The Wondering of the Famous 6ix
Before Dominique flew back to Canada we asked her for her guide to her hometown...
I am from Toronto, born and raised! With the perspective of my travels and curiosity I’ve figured out an ideal travel guide for a few visiting days in Toronto.
This city offers a variety of everything from music, theatre, dance, science, art… it’s all there. Before departing to this winter wonderland, download the Google Maps app and the Uber app. Knowing when the subway or bus come is ideal and having a safe ride home after a wild night is key.
The main transportation in Toronto is the TTC. Which is made up of a few subway lines, streetcars, and a tone of buses going every direction you can think of. Additionally, Toronto, offers a variety of car sharing companies to choose form. This allows you to rent a car for not much for a short period of time!
Now for the actual city touring. I’d visit the CN tower on a clear day, and I’d have lunch or dinner in the 360 restaurants This restaurant features great cuisine combined with a revolving view of Toronto; it’s quite the experience. From there, you are pretty much in the centre of downtown. Walking around in any direction will bring you to variety of different neighbourhoods.
On a nice warm day, rent a bike (https://bikesharetoronto.com/4-waterfront-trails-need-bike/) to visit the famous lake Ontario. Personally, I always enjoy biking from Humber Bay shores all the way to the Beaches. This way you pass everything the Waterfront has to offer in Toronto. Don’t forget to stop at Lola’s Gelato for a nice sweet break (https://www.lolasgelato.com/). Although, if you are in Toronto during the winter time, I would instead, go to Blue Mountain for some winter activities!
East Toronto, visiting the Distillery District (https://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/) and walk to the Saint Lawrence market is a must. This is an ideal place to shop Canadian artists made products and have a delicious meal or a selection of snacks. Also, in the Distillery District there is a small chocolatery shop that serves mouthwatering gelato! Definitely worth the trip, make sure to bring a camera it’s a very photogenic place! Depending on what month you are visiting, the Distillery District caters different events. For instance, in February there is the Light Fest and during December there is a Christmas market (go during the week for a free entry rather than the weekend). From there I would take Front Street East to the Saint Lawrence market area.
Now for a small escape from the city, a day out to Niagara Falls (Plan your day with this site: https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/). I would stick to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls due to the variety it offers. Do not forget to take a boat ride to the edges of the fall (https://www.maidofthemist.com/) and walk around the iconic streets, such as Fallsview Boulevard! Once you are done with Niagara falls, I’d visit Niagara on the lake town (https://www.niagaraonthelake.com/); my favorite part, which will bring you back to the 1950s. Stroll around the historic old town for a while. If you have a little more time, book a hotel at the Queen’s Landing (https://www.vintage-hotels.com/queenslanding/) and take a tour around the wine country of Ontario (http://wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com/)! It will be a very relaxing and peaceful time, I promise you.
Now for a little more excitement, Young and Dundas square is the center of downtown Toronto. This is where the ‘New York’ in Toronto comes out. Right next to this is the massive shopping center the Eaton center. Spend a day wondering the streets; have a morning coffee at Balzac’s and try one of their banana and chocolate muffins (https://www.balzacs.com/locations/ryerson-image-arts/); I promise you it’s deliciously moist and fluffy!
In the afternoon head towards Nathan Philips square, where you’ll see Toronto City Hall, and make sure to take a picture with the Toronto Sign. If you are interested I would take a tour of Osgood Hall, one of the most historic law buildings in Toronto (https://lso.ca/about-lso/osgoode-hall-and-ontario-legal-heritage/osgoode-hall/visit-us). From here you’ll be on Queen Street West. Continue your walk down to this street and you’ll find yourself in one of the most ‘hip’ areas in Toronto. As you walk down the street, it will bring you to Chinatown. If Chinatown is not your vibe, then continue south to visit the other main streets such as Adelaide and King street. The aesthetic of the areas will change as you walk south. There is a number of great restaurants in this area, make a reservation for dinner or stop in for some lunch.
Toronto has a few neighbor’s worth seeing... depending on who you ask they will tell you a few different places. For instance, I’d tell you to visit Trinity Bellwood park starting from Ossington station and making your way towards the center of downtown. Have lunch at Nana (http://www.stnnana.com/main), an interestingly spicy, contemporary Thai fare served in a space resembling street-style eatery of Bangkok. Or checkout Terroni for some classic southern Italian cuisine (http://www.terroni.com/terroni-toronto/terroni-queen/). This street offers the Graffiti Alley, a multitude of gourmet food stops, and a fun atmosphere. Right after seeing Trinity Bellwood’s park area, I’d pay a visit to King street west! Here you will find a few nice cafés and boulangeries and for fitness you will find Soul Cycle; very nice neighborhood. Lastly, Kensington market, the more ‘Bob Marley’ center of Toronto. Where you’ll find a selection of vintage boutiques, bakeries and independent stores. If you are vegan there is a selection of restaurants here for you!
And now for a night out I’d visit the Adelaide street for a club or for late night cocktails, but we have a selection of other evening events, the Toronto symphony is a beautiful and serene sound at night. We additionally have the ballet, opera and theatre performances as well!
In my opinion, wondering around is the best way to get to know Toronto. That is how I’ve found certain restaurants and some of my favorite independent shops. Hope you will find some as well!