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Lovely castle and a sad farewell

Toronto, Canada

Ang had to cook some champagne cup cakes for a friends wedding shower taking place at 1pm in Toronto, so we were up fairly early and on the road shortly after 11. Ang dropped us off at the York Shopping Mall and Ollie, Sue & I took the subway 6 stops south leaving a short walk to Casa Loma. I say short but it was all uphill and some of it was quite steep! Still it was easy going back.

Casa Loma was built by a wealthy financier Henry Pellatt who introduced electricity to Toronto. It took 300 men 3 years to construct from a start in 1911. So it is not strictly historic but rather a realisation of a romantic dream and no less interesting for that. Most of the furnishings were sold off when it was put on the market to pay off Sir Henry Pellatt's debts following a period of bad calls. We only spent about 3 hours there following an audio guided tour but you could spend a lot more. The views from the top of the tower were spectacular and while not exactly an uninterrupted view of the lake, is possibly better than the slum area it apparently overlooked when built. There aren't many people who would solve the problem of two properties separated by a main road by building an 800 foot long tunnel and using it to provide a huge furnace to give central heating to both properties. Apparently the furnace consumed 800 tons of coal per year. Bearing in mind that summers in Toronto are hot, so minimal amounts would be needed for hot water then, this means around 120 tons per month or 4 tons per day during the winter months!!

The formal gardens are not grand but they are beautiful and the whole place very nice indeed.

A short walk back to the subway and another 6 stops and several blocks walk in high heat and humidity saw us to the edge of Chinatown. We had been looking for somewhere to slake our thirst even being tempted to go in to a dive that looked as though it may have been on the police watch list; once entered swiftly exited.

Ang had trouble with the traffic but managed to park up and meet up with us in a McDonalds. It was a refuge at least and easily identifiable. Ollie had wanted to visit BeerBistro since Ang had got him a book produced by its owners based on cooking with beer; we therefore headed in that direction for our evening meal. The beer list is extensive with tasting notes and the food has recommended pairings. The meals were very good and the pairings worked well though Ollie and I each had another beer to finish off.

As we didn't have to book in to our hotel 'till late, we drove down to the lakeside by the city centre airport and walked along the front in the crepuscular light. It was absolutely lovely and a great way to end this section of our holiday.

Ollie dropped us off at the hotel at about 10pm and we said our sad farewells. It had been a wonderful week, we had done a lot and spent a most enjoyable time with Ollie and Ang which suddenly and predictably seemed too short. It was hard to break away but poor Ollie & Ang had an hour and a half's drive back to Waterloo, we just had to get ourselves sorted for the morrow and a 6am call to catch the 7am shuttle to the airport, and crash.

permalink written by  rickandsuejohnson on July 30, 2012 from Toronto, Canada
from the travel blog: Go West then go East
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Ah! Bet it all went far too quickly. Some lovely pics! xx

permalink written by  zoemanley on August 1, 2012

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