Bloor Street is a major east-west commercial thoroughfare in Toronto.
The street is named after Joseph Bloor (or Bloore), a developer of this area in the 19th Century and founded the Village of Yorkville in 1830. He is buried at Necropolis Cemetery on Bayview Avenue and Rosedale Valley Road.
Bloor Street in Toronto runs from the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto's east-end into the west-end and into Mississauga where it ends at Central Parkway. East of the DVP, Bloor Street becomes Danforth Avenue. In downtown, especially around the intersection with Bay Street, it is one of the most exclusive stretches of real estate in Toronto.
Bloor Street is the principal east-west artery of Toronto's underground subway system. Each of the stops along the Bloor-Danforth line are situated either on or within a few metres from Bloor Street. The approximately 25 kilometer street contains a significant cross-sample of Toronto's ethnic communities. Beginning at Danforth and driving west, one will pass through Toronto's Greek, Somali, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Polish, Korean and Croatian communities.
Bloor Street serves as the northern-most edge of the campus of the University of Toronto, and is host to several of Toronto's historic sites including the Bata Shoe Museum, The Royal Conservatory, the Annex, and the southern edge of Yorkville.
The Bloor-Danforth subway line runs along the Toronto portion of the roadway.
Fondest memory: The Bloor and Yonge intersection is one of the most popular and trendy shopping areas in Toronto, housing several large, well known fashion and jewellery companies such as Gucci, Christian Dior and Prada, Guerlain. It also has several small Canadian designers and shops popular amongst Canadians and Torontonians, such as Over the Rainbow, Aritzia and Lululemon.
Hockey is Canada's national sport. The National Hockey League (NHL) consists of teams from Canada and the US, with players from all around the world. The majority of its players however are Canadian!
A few interesting hockey facts about Canada:
* hockey originated in Canada in the late 1800s. The first official hockey game was held at McGill University in Montreal, in 1901.
* Tim Hortons, the most popular Canadian chain restaurant is named after hockey player Tim Horton who died in 1974.
* The Stanley Cup (the price for winning the NHL championship each year) is named after Lord Stanley, the Governer General of Canada from 1888-1893. His sons were hockey players in Canada and he was the first to present the Stanley Cup.
Toronto's hockey team is the Toronto Maple Leafs and they are very popular here, although many people will express disapointment on how seldomly they win or make the championships. The only other Ontarian hockey team in the NHL is the Ottawa Senators. It's common to see things like "GO LEAFS GO" written on people's windows or on their driveways with chalk in Toronto.
If you're interested in any more information about the Toronto Maple Leafs, then visit
Favorite thing: This text is from the plaque located on the LIGHTHOUSW ON TORONTO ISLAND - The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. " This lighthouse, one of the earliest on the Great Lakes, was completed in 1808 as an hexagonal tower 52 feet high, topped by a wooden cage with a fixed whale-oil lantern. In 1832, it was raised to 82 feet and later equipped with a revolving light. The mysterious disappearance of its first keeper, J.P. Rademuller, in 1815 and the subsequent discovery nearby of part of a human skeleton, enhanced its reputation as a haunted building."
Favorite thing: Located right across the street from our Hotel and just off of King Street, the Anglican Church of Canada's ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL is absolutely beautiful. There is a plaque just outside the cathedral which reads: "York's first church was built here in 1803-07 with the aid of public subscriptions and a government grant. That frame building was enlarged in 1818-19 and replaced by a larger one in 1831. The second church was burnt in 1839. Toronto's first Cathedral was then erected on this site, but was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1849. The present Cathedral was begun in 1850, opened for divine service in 1853 and completed in 1874."
Favorite thing: Dominated by St. James Cathedral, ST. JAMES PARK is bordered by King Street to the south, Adelaide Street to the north, Jarvis Street to the east and Church Street to the west. It was a green oasis in a jungle of tall buildings. We went right through it several times on our way to the King Edward to meet up with Berni and Carl. The Park had a lovely Victorian Garden, with a small fountain in the middle and a lovely gazebo.
They say the "Devil is in the details". Maybe so, but in this case I would say the "magic" is in the details.
Carol has a wonderful "architect's eye" for what makes a building work. As we walked through Santiago Calatrava's masterpiece, the BCE Place, we couldn't help but be struck by its grandeur. The soaring space and flood of light are magnificent...but Carol was wanting to know more.
She took this picture of the base of one of the great supporting struts which soar 85 feet to form the atrium roof. It could have been merely buried in the structure but Calatrava took great care to reflect the sort of neo-gothic stylings of the main complex in this important detail.
Favorite thing: While we were on Toronto Islands, there was an amazing display of sculptures spread throughout the gardens. The ZIMBABWEAN SCULPTURES EXHIBITION sure was a treat. The sculptures were so beautiful. The one I'm posing with was especially nice, with a carving of an African woman and child.
Caribana starts in mid July and ends the first saturday of August with a day long parade. You will have difficulty getting a place to stay in Toronto during this period.
The parade is the big event . It starts around 11:00 am in the CNE grounds and proceeds west along Lakeshore Boulevard.
At the start line the bands and each of their dance groups perfrom a five minute presentation in front of the media/judge centre. After all dance gropus complete their presentation they re-group and proceed to Lakshoire Bvld.
That precess breaks up the flow and the bands become sepatated by about 15 minutes.
After which it is not really a parade but more like a street party that moves down the road. Another way to define the event is to say that the parade , bands on trailer trucks surrounded by revellers in colourful garb , plow into the crowd lining the street and hopefully make it to the end of the parade .
Close to 800,000 attend the street party.
The best place to sit ( on bleachers ) is at the start line in the CNE. $25 admittance.
All groups have to present somthing to the judges at the start line pavillion. Sitting east of the start line you get to see the colourful groups all lined up and getting pumped up for their presentation . At the start line you see the performences. There is no problem movng between areas.
For a first timer one should go to a viewing area in the SW corner of the CNE grounds on the north side of Lakeshore Boulevard. There is an admission fee ( $ 12 adult) but you can sit on a grassy knoll and it is probably the best place to view the parade .
Bring an umbrella it rained last year in 2005. Also bring a hat , sunscreen , sun glasses ,etc.
Fondest memory: August 2007.
Perfect weather with a breeze which made the very colourful flags a real sight.
There is a 'Toronto City Pass' that can get you into 5 different Toronto attractions for one price. Many different cities have this city pass: Seattle, Hollywood, San Fransisco, and Ney York to name a few. I believe Toronto is the only Canadian city that offers it. It can be purchased online or at any of the participating attractions, which are:
*The CN Tower
*Royal Ontario Museum
*Ontario Science Centre
The cost for a city pass for an adult was roughly $58 USD in 2012, and the combined value of visiting all those attractions is almost $100. So it's a good deal if those are things you want to see.
Here's the website to visit if you want to purchase the city pass online.
Favorite thing: From the Ferry and Toronto Islands, there are FANTASTIC VIEWS OF THE CITY. You can clearly see the CN Tower and the Toronto Skyline and as it was a beautiful, sunny autumn day with clear blue skies, it made the pics even nicer.
If all you see is downtown Toronto you will miss one of the most wonderful things about Toronto and that is how much greenery there is throughout the city. From my balcony I look across a residential area that provides me with a continually changing vista. This area, Yonge & Sheppard in the North York region, grew from being a coach stop started in the early 1800s. on the way up Yonge Street which stretches north as the longest street in Canada, if not the world.
Anyway, I digress... this is the view I am seeing now, mid-October, 2004, as the trees change their colour. I fear that the wind today may blow many leaves off the trees before they too change their colours.
Toronto has several daily newspapers with different editorial orientations. Here's a bit about them to help you know which would suit you.
Very balanced, targeted at wide audience. Contains a lot of human interest content and events listings. Probably the best choice for a traveller. Can be viewed online at thestar.com
The Globe and Mail
National paper targeted at business people. Slightly right of centre on political spectrum. High-brow Arts and Entertainment section. Online at globeandmail.com
National paper also with a business focus. Right-wing political spin for the most part.
I hate to be a snob, but I find this a pretty low-brow paper prone to knee-jerk types of reactions. Very pro-police. Read for Sports section and SunShine girl on pg 2.
Cabbagetown is one of my favourite places to hang on a nice summer day. The neighborhood is full of lovely, well restored Victorian houses from the 19th century. The whole neighborhood is picturesque. Sites in the neighborhood that are worth seeing are the Necropolis and Riverdale Farm if you are traveling with small children. The district got its name when the immigrant who settled here developed the habit of growing cabbages in the front lawn.
The neighborhood's boundries are between Jarvis Street on the west to the Don Valley on the east . To the north is Wellesley and Gerrard to the south. Sadly some of the surrounding districts, ie: Regent Park are not very nice and actually dangerous at night.
Fondest memory: The neigborhood cafes and bars can be rather cute. Most of these are on Parliament Street and Carlton Ave. I particularly recommend the Winchester for its cheap beer and good food.
Flowers in gardens and greens in parks is everywhere in Toronto. Canada blooms in the month of March when the flower and garden festival is being held. It is indeed a treat to Garden-lovers from Canada and the United States to come to Toronto to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of spring and learn the latest about the flowers and plants in Canada.
Canada Blooms is just one of the festivals being held here in the city of Toronto. Another famous festival is held in Ottawa with thousands variety of tulips. Next year it will be held from May 2 to 19, 2008.
There are many more flower festivals held all over Canada. It is a clear indication on how we love to preserve the beauty of the greens and flowers.
In front of the Sandra Ainsley Gallery (the most fabulous glass art gallery I have ever seen) in the Distillery District stands this millstone. The plaque reads:
"This millstone brought from England on the schooner 'Kingston' to the Town of York 1832 was used for grinding grain in the historic windmill of Gooderham & Worts. The windmill stood 52 feet southwest by south of this point. It was the eastern limit of the famous 'Old Windmill Line' on which the original plan of the City of Toronto was based."
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