Sunday, 14 July 2019

5 Days In Toronto


The last stop on my America / Canada trip was Toronto. A city which I had heard so many good things about and one that was recently named the 'fastest growing city in North America'. Toronto is made up of neighbourhoods each with their own distinctive character. We stayed in the King West Village neighbourhood, which was the perfect place to explore the city from.

DAY 1:
We arrived late on Friday evening (our flight was delayed) and headed straight for something to eat at Big Smoke Burger. This was a fast-food place just around the corner from where we were staying. After we had eaten, we walked around the Entertainment District to see what it was like. There had been a massive basketball game on that evening: Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors, and it felt like every single person in the city was out celebrating Toronto's win! It was amazing to see how passionate they all were and experience the buzz of the city like that. There are loads of bars and clubs in and around the Entertainment District so this is the place to go if you want to go out - we decided to come back to this area later in our stay.


DAY 2:
We got up early and headed to a grocery store to grab some breakfast stuff for us to eat at our Airbnb (by this point in our trip we'd spent quite a lot on food so decided to stop eating out for breakfast). Afterwards, we walked to our first sight in Toronto: the Toronto Sign. This sits in front of the Toronto City Hall, which provides a really nice backdrop. The sign lights up at night but unfortunately we didn't have time to go back here. Once we'd got a few pictures, we carried on walking to the St. Lawrence Market for lunch. This has the biggest selection of cheeses, meats, prepared foods and baked goods that I've ever seen - it's no wonder that National Geographic named it the best food market in the world! We looked up beforehand which stands were highly recommended and headed for these ones; Uno Mustachio for an Italian Sandwich and Chrurasco's for a Portuguese Custard Tart. Next we walked to the Distillery District - this day involved a lot of walking and we could have got a tram instead but it was just as easy to walk. The Distillery District is made up of quaint brick buildings and cobblestone streets. Aside from the numerous breweries and distilleries you can visit, there are also lots of art installations and galleries here. We wandered the streets looking at the various artwork and browsing the boutique shops. We also visited IZUMI - Ontario's first sake brewery. My boyfriend tried their sake taster menu whilst I opted for their sake ice cream. You can do a tour of the brewery and learn how they make their products, however we decided not to do this.


We decided to go the scenic route back to our Airbnb by walking along the harbourfront. There are lots of green spaces along here, providing a place to relax away from the busy city. Also, you're able to catch ferries across to the Toronto Islands from the harbourfront, which is something that we would have done if we'd had an extra day in the city. For dinner, we went to Wilbur Mexicana. This is a very popular burrito and taco place, so expect to queue! The food is definitely worth the wait - I would go as far as saying that their Veggie Burrito is the best burrito I've ever had. The road that Wilbur Mexicana is on has loads of bars so we went for a few drinks afterwards at Bar Hop and N'awlins Jazz Bar.


DAY 3:
It takes just over 1.5 hours to get from Toronto to Niagara Falls so of course we had to do a day trip here. I would recommend getting here early(ish - we arrived at 11.30am) and spending 4/5 hours here should be plenty of time to see the falls. If you're planning on going on the Hornblower - the boat which takes you right up to Niagara Falls - then you need to book this online as people who hadn't booked in advance were queueing for ages. We went on the Hornblower and it was amazing being able to get that close to the falls. Afterwards, we walked around for a bit and then relaxed on the grass. We could have got a bus from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake - a small town at the mouth of Niagara River - but we would have been a bit pushed for time. This town does look really pretty though so I reckon it would be worth a visit if you have time.


We were exhausted after we got back from Niagara Falls so we decided to have a chilled night in and order Domino's Pizza. Please don't judge that we went to the other side of the world and still ate Domino's...


DAY 4:
It rained all day on our last full day in Toronto so we decided to go to the Royal Ontario Museum. The architecture of this museum is so cool - even if you don't have time to go inside the museum, you should walk past so you get to see the outside. The museum has a massive variety of exhibitions on art, culture and natural history. Whilst we were there, there was an exhibition on biodiversity and extinction which was really interesting. The rain had stopped when we'd finished at the museum so we decided to walk to Kensington Market via University of Toronto. Graduation ceremonies were happening at the university as we were walking through the campus and, not gonna lie, it was really making me wish I was back at uni! Kensington Market is a bohemian neighbourhood that's full of indie shops, vintage boutiques and art - everywhere else we'd been in Toronto was full of high-rise buildings but this neighbourhood only has low-rise houses. We had a wander around to look at the graffiti and then grabbed lunch from FIKA Cafe. Afterwards, we walked on to the West Queen West neighbourhood - Vogue recently named this as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world! There's a mixture of well-known shops and homegrown labels so it's definitely the place to hit up for a spot of shopping.

For dinner, we headed to Momofuku Noodle Bar (their steamed buns are incredible!). There's also a Milk Bar within the restaurant (I spoke about this bakery in my New York post) so we finally got to try the famous 'crack pie' and I also bought a few of the cookies to take home for my family. Later that evening there was an NBA Finals basketball game in Toronto and the city was buzzing for it. We decided to go to a bar to watch it - it took a few attempts as most of them were full! Unfortunately, Toronto Raptors didn't win the game we watched but it was still exciting to watch it amongst their supporters. I would definitely recommend going to a basketball game whilst you're in Toronto if there's one on or even watching one in a bar to experience the atmosphere.


DAY 5:
On our last day we went to one of the main attractions in Toronto: the CN Tower. We bought the ticket that gave us access to 2 observation levels - the LookOut Level gave us incredible 360 degree views of the city and we also walked on the famous glass floor at 342 metres above the ground. Apparently, on a clear day, you can see up to 100 miles away!


We had one final walk around King West Village before heading back to Wilbur Mexicana for an early dinner. Afterwards, we got a Lyft to the airport and before we knew it we were home from our amazing trip!

Hopefully I've given you some ideas if you're planning on visiting Toronto. It's such an interesting city and I'm sure we'll hear lots more about it over the next few years as it continues to grow. Are you wanting to visit Toronto?
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6 comments

  1. Love your trip photos! I went to Toronto a few years ago and it's such a wonderful city. Niagara Falls is well worth the trip, a day I will remember forever. Loved the CN Tower too, it offers such amazing views of the city. Hope you had an amazing time xx

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    1. Thank you! I loved Toronto, definitely somewhere I could see myself living in the future x

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  2. Love Toronto! It's such a fun city with a ton to do! You've laid out some great ideas of things to do there, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes there's so much to do there! You're welcome x

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  3. A place on my lust list to visit, it just looks amazing! x

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    1. I hope you get to visit! It's one of my favourite places x

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