Before we embark on the beginning of a new journey (moving to Montenegro with our 2 cats), we decided to do quick trips to meet our family which I haven’t seen for years and years– some of which are my Godparents from baptism, my mom’s uncle, and their kids who are now teenagers and have been living in Toronto, in Ontario Canada since 1998.
Jonathan stayed in my uncle’s house in New Jersey to look after our cats as I headed to meet my relatives in Toronto. It was rather a quick flight from the USA! This is my 125th country and I’m thrilled to be meeting some relatives and exploring a new city! I stayed there for 4 days and here’s an easy travel guide which you can use on your next getaway in Toronto, Ontario! 🙂
ABOUT ONTARIO – SOME FACTS
Ontario is a Province located in Central Canada which is bordered by Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, and Quebec to the east. It is the only province with access to the Great Lakes, which comprise 21% of the world’s surface fresh water in terms of volume. It is home to 14.9 Million people which comprises 40% of Canada’s population. From the languages spoken up to the electricity used, there are things you should know when planning your trip!
Languages: French and mostly English
Government: Ontario is ruled by a provincial government and is home to two capitals: Ottawa (federal), and Toronto (provincial)
Climate: Summer temperatures can soar above 30°C while in winter they can drop below -40°C in remote areas
Currency: Canadian Dollars (CAD) 1.00 GBP = approx 1.70 CAD
Time: Most of Ontario is in the Eastern Time Zone (five hours behind GMT). The areas of Ontario west of 90° longitude are in the Central Time zone (six hours behind GMT).
Electricity: Electricity in Ontario is 120 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles per second. Three-pin plugs should be used.
WHERE TO STAY IN TORONTO?
There are plenty of hotels in Toronto, being the provincial capital of Ontario and I’m sure you wouldn’t find it hard to find a place to stay in. Personally, I stayed in Hotel X Toronto by Library Hotel Collection as I’ve also stayed in their properties in New York and Budapest. I can vouch for their beautiful hotels and excellent service and not even once were we let down with their exemplary hotel and heartwarming services!
From the high-ceiling, fully functional, and cozy rooms with spectacular views in each of them; Resort-Style Amenities like their 250-seat Cinema, 4 Indoor Tennis Courts & 9 Squash Courts, Dedicated Rooms for Pilates, Spinning, & Yoga, as well as the massive 3,000 sq ft Kids Activity Centre; and did I say they’re Pet-Friendly, too?? All furbabies are welcome in this property! How I wish I have Jon and our cats with me!
I stayed in one of their 1 bedroom suites and had the most beautiful view of the city centre. I also have access to their every afternoon wine and cheese reception which is common to all of their properties. They also gave me a free luxury car transfer to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport which is less than 10 minutes drive away from the property.
Located in 111 Princes’ Boulevard in Toronto, you’ll surely be treated with a service fit for a king!
WHAT TO DO IN TORONTO and nearby cities?
Toronto is a vibrant cosmopolitan city located on the northern shores of Lake Ontario. Being the largest city in Canada, there is an insane amount of things to do! Here are some lovely things you can do while you’re around! 🙂
- Go on a Niagara Falls Day Trip From Toronto And Taste The Famous Niagara Icewine– This is the ultimate thing to do in Toronto and you’ll regret it if you visit without even doing this! Niagara is a collection of 3 waterfalls that straddle international borders of Ontario and New York— the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Falls. We were supposed to go on a boat ride but unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. Nevertheless, Tinggly Experiences made sure we still have the time of our lives. We stopped at the Niagara Whirlpool, the Clock and our guide even arranged access for us to the Skylon viewpoint. It’s a very good experience and btw, the Icewine is to die for!
- Enjoy a Helicopter Ride Over The Niagara Falls for Two– If you’re on the fancy side, I bet a helicopter ride will suit you. The Niagara Falls is huge and this ride will just show you how vast and powerful it is! This tour is launched from a helipad on the Canadian side of the falls and takes you over the Niagara region from Sir Adam Beck generating plant, following the Niagara River from the Whirlpool area with the Spanish Aero Car crossing the gorge. It takes you over the Whirlpool Rapids and the Rainbow Bridge as you head toward floral Queen Victoria Park and the Skylon Tower, then you’ll follow the curve of the Horseshoe Falls. Expect tons of rainbows on the way!
- Witness the beautiful Toronto Skyline from the CN Tower- Being one of the standing icons of Toronto, this is another thing you can’t miss. While seeing the skyline from here is nice, your visit could only be better by circling around the tower hands-free with the Edge Walk, eat at the CN Tower’s Restaurant, or enjoy a nice wine with such luxurious view at the world’s highest wine cellar.
- Walk around and go shopping at the Kensington Market- A walk around the National Historic Site of Canada will surely be interesting and finding a handful of stalls selling a variety of fish, meat, cheese, and other local produce makes it even more so. It is also lined up with cute little restaurants you’d never wanna leave without trying some of them. Bring cash as I’m sure you won’t go home empty handed (with an empty stomach, at that) :p
- Experience the healing power of Ayurveda at the Aum Ayurvedic And Thai Massage– A friend of ours owns this place and I highly recommend it, not only because she’s my friend but because I believe in the healing power of Ayurveda. In case you’re not familiar with us yet, Jonathan and I studied Ayurvedic Massage in India and we both know how amazing its healing power is. It is a 400-year old lifestyle practice which aims to create harmony within the body and the word translates to “knowledge of life” which could be interpreted as priceless wisdom. Head on to this spa to know more about this practice 🙂
- Take a trip around Toronto Islands- Just a short ferry ride from the city and you’ll be bound to a small chain of islands in Lake Ontario. They are home to parkland, boat clubs, and several beaches to chill at. During the summer, you can enjoy the Electric Island Music Series and Culture Vultures where you can explore the majestic art pieces at the Artscape Gibraltar Point which is home to 15 artists in residence.
- Enjoy the good vibes at the Distillery District- A pedestrian-only village, this area is dedicated to arts, culture, and entertainment. No wonder this is another National Historic Site. Walk along its streets and find quaint cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. It is a favorite destination all-year round as they host a number of celebrations and events including the famous Toronto Christmas Market and the Toronto Jazz Festival.
- Go on wine tasting and try the Ice wine near Niagara on the lake!
That’s it for this guide! It was quite a short trip but I’ll definitely stay longer next time as there’s so much to do and see in this part of Canada. Happy travels! 🙂