Toronto was most definitely one of my favourite places that I visited on my trip over the other side of the pond. I felt really at home in the area that I stayed in, and I wish I'd given myself a lot longer there.
Check out my other posts from this trip: Ottawa, Montreal, New York City, and Brooklyn!
I felt pretty anxious when I got to Toronto, as I was on my own and I wasn't 100% sure which would be the best way to get to where I was staying. The wifi in the airport was terrible, so I just decided to hop in a cab - which turned out to be a much better idea than I imagined!
My driver was so unbelievably friendly & chatty, and really made me feel at ease. It was cheaper than I thought it'd be too, so I gave him a big tip to thank him for making my first experience of Toronto so lovely.
I was exhausted and it was getting late, so I just unpacked, ate some dinner and went to bed!
I stayed in another AirBnb of course, and this one was a lovely big old house on a tree-lined street in Parkdale, just a few minutes walk from Queen West Street. The couple who hosted me were so chatty and interesting, and had loads of weird and wonderful things around their home, as well as a gorgeous little cat, called Fish.
I loved staying here in my big comfy bed, and the location couldn't have been better for me.
On my first full day, I decided to just wander along Queen West Street. This long road has so many great shops, cafes and bars, and loads of arty things. I loved it a lot, and it felt like home, but a bit cooler.
I loved just wandering along and seeing what I stumbled upon.
Some vintage shops to check out:
• Public Butter
• Common Sort
• Future of Frances Watson
• House of Vintage
I wandered further towards downtown, passing lots of coffee joints and more shops. I popped into a couple, but my favourite was The Paper Place, which is probably the best stationery shop I've ever been into! Everything was so beautiful, and they had everything you could possibly want.
Shops to pop into:
I got downtown eventually, and popped into the mall for a bit before meeting up with some relatives that I hadn't seen for about 15 years or so! I was worried it would be awkward having not spoken to them in so long, but I felt really comfortable with them and it was a great evening.
We had dinner be the harbour. The food wasn't anything special, but it was nice to be right by the water and to catch up with my family. They thought I was really brave to be travelling by myself!
The next day, I decided to explore some of the roads off Queen West. I headed off in the direction of Bang Bang on Ossington Avenue, in the hope of ice cream for lunch. I actually ended up walking past it initially, as I was so busy looking around at all the cool shop fronts & bicycles.
There were more cool shops to nose around, including this lovely homeware shop.
I walked back and found Bang Bang, and was very lucky that there wasn't a queue, especially as it was such a warm & sunny day. I chose to have milk & cookies ice cream inside a Nutella profiterole and OH MY it was so tasty and so naughty.
In the evening I met up with the lovely Jenine, who I had been chatting to a bit on Instagram. She picked me up and we headed over to the other side of town to the distillery district, where we went to this super cute Mexican place called El Catrin.
We shared a huge bowl of guacamole that they smash up in front of you, and some tacos & delicious corn. It was really lovely to meet someone new, and she was so sweet!
On my final day, I decided to do something a little touristy, so I headed downtown again to the CN tower. Luck wasn't on my side, as once I was up the tower it clouded over quite a lot, so it wasn't as beautiful as it could've been, but it was still nice to look over the city and across to Toronto Island and the lake beyond.
I think if I was to do the trip over again, I would've planned this day better and gone to Niagara Falls instead, as I think that would've been much much better. Next time..!
For my final dinner, I headed to The Federal, which was as cosy as promised. I treated myself to a glass of wine and a very delicious sandwich. I had the Cuban without cheese, and it was super tasty. I also really enjoyed reading their Twitter feed.
Other places to eat nearby:
I sat in the window watching people go by and writing in my diary, until it started getting dark. I headed home to pack, and watched Anomalisa, which was very good but made me cringe so much!
The next morning consisted of getting my last few things packed up & heading to the airport. I walked downtown and got the airport train, which was nice and easy. A friendly man sat next to me and we had a chat about our trips before he headed off for his flight to Michigan, and I headed for my flight to New York!
More on that very soon..
Remember, you can see the other posts from my trip here: Ottawa, Montreal, Manhattan, Brooklyn!
• special thanks to the lovely Alex from Larkspur Vintage who gave me tips on where to stay & where to go! •
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