Monday, September 26, 2011


9-26-11 vacation brain
As I spend time with Greg in Ohio visiting his family, Ann will fill in a few days...... and who knows I might even post from the road one day this week.
PS: Greg and I were in Toronto 10 years ago and these pictures make me want to go back.

Canada or Bust, Eh?

I know a lot of you have been to Canada, but have you really been to Canada? Yes, yes, I know a lot of you go for the “amazing fishing” but the major cities have so much to offer. Say like, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

My Canadian connection goes back to the 70’s when my Uncle Frank moved to Mississauga/Toronto (from Trinidad). Since Trinidad has British ties, entry may have been easier back in the day. With 5.5 million living in the GTA, it is one of the most multicultural areas in the world and I can attest to that. Mississauga is one of the cities, with a diverse mix of people. In addition, it has a new claim to fame with the Absolute Towers (5 buildings). The newest towers are 50 and 56 floors tall and the tall tower is nicknamed “Marilyn Monroe”, I wonder why? These buildings are gorgeous, that is if you like buildings.

Over the last few years, I’ve renewed my love for this city and the annual Caribbean festival “Cariabana”. This year I added a few more sights to get accomplished in six days. Daily, I made the drive to Toronto although I really did want to take the train in from Mississauga. Traffic was a nightmare and what would you expect from a city of 5.5 million. The value of mass transit cannot be understated. Some travel 2 hours to get to work (bus to train to subway then back to bus).

I made three trips to Chinatown and I am amazed at the people, the food and their shops. I got caught up at a movie shoot in Chinatown and stood in the drizzle for two hours, just people watching. I forget now who was in the move, but it was so much fun to watch.

I got down to the CN Tower, St Lawrence Market and got a nice shot of their version of the “flatiron” building. I drove up and down the streets of Toronto, in-between, cars/cycles/bikes/electric trams, crazy just crazy.

Then there’s Casa Loma, house on the hill (overlooking the city of Toronto). I’ve been wanting to tour this house-like castle for a long time. Built by Sir Henry Pellat in 1911, it was the largest private home in Canada, boasting 98 rooms, with a cost of $3.5 million dollars to build. And like all good things, he had to leave his dream home due to financial woes in 1923. Today, the Kiwanis Club operates the home. Let me tell you, it’s a beautiful home with lush gardens. Touring the house reminded me of the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC (250 rooms) and many of the castles in Europe.

Other than the sightseeing, I enjoyed spending time with Uncle Frank (mom’s brother), Aunt Sheila and my cousins. They are great people, always welcoming me. Aunt Sheila is an amazing lady, street smart for sure, and what a cook. If I lived at her house, I’d never eat out. Of the many things I wanted to buy, I bought 50 pounds of rice. Don’t ask me why, just can’t pass up a good deal. (Aunt Sheila and g’daughter Bella)


Up next, the pre-festival activities and the big A$$ parade. If only I looked this good.

Chat Later,

That Girl, Ann Marie

1 comment:

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