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Having been in this city for 4 short years and with no idea of how long we shall remain here – indefinitely I hope but one can never tell especially when ones’ family and childhood friends abide in the UK and Europe – my haste and passion to explore absolutely EVERYTHING that Toronto in particular and Canada and the  US in general has to offer, has further been fueled by family issues and the fact that visitors from around the world regularly arrive on our doorstep and of course require entertainment.

Why Am I writing a blog

 Not that I think my version of life is so darn great, but I’ve realised from chatting to all and sundry, that I have picked up alot of information about the city I live in, Ontario, Canada and the USin general; so I could be a useful source for others, new to Toronto or who have been here years, but are looking for inspiration without trawling through countless magazines and websites – that’s what I do

 Now the problem with visitors from overseas, is overcoming their low expectations. Much as I adore Toronto, to our time strapped friends, it is probably NOT on their “100 Places to visit before you die” list.  Technically they are here to see us, and usually will spare a few days tagged onto the end of a trip to New York or Vancouver or maybe even as long as a week if they want also to fit in Niagara Falls (which by the way IS on the “100 things to see before you die” list).

 My diligence in hunting out all that is great and good in Toronto is relentless and thorough, to the extent where guests now comment that they didn’t have enough time in Toronto and like Arnold “they’ll be back!

It is also a work in progress and when I don’t have visitors my husband who spends a considerable portion of his life travelling, expects weekend entertainment laid out for him – no pressure!

This latter is a thankless task as he has limited time (and patience) and of course like all normal people, we have a limited budget which I have to say goes a lot further in good old Toronto than ever it did in London or Oxford UK.

My challenge with writing this blog initially was how to organize it re grouping experiences in some sort of coherent order, especially as I experience visits in no logical sequence whatsoever, often visiting and booking places on a whim. 

I have decided to present it as a sort of chronoligical diary cataloguing week to week exploits and discoveries with a few *”casisms” thrown in to assuage my need for cathartic venting from time to time.

The great thing about being new to a city is discovering all the usual Top Ten site touristy sites, about not knowing what is north, south, east or west of your home; not knowing what lies beyond the city and getting your bearings; about viewing Toronto as a tourist would. Watching the city unfolding before your very eyes. An even greater pleasure lies in realizing that you actually live here and are not going home after 2 weeks and then teasing out the not so obvious little gems. Almost forcing the city to turn itself inside out revealing its beating heart. The indescribable pulse that gives Toronto its particular vibe.

Even after 4 years I keep discovering little nooks and delightful surprises.

So How do I find stuff:I keep my ears and eyes open, read everything, sign up for every Toronto/Ontario based publication; sign up for free updates for various restaurant and club sites; I listen to my colleagues talk about their weekends and then interrogate them mercilessly for more information. Then I go and Google”. (Is Google now an actual verb?)

I use INCREDIBLY complex………. “ingenious” search criteria, typing wordstrings like such as “Lakeshore restaurants” or “Toronto Restaurants with a view”. Clever huh!

 I get great results, not because of my carefully crafted search criteria (oh yeah), but because of my tenacity, as jackdaw like I chase down promising links, interesting articles, which lead me to discoveries I wasn’t even looking for in the first place and then off I go again on another tack, down some other avenue of discovery.

This BLOG however, comes with a health warning as my ramblings, both spoken and written have been compared to that of Ronnie Corbett in the Monologue chair, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFtVqytVmHo 

I am known to go off on tangents and asides, being of a certain maturity my thoughts struggle to make it to the surface, and then disappear in a nano second which means I am notorious for interrupting any and everyone because if I don’t, then what I was going to say (and of course it was SOooo important) vanishes. It will – no doubt – be peppered with references to my British heritage and therefore links to explanations and youtube clips to help demystify some of the accompanying British “noise”  and *”cas isms”

aaaaaaaaanyway…………………..

  * Casism = my own often skewed and perhaps warped views and opinions, none of which are intended to cause offence, and most of which should be taken with a pinch of salt! 

Hello, my name is Cas, Welcome to Toronto