Thursday, July 27, 2017

Oh, Canada

We went to Toronto for the first time on Canada Day Weekend (which intersects with 4th of July weekend, as it happens).  Charmed as hell to see this guy as the plane flew into the city airport.  

This year celebrates Canada's 150th birthday, so recognitions of that were all over the place.

Not content to have one night of parties for such a big milestone, there were concerts and fireworks several days in a row - we caught one incarnation.

Our first stop after checking in was the SkyDome (which is now named after a cell service company, I guess) for a Blue Jays/Red Sox game.  We missed the first inning and change because, well, we were coming to the game from Newark, but that did not spoil our day. The dome was open when we got there, but some rain started a few innings in so they closed it mid-game.

Our next stop was a brewery/restaurant, where we grabbed seats at the bar and got as much info from the fantastic bartender as we could about places to go.  

We walked our asses off, like you do when you're in a city you don't (yet) know well. Great city, many fab neighborhoods, super friendly people, really good food and drink, good public transportation, great street art, robust art & performance scene all around.

On multiple recommendations, we went to the AGO and caught, among other things, a show focusing on Canadian artists, with a particular eye on indigenous artists [as you can imagine, the whole "this nation was formed 150 years ago! Woo hoo!" story plays pretty differently among the indigenous population and allies].  Also caught a retrospective of Rita Letendre, whom I hadn't heard of; the show was an excellent, necessary corrective to that.

So yes, Oh, Canada - you're not perfect, and your dreamboat of a Prime Minister has made some sketchy compromises and gets off super easy because of his disastrous counterpart to the south, but you are a (relatively) open society with an eye on human rights, and what appears to be an open mind about truth and reconciliation with the people who have lived on this continent for millennia.

Plus, Toronto has an airport you can get to via a 90 second ferry ride, which is pretty bitchin.

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