Two SRCY peals in Toronto
It's pretty rare to get a chance to ring a 12-bell peal in North America -and not as common as one might assume elsewhere. Don Morrison organized and conducted two of them in Toronto in mid-November, which turned out to be the only 12-bell peals scored for the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths' annual peal weekend. The first was of Plain Bob Cinques, followed by Plain Bob Maximus, a first Max on tower bells for more than half the band, both thanks to the patience and help of the conductor and the other experienced 12-bell ringers. Mark Androlia's partner Bea gets the award for patience--she not only listened to the peals, she took the bands' photos on an ever-growing series of cameras afterwards.
The weekend included a practice with some Toronto ringers not in the peal bands, as well as Sunday service ringing. Baby Keegan demonstrated his acclimatization to bell music by sleeping in the ringing chamber while both his parents (Mike Hinton and Olivia Gamache) rang; he objected only when the ringing stopped!
Not much time was left to enjoy the other delights of Toronto, but the peal ringers did their best. Luckily St. Lawrence Market was a few minutes' walk from the tower, which provided interesting lunches--the local specialty is peameal bacon sandwiches--as well as interesting sights. Dinner at Le Papillon, an inspired choice by Robin Clarke, gave the opportunity to try a delicious Quebecois meat pie called Tourtière. A couple of people visited the Palm House at the nearby botanical gardens, and those who strolled along the waterfront found a newly-installed wave-like boardwalk, which was steep enough to warrant the handrails. Nobody attempted to go up the CN tower; instead we got to admire it disappearing in the fog. Clearly a visitor to Toronto needs to build in as much time to explore as to ring!