When we go to Toronto, we seldom step foot in Toronto. You see, with family spread across the region, we are generally on a tightly regimented schedule of driving and visiting. It goes something like, land, drive to Milton, visit, drive to Stouffville, visit, drive to Oshawa, visit, drive to, well, you get the idea.
This time around we were in Toronto for a bit of family and a bit of work so we made a point of planning some unplanned time in the city. One whole evening without any commitments or idea of what we would do – perfect!
We started our adventure at Roger’s Stadium (after witnessing a Blue Jay’s loss) and rolled the dice. We were a little peckish so we were ultimately looking for dinner. Our roll took us to the lakeshore just a few blocks south of the CN Tower. We were happy to explore because, as I said, we never get to see the city.
Before we could take in the scenery, our ears were piqued by the sounds of horn instruments and a cheering crowd. We followed our ears and found ourselves swept up in a parade featuring 15 ft tall puppets. What was going on? A fellow paradee told us it was Ashkenaz, a Jewish festival of music and culture. The mood was festive and we joined the group as their parade culminated in a large circle of musicians and giant dancing puppets.
Our hearts told us to stay put but our stomachs vetoed that idea. We rolled again and found ourselves a block and a half northwest and staring down an unassuming Indian Takeaway restaurant. We had our hesitations, but this is Zufall, so we in we went. The owners were fabulously entertaining as they took us through their simmering buffet. After a few tastes we had selected our dishes and were walking out with bags in hand looking for a reasonable place to set up our picnic.
Another roll of the dice had us heading southeast, 2 blocks. For the uninitiated, this might seem like a fail – Zufall dice sending us right back where we’d come but we’ve done this enough times to know that you can’t assume anything. We arrived back at the square to find that the crowd had dissipated but in the relative quiet we were able to make out more music hanging in the air. We’d been so distracted by the party that we hadn’t noticed the large bandstand. Off we went and found ourselves with comfy bench seats and the pleasure of hearing traditional music – it was only the sound rehearsal, but we got a few full songs – just enough for us to finish our dinner.
What we loved about Zufalling in Toronto was that we could have had 100 different experiences that afternoon and they all would have been equally as fabulous. The city seems to be buzzing all the time and every block offers up a myriad of dining and entertainment options. As we headed back to our hotel, we couldn’t stop asking ourselves, ‘Why isn’t EVERYONE in Toronto Zufalling?’ It really is the perfect city for adventures by chance!