|Toronto and CN Tower, seen from Harbourfront|
|At Future Bakery, on Bloor West in the Annex|
|Cherry blossoms draw a Mother's Day crowd in High Park|
By first going to Toronto, Marilyn's sabbatical/my leave of absence from work is off to a start akin to eating "comfort food". Indeed Toronto has become a home away from home that we have visited regularly (2-4 times a year) ever since Emily went to the U of T as a first-year university student in 2001. (In Canada, one does not go to college as a freshman and live in a dorm; instead one attends university as a first-year student and lives "in residence".) Many of our recent visits here have been at a leisurely pace, with time spent reading The Globe and Mail instead of the NYT, visiting favorite spots such as Future Bakery or that neat ceramics store on Harbord, and gradually expanding our knowledge of Toronto's many neighborhoods and parks through walks, bike rides, or streetcar journeys. With one of the most diverse populations of any world city, the food here is not bad either (except for, strangely, pizza).
This visit was particularly well-timed because these six days in May swept in Emily's birthday (May 3), her wedding shower (yesterday), and Mother's Day today--on a beautiful early spring day here, with the cherry trees in full bloom in High Park drawing big crowds to enjoy the sight. We also had a little time for a one-night B&B getaway to Prince Edward County one hundred miles east of here on Lake Ontario.
The death of Osama bin Laden this past week has prompted many reflections. Being in Canada, I would offer that among the ugly legacies of al Qaeda and the trillions spent and many lives lost to combat it is the "hardening" of the US/Canada border, with increased wait times, more questions being asked and passports (or passport cards) now being required to cross it. With travel between the US and Canada being more difficult, the two societies, I think, have been drifting apart for the past ten years, which is sort of sad. Another change is that ten years ago the loonie was 65 cents and now it's over a buck. As for us, however, we will always keep coming back to Canada.
|Church of the Redeemer, midtown Toronto|
|Christ Church Deer Park, Toronto|
In our travels in Canada over the years, the Anglican churches we have attended have not always appeared vibrant, but, happily, these two are.
Tomorrow we will be leaving our home away from home and will hope to feel at home in more distant and unfamiliar places.