a city with over 5 million residents seem open and uncrowded?
It can if it's Toronto. Canada's largest metropolitan area
is without a doubt urban, yet the feel is neither hectic nor
claustrophobic. Toronto's city planners were careful to include
open and green spaces in the waterfront and surrounding business
district, lending the city it's unique feel.
with this unconfined spirit, Toronto is remarkably bicycle friendly.
The city has about three hundred miles of bike paths and by 2011
that amount will more than double. Lake Ontario's
makes up a part of these. Running all the way from Niagara-on-the-Lake
to the Quebec border, the trail passes directly through Toronto's
Toronto is very
much an international city with a huge variety of cultures represented.
About half of the residents were not born in Canada -- creating
a culinary jackpot and we couldn't resist eating our way through.
An appy crawl had to be done.
We began our savoring and cycling adventure by picking up The Waterfront
Trail at The Beaches Park just east of downtown. For the first few
miles, we pedaled along the water on a wildflower strewn trail before entering the bustle of the
city's main waterfront. Ferries and tourist boats line the
docks while incredible apartments that look like the decks
of cruise ships mix with shops and
chose a perfect spot for a brief rest, a spot of refreshment
and a relaxing nibble. Wallymagoo's has cornered THE prime
location in Toronto's waterfront. Even though the Great Lakes
are fresh water, something certainly
seemed right about having oysters and shrimp while sitting on the
dock of the bay. We were careful not to fill up, as there was more
appy crawling to be
are several parks along the the waterfront, our favorite being
The Music Garden conceived by celebrated cellist Yo Yo Ma
and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. The landscaped
interpretation of Bach's First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello
is a journey through the music with dances
from Spain, Germany, France and England represented in the gardens.
In the evenings, The Summer Music in the Garden Series hosts performers
over the world.
riding through the park, it was time for the second leg of
our appy crawl. Sticking with our seafood theme, we choose
Oyshi Sushi, nestled in the heart of downtown. Sitting at
the sushi bar, we marveled at the beauty of the chef's creations.
No detail was missed. Our
fare was just as delicious as it looked, some of the best sushi
we've had. The salmon was melt-in-your-mouth and buttery, the roe
the roll exquisite...oh yeah, and a seafood soup with life changing
properties. Toronto was turning into quite a town for us Foodies.
skyline is completely dominated by the CN Tower, billed a Canada's
Wonder of the World. All day it had been looming over us, taunting
us, perhaps even challenging us. We had to scale it.
to serve as a radio and TV communication platform in 1975,
at just over 1,815 feet to the top of its antenna, it was
the world's tallest free standing structure. The Tower held
this title for over 30 years. It has since been dethroned
but this is of little
consequence as you are zooming up in an elevator with a glass floor.
Who thinks up these things?
stop, 113 stories up. The Tower is fully surrounded by windows
offering a full panoramic aerial view of the Toronto and Lake
We leisurely finished our appy crawl at 360, the Tower's restaurant,
home of the world's highest wine cellar (changing the definition
of "cellar," perhaps?). We indulged in the Bruschetta
Three Ways, the first olive, second artichoke tapenade with
pesto, and last an eggplant, caper and rosemary oil. Delicious --
gives new meaning to getting high and getting the munchies.
fortified, we felt strong enough to gaze down through another
glass floor. Tween-aged boys were showing their bravado racing
around, performing gymnastics and mugging for their nauseous
parents' cameras while an infant crawled across the two inch
thick glass without
a care in the world.
We found it harder to be so cavalier stepping out on to a transparent
floor a quarter mile up in the air. It
goes directly contrary to
all of the signals that the eyes are sending to the brain. It also
makes the stomach feel somewhat unhappy. We made our way gingerly
out on to the glass. It was worth the experience but even now, we
get a little queasy just thinking about it. Still, we obviously
hadn't had enough since we continued our journey up another 33 floors
to the Sky Pod.
Pod does not feature see-through floors (praise God!) but
the windows face downward enough to bring on the vertigo.
They also bring on a truly spectacular view. We were graced
with a beautiful sunny day so we could see all of the way
across Lake Ontario, over
a hundred miles. While we were taking in the entire panorama, some
water rolled off of the roof and ran past the windows. Luckily neither
of us are acrophobic because I have to say,
there was something
really, really freaky about watching the drops fall 1,500 feet.
We decided it was time to get our feet back on the ground.
our way back into The United States the customs agent asked
us why we had stopped in Toronto. Caught a little off guard
and being a sarcastic bastard at heart, David
replied because it was there. That earned us a quick
shake down and search. Those zany customs folks just don't have
any sense of humor,
Maybe we should
have told him the real best reason to stop in Toronto is because
David & Veronica,