Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh, Canada


In an attempt to make the best of our delay in Toronto, we decided to head out from the hotel and explore the city. Obviously (if you know us) we didn’t get an early start, and we wanted to get to the airport with lots of extra time, but we still managed to do a couple hours of wandering around downtown.

Our hotel was about 15 miles (or 23 kilometers!) outside the city, so we took a very long bus ride and then a transfer to the subway. We were not impressed with the bus, but the subway was fast and clean. Apparently they call it “the Rocket.”

When we got downtown, we oriented ourselves toward the lake and started exploring.P1080050

We found a lot of public art, including this sculpture of a chain of elephants. Of course, Caroline wanted to ride the baby elephant :)


Toronto also has a bike sharing system, nearly identical to Hubway in Boston. You can tell right away that it is made by the same company. Their system is called Bixi. We were tempted to rent some bikes to get around faster, but we didn’t really know where we were going anyway, so there wasn’t much point in getting there faster. Besides, we didn’t have helmets.

The biking situation in Toronto was sort of interesting. There were a lot of cyclists on the road, and they have bike sharing, but they don’t have bike lanes. All the cyclists just ride in the car lane, or they sort of squeeze between the outermost lane of cars and the curb. It seemed like it worked fine for them, but didn’t look very appealing for me.


We found a public market with produce, meats and cheeses, and bought some pretty good raspberries using three Canadian dollars. Then we came across a beautiful flower garden, and took a lot of photos there. In the picture above, you can see this very cool orange plant, and it’s hard to see, but it has little tiny purple flowers.

We started making our way back to the subway, and ended up walking down a street that sort of felt like the Toronto version of Times Square. There were theaters and huge billboards and street performers. This weekend was the start of the Toronto International Film Festival, so there were tons of students camped out in rush lines for tickets, and lots of publicity and events set up. I was kind of hoping that we might see a movie star, but I learned later that the red carpet had been the night before, so it was pretty unlikely.

From there, we headed back to the hotel to grab a quick bite to eat (sponsored by Air Canada, thanks!) and then back to the airport. Hopefully the next post will be from Chile!

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