Adventures in Toronto

Me in to

Me in front of the Toronto sign from the 2016 PanAm & ParaPanAm Games.

Last week I flew off to Toronto to serve my 2nd term as a Community Representative for the Canadian MS Society. This year, I was assigned to the Clinical and Population Health grant review committee, which deals with research related to mental health/quality of life in relation to MS patients. It was really encouraging to know that researchers and clinicians are invested in finding ways of treating the whole patient and helping to address the unique mental and emotional challenges MS patients face living with this life-altering disease.

When I was packing for this trip, I was amused to discover that I actually had more NMO Awareness materials (& swag) than I had clothes in my suitcase. Such is the life of an advocate! It made for a much lighter bag on the way home, which was a plus!

2016 Clinical & Population Health Committee. Photo Credit: Dr. Karen Lee

2016 Clinical & Population Health Committee. Photo Credit: Dr. Karen Lee

It was wicked cold in Toronto-the day I arrived, it was -14C but I believe the wind chill factor made it even colder than that. Walking to the team dinner that night, my legs were totally numb from the cold within seconds. It was a sharp contrast to the +10C (spring-like temps) I’d left back at home in BC. BRRR!!


After my committee duties were done, I was able to meet up with Jenna for dinner and catch up. She took me to this fabulous Mexican restaurant called Caballitos, which not only had amazing food (which was great because after a long day of hardcore concentration, I was famished!) but they also had a live Mariachi band.

Photo credit: Jenna

Photo credit: Jenna

I can now say I’ve had an up close and person rendition of “Tequilla” played right in my ear!


Wednesday I “slept in” till 8:30 am (5:30 am my time) and then went off in search of brekki. After breakfast, I had a few hours to explore, so I wandered the streets for 3 hours, taking photos and checking out the city. There’s something really lovely about being anonymous in a strange city and exploring it alone. As an artist, the thing I love best is finding all the graffiti and street art. These elements give texture to a city.

Municipal Hall (Old City Hall)

Municipal Hall (Old City Hall)

I also really love architecture and Toronto has some beautiful buildings.

My next trip will be to LA in March for NMO Patient Day. I had better get my flight booked! Hope to see YOU there!

Jan 2016
POSTED BY Lelainia Lloyd

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