24 Hours in Toronto

I knew I’d hit Canada the moment the view from my window became ice and snow.My first visit to Canada, unfortunately, was to be a short one. I wanted to do a day trip from New York to Niagara Falls, and discovered that it would save me over $500 to do it myself and fly via Toronto. So, I had the serendipitous opportunity to add 24 hours in Canada’s largest city onto my trip.My first observation was that it was freezing cold. About -4°C to be precise. My second observation was that all the locals were wearing T-shirts and excitedly chirping to each other about how exciting it was to finally have a break from the cold weather. Apparently just a few days before it had been minus 20.In true Toronto form, I started my day by walking around the city with a coffee from Tim Hortons (read: Canadian Starbucks) cradled in my gloved hands.

The inevitable first stop, to get my bearings, was the CN Tower – which was the world’s tallest tower until 2010.

It’s worth buying a coffee from the restaurant to see the last part of the 360° view.

The walk from the CN Tower to Chinatown provides some interesting views of Toronto which were made even brighter by the glorious sunshine – something I’m told the locals hadn’t experienced for quite some time.

After an affordable lunch at Noodle King, a recommended Chinatown restaurant, I explored the colourful Kensington market area. This bohemian shopping neighbourhood is well worth a visit for any fan of vintage clothing or collectables.

When I popped home to unload my purchases, I was interrupted by a tapping noise on my window.

For dinner, I headed to Toronto’s vibrant Church Street neighbourhood, determined to find some Canadian poutine (french fries topped with gravy and cheese) to top off my fleeting visit. I didn’t have to look far. O’Grady’s Tap and Grill offered an amazing gourmet poutine with bacon, and months after my visit I can still remember the delicious taste. In fact, a Canadian recently told me that the best poutine in Canada comes from a little pub on Church Street.

Though I had no idea at the time, it was O’Grady’s. A great way to cap off my fleeting fist visit to Canada.