My mom is an amazing person. Not only did she cook meals, do laundry, and bandage scraped knees, she also homeschooled 3 kids for almost 13 years of schooling each! In addition, when money was tight she also somehow handled a part-time job here and there when we were older. One of her part-time jobs was a tour guide/planner. At the beginning of my ninth grade year she had to get trained on doing overnight tours. Her training tour was a several night trip to Toronto, Canada and she could bring one guest with her. She elected to bring me and I had so much fun! Here are my memories from that trip:
The first afternoon we stopped at Niagara Falls. It was a 30 minutes photo stop and it was quite breezy that afternoon. We weren’t that close to the falls, but I remember getting wet from the spray getting blown over us. We just had time to get some postcards for my collection before getting back on the bus. It blew my mind that people actually went over the falls in barrels.
One of the first things we did when we got to Toronto was we took a bus tour of the city. People in Toronto seemed to have an interesting, but fun sense of humor. One of the newspaper offices we drove by had a regular sized truck coming out of the side of the building. The name of the newspaper was: Breaking News. We also saw a sculpture which was entitled “Two Large Objects.” And that’s exactly what it looked like…two large objects.
Many of the bank buildings in Toronto seemed to be in a competition. One bank was the tallest building in the city. Another bank wanted to be outstanding, but couldn’t be the tallest building because of a law that passed limiting the height of buildings. To remedy that they put gold dust in the window glass so it could be the prettiest bank. Another builder wanted to build two bank buildings 48 stories high, but couldn’t because the law limited them to 32 stories. Since there was a church across the street that wasn’t planning on building any higher the builder bought the air from on top of the church and moved it across the street so he could make his buildings higher than the 32 stories dictated by the law. The church used the money to restore the church and it is very beautiful.
The first City Hall was another high point on our bus tour of Toronto. The builder Edward Lemas underestimated the cost of the building and the city council required him to pay the rest of the money to finish the building. He was so annoyed he had a stone carver from Italy come over and engrave 12 ugly gargoyle faces of the city council member’s on the sides of the building. Edward also had the sculptor add a nice gargoyle face: one of Edward himself!