Archive for January, 2008

Antonina

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

We’ve got a new staff member here at the hostel and a charming girl she is! Staff here at the Canadiana  doesn’t change much; that is, our turnover rate is pretty low.

Our newest staff member is Antonina or Toni, for short. She’s a dark-eyed, dark-haired beauty and from her name, one might be tempted to assume she is of Italian descent.

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Not so. She’s actually of Scots/Polish parentage.

As I mentioned, staff changes are a fairly infrequent. Stunning Sharon (now Dr. Sharon) left us after working her way through school with us for seven years. And lovely Leslie decided to go back to New Zealand just before Christmas after only two years with us!

So Toni is now my new favorite – fickle and mercurial sod that I am! We’d like to hang on to her for as long as we can so we all must get onside to keep her happy.

She won’t remain my favorite for long; you see, my favorite is almost always the newest. What can I say? I’m shallow!

Toni - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

The Man From Western OZ

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Mike D we call him and he’s been here at the hostel with us for quite some time. He’s been working in Toronto for a company that would be illegal were it not run by the Provincial Government.

Mike worked for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (sounds pretty ominous, dosen’t it?). The LCBO Stores are the only places you can purchase alcohol in the entire Province – and Ontario is vast! So, in fact, it is a monopoly and the last I heard monopolies are illegal in Canada.

Mike is a pretty popular guest here at the Canadiana. He’s polite, easy going, kind and friendly. His job at the Liquor Store made Mike even more popular with a lot of the guests.

You see, it a bit of a jaunt to the closest Liquor Store and Mike could often be inveigled into picking up a bottle or two for friends.

Mike is off to Europe for a few months before finally returning home. We wish him all the very best in all that he does and thank him for saving us a few trips to the liquor store.

We’re really going to miss him – and not just for that reason.

Mike - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Mike with Paula from Spain

Mike - Canadiana Backpackers Inn Toronto Youth Hostel

Mike at his leaving party

A Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

At least once a year, virtually all Pubs and Clubs have large “cover charges” and inflate the price of drinks shamelessly.? And many restaurants literally double the prices on their regular menus. The result? Celebrating the New Year can be a costly affair.

Most backpackers are budget minded travelers and for them the cost of a night out at New Year’s can be quite prohibitive.

So we, at Canadiana Backpackers Inn step up to the plate.

We don’t have a bar – by choice. You see, it’s quite illegal to bring your own liquor into a licensed premises so you must pay bar prices for every drink you have and alcohol must not be served or consumed past 2 AM!

Not so at the Canadiana Backpackers Hostel! You can B.Y.O.B. – BRING YOUR OWN…! It saves backpackers a lot of money and drinking can go on well past 2 AM just as in a house party! You’re “at home” here!

As far as food goes, we sell tickets for food and prepare a spread of snack foods (sausages, chicken wings etc.,) for those who would like a snack with their drinks.

It’s always a wonderful way to ring in a New Year with friends and new acquaintances, in a safe and secure environment, while saving a lot of money!

Welcome all to 2008!

Eli

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Eli came to visit us at Christmas 2006. He came back for Christmas 2007!

Eli’s a New Yorker via El Salvador. He loves Toronto, mostly because he’s made a lot of friends here – both times! It’s really no exaggeration to say that here at the Canadiana hostel, Eli really comes into his own!

When we first met Eli (Christmas ’06) we found him to be quite shy and introspective – a bit of a loner. We encouraged him to mix with other guests at the hostel which he was able to do with ease. He has equal facility with both English and Spanish. Spaniards and Latino’s make up a large percentage of our foreign language students.

Although we were pleased to see him we were quite surprised to see Eli back for Christmas ’07. We asked him what the attraction of Toronto, in general, and the Canadiana, in particular, held for him.

His answer? “I can meet a lot of people here!” he told us. We told him that it would probably happen wherever he went. But Eli insists otherwise. He gives all credit to the city and the Canadiana Hostel!

Eli has done things here in Toronto that he does not do in his native NYC. Evenings you’ll find him out to dinner in Chinatown with fellow hostel guests; or on a pub crawl; or in a dance club with new found friends!

Regardless of who is correct we really like having him with us! If he chooses to revisit for Christmas ’08, he’ll be more than welcome!


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