A friend from Brampton came downtown this week and we explored the Toronto waterfront together. It was fun to see the core of the city through her eyes when she reminded me to look up at interesting buildings.

I’m often rushing from one appointment to another and forget to look around, let alone look up. She was amazed at how many things there are to do in this busy city. I tend to forget and get stuck in my own ‘trapline’ by doing similar things each month.

It was great to have unstructured time with a friend in a city I take for granted. We took it all in and wondered what our day of freedom would deliver. We had lunch downtown, and after walking around the harbour, we took a boat tour.

It was fun to be with tourists and learn random facts about our waterfront. Did you know that there are 15 individual islands that make up ‘the island’? I didn’t. They are connected by pathways and bridges. You can walk from one end of ‘the island’ to the other (from Ward’s Island to Hanlan’s Point) and it’s five kilometres long.

Almost 700 people live on Ward’s and Algonquin islands in good weather and the population shrinks in the winter months as only the diehards stay there when the water starts to freeze. The boat captain joked that we could put our young children on the 50-year wait list, and they might be able to retire out there.

It would be a fun place to walk around this fall when the leaves are changing. That’s what I plan to do with my walking buddy.

What will you do to celebrate the ‘big show’ that the trees put on for us this autumn? This season holds a special place in my heart, and I like to take walks in new parks and visit friends or restaurants in high buildings to look out over Toronto’s chain of parkland that turns into an assortment of golden, orange and red hues each year. I hope you can find time to enjoy the show the trees put on for us very soon.

From the boat, I spotted two buildings that I had never noticed on land, and I want to track them down. They are black and white, and I don’t remember ever seeing them. I will need to explore by foot as I can’t find an image on the computer search engines.

P.S. Don’t forget to ‘look up’ as you walk around your city!

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