot of “okay but not amazing” places to eat, we found Quotes. Not only did this place have live jazz (which attracted joey), it was just a great little restaurant. The menu was full of hilarious quotes. They served everything we were craving (My Bison Burger was Delicious) and to our specifications. It is just like a place was designed specifically for Joey and I to eat at while in Toronto. Definitely recommended! We then were off to Yuk Yuk’s, a well known comedy club in Toronto. There were 3 comedians for the night with Peter Anthony headlining. It was a good venue (the Gotham Comedy Club probably had a better room), but the crowd here was pretty big, definitely a young enthusiastic crowd and just the right fit for us. The first two comedians were good, but not great 0ne must say. They were funny, but probably a little older than the generation of 20 to 35 year olds that were in the room…unlike the headliner. Peter Anthony, who supposedly is a well known new comedian in Canada, was brilliant. None of his jokes bombed. Some weren’t as funny as others, but it ranged from laughing politely to crying you’re laughing so hard….he was that good. He also was the right type of performer for the demographic of the room. Hell he even used “tag” as the punchline for a facebook bit and that kills with us facebook addicts AKA 20 to 30 year olds.
Okay, I am fast approaching Steve’s alleged 5000 words so I will stop now. For the record though, this post didn’t even hit 1500 words 😉
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