Yesterday was a rather long day for our last day in Canada. Tess headed off to watch her last film and also conduct her last interview (which went great!) and I headed off to the Toronto Science Centre as I had a ticket for it included in the citypass we bought at the CN Tower.
As expected it was orientated more towards kids than adults but parts of it were enjoyable none the less. I potentially might have even learned something!
After I met with Tess again and we had some lunch we were about to jump on the train to go to the Toronto Zoo but I checked how to get there and it would have taken 80 minutes of travel which mean’t we would have had only a bit over an hour at the Zoo so unfortunately we decided we had to skip it. Instead we headed off to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)…. and spent over 5 hours there! There are 5 levels to the building and 2 basement levels. Luckily the top two floors are not exhibit floors. We saw things from the Native Indians to egyptians mummies to dinosaurs and lots of stuffed animals…. and a whole lot more. Most of the last lot of photos for Canada are located here but they are primarily of the museum and science centre.
The current special feature of the ROM is the Chinese Clay warriors which we went to the basement to check out, which was quite interesting. My only gripe was that they add an extra entry fee when you get down there. All in all it was really good but really big and our feet were extremely sore by the end of it. We couldn’t take any photos down here.
We are now on our way back to Australia and whilst the trip has been fantastic we are looking forward to being home.
First a quick word on yesterday… most of the day ended up being a write off due to a interview not quite happening as it was meant to so most things were closing by the time we could get to them. Instead we headed down to High Park which is not far from where we are staying. There was a zoo in the middle of it and a large pond. It was a really nice escape from the rest of the city and we walked around and sat down for a couple of hours.
And now for my Birthday! …… It RAINED all damn day
Its been such good weather most of the trip and hasn’t been too hot or too cold, nor had it rained before but I guess we were just lucky. We were planning to visit the Zoo this arvo but instead we headed to Casa Loma as it was an inside feature.
During the morning today Tess went off and watched two films and I headed off to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I think possibly a fair bit of it was lost on me as I don’t know that much about it, and I certainly know none of the players but nevertheless it was an enjoyable experience. I saw the Stanley Cup (which is the main cup for the NHL) and even had a turn at shooting at a virtual goal. As I watched several others take their turn, I was encouraged by the lack of goals anyone was scoring so I was happy when I scored a goal on my second attempt which was also the 2nd time I had touched a hockey stick (The first being the first attempt).
After meeting with Tess again and having lunch, we headed off North to Casa Loma. Casa Loma is a castle/mansion on a hill overlooking downtown Toronto. It was built by Sir Henry Pellatt over several years in 1911-1914. Unfortunately for him they didn’t live there that long as the depression and a greedy government eventually sent him bankrupt. It also included 2 secret staircases from the study both up and down and a 200m tunnel to the stables across the road.
All this walking today (not to mention the last 2 weeks!) meant we just went down to Gabby’s for dinner (just down from where we are staying) where I had a beautiful ribs meal and Tess ordered a beer battered fish n chips.
That just about wraps up the day
On Tuesday we headed early into the CN Tower which is the largest publicly accesible tower in the world ( I think) There are a few higher ones now but I dont think you can go as high up in them. The CN Tower was built in 1975 after 40 months work so for a 35 year old tower its still right up there for height! It was really impressive as it is 553m tall and was actually one solid single peice of concrete. They poured it continuously for 8 months would you believe!
Any good tower of course includes a glass floor which was good fun to stand on.
The view from the top was fantastic… we could see all around Toronto… we couldn’t spot Niagara falls however…
… So we went there instead!
Well we were already planning to We took the train out to Oakville and Wes picked us up and took us down to Niagara. The city was a lot bigger than I had expected and very very tourist orientated. The falls were spectacular as you can see from the photos. We even went under the falls… which were worth it but not as good as we were expecting as the tunnels just come out to a wall of water.
Later that night Wes took us to Swiss Chalet for a big Canadian dinner which was great
Here are the pics of the CN Tower.
And these are the Niagara Falls photos.
Yesterday was exciting as it was my first Baseball match. I met us with a mate, Wes whom I havent seen for 7 years (since Sweden in 2003!) and we went to the local game for the Toronto Blue Jays vs the Tampa Bay Rays (kinda rhymes doesnt it..).
The stadium which holds about 50k people was quite impressive and quite different to any other stadium I have been in. We got tickets on the 5th level which allowed a high view of the entire stadium. At the back was a really big, Big Screen which also had windows into some Hotel rooms within the stadium as well as some restaurants. The game took about 3 hours and in the end the Blue Jays hit a double home run winner in the final innings to take home the game.
All of the days pictures are located here.
Also on yesterday was the grand opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox building which from now on will be their headquarters as well as having its own cinemas and offices and restaurants (we ate at the restaurant for lunch today). The put on a daytime concert with a whole heap of bands and blocked off the streets.
We went to Gabby’s again for dinner and got a big rack of ribs. I think I could get addicted to those…
… he was in Toronto Park.
I went off exploring the city again yesterday while Tess was in watching a film and at about midday I headed towards Queens park which is in the middle of Toronto. As I was nearing it, music started getting louder and louder. In the very centre was a full blown Jesus music festival titled ‘Jesus in the Park’ with floats (kinda) and hundreds of people all dancing and singing and praising Jesus. It was kinda unexpected but looked to be something they do every year here.
Check out the latest Canada photos here
I also walked around the University of Toronto and looked at the buildings and went down to the harbourside and saw some old steam trains (check them out Zayden!) and the CN Tower, which I plan to go up into with Tess.
One thing to note if you are going to visit Canada is that everything rarely includes tax in the displayed prices and food also doesn’t include a tip which is expected. You can expect to add up to about 25% on top of a displayed price by the time you pay. That said, we have found that most meals we have still been relative to the cost of a restaurant meal in Australia (inc taxes and tips).
Also Canadians are very damn friendly
We are currently in Toronto, Canada. Around abouts here…
We have a nice 2 bedroom apartment next to High Park to the west of Toronto which gives us nice and easy access to central Toronto.
There has been a lot happening since the last post but we have been having so much fun that writing hasn’t been the foremost thing on our minds.
On Monday we were dropped off at the train station by Tess’s Cousin and said our goodbyes. Thanks for your hospitality you two and showing us around Kenosha and Chicago and for letting us stay with you, we will be sure to visit again
Chicago was almost deserted. We had a few hours to kill before our train to Detroit so went up to the street through the union station greta hall and the staircase which have both been filmed in a few movies. I can’t think of exactly which ones but yea. Our train trip from Chicago to Detroit was relatively full except the security was heavy to get on the train and since I look like a terrorist I was of course one of those selected to have my bags checked for explosive residue… I’m getting sick of that…
After 4 and a half hours on the train we arrived in Detroit to be thankfully met by Nick and Steph. We dodged a couple of bullets on the way to the car and then tried not to make eye contact with the ghetto pimps and coppers as we quickly made our way to the Canadian border.
There was no issues at the border crossing and we spent the rest of the night catching up with Nick and Steph and also met Aggie and Bill. A good few Bundys were put away that night
On Tuesday Nick drove us around and showed us Windsor, which is here..
A lot of the house prices were phenomenal, ranging from $45k to $120k for a lot of the normal houses as well as a lot much higher along the waterfront. It really was amazing to find out just how much my mortgage could have been We quickly stopped at the Canadian Club Headquarters but unfortunately they were closed for the day. Additionally we saw the Odette Sculpture Park with its miriad of unnamed and weird sculptures and the Windsor University where Nick works.
One of the things we had been looking forward to visiting was The Mill Tavern which we found ourselves at and enjoying a few beers and Bacardi’s at during the afternoon. We continued on and had a delicious Mill Melt for dinner (unfinishable because of its size – try one!) and then some more drinks into the night. We both had a great night and made sure I tried all of the Canadian beers on tap.
On Wednesday we were thankfully driven to Toronto by Nick. I imagine the train trip wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.
On Thursday (yesterday) we headed into Toronto and Tess registered for the film festival before we did some exploring. Its been a lot cooler than we thought it would be (Yes, its Canada but we had reports of a heat wave :p ) so the shorts and dresses we bought are going unworn while we are wishing we had a couple more warmer clothes.
Today we also headed into Toronto, and although the film festival seems to be hard to work with we still saw a few things. At the TIFF lounge we saw David Schwimmer being interviewed. This arvo we walked through China Town ( You could swear you were in Asia!) and then went to the Kensington Markets which were really nice as they were a bit hippyish and had a much more relaxed feel than anywhere else in the city so far.
That just about bring us up to date with everything.
All of our United States Photos are here.
And all of our first lot of Canada Photos are here.