Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Day in Toronto

This has been a busy week for me.  I hope to get back into blogging and blog-reading today - after I take a nap that is.  LOL  I didn't do any sewing this week either, so that certainly has to change today too.  This is going to be a long post - sorry.   

Friends from Japan were here in Toronto for a few days.  They came over for dinner on Tuesday evening and yesterday we took them on an excursion around our city.  We started off by driving around to see some of the places in our city's centre - the Eaton Centre, the old and new City Halls, University Avenue and Queen's Park where the provincial government sits and a few more interesting places.  The weather was not cooperative.  We only got to do the outdoor things when the showers held off.  At the CN tower we stopped and went to the top to view the city.  Even though it was raining on and off, the view was wonderful. 

Here are some gargoyles on the outside of the Roger's Centre, formerly know as the SkyDome.

We had to choose our destinations carefully.  They had to coincide with the rain and the dry spells.  So when it started to rain, we went to the St. Lawrence Market because it is held indoors.  This market is open 5 days a week and has many vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetable, meats, fish and freshly baked goodies.  There are also booths that sell specialties, like teas, rice, any household item you can think of and of course, souvenirs like maple syrup products and ice wines.  

Some gourds.

I love going to the St Lawrence Market at any time.  The atmosphere is very festival-like, but it was especially nice yesterday because outside the weather was wet, cold and windy.  Surrounded by food, we became hungry and decided to eat our lunch there.

Our visitors.

We stopped at the Allan Gardens Greenhouses next.  These are open to the public all year round and house a wonderful assortment of tropical, sub-tropical, local and dessert plants.  I love visiting Allan Gardens! 
Bananas growing in the central conservatory at Allan Gardens.

It is a wonderful place to go when the cold and snow of our Canadian winters creates fears of never seeing a flowering plant again.  There is no admittance fee, so it's a great place to spend a few minutes or an hour or more.

Leda and the Swan, a sculpture based on a Greek myth, at one of the ponds.

After Allan Gardens, we drove along the lake, taking in Tommy Thompson Park, a man-made peninsula that was created when rocks and soil were removed from the building sites of downtown skyscrapers and dumped into the lake.  This sounds like a dumb thing to do, but the dumped debris soon became the new home for wildflower and tree seeds dropped by birds. the wind and human visitors.  These have grown into a unique parkland surrounded by Lake Ontario and inhabited by local and migratory birds, several species of frogs, toads and other reptiles and squirrels and other small mammals. 

Waves on Lake Ontario.
The lake was very rough.  It was too dangerous for boats to be out in the water, but we did see a few adventurous surf boarders out there.  Crazy people who must love the cold.  We drove along the lake and stopped at Bluffer's Park.  It stopped raining long enough for us to walk to the edge of the lake and observe the incredible waves.   Usually the water is very calm and just laps at your feet as you walk along the beach, but yesterday it looked like an ocean.

On our way out of the park we saw some deer.  Viewing wildlife inside the city limits always makes me happy!

A deer at Bluffers Park.

We rounded the day off with a return to our place for some green tea and some 'shopping' in my fabric stash.  I think my friend was inspired by my quilty things and wanted to buy a kit of something simple to take back to Japan with her.  Unfortunately our local quilt shop was closed yesterday due to the activities at the Creative Sewing Festival this weekend, so I invited her to take a look at my stash.  We found a pattern for an simple quilt-as-you-go table runner and some fabrics and made up a kit ourselves.

Dinner was at a Japanese restaurant.  I learned about some new delicacies that I had never tasted before, as well as satisfying my craving for sushi - for a little while at least.   Afterwards we drove them back to their hotel.  They are flying back to Tokyo today.  With mixed emotions we bade them farewell, with promises for them to return to Toronto and for us to go to Japan.  Now, wouldn't that be nice! 


Pat said...

Even with bad weather, it's obvious you (and your friends) had a very nice day. Thanks for sharing it with us here. I was shocked at those waves when you told me they were on a LAKE. There are some days when the weather is very calm that the ocean here (the Atlantic by me) is even calmer than that!!! It was very nice of you to make up a kit for your friend, too!!! (Kind of tun to know your fabrics will be see and appreciated in a place so far away!)

Barb said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, enjoyed the pictures!

Simone de Klerk said...

Wow, Hetty, what a perfect day you had in Toronto with your friends. Thank you for sharing those wonderful places with us too!

nicolette at dutchcomfort said...

Thanks for the virtual tour in Toronto! I love to see all the places you visited!!

wackywoman said...

What a wonderful tour guide you are. My daughter lived in Japan for three years, and I was able to visit her twice while she was there. I loved it.

hakucho said...

Looks like you had a good's so hard to show visitors everything you want to show them in a small amount of time...sure looks like you did great :)

Anonymous said...

Glad you gals had a good time and were able to pack so much in!