“Diversity our strength” – Toronto’s motto and one that is clearly visible within the city, today saw us walk though many different cultural districts of the city, the colourful ‘Little Portugal’ to the vibrant ‘Little Italy’ leading into the large ‘Chinatown’ that almost makes you feel like you have walked through a teleport and into the heart of a bustling Chinese town, much larger and built up than other key Cities’ Chinatowns with noticeable shopping centres, an environment not just for tourists but also for the wider Chinese population.
Our day started out with a short metro ride north to visit Casa Loma, a Gothic revival house built back in 1911 by financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Now a popular tourist and filming location it sits 140metres above sea level looking proudly down at the city of Toronto. From here we started our small walking tour through the districts of Little Italy, Little Portugal and Chinatown, each offering their own unique atmosphere in a city that is full of different cultures ensuring that each corner of the city is unlike any other.
From Chinatown we headed South towards Lake Ontario where we were catching one of the daily ferries across to Toronto Island. The ferry journey alone made the visit worthwhile, it lets you experience breath taking views of the city but before we lost ourselves in its presence we arrived to Toronto island as the ferry only takes around 10 minutes to cross over. The island itself is home to a population of around 300 much smaller than the 8000 that called the Island home up until around the 1950s. Today it is mainly the beaches and owing clubs that draw people across to visit, its large green spaces, amusements and water sports makes it a popular crowd pleaser for tourists and residents wanting to escape the heat of the city.
The calm of the Island allowed us some time to reflect back on the day and fully appreciate the diverse culture of this great city, there truly is a place for everyone, all cultures are accepted and loved side by side with no visible hostility, in parts a refuge for many in a world that is widely becoming spread with hate crime against peoples beliefs & cultures. After taking most of the Island in and stopping to have some melon on one of the many beaches we headed back across Lake Ontario to begin our journey back towards Lake Simcoe where we are spending our last night before starting our Greyhound journey across Canada tomorrow.