On my way back home I made a little stop over in Toronto to do some shopping. I always stay at the Sheraton Center downtown because it's central and close to a lot of shopping I like. A little searching on the Internet has resulted in great rates (as low as $125 per night but usually more like$145) for my stay. Once there, you are close to union station and are right on the subway route as well. The photo above was the view from my room looking across to City Hall. Every time a visit Toronto, I make a habit of using the subway, since I'd really never otherwise get the chance to. It's kind of fun......and when it's hot out, it's a lot faster than walking. In order to get to Efston Science (the most way cool science store ever) it was most necessary. It turned out to be much easier to access from the subway than I had even anticipated plus it brought me to Yorkdale Mall which I had not been to in YEARS! It really makes Eaton Center Mall look pretty shabby. Yorkdale is sparkling new and clean looking, and has all the major chain stores you're apt to be looking for and no junky stores. Well.....Yorkdale terminal is walkway connected to the mall and within minutes you are in. I walked clear across the mall to get to Dufferin Street so I could look for Efston Science, and it was directly across the street. I didn't have to waste any time looking for it, and that's a good thing since I spent 2 hours looking through the store before I purchased a trebuchet kit, some joke packets for my kid, 4 smencils and an annoying mosquito noise maker that comes on only in the dark.
Here's a photo in the Queen Subway Terminal. The Subway system here is so fast, and easy to use I was happy to have a real need to use it this time around.
China Town on Spadina is also just a 10 minute walk from the Sheraton Center and is another reason I like to stay there. While there is a Cora's (Totally the best breakfast restaurant I know of) within walking distance of the hotel, this morning I chose to grab a breakfast bun at the Furama Bakery on Spadina. There is an astounding assortment of fresh baked goodies for breakfast both savoury and sweet. Thank goodness because I don't like to eat sweet pastry for breakfast. They make an egg bun and also a bacon and onion bun that were good choices for the not too adventurous, and their curry buns and BBQ pork buns are awesome if you are feeling like something a little different. I'll also point out that this is a very cheap breakfast or snack if you find yourself shopping in the area. And if you find yourself in need of fresh produce, China Town is a really inexpensive place to find what you're looking for......I would really like to spend some serious time in this shop some day.
But, there are many many interesting options for food in China Town to say the least........and some of the options were unknown, yet unfortunately identifiable to me. I was intrigued by the BBQ orange creatures below.....but not enough to buy one.
The dumping house.........mmmmm.....maybe next time:(
Just around the corner and you're in Kensington Market. It's a quaint little neighbourhood filled with interesting and unusual finds from all over. It is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Toronto, and should be traveled on foot. It's filled with interesting shops, cafes and plenty of "interesting people". If you're into the hippy dippy, there's lots of it here. And apparently you shouldn't leave your car parked here too long.
This is another shot down one of the shopping streets in Kensington market.
But I ran out of time......
There is also St Lawrence Market which I did not have a chance to get to on this trip. It's well worth the trip also and is walking distance (but a good walk) from the hotel. It's got the best food market around and is pretty much a must see place if you are into food at all.
Another neighbourhood worthy of a look is Little India. It's a little more effort in transit, but is doable with one short subway ride plus a short streetcar ride. I think it only took 20-25 minutes to get there from the hotel. Little India is much smaller than China Town but is interesting none the less. There are some great restaurant choices, and if you are looking for a saree or a salwaar kameez....this is the place to get one.
These are by no means the only places to visit while in Toronto....but they are some of my favourites.