On my recent trip to Toronto one of the things on my itinerary was to visit some of the places in Gabriel’s Inferno. A GI tour if you will. I’m happy to say that I did just that and had a lot of fun. Sadly, not all of the places in the book still exist, but there are enough of them to keep a certified GI fan happy and busily exploring for a full day. To be honest it would be better to undertake the tour over a couple of days if you’re like me and want to really explore the different places in detail and not just as a quick stop to say…been there…seen it.
I started my day at Union Station as I was traveling in from Whitby on the GO train. Thank heavens the majority of the places I wanted to visit are all very centrally located and are easy to reach by subway and walking. I encourage you all to wear comfortable shoes when you do your own tour…even tho I was sorely tempted to wear a pair of heels…you know…in case I just happened to bump into the Professor.
I don’t know about you but I’m a planner when it comes to stuff like this so I invested in a really nice map…the kind that’s laminated so I could lay out my destinations. It also becomes a souvenir after, so for me it’s worth it. After I googled the places I most wanted to go I then found them on my map and Sharpied them in circles…hey I’m a clever gurl huh?!?
From Union station you can see the CN Tower. It’s an amazing sight and I’d love to have gone up in it but instead I took the subway to the St. Georges stop. That puts you within walking distance of GI heaven.
Do you s’pose the Professor visits there on occasion? I didn’t go in but it’s something I’d like to visit in the future.
I decided to visit the Manulife Centre first which all good Gabriel groupies know is the home of our yummerific Professor. It’s located on 2 different streets. The retail and financial side is on Bloor West and the um…residential side is Charles West. It’s really something to behold and by that I mean it’s LARGE. I don’t think any of the pictures I found do it justice but you know how much I like providing visuals. I did go in and explore some of the retail opportunities on the Bloor side, and lemme just say… Holy crap! You could spend days alone wandering around in retail bliss. There’s a great Indigo Books store that I spent some time in. Imagine that…
Across the street is Holt Renfrew and y’all remember the importance of THAT particular store right?
Yes, they really do have personal shoppers that can assist you should you happen to need it. BTW…an underground tunnel connects the basement level of the shopping concourse from the Manulife Centre to Holt Renfrew at 50 Bloor St West on the north side of Bloor. Cool huh?!?
Next up was the University of Toronto…which is spread out over many, many blocks. It’s really beautiful right now with all the trees and flowers blooming and greening up. There’s a lot to enjoy while you’re out and about hoping to run into the Professor, so if you have the time here are two things I’m suggesting you visit for sure. First is… The Philosopher’s Walk which was very relaxing and tranquil.
Now…if you only have time to visit one building on the U of T campus where you might find the Professor teaching a seminar??? That would be the Lillian Massey Department of Household Science - 157 Bloor St. at Queen’s Park. It’s across the street from the ROM and next door to the Gardiner Museum. O… I can hear a bunch of you shouting , “Hey Tamie, did you take any pictures to share with us?” Of course I did…
I kind of wandered around through the building for quite some time…ok, ok I was kind of skulking…I had my day pack with me, so I didn’t stand out too much…yeah right…the camera in my hand wasn’t obvious at all.
As you can see from one of the pictures above there is a wonderful staircase with a stained glass window that is visually stunning to behold in person. There’s all kinds of doors I was tempted to open, but good sense prevailed, and I thought it best NOT to land myself somewhere I shouldn’t. I didn’t really relish the thought of asking SR to bail me out of jail for trespassing
My last stop of the day was the ROM. Now I happen to love museums of their own accord but when paired with the thought of the very seductive Professor?!? Geez, just saying that gives me all kinds of goose bumps and tingly feelings again…yeah…you know what I’m talking about ladies.
Lemme tell ya something…if you want a place with alcoves in it to …um…erm…have a private moment or two? The ROM affords them to you like nobody’s business. I must have looked like a crazy person scouting them all out and
muttering to myself wondering half aloud…was THIS the ONE? MmmHmm…the visuals I was able to conjure up? Yeah…those are kind of private, but believe me you won’t have a difficult time doing it yourself…
The price of a ticket at the ROM is ridiculously inexpensive, and there’s so much to feast your eyes upon…when I go back I’m planning on spending a full day there. My personal favorites were the exhibition called: The Art of Collecting (available to see thru 9-3-12), the 2 Galleries of Rome, and the Galleries of China and of Canada, but that leaves out so much of what the ROM has to offer. My best advice is to go for the Professor, but stay for the beauty you’ll find everywhere within. There’s a great quote by David Hume in a design on the floor that says… “Beauty in things exists in the mind that contemplates them” Have truer words ever been written?
That ended my Gabriel’s Inferno tour for this trip. I hope you enjoyed a peek at some of the places you’ll want to visit yourself.
Below are a few more GI sites that I just wasn’t able to get to on this trip.
Harbour Sixty Steakhouse- You should visit their website just for the music that plays
One more thing…a word of caution if you will…if you happen to be taking public transportation for your GI tour….like I was…and you happen to have your Gabriel’s Inferno book…like I did…and you think it would be a great idea to reread two of your favorite chapters… cough15and16cough…keep in mind that you are not alone…giggling and swooning may occur and appears to be frowned upon by your fellow travelers…they might in fact STARE at you as if you’ve lost your mind. No worries…proudly hold up the book for all to see and use it as an opportunity to enlighten them about what a great book you’re reading…and I did. A few of them may then write down the name of the book so they can check it out themselves. That’s what really happened to me, and happily the momentary embarrassment you’ll feel is worth passing along our favorite Professor…don’t you think?!? Yeah…me too.
P.S. I just want to share one last thing. It’s no longer the same establishment now as it was when the book takes place, but I really wanted to experience Lobby. Here’s the link so you have an idea of it….lets all close our eyes for just a minute and
fantasize visualize Gabriel there…with me…erm…us…um…you know what I mean