Friday, February 10, 2017

A 5K walk around Toronto

Have I told you that "I love TORONTO".  Well today was a wee trip back down memory lane for me.  Normally when I head to Toronto I get off the Go Bus at Yonge and Front, same today and then I head up Yonge or over to the Distillery District and St Lawrence Market area.  Today we were meeting David and Stephanie up at a restaurant called Piano Piano at Harbord St and Spadina.  I googled it and it said 4 kms, no big deal, easy walk.  When I first made my plans I wasn't expecting it to be so cold and almost backed out.  Thank goodness I didn't it was so much fun.  I forgot how much of my life I spent on this side of Toronto.  

You have to keep your nerve walking up Bay St, it is like the whole city is emptying out with busy, hurrying commuters heading down to Union Station.  They don't stop for anything.  I was going totally against the flow.  It also meant that there were a lot of homeless people hoping these busy commuters would stop and give them a buck or two.  There have always been homeless people around the city, but this was the first time I had witnessed such a large group of them.  

Here is my favourite clock tower and the Old City Hall.  Lots of shadows today.  One thing about a cold day is you get amazing blue skies and puffy clouds.  No exception today.  Which also means lots of reflections.  

These little guys were trying to stay warm.  Definitely not scared of people, it didn't matter how close people were they weren't moving.

 The cold wasn't keeping the skaters away from Nathan Philips Square.  Or me.  I was determined not to be cold.  Big hat, big scarf I was ready.

 As I headed west out of Nathan Philips Square I had to keep reminding myself to turn around, look at where you are from all 360 degrees.  What a bonus when I saw, yep you're right, my favourite clock tower from a different direction, with a new skyscraper right behind it.  One of these days I am going to have to head up the way to get pictures from another angle altogether.

Right beside City Hall is an entrance to Osgoode Hall, I will have to plan another trip to have lunch in the restaurant inside.  I gather the architecture on the inside it just as beautiful as outside.

 "Campbell House is the oldest remaining house from the original site of the Town of York".  

It was built in 1822 by Judge William Campbell, not surprising that he was a judge and the courthouses were right across the road.  According to it's webpage:
"The museum is a vibrant public space where members of Toronto’s diverse communities gather to discuss, to create, to perform and to socialize, giving life to the words “freedom of expression”.
Sounds like a very busy place.  

The beautiful Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a stunning building from the outside and even more amazing from the inside.  Rachel and I saw the Nutcracker here and before the show started the actors/ballerinas came out and did a question and answer and a little performance on the upper stairs.  Jim and I saw an opera here and the acoustics were amazing.

 The courts with the new City Hall in the background.

 3 of my favourite flags.  Only missing the Lion Rampant :)
My first and oldest child was born here.  The facilities and staff were amazing.  

My niece talked Rachel and I into joining their "organized chaos" team for the 60 km walk for breast cancer.  It was hard, painful but so very thrilling, emotional, and what a sense of accomplishment it gave me.  Definitely one of the highlights of my life and I would recommend everyone who can, do it at least once.  There are 1000s of participants and you feel like one big family (with sore feet).

700 University the Ontario Hydro building.  I moved into this building when it first opened from 77 Bloor St.  Everyone was so excited and then we saw the wall-to-wall rows of desks with no walls and no partitions.  Well within a month, partitions were brought in and we were put into little pods.  LOL  The argument for the no walls, no partitions was so that everyone could see the windows.  They also had this "white noise" buzzing away to help stop the conversation noise.  That didn't help either.  The floors were huge.  I moved from the engineering floor to 60 Murray St and that is where my love for computers really came alive.

The city planners really did a great job of Queen's Park and University Avenue.  The grounds are amazing and full of monuments and walls celebrating our amazing people and history.  When you stand on the steps you can see all the way to the bottom of University Avenue.

 You can even see the clouds and buildings reflected in the window of the door.  It was a beautiful day.

 Next stop on my quest to a pizza dinner was a walk through the University of Toronto.  There is a lovely little tunnel so you don't have to try and cross over University Avenue.

 If you are an architecture student at UofT, you sure don't have to walk too far to see some amazing buildings.

 This is taken from UofT looking back on Queen's Park and the city of Toronto.

I think you truly can see the CN Tower from anywhere in the City.  I have now walked 4 km directly north of the tower and there it is as big as day.
 What a wonderful surprise this building was, I turned a corner and there it was.  Will have to buy tickets to see a show at the UofT Planetarium this spring.  Picturing this field being very busy in the spring and summertime.

 It's amazing how in one small 5km walk you go from big new skyscrapers, to old heritage buildings to a lovely little residential area full of families and an amazing selection of restaurants.  One day soon these little houses will be gone, I wonder what they will be replaced by.

Total walk 5.1 kms, it didn't actually take me 1.25 hours.  I keep forgetting to stop the workout.  So by the time I got all my layers off and went to the bathroom and started sipping my first glass of wine, it was like oops, out came the phone and hit the stop button.  Next time I have to go and investigate the inside of some of these buildings.

I love Toronto, have I said that before, 5km and not once did I feel scared.  At one point I was a little unsure if I would find my way out of UofT and I looked around and thought there is not one person here I would be worried about asking.  What more can you ask of your city.  

Well I tried not to be cold and I did pretty good other than 2 key areas, my knees, oh man they were cold.  Jeans are useless for keeping you warm.  And my right hand.  Taking pictures is dangerous work.  Next time I will put a small glove inside my mitt with fingers cut out so that I can take my pictures.  Piano Piano is a very busy restaurant.  Their Saturdays are totally booked until March 25.  It has a lovely atmosphere and man I was ready to eat a whole pizza.  :)  Thanks Dave and Steph for the invite to dinner.  Amazing, now I know why it is one of your favourite places.  


  1. What a wonderful read =) love David

  2. Thank you, it was a wonderful day