Toronto is one of my favourite cities in Canada, and we’ve gotten to know it pretty well through multiple visits. It’s an easy getaway destination, a mere five-hour drive from Ottawa, and there are a lot of cheap hotels if you don’t mind staying in the suburbs, like most of Toronto residents.
This time, we were there for the Bryan Adams concert and only stayed for a day, but we still enjoyed a nice walk in the city and a stop at two of our favourite restaurants: The Old Spaghetti Factory on the Esplanade, and a small Chinese dumpling place in Chinatown.
The drive into Toronto never ceases to amaze me, as the highway plunges between the condos, always taller and always closer. I never truly understood real estate and why people think investing in a $300,000 condo by the freeway is a good idea. I can understand the lucky—and rich—few who live in condos right in the downtown core, but why bother living in the suburbs in a condo? I guess it’s like real estate in Paris: you buy whatever you can and hope for the market to keep booming.
We often end up in Chinatown during our trips to Toronto. I like the atmosphere, and the fact that it’s always crowded. The number of small businesses is amazing, and there aren’t too many franchises in the neighborhood, which makes for an interesting walk.
This time, after eating our dumplings, we ended up in a small side street of Kensington Market we had never explored before. It was full of “alternative” clothing stores, and the smell of incense was overwhelming. Kensington Market boasts an amazing number of murals, most very well done and they liven up the area.
On the way back to Chinatown, we bumped into Olivia Chow, the wife of late NDP leader Jack Layton, giving interviews in Cantonese—no idea what she talked about!
You can see more pictures of Toronto in the Flickr set.