My mission for today, my last day in Toronto, was to conquer or at least visit the Toronto Islands; a small group of Islands in Lake Ontario just off the coast and still considered part of Toronto but inhabited by a small population who eschew the bright lights of the big city (whilst still being treated to a perfect view of them).
I caught the ferry over with a relatively small group of other people who quickly dispersed on the other side leaving me with a feeling of peaceful solitude in an eden-like oasis. I wandered around past all manner of wildlife – swans (with eggs!), Canada geese, Mother Goose geese (technical name, correct your flora and fauna books again), ducks and squirrels all roaming free. Then I happened upon a small petting farm with a whole host of barnyard friends.
There were a few other people at the farm including a father holding his small child pointing out the various animals. Now, I’m no farmer but when he pointed at the peacock and said “Look, an ostrich!”, I was concerned. When he then pointed to the sheep and said “Look, goats!”, I was left wondering where the line of obligation is for an ordinary citizen to intervene to protect children from their parents ignorance. I held my tongue but I didn’t feel good about it.
Adjoining the farm was an abandoned fair ground. It wasn’t really abandoned, it was just not-open – the difference between the two being the picturesque setting, the sheer beauty of the place robbed the park of it’s rightful opportunity to be downright eerie and menacing. Even with no one around and rides from yesteryear laying dormant, there was still a cheerful air to the place that should’ve been just plain creepy – that is the only complaint I will make about the island!
Moving along, I took a wrong turn on my way to the bridge over to the other side of the island and ended up by a dumpster at the back of a cafe – believe it or not, this turned out to be my favourite spot on the entire island because it was there that a conspicuous rustle in the bushes gave way to a raccoon!!! An actual real life raccoon and a very curious and brave one at that – she came straight up to me and my non-edible camera. I’ve included one of about a hundred photos here, more available upon request including those of her reporting me to the authorities and taking out a restraining order against me.
I eventually found my way across the bridge to the other side of the island where tranquility reigned supreme. A long pier provided peerless views of Lake Ontario above which birds swooped and flew in and out of formation. It was about this time that my camera, exhausted from it’s encounter with the raccoon, gave up the ghost and I had to switch to my iPhone. I could’ve happily stayed there all day but time was ticking and my day was only half over.
I got the ferry back to the mainland and then a train up to the library to meet Dawn for our drive back to Waterloo. Despite the traffic, we made it back just in time to meet up with Sue and their friends Maureen and Amy for an incredibly fast and informative dinner thanks to Sue’s treasure trove of Jeopardy information – did you know that a can of coke will sink but a can of diet coke will float?
Still chewing, we headed next door for a screening of The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls at a gorgeous little repertory cinema. If you get the chance to see this movie, do! It’s the funniest and most poignant documentary you’ll ever see about lesbian, country & western singing and yodelling, comedian, twin sisters from New Zealand!
At the end of such an enormous day, I was grateful to once again check into my plush accommodation with beautiful soft towels, my own bath, no mice and fantastic friends. I’ll sleep well tonight.