This is a quick visit
Having driven in from Ottawa the night before we slept in till 11:00 am and then, given that we did not have much to do until we needed to be at the airport between 16:00 and 17:00 ( USA bound flight at 20:15), we decided to got for a drive into Toronto city centre. Our aim was to do a few small touristy things and to get some lunch.
Toronto has changed a lot since the time I was here in 1983. However for all that change, the approaches to the city remind me of Melbourne (the one in Australia of course) – in particular the inner suburbs of Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick, Northcote or Coburg. This is in part due to the 2, 3 and 4 storey buildings with shops and businesses in the bottom, lining the streets along with a scatter of tall, brown and red brick late 1950’s to early 1980’s residential high-rise blocks inserted into gaps in the urban fabric. Most importantly, Toronto, like Melbourne, has trams. Trams which along with parked cars impeded our progress. Just like they would in Melbourne.
Discovery: Toronto Chinatown
The most welcome discovery was that quite by accident, we chose to drive into city centre along Dundas Street W, which appears to be one the major routes throuhg the Toronto Chinatown.
Toronto Grange Park and Art Gallery of Ontario:
We stopped on the edge of the Chinatown and visited the Grange Park and Grange House behind the Art Gallery of Ontario. The park and the house are a remenant of a the former palatial residential area for the the well-to-do citizens of York (Toronto), and as the plaques and information tablets tell us, Grange House was the last example of this type of palatial architecture left in the area. Behind and above the old manor we could see the metallic blue walls and the spiral staircases of the Art Gallery.
After a brief walk around the area we stopped for a quick lunch at a quiet restaurant on Dundas Street, and we amazed the Chinese proprietor by being able to eat with chopsticks. Why is it that a non-asian being able to eat with chopsticks is seen as a nice surprise?
After lunch we indulged in a bit of a walk though Chinatown and a got ourselves a good back massage to relax us before the 6 hour flight to San Francisco
Will need to explore that is available in Toronto and come back here with a more structured plan and more time to explore.