Last Sunday was a beautifully sunny but a very windy day in Toronto. It was the last day of my 11 day trip to Northern America. I’ll give you some insights to my trip in reverse order.
My cousin has lived in Toronto for the past six years, and was an excellent guide. She wanted to show me another Toronto.
I’d arrived Saturday evening exhausted and extremely happy from Niagara Falls,Canada, and decided to have an early evening. The hotel La Germaine downtown was a lovely place. They took such good care of you. The room was splendid, spacious and I had the best sleep ever. Restaurant V downstairs seemed to be popular also among the town people, with exquisite tastes. No wonder the owner has been chosen to the entrepreneur of the year.
Sunday morning we set of to the Brick Works – a development project started in the 90’s to rebuild the old brick works from the early 19th century into a recreational area. This is also known as Don Valley. They have several services and entrepreneurs such as Cafe Belong, farmers’ market, a garden market, event space rental, art galleries, activities and workshops for children, walking paths and a large park. The place was in ruins for many years which gave it some of the characteristics it has today – graffiti being most visible.
The cafe is a partner in Mealshare, and overall you could see possibilities to participate in various programmes of social responsibility at Brick Works. You can read more at evergreens.ca
Next we headed to Beach, to the North of downtown and to a place with a beach and view of the downtown skyline. This used to be a place for summer houses and you could see many very nice houses with large porches. Many of which were under renovation as the place is becoming more popular and the property prices are rising. We even saw some ‘libraries’, miniature cabinets resembling the houses that were filled with books to take away. I’ll see if I can find a picture to share.The Beach, the actual beach, was filled with Sunday walkers, dog walkers, bikers, joggers and strollers. Oh boy, it was windy and icy.
The bright sun shine helped a lot but we needed something too warm and thaw us. David’s Tea it was! A bright and shiny Canadian tea brand. Many flavours to sample and even tea flavoured chocolate!
St Lawrence Market is said to be the largest covered food market in the world, voted as the best food market by National Geographic in 2012. It all started in 1803 when a certain quarter was designated as the market block in central Old Town Toronto. The market looked grand and that was all I could explore since it was a Sunday. The meat hall next door houses an antiques market on Sunday and thus were had a quick peak. We could also check out the Toronto Flat Iron Building – see the resemblance with that of New York City.
We strolled and drove along Yonge Street, the longest in the world reaching through the province of Ontario claimed to be 1,869 km. It is actually connected with Ontario’s Highway 11 that might be the longest highway. We drove through the good and bad, the safe and not so safe parts. It was mid day, and I was still glad not to be walking.
My cousin wanted to show me some of the shopping facilities too, and she took me to the Bay, Hudson Bay. The traditional red-yellow-blue striped HBC collection blankets, sweaters, towels and what-nots were very special. Eaton Center with its 200 retailers was the other attraction but there were much more interesting things to do than shop.
The old town hall was impressive and the new one quite modern. The new one was designed by Yrjö Revell, a famous Finnish architect, in the early 60’s. There was a sculpture by Henry Moore in the vicinity of the entrance, just as by some other works of Revell. Moore happens to be one of my favourite sculptors.
We saw also some of the Midtown town houses from the early 20th century, and had a meal in a lovely Italian, Terroni’s with mouth melting pastas and pizzas. Along with meals, they offer a wide selection of self-imported wines. This was the first place with a menu of gluten-free dishes.
Toronto has a population of five million. They are as many as we Finns! It lives of the downtown banking and financing district, service industry and film studios. It is a constantly growing city with constructions for apartments and offices all over.
The city is a half an hour from Pearson International airport by taxi and a train connection will soon be opened. They also advertise for a walk-in airport, Downsview.
A wonderful day! Thank you!