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We landed in Toronto, Canada for a 3-night visit. Our airbnb was a 2 minute walk from Lake Ontario and 30 minutes (by bus) from the city centre. We arrived to our accommodation just before midday, but check-in wasn’t until 4pm. It was a pretty neat looking town house – just what you see on films growing up. We were also staying in a self-contained basement room. Our host allowed us to store our baggage while our room was getting ready and we went out to explore the area. Straight away we were amazed by the cultural diversity which was also reflected in the cafes and restaurants. We had lunch at a Vietnamese bakery. There were quite a lot of homeless people in the streets, we imagined it must be pretty difficult when the winter reaches 40 below. After a walk down Queen Street (stopping in at a phone shop to sort out a Canadian Sim and prepaid plan) we headed towards the lake. There were lots of people out and about in their active wear, lots of cyclists, and dog owners taking their pooches for a walk. We’d just missed the Marathon earlier that morning. On our way towards the lake we spotted a Canadian Goose. We found a sunny spot to sit near the Ontario Place Marina, looking out towards Hamilton, where we suddenly saw something quite big swimming towards us… a Beaver!
Next, we crossed a foot bridge and walked around West Island. On the far side of the island we found a nice beach to sit and enjoy the sunshine and lake views. The stones were nice and warm to sit on and Kadin quickly realised they were the perfect shape for skimming…
The next day we decided to hit up Toronto’s #1 attraction (according to TripAdvisor, and our Uber driver from the airport the day before) …Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
It was a great aquarium and a great place to spend the morning…
The aquarium is located downtown beside other attractions like the CN Tower and the Hockey Hall of Fame. We took a few photos of these landmarks …but didn’t splash out to visit them too.
Instead we walked further into the city. We were hoping to visit the St. Lawrence markets for lunch but found out that it’s opened every day except Mondays (which it happened to be) …but we found a nice cafe right outside and shared a delicious arctic char fish burger and soaked up the sunshine. We spent the rest of the afternoon downtown, admiring the buildings and shopping malls.
The next morning, we walked the nearby neighbourhood streets to High Park. Most of the houses had lovely gardens and we saw quite a few squirrels (I’m sure the locals thought we were strange taking photos of the squirrels in the street) …
When we reached High Park, we found ourselves walking through the ‘woods.’ Eventually we came to a clearing with a Labyrinth painted on the ground. We had a picnic lunch and I completed the Labyrinth. After lunch, we walked further into the park and found the cherry blossom trees – which were only just beginning to bloom. We spotted more wildlife along our walk. Towards the end of our walk in the park we also came across the park zoo (completely free to visit).
Time flew in the park and we had a 3pm booking across town. We had booked an airbnb experience at a local gelato shop. When we looked at google maps, we realised we were going to be late so we had to walk the 3km distance at a super-fast pace. We reached our destination 1 minute before 3pm, and were feeling a bit warmer, ready to eat lots of gelato. The experience included a tour of the laboratory in the store, ‘Death in Venice Gelato’ by the owner Kaya, where he taught us all about the gelato making process. He studied chemical engineering and worked in Michelin Star restaurants before opening his store in Toronto, making novel gelato flavours. The blind tasting was lots of fun, every time he asked us to guess the flavours, we were both pretty bad at working it out, but as soon as the combinations were revealed, we would suddenly have a very clear taste of the flavour. At the end we got to choose our favourite to enjoy in a waffle cone.
Suddenly, it was time to leave Toronto. However, our flight wasn’t until after lunch. Luckily, it was possible to store our bags at our airbnb again after we checked out. It was really cold on our last morning (maximum high of 14 degrees, but 9 degrees while we walked around). We rugged up and went for a stroll along the lake side. There were more stunning spring flowers on display and a rather cool dinosaur playground. We finished our time in Toronto with lunch and an incredible hot chocolate from a cafe near our airbnb, then caught an Uber to the airport ready for Vancouver.
Have fun at work!