We’d been a little nervous about visiting Toronto in November because, well, it can get cold and rainy. But we lucked out! Our first day here was quite beautiful, with mostly blue skies. In contrast to what we left behind in San Carlos, which was colder, windier and damper.
We started off our explorations by visiting the CN Tower. Which, while very touristy, is something you just must do, at least the first time you visit Toronno (the second T is silent, unless you’re from out of town). We splurged an extra $10 each to be able to go up to the topmost observation nacelle (33 floors above the main observation deck). Here’s what the Tower looks like from ground level:
The elevator ride up was…interesting. Mostly in that it quickly induced acrophobia1 in each of us (and that was just looking out the windows, not through the observation portals built into the floor you stand on). Riding up the outside of a building is a lot harder than riding up the inside!
But the views were worth it! Here’s downtown Toronto, looking west:
Buffalo, where we are headed next, was lost in the mists to the south/southwest:
We chickened out of going up to the higher “observation nacelle”, though. Another 33 floors seemed a bit too much of a good thing…particularly after Barbara read about how you can feel the nacelle move/flex in the wind. Besides, with the exchange rate2 where it is we only ended up wasting $15 of what Texans call “real money”.
After leaving the Tower we hiked over through Union Station to catch the subway up to the Royal Ontario Museum. Which was filled with so much interesting stuff that it’s getting its own, separate post.
The subway was impressive! Very quiet — I wonder if they use what I think of as the “French approach” of rubberized wheels? — and quite a bit wider than the NYC subways I’m used to. The train is also open throughout its length, like a multi-part bus, which is a little disconcerting at first:
We headed back to where we’re staying through Queen’s Park, which had a bunch of trees in all their fall glory:
Every time I see autumn foliage, particularly the flaming red colored ones, I remember how much I miss getting to experience them. I love the Mediterranean climate of coastal California…but one does have to give up some glories in order to avoid the nasty winters and summers from places like the northeast, where I grew up.
We also got to walk through part of the University of Toronto campus:
I’m not sure what the buildings where classes are held look like. But if they’re anything like this main administration building, going to class would be a neat experience!
Overall, we couldn’t have wished for a better first day in a new (to us) city. We even managed to grab a wonderfully tasty dinner in a neat little Chinatown restaurant!