So it took me 19 years but I finally went up to the CN Tower!!! (I get to cross yet another item off my bucket list). For the past month I’ve had my two friends I made at camp stay with me, one from Germany and one from Mexico. Something neither of them have done is go to the CN Tower so we decided to do it. Thanks to CouchSurfing we found a coupon that allows us to go up for $10 past 8pm.
I did this mostly to get over my fear of heights and at first I was terrified, especially when we were going up the elevator and the ground kept getting further and further away, and we went higher than the tallest building. But when I was up there you realize it’s not that scary. There’s nothing to be scared of at that height. You are secure and what’s the worst thing that could happen? Everything I thought of wasn’t realistic and realizing that helped me calm down. Then I had to get over my ultimate fear…the glass floor.
At first glance I felt like I was falling. It’s a weird feeling being up that high and being able to see the ground with nothing blocking your view. And to be honest I had to hold someones hand the first two times I walked over the glass. But the third time I was able to do it by myself and the feeling of accomplishing that was far greater than my fear of heights. I’m excited to say I may be over my fear of heights.
Oh the great and mighty north! One of the things that both America and Canada share are the Niagara Falls. Now you might be wondering; how is it possible to share the Falls if there is a border? Well, you may or may not know that there are actually two falls and Niagara Falls! Shocker, isn’t it? The one that everyone goes to see is the Canadian Falls (pictured above), also known as the Horseshoe falls. During the day you can get great pictures of the Falls but if you really want to see them light up, you should definitely check it out at night. But remember… If you’re going to the Canadian Falls you will get wet.
There are some stereotypes about Toronto, or Canada in general. I’m here to say most of them are false.
No, we do not ride polar bears to school.
No, we don’t live in igloos.
Yes, we have phones.
No, we do not have funny accents. (Maybe in Quebec)
Yes, we say “eh?” a lot.
Yes, we say please and sorry a lot.
No, it is not always snowing here!
One of the biggest misconceptions I find about Canada is that it is always snowing here, even in Toronto. That is not true in the summer. I hope this guide provides you with enough information so you know what to pack on your trip to Toronto.
I don’t even know where to begin with summer. Summer in Toronto is unbearably hot most of the time. During the summer, there are constantly heat warnings and smog warnings.
The best thing to do is hit up one of the beaches in Toronto. You could check out Dutch Dreams and get some ice cream.
Don’t bring tight clothing if you sweat a lot… Bring shorts, skirts, and dresses. Also, tank tops and loose shirts. Bring flip-flops/sandals and lots of sun screen. You will sweat so make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
The difference between Toronto and Vancouver is that when it’s hot in Vancouver, it’s hot. When it’s hot in Toronto, it’s 30C plus humidity so it’s probably around 36C. And that’s on a good day.
The dreaded Canadian winter!!! It’s exactly how it’s stereotyped.
Bring jeans, track pants, sweaters, winter jackets, and waterproof, cold-proof boots. Hats, gloves, and scarves are often required as well. Be prepared for weather to get as cold as -30C!
Actually, the Toronto Zoo is not located in Toronto. It’s about 40 minutes outside of Toronto but there are many ways of getting there. For information and directions on how to get to the zoo click here.
Admission to the zoo is pretty expensive but for the amount of animals that are here, it is absolutely worth the money! But if you got the CityPass like I suggested then the zoo is included.
General Admission (13-64): $25
Kids (4-12): $15
Kids under 4: Free!
Make sure you pay the extra to go to Stingray Bay! This is where you get to stay in an enclosed area and actually touch the stingrays and the sharks!!! It is beyond cool, even for someone as old as me. You can also pay a few extra dollars at Stingray Bay and buy food to feed them, but there are limited amounts of food. If you’re lucky, like me, you’ll find someone who was too scared to feed them after buying the food. Trust me when I say it is not scary at all to touch or feed them. Feeding them can get you a bit anxious but once you feed them once, that’s all you want to do.
Things to do at the zoo include watching the feedings. The polar bears are the cutest to see as they usually grab the food bucket from the zookeeper and play with the bucket. Make sure you pack plenty of water as it gets very very hot in Toronto during the summer. But I’ll do a post on the weather after.
Locals Know Best: Get to the zoo early as it gets packed pretty fast and the underwater animals get busy fast. And the animals that aren’t used to the heat will be hiding under things where you can’t see them in the afternoon.
There are plenty of places to get something to eat, drink, and go to the washroom. There are also stands and shops in each “Continent” that sell things you would see in those areas. It is an amazing experience that you should check out when you’re in Toronto.
Word of Warning: Be prepared to get wet in Stingray Bay
The Royal Ontario Museum or ROM as locals call it, is not just for the museum buffs. The outside “shell” is a new addition to the building but the original wall is still visible when you’re inside. Located right near Yorkville (post to come), it is around all the high end shops such as Chanel, Prada, Coach, Sephora, etc. So after a visit to the ROM, the shopping around it is endless, including Queen Street (once again, post to come).
This museum has a wide range of exhibits from Ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Animals, Artifacts, and their special exhibit that usually lasts a couple of weeks. I’ve personally seen the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Underwater exhibit that came. There is an added cost to see the special exhibit but if you like what’s there, the money is worth it.
Locals Know Best: On Friday’s the prices are even lower! (I put them in bold)
The prices are:
Adult: $15 $9
Senior: $13.50 $8
Student (15-25 years old): $13.50 $8
Children: (4-14 years old): $12 $6
If you have the City Pass, that I mentioned in the Casa Loma post then the ROM is included in the price.
The ROM also holds lots of events including Friday Night Live @ ROM from April 10 to June 22. And apparently full time post secondary students get in free on Tuesday with a valid ID and student card.
For more information visit their website: http://www.rom.on.ca/index.php
The museum offers inspiration to go to the next attraction … The Toronto Zoo.
Dutch Dreams is the best ice cream in Toronto without a doubt. The only problem is if you don’t know where it is, you’ll miss it. Sure it’s crazy on the outside but it’s on a not-too-busy street and not in a tourist neighbourhood.
It’s a family owned company and there are probably 20 flavours of ice cream and the same amount of different cones! Then they put whipped cream and either sprinkles or fresh fruit on top. It’s a beautiful masterpiece. Ice cream averages around $6-$7 CA but is definitely worth the money.
The address is 78 Vaughan Road, Toronto, ON. Stop by here next time you go to Casa Loma! (They’re a few minutes away from each other)
In the middle of Toronto, there is a castle named Casa Loma. It has been the set of many popular movies and offers a beautiful setting for any wedding or occasion. I personally would love to have my wedding here when the time comes!
Admission for adults is $20.55 CA and there is a cost to park at the castle. There are guided tours as well as walk through tours, or you can just walk around without any kind of tour. It’s beautiful and if you’re not into the history of it but still want to see it, I recommend not getting any tours. It’s easy to find your way around and just relaxing being there.
There are hidden passages that you are able to go through in the castle. They lead to rooms that would’ve taken a while to get to. Outside there is a garden that is magnificent in the summer when it’s warm. There is also a trail that goes through the trees surrounding the castle.
This is a definite must when you’re in Toronto. If you plan on going to lots of attractions, buy the City Pass which allows you to visit certain places in Toronto for the price of $60. For more information on Casa Loma, click here.