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Our typical spring driving outing took a new twist this year, and one that all participating in it thoroughly enjoyed.  Doug Pengelly suggested that we make it into a “adventure hunt rally” and focus it on downtown Toronto.  That way most people wouldn’t have too far to drive for our first road trip of the year, and our members would get an opportunity to learn some new and interesting things about our city.

We gathered at the Grenadier Restaurant parking lot in High Park (our summer monthly meeting locale) and set off on the hunt armed with eight pages of directions (meticulously prepared by Doug Pengelly and Jennifer Webster) and a map of Toronto in case interpreting directions went horrendously wrong.

Earlier that morning we had a strong hail storm that dumped about marble sized ice pellets throughout the city, but by the time the event started rain had for the most part subsided except for a couple of liquid downbursts that we encountered along the way. A little dampness didn’t deter us one iota from the fun!  Doug’s course had us on the road for about two hours answering a bunch of skill testing questions that we had to discover the answers to along the way.  For example, did you know that the Liberty Grand building at the CNE was once the Ontario government building?  Or that the west end of Queen’s Park (the legislature) was destroyed by a fire in 1901?  I got to discover that Casa Loma had 9 bathrooms in it.  And that awesome custard tarts are available from the Caldense Bakery & Pastry shop – a Portuguese icon at 335 Symington Ave.

We ran through various neighbourhoods soaking in (literally) the diverse culture that Toronto has to offer.  And with almost a dozen Citroëns darting about, we left people scratching their heads in amazement from seeing a bunch of Citroens in downtown Toronto.

Doug had it planned that we all end up back at the High Park Curling Club.  Timing wasn’t the factor for winning the event.  It was all about getting the questions answered corrrectly.  Larry Lewis and his navigator Agnès Sesboue won first place event.  John McCulloch and Chris Deja placed second and Marijke and George Dyke managed a 3rd place finish.  We had a lovely BBQ lunch capped off by an award ceremony where everyone got a prize for participating.  As we dined, the skies cleared and the sun graced us for some photos before we departed with unanimous resolve that we will have to do another “adventure hunt rally” next year.

Thanks to Doug and Jennifer for organizing this event.  What a way to kick-off the year!


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