How We Doin’! (a.k.a. update)

The past couple of weeks have been program packed and we have had lots of time to experience more of this amazing city. It’s therefore high time we update you guys on what we have been up to!

Midsummer

As the authentic Finns we are, we celebrated Midsummer the best we could, albeit on the other side of the Atlantic. On Friday the 18th we arranged a dinner among the Finns, which we enjoyed on the patio of one of our houses. We ate good food and tried to stay as authentic as possible with our celebrations, although the rest of Canada was unaware of the holiday even taking place at the time. We had the pleasure to be invited to spend the rest of the weekend at the home of one our Canadian hosts (Davin). His parents, one of them of Finnish decent, knew how to truly celebrate Midsummer; with good food (this time Mexican), good company and nostalgic stories about Finland. Needless to say, our Midsummer weekend in Toronto was an unforgettable one. The only thing missing was the Finnish sauna, which we hopefully will get to enjoy further on during the exchange.

Rainbows Everywhere (Toronto Pride)

One of the largest gay pride festivals in the world is the Toronto Pride Week. The event is organised for ten days during the end of June every year. The actual gay pride parade took place on Sunday the 28th and we were there to see it. We were lucky to have a Canadian alumnus as our guide for the day. Colum, who spent the summer of 2009 in Helsinki, first took us for a Korean breakfast and then we went to see the parade that lasted for about 3 hours. During the parade Colum entertained us with interesting facts, mostly about federal and provincial legislation and politics, which none of us still fully understand. Although the weather was far from ideal, it was great to see how far ahead of the rest of the world Canada is regarding how diversity is celebrated.

Red Maple Leaves Everywhere (Canada Day)

On July 1 Canada Day was celebrated all over Toronto with fireworks and partying, and, since we are temporary workers in Canada, we felt a deep inner duty to celebrate it as well. With the help of our Canadian hosts we were able to do so as authentically as possible. We spent the day walking around the city enjoying the great weather and observing how the holiday was celebrated by the Torontonians. The evening, on the other hand, started with hanging out at one of our host’s (Luke) house and then continued with going to see the fireworks. Our first Canada Day was enjoyed to the fullest.

Toronto Islands

On a chain of small islands, located just offshore from the city centre, is an amazing place for picnics and hanging out on lawns and beaches. On the afternoon of Friday the 3rd we did just that. After only a ten minute boat ride from the southernmost tip of Toronto, we arrived at the Center Island where we immediately were surrounded by beautiful nature. To get away from the stress of the city felt great and, after only a short while of walking around the islands, we were able to forget the stress of our day-to-day lives and the anxiety of having to return to Finland in just a couple of months. Most important of all, we (=the girls) were able to snap some great scenery pictures and selfies to update our Instagram accounts.

Timelapse view of the Toronto skyline from the Islands

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