As I hit a wall of heat and humidity upon exiting the hotel for my first meetings, it occurred to me that I’d never been in Toronto in the summertime. My numerous previous trips have conditioned me to receive wintery blasts each time I push open the brass and smudged glass doors; the kind of chilled air that makes you wish you had another button on your jacket, or another inch on your zipper. This time it was the opposite feeling, and I found myself rhetorically asking, “why didn’t I bring shorts or linen pants?”
Toronto is a more interesting place in the summer. It still smells bad (doesn’t help that there is a garbage strike on right now) and the bonanza of smokers still proliferates. But most of the downtown workforce are in decidedly better moods. No, they still don’t hold a door for you when you are right behind them, nor do they say thank you when you hold one for them, but their steps are slower, and their patience is somewhat bolstered. In all, it is a somewhat nicer place to be than in winter time. The sun rose early each day and its heat forced its way through my east-facing, 32nd floor window; the air conditioning incapable of keeping pace. Outside was not any better. The humidity pushed highs of 25 and 27 into the mid 30’s. Of course that sort of weather is welcome to most everyone in Canada, except for those of us donning work clothes and trying to limit inevitable perspiration.
I was in town for a series of courtesy meetings and a client’s charitable event that we were sponsoring. The meetings were predictable and the event was fine. Overall, I guess you could say the trip was just as I thought it would be – nothing less, nothing more. I walked around the city some, trying to find places and neighborhoods I hadn’t already been to a dozen times (roughly a ten block radius around the hotel we always stay at), which saw me get to City Hall and the lakeshore.
You can see a selection of Toronto pictures on my online photo gallery. Interesting tip: many of the pictures were shot from about 2 inches off the ground. I was experimenting with perspective (symbolic of my life) and recalled a presenter at the Calgary photography expo saying how landscapes should always be shot from low to the ground. These are street shots but carry the same idea. I like most of my results.
Upon returning home, I was happy to see my wonderful wife and dog, and to have a weekend ahead of us that we could use to catch up on rest and home chores. We bounced some ideas off of each other, thought about the highway our lives are on and considered a variety of detours and diversions in the upcoming months and years. Nothing firm was carved out, but it gave me pause to consider how much I enjoy our capacity to think big and lay out the pieces in life’s puzzle. Our ability to do this together is special and is one part of our relationship that I am especially thankful for and proud of – mixing aspiration with reality and providing ourselves with a great map for the future.