Monday, May 8, 2017

Eastern Canada Trip 2016 Day 15 Tuesday June 28: Toronto, Mississauga, Calgary, Greater Victoria



This is the 15th and final of a series of posts dealing with my 2016 trip to Toronto, Montreal, and vicinity. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports (typos, bits I don’t feel like making public). Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of two years later or to add further clarification.  These are indicated by “NOW”.

I got up, deposited the linen in the bin, did some last minute packing and left Backpackers on Dundas for the usual 24 hour McDonald's, which was open this breakfast. I walked south to King St and Canada's Walk of Fame. "Honest" Ed Mirvish has a square likely because he contributed to the arts in various ways such as restoring key buildings like the big music place whose name escapes me. Curiously though Canada's Walk of Fame has a square on Canada's Walk of Fame. After wandering through the stretch of Queen St where construction was happening, I returned to Denison Square/Bellevue Square, correctly guessing that the bench by the al Waxman statue would be unoccupied. Graffiti still there. I walked to Bloor St and headed west, getting a photo of myself with Honest Ed's in the background. I continued west to Lansdowne and then returned east, trying to figure out how to kill time until Honest Ed's opened. I visited Metro (a grocery store) and got a Slurpee at the 7-11 diagonally across from University of Toronto. I wandered through Yorkville Village, mostly for the first time except for one or two stretches.

I returned to Honest Ed's just before they opened, noticing that the sign saying they were remaining open until Dec 31, 2016 was gone. I'm guessing the sign simply fell down but it does add a question mark. I made my final purchase there, fittingly an autobiography of founder Ed Mirvish. A shame that such an amazing cultural icon is being replaced buy a complex with condos. for all its outward tackiness, Honest Ed's was built with love, and you can't really replaced something like that.

[NOW: Honest Ed’s is indeed now closed.]

Heading east on Bloor I bought a trade at BMV Books. I decided to give Willow Books, which I rarely visit another chance but they hadn’t opened yet. In one construction area I could see empty ground where Sunrise Records on Yonge near Bloor used to be. I visited Game Centre. Heading south on Yonge I was going to get a book I was considering from ABC Books but they didn't open for another 15 minutes. I considered going back later but as I continued south I felt myself psychologically letting go of the area already passed. I visited Edward St.'s BMV Books and stopped briefly at Yonge-Dundas Square. In Toronto Eaton Centre I had KFC's Tuesday special and explored a bit of the mall before returning to the hostel.

Grabbing my stuff, I took the 1/Yonge-University-Spadina line train to St. George Station where I took the 2/Bloor-Danforth train west to Kipling Station. There I took the 192 Rocket bus to Toronto Pearson airport in Mississauga. All transportation this paragraph TTC/Toronto Transit Commission.

I checked in. My two non-carry on bags actually cost me $63 after tax to fly to Victoria! Next time I do a flight to Toronto I'll check if Air Canada is any cheaper with baggage because I'm not impressed. I rode the train that goes between terminals for free (TTC?) but mesh hindered the photos so I just went from Terminal 3 to 1 and back.  A woman at security seemed exasperated that everyone seemed confused by the system (maybe it needs to be more clear?) but I made it through okay. They had free public iPad terminals from which I concluded that if I ever get one I'll have a bit of a learning curve ahead.

[NOW: The above train is the LINK train.]

On the Westjet plane to Calgary there was no map screen and there was a cranky baby. Throuh the window I got photos of my luggage being loaded onto the plane (ditto while waiting to get off). Mostly clear during the flight. The plane arrived early in Calgary. With my map gone due to the earlier Kitchener mishap I knew finding any specific place would be tricky, plus I didn't think I could safely go *too* far. I did wander I little ways north of the airport, carefully noting most of my path so I could return easily enough. That worked out and I had dinner at A&W. Just before heading through security I noticed a split in my backpack where my spare camera was. Don't think I lost anything.

Near my gate there were two cylinders with model planes that spun (three per cylinder). I wasn't impressed with my seat on the flight home. No map again plus the window was filthy with dust, hindering picture taking. Westjet has in certain ways gone downhill. Still we made good time getting to Victoria. I decided to take the YYJ Airporter home because after 9 the rates are cheaper, and if I had taken the public transit I'd just be getting home down. To save time i paid for my ticket before the suitcases arrived. In one case the zipper had split at the top. Hope I didn't lose anything. The YYJ Airporter got me home in good time. I decided just this once to take the elevator instead of stairs which moved to be a good thing because just after I pressed the button the one suitcase split open completely and things starting spilling out. Hopefully other than stuff like the soap that was lost previously, nothing was lost today.

[NOW: I did lose a cell charger, but managed to work things out with Westjet.]

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