The plan for today is to walk south towards the water and east towards the St Lawrence Market and then circle around and about.
As we walk towards the Distillery and the St Lawrence Market, we notice a definite lack of traffic just off downtown. I thought big cities have traffic congestion everywhere! I guess not. We stroll past St James Cathedral and marvel at its hugeness. It was built in the late 1800s. We find ourselves in the Distillery District, a former distillery refurbished and converted into shops, galleries and restaurants.There are outdoor displays of art available to everyone in the laneways.
From there we walk along The Esplanade towards the St Lawrence Market. Tree lined streets with parks, playgrounds, schools and housing give the impression of a small town within sight of the towering financial district monoliths.
On to St Lawrence Market to buy a picnic lunch to eat down by the lake. The Market has fresh fruits, veggies, meats, deli items, baked goods and numerous eateries. One of my first sights was whole sun-dried tomatoes wrapped around sticks of provolone cheese. Do I need to say more??
With lunch in hand, we walk towards the water and Lake Ontario. We find a shady spot along the boardwalk and plunk down on the grass to devour our chicken parma sandwich (Murray’s) and sushi (mine) and watermelon. the breeze coming off the water is cooling. It feels good to take off our shoes and sit for awhile to watch the boats, planes and people go by.
Mariposa Cruise Line offers a one hour tour of the Toronto Harbour and at 1:30 we find ourselves sitting on the top deck of the Oriole ( a Victorian-style riverboat) about to shove off from the pier. For $20 pp, it is a very nice way to see Toronto from a difference viewpoint. The boat also takes a short tour through the islands just off the harbour. Swans, herons, geese and yachts are all spotted and Debbie’s feet are rested.
Our last official stop is Union Station, with tall stone pillars outside and tiled cathedral ceiling inside.
At the end of the day we munch burgers and fries at a funky 50s diner called Johnny Rockets where the staff dance exuberantly to R E S P E C T every half hour.