Barack Obama

Obama to Visit Toronto?

Barack Obama will visit Canada, making us his first foreign destination as President of the United States. No details of when, where or how have been released, and while it seems likely that he'll visit Ottawa, the possibility of ObaMania hitting Toronto, and maybe a sighting of Air Force One at Pearson, is enough to get me excited.

Despite the frustrating motorcades, increased security and media frenzy that follows Obama wherever he goes, the chance for Toronto to show off to the world, even if just for a few hours, is enough to get me thinking about the top spots the so-called "leader of the free world" should check out during his yet-unannounced swing through town.

I'm sure any time Obama would spend in Toronto would be tightly scheduled and not really include any sight-seeing, but I brainstormed some ways the President could spend his time outside the board- or ballrooms in town.

Given that he likes to sleep in and shoot hoops, I'll start my recommendations with lunch in Kensington Market, since the flavours and style of Augusta Ave are not to be missed by any visitor looking for a slice Toronto culture.

Although he's a hoops guy, it's hard to think of a better way for the President to understand the Canadian psyche than with a visit the the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although I'd like to say he should do a walking tour of the area after that, it's safe to say the Secret Service won't be that accommodating.

I'm a bit torn on dinner. I know the Obamas enjoy a good meal at good restaurants, but which Toronto eatery shows off Canadian/Toronto cuisine the best? For a more casual explore-a-neighbourhood feeling while still getting a top quality meal in a cozy space, I would gladly send the Prez to Silver Spoon. The continually-evolving menu truly highlights and underscores the beauty and deliciousness of eating seasonally. At the same time, on a clear night it's hard to steer a visitor away from the city's - indeed, perhaps the country's - top restaurant, Canoe. With service fit for a king (or, ahem, Obama) and superb Canadian cuisine, well, it would be a special dinner indeed.

At this point I'm sure Obama would have to take off, jetting out of town with a full belly and fond memories of T.O., although it would be a shame if he missed out on a show or film while in town.

Disagree with my picks? Have a better idea? Give your two cents in the comments on what and where Obama should go, should he stop by T.O. in '09.

Photo by renĂŠe I.A. mercuri.

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