I’ve never really liked Toronto. There are lots of other completely wonderful cities and little towns in “Upper Canada” and if given the choice I would visit all of them, skip Toronto and head straight into Quebec. And, I’d do it by boat. I’ve always wanted to take a boat into Montreal. I figure it’d be on par with taking the train into Quebec City, which I did in the 80s and have never forgotten how wonderful it was.

However, Canada’s largest city is rarely ever ignored and in December I found myself touching down at Toronto Pearson International for a somewhat quick in and out meeting; the first of many I’m sure.

Here’s a bit of history in a nutshell that I always tell people when the subject of Toronto comes up. Please forgive me if my history isn’t entirely correct (there are people who spend their whole life researching such things), but I’ve spewed it all out of my head and it’s been a while since I’ve accessed the “history” part of my brain. It will, however, help tie together many of the other places that have appeared in past posts.

Toronto used to be called York — named after York in the UK. It was first occupied by Europeans in 1750 and eventually grew into one of the most important trading ports in the New World until the War of 1812. During this war Americans invaded, burnt all the parliament buildings to the ground and eventually sacked the city. It was occupied for a year or two after — when supply lines were cut off and the American’s were driven out. In retaliation for the burning of Toronto, the Brits headed South and burned many of the government buildings (including the White House) in Washington DC. “York” was rebuilt as Toronto (renamed in 1834) and never really ever recovered as a major trading port. Instead New York in the US rose to fulfil this purpose.

Either way, (for some strange reason) when I took the photo above I was thinking of the King of Kensington.

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