I've been to Toronto 4 times, over 10 or 15 years. I think the first was around June 1996, the 2nd I think I went was '98 the 3rd I forget what year it was 2001 & 2006 the last so far. The first time I ever went Mom and I were supposed to go to Las Vegas but that El Nino storm was supposed to be that year, so I asked her instead if we could go to Toronto as it's closer and if we learned I didn't like to fly then I could get the bus back if need be.
Turns out I loved the plane! When it took off you would have thought I was on an amusement ride, as we took off I have no idea here it came from but "weeeeeee" came right out of my mouth. I even clapped my hand over my mouth in suprprise with my mom & I laughing our butts off, and the guy & boy in front of us turned around and looked over the head rests at us! All mom could say is 'Her first flight' between laughing.
I'm trying to recall where all my pictures are from past trips as eveything I had on an external drive well, I'm sure I can kiss good-bye as It will not load. So I found the first trip & maybe 1 other. I also have a disk from the 2006 trip which was fun, but I was getting sick so I wasn't much myself while there. (I usually rock the city & don't sit down and I did not feel all that rockin' this time; not to mention boost their economy as well!)
©Photos are my own
Toronto 96 & 98
1996 I know I have a book I put a bunch of my photos & other items in.. I guess you can call it a 'Smash book' before they became the thing. Sadly That is in the storage room and now way to get around to get there. (too much snow and ice here in NY at the moment) I must ask forgiveness ahead of time, as I am not remembering stuff from each trip in order.
I remember one night I was here this time that I was hanging out at the hard Rock cafe and 2 guys were hanging out & I heard their accent & wondered where they were from which I think was Mexico. They were going to go to one of the clubs and asked me if i wanted to & well I was legal to drink in Canada at the time but I still had to call & let mom know where I was going (to be safe) & OMG they hopped into the red Coca cola phone booth with me. They get the phone from me & asking my mom if I could come and stuff. We went to the Fluid lounge on Richmond (or in that area). Well for it being June, I see some guy walk by in front of me that I'd swear was Nathan Lafyette (a former L.A. King) in a trench coat (& it so was not cold). Later on there's someone else right in front in a tight black shirt (think like under armor but I don't think that existed yet) Well it was an NHL player David Nemirovsky (he was a Florida Panther). At some point some guy at a seating area where I was starts hitting on me and I'm just thinking this guy looks like Stephan Riche from the Devils. Well the creepy thing was his name was Stephen & gave me his phone number.
Each night after my day I'd go to the Hard Rock Cafe as my night cap. It was close to the hotel and the staff there was really nice. I got on a first name basis with a few. There was Lisa, Snowy (I don't remember if I ever found out his real name) Ricky, Chris (sadly Chris I met the last night I was there) & one or 2 others.
The last night I was there they had the Detroit Red wings Vs Philly Flyers Stanley Cup playoffs game on (I think it was game 3). There's this older guy sitting next to me and Wings score.. phone rings he answers. Again Wings score phone rings he answers. He's watching the game too so one of us starts chatting the other up either that or it was he asked me to watch his phone (& if it rings to answer it) as he was rooting for the Flyers (I did ask him . You are from Toronto right & normally a leafs fan? I got a laugh for this & a yes) and every time the wings scored, his friends would call him. Later on in the night, his friend showed up. So we are all hanging out having some laughs & somehow (I don't remember) we get into conversation about butts! (I suppose oen of those like are you a butt, legs or thigh thing..) Well in all the joking... I guess we got a bit roudy or whatever you want to call it as one of the waiters walks by & he grabs him & turns him around :;Clicks pic:: & the waiter (Chris) walks off. When he comes back He comes over to me and "Want a picture of the front this time?" I had to have blushed at least a bit, but hey he was a cutie! and I just HAD to flirt with him.
In 1998 I went with it being sort of a birthday trip. I wanted to see the Maple Leafs play in Maple Leaf Gardens as it was closing after that season. Both the NY Rangers and the NY Islanders had a game against the Leafs the week I would be there, my friend that lived there (I met her through Pen Paling, I had seen she was from Toronto and wrote just to tell her how much I loved the city when I first went there.) She was a hockey fan as well but wanted to see the Islanders (for once I actually want to see the rangers play but oh well her birthday was in November as well if I remember right she had to order & purchase the tickets because I was told you could only pick them up at the arena, & they would not mail them.) Being as we were not going to the Rangers game Lisa & I met at some point at the Hard Rock cafe, the Rangers & Leafs tied and Lisa & I walked from the Hard Rock Cafe over to the arena so I could get my Maple Leafs Jersey Signed by the player I had on it, Alyn McCauley. I did get to meet a few former NJ Devils Steve Thomas and I had (just in case) my Albany River Rats Jersey with me & The first Autograph I got one that was former River Rat Steve Sullivan. I also remember Pat Quinn coming out & smoking a cigar. Gary Vaulk trying to get across the street with the baby & all anyone was doing was trying to get his attention for pictures and such. I think I yelled at the crowd something tot the effect to let him get by (so he could give his wife the baby)
After this We went to Wayne Gretzky's and When we got there..::Moans:: the NY Rangers were there as well (Adam Graves was outside signing an autograph) & we didn't have a reservation so we had to wait. The cool thing was the Rangers players I actually wanted to meet I did. I went to go in the door and while still holding the 'skate blade' thre's somne guys leaving and then I noticed it was P.J. Stock, Mie Knuble, Dan CLoutier & Niklas Sundstrom. So I was able to get a pictures with Mike Knuble & Niklas Sundstrom, My friend took a picture of me with Dan Cloutier but cut his head off. And the one I really wanted to meet was.. P.J. Stock. I swear he was so hyper he ate the entire mousse cake!
I passed by Mathieu Schinder on my way ino the dinning / bar area, & Jeff Beukaboom remembered me from the signing at my job in Bob's stores in Scarsdale NY! I remember wanting to go over & tell Gretz I loved 'Grandma Gretzky's Peirogies" & esp. the Mousse being it's to die for. Sadly the guard near the area he was in was like no. But later on while at a table, Wayne turns around & I think I'm seeing him do the come here finger signal. I point to myself like us & he nods so I'm like guess what to my friend & the person that so kindly let us hang with them... Gretz just called us over. So I did get an autograph but it's just on a piece of journal paper. I didn't even get out what I wanted to say or a picture with him but that's fine because it was cool getting to meet someone I never thought I'd ever get to meet.
First Trip to Toronto - a Photo summary ©Kim Marie OstrowskiClick thumbnail to view full-size
Gretzky's Studio 99 - ©Kim Marie OstrowskiClick thumbnail to view full-size
Favorite Places & Spaces
- Queen Street - There's some crazy shops down that street (or so as far as t3 of the 4x I was there as lastI didn't get down there)
One of them.. THe Peach Berserk, ever wanted your own Custom shirt, pants dress etc? Pic your colors, designs etc & they'll make it for you. (but you may ahve to have it mailed to you)
- Hockey Hall of Fame
- Wayne Gretzky's restaurant address is 99 Blue Jay way (walking distance to CN Tower from there)
- If its hockey Season... Go to a Game at Air Canada Centre if you are able to get tickets
- Eaton Center MASSIVE size mall
- Pickle Barrel - (In the atrium) I LOVE that I can get steak & eggs there for breakfast! & comes with potato latkes
- Delta Chelsea hotel on Gerrard. A Very nice hotel (best I've ever stayed at!) has an adult pool, sauna, & Jacuzzi. (kids can only be there with parents)
Be sure to rinse off int he showers before going into pool or Jacuzzi after you've been in sauna.
- Sam the Record Man store (I hope its still there)
- Hard Rock Cafe on Younge St
Toronto '98 - ©Kim Marie OstrowskiClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Stanley Cup - mmm just realising 2 years after & 2 years before Cup Wins!
Toronto Map - from ©1998 Compass Maps Limited
(well I tried to include one, for you for Reference)
When I've gone to toronto I've always stayed downtown in the Delta Chelsea its on (I think it was 33) Gerrard St. & Younge st. (one of if not the longest street possibly in the world) & Elm. I usually went out of the elm entrance as it leads to Younge anyway. but Younge is all you need to know! The better parts are toward the water going toward Front street. We were told (the last time ..2006 we were there) that if we left the hotel from the Younge entrance...not to make a left going down Garrard as that's a bad area the farther you go the hookers etc. but during the day I think is ok. or at least looks it. Mom went to a store (dollar store I think) near the hotel.
If you want to go to ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) I wanted to get there the friday we arived as I think it was free after 5, but have yet to get there, and I am not sure if its free any longer after a certain time.
I have been to a couple games there the first one was in Maple Leaf Gardens I went just to be able to see it & say I went to a game there. (I think its now a shopping mall or grocery store.) The last game was in 2006 in the Air canada Center as for getting the tickets in 2006 a friend of mine (I met when I was there for my 3rd trip) was able to get tickets from their friends who had season tickets, so I got spoiled. My seats were in the area where they BRING you your beer! (I was Soo trying to have one beer per period but didn't work, well I was able to have at least two.
Heard about Castle Loma before & wanted to go but wasn't able to make it. I also wanted to go to the Toronto Zoo but it's out of the way & when we went mom would not drive there. (Even If I drove I don't think I would be comfortable driving out of town. Would rather get a day bus there if there is one)
The only thing different as far as I know, is that Maple leaf Gardens is from what I hear a shopping mall or grocery store, & the Maple Leafs new arena Air Canada Centre is in the CN Tower area. (Opposite direction to MLG) Sadly the Crossant place across from there is gone.
Colorful Canadian money
Toronto - & Canada books
Where else in Canada would you travel to?
Where in Canada would you go?
That's the ticket
2006 Birthday trip
To start... November 17 we went from Westchester County airport so we only had to wait like an hour and a half to get ont he plane. When we went to board we had to walk onto the tarmak so I'm walking down and (& I think it was a song or popular saying back then) out loud I say 'Party like a Rock Star' (or said I feel like one) & everyone has a laugh. I get on the plane and its a small little thing. I think I counted 16-18 passangers including mom & I! I definately did not like that little thing as though it was only 1 seat on each side I was still squdshed against the side. I just wrote a poem while I was on the plane (it has even been published in Forever Spoken) looked at the clouds and all the different shapes (image & poem below).
On October 18th The Devils were playing the Maple Leafs (when I noticed this when the NHL schedule came out I think that's when I made the plans!). Once the trip was a sure thing I asked my friend George there if he could get tickets and I'd pay him back. Well Lucky me I got a nice surprise! They were season ticket seats and the palyer I wanted to see on the Leafs (& 94 draft pick) Jeff O'Neil was on the ticket! As the tickets we scanned and we went in, I had my Devils Jersey on with the Darcy Tucker hat I purchased earlier in the arena store (yes I went earlier in the day so I wouldn't have to lug everything during the game and after on the subway. The lady said she didn't know if she could let me in being i was wearing the devils jersey. George was in paliun clothes not even wearing his Scott Stevens Devils jersey his excuse was he was retired. My player on my jersey isn't even on the devils anymore! Any way we get in and after sesttling into our seats someone came up and asked what we wanted and I guess I looked at George like what's he want or is he kidding me. Beer order! Awesome but sadly they don't bring pick up food for you which to me in any arena for the price of season tickets they should have this and bring you soemthing to eat. Sadly the shootout was implemented at this time so there was no chance at my wish for a tie.. but i don't even remember if there was s shoot out I do remember the Devils won. While listening to the game I swear I heard them mention the leafs having an open practice but I didn't hear anything else. Tomorrow I'm suppose to go with George to a St. Michael's Majors junior hockey game, so I ned to find out what's going on.
November 19th....MY BIRTHDAY!
woke up not really feeling well. my stomach was bothering me, and I found out George woudln't be able to go to the game but I was also trying to find out abotu the open practice. I told him it was fine as his parents' anniversary is also on my birthday so it's understandable. So I was going nuts inthe morning trying to find out when & where the Open Practice would be and if it cost anything and so on. FINALLY I think I got the idea to call the arena and found out it would be there at whatever the time was and would only be $5 which would go to one of the team's charities. I remember Bryan McCabe was doing some sort of trick shot or something and a few guys followed and tried to do what he did and Kyle Wellwood was last & flubbed it (as usual!). There were a bunch of the NHL and I think some AHL team mascots also some cartoon characters from something. It seems to be more aimed at the kids though it can be fun and interesting to watch. So when it was over and I went outside to see where the other fans were to see if they can get an autograph. Well I wished for snow while I was up here & technically I got it just not 'enough' to please me. I saw like 2-3 flakes fall and that was all!
When I left I started to walk back to the hotel but found it a bit hard as now certain angles and such of building cover seeing the CN Tower & that's how I would navigate my way back to the hotel. After a bit of my feet starting to hurt I jsut crabbed a cab & went back the only problem was Younge Street was blocked off for their holiday parade so you couldn't get through and the cab had to stop wherever it did & leave me off and so I was sort of still lost (or so I felt) and now back to not having a good day! So mom & I go to Wayne Gretzky's Restaurant because the only cake I wanted this year was the mousse cake they sell here. Mom actually agreed to sit in the bar area (to me the bar seats are more comfy than chairs or booths.) So I had my usual Grandma Gretzky's pirogies and when dessert time came sadly they made me cry. No more mousse cake. The waitress said they still had somethign for me but it WASN'T the mousse cake so to me it didn't matter what it was. Also The Nascar cup race was on (& make that what is this now 3rd or 4th check in the crappy birthday column) Jimmie Johnson Won but I do get to watch the Championship CFL game as well. Some guy was trying to invited to come back to Montreal or some other part of Canada with him.