I don’t know why everyone hates Toronto, because I simply love it. The city that is, not the hockey team. It is a world-class city, reflecting the many nationalities of the world. It is home to TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival. It is home to 4 pro sports teams, hockey, baseball, soccer and football. For many it is the centre of the universe.
This weekend it is the centre of the universe for the Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP). This is the weekend the NDP selects a new leader, following the passing of Jack Layton last summer. God rest his soul and we carry his legacy forward. Watch the convention live online here.
For me, a political junkie and long term Dipper (affectionate term for NDP), I knew I wanted to come but initially was unsure because I wanted to be sure about affordability, should I afford it?. When I realized it was in downtown Toronto, I knew it would be more easily done.
I booked a hotel room, and then started determining a travel strategy. At first a co-worker of mine offered me a drive with them and another friend. Once the details of that started to crack, I was looking for other options:
VIA rail – The train was my first thought. I liked the trip when I did it as a teen.
Air Canada – Flying would have been convenient, but much more expensive.
Road Trip – Driving is always fun, but for the sake sanity, safety, a road trip needs travel companions.
Leaving New Brunswick
Well, the details worked out. I had a car-full of fellow New Democrats, two from New Brunswick, one from Nova Scotia. We drove from Fredericton to Toronto overnight. It was cool driving with friends, new and old.
Fortunately, we had all voted, so there was no convincing of the others to change. There was some playful banter back and forth about the choices. But it was all in fun. No one was hurt in the chatter.
We shared driving and went overnight, even arriving in Toronto around the time I had hoped. We all had secured downtown accommodations, me at the Ritz, another at the Fairmont, one with a brother, the other in a downtown condo. I think dropping Kat off at the condo was most impressive, because of location, around the block from the two hotels. The two of us in hotels were able to stay because of employee discounts.
Look forward to an account of the convention on Saturday evening.
What road trips have you done?