Friday, July 31, 2015

Day 14 Canada, 04/07, Tour End, To Toronto

We had said our goodbyes to our group the night before and awoke too late for the early breakfast the group were having before they set off by ferry to Vancouver to join the sea cruise to Alaska. Later in the day we would catch a taxi to Victoria Airport with the supplied voucher and fly with Air Canada for about five hours to Toronto, Canada's largest city. The flight was without drama and we arrived on time.

This was probably at Toronto's Pearson Airport.


A new limited express train to the main railway station had only begun service last month. I looked around in vain for someone or a machine to buy a public transport card, called Presto and I could not find anything. Although we knew we would pay a premium price for buying a normal ticket, we did so from a machine. My one way fare was CA$27. With the Presto card, it would have been $19. I was a little annoyed but as we discovered later, the system has not been fully rolled out.


I think it was late afternoon when we caught the train. Being new, it was very clean and rather quiet in the number of users. Early days.


It felt uncomfortably warm in the train. At the first stop the train sat for five minutes and it was clear the timetable would not be met. I believe the train was shut down to reset the air conditioning as when we finally moved, lots of lovely cool air flooded in.


Pull tab? Is it a soft drink can?


Our destination was Union Station, the main Toronto railway station. Some of it, including the huge and wonderful ticket hall had been restored and as you can see, the exterior is in great shape. Other areas were a work in progress. Not sure that the banners add to its dignity.


Across the road was our hotel, the Fairmont Royal York, commonly called the Royal York.



This looks impressive, as a doorman called the bellboy to deal with our luggage. Here we go, we will have to tip. R dealt with it, bless, except he didn't.



Toronto's iconic CN tower was quite close.


We dined at a bar and grill called Jack Astor's on the corner opposite our hotel. It was nice enough, but the music was quite loud.


This wasn't the most complicated plumbing, but the diverter had to be correctly set, not to the bath, not to the hand held shower. The room was quite nice and furnished with antique and period furniture. I doubt there was a view from the window, and anyway it was covered over to screen hotel building works. The room did have air conditioning. Yay.


What follows are some photos of the public areas. Some photo panels covered over building works. This one was the Fairmont Chateau where we stayed in Lake Louise, without air conditioning.


Yes, still taking mail.


Our room was off the passage right where there is a pool of light on the floor. Quite a walk, but with eight lifts, not long to wait.


A lift interior.






Tomorrow we take a look at Toronto.

22 comments:

  1. You are definitely living the high life. Staying at the Fairmont again.

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    1. Marie, I did prefer this one, even though the setting was very different.

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  2. Ah, from here to NYC I am an observer of your travel rather than a fellow passenger albeit at a different time. Lovely hotel. It seems those Fairmont Hotels all set a terrific standard.

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    1. Victor, I gather you had quite a lot of experience with Fairmont hotels. Interesting that while they are found outside America, there are none in Australia.

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  3. andrew, the hotel looks fantastic. whar about the train looks comfortably..

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    1. Gosia, the train was very smooth and quiet.

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  4. I do love the little details you show, like the lift interior.
    A photographic panel to cover building works is an interesting idea. And the interior of your hotel looks quite opulent.
    Yay for air-conditioning.

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    1. EC, the hotel was somewhat out of our usual league, but I did see some guests wearing thongs on their feet.......probably Australians.

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  5. Union Station was built from 1914 on, so I suppose they were going more for functionality than for any decorative qualities. However the outside is very stark, isn't it? The inside hall is much more attractive and user-friendly.

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    1. Hels, I can find beauty in the simplicity of the station facade and it still says, this is an important building.

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  6. Wow, that hotel is gorgeous, like a mansion, or something, very beautiful. Glad you had AC. The train looks comfortable, nice it too had AC and finally worked.

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    1. Strayer, I fear we are rather too used to air conditioning now and miss it terribly if we don't have it.

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  7. I recall Fairmont hotels as setting a good standard and so it would seem. The York appears to be very grand and a lovely combination of old and new. Was not having a view claustrophobic?
    Glad to hear that the train worked out. I rather like the banners - a splash of colour on an otherwise uniformly coloured exterior.

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    1. Craig, the lack of view did not really worry me. With all previous accommodation part of the trip, we never had top notch rooms any way. Surprising to us was that we received an upgrade, to what we thought was just a normal room.

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  8. The Hotel looks rather spiffy, and the train looks lovely and new. I hope they get the glitches worked out soon, such as the airconditioning. (on the train)
    Did you take photos of the hotel room furniture by any chance?

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    1. River, I will check later to see if I have room photo and add it here if the photo is ok.

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  9. Lovely hotel! Hope you got to explore Toronto a bit; it seems a very lively place.

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    1. We did get to explore Jac, as you can now see in the subsequent post.

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  10. Looks a lovely hotel with A/C...the train looks ok too. The mat at the lifts looks nice as well.

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    1. Margaret, it really was a grand hotel. Everything was so well done and maintained.

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  11. Jack Astor's always too noisy not matter what location.
    That was annoying not being able to get a Presto card, not acceptable.

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    1. Jackie, yes about the noise. It is just that type of place and Saturday night, but it was fine for a meal. You can be sure we had our Prestos for the return journey.

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