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Published: November 6th 2012
We arrived in Toronto after an easy transfer from bus to train in a place called Burlington, what wasn't so easy was getting out of the train station and finding a taxi! Lauren zoomed off aware of the road and direction of traffic and flagged a taxi with ease but he refused the fare saying he was clocking off! She couldn't believe how rude he was and didn't want to help point us in the right direction to our destination! He told us to walk on the same side we were currently on but we needed to go in the opposite direction- hence would need to be on the other side of the road to flag a taxi! Eventually we got one having passed a busy area of town with Ben and Lauren dodging people with backpacks and Sheila negotiating pavements with a roller. This taxi was probably even worse even if he did take us, he looked at us like we had eight heads, didn't say a word to us or help load our bags into the trunk and the entire five minute journey he spoke to his phone in a non English language! When we arrived he didn't park
up outside but across and not even at a safe crossing place, he wanted a tip and didn't open the trunk till we asked! Lauren was horrified it was the worst we had been treated ever and all she heard from everyone was how nice Canadians are! Still based on his language he wasn't native! We got checked in to a nice room at the Hilton and had a great view of the high rise offices and the CN Tower.
We wanted an easy informal dinner so we refreshed before heading out intending to go to the hotel bistro but with an expensive limited menu we decided to walk outside. Knowing she had booked the entertainment district, Lauren said there would be restaurants locally. Ben and Sheila checked the directory in the room and found the road that was dotted with bars etc. We were about a minute walk from here and had a great choice from Hooters to Old English Pubs and a Starbucks. We settled on a bar that served a huge range of food and had a fantastic meal. The bar showed comedy clips on TVs designed like photo frames and the
tables had brown paper on and crayons so we happily played hangman awaiting our food which was awesome, especially the cheap sundaes that followed! We called it a night though, the travelling again getting the better of us.
The next day we were greeted by glorious blue skies and got out to make the most of the day. Although this didn't turn out to be a lot. It seems that beyond the CN Tower, Toronto doesn't offer too much to the tourist, its mainly businesses and business people! Still we admired the fascinating architecture and sculptures around the city and headed into the CN Tower and paid a pretty good price, in comparison to other towers and height defining structures! We learnt some background history, this is the tallest freestanding tower in the world and although Ben passed on the higher part of the tower he was happy to face his fears once again. We all headed to the main viewing area which was entirely indoor and marvelled at the beauty of Toronto and her islands including a small island just for ferries and an airport! We headed down one flight to walk along the glass floors,
but as Lauren and Sheila lay down on them, Ben still couldn't manage this one! It was then time for the girls to head thirty floors north to the skypod which afforded even better views of Greater Toronto before agreeing Ben was probably pooping his pants alone! We picked him up before heading down and we waited as Ben did a different activity, a simulator ride of logging, which he didn't really see the relevance of!
We left here and wandered down to the harbour and noted the man built beach and ports which was stunning as gorgeous gardens surrounded it as we strolled eating a magnum. We walked back in the direction of the hotel passing huge apartment blocks and a huge pair of running shorts enclosed in a big frame, demonstrating a famous marathon runner who refused to be endorsed! Not wanting to miss Sheila's last chance of sun for the year we headed to a bar for drinks outside, it felt that warm! This was brilliant until wasps were joining us for the sweet nectar of Ben and Sheila's beer! We chilled out at the hotel, Lauren and Ben taking some time to start
looking for employment upon their return to the UK and plan their upcoming events. We didn't end up thinking about food until 9pm so we headed out to the same road knowing there was a pizza place on the corner so we all munched on a large pizza and had soda, typically Canadian!
The next day was still fairly sunny and we wanted to make the most of it but really did not know what to do, so instead we chilled out at the hotel, having had a very busy fortnight, catching up on more jobs in the business centre and Sheila calling people back home in light of the funeral we had missed. The day seemed to pass pretty quickly and before we knew it we were meeting Sioned, Lauren's friend we met in NYC, we decided to eat at the place we dined two nights previous having enjoyed it so much. Sioned, the only one on business, was slightly worse for wear having had a heavy night, and yet all three of us were bright as a button, Lauren and Ben never having been drunk on their entire trip! Still we had a fantastic evening
again followed by the sumptuous sundaes before wishing Sioned a safe journey home and a promise of a having a reunion in the new year!
That night should have been uneventful as we went to bed around 10pm but as we were the Friday before Halloween and we were in the entertainment district there were several places playing extremely loud music to the point where none of us could sleep. Lauren rang reception who offered us a new room on the same floor but on the other side, saying we could leave our bags where they were, this was a great solution as we had a very early start to the airport in the morning. The rest of the night was fine all of us falling asleep quickly but the 5.30am alarm did sound what seemed like ten minutes later! We scrambled around in the old room before waking Sheila to say a not too emotional goodbye knowing we would be home soon! At reception the manager apologised and instead of a taxi we were given a limo to the airport! Fair game! This was then the start of our final leg but one that Lauren had
been most excited for- seeing an old school friend she had not seen in a decade! Two plane trips separated us and a three hour time difference but we were more than ready - "Onward to Seattle!"
Things of note:
There really isn't a lot to do in Toronto, its all very walkable.
You can still use US dollars but everywhere has a 5% exchange rate.
What would we do differently:
Perhaps researched what more there was to do, but beside museums there did not seem much, and from people we have spoken to since!
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