Toronto: Revisiting a Favorite Haunt

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.

Toronto: Revisiting a Favorite Haunt
My suite at 1 King West

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?

Further Reading:

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Linking up this week with Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.


13 comments on “Toronto: Revisiting a Favorite Haunt

  1. It’s a shame your trip didn’t quite work out as planned – but the views from the hotel look amazing! I find a decent (or not) place to stay can make or break a trip, and seeing sunsets and sunrises like that would have been a definite plus for me!

  2. Enjoyed your writing. I loved Toronto, but stayed away from shopping centres and headed to Chinatown, Little India and Bloor Street.

  3. Sounds like this trip didn’t turn out the way you envisioned it would – what a shame. The weather has been particularly uncooperative in most of Canada this spring.
    I also get overwhelmed by the Eaton Center and only go if there is one specific thing I need. Too bad you din’t have time to wander around Kensington Market. That would have cheered you up.

  4. I’m sorry that your trip to my home town turned out like it did. It was a terrible winter (I was away for all of it), otherwise I could have taken you around.

  5. Those sunrise/sunset views are gorgeous! I am sorry to hear the weather played spoilsport, really frustrating when that happens, also the dinner, what a pity to have a nice aroma coupled with a poor taste. The suite looks very comfortable and warm though.

  6. Too bad your visit wasn’t quite as you had hoped, but I will agree that the view from your hotel room is fantastic. I went to university in Houston, and it has changed a lot since my days there. It’s also been interesting that how I interact with the city changes with each stage of my life. I remember wishfully thinking how it would have been wonderful if the newly built shopping center had been there when I was in university. Then, I realized that I would not have been able to afford anything there during my student days.

  7. I loved this take on Toronto Marcia. You’ve managed to find some bright spots although the trip down ‘Memory Lane’ wasn’t as much fun as the memories you have of the earlier time. I can relate to weather fluxuations as well – I’ve gone from wearing long johns 24 hours a day to shorts here in Greece and then back to the long johns. . .not normal everyone says (and they say it everywhere we’ve gone in the last year!)

  8. I didn’t realize you had such a Canadian connection. Are you moving to Toronto permanently?
    Sorry to hear that your stay was a bit of a bust. Spring in Canada really can be a matter of luck! I’ve spent a lot of time in Toronto as well. It’s been a while though, so, like you, I’m sure I’d see a lot of changes.

    Your photos of the night skyline are lovely.

    Thanks for linking up to Travel Photo Thursday this week!

  9. What a great place to stay in Toronto. I’m glad you were able to return and get reacquainted with the city. I was only there for a few days and I’d love to explore more. Your sunrise and sunset shots are just beautiful, Marcia. I feel the same way about huge malls. It’s too overwhelming! Hope you had a fun visit despite being there for work.

  10. Sorry about the food going to the bin but those views from your suite, they are just superb! I too would have just stared at the sunset, those streaks of light red and pink!! Beautiful post Marcia 🙂

  11. Hi Marcia, isn’t it said that the place you have fond memories of just “vanished”? I have favorite haunts while I was still living in Manila, but those places are now completely rebuilt with no traces of how it was in my memory. It’s sad when I visit knowing that the places I missed most no longer exist.
    At least you got to stay at a beautiful hotel that afforded your panoramic views of the city. Those sunrise view would definitely make my day.

  12. You’re welcome, Nancie. I did undergrad in Canada and lived there for several years after I graduated. Not moving back, unfortunately, but I’ll be visiting from time to time until the project I’m working on is complete.

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