July 16th 2001
Arrival and first exploration of Toronto City
Sunday afternoon: this second North American Adventure started with the direct Lufthansa flight LH470 from Frankfurt to Toronto Pearson International Airport. Thanks to the timezone difference and the great service on board, we arrived early in the evening with plenty of time to pick up the car and find our Hotel. This time we are not organizing the whole trip. We want to be flexible and do next, what we find on our way or get tipped from people here locally. Therefore we only booked one Motel for the first 4 nights. The car ofcourse was booked for the duration of our 3 weeks stay.
Our room at the Motel 6 in Burlington, including free Coffee and Internet (!)
The car is a Lincoln Towncar, very comfortable and thus suitable for the many kilometers we are most likely going to drive.... (nothing beats cubic Inch, eh?) The first drive was immediately a challenge, trying to get through the very dense traffic of Toronto. Who told me that Canada was so open and had so much space ?? Must be somewhere else I guess, but certainly not in this busy metropolis where approximately 4 million people are living and working. Of course the first target was the CN tower. Again we were not so lucky; Today, Greenpeace was climbing the CN tower as some action against, uhhhh... against what? Sorry don't know. CNN probably is better informed than the CN tower employees, telling me that the tower was partially closed because of this action. So Greenpeace, thank you very much!
If you take a close look you can see the Greenpeace activists hanging under the Observationdeck !
Although we missed the Sky Pod and the Glass Floor, the view was breath taking from the altitude of 360 meters!
Here you see "downtown" Toronto which we have been walking around later that day. Good to know there is a Subway system, helping to bridge the points of interest a little bit !
For the golf fans:
what about this lovely course in the "country-side"
I think you will find ear defenders included in the greenfee...
Partially below streetlevel: Eaton Shopping Mall
No City tour without checking out the local shopping malls. This famous shoppingmall is located in the hart of the city, close to the main shopping streets and is for the largest part below streetlevel. The kind of shops however are more of the high above "streetlevel" as well the whole ambiance! Later that day, Suzan went back to do some more shopping. Erik and I retired in a local Coffee Shop (no not that kind !!)
Every where on the street you will find this metal kind of Hot Dog stands. Great Hot Dogs with lots of toppings at your choice....
Not everything in Toronto, built from steel and glass is a modern skyscraper as this glasshouse from the University of Toronto shows. The university as well the museums are mostly located in old (English) style buildings and are breathing old class atmosphere. Very nice contrast with the "skyline" more south in the city
Talking about contrast.... Although not even close the size of the China Towns in San Francisco and New York, the Toronto Chinese neighborhood is one of those area's where life is totally different from what you just experienced only 2 blocks away! It seemed to me, that every one is trying to sell the same merchandise..... Which might be absolute kitsch souvenirs or typical Chinese food. To be honest, in none of them I really found what I was looking for.....
Architectural influence of the old English school is clearly to be found in the many older streets, just outside the center of the City. Just have a look at these 2 pictures where typical English streetfront is in anachronistic contrast with the, for example, new City Hall building.......
Last interesting City image is the so called "Flat Iron Building"
standing in front of the modern glass tower Skyline
This building was constructed in 1892, long before glass towers and skylines took over the face of modern Cities
Great first day! The little rain was not enough to destroy our mood, specially because the weather forecast is promising more sun for the remainder of the week, including higher temperatures.....
A bit tired from the jetlag we have, we went home early and try to get some good night rest for tomorrows trip to the (what else?) Niagara Falls !
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