Visit Toronto like a CHAMP

RAPTORS YAY

It has been so so long since I wrote last! While I anticipated this it has still taken me aback. Part of the reason I have been neglecting the blog is I have been swamped with a new role as well as a trip to Toronto and Southern Ontario to visit family. Enough of the excuses though - lets chat about Toronto. I have been to Toronto quite a few times in my life as I used to live quite close to it, so I was faced with a challenge - how do I tourist Toronto when I have already tourist’d most of Toronto? The CN tower is incredible, love the hockey hall of fame, even toured the Air Canada Centre (or whatever it is called now, I am sure another company has their name up there and I refuse to look this up).

toronto skyline.JPG

This trip to Toronto was different not just because of the above, but because of the vibe! The Raptors were in the finals when I visited and were playing at home… the energy in the city was unreal with signs declaring “Kahwi eats free” and Raptors support everywhere. So so pleased we were able to join the city for part of the historical series (and then WIN).

The CN Tower, enjoyed from almost everywhere in the city!

The CN Tower, enjoyed from almost everywhere in the city!

With most of the major attractions already previously visited, I decided to let my gut lead the way. This led me to a few extra lbs on the scale and some truly DELICIOUS food. I ventured over to Le Gourmand for one of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had! It was so good, that I had to go back the next day for brunch and to grab a whole bunch of cookies for the kiddos and fam-jam we were visiting (and perhaps myself too….).

After sitting on the patio with my cookie and coffee, I decided to ‘stroll it off’ with a quick trip to Graffiti Alley (conveniently right around the corner). The street art in Toronto is INCREDIBLE, unpretentious and so importantly, accessible to all. This is the famous spot where Rick Mercer does his rants (certainly a nicer backdrop than my rants which involve me pacing my living room with my dog at quizzical attention).

Graffiti Alley - awesome street art and also a way to walk off the delicious cookie from Le Gourmand

Graffiti Alley - awesome street art and also a way to walk off the delicious cookie from Le Gourmand

After the art, I decided to hit the seas. If you haven’t caught on by now, I SHORE do enjoy being on the water. So I booked a boat cruise tour that took me to Toronto Islands (which I had never had the pleasure of being to before). I cannot describe how much I enjoy a cheesy audio tour, and BUOY OH BUOY was I in luck! The tour was complete with husband and wife bickering, and fake airplane noises as we sailed by the downtown airport. Just incredible.

If cheesy audio tours are not for you (then first we need to sit down over a coffee and I can explain how they are a under appreciated form of learning) then fret not, you can take in the beautiful Toronto islands and skyline.

Peaceful Toronto Islands and view of the bustling downtown

Peaceful Toronto Islands and view of the bustling downtown

No trip to Toronto is complete for me without a ball game! Before this we had to fuel up. Some pals from my old work took me to Gusto 101 when I was there for work and I had to take Cam back to the awesome pasta and patio. HIGHLY recommend the “Mafalde Ai Funghi” and their house wine is on tap and $1 an ounce… plus it’s DELISH.

Dinner on the Gusto Patio - the best Italian food I have had outside of Italy

Dinner on the Gusto Patio - the best Italian food I have had outside of Italy

I love baseball (with an open roof it is just a super patio with a great atmosphere. Baseball games give me the opportunity to pull out my favorite mediocre sports heckles (personal favorite is to ask the Ump if I can pet his seeing eye dog after the game - CLASSIC). Sadly, the roof was closed in Toronto on this particular day but we still had a great time (even as my cholesterol took a further hit) at Hot Dog Night! With baseball, your best bet is typically StubHub - we got some great seats at a deep discount! If you are looking to do it super on the cheap, you can purchase cheap tickets and watch from the WestJet flight deck!

Take me out to the ball game!

Take me out to the ball game!

The last day in Toronto, in keeping with my gut leading the way, we decided to do a brunch before heading down to Southern Ontario. This was quite possibly the BEST breakfast I have ever had. It was so good it was stupid. I was also EGGSTATIC about the name of the restaurant (EGGSTATIC). I highly recommend popping by this place, I had the Eggstatic Tomato Jacket and Cam had a benny - we were both thrilled!

I WAS Eggstatic about the breakfast!

I WAS Eggstatic about the breakfast!

Then, bid adieu to the dog friends I had made/cheated on my dog with (a few pictured below). A tragic time to be sure.

Any Torontonians or Toronto visitors out there with other suggestions of what to do in Toronto over a few days visit? Please share with the non Torontonians the best that your city has to offer!

Cheers,

Courtney