Archive for November, 2007

Full Circle

Friday, November 30th, 2007

The legendary Canadiana “Lager Louts” first appeared in this blog on the 6th of January – almost a full year ago. By the time of the actual anniversay of the founding of the “Double L’s”, they will have come full circle.

Matt, from Oz (a Charter Member of the Double L’s) has returned to the Canadiana after being away more than seven months. He was the last of the original “Double L’s and Animalettes” to pay us a return visit. At least, that’s what I thought!

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Jonno and Madders have left Canada heading for Jonno’s home in Oz via Madders’ home in Germany. (Yet another Canadiana hostel romance!). Mitch has come back and now has gone home to Edinburgh, Scotland.

I have been informed by Pearcey (another returned Charter Member) that Genesis (an original “Animalette”) has still not returned.

Taking stock, Pearcy, Si and Matt are now back; Mitch, Jonno, Madders, Marcin and Scott have all returned and left – he’s right! It still leaves Geneisis home in Mexico!

“FLASH!” This is breaking news! I have just been informed that the hostel has received a booking from Genesis! She arrives on December 26, for a two-week return visit!

We’re looking forward to seeing her again! Thus, on Boxing Day, the original club will have all returned!

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Larger Louts - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Larger Louts - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

The Sandhurst Cup

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

An earlier entry in this blog titled; ” The West Point Boys” tells of three young cadets from the fabled U.S. Miitary Academy at West Point.

Every major country has its’ own military academy. France has the Ecole Speciale de Militaire de Saint-Cyr; the Netherlands has the Koninklijke Military Academy and Canada has its Royal Military College (RMC) Kingston. The list goes on.

Perhaps thre most famous is the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, UK.

Which brings us to the Sandhurst Cup. It’s a trophy awarded in a competition (doing soldierly things) to the top team from over 30 nations around the world. It began in the 1960′s as a competition between Sandhurst and West Point but over the years other nations have vied for the cup.

The competition takes place over an obstacle course of seven miles with each country entering two teams of nine cadets and each team has a reserve of seven alternates in case of injury.

Part of the course involves building a rope bridge across an obstacle. It is a tough and gruelling race.

Anyhow, the 2007 Cup was won by the Royal Military College, Kingston, CANADA! So if anyone wants to claim the 2008 cup, they’ll have to come and wrest it from RMC – because we’re number one!

It happened again!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

In the photo below, Sandra (the hostel? manager) is seen with Candy (middle) and Jennifer (right). Candy is from Mexico and Jennifer from Peru.

Candy is on her way home after about seven months studying English. And Jennifer? Well, we like to say that the Canadiana is a place where romances flourish and even begin. We know of several marriages that have resulted from a hostel romance.

Jennifer is from Peru and has met a pilot from Northern Ireland. She plans to move to Belfast to get married. After just one look at Jennifer you won’t need any convincing of the “luck of the Irish”!

Candy, as mentioned, is also leaving and it is sad to see her go. She has been the subject of an earlier blog entry when her parents visited her here from Mexico.

So it’s the departure of two more friends and the beginning of yet another romance. It must be something in the air!

Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

The West Point Boys

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

I checked these boys in and I really couldnt help “checking them out” at the same time(pun intended).

Allan from Florida, Tyler(Maddox) from New York and Josh from Texas are tall and are definately not lacking in the muscle department. These boys, as well as being goodlooking, also go to West Point Military Academy in New York.

West Point Military Academy was established in 1802 and is the oldest military academy in the United States. Since its founding two centuries ago, the Military Academy has accomplished its goals by developing cadets in four critical areas: intellectual, physical, military, and moral-ethical – a four-year process called the “West Point Experience.”

Allan, Maddox and Josh came to Toronto for the long Thanksgiving weekend. They did not have school on their mind and spent the weekend out at the clubs dancing and laughing with all the ladies that they could find.

Tyler and Josh also play football for the academy, the boys had to cut their time here short so that they could get back for their practice as they have a big game coming up.

They were great guys and a hit with everyone they met at the hostel. We wish them all the best with their future graduation.

Lesley

Canadiana Staff
Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Josh, Tyler and Allan with their military buddy Dominc

First Snow

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

“Ladies and Gents, take my advice, pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.”?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? - Anonymous

The first snow of the season fell today, prompting the usual round of insanity? that comes with the first real sign that winter is here!

Traffic is snarled with minor accidents as if Canadian drivers had never seen the stuff before and some diehard people? still go out with shorts and light jackets as if to deny the fact that it is cold.

The hostel was not immune to the madness that comes with the arrival of snow. A group jumped on the streetcar and headed for High Park in the city’s west end to try their hand at sledding and tobogganing.

The only real problen is the fact that they had no sleds or toboggans!

Their solution to this minor problem was to raid our kitchen for cooking trays and woks. These items were then placed under their rear ends so they could slide wildly and merrily down the hills of High Park.

It’s fortunate that no limbs were broken and it also lucky that all the items were returned (only slightly damaged) so that Teresa, our head of housekeeping, didn’t whack anyone with her broom!”

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Canadiana Backpacker Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

An improvised sled!

Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

A snowman? You call that a snowman?

Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Coffee and Hot Chocolate after sledding.

Brandi

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

If you were to meet her you would think that she is a little wacky, funny, energetic and very easy going.

Brandi really is all these things. She has been here at the Canadiana for a couple of months now waiting to start a job on one of the amazing cruises that travel the world and seem to follow the summer(something that we here and the Canadiana wish that we could be doing with the amount of snow fall that we have had today).

While waiting for her cruise to start she has been applying for jobs in Toronto, tonight she heads off to a great comedy club for an interview. I have little doubt that she will get it, and she will be great… I just wonder how long it will be before Brandi gets up on stage herself.

Most people here at the hostel know Brandi, or at least know of her, she is loud in a good way, always smiling and laughing. We all hope that she will be here for a while longer as nothing seems to get her down and her smile is definately contagious!

Lesley

Canadiana Staff

Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

“Muffin” of the North

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

We just heard from Myriam (a.k.a. “Muffin”) whom we thought lost in the wilds of the Northwest Territories. We called her Muffin because she’s so pretty and so sweet. She worked here for a while before she decided to go prospecting in the northern wilds.

Actually, she’s teaching French Culture in Yellowknife, N.W.T. I think I should have said that she was teaching French Canadian Culture, because it is both rich and unique.

She’s going to be stuck up there for a year. I say “stuck” only because like others in southern Ontario, I dislike snow (it’s wet, cold, sloppy and you have to shovel it!) and I abhor sub-zero temperatures. Yellowknife, I’m told have both in abundance.

We keep in touch with Muffin through this blog (because she loves this hostel) and through “Facebook” where she has posted hundreds (literally) of pics of the spectacular scenery of Canada’s north! All of us here at the hostel check her photos out regularly (because we all love “Muffin”)!

She should be back in six or seven months. We really look forward to seeing her again. Meanwhile, we’re all sending her warm thoughts – so she won’t freeze as solid as an axehead!

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Myriam - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

“Muffin” of the Muskeg! A modern day Voyageur.

Myriam - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Yellow Glasses in Yellowknife. “Muffin” with one of the Natives.

Myriam - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Muffin at the hostel before leaving for the northern wilderness.

Is there a Doctor in the house?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Or, more accurately, when isn’t there?

We get a real cross-section of people staying here at the Canadiana. Virtually every profession has been represented on our list of guests. The time once was places like ours were referred to as “Youth Hostels”. That, today, is a real misnomer.

We host guests ranging in age from eight months to eighty years and groups from the Manchester Boys’ Choir (UK) to the New Brunswick Jr. Provincial Rugby Team.

And we get a lot of Medical Doctors too! This year alone we have had, to date, at least a dozen physicians as hostel guests. The latest M.D. to check into the hostel is here for (I think) his seventh visit with us. “Doc Dalbir” likes it here so much that he is moving to Canada permanently to complete his residency in Orthopedic Surgery.

So if you were to ask, “Is there a doctor in the house?” The answer would be, “Usually”.

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Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

“Doc” Dalbir with Hailey (staff) and Mika (from Japan)

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Enduring Friendships

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Here’s another entry about “friendships” made here at the Canadiana.

When people “meet” fellow travelers at a resort or a hotel they almost always become like “ships that pass in the night”. Brief encounters that live on in memory only.

But often – very often, in fact – people meet here at the Canadiana and true friendships are made.

One summer, our guests included two very nice English couples. Lydia, or Lyds, or Tins? (don’t ask) was a Police Detective from Cheshire who was just completing a year-long, round-the-world adventure and was meeting here in Toronto, Andy (her significant other), a Police Sergeant (soon to be Inspector, we hope!) from the Cornwall Constabulary.

They met another English couple from the north of the UK named Keith and Mandy – Mands, for short – who were just beginning a year-long trip. Keith is a mechanical engineer originally from Northern Ireland and Mands is in Marketing. They really hit it off during a week long stay here in Toronto.

They then went their separate ways. Keith and Mands on their way to Oz via LA, Fiji and New Zealand. Tins and Andy on their way home.

It’s been a year-and-a-half and Mands and Keith have returned to the UK and have moved to Swindon in the South. The point of this entry is that these two nice couples have become fast friends and visit each other as often as they can, distances not withstanding.

They last got together during the Rugby World Cup (won by South Africa) when Andy and Tins drove to Swindon to watch the games on the “telly” at Mands and Keith’s new home. More than a few laughs had; more than a few pints downed; quite a few more memories safely banked.

These two couples have become fast friends and are not like ships in the night. And how do I know, you might ask? Well, they are all friends of the Canadiana’s too and we are also still in touch on a regular basis.

We’ll see you all for a drink when we get to the UK guys! Cheers!

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Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

The two English couples enjoying “Dim Sum” in Toronto’s Chinatown. In the center (l. to r.) Andy, Tins, Keith and Mands.
Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

A reunion in Cornwall last summer.

Where is the Tower??

Monday, November 12th, 2007

From the front steps of the Canadiana you will get a close and amazing view of Toronto’s famous CN Tower.

At 181 storeys, 553.33m(1,815ft, 5in.) the CN Tower is the world’s tallest building and free standing structure and has a very scary glass floor to give you the view all the way to the ground.

However, today it did a disappearing act and could not even be seen through the dense cloud the settled over Toronto City.

Toronto can often get overcast, and sometimes from the steps of the Canadiana we cannot see the very top of the tower but it is a very rare and shocking sight when the whole tower seems to magically disappear.

So, come to Toronto to see the Tower…. or maybe not.

Lesley

Canadiana Staff

Foggy - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

The CN Tower normally looms dead center in this photo!


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