June 8, 2018, Montreal-
Late this evening, I have arrived at Auberge Bishop, arguably one of the most welcoming places I’ve been in quite a while. The people are relaxed, indoors and out. Even the House Psycho is not going to be much of a problem- I just need to remember that she hates men.
But, let’s get back to the day’s start. I enjoyed a full breakfast, in Neill-Wycik’s cafeteria, then went up to the penthouse to get a view of downtown, as only the top of a high rise can offer.
I got carried away with writing, whilst sitting at a desk, in said penthouse, so I ended up checking out at 11:15. The uber-officious Day Manager had a field day with this, and $ 25 worth of surcharges later, I left Neill-Wycik, with a promise to myself to not return. Toronto has smaller hostels, and one of them will be my base camp, on the next visit here.
Downtown I drove, stopping briefly at Toronto’s lovely Baha’i Centre. I was let inside by a lovely and gracious lady, who had to then leave. I was allowed, by the office manager, to look about for a few minutes and so I share these scenes. Anyone in the Toronto area who has a desire to investigate spiritual truth for oneself will certainly do well to attend one of the Centre’s public events. Toronto’s Baha’i community is certainly a vibrant one: https://www.bahaitoronto.org/
Whilst on a trip around North America, in 1912, Abdu’l-Baha briefly visited Toronto, en route from Montreal to Buffalo.
I was given the address for Canada’s Baha’i National Centre, in Thornhill, north of Toronto, but gauging my arrival time in Montreal, I opted to leave that visit for next time.
Ontario’s segment of Route 401 features several ON Route Service Centres. These allowed this Yank to get my fill of Tim Horton’s fare, and keep the Elantra happy with gasoline. There is much to see, off-highway, along this route: It is, after all, the Canadian side of the Thousand Islands sector of the St. Lawrence Valley. Again, stuff for next time. After leaving sleepy Morrisburg’s ON Route Esso, with its wary station attendant and taciturn cashier, I was soon in Quebec. Montreal, in its majesty, appeared an hour after that.
A ten-minute Blue Tooth-based conversation later, I had deposited Elantra in a parking garage and found my way to Auberge Bishop. Here, at least, I feel entirely welcome. At Chicha Donburi, a curry house next door, I received an equally robust welcome. The cheerful Japanese-Canadian proprietress, and her chef, never stopped moving, the entire hour I was there. I love Katsu (Japanese-style cutlet), and this did not disappoint.
NEXT: Montreal’s Light and Darkness