Views From Up North

Canada, oh Canada how cold could it be? Well I’ll tell you how cold it is up north during the Winter. Really. Freaking. Cold. See in New York City thirty to twenty-something degrees is pretty cold, we expect to wear at least two layers, a hat, and some gloves. In Canada it’s perfect hoodie weather.

The week leading up to Christmas I had decided to visit Connor in Toronto to celebrate a little Christmas cheer and see the city. I took an excruciating twelve hour bus ride across New York state, through Pennsylvania, over the border bridge at Niagara Falls, and into Canada. My bus was at 8:30AM, I arrived in downtown Toronto at 9:30PM. Talk about dedication huh?

My adventures in Toronto did not start until Tuesday, so in the morning we both headed to the Eaton Center, where the architecture and it’s glass paneled ceilings were film photography worthy. There were shoppers bustling around grabbing last minute Christmas gifts, Salvation Army bells chiming, and lights hanging from the decorative artificial plants. In the middle of the Center stood a skyscraping Christmas tree lit up from head to toe. It had seem that the stores were purposely built around the tree as she posed for all to see.

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Eaton Center

After a few shots, and some window shopping, we took the PATH all the way downtown to Ripley’s Aquarium. The PATH in Toronto is a never ending underground plaza of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Not a train with four different lines max that connects downtown Manhattan to Hoboken. It is a plaza connecting a majority of the buildings that stand above ground in the downtown area. After a bit of a walk we arrived by the CN tower that stood proudly next to the aquarium.

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CN Tower

The aquarium lobby was decorated with Christmas trees that flashed aquatic ornaments of blues and yellows. There was a mixture of tourists and elementary school classes on their end of the semester trip. Fish raced back and forth amongst one another, while the coral settle in for the day. The kelp tank was bigger than expected and rumbling with life thanks to the fish. Following, the tunnel tank was just as magnificent with over five different species of sharks majestically swimming around. There was a section dedicated to rays, jellyfish, starfish, and a touch tank of shrimp that were ready to eat your dead skin. Anyone who knows me would know that I love aquariums, especially the sharks and rays. One can only imagine how excited I was for this trip, while Connor dreaded the screaming toddlers knocking on the glass and pushing him out of the way because he was too tall.

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Ripley’s Aquarium

Our next stop in the week was Toronto’s Holiday Market in the Distillery District. With a late start to the day, and a show (Come From Away, definitely go see it!!) in the Theater District later that night, we decided to call a cab to the market. Upon arriving we were instantly greeted by the crowds of people taking in the pine cone maple scent. Most held cups of coffee or hot chocolate, while others posed to take pictures with the garland that was strung above them. With multiple booths aligned, the rustic building held their own artisan markets as well. Some of the main attractions at the Holiday market include the pink christmas trees, tall snowmen, Toronto Heart, Glade’s JOY sign, and Hershey Kisses Kiss Chairs.

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Toronto Holiday Market
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Come From Away
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Distillery District
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#saymore

The last full day of the trip we decided to visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see the Chihuly glass exhibit. We’ve heard great reviews and saw beautiful pictures online. It was one of the two featured exhibits for the season at the ROM, the other being a wildlife photography competition. The Chihuly exhibit had one bit where visitors can sit on large beanbags and gaze into a ceiling of multicolored glass flowers. It also had a beautiful wooden structure accented with warm colored glass flowers. Surprisingly we had both agreed that the photography exhibit was much more memorable than the Chihuly. With striking photos displayed respectively to its category, the exhibit gave a new perspective on the animals we live among and do not know of. Nonetheless they were both stunning and worth a great picture.

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Chihuly glass flower ceiling
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Opening piece in Chihuly

My trip in Toronto has been an eventful one filled with laughter and adventure. I had not forgiven the bus ride up, resulting in booking a flight home Christmas Eve morning. From my bus experience I learned a little more money might be worth the price, and save my poor butt from being flatter than it already is. Toronto was good to me, only having a bit of flurries on Wednesday, but we will definitely meet again during warmer times.

Now back in warmer weather down south, I must say all is swell.

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