As part of my return flight to Hawaii from Icelend, I purposefully scheduled a three-day layover in Toronto. I was due for a return trip and from an airfare perspective, it was a perfect place to self connect. The weather was great while I was there and got to see some old friends.
When I was planning this mini trip, I got my dates wrong for when I thought I was going to arrive. Because of the time change, I arrived in Toronto one calendar day sooner than I thought. I had made arrangements to stay with a friend on the days I thought I would be there. After I realized my mistake, I had to ask another friend if he’d let me crash at his place for one night. It all worked out in the end.
After arriving at Pearson airport, I took the new(to me) Pearson Express train to downtown. It was much quicker than taking the TTC. I got off at Dundas West station and took the TTC to Bloor station. From there, it’s a short walk to my old building complex where my friend Elias lives. Seeing the building for the first time in almost 5 years, it almost looked like a prison. Especially when compared to new modern residential buildings going up all over the city. But I had a great time living there, and I wouldn’t change a thing. The layout of his apartment is the same as my mine was, so it had a familiar feeling to it. It was nice.
After catching up and getting settled, we walked to Pizzaiolo, my favorite casual pizza restaurant for dinner. Their Gianni Ola pizza is the best in my opinion. We also stopped at the LCBO to pick up some drinks. Generally, there is nothing that Canada has that the USA doesn’t, but alcoholic Snapple and Rockstar are a rare exception.
We went out to Woody’s for a little bit after dinner. I saw a lot of people I used to know, including an old bartender co-worker who I’ve always had a bit of a crush on. He still looks good.
The following day, Elias and I went to lunch at Fushimi sushi restaurant on Church St after making an appearance at the AIDS walk event. Neither of us were aware that an event was going to be taking place but it was nice event. Definitely a good cause. The food at Fushimi is not the best sushi I’ve ever had. O Sushi The Train in Reykjavik and Sansei in Hawaii are both better, but for the price, the food is great. I would definitely go back again.
After lunch, I walked around downtown for a bit snapping pictures. I went to my old gym where the receptionist was nice enough to give me a three-day pass despite previously having a membership there. That place is still the same. I went to the One Eighty restaurant at the top of the Manulife building as well to get a nice shot of downtown. I sat down and had a drink just so that the people at the restaurant would let me stay for a bit and take pictures. I think the drink I had was called a Kentucky Daiquiri. It was good.
I went back to Elias’ apartment later in the afternoon to get my stuff and took it to my other friend, Jamie’s, place on Maitland St where I originally planned to stay before I realized I got my date of arrival wrong. His apartment is pretty okay too. It wasn’t the first time I’d been there, but it was the first time in a long time. It was good to see him.
I pretty much walked around downtown all day just window shopping while Jamie was at work. Closer to sunset, I got on a street car and made my way to Prince of Wales Park to get a sunset shot of downtown. It was a nice clear view with no clouds. On my way back to Jamie’s apartment, I stopped by the LCBO to pick up some more of the alcoholic drinks that are not available in the USA to take home with me.
I enjoyed this short trip to Toronto. Not that I didn’t enjoy the previous trips, but this time I went there with no expectations and I wasn’t haunted by ghosts from the past. It felt almost like it did the first time I went.
I try not to take what I have for granted. I am very fortunate to know great people in so many great places. I know the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be doing a show in Toronto in November. Maybe it’s time to start planning another trip there.