Trip Start Jan 11, 2013
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Friday, January 11, 2013

I was eager to go to Canada for a long time, but it is far from my home country, so it was almost impossible to go there while I had a job in Japan. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Canada was it is an English-speaking country. Actually, it is important for me to go to an English-speaking country theses days, because now I'm studying English harder than before. Then I chose Toronto as my first destination in Canada, because the most interesting tourist attraction to me was Niagara Falls and the closest Canadian city is Toronto.

Anyway, after I arrived at the airport, I took a local bus to the city. The airport shuttle bus was available, but a local transportation was much cheaper. When I got on the bus, I didn't have coins, so I tried to pay a bill. Although the driver told me to pay by coin, I said I didn't have coins. Then he let me get on without taking the bill. I was worried about the time to transfer and to pass through the ticket gate, but there was no problem.

I stayed in Canadiana Backpackers for five nights. I didn't plan to stay there so long, but after checking up on the weather forecast and choosing the date for a Niagara Falls tour, I decided to extend my stay in Toronto, or the hostel. Actually, the hostel was quite comfortable. They had a movie theatre in the basement and a movie was scheduled every night. Usually, guests are not intersted in the movies and the theatre was vacant. Then they kindly let me use a movie theater for free and that was fantastic.

The first place I visited on the second day was the CN Tower. I knew where it was because I had seen it on my way to the hostel. At the entrance of the tower, I hesitated to go up the tower, because it was extremely pricey. I didn't want to pay $32 just for a view, but the CN Tower was world-famous, because it was the highest tower for a long time (34 years). Then I found a City Pass ad. It looked cheaper and because I was planing to stay in Toronto for five days, I had plenty of time to visit the other attractions. So I bought it for $68 and would visit four tourist attractions. However, I didn't feel it was so cheap, because two out of the five tourist attractions for the ticket were mainly for children and I didn't feel like visiting them. Anyway, I went up the CN Tower. Actually, my ticket was for the first observation deck and the CN Tower had the second observation deck as well. However, the first observation deck was enough for me. The skyscrapers near the tower looked like models and it proved that the CN Tower was much higher than those buildings. From the ground, the tower didn't look so high, so I was very impressed. I also liked the glass floor. Although I knew the glass would never be broken, it was a bit scary to get on the glass.

Then I went to Harbourfront and found an ice-skating rink there. I didn't skate for more than 20 years, but instinctively, I felt I should do it there. Thankfully, the rink was open to public for free and skates rental shop was also there. So it was absolutely a must. Eventually, l enjoyed skating for two hours. I was like a beginner at first, but getting better and better as I skated longer. Even a stranger gave me advice and it was a nice experience. Before I left the rink, I asked a Canadian to take a picture of myself in the rink.

On the third day, I visited Casa Loma and Royal Museum of Ontario. On my way to Casa Loma, I saw some squirrels. Because I love wild animals, I got excited, taking many pictures. Casa Loma was like a castle with towers. I enjoyed "exploring" the huge mansion. Interestingly, the mansion was used as a movie location many times and the movie posters were displayed in the basement. If I had known the fact earlier, I would have enjoyed seeing things more carefully. After Casa Loma, I visited Royal Museum of Ontario. I don't like museums so much, but because my CityPass included the museum, I decided to go there too. The museum has a lot of collection from China and the collection was truly interesting, but I didn't like the political influence from China. From the museum, I walked back to my hostel.

On the fourth day, I tried Segway in the Distillery Historic District. I had a plan to try it in Centrair (Central Japan International Airport), but the district with installation arts looked more interesting in exploring on Segway. So I took a guided tour. It was not difficult to ride Segway and because there were not many tourists in the district on the day, I enjoyed the ride very much. After the tour, I dropped by a cafe to taste hot chocolate. It was really good especially on the cold day. Then I left for Science Centre. I was not interested in the science museum at all, because my city also has a similar museum. Still I didn't want to waste my CityPass, I went there. You may think that was ridiculous, but there was nowhere else to go. To be honest, the museum was for children or science geeks. Children can enjoy hands-on activities without thinking about scientific mechanism; science geeks can understand the mechanism and fully enjoy the activities. Staff were very friendly and it might have been a good idea to play with the staff.  
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