Travel Review: 2022 Mazda CX-9 – Toronto East

2022 Mazda CX-9: Dynamic Drive With The 3-row SUV

Mazda’s big SUV, the CX-9 has the characteristics of the current generation Mazda vehicles. The CX-9 is a vehicle to drive and enjoy. Despite being a three-row midsize SUV, it feels and drives like a smaller vehicle than it actually is. The steering setup, the suspension and the powertrain all work in harmony and this SUV is a mature example of the Skyactive technology Mazda has been developing for at least two decades.

The front and middle seats provide excellent comfort. The third row is too tight as is the case with most middle-sized SUVs

McNally: A Place I Wish Continues to Exist

With a friend and her son from the USA, both dedicated readers, we visited the Eastern part of downtown Toronto in mid-August. The area around the Historic Distillery District has been flourishing particularly since and thanks to the 2015 Pan American games. He surprised me by telling me that while they were in Toronto, she and her son wanted to visit a bookstore I did not know.

2022 Mazda CX-9. Toronto East
The old houses with galleries, specialty stores and other buildings can hardly resist new condos

Thanks to her I discovered a great place in Toronto, the Ben McNally’s bookstore.

We spent about an hour in the small place at 400 King Street East.

This was a nostalgic visit that took me to my university years in Istanbul where I used to discuss with the owner of one of the small and old bookstores and recommendations led to the purchase of a history book or a classic novel I had been searching for. On this side of the ocean and several decades later, I spent some time scanning the shelves without a particular ‘target’. I was expecting to discover a title that would provoke my curiosity. This happened to be a work of Adam Shoalts: “A History of Canada in Ten Maps”. I am confident that this book will be a good read once my busiest days are over.

It was a pleasure to spend time at McNally’s bookstore and scanning the shelves to find the book that would stimulate your reading appeal

My friends chose not less than 5 paperbacks that they said, couldn’t find at their neighbourhood bookstore in Raleigh, NC. I was proud to live in Toronto when this small place with not-so-small history and with rich content could deliver what they wanted. While Ben was busy preparing online orders for some customers, Ben’s daughter was working to display a bunch of books in the small window with a smile on her face.

McNally will soon move to another location. Please stay tuned

Ben McNally Books originally opened in September 2007. Many Toronto bibliophiles know Ben from his long time as the manager of Nicholas Hoare Books.

McNally’s doesn’t specialize in any one genre, but if there’s a focus on a particular type of book, it’d be on what Ben jokingly calls “the good ones,” those nice-looking hardcovers that people tend to want to keep around for the long haul, whether it be history, biography or fiction (genres in which he’s well stocked).

As the bookseller for the Harbourfront Reading Series, he also has quite many signed editions from some of the authors who’ve participated over the years. 

I wish that this historic bookstore will continue to exist in its future place

For those who don’t already have a title in mind, and who’d like some hands-on guidance or recommendations, Ben is happy to help. It’s the interactive experience that independent bookstores build their reputation on.

While this may seem obvious, it’s clear that Ben takes pride in helping people with their book selections, noting, for instance, how many regular customers he has and how often he consults with people participating in book clubs.

Ben’s daughter decorating the window: A moment that looks nostalgic to me even now

The Historic Distillery District

As we were so close to the Historic Distillery District, a visit to the best collection of the 19. Century Victorian industrial architecture in North America seemed almost inevitable.

After we parked our Mazda CX-9, we walked on cobblestone streets while I was explaining to Nikki the tragic and exciting story of the Woods and Goderham Distillery which ended up being the biggest distillery in the world.

To have a quick and hopefully delicious lunch, we stopped at Wildly Delicious.

Wildly Delicious is the place if you want a quick and delicious bite during your Distillery visit

Wildly Delicious is a place that doesn’t even look like a place to eat.  However, they have a menu made up of delicious hamburgers, sandwiches and desserts. My burger with cheese was nothing ordinary, and will probably make me return to this place soon. This place does not have a large seating area but is very quaint. The shop along with the small restaurant beautifully displays and sells cheeses, oils, preserves and sauces. Worth a visit when you are at the Distillery.

2022 Mazda CX-9

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