A Warm Canadian Welcome

A 7 hour flight from Glasgow and I arrived in Toronto.

When you’re 6’7” you don’t expect much comfort. An aisle seat was just about bearable despite trying and failing to charm my way into an emergency exit seat.

Landing in T-dot (I’m cool, I swear), I thought the pilot must have a faulty thermometer when he said it was 24 degrees. We haven’t seen those temperatures in Scotland since the Dark Ages. Hopefully I can get some colour on these milk bottle legs of mine.

One of the reasons for starting my trip in Toronto was so that I could attend my friend’s wedding in Ottawa. To be back in Canada is awesome. To be here for a friend’s wedding though, is like having your birthday and Christmas Day in the same week.

I haven’t seen Jillian in five years. We’ve kept in contact ever since our days at McGill University and the subsequent summer when I worked there. She’s an old soul and regularly writes actual letters on actual paper with an actual pen. None of this email or Facebook baloney. I’ve not met her husband-to-be, Shawn, but based on what Jillian has told me over the years, they’re a great match.

Her wonderful parents – Cecilia and Chris – are letting me stay for a couple of nights before we drive through to Ottawa. It’s true what they say about Canadian hospitality. Chris even picked me up at the maze that is Pearson airport. No stress of navigating the subway with a brimming 80L rucksack.

A short drive and we were in the leafy suburbs of Royal York to be met by Cecilia and the family dogs – Rex and Scarlet. Rex, short for T-Rex, because of his overbite not his hefty stature.


A late afternoon stroll down by the Humber River on Victoria Day followed by a dip in the Bardsley’s pool was a great way to spend the first day of my trip. The Canadian love for Queen Victoria puts us Brits to shame. The day is also referred to as May Two-Four – the same name given to a case of beer. A hint as to how many people wind away the day.

My eyes finally ceased to function after some delicious homemade rhubarb crumble and the first half of the Raptors match. In case you didn’t know the Toronto Raptors basketball team made it to the semi-finals of the NBA playoffs. Here’s hoping they can be the Leicester City of the NBA.


With 24 hours to explore Toronto I’ve a lot to squeeze in, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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