Toronto in a pocket



There is more to Canada than skiing and Vancouver. Take Toronto, for example. It’s not one of the most visited cities in Canada but to be honest is really a gem!

I always dream about going to Canada but never resolved to go. Luckily for me Joseph a friend of mine told me he had a friend Antony living in Toronto. I could not take advantage of it and I I had decided to go and see this city. Antony had recently moved there at the University of Toronto and in the short time he had been there they had raved about this vibrant metropolis, its laid back way of life and stunning scenery. He lived in Toronto since March (a bit less than a year), so he was a perfect guide! I finally persuaded Antony to join us! So I left with him!

I expected flights to Toronto to be more expensive than that they actually were as I spent around £250, relatively cheap considering the distances involved, and leave from most major international airports in the UK. On landing at Pearson International Airport the unparalleled public transport system will deliver you practically to the door of any hotel you are staying in. Public transport in Toronto is great, with its integrated grid of subways, streetcars and buses that span the entire city. With 15$ you buy a weekly pass available on any kind of transports.

Not only the public transport is cheap but even the accommodation. My friend and I stayed at Town Inn a 3 stars hotel near Andrew house and not so far from the main attractions. The hotel was great and we was charged only 60$ per night for a double room.

Next to the hotel there was this little and nice pub called Firkin where we used to go.

I was impressed by how Toronto is clean and safe! I Could walk alone in the streets even at night and never felt unsafe, but avoid walking around Yonge Street, where some gang groups are based.

Yonge Street is the longest street in the world, running north-south through the city, from the shores of Lake Ontario to the border with the US. It is largely accepted that those who live on the east tend to stay in the east, and those who live in the west stay in the west.

Antony carried us in some amazing districts as Little Italy, then Chinatown, Greektown, Little India and Little Poland – each with its own distinct vibe. In Chinatown (to the west of Yonge Street), the street signs, shop names and even prices on the products for sale were in Chinese. People walking up and down the street chattered in their native tongue and the restaurants were packed out with immigrants wanting a real taste of home. In Little Italy cars raced up and down beeping their horns (Italy had just won the world cup –although in a place like Toronto someone somewhere would have been celebrating regardless of the outcome!).

We walked around Queen Street which unveils the hipper side of Toronto, with vintage boutiques, coffee houses and a distinctly bohemian air. The nightlife along Queen Street, meanwhile, is a definite must-see as I did enjoy clubbing and it was here that I understood why Toronto is regarded as such a liberal city. As one of the first places to allow gay marriages, pride is a major character trait of Toronto, as well as a general tolerance and openness not seen to such an extent in many cities.

Another major distinguishing feature of Toronto is, of course, the CN Tower Unfortunately my guides obliged me to go up so I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the dizzying heights of the viewing platform. As if that wasn’t enough, once I got there I was immediately faced with the challenge of the glass floor, looking straight down onto the Harbourfront. People here were divided; those who raced onto it, jumped up and down and laughed at those that wouldn’t, and those that peered tentatively over the edge before deciding it wasn’t worth the risk.

Every evening we had dinner in a different restaurant but the best I’ve never tried was the Keg SteakHouse. The meat was so tasty and really cheap!.

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