I was born and raised in Toronto. I lived there for a full 25 years. On the eve of my 25th birthday, I decided to pick up and relocate to our big neighbor below, the land of opportunity. 9 years later, I can honestly say that the city that I once knew is no more. My friends and family are scattered across the town and world. The city has grown in population and popularity (thanks to Drake and the like.) And so when someone recently asked me for some ideas of places to visit while they were visiting Toronto, I drew a complete blank. It was actually quite upsetting. I love Toronto. I miss Toronto. My fondest memories were experienced and lived there.
Nonetheless, I still took it upon me to inquire and discover the city I once called home and here is what I came up with:
Lakeshore (walkway along Lake Ontario is very pretty during the spring) – We spent the only day that we had good weather on Queen’s St. West and going to the CN Tower (see below).
Ripley’s Aquarium (the newest and biggest aquarium in North America) – Another girl I met recommended this saying “You might think oh an aquarium that’s something you bring kids to, but no I’ve been there 5 times since it opened.” Jenna lives in Atlanta which has a huge aquarium so she was not down. It is right next to the CN Tower so you could definitely do both in one day.
CN Tower (used to be the tallest structure in the world, great views of Toronto) – Must do in Toronto the view is amazing. Go to this on a nice clear sunny day if possible. I thought it was worth the extra $12 to go to the very top Sky Pod. Have a Canadian beer at the top. My friend Maria asked me if I was at the Drake tower when I posted a picture because it’s on the cover of his newest album Views:
Queen’s Park (beautiful park with a government building in front) – I didn’t make it here, but walked by a few other parks and even the more business-y areas of town had tulips and flowers EVERYWHERE it was really nice.
Yorkville (a very rich part of town with lots of cute shops and cafes) – Drove by here and it looked nice, but I didn’t get a chance to visit.
Queen’s St. West (lots of cute spots to window shop in) – Spent most of my time here, loved it.
King St. West has dozens of restaurants and bars to visit.
Pravda – This is a Russian vodka bar and OMG it was SO FUN. They had an aerial dancer, a live band played the Russian national anthem twice, and they have a huge freezer behind the bar that you can go into and take vodka shots in fur coats. The drinks are actually not too expensive here either and the music was great. This is the only one I actually made it to on this list.
The Chase – This is a fancy $$$$ Canadian seafood restaurant that I wanted to go to, but didn’t get a chance to try it out.
Valdez – Latin tapas and cocktail bar. This place actually closed a few days before I got to Toronto which was too bad because it looked really fun! They are reopening again in a few months in a bigger location 1 block away.
EFS – Small lounge/club that’s right by Valdez and Fring’s.
Brassai – Mediterranean wine and cocktail bar.
Union – French wine bar that looks delicious.
Gusto 101 – Italian restaurant that looks delicious. It’s open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
Stock. – Great rooftop. Good on Saturdays. – I could not figure out what this was or find it on Yelp. If you have heard of this place, let me know!
Cafe Nervosa. Make sure you get a patio seat. – I think this is Trattoria Nervosa and it looks like a good Italian restaurant with a nice patio.
I should be back in the 6ix in August. Looking forward to cross of some of these bad boys then. Navid taught me that Drake calls Toronto the 6ix because two of the area codes in Toronto (416 and 647) have the number 6 in them.