Expats · Toronto

Expat Diaries: one year!

As much as I meant to write this post bang on the one-year mark, it’s actually been just over a year and a month since we moved to Toronto. Time is flying by so quickly I can’t quite keep up with it. We’ve definitely crossed the halfway mark, and are now on the downwards climb towards home-time. I feel like the hardest part is over.

It’s funny. We are into year two and I constantly find myself thinking, ‘What was I doing this time a year ago?’ and ‘how was I feeling this time a year ago?’. It’s really nice to have this blog as a treasure trove of memories and photos of our time in Toronto.

Photo 11-03-2016, 22 02 24
One of our first nights in Toronto, exploring Dundas square
far-too-excited-to-find-a-shop-selling-british-baked-beans-and-squash
Initial excitement when discovering a shop selling some homely goods

We recently found out we are moving back to the UK a few months earlier than originally planned. We seem to have gone back and forth dwelling over dates for months, so it’s nice to have something semi set in stone. The decision is to return home at Christmas. It feels like a natural time to leave – the end of the year where everything resets anyway – plus it will be nice to have a couple of weeks to relax with friends and family before the daunting task of job hunting (for me) and house hunting again.

I’ve got the feeling the next eight months are going to go by in the blink of an eye. Plus, we’ve got loads of exciting events packed in – with a number of visitors to Toronto, as well as two trips home to the UK for weddings. I also want to try and make the most of any long weekends we have left to get out and about in Canada and do some more exploring.

As it’s spring again, I have been trying to venture out at weekends and see some of the neighborhoods and parks we’ve yet to visit. We made a long list of things to do before we leave, so it feels good to be able to start ticking them off now the weather permits!

Last weekend we visited the Beaches over in East Toronto. Unfortunately, I underestimated how long it would take to get there on the streetcar – so by the time we arrived there was only time for a yummy lunch at Hogtown Smoke and a quick stroll along the beach before heading home.

beaches
Woodbine beach, Toronto

It’s a neighbourhood I would definitely like to go back to a see a bit more thoroughly as there seemed to be loads of nice independent shops, bars and restaurants.

On Sunday we decided to re-visit a trail we first ventured along about a year ago – the Brickworks trail around Davisville/ Mount Pleasant area.

I really love the Brickworks – an old industrial site that has now been converted into an arts space and café. There always seems to be something crafty going on there, lots of delicious food and a farmers market on Saturdays over summer.

Walking back via Mount Pleasant cemetery, we spotted chipmunks, a groundhog and even a couple of woodpeckers!

bluebells
Bluebells – the start of spring (finally!)

This weekend we are escaping the city and visiting Muskoka for Easter. The weekend after that I’ve a friend from Bristol, UK visiting so I’m sure we will be spending our time doing plenty of touristy stuff. It really does feel like I’m on the verge of the home-stretch, and a fantastically exciting summer. Things are going to start rolling fast very soon.

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