Monday 3rd October 2005
We landed at Pearson airport at 12.30pm, after a terrific Zoom Airlines flight from Glasgow (£252 return each. Bargain.)
Feeling vaguely masochistic, we decided to take mass-transit into town. We found the 192 airline shuttle bus with ease, paid our $2.50 each, and then endured a white-knuckle ride to Kipling station. We were soon on our way to Bloor-Yonge where we changed trains for Queen station. Emerging from underground we straightaway spotted Richmond Street, where our hotel was located. TTC - easy, peasy.
At 2.45pm we checked into the Cambridge Suites Hotel. We were upgraded to a CityScape suite which was a bonus. From our room on the nineteenth floor we had a superb view of Old City Hall and the many mirrored skyscrapers of downtown. Cool.
(The Cambridge Suites Hotel was excellent in every way. Beautiful place.)
Not wishing to waste the glorious afternoon (24*C) we decided to head out for a stroll. We walked down Yonge to Front Street and soon came upon Union Station, with the CN Tower beyond. Beautiful.
My son quite fancied the idea of getting himself a Toronto Maple Leafs shirt. We saw them in a sports-shop window, $149 (plus tax). Yikes. Perhaps not.
We wandered further along Front Street, glimpsing on the right a silver upturned-drum of a building ... the Roy Thomson Hall, I later learnt. Loved that glistening building.
Feeling the heat and seduced by the Guinness logo, we descended the steps of The OverDraught pub. It was just us and the bar-staff (almost). I had a pint of Guinness, my father had a pint of 'Blue' ($15, including tip). My son didn't want anything, except to sleep. Not yet Boy, it's only 5pm. A few business-suits began to arrive, so we took our leave and continued walking east towards Yonge.
Everywhere was now heaving with people leaving work. We dodged our way up Bay and ducked into the BCE Place. What a stunning, airy building. We had a quick glimpse at the World Press Photo exhibition, before heading into Richtree Market for a light, early supper. (Richtree's opening hours: 7.30am-2am, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Wow.)
We were bamboozled by the choice of food. We wandered around every stand, going 'mmmmm'. Tiredness was really kicking in. My son had pasta, my father and I had a pork, mushroom and pepper dish with rosti potatoes. All delicious.
After our meal we wandered up Yonge Street some more. (The many homeless/disenfranchised lying on the grates over the subway was quite a shocker.) We walked as far as Dundas Square.
A-ha! We finally spotted an LCBO store, so took the escalator down to check it out. There was a huge choice of wine, a smaller choice of beer. The prices were on a par with those in the UK, if not a little more expensive. We didn't buy anything.
We walked back down Yonge to Richmond East and then along to Church before returning to the hotel. By 8pm we were all in bed, completely jiggered. Ahhhh. Great start to the holiday.