Day Trip: Toronto

Having lived in Toronto for 9 years, I never thought too much about taking a day trip there. But now that I’ve moved away, it was fun to plan a small day trip with three friends to my favourite places!

We started the day in the Distillery District, walking in and out of the small shops that are there and snapping some pics at the new lock wall.

2015-08 Toronto

We then made our way to the St. Lawrence Market, but I forgot it was Monday and the Market is closed on Mondays. Whoops! It’s worth a walk around.

By that time we were all pretty hot and hungry, so we stopped for some apps and ciders at Fionn MacCool’s.

We then walked to the ferry to spend the afternoon on Toronto Island, my favourite place in the whole city!

2015-08 Toronto

The ferry affords some amazing views of the skyline, and was nice and refreshing after the heat in the city.

I think my favourite part of the day was renting this quadracycle!

2015-08 Toronto

It was an amazing way to see a bit more of the island, since our time there was limited.

2015-08 Toronto

We rode all the way to Ward’s island, where we took a few more pictures.

2015-08 Toronto

We were all a little surprised how well we were coordinated, all the way down to our bags!

2015-08 Toronto

We had a fantastic time!!

We timed our return to the ferry perfectly, and walked right on to head back to meet a few more friends for dinner and trip back to the Sky Dome Rogers Centre to watch David Price and the Blue Jays. Sadly, this game wasn’t nearly as excited as the one I attended the Saturday before, but I don’t think any game this season has been.

Snakes & Lattes

First, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Canada Day!

When I was visiting Toronto in May, my very good friend, T, who you might remember from our trip to Peru, suggested we go to Snakes & Lattes for dinner and some board games, and it was a fabulous suggestion! Sadly, I had to change the date at the last minute, so it was no longer a double date but a nice visit with her, RB and I.

The menu was small but the food I ordered was delicious. And they have about a thousand board games, varying in difficulty from easy to extreme, to choose from. The best part, in my opinion, is that they have game experts who come around and give you the run down of how to play. That way, if you want to play something you haven`t played before, you don`t have to sit for hours reading the rule book!

We choose to learn how to play Ra, an auction and set-collection game with an Ancient Egyptian theme. I quite enjoyed it!

2015-05-23 Snakes & Lattes

2015-05-23 Snakes & Lattes

T then convinced RB that we should play Agricola, a games that T and I played for hours on end. T is a fantastic strategist, and I was nervous about the setup for Agricola, but RB said he enjoyed it, though it was a bit overwhelming.

2015-05-23 Snakes & Lattes

2015-05-23 Snakes & Lattes

 

I will definitely be making plans to go back again when I`m back in Toronto!

Playing Tour Guide: A Week in the Toronto Area

During my 5 weeks back in Canada (and RB’s 2), we were lucky to have two visitors from the Netherlands for 5 days, and we sure made the most of it!

R&S arrived on Saturday morning, where we picked them up from the airport, with my dad as chauffeur. We drove to the Holiday Inn Downtown Toronto so they could shower and change, and we could drop off our stuff.
We set off on foot to Big Smoke Burgers, my favourite place to get burgers in Toronto! And they definitely didn’t disappoint. We each had a burger, and shared two poutines between the four of us. I was in heaven!

After our late lunch, given the weather was as clear as it was, we set off for the CN Tower. It was busy with tourists, like ourselves, but the view up there really can’t be matched!

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip
Westward facing view

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip
On the glass floor
2015-05-23 Toronto Trip
On the glass floor

We walked from the CN Tower to my old ‘hood – the St. Lawrence Market, where we found a lovely west-facing patio for some drinks and conversation. When the sun had set, we moved on to C’est What for dinner, and an evening at the Bier Markt, where RB and I first met back in 2011.

The next day we walked down Yonge street and found a place for a nice breakfast, and continued on our way to Wheel Excitement on the Waterfront to rent bikes for the day. (They are all Dutch, so you had to know there’d be bikes in there somewhere! We biked along the western waterfront, through the construction, to the Palais Royale, where we crossed the bridge and back along King Street to Spadina. There, we parked our bikes and walked the rest of the way to the Sky Dome Rogers Centre, where we grabbed tickets and saw the first 7 innings of the Jays against the Seattle Mariners.

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

After the game, we jumped back on our bikes and rode to the east waterfront and into the Beaches, where we ran into one of my friends who lives there! Our route took us part way along the City of Toronto Eastern Ravine and Beaches Discovery Walk, which was a great starting point for our tour. Because of timing, we didn’t stay too long in the Beach, and managed to get the bikes back to the store on time despite the (still) ongoing construction along Queen’s Quay.  We jumped on a (new!) streetcar and (new!) subway to get back to the hotel for a shower and change before heading for dinner at the Mill Street Brewery and some drinks at Betty’s.

On Monday we were up early to pick up our rental car and stopped at the Brick Street Bakery for a delicious and simple breakfast before leaving Toronto. We also stopped briefly at Betty’s, since RB had forgotten his jacket there the night before. Though I had called earlier and was assured it wasn’t there by the gentleman who answered, it was hanging just where RB was sure he’d left it the night before.

We made the obligatory trek to Niagara Falls, where we walked along the path by the falls.

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

After a quick drive up Clifton Hill, the super kitchy part of Niagara Falls, we took the scenic route along the Niagara Parkway to Niagara on the Lake.

We checked into our hotel, the Canterbury Inn, dropped our things off and decided to go to one of the Trius at Hillebrand for lunch and a winery tour. The lunch, while expensive, was delicious, and the wine chose, a riesling, is my new go-to summer wine in Ontario. I’m not so sure it’s available in the Netherlands! We got vouchers for a wine tasting with our lunch, so we headed over to the store to try a few more of the Trius wines before the tour of the winery. The tour ended up being a special ice wine tour, which was more expensive than the regular tour because of the tasting afterwards, and since we’d each already tasted one of their ice wines and decided that was sufficient, and we’d all been on tours of wineries before, we decided to head back to Niagara on the Lake to walk around the town.

After much debate, we ended up at the Angel Inn for dinner. It was cosy and warm and the food was delicious, and we decided to stay for drinks after dinner.

The next day we had a quick breakfast at the hotel, then drove to Orangeville for lunch with my parents. My mom pulled out all the stops, and it was extra nice to have a home-cooked meal after two days of restaurants.

From Orangeville we made the long trek to Anstruther Lake, with a relatively short stop in Lindsay for food and drinks on the way. The boys BBQ’d, which sparked many a discussion of the best kind of BBQ – coal or gas.

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

The next day at the cottage, we went for a long hike by the waterfalls between Anstruther Lake and Rathbun Lake. I’ve done this hike before and would do it again a thousand times. Maybe not with canoe equipment, though…

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

And despite not being a particularly hot day, and the water being frigid, the boys went for a swim. S and I opted to not.

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

2015-05-23 Toronto Trip

We also introduced R&S to Monopoly Deal, which we played for most of the night!

On Thursday we cleaned up our things and were on our way back to Toronto. We stopped at Yorkdale for some shopping and the Keg for a steak dinner before dropping R&S off at the airport.

It was an amazing trip, and I was so glad to be able to show R&S around!