Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So more about Toronto.

While we were there we checked out the Kensington Market. It's one of the oldest markets in the world. It's quite a bit different from the West Side Market in Cleveland because it's got a lot more options to eat while there. In fact, it seems to me that about 50% of the market "stalls\booths" were actually places to eat. Contrast that with Cleveland, where only about 15% of the stalls are places to eat. Truth be told, I like the West Side Market better. There seemed to be some a larger variety of items available in Toronto, but it was overly crowded because of all the people eating. The practicality of a lot of the items is questionable too. How often are you going to make deer head stew for example? How about using those birds nests for bird nest soup? I don't think so...

On the way to and from the market we stumbled into a street festival called Woof-stock. It was basically a bring your dog downtown type event. They had tons of merchants, etc.

After that we walked over to the SkyDome. On the way we passed the Air Canada Centre. At that point I really realized how little parking there is for events, and that everywhere charges $20-$30 to park for the day. That includes the hotels. Canada's parking situation is quite a bit different than ours.

The SkyDome was just okay. The view is really great. The location is very convenient. The park itself is kind of blah though. There are some obstructed view seats in the upper deck. They segregate you based on where you're sitting, so that if you have an upper deck seat they don't even allow you to walk around on the lower level. This is both good and bad. It's good for those on the lower level because it reduces traffic at the concession stands. It's bad for those in the upper deck that just want to walk around and check out the stadium. Regardless though, we did check it out, but got some grief from the ushers for it.

After the game we went over to the ridiculously huge CN Tower. It's still the tallest completed building in the world. It's tall. Really tall. When you're walking next to it and you look up, you'd swear that it's swaying. In fact, it makes you a little queasy to look up at it. We bought our tickets and headed to the elevator. It's a pretty quick ride, and my ears popped twice on the way up. Once you get up there the views are amazing. It was a little overcast the day we went up, so we couldn't see over to Niagara Falls, but supposedly on a clear day you can. Toronto has a very impressive skyline. It's far bigger than I thought it would be. Even though Toronto and it's suburbs have only 1 million more people than Cleveland and it's suburbs (5.5 mill vs 4.5 mill), the skyline of Toronto beats the pants off of Cleveland's. I'd wager that you could combine Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh and still not even come close to Toronto. The amount of construction going on is amazing too. They're building something like 25 buildings per year that are over 50 stories.

Another interesting note that we learned is that over 50% of people living in Toronto are not native Canadians. Think about that for a minute. That's crazy talk. That sounds like New York in the 20's.

Saturday night we hung around the trendy area and watched an outdoor concert and also watched this street performer \ artist make a painting using only spray paint. When I first saw his finished pieces I thought that there was no way he was creating them from scratch. I thought he was using stencils or something and just filling in the areas. In fact, he did everything from scratch. Sometimes he'd use pieces of cardboard to help make straight lines, or pieces of crumpled newspaper as a type of brush, but other than that, he only used cans of spray paint. It was really cool to watch. We also had a sucky dinner that night. We just went to a local place that looked popular and therefore must be good. It was a Chinese restaurant, and in fact, it was terrible. It's really too bad, because if we had only walked a little further, we would've run into what was called the best Chinese place in the city. Oh well.

On Sunday we took a double decker bus tour of the city and got to see a lot of the places that we never would've known about otherwise. Yes, it's a toursity thing to do, but I'd still do it again. On top of that, we were able to ask the guides where we should eat, etc. If only we had known where to go on Saturday night. We went to a local pub on Sunday, and even though they were out of fish and chips, the hamburgers there were quite excellent.

All in all, it was a good (if exhausting) trip. Toronto is a cool place, and we barely scratched the top of the iceberg.


boilerdowd said...

How long have you and Toronto been dating?

Is Lindsay jealous?

Lindsay said...

Good observation... maybe one day there were will be a two page essay about how awesome Tim's wife is!