Monday, May 22, 2017

48 Hours in Toronto

When we booked a trip to go see a show in Toronto, we added an extra day so that we would have a full 48 hours to explore a bit.    I know we didn't hit everything there was to see but we feel like we hit the things that were most important to us and I'll try to give links to things that will help you if you're planning a trip there as well.

We stumbled upon this Toronto sign in the middle of the city.

The sign was actually made as part of the City of Toronto's Host City Showcase Program to celebrate the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.  It's in Nathan Phillips Square at the time of writing. Here's a good article giving a little more info about the sign.

This was taken as we drove into the city around the lake from the Niagara area.  The skyline has changed quite a bit since the opening shot of our favorite Toronto based show Forever Knight (affiliate link) was filmed 25 years ago.  Oy.

We've been to a few Chinatown's including San Francisco.  While Toronto's isn't quite as flashy, it did have its own unique flavor.  This page can help you properly explore this area.

There are a few shopping meccas in the city including CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Yonge Dundas Square which is kind of like their version of NYC's Times Square.  If you're into shopping and hustle and bustle, this area is for you!

It's kind of crazy, there are murals everywhere, which I love, but there is also a massive graffiti problem covering every square inch.  I'm not talking art or tagging but what in our area would be perceived as gang turf wars ruining beautiful buildings or over top of murals.  It appears they don't try to cover it up or remove it either  I know there are a few readers from there if you can comment on it.  Maybe it's just more accepted there or the cost is too high to remove it?

This pic isn't even a good example of it as murals and graffiti seem to coexist here but I didn't get pics of defaced buildings
If you're looking to park your car and take the streetcars throughout the city, here's the website you'll need for schedules, fares, etc.

We were there to see Gene Kelly: The Legacy at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  It was a nice, mid sized venue that looks like it has some good performances coming up.  I will say if you are tall, position yourself on an end if you can because the seats are pretty close and it's been recently remodeled so that's not changing anytime soon.  Parking was $12 at the time.

When we came out from the show, we had a beautiful shot of downtown showing off.

We explored the city by foot but the Mr wanted to see Union Station since there was a picture of it in our hotel room from the 1930's.  The outside was really beautiful.

Unfortunately, at the time, they were undergoing serious remodeling and it literally looked like a warehouse in there.  If you're taking VIA Rail Canada over to Toronto, here's the website you'll need to plan your ride.  (Our hotel in this Wednesday's post was about 2-3 blocks from here so it'd be a good place to stay!)

Toronto is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  We're not fans (ducking pucks) but I had to take a pic for the friends of mine who are.

I really enjoyed our visit to St. Lawrence Market which was a nice walkable distance from our hotel. It wasn't in our calorie allowance to have a "peameal bacon sandwich" which is touted quite heavily here but apparently this is the place to grab one.  Lots of great fresh meat and produce vendors.

The Gooderham Building is a beautiful bit of history in the big city.

The Canada Walk of Fame is something we just stumbled on and were glad we looked down when we did.

To see the star map and search for your favorites, click here.

We needed a bit of a breather from the city and knowing us like I do, I planned for that.

The Scarborough Bluffs area is just stunning.  It was the perfect place for a chilly picnic as there were lots of picnic tables and we got to see some beautiful scenery.  It was just what we needed to renew our city weary souls at that point in the trip.

I'm gonna be honest, I don't know what the hell this big ass bird is by the convention centre and the internet isn't much help to me on that.  If you know what it is, chime in or run screaming in case it comes to life.

The CN Tower was close to us and of course we had to at least strain our necks to gawk at it.  We really went back and forth on whether or not to go up in it but we were on the 20th floor of our hotel and figured for the price the view might not be too much different.

It might be right up your alley though especially if you're a daredevil and want to do the EdgeWalk. Peruse the website and see if you've got the nads to do it.  (I thought about it...then I didn't.)

If you've followed me for any length of time, you know our vacations involve trying to work movie locations into the mix.  A lot of movies were filmed in Toronto including one of our 80's faves, Police Academy  (affiliate link) where the Blue Oyster Bar and the police academy were.

Bring lots of money.  Don't get excited, this price is per liter, not gallon at the time.  What would've cost us $30 in the US cost us $50 there.

Obligatory Hard Rock Cafe for those of you who still collect the shirts/merch.

This was the view from our final night in the hotel.  We did love just sitting at the settee by the window and city watch.  I don't know what we thought was going to happen but we do the same thing in Chicago when we stay on Michigan Ave.

Some places I wanted to go but we didn't have the time or the weather on our side were:

Casa Loma
Toronto Islands
Toronto Botanical Gardens

Things that may be of interest to you:

Toronto Zoo  (This is where the scene with the polar bear was filmed in The Santa Clause)
Ripley's Aquarium Of Canada
Kensington Market
The Path (in case you need something to do when it's raining)

This should give you a good array of things to see and do when in Toronto should you decide to go. I hope you enjoyed tagging along!

(This post contains a few affiliate links.  Should you choose to buy through them, I may receive a small commission to help with blog expenses.  Thanks for being awesome!)
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  1. It was a fun trip and I'm glad we did it. The bluffs was definitely my favorite part and even though it was a bit on the cold side that day, it was the perfect place for a picnic lunch. A must see spot for anyone going to Toronto.

  2. That sounds like a really fun trip.

  3. Squeeeee! The Hockey Hall of Fame!!! I'd have camped out. LOL ALL of these pictures are just gorgeous. Toronto would do well to hire you for their marketing dept or travel planning guide. So glad you guys went and got to enjoy some really awesome sites -- plus Gene Kelly of course!

  4. The bird looks like a Pileated Woodpecker. Such cool markings on it. I've never been to Toronto, but your trip makes me want to put it on the list.


    The giant bird is a piece of art - see above link. "The Woodpecker Column by artists Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi working collaboratively under the name Fastw├╝rms."


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