Back to the Big Smoke


A few days ago, Mind (my eldest) and I went for a walkabout in our old haunt, downtown Toronto. Driving in has become a nightmare and parking a horror show, so we took the train, which was so convenient and relaxing and dropped us right in the thick of the city. It’s been a while since either of us have been and so we visited some of our favourite spots and reminisced. First stop, Kensington Market, with its funky shops and vintage clothing hangouts. I do miss the vitality and variety of urban life. I love the grit of the people and the language they use, filled with honesty and expletives that these ears hadn’t heard for quite sometime outside Just For Laughs episodes. I feel urban among the diversity and am proud that we have so much of it in this city. We ate lunch at a Mexican joint with a view of a car converted into a garden. IMG_2577

Next we wandered over to the University of Toronto and stumbled into convocation. So many proud families swarming the newly graduated. We tucked into the old buildings and admired the architecture and mix of edifices and green space. IMG_2579

Many steps later we found ourselves crawling along Yonge St.–still such a mix of trashy tourist stores along with tech and fashion. Couldn’t resist a pop into the Eaton Centre for some cool air and a peak at the flying Canadian Geese. Our only stop was a quick look in Lululemon. We left the best for last-The St. Lawrence Market, where we’d buy some of our favourite hard-to-find foods to bring home with us. I love this place; the sights, the smells, the noise–all converging into one awesome, hyper-sensorial

Alas, it’s been so long since we were there, we forgot it was closed on Mondays. We could see the counter where we buy our souvlaki’s and the other where we buy our cheese but we left empty-handed. As we walked back to the train after a quick stop at Fran’s Restaurant for some all-day breakfast, we felt our eyes sting from a day in the thick, city air. My fitness app told us we’d walked 15,000 steps and fourteen kms. I was surprised to discover how much I was ready to get back home.

No trip with me is without some adventure, and so as we gabbed and gabbed, suddenly Mind looked up and said, “Quick! Go! This is our stop! We scrambled off the train at which point I discovered I’d left my hat and sunglasses on my seat in our haste to exit. “Hold the train!” I shouted to Mind, knowing he’d figure out a way to do that while I ran back on board. He stood, one foot on the train and one foot on the platform, waving and jumping, hoping to be seen by someone who could do something about it. People waited on the platform, watching to see if it would all work out, which it did. It always does. And then we drove through vineyards and orchards, through fresh air and sameness to our home .

2 thoughts on “Back to the Big Smoke”

  1. I love love love this post (although I missed seeing you)! It’s so funny how those of in the city don’t always take in these amazing sites and places – your day in the Big Smoke – reawakened me to all that the city has to offer (the good, the bad and the smelly). Thanks Jane!


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