T-Town. The 6. Air Canada. Drake.. Bieber. Toronto, Ontario, is an incredible city with world class cuisine, more than a weekend's worth of sight seeing, and only a 6.5 hour drive from Grand Rapids. This was the first trip we took with friends. And let me tell you, it won't be the last. Between the laughs and copious amounts of walking, our friend and photographer, Ellen Kermeen, helped to capture the weekend. It was a BLAST.
WHAT TO DO :
1.Nathan Phillips Square
Directly across from our Marriott hotel was Nathan Phillips Square. Complete with water fountains and enormous "TORONTO" photo op, Nathan Phillips Square also plays host to many events, including cultural festivals.
2. Distillery District
The extremely charming distillery district was laden with cobblestone streets, shopping, and plenty of places where one can get a great bite to eat. Contrary to the name, there is only one distillery. Though, it was a fantastic distillery with sophisticated and European decor. The Distillery district had all the makings of a night out on the town. Dinner, dessert, and drinks.
3. Toronto Island
A $10 (Canadian dollar) boat ride away sits Toronto Island. A local recommended we take the water taxi over instead of the cruise liner, which saved time and only cost a few dollars more. It was amazing to take in the city of Toronto, with its breathtaking skyline and the HUGE CN Tower from the water heading toward the island. The island itself is a fun place for families to spend an afternoon!
4. CN Tower
So, I'm still a little bit salty that no one would pay the $26 dollar cost of going up in the CN Tower with me, but we did walk right up to it to try to take in its majesty and splendor. It serves as a beacon from the city to the shore, hanging hundreds of feet above other Toronto skyscrapers. In fact, it was the tallest tower in the world from 1975-2007. And now, is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
5. Philosopher's Walk
On the University of Toronto's charming, gothic era campus, is the Philosophers walk. A remarkably manicured courtyard with sculptures and ivy abound, the walk is something straight out of a movie.
6. Scarborough Bluffs
The Bluffs are only about a 20 minute drive from downtown, and showcase some of Toronto's natural beauty. They're worth the short drive out to get a different perspective on Toronto.
WHERE TO EAT :
1. St. Lawrence Market
Classic market with crazy amounts of variety from cheap eats, to high end cuisine. Very authentic market feel.
2.El Catrin (The Well-Dressed Man)
Tapas style. Amazing charred corn. Amazing (but WAY too small of a portion) chips and guac. We were all hangry and didn't really talk at all during this meal. After 18 miles walking, we did, however, eat. And eat well.
3. Dineen Coffee
An elegant, refined coffee shop that will make you feel like you stepped in France for the afternoon. Delicious pastries and coffee, too.
Do you like Thai food? Who doesn't. Ryan and Ellen enjoyed a serene dinner that they RAVED about at Pai.
An indoor outdoor space, with all glass windows overhead, gave way to an incredible dinner and better environment.
There you have it!
Toronto - definitely worth the visit. We will be back soon. Special thank you to ELM Pictures for capturing our trip! (We will likely be kidnapping Ellen and taking her on all future excursions in order to get photos as beautiful as these!