After crossing the Canadian border and driving a few more hours, we arrived in Toronto to see the Yankees play on back to back days – this time against the Blue Jays. But before we went to Rogers Centre where they play, we visited the CN Tower: the tallest free-standing structure in the Western hemisphere (1,815.4 feet).
We took an elevator to the observation deck (not even the highest one, though), which was 1,135 feet high. Climbing at about 15 miles/hour, we got there in just under a minute. On a clear day you could apparently see 100 miles into the distance, but today was pretty cloudy. We still saw so much though, from Great Lake Ontario on one side, to the roofs of some skyscrapers waaaaay below us all around. We could see the top of the domed Rogers Stadium, and a glass floor allowed us to look straight down to the ground which was pretty cool too.
And I’m not too sure what this meant, but I’m pretty sure they don’t allow dancing this high up for some reason.
Literally right at the base of the CN Tower is Rogers Centre, previously known as SkyDome (until Rogers Communication bought the Blue Jays in 2005). It has a big gray concrete exterior, but large windows of different shades of blue help to make it look pretty nice. Plus there’s a humongous white retractable roof that makes it actually look like some sort of futuristic spaceship. When this venue opened up in 1989, it was the first American stadium with a fully retractable roof. And this rare technology was expected to cause many other teams to follow with similar designs, but they surprisingly didn’t until almost a decade later (Chase, Safeco, and Minute Maid appeared between ’98 and ’00). So it was definitely a unique ballpark for quite a while… and still is, since it’s now the only major league stadium located out of the country.
Once inside, the narrow first-level concourse really wasn’t the most attractive we’ve seen, as we were just surrounded by concrete walls with a gigantic air vent a few feet above us. We could tell the local anchors were sure enjoying it though.
The coolest part about Rogers Centre was the connected Renaissance Hotel that has 70 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that look right into the stadium from the outfield!
Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to see the roof open because it was rainy all day, so it was basically a closed dome like Tropicana Field in Tampa. And I guess the plan was to have the roof closed most of the time, since they decided to use artificial AstroTurf instead of real grass on the field. Two negatives in my book, but I guess it’s the price you have to pay when you play ball in Canada.
There were many different food options, like a Canadian Smoked Meat sandwich (similar to corned beef) or a sirloin sandwich, but the smell of the grilled onions lured me to the footlong hotdog stand. Grilled peppers also topped the dog along with the onions, and the frank was perfectly grilled so the skin was nice and crispy. It was pretty hard to pick up, but I eventually figured it out and it was delicious.
We followed the Yanks from Detroit here to Toronto (except we drove through hours of rain and they didn’t), and it was another display of New York’s powerful lineup. They scored 3 runs off Jays starter Ricky Romero, and 7 more in the final 2 innings (including yet another homer by Mark Teixeira, and a two-run double by Ichiro – both shown here with my awesome picture-taking timing).
Yanks pitcher Freddy Garcia was pretty good today too, allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings. Towards the end of the game, one of the Blue Jays fans was so fed up by his team’s performance, he threw a roll of toilet paper from the upper deck and it unraveled and landed on one lucky woman’s lap. Another first for us this summer!
Starting pitchers: Ricky Romero (L) – 7 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 R (2 ER), 2 Ks; Freddy Garcia – 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 Ks
Homers: Kelly Johnson, Mark Teixeira
Next stop: 8/11 Chicago White Sox (vs. Oakland A’s)