Sunday, March 31, 2019

Toronto, Canada, March 30-31, 2019

I stayed in a studio condo on the 30th floor of the Sun Life Building downtown.  It had a bed, couch, kitchen and bathroom.  I could see Lake Ontario to the south and the Rogers Centre was a block away.  It was on York Street and it was awesome because there was an excellent grocery store on the second floor and inside walkways all over downtown.  There was a BlueJay game on but I didn't go because it's painful enough to watch it on tv if I watch so why would I pay to see it live.  I've seen enough ball games live.  I did go to the musical Come From Away which is the story of the people in Gander, Newfoundland hosting over 30 jets that were grounded after the 9-11 attacks.  I was at the four hundred and eightieth or so performance; most shows have sold out.  I wasn't that impressed with the singing but I always like the way they do the sets and this one did not disappoint.  Only about a dozen or so people played all the roles and the floor rotated to change the scene from the local coffee shop to the bar to the planes.  I think one of the reasons it's so popular is because people, especially big city people, are looking for that sense of community.  In fact, Gander could be small town Saskatchewan where people just help out and do what needs to be done.  That helped me understand why I hate Toronto.  It's the only place on my six month journey where I felt slightly nervous.  Homeless people lie in the middle of the sidewalk wrapped in sleeping bags hollering at passerbys.  No one will look you in the eye or dare say hello.  A woman was coming towards me and when she was about six feet away I called out to her, hoping for directions.  She didn't even look at me, spun on her heel and walked back from where she came.  I finally came unglued in the Intercontinental Hotel where they, thankfully, store luggage.  I had tried to keep my backpack at the security desk in the Sun Life Building, customer service in Union Station, the Royal York Hotel lockers (which do not exist) so was grateful the Intercontinental stored luggage.  Upon arriving, I had my big blue backpack, my statue from Cameroun, my day pack and a grocery bag.  The concierge told me it was $5/bag and that I had 2 bags.  I smiled and said "No I don't!  Watch!" I proceeded to put everything in my grey backpack bag.  He still said it was still 2 bags because it was heavy.  I easily lifted it to show him it wasn't heavy so he called his partner over and asked how many bags that looked like to him. "Two", he said.  WTF I thought.  That's when I went off on a little tirade, telling them Toronto was the worst place I had visited the last six months and why, as a Canadian,  I was ashamed to say Toronto was a Canadian city.  They apologized and still charged me for two bags and became offended when I asked them where they wanted me to put the bag.  They said they could do it but I reminded them they told me it was heavy and then accused me of mocking them, which I was.  Anyway, I got the hell out of there before I said too much and went exploring Toronto.

The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the wind was howling.  I was freezing but day 2 was better than day 1 because it wasn't a snowstorm-

I was on my way to the Desigual store which was a mile away.  Buildings along the route-

Nice trompe l'oeil-

A fountain for thirsty dogs-

A lock covered sign which always baffles me.  I mean, what's the attraction?

I did a lot of looking, shopping and wandering around.  You can't eat much for less than $25 and then they expect at least a 20% tip for doing their job?  If you time how much time they actually spend with you, it's often less than a minute.  I'm not a tipper.  Sorry.  

I was happy to get the hell out of Toronto and truly hope the airport is the only part of the city I will ever visit again!

Mom and Dad were waiting at the airport in Saskatoon and my awesome adventure was over for this year!  Now to adjust to "real" life!

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