I’ve been through Toronto a few times before when I was younger and really didn’t see the big deal. Though, when you’re 10 and on your way to Canada’s Wonderland, the big city is just in the way of a soon to be incredible adventure at a family fun theme park. I took VIA Rail from Montreal to Toronto and spent 2 days there.
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Check out my suggestions for musts in Toronto in 48 hours. Toronto is a massive city with way too many cool things goin’ on, and there is no way you can come close to experiencing it in 2 days, but I think I did a good job fitting in what I could.
Toronto in 48 hours: Stay a night at the Fairmont Royal York
You have one night in Toronto, and you want to make it awesome! Find your way to The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, and you will not be disappointed. The Fairmont is renowned throughout the world for its historic architecture. The magnificent building is in the heart of downtown and directly across from Union Square. The staff are more than friendly and go out of their way to ensure that your stay is an amazing one. Not far from the lobby, there is a bar, cafe and a restaurant inside the hotel. They’re pretty unique in that the Fairmont has its own rooftop apiary, and they use their honey in many of their dishes!
Toronto in 48 hours: Have a bite at Beer Bistro
There are countless restaurants and pubs in Toronto, and you have less than 48 hours which unfortunately isn’t enough to try them all, so where do you go? I tried a few places, but my favourite spot was Beer Bistro, located on Yonge St. It’s a classy little joint, and when Summer comes around, they set up a great patio. The service was excellent, and the food has my mouth watering just thinking about it. They’re known for their Belgian Frites, which are exquisite. We also tried bacon-wrapped shrimp. Keep in mind, I hate seafood. I really really do, but these things were quite possibly the best appetiser I’ve ever had. Along with those, they have a pretty great menu and are reasonably priced. So make sure you take the time to check them out; you’ll thank me!
Toronto in 48 hours: Like Hockey? Check out the Hockey Hall of Fame
For Canadians, loving hockey is in their blood. We headed over to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Yonge St and found ourselves in sports fan heaven. It was very impressive and packed with facts, stats and old jerseys. They have a room where you can use the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox and play some virtual hockey. The most exciting part was seeing the Stanley Cup in all its glory. It was in a protective case, behind a tall ribbon in the centre of the room. In the same room, they have a section preserving all of the rings that have ever been on the cup in the past. This door has more locks on it than a high-security bank (not really, I hope…). So it’s safe to assume that those rings are very safe.
Toronto in 48 hours: Stroll Through Kensington Market
You can’t get the whole Toronto experience without checking out Kensington Market. Shops are lining the streets with fresh fruits and veggies or cute handmade clothing and jewellery. Bars and restaurants are also in the mix when your shopping tires you out. The cool thing about Kensington is that a lot of it is very exotic; it’s stuff you can’t find just anywhere else. The whole vibe when walking down through the Market on a sunny afternoon is very cool. People are friendly and happy to just see you browsing their items.
Toronto in 48 hours: Visit The CN Tower
Of course, you have to visit the CN Tower, you’re in Toronto! It’s the thing to do. We visited at night. One word to describe it: Lights! Lights everywhere, millions of them. I didn’t realise you could go outside while you’re up the Tower, and thankfully, I’m not afraid of heights, or I wouldn’t have dared. It’s pretty safe and secure up there, though, and what a view! There is also the famous glass floor that many people, my own sister, were too afraid to stand on. I’d love to get back to Toronto to check out the Tower in the daylight though, I’m sure it’s an entirely different experience. Next time, Toronto!
Toronto in 48 hours: Check for festivals!
Of course, there might not be any when you’re there, but make sure you take a look at Festivals being held when you’re in town. Toronto is such a busy city, and there are always things going on, so chances are, if you’re there in the Summer, something will be going on. I ended up being there for the Live Green Festival, where people flooded Dundas Street downtown. Live music filled the air, and many different tents showcased the green and eco-friendly lifestyle. With or without a festival going on, Dundas Street is well worth a walkthrough!
Toronto is a buzzing city that never sleeps. From now on, I’ll look forward to travelling there instead of hoping to pass through quickly. Who needs theme parks anyway?