Saturday, July 7, 2007

A Castle in the Heart of the City.

As much as I hate Toronto, it is one of the larger outposts of Newfoundland’s Empire and deserves some respect. When we first moved to Ontario we lived in SkyPro apartments on the corner of Bloor and Jarivs. That was a bit of an experience. It is just a little ways up from Cabbage Town which is actually a really pretty spot, however, in the area between there and SkyPro things got a little dicey. At night the “gangstas” from Sherborne St., the hookers, the trannies, the homeless, and the homeless trannies all came out to play (they mostly come out at night…mostly). And the noise! The incessant thrum of traffic as millions of cars made their way to the DVP, the constant barrage of sirens, the yelling, the screech of tires, the thunder of crashes, the pulse and hum of a mass of humanity below.

I was on the phone home quite a bit in those days. My own digital umbilical cord. I remember a day when it was uncharacteristically quiet; things seemed sort of still. It made me think of home and so I called mom. We had been talking only for a few minutes when she and asked: “Where are you?” “I am at the apartment” I replied. To which she answered. "How come I don’t hear any sirens?

Ah TO! The Big Smoke. It is a great place to visit, but I don’t want to live there.
We started looking to move out of the city, and eventually we found a spot we could afford (barely) in Durham. And this is where we now live. However some of our closest friends still live in the city, and we visit them when we can.

Last weekend Julie and Karl invited us to go to a Renaissance Fair held at Casa Loma. Julie and Karl married there a few years ago (it was a magical wedding by the way, she was a beautiful bride, and the groom wasn’t half bad either).


We took the subway to Dupont and made our way up the sidewalk. You can see the edge of the gardens surrounding the castle as you approach, a long stone stairwell spirals its way up the grounds beckoning you in. We went around the long way because we had the little monster with us, and we did not want to hork him all the w
ay up there in his carriage.

It is an impressive thing to see this Castle emerge out of the grey and bleak of a busy city. It is odd too, to step off a subway, walk off a busy street and step back in time. That sense of time out of place was enhanced by the Renaissance Fair. Lords and Ladies strolled in the gardens. There was Merlin’s Ale (yum!) and Raspberry Mead (gah!) to drink. A falconer showed off his bird…er his falcon. There were shows to catch (I recommend “Men in Tights”), codpieces to stare at and wares to buy. In addition to that you could explore the massive Casa Loma, and its beautiful gardens. The castle is a jewel in the middle of the city.

An expensive jewel at that.
Sir Henry Mill Pellatt bankrupted himself creating this marvel and it is the Kiwanis who take care of it now. If you ever find yourself in the Big City check out Casa Loma, they have a variety of events during the year, and movies are filmed (Parts of X-men and Chicago were shot there), heck you can be married at the Castle if you want! But whatever you decide don’t drink the Raspberry Mead! My taste buds haven’t grown back yet, but the hole in my cheek is filling in nicely.



*Thanks Julie for the pictures!

1 comment:

Julie said...

My pleasure. They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself ;)

Thanks again for joining us it was a wonderful way to spend the day :hug: