Posts filed under ‘Toronto’

Chaos in the T.

I promised the border guard in BC that I wasn’t coming to Canada to write about the G20 Summit. I still maintain that this was not my plan, but after my weekend in Toronto coincided with the G20 and the chaos that ensued, how can I not write about it? (But I still maintain that I’m not a political writer.)

Things started calmly enough. I said bye to my Ottawa family, and Chele and I left fairly early for the Toronto area. Our first stop was Pickering, east of Toronto, where our friend Sarah played host and tour guide. After dinner, she took us to the waterfront path in Pickering so we could take some scenic photos. And so I could chase some geese on the beach. More on that if I ever upload the videos I’ve been taking.

On Saturday morning, we said goodbye to Sarah and continued our backtracking route to pick up Jules in London. We were rewarded with brunch at Cora’s, my favourite breakfast restaurant in the world. No one does fruit-filled crêpes quite like Cora. London is my least favourite city in Canada, for many reasons, and our bad luck with London continued. We just wanted to add Jules to the rental car at a Hertz location, but all 3 of the London locations were closed—2 for good, and 1 for the day. So after our epic detours, we were finally on our way to Toronto.

Little did we know that Toronto had erupted into a riot that afternoon. By the time we go to Christina’s in the city, groups of protestors at the G20 had smashed windows of major businesses downtown and had already had altercations with the police. It’s a good thing that I’ve been to Toronto so many times, because I definitely did not get to see much of the city on this trip! Even if we’d wanted to brave the hammer-wielding protestors, the police had set up traffic blockades downtown and the subway wasn’t running south of Bloor.

So instead, Christina, Jules, Chele, and I picked up Jen, and the the five of us had our traditional birthday weekend. This year, it ended up just being a birthday dinner in The Beaches, a waterfront neighbourhood east of downtown, but it was fun for us all to be together for a bit, even though it wasn’t much time. We went to The Green Eggplant, and I had a delightful sandwich with chicken, mozzarella, and pesto. Thumbs up for the food, and a cute place, too.

When we flipped on the news back at Christina’s, a group of protestors were staging a sit-in on Front Street, one of the major streets downtown that runs parallel to Lake Ontario. They said that they would refuse to move until one of the major G20 leaders came out to talk to them. We really didn’t understand that logic. I mean, after you send the city into lockdown, you think someone is going to just wander outside and take your seriously? Sure, okay.

Anyway, we were all just glad to have some good birthday times while successfully avoiding the madness. We did see some smashed windows along the way, but no people with hammers or burning cars. And here’s hoping that my next trip to Toronto is on a quieter weekend.

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July 3, 2010 at 11:18 am Leave a comment


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.

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