Looking Back at Toronto

After my first visit to Toronto in November 2016 to see the K-pop group, GOT7, I’m heading back in March to see another Korean idol group.

Toronto is a fun and very pretty city, so I’m definitely excited to be going back!

In preparation for my next trip, here’s a look back at my last one:

Casa Loma (sort of).

Our plan after arriving was to check in to our Airbnb, then head out to explore Casa Loma. After a two hour flight delay, we landed at Pearson airport around noon – still plenty of time to check into our Airbnb and get to Casa Loma before it closed at 4pm.

It should be noted, that whenever I travel, there’s always a very strong possibility of getting lost. True to my nature (and my friend’s), we got off at the wrong stop. We ended up at Bloor Station nearly 15 minutes outside of the city, instead of Bloor-Yonge Station, where we wanted to go.

Bloor

Once we finally checked in to our Airbnb, we thought we could still spend at least an hour at Casa Loma. Given the events of that day…we should have known our Uber would get lost. By the time made it to Casa Loma, there was only 30 minutes left until closing, and all visitors had to leave by 4pm. Rather than spend $25 CAD (~$18) to speed through, we wandered around outside taking pictures, then walked back towards the city.

CasaLoma1

Poutine is a must!

Fries smothered in gravy and cheese curd (and sometimes other toppings like sour cream and chives) makes it the best kind of bar food.

Poutine

Karaoke!

I’m a big fan of having a couple of drinks and singing/shouting into a microphone. This place is located in downtown on Yonge Street, right across from the Ryerson University Library and Archives, and you can rent rooms by the hour. They also have a selection of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese songs, which made it perfect for a group of K-pop fans!

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We went around 11pm on Saturday night and didn’t get a room until around midnight, so just be prepared to wait. Luckily, you can give them your number, and they will call you when a room is available, which means you can go to a nearby bar for a drink while you wait!

CN Tower

CNTower

Pretty to look at, especially at night. Over-priced for what you get inside.

We went at night after a day trip to Niagara Falls, and for $35 CAD (~$26 USD) I expected…more. Maybe it was because half the observation deck was closed off for a private event, that I was underwhelmed with the experience. Most disappointing was the metal grating on the outer observation deck that prevents you from plummeting off the deck, but also from getting any decent photos of the city.

CNTowerview

CNTowerglass

Even the “glass floor” was a let down, as the glass was cloudy and scuffed from the number of people standing on it over the years to look down at the street below.

The wind tunnel on one side of the tower was quite an experience though. If you want to experience going head-first into 30-some mile-an-hour winds, then walk around the outer observation deck.

Niagara Falls

niagara1

The first view of the falls is shocking. Simply seeing the force and sheer amount of water coming over the cliffs is enough to make you stop and appreciate the natural beauty of it.

However, unless you want to shop, do several activities, or hang out at the casinos, Niagara Falls can be done in a few hours, even if you’re stopping to take pictures at every possible distance and angle. To give you an idea: We arrived around 11:30am and were pretty much finished by about 3 or 4 pm.

The most popular excursion is the boat ride that takes you right up to the base of the falls. According to the site, the whole thing takes about 20 minutes and costs $25.95 CAD (~$19 USD).

niagara3

We decided to do  Journey Behind the Falls, which costs $22.95 CAD (~$17 USD) and takes you behind Horseshoe Falls. Even though you can make the whole experience last for less than 15 minutes, it’s still pretty amazing being so close.

niagara2

Getting there:

You can either rent a car and drive (from Toronto it’s about 1.5-2 hours). Or you can take the bus (Greyhound and Megabus/Canada Coach). We decided to take Megabus, as it was the cheaper option than renting a car…

We taxied to the falls from the bus stop, but decided to walk when we went back at the end of the day, which takes about an hour. The walk was slightly uphill, but still easy and pleasant, especially during the fall, when the trees are changing color.

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Tim Hortons

I know. But seriously. Tim Hortons coffee is the best.

timhortons

My first trip was simple, but fun. I really enjoyed my first trip to Toronto and am really looking forward to returning!

Have you been to Toronto? What do you remember most about your trip?

 

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