Made it to Toronto… by train!

7/13/22

My dream of traveling by train in Canada came true today! (I’m doing my best to overlook that it cost me $149 Canadian, for an aisle seat with no view, on a train with no café car, and that it also required me to disassemble the rig more than I prefer to. On the plus side, I walked into the station and was able to buy a ticket on a train leaving within half an hour, and they even gave me pre-boarding privileges and a helping hand out to the train with all my stuff.)

This morning I packed up all my things from the empty house in Ottawa, and my “hosts” came by to say goodbye and chat just a bit in the driveway before I embarked.

When I did embark, the bike ride to the station took me just under an hour, and I was once again impressed by Ottawa’s bikeway network: most of that ride was on lovely off-road paths. I definitely need to return and ride much more of their bike network at some point, maybe next summer.

The train ride was scheduled to last just under five hours, but due to delays, it ended up taking closer to six. I do wish I had had a window seat, especially when Lake Ontario first came into view! But I think it’s safe to say the ride was more pleasant than it would have been on the bus, and the midday timing of it was also much more pleasant.

When I arrived in Toronto, it took me a while to reassemble everything, and by the time I started on the also-about-an-hour ride to my new place (also currently unhosted, though not empty—my host is on vacation) some rain had begun to fall. Fortunately I had expected it, and my gear was sufficient to keep me comfortable.

My host lives in the neighborhood called “The Beaches,” right near the lake. What a cute neighborhood (even with a frequent-service streetcar right on the street) and so awesome to be so close to the beach! The next three days are forecast to be sunny. I’m looking forward to exploring Toronto, and also enjoying some private downtime that isn’t overshadowed by COVID symptoms.

It’s getting off to a good start: the small grocery store two blocks away was carrying vegan Ben & Jerry’s for only $3.99 per pint (Canadian!)

Looking forward to more of this city.

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