Today I'm taking you on a virtual journey back to Toronto with me so I can share a few of my favorite places and things to do for any of you who may be planning to travel there in the future! I highly recommend a visit at some point - maybe not in January - the weather was quite chilly - but in addition to there being a ton to do, the city is so clean & beautiful and everyone we met was so helpful & nice!

Where We Stayed: 

We stayed in downtown Toronto at Novotel Toronto Centre. My favorite part about this hotel was that it was walking distance from everywhere we wanted to go! The hotel itself had all of the amenities you would want for your home away from home. A good gym & pool, free wifi, spacious clean room, etc. We added the option for the breakfast buffet to our reservation and I think it was definitely worth it. It just makes life so much easier to roll out of bed and head downstairs for breakfast.

Where We Ate:

360 Restaurant: This is definitely a spot for tourists, but if you are going Toronto for a visit, I would totally recommend it. This restaurant is at the top of the CN Tower and the views are absolutely incredible. The restaurant rotates, taking 72 minutes to complete a full circle so each time you look out the window you can see a different area of the city! The menu was price fixed and slightly overpriced, as were the drinks, but I found both to be yummy! I strategically made our reservation for 5pm so we could see the city during daylight hours as well as all lit up at night.

The Works: Our hotel recommended this place to us and I'm so glad we took their advice. It was the perfect lunch spot. The place has over 50 burger combinations ( I actually had to send our waiter away twice so I could finish reading each type of burger!) J got the Babe Watch - a burger with avocado & cheese while I got the Crappy Tire which had brie cheese and grilled pineapple. Part of me still wishes I got the Blues Burger, one with bacon & blue cheese. The best parts of the meal were our appetizer & our dessert: Wrecking Balls which are basically tater tots wrapped in bacon & are the best thing I've ever eaten. Yum! For dessert, we got a Strawberry Cheesecake milkshake and it was delish! Double yum!

Old Spaghetti Factory: I loved this place for dinner. It reminded me of an old fashioned, homey Italian restaurant. Each meal was served with a soup or salad and ice cream for dessert! J had lasagna and I had ravioli and both were really tasty and had that homemade taste. The restaurant itself was super neat too. The decor included a carousel and trolley car both that had tables inside to eat in.

Also try, Fran's Restaurant, Oliver & Bonacini Cafe and Real Sports Bar & Grill. All 3 are totally different from each other but looked awesome as I was researching places to eat. Sadly, we didn't have enough time to stop by and try the food ourselves.

What We Did:

CN Tower: From afar, the CN Tower looks like any tall building you might see in NYC, but walking up to it was crazy. It is SO tall and steep like a needle standing in the sky! The night we went got kind of foggy so we didn't visit the SkyPod level but we did go to the lookout following our dinner, as well as walked over the glass floors!! I think I would recommend going during daylight hours (& on a clear day!) so you can really see the city. 

Hockey Hall of Fame: If you are a hockey fan at all, you must visit the HHOF during your lifetime. It was so cool to see all of the history & read all of the facts about past teams/players, plus we got to take a few photos with the Stanley Cup!  In addition to the exhibits, there are a few interactive games plus a short 3D movie so the entire museum took us about 2 hours. The HHOF is connected to an underground mall, so afterwards, we headed downstairs to the food court for some lunch. 

Air Canada Centre: Of course, the main reason we chose this city was to see the New York Rangers play the Toronto Maple Leafs so one of the highlights of our trip was watching the game! We chose to sit in the upper level to save money but sat right at center ice in the second row. The seats were awesome! I love the spirit that the city and the fans here have, not only for their team but also for their country. I got chills listening to the entire arena sing along to  the Canadian national anthem. The arena itself was nice, although the food was pretty generic & I admit the Garden has some better options. My favorite part about this arena was how relaxed the ushers were prior to the game! At the Garden, there is one specific section where fans are allowed to watch warm ups prior to the game. At the Air Canada Centre, it seemed like we could pretty much stand anywhere so J & I went right up to the glass behind the Rangers net. It was so cool to watch them laugh with each other & skate around to warm up. I had never been that close!!!

Ripley's Aquarium: I always love a good aquarium because I never get tired of checking out the animals & fish. This aquarium was super cool & is definitely a family friendly location. It was filled with fish, sting rays, sharks and jellyfish. We walked through many exhibits and then reached a moving walkway that took you through the longest tunnel where you were surrounded by 180 degrees of fish & sharks! We even got a shark selfie! I also loved the jellyfish wall since I had never seen jellies so close & how detailed and beautiful they are. The aquarium took us about 2 hours to walk through.

Good to Know: 
  • Rather than taking a cab, there is a train that runs back and forth from the airport to downtown Toronto. It obviously was cheaper, only took 25 minutes and was hands down the nicest train I had ever been on. It even had wifi! 
  • Tim Horton's is like the Dunkin Donuts of Canada so you must make a stop there if you visit any part of Canada. I personally thought they had some of the best hot chocolate that I've ever tasted! Part of me wishes there was a Tim Horton's in NY.
  • Some of the restaurants we went to were willing to take American dollars however many weren't willing to do the conversions. For example, if something cost $20 Canadian dollars, we would have had to pay $20 US dollars even though with the conversion it should only cost $15 USD, so we ended up using a credit card for a lot of our purchases. Another tip, check with your credit card companies about international fees before you travel!
  • We learned about it too late to order them but there are actually city passes for Toronto that include tickets to the aquarium, CN Tower, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum and the zoo or science centre. If you plan to visit a bunch of these attractions, I would say go for the city pass to save some money!

Have you visited Toronto? 

Michelle Paige