Category Archives: Dad&Daughter in TO

Ken and Lynette take our now yearly dad and daughter trip. We return to Toronto for another wonderful time of shopping, theater, beach, Island and more…

Sound of Music

The Sound the Music performance was wonderful – well beyond expectations! Our box seats turned out to be actual velvet wing chairs instead of theater seats, with perfect sight lines and sound. What a treat.

The cast was superb and we couldn’t have asked for more.


We loved every minute of it. The standing ovation was much deserved. An incredible evening.



After going back to the Hotel to shower, eat and dress, it is off to the theater for the evening.

Princesss of Wales Theater

The Mirvish Princess of Wales Theater is one of the wonderfully restored theaters owned by the Mirvish family (founder of Honest Ed stores). It is classic beauty inside and out, like its sister theater the Royal Alex just down the block (where we saw Dirty Dancing last year). The Mirvish production company generally alternates offerings between the two theaters throughout the year.


We love it

Clearly we love the Beaches area. It would a wonderful place to live (if ya’ have million bucks to buy a house )…


Lynette wants to move here immediately. Toronto has so many places like this to spend time at little cost and great enjoyment.



On the boardwalk

Makes me think of the 70’s song of the same name. Beautiful sand, old pavilions, adults, kids and dogs. A bit of heaven in the city.

Lynette’s comment is that there is nothing like this in Ottawa, and she is absolutely right.

We spend part of the afternoon strolling along, watch people and dogs play (there is an off leash area of the beach for dogs) and sitting on a bench watching the lake. The lake is wide enough that you can not see the other side, so it might as well be the ocean.

The occasional boat floats by in the distance. The city is a thousand miles, yet on 2 blocks, away.


Heading beach-ward…

Shopped out for now, we head for The Beaches for the afternoon. The Beaches area, below Queen Street east of downtown, is an idllyic neighbourhood. In the early 1900s it was likely the Summer vacation area of Toronto, served then and now by the Queen Street street car directly from downtown. Beautiful old houses, sand beach and a several kilometer boardwalk, all minutes from downtown. Queen street in that area is a mix of cafes and folksy California type shops and spas.


Lynette wears the hat that she just bought in Kensington.

I lived in the Beaches for a while in about 1970. Except for more eclectic shops, and house prices changing from 1000s to millions, it looks wonderfully the same, with same ‘not in the city’ feel.


A hat to love…

We lunch at a little cafe and go back to a shop to pick up a hat that I loved earlier…


We go back to the car to find to our delight that, as last year, downtown parking in Toronto is not only easier to find but less expensive than in downtown Ottawa.


What wonderful mixture

Lynette browses in many small clothing stops and such. By mid-morning I sit in a cafe patio on the street, drinking mint tea, listening to the reggae music from the down the street and watching the passing folks. It is bliss. Lynette continues to shop.

Market Streets


Shop ’till you drop

We start our morning at Starbuck’s, watching the cast of people at College and Yonge.

Then off to Kensington market (SW of Spadina and College), just a few blocks from the hotel. We arrive just as the shops start to open around 10.

Kensington is a wonderfully crowded and random mix of ethnic fresh food shops, bakeries, cafes, vintage and eclectic clothing stores, cheese shops (180+ cheeses in one place with samples), vintage music stores, brightly painted Victorian houses converted to stores, and much, much more – all of which spill out onto and fill the front yards.

Kensington Shops

An incredible mix of sights, music, people and foods that defies description.


First evening

After a long drive we catch a bite to eat near the hotel and decide to take a leisurely drive around downtown, looking at some of the old houses (with turrets) west of Kensington and checking out parking for the theater the next evening.

It is nice to be in the city again. Lots of students out and about in the U of T area. The city has a huge downtown populace (gorgeous condo architecture everywhere), which makes the streets very alive day and night.

On returning to the hotel after dark we discover that we have a nice night view of the CN tower (as promised by the clerk when we checked in). With all the tall condo buildings now populating downtown a good view is a nice bonus.

At night the CN Tower is lighted with a programmed light system. The tower colour changes, the lights run up and down the full height, and the restaurant pod changes colour and appears to rotate.

Night CN tower

Now for some sleep for a big day tomorrow…


Hello Toronto

After a little construction on hwy 7 and 41 we arrive in the big city. It is great to be back and at the our favourite downtown hotel. We stayed here last year and it was just perfect – right downtown @ College and Yonge, nice though small room and close to everything.



On the road to the big smoke

Starting off in the new car is interesting. I am not used to it yet, though it handles well on the highway. Whether is will suit me is up in the air so far – Lynette says I have driven higher powered sports cars all my life, so this will not last. I suspect that she is correct.


Perfect summer weather has finally arrived for our trip. We make our usual stop for lunch in the town park in Tweed, exactly half way. It is a lovely spot right on the lake, with calm water and nice shade trees, though I have noticed that over the years that I have stopped here the lake shows the effects of acid rain chemical changes and now has developed a water vegetation problem clogging the beaches. Al Gore would be happy that I noticed that no doubt.

A nice break and on we go. Perfect driving and little traffic…


Off to Toronto…

Our recent summer tradition is for Lynette and I to take a dad and daughter trip together, usually in the Summer months. Last year we went to Toronto to share some of Dad’s old haunts and take in the musical Dirty Dancing (it was fantastic) at the Royal Alexander theater.

This year (2009) we decided to wait until end of Summer and (having has such a great time last year) to return to Toronto for more of the same. It was a good choice, as the following series of travel blog posts demonstrate…