Travel Tip #1 - When traveling to Toronto - unless you live within a 4 hour driving radius of the city I do NOT suggest driving. I know it's cheaper but travel within the city can take 45min - 1 hour just to get there - the prices to park are astronomical - and even traveling by public transportation can be expensive.
I would suggest flying into Toronto airport - taking an Uber to your destination in the city - and then walking/using public transit the rest of the way. It will save you so much time.
Being an American I was super excited to try a Tim Horton's (especially considering a majority of my Canadian knowledge comes from How I Met Your Mother.)
For you Donut connoisseur I highly recommend Tim Hortons - The doughnuts have a Krispy Kreme consistency with a Dunkin sweetness. Even being a coffee snob - I found their fast food coffee tasty and drinkable.
Don't forget - to buy anything in Canada you have to convert your money. Canada has switched over from paper money to plastic. This silky consistency makes it really look and feel like "play money" but it's quite durable. While most places take cards - it's good to have for travel fare & to see in person.
After bus rides, insane traffic, & trains - I finally made it into the city and began my walking journey. The first thing I notice is the abundance of art throughout the city. Almost ever wall is covered in street art & there are advertisements for where it is legal to use graffiti.
The first 24 hours in Toronto was all about discovering my surroundings, taking photos of amazing murals - and general people watching. Although Canada is our neighbor to the North and everyone talks about how it's almost exactly like America I'd have to disagree. While Toronto is a large city with a design much like New York it feels safer, cleaner, and friendlier. Definitely a place I'd like to spend an extended period of time. As you walk & walk you realize you could probably live here your whole life and never experience everything it had to offer.
While street art makes the city's landscape unique and interesting, the architectural design of the city is also quite revolutionary. All the buildings have intricate design elements such as odd angles, light displays, and window decals. This makes walking around the city more interesting as well as gives you great landmarks to find your way back around.
One of the things I was most excited about was thrift store shopping. Toronto has a HUGE thrift store scene and almost everything in the stores are $10. Black Market was probably the coolest store we saw, with a combination of old vintage/new remasters this store is a clothing establishment, record store, barber shop, and a collection of all things weird. I could have spent an entire day rummaging through this shop.
On the surrounding streets are other shops that cater to vintage lovers. With a combination of old and new you're sure to find something one of a kind to bring back to the states with you. I enjoyed the shops so much I think I'm going to hit it up once a year just to get some shopping done. And don't forget with the exchange rate you should have a few extra dollars to spend.
No matter how trendy you want to be make sure you wear comfortable shoes! Toronto streets seem endless and everywhere you turn there is a new subcity to be explored. We took a stroll through Chinatown to make it to my favorite place - Kensington Market.
Kensington Market is a small neighborhood that is a collection of shopping, dining, and medical dispensaries. It reminded me of a much larger Woodstock. This is another place where you could kill an entire day - searching through each vintage or handmade market.
Make sure when you're here you walk down each side of the street both ways. If not you'll miss murals and little shops. Even though it's a few extra steps I promise it's worth it. You'll never imagine what you have missed.
I probably took photos at so many walls until I actually walked through a creepy alley way and into the light and saw almost a mile worth of covered buildings. You'll also know you've arrived because it will be littered with photographers all trying to capture the beauty.
This is another reason I want to head back into the city once a year because the art work changes so frequently.
I didn't make it to the CN Tower in time to go up before the baseball game - but if you have tickets or want to make it up I suggest highly buying tickets in advance. I'm a sucker for tall buildings even though I know it's the same - but just having that experience is worthwhile.
If you're a real daredevil they do have an experience where you can propel off the side of the tower, called Edge Walk. It's quite pricey at around $200 but it's definitely a memory you'd never forget.
Last on the agenda was catching a Toronto Blue Jays game - I thought baseball was popular in America - whoa boy - everyone in the city was donning bright blue & the stadium was sold out. While I was catching the game from the second to last row from the top - I get to see 3 home run hits in the first inning.
Even though I'm a HUGE foodie, I didn't actually get to eat much on this trip - However I highly suggest picking up the "unofficial dish of Canada" - poutine. This brown gravy, cheese curd, fry combo is so popular it's served at McDonalds and baseball games. Make sure you give it a try.
Although my trip was cut short I hope this small guide can help you if you ever find yourself in the Great White North, exploring all Toronto has to offer. Let me know all the best food recommendation because I'll be back soon