Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Toronto Trip March 2011 Updates

I've made updates to my previous Toronto Trip March 2011 reports.  The updates are within the reports themselves, but for people who only want to see the new material, it's included in this post.

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 1 March 2 
No changes

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 2 March 3

{Original paragraph 3}
This morning I was supposed to go to a convenience store for the people I was staying with (Aidan and Josh) but they hadn't opened for the day.  Aidan and I walked to a Subway in Korea Town on Bloor where I bought a breakfast sandwich.  Continuing east on my own I visited Bob Miller Book Room (which seemed to be in a high security area), Indigo (same company as Chapters), Masin/Presse Internationelle (that was on a side trip to Yorkville before turning to Bloor), then Rogers.  Passing Castle Frank Cres. (luckily not Frank Castle Cres. because I don't think the world is ready to have a street named after the Punisher), I crossed a bridge where Bloor becomes Danforth and visited Book City, Presse Internationalle, Greek City (Greek videos etc; owner wouldn't let me concentrate), Re-Reading (strong smell of incense; isn't there supposed to be an incense taboo?), Rogers, Blockbuster, Circus Books & Music (bought some horror DVDs), Comics & More (the cheap boxes where on shelves making them hard to look through), then walked south down Greenwood and west on Gerrard (bought DVDs at Jumbo Video),  then north on Pape where I visited Atomic Age comics and tried to visit Pape & Dingwell (accidentally walked in not realizing it was closed; my impression of the guy was that he probably found customers an annoyance even when open), briefly west then south down Carlton (visited Don's Convenience to look at the DVDs), south to Queens, where I went west and checked out Queen & Jones Pawn (very claustrophobic), then west east and visited In the Groove

{Bob Miller Book Room amended to Doug Miller Books. Maisin amended to Maison. Queens amended to Queen St. E.}.
[UPDATE September 19, 2012]: Blockbuster is now defunct in Canada. Rogers has left the video rental business. Toronto's Jumbo Video is now closed.]

{Original paragraph 4}
I took a streetcar west and visited Kops, BMV Express (bought a grphic novel and a couple books on comics), HMV (bought Dark Skies complete series DVD), Silver Snail Comics, then lunch at Bob's Submarine.  Continuing on west visited Criminal Records, Outer Layer, Cosmos Records, Frantic City Records Eyesore Cinema (bought a DVD), Rotate This, 2Q Video, Type Books, Black Dog Video, I headed north along Ossington (visited Frantic City Records), west on Dundas (Monkey's Paw Books), back to Ossington to College St, went west and visited Marquee Video, then a trolley east to Queen Video. Walked to Ammo Video (bought DVDs; they were having a clearing out sale), Dragon Lady Comics (bought lots of comics), MVP Master Video Production (all Italian), then walked south to Bellevue (Dension) Square; unfortunately the Al Waxman statue (late actor best known for King of Kensington and Cagney & Lacey) had graffiti on it.  Went back north to College where I visited She Said Book then took a streetcar once more east.  I visited the Legislature grounds, apparently on the University of Toronto property (I don't know enough of ON politics to speculate if the people there have spent much time in the educational areas).  I continued east to Yonge and headed south. I visited Play De Record, Hairy Tarantula Comics, HMV (largest one in Toronto), BMV Books (bought DVDs), the inaccurately named but still large World's Largest Bookstore (now owned by Chapters) (latter two on a brief walk east on Edwards), back to Yonge: Future Shop, then Dundas Square, Toronto's equivalent of Times Square (large neon signs, ticker tape messages, and the like); it was sundown then so I good time to see that.
{Largest amended to Biggest.}

[UPDATE September 19, 2012: Prt of the Queen St E streetcar route is temporarily closed for construction. Ammo Video and Dragon Lady Comics are now closed. I think the graffiti has been cleaned from the Al Waxman Statue.]
{Original paragraph 7}
I then decided to return to Aidan and Josh's place but on my way to the subway visited Sonic Boom Records (much bigger than their unrelated Seattle namesake; bought a few cult movies including Troma movies, then took the subway "home").

[UPDATE September 19, 2012:This branch of Sonic Boom has moved from Bloor to Bathurst, within the Honest Ed's complex.]

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 3 March 4

{Original paragraph 8}
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].

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 4 March 5

{Original paragraph 4}

I took one subway train to St George and another to Union.  Crossing over to the Union train station, I bought another daypass before grabbing breakfast at McDonald's.  I took a GO train to Pickering (left very little impression on me beyond one half being north of the highway, the other half south), where asking directions to one store proved to take a lot longer than expected.  I crossed the highway with the original intent of visiting Blockbuster and Chapters but the rain was coming down good so I doubled back without getting to them.  I walked east along Bayly, ironically deciding not to go to Video 99, the store that had cost me a bit of time getting directions, as it was too far out of the way in the rain.  Another store wasn't open yet as I headed eat.  A bus honked to let me on at one point but I didn't know how close I was to my destination I was so I declined, which may have been a mistake, though by not getting on I crossed to street to Ajax (a pretty industrial town) on foot right after and later crossed a small but nice wooden bridge.  I visited Corner Books and Deju Vu discs before heading north to Gnu Books.  Heading west to go to the Ajax GO Station I noticed that the LCD screen had stopped working due to the rain and I checked things with my backup camera to see if it was at least taking pictures okay.  Unfortunately I chose some sort of security area to check this out and due to an annoyed security guard who didn't connect the dots between the rain and someone fiddling with their camera, had to walk a ways to determine that at this point the camera was in fact working except for the LCD screen at that time.

[UPDATE September 19, 2012: Blockbuster in now defunct in Canada. I think the Ajax branch of Gnu Books is gone.]

{Original parapgrah 5}
I made it to the Ajax GO Station and had lots of time, so because there was no food place in the area that was open, headed south to a pace called On the Run (tried to avoid the muddier areas of the path) before heading back to the GO Station, where I bought some Vanilla Coke at a convenience store.  I took a train to Whitby though I had to switch cars because due to construction they weren't letting people out in some cars in Whitby including mine.  In Whitby I bought some trade paperbacks (happy all sealed) at Comic Book Addiction before heading east, passing through a small but nice downtown area.  I saw a GO bus heading the right direction and got on.  The driver was a bit annoyed by how wet the daypass was.  I got off at Oshawa Centre in, yes Oshawa, where I went inside to work out the final plans for this part of the trip.  Heading east some more I got some DVDs at another branch of Deja Vu and then visited Blockbuster before making my way downtown.  There were actually three comic shops in Oshawa's downtown.  I bought some comics at Silver Star (some subsequently water damaged), none at Skyfox (few comics, more gaming stuff if memory serves), some at Worlds Collide (also subsequently water damaged).  I went to the GO bus station but didn't see any stops for busses heading to the GO train Station in Oshawa so went to a stop I recalled.  A bus happily came soon after; when I asked he driver if she stops at the train station she replied "If I have to." Good enough for me in the rain.

[UPDATE September 19, 2012: Again, Blockbuster in now defunct in Canada.]

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 5 March 6

{original Paragraph 4}
At Union Go Station some confusion arose when I wanted a daypass that would cover both Oakville and Mississauga's Square One Mall.  The cashier said that there was no Oakville-Square One transportation on Sunday.  I wasn't sure at the time if I had plugged in the wrong date or if the bus I wanted was another system (the bus number was actually the same) or if a daypass was possible with two different GO sections so I just bought a daypass to Oakville.  I grabbed some lunch at Union's Dairy Queen and then walked outside where there was a statue of a naked guy and pigeons.  Heading back in a security saw me taking photos and asked me to delete the ones I just took.  Unfortunately there was something wrong with the delete button of my new camera but luckily because I had a train to catch so he let me go after promising to delete them later.  I took a train to Oakville, whose downtown looked really nice after the snow.

{UPDATE September 19: I didn't see the statue there during my next visit, possibly due to the construction.]

{original paragraph 5}
All the stores I planned to visit were gone but there was a store called Comic Connection where I bought a couple of cheap comic paperbacks.  Returning to the train station I confirmed that Port Credit was part of Mississauga and decided to visit there instead (I would have had to stop there anyway to get to Square One).  I took the train there, therefore, where I did see the bus to Square One.  But since it would have been a long trip to take a bus there and back and then go to Toronto (If I took a bus back to Toronto from Square One it would have been an added cost since it was outside the daypass zone) I decided to just explore that area.  I wandered around (both there and Oakville earlier I visited the lake briefly) and visited a book store that wanted $3 each for some really beat up comics.  I also checked out a few other stores, including a discount store that was a bit on the pricey side, very comparable to a nearby convenience store.  I bought some chips at a sore by the train station.

[UPDATE September 19: Oakville's Comic Connection has moved to a new location.]

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 6 March 7

{original paragraph 9}
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 Convenience Store 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).

{Bloor St Convenience Store amended to Bloor St Mini-Mart.} 
 [UPDATE September 19: The third bookstore was probably Doug Miller Books.]

Toronto Trip March 2011 Day 7 March 78

{original paragraph 2}
More nighttime kitty activity again (Artemis).  I wanted to do a final exploration.  I left my bag at Aidan's place because it was already packed thus heavy, but my camera still had over 1000 photos in the memory card.  I walked to the McDonald’s across from the ROM on Bloor, then went south along Yonge, visiting a couple Shoppers Drug Mart because on the way over a lost a few things such as my electric razor due to my bag opening up.  So I was searching for plastic ties.  Neither had any.  I visited Dundas Square, when roughly around the time I was going to head back anyway I ran out of photos.  Taking a subway from Dundas to Bloor stations (north) and Yonge to Ossington stations (west) I managed to get space for a few more photos by temporarily changing my camera settings to the lowest quality.  I decided this time to exit Ossington from the further side to Aidan's place this time, as I wanted to do something different.  This worked well because I found a dollar store en route.  The guy there didn't speak very good English but I found the ties I wanted to stop zippers from opening up.

[UPDATE September 19: I won't put a damper on most of my trip reports by mentioning this in the earlier days' reports, but Artemis has since passed away.]

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