Published: July 12th 2010May 15th 2010
Drug paraphernalia shops are not hard to find.
Flew into Toronto on May 13th from Bangkok
A big contrast between western cities and Asian cities is the pedestrian right-of-way. In Asia a bigger vehicle has right of way over a smaller vehicle and a smaller vehicle has right of way over pedestrians. Pedestrians are at the bottom of the list. They even have to walk around dogs sleeping on the sidewalk.
Here in Toronto, cars inch around a right hand turn lest a
pedestrian runs in front of them. I can't help smiling when I step off the curb, although I'm not as unaware as most of the people here have become.
When the light is green they go. Whether some drunk or dozy driver is running the red doesn't seem to occur to them.
Even mothers pushing baby buggies
seldom look both ways when the light turns green. Complacency in the extreme.
It's also funny to watch Toronto pedestrians waiting for the light to turn green even if there is no car in sight. The joke in New York City was that at night on a barren road in a snow fall if you saw a pedestrian at an intersection waiting for the light to
JD in Toronto
"Back in town are you? Well we want to look out for you"
turn green, it was a Canadian. I used to be like that but I've lost some respect for the lights. It may prove to be a downfall. The other day I saw a policeman giving a guy on a bicycle a ticket for running a red light. This could be due to a few fatal incidents involving bicycles or because
now that electric bicycles have blurred the separation of vehicles they want to get a grip on the situation right at the beginning.
But they seem to persecute the bikers while ignoring the rabid bike theft explosion.
It's nice to be right downtown. By coincidence, I'm living on the street I was born on.
One block east is "bum city" and two blocks west is Yonge Street, the major city street.
At the end of the month when the welfare cheques arrive the taxis are busy going to the beer store; the police and fire engine sirens are going six times a day and there's groups of drunks everywhere.
It used to be known as "Toronto the Good".
Things have changed. Thailand has a racey reputation but look at the local classifieds for pages of adult companionship.
The end of the month is when they are the busiest around here.
minutes for $100" with your choice of Egyptian/Persian, Spanish/Sicilian, Asian/Dominican women.
Before 2 pm some offer discounts.
There's even a $10 off coupon in one add and I'm sure the coupon bearer wouldn't be welcomed at the next add which is catering to "Upscale and Generous Gentlemen Only. Really Classy and Expensive".
Next page is offering SheMales and Lucy claims to be "great for first timers".
Then you have people willing to do housework in the nude.
The G20 conference here was a fiasco. Hundreds of police, mostly on bicycles. Restricted areas in the city and warnings to carry government
identification or risk being fined. It didn't stop throngs of protestors and a small core of vandals destroying shops downtown.
Toronto does offer lots of things to do. It's not a matter of looking for something, it's a matter of trying to choose.
There are lots of free concerts featuring artists like Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Macy Gray in the downtown area.
I thought I would have a lot of time doing nothing and just riding my bicycle around town but I've been pretty busy.
There's lots of free entertainment. This morning (3 times a
You even got to chain up your stolen grocery cart...or someone will steal it! Toronto is the bicycle theft capital of North America.
week) I go
to the gym and swimming pool. Then there was a pow-wow. It's Native
American Day so the "Indians" (I'm not sure of the politically correct term)
had a ceremony for the public. The library has free movies, lectures, etc.
At 3:00pm I have
a workshop at the Apple store like they do at all big cities.
Yesterday, a digital workshop on websites at the library.
At 6pm there's free concerts all week with the Diva theme.
One day was Canadian Divas, the next Latina Divas, next day Bollywood Divas, then Lesbian Divas. All very professional entertainment.
For me it's a nice break.
There's the Toronto Jazz week
with daily entertainers in front of City Hall.
There was Bike Fest where you can get free repairs to your bicycle.
And don't forget WoofStock where everyone brings their dogs on these closed off streets.
It's funny to see Newfoundlander looking at a Chihuahua, both wondering "what the hell is that!"
One sad point is the design of Dundas Square which offered a lot of the entertainment. The design which could have offered a 360 degree viewing
offers about a 30 degree good spectator view. Some designer
Composite Photo of shops signs on Bloor
This photo includes a few of the banners from some
neighbouring stores along Bloor Street.
has a brother who advises City Hall who to pick as an architect. Take a look at my previous Travel Blogs.
Go to www.MyTB.org/nomad1979
then scroll down through the last 40 entries
There are more photos below