Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Go to Jail . . . Do not use GO

I am always looking for interesting things to do here in Toronto, so when we found a book entitled “111 Places in Toronto That You Must Not Miss” we bought it and started using it to find things to do. I was actually quite surprised at how many of the 111 places we had already seen. We have 26 places noted already but that still leaves plenty to go find. 

We found three places in the same area not far away so decided to go find these three to add to the list. One was the Old Don Jail which was a nice walk through the Riverdale farm and across the Aqueduct over the Don River so we decided to go and do a self guided tour of the Jail, find a really good coffee shop and a bakery known for their “Best in Toronto” butter tarts. 

The Don Jail

The Old Don Jail had been converted to the Administrative offices for a medical centre but it sounded like they allowed self guided tours of the building. However, when we got there the building was locked up tight and a notice on the door said tours were cancelled. We did get to see the building from the outside and it is an impressive structure. The front is ornately decorated, but the back still has the look of a large prison and many of the windows retain the heavy bars used to keep the “bad guys”locked away. It was nice that the building has been repurposed rather than being torn down, and according to the guide book, although most of the interior has been renovated, some of the old cells were kept intact and the exterior has been retained. Pity the poor junior clerk who discovers his office is one of the retained cells. 

The back looks more "Jail" like

Rooster's Coffee
A walk through Riverdale Park East took us past a statue of Dr. Sun Yet-Sen (I will let you google who he is) to the Rooster Coffee Shop, a nice little cafe overlooking the park which apparently serves some of the best brews in the city and excellent views of the Toronto skyline. 

From there we walked down into Chinatown East to find Andrea’s Gerard St bakery which was reputed to serve really good butter tarts. Now Regis makes really good butter tarts herself, so we had to buy a couple to test them out, and they also had some interesting empanadas. Back home, Regis even had to admit that they really were excellent butter tarts.

And as for that title . . . we did not actually go to Jail, and we did not have to take the GO train to get there. 

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