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The train was supposed to arrive in Toronto at 8PM but it ended up being 3 hours delayed. I was pretty tired so instead of hanging out downtown I headed straight to Donna's where I would be staying for the next couple days. After catching the subway and a cab I get there at midnight and head to bed.

Donna has been generous enough to give me free reign of the house. She's a nurse and works an early morning shift so she doesn't get home until 4PM. I used the morning to catch up with this blog and upload some images. I also took the dog Tasha for a short walk. Since Donna had to work early I didn't see her last night, and after spending over 14 hours at her place I finally get to see her. We chat for a couple hours and then I am off to the Rogers Centre (Skydome) to catch the Blue Jays game.

The commute downtown was made with with the wonderful Viva bus system along with the subway. Viva has terminals where you can prepay your bus fare with your credit card at the bus stop! The buses are modern with AC and no ads! There's a digital screen that displays the next stop which is great when you aren't sure where you are when it's dark out. The buses are also equipped with GPS and broadcast updates to the bus stops where they have a clock that displays the ETA of the next bus. The other thing I really thought was nice about the Viva buses is that the doors open sideways on the outside. Nothing is more annoying than being on the 135 at home and having the exit doors swing inside and poke you in the behind. Even though the 4 different transit systems can be confusing to figure out at first Vancouver could learn a lot from how Toronto manages its transit system.

Earlier in the day I ordered my Jays ticket and am overjoyed to see that I am in row 2 and seat 112! I'm sure you Rush fans know why I was excited. Unfortunately I probably chose the worst Jays game to attend to. They lost 8 zip but it was still a fun experience, even if the beer did cost $9.50. The facility is really is quite spectacular with the dome open. The atmosphere for a baseball game is much different than a hockey game. It doesn't really require your full attention like a hockey game. After pigging out on a hot dog and fries I felt pretty lethargic so I decided to walk it off until I got tired. I ended up walking from the stadium to Summerhill station. The whole time I was fleeing the oncoming stench that was coming off the lake.

The following day I did some more walking. Again I took transit down to Union station to pick up the rest of my train tickets. Like the dummy I am I forgot my Canarail pass at Donna's. I then started my walk to Queen street to find the Opera House. Not sure how far it was but the walk worked up quite an appetite. I found a little upscale bistro called Joy Bistro and treated my self to a lobster and crab salad, fillet mignon with bake brie on top, followed by chocolate mousse for dessert. I ended up at the restaurant for two hours because the service was ridiculously slow. I was a bit disappointed by the service, but the food really made up for it.

After dinner I needed to kill a couple hours so I found a pub with some pool days near the venue. Both tables were occupied so I dropped a loonie and a quarter on the table and challenged a couple dudes. Thus begin the tale of Aaron and Kyle. They are a couple of easy going guys that remind me of the movie Fubar. After a few games I notice that their focus is more on their beer than pool. I chit chat for a bit and discover that they are in a local death metal band called (pardon my French) Shit Crust. Queue my CBC Radio 3 sales pitch. They thought that they wouldn't be suited for Radio 3 but I told them otherwise. Heck, we promote the band Holy Fuck (again, pardon my French). My second to last business card goes to them. As soon as Aaron reads the card he exclaims "You're last name is Muc?". Apparently he thought that was pretty cool. We continue shooting the breeze about music where eventually I slip the fact that I am a Rush fan. Aaron's eyes light up! He's a bass player and he worships Geddy Lee! He was actually listening to the new Rush album on his mp3 player as we were talking. I told him my story of my Jays ticket and I think that dropped his guard and revealed I am a true fan just like him. I challenged him to my Rush quiz to which he thinks he'll have no problem with. Good luck with Kyle and Aaron! I hope to see your stuff on Radio 3!

Following the bar I went to the Opera House to see the band Blonde Redhead. The venue is amazing. Felt like a mix between the Commodore and Richards on Richards. The sound was great, but the atmosphere of the Toronto crowd was rather lacking. The bands put on amazing shows without much reaction from the crowd except for the polite clapping after each song. After the show I made the long commute back.

The next morning I got up early and had a quick bite to eat and said goodbye to Donna. For the entire time I was in Toronto I only saw her for a few hours! She was quite busy with work and retirement parties, so I'm even more grateful for her hospitality. I also had to say my goodbye to Tasha who would stop giving me such a look that made me feel guilty for leaving her behind. It makes me really want a dog. After the familiar commute to Union station I was on my way to Ottawa.

I didn't take a lot of pictures because I got most of my Toronto pictures the last time I was in the city.

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2007 8:56 PM Canarail Vacation | Back to top


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