Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a hell of a town, Toronto is...

This past week, my boyfriend and I had the most excellent fortune of spending time in the beautiful city of Toronto, Canada. We only had a few days to explore the place, but it seemed to us to be the stuff of dreams. A bustling yet remarkably clean city by day, Toronto transforms into a glittering metropolis at night. In fact, it looked to me like a comic book illustration of Gotham City - but better.

And, hands down, you have to love a city in which EVERY hot dog cart you come across offers veggie dogs. And not even wimpy flavorless ones either. The one above was roasted over an honest-to-goodness open grill, with real flames and everything! Plus, I had my choice of a veritable smorgasbord of condiments - including crushed potato chips! And let me tell you, the potato chips really bring something to the party...

And the Canadian reputation for politeness seems to me to be quite well-founded. Pedestrians actually hurry across the street when they cross in front of your car...and they even wave thank you for letting them pass! And, what's more, many Toronto-an businesses - like the very kind hot dog vendor I snapped a picture of above - accepted U.S. dollars from us. This was extra nice because the USD is actually only worth about $.96 Canadian these days...So if our hot dog vendor is still outside the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel or thereabouts, go tell him hi from his friends from Rhode Island! And try a veggie dog with potato chips!

I was a little sad that we didn't get to try out more of the vegetarian restaurants we passed while driving around. There was one called Kale that looked really interesting. I found a review here that wasn't an unqualified endorsement, but certainly indicated that the place wasn't bad. The pictures on the link certainly look like you'd be able to replenish your nutrient level pretty well there after a long day of roaming the city streets. And the buffet-style service makes the eatery fairly economical to boot.

If anyone has had the pleasure of visiting any great vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Toronto, please tell us about them here! And if anyone is interested in seeing a bit of the highlight reel from our trip, please go ahead and scroll through the post.

Have a great rest of the week guys!

Not even joking when I say that we caught a beautiful sunset every single night in Canada

Canadian money is quite pretty. It kind of reminds me of euros. But stereotypes aside, there were definitely pictures of children playing hockey on the $5's... Also, fun fact from my boyfriend: The Canadian $1 coin is actually called a "loonie" because it has a picture of a loon on it. How could you not get a kick out of having waterfowl on your currency?

It appears that the Canadian government likes to reassure you that you will not be stuck in traffic. How nice is that? I even like the way they phrase it...

Some beautiful green space near the waterfront. There were lots of kids and couples taking pleasant afternoon strolls that day.

The elusive and totally bad-a** black squirrel, native to the area.

The CN Tower is supposedly the world's tallest tower. And it sure feels like it when you are standing/sitting/whimpering on the see-through glass floor on the observation deck at the top...The tower above is shown here at a much more manageable size

I totally took this picture. I will gloat forever about that. The CN Tower observation deck simply cannot be beat at sunset.

I assure you that this terribly-taken picture doesn't nearly do Toronto justice. I hope it at least gives you an idea. If you can ever see this place first-hand at night, it's breathtaking.

And awesome large-scale art and architecture are everywhere in Toronto. Totally a cool youthful-feeling city.

We just stumbled across what appeared to be the Canadian Walk of Fame as we headed back to the car. I just couldn't resist snapping shots of famous PETA-spokeperson Pamela Anderson's star. She's soon to be added to the Hot Vegan Army, don't worry!

And William Shatner...Not a vegetarian, but still... And yup, I just boldly went there... :-)

A strangely ominous sign advertising the Toronto Zoo membership program.

And even as we said a fond farewell to the fair city of Toronto, it gave us one final gorgeous sunset to remember it by. We'll miss you Toronto! Hope to see you again soon!

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