20,000 leagues under the sky, 2004- travel blog

Lake Ontario.

Toronto CBD.

Harbourfront.

CN Tower dwarfed.

Pointy things.

CN Tower.

View from the top.

Long way down.

City Hall.

Ice Rink.

At night.

University.

Campus.

Stop!


BA093 to Toronto, or as it should be known the BO Express to Toronto! The flight wasn't that early that people couldn't get a shower before leaving for the Airport surely, fortunately I was sat next to about two of the only non-smelly people on the plane and passed a relatively peaceful flight watching most of the movies. I would have been happier having four engines for a flight across the Atlantic but at least I got my first trip on a 777, I prefer flying them on msFS than actually being in one, it's like an overgrown 737.

Having not got drunk on the flight (well only a little) I thought customs and immigration would be a breeze, not to be, I need to change this damn passport, they all think I'm some sort of international drugs courier now. An hour of stupid questions about why on earth anyone would want to visit Canada in the middle of winter and how I've got a weeks holiday only 3 months after my last big trip. The immigration woman seemed really miffed to let me go and almost whined that it would be "really wrong" for me to get work as I left, I'd already told her that they couldn't pay me enought to make me want to stay here (possibly not a good comment to make).

Anyway, this McInternet is about to run out of time, I only came here to Check in on line early to bag my window seat home and try to get on the right side to see the Northern lights if I can, I'll update the rest when I get home.

So, Toronto, well it's a tall city, arguably the tallest in the world with the 540m CN Tower but the Central Business district is awash with skyscrapers and megaliths. What surprised me the most was how empty the city was when I first walked around it, lots of homeless people on the streets but not many others. It wasn't too cold technically, only about minus 5 but with a severe wind it felt much colder and certainly not somewhere I'd advise sleeping rough. These guys really were sleeping on the streets too as I found when I had to get up early for a couple of trains, harsh, I didn't realise Canada had such a big problem.

Then on my second afternoon in Toronto I discovered the secret, Canadians are descended from moles, they like to live underground, the city has mile upon mile of the PATH system, a subterranean series of corridors connecting all of the major shopping malls and business centres, they have their food chambers in abundance too, I think every mall had a big food court in the basement which meant that travelling through the PATH system involved passing through most of them. I explored it for a while and got lost a few times but eventually found that it's much easier and quicker to travel above ground like a human.

Having recently been up a number of very high buildings I had to have a trip up the CN Tower. My fist attempt was aborted when I found out that it was school holidays and the place was a squirming mass of over-excited toddlers and infants so I had a walk along the lake shore instead and had the place to myself. I later went back to the CN and managed to get in with a minimum of queuing. For the worlds tallest man-made structure it wasn't too much of a strain on my vertigo, I kept well away from the glass front of the lift and inside it felt quite safe and solid, even though there was still a strong wind the building hardly moved. I did quake a bit when I was told that the lift back down was from the "glass floor" level, fortunately only a small section of the level had a glass floor and I went no-where near it!

Other areas of the city that I explored were the university campus, new-England style quaintness, and the York-Bloorville area, newly-trendy and over-priced ex-hippy hangout and the newer hippy area of the Kensington Market. Overall, I wasn't overly impressed by Toronto but I guess that the lake-side and beach areas would be nice in the summer, I certainly can't see why the immigration woman would think I was going to overstay there.



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