Thursday, 29 May 2008

Doors Open Toronto - Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Our third stop in Doors Open Toronto was the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Let's start first with a picture of just a part of the library:

Now let's tell you a little bit more about those books than what you can already imagine by the name of the library. The books range from 1789 to contemporary and you can even find manuscripts written in 1050! First editions of hundreds of books, and every rare book you can imagine... WOW! It is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G, and do you know how many they have? More than 600.000 volumes!

The library is located at the University of Toronto and is open from monday to friday for those of you that want to see it ;) And you know what? If you really need one of those books, they let you see it up close :D

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Doors Open Toronto - Distillery District

Our second stop in Doors Open Toronto was the Distillery District! The Distillery District is old but beautiful and you can find shops and places to eat all the time.

The district is normally open and you can go see it anytime, but for Doors Open Toronto had 2 special places that you can't normally see.

The first one we went was the Kiln Furnace and Barrel Vaults (Building 36) which is dated to 1863, and has a five barrel vault which they call catacombs and just thinking about the history makes you wonder and imagine everything that happened there.

The second one was the Rack House D (Building 42) and it's the largest Victorian storehouse at the Distillery District. It was designed by David Roberts, Jr. and opened in 1890. It has 6 storeys and could hold up to 15.000 barrels of alcohol. Can you imagine that much alcohol in the same place? Once you go in is easy since you can easily smell it all over the place ;)

More stops in Doors Open Toronto coming soon ;)

Doors Open Toronto - Gooderham Building

Our first stop in Doors Open Toronto was the Flatiron Building which is really called Gooderham Building. I love this building, its shape is really amazing and something I've never seen before.

It was built in 1892, making it the first flatiron building, and was built by architect David Roberts, Jr. for distiller George Gooderham. Gooderham could see from his window the distillery district and the bank of Toronto, which he owned ;)

It also has a really amazing mural on it's back, for which is also really popular ;)

Now it's a private building with offices, so you can't normally go in without being invited, and that it's why this was an amazing opportunity to see how it looked like inside :D

6 months anniversary

Today is our 6 months anniversary in Canada, and I wanted to let you all know that we LOVE IT!!! That is more than we wished for and more than I could ever imagine, is a dream come true.

We live great, have cool jobs, we've made friends and we love the city and the country.

I'm home!!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Future events

Hey, for the first time in my blog I'm letting you know about an event before it happens so you have the opportunity to go if you are in Toronto ^^ This next weekend, May 24 and 25 is the Open Doors Toronto :D

Is an event where more than 140 buildings will open their doors to the public!! Many of buildings are normally open and will have special events but many of them only open their doors in this special event :D So is well worth it to go and see them this weekend! My favourite buildings marked for this event are the rare books library and the subway station in bay ;)

Please come back to my blog after the event and I'll have the pictures of the places I went, so stay tunned! :D By the way, you can see the buildings and their hours of operation here:

As an extra, here you have another event on May 31: Pillow fight!!! Yes, in downtown Toronto with everyone that wants to join them ;) The link for more information:

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

TTC - Toronto Transit Commission

Who can tell me what the TTC is and something different to other transportation systems you have seen? ^^ The TTC is Toronto's transportation system and it has the subway, streetcars and buses. The subway works normally from 6am to 1:30am and almost all the buses 24 hours a day! You can find the schedules here:

An easy way to know where a subway entrance is, is finding this great and confusing sign:
Whenever you see that sign, is 100% sure a subway entrance is there, even if you see it in a door to a building, go in, you'll find the subway ;)

This one is one of the places that you can use to go in with a token, a metro pass or using the booth showing a transfer:

This one was new for me, you can only use it if you have a metro pass, just pass it through the machine and push!

Elevators! The subway has elevators, so please, please, please, if you have a stroller use the elevator, if you have any kind of problem to use the stairs or scalators, use the elevator!

Every station has this great help to know where you are going ^^ The station you are in, the next station of you take that train and the last station in that line ;)

And last but not least, a picture of the streetcar :) If you are using a pass or a transfer, just show it and pass, and sometimes you can even go in using the back door if you have one of those ^^

Questions? comments? Or enough information?

Thursday, 8 May 2008

A day in my life

Some time ago a friend of mine ask me to talk about a day in my life in Toronto, and I would like to answer that with a wednesday! ^^ Obviously this is not a typical day in most people lifes, but I'm happy with my days and there is always room for change :)

On wednesdays I wake up at 6am (or at least try to xD), I change to gym clothes and go to the gym in the mall we have downstairs. (I'm skiping details of course :p)

At the gym I start by walking for half an hour while I read a book, then machines, weight lifting or anything else for 15 or 30 minutes more. I come back home, shower, dress while watching the news and have breakfast watching anime :D then I leave to work.

I take the subway and go reading my book while I'm standing (5 stops) and then I seat down and study for my Microsoft certification (8 more stops), so I get to the office around 9am.

At the office I work :p and eat something light for lunch close to the office, then I work some more xD and leave between 5pm and 6pm. I take the subway again, all the way seating down (13 stops) and studying for my certification.

I get home, make dinner, eat, read the anime and immigration forums I visit, as well as all the blogs, answer mails, talk to my family, and watch TV. All this time is fun time that we use to play wii, xbox, computer games or just watch tv ;)

As you see, there is more than enough time to do all the things you like before and after work, it just takes a little effort and organization ;) Of course, this is the life of the married without children!!! hehe

Saturday, 3 May 2008

The tales of my life

What do tales/stories have that steal your heart? Why do we like so much to be inside a book or a movie? Are we running away of our own lifes when we don't want to leave that fantasy world?

To me there is nothing like a good book... it doesn't have to be a bestseller, and it doesn't have to be written by Shakespeare, to me a good book is the one that makes you live their story, the one you don't want to put down and the one that makes it's world yours, a side world where you can live so many things... I can't say is a wonderful world since I'm a horror fan, but it is a magic world.

I love my life, and the wonderful opportunity of living in a country like this, which I could only hope in dreams, but I can't live without a book in my hands, and when it's far away from me I think of them, I think of the characters and what they are doing; I know they are there and the story doesn't continue without me, but I can't avoid to see them as friends, friends that I want to see, live and dream.

My types of book are fantasy, horror and romance, but it has to be a book that will take me deep, if they don't do it in the first 5 pages, they are lost to me, and once I like a book, it becomes my baby; I still remember the books I had to give away before coming here! and I have my arms wide open for the ones I left at home and that soon will be here.

What makes you read a book twice? Have you done it? I have to confess this is my first time, and since it's a manga many would say is not a book, but to me is more than that. When I'm reading and remember what is going to happen next, I get excited thinking "here it comes, I'm so happy!", and when I don't remember and something good happens is a great surprise. I laugh again, I get excited again and my heart starts to beat really fast when the great moments are coming, I'm in love with my books, and this one in particular, fruits basket, I have it in my heart.

How to get there

Late but for sure :) Hot to get to Niagara Falls from Toronto! I'm sure there are a few ways that I'm not mentioning, but at least I can let you know about the ones I know ;)

1) Via Rail: We took this one since it was the first one I knew and I'd never been in a actual train :D The cost was $40 round trip per person and takes a little less than 2 hours :)

2) Greyhound: This one a lot of you must know it and it's in bus. It cost $33 (so a little less than via rail) and it's very confortable. Time? A little more than 2 hours.

3) Driving: If you have a car this one is a good option and you can get all day parking for $5 almost everywhere. We took the train since we don't have a car, but we are going to rent a car with my family to get there, since we would be 6 and it's more economic in that case to rent than to buy 6 train tickets ;)

4) Casino's shuttles: A lot of casinos offer free shuttles from Toronto but all of them have conditions as to how much time you have to spend in the casino if you take the shuttle.

5) Tours: There is always a tour option to Niagara Falls but I'm not a very good fan of tours, I like to do things however I like and you can't normally do that with them :p

Once you get to Niagara, if you get in bus or train, you can take the Niagara bus or a taxi. The bus is $2.25 and get's you pretty close to all the major hotels, and to Clifton Hill. The taxi depends on how far you are getting, but a taxi from the train station to the Canadian falls is aprox. $10 ;)

Hope this helps you a little bit to decide what to take :D