1:33 pm - Friday, January 19 2018
Home / Style / Short Presents / Short Presents Takes Toronto: Highlight And Tips

 

i725.photobucket.com_albums_ww253_theshortpresents_IMG_6860_zpsxn2t0hjh

Short Presents Takes Toronto: Highlight And Tips

I’ve been to Toronto many times, but usually it’s only a quick little stay, and it’s typically because I’m doing a job there, so there isn’t really a lot of time for site seeing.

I was really happy to come this time to actually explore Toronto, and see all that it has to offer. I probably came at the worst time given the weather advisory for both the heat and the lightning, but for the most part I made it out okay. I mean I drank plenty of water, and iced coffees, but hey you do what you gotta do. 

From taking old school selfies at Casa Loma to scaring the lions at the ROM to having the entire city of Toronto beneath my feet and mainlining blueberries at the St Lawrence Market here‘s a HUGE recap of my recent trip to Toronto. 
 

WHERE TO SHOP


I love shopping in Toronto! And honestly you don’t really need a lot of advice about where to shop because there are stores EVERYWHERE. A lot of times there are multiples of the same store which can make it tricky when you’re trying to locate something you saw online. I’m looking at you Aritzia. But easy if you’re just browsing because there’s literally something around every corner. To make it a little easier for you I’ve outlined a couple of my favorite spots.
EATON CENTRE
For those of you from Halifax The Eaton Centre is like a bigger version of the Halifax Shopping Centre, so if you’re looking for a mix of high/low stores like J Crew, Aritzia, Le Chateau, Smart Set then this is the mall for you. Because I often stay at hotels close to the Eaton Centre I feel like I know it like the back of my hand now. I’m so familiar I’m sure I could give you a detailed tour should you need one, but to be honest you really don’t need it, it’s pretty easy to navigate. It‘s also connected to the subway paths so you can get where you need to go pretty easily.  I’m a huge fan of the Eaton Centre :) 
YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE
Ahh Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Located just outside the downtown area I’ve actually not been out this far yet. I’ve only seen this mall from the subway, but I’ve heard so much about it (and I may or may not follow them on instagram) that I know this is where you can do some major damage. From Chanel to Mackage pocket books beware this mall has some amazing shops. 
BLOOR 
Much like the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Bloor is also where you’re going to find a lot of your high end items like Tiffany, Holt Renfrew etc. If you’ve got money to spend this is where you should go. Or if you want to window shop (and gush over the high ticket items) that’s okay too. 
QUEEN STREET WEST 
I love Queen Street because it’s always bumpin’ and there are so many interesting little shops along the way. Whether you’re looking for Zara or a vintage shop: it’s a great place to put around. There’s also a bunch of food places too, so you can grab a mint lemonade and some macrons and just call it a day.
WHERE TO EAT 
There are quite literally a million places to eat in Toronto, and you really just need to Yelp where you’re at to find a spot close to you, and of your liking. These are just a couple of places that I ate, and really liked, so you can choose to visit them should you like.

AROMA ESPRESSO BAR

Don’t even think about it just order the Mint Lemonade at Aroma. Perfectly sour and refreshing this blended drink is TDF. I loved it so much I drank two in one day. Yeah I’m not proud of that, but I just had to tell you so you take me seriously YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS.

BUTTER AVENUE

While you’re having a mo with your bad self and your mint lemonade you might as well take a little jaunt down the street and pick up a macaron or two! Butter Avenue is seriously the cutest little shop ever that you just HAVE to go in there. I got the matcha macaron (I love anything matcha) and I’m STILL thinking about it. I’ll for sure be back next time I’m in town and I can’t wait to try the Earl Gray.

ST LAWRENCE MARKET

If your trip spans the weekend, or you’re spending a bit of time in the city make a trek down to the St Lawrence Market. Snap a photo or two of the baby flat iron while you shop for some local produce, seafood or meat. It’s a great way to support the community, and it’s also just an extremely cute area of the city. It’s sort of removed from the hustle and the bustle of the financial district or the shopping areas, so it kind of feels like a bit of a break from the city if that makes sense. I mean Toronto is lovely and all, but it can get to be a bit much after a while. It’s nice to slow down a bit, and take it all in. Grab a coffee and take a little saunter around the East side there’s plenty of parks, and beautiful churches, and people to gawk at.

BELLWOODS BREWERY

While in TO I met up with blogger babe Kaylee (The Blondie Locks) at the Bellwoods Brewery, and we pretty much ordered everything on their menu along with some of their special (if not strong) brews. It was so great to catch up with a fellow blogger, and talk shop. Everything was perfect from being able to sit out side, and enjoy some people watching, to it being completely acceptable to stand on our feet to take the photo of our meal. I love eating with bloggers because they don’t judge you when you do this, and something about being in it together makes it okay. Kaylee is a super sweet girl, and if you don’t follow her you totally should her photos are stunning, and her DIYs are super clever. Adore her to bits!

If you head to the Bellwoods Brewery order the tuna, and the corn I swear you won’t regret it. Probably my favorite meal from my entire trip (both Montreal and Toronto). 

SOBEYS

When you exit the CN Tower it completely takes you to the OPPOSITE end of the universe okay not really, but we were a lot more south than I wanted to be, and starving, and sweating so we decided to pop into Sobeys to get a vitamin water.

We ended up realizing that we were a lot more hungry than we realized (funny how the heat can do that) so we decided to grab some pizza (of course), and soak up the AC (it was like heaven). When you’re living the hotel life eating out can get a little old, and fast especially when you’re as bonkers about your health as I am. When I’m on the road I like to pop into a local grocery stores and pick up some fruit, and some health snacks like protein bars, nuts or seeds, and steel cut oatmeal so I at LEAST have something decent to eat in between all the burgers, fries, and pizza.

Sobeys is perfect because you can also collect airmiles (YAY! means more travel right?) by simply spending 20$; which isn’t difficult to do when you’re buying fruit and granola bars and what not. It’s all about the little things that add up right?


WHAT TO DO 

BUY A CITYPASS

If you’re heading to Toronto and you want to actually explore it like a tourist I would totally suggest the CityPASS. Much like I did in Boston I adored having the cityPASS. Included in the city pass was the CN Tower, Casa Loma, The Toronto Zoo, The ROM, Ontario Museum of Science. I made it to three out of the five, and would have LOVED to have done the other two, but just didn’t have the time. It‘s a major win, and if you’re doing to do all these things you might as well save some cash flow at the same time. Plus is kind of forces you to get going because you want to check everything off your list. For more details on the CityPASS please take a visit to their website >> CityPASS.

CASA LOMA 

Like I mentioned above I’ve been to Toronto several times this year, but never as a tourist, so I was definitely intrigued to learn that everything below Casa Loma used to be UNDER WATER! There’s a point at the entrance (if you travel by bus yeah I be ballin’) where there’s a plaque that mentions that the walk up used to be a lake front. How. bananas. is. that? I mean these are things I like to learn about the city because it really gets you to think about how old the city is, and how much it’s built up in a such a short period of time. 

Okay maybe I’m the only nerd who likes to learn about how Toronto gained electricity or what old school showers used to look like, but I LOVED Casa Loma. Not only is it beautiful, but there‘s such an interesting story about the place that you just have to visit it to find out for your self, and I don’t want to ruin it. 

From their living quarters to their furniture it’s amazing to me to think that a person‘s house and personal belongings could turn into a tourist attraction. Can you imagine if like 100 years someone was touring around your house, and taking photos of your gorgeous lamps? I mean you’d have to think you did something right


CN TOWER 
Honestly best views of the city, and you can’t know what you’re missing out on until you do it, so for the price of the CityPASS you might as well go! Make sure to check out the glass floor (if you can stomach it) it is pretty neat to have the entire city below your feet while standing (or sitting in my case) on the glass floor. Like I said the views are stunning, and it’s kind of cool to be inside the structure that is so iconic to the city (and often times if you‘re morning view).

ROM 
I LOVE the ROM. I’d been there before, and I’d still go again. I love looking at the dinosaurs and especially trying to figure out what’s been replicated and what’s real. Did you know they are color coded on the diagrams? Outlined in blue and yellow you can see what‘s been recovered, and what’s been replicated, so sometimes it’s quite literally their butts, and faces that are real, and the rest is filled in which is kinda funny to me because clearly I’m immature.

If you read the book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” you know that we really don’t know as much about dinosaurs as we like to think. Sometimes pieces of them were found really far apart, so we really kind of Frankensteined them back together. Meaning that what we‘ve come to know about dinosaurs really could be all wrong because some would argue we really have no idea. So my favorite game at the ROM is guess the real part of the dinosaur, and you’d be surprised at what turns up. 

Currently at the ROM there’s also a textiles exhibit that highlights Mexican culture and dress. This to me was fascinating because there are projections that show how they create their beautiful fabrics and tapestr. It’s also really neat to see the different kinds of tools and resources they use to both create and dye the materials. I was surprised to know, that a beetle was used to make a brown dye, but adding baking soda turned it orange: I’m not going to lie my mind was a little blown.  It was cool to watch, but having just been to the insectarium at the Biodome in Montreal I immediately had flash back to the giant bugs and felt like I was crawling with bugs and was itchy on the spot. Clearly I need to work out some things with bugs. 
Did you know you could also do the ROM at night? It’s pretty cool they open up the ROM during the night, and you can walk around, and sip cocktails with the dinosaurs. They have various presentations, so be sure to check the listings before you grab tickets. The one I went to was fashion related (of course) and it was a lot of fun! I would totally recommend it just don‘t wear really high heels because there’s a fair bit of walking and you might end up completely removing the skin of your pinkie toe (you know just maybe). 
ANDY WARHOL REVISITED 
I don’t know what it is, but I am notoriously so intrigued by the sixities. Truth be told I actually dressed up as Edie Sedgwick for Halloween a couple years ago, not that anyone knew who that was without the mention of Andy Warhol (but ANYWAY). Warhol though, definitely made a mark in his day with his screen printing, and his infamous factory studio in New York City (once completely covered in tin foil) that housed a hip hangout for artistic types, amphetamine users, and the Warhol superstars (including Sedgwick). 

Maybe you’re not able to visit New York with your busy work schedule, or maybe you are, but you just don’t want to lose your time while you’re there to crowds of tourists at the MOMA (I always find it funny when I get annoyed with tourists in other cities because clearly I am one, but cripes they can be annoying). The Andy Warhol: Revisited exhibit really is a neat little set up, and a great way to for torontonians (or visitors like me) to see his work (and really spend some time with it). The space is pretty cool too; with a soup can backdrop upon your immediate entrance to a thick black and white stripped floor that houses a big pink sofa; they’ve done well to create a kirky vibe that Warhol would have absolutely approved of (only cognitively of course and without merely cracking a smile).
To continue to engage and educate Torontonians and visitors to the city about the works and life of prolific artist Andy Warhol, Revolver Gallery has launched a Rotating Lecture Series at the Andy Warhol: Revisited exhibit.

Beginning on Wednesday July 29, The Rotating Lecture Series will feature demonstrations and discussions from art luminaries and accomplished artists’ onsite in the gallery space, located at 77 Bloor Street West in Toronto. Tickets to the various events range in price from $18 to $23, and are available to purchase online and at the door.

 
*Andy Warhol: Revisited is only open to Lecture Event Series ticket holders during these dates and times, and will be closed to general admission entrance.

WHERE TO STAY 

It‘s kind of funny blog reader because I went from literally saying out loud that I was amazed I’d never been to Toronto to having been there now about 6 or  7 times. I always found it odd that I’d been to France to New York I’ve been to Ottawa and Montreal, but never Toronto that was until this year where for a bit there I could probably call Toronto my second home. 

Having been traveling to Toronto a lot for fun projects (more on those later) I’ve stayed at my fair share of hotels, so I figure I’d break them down for you a bit in case you’re considering the trip. This time around I decided to extend my stay by a couple days, and with Caribana happening in the city it was tight to find a spot on such short notice. Luckily I discovered Priceline and found a decently priced hotel that was super close to where I‘d already been staying. Just remember that Priceline works in American dollars, so you could get hit with an exchange rate, and you also have to pay upfront.  

My only regret is that I wish I’d downloaded the Airmiles browser tool beeeeeeeeefore I purchased my hotel stay because you can earn 1 mile for every $35 which for a hotel in Toronto you can rack up the airmiles pretty quick. Poop on a stick I’m not even going to do the math because I don’t even want to know how many I lost out on :( Ohhhhhhh well listen learned

Below are some of the hotels I’ve stayed at and I’ve listed the things I liked about each :) if you’re planing a stay in TO drop me a line I‘d love to give you a hand with your planning. I am of course I pro by now, and not at modest at all as you can tell
 
SHERATON CENTRE

I love the location of this hotel, located on Queen Street West it‘s super central, and only minutes from the Eaton Centre, and the restos and shops along Queen. These rooms are nothing special especially if you end up in one of the ones that aren‘t renovated, but what I love about this hotel is the GIANT outdoor pool (that’s heated) and has an outdoor bar I might add. I’d been to this hotel a couple times, but my work schedule didn’t allow for my to take a dip in the pool, so this time I was determined to go for a swim (in the rain and in between when my take out was being delivered) and even if I froze my butt off in the process. I’m here to tell you it was worth it, and I may or may not have hopped into the hot tub before going back upstairs and “wait” for my chinese food (which was ddelicious by the way). 

ROYAL YORK

Argubly one of the oldest hotels in the city this one is major posh inside. The lobby is absolutely stunning, and whether you want to stay the night or just grab a drink at their bar it’s a great spot. The rooms are a wee bit small, but you’re just sleeping there anyways right? This hotel is all about the experience and if you get to stay on the floor with the private lounge that serves breakfast, Hors d’œuvre or “canapés”, and then desserts at 8? You are in heaven my friends, and there is not enough time in the world to eat all that food.  

DOUBLETREE BY HILTON   

If you‘re looking for a cost effective hotel in the heart of the city the Double Tree By Hilton is probably your best bet. While it’s nothing super fancy it more certainly does the trick. I stayed here for the last two days of my trip, and while my televison and the towel rack were extremely crooked leading me to think that this hotel was probably put up fast it was a place to sleep, and keep all my stuff, so I wasnt going to complain. Also they give you a warm chocolate chip cookie upon you’re arrival, and I’m not mad at that. 

WESTON HARBOR CASTLE

With stunning views, and heavenly beds Weston Harbour Castle is a spot you want if you want to be away from all the craziness that is downtown Toronto. While you’re still within a decent distance of everything, you’re also just that little bit away to give you some peace and quiet. The Weston is also super close to eastern side of the city which is super cute, and kind of steals my heart.  

AIR B&B

If you’re looking for an even more cost effective spot to stay in TO you might want to consider Air B&B. I used Air B&B for that last time I went to Fashion Week in Toronto, and it was SO amazing. Being able to make my own breakfast, and do laundry? Are you serious I felt like I lived in TO, and with that view? I wish I did. Want to see some of the photos from the place I stayed head over to this read this post (or click here).  

Toronto gets a bad rap for being a “rude” or “mean” city, but honestly everyone I met was super nice. I mean people have places to be so as long as you get out of their way you’re usually okay.  I can respect a hustler when I see one, and if you got some where to be lady then you go for it: who am I to hold you back? 


Major thanks to Airmiles, CityPASS Revolver Gallery, and Priceline.com for making this a truly unforgettable and headache free trip! It really truly a seamless operation, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I really enjoyed seeing the city, and being a tourist in a place I’d been a half dozen times, but didn’t have the time to REALLY see it. So thank you for that. I had a blast!

Hope you enjoyed this recap blog reader :) and if you’re planning your next trip and want some suggestions be sure to drop me a line. I’m happy to help! Now go download that Airmiles tool to your browser already, and get your butt on an airplane to explore whereever it is that you want to go. 

x
 Short Presents

About Kayla Short

Fashion writer, aspiring stylist, blogger, journalist, avid food and nutrition enthusiast, dancer, and part-time model. Travel through my blog and experience a taste of life in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

http://www.shortpresents.com

You might also like...

REASONS TO GETAWAY AT OCEANSTONE RESORT

While a cottage getaway might not be your first inclination during cooler winter months it was exactly what I needed, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. When your job can go anywhere you can pretty much never stop doing it....

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *