It had been two years since I visited my brother in Toronto; that was the last time I traveled internationally before the pandemic. I read carefully through all the requirements to enter Canada (they have since changed) to ensure I was in compliance: I had a PCR molecular covid test that provided a thirty-minute result within the specified 72-hour window before flying, took a photo of the negative test result document and my vaccination card on my smartphone, and downloaded the required ArriveCAN app. After the testing and vaccine questions and uploads, the app asked me to provide a fourteen-day quarantine plan, just in case.
Having visited Toronto many times, I didn’t go downtown this time or hit any tourist attractions. At times, my visits have coincided with events. I took part in the joyous International World Pride Parade in 2014 and joined protesters at a Climate Change Rally in 2019.
We took long walks every day around my brother’s neighborhood and some favorite places in the chilly November air, wet snow falling on and off the last few days. A section of the Danforth is called Greektown, but over the years it’s also become a multicultural magnet for Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, and Asian culture and cuisine. Canadians welcome the wonderful mix of immigrants and celebrate the blend of cultures. A few years ago, I happened upon a ceremony in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island for new citizens and recently arrived immigrants, so positive and inspiring, with an appreciative crowd.
I’m attracted to street art.
Greek gods on the pavement
Along Craven Road, an outdoor gallery of sorts
and even in the alleys
Bars and restaurants required proof of vaccination to enter. Sauce, a neighborhood bar, has a jazz/blues jam on Tuesday nights, a favorite spot.
I often look for something to read that reflects the place I’m visiting (Reading on the road). My late sister-in-law, Norah McClintock, was a young adult mystery novelist, five-time winner of Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award. She wrote over sixty books, published in a couple dozen languages abroad. I eyed the bookshelf in my brother’s living room, and read one of Norah’s books every day or two, catching up with some of those I hadn’t read. She created relatable characters and a sense of suspense that make the stories hard to put down. Here are my favorites.
Please do not download or reproduce images from this site. ©
Your comments are welcome!
Email me at: Ruth@RuthRosenfeld.com