I had set my alarm up to go off this morning at 8:00 am to give me an hour-and-a-half to prep for our 9:30 am arrival in Toronto, only to wake up to an announcement stating that we were an hour behind schedule due to having to give way for so many freight trains. I packed up any way, eager to be off the train as soon as we pulled into Toronto. Around 10:30 am, they announced that we would be getting in at 11:00 am because we had to back into the station to avoid traffic. With all that, I took my simple breakfast of granola bars and mango Tang to the dome car to watch us pull into the city.
It was so great to see Toronto again after two years. I emerged from the station right in front of the Air Canada Centre, home of the Raptors, a spot I recognized from my visit to the Best of Residence Life Conference at UTM two years ago. I called Paul, one of my hosts, and he gave me directions to meet him so he could walk me to he and his wife Janette’s condo. Paul and Janette are Caileigh’s — the Dean of Residence for St. John’s College — parents. When she heard about my trip, Caileigh was nice enough to ask her parents if I could stay with them in their condo downtown, and they were generous enough to open their home to me for the few days that I’m here.
The walk to the condo was great, because I got to see some familiar places from my last trip here again (though they look really different on a sunny day in May than they did just after a major ice storm in January). We even saw movie equipment left over from a film or TV shoot, which is always a fun sight and something I was really hoping to see here since I didn’t see it at all in Vancouver.
Once Paul had me all oriented in the condo, he went back to work, and I took what may very well have been the most satisfying shower of my life. Dry shampoo is great for making you not look like a total greaseball, but only the real thing can actually prevent that. After my shower, I settled in to watch Game of Thrones, then went on a quick errands run.
Not long after I got back, Janette got home from work. We got all introduced, then took Rumple, their dog, on a walk, which gave me a great chance to see a little bit of the city. We went through the Distillery District, then down along the Don River to the lakeshore, hitting Sugar Beach before winding our way back up towards the St. Lawrence Market and back to the condo. I’m planning on going to Sugar Beach to hang out for a while before I meet Janette for lunch at the market tomorrow. It’s a really cute spot that gets its name from the freighters delivering sugar to the plant next to the beach, and a great place for me to get a few chapters in.
Once we got back it was time to make some plans for the week. Janette got us tickets to see The Odd Couple by Soulpepper Theatre Company on Saturday ad the Blue Jays play Tampa Bay on Monday night!
With those plans set, Paul, Janette, and I walked to a neighborhood Italian restaurant, Mangia e Brevi, where Jan, a German traveler Janette met through Meetup, joined us. The food was awesome! I got their bufalina pizza; ten out of ten would recommend to anyone coming through Toronto. Paul had to leave after we ate to take a business call, but Janette, Jan, and I stayed back to talk for a while. Afterward, Jan walked Janette and I back to the condo.
Rumple needed one more walk before bedtime, so Janette and I took him out for a quick spin. Once we got back, it was time to say goodnight and rest up for another great day in Toronto!