If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen that I gifted myself a trip out to Toronto and Detroit for my birthday this year. Perhaps a little known fact about me is that I am an avid hockey fan, specifically the Detroit Red Wings. I lived in Detroit for a while (more on that on the Detroit post!) and became a huge, borderline obsessive fan.
While I lived in Detroit, I had never taken the time to travel up to Toronto (no clue why) and since the Red Wings were playing in Toronto and then back home on the same weekend, I decided that was the perfect birthday plan.All West-Coasters probably can sympathize with me when I complain about how early I had to leave Los Angeles in order to get to the east coast without wasting an entire day. Just to get to Detroit by 6:00PM, I had to leave on a 6:00AM flight (left the house at 4:30AM!) and let me tell you I am not a morning person!
I landed first in Detroit and drove out to Toronto which is just under a 4 hour drive. I've never done the drive before so I was a bit nervous but it was a piece of cake aside from the exhaustion of the days travel up to that point. We got to our hotel, the InterContinental Toronto Centre in downtown Toronto around 9PM. Our room got upgraded to the river-view room and the CN Tower was literally right outside the window!
I was only there for the weekend but the weather was a bit crazy! It went from cloudy and rainy to clear skies and sunny to insanely gusty to freezing - my photographs will most certainly reflect that. However, my favorite thing about the weather was that there was some fall foliage still left. There's no such thing in Los Angeles so I had a lot of fun kicking around the leaves.
Fort York: I wish I could say I'm a historian but I'm not, although I've become a lot more curious about it being a little older. I always make it a point to visit somewhere truly historical when I'm in a new place and Fort York was it for Toronto. Again, I'm no historian but in a nutshell, Fort York is a former military base that was run by the British and Canadians to protect the area from the invasion and attack by the United States. I was lucky enough to be there for a special exhibit on the Magna Carta, a charter agreed originally by King John regarding the rights of his people. Very interesting! I highly recommend a visit. My favorite picture from Fort York is below; it's astonishing to see the juxtaposition of the then and now of Toronto.
Air Canada Centre: As I mentioned above, I came here partially for the hockey game. Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings. We were only about 10 rows up and got spoiled with in-seat service. I treated myself to some poutine and it was the best I have ever had! The game itself was very mellow, little penalties and no fights whatsoever. It was a close game but the Red Wings won in overtime which of course brought a ton of birthday happiness! Hockey is a big deal in Canada and I love it. I wish NHL was a bigger deal in the United States. If you enjoy hockey or sports in general, I suggest you attend a Maple Leafs or Raptors (NBA) game at the Air Canada Centre, it's beautiful!
CN Tower: You can't ignore the beautiful giant that is the CN Tower in downtown Toronto. For me, it was right outside our window but even if it wasn't, it stands tall and especially beautiful at night when it glows in hues of blue and red. My favorite part of the CN Tower is their 360 Restaurant. I had delicious food with breathtaking views as the restaurant rotated (1 rotation takes 72 minutes). Reservations at the restaurant includes admission to the observation tower so the food cost is actually reduced from the already reasonable pricing. I must say the views from the restaurant were much better than from the observation tower!
I wish I had more time in Toronto, I do regret not staying at least another 24 hours. It's ok though, I feel lucky enough to have had the opportunity to visit and 110% will return for more!
On another note, I did a Q&A with Vanessa from Snow In Tromso - another fantastic travel blogger! Click here to check it out.
Next stop: Detroit, Michigan
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