1) The CN Tower peeks out from above the Intercontinental

I’ve been in Toronto these past couple weeks and am thoroughly (NOT) enjoying the weather that has climbed – with the humidex – to 50°C. That is so wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to comprehend it. While I’ve been lax with picture taking, I did meet up with Mimi/Jim, CSI Carlee and Blee for dinner at the tiff Bell Lightbox restaurant – Canteen – on Friday night for dinner. The Toronto International Film Festival’s new home is great and the food was good.

2) Blee, CSI Carlee and Mimi; 3) Mimi’s mmmmm pizza

4) my mussels and frites; 5) moi and CSI Carlee

6) Jim and I

On Sunday I finally tried Toronto’s new Bixi bike system where you rent bikes for a small period of time on the cheap. We cycled from Mimi/Jim’s condo down to the waterfront to try the new patio – called Against the Grain – at the Corus Building on Lower Jarvis near Sugar Beach. They have a great special there of $5 caesars from 11am onwards with their brunch menu. While I’m not convinced the restaurant will survive winter on the waterfront, the drinks special is a winner even if the food is not.

7) Blee gets us set up on Bixi; 8) which bike to choose?…. we actually had a problem but we rang Bixi’s hotline and they got it solved

9) Sugar Beach at the foot of Lower Jarvis; 10) Blee heads to play in the fountain

11) inside the Corus building they have a funky open space complete with a slide (which in true risk management form has been closed because the City is a-scared of injury; 12) at the entrance to Against the Grain

13) Mimi eyes the caesars

14) my brunch entry was nothing special with hollandaise that left much to be desired; 15) Blee ordered their ‘breakfast bowl’

16) after brunch we went to Sherbourne Common, the new park opened by the City right near the Corus Building; 17) it uses these large structures to aerate the Humber River water (notoriously polluted) before it enters Lake Ontario … it’s a great idea and the park is rather cool we collectively thought

18) more of the cleansing structures; 19) I went for a ride

20) the effect is rather Frank Gehery-esque on the facade but is not his design or build

21) Blee and I also visited The Distrillery District one day to wander about; 22) where they have opened Canada’s first sake brewery! Very cool.

23) we also made sure to swim at Blee’s place … totally necessary considering the heat and humidity

To celebrate the final arrival of Blee’s new gorgeous walnut hutch, we chowed down on dungeness crab on Sunday night.

24) Mimi and Blee pull a Vanna White to show off the new walnut cabinet, custom made to boot; 25) the crab!

Monday night I wandered out to Wellesley and Parliament to meet Deb & Dawn for dinner at Cranberries and Wednesday it was a condo crawl with our Toronto condo crew just like the ‘old’ days. Darn good fun.

26) Maria, Christine and moi at the crawl

Thursday night I hosted a dinner for a v. famous international dignitary – Dr. XXXXXXX (name removed on purpose) from the United Kingdom – who I brought to town to train my team and help me score points with our Board and research dollars for my program. Successful on both points I might add. We headed to The Fifth for dinner by way of a thank you and bon voyage. The Fifth remains one of the finest patio restaurants in the city I do believe and we sent Dr. XXXXXX off in style.

27) here I am with my team and Dr. XXXXXX at the Fifth … the lad who looks like Santa is my VP and one of the most astute men alive. He actually left early to hop on the Canadian Via rail train … he’s going all the way out to Vancouver where we’ll meet up again in a few weeks. My VP is a foodie like me and we could go on endlessly about eating, food and restaurants

I now find myself in London – quite tuckered to be honest – and will spend some time with my folks before heading back out to Vancouver to rejoin G.

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