Being a tourist in my old hometown

I grew up in Toronto, [Ontario, Canada] and in many ways, I still consider it “my old hometown.” So I’m looking forward to the Editing Goes Global conference this weekend, hosted by the Editors Association of Canada and co-hosted by the Professional Writers Association of Canada. I won’t have a lot of time to check out these attractions, but they may appeal to some of the 400+ delegates coming from 12 countries around the world, including Canada, of course.

The CN Tower—

Toronto_-_ON_-_CN_Tower_bei_Nacht2Photo: Wikipedia

The Look Out, the Glass Floor, the Sky Pod, and the Movie and Motion Theatre Ride are certainly great attractions for this landmark, but why not go Way Out There when you are Way Up There? Take a walk on the wild side with the Edge Walk.  Your admission price includes a keepsake video and photos, your Certificate of Achievement and re-entry to the CN Tower to give you the Total Tower Experience, which includes all of the above.  Of course, just enjoying a meal in the revolving restaurant is great too. You’ll get some great vistas.

When you’re back down on terra firma, head over to:

Canoe Landing Park-– Why is there a giant red canoe on the top of a hill? So you can climb up, and climb in, to look past the cars whizzing by on the Gardiners Expressway for a great view Lake Ontario. This 8-hectare park has walkways that wind from Fort York to the Rogers Centre. The giant canoe is a stand-alone art installation by one of Canada’s foremost writers, designers, and visual artists, Douglas Coupland.   Back on the walkway, you’ll notice other unique artwork. During my last visit, there was a display of some very special running gear, a highlight on the Terry Fox Miracle Mile. I hope it’s still there.

If you’re looking for some “culture”, head to the Harbourfront Centre   where you’ll find a number of concerts, author readings, dance recitals, and special kids activities on most weekends and many evenings throughout the year. There are also plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and nightclubs along The Quay, so there’s no shortage of activities to keep you hopping. There is also a large pond that becomes a skating rink in the winter months. Heading north on Spadina from the waterfront, watch for the giant thimble, a gateway to Toronto’s Fashion District.


spadinaave27Photo from the Toronto Shopoholic site

The Fashion District, also known as “the garment district” is where you’ll find a terrific selection of local fashions, and home décor items in stores ranging from small specialty boutiques to Winners. Many of the outlets are in refurbished warehouses, which have become very trendy. There are lots of great restaurants in this area, in case you’re hungry or thirsty from your walking around.

Heading back to King Street West, be sure to check out  Canada’s Walk of Fame in front of The Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra Theatres.  Initially designed to playfully mimic the “stars walk” in Hollywood, this walkway has grown into its own as a place to permanently recognize the achievements of Canadians in all fields, primarily the entertainment industry. You can stand on the stars honouring legends like film director Norman Jewison, actor Donald Sutherland, musician Neil Young, and comedian John Candy.

If those aren’t enough stars for you, you’ll certainly find them just a short hop away in the

Hockey Hall of Fame—a must do for hockey fans! Highlights include The Home of the Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup Ring Displays, a tribute to the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series (which has also been honoured on the Walk of Fame), the 2010 Olympic Hockey display, and a tribute to the current Stanley Cup Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Before you even head into the building though, be sure to stop by the exterior sculptures. There is a lot to see, and do, here, so plan your visit carefully to maximize your time.

While the conference is the main focus for my visit to Toronto this weekend, I’m looking forward to being a tourist.  I’ve only mentioned a few attractions here. There is definitely something for everyone.

Whether it’s your first visit, and you come often, there’s lots to see and do, so get out there and have fun!

Please visit my other blog, Local Business Matters, to see one of the many reasons I love my “new” hometown of Greater Napanee.

This post was edited from one written in September 2012 for the “King Blue” website, discussing all of the great things around the King-Blue Jays Way  and King West Village area. The King Blue condo development on that corner, one of many developments, is attracting more people to come down and live and play in downtown Toronto.

6 thoughts on “Being a tourist in my old hometown

  1. The one thing I miss about working is the times I spent in Toronto. After work it was always fund to explore. Recently on the news I watched them tow Captain Jacks to the scrap yard and remembered the wonderful meal I had there in 2001. Thanks for the tour.

    1. We went to Captain Jacks a couple of times before we moved out of Toronto. I was sorry to hear that it had fallen on hard times. Toronto has a lot of unusual things to offer, and while I’ve enjoyed visiting some of the more “mainstream” attractions, it is always fun to find some of the more unusual ones too.

  2. Great post, Christine. I’ve really learned to love Toronto. Coming from a small city like Winnipeg, when I first started coming to TO I found it overwhelming. But the more I have come over the past 20 years, I more I have come to love the city and all it has to offer. And of course … it’s home to Canada’s best chocolatemaker, and that would be SOMA! Enjoy the conference. I wish I could be there with you.

    1. Thanks so much, Doreen. Yes, Toronto is a great city. I can’t say that I miss living there, but I do miss the the energy it offers once in a while. So it’s great to be able to go back and feed on that energy. Being such a large city with so many people, it can be overwhelming, but really it is a collection of neighbourhoods, and each has its charms.
      I plan on visiting the SOMA store in the Distillery District on Saturday. It will be unusual to be at a PWAC conference without you, but yes, I’ll have a good time, and hope to come away with lots of leads for work!

  3. On I never heard of Canoe Landing Park I must check that out. I love Toronto everytime I go I discover or rediscover something. Great post Christine and enjoy your conference and your old home town. Looking forward to hearing and seeing what you did while there. Hug B

    1. I’d walked on the trail before I knew the “official” name of the park, B. If you check out the link there are some neat photos. Yes, Toronto is a great place to discover, and rediscover places–and many of them are free.
      Thanks for your good wishes. I will be sure to share “writer stories” when I see you next week. It’s always so great to see your smiling face, and I so appreciate your comments here.

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