Toronto – Day 1

August 24, 2019

Although I don’t have many pictures to show for it, I was quite surprised to learn that at the end of the day Saturday I had walked more on my first full day in Toronto than I had on my first full day in Québec.  There are two reasons for that – first, I needed to get a new SD card for my digital camera and while I had kept my eye out for a Staples or Office Depot store between Gananoque and Toronto there were none without going well out of my way.  Once in Toronto I determined that there was both a Staples and a Walmart in the same building not far from where I was staying.  I lingered in that part of town until Walmart opened at 9am so I didn’t get any significant sightseeing done until after that purchase was completed.  The second reason I didn’t take as many photos was that I hadn’t been to Toronto for 30 years and needed to get the “lay of the land” again.

Toronto covers a much larger area than Québec City and pre-trip research had indicated that the cheapest and most efficient way to get around was by using public transportation.  For $13/day I could get a Day Pass which allowed me to ride buses, street cars and the subway system as much as I wanted.  I left my car parked at my Airbnb for the three full days I was in town and walked to the closest street car stop, only a few blocks away.  From there I could easily go just about anywhere in the city and not have to worry about traffic or parking.  I would ride a route and just observe the various things to see, making notes of where I wanted to get off to take photos when I came back.  I would then walk to another nearby venue or to a nearby stop to catch a ride to another part of the city.  So much of the first day was spent riding and walking to various parts of the city and forming a game plan for the next two days.

Enough talk – here are my photos from Day One:

One of my first stops downtown was the St. Lawrence Farmers Market which was on my short-list.  PEI has mussels and Québec has poutine.  Toronto is known for it’s Peameal Bacon sandwich and I went right to the creator, the Carousel Bakery in that market.

IMG_20190824_104233453

Peameal bacon is unsmoked Canadian bacon, and this place puts LOTS of it, with mustard, on a fresh Kaiser roll.  It was yummy!

Now that I was downtown I walked around for a while before exploring other parts of the city.  As I headed towards Union Station, the main train station and a major surface transportation hub, I saw this huge sculpture on the side of an office building:

IMG_20190824_110018424_HDR

A short distance from Union Station was the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame:

DSCN2361

DSCN2363

IMG_20190824_110737698_HDR

And it’s hard to go anywhere in Toronto without seeing the iconic CN Tower:

DSCN2355

DSCN2360

IMG_20190824_123352995

Near the base of the tower is a stadium which is the home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team:

IMG_20190824_123302172

As I walked to another part of town I noticed that the concrete barriers sometimes used to deflect vehicular traffic from pedestrians and folks on bicycles had an artistic touch:

IMG_20190824_101929630_HDR

IMG_20190824_130741736_HDR

This is one of the oldest Performing Arts venues in the city:

IMG_20190824_132413427

Embedded in the sidewalk out front are the names and signatures of many famous Canadian performers:

IMG_20190824_125526101

IMG_20190824_125520256

IMG_20190824_125606269

And speaking of John Candy, not far from the theater is the Second City comedy club:

IMG_20190824_131054845_HDR

After walking around town I worked my way back to where I was staying to regroup before taking the streetcar back downtown and the subway north a few blocks to another small take-out restaurant where I ordered one of the sandwiches they are known for and took it to a nearby park to eat and enjoy the evening.

As I headed back home I stopped to get a photo of a traffic signal box which I had seen at a trolley stop which had been painted (all four sides) by a local artist:

IMG_20190824_194958127_HDR

When I got home I learned that even with riding public transportation much of the day I had also walked over 25,600 steps, compared with 23,800 my first day in Québec.  Sunday I would walk over 28,000 and Monday “only” 21,800.