Canada is a place that has always been on my bucket list. Its pretty surprising that it took so long to get there considering how close it is. October is all about the fall season and all of its glory. We had a few days off in October and I wanted to do something special for Markus’ birthday and just take some time for ourselves. After a little research, I decided to surprise him with a trip to Toronto! I figured it would be the perfect place to get away for the long weekend to relax but also explore. Keep reading for a full Toronto review and travel guide!
Where To Stay
We were BEYOND lucky enough to be hosted by the team over at One King West Hotel and Residences. First I need to say a huge thank you to them for hosting us and working with me on this portion of this post!
I knew the stay would be amazing, but I was completely blown away. Our stay started with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries with handwritten chocolate wishing Markus a Happy Birthday. Not only that, but upon arrival they will have the best robes and slippers for your use.
We stayed in a Tower Premium Suite. We had a couch, kitchen, desk and king size bed. Not to mention a washer/dryer in the room and the full option to cook if we wanted to. The two TVs were also great as we knew we wanted to spend some time relaxing.
If you’re interested in learning more about the hotel or residence or want to book a stay you can click here!!!
What To Do
Visit the CN Tower
The CN Tower is the most iconic part of the Toronto skyline. We were lucky enough to have an amazing view of the tower from our room over at One King West, but we still wanted to visit the top. Markus was a little scared when he realized it was one of the worlds tallest buildings, taller than the Empire State building!
We went first thing in the morning to avoid the lines. The elevator ride takes only a minute! There are different ticket options, including what is called the sky pod, which is one of the higher levels. There are also 360 degree views and glass floors!
Visit St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence market was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. It is basically an indoor market with tons of vendors serving everything from pasta, to fresh fruit, to seafood and more. There are also stores that sell trinkets, kitchen items and more. It can get pretty busy so try to go during an off-peak time.
This is also home of the famous Carousel Bakery and their ‘breakfast on a bun.’ Markus and I were a little confused, but you guys, it was SO GOOD. This is a must do on my list. We got lost walking around sampling the variety of foods. We also stopped at a little bakery for a sweet-tooth fix. Also, if you’re in a group this could be a great place to go for meals because there will be something for everyone’s taste!
Ok, so this may be one of the most ‘Canadian’ things. Basically, if you aren’t familiar, its like a Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme here in the states. I think one of their most popular items are their ‘timbits’ which are donut holes. They do have some fun flavors such as birthday cake though!
Most of the stores seemed to be the same, but there was an exception! We came across one or two stores that served more ‘artisanal’ style donuts that were handcrafted and were more unique flavors such as creme brûlée, peanut butter and jelly, vanilla cupcake and more. If you’re a donut fanatic, I definitely recommend trying to find one of the fancier stores!
Visit the Distillery District
The Old Distillery District is a little farther out of town, but was an easy walk! This is a great place to spend half a day just exploring, it’s full of restaurants and shops! I also came across the Deceim flagship store and am now obsessed. Be sure to check out their products here because I love what they stand for as a brand.
- Poutine – Ok so we had no idea what this was and apparently we should have. It is another one of those ‘Canadian’ things. Basically, it is French fries covered in gravy topped with cheese curds. There are variations but that is the most basic version. At first we were like no way, we got it and it simply just looked like a mess. BUT IT WASN’T. Honestly we ended up getting it too many times and are even looking for the best places in New York that serve it. Our favorite was from a pub called ‘Elephant & Castle.’
- The Path – Ok so we were there over the weekend and didn’t get to fully experience this. It is an underground tunnel system that connects a ton of financial buildings and has shops and stuff like that but is closed on the weekends. Locals even advise against it because it can be super confusing. We ventured down there once or twice and did get lost. So visit at your own discretion! Just note that there are over 19 miles to get lost in!
- Yonge Street – This is probably the most ‘New York’ part of Toronto. There is tons of shops, restaurants and nightlife! The Eaton Centre is a huge mall that has over 230 stores. It’s a great place to spend colder or rainy days indoors! This is also where The Bay (a department store) has their flagship location. This is by far THE BIGGEST store I have ever been in. Whatever you need it is there. From Louis Vuitton and Dior to Topshop to a market. You could spend a day in here alone!
- Bloor Street – This is another great area to grab a coffee or hot chocolate and stroll along while shopping. This area houses stores like Louis Vuitton to Zara, Aritzia and H&M. While in this part of town, we ate at Jack Astors and it was pretty good!
Overall, we LOVED Toronto. It’s a place that we look forward to visiting again! Not only were the people so nice but the city was insanely clean! I highly recommend a weekend in Toronto if you have the chance. I would love to visit again in the warmer weather to explore more of what the city has to offer!
Once again, I want to say a huge Thank You to the team over at One King West for working with me on part of this blog post and hosting us while we were in the area. I know that it’s where I’ll be staying as soon as I can make it back!
I hope this guide was helpful!! I loved visiting Canada and hope to head back soon!