Toronto : Travel Guide
Niagara Falls & Beyond

Casa Loma Toronto Kate Winney Canada Travel GuideNiagara Falls Helicopter view kate winney travel toronto

CN Tower Kate Winney Toronto Travel guide

Hi guys, welcome back to the blog and to yet another travel guide. These are my absolute favourite posts to write so I hope you enjoy them and maybe it will inspire you to book a flight and go on your own adventure. Before I get stuck into the good stuff, I just wanted to tell you the story of how I ended up in Toronto. It was never really a place I’d considered visiting but now, I can’t wait to return… perhaps in the summer next time!

Two years ago, I packed my suitcase and went on the adventure of a lifetime. Travelling the North of Thailand on my own and experiencing the perks of solo travel for the first time. Day one saw me meet a Canadian couple from Toronto and the rest, as they say – is history.

Shay and Petey became my best friends whilst exploring Asia and not a day went by were we weren’t signing ourselves up for some kind of crazy excursion. Zip wires over the jungle, cooking classes in the mountains and drag shows in the infamous Chang Mai market. You name it, we did it and on departure – myself back to London and them to Toronto we knew we’d built a friendship that although long-distance, would last a lifetime.

Fast forward two years and it’s a trip to Toronto, not only to reunite but to attend the wedding of Shay an Peter!! The trip really was so incredible and I’m so excited to share this Toronto city guide with you all. Not only did we check off all the tourist must see’s/do’s but with a whole list of local favourite’s and hotspots given to us by Shay, I’m pretty confident we made the absolute most of our time there. So buckle in and enjoy my guide to Toronto.

Flat Iron Building Kate Winney Toronto Travel guide

– Where To Stay –

We really lucked out in regards to hotels. A short walk from the station and right on the harbour of Lake Ontario is the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. It’s a huge hotel with stunning views across both city and waterfront. We stayed in a Lake view King Guest Room on the 26th floor. Not only was the view a dream but the room was massive. With plenty of room for us both and with a king size bed and chaise lounge. The bed was insanely comfy which was a big bonus and we had both a bath and a shower which was great. The Westin Harbour also offers a gym and spa which is perfect for the winter months to warm up in the jacuzzi. We also had a few cocktails in the lobby bar as well as a light bite in the upstairs restaurant – Toula both of which I highly recommend. Another great thing about the hotel is the location as it’s so accessible to the majority of ‘tourist’ spots around Toronto.

1 Harbour Square, Toronto, Ontario M5J 1A6 Canada

www.marriott.com

Westin Harbour Castle Hotel Toronto Kate Winney Travel Guide CanadaWestin Harbour Castle Hotel Toronto Kate Winney Travel Guide Canada

We also stayed at the Strathcona Hotel for three days of our trip which is just a short walk from the Westin Harbour and across the road from Union station which was super handy when catching the train back to the airport on our final day. This hotel was a lot smaller and the rooms offered a lot less space. However with that being said, it was really affordable and again, very accessible to many of the must-see attractions. It’s also directly opposite to a Tim hortons… if you know, you know. Overall it’s a more boutique and cheaper alternative, it’s quaint and the staff are very friendly and helpful so again, I’d highly recommend if looking for a location in the heart of Downtown Toronto.

60 York Street Toronto Ontario M5J 1S8

www.thestrathconahotel.com

China town Kate Winney Toronto Travel guide

– Where To G0/What To See –

I was shocked with how much there is to do in Toronto. With it being our first time there, I wanted to check off all the touristy stuff and really get to know the history and culture of the city. As well as going off on our own we also booked onto a few tours which really helped cram in as much as possible! We opted to book onto the City Sightseeing bus tour to take us around the vast majority of Downtown Toronto. It was a really good tour as not only are you able to hop on and off at various stops across the city but your ticket is valid for three days so you don’t have to rush through it all. We didn’t actually use public transport at all during our visit. We either walked or used the tour bus to make our way around the city. It was on this tour that we saw most of the destinations below so I’d definitely recommend booking it if you plan on visiting Toronto, particulary for first timers.

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The Distillery District

A collection of industrial buildings playing home to breweries, shopping boutiques and independant restaurants and cafes. It’s also the home fo Toronto’s Christmas market which sadly we missed by a day! Nontheless, it’s a great place to walk around and wonder through the various stores. We stopped off at Soma Chocolatiers which claim to be the best chocolate in Toronto. We had a hot chocolate and a chocolate shot which were both pretty tasty and lives up to the reputation. We also managed to find some mini bottles of maple syrup to take home as gifts.

9 Trinity Street,
Suite 200,
Toronto ON
M5A 3C4

www.thedistillerydistrict.com

Casa Loma

A Disney-esque castle looking across the whole of Toronto. Dating back to 1914, the castle was originally built as a gift from Sir Henry Pellat to his girlfriend. It is now owned by the City of Toronto and is one of the most popular tourist destinations. We absolutely loved our visit here, getting lost around the grands halls and gardens. With tickets costing $30 it is well worth the admission price, we happily spent around three hours exploring the estate.

1 Austin Terrace,
Toronto,
ON M5R 1X8,
Canada

www.casaloma.ca

Bata Shoe Museum

We headed to the Bata Shoe museum on one of the really cold, snowy days because we just needed to be inside and I’m so glad we did! It’s such an unusual and fun exhibition. Featuring the acclaimed collection of shoes from Sonja Bata. The museum displays footwear both old and new ranging from Chinese bound-foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamorous platforms. It’s well worth a visit for any shoe lovers out there!

327 Bloor St W,
Toronto,
ON M5S 1W7,
Canada

www.batashoemuseum.ca

St. Lawrence Market

280 years old with 120 vendours, St. Lawrence Market is a must for anyone visiting Toronto. We hopped off our City Sightseeing bus to have a wander and grab a bite. We walked through the market, trying some of the wines on offer as well as the meat, fruit and cheese selections. If you’re heading there for food (which I’d recommend) you are really spoilt for choice. We ended up sharing a clasic meat-ball sub which was so good and located on the lower ground level of the market.

93 Front St E,
Toronto,
ON M5E 1C3,
Canada

www.stlawrencemarket.com

Kensington Market

A neighborhood full of vinatge stores and thrift shops. It’s the perfect place to grab some presents to take back as well as finding a bargain. There’s also some really cool street art which brightens up the streets. We walked around for a couple of hours stopping off for a cocktail or two whilst there. I found myself a gorgeous animal print beret at Bungalow – my personal favourite of the numerous vintage offerings. It’s a very ‘hip’ neighborhood and well worth a visit if you like to thrift shop.

Augusta Ave,
Toronto,
ON M5T 2M1,
Canada

www.kensington-market.ca

 Royal Alexandra Theatre

A theatre lover through and through, no trip would be complete without a trip to the theatre. We were so lucky and got $40 tickets and our own private box to watch the amazing – Come From Away. I’d already seen it before in London however was more than happy to watch it again as it’s such a stunning show! I was pleasantly suprised whilst walking around Toronto that it has a fairly large theatre scene. There’s lots of main-stream shows as well as smaller, fringe venues dotted about all over the city so make sure to support local artists and buy a ticket. It makes for a really great night out!

260 King Street West,
Toronto ON,
M5V 1H9

www.mirvish.com

CN Tower

For the ultimate view of Toronto the CN Tower is a must! At a height of 1,815 ft., 5 in, the CN Tower is Canada’s National Tower, an engineering Wonder and award-winning dining & entertainment destination. If you’re a fan of photography then these views are unbeatable. I’d recommend going just before the sun sets, we did this and were able to see the city both in day light and then at nightime with all the twinkling lights.

290 Bremner Blvd,
Toronto,
ON M5V 3L9,
Canada

www.cntower.ca

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– Niagara Falls –

No first time visit to Toronto would be complete without an excursion to the Niagara Falls. One of the seven wonders of the world and a place high on my bucket list. We booked a tour via Queen Tours Niagara which provide small group tours to the falls. With several pick up points we met the mini-van a short walk from our hotel at 7.30am. This tour is the earliest available (there are a lot of different tour companies) which is great as you miss the heavy traffic and have more time to explore the falls themselves. It also takes you to the quaint little village – Niagara on the Lake which looks like something out of the Gilmore Girls and is full of cute little stores and boutiques. We had a great experience with this tour and I highly recommend them should you want to book a trip to the falls whilst in Toronto.

Niagara Helicopters

A once in a lifetime experience with unrivaled views. If you’re into photography then do it! It may seem pricey however it’s worth it and the views really are something I will never forget. The flight lasts just over ten minutes and you fly over the falls and the whirlpools, if you’re lucky (we were) you may even see a rainbow. You can see a video of the full experience over on my Youtube (click here.)

www.niagarahelicopters.com

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Hornblower Niagara

Another must-do whilst visiting the falls is the HornBlower boat ride. A chance to get up close and personal to both the American and the Canadian sides of the falls. Mum and I loved every second of this, there’s such a sense of excitement when you’re so close you can actually feel the water spraying on you, but don’t worry – ponchos are provided…

www.niagaracruises.com

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– Where To Eat/Drink –

I hadn’t considered Toronto as being a particulary ‘foodie’ esque place, turns out… I was wrong. From food markets to a la carte restaurants and all in between, we were spoilt for choice and we were thrilled at the fairly low prices in comparison to London which meant – more food for all! I didn’t get pictures of everywhere we ate, mainly because I was enjoying the food to much but here’s a list of my favourite foodie finds.

Canada Distillery District Kate Winney Toronto Travel guide Kate Winney Soma Chocolate

SOOS

Modern interpretations of Malaysian street food. This is where we went with Shay and Peter as it’s one of their favourite restuants in Toronto. We ordered several plates and shared everything. The roti with spiced yellow lentil dhal was a personal favourite.

94 Ossington Ave,
Toronto,
ON M6J 2Z4,
Canada

www.soostoronto.com

Mamakas Taverna

So good we went twice! Both mum and I absolutely loved Mamakas, offering traditional greek food in a modern setting. We ordered lots of sharing plates and several cocktails. I’d recommend getting a seat at the chef’s table, being able to watch the food being freshley prepared offers that little bit of added entertainment for a evenings dinner reservation.

80 Ossington Ave,
Toronto,
ON M6J 2Y7,
Canada

www.mamakas.ca

Reyna on King Toronto Food Light Bites Brunch Kate Winney Cocktail Travel guide canadaSt Lawrence Market Kate Winney Toronto Travel guide

Reyna On King

The latest addition to the Reyna family, this brunch spot is Instagram heaven. Not only that but the food and cocktails are excellant too. A huge shout-out to the greek fries (oregano, shaved feta, lemon & feta dip) which are potentially the best fries I’ve ever eaten!

354 King St E,
Toronto,
ON M5A 1K9,
Canada

www.reynaonking.com

Rudy

You like burgers? Then this is the place to go. It was also where we tried our very first poutine… and loved it! I’d recommend both ‘The Rudy’ and the ‘Valentino’ for the ultimate Rudy experience.

69 Duncan St,
Toronto,
ON M5V 2C5,
Canada

www.rudyresto.com

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I loved my time in Toronto and even in the freezing cold weather, the beauty of the city was clear. I honestly can’t wait to return and to explore even more. To Shay and Peter, your wedding was utter perfection and I was truly honoured to be there, your family and friends welcomed me with open arms and I’m so happy I got to witness you become Husband and Wife. Canada stole my heart and hopefully I’ll get to explore more of this beautiful country in the next few years but for now, I hope you enjoyed this travel guide and found it useful. There’s also a full Toronto Travel Vlog over on my YouTube channel so be sure to check it out and subscribe! Also, to keep up with my travels and daily goings on you can head over to my Instagram – @littlemisswinney If you have any other recommendations then do let me know, I’ll check them out next time and if you end up visiting Toronto yourself or do any of the things I’ve mentioned above – send me pictures, I’d love to see! Thank you once again for stopping by, see you soon.

K x

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