The train was comfy, but still a train

Leaving in Style

Until today I didn't imagine that it think it possible to take a train from Union Station to the airport; that's exactly what I did today. Of course, in a twist typical of Hogtown, the airport in question wasn't Canada's busiest, Pearson. It also wasn't Porter Airline's Toronto City Centre; or even tiny Buttonville, just to the north of Toronto. No, if you want to travel by rail to catch a flight in this city, the airport of necessity is Dorval - just outside of Montreal. Given the special promotion that Via is running at the moment, I decided to make the trip in style: Via 'Preference' 1st Class.

How does the other half live then? All told, fairly well, but not nearly as nicely as it's portrayed on the webpage - though maybe it was just my train. The wine was local and quaffable - a Jackson-Triggs Cabernet Franc as the red and an Inniskillin Dry Riesling (curiously in a Burgundy-style s

The views were beautiful as the countryside unfolded

A major bone of contention though was the promised WiFi internet. The signal strength was good enough throughout the trip, but for reasons unknown Via seemed to exclude internet service from their promise of an otherwise all-inclusive fare. At $3.99 for 15 minutes or $8.95 for the day, it seems to be priced well above what you'd expect from most internet cafes - and this after you're already paying a premium for the train ticket itself and need to supply your own computer. Still, a relaxing way to travel all around - I've always loved the train - and certainly much more pleasant - if significantly longer - than taking the Lawrence East bus to Pearson. Once city hall finally musters up the political will to make a rail link to Pearson a reality, it should be a joy to ride. Until then, I'll enjoy the excuse to visit the city of our past.

As for me? I'm taking a one-way flight from Dorval to Bordeaux to enjoy a one-year working holiday in the south of France. Your friendly neighbourhood terroirist needs a chance to sit back, relax, and drink some local wine while marvelling at winters without snow. While I may be back sometime in 2007, this will be my last regular theGentries posting before becoming a blogger emeritus. It's been vivid.

Pulling out of Toronto was bittersweet

Oh, and as a parting gift: the new leader of the federal Liberal party will be from Toronto. If it isn't Ignatieff (who still hasn't followed in Peggy Nash's footsteps and consented to an interview with theGentries), it will be former Parkdale - High Park MPP Gerrard Kennedy. Forget what the Globe et al are saying about him playing kingmaker, he's the most likely candidate to benefit from an 'anybody but Iggy' move. You heard it here first.

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