Although the end of May in Canada is not usually thought of as summer, this week has had spectacular weather and we are all emerging from hibernation in shorts and sandals and sunscreen.
I am to work in Toronto for the next few days. One might think that the heart of the city is not the place to be in 29 degree weather but Toronto’s waterfront offers a delightful opportunity to inaugurate summer.
I ventured along the Harbourfont and ended up with a beer or three in a big Muskoka chair (Canadians will know what this is) on the patio of a busy establishment called Amsterdam. Last year I had sat in the same place and ended up having a great conversation with a guy who was traveling from Italy to North Amercia for the first time. After a couple of beers we ended up wandering through the downtown so I could point out some of the landmarks. Federico is still a Facebook friend and I will send him this so he can recall our visit.This year there were four guys from Brazil sitting next to me. One was visiting and three had recently moved to Canada. One was a musician and another a resident in cardiovascular surgery at U of T. We shared some drinks and lots of conversation. I liked hearing about Brazil and they found me somewhat unique – a born and bred Canadian in Toronto where almost everyone has a different ethnic background or is an immigrant. (I heard this week that there are 142 mother tongues spoken in Toronto apart from English and French.) Diego, the lawyer from Brazil, talked me into getting a Go-pro camera. Usually this kind of camera is used to video sports activities like skiing or windsurfing or sky-diving. Not sure if a video of me walking to Starbucks will be as exciting.
One of our main topics was the huge yacht that was tied up right in front of us. The name of the boat was Big Eagle and under the name it said “Kingston”. Not Kingston Ontario for sure. Turns out this 52 meter (172 ft) yacht, flying the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is privately owned, had come from Florida and was heading to Chicago. We googled the boat to find that it sleeps 14, has a crew of 10 and rents for $140,000 a week plus expenses, which might include filling the 104,000 liter fuel tank. You can find it’s current position here.
On my way back to my hotel, I grabbed a Beavertail, my favourite being the one with sugar and cinnamon and lemon. Can’t get much more Canadian than eating a Beavertail under the CN Tower.