It's spring in Toronto, and the patio beers are a-flowing! Well not quite, but some brave souls did find spots on sunny streets, Danforth and Roncesvalles being particularly popular. I'm lucky enough to live in Greektown, where sitting on a sunny patio, drinking a cold beer/cocktail and eating chicken souvlaki while Greek music plays, is not just a dream, but an eventuality. This past weekend, I spent the day in Roncesvalles and HIgh Park, to see how the westsiders were faring, and found that the patio-ed streets were equally busy and buzzing. Kids and adults were lined up outside Ed's, waiting for a scoop of ice cream, and cafe patios were filled with sun revellers from the south end of the street at Queen up towards Bloor.
As I mentioned in my last post, spring is my favourite time of year (except maybe the month of September, which you can read more about in posts from years past). The fact that I could go to a small show on Saturday night in the west end (well, Bloor & Dufferin) and walk all the way home to Greektown is amazing in itself. I just checked, and that was a 7k walk, which took me about an hour and a half - go me! I practically collapsed on my couch when I finally got home, but at least it wasn't from the cold!
I was lucky enough to get to see Ryan O'Reilly on his recent visit back to Canada for a few shows. The Toronto show was Saturday, April 16 at - you guessed it - The Burdock! I promise I do go to other places, and I've even written about some of them, but The Burdock seems to be the place to be lately. The last time I saw Ryan O'Reilly and his band, was last February at The Dakota Tavern (my other favourite venue). It was during a snowstorm, the likes of which we didn't experience this winter, and it was amazing. Coming in from the freezing cold, walking down into The Dakota, which always feels like a friend's really cool basement, and having a Beau's while sitting under fairy lights - ideal. I brought my friend Hannah, who has similar taste in music, but had never heard of Ryan. The atmosphere in The Dakota had been so intimate and perfect.
The only other venue I could think of in Toronto that might match that atmosphere is The Burdock. The show was fantastic, and I got to pick up a copy of the new album before it's official release date of May 6!
Looking forward, I will be enjoying my last two weeks of my current work contract and making last minute arrangements before I leave on my trip next Friday! In 2 weeks, I will be in Ireland travelling around the whole country, then spending a weekend in Dublin with friends, followed by a few days in London. I wish I had more time (like perhaps a few days in Scotland...), but it'll be an amazing trip nevertheless, and this just means I'll have to go back soon to do some more exploring.
It will be bittersweet to leave this company, but I've really enjoyed my time here, and everything I've done and learned has been so beneficial that I can't help but feel grateful and optimistic.