We are settling in to our new Toronto routines. All of the families live in one apartment building here, and so there's a great energy - part college-dorm, part extended-family-holiday. We knock on the door when our next-door neighbor's pillow fights get too loud. We meet in the lobby and head to the local playground together. One of my English students just visited me, at 10:30pm in her fuzzy pajamas, to deliver her classwork and check on our next meeting date. It's all pretty fantastic.
Across the street from our apartment is a place called Metro Hall. It contains a branch of the Toronto Public Library, which thrilled us until we found out it's only an adult research library. So we are still trekking around trying to find a good children's library here in downtown.
Outside Metro Hall are some fun statues and fountains. Here is our favorite - these are our adopted pets for the season, the Babbits. This name is still under debate - we are trying to combine "rabbit" "bear" and "beaver", although some voters want to include "donkey" and "giraffe" as well. Nevertheless, we visit our pets on a regular basis, and we can even look down on them from our window, 20 stories up!
A description of the artwork can be found on page 5 of this PDF: http://www.toronto.ca/culture/pdf/artwalk_nov4_03.pdf
Today we launched new Toronto classes. Here are the girls clearly warming to their new ballet teacher, Angie, at the National Ballet School of Canada. It's a beautiful studio, in a beautiful building, six levels of soaring spaces with tons of glass and light and modern art. (it reminds me a bit of Ecole Nationale de Cirque actually). Feels quite exciting to be there, where the real ballerinas train!
And then Nastya started Kids Russian class today! It was an overly-large group, because the older kids are on summer break. So there were 11 energetic little people speaking four different languages in Nastya's apartment this afternoon, and I thought she did a great job. I'll do whatever I can to help this class keep going. My kids have homework, learning to write their names in Russian.