This week marked the first month anniversary since we arrived in Canada. The 4 weeks have flown by so quickly and we are really starting to settle into our new life in Toronto.
This week feeling festive we bundled up and went to the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District. Continue reading “Toronto Christmas Market”
Yesterday we had our first snowfall (if you could call it that). We were viewing an apartment and out the window it was snowing, 5 minutes later when we walked outside it stopped. Master 8 and I got very excited at the first sign of the white fluffy stuff, the Canadian among us knowing what is ahead not so much. KILLJOY!
On our drive back to Toronto from Niagara Falls this week we stumbled across a huge premium label outlet shopping mall and made a stop. Clothes shopping has become an almost daily event for us because we packed so badly for our trip.
Following on from my last blog post, An Idiots Guide to Ice Hockey this is a post about the local NHL team The Toronto Maple Leafs.
In our little family of 3, we have a supporter of the Winnipeg Jets (my husband’s hometown) and one that supports the San Jose Sharks so that left me without a team. After our visit to Canada last Christmas and attending a Vancouver Canucks game I had taken on the Canucks as my team………………. or so I thought.
As we have settled in Toronto and not Vancouver and as the other two have been supporting teams for several years (as well as owning a truckload of the merchandise associated with these teams) I was told, “I would have to take one for the family”, and follow the hometown team the Toronto Maple Leafs
GQ Magazine has rated them Number 16 in the 20 worst sports franchises of all time.
They are total Lemons!!!!
The strange thing about my new
crappy team is that they have actually won The Stanley Cup 13 times in the past, coming 2nd behind Montreal who have won it 15 times, the problem is they haven’t won it since 1967!!!!!!!
Last week we went to our first Ice Hockey Game in Toronto and it was my husbands team The Winnipeg Jets against my new team The Leafs. I’m not sure why they aren’t the leaves but I digress.
Despite the fact, they are the worst team in the league the games are actually one of the hardest and most expensive to get tickets for in the NHL. We had purchased our tickets before we left Australia online through Stubhub. We had used Stubhub previously to purchase tickets to a San Jose Game in the US and a game in Vancouver on our holiday last Christmas. How it works is people with tickets for sporting events, concerts and theatre events and no longer require them can put them up for resale on the site. It’s kind of like a modern day ticket scalper. A map shows the venue and the seat prices and if you decide to purchase you put them in your shopping cart and checkout. Depending on the type of ticket you can either download and print the ticket yourself or the tickets may need to be couriered to you. Like with a scalpers tickets you pay more than the face value of the ticket.
When I purchased these tickets I had obviously had a couple of wines because I didn’t factor in that I was paying for the tickets in US dollars despite the game being in Canada between 2 Canadian teams so with the vile USD to AUD exchange rate they cost an additional 30%. When my credit card bill arrived I was in shock to see the tickets had cost $467.00.
What did we get for $467.00???? Seats so high up in the stadium I thought I would require an oxygen tank because the air was so thin. It was lucky we all survived without a nose bleed.
and then this happened
A certain someone in our party of 3 fell asleep………..at the ice hockey………..with all the noise and excitement………….and organ playing. Possibly it could have been the lack of oxygen but I’m starting to think I should get this kid checked for narcolepsy.
Jets won 4-2
Mr O’ski bought me this:
He made me wear it to the game and it’s like some kind of punishment. On the plus, the colours are on my colour wheel and I do like the logo.
This week we have been on an Ice Binge and I am talking about a drug, the drug of Ice Hockey. Canadian’s are well and truly addicted to Ice Hockey!
In the last week, we have been to the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame , been to a Toronto Maple Leafs Game, watched ice hockey games on Television
it’s never not on, heard countless commentators talk about various games and my very favorite a reality TV show called Hockey Wives. Tomorrow we will round off our week by going to yet another game at the Air Canada Centre this time a World Legends Classic game between two Old Cougar Teams, Team Gilmore and Team Bure. The youngest player is in his 40’s and the oldest player in his 60’s so I hope they have an ambulance idling outside the arena on standby because more than likely it will be needed.
Ice Hockey deserves several posts but here is my idiots guide to Ice Hockey………….
1/ The object of Ice Hockey is to hit a puck with a stick into a net. It is fast paced and it is not unusual to sustain a “hockey injury” mostly this includes a puck to the face and, in particular, the teeth or nose so you end up looking like this:
2/ Despite the fact that Ice Hockey players in the NHL look like Ice Addicts they earn the big bucks so can afford to go to the dentist at the end of the season and buy a million dollar smile.
3/ They can also do cool party tricks like this:
4/ They love to brawl, when they do it’s glove’s off and will end with someone “on the blood”. It’s such a team sport that “one in all in” means the rest of the team will follow and get involved in the brawl.
5/ During the playoffs (the finals) they are very superstitious and believe it is bad luck to shave so they grow beards and most of them end up looking like this:
With the odd one looking like Chopper Read with this:
or if you are really lucky like this:
Mostly they look like really rich homeless guys.
5/ They love a bit of Organ so play this song throughout the game.
6/ They also play other music to get the crowd and players pumped, this playlist usually consists of snippets of surprisingly many Australian Bands including anything by AC/DC and Wolfmother’s – Joker and the thief.
Gun’s n Roses – Welcome to the Jungle, Ram Jam – Black Betty, Queen’s – We will rock you and anything by KISS is also usually played.
Lately, I have been thinking about having piano lessons so I can get a job as the organ grinder at Ice Hockey games.
7/ Saturday night is Hockey Night in Canada. It started in the 1930’s when they would broadcast the weekly game on the radio. In the 70’s it debuted with a weekly game on TV and despite the fact that at least one, if not many games can be found on TV daily, Saturday night is still known as hockey night in Canada.
The best Ice Hockey Commentator is Don Cherry. His nickname is Grapes – Get it? Cherry/Grapes………………..
I love it when Don Cherry comes on the screen due to his fantastic fashion sense and amazing all year round tan.
8/ If Ice Hockey was a religion in Canada then they would worship Wayne Gretzky. He is the legend of Ice Hockey in Canada, Why? I’m not sure, I just asked my husband and he said, “google it” because it’s cocktail hour I can’t be bothered so will leave it to you to do!
Personally, I think he is a legend because nobody rocks a mullet like he does.
Yesterday we ventured out of Toronto and went to Niagara Falls for the day. The Falls sit on the border between Canada and the United States and are about a 90-minute drive from downtown Toronto depending on traffic. We had been holding off going to see the falls since we arrived waiting for a clear blue sky day and it was well and truly worth the wait. It was an unseasonably warm day and around 20 degrees (Celsius) and after the soaking, you can get from the falls, grateful for it.
One of the first areas I wanted to explore upon our arrival in Toronto are the downtown neighborhoods of Corktown and The Distillery District. As we get around and explore we are also on the hunt for an area that we want to move into and make home. As a person who enjoys a fine tipple, this sounded like it could have potential, and has the added bonus of having our mail sent to an address that sounds like we live in a Brewery.
We went for a stroll around the cobblestone streets and historic brick and sandstone buildings that are filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries. Apparently the minute spring has sprung and at the slightest sign temps are warming it becomes what is known as Patio Season in Toronto. People take to the sidewalks, lanes, rooftops and outdoor areas of restaurants and bars to dine and drink and The Distillery District looks like it will be the place to be come, Summer.
It was around 2’ish and as my blood sugar seems to drop if I don’t eat every 2 seconds and I get cranky (some would say crankier) I suggested lunch. We found a lovely Bistro and Boulangerie called Cluny’s (see what I did there??? I’m basically french). The strange thing is in Toronto they call lunch, despite the fact it was 2 in the afternoon Brunch. I have always thought of Brunch as a mid-morning meal between breakfast and lunch or a late breakfast early lunch but when it comes to food I’m always happy to go with the flow.
We walked into the restaurant only to find it packed with other “brunchers” and an approx 30-minute wait for a table. I was then given another option of sitting in the bar straight away at high round tables with stools. Due to my hunger pains and lack of blood pumping to the brain I jumped at the chance to dine in the bar, we sat down and I ordered a glass of wine. This glass of wine wasn’t just a regular old glass of wine but much to my joy when you order wine by the glass in Canada you get the choice of 5oz or 8oz and nat urelement (see did it again, basically bilingual) I ordered the 8oz. Food arrived (yummy) and one sip into the wine glass and over it goes only to be saved by Clyde’s wool jacket sitting on the stool next to me from smashing all over the antique tile floor. I then red faced assessed the situation only to find that not only was Clyde’s jacket soaked to the bone in red wine but the gentleman sitting on the chair behind me with his jacket on the back of his chair was covered in red wine as well!!!
The guy and his lady friend must have been the only people in the restaurant not to have noticed what had just gone down, so, even more, red faced I let them know and every second word that came out of my mouth was an apology. I then didn’t know if I should offer to pay for lunch, offer to pay for dry cleaning or just run away and hide. With the lady friend giving me death daggers every time I turned around we took option C and I sculled the 2nd glass of wine the lovely waitress had brought over to me in my state of distress and purely for medicinal purposes and we made like bandits out of the restaurant before I got deported.
I have learned some very important lessons from my first Brunch in Toronto:
1/ Only ever drink white wine not red.
2/ Do not spill drinks over people’s coats in cold climates because once they go outside unable to wear wet coat they could possibly freeze to death.
3/ The wait is worth it for a table in a restaurant and never under any circumstances am I ever allowed to sit at high small round tables with stools EVER AGAIN