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Published: January 29th 2020
Had a nice, long, exploration day today. We started off at AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) because we wanted to see the new exhibit by Yayoi Kusama called Let’s Survive Forever. It was a long walk to the gallery but once again, so much to look at along the way. Entry is free for under 25s, but in order to get in we had to sign up for a (free) annual pass, so if anyone reading this is going to Toronto in the next year let me know!
The exhibit was interesting. It’s a room of mirrors, and there are silver reflective baubles everywhere. Hanging from the ceiling, laying on the floor, and there’s a little window you can look through that shows millions more little silver baubles. According to the exhibit description, the mirrors produce Kusama’s vision of infinity, while the “stainless steel orbs” distort and replicate our reflections. Kusama casts visitors as central characters of the room, challenging us to reflect on how we see ourselves in this world and beyond.
A beautiful description and idea, but we weren’t particularly challenged. Visitors are allowed in three at a time, for one minute only. I think if I were to spend the day in there alone I would certainly be challenged to reflect on my place in the world, but in that one minute I was just shocked at how many reflections of us there could possibly be in one room.
We looked around the rest of the gallery for a little longer, but Adam is a bit like Max when it comes to galleries, so we didn’t stay for too long. We then went for another walk. It feels wrong to say that there’s nothing to do in Toronto, because there certainly are things to do, but there aren’t many events on at the moment nor have we found much in travel guides that aren’t specifically for families and kids. So walking seems like a pretty good way to explore the city and eventually find things to do.
We did find a coffee shop that served maple flavoured coffee. Adam got a maple hot chocolate (which tasted EXACTLY like pancakes) and I got a maple cold brew, which was amazing. We sat in a park for a while, sipping our drinks and watching the squirrels run around. They’re such funny little things! I want one.
We then ended up on a really cool street in I have no idea where, but it had strong Melbourne vibes. There was art covering every bit of visible brick or wall, the stores were trendy and bright, and we noticed that every single restaurant or cafe has some interesting name, like The Burger’s Priest or The Dog’s Bollock’s Pub. We spent a long time on this street, going into vintage stores and finding cool things. One thing we haven’t seen yet is a tacky Canadian gift shop, which I’m desperate to find! I need some gifts!
We stopped in for a slice at Pizza Pizza, apparently Ontario’s best pizza place, and it wasn’t bad at all. Our next goal for the day was to head to the CN Tower, which we decided to try to make it back to without any directions. It took us a while, but we got pretty far! Before we headed to it we decided to stop in at home first for a little break, and that’s when we discovered that it was $50 (aud) to go up the tower.
Now normally we’d say, “ah, whatever! It’s our holiday!” But seeing as we’d already been up the Space Needle in Seattle we took a moment to think about it. Eventually we decided we had to do it, can’t go to Toronto without going up the CN Tower!
Unfortunately we were a little underwhelmed, and felt especially bad about the $50. There’s an indoor and an outdoor level, but the outdoor is fully caged with wire, so much so you can barely see the city out of it. So we spent most of our time in the indoor section, which just doesn’t have the same appeal! I mean, no regrets, but if I could recommend anything to future Toronto travellers, it would be that you could probably go up a really high building for free and get the same view.
Now, it was a big night in Toronto for basketball. The Raptors were versing the Hawks at the Scotiabank Arena, and our original plan had been to get tickets, but even the worst seats (with a terrible view of the court) were ridiculously expensive, so we decided that we’d watch it at Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park (named after the team- Raptors) is an area just outside the arena with a huge TV where you can watch the game for free. However when we got there, no one else was there. I had been under the impression that it was a big patch of grass where we could sit and watch the game, but it’s right on top of the drop-off point for the arena so we’d have to sit in the middle of the road or stand and crane our necks right in front of it.
So we stood there for a while and debated whether to go to a sports bar or home to watch the game, and eventually we went home. Except that we couldn’t get the tv to play free-to-air, so we ended up not watching the game. And the raptors won!
But we had a good night anyway, and it was a nice end to an eventful day. Ciao for now 😊
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