Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Toronto Toronto, ON, Sunday, 02 October 2011 8:00pm

Molly and I rode up to Toronto for the weekend. She was refereeing another roller derby double header, and we decided to make a weekend of it.

We headed up on Friday to catch a matinee of Cirque du Soleil's "Totem", narrowly avoiding making it out of Hamilton before it started raining. Fortunately, we got out from under the rain quickly.

The Cirque du Soleil show was pretty good, but definitely not my favorite of theirs. The act I liked best was a partner aerials act on a static trapeze. There were some amazing feats of grip strength and neat twisting movements.

Molly's friend Brian was providing us crash space for the weekend. We met up with him for dinner and then stayed up well into the morning playing board games (Tip: read the rules carefully if you're playing Ticket To Ride: Nordic Countries. There's a rule that lets you use other cards to substitute for locomotives in ferry routes. It makes the game extremely frustrating if you don't play with it.) in preparation for the next night.

On Saturday, Molly refereed two games between Hamilton teams and Toronto teams. Hamilton got crushed in each game, so they weren't as fun to watch as last weekend's games, but there were still some good jams.

After the derby, we explored Nuit Blanche, a citywide arts exhibition running from evening to sunrise with lots of art installations both in galleries and in temporary spaces (on sidewalks, in plazas, in box trucks...). My favorite was an interactive piece where two people attempt to form the shapes of Tetris pieces for a game being played elsewhere. Here's me as a Z and Molly as a backwards L:


We didn't have much time for touristy activities, and it was rainy, so I may have to re-visit Toronto another time.

Toronto is definitely the worst place to ride that I've found on this trip. The pavement is poorly maintained and cris-crossed with slick streetcar rails, and the drivers are a maddening mix of lackadaisical slow drivers and extremely aggressive drivers trying to get around the slow drivers as quickly as possible. It's a very common tactic to use the right turn lane to pass someone in the left lane in the middle of an intersection. The taxi drivers, in particular, seem to be completely insane.