Day Forty Six, Toronto

I woke up suddenly, I turn to my mobile unsure of the time and it’s 12.30pm. Frustrated that I didn’t set an alarm, I had a quick shower and ate some leftover pizza for breakfast. It tasted good cold and thankfully, the lettuce hadn’t went soggy. I looked on my phone to see what was happening across the city and saw that there was a market at the beach. I hadn’t been on a sandy beach for what felt like forever, so it was a done deal – I wanted to enjoy the hot sun and sand.

I got the tram to the beach and although it was large the tram was packed, I felt lucky to squeeze into a seat next to a window. People of all ages came onto the bus carrying their respective beach gear. I was getting more and more excited to see the beach and escape the tram. Most people had filtered out of the tram by the time I was next to the beach market. It was heaving and mostly filled with lovely, locally made homeware but I didn’t buy anything. 

I followed the path to the beach. It was a beautiful sight. I changed into my pool sliders, putting my trainers in my backpack as I made my way to the bright blue water. Despite the heat in the air, the lake was freezing. Regardless, I walked in till the waves lapped against my ankles. The water was unbelievably clear. I felt at peace. I walked along the front for about a half an hour, smiling as I watched people around me enjoying their day.

There was a beer festival happening in Yonge-Dundas Square, curious to see it I decided to head back into the city centre. I sat and waited for my feet to dry in the sun before I got back into my trainers and moved. I got a bus and then a train. On the train Shaun was there! He was going to meet Toni at the library she was working in. He mentioned there was an art festival happening later and suggested we meet up again and all go together. I agreed but first there was the beer festival. Sadly, my research had not brought up the prices – it was like 60 dollars which included some food and drink but that was way out of my budget. I would have just wanted a couple of halves and some yummy street food. 

Instead I ended up in the Toronto Eaton Centre’s foodcourt as I was hungry and wanted food fast. I bought some sushi from one stall and a Nutella stuffed cookie with a Mmmaple iced cappuccino from Tim Hortons. It was balanced, somewhat. The sushi was fresh, the avocado really creamy against the heat of the pickled ginger. The cookie was delicious, there was so much Nutella inside that it clagged up my mouth in the best possible way. The iced cappuccino had so much sugar and maple syrup that I couldn’t taste the coffee again, it was delicious. Rejuvenated I went to meet Shaun and Toni so we could get a bus to the Luminato festival.

It was a little tricky to find one another as the train station was so large and I needed wifi to be in contact with them. We piled into a yellow school bus which was such a novelty. It felt like we were in a film, on a special school trip as it drove everyone out of the city and into an industrial estate. When it did stop there was huge old factory ahead of us, we followed the crowds around the building to the entrance. It looked cool inside with the beams lit with blue and pink lights. We then saw one of our former work colleagues, Brad, who was working the event. It was so weird to just bump into him. He informed us that the event that night was ticketed and we wouldn’t be able to go inside without tickets. We said goodbye and suggested we meet another time and left to get another bus back to the city. 

The sun was starting to set on the drive back and it was beautiful watching the light change over Toronto’s skyline. We decided to try Ethiopian food and went back to the neighbourhood we’d ate in the night prior. We messaged another of our former work friend John Hudson to say we were in his neighbourhood and he should meet us for a drink. 

We settled on Nazareth Restaurant for food, there was a slight wait for a table but it was the decor was unusual. There were so many lights and fake plants hanging from the ceiling. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the decor. It was collectively our first time eating Ethiopian food and we ordered a vegetarian dish and they ordered a meat dish. The vegetarian food was largely lentil based, rich and spicy. Most of them were a little too spicy for me. The Injera breads that were served with the curries was different to any kind of flat bread I’ve had. It was spongey, bouncy and soft. It had a subtle taste of sweet, dark molasses and wholemeal. There was a sign that said that this restaurant did not use cutlery so we ate with the Injera. It helped to soothe the spices. I was not able to eat as much as I thought I would either that or the portion size really was ridiculous. Our friend John came and met us and said he’d be drinking in bar down the street with his friend. 
We met them in Northwood, which was a cool bar with interesting cocktails but they were so expensive. I think I did buy two gin based cocktails which were refreshing and super easy to drink. It was also dark inside the bar with bare lightbulbs next to each table. We sat and joked and just talked. What I enjoyed most was that I was sat at a table with people who had Northern accents. I had become so accustomed to being amongst people who have no idea what a Northern English accent even sounds like! It made me feel safe and homey. Not homesick though.
We began our journey back about 1.30am though we didn’t get back to Toni and Shaun’s flat till after 2.30. Though we were tired we were also a little drunk and the journey went quick and I just remember laughing on the way back. I fell asleep as soon as I went to bed.

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