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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Canada trip non-racre reports
- - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-26 10:37 AM Edited 2017-11-26 10:41 AM
Just got back from Toronto so here's a small report bullet point style.

- Great trip, I really liked the city and how more relaxed Canadians are (I've been told they're even more relaxed in Vancouver : pbbt:).
- From an outsider perspective, Canada feels a lot like the US but a bit mellower. Like border security and such was less "what are you doing in our country?" :laugh: Although I really never had any issues with the US border either though, to be fair. But the tone and the signalling is just less menacing for some reason.
- I really loved the night skyline driving towards down town Toronto on the highway. On the other hand traffic in Toronto sucks, I've hear it on the forum a couple of times and all Torontonians I've met complain about it as well.
- I was staying at the Blue Jay Hotel, so really close to everything and and nice view of the Blue Jay stadium from the hotel lobby :cool:
- Didn't catch an NBA or NHL game, but didn't mind
- Checked out the AGO and the Guillermo Del Torro exhibit. Also, we saw the Toronto Santa Claus parade and there was some racre as well up front :cool: The Del Torro exhibit was really packed, but it was Sunday + the parade just ended so probably a lot of people went to check that out. AGO itself was quiet and I really liked the exhibits and the architecture of the building.
- Ate a lot of good Chinese food in China town :grin:
- bought plenty of vinyl from Sonic Boom on Spadina and some smaller record store on Queen str. You just don't have stores like that here selling The Cramps and The Misfits as well as Daft Punk, Justice and MGMT.
- walked around plenty down town on Spadina, King Str, Queen Str and neighborhood.
- Toronto feels super safe everywhere. Like I would never walk around Brussels feeling as safe as I did in Toronto.
- Hockey Hall of Fame is great. All the interactive games are super fun, like play goalie or try to score.
- went to Cirque Du soleil which was also super, and the Yuk Yuk comedy club. i was a bit afraid I wouldn't like it, but the humor was great.
- went to CN tower obviously and the Aquarium. That tower is high :shocker!::laugh:
- went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Those exhibits are all over the place though. Like, there was a small holocaust exhibit called "the evidence room". It was very well done, all white and very clean looking (a bit conceptual), with blue prints of a concentration camp. it was in the middle of the European aisle though. So, first you're looking at some medieval European chairs and cupboards, you take a right, boom you're in the holocaust room, a pretty serious subject which really needs some context for kids. So just as I entered that exhibit, the first think you see is a like a blue print of a concentration camp with the baracks lined up and one huge barack with a massive chimney. So, this kid (8 yrs old maybe) walks into the exhibit, looks at the map and asks his mom (who was trailing and probably didn't even check where they were going, you know, just browsing the museum), "mom what is this?". I was like "uh-hoh", how is she going to talk her out of this without having to expose her kids to the horror of the Holocaust yet. "that's a prisoners camp, honey". "and what is that building with that big chimney?", "yes that is a big chimney honey" :wtf::shocker!:
- walked throught the University area as well walking up to the ROM.
- also went to the YorkDale mall, huuuuge. We don't have malls like that in Belgium. Liked to check out the high end stuff like Omega watches as well :blush::blush:
- went to the Christmas market at the distillery district as well which was cute.

- I totally get Uber now. we don't have it here or at least not that widespread. But after circque du soleil when you saw all those cars pulling up with Uber, you kind of get the appeal of it. Like one dude just gave out candy and such and had a really nice clean car. I get how this pisses off taxi drivers though, it's really killing their business.
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-11-26 12:26 PM
Didn't know you were into vinyl.  :cool::cool:
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-26 2:20 PM
depends who's wearing it :mischief:

I am not super into it, but I have some friends who are.
But I'm into 70/80s Metal and Punk, and would really like to have a small collection of some iconic albums (and some iconic recent electronic ones).
Because those albums have super cool cover art.

So I  found a Misfits one, a used but very good condition The Cramps (bad music for bad people), Accept (balls to the walls) and next homework from Daft Punk, Justice and MGMT.
They also had a new bootleg The Cramps (10$ cheaper), but the colouring was a bit paler and I'd rather have an older original.

I probably left at least 10 records I wanted to buy as well, oh, next time  :laugh::laugh::laugh:
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-27 4:06 AM
oh yes, also, and I think it's great but it's something that I just noticed so I say this without judgement, a lot of lesbian couples :wtf::laugh:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-27 8:01 AM
Looks like you did some fun stuff. :happy:
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-27 3:20 PM
I thought it be a small bullet report but looks like one of those ultra reports :shocker!:
Great city you got there, too bad about the housing market :cool::cry:
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-11-27 4:37 PM
...and the lack of Targets.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 9:41 AM
Went to a Tim Hortons though : pbbt:
Also, I saw his name in the Hockey Hall of Fame so I told my Canadian friends he was a famous former Hockey Player.
They didn't know :shocker!:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 8:15 AM
Yeah we will rent for the foreseeable future. We don't have a million dollars for an 800 sq ft fixer upper. :sad:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-11-28 8:45 AM
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 9:52 AM
You can find nice 2 bedroom apartments for a bit less downtown but maybe that's not what you're looking for and it's still expensive though.
I talked to people with a studio for rent and they said they basically had 15 people line up to visit it. So they could be picky.
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 9:58 AM
we pay $1885 for a 2 br apartment that's a 20 minute walk from a subway station and we got a bargain. There are plenty of <700 square foot condos downtown for about $600k+ but no I'm not interested. I inherited some money when my mom died but I also inherited her financial advisor who thinks we will be better off waiting until next year. They're building a bunch of new subway uptown (on Eglinton) and there will be many condos to go with it so we'll see how that shapes up. I refuse to purchase anything smaller than what we are currently renting (810sq ft). An actual house is a pipe dream in this city tho as I'm sure you learned. I wasn't joking about the tiny fixer upper. A tiny bungalo just sold on our street it was listed for $919,000 and "sold over asking", of course.
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-11-28 10:05 AM
$1885 a month.  :cry:  Wow.
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 10:07 AM
Yeah and we are not even downtown. And it doesn't include Hydro.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-11-28 12:02 PM
You know who is downtown?

Parent - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 12:33 PM
good ole dtn:cool:
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 10:18 AM
I'm really wondering who can actually afford those prices :wtf:
Also, with all those housing high rises down town you really wonder why prices don't stabilize.
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 10:19 AM
It makes no sense to me either. I know a lot of boomers are helping their kids pay for housing. Anyone who owns a house already is in good shape as long as they move out of the city and never try to move back. :wtf:
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-11-28 10:29 AM
DH has cousins who bought in the Edmonton area just before prices went really nuts.  They sold at a huge profit and moved to New Brunswick, where they had enough to buy a nice house, paid in full: no mortgage at all.  We all cheered for them.  Financial freedom in your mid-30s, yay!  But then they decided to leave New Brunswick and come back to Edmonton.  Oops!  They had a real problem selling the NB house, eventually sold it for, at most, what they'd paid for it, and then had to come back to Edmonton and pay way more for a house.  So much for not having a mortgage.  : pbbt:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 10:41 AM
My friend just moved to Edmonton and he can't believe how cheap everything is there compared to Toronto! But he's making a cop salary so anywhere is affordable for him now.
Parent - - By skigirl Date 2017-11-28 11:44 AM
Yeah, we're still cheap compared to Vancouver and Toronto, although prices have changed a lot.  My husband and I bought our house in 1998 for $124K, which felt huge to us at that point, and the most recent appraisal for it was $415K.  :shocker!:  Seems staggering to me.
Parent - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 12:32 PM
Vancouver is also ridiculous but at least they have mountains and ocean. toronto is just so ugly. My friend is really liking Edmonton he says there's a lot of fun friendly people there.
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-28 11:50 AM
And this is why we say that if you sell in London (UK not ONT : pbbt:) you'll never move back...and therefore why I haven't sold.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 10:36 AM
That's what's happening in the Brussels urbs too.
Housing is still affordable here, as long as you're financially in good shape (good paying job, some savings for the down-payment, or couple where both work).
But you're still looking at 300-400k euro (450-600k CAD), and most people make around 2,000 euro (3k CAD) here.

But most houses I visit I see 30 yr olds with their parents visiting.
One house I was very interested in got snagged while I was there. A hipster dude with his parents. His dad did all the talking :meh:
Another friend went to a 400k house (over my budget) and he had it snagged just before his visit on the first day as well. Parents wanted to sign same day and paid full price cash (or bank transfer but no mortgage).

Maybe this was how it was before as well, but the market was a bit less volatile.
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 10:41 AM Edited 2017-11-28 10:45 AM
Yeah we may have moved through that stage but I was not paying attention and now that I'm interested and we would be in a position to buy basically anywhere else on the continent (NYC, San Fran and maybe LA excluded?), it's stratospheric crazy. It "dipped" for a few months but it's back to inflating again. :roll: A couple where people both work can't afford jack shit here.
Parent - - By Nomad Date 2017-11-28 11:55 AM
Your advisor may be right in saying to wait as the 'foreign buyer' premium might result in a lull in prices. I've had several friends turn down jobs in Toronto because of that - people who are working on PR but because they don't have it yet would be considered 'foreign'.

I'm not personally worried as sure as shit Winnipeg won't follow that trend : pbbt: <--- Callie's away so I can get away with dissing Winnipeg :mischief:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 12:31 PM
One of my coworkers is from Winnipeg and we joke about all moving there often. I actually might someday. I think Global Warming will do a lot of great things for the 'Peg. :happy:: pbbt::sad:
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-28 12:43 PM
Come now so we can all hang out :happy:

I'm thinking Kelowna or Peachland long term because I simply can't imagine dealing with this weather in my 80s (even now it's like a 5-mth nightmare I can't wake up from :cry:)
Parent - - By callie [us] Date 2017-11-28 9:09 PM
Yuk it up all you like, I'll take the burns from the comfort of my home that I own : pbbt:
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-11-28 9:33 PM
Parent - By Nomad Date 2017-11-29 7:32 AM
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-11-29 8:28 AM
Parent - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-29 8:56 AM
Parent - By Elcontador [us] Date 2017-11-28 2:16 PM
It's like that in many places, unfortunately.  Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Sydney Australia, etc.  The more expensive the housing, the further the suburbs extend out from the city.  You can add Seattle and Sacramento to the list.  I'm sure there are plenty of others.
Parent - - By mutiger [us] Date 2017-11-27 6:27 PM
Nice. We didn't get to do the CN tower because the wait was too long. Didn't deal with traffic because we stayed at the Westin downtown and walked everywhere. Brookie was our host. I used Uber all the time I was in Brussels, there were plenty. Even the taxi drivers in front of the hotel would ask would you like to do Uber instead, because they are also registered on Uber :laugh: If you ever go to India....Uber is the best thing ever, this coming from a guy who hates Uber the corporation but uses their service everywhere :roll:
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 9:59 AM
Message well received about Uber.
We also went to drink something at the Shangri-La Hotel. All fancy oriental :laugh:
Didn't know about that hotel, but apparently they only have two hotels in Europe ( London and Paris).
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-11-28 10:01 AM
That trip was pre uber : pbbt:
Parent - By mutiger [us] Date 2017-11-28 2:27 PM
I said we walked everywhere in Toronto :hug: Uber was Brussels a couple of months ago.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-29 7:40 AM
Installed Uber and tried it out at my office "Unfortunately, Uber is currently unavailable in your area" :meh:

I'm guessing there are just no cars in proximity.
- - By mutiger [us] Date 2017-11-27 6:22 PM
I posted in my (India) college whatsapp group that Brussels is dirty, but still way better compared to India and I took a beating for it :cry:
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-11-28 10:14 AM
We had 3 riots in the last 2 weeks in the center of Brussels so it may be even dirtier now :roll:
- - By callie [us] Date 2017-11-28 9:10 PM
Brookie is the only good part of Toronto. : pbbt:
Parent - By skigirl Date 2017-11-28 9:34 PM
Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Canada trip non-racre reports

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