Toronto, known as the Chicago of Canada, is home to Drake, Tim Horton’s, the Maple Leafs, and some of the friendliest people on earth, eh. Have only 24 hours? Here’s how you should spend it while running through the #6ix.
Pro tip: Dress the part! Toronto is a totally walkable city so be sure to wear good walking shoes and your Fitbit. … and bring layers so you can take them off when the sun shines and put them back on when the winter wind returns.
Warm up with some Canadian coffee. There is no shortage of Canadian coffee shops in Toronto. There are plenty of cute nooks to cozy up in as well as some notable chains like Second Cup Coffee Co. However, nothing inspires more Canadian pride than a good ole cup of Joe from Tim Horton’s. Canadians loose their ish over this Dunkin Donutseqsue place–especially during roll up the rim season. Buy a coffee, and roll up the rim of your cup for a chance to win free donuts, gift cards, and even a car!
Brunch it out. Obvi no weekend is complete without brunch! Kickback and enjoy a Ceasar (that’s Canadian for Bloody Mary). We enjoyed a delightful meal at the newly renovated Peter Pan Bistro on Queen’s Street–complete with fresh orange juice, Caesars, goat cheese omelets and shakshuka skillet.
Grab lunch at St. Lawrence Market. It’s a historic warehouse that has been repurposed into a giant open stall market. Find anything from olive bars to exotic meats to rainbow spices to freshly made sushi and candy. I was a fan of all the cheese samples I tasted while walking through and enjoyed a fat bowl of homemade pasta with a spicy pesto/alfredo/ marina sauce mix.
Go shopping. Take a stroll through Toronto’s Chinatown on Spadina Avenue (buy a fresh orange!), hit up the classy shops on Queen Street (check out Aritzia), explore the eclectic thrift stores and cafes in Kensington Market neighborhood (we tried tacos at Seven Lives), visit the three level the Toronto Eaton Center Mall (buy some signature Canadian socks at Roots), be a tourist at Dundas Square (kind like Time’s Square), taste test your way through the Distillery District (highly recommend the “Drink of the Gods” by Canadian Chocolate Artist Laura Slack and some organic beer from Mill Street Brewery).
Run through the #6ix and have snapchat on fleek. There was apx a bazillion snapchat filters throughout the city. And I didn’t even see them all because I was only using wifi. Just know, if you go to Toronto, your snapchat game better be on fleek.
Do dinner at the CN Tower. That’s the giant spire you see in the Toronto skyline. Standing at 115 floors tall, its high AF and has some fabulous views of the city. You can go up at any time of the day, but since it’s pricey just to ride the elevator, you might as well enjoy dinner there and the view in the rotating 360 Restaurant.
Go to a Leafs game. Nothing is more Canadian than hockey, eh? If you don’t get tickets to the game you can at least hangout in Real Sports Bar next door (yes that’s the real name). It’s a huge destination for hockey fans with a massive screen to watch the game. Try not to be bothered by the poor grammar in Maple Leafs.
Party it up. No weekend is complete without a trip to the local LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). You can’t buy alcohol anywhere except in one of the government owned liquor stores. On Friday night, there were a lot of people carrying brown paper bags with the LCBO logo on it…once you’ve sufficiently pregamed, check out the scene at Madison’s Pub (known as Maddy’s) and then get your dance vibes on at Tequila Jacks. Uber Pool is a thing in Toronto–so you’ll spend barely anything on cabs!
Stay in the Fairmont Royal York. It’s fancy and historic AF. It’s expensive, but during the off season prices are manageable. All the famous people stay there–like the QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Totally worth it. If it’s not in your budget, walk in and talk to the employees about all the ghosts that haunt the place. The walls talk for sure.
So tell me. How excited are you to go to Canada, eh?