Last week I had the thrill (and honor) of going to Toronto for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine awards.
(Helpful notes: Do not wear jeans with an extra inside coin pocket. Do not have tissue in your pocket. Do not sport too many rings. The security personnel were very calm and kind but it took me forever to get through).
Other than that I cannot recommend Porter Airlines more if you are traveling from Halifax to Montreal or Toronto or beyond.
I stayed in a fabulous hotel (with luxurious sheets and no bed bugs!) by the waterfront. This is the view from my window. There is ALWAYS construction going on in Toronto.
Like New York, Toronto is a walking city. It’s set up on a grid (like Manhattan) and I found it very easy to find my way around especially since I’d fall into Lake Ontario if I went too far South. I loved the mix of old and new architecture. At one point in my exploration I found myself walking up Bay Street while all the commuting pedestrians were walking in the opposite direction. I felt like the one lone salmon fighting against the tide. It was exhilarating.
(I know, I’m weird).
White Pine was on the second day. About 8,000 Ontario students attended over the 2 days of festivities. I signed books, a Kindle, and a frisbee. Less cool, was signing while waiting in the bathroom line. By the end of 2 hours my hand was cramped into a claw-shape but I was infinitely grateful. There is nothing like meeting your readers face to face.
Here’s a pic of the White Pine nominees on stage:
If you squint I’m all the way on the left.
BY the way, Done with Dolls played the center stage throughout the day and they ROCKED it. Punk-rock teenage girl band playing a mix of covers and originals. I could not have been happier. You can check them out here
Later at the cocktail party I had the thrill of meeting “Maestro Fresh-Wes” Williams, the rapper (“Let Your Backbone Slide”) and TV star. Here’s me and my publicist, Nikole (who used to make up dance routines to his songs) with him.
And finally, on my last day in beautiful Toronto I walked up to the Scholastic Canada offices to do a Skype interview with St. Joseph’s school in South-western Ontario.
And me with my favorite big, red dog: