Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September 3rd, 2007 - My Day in Toronto

I woke up around 10:30ish to a bright glow. That sounds like such a pleasant way to wake up, except for the fact that the glow wasn't coming from the morning sun, but from my arms.

Looking like a lobster. Call me Zoidberg.

It looks worse than it felt. Unless someone touched it, then it lit me up good.

I used my wake up time to sit on the bed for a while and catch up on some MuchMusic. It doesn't take much viewing time to remind me how limited mainstream music is in the States. First off, Canada's music channel plays music videos. Second, the videos they play have variety in both visual and music style. The artists aren't all cookie cutter versions of each other. In just a few minutes of watching, I saw performers of all shapes and sizes, even one wheelchair-bound singer. Sure, they still showed the big names, Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, but they were mixed in with tons of different stuff. It was refreshing to be exposed to some new music.

Shifting to my chair, I was surprised when I looked out from our 30th floor window and saw someone across the street. And higher. It made me wonder how one becomes a skyscraper window washer and if you ever get used to hanging on that little wire so high above the ground.

Washing windows

Up above


We eventually headed for the sidewalks to roam around and see Toronto. Yonge Street was the road we stuck to for most of the day. The buildings blocked out the midday sun (thankfully) as I cruised through the city. Somewhere near, a church bell chimed 1:00.

Rollin' along

Freddie Mercury statue outside the Canon Theatre

Gwen wanted a picture

We stopped at the Eaton Centre and explored for a while. A four story mall, hundreds of stores, each floor with its own food court with everything from Arby's to sushi. It made our mall look like the corner store.

Inside the Eaton Centre

The Wii Smart Car

Being Labor Day, the last day before the school year starts, the mall was extra crowded and the shoppers actually resembled the traffic on the street. I eventually found the flow and I was set.

While heading to the big HMV store on the next block, the streets were filled with music as there looked to be some sort of festival going on. There was even one of those silver-skinned street performers doing his thing for a bunch of onlookers. There was so much to take in, it was great.

Wandering the HMV store was a music lover's dream. Three floors of music and movies. I could have gotten lost in there for hours and easily spend a fortune. Though I don't have a fortune, I still ended up buying more than I should have.

Back on the street, I was getting a handle on sidewalk strategy. Learning when to pass crowds, the best way to hop the streetcar rails in my chair, I was into it. By the end of our stay, I was loving the crosswalk experience.

I'm easily amused.

We stopped back at the room to take a little breather and drop off my haul.

Jacob's Haul

  • Help! A Day in the Life
  • Peace Songs
  • Hayley Sales Sunseed
  • TMNT
  • Serenity: Collector's Edition
Next destination? The CN Tower.

With dusk approaching, we moved briskly in hopes of arriving before dark. Our walk took us to a major memory spot as we passed the Air Canada Centre, where I met The Corrs in 2004.

We ended up arriving along with the dark after missing the street we needed.


Looking up from the base of the CN Tower was definitely a "wow" moment where you suddenly feel very, very small.

Staring out the elevator's window as we ascended was incredible. Within seconds, the buildings you were just staring up at, you're now staring down at.

I approached one of the many windows in the observation area and had the ultimate "wow" moment. Toronto was now a massive sea of twinkling lights, literally stretching out farther than the eye could see. It was breathtaking.

Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw a helicopter fly past.

The outdoor observation area was insane because of the force of the wind at that altitude. For an Ohio boy who spends most of his time looking up at everyone, it was quite a sensation to feel the winds at the top of the world.

Back inside was a section of glass floor where you could stand and look down at the street and the Rogers Centre a thousand feet below.

Possibly the most amazing part of it all was that Mom actually came up there. She did great and I hope she enjoyed it.

As we lowered back to street level, the elevator operator told us that we were descending at roughly fifteen miles per hour, the same speed as an open military parachute. For some reason, it was much more bizarre to see the buildings coming up at us than it was to see them shrink below.

Once back on terra firma, we marched back to Yonge Street and stopped in a McDonald's for dinner. The day was fantastic, but non-stop, I found myself in need of some down time and quiet, so I ended up bagging the remainder of my burger and finishing it back in the room.

I unwound by checking email while looking out at the city lights spread out before me. At midnight, Mom snuck up from behind to surprise me with a little foil balloon as it was now my birthday.

We finished up the bottle from Jackson-Triggs and crashed, bringing an end to our last night in Toronto.

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