The paths I’ve travelled. City sidewalks

#Sunday stills

Terry Webster Schradt posts a weekly photo challenge and what better way to fill up guarantine time than culling pictures on your computer. I figure this will be a weeks worth of work.

So here are photos of some of the paths I’ve taken. I am an avid walker and have taken lots of pictures along the way. Let’s start out in Mexico. You never know what you will encounter on the sidewalks of Mexico but it is sure to be colourlful.

The sidewalks in Toronto are a little European in flavour and you also may be suprised by encountering sculpture or weddings!!!

Moving on to Ottawa, the seasonal colours are one of the distinctive features of the landscapes. There is a unique walk around the parliament buildings that few people take.

Vancouver sidwalks are often wet, but if you look carefully you will find little and big surprises.

The retirement downsizing myth: No, seniors aren’t moving in droves — and that will affect the housing market | Financial Post

The retirement downsizing myth: No, seniors aren’t moving in droves — and that will affect the housing market | Financial Post
— Read on

celebrity spotting!

Winter sunset over the empty marina beside my townhouse @ Lake Ontario

Of all places.. Canadian Tire. I had to make the run to Canadian Tire today to get a ladder. I am all loaded up with ladder and a bike trainer in my shopping cart and who do I see but the Designer guys, Chris and Steve who have show on CBC and HGTV. It certainly reminded me I am at the media center of Canada. There are serveral large film studios close to the Canadian Tire location. Earlier in the month I saw the broadcast of e-talk Canada with Ben Mulroony which broadcasts from a street front location so passers by can see the show as it is being broadcast.

I missed the Olympic flame visit as I had to make another visit to Services Ontario to get my vehicle licenced. It was an emotional moment as I screwed the Ontario plates on my jeep. ;-(((

My work place is undergoing more changes. I work with a team of 4 people, one is leaving this week, and one may be leaving in Feb as her contract is not being renewed. There is at least one farewell lunch a week, with people having babies, going back to school or other opportunities. There is a wave going through the health care system to cut back on contract positions due to the e-health ontario business. Every day a new ‘problem’ pops that that was unforeen but none that I can’t handle. There are some big differences between the health care system in Ontario and BC around how services are organized and I think I would prefer to be in BC if I needed home and community care. Services in BC are under the direct managment of the health authority and this makes it easier to switch patients between one service and another.

one of many festive planters in front of high rise buildings

I am heading to New Brunswick for Christmas to spend time with my brother and sister-in-law in Saint John. I haven’t spent Christmas there for many years so it is a flashback to childhood.

For all my Investool friends.. I now understand why the people on BNN keep flogging Shopper Drugs. There is a store on every corner in Toronto but no London Drugs. I really miss London Drugs. I also see why they keep flogging Loblaws as they are huge here. Rogers is also the major provider of internet and cell phone services and they have a store across from every Shopper Drug. Service is terrible though. On a scale of 1-10 they are about a 5. Timothys is the upscale coffee of choice. It’s better than Starbucks who are just not on the map here. All the big banks have huge flagship buildings here. The longest lineups are at the dollar stores.

Fashion wise, baggy pants with crotchs at the knees, hoodies and sideways baseball caps are the uniform of the moment. My personal style is now a choice between my white or brown down coat.

I wish all my friends best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Winter sunset

I’ve been here for almost 3 months now.  I am finding my way around a little better.  I am have a few small successes at work. If only they knew what success was.  If only I knew??

I have been grateful that the weather has been mild to cool so far and I am enjoying the almost daily sunshine. 

There are lots of things that surprise me about Toronto.  The garbage on the streets are night.. there is a resident mouse in the office where I work that chewed through an apple I left in my drawer.   All the office buildings and condos have planters in front of them with elaborate Christmas arrangements of bows, boughs, dried flowers, berries or Christmas bulbs.  It’s feeling very Christmasy here. 

I went to see a condo for sale today but there are still bidding wars going on the force up the prices beyond the ‘comparables’.  I am just curious to see what’s on the market.  I might buy something later on.  I am still checking out neighbourhoods. Living downtown is ok.  Traffic is pretty slow and all the streets are one way.  Biking may be a better option in the summer.

subway tickets sold out

Yes as of yesterday they have run out of subway tickets, subway tokens and monthly passes.  I guess they cranked up the hand printing presses last night as I was able to get 30 tickets today to last me the rest of the month.  Got my car inspected for ‘safety” and ‘air’ quality (2003 Jeep) in order to be eligible to get my car registered here.  $ 198.00. Next step is insurance which is private sector.  Have gotten some on-line quotes from $ 125 pm to $ 300 pm.  Moral of this story is to shop around for quotes.  Everything here is about shopping around.. for rental apt,  to buy a place etc etc etc. 

running out of tokens

Yes the TTC is running out of tokens.  They are raising transit fares in Jan and so people are hoarding tokens.  Now they will only sell 5 tokens at a time.  They now plan to print paper tickets.  Problem:  the tickets won’t work in the turnstiles so  you will have to go one by one through one turnstile that is ‘manned’ manually.  Ok so anyone with a weekly or monthly pass can use the turnstiles.  However, a weekly pass costs $ 32.00 compared to 10 tokens which costs $ 22.50.  This is not adding up for me.  This is going to create long lineups.  No one here seems very concerned by this.  It all just seems like another day in the life.

Deer takedown in Toronto today

The good news is I found a parkinng stop in the townhouse complext where I am living for only $ 100 a month. I beat them down from $ 200 a month!!!!!

All that glitters is not gold

Spent the evening at “Services Ontario”  from 4:30 – 8:00 waiting to get my drivers licence tranferred.  And then they charged me $ 75.00 for the pleasure.  By the end, the line for OHIP card was closed.  However I did get a phone number to call to make an appointment.  I discovered today the Ministry of Transporation is on strike.