Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 3 March 4

All Toronto blog entries are as sent to friends, with minor modifications.

 I took one subway train from Ossington to St George station and another from St George to Union.  At Union I switched to a GO train to Burlington and from there took a GO bus to Niagara Falls.

It was a bit of a boring hike to the falls themselves and upon arriving I had breakfast at the Tim Horton's on Clifton Hill (more on that later).

I paid a 50 cent return toll to visit Niagara Falls, NY.  Guide books mention that the Customs officials there are gruff but I found the guy quite friendly.  When I sat on a bench to get my bearings a squirrel tried begging for food.  I walked along Main St to Corner Books (not that interesting an area; I did pass an Urology building along the way) and then worked my way southeast to Pine St.  I visited Ruben Buy & Sell in the place of another place I had intended to visit, then got some pop a a Rite Aid, including Pepsi Throwback, apparently an older formula with more sugar.  I walked along Pine to World of Fantasy (a comic shop, not an x-rated shop) and then walked to a sign indicating that one side (not sure which) was Little Italy, marked by the presence of a Rite Aid and a Walgreen's, which I hadn't realized came from Italy.  I made my trek to the falls including an observation platform.

I returned to Niagara Falls, Ontario and got some even better photos (having said that, it's one of the Wonders of the World so both sides are worth visiting).  While the boat doesn't run in the winter, the falls are still very much worth seeing because you see the ice all around the falls, which actually enhances the view.

I went back to Clifton Hll, which is incredibly fascinating in its tackiness; souvenir shops, lots of horror related attractions like Dracula's Castle.  I went on the SkyWheel but wasn't as impressed by the view as I thought I would be, though at least I got four rotations instead of the promised three.

I walked west to Neutral Zone (comic shop), passing a major construction area.  Neutral Zone isn't that nig and is so backed it's hard not to accidentally step on the comics. Very claustrophobic.  Double back I ate lunch at Dairy Queen.  Their four items for $7 deal was four for $14 there but the regular combos were still priced okay.  I made my way downtown and fund a couple shops not on my list (Ragged Edge and Pulp Comics, where I bought the only Super Friends DVD set I didn't already have).

It was 3 pm now and had to choose whether to sill visit St Catharines or not.  I heard good things about St Catherines and bad things about Hamilton so took a chance despite the 1 1/2 hour layover. Big mistake.  It might have been a nice place to visit at some point but is now a @#$%hole.  A couple of people were rude to me on m way downtown.  I had some hope it might be okay when I saw a gorilla statue wearing an apron, but the buildings downtown looked like if you breathed on them they would collapse.  I got directions to a book store to the busses and took a bus back to the Go stop.  I visited the Fairview Mall there (Future Shop, Chapters, Zeller's, where I got some chocolate peanuts,) then took the Go bus to Stoney Creek (greater Hamilton), then took a bus to Hamilton proper.  Some residential buildings there were run down but even in the dark the downtown area looked quite nice and I'll have to visit it again in the light some day when I have more time.

 [UPDATE September 19, 2012: All Zeller's are being converted to Target stores].

I visited Tabby's Variety, Letterbox (turned out to just be video games), Cheapie Records and Tapes, and the exterior of Copps Colosseum.  Those few of you who recall the under-appreciated show Power Play might recall Copps as the home of the fictional hockey team the Hamilton Steelheads.

I took a bus back to Toronto (I think I nodded off a bit because it didn't seem like an hour), took the same two subway trains as before (the one to Ossington was late so I kept hearing the other train above me), and then return to Aidan and Josh's place.  While here I had dinner and their two cats (Artemis, who tried playing with me at the middle of the night last night, and Grayson) had a little war.

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