After being picked up from New York and taken to Toronto, we had four days to spend exploring Toronto. Ash and I have only recently become good friends with Kurtis and Christina and before arriving in Toronto we had no idea where they lived (except for knowing it was in the greater Toronto metropolitan area). Turns out they have an awesome condo on the 32nd floor smack in downtown. Jackpot!
On the day of arrival our gracious hosts cook a spectacular dinner with a complementary drink menu via our friend Edward. Welcome to Toronto!
Day two began our explorations. Edward had given us an itinerary to follow so we set about on quest to explore the largest city in Canada. Our first stop would be the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Unfortunately, it was closed but the building itself is a work of art so we explored the exterior for a while before moving on to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The legislative Assembly is directly in the middle of the University of Toronto, which has some of the neatest architecture I’ve ever seen. After walking through campus we headed to Yorkville for lunch. Yorkville is the, from what we could tell, the high flatulent area of Toronto. Brand name stores, ladies in high heels, etc.. We did stop at a really good café for lunch on the corner of Yorkville st. and Bay Street.
After refueling we began the long haul over to Casa Loma. TRAVELER TIP: THE TORONOTO SUBWAY ONLY TAKES CANADIAN CASH. It was a good 40 minute walk from Yorkville to Casa Loma, but it was worth it.
Casa Loma (Spanish for Hill House) is a Gothic Revival style house and gardens in midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that is now a museum and landmark. It was originally a residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt. Casa Loma was constructed over a three-year period from 1911–1914. The architect of the mansion was E. J. Lennox, who was responsible for the designs of several other city landmarks.
As one can tell by the photos, this place is spectacular; a true castle in the middle of Toronto. It would end up being one of our favorite places we visited in the city.
After visiting Casa Loma we headed back down Spadina Ave. headed towards the University of Toronto. Travelers beware; there are a lot of pigeons in Toronto. Ashley had the misfortune to be excreted on by one of them! That’s right; Ashley was pooped on by a pigeon! Hahahahaha! J While it wasn’t funny at the time she was able to wash it off and she was laughing about it shortly after.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the beautiful buildings at the University of Toronto.
For dinner we made reservation at 360, the restaurant atop the CN Tower. The CN Tower was my favorite building as a kid (simply because it was the tallest) so it was really neat to finally set foot in the tower. It was almost like fulfilling a childhood dream. In fact, the CN Tower held the title of tallest freestanding structure in the world prior to the Burj Khalifa being finished in 2010.
The restaurant is neat because it spins a full circle around the tower so we were able to see the full panoramic of Toronto. The food isn’t really worth the price but being atop the world is a neat sensation. After dinner we headed down to the observation deck where they have a glass floor and one can see straight down to the streets below. (TRAVLER TIP: they also have a glass floor elevator which is really cool. We could see all the way down the shaft when stepping in). Before leaving we went to the outside observation deck, which we didn’t think would be that interesting since it was already dark. Turns out this was the most fun part! That evening it was particularly windy and at 1200 ft. the winds were blowing 70+ mph! We stepped outside and we were blown over! It was nuts. It, literally, was like standing in tropical storm winds. Really cool!
This would be the only day I would bring my camera out with us in the city. Toronto is beautiful but eventually all the buildings look similar and not worth lugging 50 lbs of equipment around. Some of the other places we saw where the Distillery district and the Hockey Hall of Fame the next day.
All in all we had a GREAT time in the city. Our hosts were fantastic. Thank you to the Arnold’s for showing us such a great time!
Enjoy the photos!