A museum Monday

Canada part nine…

 

On the Monday, which was my last full day in Toronto, Geth and I decided to go and visit the Royal Ontario Museum.  Before that, however, we headed to Carlton Street for a quick look round the Maple Leaf Gardens, which is next door to the Holiday Inn where Mum and Dad were staying.

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto
The exterior of the building, including the front signage, has stayed the same since it was built in the 1930s. It was originally the tallest structure in the vicinity, but is now dwarfed by its neighbours!

The Maple Leaf Gardens is currently used for sports by Ryerson University (the same uni that was hosting the conference Geth was attending while we were in Toronto).  They took it over and massively refurbished the interior in the early ’10s.  In the ’00s, it lay empty and deserted, but up until 1999, it was a thriving venue for political events and music concerts and was the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team (hence the name of the venue).

(Incidentally, it’s always really annoyed me that the team are called the Maple Leafs rather than the grammatically-correct Maple Leaves.  This is why I will never get into watching ice hockey.  #proofreaderproblems)

As a concert venue, the Maple Leaf Gardens hosted Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and pretty much everyone else who was big in the 20th century.  In 1984, Duran Duran filmed the video for The Reflex there, which was one of my main reasons for wanting to go and have a nosey around.

Inside the building, there are lots of boards on the walls telling you about the history of the venue.  The number of famous sayings that were apparently coined there is difficult to believe!

'Elvis has left the building'
‘Elvis has left the building’.

‘Elvis has left the building’ – apparently said for the first time at the Maple Leaf Gardens!  Wikipedia claims differently.

'He shoots, he scores'
‘He shoots, he scores’.

‘He shoots, he scores’ – apparently said for the first time at the Maple Leaf Gardens!  Wiktionary and Urban Dictionary do back this one up.

'Hat-trick'
‘Hat-trick’.

‘Hat-trick’ – apparently originated at the Maple Leaf Gardens!  Geth didn’t believe this one for a second, and again Wikipedia claims differently – cricket players were using the term almost a century earlier.

Still, I guess one out of three turning out to be true is not bad going.

After a pleasant wander around the venue, we headed over to the Royal Ontario Museum.  Geth just wanted to have a look around the main museum, but I was more interested in one of the exhibitions they had on – a collection of work by fashion designer Iris van Herpen and her interesting collaborations with architect Philip Beesley.  The creative and design process behind making the pieces was fascinating – there was a short film all about it that was being shown in the exhibition hall – but it was the beautiful dresses being shown in the hall that were the best thing:

Iris van Herpen couture dress
Perhaps a little impractical for the supermarket, but it’s very pretty.

The shiny installations dangling from the ceiling were nice as well!

Philip Beesley installations
I wouldn’t mind some of these for the house, though sadly I don’t think our ceilings are high enough.

After I’d finished looking around the exhibition, I met back up with Geth and we took a quick trip to the dinosaur floor.  They had some good skeletons, both real and replica, but it was a bit too full of kids having pictures taken with the T-Rex, so we eventually decamped to the Museum Tavern nearby, which is one of our favourite pubs in Toronto, for a couple of pints and a good chat with the barman.

In the evening, we met up with Mum, Dad, Malcolm and Steff for our last meal in Toronto, at Scaddabush.  This involved more pizza (which was served on a board with SPECIAL PIZZA SCISSORS for cutting it up!  They were amazing and I want a pair!), more cheesecake, and more crayons for scribbling on the table:

Restaurant table scribblings
Message from Steff on our last family dinner table!

After the meal, we said goodbye to Steff – she was working and wouldn’t be able to see us off the next day – and Geth and I headed back to our suite at the Grand for one last sleep in the city (for me, anyway).

Arriving in Canada!

Canada part one…

 

Geth had left on the Saturday – he had a conference in Toronto that we had used to schedule a family trip –  but I headed off for my holiday the Sunday before last, carrying two very heavy bags that turned out to be a bad idea when I had to lug them up and down a railway bridge near where I live in order to get to the Metro station.  After a cumbersome Metro ride, train ride and taxi ride, I arrived at Mum and Dad’s in Edinburgh and managed to get a few hours’ sleep before a 4am wakeup call.

The flight from Edinburgh to Toronto was nice and straightforward – I read my Kindle the whole time – and after collecting our bags and meeting up with Malcolm at the airport, we got a taxi to the Holiday Inn, where Mum and Dad were staying, and I dropped my bag in their room before going to the St. Louis Diner, where Geth was meeting us after his morning conference session.

A couple of ciders later – logged here – I went with Geth to our hotel, the Grand Hotel, where I was really glad to get out of my comfy plane leggings and put on something lighter (Toronto was a bit muggier than Edinburgh had been that morning).  The Grand is lovely, and they’d upgraded Geth to a suite, which had an awesome view:

View from the Grand Hotel, Toronto
Downtown Toronto, as seen from the Grand Hotel. You can see the very tippity top of the CN Tower, just behind the tallest buildings!

The suite was great – it had a separate bedroom and loads of space for sitting around.  After I’d got unpacked, we headed back to the Holiday Inn for a meal to celebrate Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary:

Family in Toronto
You’ve already seen this picture in the Now! #100 review, but it’s worth posting again!

The cider they serve at the Holiday Inn is Strongbow, but the bottle looks different in Canada, so I took a picture of it anyway.

Canadian Strongbow bottle
Canadian Strongbow bottle.

After some amazing pizza (the pizza at the Holiday Inn is of the perfect texture, and the sauce is insanely yummy), a couple more Strongbows, some cheesecake (see my cheesecake roundup) and a bit of a wait while a heavy thunderstorm was in progress, Geth and I headed back to our hotel, where it turned out the view by night was pretty awesome too:

Downtown Toronto by night
I love skyscrapers.

Then I got some much-needed sleep.  Part two tomorrow!