Chinatown, Little Italy and house hunting

We still haven’t got a handle on the sleep thing. We managed to sleep through most of the night but woke at 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So we lounged around at home for a bit, had some home-cooked porridge, went to the gym, then ate some eggs. Almost feels like home and a bit like our old routine. Can’t wait until we get a place of our own and can get back into the swing of things. A Thermomix will help too.

Glen needed to go to the hospital to hand in some more pieces of paper, which was good as it meant he got to introduce himself to a couple of the admin ladies who look after the fellows. We also got to see Joy, who is a current fellow from Perth, and she gave us some tips on restaurants and travel and making sure we don’t skimp on buying a really, really good winter coat. It’s a bit hard to imagine when today has been another stunning summer’s day. I’m not usually one to gush over beauteous weather but the past couple of days have been something else. (Sacrilege, I know, when I come from Perth.)

Glen enjoying his first Canadian yum cha.
Glen enjoying his first Canadian yum cha.

Following one of Joy’s suggestions, we headed into Chinatown (we found it this time and realised that we were really close the other day. If we’d just continued down a street instead of turning left, we would have hit it). It was only 10:30 but we were already hungry so we went looking for yum cha. Joy’s recommendation wasn’t open yet so we went to Rosewood, which has yum cha starting from 9am (if you can believe it). It was pretty busy and filled mostly with Chinese people (a good sign). We ordered from a list (no trolleys here) and the food came. We ordered about seven dishes and the bill came to less than $25. Talk about cheap yum cha. Glen says we can go there again.

After eating we waddled further into Chinatown and then took a turn into Little Italy (still can’t say it properly). Both Chinatown and Little Italy were so different from the built-up Downtown area only a few streets away. The tallest buildings were only three or four storeys high so it all felt a lot more open. We liked Little Italy’s feel but consider it a bit too far from where we want to be so living there isn’t an option. However, there is a streetcar (not tram, as we learnt) that goes down the middle of it so we’ll be regular visitors.

We caught a streetcar to get back to near our accommodation. A really pleasant ride and all for the cost of a token (about $3). Might take the streetcar more often.

I thought that while we were in Little Italy we might see a proper espresso coffee bar as “real” coffee has been very hard to find. Alas, we didn’t see one (not that I really care as I don’t drink coffee but Glen – and dad, when he comes – does and it’d be nice if there was somewhere he could go for the good stuff), however, not two streets away from our accommodation is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall espresso bar called Rise Espresso. We quickly poked our head in and saw they had an espresso machine. Hallelujah!

We didn’t buy a coffee straight away but on our way back out again to look at apartments for rent, we went in. The guy made Glen a latte and we said how hard it was to find espresso-style coffee in the city. He said they were the only one in this part of the city (and I got the impression that meant most of the area). He gave us a loyalty card and we said we’d be back. I don’t think he expected it to be two hours later but we did on our way home from viewings. Glen joked that he’d be late for work each day because he’d have to trek so far to get his coffee.

Looking for an apartment. There's one!
Me looking for an apartment. There’s one!

We looked at two properties this afternoon. One I found and the other Glen found. They were both in good locations and had plusses and minuses. Unfortunately, for me, the minuses (shape of the bedroom, colours of the walls, lack of proper curtains to blot out the sun, not a fully equipped gym, size of the rooms) outweighed the positives (location, view, good sized and equipped kitchen) so I doubt we’ll put in for either of them.

One of the apartments was near Victoria University and that whole area, which is near Queens Park as well, is stunning and green. The architecture is wonderful as well. Wouldn’t mind walking through there again.

We’ve got a bunch of other apartments to look at (hopefully soon) and a new place we want to see next week. The hunt continues.

Toronto School of Theology, Victoria University, near Queen's Park.
Toronto School of Theology, Victoria University, near Queen’s Park.

2 Replies to “Chinatown, Little Italy and house hunting”

  1. It’s so fascinating to read about you exploring Toronto! I miss the place. And yes, it is hard to find espresso coffee. Victoria University is part of the University of Toronto.

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