August 19-22, 2019

My first time to Canada and my first business trip landed me in Toronto! I drank and ate my way through down town as there are so many breweries and pubs, not to mention I didn’t have a single bad meal. The city is also filled with so much art everywhere, and very dog friendly – I think that’s a key detail. Two things I noticed are that real estate isn’t cheap and lots of people walk (to anywhere) here. And unlike the US, people just seem to be living in the moment. No one is walking around on their phone and commonly smiles to the people around them. Most everyone is friendly as I had several people stop to help me with directions because apparently it’s easy to tell when I’m confused or lost lol.

Something that I wasn’t expecting, is that Toronto, and perhaps Canada as a whole, is every diverse – it’s just like America 2.0, except they use the metric system. Which, was hard to adjust to when I just wanted to know the speed limit or gauge the temperature to get dressed. And despite common belief, not every Canadian speaks French -accordingly to locals, that’s more of a Quebec thing! Canadians are also very eco friendly, places of work have reusable “cutlery” as they call it, or silver ware for their break room. In addition, every restaurant I went to had paper straws…which is a win for the sea turtles I suppose, but not my drink that has pulp floating around in it now! When you go out to eat and it comes time to pay your check, every restaurant I went to brought a card machine to the table, the waiter doesn’t walk off with your card – so that’s very quick and efficient. The must try food here though is definitely poutine – french fires with cheese curds and brown gravy. It was pretty good but much different than anything I’d ever had.

And if you didn’t know, there’s a certain smell all around the city. That’s right, weed. It is very legal in Canada and something you can’t miss while touring the city. I also heard that Canadian money smells like maple syrup, but I didn’t get my hands on any while I was there to testify – next time ;).

Some must do’s – the CN tower is a must see at night. It changes colors and must be a sight to see from the top if you ate at the restaurant up there. Lake Ontario is overwhelming large, feels like you’re at the ocean. Gelato seems to be pretty common on every block. There is a fair mix of millionaires and homelessness throughout the city. I had never seen a black squirrel until being in Toronto and let me tell you, they are BIG. There’s so much greenery, sculptures, art, and parks all around to make the atmosphere very enjoyable. I realized there were brains posed as sculptures and designed differently all throughout. The city is also well lit to walk around at night and see things in a different light. Definitely somewhere I’d like to go back!

One of my favorite places I visited was Yonge-Dundas Square, which is essentially the Times Square of Toronto. It was very much alive with street performers, television screens, people, and unique tall buildings. Some missed opportunities that I’ll have to go back to are the Edge Walk on the CN Tower, a short drive to Niagara Falls, a pro Blue Jays hockey game, and plenty more breweries! But that’s what next time is for, eh?

Things I saw and visited in Toronto:

  • CN Tower
  • Distillery District
    • Mill Street Brew Pub
    • John Fluevog Shoe Store
  • Lake Ontario
    • Amsterdam Brew House
  • Blue Jays Hockey Stadium
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • DownTown Toronto
  • Toronto Union Station
  • The Flatiron: A Firkin Pub
  • The Flatiron Mural
  • Toronto Sculpture Gardens
  • Yonge-Dundas Square
  • Eaton Centre – Geese Mall
  • Nathan Philips Square
  • Breezy Park – Dog Fountain

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