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I was expecting sweater weather as I headed to Toronto this Fall. Fortunately I checked the weather before packing, and noticed it was going to be unseasonably warm! I was lucky to have great weather for my Toronto weekend getaway. It allowed me to do most of the activities on my bucket list!
Where to Stay on a Toronto Weekend Getaway:
After collaborating with Radisson Hotels to plan my Toronto bucket list, I knew I wanted to stay at the Radisson Admiral Harbourfront Hotel. This hotel is located in downtown Toronto, right on the water with beautiful views, and walking distance to enough activities to keep you busy for an entire weekend! One of my favorite features was the outdoor pool, which I was fortunate enough to use because of the unusually warm weather! From the pool deck you can view the famous CN Tower and Lake Ontario.
The restaurant located next to the pool was beautifully decorated with modern furniture and art. I didn’t have a chance to eat at the hotel, but I did stop in to check out the restaurant on my way to the pool.
The rooms were also clean and modern. My room had a great view of Lake Ontario. I could see the planes landing at Toronto City airport right outside of my window. The staff was beyond friendly and helpful and you couldn’t ask for a better location. I was easily able to walk to the CN Tower, Aquarium, Rogers Center, Union Station, the Ferry Terminal and more! And a blogger’s dream come true, this hotel has FREE wifi too! Each room also comes with a Kuerig coffee maker. I know that is a lifesaver for many travelers.
What to Eat on a Toronto Weekend Getaway:
The answer is simple. Poutine. This is all Americans talk about when they talk about Canada. So my first stop was a trip to the poutinerie. I opted for the bacon cheeseburger poutine. It was delicious! If you can’t tell, poutine is an order of french fries loaded with toppings. Here you will see, bacon, ground beef, cheese, and onions!
For dinner on my first night, I joined a friend at cafe Nervosa, a little Italian spot in Yorkville.
I committed the ultimate travel sin the next morning and grabbed an egg sandwich at *gasp* Starbucks. It was conveniently located inside the hotel, and I was able to eat it quickly in my room while I planned for my last day in Toronto.
For lunch, another travel sin (?). Gelato for lunch, because you’re allowed to do that while on vacation, right? Especially if you are at a castle.
That evening, I met my friends for dinner again in their town of Streetsville. We visited a local steakhouse for salads, appetizers, and dessert before heading to the airport!
What to See & Do on a Toronto Weekend Getaway:
Despite, having a bucket list, I didn’t plan too much in advance for this trip. I knew I wanted to visit the CN Tower at sunset, spend some time relaxing by the pool, and take the ferry to the islands. In hindsight, I could have done a few things better. The Toronto CityPASS would have been useful. Also, you should definitely print your ferry pass online to skip the line! The Radisson even had a business center where I could have printed my tickets, but I did not take advantage of this service. So what did I do?
The CN Tower
On my way to lunch, I passed by the CN Tower. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go during sunset, so I decided to save this activity for the next visit. Everyone advised me that sunset is the best time to go up the tower to see it during daylight, at sunset, and in the dark with all of the city lights. I did catch a view of this stunning tower from the islands, the castle, and my hotel. The CN Tower is also part of the Toronto CityPASS. In addition to simply going up the tower, you can make reservations for dinner or if you’r more adventurous try the edge walk!
I was a little unsure of plans with my friends, so I went to the City Islands on Sunday. If you have the choice of going on Sunday or Monday, like I did, I highly recommend waiting for Monday or a weekday. I am assuming it would have been much less crowded. The ferry is only $7.71 roundtrip, and you can easily spend the entire day on the islands visiting the beaches (one is clothing optional!), biking, viewing the gardens, eating, kayaking, and more. There’s even a small amusement park for children. I took a quick walk on the beach and down to the pier. Purchasing your ticket online here will save you time in line and might mean the difference between the first ferry and the next one. I just missed a ferry and waited nearly half an hour for the next!
It was only through the Toronto CityPass, that I discovered Casa Loma. I had read dozens of blog posts about what to do int Toronto, and not one mentioned a castle. We all have our own callings, but for me it is castles and waterfalls. So I knew that Casa Loma was going to be on my to do list for the day. Case Loma is accessible by public transit, but it included a long walk, and a few transfers, so I decided to take an Uber POOL for $10 each way. The ride there was quite long due to traffic, but the ride back to the Radisson was only about 20 minutes. Entry to the castle was $27, and allows you to explore 200,000 sq ft of the castle and gardens. The one part of the castle I missed was the carriage house and stables. They were also setting up for their Halloween exhibit, so I got a sneak peek at some spooky decorations. If you plan to visit Casa Loma and the CN Tower, I highly recommend CityPASS to save yourself some money!
Overall, I had a wonderful time in Toronto. I enjoyed walking around the downtown area, visiting friends, touring the islands, visiting a castle, and lounging by the pool of the Radisson. Tell me your favorite activities for a Toronto Weekend Getaway in the comment below!