Week two of the Canadian WME tour has delivered Crew6 right into the heart of the biggest city in the country: Toronto. With our hotel located in the downtown core, we were able to leave the car parked and walk or skateboard around the city streets to explore what this lakeside urban jungle has to offer. The ‘Wintervention’ film tour has been filling auditoriums nationwide in the States and Canada, and our crew is stoked to continue on in true Warren Miller fashion in Toronto. I am currently writing this on Halloween night, already after a few nights of costumed fun. Our crew is definitely reeling from the effects of Toronto’s nightlife. However, I might have to wrap this up quickly so we can go out and achieve round three of costumed sightseeing around the city.
As one of Canada’s oldest city centers, Toronto has quite a bit of history, due in part to its location on Lake Ontario and its proximity to the Eastern cities of the United States. With urban sprawl matching that of Los Angeles, it has a massive system of underground trains, above ground trollies and a whole mess of cars, pedestrians and townie bicycles. For our crew, it has presented quite the contrast from our Colorado roots. However, after a few days, we have learned to flow with the constant sounds and action of big city life, keeping our eyes peeled for historic buildings built as far back as 1793 when it was first called the ‘City of York’.
There was a certain bit of foreshadowing that presented itself on our flight across the continent, as the plane had free satellite TV for us to watch. After flipping through the channels on the armrest control and watching a little bit of the Dog Whisperer or some CSI, my finger stumbled across the Canadian version of the Travel Channel. Right there on the screen was Toronto, in a documentary about its unique public transit system. I learned a ton of facts about the above and below ground trains and trollies, especially about how the city almost gave them up back in the 1970s. Instead, it reinvested in the trollies, and now they are the most prominent feature of this flatland city. For a guy on a skateboard, however, the embedded rails in the asphalt tend to make for a frightful approach on many of the streets. I’ve almost lost my lid on a few occasions.
But it hasn’t been all play for Crew6; we clocked in to deliver the second of our Canadian WME shows in style... Halloween style that is! Although a Toronto Leafs hockey home game was being played on the same night, the dedicated skiers and snowboarders in town showed up to catch the newest shredding action in this year’s film. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts was an amazing theatre, and we had a ton of local sponsors show up to chat with the attendees. Even the Spyder girls surprised attendees, showing up with Halloween-Spyder tattoos and a grip of free Canadian-Spyder ballcaps. They were definitely a hit, as evidenced by the sea of red-and-white littering the audience for the second half of the film.
The highlight of my night: a young, twenty-something named Mike found me at the film’s end to pick my brain about ski-bumming, TatsVan style. He explained that after a season in Whistler, he is ready to find his own van and hit the road in search of powder - words that strike a chord in my ski bum heart. I gave him some van-camping travel tips, and he ran off into the brisk night dreaming of his next adventure.
We are shipping off tomorrow for Winnipeg, Manitoba with open anticipation of what will await our arrival. None of us have ever been there, and we can’t wait to meet the skiing and snowboarding fans who call Winnipeg home. With one show, and only a few days in town to see the sights, Crew6 is ready to pack it all in during our quick visit. See ya at the show!