What better way to start a new year than with a trip to a new to us city and an excuse to use our passports?
Friday we headed up to Toronto for the weekend and had the best time! Yes it was bitterly cold, but that just added to the fun.
When we got to town Friday we checked into the Intercontinental downtown and then headed across the street and into the PATH – an underground tunnel with food court and shops that allows you to move around downtown inside instead of out in the cold. We grabbed a quick lunch at Hero burgers and then walked around a bit, stopping at a wine shop and grabbing a couple bottles of Mencia to enjoy in our hotel room over the weekend.
When we were ready to walk back to the hotel we exited the PATH and walked along the street so we could take in the view. In the hotel we enjoyed a bottle of our wine, I took a bath, and we relaxed until our reservation at Richmond Station. We walked quickly to dinner since it was so cold, but had the best meal and would definitely recommend visiting Richmond Station if you’re in Toronto.
To drink I had a station sparkler and William had a brown ale. We split the polenta fries as an appetizer. William ordered the Muscovey Duck with parsnip puree, sweet potato pave, grilled baby leek, rosemary oil, grape jus for dinner and I had the grilled eurobass with red pepper bisque, new potatoes, wilted spinach, mussel sauce vierge. It was incredible! For dessert I ordered the slection of artisinal cheese with carrot cardamom chutney, quinoa crackers, ladybank honey and William had the London Fog a deconstructed white chocolate cheesecake, almond, orange blossom jelly, seabuckthorn, earl grey ice cream. When they brought our check they also brought some house made salted fudge that was the perfect finishing touch. This was such a delicious meal from start to finish and I would definitely go back to try other menu items! I also loved the aesthetic and vibe at Richmond Station – it was minimal but warm and and intimate. Overall just an amazing experience!
Saturday we woke up and grabbed breakfast at the buffet at our hotel before heading over to the St. Lawrence Market to people watch and check out what was for sale. There were so many fun vendors set up and the people watching was fantastic!
After grabbing a quick coffee at the market, we walked toward the aquarium and CN tower and stumbled upon the most fun fountain featuring all these dogs!
Then we headed to Ripley’s Aquarium and loved the exhibit on the Great Lakes fish and the path under the tank so that sharks, rays and fish swam above and beside you. The aquarium was busy, but a fun way to spend a couple hours in the morning.
After the aquarium, we walked across the street to the CN tower and headed up to enjoy the view. Most of it was under construction, so while the city view was spectacular, we didn’t really get to enjoy a view of Lake Ontario, which was disappointing. I would definitely recommend going up the CN tower though – such a pretty way to take in Toronto and so many of the surrounding communities!
When we left the CN tower we were ready to grab lunch so we headed to Smoke’s Poutinerie for a quick bite. William ordered the traditional poutine and I had their version with pulled pork and it totally hit the spot!
After lunch we headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame and had such a fun afternoon exploring all of the exhibits and seeing the Stanley Cup! We had looked at tickets to the Maple Leafs and Canucks game Saturday night, but tickets were crazy expensive, so we opted to watch a bit on TV instead.
After the Hockey Hall of Fame we headed back to our hotel to rest before our dinner reservations at Momomfuku. William had Ginger Scallion Noodles with pickled shiitake, cucumber, cabbage & katsu and BBQ Pork Buns with Korean bbq sauce, coleslaw, dill pickle and katsu and I ordered the Ginger Scallion Noodles wirh pickled shiitake, cucumber, cabbage, but instead of noodles, mine was over rice and they substituted tamari sauce for soy sauce on mine. It was quite tatsty and I really liked the cucumbers and cabbage! The aesthetic in the restaurant was very urban; all communal seating, we sat on wooden boxes and the ceilings were super high. It was very cool. By time dinner was over, we were both feeling pretty tired and headed back to the hotel to watch the Maple Leafs and Canucks game.
Sunday morning we grabbed breakfast from the hotel buffet again before hopping on the Toronto metro and heading to the Royal Ontario Museum. We started our day at the Dior exhibit, before viewing some of the more permant collections. The special Dior exhibit was beautifully curated and showcased what a true artist Christian Dior was. My favorite pieces were the Lily of the Valley inspired jewels, the perfume collection and the beaded evening gown. The embroidery and beadwork were all so stunning! Miss Dior is my signature scent and what I wore on my wedding day; it will always be my classic go-to!
Though not applicable to our life stage, I loved how interactive the ROM was for children and families – what a great way to spend a day teaching and exploring with your child! I was also struck by the exhibit they had from the trial to prove that Auschwitz was a death camp. It was stark white and you had to get very close to see the pictures and architectural plans. It was haunting and truly made you reflect on the whitewashing that was attempted following World War II in regards to the Holocaust and the realities of what was occurring under the Third Reich. There was a museum curator in that exhibit talking with people, and hearing her teach people about the Holocaust and it’s horrors was interesting, since some people seemed to be newly introduced to this massive moment in history through this exhibit which was shocking to me. I also love that as soon as you exited this exhibit, you were in a Jewish art exhibit which featured many menorah and dishes. What a striking duality.
After several hours at the museum we caught the metro to the Eaton Centre Mall. We grabbed lunch at this fun taco truck and then walked around exploring some of the stores and people watching. We ended up making some Team Canada purchases at the Hudson’s Bay flagship that we’ll be happy to wear in February, as long as they’re not playing the USA in hockey! I got a fun and cozy pair of buffalo plaid socks and a zip up sweater and William bought a zip up hoodie.
After the mall we walked back to the hotel and took some photos of the old and new city hall building and the Toronto sign by the outdoor ice rink.
When we got to the hotel we relaxed with some wine and the NFL wildcard football before we headed to dinner at The Keg. For supper William enjoyed ceasar salad, prime rib, veggies, twice baked potato and some new beers. I had ceasar salad, top sirloin, garlic mashed, veggies and a creme brulee for dessert. It was a delicious meal and our server was fantastic! We had a cozy corner booth near the fire and it was just such a relaxing evening together.
Monday morning we woke up, packed and grabbed breakfast at our hotel buffet before hitting the road home. Toronto was such a clean and easily navigable city. We are so excited to live close enough to Toronto to guarantee we’ll be back again soon because Toronto was captivating!