Settling In

After such a tiring weekend, we decided to have a bit of a lazy day to recover from all of the walking and heat. In the evening, we headed out to find somewhere for a few drinks. We checked out a board game cafe/bar called Snakes and Lattes Annex, but it seemed a little too formal when we got there so we went walking down College St in search of a nerdy haven to enjoy. It was here that we stumbled across Meltdown Bar – an eSports and gaming bar! The night we went was open mic comedy night, which had a few laughs but was generally quite awkward and people were bombing so we jumped on the PS4. We played Niddhog for the first time, which was a very bizarre but enjoyable multiplayer fencing game. We then hopped onto the Wii for a few games of Smash Bros before playing a few games of Dirty Bomb on the PC’s while also watching the open mic. Vikki was duped into trying a beer called Flying Monkey that “tasted like Gin and Tonic” but that statement could not be further from the truth!

So much syrup!

On Tuesday, we got up nice and early and went to get our SIN’s (Social Insurance Numbers) from Service Ontario. These will allow us to start applying for jobs when we move to the next AirBnB! (… more on that later…) That turned out to be a quicker and simpler process than we were expecting. We then popped home for some food and to put on our sunscreen before walking down to St Lawrence Market (for some MORE food). It was another scorcher of a day and in hindsight, walking all the way to the market wasn’t the best idea, but it allowed us to see a lot more of the city than if we hopped on the subway. We got to walk through the university campus and saw all of the “old” buildings. Tim Horton’s are literally everywhere you look in this city, so we decided to grab another iced lemonade to cool us down a bit – this time a raspberry one, which was somehow even nicer than the lemon one we had on Canada Day! When we finally got to the market (we kept stopping for breaks and to watch the Columbia/England match), we had a walk around the whole place to gauge our options for food before making a decision on a chicken parmigiana sandwich with sweet peppers, onions and mozzarella. We made the wise choice of sharing one between us – it was the size of our heads!

Eating at St Lawrence Market

That evening, we walked along Bloor St West to the Madison Avenue Pub, which is actually 6 British-style pubs across 3 connected Victorian Mansions! We had our doubts about this, but were pleasantly surprised at how British it felt – they even had the same carpets you’d find in an old country pub! When we got home, we got excited at seeing our first ever raccoon, who was sat up on next doors balcony.

Trash Panda

The next couple of days were spent getting used to the local area and the (sometimes rather odd) ways that people do things over here in Canada. One of the big differences between the UK and Ontario is that liquor (alcohol) can only be bought in specialised shops (LCBO’s or Beer Stores), whereas in England you can just walk down the road and buy your booze from the local shop or petrol station. Vikki finally had some luck with her cider hunt, finding a single brand of strawberry and lime cider in the local LCBO but also concluded that shandys are nice with a wheat beer in case there are no ciders. We also popped to Meltdown again, this time for the Jackbox games night – this is a collection of party games that everyone can jump onto using the browser on their mobile phone. This was also the night that we discovered that Meltdown do the yummiest chicken strips we have ever had!

Beautiful Toronto skyline

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