Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our Week in Toronto

We've come to Toronto for a week to set up our lives here north of the border. It's been a very successful trip. As they say, "hindsight is 20/20", and how we'll feel at a later date about the decisions we made this week will have to wait for a future posting. Today, however, we are psyched.

Our new place is in an area called Yonge and Eglinton. Technically "downtown" but not in the "core", it is a ten minute drive without traffic straight down Oriole Pkwy and Avenue Rd. from our front door to the "Gay Village" of Church and Wellesley. How important that drive or destination will be in the future remains to be seen. But, for now, "the village" seems important and it is good to know that we aren't a) too far away from "our people", and b) living in or too close to the gay ghetto (LOL). The flat is also a short block or so from Eglinton Ave. another ten to twelve minute drive to Eric's office on the same street. The Yonge and Eglinton subway is a slow ten minute walk from the house which, again, goes straight away past Bloor St. and Wellesley through to the downtown core. Very convenient. There is also a larger park right up the street as well as a smaller mall, movie theater, a branch of our bank and shopping strip within walking distance east on Yonge St. I have read there is also a more upscale variety of shops etc. west on Eglinton to discover. We'll see.

Our new place is on Oriole Parkway. It is a main floor flat in a two unit building. It offers hardwood floors in all of the rooms and carpeting in the hallway. There are two bedrooms and an office and one and a half baths. There is a formal dining room and living room separated by french doors. The master bedroom is big, has two closets and the half bath mentioned above. Extra storage is downstairs as well as shared laundry with the second floor unit, which is occupied by the landlord and his wife. There are numerous closets throughout. Another nice detail is some stained glass in the living room. Our unit also includes garage parking for two vehicles. And while there is a small yard between the house and garage, it is not completely fenced, which is unfortunate for our cat, Caesar, who is currently used to being able to go outside.

Our trip also included a journey back to the border to acquire our work permits which are issued by Canadian Immigration. A "non event" as someone else had written in their blog. I agree completely. We drove down to the immigration station at the Lewiston/Queenston Bridge with all the necessary documentation "required" and mentioned on both the Canadian Immigration website as well as the checklist provided for Temporary Work Permits. We even had the required "passport" pictures. Much of this was simply ignored or waved away when offered. Of the several documents they did take note of were the Labor Market Opinion issued by HRSDC and our Domestic Partner Certificate issued by the state of California. Our passports now officially stamped and stapled - we are both officially allowed to be employed here in Canada. Yippee!

We both had very good first impressions of our new city. It is very green. Walking the streets is a truly "United Nations" experience. It seems no specific group or type of people is dominant. They are all represented. The sidewalks and roads are clean. Very clean. The people are very polite and helpful. And friendly.

We had the pleasure of meeting up with Tom and Emilio from the blog, Canadian Hope. We all went to the Greektown section of Toronto and had lunch. Afterward they took us to an area of town called, "The Beaches" where we strolled the boardwalk and enjoyed a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. Tom and Emilio were great company and Eric and I look forward to hanging with them again once our move is complete.

We had a productive and successful week in Toronto and return to San Francisco tomorrow. We are still working out specific pick up dates with the movers, but the lease on our flat in Toronto begins August first and we are looking forward to exploring and creating our new Canadian home.


Scott M. said...

Wow! Congratulations!

When I lived in Toronto, about 5 minutes walk to the subway station, it made sense financially to go without a car and just take the subway, renting on the odd weekend as necessary. But I guess it all depends on where your jobs are...

In any case, sounds like you had a great time. Did you make it down to the parade? Did you go see fireworks?

Tom said...

Hi Guys,

Emilio and I very much enjoyed the afternoon with you guys and look forward to seeing you when you arrive to your new home country. (in 3 short weeks!)

If you need anything just let us know.

T & E

Adam said...

The week was all practical matters until about late Thursday till mid-day Friday. Our flight was on Sunday so we missed the parade and I think we crashed in the hotel room due to exhaustion on Tuesday night and didn't see any fireworks. I don't think I even heard them.

I wish we could do without a vehicle but we can't. But we share one and it's a hybrid which makes owning a car a bit easier to rationalize. I look forward to using the subway as much as possible. And walking. :-)

Scott M. said...

BTW, Yonge and Eg. are considered "Uptown" to Torontonians. This is because the "downtown" definition was based on the old city of Toronto limits, which ended at Eglinton.