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To Toronto

After a few quiet days, once more I am assaulted by unnecessary noise. The last couple of nights at the hostel in Ottawa there was a strange intermittent sound. It sounded like a frog had taken one of the beds. More specifically, it was a creaky, sometimes squeaky noise that sounded like someone chewing on a piece of rubber. It was yesterday morning when an old guy who’s staying at the hostel told me what it was; he said he was changing rooms because another guy was grinding his teeth. And of course, last night, knowing now what it was … it’s not pleasant thinking about it really. The bloke must have been doing it in his sleep – I can’t imagine that anyone would do it consciously – or even accidentally – so persistently.

And on the coach from Ottawa to Toronto there was an old woman across from me who continuously made sucking-through-one’s-teeth noises. But I’m in Toronto now, and we’ll see what the night brings. This hostel is massive – it consists of five houses – 40 through 48. At $25 dollars a night, it’s a it more expensive than the others I’ve stayed at; it provides breakfast, unlike Ottawa Backpacker’s Inn. It also does trips to Niagara Falls (or should I say three tour companies do trips and pick up from the hostel?) – and I’ll be taking advantage of one of those.

First impressions of the city are favourable. Whereas in Montreal my hostel was quite a way from the city centre (on the Plateau du Mont Royal, no less), the Canadiana Backpacker’s Hostel is more central. In fact, it’s a short walk from there to the CN Tower – which is TALL. And also constructed from aged concrete. Clearly, it’s not supposed to be viewed close up. In fact, if you stand beside it and look up, it appears to lean right over you.

I took a walk along part of the harbourfront – up the ferry terminal for the City Centre Airport, which is where I’ll be flying back to Halifax from on Friday evening. The airport is on a long, thin island on Lake Ontario and the ferry ride to get there is all of about 20 yards. 50 tops. You can’t see much of the lake from where I was because of the island. I might look into a boat trip.

I handed over another $110 dollars for my stay at the hostel, leaving me with $5 in my wallet. I went to a cash machine (or should I say ATM?) and got another $100 – of which I’ve already spent a good portion. I want to go up the CN Tower and that’ll cost me $25; a trip to Niagara Falls will set me back $40 or $50. Occasionally, I reflect that this trip will have cost me well over £1,000, perhaps going on for £1,500 – and that’s a substantial fraction of my Korean savings. As I’ve said before, I don’t like spending money willy-nilly, but I’m also not especially possessive about it. Easy come, etc.

I spent $11.95 on a ticket for The Seeker. The cinema is literally just round the corner from the hostel. As I went upstairs to use the toilet (or should I say washroom?) on an escalator about three storeys high, I looked down to the cinema’s foyer and saw possibly the best thing I’ve seen on this trip so far (perhaps even better than the lynx at the Montreal Biodome (or should I say Montréal Biodôme?)): a pair of four-metre-long models of a Klingon Bird of Prey and the Enterprise E.

Not much else to say right now, so …

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Categories: Life, Travel
  1. savasana
    17 October 2007 at 2:05 am

    I’m not sure if it is running this time of year, and I don’t recall how much it is, but you might consider the “Maid of the Mist” tour. It is a boat ride that takes you right up to the falls (the bottom of course!).

  2. 18 October 2007 at 1:52 am

    Thanks. Maid of the Mist sails from May to October, inclusively, and I’ve just been on her … or one of her identical sisters. It (she?) was a lot of fun, actually, and I’m going to write it (her?) up soon.

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