Toronto was the first city we "dated." We were honorary Canadians during the 2016 Presidential Election and watched our absentee ballots and the rest of America's votes tally on CNN from our studio apartment in Leslieville.
Toronto is an incredible city that seems so misunderstood by the Michiganders I've talked to. The Sarnia, Michigan gas station clerk and woman in her minivan, in spitting distance to Canada, both said they had never been to Canada. They almost looked upset I would ask such a question.
But Canada is far different. Everyone was welcoming and warm, although more private than the locals in New Orleans.
Leslieville is a corridor between Toronto proper and The Beaches. The Beaches formerly were the vacation cottages for Torontarians when they ventured a few hours from the city by horse and buggy at the turn of the century. With the advent of their phenomenal public transportation and the rise of family-owned cars, The Beaches saw a boom of development.
Leslieville is slowly gentrifying. I could walk out our door on Carlaw and walk down to the corner bar for a $6 beer. I could also take a spin class for $18, or pop to the neighboring Skin+Bones for a $100 bottle of wine. Then, a few doors down, there was a broken-down bar or a dilapidated corner store. It's an area in serious transition, with neighborhood favorite spots being knocked over to pour the foundation for the next condo building.
One thing is certain: Leslieville won't look the same when we go back. It's changing fast. But it's a living, breathing city, and that's what cities do.
While walking Kensington Market, a man struck up a conversation regarding my Bronica S2a film camera. He encouraged me to head to the film photography meetup the following weekend across town. At that event is where I met Joe, the man who CLA'd my new Hasselblad 500C/M.
While Adelaide went shopping for a pair of gloves at the shopping center on Gerrard in Leslieville, Pepper and I walked up a pedestrian staircase and crossed the train tracks, heading north. We found this unique vantage through the chain-link fence.
Yonge at Scollard, while we were on our way to a fountain pen and calligraphy exhibit at the Toronto Pubic Library.
Walking west towards the CN Tower.
Packing us took longer than we planned (typical). We decided to run to Niagara Falls for the night before we made the trek back to Michigan.
In Niagara, we stayed at the fanciest hotel we could find. Coming in at only $29/night, we couldn't take the risk of a $25 or even a $19/night hotel. It was also dog friendly.
We have a rule when we travel; we always stop. It's always worth seeing. This rule lead us to stop in Red Rocks, AZ, thinking it was where the Red Rock Amphitheater was. Worth the detour, just for the laugh.