First thing first – I survived the flight to Toronto on a tiny little plane!!I am afraid of flying, which adds just a hint of irony to this whole trip!
I think I’m starting to understand why everyone loves Toronto so much!The people are incredibly friendly, the food is delicious, the neighborhoods are cozy, the city is immensely diverse and it’s compact and easy to see in a few days.My friends, Bridget and Laura, came to Toronto with me and we had a great time.
Laura has a few friends who live in Toronto so we got to hear about life in Toronto – 37.5 hour work weeks, their healthcare, expensive home prices and outrageous real estate fees, their very nice public housing, Toronto Island and its refusal to build a bridge to the mainland (a few hundred feet away), prime ministers, etc.Her friends were incredibly nice, as was pretty much everyone we came across.On our first day, trying to navigate the city, before we could even ask for directions a gentleman on the street made sure we knew where we were going.In some ways Toronto is like a mini-New York, complete with high end stores and Yonge Dundas Square which rivals Time Square, complete with a TKTS booth, but on a much smaller scale.Amazingly, the Chicago Bears were playing the Buffalo Bills in Toronto on Sunday.There was no way we could pass that up, so we scalped some tickets and got seats on the 40 yard line.We met a number of people from Chicago who had flown up for the day and there were many more Bears fans in the crowd than I had expected.
We visited the CN Tower, which gave beautiful views of the city.I, very bravely, laid down on the glass floor of the Observation Deck with nothing but 1,222 feet of air beneath me.That was pretty scary to look straight down to see nothing but the concrete ground that lay below…WAY below!And even though the glass floor could hold the weight of 14 hippos, I was positive that the glass was going to give way just as I set foot on it.
My friends made me go to a sushi restaurant, and although I didn’t eat any raw fish, it was still an experience and I had my first maki.
On my first day of solo travel I logged 13 miles in one day (!!) traversing the city, and took in the sights of the beautiful campus of the University of Toronto, the hustle and bustle of the business district, the quaint neighborhoods, busy Chinatown and the historical St Lawrence Market.
On my last night in Toronto I passed by The Bay department store, which has Christmas scenes in its windows.It reminded me of the good ol’ days of Marshall Fields at Christmastime and made me feel like I was at home…well, at home 5 years ago before the whole Macy’s debacle!