Before I start telling you about this magnificent city, I need to backtrack and tell you about something that I forgot to mention in my last post.
Take a look at the photo below, which shows the planned flight path after departing Incheon Airport…
Now, allow me to point out that border we were apparently going to fly over… yes, that one dividing North and South Korea. Thankfully the pilot changed his mind and we didn’t end up flying over a no-fly zone in North Korea!
My first couple of days in Toronto have been incredible. It is such a beautiful city and not just diverse, but inclusive. I was assisted by a lovely person in a retail store who may have identified as either a female or male – I am not sure. What I am sure of though, is that s/he was beautiful and was extremely kind in helping me to decide on a hair dryer! His/her nails were immaculate and makeup was, too. What amazed me more than anything else, was that no one batted an eyelid. This made me really happy. Politics and everything else aside, it is so wonderful when people are treated properly, regardless of how they dress and identify.
I have been doing a bit of shopping the last few days. This was something I had planned to do, as I knew there was no way whatsoever that the ‘Winter’ clothes I brought over from Brisbane would be satisfactory for a Toronto Winter! I have found a few AMAZING shops, including:
- Loblaws – a supermarket chain that has SO MUCH to choose from! It has the usual grocery section with aisles, but in addition, it has a separate bakery, patisserie, sushi creator, butcher, NUTELLA CAFE and perhaps more that I’m not able to remember at the moment, all in the one store. It is really cool. I had lunch there the other day (oh yes, it also has great seating areas and free wifi!) which cost me ~CAD$3.50 for a large piece of roast vegetable pizza with goats cheese. Yum!
- Winners – a department store that stocks high-end brands for a fraction of the usual price. It was a bit overwhelming when I first went in here;
- Value Village – a second-hand store that stocks clothing, shoes, homewares, toys, books, DVD’s etc.;
- Nordstrom – pretty much out of my price range…. it doesn’t seem like I would really need to buy anything here when I can visit Winners and Value Village!
Getting around is really easy in Toronto. The streetcars operate at street-level (I suppose that’s obvious … ) and seem to be everywhere. There is a subway that is underground, with a lot of the access points in shopping centres that are joined together by walkways (I think this will be useful in Winter!) There are buses, too, but I have not had any need to use these as yet.
The areas of Toronto that I have been exploring are flat, so my preferred mode of transport has been by foot. It’s entirely possible that all of Toronto is flat…. I’ll have to get back to you on that!
All the people I have met thus far have been really kind and helpful. I met a lady in Winners who helped me with choosing boots, and she invited me to one of her gigs, which will probably be a great way to meet people!
The parks are wonderful. There are squirrels EVERYWHERE and they are SO INCREDIBLY CUTE! I have spent quite a few hours chasing them around and taking photos/videos – I’m only going to include a couple here 🙂
Calling the season ‘Fall’ makes a lot of sense. There are leaves everywhere, all such a variety of colours. I’ve said it before, but I just can’t get over the variety of colours that are on the trees. I visited Queen’s Park and it was magnificent. The leaves were not just a basic shade, but many varieties of reds, yellows, greens and oranges. The photos I have taken cannot convey the feeling I had when walking around the park.
I visited Bloor Street which has some high-end shops and offices. There was a group of three guys playing music, which was extremely entertaining. There was a bass guitar, drums and saxophone. The saxophonist seemed quite a character and would walk out onto the pedestrian crossing (when the walking light was showing, of course!), continuing his tune.