I didn't realize Toronto was so beautiful. Everywhere you go you see beautiful architecture.
I have been in Toronto for a few days; even slipping up to Lake Muskoka for a couple of nights. But now I'm back in Toronto for my second last night to celebrate my friend's 40th birthday.
We have a long history with this Canadian family. When my father migrated to Canada in the 50s, he worked with a bloke, later becoming friends with the family. Tara, who is celebrating her birthday is the granddaughter of Dad's friends. Over the years, we have kept in touch, visiting whenever we are in Toronto, and now, it seems , this generation is following the friendship.
We are on top of a condominium building in downtown Toronto. I find out that condominiums are owned, whilst apartments are rented. The rooftop isn't anything remarkable, except for one thing - the view. There are tables and chairs up there and despite the earlier shower of rain, it is warm enough to set up a picnic dinner. From each of the corners is a view - a different view. On one side is an airport, situated on a nearby island in Lake Ontario. I watch as aeroplanes take off and land at regular intervals. From my vantage point, I watch as a police vessel intercepts another boat setting out from the Dockland area. All seems to be in order, as the police vessel returns to shore after briefly speaking to the boat owner.
The view over the city is breathtaking. I watch as commuters deal with the city traffic; trails of red and white lights as people start their evening commute. I leave one corner for last, because deep down, I know it is the best sight of all.
Looming on the city side of the building on top of which I'm standing is the iconic, and world's tallest freestanding structure until 2007, the CN Tower. A few years ago, I had visited the CN Tower, and Pauline, my friend, had pointed out the apartment block in which her son lives. Today, I'm on top of that apartment block looking up at the CN tower; a reversal of location and a completely different perspective of the same view.
As the shadows lengthen and the lights gradually brighten, the city takes on a new life. Tourists simply don't have opportunities like this one. As we sit together at the table, the person who made this friendship happen isn't here any more. It is obvious from the conversation that my dad is a very much loved and respected honorary member of this family. I turn to Tara, and ask her whether she remembers the day she had taken dad on a tour of Toronto. It had been his last trip here before he died, and he had photos of his visit to his old boarding house, and of the 'Duck' tour of Toronto that she had taken him on. It had been a very enjoyable day for both of them, and one Dad very much appreciated.
We eventually return to the railway station and take the train back to the suburbs.I leave Toronto tomorrow night and many changes are about to happen. Pauline and Paul will soon move to the lake house permanently, retiring and enjoying the beauty of the lake in all seasons.
TITLE QUOTE: Kevin Costner
ACCOMMODATION: Private homes