Hello all! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I sure did – I traveled up to the fabulous city of Toronto, Canada. You couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. The sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot or cold, and the only time it rained was when I was fast asleep in my bed. I traveled with my boyfriend and we stayed for roughly 24 hours.
We drove up from Rochester, NY. The trip took us approximately 6 hours by the time that it was all was said and done. However, that is because we took two detours on the way. First, we stopped for lunch at Duffs Famous Wings in Amherst, NY (just north of Buffalo). Duffs is one of the oldest chicken wing joints in the Buffalo area. It was featured as one of the two challengers in the first episode of Food Wars – against the creator of Buffalo wings, Anchor Bar. Spoiler alert, Duffs won!
They had the perfect amount of crispiness paired with a perfect amount of hot sauce (we ordered the Medium Light sauce).
After nearly having to roll ourselves out of Duffs, we headed towards Canada! We drove by the falls, but didn’t stop to get out and take the requisite pictures. Instead, we moved forward. The drive from Rochester/Buffalo to Toronto is quite easy. We pretty much got on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) once we arrived in Canada and took that all the way to Toronto. Be warned, Americans, your GPS and phones will no longer work once you hit the border. This is something that slipped my mind prior to the trip. Luckily, it is fairly easy to get there without the help of a GPS. Or so says the person who was able to take classy pictures of the Toronto skyline and nap in the passenger seat.
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn City Centre and we were quite happy with our choice. It was a little on the expensive side (at least compared to the hotels that were further out from the city), but we were very glad we made the choice to stay in the city. We were close to pretty much everything we wanted to do/see and were able to easily walk or take public transportation anywhere we wanted to go.
Touring the CN Tower
Our first outing after checking into the hotel was to visit the CN Tower. I have an affinity for taking the tours at the top of very tall buildings, so of course we had to do it.
The glass floor wasn’t as scary as I was expecting it to be. Here’s a pic of me hamming it up with things many many feet below me.
Eating Around Toronto
After the CN Tower, we decided to hit up Toronto’s Chinatown for some grub. We went to Rol San, which came recommended to us by a couple of the folks over at the r/Toronto subreddit.
Instead of ordering entrees, we ordered Won Ton Soup and Dim Sum to share. Be warned, they put shrimp in nearly all of the dishes… even if it wasn’t noted on the menu. We didn’t have a problem with that, but it’s something to consider. Dinner for 2 was approximately $25CA.
For brunch the next day, we decided to hit up Aunties & Uncles in the Kensington Market area of Toronto. We had read reviews that it was the best place for brunch in town. Let’s just say, we were not disappointed. When we arrived, we had to wait approximately 30 minutes for a table. I’m glad it was nice out, because the line forms outside of the restaurant on the patio!
The decor was pretty cool. I saw it described at Garage Sale Chic and I think that pretty much sums it up. Everywhere you looked there was some new artifact. They really paid attention to the details when decorating the place.
We had a view of the guys working in the open kitchen, which was pretty cool. Our brunch for two was approximately $25CA. Be warned though, they only take cash. We weren’t prepared when we arrived, but luckily there is an ATM right around the corner from the restaurant.
Getting Around in Toronto
Toronto’s public transport system, TTC, offers many different options for getting around the city. We didn’t need to take public transport the first night, but did the next day. We were able to get a Group Day Pass for $10.80CA for an entire day’s travel for 2 adults. Single tokens are $3.00 each, so talk about a steal! It works for the fabulous trams that run throughout the city. This deal appears to only be available on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The Day Pass also worked on the subway, which I found to be a pretty sweet place. A plaque in the station indicated that the featured art was created by Canadians. I thought that added a nice local touch.
The tiles on the wall also had this really cool 1970s-meets-Art Deco vibe. I particularly liked that each station had its own color scheme and tile arrangement.
Once we got on the subway, we realized that there were no dividers between the cars. It was pretty cool being able to look down the entire length of the train.
Visiting Casa Loma
Casa Loma is a castle that was built by a Toronto financier and entrepreneur, Sir Henry Pellatt, at the beginning of the 20th century. The castle is now open for visitors to come and walk through the house and see it in all of its splendor.
Casa Loma, which means House on a Hill in Spanish, sits on a hill overlooking Toronto. We’re lucky it was such a beautiful day!
To my surprise, we were able to climb all the way up to the top of Casa Loma’s tower. After about 5 flights of narrow stairs, we finally made it. It was
kind of scary pretty awesome.
Casa Loma was our last sightseeing stop in Toronto before leaving. Of course, no trip to Canada would be complete without a stop at Tim Horton’s.
Have you ever been to Toronto? What did you do? Have any tips?