Monday, July 18, 2011

Visiting Toronto

I've been in Toronto for the past week, visiting with my friend Jarka and doing a lot of sightseeing.

Jarka is the perfect host, assuring that my every waking moment was filled with activities.

On our first full day together we went downtown on the subway, starting our day at the Eaton Centre, an extensive shopping galleria.

On one side of the Eaton Centre is a flock of suspended sculptures of Canadian Geese.

Our walking tour continued to the Old City Hall.

And on to the plaza in front of the new City Hall where a noontime free concert was going on. Tasty Thursdays attract even more people to the Plaza for lunch from of the many food stands that are here during the summer at lunchtime on Thursdays selling a wide variety of dishes, all priced at no more than $7 per serving. Most of the foods were Ethnic, providing a wonderful opportunity to try new and different cuisines.

Walking around Toronto, I was amazed at the number of different languages I heard spoken. Even in Jarka's neighborhood, on a warm evening, it seemed that the conversations in every neighbor's back yards was a different language. Toronto may be even more of a melting pot than San Francisco.

For our Tasty Thursdays lunch, we both chose Malaysian food, a Chicken Mertha Bak for Jarka and a Vegetable Mertha Bak for me.

We know nothing about Malaysian dishes but were intrigued by these prepared-to-order stuffed crepe-like creations. We were pleased with our tasty selections.

We enjoyed our al fresco lunch while listening to the music of the day's featured group, The Abrams Brothers.

Our next destination was Yorkville, a part of Toronto that I particularly remembered enjoying from my last visit 7 years ago. Yorkvillle has lots of unique restaurants and shops.

Throughout my visit it was very hot, with daytime temperatures well into the 80s and, by the end of my stay, over 100 degrees. I was walking in sandals that, because of the heat, were starting to blister my bare feet.

Once in Yorkville, I made an emergency stop at the Lululemon shop to purchase pair of socks which I put on immediately in the store. Not exactly a fashion statement, but my feet appreciated the socks.

To further cool off,we stopped for drinks on the patio of a place called Hemingway's

Our final stop of the day was the Bata Shoe Museum. On Thursdays, after 5 pm there is free admission..a donation suggested. Jarka is Czech and told me that Mr. Bata was also Czech. The Bata Shoe Company was founded in 1894 by Tomas Bata Her father worked for Mr. Bata as a "Bata Man." The company is said to have been very paternalistic to its employees and the communities where its factories were located. The Canadian connection dates back to 1939 when the founder's son, Thomas J. Bata moved to Canada, in anticipation of World War II to establish the Bata Shoe Company of Canada.

We enjoyed several hours, viewing exhibits of shoes through the ages. My favorite gallery was the one dedicated to the Roaring Twenties.

For all my shoe-loving friends, I'm including this photo of a Louis Vuitton shoe trunk which ladies of the era took along when they traveled, assuring that they had the appropriate shoe for every occasion.

My next few posts will be about other outings in and around Toronto.


Jarka said...

My belief is that to feel a soul of the city one has to walk it – and so we did a lot of that. The best thing was discovering the little parks, statues, and points of interest one usually doesn’t know about from tourist guides. Another great thing was to mingle and experience a new summer event, such as Tasty Thursdays. Of course, who you are with matters, and I enjoyed your company very much, Beverly. We had fun.

Sally said...

I am about to visit Toronto and I am looking for some unique gourmet places to try there. I am glad to find out about many interesting unusual restaurants in Toronto. The city seems to be a paradise for foodies, I am excited to take a gourmet tour around there, nice tips, I'll definitely check Yorkville, thanks!