I’ve always wanted to visit New York. So when I most recently spent some time in Toronto, it was incredibly tempting to hop on a plane after Blogpodium and fly on over there.
Know what? New York IS on my bucket list, bar none. But Toronto offered me all the NYC perks without the added expense this round. Check this place out…
Jen (Fusion Mineral Paint / Homestead House / Miss Mustard Seed Paint manufacturer) and I had just met at Blogpodium. When she heard about my desires to hit the Toronto streets the next day, I didn’t even have a chance to book a tour. She volunteered to be my tour guide!
If you EVER have the chance to hook up with a local while out yonder, do that. DO THAT.
Everything is walking distance if your hotel is in the middle of Toronto. Goodness… how did I get so lucky staying at The Royal York?!
Jen and I met the next day at the CN tower, that magnificent beast that was illuminating my hotel window for the past two nights.
And here we are having lunch. In the CN tower. It has a revolving restaurant, which takes an hour to do a complete turn.
Click on the picture above to enlarge… see that cute little man made beach with the umbrellas?
Lunch at the CN was mouth watering! It was 5 courses and the prettiest food I’ve ever seen.
The fee for lunch plus the tower tour was around $50 I think, so if you ever go there, eat as well, because it’s about $30 just for the tower part. And lunch was not cheap, so this was a screamin’ deal done the right way. Jen knows her Toronto stuff.
It was so hard to focus on the food. I mean… that’s quite a view!
And I can nearly kinda sorda say I took in a Blue Jays game. 🙂 This was located at the base of the tour. With the zoom lens in effect.
Here is the true height without using the zoom. Isn’t that crazy how high we are? This is a glass bottomed floor. Heh. No thanks!
Well… well… OK!
After the most amazing lunch and conversation, we hit the city. This is their version of Times Square, called Dundas Square. It was stunning. The billboards went on forever.
“I’ll take the blue one. But it’s in the back. Sir… sir? Where did he go?” 😀
And then we approached Kensington Market. I adored this little village! All these historic homes and buildings opened up their front porches and doors to instant stores, hippy style.
Lots of 2nd hand stuff to be had.
The new to me famous graffiti car planter of Kensington. Isn’t that a riot?
And the old door repurposers. This building is lined with old doors and I couldn’t love it more!
And then we approached Grafitti Alley, my VERY favourite part! Are you ready for this?
How adorable is my tour guide friend?
Oh trust me, to stay in that alley a few hours would be time very well spent. The work was amazing!
Isn’t Jen like model material? I took about 4 shots of her here from the iPhone to nail these two wins.
And then there’s me…
AWKWARD PHOTOS MUCH?!
Oh trust me. About 80 shots of me tucking in my pants, scuffing my elbow, looking up, looking down, double chinning…
And THEN Jen kindly asked me to remove my runners because they were… mom material? 😀
Hey, I must be twice your age! I need the support!
She was of course right.
This one would have to do. It’s not like we had a week to capture one person here.
And then we did Wicked!!!! My first live musical! It was SO AMAZING!!!!
The Mirvish theatre was gorgeous! Muffly, exquisite, rich, lavish… and even popcorn. 🙂
A Broadway show was so on my bucket list. And now I’ve already done it!
And then we came to Jen’s place.
She lives in this incredible building. Are you as jealous as I?
Her paint shop is also inside. It had a very loftish feel. Amazing place.
What. A. Day.
Jen, you have the kindest heart to take an entire day out, showing me your neighbourhood. Thank-you so very VERY much! You truly made my extra Toronto day stay a total 1000000% WIN! I would have never found these places without you.
I was so tired upon returning to the hotel, I didn’t even make it down to the pool. I climbed into my beautiful crisp hotel bed, turned toward my CN tower nightlight, and drifted off to sleep with the biggest grin on my sleepy face.
For the next day, was my last day in Toronto, and it was another BIG one. I’d be hooking up with a tour involving a helicopter, a boat ride, and LOTS and lots of world famous water… that’s next!
Read all the Toronto adventure series to date HERE
If you go somewhere on business, add a couple of days to see the sights. You’ll never EVER regret it.
27 thoughts on “CN Tower, Wicked, Graffiti Alley in Toronto. Wow.”
what an awesome tour. It is great to see T.O. through the eyes of a visitor. Your guide is just so very, well, CANADIAN!
I haven’t been to Kensington Market in decades, many decades. Now on my list too.
I’ve always wondered where Rick Mercer films his rant walking in front of graffiti. Now I know. ya learn something every day, now I’m showing MY age!
I was treated to a visit to NYC for my 50th, very fun. go there too.
Kensington was so laid back and artsy! Really loved it! And you can bet the day I land in NYC, I’ll be screaming it from the skyscraper tops!
Fantastic pictures Donna. I must get myself back there one day and go to Toronto. I’m proud to say I’ve been to Niagra Falls, Canada side. It was a pleasant area and the first time I saw the falls I literally started tearing up. It was just breathtaking.
Oh… oh I barely have words to describe what I saw. I need to start editing those photos! Glad you saw the Canadian side, it had the perfect view of the entire thing!
You make me laugh! You are so down-to-earth and real!! Your blog entry has provided yet another great start to my day.
I’m glad you enjoyed visiting our local spots down this way. I really wanted to get to the show to meet you but it was too close to the back-to-school start for me and I was in the midst of doing my IEPs for my class of students (If you don’t know what they are, don’t ask. They make a teacher’s head spin around backwards!)
I even thought about ‘skipping out’ of school one day but my conscience makes me feel too guilty to ever do that kind of thing. I just ‘think’ about it. *Sigh* I guess I’ll have to catch you at your next conference gig!
(P.S. I see you’ve discovered Rick Mercer’s alley where he does his ‘rant’ on his TV show.)
Awww I’m sorry I missed out meeting you, Jan! Next time if I approach your area, message me! Maybe we can hook up for a coffee somewhere!
Donna – Isn’t life more fun with a friend showing you the town? I loved the pictures from the CN Tower what a view! I didn’t know anything about Toronto now I do! Thanks for the post. And I really do want to see Wicked!
It was a BLAST! And yes, take the time to see Wicked. It was sooo funny! And the set had a real industrial vibe to it.
Oh! The picture of you on the glass floor??! I have a fear of falling and I almost fell out of my chair just looking at that photo. Yikes! I wouldn’t even have the courage to go up in the tower in the first place. Yes, I miss out on a lot… The village is awesome! Toronto is going on my bucket list for sure! Thanks for the photo tour.
You did NOT come to Niagara Falls without a tour from me did you? LOL – Loved the tour of Toronto, the market is awesome. I dig the vibe there 🙂 Glad you had fun and got a “real” tour while you were here.
Oh dear… am I in trouble? Haha
Yes, ‘real tour’ is the perfect name for this! We went to other areas such as China town (and had bubble tea!) and took a late night peek at the…. that brick filled district, can’t remember the name… saw the locks of love gate feature, ah!! So many things. I need to come back to finish my tour me thinks. 🙂
Amazing photos! Thanks so much for the tour. It’ll be a while before I get to get up that way and see it for myself. **And you got some great candid shots of yourself!
Donna, great pictures! What a fabulous day…..I am sure Jen had as much fun as you did. She was probably so happy to get to know you. (Great picture of you….I laughed when I read the explanation of the ‘no shoes’. Keep NYC on your bucket list…another fantastic city…the cowboy took me there in September to celebrate my birthday. Wow what a city! We packed a lot into 5 days.
Love your blog! Mardy
Thanks for the awesome pics of Toronto! For a girl from Kansas who just lost her best friend from cancer (he was raised in Toronto) this past year & since i’ve visited Toronto several times, these shots made me smile. You also gave me some new places to check out whenever i get the courage to go back to Toronto (won’t be the same without him). Loved the pics of you in graffiti alley (glad you blew the shoes) gave you that hippie vibe & they were awesome pictures!!! Please continue to share your adventures & shots of Canada wherever you travel as I have made “notes” on places i want to visit in Canada. I’ve never been to the west coast of Canada so have lots to check out there! One thing i have learned first hand is that Canadians are very friendly people and i look forward to my next visit! Thanks so much!!!
Oh.. I’m really sorry for the loss of your friend, Vicki. I certainly understand your hesitation.
I have a LOT of travelling to discover in my home town of Vancouver, a mere hour from me. I totally am not city savvy, so I need to hook up with someone there too! One day… one day.
I’m so glad you don’t mind a little travel thrown in the mix here! There’s so much to life other than just rusty gears it appears. But I will find them wherever I go. 😀
Wow! You sure did Toronto right! I live an hour from the city and I’ve never seen any of that. (Okay, I’ve been in the convention center at the base of the CN tower several times but I’ve never made it upstairs because it’s so expensive.) Some day!
Nothing’s cheap in a big city, including the live show! But I couldn’t go all that way and not see this fabulous stuff! As for Vancouver an hour away… well, why it is always more enticing to see a city farther away I do not know. 😀 I say splurge at least once and take in the CN tour with lunch. It’s a view like no other in the world.
That was a terrific tour. Normally, I’m not that keyed into people’s travel photos, but this was interesting to say the least. Thank Jen for me. Awesome!
donna this old lady from a teeny town in tenn. usa so enjoys all of your travels that i know i won’t ever get to see, wow do they call toronto the ny of canada lmbo so so fun for you loved it xx
What a fun tour, so glad you shared it with us. This gives me several things to add to my bucket list, especially Kensington Market. My kinda place. I have been to the Canadian side of Niagra Falls and like one of your other readers commented, I cried too. So amazing, so breathtaking.
You on the glass floor made me giggle, even before I read your caption, I saw the hesitation, but good for you on getting partially on that floor. I would’ve tried it but gotten dizzy looking down, then probably wet my pants. aaackk!
So yes please continue sharing your travel adventures, they are fun and it’s wonderful seeing things through your lens.
What a wonderful day you had, nothing like touring with a local you don’t get lost and you don’t waste time deciding where to go. I would love to see Wicked, I know it was wonderful. Y’all had a full day, that was a whirlwind tour with good entertainment, and I don’t blame you for not going out on the glass, I don’t think I would have got as close as you did, I think I would have been to weak in the knees.
You have the most fun!
Donna, I am so happy you had such a great time. I too met Jennylyn at BlogPodium and she is such a sweetheart. And how sweet of her to give you a tour! And what a perfect tour! I haven’t been to Kensington Market in decades either and I must make the trip soon. I’ve seen Wicked 3 times over the years and it has to be one of my favourite musicals and worth every penny!
Great Photos too!
What fun! Isn’t Jen great? Love her to bits as well, looks like you had a great time, TO is awesome!! I am taking notes for my next trip to Toronto (or maybe I’ll make her take me next) 🙂
Just got around to reading this one and I’m so glad I did! When I get to Toronto I’ll know where to go. Thanks!
btw I love the picture of you looking up and smiling. You look like you’re relaxed, happy and free!
hi! Cool blog – do you recall where that repurposed door building is located and do you know anything about the building itself? Residential or business…?
Friends and I are curious about it!
Yes! It’s on Bathurst St in Toronto, just south of King on the west side. Thanks Jennylyn for the info!