Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toronto, Columbus & San Diego

A couple of weeks ago David had to travel to Toronto in Ontario, Columbus in Ohio and San Diego in California with his work.  It was a whirlwind tour of Children’s Hospitals in just a few days so virtually no leisure time.  Nonetheless he managed a few snaps of the three cities.

The first stop was Toronto.  They had really no ‘free’ time in Toronto at all.  Views across the city skyline from the hotel.


IMG_3886 IMG_3890 Toronto Sick Kids Hospital where David was visiting is the brick and glass building in the centre. While Toronto is still a little chilly, it was at least sunny which was more than could be said for home !

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Inside Sick Kids the building is architecturally interesting but the overall feeling was that there was ‘too much going on’, the walls and open spaces were too cluttered and busy and it actually took them sometime to fine the Emergency Department, something that should have been the first signs you see.

IMG_3893 They did eventually find it…..luckily it wasn’t an emergency !




The outside of the building.


After a whistlestop visit to Toronto they were on a flight to Columbus, Ohio.

Now, Columbus doesn’t usually figure on many tourists itinerary.  It’s a harmless enough city, if not a little dull.  The weather didn’t help either, cold and grey.

The view from Davids hotel room over a grassy plaza in the centre of Columbus.


Columbus is the capitol of Ohio and as such has an impressive capitol building.

Columbus Capitol Building

The main purpose of the visit of course was to visit the still-being-built childrens hospital – Nationwide Hospital.

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Some parts of the construction were further ahead than others.

New Reasearch Building_NW

The new hospital is not far from Downtown.

Columbus from NW

After touring the new hospital the group had the chance to see a little more of the city.  Initially they walked through the Historic District, defined by the brick buildings, sidewalks and roadways.


Some of these views would no doubt be greatly enhanced in the Spring or early summer when flower and trees are in bloom and there’s some blue sky and sunshine !



The high-rise buildings of Downtown loom over the Historic District.


The Downtown core of Columbus is a mix of new and older architecture.  Here on East Broad street was the New Hayden Building (rh of the two tall buildings in centre of image).  Built in 1901 it was an early ‘skyscraper’ and is mostly original in appearance except for the 3rd Floor limestone detailing which was extended up from the 2nd floor in 1921 to give it a more classical appearance.  The small building to the right is the original Hayden Building (4 storeys with limestone clad exterior) and is the oldest commercial building remaining on Capitol Square built in 1869.  It was designed by one of the architects who designed the Capitol Building.

IMG_4089 This is the Ohio Stadium – home of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Built in 1922 for $1.3m it was renovated in 2001 – for $194m !   It currently seats just over 102,000 football fans and it is estimated over 34m people have passed through its gates since it was built.


Opposite the hotel David stayed in were a couple of interesting older buildings.  At 100 South 3rd St a home for a legal company while to the right of it the Central Presbyterian Church.


100 South 3rd Street illuminated at night.


Also downtown was the art deco LeVeque Tower.  Built in 1927 at 47 storeys it was the 5th tallest building in the World when it was first constructed.  Still an attractive addition to the downtown skyline.

IMG_4106 A close up of the detailing on the LeVeque Tower in Columbus.

IMG_4107 The LeVeque Tower is illuminated at night.  While the colours of the lights were white on Davids visit they change the colours for different events – red & green for Christmas, all green for St. Patricks Day, pink for Breast Cancer Awareness and red, white & blue for a number of weeks after 9-11.

IMG_4131 David in front of the Capitol Building.  The Capitol Building was constructed between 1838-1861 with delays caused by politics, a cholera epidemic and labour difficulties.

IMG_4113 A statue of Christopher Columbus, the cities namesake.

IMG_4105 They also have a statue of William McKinley, who was the 25th President of the United States. McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo, NY in 1901 but he was an Ohio native and still takes pride of place in Capitol Square.

IMG_4115 A newscast is being recorded outside the Capitol Building at the time David passed.


The streets of Downtown Columbus were hardly `bustling` – particularly after 6pm when like many other North American cities the downtown core became something of a ghost town.

IMG_4119 Some nice old row homes in the Downtown area.


Views of Downtown across the Scioto River.


Finally, the Columbus Dispatch building at 34 South 3rd St – looks like something straight out of the 1930`s.

IMG_4141 The next day the group were off to San Diego, California.

They were here to visit Rady Childrens Hospital.

ED Public entrance_Rady

Views from the hotel, over suburban San Diego.


The palm trees, blue sky and 85F temperatures definitely made a pleasant contrast to Toronto and Columbus !


The group had a few hours of `free` time in San Diego so they visited La Jolla and did a little shopping before heading for the Old Town.

The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in San Diego is a victim to the West Coasts ability to extend the meaning of OLD and HISTORIC.  This church was built in 1927, but sits on the site of the the 1542 landing of the first European explorer to the region Captain Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.


The Casa de Pedrorena de Altamirano is a home of a pioneer California family from Spain.


Tolers Leather Depot.


More views around San Diego Old Town.

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Weird and wonderful vegetation abounds – they look like giant asparagus !

IMG_4186 The Cosmopolitan Hotel, built in 1869 by stage master Albert Seeley for his travellers.


Then the group took advantage of the beautiful West Coast sunset, before heading home the following day.




Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 21st 2011

We completed our citizenship ceremony and celebrations yesterday.

Our ceremony was held at the same location as our exam on Expo Boulevard.  According to the judge holding the proceeding 59 of us became citizens yesterday afternoon, from an astounding 36 different countries.  David and I were the only ones we think from England and there was one lady from Scotland.

There was a little sitting around and waiting beforehand while they organised all of the people for their ceremony and their visitors. By the time the ceremony started the room was full.


On the wall the Canadian coat of arms - ‘A Mari Usque Ad Mare’ From Sea To Sea.


We then had to each swear one at a time around the room and then take the Oath in both English and French.

Liz unfortunately had prior engagements that afternoon so we had to settle for a portrait on the wall.


After we had all taken the Oath we were presented with our citizenship cards and certificates.  Then we had the opportunity to be photographed with citizenship Judge Ann Dillon and a guy in RCMP uniform who gained three different names during the proceedings.  Constable John/Gerald/Geoffrey thanks for taking part in the photoshoot anyway !

IMG_4269 - Copy

After the ceremony they held a reception with tea & cake but we didn’t stay as we had to get home, take Mojo for another quic walk before leaving him again to attend our social engagements Downtown.

We had arranged to meet with a few friends at Joeys in the Bentall Centre on Burrard St.  Most of our friends were working on Monday night but Stephen and Andrea were there before we even arrived.

Myself with Stephen


David with Andrea


Then our English friends David and Andrea arrived and we enjoyed plateloads of Ahi Tuna Tacos, Chinatown Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Sushi and Cheeseburger Sliders washed down with bellinis and beer.

David and I in Joeys


A little later in the evening Deb and Bob joined us after their long shifts.


Thanks everyone for supporting us and celebrating our becoming Canadian.  We had a great day and are very proud of our new dual-citizenship status.