When Colt came to me some months ago about spending the weekend in Toronto I was an immediate, without a doubt, YES. Canada has always been on the good ol’ bucket list and Colt was going to be flying out there for a case competition with school. Since Colt was going to be busy most of the time with his competition and school stuff, we invited my sister, Angel, to go fly out with me so I wouldn’t have to travel alone. For the past few months, we’ve been counting down to this trip… it did not disappoint.
We flew out on Friday. I didn’t take the day off from work thinking it would be a breeze to leisurely leave right after school and jet on over to the airport. I was wrong. The whole day was a whirlwind. Deadlines needed to be met before I left work, substitute plans had to be made & set out, there was some drama with a few of my students and a parent called wanting to talk to me before I left. I finally left work only to be met with horrific traffic the entire way to the airport. By this time I was sweating buckets. I was set to board at 5:45 PM and I wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it! I still had to park my car and take the shuttle to my gate! Alas, I made it just fine and all was well. My sister and I grabbed a bite to eat and then boarded our plane. I could finally take a deep breath and leave all my worries behind. Canada, here we come!
We landed in Toronto close to 11 PM and we had to get through customs and call an uber. For as long a day as it was, I wasn’t too exhausted. I was excited to be in this vivacious metropolis and couldn’t wait to start exploring!
Since Colt flew in the day before, he and his friend met us at the hotel where we changed and went out to this cute little place across from our hotel where we enjoyed a few night caps. We didn’t stay out too late though because we wanted to get an early start the following morning!
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to downtown Toronto. The view from our balcony was breathtaking. The weather was a little dreary, it was windy, cold but we were ready to go out and see the sights and the soaring skyscrapers. We had heard that Toronto was the “clean version of New York City” and I definitely agree that it was!
Saturday we walked the downtown strip, went shopping, had lunch at the Hard Rock and ate some delicious Poutine, watched some talent shows in the main square, did more shopping at Toronto’s largest mall, Toronto Eaton Centre and enjoyed the crisp, cold weather. By evening we were exhausted and ready for a mid evening nap! We headed back to the hotel, met up with Colt and took a luxurious nap. We woke up starving and headed over to this quaint Japanese place for ramen.
After ramen we ubered over to Madison Avenue Pub. This place was the coolest! There are 6 British style like pubs inside these 3 connected Victorian Mansions! Complete with dance floors, patios and a piano bar! Little did we know that this is also the popular spot for the local undergrads to hangout. It was overly crowded with early 20 something year olds and you literally could not get through the crowds, but still so fun. We were easily the oldest people there. I’m pretty sure I was at least 10 years these people’s senior, but we didn’t let that stop us. We stayed until 2 AM closing time, where we crowded around the piano with the fellow Canadians and belted out Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. It wasn’t until everyone was leaving and walking down the street trying to catch their ubers when we realized we were located on “Greek Row”. Hah! The cherry on top was the snow fall we got to see right before we left. What an epic night!
Sunday morning we were up fairly early and dressed to make the 10 minute walk to church. We visited St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica. It’s one of Toronto’s oldest churches and the church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. Mass was lovely and the cathedral and its architecture was absolutely stunning.
After Mass, we walked back on this beautiful, sunny, but cold, Sunday to meet up with Colt’s buddies at the hotel and pick up our rental car. There was no time to waste. Next up on our agenda… Niagara Falls! First we headed to “PATH” which is Toronto’s famous “underground city”. There are tunnels, subways, shops, food and entertainment underground. This was basically built to help pedestrians stay warm and safe from the harsh conditions of the winter cold and snow. How neat is that?! We picked up the rental car and headed off on our hour and a half journey to Niagara. Unfortunately, this also happened to be the coldest day of our trip!!!
After stopped traffic and a stop at Tim Horton’s for the world’s worst meal, we arrived at our destination. We were greeted with ice cold winds and dropping temps but we were eager to see The Falls! We walked for what seemed like forever before finally catching a glimpse of the waterfalls. By the time we made it up to the falls, I could no longer feel my legs nor my face. That didn’t keep us from enjoying the views and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. #americantourists
After the photo op we headed inside for coffee, hot chocolate and to defrost while waiting for the sun to go down so we could see Niagara at night. It was so worth it. At night, the falls light up with all different colors. It was beautiful. How incredible are these natural wonders???
The walk back down to our car didn’t feel nearly as bitterly cold as it had been earlier. Still, we couldn’t wait to get in the car and put the heat on full blast and turn on the seat heaters! I fell asleep instantly once we got on the road. Before I knew it, we were back at the hotel picking up another of Colt’s buddies and onward to our next adventure!
If you made it this far, kudos to you & thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed following along! Part 2 of our Toronto trip will be up on the blog soon.