For the first day my host showed me around downtown as we first stopped by a small bakery right in the neighbourhood. Apparently the shop was run by Sri Lankans but the sweet stuff there was amazing. He took me to a small coffee shop afterwards where we had a very delicous coffee indeed while we were eating what we got at the bakery.
First thing I noticed while walking through the streets (and while listening to my host’s explanations) is that Toronto is a very international city. The whole world seems to come together here. There are quarters like Chinatown or Greektown and the people you see on the street just fit in to that.
We took a walk through downtown, enjoying the warm sun as it was around 13°C and extremely sunny, something I hadn’t had in Germany in quite some time. Our first stop was the Hockey Hall Of Fame. When going to Canada, I guess that’s where you have to go. At least I wanted to. The Building is located right next to a huge mall and you have to find your way through a maze of shops until you reach the entrance area downstairs.
In the Hall they have huge displays of famous players from the NHL, most notably of course Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr. Their boxes show sticks, helmets, jerseys or other stuff they used over the course of their career. Then there are displays of great dynasties, teams who won multiple chamionships in a row. They also have a remodeled locker room of the Montréal Canadiens. The kids area was nice though. There were a few video games and you could actually try and test your luck by shooting pucks on a wall which displayed a screen with a goalie. My host tried and scored 2 out of 5 (the boy who shot before him scored all 5).
After this we headed for the international section of the Hall which also featured some players from the German hockey league DEL. There were numerous jerseys on display and I was quite surprised that there are hockey federations in the United Arab Emirates or Israel. Upstairs then was the final show room which displayed the Stanley Cup and a lot of other trophies for the MVP or the Rookie of the year.
So that was quite interesting and though it cost 15 Dollars to get inside that money was well spent. We headed off for a walk around downtown and I was just sucking up the atmosphere (and the good weather as well). We passed what looked like the financial district and went to an area which looked a lot more alternative and run down. My host tried to take me to a nice little bar there, but unfortunately they were closed (it was around noon so we might have been a bit early). We kept on walking around those small streets with lots of different shops and bars and cafés and found or way to a nice pub near the Royal Ontario Museum where we had a beer (which was quite refreshing).
After hanging out there for some time, we hit the streets again as my host wanted to show me his favourite Chinese restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown. He was right, the food there was delicious. We stuffed ourselves for very little money and rolled back home in the sunshine. The evening came to an end there with my and my hosts just talking the whole timerelaxing on the couch. A brilliant day to start off the trip.