This is the second post in a three-part series.
After an eventful few days in Saskatchewan, Ashleigh’s journey continued on to Toronto; Canada’s largest city and economic hub, and where Nick and I currently reside. The polar vortex (read: your average Canadian winter) was in full effect, and Ash braved the -30 degree weather like a champ.
The trip included a stop to see the Niagara Falls, a must for any international visitor! I’ve been twice in the past two months, and the splendour of the falls continues to thrill me.
We also enjoyed lunch at one of Canada’s oldest pubs at Niagara-on-the-Lake. This picturesque town offers a multitude of vineyards and better dining options than touristy Niagara Falls.
Toronto is a big city, but luckily we had a solid week to show our international guest the sights of the Big Smoke. Ashleigh’s favourite part of the city was a toss-up between Kensington Market, where the Jewish community initially immigrated upon moving to Canada. She loved the colourful neighbourhood and vintage shopping. We also stopped for a tea and coffee break at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky.
She was also partial to Parkdale and Roncesvalles, two neighbourhoods that are in the process of gentrification. The result is an intriguing mix of old and new, where old Polish diners stand between trendy eateries, hip cafés, and boutique shopping. We did some damage at the locally-owned boutiques and specialty shops. If you haven’t tried a doughnut from Gloryhole (don’t let the outrageously offensive name deter you!), and a cappuccino from Cherry Bomb, you’re seriously missing out.
Toronto is a foodie’s dream with eclectic dining options for all palettes. We caught up for brunch with Mary, a fellow Torontonian who we met in New Zealand. We ventured to Dundas West (also on the brinks of gentrification) on one of the coldest days of the year for brunch at The Federal. The charming restaurant offers an excellent twist on the classic eggs benedict, the Eggs Federal, and bottomless coffee. It was the perfect way to start the morning.
I almost always fail to mention this when describing Ashleigh’s visit to Toronto, but she was fascinated by The PATH. The underground pedestrian mall was her saviour when leaving Union Station for my apartment. She even requested a photo or five:
Our favourite dinner was at La Carnita on College Street, a Mexican restaurant that pairs street art with street food. And let me tell ya, their street corn is my favourite thing on the menu. You need to try it! We finished off the night with drinks in the historic Distillery District and a drive to Cherry Street where you can see the city skyline from music venue, Sound Academy.
What are some of your must-see Toronto spots for international (and Canadian) tourists?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,