A second day in Toronto

Trip Start Mar 28, 2012
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Trip End May 24, 2012


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What I did
St Lawrence Market, Distillery District, Cabbage Town

Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I caught an earlier train back into Union Station Toronto, ready to explore new parts of the city's downtown area. To begin with I headed east along Esplanade towards St Lawrence Market - a large building that has seen many changes over the 200 year history of the market. In essence it is a market for fresh food and produce - not disimilar to Borough Market in London - but of course, everything is on a larger scale. It was a great relief to go into a restaurant there and order a coffee and bagel without the waitress rehearsing the endless litany of options that seems to accompany what should be the most straightforward of dining transactions. I was brought a cup of coffee and a toasted bagel. Great.

I spent a long time taking in the visual and olfactory delights that were on offer. There are many more pictures here. The fresh sea food and the abundance, size and quality of the steaks were truly amazing. Lots of colour, noise and smells - a great place. It had only been the night before that I was extolling the virtues of Spanish smoked paprika to my hosts.I was delighted to find it readily available - and the same brand I buy back home. As it was the birthday of my hostess, I knew a present when I saw one.

I continued east into the Distillery District - a blend of condominiums, art and food establishments in the renovated Gooderham & Worts Distillery in what is the largest Victorian industrial site in North America. There are many high-class eateries and watering holes. I had been directed to the Mill Street Brewery which is a micro-brewery renowned for its fine ales and good food. I'm glad I got there early as it filled up rapidly. The surroundings, food and the beer (particularly the IPA) are all excellent. I took many photos in and around the area. the architecture and the people were both so photogenic.

From there I walked north along Parliament through a less salubrious district to Cabbage Town. Turning east on Gerrard I made my along the tree-lined roads filled with victorian houses - all with well-tended gardens. It was very quiet and peaceful with minimal traffic - it must be a  truly a great place to live, so close tot he centre of the city. When I hit Wellesley I turned west and journeyed through the Church Wellesley area, home to Toronto's LGBT colourful community. I then hit Yonge where i turned south to look for a watering hole.

I stumbled upon the Elephant and Castle pub who just happened to be showing the Bayern Munich v Real madrid game and had wi-fi meaning I could also watch the Peterborough v Saints commentary on the web - awesome. Did I mention that I support Southampton? They need one point from the remaining two games to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League. Back-to-back promotions - awesome. 

I then had my first encounter with the Toronto Subway which was smooth, quick and efficient. It took me back to Union Station and I caught the 4:47 train to Burlington. I was picked up by hosts and whisked off tot the Mandarin Restaurant to celebrate the birthday. A well appointed buffet restaurant that offered everything on a huge scale. There were several ranges of food on offer - regular chinese, salad, sushi and other Japanese, roast beef by the ton and two whole counters offering ice cream and dessert! These kinds of places are lost on me these days as I can barely mange a plateful! A couple in our party made up for my deficiencies.

It was then time to go home and catch the Blue Jays game on TV and enjoy some more of the region's outstanding wine - this time a Riesling. My week in Burlington came to an end all too quickly.It was a wonderful and indulgent introduction to Canada - I hope I'll return one day to share the joy with wife. It struck me that this region would be an ideal place for an Epicurean hedonist to strut their stuff! 

Many thanks Dan & Laurie.
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