Friday, 18 February 2011

Toronto thus far

I've been in Toronto for a month now, and so far, I've been digging it.  Yeah, I go through this every time I initially settle some where (well, except Scotland truthfully), but since this is now my home FOREVER, I feel like I'm digging in more.  I mean, I have to like it and thankfully, right now, it's coming pretty easily.

Toronto is a sprawling metropolis and is a bit intimidating.  It's really disconcerting being away from your native country for so long and then returning to find that everything is more expensive than you remember and things are just so different.  Thankfully, even though Dave is across the ocean, I'm not alone.  I have been living with my sister who has been helping me navigate this new landscape, and my friends have been helping me settle in to a social life.  I've been getting to know some new areas and I've been trying out new restaurants.  I am also trying to get more involved. By all accounts, things are going well.

My gorgeous pal, C.

Pretty horticultural society building.
I've been literally walking all around the city when I'm out to a) save cash and b) see more of the area.  Even though it has been brick freezing (-28 one day!), I loved looking at buildings, taking note of cool looking restaurants and stores, and just feeling my way around.  In between the hours and hours exploring, I have also been looking for an apartment, which I'm happy to report, I've found.  It's in the hip Yonge and Eglinton area (nicknamed  Young and Eligible) and the apartment is right in the middle of the well-to-do neighbourhood, Forest Hill.  I've been back about 5 times and I'm still in love with the place.  I've managed to pick out a kick ass couch and bought a very comfortable mattress set, and I'm so excited to turn a nice apartment into a really sweet home.

The living room.  This house has some good bones and I love this space.
I mentioned that I've been getting involved and I've been doing that by becoming more active on the JET alumni association scene.  I'm really happy to say that I got elected to the executive and starting in April, I will be the conference organizer!  It's pretty exciting since I'm such a big planner and have big love for my time in Japan.  Plus the members seem pretty awesome so I'm looking forward to hanging with them doing some cool things.

I also decided to throw my hat into the ring and volunteer myself as a group leader for Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope.  It's a really amazing place online where women who have lost babies at all stages of pregnancy can go on and tell their stories (and read others) to gain a sense of community and support.  I've said so many times that losing a baby and grieving is such an isolating process, so it's nice to find that you're not alone (as heartbreaking as that is).  Anyway, the founders of the site recently had a lightbulb moment - they invited members of the community to set up face to face groups where people can get together with others who share a similar fate and I thought it was such a great idea.  I've mentioned that the SANDS support meetings probably helped to save my life and I was desperately looking for similar in the Toronto area.  I haven't found anything yet so I thought this would be a great thing.  Now, I'm not the most seasoned of baby loss mamas but I feel if I can help support someone who is grieving, like I was supported by SANDS in the early days, then that would be a very great thing.  Plus, I'm, hoping that I can get support as well.  All in all, a pretty good thing.  I've thought that since losing Isla, I'm trying to be the kind of women that would have been an amazing mother to my daughter.  I'm really trying to live my best life and she is my motivation.

And with all that stuff going on, I landed a temporary job at the number 1 place I wanted to work in.  I'm hoping one good thing can leader to even greater things so here's hoping.  I start next week!  So Toronto, cheers!


  1. So glad to hear that you're settling in ok and what a fabulous apartment!

  2. Super-congrats! You make me miss home. I LOVE Yonge and Eg. There is a fabulous Italian resto not far from the intersection. Can't remember the name... Boncini or something... So much to do that area. The apartment looks fab.

  3. Just read your entire blog over the past few days, and to end here is heart-warming (<--such a kitschy word, but I really am thrilled for you) for me, a total stranger.

    Glad to see that things are looking up. Continue to be strong and brave, knowing that good things will continue to come to you. Because as Latin poet Virgil said:

    "Fortuna audax iuvat (Fortune favors the bold/strong/brave)."