When I had been told: “Go to see The Beaches, it’s the fancy place in Toronto”, I had imagined a tacky place. Anyway, after my breathe of fresh air of Queen’s Quay, I decided to go to The Beaches. I went there with the streetcar, which enabled me to see some parts of the city I would probably not have been to. What is called “The Beaches”, that area of Toronto where you can actually find beaches on Lake Ontario, is really different from what I had pictured. The first thing I noticed were all the little shops on the side of the road: second-hand bookshops and little bazars. I like that and, of course, I went browsing through the books. The area has a certain American character to it: the style of houses, the restaurants and even that vehicle I spotted (you can see it in the pictures below). I actually thougt I was in an old-fashioned American movie!
Then, I found myself in the Kew Gardens. Lucky me, there was a craft fair on. I thus went around the stalls, only to be faced with a rehearsal of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the other end of the gardens; it was a bit surreal…
Next, I wandered to the actual beaches, a place were seemingly people come to relax, play volley ball, have a barbecue, … It was strange to be sitting here facing the lake, looking at some trees and then turn my head and see the skyscrappers in the distance. Looking at the lake, I was thinking about Atwood’s Lady Oracle and Joan’s fake suicide, except that it was on Toronto Island (another of my excursions):
“We rehearsed again the story they were to tell to Arthur: they’d run into me on the street and on impulse we’d lldecided to go sailing over at the Island. Sailing rather than canoeing , we felt: it was easier to fall off a sailboat, whereas if it was a canoe, we’d all have to tip into the lake and I told them there was no reason for them to get wet, too.
. . .
The boat swung, the sail collapsed, Sam ducked, and the flailing boom hit me in the small of the back and knocked me overboard.
I was unprepared and got a mouthful of unprocessed Lake Ontario water as I sank. It was much colder than I’d expected, and it tasted like stale fins and old diapers. I rose to the surface, coughing and gasping.
. . .
I made a feeble dive and attempted to swim under the boat, as we had panned. I was supposed to come up on the other side, where I would be out of sight from the shore in case anyone was watching, and this move was necessary as I’d spotted a family at one of the picnic tables.”
Finally, I slowly made my way back to the streetcar, passing a yachting club and some cute squirrels (be prepared, they’ll keep coming back in my Canadian posts; they’re everywhere and not that shy) on the way.