This past weekend I was able to take a four day trip with my husband to Toronto, Canada. It was both our first time there and it was a great four day walking around and discovering the many places Toronto has to offer. I am going to be breaking it down day by day of our activities.
We arrived on Wednesday morning through WestJet. Before this trip, I have not heard about this airline before and was weary about purchasing it, but after some research and reading some reviews, I discovered that they are a reputable Canadian airline. My husband and I had a relaxing hour and fifteen minute plane ride. There was no entertainment on the flight, but got served a snack and drink. Since we had taken a very early flight, my husband spent his time sleeping and I finished the Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Upon our arrival to Canada, we cleared Customs (very nice people!) and headed outside to meet with my husband’s best friend who was waiting for us since we were spending the day in Niagara Falls.
The car ride was about two hours from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Along the way we stopped at Canada One Factory Outlet Mall (Niagara Falls Outlet) for a rest stop and to check out some stores. I only got a sweater at American Eagle since the days while we were there were going to be a bit chilly. Once we arrived to Niagara Falls, we parked and headed over to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) since we were hungry – it was inside a hotel/casino. Once we ate, we head over to the Niagara Falls Park, where we saw the falls. We purchased tickets for Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour, where we got up and close to the falls. WOW! (Totally recommend this). Nature is simply beautiful and I was amazed. The boat aspect was really fun. It was not crowded and we had space to take as many pictures as we liked. Before entering the boat, we were handed a rain poncho to stay dry from the falls (trust me, we needed this). Going to Niagara Falls has been on my bucket list for sometime and I am glad to be able to check it off.
After the boat tour, we went to check what other things the city of Niagara had to offer. The city section is filled with a lot of attractions such as arcade games, bowling, food, haunted houses, museums and more. There is also a big ferris wheel and speedway car race that you can enjoy. We headed over to Tim Horton’s (Canada’s version of Dunkin Donuts) and had a bit of rest and coffee. Then we headed over to Strike Rock & Bowl to play some arcade games and bowl. My husband, his friend and I bowled for about an hour and then spent three hours playing arcade games. It’s been awhile since I have been able to relax and just enjoy a day of games, it felt great. Next, we went to get some dinner at Guru Indian Restaurant. We walked a bit more then headed back to Toronto to the Airbnb we were staying at.
I am an early riser and as much as I wanted to sleep in, I was up by 9am. We didn’t have anything to drink in the fridge, so I googled the closest supermarket and headed over to the to pick up bottles of water. The supermarket, Metro, is inside a small mall called Yonge Eglinton Centre. In addition of needing water, I need to buy a new pair of sneakers because the ones I brought with me was cutting into my skin. Thankfully, the centre had an Urban Outfitters and I was able to purchase a pair of Vans. I walked around and of course found a bookstore, Indigo. It’s two floors filled with books, stationary, clothes, desk accessories and a Starbucks! I didn’t buy any books (because we all know that I shouldn’t be buying any).
I headed back to our Airbnb, which was in a cute residential section of Toronto about 30 minutes away from Downtown Toronto on the subway. I waited for my husband to get ready so we can go and explore. I really wanted to go to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and purchased tickets online. I recommend in purchasing an entrance time ticket since it is cheaper. We took the 1 train to Union Station and headed over to the section of the aquarium. We arrived 3 hours early so we had time to kill. We took pictures in front of both the CN Tower and Canada signs. We checked out the barcade nearby called The Rec Room and grabbed lunch at Aroma Expresso Bar. Finally, it was 4pm and we were able to go into the aquarium. We went at out specified time and it was not packed at all – it was a smooth process. It is a cool place filled with different types marine life. It was pretty easy to navigate and there was a point where we could touch certain fishes/sharks in the kids’ section. The tanks were pretty cool, but the once I love the most was the jellyfish section, it was so colorful and clear. Another section that was cool was the glass tunnel where you could see sharks, fishes and sea turtles.
After the aquarium, we headed back to The Rec Room to grabbed a drink at the bar as we waited for my husband’s best friend to join us to go to the CN Tower. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and rainy day which created fog and we were recommended not to go since there was no visibility. We then headed over to get some Mexican food at Mi Taco Taqueria. The restaurant was really cute, the food was okay (keeping it real), it was a bit flavorless and the music had me dancing in my seat as I ate my chicken burrito bowl. After the restaurant, we headed over to a bowling alley (forgot the name, sorry!) and ended the night there.
On day three, we decided to head over to Kensington Market to check out the vintage stores, cheese stores and graffiti. It took a train and trolley ride to get to the hipster section of town. We walked around a bit and stopped at Jimmy’s Coffee to decide where to go next. We have heard about Little India which was not too far from where we were at and headed over to grab some lunch there. It was a small section lined up with saree shops and Indian restaurants. I looked up a place to grab lunch and saw good reviews about Moti Mahal. My husband, who is very critical about Indian food ended up loving it. We ordered a platter that consisted of butter chicken, potatoes, veggies and rice. We also ordered mango lassi and chicken samosas. If you like Indian food, I recommend checking this place out!
After eating, I was ready to walk it off. We waited for the trolley to head to Queen Street West, which is filled with clothing stores, coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants. We stopped at Mr.Pen to check out some stationary (I LOVE stationary) – I got a notebook, two pens, a Stitch and Mickey Mouse magnets. I wanted to stop by a bookstore called TYPE Books that was on my list to visit. It is a small independent bookstore owned by two women (WOMEN POWER). I enjoyed walking around; it’s not a big store and they had many different sections of books. If you’re in the area, add this to your list. We stopped bakery called Nadege Patisserie to grab a croissant because we had to head back to the central to catch a train to head to Bramalea to meet up with our friend and see his family.
We got back to Union station, which is the hub for other mode of transportation, similar to Grand Central Station in New York City. We caught the GO train to Bramalea where our friend picked up us. We went to visit his parent’s which my husband hasn’t seen for about four years and I was meeting for the first time. We then headed to another Indian restaurant called Mirch Masala Brampton, where we had another great Indian meal.
This was our last day in the city and then flying out in the afternoon. We headed over to the centre again to do a bit of shopping before heading to the airport. This time around our return flight was Air Canada – we got to the airport at 1:30pm, even though our flight was at 4:30pm, our check out from our Airbnb was at 1pm. Check-in was smooth along with security and customs. We grabbed a pizza and sushi at a cafe at the airport and then headed to our gate. Only to find out that our flight is delayed by three hours and ended up leaving at 6:15pm. We found a spot at the gate, where I started my new read Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite and my husband was listening to music. Thankfully, it’s a small plane ride and got back to the city in time to relax from the day.
You can use pretty much any major credit card in Canada. Just make sure that your card won’t be charged any extra fees with the currency exchange. I used Bank of America Travel Rewards card, which was pretty easy for me to use. They also accept American dollars in many of the places we went, just that they would charge the cent to the dollar and receive Canadian currency instead of American as change. For example: 19cents to the dollar – something along those lines.
Toronto has different mode of transportation to get to places you need to get. Union Station is the hub of all other modes. It was easy to navigate the subways and trolley/buses. I used Google maps to find instructions on how to get to places we were visiting. We only used Uber once which was to go to the airport.
This is definitely a place to check out! We did enjoy our time there and was satisfied with it just being a four-day weekend. We def want to return to Canada to visit Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa.