*Photo dilemma solved thanks to genius friend who is not as Internet deficient as I.*
I wanted to begin my recap of Toronto by listing funny facts about this metropolis; however, it appears there aren't any funny or fun facts about this great big city.
Wouldn't it have been a great ice breaker if my number one funny and fun fact is that Toronto is home to the most streaking related deaths, every year?
I consider this a plausible possible fact because Toronto does have national hockey, baseball, basketball and football teams, and everyone knows that people streak at major sporting events. Therefore, Toronto could be the home of the most streaking related deaths every year because the streakers, after running off the field/rink/court and out into the great big world, could die of hypothermia considering how frigid a Toronto winter can be. Surely I can't be the only one who thinks this makes perfect sense?
Alas, there were no funny or fun facts to be found. Instead, the City of Toronto website considers it interesting to tell me how many cubic metres of water are consumed yearly (why do I care about this?) or how many traffic lights there are (snore) or the fact that people who live in Toronto are called 'Torontonians' (duh, you're kidding?).
Therefore it is a very good thing that I personally got to spend time in this beautiful city to let you all know that it is MUCH more interesting than the official website leads you to believe. It's also very helpful if you happen to be staying with an awesome friend who has the inside scoop on her home city.
Sarah is a Torontonian, recently returned after having spent a number of years in little, decent-clothes-shopping-is-an-urban-myth, Kamloops.
I don't know how she did it, but after returning to Toronto Sarah was able to refrain from dropping to her knees and weeping tears of gratitude at the entrance to that spiritual mecca otherwise known as Anthropologie.
I was not so composed.
I mean, you guys, if any of you happen to dabble in and enjoy that high energy sport known as retail therapy, get your a$$ to Toronto. Your wallet will hate you, but your closet will love you.
And that's basically all I have to say about Toronto.
P.S. Okay, fine Sarah did actually manage to get me to see some Toronto sights other than the inside of an Anthropologie, or Banana Republic, or Roots, or Urban Outfitters, or MEC, or.... I could go on and on. The shopping you guys, the shopping!
Anyhow, the only expectation I had for Toronto is that I really wanted to see the CN Tower: that giant needle in the sky.
And it didn't disappoint.
When I first saw the tower Sarah and I were on the streetcar, right down by the water. I instantly got all touristy, and started exclaiming, "There it is! There it is! Photo op, photo op!" Then Sarah had to watch my back to make sure nobody shanked the tourist.
Kidding, kidding. Toronto was very safe.
(Except for this one time when I was waiting for Sarah to use the facilities in this mall that connected us to the subway system, and I was sitting in the food court and realized...this is sort of sketchy. There were only three operational food stands in that food court--the rest were closed down--and where I come from that means you're either in a struggling little town or you're in a weird neighbourhood. We were in downtown Toronto, so take your pick...)
Now even though the CN Tower doesn't dominate its sky in the same way the (shorter and wider) Eiffel Tower does, it is almost more impressive. I'm not sure how to describe this, so I can only say get to Paris, then Toronto, and do your own comparison. As Sarah and I meandered towards the giant tower I just kept uttering, wow. My vocabulary was completely stunted and that was really the only word I could use to describe how awesome it felt to see the CN Tower in person.
Once inside, you can shop at the cheesy gift shop or you could be like me and get your photo taken with the Mountie Moose!
Oh Canada, I love you.
Of course, once inside you probably actually want to just get up the tower and see the sights, which we did. And you better not have motion sickness, because we ascended something like 60 stories in under a minute. I felt queasy, but not as queasy as when we stood on the glass floor.
Welcome to the terrifying psychological thriller known as The Glass Floor.
(side note: isn't Sarah crazy photogenic?)
When I heard about the glass floor, I was all "Bring it on bitch!" I did not think that I was going to be in least bit terrified because logically I knew that the floor is crazy thick, that it's a floor, and that lastly--it's a floor of supreme engineering. What's to be scared of?
Then I actually stood on the damn thing and all logic went right through the...floor, where I was convinced I too was going. It doesn't matter how much mental steeling you do, the act of standing on a glass floor and staring 350 metres down at the ant hill world below is f-cking terrifying.
My enthusiasm was briefly stalled until I made it back onto 'solid' ground. But I wouldn't say that my CN Tower psychological scare ended there. Oh no it didn't. You see, you can also walk the outside perimeter of the viewing platform. And when I say 'walk' I really mean 'get blown around by hurricane winds'.
Yeah. Scary. I think an entire layer of epidermis was ripped from face by that icy wind.
So to summarize, the CN Tower should be a ride at Disneyland: at first it appears all magical and makes you believe that dreams really do come true, but then you ascend the peak and you start shivering and crying because MICKEY LIED TO YOU: would the most magical place on earth rip a layer of skin off your face or have you believe you're going to fall to your death? I think not.
After descending, I had to enter the warm comforting arms of Mountain Equipment Co-op just regain some mental peace before we did more sight seeing.
To be continued....