For as long as I can remember, Canada has been a place I’ve wanted to visit. So when the opportunity came, I grabbed it with both hands (see my previous post about going to this years Invictus Games)! The first few days of the trip were in Toronto, so in part 2 of my Canada series, here’s what we got up to!
The first thing that struck me about Toronto is how much it looks and feels like New York City. Except that there are slightly less people and a few less high rise buildings (at the moment anyway!) and it’s just, well, a bit nicer. I fell in love with NYC when I visited for the first time earlier this year and so I knew immediately I’d love Toronto. And I wasn’t wrong!
On the first day we did a hop on hop off bus tour. I always find bus tours a really good way of getting your bearings in a new city and seeing what things you might want to visit other than those you already had planned.
Included in the price of the bus tour was a boat trip around Toronto Islands. They’re a group of islands just across the water from the harbour and are really beautiful. A couple of them are open to the public and one of them has an adventure park on which is perfect for kids. The others are mostly residential islands and there are several marinas dotted around with private yacht or boating clubs. Just sailing around them was so peaceful, even though just across the water is a major international city! As you come out of the islands and head back towards the harbour you get an absolutely stunning view of the Toronto skyline:
Over the next couple of days we took a visit to the Toronto Premium Outlets (which are about a 40 min drive from the city) and had a shop around the Eaton Centre, interspersed with visits to the Mattamy Athletics Centre and the Pan Am Sports Centre for the Invictus Games!
Then we took a trip to Toronto Zoo, which actually is an hour and a half away on the subway and a bus! But it was worth the trip, it’s a fantastic zoo. And of course it’s currently the home of two Giant Panda cubs – although at 2 years old, they’re less cubs than they are Giant Panda toddlers!
The final day in Ontario province saw us visit Niagara Falls which is about an hour and a half from Toronto. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. what a spectacular place it is! It was everything I hoped it would be and more. The Falls just take your breath away with their sheer power and natural beauty. We took a ride on the Hornblower boat which takes you as close to the falls as you’re ever likely to get. And you get wet! They do provide you with a very fetching bright red poncho though 🙂 it’s a fantastic experience.
As part of the excursion we were on we also got to visit the little town of Niagara-On-The-Lake. And wow is it a beautiful town. Surrounded by lush greenery you just can’t help but by awed by the scenery. And given that we visited at the start of autumn when the leaves had just started to turn and we had the best weather possible with clear crisp blue skies and glorious sunshine, it was even more stunning. It was genuinely a picture postcard place!
Visiting Niagara was on my bucket list and I’m so chuffed I got to actually go and experience it! It’s a memory that will live with me for a very long time! And Toronto is a fabulous city.
The third and final part of my Canadian adventure will be about the beautiful city of Vancouver.
Until next time folks, much love!