To be quite honest, I was expecting a nice calm 48 hours in Toronto. Flying in directly from Paris on an 11am flight (we were up at 6am Paris time) I thought me and Matteo would be doing a lot of sleeping, seeing an old friend and not much else-I couldn’t have been more wrong.
From the moment we arrived downtown the energy all around us was infectious. We stayed at the fabulous Pantages Hotel right smack in the centre of the action!
One minute walk from the hotel is Eaton Centre, another minute gets you to Yonge-Dundas square, where on our arrival day, they were holding the Franco-Fête festival! (The Festival ran this year from July 10th-24th) It couldn’t have been more perfect! With free live french music, French-Canadian junk food (hello beaver tails!) it was the amazing atmosphere you would have to expect from a vibrant cosmopolitain city such as Toronto.
A 5 minute walk west from us was Nathan Phillips Square, the centre of all the action for the Pan American Games! The newly installed Toronto sign was crowded with tourists and Toronto natives alike, excited to get a picture in front of it. Big screens showing the games are up all over the square as well as ticket booths for the games and crowds with endless energy taking part in a whole bunch of free family friendly activities!
If Toronto is amazingly diverse, exciting and alive at any given time, then this summer, hosting the Pan American Games, all of the city’s qualities are on superdrive! From day 1 me and Matteo were back on Canadian time! (well almost)
The next day we were up bright and early, Matteo wanted to check out the Ripley’s Aquarium (more about that here!) again-which I was more than happy to do-it is quite amazing for adults and kids alike! The last time we were here was in absolutely freezing -20 conditions, so this time being able to walk there instead of taxi was amazing because there is so much to see in the area.
For lunch again it was Matteo’s choice and The Old Spaghetti Factory was on the agenda! A kid favourite and definitely more a place to go for the kid friendly atmosphere than the cuisine! (My meatballs are a million times better 😉 ) They have colouring pages for the kids, a great kid friendly building with lots to see (sit inside the carrousel, the kids will love it!) We used to come here for dinner before seeing Raptor’s games, and they would often have clowns making balloon figures for the kids, all in all an excellent family dining experience.
If you have a limited amount of time in Toronto in the summer, just walking around the downtown core is activity enough. Walk down King street and check out the stars on Canada’s walk of fame, walk anywhere in downtown Toronto and there is always music to hear, activities to see, beautiful views of the CN tower, and amazing weather. Toronto is literally the best of the best when the summer comes. The hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto is something to experience.
Toronto was supposed to be my recovery from Paris, in reality it pumped me up so much that all I can say now is I need some sleep!!
Goodbye for now Toronto! We had an amazing time. As always, We’ll be back…