Labour Day in North America always takes me by surprise, mostly because it is months after the rest of the world celebrates International Workers’ Day on May 1st. But in a country where holidays are given sparingly, a three-day long weekend always calls for a short trip.
We hit the road on Saturday and temperatures were around 30°C. The weather forecast for the weekend was unsettled and we expected rain like last year, when we went to Deep River. We booked a hotel by Toronto Pearson Airport and decided to play it by ear. In case of bad weather, we could always hang out in Toronto. If it turned out to be okay, we wanted to explore the Georgian Bay area.
I’m always fascinated by freeways in North America, these wide ribbons of asphalt, bumpy at times, steamy in the summer and icy in the winter. They cut through the country and link cities and people thousands of kilometres away. On Saturday, it seemed like the entire country was going somewhere: there was a constant flow of cars and trucks going North, South, East and West.
We were greeted by a traffic jam on the 401 upon entering Toronto. As traffic came to a halt, the sky turned dark and we were treated to a violent thunderstorm. Rain pounded the windshield and for a few long minutes we couldn’t see anything but the red glow of cars’ brake lights in front of us. It was all forgotten a few minutes later and temperatures went up again.
We’ve been going to Toronto for years and the city seems to be constantly under construction. There are always more condos to be built, all higher, fanciers and more expensive than the previous one. On Yonge Street, one of the new projects advertises penthouses starting at $17.5 million—who has this kind of money?
We spent a while at the Harbourfront where people had gathered to swim (!) and to listen to Caribbean music, then moved on to Chinatown for dinner. The best Chinese dumplings in the city are in a hole-in-the-wall called “饺子楼”—I recommend the pan-fried pork and chives dumplings dipped in soya and vinegar.
On Sunday night, we hit Little Italy on College Street and stumbled upon yet another festival, and had a pasta dinner listening to Italian classics such as Funiculì, Funiculà. I was secretly hoping the band would start singing Bella Ciao or Bandiera Rossa—blame it on my education, my Italian musical repertoire mostly revolves around left-wing partisan songs.
You can see the complete set of Toronto pictures on Flickr.