Toronto vacation – Day 4

Did you miss the pictures and recap from day 1? Click here to go back.
Did you miss the pictures and recap from day 2? Click here to go back.
Did you miss the pictures and recap from day 3? Click here to go back. 

First stop, the Black Canary. Yall know I’ve gotta have my magic potion to get me going! 

Thursday we went all over Toronto! Thankfully it wasn’t all walking though, we did take a couple of Uber’s. I was doing okay with all the walking, but C was struggling. And I wasn’t exactly opposed to getting a ride.  😉

Generally when we go on trips, we avoid the touristy areas; we’d rather do what the locals do, eat where the locals eat, etc. But we’re not completely innocent. Sometimes there’s just landmarks and things that you really want to see. It may be the ‘tourist thing to do,’ but if it’s a major part of the city, then I’ll put on my fanny pack and play tourist!

We headed down to the Harborfront area which was just a few blocks from the condo. I had read that this was the real touristy area of Toronto, but that’s not why we went; we wanted to get on the ferry to go to the Toronto Islands. The ferry gives you the best views of the city and skyline, and from what I had read and the pictures I’d seen, the islands are beautiful. We had actually looked at renting a house on the islands, but then decided we didn’t want to deal with always having to get on the ferry to go to town. Also, I work with a guy who’s from Toronto and he agreed that the islands are beautiful and recommended we go.

I was really shocked when we got down there though. As with pretty much all of the city that we’d seen, it was a beautiful area. Very clean, nice buildings, and Lake Ontario is gorgeous. But with a touristy water front area, I expected restaurants, gift shops, etc. But truly, it looked more like a business district to me. Right by the water was a pretty brick walkway and nice trees, but if you turned and looked behind you (away from the water), it was just built up like the rest of the city.

We walked along the water for a bit, taking in the views and looking across to the islands, and we saw that they had a Navy ship docked and found out they were giving free tours. We’re all about free! So aboard we went.

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We ended up deciding against going to the islands. We saw a map of the islands, and it looked like there wasn’t much over there for us. We’d be paying for the ferry to go over there and just walk around. We could walk around the main island for free. I’m sure it is beautiful, but we just didn’t feel it was worth it for us.

We had also talked about going to Niagra Falls during our trip, but over lunch, decided against that as well. It’d probably be $50 or more to rent a car, it’d take our whole day, and Toronto drivers are terrifying!

From lunch we caught an Uber to Koreatown. I’d say that was a waste of an Uber ride. Koreatown was nothing to write home about. We walked up one side of the street and back down the other, and I don’t think we walked in even one place.

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We weren’t there long before walking to Casa Loma. Casa Loma was built from 1911-1914, cost $3.5 million and took 300 workers to build. Because of the start of WW1, construction halted at 98 rooms, 64,700 square feet – the largest private residence in Canada. After the war, during the depression, Casa Loma’s property taxes were increased from $600 to $1000 per month. Owner Henry Pellatt was already experiencing financial difficulties, so he auctioned off $1.5 million in art and $250,000 in furnishings. However, that did not sustain him long, and Pellatt had to sell the castle after living there less than ten years. Casa Loma served multiple purposes before becoming the museum it is today. {Don’t you feel all educated now?? 🙂 }

Originally we only planned to walk the grounds, due to the $25/person entrance fee; but because we had passed on the ferry and rental car, we went ahead with Casa Loma. Unfortunately, since we hadn’t originally planned on going in, we didn’t allot ourselves much time and were cutting it close to closing time. We were able to see all of the castle except the basement and two areas that were blocked off for an event. {I’m not going to upload the pictures of the inside because that’s just way too many pictures!}

View from the top of the castle:

When we left, we walked the area checking out the neighborhood and ended up finding that there were other buildings that are part of the castle as well that we were too late to go in. 😦 We were bummed we didn’t get to see everything, but what we did see was incredible. This was one of the buildings, the old horse stables. It was a good life for a horse!

Last on the list was another Anthony Bourdain find: The Black Hoof. This was probably the number one thing that C was looking forward to on the trip, because he saw on The Layover that they serve a big bone that you can eat the marrow out of. Then later when we looked up their menu, he saw that they have horse tartar. So we went, he got his disgusting food, and I sat and watched him eat. I did try the horse. Good flavor, but the texture killed me.

Then we were bummed as we realized the next day would be the last of our vacation. So sad… Be sure to click the link below to subscribe so you don’t miss seeing the pictures!

-L

 

 

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