Hi folks. Another wonderful day here. But first let me finish last night.
I had a lovely meal with Past Master Butcher Surgeon and his wife. She is the Dean of a local university and he a senior fellow. They live in a wonderful apartment 36 floors up (that is half way up) a building just above Downtown Toronto. I hope you noticed there that I. am learning the lingo. I had to ask someone what downtown meant. In the UK it would be a posh code for a slum. Here it means more like the busiest area of the City.
The dinner last night was a revelation. Both James and Ann are very experienced international academics having worked in universities in the UK, USA, and now back in their home country, and they can talk about almost anything. I did my best to nod and grunt at the right moments to give the impression that I too was intelligent. They were too polite to notice.
They also have a flat in Charterhouse, the historic community on the edge of the City of London, and we talked about loads of mutual friends including two very supportive members of our SLJ network, Walter and Graham. Katrina or Arnel will be able to mention to them that they have made an appearance in the blog as they are both likely to pop up at SLJ during the May organ series.
Today I skipped breakfast, as it was not worth the price! I then set off to do some shopping before lunch. I went to the largest ‘mall’ nearby and walked around in ever more depressing circles. Eventually I was ready to leave, but could not find my way out. Sue will tell you that I get lost trying to find the exit in a car park, so this mega shopping centre was all too much. It turned out that the problem was quite simple. Floor 1 is underground and floor 2 is at street level. Now in UK polite blog-speak this is ‘counterintuitive’, although that is not quite the phrase I had in my mind when I worked out what had happened.
I never did find my way into the famous Toronto underground walkway, which joins all the shops so that people don’t freeze to death in the cold Toronto winter. I assume this is a piece of secret local knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, so that the tourists freeze but the locals do not.
I then headed west toward my lunch venue. The City changes rapidly as you enter the more historic quarter. First I passed through an open square which contains the so called. ‘Toronto sign’. Good naming, I think! It was installed as a temporary piece for the Pan American games in 2016 and became an immediate tourism hit, so there it is still. The square gives you a vista of the high rise block around it.
Just as in London the square if full of people talking to themselves. One third were similar to the many troubled people we meet at SLJ, mumbling to themselves. It turned out the other two thirds had their airpods and iPhones on! Not always easy to tell the difference.
I then passed the Law Courts, housed in a 19th century building.
Ishrani took me to lunch at The Royal Canadian Military Club. We were given a tour by their burser, Mike, who told us all about the building and the many artefacts which it possess, as well as being a club. Each room is themed, some around a particular battle, or guns, swords, and memorabilia from different eras of the Canadian military history. I got permission to take a picture in the medal room. They have 4 VCs in their collection.
The building is interesting. It has been on the same site for over a century. Here is the entrance.
All very historic until you look up. A full redevelopment within the last decade involved keeping the entrance looking like a club, but building a vast number of high rise condominiums above. As we often tell people in London – look up.
After lunch I walked back by a different route and passed the Ontario Parliament building.
Now off to the swimming pool.