Lynette has never been to Honest Ed’s. It is the original ‘Giant Tiger’ type store and where Ed Mirvish made his money originally. How can one describe it? Take the largest Giant Tiger store you have ever been in, multiply it by at least 5, house it in several connected, 75 year old, 3 story buildings that span a city block square, decorate the inside with theater posters from the 1950s and 1960s, and there you have it. Yes, and the facade of the building has 10,000 lights on it.
Lynette was blown away and loved it. We could have stayed there for half the day. Bargains, bargains, bargains. And stuff you would never find anywhere in Ottawa.
We bought a few small things and loved every minute. We will be back next trip.
This brought the time to almost noon, so back to Kensington…
We start the day with a very nice complementary breakfast in the hotel – simple and just what we wanted. I hate having to go out or into a big restaurant for breakfast.
Our plan for the day is to start with Kensington Market. From the hotel into the city center is only about 15 minutes at 10am.
We park on Augusta St. in the Market, but after walking around a bit remember that most things don’t really open until 11:30 or so.
We regroup and decide to visit Honest Ed’s and then return to the Market.
It turns out that the hotel meeting room is being use this day by the local Mary Kay distributor – an apparent heavy hitter on the planet of Mary Kay. As a result, there is a brand new Cadillac CTS in pastel pink in the parking lot.
Pretty amazing. You must have to sell a lot of lip stick to get that as a bonus…
We grab something to eat in the beaches area and walk around a bit. Having 24 hours free in/out parking is very handy.
We relax and contemplate the next day’s plan.
A networking teacher’s work is never done!
Both being net people, we have both laptops with us. We get them set up and find no net connectivity. Hmmmmm.
Off to the front desk, where a lady with an apple laptop (ick) is telling the desk clerk that she can’t see the net.
He succumbs to my ministrations that it is his router, follows my instructions for restarting and voila – we have connectivity…
This could happen anywhere and at least in a small hotel with friendly staff I could correct it immediately.
The net access is VERY fast and stays solid for our entire stay. And it is FREE. When you check in to the more expensive hotels downtown it is not. Pay more to get less – go figure.
It was an easy drive down and the traffic into the city was clear sailing. We arrived at our hotel and were delighted. It is a nicely renovated small hotel (about 50 rooms) with a 40’s deco facade.
We have a nice room (larger than the downtown hotel) overlooking a quiet residential street to the west. Perfect. We unpack and relax a bit.
As is our habit, we stopped for lunch on the drive down in the lake front park in Tweed, Ontario. This stop is almost exactly half way and is a very enjoyable break. The weather was co-operating completely….
Both previous trips we have enjoyed staying at the Day’s Hotel, right in the city core at Carleton and Yonge. It is great to be a short drive from everywhere (I never leave the car in the garage) and to have Yonge Street just steps away for morning coffee in Starbuck’s.
We thought that we would do the same this year, but it was not to be. When I set out on the net to make the reservations the hotel was nowhere to be found.
Weird! Eventually I call another location of Day’s Inn in Toronto, to be told that the hotel was closed for renovations and rebranding. Rats!
We love the Queen East Beaches area and there is a Beaches Day’s Inn there – a very retro looking small hotel. We decided to try it.
It was a great decision.
Having enjoyed ourselves on every trip together to Toronto, Lynette and I decided to go once again this year. Each time we visit we think of something new to add for the next visit to the city or something to omit.
This year we decided to go in the late Spring rather than late Summer, thus avoiding the Summer gaggle of school children and tourists.
One last look at the CN Tower from the hotel room and we are off for home…
We have been blessed with a wonderful trip together and four days of absolutely perfect weather.
We are already making plans for what to do next time…
Lynette had great success in the Betsey Johnson shop, finding a wonderful skirt.
Thursday morning started in our traditional manner – a relaxing coffee time at Starbuck’s.
For our last morning the plan was to shop on Yorkville and Hazelton Avenues, the Rodeo Drive of Canada, and an old haunt of mine from the late 60’s.
Lynette particularly wanted to visit the Betsey Johnson Store – an exclusive designer that she has frequented on the Internet.
The area is re pleat with wonderful designer shops, art galleries and such. In my youth it was of course the Hippie coffee house area, filled with night life and the likes of even Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in their early days – a great place to take pictures and hang out. Now the street is the parking place for new Mazerati’s and such.
We enjoyed it greatly.
Jersey Boys is a musical about the life of Franki Valley and the Four Seasons. They had many hits in the 60s and 70s, creating a popular music genre with lasting effects. They rose from the working class areas of NYC and had a colourful past. The show was a blend of their story with over 2 hours of hits songs. There was even some film footage of the actual Four Seasons. All the music was live. It was very enjoyable.
The Toronto Center for the Performing Arts is a huge live theater complex. Great design and acoustics. It is what I think that the NAC in Ottawa would be if it were built today.
Since we were late from shopping and there was construction on the way (it is located quite far north on Young Street) there was some nail biting by Dad as to whether we would actually make the show. But as Lynette predicted we arrived, parked and picked up the tickets at 7:55, just in time to get seated for the 8pm curtain…
We left at smiling at 10:30, with Fours Seasons hits running through our minds. And I had thoughts of my youth, when many of these hits were number 1 for weeks.
When the Eaton Center didn’t pan out for Lynette I suggested that we return to Kensington to finish the afternoon. We both love it and she points out that she could spend days poking around in the vintage shops there.
The return to Kensington is a success with Lynette finding several neat items and a great sweater. We depart happily for the hotel and dinner.
Having enjoyed the restful view of the city, watching the ferrys coming and going, we headed back to dry land and to Kensington.
What a wonderful place to relax and watch the city. Ducks in the bay and planes into the Island pasting the CN Tower. We found it delightful – yet another place unique to Toronto.