Having lived in Calgary for almost a year, the first thing I will say is that Toronto was a big adjustment! Maybe it was my lack of sleep at the airport (thanks to a delayed flight), but it genuinely felt like I had landed in a completely different country.

It fits the typical profile of a concrete jungle. Brick buildings, crazy fashion, hustle and bustle and people with places to be. Having visited both London and New York, it felt like a less crowded London. You could probably play a picture quiz: is this London or Toronto?

For some people this is a description of heaven but for me, I like more peaceful cities. That being said, here is my humble opinion of what you should do and what I loved about my short but sweet trip to ‘the six’. (Unfortunately, I did not see Drake.)

1. Coffee Shops

I love cafés, it is safe to say I am the type of person who loves sitting with a coffee and writing, journaling, reading and catching up with friends surrounded by the hipster vibes of an independent coffee shop. Toronto had so many character-filled coffee shops in the cutest, poky little buildings and it is one of the only reasons I would ever consider a move to the city. I feel like I would write a best-selling novel there. Some cafés to highlight were: Café 23 and Olivia’s Garden but there are so many more to enjoy!


2. ‘The ROM’ (Royal Ontario Museum)

As someone who loves history, it was great to connect with that aspect of my interests again. The ROM has so many incredible artefacts from Ancient Civilisations across the world. It was beautifully laid out and easy to navigate. This is worth a visit even if it is just to shelter from the overwhelming humidity of Summer in the city or the bitter cold of a Toronto Winter.

3. CN Tower

It is always incredible to see a city from such a high viewpoint. It gives perspective and reminds me of how wide the world is and how many of us are co-existing and creating our own stories side by side. The CN Tower is a great way to get a sense of the enormity of Toronto and Lake Ontario.










However, I will be controversial and say that I had a better time at the Calgary Tower than the CN Tower as I experienced a more beautiful view of the city and, of course, the Rocky Mountains.

4. High Park

I found this gem on my final day in Toronto and I am so pleased I did. It is a peaceful retreat in a chaotic city and filled my heart with calm before my flight. Unfortunately, I was unable to go much further than the main paths because I had my suitcase with me so I imagine it must be incredible to explore the trails. Again, I would consider living in Toronto if I lived next to this park but alas, I am not a millionaire.

5.  City Cruise

A great tour guide always makes a great experience and this was the case on our city cruise. The boat departs from Toronto Harbour and takes you on an hour round trip on Lake Ontario to give you a stunning skyline view of the city. This is accompanied with some fun facts and banter (if you have a charismatic tour guide like we did), which gives you an insight into Toronto’s interesting history.

6. Italian Food

Those of you who know me well, know that my life revolves around the meals of the day. The Italian food in Toronto is elite. Obviously, nothing can compare to Italian food in Italy but Toronto comes second from my experience so far. One of our favourite places we dined was called Sugo but there are definitely more incredible Italian food establishments to find!

 7. Kensington

One of the selling points of Toronto is its amalgamation of arts and culture from across the world and you can find this in Kensington. Some highlights from the trip included grabbing a fresh coconut at House of Moses, taking a tour of all the amazing street art and exploring the quirky shops. For my friend and I, it was entertaining to go into places like a mushroom store as we were born and raised in a country where the only legal drugs are alcohol and nicotine.

Some extra tips for travelling Toronto…


Surprise, surprise…the cost of accommodation in Toronto is very expensive so here are a couple of suggestions to keep things cheaper.

 Airbnb: my top tip is to book a room on Airbnb. We reserved rooms for our whole time in Toronto and we basically had the places to ourselves. Make sure to research the areas of the city before you book to ensure you will get the most out of your trip!

Hostels: my friend and I wanted to treat ourselves a bit so we avoided hostels, however I have met people on my travels who have had positive experiences at both Planet Traveller and Samesun.


One of the downsides of Toronto, much like any other prominent city, is that the cost of living is high. A saving grace during our trip was Tim Hortons, more commonly known to Canadians as ‘Tims’ or ‘Timmies’. It is essentially the equivalent of Greggs in the UK and somewhere where you can grab a cheap coffee and breakfast wrap. Alternatively, if you have a sweet tooth, you can enjoy a whole selection of donuts or sample some ‘timbits’. As we made our trip during Fall (Autumn), we obviously had to try the Pumpkin Spiced Iced Cappuccino.


The City Pass

This pass was an absolute life saver in terms of saving money and seeing the top tourist attractions of Toronto. Although $100 + tax might seem like a lot of money to part with in one go, the price includes access to four attractions of your choice including CN Tower, Casa Loma, City Cruise etc. To put this into perspective, entrance without a CityPass into Casa Loma is $40 + tax. If you are going to Toronto, PLEASE get this pass.

Public Transit

You can tap your credit card to use public transport and it will take $3.30 for 2 hours of unlimited travel on the subway, bus (depending on the bus) and tram. As an international tourist, if the idea of tapping your international credit card is a bit intimidating, you can go into a local Shoppers Drugmart and get a Presto card, which you can easily top up at machines in the stations or at Drugmart. Presto cards can also be dispensed at machines in the train stations, however one of my friends experienced the machine taking her money and not giving her a card…so proceed with caution.

If you can, take your time and talk to people

One thing I regret is that we didn’t spend more time in Toronto. It is a massive city and I feel like we only touched lightly on the gems Toronto offers.  One thing I have learnt from all my travels in Canada is the power of human connection and the exciting journeys it can lead to. I was very fortunate to catch up with my friend (who I met in Canada) while I was in the city and, through her, I met other amazing people and gained new perspectives and experiences of the city that I wouldn’t have if I had kept to myself. The amazing thing about Canada is how friendly and helpful people are. The stereotype is true. So, go for it!

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