(a spoiler before we start: of you scroll down, this post is long, reaaally long, but it is because I put 36 pictures here. I went to many places and took about twice this number of photos, so the text will be guided by the pictures, not the other way around. Don't panic! I'll let you through it in the blink of an eye)
So we woke up early and commuted to Toronto. We used this very confortable double-decked train and the ride was very nice (I think I dozed for some time, but not in this first day).This is the people getting off at Union Station, Toronto.
We got on the subway and the first place we visited was Casa Loma. It was the only castle in Toronto, but no Royal personality has ever lived there. Of course, to get there, we had to leave the subway station and go up a lot of stairs because they would never have built the station up the hill.
As we were getting there, this is the the outside view. It doesn't seem very big or impressive from the outside. We entered and there was a very interesting 20-minute movie about the construction of the castle. Also, they had very good audio-guides included in the price and some information about the house in Portuguese.
Basically, the guy had it built was a soldier and had a very lucky youth life. He broke a record in running and got as high as being owner of 1/4 of Canadian economy. He loved the Royal Family and started building the house to host them when they came to Toronto. They never came, the house took more years and loads of more money than planned to be built and in fact was never finished as it had been projected.
Sir Pallett, the owner, lived up to his 80's and saw two wifes go, all his fortune be lost in the Crash of 29, War, and in other events. After he could not afford to own any longer, the Casa Loma became a Hotel for some time and after that, a museum.
Above we have a view of the main lobby from the second floor. Down, some mirrors in the closet and me, trying to take those mirror photos (but with shirts on, please)
There were more places than only the fancy and weird toilets, bedrooms. Teh house was really big on the inside. There is a tower, which was built later on and we went up there, even though it was at our own risk.
The view of the city was wonderful. However, the growl of wind made us abbreviate our short visit to the tower at the top of the hill.
Also, we found out the guy built a tunnel under the street because part of the house like the gardens, the garage and the stables were across the street and the employees could not cross when the traffic was busy. We visited this other part of the house and learned a bit more about how Sir Henry Pellatt refused to give a duke his favorite horse.
From there, we decided to walk toward downtown. I wanted to see the ethnic areas, there was almost a street for each nationality. I liked to observe the architecture of the city and some really called my attention.
We walked past almost all universities of Toronto. One we discovered by chance, Dale was not sure what there was on a certain street but a lot of people were walking there, with backpacks and notebooks so we followed.
This path was near some of the buildings of the university. It is integrated to the city, it is not a university city or campus outside or different from the rest.
Our first destination was Chinatown: the only place you could buy underwear for 5 $ and you could get 5 t-shirts for 10 $. It was like a mixture of Liberdade (a Japanese neighborhood) and 25 de Março (a street market in São Paulo). We walked around the place looking for Kensington Market. We walked on Oxford and it was the first time I saw the street signs in two languages. This is very interesting and very beautiful. As you change areas, the signs have different designs and languages.
This Market is not really a big building or warewhose with stores but is a block and a set of small stores selling completely everything you can imagine - there was even a cannabis store.
We were getting hungry and decided to get some Asian food. The option was a restaurant called "The Golden Pineapple", which was a Vietnamese and Thai restaurant. It looked good from the outside, not sketchy at all, the service was not the best one, and the women who worked there did not stop speaking for a second. Dale thought she was impolite, but I thought she was just... too misunderstood in her art of serving.
Walking away from the restaurant and looking for our new destination (we had so many, I don't know which one it was) our attention was drawn to a very peculiar architectural oddity. While all the houses in the street looked like the middle one and the one on the left, there was this black and glassy monolith-like house. It seemed it had fell from space because we could not see how it would be there, like 100 years away from all the neighboring houses. Was this on Spadina? Definitely an incidental must-see.
Some more steps (maybe more than my newly-almost-not-healed friend and [spiritual??] guide Dale should be walking) and we saw this weird building again. Of course, it could be nothing but the art gallery. There are two pictures of two sides of it. And it was born this way: love it or leave it. (We are going back to it when I am telling day 5)
Our next stop was Eaton Centre, a fancy shopping mall, with not so fancy people. It is one of the landmarks in Toronto because of this glass roof and the birds, always flying south, every season. I bought some postcards, then just took some photos and we resumed our way toward the lake. I guess that was our main destination.
We walked past the old city hall.
Got to the new City Hall, but my camera got crazy and it made me believe the battery was low. (the building on the bacground is not the city hall, but it was next to it)
And everywhere in the city, there it is, beautiful and soaring, the CN Tower. I had planned going up there at night, to see the lights and wonder. So, wait for day 5, and I'll tell you more about it.
The next stop was the building of CBC, a Canadian television network. There were some stores and that was the building where they produced the programs. The entrance lobby had a studio where they had one of the programs. The following image is exactly the main lobby ceiling. Famous people could be coming and going but they are Canadian people so I would not recognize them anyway. There was a small museum inside the building. There were pictures and materials about the history of telecommunications, old microphones, tvs and programs showing. The puppets were part of Sesame Park, the Canadian version of the children's show. Dale was so amused to see them there.
Here is a picture of Dale with his favorite newsman.
And a different perspective of the main lobby. This one is part of a contest they are performing to choose the new Dorothy for the musical they are producing.
Again, the CN Tower, from a different perspective.
And we finally arrived at the Lakefront. Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. There were people walking and running and just chilling there. There was even a guy sleeping near where we decided to sit. The day was beautiful so we sat there, relaxing, sunbathing and enjoying the breeze. We were tired and decided to consider the tour day over. We were near Union Station, so that was where were heading for, to get the last train to Newmarket.
On the way to the station to commute back home, we had to make a stop by a stall and Dale was craving for a Traditional Torontian Snack: the hot dog. This is mine. He made fun of how slow I would eat it but I don't manage to walk and take the train and eat. So, be patient.
On the train we had a lot of fun, listening to music and talking. Dale was blushing because I got the camera and said I was going to take a picture of a guy who was sitting some rows away from us and he thought I really would and got embarrassed, but I ended up taking a picture of us instead.
(That night we had the finals of Dancing with the Stars!)