So, off we went to St. Lawrence market to meet up with Elizabeth's lifelong pal Janet and grab some lunch. Named 'The world's best food market' in 2012 by National Geographic, St. Lawrence Market is one of two major markets in Toronto, and hosts farmers and antiques markets every week. Wandering the two floors and seeing all the cheese, seafood, meet and vegetables on offer made us very hungry. In the end though, we were overwhelmed by the selection of food on offer, and ended up grabbing a burger at a nearby pub instead!
In the afternoon we parted ways with Janet to go check out the Royal Ontario Museum, to see out their Forbidden City exhibition, as well as their other world culture and natural history collections. Needless to say, the two and a half hours we spent there weren't nearly enough to take it all in, but we did learn a few things, including:
- A little bit about the Emperors of China and what life was like inside the Forbidden City.
- That lots of old magazine covers were painted, not photographs (it seems pretty obvious in retrospect).
- What an Ocean Sunfish is.
- That hockey pads are kind of similar to medieval European armour.
- That Nubia was a thing, and that it had weird Pyramids.
On Thursday morning we made our way back to the Design Exchange, which was now open! The Design Exchange is a free design museum located in the historic Toronto Stock Exchange building. The main temporary exhibition was about Tapas, and all the Spanish products designed for food. This included everything from cooking utensils, cutlery, furniture and chocolate, to inflatable hams and neck tie napkins. It was a really well put together exhibition, and was the perfect size to be taken in in a morning. We also checked out the winners of the Sears DX Canadian High School Design Competition. Lots of very professional looking designs for costumes, playgrounds and textbook covers from some very talented high school students.
In the afternoon we made our way to Casa Loma (house on the hill). Casa Loma is a huge Gothic Revival mansion, built as a residence in the 1910s by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, a famous Toronto financier.
After Sir Henry fell on tough times, he was forced sell the house, which would later be seized by the government. After falling into disrepair Casa Loma faced an uncertain future, until it was made into a tourist attraction in the late 1930s. Sir Henry Pellatt's tale of riches to rags made exploring his huge, grandiose castle somewhat poignant, but the luxury, expense and the attention to detail was very impressive.
To see the rest of our posts about this trip, check out:
A Week in Toronto (Part II)
Niagara Falls Saturday
A Week in Toronto (Part III)
And here are some more photos from our first couple of days in Toronto: