The Big M returns to Toronto

Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 07:21 PM
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The Big M returns to Toronto

When I was a kid our team was the Brooklyn version of Toronto Maple Leafs and I was number 27 Frank Mahovlich. One of my best buddles on our team was Eddie Shack, one of the most colorful players to play in the NHL.

We have visited Toronto once many years ago and I also visited Hamilton a few years back when another member of our long ago hockey team was a football coach for the woeful TiCats. But now we want to return next May.

Our interests are art, architecture, ethnic food, and visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The AGO looks like a major stop. Does anyone have favorite art galleries?

It seems the trasnportation is extremely well done in Toronto but the city seems spread out. Thus what are the best few areas to stay or that really doesn't matter?

What are some your of favorite ethnic restaurants and that means any group. I read there is a huge Portuguese population and is what is your favorites for Montreal style Jewish smoked meats.

We are excited about visiting and may even take in a Jays game.

I appreciate any and all answers.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 08:18 PM
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"Clear the track...here comes Shack!" Eddie played for the Sabres in their early years and his reckless charges down the ice are legendary in Buffalo...

Casa Loma and its' backstory make for a interesting few hours, especially in the Spring when the gardens begin to fill out...a bit out of the way, but interesting architecture.

You could relive your athletic past in the Toronto Marathon... or perhaps the May2013 TorontoELVIS Festival...

Seriously, Yorkville will put you into the best location for great dining, galleries, art shops, museums and wandering...
The Hazelton Hotel is the newest, but there are several nice choices in the neighborhood... around the corner are the ROM and Bata Shoe museum... plenty of outdoor bistro choices

Hockey Hall and Rogers Centre are reachable via subway, cab or other transport and are closer to the Lake...

I'm sure some of the residents can give you the inside on Smokin' the Meat and portugese choices...
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Thanks Gary.

You do not have to be serious about anything. The Elvis festival scares me. We will look aaround Yorkville. Needless to say Mrs. Adu is not as excited about the Hockey HOF. I visited the old one which seemed like it was in a building about an hour away from being condemned.

The penalty for visiting for HHOF is visiting the shoe museum. I will wear socks with my sandals as a sign of protest.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 11:23 PM
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I forgot to mention, one of the goals of the trip is track down the blonde guy who parts his hair down the middle and has Mickey Mouse fingers who carries the Stanley Cup from town to town and give him an adult hair cut. Anybody with me?
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 06:35 AM
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For ethnic cuisine, I recommend visiting the Saint Lawrence Market, Chinatown (there are several, the one near Dundas and Spadina is most central), and the Kensington Market. I know you might think to skip it since NYC has a Chinatown, but unless I missed something in Manhattan's Chinatown, Toronto's has a different energy & feels larger in scope. Gerrard Street India Bazaar mentioned in the link below is a terrific area, but a bit removed from the center. In the post below are some terrific dining suggestions made in the Chinese and Indian category.

http://www.fodors.com/community/cana...taurant-qs.cfm

My favourite area of the city to stay is West Queen West (look up the Drake Hotel & the Gladstone Hotel, near these two). I was hesitant at first to stay here since they're a maybe 20-minute tram ride away (easy & frequent however) from the downtown core, but I've found that I prefer the energy there to locations closer to the financial hub of the CN Tower. And West Queen West has some handsome residential areas right nearby, within walking distance to Little Portugal and Little Italy.

The AGO (fantastic) and the ROM are the big draws museum-wise in Toronto, but my favourite actually is the Bata Shoe Museum. And I'm no shoe shopaholic either; actually I hate shopping for shoes generally. But this museum I actually found unique and fascinating, detailing the history of footwear from pre-historic to modern (and yes there are some celebrity shoes/socks including some socks of Napoleon). I couldn't convince my father to give it a look-see when we went to Toronto in July, but it really is interesting.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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My Favourite museum is the Gardiner, it's focus is ceramics
http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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When I first saw this post, I thought it meant Madonna was coming back to Toronto which she referred to as a fascist state after she was threatened with arrest for public indecency in the early '90s. (It turns out she's been back since.)

aduchamp--- On a more useful note, I wanted to add that my favorite thing to do in the city is to take the ferry out to the Toronto Islands.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Thank you all for you advice, it is truly appreciated.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Aduchamp--I'm an expatriate Torontonian and was in high school with the Big M when he played hockey there with such future NHLers as Dave Keon, Dick Duff and Gerry Cheevers. Of course the St Michael's Majors was not an ordinary high school team, but a Major Jr A farm team for the Leafs. I had graduated when they won the Memorial Cup in '61 and then were disbanded as the demands of junior A hockey were incompatible with the school's academic programme. If you want to extend your Hockey Hall of Fame visit, St. Mike's is still there at Bathurst and St. Clair, although in my day, the rink was only a dream and the team played at Maple Leaf Gardens (which is now a supermarket and college athletic centre).

Toronto is not a great place for good Montreal smoked meat as pastrami and corned beef are the traditional deli fare. However you can get it at a number of places--most of the better delis are in North Toronto and beyond (Eglinton, Bathurst, and Lawrence areas). One downtown deli that is reputed to have good smoked meat (although I can't personally vouch for it) is Caplinski's on College Street in the former Jewish district. Shopsy's, the most well-known deli, does not serve smoked meat as far as I know. You have a better chance of getting authentic Montreal smoked meat (and true Montreal bagels)in New York at Mile End in Brooklyn, run by an expatriate Montrealer. In fact there was a piece on it in today's Globe:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...rticle4517909/

For galleries, the AGO is a must, but you should also visit the Royal Ontario Museum--its Asian galleries are very good indeed, especially the Chinese collections. Unfortunately, its most recent renovation/expansion involved the grafting of a Liebeskind crystal carbuncle on a grand old Romanesque style building.

As to where to stay, I would either choose a hotel in the area of the ROM and university (near Bloor between Avenue Road and Church) or right on the waterfront. However, so long as you are close to the subway, anywhere is fine.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 04:02 PM
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Thank you laverendrye but I think I will stick just to the HHOF. Mrs. Adu has endured enough hockey games and things over the years. Back in 1961, if memory serves me correctly there was a territorial draft which encouraged scuh high schools.

And thanks for the tips on the food and where to stay.
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