AC Newman

Ben gets to experience a true Canadian delicacy whilst CouchSurfing in Toronto 

After saying goodbye to Joey and thanking him for having me I went in search of a small cafe that he had recommended so that I could try out these apparently wonderful crepes which until now I had never before actually eaten.

And stuffed full of banana, pineapple and a variety of berries this warm breakfast was made all the more sweeter being served with fresh ice cream and coffee which after my fifteen hour long power nap it was just what the Doctor had

...The morning that followed was relaxed and it wasn't until later in the day that I left Joey's place to make the hour long walk with my backpack across town to my second CouchSurfing host, Peter.

Upon opening the door I instantly warmed to Peter and was, like with Joey, made to feel right at home the moment I stepped inside.

Away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto this small town house looked deceivingly small from outside on the street but in fact was two loosely separated flats across four floors. Inside, the first thing I had to do was change as it was clear I had massively underestimated just how hot I was going to get walking the 5km whilst carrying my rucksack. So with my t-shirt hanging to dry Peter was quick to make me feel at home in offering me a much needed cup of tea during which I was told just how much I apparently look like a Canadian artist, AC Newman, who apparently plays in the New Pornographers - I'll let you judge for yourself if he is right or not... just Google him!

Tea drunk and it was off to pick up some beer for the evening ahead; an event in itself which would turn out to be quite a Canadian experience - for in Canada all alcohol is controlled by the State and so unlike at home you can't simply pick up a bottle of tequila along with your weetabix. Instead, you have to buy your drinks separate from your groceries at either The Beer Store or the Liqueur Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

The only thing I don't really get about this system is why they separate beer from liqueur as it would surely make more sense and be cheaper if you sold it in the same place. That said, the big advantage is that the range of drink available in either The Beer Store or the LCBO is much higher than at home in the UK.
Good company, interesting conversation, board games and beer... this is what CouchSurfing is all about
With records gently playing in the background and maple syrup scented candles warmly filling the air we spent the night with Peter's good friends in the upstairs apartment where their collective hospitality was so very warm and welcoming it felt as if I was among friends of many years and hard to believe I had met them only hours ago.

Then finally at the end of the night before going to bed I got the opportunity to try for the first time real  maple syrup... and yeah, it was good. Real good. I just hope I get to experience this Canadian staple as much as the stereotype would suggest!