Around the University of Toronto

Dear Readers, such was my yearning for green space today that my husband  suggested that we have a little walk around the campus of the University of Toronto. We got off at the Museum subway stop, where the boring old pillars have been replaced by Indigenous North West figures, like the one above, Doric columns (below)


.,…the Egyptian god Osiris…

and a Toltec warrior.

…all in honour of the Royal Ontario Museum upstairs. It makes a change from the boring tiled pillars in other stations for sure.

Upstairs we pass some of the University buildings, and I notice a preponderance of what I think are hostas. Holy Moly! Don’t Canadians have slugs and snails? Every time I’ve tried to grow these plants they’ve been reduced to a sad nibbled stem within a week, and yet here they look splendid. I do hope they aren’t using slug pellets.

This is the Law School, and very splendid it is too. I was discussing how I’d found the law module of my accountancy qualification the most boring part of the whole thing, and was wondering why, when generally I like subtle distinctions and problem-solving. Maybe it’s because it was accountancy law and not something juicier.

The Law School

There’s a striking new extension too.

The Jackman Law Building

Right opposite is a largish park, and the inhabitants clearly like to pop over to the University in search of easy pickings. My husband says that the squirrels on campus are notoriously friendly, and certainly we were approached several times by rodents with hopeful little faces.

Plus there are lots of North American robins, sparrows, starlings, cardinals and even the odd red-winged blackbird.

North American Robin

My husband’s aunt Rosemary was Head of Food Services at Hart House, which is part of the University campus, and which hosted a dinner for the G7 back in the day with Reagan, Thatcher and Helmut Kohl. John used to spend many hours in her office when things weren’t going well: Rosemary was one of those people who are a kind of compass point, someone that you turn to and know that they will be there. This ‘holiday’ has been particularly tough for John, what with his aunt now being dead, and his mother slipping ever deeper into dementia. But at least here it’s easy to remember Rosemary.

The window of Rosemary’s office at Hart House

The sports field has been astroturfed. You can imagine how delighted I am.

But there are still lots of pockets of green, and I can feel myself relaxing as we walk through them and past them. The bulbs are coming up, the trees are coming into leaf, and spring is definitely on the way.

Plus, look who’s arrived to take advantage of all that lush green grass! It’s unusual to see a goose all on their own – maybe this is a young-ish individual, as by the age of 3 they’ve usually paired up, and will stay with their mate for life (20-25 years). Or maybe the goose’s partner is nearby but hidden away. At any rate, in about a month there will be dozens of goslings about, and then we’ll know that summer isn’t far away.

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