June, and my parents coming to stay…

June started with a bang, the weather was now glorious sunshine, peppered with intense thunderstorms. Me and a fellow Edgewalker Justin had been trying to find some time off together to get some outdoor climbing and right at the beginning of June we got our opportunity, heading off to Mount Nemo (near Burlington) with a fellow climber Orlee. We only did a 3-4 climbs each, but it was amazing to get outdoors again and get some outdoor sport leads under my belt, I haven’t done any in quite a while. It was also a chance to push the limits of my confidence, as I have always climbed much harder indoors compared to outdoors. This time I climbed the hardest grade I have ever climbed outdoors; 5:10c (about 6a+ in UK language). It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, and the satisfaction when I reached the top was incredible. From the top I wished I’d brought my camera, as we had a great view back across to towards Toronto.

Awesome lead.

Awesome lead.

A couple of weeks into June my parents also came to stay. It was great to see them, its had been nearly 6 months! After meeting them at the airport we headed downtown to their hotel, the Delta, right in front of the tower. My mum had requested a room facing the tower and the view was awesome!! That night we also made our first visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, at Yonge and Dundas square, my Dad’s favourite restaurant.

Sweet view!!

Sweet view!!

The main activity on Sunday was going to the Skydome to see the Blue Jays play the Baltimore Orialles at baseball. We lost, but the game was still really go with the Blue Jays pulling back from 7 runs behind, and at one point it looked as though we were going to win. It was a spectacular day and the dome was open, much to my surprise as the forecast had been showing thunderstorms all day.

Batter up!!

Batter up!!

On the Monday we decided to go for a bike ride along the lake shore. We rented some bikes and rode a total of 19kms to beyond Etobecoke and back, grabbing an ice cream along the way. Fortunately I’d done the same route with Michelle last summer, so I knew the way! We also had time after we got back to get a tour of the the Skydome, which was really interesting. We got to see all the best (and most expensive) places to watch the game.

In the media box...

In the media box…

The next day we took a trip on the red buses of the Toronto bus tour. The two main events were the boat tour (included in the price of the ticket) and Casa Loma. The boat tour was a really cool addition that we didn’t realise we were going to get until that day, it was great to show my parents the skyline of Toronto from the islands, we got some great skyline pictures.

Great view from the water.

Great view from the water.

After that we headed up on a guided tour to Casa Loma. A very stately home previously owned by Henry Pellatt, he went bankrupt and the city now owns it, but its an intersting walk around to see the limits of excess in the roaring 1920s. For dinner we headed to the Amsterdam Brew house and enjoyed one of their huge pretzels.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

On the next and final evening of my parents trip came the main event, my parents came out with me onto the Edgewalk! To be honest I had been a little nervous about this, my parents are good with heights but aren’t exactly adrenaline junkies so I wasn’t quite sure how they’d react to the extreme height of my outdoor office. Thankfully everything went swimmingly and they had a great time. We got some great photos and they were particularly impressed with the efforts of our grounds crew, Emily and Lauren.

Mum and Dad on the Edgewalk!

Mum and Dad on Edgewalk!

The next day it was sadly time for them to leave, and after a tearful goodbye they set off to continue their trip on to Calgary and Vancouver.

By this time it was now coming towards the end of June and I’d been on the benefit of the doubt with the immigration service for nearly a month. Edgewalk were beginning to ask when my new visa was coming, and I’d received several “phantom” emails from CIC, causing much frustration. Finally as June ended I received my Point of Entry letter (PoE) and could make my way down to Niagara Falls to get my new work permit. The process for doing this wasn’t too complicated, before going to the Canadian border office I first had to go over to America and get a letter from they’re border force to say I hadn’t gone into America (I’m not sure why) and then go back across to the Canadian side. The was walk across was a bit freaky, I took a massive deep breath as I push through the turn style to go out onto the bridge, wondering if I’d be let back in!

Back in no mans land again....

Back in no mans land again….

Once I’d said hello to America and got back to Canada, it was a near agonizing two hour wait while I worked my way up the list to be processed. Last time it had taken just a few minutes to sort the work permit out, but the border post was full of families and other travellers like me, and the border guards were not in a rush to get people through. They’re probably not allowed to rush. Finally I emerged from the border post, with my new work permit and as the border guard said; I was good to go!

Month number 12!! May….

My first priority on arriving back into Toronto was finding somewhere to live. My friend Margo had kindly offered to put me up for a few days whilst I found a place, but I was keen to find somewhere as soon as possible. a) not to overstay my welcome, and b) get away from living out of my big red bag. My first day back at Edgewalk was also looming and I was aware that it would be more difficult to schedule viewings and things if the season got busy quickly. I’d lined up some viewings whilst I was at uncle Phil’s and while on the train, so in the couple of days I had free I tried to see as many houses as possible. This didn’t go very well. After two days of searching and visiting about 10 – 12 places I couldn’t really find anything to close to what I was after – a good balance of cleanliness and price. More time was spent on Kijiji and PadMapper and I came up trumps on my 4th day of searching landing a place right on Queen Street, just 15 mins walk from the tower! Its a pretty cool place, and I also have some access to the roof, which is a cool place to hang out.

Not a bad view.

Not a bad view.

I spent most of May settling into my new digs and getting back into the swing of things at Edgewalk, things got going fairly quickly and was able to pick up a good number of shifts thanks to a couple of ill guides and some media events. One such event saw me talking out the winner of a Kelloggs competition, check out the video below for some glam footage of me walking backwards, and shouting in the wind.

Being back at Edgewalk is great, there’s a few new faces and I feel like one of the more experienced members of the team, which is actually a new feeling.

At the end of May I also celebrated the end of my first year in Canada! Its been a rollercoaster, I’ve had some amazing adventures, and met some amazing people. Here’s a few photos from the highlights of my trip:

The prelude!

The prelude!

A day at the beach.

A day at the beach.

Guelph's Griffon

Guelph’s Griffon

Ray Feeding!

Ray Feeding!

Cheers, Toronto!!

Cheers, Toronto!!

Skydome at night!!

Skydome at night!!

Spectacular fog

Spectacular fog

Sunset Over Toronto

A few glorious sunsets…

My Edgewalk buddies..

My Edgewalk buddies..

Heading West......

Heading West……

Me and Tim on Blackcomb.

Me and Tim on Blackcomb.

Day's off with the lifties...

Days off with the lifties…

Into the backcountry....

Into the backcountry….

A few days in the Okanagan..

A few days in the Okanagan..

Heading back east....

Heading back east….

Back for another Summer!!!

Back for another Summer!!!

The end of my year in Canada also meant the end of my work permit of course. With a new one on the way there was an anxious wait in store while a decision was made. I was still able to work as I was legally now on “implied status”. This is quite literally the benefit of the doubt from the Canadian government. The was fine, but with my sister’s wedding approaching in September the clock was ticking…