Where I've Been

Monday, October 01, 2007

Labo(u)r Day in Toronto

The great, all-American holiday of Labor Day heralded the end of summer and so I, like Bill Clinton in wartime, headed up to Canada. I had heard the legend of Toronto from many of my Canadian friends so I had to see to believe. I met my good buddy, Andrew the Canadian, at the Toronto airport. Andrew the Canadian is a baller and now drives a BMW like all ballers. Riding in the BMW, I became a baller by association. My associated ballerness lasted the entire 45 minutes from the airport, where we parked the car and didn’t use it again until my Monday evening homeward journey. You see, the streets of Toronto are well laid out boasting excellent public transport, making them, like the Canadian Army, very easy to walk on.

As honorary Canadian baller I checked into the Sheraton downtown. Here are the luscious waterfulls of our hotel.

Then we took a walk along the famous Yonge Street, supposedly the longest street in the world as it turns in a highway stretching to the other side of Canada. We were tired after a few blocks so decided to cut the journey short, instead we turned into the lovely Bloor-Yorkville area of town. Here is Andrew the Canadian in Bloor-Yorkville.

Where we enjoyed an empty table together

Having eaten our fill, Andrew the Canadian found us some lovely ladies. Here I am, clearly delighted in Andrew the Canadian’s exquisite taste in Canadiennes.

That evening we decided to hit Little Italy for our entertainment. We sat on an outdoor patio enjoying the cool evening of the waning Canadian summer, then danced in the clubs until stumbling out around 2 in the chill morning. Andrew the Canadian had found another, doubtlessly equally lovely Canadienne, whom he escorted home. Meanwhile, I passed by the bossa nova club of my new friend, Steve Dempster. Watching the rhythmic dancing of the last club goers I was soon beckoned in by one of the managers with whom I quickly took up the dance. Then I was handed maracas, tambourines, drinks, and other various instruments as we kept up the beat. Steve and I discussed the glory of engineering (he was designing a hospital), listening to beautiful music, eating good food, and being excellent dancers in the near empty club. Around 4 I bade him a fond fairwell and cabbed it back to the tinkling waterfalls of our beloved Sheraton.

The Toronto Islands used to be part of the mainland until a huge storm blew through way back in 1858 and made the islands into islands. Today the islands act like Central Park for the Canadians. Here is Andrew the Canadian dutifully watching the downtown coastline, much like God.

We ferried over in the morning and enjoyed the beaches until Andrew the Canadian spotted the “clothing optional” beach on our handy map of the Toronto Islands. Within seconds we were strolling along this “clothing optional” beach. I guess it’s not politically correct to correctly label a “clothing optional” beach as “flaming gay clothing optional” beach. Needless to say I, found my feet to be extraordinarily worthy of attention for the remainder of our beachside stroll. Thankfully, there are no pictures of this event.

Then we saw the Canadian Air Force practicing.

After a relaxing/horrifying few hours we returned to the mainland to join Andrew the Canadian’s friends on a tour of the Steam Whistle Brewery, then up to a high rise condo. Here is downtown Toronto from the home of one of Andrew the Canadian’s friends.

Sunday brought us to the old ball park to watch the Toronto Blue Jays battle it out with the Seattle Mariners, and to meet up with another buddy, Evan the Canadian. This landmark event brought to an even five the number of pro sports events I’ve attended in my life. I simply don’t believe in supporting them. It’s a nice park and the game was relaxing. Here is the famed CN Tower looming over the park.

Later, Andrew the Canadian and I checked out the historic Second City comedy club, training ground for such famous funny Canadians as John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.

Labour Day found us visiting a Labour Day parade with such favorites as trade unions, the New Socialist Group, and Young Communists. Somehow, the American in me just couldn’t join in the red flag/gold star waving…

We rounded out our Toronto experience with a visit to the University of Toronto and their illustrious Department of Household Science which I am Vanna Whiting here:

Kind of hard to see the name above those lovely Ionic columns, but they're there. It would make a perfect study abroad opportunity for some lucky Brigham Young University coeds.

This concludes my Labour of Love in Toronto. Stay tuned for whatever former trip I feel like updating!