15 May 2007

Thank goodness you are bringing your bicycle. It might otherwise be difficult to achieve the lofty plans I have laid out for your first visit.

We begin at dusk. I will gather you from my apartment, and lead you to an excellent cup of coffee. This marks the ideal segue to dinner. We will eat cheap, excellent food surrounded by people looking like us, and then make way to the first neighbourhood of the night: the Annex. (It is not one of my favourites, but it warrants a visit.) Then onwards to College, Kensington and Parkdale. That should do for the evening.

The next day, we wake up early, grab pastries and coffee from another one of my favourite neighbourhoods -- Cabbagetown -- and cycle to the island. It affords the best view of the city. The view is worth the travel. We spend a couple of hours there, and make it back for lunch at a very nice deli. More coffee afterwards. I then take you through some of the less interesting neighbourhoods, but for very good reason: they lead to Dutch Dreams, an ice creamery on the north edge of downtown. We visit the castle after our banana split, and then deliberate at which vegetarian restaurant we prefer to eat. (I, of course, plan to explain the subtleties to you.) We eat, sprint down University and then stop in a selection of the neighbourhoods we visited the day before for discussion and delicious drinks. Perfect. I suspect the night will conclude at either a late night Chinese food restaurant on Spadina or a country-themed after hours establishment called the 'Matador'.

The next day we cycle down to Lake Ontario. It really is a fantastic lake -- ! -- and it is located just minutes from my residence. We can return home via High Park, and I can introduce you to some very odd creatures: Toronto squirrels. I may as well take you to campus that day. Thankfully, the visit will not obstruct our path to the Beaches, which I take to be another essential destination -- not because I like its socioeconomic or cultural demographic, but because no characterisation of the city is complete without a glance. Our trip back to the central area of town will take us through some very poor areas of town, and that, too, is essential. Moss Park should certainly be an element of our itinerary. Perhaps we can park our bikes at home before eating dinner that night. That enables us to take the TTC to our venue of choice that night -- quite possibly the PWYC Wavelength series at Sneaky Dee's.

So there. I cannot wait for you to visit. And I suspect that this is reflected in the depth and detail of my plans.