I've had a couple of days here in Toronto now and it is still feeling like a great place to be. On Saturday I went out about midday to have a bit of a stroll around the city and it was buzzing. There were plenty of uni students asking you to sign their shirts or throw food at them or even just to give them money for cystic fibrosis research. Then I noticed that just down the road there was a Canadian Football game on.
I continued my walk, noting that the game started at 2 so I could make it back for it. I walked down to Queen's park and saw a squirrel. Actually there was a bunch of them, but this is the first one I saw.
They were quite happy to be approached by tourists, as long as you didn't get too close.
The images below show a few Canadian flags which were flapping nicely in the wind.
The next pic shows a building that looks like a quaint old cottage, but it is actually the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.
The final pic shows the cheerleaders at the U of T Varsity Blues vs the York Lions college football game. There was a crowd of around 1000, but they were very vocal and supportive. There were cheerleaders, there was music and surprisingly there were very people drinking beer. Very different to a Saturday arvo AFL/league game back in Aus. For a start, none of the crowd was paying out the cheerleaders, except when they weren't cheering enough.
It was interesting to watch a game with so many referees that they need numbers on their back. Actually, I'm not sure what the numbers are for, other than for the crowd to keep track of who is making the bad calls. I counted 9 refs in total, which is quite high for two teams with 12 on each side.
So a few thoughts. Canada is a pretty friendly place. The cars even stop for pedestrians to cross the road, although strangely despite the almost endless patience for pedestrians, if a car driver pauses for just a second they get honked. Traffic here is pretty bad and parking around the city is about $15 for a day.
My taxi driver told me a few things about Toronto that reminded me of Canberra. For a start, house prices have basically doubled here in the last couple of years. There are a heap of apartments going up and the economy seems to be booming. Unlike Canberra, Toronto is a big city, with a population of around 5 million.
The city is very busy, but there are some places that are surprisingly quiet. On a night stroll last night I wandered down King st west of the downtown subway area and it seemed to be the place to be. It was midnight and still there were traffic jams. There were heaps of people just going out then. Check out the stretch SUV that was driving down King St.
That's it for now. Tomorrow I tackle the scary roadways around Toronto airport as I pick up my car in preparation for the trip to Hamilton on Wednesday.