01 Aug - 29 Aug 2010 Toronto

People's Republic of Canada
Golden Horseshoe
Family’s/friends’ safe houses and apartments
Many thanks to Ulrike & Chris, Francoise & Zach, Brenda, Brix & Chris.

Visiting our two awesome grandsons Raoni and Tien (and their wonderful parents Ulrike & Chris; many thanks for being the most perfect hosts) in Toronto/Ontario (“Yours to Discover”), exploring together the well-maintained playgrounds (our bilateral favourites: Hillcrest Park, Wychwood Barns and Wells Hill Park) and well-stocked ice-cream parlours (our bilateral favourites: the cool Big Chill in Little Italy, the cozy Dutch Dreams Cafe +14166566959 and the dead reliable McDonalds) in their Hillcrest Village neighbourhood and having a great time together, thus refreshing, re-energising and revitalising ourselves with the help of the coming generations and with Tim Hortons' cheappuccinos.

Exploring downtown Toronto (“The City within a Park”), discovering how parks, gardens and streetscapes link downtown’s historic, commercial and entertainment districts and ticking off Toronto’s famous landmarks: (i) Toronto City Hall and Old Toronto City Hall, (ii) St. James Cathedral, (iii) St. Lawrence Market, (iv) Union Station and (v) the tall CN Tower.

Celebrating our number-one grandson Raoni’s 4th birthday with a family trip to Ward’s Island, the most Eastern of the jewel-like Toronto Islands which were once an immense sandbar, stretching 9km out into Lake Ontario, and teaching our bold number-two grandson Tien how to explore Canada's waterworld.

Hiking, together with number-one grandson Raoni, the signposted and well-organised self-guided Discovery Walks of Toronto: (i) Western Ravines and Beaches with High Park, Grenadier Pond and the new Humber River Bridge, (ii) Garrison Creek with Christie Pits, Trinity Bellwoods Park and the 1793 CE Fort York, (iii) Eastern Ravines and Beaches with Glen Stewart Park, Kew Gardens and Woodbine Beach Park, (iv) Northern Ravines and Gardens with Burke Brook, Alexander Muir Memorial Gardens and Sherwood Park and (v) Belt Line Linear Park along the route of the 1890s Belt Line commuter steam railway which once circled the City.

Enjoying, together with number-one grandson Raoni, the most spectacular views of Toronto and Lake Ontario from the 447m-high sky pod of the Canadian National Tower (admission: C$ 31.60 per adult, children under four [!] free of charge), the world’s tallest tower (553 m high), and getting goose-bumps on the famous glass floor at 342 m above the ground.

Joining the crowds of good-natured, mostly overweight ("Americanized bodies") and always politically-correct Torontonians at the Toronto Busker Fest and enjoying spectacular performances by jugglers, escapologists, songsters and many others in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

Bidding farewell to our dear family, travelling with the help of the Toronto Transit Commission (for only C$ 2.- per senior citizen) to the airport and then flying uneventfully with Icelandair in modern Boeings 757-200 from Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport via Reykjavik (a short stopover at Keflavik International Airport) to London’s Heathrow Airport for all inclusive US$ 449.-, one-way, per person (and “losing” one day of our lives).

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