Tony was presenting at an Educational Research conference last weekend, and I decided to tag along. He actually presented at the same conference last year, but Gem was only 10 days old at the time, so he didn’t stay for much of it. This year’s conference was in Toronto, so we left the kiddos with Mimzy and hopped on a plane!
It’s been a long time since we’ve traveled without children and their massive amounts of luggage – this was a breeze! Someone even commented that we seemed like TSA pros. Clearly they didn’t see us on our way to Oregon last summer…
On our first afternoon we went down toward the water to check out the sites, like the CN Tower and the old train roundhouse. There was an itty-bitty restaurant called Indian House Roti – it was incredible! I had the butter chicken roti and Tony had lamb curry. Basically, a roti is like a burrito shell with delicious filling. One of our old coworkers from Guyana used to make them for us. These were more Indian flair than Caribbean, but they were fantastic! Later that night we tracked down an ice cream place called Sweet Jesus! They serve gigantic soft serve cones loaded up with toppings. Ours had cookie dough pushed into it and was then coated with three different kinds of cookie crumbs!
Turns out there’s not that much to see in Toronto… so we decided to continue eating our way through the city. Sunday started off right with a massive, and delicious, breakfast at Cora’s. I had eggs and toast, bacon, blueberry pancakes, potatoes, and fresh fruit! Tony attended some conference sessions, then we went exploring with our Metro pass. On weekends you can get a family pass for up to 2 adults and 4 kids for just $13CD. We crisscrossed the city on subways and trams. In Kensington Market we ate empanadas and gelato. Then we went to the Distillery District – they don’t distill there anymore, unfortunately. In Chinatown we had noodles. Then we finished the night with nitrogen ice cream – it literally smoked!
Toronto is a nice city. It’s easy to get around the downtown area. Trams and subways cover most of the downtown area, and its very easy to walk all over. The city’s population has exploded over the last 50 years, so the skyline is quite modern, and we were amazed by both the stunning amount of glass and the sheer number of tower cranes on top of buildings still under construction. Clearly there’s still a lot to build! There are awesome old buildings interspersed among the modern high rises and lots of cool architecture.
We didn’t find Toronto to be nearly as clean as we’d heard it would be, and the ubiquitous pot smell was unappealing. It did make for a “fun” game of taking a big breath before leaving our apartment and trying to hold it until we made it through the hall, down the stairs, and out the front door!
While I don’t expect we’ll visit Toronto again anytime soon, it was great to get away for a few days and to see a place that was new to us!