Last week we visited Toronto. Maggie had been wanting to visit, and we had the time, so we all drove from Toledo for a short visit. On the way there, we took the Ambassador Bridge, which was pretty quick. The drive is pretty easy to Toronto. We arrived at the Ramada Plaza downtown around 2 and by 3:30, we were at the St. Lawrence Market. On Saturdays the north side opens up for a farmers market, but the south side is open every day. It is full of meat, cheese, fruit, fish, and other foods. This would be a nice place to live close to!
Next we walked toward the CN Tower. It was extremely foggy, so going up was out of the question for the first day. But, we wanted to see the area and let Nolan run around the park a little. We saw some display trains across the street so we walked over there for Nolan to check out; it was the old roundhouse. And the roundhouse has been converted to a furniture store and a brewery. We walked in the Steam Whistle Brewery to just check it out, and they were offering free samples, so I had a couple. While we were leaving, some guy/street entertainer approached us to make a balloon animal for Nolan. He was nice and funny. We started walking toward the hotel looking for food. We didn't find much and Kacey remembered passing two Thai places close to the hotel. We ate dinner at the Buppha Thai Restaurant. It was very good! That night, I took Nolan to the hotel pool for a few minutes for some fun.
On Thursday we slept in a little and first headed to Casa Loma. This castle wasn't quite as big or reasonably priced as a few things we have seen in Europe, but it did have a nice looking outside, large garden, and view of the city. We took the subway down to Union Station to walk along the waterfront. We ate lunch at Williams Cafe; the food was good, but it left me a little hungry. It was starting to rain so we headed for the PATH, the large underground mall. Our plan was to use this to make our way north toward the City Hall. By time we made it north, the rain had calmed. There was a mini car show going on inside the mall, and there was both a Chevy Volt and also a Tesla Roadster in attendance! I took a few pictures, of course.
I was hoping to find the Church of the Holy Trinity near the City Hall, but all we found was the Old City Hall. This is now just courtrooms. We walked to City Hall for a break for a few minutes. After this, we started walking to Chinatown to check it out. Kacey and Maggie hit up a few places and we ended up sitting in the Ding Dong Cafe for a few minutes to eat a little snack and wait out a little more rain. We then decided to walk to Little Italy to find some dinner.
The guide book we had only listed a couple Italian restaurants in Little Italy, but one review looked very good. Also, this place wasn't on our big city map, so we had to rely on the guide book map, which was to a much different scale. It took quite a while to walk to Pizzeria Libretto, but when we finally made it, it seemed we had made a good decision. This place was packed on a Thursday night. Luckily we only had to wait 5-10 minutes. The pizzas were pretty good, but not great. On our way back up the street car, we stopped at Crème for some gelato. This was the perfect end to lots of walking (~4 miles) and pizza.
The next day I woke up early and decided to walk back to the Church of the Holy Trinity. While it didn't open until 11am, I did get to see the outside of the little church, as well as the Eaton Centre. This church was smaller than I was expecting and has been pretty much surrounded by newer hotels and parking garages. To get back to the hotel by my 8:30am curfew, I decided to rent a bike. This was very easy to do and with tons of pickup and drop-off points, very convenient. While geared more for one day on/off, it worked just fine for a 10 minute one-way.
On our way out of town, we decided to get some food, and Kacey and I had been craving crepes. We found a place called Crêpes À GoGo. This was a small little bistro where French seemed to be the preferred language. They were very good! We also got a Nutella crepe to wrap up our meal and it was very tasty! But before we left town, we had to stop back in at the St. Lawrence market. After picking up a few more things, we hit the road for our trip back home.
Honestly, Canada seems a lot like America. The people aren't outstanding as being extremely nice and seem to be mostly in a hurry (especially when driving!). Toronto won't go down as one of my favorite places but it was good to visit.
Our pictures from Toronto can be found here (http://www.chrisandkacey.com/Vacation/Toronto/)