By Samantha Mueller ’18
Over spring break, I traveled to Toronto, Canada. Toronto serves as the provincial city for the region of Ontario. The area is highly diverse, and numerous types of cultures can be found. When I first drove into Toronto, the beauty of the city is overwhelming. All of the buildings seem to tower over the streets. Canadians have been working tirelessly to crate and maintain a superior reputation for the city, and it is working very well. We proceeded to the subway station to meet our tour guide. She directed us around the financial district of the city, which proved to be more interesting than I initially anticipated.
The first building we saw was the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. It was built in 1929, and is the most famous hotel in Toronto. The interior design is breathtaking. Everything seems to be covered in gold. Even Queen Elizabeth came to this hotel, and signed
the guest book. (Only famous people were allowed to sign it. Bummer.) The building was originally shaped like a throne, but later had additional buildings added that ruined the image. Since my family and I went on Easter, all of the staff in the hotel were wearing bunny ears. Although it is a hotel, it also contained old and handcrafted pipes that could be bought in a pipe museum. (I was informed they were VERY expensive.) Many different pictures and papers from both the hotel and Toronto’s history were also on display.
We also visited the Trump Tower. There is currently a protest in the city to change the name of the tower, as some people disagree with Trump’s views. The staff of the tower were extremely courteous, and welcomed visitors professionally. When we approached the tower, a man immediately led us into the tower.
The lobby of the tower was themed after cherry blossoms because the man who designed the tower loved them. There was a beautiful silver recreation of a cherry blossom branch spanning the wall. The air was also scented with the fragrance of the flower. We soon learned that we had visited this tower to see the view from the top. There was a gorgeous view out of the balcony to the other buildings and city below.
Toronto is taking malls to a whole new level. Their malls are in systems underground and follow long paths. These malls also connect to both apartments and workplaces for convenience of the people in the winter and more traffic to the stores. These paths are highly valued, and some people are capable of never having to go outside because their work and apartment are connected underground through the mall. The malls contain anything you can imagine, so it is easy to get lost. In fact, most malls were created to be more than a bit confusing to make people give in and get what they need there. Skylights in the ceilings of these structures also help to make people feel that Toronto is grander. Looking at the building from below makes them appear taller and more impressive. This helps to create the vision the city wants.
Toronto is an amazing area in Canada. I am disappointed I only got to visit for one day, and did not have more of an opportunity to experience the more diverse areas. However, the area I visited was extremely welcoming and felt very secure. I do plan to go back in the future, and I am confident in saying it is my favorite city I have visited.