Today was our first day seeing Downtown Toronto, my memories from my last visit here are very dark because well it was really dark throughout the day, super cold and the struggle to walk due to everywhere being like an ice skating rink. So as you can imagine I didn’t exactly get the best impression, although now since coming here in the summer Toronto is definitely a summer city destination, its rich architecture, green spaces and proximity to the water will make anyone who lives in a city envy what they could have.
Our first stop was of course the CN Tower, built in 1976 and reaching a height of 553.33 m it was the World’s Tallest Tower, Building and Freestanding Structure from 1976-2010. The huge pressence of the tower is notable where ever you are in Toronto, it’s easily visible from miles round and proves hugely popular with locals and tourists alike, this was proved as we had a 40minute wait just to reach the top, but our wait was eased by facts and architectual models that lined the queue as well as free wifi, because everyone loves free wifi.
Once we had reached the viewing platforms we headed straight for the outside deck, the cool breeze and stunning views draws you in and left us speechless, especially if you reach the summit on a clear day, which we were luckily enough to do so, you can see for miles (100 miles in fact). Inside from the outside deck you have the leg wobbling Glass floor (Which was also a first, the first glass floor ever built, opening in June 1994 and can apprently withstand 14Hippos, if they could fit in the elevator to reach the viewing deck of course). Above the outside platform you have the inside viewing area, a 360degree windowed viewing space providing more breathtaking views and plenty of photo oppurtunities.
After the CN Tower we set off to explore some of the other districts within downtown, we headed through the Entertainment district which houses plenty of restraunts and of course the Rogers Centre which is home to the Toronto Blue Jays! From here we discovered the city hall, which is hugely impressive to look at and overlooks ‘Nathan Phillips Square’ almost like London’s Trafalgar Square, a open public space that also plays hosts to many markets and events. From the City Hall we headed towards Lake Ontario to reach the St Lawrence Market, an indoor market space where you can pick up fresh produce, meats and grab a bite to eat in one of the many food stalls. From the market we headed east to the Distillery District which is a National Historic site of Canada, the largest collection of Victoria-era industrial architecture in Northern America. Its red brick lined streets provided a throw back in time with many cafés and breweries taking residence in the historic buildings which were constructed between 1859-1927. With the Sun beating down on us we decided to stop in the Mill St. Brewery, sitting on the patio we shared four 8oz taster beers – Black Tea infused orange/Chilli & Spices/Chocolate & Orange/Mill St. wit – all of which tasted amazing, im 85% sure this was because they were generally good beers but the other 15% is totally due to them being ice cold and in this 35degree heat that felt like heaven.
From the Distillery District we then headed towards the Toronto University Campus via Church & Weselly Village which is the LGBT friendly district, the university itself is very pristine looking with its grand victorian buildings showcasing its World-Class appeal, the campus itself also holds the Royal Ontario Museum with an even more impressive mordern twist of architecture expanding itself out of what appears to be an old church building, the museum itself from the outside alone is worth seeing.
6pm saw us rushing back to the Union Station just to quickly overlook the Grand hall of marble, proudly presenting flags of provinces. Heated by the trapped warmth of the city we happily breezed back to the cooler Lake Simcoe…