Canadian Vacation Part 2: The City of Toronto

Good morning friends.

Once again, I’m throwing it back (Thursday) to my recent trip to Canada. Andrew and I have only been back for two weeks, but our vacation in the land of poutine and maple syrup feels like it was ages ago.

If I remember correctly, we left off with The Lake House portion of the trip – a perfect 5 days of swimming in the lake, soaking in the hot tub, eating, and drinking to unwind and prepare for the rest of our trip.

Hot Tube

Most of the trips Andrew and I have taken together so far have been along the lines of the Lake House: days spent relaxing to the fullest with nothing on the schedule. And in the case of our honeymoon, you can add an assortment of spa treatments to that list. As much as we love relaxing vacations, we agreed that our ideal vacation involves a little more adventuring. I think this particular Canadian vacation was the perfect mix: 1 part relaxation and 2 parts adventure. And our time in the City of Toronto can only be described as an adventure. LET me tell ya.

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Look how shiny my hair is there. First shower in 5 days, people!

Sunday morning, we woke up and took in the stunning lake views one more time before packing up. Once we got over the sadness of leaving the cottage, we hauled our bug-bitten selves into our boat and made our way back to the marina.

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For clarification, there are no direct roads to the lake-side cottages. You park your car at the marina, and boat in. You might as well leave your cell phones in the car, because that’s about where reception ends, too.

Once we were on the road, we realized we were hungry for Tim Horton’s. Ok, I realized I was hungry for Tim Horton’s. Luckily, I have yet to encounter a Canadian who will turn down a stop at good ol’ Timmy Ho’s (as some of us like to call it). And by the time I finished my Tim Bits and coffee, we were in the city.

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We arrived a few hours before our AirBnB was ready, so we met up with one of Andrew’s friends to explore an area called Kensington Market. Basically, it’s a brightly-colored street packed with little produce shops, bakeries, cheese shops, meat markets, and cafes with sunny patios. People in Canada don’t call it “summer”; they call it “patio season”. And I get it. There’s nothing better than spending a couple hours outside on a patio with friends, eating and drinking here and there, but mostly just hanging out.

kensington market

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Once our AirBnB was ready, we were eager to get in, unpack, shower, and unwind. We knew we had a penthouse apartment, but we were not expecting to have such an amazing view of the city!  Big props to AirBnB and to “Monica”, who was a lovely host.

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wine

We were tired, but too excited to nap, so after a glass of wine on the patio, we ventured out for a little subway adventure and some pizza.  Here in LA, we have absolutely no useful public transportation, so getting to ride the subway and street cars around town was thrilling for me. The subway in Toronto is super convenient, at least in the main downtown area; once you get further out from the city center, there are more busses and walking involved.

street car

After one of the best pizza experiences of my life (no, really) at Pizza Libretto, we decided to walk a majority of the way back to our apartment, “nightseeing” as we went. It was a Sunday night, but that city was ALIVE with action. It was great.

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Monday we had brunch planned with a friend, but I convinced Andrew to sneak in a little exercise on our way there. Our apartment was located right near Casa Loma, an actual castle that is connected to a park, garden, and a set of stairs.

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Quick shout out to the garden, it was soo beautiful.

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Seriously. So beautiful.

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Moving on…

 

 

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We geared up and ran the stairs a total of 3 times before wandering the castle gardens and then finally making our way to Grapefruit Moon for brunch.

grapefruit moon

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Monday night, we met Andrew’s cousin for dinner at District Oven on College.  The place was hopping on a Monday night, which I took to be a good sign, and it was.  The place had a great rustic atmosphere and really good Mediterranean food.  We each got our own entrees,  but if we ever went back, I think I’d prefer to order family style so I could try more things!  For the record though, according to Andrew’s cousin, the burger was one of the best he’s ever had.

district oven burger

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Ok people, I’ve still got two more days to recap, but I’m going to break things off here for now.  I didn’t realize how much detail I’d remember want to go into, but I’m having a fun walk down memory lane and hopefully you’re enjoying the (Canadian) ride.  Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow…

Amy

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