Toronto Sojourn

I went to Toronto with some friends for the last weekend in June to attend World Pride. Unfortunately due to some awkward circumstances we had to leave early and never made it to the parade, which to hear tell was just as well because Toronto was a veritable oven that weekend and we would have suffered more than enjoying the festivities. I did take pictures, though (what, me go somewhere and NOT take pictures?). It whet my appetite for going back – there’s a lot going on there and I want to explore it more.

I’ve developed a “thing” for photographs of public transit. I started doing it here in DC, shooting Metro trains in motion at various stations. I’ve done it in New York and in Paris, and now Toronto as well. I think this was at the Spadina station, but I could be off. It’s funny how after doing this same shot in various places how different they look, despite the trains doing the exact same thing.

 Toronto Subway
Toronto Subway

To stick with the public transit theme, here’s a streetcar in Toronto. They have LOTS of streetcars and unlike other cities, they seem to have kept them going instead of ripping them out/paving them over in favor of buses, only to have to put them back at obscene expense (ahem, Washington DC and Baltimore). This one is passing in front of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which looks like some kind of glass zeppelin.

Streetcar, Art Gallery of Ontario
Streetcar, Art Gallery of Ontario

The streetscape across from the art museum is quite the contrast. A row of 19th century rowhouses has been turned into galleries and restaurants. It’s a highlight of the contrasts of Toronto, as you can see the business district skyscrapers in the background.

Toronto Art Gallery Row
Toronto Art Gallery Row

This railing fronted one of the galleries on Queen Street (the street that runs in front of the art museum). I just liked the layering of geometry happening here.

Railings, Queen Street
Railings, Queen Street

For lack of a better memory of the restaurant’s name, and in honor of Canada’s multilingual heritage, I’m titling this one “Oeufs Torontonnaise”. In reality it’s just a clever sign for a restaurant across from the art gallery. The pan must be really NOT non-stick for the egg to stay up there like that!

Oeufs Torontonnaise
Oeufs Torontonnaise

You’ve gotta love a pub called “The Village Idiot”. I’ve been told that down the street from it there is another bar with the best beer selection in Toronto.

Village Idiot Pub
Village Idiot Pub

I spotted this place on my way back from Chinatown, through the streetcar window.

Silver Dollar Room
Silver Dollar Room

The art museum is just a couple blocks outside Toronto’s Chinatown, which is very busy and vibrant. I spotted this scene shortly after stepping off the streetcar. Passing by an hour later, half the pig was gone.

Chinese Restaurant Window, Toronto
Chinese Restaurant Window, Toronto

Some very cool graffiti art on a wall near the art museum, at the edge of Chinatown.

Graffiti
Graffiti

In closing, another one of my ‘things’ – pay phones. I was shocked to see how many were still in service in Toronto.

Payphones
Payphones

I was hanging out with my best friend since my college days, Steve. I snapped this one of him while we were staying cool in the Starbucks waiting for another friend of mine, Mirza, to join us.

Steve at Starbucks
Steve at Starbucks

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