I’m going to Toronto this weekend. I haven’t been since November, before my surgery. I love Toronto. I think I’m supposed to hate it, but I don’t. I love that you can get a really good falafel pretty much anywhere. There’s used CD stores all over the place, and yarn shops. Romni Wools is in Toronto. Tortilla Flats for chimichangas and ridiculous drinks like Killer Koolaid. Royal Falafel. Lettuce Knit. Global Cheese. Kensington Market. The ROM. The World’s Biggest Bookstore. Ikea, my love, have you missed me?
I lived in Toronto for eight years, from 1982 – 1990, university and beyond. I moved there from Bracebridge where I grew up. We used to go to Toronto on the train, catching it outside the Albion Hotel at five o’clock in the morning (thanks Kim for the reminder) in the freezing cold, because there was no train station. Pulling into Union Station, big bustling stinky Union Station just at rush hour. Then, to the Eaton Centre, and a tour up and down Yonge Street. Orange Julius (which we didn’t have in Bracebridge). They’d put a raw egg in for you in those days, it was the best. Morningstar for beautiful clothing. Ragnarokr leather goods. All the Hungarian restaurants on Bloor Street. Tiger’s Coconut Grove in the market. The Bamboo Club. Larry’s Hideway. Frieda and I sang at Larry’s Hideaway, before it burned down, whadda dump, but an endearing, filthy, lovely, dangerous dump. Mars Restaurant on College Street, is it still there? I don’t know.
When I first moved to Peterborough, I worked for a lawyer who shall remain nameless because I have nothing nice to say about him. It wasn’t Alan, Alan was great to work for, it was the one before that. He fancied himself the Atticus Finch of Peterborough, regardless of the fact that he had neither wisdom nor Cary Grant’s looks. Bit of a fool. He told me I didn’t know how to deal with “Peterborough folk”, coming from the big bad city. I reminded him that I was born and raised in a town 1/4 of the size, and perhaps they didn’t know how to deal with a hick like me.
I AM a hick. The subway still amazes me. I am constantly looking up when surrounded by tall buildings. I trust pretty much everyone. I smile at people, I say good morning to people. I don’t care, I think that’s how it should be.
I am going to Toronto this weekend, to visit my older son Connor. He is in Toronto, and it is a good place. Except for Rob Ford. Why’d y’all go and elect that jackass?