Canada 2017 Pt. 3
If you read Pt. 1 of this little Canadian series, you'd already know that I flew in & out of Toronto from DC for $220. In retrospect, this seems a bit high...but that's also because I've been in Europe where you can get one-way flights as low as $15. I imagine you can probably get flights to Toronto closer to the $150 range. Also, driving is an option.
Just as a quick overview: I spent a total of 5 weeks in Canada. When I first arrived, I stayed in Toronto for a week, then took two weeks traveling through Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City. The remaining 2 weeks were spent back in Toronto. I had a really, really good time. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing group of people and got to experience the city as if I lived there. Toronto started to feel like my new home.
Where did I stay? I was lucky enough to know someone who let me stay at their place the majority of my time in Toronto. I did spend a night in the HI Toronto Hostel, which was quite nice & would recommend. However, the location of the hostel is more central which means more of the commercial / touristy area.
Where / how did I work? I worked all over the place. Mostly via my friend's apartment & coffee shops. However, there are a number of coworking spaces in Toronto. I spent a day at the Acme Works coworking space. They had a magical coffee machine & Canadian mugs—it made my day.
What did I eat? A better question is... what did I NOT eat? I had many, many wonderful food experiences while in Toronto. From all-you-can-eat sushi to peameal bacon sandwiches and some of the best pad thai I've ever had. If you are a foodie like me, Toronto is a must-go. You have to go to Ossington Avenue (walk around between College St and Queen St)—it's lined with amazing restaurants and bars.
A group of us spent a day at the St. Lawrence Market where we took turns going around picking up food to share. Then, we found a table and had an all-out picnic style feast, it was kinda ridiculous (but awesome). Our afternoon and evening turned into spending 4 hours at Ikea, riding in the trunk of a car, building furniture & drinking champagne. It was a damn good day.
There's a hidden gem called ODDSEOUL off of Ossington. They serve Korean small plates & great cocktails... insanely good. For some fun & tasty cocktails, you have to check out Spirithouse. For fancy-casual Italian food & wine, go across the street to Gusto 101. This post would go on and on if I talked in-length about all the great places I tried. Here's a condensed version:
- Best Thai food: Coco Rice.
- All-round good casual bar/restaurant: Banknote Bar.
- Cafe/Lunch spot: Portland Variety.
- Hole-in-the-wall with cheap beers for happy hour: Wide Open.
- Fast Mexican for Lunch: Wilbur.
- Drunk food: Fat Bastard Burrito Co & Poutini's.
- Drink beer & play board games: Snakes & Lattes.
- Awesome cafe with great food, coffee, and weird gelato flavors: Death In Venice.
Unpaid advertising: Vitaly is a clothing & accessory brand based out of Toronto. I walked by their shop a few times and thought "Damn, that stuff is dope, but probably really expensive. They're probably fashion snobs, too." One day, I went ahead and decided to check it out. Boy, was I wrong. First, the dudes in the shop were super cool, welcoming, and they did the perfect level of selling. I never felt like they were judging me (because let's be honest, even though I love fashion, I ain't always very fashionable). And guess what? Not only did I become a customer once, but I came back 2 more times (and I just recently ordered more online). Point is: They had great customer service, they have amazing products at reasonable prices, and I highly recommend checking them out. Maybe I'll get to work with them one day ;) **Click my referral link to get 20% off: http://i.refs.cc/cPfeIMOf
Recommendations/ Tips: Make sure to explore the areas around the heart of the city—that's where you're going to find the good stuff. Check out Little Portugal, Little Italy, and The Historic Distillery District. The one touristy thing I recommend to do is go up the CN Tower. Go up before sunset, grab a drink and watch the city lights turn on. I'm confident you'll enjoy yourself. Check out the Kensington Market for food and cool shops. And lastly, be careful when crossing the street.
I look forward to going back to Toronto soon while it's warm. If you have any questions or need more recommendations, feel free to reach out. Make sure to follow my adventures on Instagram & Snapchat: ASWolfe91