Technically my 9-days trip to Canada doesn’t guarantee I am an expert of getting around to places there and with the limited time we had, there are still more places to see (maybe when we come back to visit) – These are the basic what to do, what to know or what I can suggest If you guys are tourist like me visiting Toronto.
- The weather
Lovely summer weather when we visited “The best season to visit Canada” ( around June- August)
If you lived your entire life in Asia (For me in the middle east) or a tropical country like the Philippines, the summer at Toronto is like our winter in the Middle East. Sunny + cold breeze, maybe I’m not just used to It since I’ve been living in the Philippines for 6 years.
My OOTDs that I’ve packed are cute shorts, leggings and comfy shoes (lot’s of walking) – I brought doll shoes, rubber shoes and chunky sandals. I had cute tops plus good thing I was able to bring a robe(cover ups), kimono cardigans and bomber jacket in case it gets cold- wished I packed more and I wished I brought my leather jackets. I brought my favorite rompers since they are so comfy and stylish to wear and 1 or 2 dresses in case of any occasion (better to be prepared).
The weather sometimes can be warm then suddenly it’ll be cold(interchanges). Summer is the best time to go around Toronto as the locals say- Summer last for 3 months. Another thing days are longer than nights- you may wonder at 8pm it feels like 2pm.
3. Travel Essentials on the GO
- Gadgets, like your phone and good thing I brought my mirrorless camera- it’s so lighter compare to my DSLR. Ofcourse we Pinoys do “Selfie Time” and those instagram worthy moments/places.Don’t forget to charge your powerbanks too!
- Sunblock / BB Cream with SPF for the face (Good thing, I brought Belo BB Cream and Sunexpert)
- Sunglasses/ Shades and Cap/Hat
- Make-up (for girls), I brought my primer, powder and lippie – natural look.
- Light Snacks and Water
- Perfume pod- portable perfume holder
- Handy Hand Lotion, moisturizer and facial mist
- Tissue/Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
- Body Glide – Lifesaver for girls with thick thighs. To prevent friction between the legs after a long day of walking/activities. Discovered this genius hack from my cousin’s girlfriend.
Money tip: We traded our pesos to dollars in the Philippines then bought Canadian dollars when we were in Canada.
4. Mode of Transportation
Bus and Underground Trains (I remembered paying tokens but you can buy tickets) – very accessible and affordable. I still need getting use too with the transfers. During rush hour it can be jam-packed but not like the situation of the MRT/LRT in the Philippines #mammogram #sardinas
There are times that it can be traffic especially rush hour but it’s tolerable and its moving guys. The patience I developed in the Philippines was handy during times like these.
Trivia: In a CAR- When driving around everybody should wear a SEATBELT- It is the RULE.
There is wifi available ANYWHERE. <3
There are lots of food establishments around Toronto, you just really have to do your research. They have everything in Toronto- If you’re lucky there maybe a food festival close by. For us we were practical and to be on the healthy side we didn’t go for fast food much before going out we eat at home. We would cook Filipino dishes, grilled burgers, bake French fries and my Tita is an excellent cook.
When I got there, people were recommending that I try the “Poutine”. My friends brought me to St. Louis bar and grill (Legit poutine at Scarborough). First thing , BIG servings cost like around 12-14 Canadian dollars- definitely worth it. Poutine , big chucky fries drenched in gravy and cheese curds- not the healthiest but it’s worth trying since you are in Canada.
Tim Hortons are almost everywhere! – Famous Canadian coffee, good to pair with their yummy selection of donuts. I usually order Iced Coffee and my friend suggested I add extra base for it to be sweet. Don’t worry Pinoys, may starbucks din naman but it is not as massive as Tim Hortons. A lot of Milk Tea places too, haven’t tried one while I was there. I was more into coffee since a friend said that Canadian coffee is the best.
Breakfast, usually Canadians are into bread (missed eating bagels ) / toast/waffles/ pancakes and cereals.
My cousins brought me to Five Guys, my friend told me it originated at Louisiana known for using peanut oil in cooking their burgers and fries. You can customize your burger with the toppings and sauce and they also have a veggie burgers. Noticed a lot of pizza parlors – and they are cheesy soulful.
Trivia: In restaurants after dining when you decide to take home your leftovers – “Do it yourself ” (they hand you boxes so you pack your own food) and clean as you go.
For dessert, my cousins brought me to Café Dimitri so heavenly ice cream desserts- good for sharing.
Since I love chocolates, In Canada their famous chocolatier is Purdy’s – known for their hedgehog chocolates. (Pasalubong idea)
- You get good deals in outlet rather in malls.
Tip: You can check the clearance section for better deals and also coupons 🙂
- Wholesale prices at COSTCO that you buy in bulks and free food samples! They also serve food, so HUGE servings.
- IKEA , unleashing your inner Tita – furniture shopping! They also serve food at IKEA, everything 1 Canadian Dollar ish, the servings are just alright J
- For Beauty junkees, at Sephora – the premium brands are cheaper compare to PH.
TRIVIA: Kiosk make-up brands here in the Philippines can be purchased at the grocery/over the counter.
There are lot of souvie shops around
- Tip: To save you can go to DOLLARAMA (1 Dollar store)
Buy chocolates other treats at Walmart or get bulk deals at COSTCO
8. TOURIST SPOTS
Most of the known tourist spots are at DOWNTOWN- it’s like Time Square, New York City. (We took a train ride and got off at Dundas station because it is hard to get parking space at DownTown). Once we reached at DownTown we road a Toronto CITY PASS double decker bus that has drop off points to the places we planned to see.
Tip: We booked our tour via online at “Toronto City Pass” and it can be claimed in any place affiliated to City Pass. Perks of It we don’t have to stay in line to buy tickets. Our tour comprises of:
- Toronto Zoo– You get to see all types of animals (First time seeing a giraffe, zebra, cheetah, hippo, kangaroo etc.), the place is huge (lot’s of walking) and our favorite is the Giant Panda Experience.I love pandas so much and when I researched about Toronto Zoo that they have pandas (addition to the Pandas they have are the first set of twin pandas in Canada), It is a MUST.
- The legendary and iconic, CN Tower which is 1815. 4 feet – tallest tower in Canada.
Tip: Come early! In the afternoon you’ll endure the long line because we came like after lunch and spent like less than an hour waiting then when we were on top since we were just like there for like 30 minutes or so just take selfies and pictures. Don’t forget to take a picture of the famous glass floor.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – just beside CN Tower
It so awesome and finally I got to see SHARKS IRL!
- Casa Loma
- Royal Ontario Museum – You’ll spot a poster of the famous and oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines #PinoyPride (They say she’s a distant relative of ours because she is a DULAY)
- Boat ride to see the Toronto Skyline <3
Tip: Wear sunblock and bring a hat
A car ride to Niagara from Toronto would take less than 2 hours, ofcourse don’t forget to visit the Majestic Niagara Falls. I don’t know it was somehow magical for me to see the falls. At night the falls turn into color and scheduled fire works display at night (M-W-F-S, I think).
To be up-close the falls try the “MAID OF THE MIST” boat ride, it is a MUST. At the Other side of the falls, you can see America.
Tip: Plastic raincoats will be provided and wear SLIPPERS (Get ready to be wet). You can bring a small bag too and take care of your phones and cameras.
My dad used his waterproof Samsung phone. I don’t want to risk my Iphone since I’ve got a record of getting my phone wet in the swimming pool like 2 times. I got out my mirrorless camera when we were like a bit far from the falls- the aftermath.
While at Niagara, we stayed at the TRAVEL LODGE (like an apartment type with a actual kitchen) beside Sheraton Hotel along Clifton Hill- there are so many places to see and everything was walking distance like the Hard Rock café, Hershey’s chocolate factory, Hollywood Planet, The Ferris wheel and Fun Houses.
Since I love attending events and concerts, wished I did some research before coming like I didn’t know Beyonce performed at Rogers stadium days before we toured at Downtown. The tour guide just announced that trivia while we passed by Roger’s stadium.
Just in time for Canada day, DNCE had a performance- wished I knew but we had to go visit Muskoka that day- Muskoka is so pretty, recommended for those who love nature and love to go camping( which I notice the locals like to do during summer).
Night life: Unfortunately I’ve grown into that- I’m more of a chill type now. It was kinda my bucketlist to check Drake’s restaurant- which I heard on TMZ (maybe next time). I tried entering a casino with the adults, I was hold because I don’t look older than 18 years old- Good thing I brought my PRC ID.
Trivia: They have a scanner/machine that checks if the ID is legit and they have a manual of all acceptable IDs in the world.
BOYS?: “Mga teh, maraming gwapo huwag po kayo mag-alala” HAHA
10. Bathroom Situation.
They don’t have TABO or hose/bidet haha, that’s why Canada will never run out of tissue in their bathrooms. Remember to always wash your hands.
The Canadians are so kind, honest, approachable and courteous (They greet you with a smile and they say “sorry”/”excuse me”).
Definitely coming back, maybe visit the other side of Canada, perhaps 🙂 Thank you to everyone for the Canadian Hospitality!