Monday, December 12, 2011

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 6 March 7

Once again I’m taking an e-mail sent to friends earlier this year and posting them with minor corrections/amendments.

Before I get into the new stuff I just wanted to mention stuff about the GO train I keep meaning to mention: they're double-decker, so you get a nicer view from the top.  They also operate under the same fare principle as Vancouver’s Skytrain, in that it's possible to try to ride them without paying but if you get caught you get fined.  I only got checked once, at Scarborough station while heading to Pickering on Sat (my ticket wasn't yet soaked at that point).

New stuff.
Again, Artemis wanted to play in the middle of the night.  Maybe Grayson too but I think just Artemis.  She left me along for the most part after 3 this time though.

I walked along Bloor, ate breakfast at the McDonald's across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum (this McDonald's had an upper floor so a nice way to get exterior shots of the ROM), then walked along Queen's Park and College to the Police Museum.  I like the one in Seattle a bit better but this one's also worth a visit.  A wrecked car was probably the highlight, though stuff used by real criminals was also interesting.

Walking back along College and then south down University, I bought three 32 GB camera memory cards for around $50 each.  Heading back north and cutting through the University of Toronto, I made it back to Bloor.  There I was going to have hot drinks with my friend Rachel at Cafe L'Espresso, but they ignored me at first and then told me their green tea was about $4, so when my friend showed up we went to a nearby Second Cup instead.  I had fun catching up with Rachel and then walked to Casa Loma, a castle, which is supposed to have a decent view even without paying to go in, but the place wit the best view, the parking lot, still had a lot of trees obscuring the view.

I made my way to the Book City on Yonge near St Clair, and then took the subway south to Union.  I grabbed a few more GO schedules for friends in Victoria (who can choose from regular or the water damaged ones from Sat) then had lunch at the Manchu Wok at the RBC building.  Very loud in there and I think I zoned out a bit there.  Rachel had recommended the Hippos ride (apparently like the Ducks in Seattle, i.e. amphibious) and I looked into off season rates, but they were closed until May.  I went to the CN Tower and went up, opting to pass on the Skywalk.  I got some decent shots from the Observation deck (including a plane landing at the airport at the Toronto Islands; I wanted to visit them but ran out of time) and then went down a floor to the Glass Floor level (I didn't stand on the glass floor but they had an open air area on the floor that was not glass so I took shots from there.  It took 15 minutes in line but finally made it back down; I lucked out in that I was the last one on the elevator for my particular trip.  On the subject of CN Tower: despite the height (world's largest free standing building) while you can see it at a lot of places, it's not as omnipresent as Seattle's Space Needle, probably because there's more skyscrapers in the immediate vicinity of CN.

I walked to Lake Ontario and then doubled back and walked to the BC Building. I don't want to be too critical about a free museum but it was very small, didn't really look at their present, and a few shows like the Friendly Giant were covered quite a bit while numerous shows were not covered at all (I do like the Giant, but wish that other shows had also gotten the coverage).  There was a book etc. sale there so I bought a couple of DVDs which they put in a cloth bag at no extra coast.

I then started winding back and forth between the east west streets, working my way north.  I considered the Hockey Hall of Fame but realized that like the ROM I just wasn't going to fit it in this trip.  I did get a pic of the entrance and a sign warning people to beware of falling ice (from weather conditions). I visited Nicholas Hoare Books and wanted to visit Giant Book Sale but the latter’s building was being demolished apparently. Among the places I revisited were the Walk of Fame, BMV Express got more books), Dundas Square, the BMV on Edwards beside World's Biggest Bookstore (bought more books at BMV but didn't visit WLB a third time), ABC Books on Yonge.  By that point I was now walking north along Yonge to Bloor.  I visited the gay book store Glad Day Books in the hopes that they might have some obscure DVDS and the like (if a store has what I'm looking for I don't care if I'm not their target customer base).  They did but they wanted about $40 each and the owner wanted to inspect my bag for beeping even though it also beeped on the way in.

Heading back west on Bloor (with a brief sidetrip south on St Thomas to visit Theatrebooks), I revisited Bloor's BMV and Book City (BMV was probably my favourite book chain here; lots of remaindered books).  I also visited another book store but I'm blanking on the name; maybe Paul something.  And I visited Honest Ed's; a general discount store.  Inside isn't that interesting but there's a real PT Barnum feel to the outside as well as the signs inside.  Lots of corny joke, plus well lit on the outside at night.  I kept meaning to visit a music/movie store a few doors down from where I'm staying, but I missing the closing time by about 4 minutes today and they open too late tomorrow).  I dropped off my stuff at Aidan's place and they went to Pizza Pizza; as with a couple days ago I ordered a medium pepperoni pizza there and bought some Vanilla Coke at Bloor St Mini-Mart while waiting.  I decided to relax the rest of the day as I'll have a long day tomorrow (three extra hours to be exact).

[UPDATE September 19: The third bookstore was probably Doug Miller Books.]


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