First stop, Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario.
Toronto is a lovely city. The area we stayed in, Bloordale is West of the city and used to be a rather tough neighbourhood but is now going through gentrification and has lots of independent shops, bars, cafes and a large mall nearby in Dufferin. The houses in the tree-lined streets are narrow, usually 2 or 3 stories plus basement, and all have cute little balconies and small front yards. The streets were quiet and clean but still had a friendly neighbourhood vibe to them. You feel as if everyone would know their neighbours.
The TRT (metro) will set you back $29 for a book of 10 rides. Torontos metro is tiny, in fact it’s only 4 lines so most things are quite a walk from a station. You get tokens the size of a 5c piece you either place in a box near the ticket station or in a turnstile.
Things to Do
We bought a Toronto pass which allowed us entry to the cities main attractions and saves us about 48% if we visit all 5, which we did.
Ripley’s Aquarium – big aquarium with large shark tank. Tanks are clean and colourful and there are a few touch pools as well. Well worth a visit.
Toronto Island – is a must do! $7:50 for a return ticket gets you over and there is heaps of activities on offer once on the island. Bike hire, Kayak and canoe hire, swimming and heaps of eating places.
CN Tower – The worlds tallest building up until 2007 is definitely worth seeing. It’s a bit scarey going up in the glass walled and floored elevator I must say. Once inside there is both indoor and outdoor viewing platforms and 2 restaurants. The views over the city, Toronto Island and Lake Ontario are just amazing.
Casa Loma – expect big queues to get tickets and a lot of people. This big stately home is on Spadina hill so when you go up to the higher towers you get a fantastic view of the city. There are big dining rooms, a beautiful conservatory, grand bedrooms, manicured gardens, workers quarters and a even a secret staircase.
Toronto Zoo – be warned! The zoo is a long way from the city and it will take you at least 1.5 hours to get to. But once there there are so many things to see and the place is huge. You could easily spend a whole day there.