What I did:
The CN (Canadian National) Tower is an iconic feature of Toronto's skyline. It previously held the title of "World's Tallest Building" for over 30 years, but has since been overtaken by towers in Dubai and China. That being said, it is still the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, and the third tallest in the world. It provides some cool views of the city of Toronto.
Distillery Historic District-
The Distillery Historic District is a cool area of Toronto. There are many interesting old buildings, and many of them house some good cafes and restaurants.
Toronto Blue Jays Game at the Rogers Centre-
The Toronto Blue Jays are the only Canadian team currently playing Major League Baseball. They play at the Rogers Centre (formally known as the Skydome), which features a retractable roof. I had the opportunity to go to the game with some people from countries outside of the United States, and it was interesting to get the perspectives of someone who had never been to a baseball game before.
Canadian National Exhibition-
The Canadian National Exhibition, also know as the CNE or The Ex, is an annual event in Toronto. It takes place on an expansive 192 acre site (some of which is waterfront) known as Exhibition Place. Although it is a yearly event, I was fortunate enough to be there while they were celebrating the 150th year of Canada. The exhibition featured a number of different food vendors, small rides, shows, concerts, and other forms of entertainment.
Although not necessarily a "market" in the traditional sense, Kensington Market is an area with a number of cool shops and restaurants. It has a cool, laid back vibe, and was fortunately located right around the corner from my hostel.
Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre-
The Toronto Central Grosvenor St. YMCA Centre was a great place to workout. The facility was very nice, and the staff was very friendly.
Where I ate and drank:
The Black Hoof-
I ate one of the best meals I have ever had in my life at The Black Hoof. The food and drinks were both amazingly high quality. I had the bone marrow and horse carpaccio, and both were exquisite. I highly recommend checking The Black Hoof out, and I plan on going there again next time I am in Toronto.
Sneaky Dee's is a good Mexican place in Toronto. While not necessarily spectacular, it provides good food and the kitchen is open late hours. There is also a dance club connected to the restaurant.
Amsterdam Brewhouse has a great waterfront location and decent food. Unfortunately, you cannot order their full menu at the brewhouse. However, they do also sell their brews at a small shop next door.
Pilot Coffee is a good, Canadian based coffee company. They have a good nitro cold brew coffee, although sometimes it can be flat.
Wilbur Mexicana is similar to restaurants such as Chipotle and Moe's, but in my opinion it is better. They offer good food at good prices, and offer an extensive selection of hot sauces.
Tokyo Smoke Coffee Shop-
Tokyo Smoke is a great coffee spot in Toronto. They served an excellent nitro that was probably the best cup of coffee I have had in Toronto. The staff there was very friendly and gave some good recommendations about the city.
Porchetta & Co.-
As you can easily guess by its name, Porchetta & Co. serves a very good porchetta sandwich. It is worth checking out if you are visiting Toronto.
Sweet Jesus serves a crazy amount of toppings on their soft serve ice cream. They also serve coffee. While not very healthy, it is worth checking out when in Toronto.
Bahn Mi Bar-
Bahn Mi is an Asian style sandwich with hot peppers, cucumber slices, pickled carrots, and other ingredients depending on personal preferences. It was a good sandwich for a good price.
Voodoo Child Espresso & Cocktail Bar-
By night, Voodoo Child is a nice cocktail bar with a cool, laid back vibe, and by day they are a good quality coffee bar. The night I was there they had some good live music playing.
Balzac's Distillery District-
Balzac's is a Canadian coffee chain with various locations in Toronto. Their location in the Distillery District is a super cool spot to have a cup of coffee and work or relax. They serve a nice nitro cold brew coffee in addition to their more traditional coffee options.
Cold Tea is a laid back speakeasy in the Kensington Market area of Toronto. It is marked by a simple red light (and sometimes a line). In addition to a seating area that is a nice place to have a conversation, they also have a small dancing area.
The Cloak Bar-
The Cloak Bar is a speakeasy found down a set of stairs next to the Marben restaurant. The vibe is laid back, and the cocktails are excellent quality.
Where I stayed:
Planet Traveler Hostel-
Planet Traveler Hostel was an excellent hostel. The facilities weren't the best of any place I've stayed, but the environment was great. When staying at the hostel, I felt like a family member. There was a rooftop terrace with some nice views, and they even offered a free salsa dancing class!
How I got around:
Toronto is a walkable city, and I walked to most of the places I went. I did take a train (the UP Express) to and from the airport. I also used the streetcar in Toronto a couple times.
My favorite thing:
The meal I had at the The Black Hoof is one of the best meals I have ever had. It was absolutely delicious, and I would happily go back again.
My least favorite thing:
I was fortunate enough to be in Toronto when the weather was good, but for much of the year it is brutally cold.
For next time:
Next time I go to Toronto I would like to visit some of the beaches and islands in the Toronto area.
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