Archive for October, 2007

Halloween at Canadiana Backpackers

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Halloween at Canadiana Backpackers youth hostel in downtown Toronto

Please to meet you, I’m the devil.

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Halloween (Oct. 31st) always coincides with a full harvest moon. And a full moon usually marks a time of wild and crazy behavior; just ask any policeman, paramedic or ER nurse!

So, as you might imagine, the moon at Halloween is a formula for a particularly wild and crazy time! We don’t find it necessary to plan any special “event” at the hostel at this time. All the action takes place in the Pubs and Clubs and the Canadiana is located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District!

Guests rent, buy, sew and improvise costumes before heading out into the night – including a Mummy outfit made with two full rolls of our toilet paper! So it’s off to the Nightclubs and Bars dressed in a manner they would normally not be caught dead wearing!

It is all more than a little silly, inane, puerile, ridiculous and dumb; nonetheless, it’s a whole lot of fun!

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Halloween at Canadiana Backpackers Inn Youth hostel Backpackers Torontoo

A Roman, a Pirate, and the Devil herself!!!!!

Halloween at Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth hostel toronto downtown

A Roman with his Mommy……..

Halloween - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Ooh, la,la!

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

The French rarely say goodbye – “adieu”. They much prefer to say “au revoir” – or see you again.

There really must be something to “positive thinking” as it very often comes true for people who meet here at the Canadiana.

Michel? is our Lebanese born staff member (and newly minted Canadian citizen) is fluent in both of Canada’s official languages? – French and English. We have a good number of visitors from France and it often falls upon Michel to deal with them due to his language skills.

On a return visit to Lebanon to visit his family and show off his new Canadian passport, Michel arranged a one-week stopover in Paris on his return. He wanted to touch bases with some old friends from the hostel.

He managed to spend some time with three ladies who had been long-term residents of the hostel, Aurelia, Carolyn and Annabelle.

Now Michel assures me that the fact that the three of them are all female and gorgeous is merely a coincidence (it seems that none of his male friends in Paris could be reached!).?

Michel in Paris - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

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Michel in Paris - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

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Michel in Paris - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

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White

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

As she walked through the door you could see she was excited yet? was fearfull? also of the new life she was about to start in Canada.?

Blanca(who has been nicknamed White at her school)? is from Spain and has come to Toronto to learn english.? The Canadiana started as a place to stay and study? while she learnt english but she has now become part of the family here at the Canadiana.

I remember her english in the beginning was not? very good? but with my very bad spanish we managed to communicate quite well.? Now? Blanca? understands and speaks english and is advancing steadily in her english school.?

Blanca will go back to Seville in one month? with the? hopes? of beginning? a job in International Marketing which? is why she has been here studying english.?

As a long termer? Blanca has welcomed many people and made many friends here, but this also means that she has had to say alot of very sad goodbyes.

It will be sad to say goodbye to Blanca too.

By Lesley

Canadiana Staff? ? ?

Halloween at youth hostel toronto Canadiana Backpackers Inn youth hostel

Blanca (on the right)? dressed as a Pirate at our Halloween Party.

We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when………

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Monica at Canadiana Backpackers youth hostel backpackers

“We’ll meet again”, Ricardo reassures? his two friends, as he prepares to go back to Mexico.? He will be missed.

Daniella at Canadiana Backpackers youth hostel toronto

On Ricardo’s left is Danyiella from Mexico City and Monica from Madrid, Spain. They? met in the hostel and? most nights you can find them out on our patio talking,? ? laughing and argueing.?

Lilly at Canadiana Backpackers youth hostel toronto

On the right is Christian and on the left is Lilly. Both are from Germany. ? Lilly is in Canada visiting her brother who is studying in London, Ontario. She? really likes? Toronto and? would like to stay longer.?

It all began right here!

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

About two years ago, we had a very lovely young student from Venezuela. Her name was Katy (Katuiska, actually) and she was doing an intensive English course before returning home to attend University.

We also had a large, not so lovely (6’6″ tall and built like an NFL Linebacker), young man from Oz, named Stewart. Stew and Katy met at the Canadiana and hit it off pretty well.

We like to note that many of our guests say that our hostel “feels like home”; but its also a place where enduring friendships are made. In previous “blogs” we have mentioned that, at least, three marriages have resulted from friendships that began at the Canadiana.

Katy first told us (and she was just eighteen at the time) that her goal was to join the foreign service and “work for an Ambassador”. But once anyone got to know this dynamic young woman, they quickly realized that she will one day be an Ambassador! She is quite simply, a natural leader!

Stew moved off to the UK to work and Katy eventually returned to Venezuela to attend University. In the intervening years, Stew has returned to Australia where he is a successful master carpenter and Katy is well on her way to a career in the foreign service.

Have they lost touch?

In a word: No. Little Katy visited Stew in the UK after he left here and Big Stew has visited Katy in Venezuela. Both have become very good friends to all of us at the Canadiana and we have been in touch with both of them over the years.

The real news is that they are still together! I just learned that Stew is planning to travel this Christmas holiday. And where is he going? You guessed it! Venezuela! They plan to spend Christmas and New Year’s together!

Do you want to find an enduring friendship? A soul mate? A significant other? Well, we seem to have them here.

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Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

“Big Stew” and “Little Katy” in Toronto

Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

…and a year later in Venezuela!

What have I started!?

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Just about a year ago, I did a blog on a wild and crazy group at the hostel whom I called (affectionately) the Canadiana “Lager Louts” and “Animalettes”.

“Wild and Crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe this group. They have achieved legendary status here at the Canadiana and have been the subjects of more than one of our blog entries.

Pearcey, from the UK, (now our events coordinator); Mitch, of Kinross, Scotland; Jono, from Oz; and Matt, also from Oz; and Simon, from the UK were the charter members of this illustrious (infamous) gang.

The “Animalettes” shall remain nameless; however, their initials are: “Madeline” (from Germany)and “Genesis” (from Mexico).

Three member’s of the LL’s actually work for the hostel now! But it’s been almost a year since this group was constituted and work visa’s are expiring.

Sadly, the famous Canadiana “Lager Louts” are breaking up. We’ll likely not see such a fun-loving group; at least, nothing quite the same, again.

Some of their antics were quite insane and can’t be related in any blog that isn’t X-rated: or at least, can’t be told before the expiry of the statute of limitations!

Jono (who goes home to Oz next week) is into Tattoos. And he got one to remember his year with us! “What have I started!?” I’m putting up the photo below! It’s been a fun ride (more than I dare write) with you guys; we’ll miss you and never forget you!.

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Jonno & Madders - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Jono and “Madders” – charter members of the Lager Louts and Animalettes!

Jonno's tattoo - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Jono’s brand new tattoo in honor of his days at the Canadiana!

Claude

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

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Claude - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

This is big? Claude from Aix en Provence, France. He visited us originally in 2001 and made a surprise visit last week. It was good to catch? up: since his last visit he has left the French Police and has set up his own import/export company in Holland. Always with a mischievious smile, and a cheeky nature, Claude lives for the moment.? ? ?

Thanksgiving

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Monday, October the 8th was our Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It’s a time when we traditionally celebrate the holiday with a dinner of roast turkey, potatoes, stuffing, assorted veggies and pumpkin pie.

Pearcey, our events coordinator, scouted out local eateries that would be open on the holiday and would be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. As luck would have it, one of our local pubs, The Friar and Firkin (a.k.a. “The Firkin Friar”) was doing just that.

They offered a complete Thanksgiving dinner for the bargain price of $11.50. (I’m sure they made most of their money of the pints of beer we drank.) Pearcey put up a notice to see if anyone was interested in going there to celebrate Thanksgiving with a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie.

It was a great success! More than 25 guests signed up for the afternoon meal. Most importantly, all averred that the meal was very well done and the pumpkin pie was first rate.

All in all, it was a Thanksgiving blessing. Good food and good times with new friends.

Thanksgiving - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Thanksgiving - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto

Sue “Treadie”

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

“Treadie” is her nickname and I have no idea why. But if I were to hazard a guess it’s because, most likely, (as the Beach Boys say) she really gets around!

Sue stayed with us here at the Canadiana two summers ago before heading to China on a teaching contract. She was an educator for all of her career. Upon retirement (at a very young age) she decided to see China and bring her teaching skills with her.

Over the past year or so we have followed Sue’s adventures around China via her travel blog which she sends quite regularly. It is easily one of the most interesting travel journals I have read as Sue has visited so much of China and writes about the places she has gone so well.

I’ve lost track of the number of journal entries she had sent since arriving in China in February of 2006 but it is well over sixty highly informative and entertaining accounts all accompanied by superb photographs.

The type of travel journal program that Sue uses is available for free on-line and I really think that any serious traveler should consider keeping one. Sue’s efforts may be a tough act to follow; however, it should provide a reasonable template as to what one should look like.

I’m going to email her and ask if I can link her blog to this site. I always found her accounts of her China adventures so entertaining. I’m sure you would as well.

Sue - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Sue - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

21st Century Online

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

No doubt about it; the world’s a-changing! Marshal McLuhan was right! We live in a Global Village.

Today in your workplace, you no longer have to be in the same office, same city, not even the same country to work for the same company.

We have two visitors with us who met and became friends via the internet. They work for the same online company Guttenberg.net, and it’s a very interesting firm. As the name implies, they publish books online and make them available free of charge.

Their catalogue will eventually list more than 2 million titles. They publish books (even Classics) when the copyrights expire. Victoria and Jeannie both volunteer their time to the project. That’s how they met.

Victoria lives in Loveland, Ohio and Jeannie hails from “the Rock”, Newfoundland. The met as colleagues online and that has led them to become fast friends. Victoria traveled to St. John’s, Nfld., to meet Jeannie and the two planned this trip to Toronto.

They both “left” their respective spouses and children for a holiday in Toronto. Jeannie jets back to the Rock today and Victoria is driving back to Ohio. They really are a typical example of a shrinking world in which technology facilitates long-distance meetings.

It seems that both ladies enjoyed their break from their families and are set to return to the daily grind. We expect they’ll come back for another visit with us. Next year perhaps?


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