Toronto

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.

Calamari, Pantheon restaurant
“Cairo Classic,” Maha Egyptian restaurant, always a line down the street. Foole is made from fava beans.

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.

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

46 thoughts on “Toronto

  1. I’ve been to Toronto only once, about 45 years ago, so barely remember it. I like your photos, especially the opening one. I too am attracted to street art, and especially like the mural on 214A and 214B Greenwood. Another favourite is the outdoor gallery! So creative and interesting.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I saw the Greenwood building driving by one day, and made my brother go back and find them the next day. He took me and one of my nieces to the gallery street, without telling us what was there. What a creative surprise!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a different take on Toronto than I’ve seen on other blogs. It looks like a great place! I’m curious about that 14-day quarantine plan. Did they mean: Hey lady, how are you planning to quarantine if you come down with COVID while you’re in Canada?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not gone to Toronto in over 15 years, and I have vague recollection of what I did there. I’ve heard great things about this Canadian city, and I’m dying to head back. Your exploration of the street art and unique food scene make me want to check them out for myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am glad to hear you were able to visit your brother! Toronto looks like a beautiful city, and you have to admire Canadians for welcoming the wonderful mix of immigrants and celebrating the blend of cultures. I also love the cities modern skyscrapers and vibrant street art. One of the reasons why I would love to visit Toronto is to attend the Toronto Maple Leaves game – Latvians are big ice-hockey fans! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like your brother lives in my sort of neighbourhood – eclectic, multi-cultural, lots of good food from different cultures and plenty of street art! I loved your photos of the latter 🙂 And I’m so pleased you got to visit him after so long!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad you got through all the damn paperwork and digital hoops. Enjoyed your tour, especially all the street art as I have come to expect. I’ve gotta say that Greek gods on the pavement is a new one to me. The Cairo Classic looks right up my street! How unusual and delicious no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That must have been nice to be able to visit your brother again. There are definitely a lot of hoops to enter into Canada these days, but it sounds like you did your research in advance and came prepared. I love all the various street art. I’ve been to Greektown many times over the years, but not since the start of the pandemic. It’s must have been neat to see a more quiet side of Toronto.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll join the several props above for the “Cairo Classic”. What a beautiful presentation of food! I’d be willing to try this dish even though I don’t recognize everything on the plate. Having said that, I’m still stuck on your very first photo. I can’t get over the maze of overhead wires keeping those electric trains going. I know there’s logic to the design, but a quick glance says it’s just a bunch of spaghetti.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Cairo Classic was as delicious as it looked! The tram lines cross at an intersection at that spot. I don’t recall but it looks like the cross street is diagonal. You don’t see trams in too many U.S. cities anymore, except San Francisco. They were a major mass transit option in Prague, where I lived for a few years. If you got lost wandering, you could always look for tram lines and follow them to a stop.

      Like

  9. I recognize that Cairo dish – it is similar to Fuul Mesdames but modernized. The street art is gorgeous – I hate graffiti but love murals. So glad you got the opportunity to visit your family – what a lovely start to the holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

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