Even though I’ve visited Toronto countless times, I always look forward to each new trip. So when I found out that this favorite haunt was in my work future, just the thought of traveling there made returning to the nine-to-five world attractive. I couldn’t wait to start so I could get on the plane.
In addition to seeing family and friends, I’d be staying downtown – something I hadn’t done since my days at university when I’d crash at my aunt’s and roam the city for hours. I had done that so often, I felt I knew that part of Toronto like the back of my hand.
Time has changed the entire downtown façade now and nothing is how I remember it but I was eager to see if I could find something that I recognized, something I could share with my aunt, who returned to live in the UK more than 20 years ago.
Unfortunately, the trip that I envisioned did not materialize. I’ll tell you why: the weather. The temperature went up and down about as often as the elevator in my hotel. When they started talking snow, I was ready to pack my bags for someplace warm. Believe me, I was not happy.
The bright spot during the trip was my hotel, 1 King West. Located in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, it is close to my office, the Eaton Center, the Bay and Yonge-Dundas Square. And from my suite on the 31st floor, I had an unobstructed panoramic view of the city.
I saw the sun as it broke the horizon in the mornings painting the sky streaks of red, then in the evenings as it slipped quietly away, giving space to millions of beads of streetlights and headlights to try to match its luminosity.
I spent the first few evenings just looking at the sunset. When I finally made it to the Eaton Center, Toronto’s largest mall, I was so overwhelmed by its 330 stores, I wanted everything and nothing. Nothing jumped out at me and I walked out without buying a pin.
Realizing the mood I was in, I gave up and followed the signs to the extensive food court on the lower level and let my nose take over. I settled for an Indian dish of chicken curry that actually sounded and had a better aroma than taste. But get this, they served it on real plates! I opted for real silverware too. Plastic is also available. Unfortunately, most of my meal went into the garbage.
As I walked back to the hotel, I tried to remember Yonge Street as it was during my early visits. Except for the name, I could have been in any city anywhere. I should take some photos for Auntie, I thought. But where would I start?
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Linking up this week with Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.