Canada made it to #1 on New York Times’ 52 Places to visit in 2017 and I honestly believe Toronto is a huge influence for that. So, I thought I’d do a love letter to the city…
This post can be otherwise titled as “An Ode to Toronto” or “A Love Letter to Toronto” As much as it was written to convince you, dear friends, to come and visit me, it’s also a list of reasons why I LOVE this city, many of which are food-related, I’m aware. What can I say? Toronto has a world-class food scene!
Without further ado, I present to you 30 reasons to visit and to fall in love with Toronto:
1. This view (Toronto Island)
2. And this (City Hall)
3. Distillery District (bonus: Christmas Market in the winter)
On the lower East side of the city nestled the Distillery District, a historic port neighbourhood that is now home to many boutique stores, trendy restaurants, and beautiful coffee shops. It’s perfect to visit at anytime of the year, but the best time would be in December when the Christmas Market is in full swing!
4. St. Lawrence Market
Named as one of the top 10 food markets in the world by National Geographic, St. Lawrence Market is an amazing place filled with fresh produce, meat, and seafood as well as a variety of cheese, coffee, and other food things you will ever need in your life. Farmers Market happen on Saturdays while the antiques market takes place on each Sunday.
My favourite buy is the peameal bacon sandwich from Carousel Bakery. $5 well spent.
5. Coffee and Cinnamon bun at Rooster
Guess where you’ll find me most Saturday mornings? Rooster Coffee! It has the best cinnamon bun in the city, very good coffee, and a great atmosphere.
6. Basically ALL our coffee shops (Te Aro, Dineen, Bicerin, and Jimmy’s are only a handful of my absolute favourites)
7. Asian gelato from Kekou
Kudos to the owners of Kekou for coming up with the concept of creating Asian inspired gelato! Their flavours range from durian (it’s actually delicious) to tamer options like green bean coconut and Vietnamese Coffee.
8. Kensington Market
Unlike its prim and proper counterpart (I.e. St. Lawrence Market), Kensington is wild and rebellious. Toronto Popcorn Company, Millie Creperie, and Seven Lives Paleteria is just a few of my absolute favourite finds in the city.
9. Ramen from Ryu’s
Out of all the Noodle houses in Toronto (and I’ve tried most of them, believe me), I think Ryu’s is the best. My favourite is the Shoyu Ramen with thick noodle and egg on the side. The Noodle is consistently cooked well, served with a thick and savoury (but not oily) broth, garnished with arugula and bamboo shoots – it’s perfect for those cold days. In the summer they roll out their cold noodle salad, which is also very delicious.
10. Drinks at Boxcar Social
Beautiful backyard patio (or waterfront, depending on which location you go to) and delicious drinks and snacks.
11. Happy Hour at Sin and Redemption
I LOVE Sin and Redemption. They have a wide array of beer selection and their food is not bad either. And as a bonus trivial knowledge: They’re located right across the street from St. Patrick’s Church that is ran by the Redemptorists. Cheeky!
I want to live here. That alone is reason enough for you to check it out.
13. The CN Tower
Visible from pretty much everywhere in downtown… Just use it as your point of reference when you’re here. CN Tower = South.
14. Toronto Flower Market
15. Toronto Bakers Market
16. Toronto Public Library system
Where I get all my books and the sole sponsor of all the “Books I Read” posts on this blog.
17. Union Station
Food and farmers’ market in the summer, pop-up shops, and winter village in the winter. Union Station is the perfect place to welcome travelers coming in to the city!
19. Shakespeare in the Park
Haven’t gotten here yet, but what can be better than Shakespeare, High park, and summer weather?
20. Fall hikes
We’ve got lots of them in the city!
21. Our sports teams #wetheother
We may not have champions, but the Leafs, Jays, and Raptors can always count on a very strong fan base.
22. U of T
My alma mater and also because it’s a beautiful campus to scroll through. Pretend you’re in Hogwarts in University College and enjoy an afternoon at the Trinity College Courtyard. If it tickles your fancy, curl up by the fireplace with a good book in the Munk library on a cold winter day.
23. The shopping
Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Ave, Muji, and Uniqlo, we have them all!
The crystal on Bloor street is an eyesore (in my opinion), but the museum itself is gold! It really is a great place and you should definitely check it out if you’re in the city.
25. Friendly people
We seem to be a very focused crowd, but if you approach us, we’ll help you out, just make sure you stand right and walk left on the escalator (that’s one of our biggest pet peeves!).
26. Our waterfront
27. Our brunch scene
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Batch, Le Petit Dejeneur, Saturday Dinnette, Lady Marmalade, Old School, and Smith are one reason for you to wake up early on Sundays.
28. Dim sum
Susur Lee may have his upscale dim sum place downtown, but uptown Scarborough and Markham is where it’s at if you want cheap and authentic Hongkong-style brunch on Saturday morning. Show up by 9 AM to enjoy the discount and avoid the crowd.
Bring on the har gaos and siu mays, baby!
29. Central location for (day) trips
Niagara region and the US border is 2 hours south, Prince Edward County is 2 hours east, Montreal is doable in 7 hours, Detroit is 4 hours west, what more could you want? Not to mention, there are lots and lots of cheap flights leaving out of YYZ!
30. Our diversity.
We’re a multicultural city, like, really, really multicultural. We have a Persian restaurant right beside an Ethiopian restaurant, across the street from a Ramen place, several doors down from an Indian take out place, and a stone throw away from Little Italy. It’s like this throughout our city and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Stay wild and classy, Toronto. #wethenorth