After my lazy morning chilling at Amy’s, which I repeated the next day when I started writing this, I thought I had better go out and explore Toronto.
I got the bus to the nearest subway station, and headed downtown to where the city is a bit lively. A lovely hot day, I was rocking the denim shorts again with my new Hufflepuff top. Along with my catwoman-esque sunglasses. I looked so out of place on the bus, everyone was dressed for winter in boring, monotone clothes!
Too busy chatting to Amy on Whatsapp (she was busy at work 😉), I missed my stop on the subway where I needed to change lines, so back westbound I went. I arrived at the Eaton Centre and loved it! I’m not much of a shopper per se, I hate shopping just for the sake of it, but I had a mission. To buy a new backpack, and to use a bathroom 😂 grandma bladder.
The centre had everything, from low key shops to high end boutiques. Plus with the Canadian dollar being $1.8 to the pound, ugh, everything was so cheap. This is what America should’ve been. If I had bought the clothes I bought in America, in Canada, I would’ve saved so much money. I wasn’t to know the shops were exactly the same, but it’s not the end of the world. I am enjoying the bargains now!
I found a really nice large (30l) Adidas backpack (which is a good job as that’s essentially my second luggage now) a Bubbles Funko Pop figurine for £8 (my favourite Powerpuff character, as she is basically me) and a pair of Wonder Woman long socks for £3.50 that match my new corset for fancy dress occasions. When I was in Hot Topic (the shop I utterly adore, that has the cool Harry Potter and Marvel bits), a sales person asked if I was a fan of Hufflepuff. A fan?! A FAN?! 😱 I am a Hufflepuff. Obviously! Some people. There was also a guy in there who was next level Hufflepuff. Oh my. He was wearing a t-shirt, a jacket, and a bag. Too much, dude.
Wandering around, with a protein smoothie (that was cheaper than a Starbucks in the US), I was feeling very happy and content. Words can’t express how nice it was to have a nutritional snack/meal, that was easily accessible and didn’t cost a fortune. I want to eat naughty food because I want to, not because there isn’t anything else!
This large shake, called a Big Blue Protein, consisted of protein powder, blueberries, a banana, apple juice and frozen yoghurt, cost just over £4.
Upstairs in the centre (there were four floors!) was a lovely artificial blossom tree outside Nordstrom. I had to wait a while for groups of girls to finish their photo shoots, as naturally I wanted a photo without a bunch of shoppers and commuters.
Outside the centre and a few blocks south, is an office block that was very familiar to me. It’s where the outside office location of Suits is filmed! Any other fans recognise it?
Unfortunately I didn’t see Donna Paulson, or Louis Litt. I also saw Old City Hall (yes there is a “new” City Hall).
And the Toronto sign, which changed colour. I loved the reflection in the water. I took too many photos of this sign, hoping everyone would bugger off. They didn’t.
I walked another block, and discovered Osgoode Hall. I couldn’t go inside, but the park in front was very pretty, and full of daffodils, of course!
The sunshine had quickly disappeared, the rain clouds rolled in and thunder was booming overhead. I hurried out of the park to see a bit more of the area before the rain really started.
I saw the Canada Life building, with a South African war memorial in front of it. As an insurance-company building, it pretty damn impressive.
I also saw a random house/museum, which didn’t fit with the architecture of the surrounding area whatsoever. I read an information sign that the house was located elsewhere and moved to this spot to be a museum. Standard. Move a house!
Going back on myself towards the shopping centre to get the subway, I took a photo of the skyline from my perspective, half way across the road.
The Canada Life building is on the right, and you can just about see the CN Tower peering through. The South African memorial is in the middle. The sky was really turning grey..!
Walking back I stumbled across a statue of Winston Churchill.
Which was next to a Canadian-Italian WW2 memorial. Amy hadn’t even seen these! Some Canadian.
Seconds later, oh my, the rain absolutely poured. I managed to edge my way slightly closer to the shopping centre (which was two blocks away at this point) by walking alongside the Toronto Courthouse and City Hall, seeking the half a metre shelter of the buildings’ roofs. Two hours before, it was glorious sunshine with temperatures reaching well over 25 degrees celius! It was rather fascinating how quickly the weather turned, from blazing sunshine to wind whipping up my hair giving me goosebumps.
One block to go to the shopping centre. I waited until someone else pressed the pedestrian crossing button and I braved it! Luckily I had checked the weather out earlier and brought a lightweight rain coat with me just in case. My legs were soaked! Nevertheless, I made it and joined the rush hour commuter subway traffic to go meet Amy for dinner and drinks.
Upon having a Cruel Intentions moment, where I was going up an escalator and Amy was waiting for me at the top, we got a bus to a neighbourhood which I have no clue what’s called, and had a tasty Thai dinner. We shared fresh spring rolls, and my main was a tofu masaman curry. Yum. And again, real food!! I may be banging on about it; eating nutritional food is so important to me, and not finding it at all in America made me feel very gross.
Opposite the Thai restaurant, was the main reason we were in that neighbourhood and why I chose that day in particular to wear my Hufflepuff top! There is a Harry Potter themed bar called The Lockhart!
The wifi network name amused me.
And the bar decorations gave me ideas on how I could decorate a spare room in a future house.
All was well! (Harry Potter fandoms would get this)
Oh Dobby. Such a bae.
We ordered our own potions too. And the barmaid kindly offered to take a variety of photos for us.
Don’t we look cute?
I ordered a Betterbeer, an alcoholic take on a butterbeer. It consisted of:
- Cinnamon infused toasted butter washed Sauza (tequila)
- House ginger beer
- Ginger ale
- Squirty cream
- Toasted marshmallow
Yes it was delicious as it sounds. I had to have two!
Then back on the bus to the subway to go back to Amy’s. I had my first experience of hearing a Canadian accent where I literally had zero clue what was said. It sounded like a completely different language. A guy nearby chuckled at me, when I said to Amy what was that?! Haha.
Sleeping for 10 hours, I again had a lazy day. I so need this rest and am LOVING it.
Upon tidying up and showering, I ventured out for a late lunch at 3pm, at a restaurant called Good Fork. I sat there, adding more to this blog, enjoying a salad. Fresh spinach, grilled garlic aubergine, brocolli, avocado, potato salad, shredded beetroot and carrots, falafel with chicken as an extra on top. Delicious!
Amy’s housemate recommended the restaurant to Amy, who in turn recommended it to me. It serves Turkish breakfasts, such as sucuk and menemen! How random, but probably also why the salad was so good 😏 my breath reeks of garlic; good job I’m not in Boston!
Not far from the restaurant, is a riverside walk called ‘The Shared Path’, which was rather pretty. Just getting to the path, I thought, this is just so Canadian. I could’ve been somewhere rural, not residential Toronto. I kinda wanted to see a big bear walk across the road, just because.
I saw storks for the first time! Not delivering any babies, phew.
It was a delightful walk. The only sounds I could here were the echoes of the birds chirping, the sound of the flowing water, the dry grass rustling in the gentle breeze, and the sounds of my joints cracking with every step. My body is broken!
I saw a bird I hadn’t seen before; the size of a blackbird, the colouring was that of a crow, apart from the brightest red, yellow and white pattern on the wings. It was their chirp that really echoed, like no other bird calling I had heard before. One flew straight past me – clearly not bothered my human presence. It wasn’t just storks and these unusual blackbirds I saw, geese and ducks too.
After my walk, Amy came home from work and we made our way across the city to go to my first ever ice hockey game! The Toronto Marlies versus the Albany Devils. The traffic was terrible due to a football match going on at the same time, and in the same area, so we missed the first period of the game. Still got nachos before we sat down, priorities. They were so tasty too!! My drink was a Barry’s Root Beer. Canadian much!
Unintentionally, I realised my black and red ‘A’ sports jumper was a bit too similar to the opponent’s team colours and logo! I hastily took my jumper off, until it was too cold to worry about vanity and abuse from the locals.
Watching ice hockey, I felt memories stir of watching The Mighty Ducks. I went ooh and aah all at the right times, especially when the players got into scuffles, which happened regularly.
Luckily we were sat behind the biggest Toronto Marlies fan, who was three years old and jumping up and down like mad. Because of him, Amy and I got on the crowd-cam. We also saw a guy get absolutely smashed in the mouth my a puck. At that point, his facial injury was more interesting than the game.
An ice hockey game has three periods, and by the end of those, the game was a draw at one-all. As it was the playoffs, the first half of overtime followed, lasting 24 minutes (20 is normal, four was because of penalty powerplay time). Half of the crowd left, with the die-hards – including us – staying on to see the game through. Makes up for missing the first 20 minutes at least! To be fair, 20 minutes of play is more like 40 minutes.
Amy and I got on the crowd cam again, this time I was waiting for it 👯. The second overtime was sloppy; the tiredness was clearly getting to the players. Rookie mistakes that if followed through, the Marlies would’ve won. They had so many more shots attempts compared to Albany.
After the second overtime, the score remained the same. Another 15 minute interval, the triple overtime started at 11:30pm! I was shattered, but determined to stay until the end. Some seven minutes in, with 13.17 minutes remaining, the Marlies scored! They won! And we could go home… zzzzz