Lazy Sunday in Toronto

Posted: August 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

Am writing this in Toronto where I had one of those near-perfect days. I’m up here to get my daughter settled into university – my talented eldest Jessica will be studying Fine Arts at the Ontario College of Art & Design, since you ask – but before we started rushing around sorting out accommodation, banks, etc., I found myself with that rare gift of a glorious summer Sunday without kids, obligations and absolutely nothing to do, nowhere that I had to be.

With Jessica having been at school in Toronto for the past three years, I’ve come to love the city and its neighbourhoods – and even its hopeless  MLS team – and I wanted to explore an area I didn’t know well. So I took myself off to The Beach area and stumbled upon the Tommy Thompson Park. This is a conservation project in progress, a former dump and landfill site that is restoring valuable wetlands to the Toronto lakeshore. It is only open on weekends and public holidays so I lucked out. In addition to seeing Torontonians of all ages taking to their bikes and roller blades along the pathways, I saw red-tailed hawk and numerous other birdlife. I walked for nearly two hours along the spit of land that offers a very different perspective on the city skyline, an oasis amid Toronto’s urban sprawl. After the humidity of a Bermuda August it felt good to take off my short and feel a warm breeze without dripping in sweat.

Back at the car park I got chatting to a local rollerblader and asked about somewhere for lunch. She recommended the Nevada on Queen Street East which turned out to be the perfect spot for a leisurely brunch of warm spinach salad with goat’s cheese followed by an excellent seafood linguine washed down with cappuccino and fresh orange juice.  I spent a happy hour wandering in and out of the funky stores along Queen Street before heading back to my friend’s house for a nap and then headed downtown to catch a movie – I was in  the mood for something mindless and Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller’s grossed-out pisstake of Hollywood fitted the bill (worth seeing for Robert Downey Jr and Tom Cruise alone). After that, the indulgence of a browse and late-night shopping in the nearby Chapters followed by a Starbucks latte and a slice of orange cake to round off the day.

I haven’t had a lazy Sunday city day to myself like that in years. It was nothing special but it was one of those days where I felt perfectly content and de-stressed and at ease in my own company. Not even the parking ticket I got on Queen Street could spoil the day.

Mmm … I see TFC  are at home on Saturday, the Film Festival starts Thursday and two of my heroes, Oasis and Paul Weller, are playing the V Festival on Sunday. I wonder if I could wangle an extra couple of days ….

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