Hi Going Expat people,
I am back home for a few days now, I have been in Toronto, Canada for a work event and I´ve extended my staying for a couple of days afterwards to visit the city and not only. In fact, the first thing to do if you go to that area of Canada, is visiting the Niagara falls.
My first impression of the city
Downtown is the area of the city where I´ve spent most of the time. It gets a huge number of skyscrapers and some older buildings like the old city hall in the pic below
I didn´t have that WOW effect going around Toronto, but finally I liked it. Probably I could have seen more but I just had a few days available.
Some facts about Toronto
The city has a big underground tunnel called PATH. It is 30km long and connects the skyscreapers to each other, plus there is a mall on more levels.
50% of Canadian population has European origins (mainly english, irish, italian and german), 32% has Asian origins. The rest is a mix and only 0,7% of population is actually American. Basically it is impossibile to talk about a typical Toronto type of person!
This might be the reason why you can find many areas of the city called after the provenience of the first citiziens, China town, Korea town, Little Italy etc… and a lot of food markets
Among the multiple food markets I have visited St. Lawrence market and Kensigton market. The first one is a typical indoor market with a lot of shops. You can take away or eat there. The second is basically an area in China town.
The Niagara Falls
As said in the intro of the article, you must visit the Niagara falls. There is no need to introduce them, I bet you all know what I am talking about. You can reach them with a bus from Toronto that brings you there in about 1:30h or book a tour.
I have booked a Platinum tour via tripadvisor which includes the drop on and off at your hotel in dowtown, lunch, visit at falls, tour under the falls, Ice wine and maple syrup tasting, visit at the village Niagara on the Lake. The price is about €126 or CA$ 196
The Niagara falls are not the highest in the world, but the largest and I think it is important to know it to set the expectations properly. Also they can be visited from the Canadian side and the US side. They are quite different between them. The Canadian falls are more spectacular with their semi-circular shape.
I was impressed by the power of the water and the noise they make. Something impossible to properly share in pics or videos.
This tour included 2 different kind of tasting. The first one which was also the first stop we made, was anout the Ice wine
Ice wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does, allowing for a more concentrated grape juice to develop.
The result is a delicated and sweet wine. Even though I normally prefer the red wine, in this case I chose the white one. The red wine taste is quite light and reminds me more of a rosé. It is also more rare and so more expensive. The average price for a 200ml bottle of icewine is €30 or CA$42
During the maple syrup tasting I found out there are 3 qualities:
- gold= as per the name the colour is gold, very light and super sweet
- amber= it is the most common quality you can find around, the best for the pancakes
- dark= the taste for me was a bit too bitter. It looks it is the favourite one among Canadians
Do you like maple syrup? which one have you tried?
The last stop of the tour before going back to Toronto was the village Niagara on the Lake. A small typical American village, it looks like the ones we normally see in series like Gilmore girls or so. CUTE!
What to do in Downtown
My trip to Toronto was essentially work related. During the first week I saw no much more than the Hotel and the company organized also a dinner in the aqaurium. It is nice, but if you have been in the one in Genoa or Palma de Mallorca, you won´t like it much.
The other 3 days after the conference, I had to prioritise what to do. The first day of holidays was busy wit the tour to the falls etc… on the second day I watched a NBA match and claimed the CN tower.
NBA much more than a match
I have not much knownledge of basketball, but it is not relevant if you go watching a match because it is a show. Music, games, dancing… everything! And if the Toronto Raptors win it is even more fun!
Same things for the hockey match, and if you are supporter you can also visit the Hall of fame for about €18 or CA$25.
Its name “CN” referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. The CN Tower held the record for the world’s tallest free-standing structure for 32 years, from 1975 until 2007, when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa.
It costs €44 or CA$63 , which is totally expensive but you will have an amazing view of the city, all skyscrapers and the Lake Ontario
Last but not least – Royal Ontario Museum
Cannot be possible for me to visit a city and not a museum. Therefore my last stop was at the ROM .The building itself already worths the visit.
It is perfect for adults and kids. There is a floor dedicated to embalmed animals and the others are about all the different cultures you can find in Canada, architecture, interior furnishing.
It takes hours to visit it all, I didn´t have enough so it might be a reason to go back.
The museum is closed on Monday and the ticket for the general admission is about €26 or CA$23
Have you ever been in Toronto or in Canada?
Let me know about yuor experience in the comments