Down by the water

Sunday was anything but a day of rest. Glen had slept for 12 hours the night before, battling a fever, so woke up feeling better than he had in a couple of days. In comparison, I slept terribly and had a tension headache when I woke. I think it’s the pillows. They’re uncomfortable.

I wanted to check out the Distillery District in the morning, which is down towards the waterfront to the left of where we are. After a week here, the meaning of walking distance has stretched. What looked like a long way on the map only a few days ago is now easy to get to. I think it has something to do with the city being laid out on a grid.

Lady on a ladybug.
Lady on a ladybug.

So we took the walk down Jarvis and then Front and along a park. It was about 9am and there were barely any people about. The biggest group was outside the St Lawrence Markets as there’s an antique/second-hand sale there every Sunday. The rest of the walk down to the Distillery District was pleasant. There was a park with a ladybug swing-seat thing in it which I coaxed Glen into riding.

The Distillery District is an old style area. Formerly a distillery (who would have thought it), the district “represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.” It’s a bit like Fremantle with his refurbished and very clean historic buildings and plethora of art galleries and restaurants/bars/pubs. We were there a little early, with only a few people around and one art display open. There was an outdoor display of Zimbabwean (inspired?) sculpture underneath this large metal sculpture that looked like something from War of the Worlds.

The area is very atmospheric with its cobbled footpaths. No cars allowed down here which makes it even nicer. The Toronto Jazz Festival has a couple of free stages  there too but being so early nothing was playing. The size of the alfresco areas of some of the restaurants intimated that the place must get packed in the afternoon and evening. We’ll definitely be back to check it out.

Next was the long trek to the Harbourfront Centre. This was within walking distance, about half an hour or so, but the heat was rising and the forecast rain and clouds were keeping away. Also, we walked along the waterfront (or just back from it because you can’t get down too close) so there was little to no shade the whole way. It was a really nice walk as you go past a lot of industrial type buildings, parking lots and fenced off areas. It’s kind of like the port area of Fremantle.

We eventually got towards something of interest. It was the Waterfront Festival this weekend, as well as the bicentennial of the War of 1812, between the US and the British Empire which took place on land and sea, most notably at the border between Canada and the US. There was a bunch of tall ships docked on the lake for people to go aboard, as well as a giant inflatable beaver. We listened to parents negotiating with their children.

More walking through stalls, up towards the Harbourfront. The place is just heaving with people, what with it being a bright summer’s day and so much going on in this area. I was impressed to learn that the Harbourfront Centre is a charity and it owns that part of the waterfront and operates it as a free public space for Toronto. Talk about doing something for the public good.

We went into the Power Plant, which is a large contemporary art museum. There was an exhibition called Postscript which featured a number of works on conceptual writing. Some very cool and large pieces though, none of which I really had a clue about, but I liked them for how they looked. There was a wall of megaphones/bell speakers each emitting a phrase of gibberish. On another wall was a long piece of text from a battle, stretching around the corner, the letters all packed together which, to me, gave the impression of the battle, it’s crowdedness. There was a red telephone with a sign that said to pick up the receiver and follow the instructions but when you did so the only sound was a bird’s call.

It was while we were looking at the art that I received a message to say that our offer on the apartment had been accepted but we needed to print of the agreement, sign it and return it by 2pm. We asked a guide at the art gallery if there was anywhere that could print and scan nearby and she suggested FedEx Kinkos. A quick search revealed one only a block or two away, which was convenient, and it was open too. So we got there, printed the document, signed it, scanned and returned it. This place only charged us about $1.50, whereas the other one was about $4. Economies of scale I suppose.

So the offer has been accepted. We will no longer be homeless and we can move in this Friday. With that out of the way, we’re now free to argue about furniture. Glen and I have very different ideas on what we’d like to live with so a compromise and calm voices are needed (or else maybe a bullet). It’ll turn out all right in the end.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up looking at the rest of the Harbourfront, including in a very cool gift/homewares store, and going to the bank to get the necessary documents and insurance for us to move in. We also walked the very long way back home. The humidity and the heat, combined with the disagreements about furniture and style, made it less than enjoyable. We walked past the Rogers Centre (a big sports stadium), where the Toronto Blue Jays were playing. The dome was open so you could hear the roaring and cheering from the fans. They had their eleventh straight win. Go Blue Jays!

In the evening we had dinner with Pauline, who’s from Toronto but we met in Perth. We went to a soul/jazz restaurant called Joe Mama’s, which is in a pretty trendy part of town. It was really muggy so all three of us were uncomfortable from the heat. Plus the waitress was slack in bringing us water (we had to ask three times and the third time she didn’t return), the music was too loud for a conversation, Pauline got the wrong meal and Glen’s food was dry. BUT I liked the place and it was somewhere different. Apparently it’s really good for a drink and a dance later in the evening.

We then went in search for bubble tea and had to settle for something less than bubble tea but the walk and the tea gave us more time to chat. We also arranged a couple of catch-ups for the weekend and next week. We’re also going to IKEA together on Thursday as Pauline’s moving into her place about the same time as us. Exciting times ahead.

6 Replies to “Down by the water”

  1. To Uncle Glen – I love you on that ladybird. I like you because I love you. Are you hsving a great time on your trip? Love Katelyn xxx


      1. missing you guys too. Katelyn to say Katelyn and Jess were very excited to Glen on the giant lady bug would be an understatement!


    1. Hi Katelyn,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Yes, we are having a great time, as you can see by my joyous expression while stuck on the ladybug. It was too small for my feet and I almost twisted an ankle trying to get into it. Also, after a few violent throws back and forth I felt like being sick. Still, it was fun.
      Love Uncle Glen.


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