Toronto -Je t’aime

Written by Michelle Natalia

So Toronto aye? Some people get it and some people I told I was going did not but Toronto left me wanting more!  Granted I knew 4 days and 3 nights may have not been enough for a stay, it was all I had to work with having a full time job and being a single mom. We all have priorities. Visiting Toronto was at the top of my eastern seaboard list.

The Vibe

It is called the New York of Canada and with good reason, Toronto is busy! People are lined up down the streets in the downtown area pretty much like New York but it is uniquely different in its own right. I got the sense of a large population around nine million courtesy of Google, however there was no sense of urgency like New York. There was a sense of calm to it. The downtown area around Eaton Centre reminded me of a mini Times Square with bright lights, shops and even a sex shop or two in the vicinity! I found it all quite refreshing the old mixed with the new, classic architecture and sparkling modernistic gleaming towers as far as the eye could see.

The Sights

Toronto is a visual treat for the eyes with the futuristic CN Tower hovering over the city like a space age UFO has landed.  The beautiful Lake Ontario cradling the city. As we rode thru the highway from one end of the city center to the other, nature and man-made structures merged into one. I really felt I was transported to the future perhaps. I’ve never felt like this in any city I have traveled to except perhaps Dubai, but Dubai felt manufactured however Toronto did not. With all the futuristic Vibes Toronto seemed still warm in a sense most of the people was really friendly and had an old world sense to them.

 The Eats

My boyfriend and I had a list of places to eat, I always make a list prior to any trip that way you do not waste your entire time wondering where to go and eat! Before you know it the day is wasted, I highly recommend this! Our first stop was the St. Lawrence Market in Old Town. It is set up in a brick hall style building. There are tons of food and trinket vendors there as well as restaurants. We stopped at Paddington’s to get a peameal sandwich. What is peameal you might ask? Well its basically ham. Very good ham! We also picked up some butter tarts (highly recommended),  brie cheese, fruit and wine for our apartment.

 On our list was Eggspectaction for brunch and it came with rave reviews. We parked our rental car and proceeded in search of it, located in office building it was a bit of a task to find and I almost gave up but I am so happy I didn’t. Twenty minutes we found it, a cute not cozy café of sorts with white chairs and diner style tables serving every brunch and lunch options available. Lobster Benny’s, French Toast, Burgers, Steak to Crepes and fresh fruit juices everything was available. It was clear my research had paid off!  The food was great and the service was fast. We ate there the next day too so it is highly recommended.


Activity Time

After stuffing our faces we headed to the CN Tower to do some sightseeing, and much to our surprise everything we wanted to do was all in very closure quarters of one another. The Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium was there as well as Rogers Field! We got to kill three birds with one stone. I purchased the Toronto City pass which gives you access the CN Tower, the Aquarium, The Royal Ontario Museum, Castle Loma, and the Toronto Zoo (which was closed during our visit) for about $60 American dollars, totally worth it if you plan on doing at least 4 activities. The CN Tower was ok in my opinion we got to walk on a glass floor partition and walk outside in a screened in look out point, I was a bit disappointed as I thought we would have an unobstructed view of the city. We spent a total of about 35 minutes there. Off to the Aquarium next, this was maybe one of the biggest highlights of our trip. This was next level! The exhibits felt so interactive with a glass walkway enclosure with sea creatures swimming all around you! Maybe I am a big kid but I loved it all so much.

Running thru the Six

The nightlife in Toronto is very much about that life with some of today’s hottest stars hailing from Canada it’s no surprise. The only thing is if you are from New York prepare to go out early this was a bit hard for me and my boyfriend as we normally head out around 12 and most places in the 6ix close their guest list around 11-1130! I had a few places on my list to check out for the nightlife scene and only ended up going to one of them lol. The Everleigh plays hip hop on Fridays and has a relaxed vibe to it. Fairly easy to get in and the drinks are reasonable at around $8. On Thursday we wound up at Lost and Found by fair chance of my having an instafriend that worked bottle service there. I would not advise this as an easy place to get in they do have a guest list but they focus on bottle service customers. Once you get in it is a cool basement vibe with a dope DJ and fairly empty bar thanks to all the bottle service customers! Drinks are $8 CD there as well. On Saturday we attempted to go to Rebel, which looked amazing online with a laser light show and theatrical dancers to boot! I say attempted because NY people being anywhere to a club before 11:30 is impossible. I was on the online guest list and made it there just on time but the size of the crowd was monumental . People were getting dropped off about a half a mile away! We lined up after paying 20CD for parking and headed to the long guest list line where we were told if you signed up online you were in the wrong line head to general admission. Bummer, we really wanted to get inside but the line was looking like a two hour wait! So if you wish to go to Rebel get there at 10pm.

Where to Crash

For accommodations we stood at a luxury Airbnb condo which I highly recommend. There are tons of different styles and areas to suite anyone’s lifestyle. We rented ours in the Fort York area which was about a 10 minute drive from the city center. So last minute tips! Take in a game basketball or baseball depending on what season you go and do have a sausage from the carts outside! Check out the world class aquarium, go to the St Lawrence Market and try a maple butter pie from the Carousel Bakery! Toronto I will be back in the summer time!