Trans-Canada Rail Trek

Day 10 - October 16, 2007 – Tuesday – Toronto, Ontario

We woke up to pink skies as the sun was coming up between the skyscrapers of Toronto. We had a nice buffet breakfast in the hotel and then came back to our room to catch up on a few messages and put up yesterday’s journal.

Our city tour began at 10 AM with everyone meeting at the lobby of our luxury hotel. We have been so lucky to have such a prompt group this whole journey!

We met our driver Patrick who started our tour with an explanation of Toronto’s two seasons, winter and construction. He also pointed out the city’s bird – The Crane! (as in construction)

Our tour took us past the new town hall, the old town hall, and the ice skating rink in the city center plaza. We stopped for a few pictures and then drove through the huge urban University of Toronto.

All of the light posts have banners promoting culture; the arts, film, theater, books, and thinking! Many signs advertised the Toronto Film Festival which just concluded and is one of the most famous in the world.

Our next site was one of Toronto’s three Chinatowns. Many Chinese came to Canada to build the trans-continental railroad and prospered here. Pat pointed out a monument to all the laborers who were killed building the railroad.

We got out to take photos at the Rogers Center and CN (Canadian National) Tower. The famous sculpture called “The Audience” depicts fans in their natural poses. The CN Tower was originally built for communication but now there is a restaurant and observation deck for tourists. On a clear day one can see the mist of Niagara Falls.

As we continued our tour we saw the Hockey Hall of Fame where the Stanley Cup resides when it is not on tour with the winning team. We also went to Old Towne, St. Lawrence neighborhood from 1793 when this city was first called York.

Pat stopped the bus at the St. Lawrence Market where we had 30 minutes to look around. There were local craft stands, meat markets, fruit and vegetable stalls, as well as the proverbial tourist shops.

We drove down to the Lake Ontario to see the harbor. Most of the boats have already been pulled for winter but we did see a few hardy yachts. We had 45 minutes at the Harbourfront Center where we found a great sandwich shop that served gyros/kebabs wraps that were terrific. After all of the days of elegant sit-down meals, it was fun to grab a little fast food!

The wind off Lake Ontario was brisk; the temperature was 60 degrees and the humidity 61% with a wind speed up to 12 MPH. The city gardeners were taking down the hanging plants preparing for winter.

We arrived back at the Sutton Place at 1:15 and returned to our room to check our mail and put away our items that we would not need in the afternoon. We decided to take a walk and left the hotel at 1:45.

We walked down Bay Street looking at shops, people watching, and getting a feel for Toronto. As we passed some tall aluminum and glass skyscrapers we took some pictures of the reflections for a series I am working on.

We continued south on Bay and when we got to the Canadian Tire store we decided to go in and see what it was about. It is like a Sears or Target in the US. I purchased a little electronic safe light that I had been looking for.

We continued on down Bay Street and when we came to the New City Hall we crossed and went to photograph it. On the Google Map above, please click on the “Satellite” link and see it from space, it looks like an “Eye.”

We walked over to the Hudson Bay Company store and noticed that it was quite different from the 1670 original company who sold blankets and trinkets to the First Nation people, the trappers, and the traders.

We returned to the hotel by way of Yonge Street and as in Vancouver, we saw another side of the city. Small shops, small restaurants and a very large ethnic diversity in the people we passed on the street.

We returned to our room and worked on downloading our pictures and beginning this journal. We then showered and dressed for the Farewell Dinner at 6:30 in the Accent Restaurant.

We had what may have been the most wonderful farewell dinner in our travels. This group has been exceptional and we have made many very good friends in our ten days together. Rosalie wished everyone farewell and after seeing everyone for one last time, we all went to our rooms for an early call tomorrow morning.

Sutton Place Hotel (B & D)


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Downtown Toronto

Downtown Toronto

“The Audience”

“The Audience”

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market

CN (Canadian National) Tower

CN (Canadian National) Tower

Toronto City Hall

Toronto City Hall

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