Just four months after my first trip to see GOT7, I was back in Toronto – this time to see SHINee!
Despite the cold, we hit up some new places the day we arrived and the day of the show!
Travel dates: March 18-20, 2017
Show date: March 19, 2017
Venue: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Location: 1 Front St. E, Toronto, Ontario
Outside, there’s plenty of space for fans to hang around and line up. We lined up on the left side, and were eventually moved off the sidewalk, onto the small side street to accommodate more fans as it got closer to open doors.
Across the street is also a small park, where fansites were giving away and/or selling goods.
Once you go through the doors, you enter a large lobby. Depending on where your seats are, you either go up the left or right escalators or walk to your left or right on the first floor to the doors leading to the orchestra seats.
If you need to use the bathroom, go to the second floor restrooms.
There’s also bars on the first and second floors, where you can grab a drink before the show.
Inside looks like a typical theater…it’s not pretty like Pasadena Civic Auditorium or old like Massey Hall. Seats are very close together, so if you are tall and plan on sitting during the show, you may feel a bit cramped.
Our seats were six rows from the stage on the far right. Even with the signs, lights, and arms up of the people in front of us, I had no trouble seeing (I’m 5’2” and didn’t have heels or platforms on).
Overall, I thought this was a good venue, and hope it’s used again for future K-pop shows!
I didn’t have much interaction with the venue staff, and will refrain from commenting on KpopMe.
This might just be my own perception because I didn’t have any direct interaction with them, but security was everywhere, and they came off as unapproachable. They set the tone really early by barking out threats to remove anyone who recorded or took pictures during the show (of course, fans still found a way…God bless them).
I talked about a few things to do in this post after my first visit: our failed attempt to see Casa Loma, a day trip to Niagara Falls, and CN Tower. Our second visit included a few new places we didn’t see the first time.
Things to do
Royal Ontario Museum
The day we arrived was cold and snowy, so we were looking for things to do inside. The Royal Ontario Museum was a perfect choice! While it was smaller than I expected considering its distinction as one of the largest museums in North America, the exhibits were well done. But, if you’re someone who likes displays with detailed descriptions, you may find them a bit uninformative, and some had no description at all.
There is an admission fee of $20 CAD, but if you’re looking for a place to go in bad weather, it’s worth it!
A nice area with some street art, little cafes and good places for brunch or lunch.
Ice Skating at Phillips Square
While we didn’t ice skate when we were there, I wanted to see the Toronto sign lit up at night (it didn’t hurt that GOT7 visited the same spot in November!). Definitely a good photo spot, so go at night!
Where we ate
Located in Kensington Market – stop here on a warm afternoon for some gelato! You can mix flavors, and they will let you taste a few before you decide on what you want. I ordered tiramisu and mocca, which was a great combination!
Ok, so the picture above is actually from the museum because I didn’t have the foresight to take a photo of this place or our dinner. But – Wow Sushi is close to the museum and has decent, affordable sushi, so if you’re in that area and are in the mood for sushi, I recommend this place!
Where we stayed
When staying in Toronto, the most affordable option is probably Airbnb. For this trip, we stayed in the Distillery District, about a 30 minute walk away from the venue, and close to St. Lawrence Market. You can also easily catch the streetcar from the station nearby to get almost anywhere in the city.
If you’re flying into Toronto Pearson Airport, I recommend taking the UP train into the city. The trip from Pearson to Union Station takes about 25 minutes and costs $12 CAD one-way. If you have a flight arriving or leaving outside of the train’s hours of operation, I recommend Lyft or Uber.
If you’re returning to the States from the airport, in my experience, I have always gone through U.S customs at Pearson, so I don’t have to do it when I land back in D.C. But, I’m not sure if this is the case for every gate or destination in the U.S.
Like every airport, the time you spend in the security and customs lines depends on the time of day and the gate – I’ve had it take 10 minutes, and I’ve had it take an hour. Gate F at 5am took about 45 minutes.
Subway and streetcars
Getting around Toronto is super easy. Depending on where you’re going, you can easily take the subway or streetcars.
If you’re only there for a few days, use one of the ancient-looking token machines to get a few tokens, which can be used for both the subway and the streetcars. If you’re there longer, look into getting a week pass at one of the pass machines.
The streetcars also take exact change: $3.25 CAD.
And that is all for this trip! I’ll be heading back in a few weeks to see G-DRAGON!
How was your SHINee concert experience?