September 29, 2008
Toronto was what filled the whole day, obviously. We drove the 10 miles into town and parked right in the centre, which for two people is still cheaper than using public transportation (and I’d guess much less stressful). We emerged from the subterrain parking deck and saw the city at light we had only briefly looked at yesterday night. First we took the University Ave north, until we hit the (guess what) University of Toronto (“The U of T”). At least that’s what we thought when we tried to get into the big old building that looked like it was the universities administrative or main building. Only when we saw the armed guards in front of it when began to question our initial guess. It turned out that the building we saw was in fact the Legaslative Assembly of Ontario, where, lucky for us, the house was in session. We were told to take the side-entrance, where we had to surrender basically everything we carried, then took the elevator up, were security-screened and then led into the gallery where we sat down to observe the House. The bill they were discussing was, coincidentally, about the Ontario health system, specifically about the very urgent need for more doctors, which led to proposals (from the opposition) about relaxing immigration policies concerning the fact that qualified immigrants cannot easily work in their field of expertise when they arrive, but have to drive taxis instead, as one member of the House put it. After some time we left, but still it was very interesting and not at all boring (but I guess it can be if you had to sit there day in day out ;).
After missing it at the first try, we walked around the campus of the U-of-T and continued on Bloor St until it intersected with Yonge. There we took a right, heading straight for the harbor, and getting a better look at the stores and skyscrapers (and Dundas Square). We paid a visit to Eaton Centre before we arrived at Front St. Our guide pointed out the Flatiron building (shaped like a wedge, much like the Chrysler-building) but we didn’t find it a first until we discovered that it was completely covered into construction rigs (so no photos for you guys). Frustrated we went straight to the CN Tower, but didn’t go up, partly because of our fear of heights, partly because of the hefty price-tag (an elevator-ride is seldom worth $16 in my oppinion). We looked at the Quay and the musical garden (dreamt up by noone else than Yo-Yo Ma himself ;) before we started noticing our feet again and decided to head home.
Tomorrow we’ll probably pay a visit to the german capital of Ontario, Kitchener/Waterloo, and St. Jacobs.