Toronto Part One

Travels — 21.1.2015

Blame Canada blame Canada! For being such a beautiful country! I’m just loving it and don’t wonder why even McDonalds has touched it’s holy logo by putting a teeny weeny maple leaf on the M. Went to Canada two summers back and have to go back N.O.W.! To Toronto! This story is dedicated to Toronto. The lovely city.

I have been talking about my all time favorite cities earlier and one of them is definitely Toronto. At least the summery Toronto. Now I will go there during the winter so we’ll see. But anyway, it’s hard to explain the magic but Toronto just has it.

Toronto skyline at night as seen from a skyscraper

Toronto city under the moon at night

Toronto at dawn, sun is rising over the skyscrapers

First of all when landing there after the easy short Finnair flight I was fascinated already when entering the country. Hot good looking customs guys speaking perfect sounding but easy understandable English and being very friendly and polite to you and warmly welcoming you. That’s the right kind of entrance and should be all around the globe. Come on, travelling would make you so much less run down and more beautiful!

Toronto – friendly and functional

So one thing making Toronto such a nice experience is definitely the friendly and helpful Canadian people and also the fact that everything is working really clear and smoothly. Service, transportation, clean and safe surroundings… The only thing I would do, in North America in general, is to include the taxes on price. Would be so much easier for such a math loser as myself. But of course I understand that the taxes change according to the state and it’s a bit tricky.

Three elephants statue in Toronto
Three little elephants… or is it four, am I counted… Math sucks, doesn’t it!

There are 2 million people in Toronto, but to my opinion it has a feeling of a cozy hometown. Big buildings but sympathetic homey hoods just next to the center, the great balance of asphalt and clean nature – there are trees, the big lake Ontario, islands – like the Ward island where we went by boat to spend some time in nature and on the beach. There is culture and sporty activities and the fact that Toronto has the seasons. But how can the summer be so hot?! I was wondering the heat, but then I was looking at the map more closely and realized that it’s on the same level with South European countries… So yeah summer is hot!

Toronto skyline and a boat trip to Ward island
A trip to Ward island

Imitating Canadian gooses on Ward Island

Swan pedal boats on Ward Island in Toronto

Balloon seller on Ward Island in Toronto, spot the Angry Bird balloon
The pig is angry because it’s not bought yet

On the beach on Ward Island in Toronto, hot summer day

Cider and laying on the beach towels on Ward Island in Toronto
BYO beach
Toronto skyline with CN Tower and nature
Toronto and nature

Antti Kareinen taking a photo of the Toronto skyline and CN Tower

Toronto skyline and CN Tower basking in the sun
The lovely city


Culture and shopping in a cafe city

Warm weather made it great. We were homing at our great AirBnB places (one on the 53rd floor with awesome views!) which were really reasonable priced but really high standard – grilling both food but also ourselves on the rooftop. In Toronto there are several great markets, like St Lawrence, where you can get good quality fresh products and they are nice places to hang around in general. As well as the coffee places. Great coffee, drinks and smoothies – and cakes! A break worth taking to and getting the energy boost in the middle of shopping or when just walking here and there.

So many floors on our condo in Toronto downtown
To the 53rd floor pleaaase
Sparkling wine on a rooftop in Toronto downtown
My precious
Grilling, sausage and cider, spending a summer day in Toronto
Say sausage!
Rooftop cigarettes on a rooftop
Mr. Rooftop

St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is a great place to visit

Ice-coffee and asphalt on a hot day in Toronto Canada
Ice ice coffee!

OCAD University and the streets of Toronto

There are great areas just to wander around, Kensington, Baldwin villages… Also some good museums. I really liked the Art gallery of Ontario. There was a very interesting exhibition of a Chinese artist and political prisoner Ai Weiwei who makes an expressive art about the concerns and human rights and is claimed to be the most powerful artist in the world.

Ai Weiwei's Coca-Cola pot

Ai Weiwei's exhibition in Toronto, the middle finger paintings, fuck you

The best shopping in Toronto is vintage! I was so happy to find this new concept to me: The vintage stores weren’t like the traditional flea markets that smell like the end or the early start of the world. They were really tidy and felt like a normal stylish boutiques. There’s no way that you could feel that they are old clothes expect the fact that they are having so many unique, personal crazy cool clothes. I just loved the shops and can’t wait to go back now to make some findings. Something old, something new! When it comes to something new, there are all the good basic American stores in Canada, one of my favourites are Brandy&Melville and La Senza with the lingerie’s. Of course there are all the high end stores too.

Mr. Sticky dog wears an outfit and represents the street fashion scene in Toronto
Sticky is after vintage too!

Once again a funny coincidence, now that I’m writing this post, Drake’s Started from the bottom started to play on Spotify. That was the song of that summer and actually we went to watch the OVO Fest. As a rap chick it felt great; there were all the big names as a surprise guests, Kanye, Diddy.. even my teenage idol band TLC. Toronto is a great city to go to see some concerts or sports. There is ice hockey and basketball and baseball amongst all. The Annual International Film Festival of Toronto is held each autumn there and last year the upcoming Finnish movie Big Game was on the screens. I happily checked the trailer lately and it seemed like a proper thriller. Always proud to see Finns who believe in themselves to make some international moves and a small mark on the map, because that doesn’t happen too often!

Cider in the sunshine on the balcony of the skyscraper condo in Toronto
Started from the bottom. OVO.

A sensual girl on the balcony with a skyscraper view on a warm summer evening

Caught by a paparazzi, on the balcony in Toronto downtown with the skyscraper view
Got surprised by the paparazzi!


Trip to Niagara Falls! Fly away cheap!

Having all these aspects Toronto is very much an international city. You can also notice that by seeing different looking people and cuisines. Great food and restaurants. You can even find quite good wine close from Toronto. We rented a convertible and made a nice day trip to the wine yards two hours from Toronto. Near the Niagara Falls there is the wine area of Niagara Peninsula. The only question was who’s the driver! Not really! I enjoyed the ride and the wine and Antti driving. We also went to the Niagara Falls just quickly to check them out. I didn’t like the place. A tourist trap. But it’s seen and ticked now. The funnies thing there was the thought of having the US/Canada border in front of us, in the white water. We could almost wave at the people watching Niagara from the US site.

Convertible Mustang rental car under and a road trip ahead
Keep rolling…
Sushi wine at the vineyard in the Niagara area in Canada
…the Sushi wine

Vineyard in the Niagara area in Canada

Side mirror selfie and the Mustang ride

Niagara Falls as seen from the Canadian side
By Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls and a little rainbow as seen from Canada

From Toronto it’s really easy and cheap to fly to many places and the Rockies…. Oh wow. We went from Toronto to the Rockies and Vancouver.. Will write about it later! On this becoming trip we will fly from Toronto cheap to Mexico and Cuba. And with Iceland Air cheap to Toronto. So the connections are really good. And this city is worth to spend some time in!

I will be in Toronto in February. Catch you up with the part two then!

On the boat going to Ward Island in the Toronto summer
Can’t stay away from the islands of Ontario lake!

Summer girl in a park in Toronto Ward Island and the CN Tower

Life ring on a boat in Toronto

In the Toronto centrum going to the beach
Through the city to the beach

On the beach on Ward Island in Toronto on a hot summer day

Seagull on the beach on Ward Island
Beach boy
Pointing the floor of our holiday condo, CN Tower next to the skyscraper
Our floor
Breakfast at Hights, on a condo balcony with a Toronto skyscrapers view
Breakfast at Hights
Toronto at night as seen from the balcony of our holiday rental flat, red wine and homing
Some souvenirs from the wineries
I am Canadian, would love to live in Toronto
Me changing the citizenship for a sec – Blame Canada!

Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is the must attraction for all the Hockey lovers

Graffiti in Toronto, flowers and hands

Maple leaf and sunshine at the beer terrace in Toronto

Super market theme restaurant

A lot of colourful cookies

Peach pie sign in Toronto, Wanda's Pie in the Sky

Graffiti in the streets of Toronto

A hippie car in the Baldwin area in Toronto

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