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June 2001 - Nr. 6


The Editor
Flug der Zeit
Antje berichtet
Hier O.K. Berlin!
Down On The Town
Toronto im Blick
Views & Reviews
Diefenbaker Award
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Festival of Sound
Upcoming Event
German Briefs
Genetic Ethics
Musical Exchange
Lenka Reinerova
Student Oscar

Welcome in Toronto


At the foot of the CNE TowerToronto’s downtown hotels know how many visitors they accommodate every year from overseas. Many of these travelers hail from Germany or other German speaking countries such as Austria and Switzerland. And if you are one of these modern day adventurers, no matter where you come from, we bid you welcome on our fair shores of Lake Ontario. You have arrived in one of the world’s true cosmopolitan cities, but with the charm of a much smaller town. Here you will find representatives of nearly all nations on earth, hear 80 different languages - if you are listening carefully - and yet you can find in the heart of downtown places in the street to play chess, feed the pigeons, watch children on a playground, - we have many of them in city parks – drink German beer brewed locally at such a place as Dennison’s on Victoria Street, listen to a musician or admire a castle. All this and much more does happen with the backdrop of a spectacular and dramatically modern skyline, which is of course best appreciated from the islands on Lake Ontario.

Toronto's eastern skylineTwo major streets divide our city, which also tell you the heavenly directions. Knowing where Bloor and Yonge are is tantamount to all your excursions. Bloor Street is the major line, which divides the city into East and West. Yonge Street runs from Lake Ontario at the bottom (south) of the city towards the north. The street was build by German settlers right to the shores of Lake Simcoe. But this is not where Yonge Street ends. Called the "longest street" in the world with the same name it crosses most of Ontario to go on to the shores of Lake Michigan.

And wouldn’t you know that a lot of German settlers contributed vastly to the building of this country, this province, and this nation as far back as 350 years ago. This should not be a secret, but there is now an official German Pioneer Day since last year, which is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving.

To get some idea of what this big city is all about we recommend that you take a city tour such as the one offered by Mokassin Tours. Highly personalized, not a mass tour operator, a friendly guide will show you the highlights of the city.

The new dwarfs the oldI have lived here for over 30 years but never taken such a tour. That is why I asked to participate. I wanted to experience this town from a visitor’s point of view and I fell in love with Toronto, which means in the native tongue "the meeting place", all over again. A city tour is like an orientation. You now really know where you are, what to see, learn and experience, and you can finalize plans to get the most out of your vacation.

On such a city tour even the citizens of Toronto would learn something about the rich history, which is represented by so many beautiful buildings. They tell the story of a history that is not very long for European standards, but just as colourful.

A castle in the skyOn my city tour I met a father and son team from Vienna. Since Austrian Airlines has just started to fly Vienna Toronto directly these two had given each other this trip as a birthday gift. The son is an avid ice hockey fan and has been here at least 4 times. He saw games in the old Maple Leaf Gardens and the Air Canada Centre. The father came for the first time to Canada.

They noticed that our city is clean, much cleaner than other big cities. Especially the absence of graffiti surprised them. (We did not tell them that we too have some of those.) They also marvelled at the interesting mixture of architecture and styles, the size of our university district and many other things.

And should you be a local reading this article by any chance, then you too are welcome to Toronto. Take a guest on a tour and learn something about the history of this beautiful city. And if you send your friends by themselves know that they will have a great time. SFR.

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