Can I echo again how much I love traveling and being on the go all day long? I know that I have complained to some of you that I feel like I have had no time in September to get organized (or packed!) before traveling abroad, but this action-packed month has made me so confident that I can juggle many things in life successfully. While we leave for a wedding in the mountains of Colorado tonight and head to Portugal on Sunday and India the following week, I wanted to slow down and recap my time in Toronto this past weekend.
I wasn’t planning to write a Toronto To Do List, but YOU GUYS, you need to go visit Toronto! While going to the wedding we attended was a unique experience in Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community, you don’t have to do that to have fun (a rabbi lit his hat on fire for entertainment though, if that’s your idea of fun).
My ideal day on vacation is spent on my feet, bouncing from coffee shop to lunch spot to cool shops, and Toronto was spot on with its fun neighborhoods, great eats, and great company. I couldn’t be happier that I finally got to meet Canadian bloggers Amy and Davida in person – having internet friends is the best because they both gave me so many great insider tips before coming and met up with us for great meals!
Without further stalling, let me get to the recommendations I have if you ever spend a weekend in Toronto. We had 4 action packed days —
WHAT TO DO IN TORONTO
- We walked through Kensington Market on Sunday, and couldn’t believe all the incredible shops there were to explore. Thrift shops mixed with upscale clothing, frisbee games, vegan bakeries, the best Montreal style bagels (top left photo) at Nu Bagel, street vendors, outdoor eateries and street performers. They close off the street on Sunday so it really is the best time to go!
- A late morning trip on the ferry out to the Toronto Islands is definitely worth it – walk or rent a bike around the perimeter and stop at the Rectory Cafe for their buffalo mozzarella arugula salad at lunchtime. Soak up the views of the city from across the water in the quaint neighborhoods on the island (top right photo), and catch the ferry back from a different location.
- Toronto, just like many major cities, is a brunch loving place. I had this incredible frittata (bottom right photo) while we met up with Amy on our first day. Smith Restaurant on Church Street had great outside seating, a fun vibe, and Church and Wellesley neighborhood is a colorful place to walk around during the day.
- Independent coffee shops abound in Toronto! We loved making an afternoon destination a coffee shop, and Dineen Coffee Company (bottom left photo) was a stop on our way through busy downtown. This coffee shop is definitely a suit and tie location during the week, but the chocolate chip cookie, knowledgeable baristas, and beautiful tiled floors did not disappoint.
WHAT TO EXPLORE IN TORONTO
- I mean it when I say that this city was so colorful- walking makes you take in far more than you do when traveling by subway or car. We only took the subway twice – to and from the airport! The rest of the time, we used our feet to move us (top left photo), getting exercise in while exploring the great food in the city. This is always my best recommendation for people who are new to a city – we got our bearings so quickly and covered a surprising amount of ground!
- Jimmy’s Coffee Shop was our home base a couple times during the weekend, as there are multiple locations around the city. I loved the chocolate zucchini muffin and iced coffee I got, and comfy spots to sit while taking a break to read or analyze the map (top right photo).
- We stumbled upon Lettier Espresso Bar while walking into Yorktown one morning, the hip and trendy neighborhood with upscale shops and expensive brick homes. I loved people watching from the outside seating while drinking a carrot juice and enjoying a blueberry scone (bottom right photo) – I wish we had more spots like this in Denver!
- Beyond coffee and baked treats, we tried to find unique spots to get snacks during the weekend. This watermelon, sea salt, and lime popsicle from Philip’s Ice Pops at La Merceria hit the spot while we cooled off in the A/C. It was a steamy muggy weekend and stops like this were so refreshing.
With that, off I go to a weekend in the mountains where I will welcome the 60 degree weather and snuggling in my sleeping bag while camping tonight, a little bit of Colorado peace! I need this zen day before Portugal’s welcome heat on Sunday and then India’s crazy heat the week after.
Have you visited Toronto? Do you have any Toronto recommendations?
Here we go!