I was looking through some photos from my Toronto trip last year, and found myself smiling at all of them. Then I realized, I never told you guys about it! Am I even a blogger?!
Toronto was my first time travelling outside the U.S, so it was really exciting for me! I know, I know, it’s not Asia or Europe, but give me a break. I might not be in college anymore, but I’m still college broke. *insert student loan tears here*
I want to start from the beginning, so that starts with how I got to Toronto. I took a…Greyhound bus. Yup, you read that right. I took a Greyhound bus to Canada. I drove from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, met up with my friend, and we took a Greyhound from Pennsylvania to Toronto. It was the worst. I think a Greyhound would be fine for maybe at most an eight hour trip, but we were on it for almost sixteen hours! That includes the layovers, which we had two of. And that’s about thirty-two hours total, maybe make that thirty-three because our last driver didn’t know the directions. A passenger had to pull up his phone GPS…let’s just say, you get what you paid for. But we made it there and back in one piece, so there’s that.
On the upside, we had the best AirBnb. It was on Munro Park Avenue, I don’t want to give the full address, as AirBnb protects the owners until someone actually pays. But if you want a relaxing area, with the beach only two-minutes away, and walk-able access to Queen St. East, which has a lot of beach shops, definitely check out the area. I think the neighborhood is actually called “The Beach”, which is really nice.
My friend and I spent hours at the beach, and then we decided to go exploring. To be honest, we didn’t know too much about Toronto’s beaches/lakes, so we were happily surprised to find out that you can literally be almost anywhere in the city, and still have a path straight to the beach. It was pretty cool. We went to a beach called Kew-Palmy Beach, and it had a dog area right next to it!
We went to a variety of cuisine places, but my number one favorite was and is Maha’s Fine Egyptian Cuisine. So. Freaking. Amazing. It was my first time having Egyptian food, and I’ve been hooked. I haven’t found a place as good as this one, definitely a must-try if you’re in the area. The people, the decor, and most importantly, the food was just perfect. Everyone was friendly, and the waiter was really great at explaining things we didn’t understand. I remember I had the Pharaoh’s Po Boy, with a cardamom-coffee ice cream dessert. It was delicious!
We also went to Ramen Ishhin We randomly found it when we were exploring Toronto’s Chinatown. So glad we did, the restaurant decor was beautiful and unique, and the ramen was on point! And you get a lot for the price. My friend is vegetarian and they had a lot of options for her as well.
This may be underwhelming to some people, but I was really excited to try Canada’s coffee chain, Tim Horton’s. All of my Canadian friends, who live in the U.S, told me I absolutely had to go. I went…three times. It was so good! I was obsessed with the hot French vanilla latte, and got it all three times. And for the Greyhound bus ride back, I bought two egg and cheese sandwiches. I guess technically it would be considered fast food, but it was way better than the fast food I’ve had in the U.S. Definitely have to try it tat least once if you haven’t.
The main attraction, Niagara Falls, was absolutely gorgeous! We saw a rainbow, which was there the entire time. Someone told me that there’s usually a rainbow because of the climate, and I hope that’s true. We took a train from Toronto to Niagara, which wasn’t bad at all.
There are a lot of attractions at Niagara, but you don’t have to pay to actually see it. If you want to go on the boat rides, then you pay. It was a really great experience and we went around mid-June, but the crowd was not bad at all!
We also went to a Kendrick Lamar concert at the Budweiser Stage, and it was really fun! The stage was easy to get to, and you get to walk over a bridge, a really cool location for a concert area!
Some quick travel tips, Toronto’s streetcars are the bomb. There were machines to pay with your card for the streetcars, you can pay as you go in, and there’s a Presto app you can use and just scan when you go in. Also, I’m not sure if all of them do this, but all of the drivers we had took USD, which was helpful. Definitely cheaper than Uber, and you can get the “local” experience. If you’re going to the Budweiser stage, the streetcars stops are definitely a walk-able distance, so you shouldn’t have any issues. I wish streetcars were available everywhere!
Overall, I had a great time in Toronto! So much so, that I periodically look up the laws to move there! One day, hopefully. I loved it there, the diversity and feeling of no one judging me felt great. I live in North Carolina, in a conservative-southern town, and always get looks or people have something to say. I go out of my way to go into the bigger city, to avoid all of that. I definitely want to relocate one day, and Toronto is on that list.
Have you been to Toronto or live there? Let me know!
Nice post, and gorgeous shot of the falls! I have aunts who live in Canada so I’m thinking of flying over at some point. I’ve always wanted to go to Niagra Falls- which side of the border is it on, America or Canada?
I’m also interested in hearing about public transport systems on the other side of the pond (writing from the UK!), as London is now “cashless”, meaning we can only use contactless payments or use an oyster card on the underground and buses.
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That picture was taken on the Canadian side, so gorgeous! Yes, the street cars were amazing, and depending on which line you were trying to catch, one would arrive every 5 minutes. Definitely look into their streetcar system, at least if you’re going to Toronto. I mentioned it in the post, but they have an app called Presto, and you can just scan it real fast when you get on. They also have machines that take credit/debit by the stops, or the driver takes cash. From what I remember it wasn’t expensive, I only had USD and gave them $1.75 for a day. That ticket will last for the entire day to take any of the same line, super convenient! You should definitely visit, I mean if your aunts live there, no need to pay for a hotel!
London is definitely on my list of places to visit! I love the rain and cold weather (I’m weird, I know), so I was thinking an October trip one day might be the perfect time.