Nikki (and Jeff) Take Toronto | March 2016

Travel Photography Toronto Canada

A weekend in Toronto = Lots of walking & lots of food

A few weekends ago, Jeff and I went up to Toronto. We aren’t exactly sure why but we had a great time. I was feeling really uncultured I suppose, my entire family was traveling a lot, and I got antsy, so I started looking up flights to Charleston, Savannah, Orlando, and Toronto. I asked Jeff if he’d want to go somewhere with me and the flights to Toronto were the cheapest soooo there you have it.

We flew directly into the city and stayed at an AMAZING AirBnb. I didn’t do a great job at photographer duties in the place, but here, check it out and look at the listing. If you ever go to Toronto, I 100% recommend staying there if you don’t need a kitchen. It was so cool and there was a sauna. Plus, the host and her family were so cute and it was in a really awesome neighborhood.

FRIDAY

We flew in on Friday on Porter Airlines, which was a very interesting airline as they gave me my apple juice in a legitimate glass. After landing (a very rocky landing, btw), we had to walk through an underwater tunnel to get to the mainland! We then went and checked into our AirBnb and dropped our bags off and went on a search for food…which as you’ll see was seriously a main activity of ours.

We waited for a table at The Lakeview Restaurant, and after sitting we ate an insanely delicious meal. I got eggs benedict with Dungeness crab, and Jeff got what they called the BEST burger (Bacon, mElted cheese, Spinach, Tomato) with chicken.

We then strolled along Dundas Street, went through Chinatown, and then down Queen Street. One of the best things that we realized was there aren’t many chains in Toronto, except for Subway. There were lots of Subways. But mainly, the streets were filled with boutique stores and unique restaurants.

After taking the long stroll, we went back to the AirBnb and got ourselves ready for dinner. Jeff made reservations at this amazing place called Antler, which was like a 7 minute walk from where we were staying. Best thing ever: we walked into the restaurant and they go “we have you sitting at the chef’s table tonight.” Totally random, but totally cool. Everyone working at the restaurant was so so so so nice, and they came and chatted with us periodically. We sat like next to the chef’s and got to talk to them while they were cooking. The main chef, I later stalked on instagram and found out he owned the place. He gave us some tastings of things, including charcoal grilled yakitori that included meat of some sort, which was delicious.

At Antler, we drank Maple water, because Canada. For an appetizer we ate wild boar gyoza, and for dinner I ordered Ricotta Cavatelli with Venison Ragu and Jeff ordered Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer. It was insanely different from my regular diet and it was DELICIOUS.

Afterwards, we walked around the city a bit (because we had just stuffed our faces) and we obviously stopped to get gelato. We then went to this area that was recommended to us by one of the guys at Antler, and we found a neat brew pub type of place called Bellwoods Brewery and got a drink. By the time we finished our drinks, we were both falling asleep and decided to bring the day to an end and walked back to our AirBnb.

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SATURDAY

Saturday morning Jeff woke up and went for a run because he’s crazy/good at staying in shape. After he got back, we got ready to explore more of Toronto, but our first stop was the Drake Hotel where we got a tasty breakfast.

We then went to the Hockey Hall of Fame! It was SO cool! Plus, our Uber driver who took us there was awesome and super knowledgeable about everything. We played interactive hockey games and got to see jerseys from the beginning of hockey time. There were things from the 1980 Winter Olympic Games and championship rings, too. But the best part of the entire Hall of Fame was getting up close and personal with the Stanley Cup… go CAPS…ahhhh playoff season!

After exploring that, it was time for lunch. We went to the St. Lawrence Market, which was insanely crowded and overwhelming and I yelled at a rude woman because I was feeling feisty apparently. We didn’t end up eating at the market, and instead walked from there to the Distillery District, which was AWESOME. We ate at the Mill Street Brew Pub and I had an amazing cider with my lunch, AND we found where we were going to eat dinner that night.

Then, we headed to the Rogers Centre, where the Blue Jays play, and we did a cool tour of the stadium! They were setting up the field for opening day and our tour guide was very entertaining. He told us all sorts of neat facts, the things that stuck with me the most were about the roof, which moves around and opens, and that a lot of famous musician’s have played there! There is also a hotel that is a part of the stadium, that would be sick to stay at to watch a game. The stadium is right next to the CN Tower too, so got a pretty neat view of that amazing piece of architecture.

Again, it was time to go back to the AirBnb to recoup before dinner. Showers and naps were had before heading back to the Distillery District for dinner at Pure Spirits Oyster House and Grill. Jeff got four different type of oysters, ew, and some Ahi tuna that was tasty. I got pappardelle with lobster in black truffle sauce. It was delicious.

We walked around a little after dinner, as we were stuffed, but earlier in the evening we walked through an alley way in the district and saw this place called Cacoa. While I was taking photographs, Jeff went and looked at the menu and it was golden. We went there for dessert and ate the most delicious waffles covered in ice cream and chocolate ever…

I swear I gained 10lbs during this trip… so much eating happened.

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SUNDAY

Sunday was our last day so we woke up, cleaned up the AirBnb a little, Jeff went for a run, I loaded photos onto my computer. Then we went to the Thompson Hotel Rooftop to check out the view. I’m a sucker for skylines so when I’m in cities, I like to go up on rooftops to see and photograph them. Toronto has a great skyline. The view was AMAZING. After that, we headed to Easter brunch.

Brunch was at a place called Bannock, which was in the Financial District, and close to this fun sign that just said TORONTO. Photographs and selfies were taken. Then we went into brunch and once again, ate amazing food. I had croissant french toast. Jeff had this delicious plate of food that was just all so tasty.

We then decided to walk down to the waterfront because I had read about these dock things that were waves. They were neat looking but the coolest part was the beach. It was just this sandy beachy area with the city behind it. It was super cold in Toronto (like mid thirties) but people were straight chilling on the beach.

After walking along the waterfront for a bit, we headed to this area called Kensington Market. It was SO cool. It was just a few blocks of houses repurposed as stores and cafes and markets! It was very eclectic. We went into a few shops – I bought myself a necklace (and bought my best friend one for her bday too)! We also went into this super hipster coffee shop that had books covering the walls… like not bookshelves, but like books opened and stapled to the walls… it was kinda neat.

After walking around the market, we had to go back, check out of the AirBnb, grab a late lunch/early dinner, and head to the airport.

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Considering I had no idea what to expect of Toronto besides the cold, I had a great time! It is a really neat city, I’ll hopefully go back one day!

 

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