Archive for June, 2012

J2A

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

J2A? (It stands for “Journey to Adulthood”).

Since Toronto is arguably the most multi-cultural city on the planet (before howels of protests are heard, that is according to the U.N.) we get a lot of educational “cultural exchange” programs.

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We regularly host school, church, boy scout, girl guide and also, professional development programs.

“Journey to Adulthood” is a unique “Life Skills” development program. It is a concept of a Detroit Inner-City Episcopal Church that has small teams of  youths go to a strange large city and navigate themselves to destinations assigned to them by address alone.

They are taking young individuals on the cusp of adulthood and equipping them with the life-skills to function in the increasingly complicated urban reality.

This year, there were two teams (4 boys vs. 3 girls) who were given tasks suchy as locating the final resting place of the great classical pianist Glen Gould in the massive Mt. Pleasant Cemetary.

Pam Wilkins and Roger Basse were the two chaperones who silently “shadowed” each group every step of the way.

Luckily, Toronto is quite an easy city to navigate with major roads laid out in a north-south, east-west grid and we have a pretty efficient transit system. Given only scant direction the youths did an admirable job locating strange places in a strange city.

Apparently, the church alternates their annual excursions between Chicago and Toronto. We hope they will use our city exclusively from now on.  After all, even though we are smaller than the Windy City, I will venture to say that Toronto is a more ethnically diverse city.

(Not to mention that we are probably cleaner, definitely safer and at least as friendly!)

IMAN RETURNS!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

IMAN who was our events co-ordinator, left us for a similar position on a Carnival Cruise Ship sailing the sunny, blue Carribean. Go figure?

It was acknowledged by all that she was by far the best event organizer we had ever had working for us. In fact, she has been difficult to replace. Our temporary solution has been to have several staff members share the events which occur seven days a week.

Iman loves her life at sea so it looks like we have lost her to the sun and surf of theWest Indies waters.

She has had continued success on the ships and in just her second month aboard, she was voted “Employee of the Month” out of a total of over 900 crew members. (We told you she was good at her job.)

After six-and-a-half months at sea working seven days a week, Iman has returned for a 10 week hiatus. We’ve inveigled her into taking over many of the events for the hostel during her “vacation”.

This summer, our nightly “events” should be back up to speed with Iman back firmly at the helm. Her speciality is “Karaoke” which, we think, she’ll be doing two evenings a week at different venues close to the hostel.

 

Blinding Progress!

Monday, June 11th, 2012

More than a few Toronto hostels claim to be a five-minute walk from the landmark CN Tower. The Canadiana Backpackerts Inn actually is!

In the past it was easy to prove as the hostel was virtually “in the shadow” of the 553 meter tall structure. If you went out of our front door, looked right…then…voila! There it was! (photo attached).

But the recent and continuing skyscraper construction boom is rapidly altering the look and views of the city skyline. There are currently more than 150 buildings of more than 120 meters being built. Nine of these buildings are on the same block (or the immediately adjacent blocks) to our Toronto Backpackers Inn.

The Third Phase of the Toronto film Festival’s Cinema Towers Condominium is rising at the rate of 4 floors per month and will eventually loom 43 stories above our hostel. It has almost completely obliterated our once spectacular view of the tower.

The tip of the tower is still visible from our front door; however, at the current rate of progress the tower should completely disappear by the coming Canada Day (July 1st).

That’s progress!

 
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Canadiana Friends

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

“It feels like home.” That is the motto of our Canadiana Backpackers Inn in Toronto.

We have always taken pride in the convivial atmosphere our hostel provides and the lasting friendships that come as a result of people meeting here (not to mention more than 20 marriages).

Greg Smitherman, from Adelaide, Oz, came to Toronto with a two-year “working holiday” visa and rapidly became a popular hostel resident. Even after he began working for the Ontario Government and moved to his own apartment Greg still found time to drop in on occasion just to say hello.

Here is an unsolicited comment he posted on our Facebook page: “…I am totally getting why this hostel is rated above all the rest.”

In his almost 2 years in Toronto, Greg made his presence known and made a lot of friends. He left Toronto towards the end of summer 2011 traveling west to Vancouver and down the U.S. West Coast to L.A.

He met up with Roberto, an Italian-Canadian (Italian born and raised, he obtained Canadian citizenship through his mother). Greg and Roberto met at the Canadiana Hostel. Roberto stayed with us while waiting for his U.S. work visa to be processed.

The pair caught up and Roberto gave Greg a tour of his adopted city. The attached photo was taken at LAX airport on Greg’s last day in North America.

This is just another example of how the Canadiana Backpackers Inn is very often where enduring friendships are formed.

Greg and Roberto are now friends of the Canadiana and their presence in our city is missed. We look forward to welcoming them “home” someday soon.

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Roberto (appropriately dressed – we love your shirt!) seeing Greg off at L.A. Airport.

GEMINI BIRTHDAYS

Monday, June 4th, 2012

It seems like June is a very popular month in which to be born. We have three people who live here with birthday’s clustered aroung the beginning of this month.

They are the Gemini Triplets (so to speak).

We decided to hold a single BBQ party to honour them all. One cake, three names; great economic sense! The party was for Sherri, our dear friend from Newfoundland; Pedro, our resident thespian; and Chris, the hostel owner.

As luck would have it, we met a newly arrived guest, Katherine, from Germany, whose birthday was the day after our planned celebration. She helped out with the preparation for the bbq and was added to the trio of birthday honorees.

So our “Gemini Quadruplets” (if you will) were treated to a bbq of Tandoori Chicken Kebabs, two salads (one green; one potato salad with tuna and crab meat).

The multi-birthday fete seemed to work wonderfully. Should we have clusters of birthdays of staff friends and guests, we’ll likely have more multiple birthday partys.

Sherri - Canadiana Backpacker toronto hostels canada

Sherri: (June 5th)

Chris - Canadiana budget hotel hostels in toronto canada

Chris: (June 7th)

Pedro - Canadiana Toronto hostels for backpackers - cheap hotels toronto

Pedrito: (June 17th)


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