Continuing on from last weekend where Ryan & I started our Citypass stops with the CN tower and the Royal Ontario Museum it was the following weekend where we decided to round off the book after finishing off midterms and assignment deadlines – and we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend exploration!
Nearer to Scarborough campus, a mere 5 minutes away, was the famous Toronto Zoo which has a baffling amount of wildlife within it’s grounds – due to it still being a cold temperature (well warm for the Canadians) there wasn’t the full repertoire of animals venturing during the day due to having to be kept inside for warmth.
However, this didn’t detract from the animals that we did see in the end – I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Toronto Zoo even in the nippy weather was definitely a great trek in the new spring sunshine, a definite return will be made to catch some of the animals we didn’t get to see this time round!
Nearer to the north side of the city, near Dupont area, was a place I’d never heard of before but from what was said it sounded quite amazing. A huge castle in the middle of a city. It immediately reminded me of home, with Edinburgh castle being smack bang in the middle of the city also, I already had high expectations.
On venturing into the building, there was a vibe that we couldn’t quite put our finger on, there were people dressed up as people of old, and a lot of children around – which begged us to wonder ‘what are all these kids doing here in a castle?’. I’m not saying that children don’t enjoy going to castles, but there was such a large amount of them! Within the old statue of the building there were a lot of kid-directed events happening on a daily basis; arts and crafts, mini science shows, song and dances displays etc. It felt a tad odd to have such a building be partially used for these means, but it didn’t detract from the architecture of the place.
After finding out that there was a balcony outside we had to go take a look out as the weather, the same as the previous day at the zoo was wonderfully sunny.
One of my favourite parts of the castle were there underground tunnels that seemed to go on forever underneath the castle. There were used as escape routes and also used back in wars over Canadian history. I learnt a great deal about Toronto as a city from these tunnels, looking upon past events such as the Great Toronto Fire, the rallies for equal rights for voting, wages, and civil rights. It was almost like a history lesson, but much better than anyone could’ve taught.
As well as this there were other marvels of the place, with the multitudes of brilliant decoration and war-time murals within the confines of the building, as well as greenhouses and paintings galore. Casa Loma was a great insight into a way that Canadian life has been influenced by so many other cultures.
Directly next to the CN Tower in the entertainment district, as soon as you enter Ripley’s you know that there’s going to be much seen. Priding themselves on having so many different species of fish in one location, and keeping them all happy to their standards of care. Walking through underwater tunnels through the aquarium was quite the spectacle and a fantastic idea! You really got the see the dynamic of shoals of fish swimming from above you, almost being encapsulated by it.
There was one section of the aquarium that stood out for me, however, the jellyfish enclosure, the vast array of colours was loved by all and you could hear the oos and ahhs of the crowd as they made their way to this section of the aquarium, and for a very good reason.
As well as being able to touch the rays and horseshoe crabs, there was a lot that Ripleys had going for it, both aesthetically and educationally – learning about all the different traits and interactions of the animals was quite something. Another trip will be had here for definite with some different lenses, and hopefully, some different species of aquatic wildlife to see!
Bringing the end of the CityPass run rounded off a pretty good couple of weekends. But the fun doesn’t stop there as I’m currently trying to frantically get through some work, as well as pack to head to NEW YORK. I’m very excited for the next 3 days time spending around the sights of NYC, as well as finding some stellar places to eat as well – might make a food post for that who knows, all I know is you’ll have something to read by next Tuesday.
Till then – Keep Exploring.