3 Tips for Visiting Toronto

The Big Smoke, Hogtown, The Six. Being the fourth largest city in North America Toronto welcomes visitors from around the world. Here a some tips for a great trip to Toronto.

Leave The Car Parked 

Toronto is not an easy city to drive in. Parking is limited and expensive and roads can get extremely congested. Despite what many locals may say Toronto has a decent public transit system (Although I don’t think there is any city that doesn’t complain about their public transit.)

Toronto has a network of subway busses and streetcars known as the TTC. As well if you are staying downtown many places you’ll want to go will be easily walkable.

 

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TTC Streetcar

Skip the Chain Restaurants   

Canada’s progressive immigration policy means people from all over the world now call Toronto home. This means you can find so much great food Toronto for almost any taste and budget. Be it a cheap eat in Chinatown or a steakhouse in Yorkville. From fast food to vegetarian and from gluten-free to little coffee shops and bakeries there is so much food to try in Toronto.

Spring and Fall are Great Times to Visit

Toronto is a place that can get -30C in January and +35C in July. Summer also mean schools are out so accommodation is more expensive and attractions are more crowded. My favourite times for exploring Toronto are mid to late May and mid to late September.

That being said you can have a good time no matter when you come to Toronto. Embrace the winter, bundle up, and take a beautiful winter walk though High Park. If it gets too hot jump into one of Toronto’s many free outdoor swimming pools.

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Cherry Blossoms in High Park

 

Wether you’re into theatre, sports, music, or shopping Toronto has something for everyone.

Useful Links

Google Maps– Shows you how to get to where you want by walking. public transit and car.

Citypass Toronto– One Price gives you access to a bunch of attractions.

BlogTO– Gives tons of information on events going on in Toronto

 

Europe Travel Tips

I’ve been too Europe twice so far.  Both times I did a little on my own as well as tours with Topdeck. Now obliviously Europe is a big place with a lot of different countries but I feel like these general tips should help out.

Cary a bit of Cash With You 

Being from Canada almost everywhere takes cards. I can even by a small coffee of $2 and pay with my debit card. In Europe though a lot of places still prefer cash. Also it’s good to have some small notes with you as some places don’t really like big ones. The problem I had was ATMs would give you big ones. My advice is to go to a supermarket and just get something small to break it up.

Restaurant Service may be Different from What You’re Used to 

In Canada if you 4 friends go out to dinner it’s normally no problem getting 4 separate bills. We are also used to free refills or soft drinks, big bottles of ketchup on the table, and plum or tartar sauce coming with our meals. In much of Europe bills won’t be split and you will get one per table. This is also a reason it’s good to cary a little cash with you. It’s rare to get soft drink refills and what you do get may be smaller than you’re used to.  Often things like sauces may cost extra.

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Lunch at a Cafe in Sapin

 

Learn a little of the Local Language  

Especially in most major cities people will speak English. However learning basic phrases such as hello, please, thank-you and excuse me can go a long way.

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Bonjour Paris 

Research How to Stay Safe Each Place you are Going  

Europe is quite safe. That being said there are scams and pick pockets in a lot of the major cities. Mostly use common sense. Research scams in the cities you are going to before hand. Keep your wallet in your front pocket. Don’t leave your purse of phone on a table at a cafe or restaurant. When going somewhere at night walk with a friend or take a cab.

Europe is an amazing place with so much diversity in culture, language and food. From the rich history to amazing beaches to great food it’s a place you just have to explore.

Exploring Barcelona- Photo Essay

I recently did a tour of Spain, Portugal and Morocco. It was amazing and had a chance to explore Barcelona before and after my tour.

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So Many Cool Buildings Everywhere Here.
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The Sagrada Familia. Still Being Built. 
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Beautiful Beaches

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Trying out the Gopro Underwater. Not all that Interesting I Know
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Looking Out To Sea
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Spain Sure Knows how to do Food
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Just Like this Random Cat Statue I Found
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Pigeons are Everywhere in this City.

What to Take on a Spring/Summer Ontario Road Trip

Spring and summer in Ontario means warm weather and exploring this huge province. Here a some things you may want to bring with you.

Comfortable shoes 

With so many trails to see, hills to climb and parks to get lost in you will want to make sure that your feet are comfortable.  You’re bound to find some a place to some hiking in pretty much any Ontario town or city.

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Kismen Trail in North Bay, Ontario
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Trail along the Lake Ontario in Toronto, Ontario

Insect Repellent

Ontario’s lakes, trails and foresters attract many visitors each year. Also really liking these areas are black flies and mosquitoes. If you are doing any hiking or camping good bug spray is a must.

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The Infamous Shadfly in North Bay, Ontario

Swimsuit 

Contrary to what you might think about Canada our summers actually get quite hot. The great thing is Ontario has so much water to enjoy. You never know when are going to want to stop off a splash around at a beach or cannonball into to some of the most amazing fresh water. Whats better than a picnic on the shore followed by racing your friends into the water.

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Lake Simcoe In Barrie Ontario 
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Magetawan River, Magnetawan, Ontario
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Lake Ramsay, Sudbury, Ontario

Camera 

With so amazing views don’t be surprised if you’re making a lot of photo stops. From trails and hill, to rivers and lake, to amazing birds and wildlife there is always something to capture here.

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Squirrel on Heritage River Walk, Burk’s Falls, Ontario

Sense of Adventure 

Well this is true for travelling anywhere. But on an Ontario road trip trade that chain coffee shop for a local bakery of cafe. Venture into a small town you’ve never heard of and explore a craft store or flea market. Ditch the fast food you can get anywhere and get the best poutine in some little highway chip stand.

Photo Essay- Sailing the Greek Islands

This past summer I went on a Topdeck tour called Summer Fun and Sailing. One of the reasons I picked this tour was because it had 3 days of sailing the greek islands.

Sailing was amazing. Sleeping on boat, exploring cool little fishing villages, jumping into the refreshing water, partying the night away on the beach and just being discounted from the outside world.

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Beautiful Water 
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Cool Rock Formations 

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Learning how to navigate the boat.

Photo Essay- Exploring the Swiss Alps at Jungfrau

This past August I did a tour with Topdeck Travel (who I would highly recommend by the way). One of the optionals activities in Switzerland was to go up Jungfrau. It was fantastic.

We explored the sites, ate Lindt chocolates, made snow angles, chucked snowballs at each other and admired ice sculptures all in beautiful sunny weather.

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Scenery on the train ride up
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The train actually had to stop a couple times to get cows off the tracks
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Could have spend hours just taking photos

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Making snow angles and summertime snowball fights were common
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Ice Sculptures 

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You get rent snow tubes try out their zip line

5 Cities to Get Lost In

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Beautiful historic buildings, cool little shops to see, and endless places to go for great food.

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Padlocks on a bridge in Prauge

4. Montreal, Quebec, Canada

A hike up mount royal to get some amazing views or go for a skate, exploring the history of Old Montreal, or just going on hunt for the best Poutine.

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Montreal is beautiful in winter
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Snow covered bench in Old Montreal
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Ice at Mgill University
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Quebec road signs in French
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Snow covered bikes in Montreal

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is home to epic hikes, rich history and tons of unique shops and restaurants. If you are looking for wool are cashmere look no further. Also a great city to walk around if your looking to stay fit with all the stairs and hills in this city.

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Edinburg Castle 

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Lots of cafes in the city with great food.

2. Melbourne, Australia

Browse though a farmers market, sip coffee in one of the many cafes, or take the tram out to St. Kilda and splash around the ocean

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1. London, England

You could easily spend months in London and still not do everything. There is the obvious tourist attraction like Buckingham Palace or Big Ben. But there are so many cool little neighbourhoods, beautiful parks, and just amazing places to go. Take a walk around the city, pick up some fresh fruit at a summer market, stop in to a friendly local pub for lunch or buy and oyster card hop on a bus and just see where you end up.

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Big Ben/Victoria Tower 
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Exploring Lodon’s Parks 
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Flowers in London summer
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Union Jacks