The last time I came to Toronto was January 2006. It was a mild winter, no snow, no winter jackets or boots required, we roamed the streets in light spring jackets. I hadn’t been back to the city since I left my great job and my boyfriend in a burned out state of meltdown at least a decade earlier. A lot had changed. A lot hadn’t. Stacy and I went nuts hitting all the touristy type restaurants and filling our days with activities. By the end of that trip I returned home having had a great time but feeling dead certain that I would never want to live here again, that I could never integrate myself into this lifestyle again. So it’s strange to find myself on the morning of my last day feeling a little wistful about leaving. I think I have fallen back in love with this city. It will be interesting to see how I feel as we fly away, back in Moncton, at my apartment. But one thing is for certain, I need to come to Toronto more often.
On Saturday afternoon I ventured out to Etobicoke to visit with the Hetheringtons. I saw some old friends and I met some new ones. I drank more beer than I’ve had since the days of the Power Track. I stayed up really late talking into the wee hours. And then I slept in the little room upstairs and remembered the night I slept there with Kevin and watched Thurman peeking in to see who was with his son. I got up before everyone else, made coffee, let the cats outside and looked around at all the pictures on the walls and mantles, some I remembered because they were old, some I knew nothing about because they happened after my time. Isabel got up first and we sat and talked. MB got up just as I was thinking I should head out and I set a course in my head. I left with hugs and a good feeling.
My body seemed to go on auto-pilot as I walked down Foch to Woodbury where I used to live. I looked down the block to see if I could see anything familiar about the old apartment, but there was nothing to see. I walked out Woodbury to Brown’s Line where the crosswalk has gotten a whole lot more complicated and Pizza Pizza is now a Subway with a Dunkin’ Donuts on the opposite corner. I crossed to the bus stop and waited. They told me all the buses go to the subway now, I could get on anyone that came. I thought I’d have to wait a really long time because it was Sunday, but it wasn’t long at all. The bus was called Shorncliffe, which was a new route for me. The buses are more sophisticated now with a recorded voice announcing the stops and a screen displaying which one is next. We went to Kipling Station. Back in the day we always went to Islington instead. But I’d been to Kipling a lot of times when I would take a taxi home or Kev would pick me up at the kiss ‘n ride. On the subway I studied the route map and decided to get off at Bathurst and see about catching a bus north to St. Clair W. Just missed a bus, so we had to wait. I confirmed with another passenger that the bus would definitely go where I needed it to go. They’re doing a lot of construction on Bathurst, so the bus detoured, going west on Dupont to Christie and then north to St. Clair. I got off on the corner of Christie and St. Clair, crossed the street and started walking east reading the sign posts at streets to see if I could find Wychwood. Easily done. A couple of blocks later and I arrived back at Taia and Ian’s just as they were leaving for Mad’s piano recital.
I showered and changed and went out to sit in the shade in the backyard and read a book. They came back about an hour later and we went to see a movie at a theatre in Yorkville. We tried to get VIP seating, which costs a lot more, but you get a nice seat with a table and staff serve you your popcorn at your seat. It’s a limited group too, but unfortunately they don’t have VIP seating for kids, because I guess not all children are as well behaved as Madeleine. Regular seating was fine, roomier than the Empire Theatre at home and better spaced it seemed. I got nachos at the concessions, which were huge in comparison to the ones at home and a huge diet coke, which I totally needed (and consumed) because of the 20 beer from the night before. We saw the new Indiana Jones movie. It was okay. I have the urge now to revisit the first one. I enjoy Shia always, so it was interesting to see him in this kind of role. They lightened his hair and gave him a James Dean type of do. There were many parts where you completely had to forget everything you know about physics and common sense in order to buy into the story, but I guess that’s probably standard on the Indy films.
After the movie we went home and barbecued hamburgers and grilled potatoes. Yummy! Mad and I played games while we waited for dinner to be done. Then we made ice cream in this contraption that fascinated me. It is like a manual ice cream machine, you can take camping or anywhere. We rolled it around the floor playing catch to mix the ingredients. It was ready in an hour and it tasted really good. After Mad went to bed Taia and I sat and talked for a bit, then I read, and then I went to bed, I thought pretty early but it was going on 11. I stayed in bed this morning a little later than normal, which might have been a mistake considering I have to get up really early tomorrow to go to the airport.
Today I’m going to the taping of The Hour at CBC. They changed the time until earlier so now I have to go on my own as Taia can’t get off work. But that’s okay. It’ll still be fun. It’s Strombo for godsake! On the website it says the guests on the show tonight are Salman Rushdie and Brian Dennehy, so maybe that’s who I’ll be seeing. Or one or the other if an interview was pre-taped.
And now I’m tired of typing and starting to think about other things. My next blog will be from NB.
Drinking: nothing, but coffee earlier
Listening To: birds chirping outside
Hair: greasy from humidity