Toronto for the weekend - The Dainty Squid

Toronto for the weekend

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The view from our hotel room!

Getting my passport had been on my list of new year's goals for way, way too long. I just kept putting it off, and putting it off. But last month I fiiiiinally sucked it up, and applied. One ugly photo, a nice chunk of money, and a few weeks later it was here!

Basically ever since Jeff and I met he'd been talking up Toronto. Toronto is soooo great. I love that city. We have to go! Blah, blah, blah. Toronto seemed liked it would be an awesome first trip to break in my passport...and HOLY COW, it was. If I had known how much I'd love it there I probably wouldn't have delayed getting my passport for so long.

We stayed in downtown in the Sheraton which had the most amazing view of the city! We spent the weekend walking around, shopping, taking photos, eating awesome food, and admiring the graffiti. We valeted the car and opted to see the city by foot and by train. We walked over twenty five miles in those the three days! My feet are still aching but it was totally worth it. I've never been somewhere where walking to literally anything you could need was possible like that.


I don't even know where to begin talking about how much I enjoyed this city...seriously.

I never really thought of Canada as being too much different from the United States but there were all kinds of subtle differences that totally won my heart. Maybe it's just Toronto, obviously I can't say, but y'all are some well dressed folks. I never seen so many stylish people. Jeff and I both agreed that we felt like slobs and needed to totally redo our wardrobes. Something else I loved was how friendly people were. I know that's a stereotype about Canadians but everyone in Toronto we interacted with was so nice. I didn't see as many people with their faces buried in their phones which was really awesome. And the subway?! It was so clean! I've just recently come to love taking the train except ours, in Cleveland, is so small...and it's pretty gross smelling a lot of the time. It killed me that we didn't have enough time to just take the train from stop to stop in Toronto just because I liked riding it so much.

I know I'm probably romanticizing the city at least a little bit but I am madly in love. If moving across country borders with no real reason (marriage, career, etc) wasn't so difficult I would most definitely be browsing for apartments. I just can't stop thinking about all the little reasons why I am so enamored with Toronto. Love at first visit!


I'm definitely looking forward to going back up as soon as possible. I feel like we didn't even make a dent in that city. On the way home, while raving about how much fun we had, Jeff and I realized we barely left downtown at all which kind of blows my mind. Cleveland's downtown is so small that spending more than a day there seems unfathomable. We walked up and down Queen street, where our hotel was, multiple times and each time I still saw something new I didn't see before.

It was a bit overwhelming how much there was to take in. I had planned to take tons and tons of photos but so often found myself just trying to take it in with my eyes. Hopefully next visit I'll be able to take more photos instead of just being completely blown away and unable to function like I was this time.

Hey Toronto,

See you again soon!
xoxo

Also, if you're in Toronto, you need to go to Morba! Everything in that store was AMAZING. I honestly have never loved a store so much. It was like someone created a store from all the things in my brain. Taxidermy, medical models, globes, weird furniture, interesting light fixtures, and so much more. I sadly did not take any photos inside because I was overwhelmed - dude, it was like a religious experience - but next time I'm in town I will ask permission so everyone can see how amazing this place is.

You Might Also Like

39 thoughts

  1. I've never been to Toronto and always wondered about it, now I definitely want to go! We've been to Montreal, Vancouver, and the Banff/Jasper National Park areas in Alberta/British Columbia and we loved all of them, though Vancouver was definitely our favorite! I have a co-worker from Nova Scotia and after hearing her talk about it and seeing her photos it's on my list as well. My husband and I are big fans of Canada, we've never had a bad experience and it's just so damn beautiful, whether it's the city or the middle of nowhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am super excited to explore more of Canada! I feel super embarrassed I never realized what I was missing out on, especially since I only live a few hours away from the border.

      Delete
  2. It's funny, because Toronto is our "New York", full of stylish, somewhat rude or obnoxious, people, with dirty streets and such.

    That's a Canadian's stereotype of Toronto...I'm glad you a different experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, wait, wait...SERIOUSLY??! If that's your New York?! I want to visit all your other cities!!!!! I seriously can't believe that at all. I was beyond impressed with how clean it was, the subway especially!

      That's really funny. I really wouldn't expect that at all. Toronto is a major upgrade from all the cities in the US I've visited.

      Delete
    2. I grew up in small town Ontario and now work downtown Toronto - TO is definitely Canada's New York. If you thought we were nice and clean here, you definitely need to visit some of the smaller towns, even just those in the GTA. I would also highly recommend driving North through the Muskokas in the fall. So pretty! That being said, I do love TO - so much to do and see! Glad you enjoyed your visit!

      Delete
    3. That is so crazy! It's definitely the cleanest city I have ever visited!

      Visiting more of Canada is on my list of things to do. I want to see more ASAP!

      Delete
  3. I moved there a little over a tear ago and it truly is great! Such a creative and all round gorgeous city :) even I still feel like I haven't seen everything yet! Love the pictures you took

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Any recommendations for my next visit?

      Delete
    2. I can't believe you were in my hometown!! SO awesome! Toronto has so much to offer - I'm so happy you guys had a good time. You should check out my friend's band Dilly Dally and come back at the end of the month when they play :D

      Delete
    3. Hehe, I don't think we'll be making it back that soon sadly!

      Delete
  4. Ok, please tell me you went into Condom Shack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course!

      Also, see the girl in the hot dog costume (LOL) in the doorway? She was giving away free treats (Honestly I don't know if it was condoms or candy. Wishful thinking wants to believe condoms but I'm gonna use the word "treats" anyway)

      Delete
  5. Happy to hear that we Canadians treated you right. Next up try Montreal, says this born and raised in Montreal girl. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We definitely want to. We were already plotting out road trip ideas that involved stopping in Montreal. :)

      Delete
  6. Toronto is one place I do really want to visit, Canada seems so great. Though i had no idea moving across borders would be that difficult? I suppose living in Europe I'm used to people just being able to move and work freely <3
    The Quirky Queer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, just from my one visit and everything I've heard, Canada is pretty awesome!

      Delete
  7. I commented on your instagram earlier but I have to add that I also think it's awesome/hilarious that you found it so pleasant and clean. As per the commenter above, Toronto is generally fully of beautiful but (often) mean people, extremely dirty streets, and tons of unbelievably expensive real estate. There's a lot of gentrification and displacement and terrible condos. (I don't live in Toronto, but about an hour away and visit it fairly regularly.)

    That being said, there's a whole bunch of good things too! (A lot of my friends live there and while they are beautiful they are not mean, ha!) And an huge number of really amazing restaurants and coffee shops to explore in the city. There's a wonderful hardcore scene with lots of DIY concert venues, and other cool inner city stuff from gardens to galleries and the like (and fixed gear bikes/gear for bikes, like YNOT). On the outskirts, too, there's tons of really cool outdoor/nature stuff to do, things as simple as the Evergreen Brickworks, the Scarborough bluffs, and the Leslie Spit. Even a couple hours away into southern Ontario there's badlands, gorges, the escarpment, and the Bruce Trail. There's also a ton of abandoned buildings in Toronto!

    Also: did you take highway 5 through Pennsylvania/New York and cross at Buffalo? Because damn, that highway is filled with amazing abandonments. My partner and I drove it a few years ago and found entire motels, churches, houses, and a drive-in theatre, all abandoned. Very sweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys are seriously blowing my mind saying that everyone thinks Toronto is basically the exact opposite of what I saw. We really had such an awesome time there!

      Oh man, it killed me how many bikes/people on bikes I saw. I want to bring my bike up at some point!

      I can't wait to see everything else the surrounding area has. Like I said, we barely left downtown.


      No, we take Route 90, which is through PA and NY and of course, Buffalo. There is TONS of abandoned stuff but I never gotten a single building there. Jeff and I always have really bad luck in Buffalo. We see so many awesome looking buildings and can never actually manage to get inside.

      Delete
  8. I live in Toronto and I absolutely love it! I grew up an hour outside of the city and only moved out here in August, but it's always been my dream to live in this city. I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay so much! And I recognize some of my favourite spots in your photos above :)!

    - Lauren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so great that you finally got to move there! Congrats on the move! :D

      Delete
  9. Nice! Love the photos and it's so sweet to read about your "city crush". Greetings from Croatia! (if you like Toronto I'm sure you'd like European cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam.. :)
    -IVA

    http://cosyhippie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh heck yeah, now that I've got my passport Europe just better watch out! :P

      Hehe, but in all seriousness, I am so ready to get over there and explore.

      Delete
  10. Long time lurker here! I think this is my first time commenting... I'm so pleased that you had such an awesome experience in Toronto! After lurking for so long and "getting to know you a bit here," I have to say that since you enjoyed Toronto so much, I can only imagine how much you would love Montreal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like I said to someone above mentioning Montreal, we definitely want to visit. We were actually already plotting out road trip ideas that involved stopping in Montreal. :)

      Any really awesome recommendations for Montreal?

      Delete
    2. Well I think the area from the Quartier des Spectacles to the Latin Quarter and over to Old Montreal are the best bits.
      The hotel part of this Hostel/Hotel is like staying in your own mini apartment, very plain furnishings, but such a convenient location and quite affordable for Montreal. I think it is actually bachelor apartments converted into a hotel. And if you're into this sort of thing, bonus, as it's right above a sex toy shop! No onsite restaurant though, but lots on the corner/street. I'm not sure about getting a hotel with parking in downtown Montreal, I've only flown in.
      http://abri-voyageur.ca/abri/
      I would recommend walking, lots and lots of walking, or cycling I suppose ;) I would also recommend a walking tour. I've done one that was pay what you can, and the tour guide was wonderful, very knowledgeable, and very engaging. There are so many things to see that I feel would be missed by car. Old buildings, festivals, markets, street art, lots of schools/uni, independent shops, neat restaurants and cafes, fountains with lights at night, a piece of the Berlin Wall. I believe that is the closest thing you can find to Europe, without actually traveling overseas. By far my favorite city in Canada!! And I would definitely stay longer than 2 days!

      Delete
  11. I think you would love Kensington Market...! Look it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knooooow! We ran out of energy before making it there. I couldn't walk any longer. Next time!

      Delete
  12. I was in Toronto just a few weeks ago! It's definitely a place that deserves more than a few days to really explore and soak in the sights. Did you pass by the street with the colorful lawn chairs? That was my absolute favorite part. I sat there with my family, watching the shadows on the buildings grow smaller and smaller during the sunset. Absolutely beautiful! Your photos definitely make me want to visit again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Colorful lawn chairs? That's not ringing a bell but I'm certainly intrigued.

      Delete
  13. That view from your hotel room is amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?! I couldn't believe it when we first walked in!

      Delete
  14. My hometown! I live right on queen st :) next time you come, let me know and I'll give you some must-sees and treat you to some tasty tequila!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, you lucky duck. What an awesome place to live!

      Delete
  15. I've actually had Toronto on my mind a lot lately! My friend from school is from there and I haven't seen her since we graduated over a year ago. I also got my passport last year, and I'm craving a trip over the border real bad! I'll keep this post handy for when I get around to visiting her soon. Their graffiti game looks also great! I've been obsessing over graffiti as of late.

    I don't know if you've ever been to NYC but you should definitely come if you want to break your walking record. There's so much surface area to cover! The subways are pretty gross but it's definitely a good time if you want to challenge your calves haha.

    Maria
    oddballera.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely need to go to Toronto then! Use that passport! :D

      Delete
  16. I have never been to Canada! I was supposed to take my mom to Toronto for her 50th birthday, but she was taking too long on getting her passport. Then I moved out of the country! I must say I love your photos. I envy your ability to take photos indoors and in the evening.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We are sooo joining you for some Toronto exploring next time. You don't even understand how happy I am that you loved it so much!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm so happy to hear that you loved Toronto so much! I love Toronto, but I'm a bit biased as I live there! Looks like you hit up the always awesome Nadege and Butter Avenue! Come back soon! www.heartlessgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ahhh Condom Shack on Queen St... Too bad I didn't know about TDS until recently - Toronto is my home city! Glad you loved it :)

    Your photography kicks a$$, definitely keep that up. And just overall, I'm new to TDS, but you've done a rockin' job with it.

    xoxo

    Dana
    Creator of The X Class - A Success Blog
    www.thexclass.com

    ReplyDelete


follow along @thedaintysquid.