Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | November 29, 2011

Attempts At Learning To Love Toronto: Day Five

Okay, it’s official.  It’s going to take more than this trip to make me love Toronto.  I don’t know what it is. I had a perfectly lovely day – and the weather is certainly more delightful than it is back home in Yellowknife where the CBC website tells me the weather is -25C. But I definitely am not feeling the love, not feeling the pull.

It’s okay, though, Toronto.  We can still be friends.

I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot today. BFF and BFFH went to meet their ride at about 8:30, since they had a 9:30 call.  I spent the morning doing my laundry, and since I couldn’t go anywhere without clothes, that ate that part of the day.  Once my clothes were dry (which took quite a while) and then my suitcase reorganized to fit in some of the shopping I’d done, I got dressed and went out for the rest of the afternoon. I basically just wandered up Queen Street. There are some very interesting boutiques and cafes, so I weaved in and out. Other than an Eggnog Latte from Starbucks and a gift for my friend Alexander (perfect for his annual gingerbread decorating fest!), I didn’t buy anything though.  Nothing was really my style.  I did want to note that I stopped in Pier 1 and had a nice little chat with a saleslady, who asked if it was cold out.  I indicated I was the worst person to ask, given the -25C weather back home. I didn’t buy anything there.  It was one of many, many stores that looked like Christmas exploded in it.

Eventually, I wandered up and down both sides of the street quite a ways, looking for a place for dinner.  I had a hard time finding something that fit what I wanted.  When I eat alone,  I like a certain type of ambiance.  I like lighting that is dim, but not so dim I can’t read by it.  I like quiet tables and a certain amount of coziness. I also kind of just wanted to eat a hamburger.  It took me a while to find something that might do.  I ended up at a place called Whitlock’s, which looked like a pub from the outside but was a restaurant.  It had hamburgers, so I thought “Why not?”.  Second best decision I made all day.  (I’ll get to the best one.)

I went in and sat down.  There were only a few people in the restaurant because it was early (5:30ish) and a Monday night.  I looked at the menu and ordered a glass of wine – the featured Malbec, since I’ve been into those lately.  I was about to order myself a good old burger and fries when I saw a dish that looked spectacular.  It was almost twice the price of a burger and fries, but I figured I could have a burger and fries anywhere. (In fact, you can probably take bets at high odds that I will end up eating one in the airport hotel restaurant tomorrow night.)  I went for it, ordered the Pumpkin Risotto Croquette.  Best decision I made all day. Seriously, I don’t even have words to describe how fantastic it was, from the sweet tone the pumpkin loaned the dish, the crisp texture of the croquette part, the creaminess of the risotto, the divine accent the sauce loaned.  I took my time eating it, savouring every last bite, and barely could restrain from licking the plate.  I would eat it again in a heartbeat.

I finished my evening with tiramisu, because I felt like I’d indulged in dinner, so why not indulge a little more?  Life is too short to turn down tiramisu. It was good, though not the very best I’ve ever had.  Certainly a nice way to end the evening, though. (And I finished my book to boot!)  After that, it was dark out, so I came back to the apartment, and am now in for the evening.  It will be a while before BFF and BFFH get home, so I have no idea what my day will look like tomorrow.  Probably not too exciting – I need to figure out how I’m getting to the airport, since I’m not sure BFF is going to be free to help me navigate the public transit system with my giant suitcase and carry-on – plus it’s an hour and a half either way, at least. It’s an expensive cab ride too, so I’m hoping BFF has a late enough call that we can walk up to rent a car for the day, which will cost half what a cab does and seems a nice compromise, at least for me.  After that, I’ll either be boring and hang out at the hotel, or see what is near enough by public transit.

And this, Toronto, is why we can only be friends.  No matter how hard I try, I keep comparing you to Vancouver, where I have navigated the Skytrain with great confidence and been able to make my way to the airport without committing half a day and hauling my luggage between a gazillion different transfers. If I’m gonna love a big city, it’s going to be a big city where the LRT goes to the airport.

Then again, Toronto still has one more day to win me over, and that’s just on this trip.  Maybe it will be finding that perfect used bookstore near the hotel. Maybe it will be finding myself in a neighbourhood that feels like it could be home.  Maybe it will be running into Margaret Atwood.  Or another celebrity at the airport.  I’m not picky. (But a real celebrity, Toronto, not some lame reality star. Or anyone from Twilight.)  I’m giving you a chance, Toronto.  Don’t let me down.



  1. it will be hard to love Toronto today as we are having horrible rain, not the fun walking in the rain kind of rain. Sorry I couldn’t be more hangy outty these last two days… BFF.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: