Toronto, Canada

We took the opportunity of being in Toronto, to attend an ice hockey match. I’m not a sports fan, but I enjoyed the game: the crashing into the glass is a strange novelty, as are some of the rules – the power play, where a fouled team gets to have an extra player on the ice, appealed to me. Outside the game itself, everything seemed a little low key: the same girl sang both the Canadian and American national anthems as well as did plugs for the hot dog stands and season memberships. The break time activities were entertaining however, with bath tub races and human bowling balls being slung over the ice toward over-sized bowling pins – these are the things you travel to see!  Unfortunately, the Marlies (local team) were not able to come back after the Rochester Americans took an early lead.

We liked Toronto. Other than its cultural diversity, for me the thing that distinguished it from other cities of a similar size, that Toronto is perhaps the politest city we’ve visited, which may sound mundane but is actually surprisingly refreshing. The Niagara Falls trip was a highlight of our stay here, as well as our victory at a local pub quiz.

Food, drink and music:

Fire on the Eastside (downtown) does a nice Sunday Brunch – not particularly cheap but a major draw seems to the waiter (a bit of eye candy for the gay men of the neighborhood), and perhaps also the complimentary banana bread.

El Sol on Danforth does good Mexican for a reasonable price. Sushi Sky (downtown) does good, affordable sushi.

Bulldog café does good lattes but the baked goods reminded me of the experimental baking my sister and I used to do while growing up (butter’s bad for you right? How about we only put in half of what’s written here? I wonder if lemon rind would taste good in this…)

We joined the Pub Quiz at the Duke of Gloucester on Thursday night. They had a good mix of questions, no fee to play, and it was a fun way to meet some locals – the free round of drinks for the winners was a nice bonus.

We saw some live music at the Silver Dollar for a cover charge of $5 – the band (King’s Common – or was it Cometh?) was OK but they thanked their friends for coming so often that I felt like I stumbled into someone else’s party. I think I would have preferred the Rex which we went past earlier but had decided not to pay the $9 cover for the release party for a new Jazz CD – although the crowd was much older and more formally dressed.

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