Out and About in Downtown Toronto

If you are thinking of where to spend your next summer holiday, take a good look at Toronto. It is nice and warm in the summer, vibrant and not short of places to visit or things to do. I spent a couple of weeks there and had a really great experience. I had a great view staying in a high rise building

If you are wondering what to do in Toronto, keep reading.

  1. There are lots of places to eat: Downtown Toronto is not short of places to eat. Expect to be spoiled for choice in this vibrant part of the city. In fact, you are more likely to find places to eat than you are to find places to shop for fashion. I am not kidding. I stayed on Dundas Street East all through and was grateful for it. Not only is it close to the famous Dundas Square (Toronto’s version of NYC’s Times Square), it was easy to access a wide range of restaurants from here. There are a lot of Asian restaurants on Dundas Street West, so if you are craving Korean, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai…the whole shebang, Dundas Street West is definitely the place to be. I had really good culinary experiences with Hong Shing and Zen Q.

Downtown Toronto also has some cool breakfast spots. If you are looking for a delicious and filling weekend brunch without having to go to through the stress of making reservations, check out School on Fraser Avenue. The ‘Krispy Krunchy’ French toast with raspberry compote and brown sugar butter is to die for! The ambience is relaxed, welcoming and for a nerd like me, appealing. Why? You might ask. I’ll tell you. They serve juice in glass beakers! Haha! I mean laboratory glass beakers. The scientist in me couldn’t be more pleased!

If you are looking to eat at a chain restaurant, Sunset Grill is great to check out. I ordered an omelette and was told by a friend later on that I shouldn’t have. It was not as exciting to eat as I had hoped but I did see other customers eating more exciting stuff

OK. Enough about food. I could go on and on because I ate a lot from a lot of places but let’s move on.

2. Be sure to check out the art! Toronto is an artsy city, well, at least the downtown area is. I visited the Art Gallery of Ontario with a friend and saw really beautiful exhibitions. The ‘Infinite Mirrors’ exhibition by Yayoi Kusama was on at the gallery and it was quite the ‘limitless’ experience. Going through the gallery, you will be sure to find other interesting pieces of art.

3. There is a place for critically acclaimed films and documentaries. That place is the Ted Rogers cinema on Bloor Street. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch the Toni Morrisson movie due to unforeseen circumstances, but it is a great place to hang out in the downtown area if you are into those kinds of movies.

4. Hire a bicycle and ride around the city. There is a lot to see in Toronto and one of the best ways to see the city is hire a bicycle and ride around town. Bicycle rentals go for about $35 for the whole day and an extra $10 if you want to keep the bicycle overnight. Here are some pictures I took around the downtown area.

5. Get on a sightseeing tour bus and see the city: This is as touristy as it gets. The tour bus has a pick up point at Dundas square and tickets are about $40 if I remember correctly.

6. Check out ABC books on Yonge street: If you are into old books at pleasingly low prices, then this is the shop to check out. I left with two fiction books and a memoir of imprisoned women in Iran, and parted with only five dollars. Yep $5. Definitely the cheapest purchase I made in Toronto!

7. Go to the beach: Yes, there are beaches in Toronto and if you are there for the summer, the beach is a great place to go and let loose. Volleyball is one of the popular beach sports in Toronto.There were groups around almost every volley net playing very competitively, I might add. The great thing is that Canadians are really friendly people, and will likely invite you to join them. I went to Woodbine beach, which is about twelve minutes drive from Dundas street, met a couple of guys, had some Canadian lager, went out to dinner with them, and at the end of the evening, we were all following each other on Instagram. Yep! And Oh I discovered I have lost my volleyball touch.

8. Some noteworthy additions: China Town and Kensington market are great places to check out in the downtown area. If you are looking to purchase souvenirs, tourist hoodies or decorative material, China Town is certainly your plug! And your way there, stop by the Lucky Moose grocery store to get your dose of fresh fruits. If vintage clothing is your thing, then certainly you must visit Kensington market!

Toronto is certainly not the cheapest place to holiday, but it is really lots of fun! I went to the Niagra area and visited a winery, a wastewater treatment plant (can’t run away from being a water specialist), and of course Niagra falls, but I will save that for another post.

Hope you enjoyed reading! Do share your fun holiday moments if you have been in Toronto!