When I mention that a day trip to Toronto, the word day should be emphasized for this specific trip. Driving from Cleveland to St. Catherine’s where my aunt lives is approximately four hours with an additional one hour tacked on between St. Catherine’s and Toronto. Why the day trip? I was only on the East Coast for three and a half days.
I haven’t been to St. Catherine’s in more than 20 years so seeing my aunt and uncle was nice. Extra nice was seeing that nothing in their house has really changed since last visiting. But there was more relatives to see: my cousins and their children in Toronto.
Toronto is a world class city. I’ve only visited Toronto once before for some expo. That expo, whatever year it was and the city itself has been expunged from my memory. But upon entering the city, I immediately realized I needed more than a day to explore.
After lunch with my cousin, he sent us with only a few train tickets to explore Toronto on our own. To say we didn’t know how navigate the train system is an understatement. We found ourselves paying full fare for only a few blocks before the ride ended. But on the positive, my brother did introduce me to poutine.
Poutine is basically french fries topped with brown gravy and cheese, usually curds. My brother specifically exchanged U.S. dollars into Canadian currency in order to buy this French-Canadian speciality from a street vendor. And not just any street vendor, a blue food truck
It should have been a clue to what kind of food was served on the truck when the word ‘Always free gravy’ is splashed on the side. The french fries were overloaded with the brown stuff. But honestly, it was delicious and reminded me of Thanksgiving. A shame I had to share it.
More cousins were met and promises to return to Canada to visit again and opportunities to try back bacon — an alternative to their Canadian bacon. Prior to returning to the U.S. side, a quick stop at Tim Horton’s was made for a midnight snack and tomorrow’s goodies for the plane ride back to the West Coast.