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My Summer Vacation In Toronto

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My Summer Vacation In Toronto

JimInLoganSquare | Sep 13, 2004 11:10 PM

O.K., folks, here's my big and detailed report on the visit to T.O. by myself and Mrs. JiLS over Labor Day weekend. We arrived in Toronto the afternoon of Thursday, September 2 and, after logging ourselves into our hotel immediately began our explorations. First, kudos on the excellent subway; easy to understand and very rapid service. A bargain. The first night found us on Queen St. West, enjoying beers in the lovely and relaxing biergarten of Everest, more beers and cocktails at the Rex, and plenty of book purchases to keep ourselves amused throughout (Pages and others). Dinner at Kit Kat was fun and reminded us a lot of the Gold Spike in San Francisco (and in fact the whole city of Toronto reminded us of San Fran, which is Mrs. JiLS's spiritual home.)

Friday during the day was spent ascending the CN Tower and at the ROM; absolutely loved the history of the Western world through the furnishings of the bourgeois exhibit; fabulous! Dinner Friday was the "big deal" at Perigee. That's Perigee, as in, "close orbit," as in right up there where the action is. O.K., I won't even pretend to be able to recall all the dishes we were served. I do recall that neither of the couples to our left or right ate ANYTHING that we did. Amazing. Just let it be said that everything was fantastic, all I had hoped it might be and certainly justifying the enthusiastic support given the place herein during my May enquiries. This is an ideal place for those who love great food, are curious how it is made and enjoy the pleasure of allowing a talented chef to make a perfect meal for them. 'nuff said. Go there and enjoy (just expect to pay $400 bucks Canadian).

Saturday during the day was spent at Casa Loma, and why not? Crush on Saturday night would have been more impressive if we'd been there before hitting Perigee. Still, a solid performance. Excellent wine service (as you would expect) and decent food. Nothing spectacular; probably a score or more places in Chicago could meet or beat it (probably pretty average anywhere). Ah, well ... we made it to Second City that night, which expunged any food-related thoughts (and yes, the irony of Chicagoans going to Second City in Toronto was not lost on us; if you had a Canadian branch of the Art Institute of Chicago, I suppose we would've visited that, too.)

Sunday was spent enjoying the wonders of Canadian socialized medicine as Mrs. JiLS became more and more an invalid during our trip due to a pre-trip foot injury at her health club here in Chicago. Four hours later, she limped out on $25 crutches and best wishes from the hospital staff. We then proceeded to the Rex to get very drunk and listen to the excellent Sunday afternoon lineup (really, I can't begin to express how lucky Toronto is to have such a wonderful place for jazz; it all just costs more and involves more planning in Chicago).

Monday morning we squeazed an entire half hour out of the Islands (loved what we saw) and then planed it home to Chicago. Thanks to everyone; and Rob, we'll get to Laide next time around. (It would help if they were listed in the phone book; we asked every doorman on WEST Adelaide if they'd heard of Laide, where it was, etc. for about two hours on Saturday ... they pretended to have no idea ... our mistake.)

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