More importantly we went to Toronto and as it turns out I have 4 friends who have moved there from Calgary or have always been in Toronto but I met in Calgary. Three I was able to catch up with and we did the following amazing things. Here is a brief synopsis of my stories and pics:
- Catching up with my cousin Dorian (whom I still by reflex call Chris). Truly he reminded me of his dad as they share similar voices and mannerisms. He also reminded me of my dad as he knew more about politics, current affairs, good books, and demonstrated a high amount of cultural capital which I enjoyed. He even spent the afternoon in the Gardiner Ceramics Museum with me, a must see for me on this trip. Once you have bonded over pottery, you are bonded for life!
- Having seen the documentary that recorded the millions of dollars worth of renovations to the Art Gallery of Ontario, spending a good part of the day helping my non-Canadian friend learn about the Group of Seven + 1 (Emily Carr), was also an essential visit. They have been renamed the Group of Five, or as my friend said, "I knew it was an odd and prime number." She just had the wrong number.
|Gallery Italia, part of the new addiction. |
Feels like you are in a bow of a ship or a belly of a whale.
|Asymmetrical Spiral Staircase|
|Juxtaposition of the old and new.|
|The old neighbourhood just outside the gallery window.|
- Taking in the painting portion of the Thomson Gallery with its icy, watery blue, iconic Canadian artwork. Calming and magnificent.
- Meeting up with Ed and his brother, both from Iran. Attending Iranian Days with them at the Royal Ontario Museum. Then heading to a restaurant for Persian food to enjoy an evening of education about the Iranian and Persian way of living. Great teachers these two men! Thanks gents!
- Walking through the St. Lawrence Market marvelling at the fresh produce, stacks of cheese (I miss the cheese options in Europe), fresh meet, jewelry, smell of fresh baking, the joy of people mingling about and trying to get by them. A delight!
- We gathered food from the market and headed to the harbour for a picnic. The fog in the air provided a misty view that did not reach far but we enjoyed the conversation and fresh food nonetheless. It took about 3 minutes for the birds to also gather around our lunch, and in the end we did share a morsel or two with several feathered creatures.
- Taking pictures of Dorian and Lynette enjoying our picnic at the water of Lake Ontario when an replica of a ship from the 1800's sailed by. Sadly, I lost a memory card with first 140 pictures of my visit, hence the lack of visuals thus far in my post. So sad. This loss was the low point of the trip. This means I have to return for more pics but the one at the harbour I will not be able to reproduce.
- Heading to see Miss Conception, a drag show at the Gay Village of Toronto. So fun! Not only a dancer and pretend singer, she entertained us with stories of current events, famous crazy people, and general chatter with the audience. Gay men are also eye candy in the extreme! Good times!
|Miss Conception in dress #2.|
|Shakin' her she-thang!|
|A drag queen who has been on stage since the 1970's.|
- Partying it up with Mr. Dam! Texting Stacey in Calgary and trying to make her jealous. Next time, we shall all three meet together in Toronto, n'est_pas?
|Mikael, Tonia, Lynette|
|Diana Ross and the Toronto gang|
- Touring the Niagara Region and trying on wine country. Wow! What a place! So many wineries from which to try the fruity benefits of the vine.
|My pictures of the region were lost.|
Here is a replacement flower from the area.
- A delightful lunch in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A place in which big box stores in the small downtown old school mainstream area have been banished to leave space for local tourism development. Well done!
|Our delightful lunch spot.|
- Returned to Niagara Falls for the first time since childhood. It was a drizzly, wet, and chilly day but stormy weather makes for more interesting photos.
|The American Falls with the Maid-in-the-Mist.|
|Horseshoe Falls, the large Canadian side.|
|The Bridge, The River, The Other Side of the Falls|
|The Rusty Iron Fence|
- Laughing with my friend Lynette as we rounded the Canadian - American border which boasted high concrete, barb-wired walls because illegal immigration to the United States is so high in the Niagara region?!?
In all a fabulous trip with wonderful buildings to see, art to oogle, places to visit, and people to enjoy. The benefits of the concrete jungle and the beauty of the natural world all so close together. I shall return!
If I click these three times, will I end up back in Toronto?!?