Day 92 Toronto, Ontario: Cityscape - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

July 31, 2011

Day 92 Toronto, Ontario: Cityscape

The chain wear tool says both our chains, new in Winnipeg, are worn. It's the first time I've actually tried to undo a SRAM quicklink and for some reason it eluded me, even with a pliers. I ended up driving out a pin, in the traditional way. Later I watched a demo on Youtube and it seemed so easy. I guess I need to look at the thing again.

Quick links turn out to be not so quick
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So much of our continental crossing has been in rural areas that Toronto has seemed like a whole new trip. We find it interesting, but still cling to anything not paved that we can find.

There is still some natural beauty to be found in the city
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One way that people cope with the huge city is by having and sticking in neighbourhoods. We understand that some never cross the east/west boundary of the Don River, or almost never. In Marsha's mini 'hood there is the New Town restaurant, where you can find your neighbours:

Marsha's friend Jerry joined us at the New Town restaurant
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We, however, are tourists and will range everywhere. Today, with threat of rain, we bought a transit day pass.

Toronto's streetcars are not bikes but they are still cute, and quiet
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First stop was back to what was Rochdale College. Arthur had lamented in the message book that it now seems to sport a Miracle Whip ad. Good news, Arthur, it's clean:

The former Rochdale college building is at least now free of the Miracle Whip banner
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Except for this Expedia ad on the other side:

Rochdale did have this Expedia ad on the other side
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The front of former Rochdale
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As we pass across the country, some blog readers get to vicariously revisit places they know. Laurie has posted a bunch of Toronto suggestions, and maybe on our last day we can hit some of them. One was the Bata shoe museum, and we can say "been there, done that"! The Bata museum shows no evidence of the Bata shoe company, except for their presence in the name. Rather this is a full on quality museum of shoes. It begins with displays of ancient shoes from various cultures and civilisations, and then has some specific presentations on the Roaring 20's and of First Nations footwear. It is highly interesting but also very didactic. There is no way to actually cover what we saw here, and there is no way in one walk through that we could absorb even a small part of what was presented. Anyway, here is the flavour:

(p.s. Right off the bat there is a small area with shoes kids could try on. Had we brought Avi and Violet it would have ended there, as they would never have left that area! Here are two pairs they would have liked a lot!)

Look Avi, Red Shoes
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Look Violet, red and blue shoes
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And her is some of the other stuff we saw:

Chinese shoes
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Bolivian sandals
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Moravian dance boots
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Shoes styles in the US, 20th century
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More shoe styles
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Shoe styles
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Flapper dresses
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Flapper shoes
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Mocassins - not sure which tribe
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Mocassins. Many tribes were represented and all had different designs and bead work
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Another Laurie suggestion was the Royal Ontario Museum. Well, we checked out the exterior, and the gift shop. Even these had a major wow factor and were controversial for us:

Royal Ontario Museum, dramatic architecture
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The angular "Crystal" section is deliberately jammed into the traditional building
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In the gift shop, many elegantly design knick knacks and toys. This is a zulu bowl made from telephone wire
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Elegant knick knacks
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A cycle tour normally involves such "low life" activities as sleeping on the floor, eating junk food from service stations, washing clothes only infrequently, etc. At least that is the case in North America. Maybe you could have an elegant European tour? Anyway, the North American version fits our normal life style best. So imagine the more or less still grubby Grampies on Bloor Street, where they have the high end shops. See them gawking at the $2000 (or whatever) purses. They must be wondering if you could make panniers out of them! Here is some of our walk down Bloor:

Bloor street features high end but crazy stuff. This is part of the Tokidoki line at Sephora
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More Tokidoki
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Purses at Prada
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An elegantly dressed and made up old lady tottered out of this Lexus and went into one of the expensive stores. The Lexus meanwhile circled the block.
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High end stores abound here.
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With no room to carry books and no strength to read them, they have become a novelty for us. We went in to Indigo just to visit them.
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In Starbucks we "shared" a table with this girl. She never glanced up from working on her Apple in deadly earnest. Some judicious peeking revealed she was studying display advertising in the Google system.
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Need to buy and read this when we get home. The story makes our trip look silly, as the trip was 30,000 miles or some such crazy figure.
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This black Rolls Royce was ours. At least the plates said "bker"
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It wasn't long before we jumped into the Subway (the underground train, not it's namesake sandwich shop!) and zipped back to the Danforth area, which is more our speed.

We are back in Canada, the home of Maple Sugar!
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The herbalist at Thuna on Danforth opened the shop so we could take a peek.
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Souvlaki research continued at a fever pitch.
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A candy store is mega colorful.
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We dragged Marsha out before she could succumb to the fatal attraction of jelly beans
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Danforth in Greek, we presume
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Toronto has not even tried to fool me with a not real bagel yet. This one came from an Ethiopian store and was not fooling anyone
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Back at the Mosque, the clouds are reflected in the minaret
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We continue to explore the ethnic mosaic
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Just like we saw in the Caribbean, this lady was grilling jerk chicken on the street. She gave us a taste and it was totally authentic. Her newly opened operation is called Hot Spice Restaurant and Catering and is at 1220 Danforth.
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Back at Marsha's the fabric wizard performs some magic on our tent.
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The tent gets a new tie point, which will keep the wall off our faces
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Oh, we did try Patisserie La Cigogne, at 1419 Danforth. The quality was excellent, but those danish are $2.80 each!
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There are still places to go and things to do in Toronto, and we will have a crack at more places on Monday. However, Montreal and Amelia are calling and we will soon be outta here!

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