Every year (except when I’m eight-month pregnant like last year…), we take a short trip during the Labour Day long weekend. Two years ago, we were in Toronto and visited Barry, Balm Beach and the Georgian Bay. The year before, we were in rural Ontario and visited the Townships of Head, Clara and Maria, Rapides-des-Joachims, Pembroke, Deux-Rivières and Matawa and Deep River.
We hit the road before everyone else on Friday and only slowed down around Belleville, where an SUV had somehow flipped over (Twitter proved pretty useful when stuck in the traffic!) After a quick bite in Belleville, we made it to Toronto in the afternoon, early enough to explore our favourite neighbourhoods.
First, we stopped at Saint Andrew playground, to unleash the dragon who had slept in the car seat for most of the trip. Then we headed to Chinatown, next door, where we had a feast in a small restaurant—baozi, jiaozi, spicy eggplants and beef noodles. I really wish we could find authentic Northern Chinese food in Ottawa! I’m not a big fan of Cantonese dishes or Canadian-Chinese cuisine (i.e. meat coated in sugary sauce).
We hung out around Yonge Street and Mark crawled all around Dundas Square—we got funny looks but don’t worry, I did wash his hands and feet afterwards! The Eaton Centre was packed and I wasn’t in the mood for shopping—we have the exact same stores in Ottawa, anyway.
We also spent time in quirky Kensington Market. It was late and most of the shops were closed but for once, I got the chance to get good pictures of all the art on the walls.
Toronto doesn’t change that much (except for the seemingly endless number of overpriced half-finished condo projects scatted around the freeway) but it’s always a pleasure to revisit familiar neighbourhoods. I’m not sure why but I find Toronto pretty relaxing. People are different than in Ottawa and each area has its own flavour—as visitors, we just head wherever we want depending on the mood and avoid the headache associated with living in a big city!