Well, I’m going to do a quick rewind in my travel life. This week, I’m actually in Denver! And who would have guessed, Denver in March is actually calling for beautiful weather. We’re talking 70s, people. I thought I’d be snowshoeing and skiing, but who knows. Follow along on Snapchat (folkstar219 or the image on my sidebar) to stay up to date on those adventures!But onto Toronto!
Before Winter releases us from her clutches, let’s travel north. Canada-north! In December I road tripped to Toronto with one of my college friends (hi, Dan!) and I’m so glad we went. And NOT just because 8-hour road trips are the perfect excuse for listening to Hamilton and One Direction endlessly, I swear.
Now, Toronto is pretty much made for you to have a wonderful time. But I’ve got the perfect recipe for ensuring your trip to Toronto is fantastic!
Recipe for A Great Winter Trip to Toronto, Ontario
6 handfuls of fabric. You might need more handfuls, especially if you’ve got Amanda-sized hands. So the fact of the matter is that while Toronto is gorgeous and wonderful, I’d be a terrible travel blogger if I didn’t make sure you packed warm accessories for your Toronto trip. Scarves are a must. Hats are wonderful. Gloves or mittens: YES. But my biggest ingredient for you to remember, especially if you don’t have a terribly warm jacket, is to get a wind-resistant layer to wear under your jacket!
Toronto was actually not bad when we were there, but the wind was sometimes a slap in the face. So let’s start this off the right way by dressing appropriately!
2 Really topnotch neighborhoods. You all know by now that I LOVE my neighborhoods. Toronto’s got a lot of great parts, but my two favorite neighborhoods are Queen West and Kensington Market. To be fair, they’re completely adjacent neighborhoods. So it’s easy to visit both in one fell swoop!
The two big streets you need to know here are Queen Street and Augusta Ave, towards the West side of the city. You can walk along either one and find an endless amount of restaurants. There’s also really great shopping too. For fun souvenirs, I stopped in Blue Banana Market and spent a good time perusing around there.
Unfortunately, I do not have an AirBnB to recommend to you for Toronto. While I did stay in this area, the place we stayed was just not my style. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it and it was actually really quiet. I just didn’t mesh with it in my totally-obsessed-with-AirBnB way.
2.615 million nice people. I’m sure MAYBE there are a handful of Toronto citizens that aren’t nice, but I’m here to tell you that from what I saw…the stereotypes are totally true. People are legit so nice in Toronto. It’s definitely the friendliest city I’ve been to in terms of people talking to you wherever you are. Plus this way you get the best recommendations (see the last optional ingredient).
Endless tablespoons of dye. Like COLORS. Dang, I did not go into Toronto thinking that it was a particularly colorful city, but it totally is. Yes, of course I found street art there-there's actually a whole Alley dedicated to it (check the picture for info)! But also just the way the city lights up is kind of wonderful. And the Toronto sign in front of City Hall, in Nathan Phillips Square? Killer. So yes. You’ll definitely add color to the mix. And bring ice skates!
1 Bicycle. One thing that I totally wish I did was rent a bicycle. This is not the first time you’ve heard this from me, of course. BUT. I absolutely 1000% LOVED the Toronto Islands. They’re south of the city and you take a lovely ferry over from the main city. It was such an adventure in the wintertime because it was so deserted. I imagine it is a BLAST in the summertime. But I wish with my whole heart I had forced Dan to rent a bike so we could explore the whole island on bicycle. So learn from my mistakes! Please!
1 (or 5) Splash(es) of Ice Wine. So this wine is definitely, definitely too sweet for my taste. But if you drive into Toronto, you may be surprised at the number of winery options for you to visit. Since Toronto gets so cold, ice wine is a specialty of these wineries. Basically, the grapes freeze while they are still on the vine. From what I can gather, the water in the grape is what freezes…leaving lots of sugar and other delicious wine ingredients left in the grape. Definitely give it a try!
Optional Christmas decorations. I love all things Christmas and Toronto did NOT disappoint. A thousand thank-you’s to one of our waitresses who insisted we head to the Christmas market. It’s essentially a street market dedicated to Christmas. There’s shopping, photo ops, twinkle lights, hot toddies. It was an absolute pleasure to walk around and enjoy.
BUT! Keep in mind that if you go, the fair actually ends a couple of days before Christmas. So make sure you schedule time to get there! It’s also closed on Mondays. And if you’re wanting to get pictures without people in it, I suggest checking it out Tuesday through Friday. There’s also no $5 donation fee on those days.
And voila! You have a wonderful trip to Toronto just waiting for you.
- Have you been to Toronto? What did you think? More importantly, did you eat poutine?
- Where should I venture next in Canada?