I had the chance to cross Canada off my list by goring to Toronto for a work event. The weeks leading up to it were crazy busy but the 4 days I got to spend away were worth it. I flew out on a Friday with a fellow coworker. We had a layover in Minneapolis, which another coworker told us was a great airport for a layover, and she wasn't wrong. We had some ramen with fresh noodles made right there. The amount of shops blew my mind.
As California girl used to moderate temperature, being thrown into a place where the high most days was around 30 was a little different than I was used to but I wasn't going to let it keep me down.
The hotel we stayed at was...interesting...I think it doubled as a club?! But that's something that I noticed about the city, it seemed to be for the young. We would be up and out early for work and NO ONE would be out. Then at night people were partying until all hours.
Because we were there for work, the first priority was to get to the convention center and getting work done. Thankfully because of the prep we did, we didn't have a whole lot and only had one late night so we could explore and check a few things off the list during the day while we waited for the others to get off work.
I visited the Beta Shoe Museum and met a very friendly and interesting Lyft driver from Thailand on the way, and drove through china down on the way back and found out it was around the time of some festival. That night we went to an amazing Mexican restaurant, El Catrin, where I tried crickets for the first time. We also did the tasting menu and it was the right choice!
We had a day on our own while the rest of the crew kept working, our last day there, that we spent checking the rest of the things off of our list. We started with the Graffiti Alley where we found this awesome wall that all three of us had to get photos in front of. Then we tried to decided between two different places before one of our group flew home: Kensington Market and St. Lawrence market. Kensington Market won out and we made our way there...on the way my boot heal decided to pop off...and it took the three of us to get it back on.
Kensington Market reminded me of Camden Market in London but much smaller. There was more street art down there, places to eat, a really cute plant/coffee shop that I really wish I could remember the name of. There were a lot of smoke shops, and kitschy stores but also some really great shops. We weren't ready to eat at that time, but I'm sure that would have been the perfect spot for some good food.
After walking around there for a bit and through some alleys to check out the street art one our group had to leave so the two of us that were left decided to go to St. Lawrence Market. We called a Lyft and were on out way. about 20 minute into the drive we got a little suspicious that we were not going the right way. That suspicion was supported when we showed up to a place that looked nothing like what I had looked up in the photos. Some how I accidentally typed in St. Lawrence Square...oops. Well they had a store that I could get some new boots, so that's what we did then headed to the correct place. Pulling up this time was much more of relief. The market was fun, so much seafood and meat. Fruit everywhere. We tasted ice wine in one of the booths. The architecture alone makes it worth the visit.