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Unread 3 Jun 15, 09:09 PM  
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jocat
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Our First Taste of Canada - Day 1 - CN Tower and Toronto Islands

Our first taste of Canada - Toronto and Niagara Falls

Index here

Introductions here

Previous day here.

Day 1 Sunday 24th May 2015


Woke up at 6am this morning, which was so much better than we were expecting. We didnt get up straightaway though and instead lay in bed for a while discussing plans for the day. Thats what happens when you dont have a firm plan in place!

I finally got out of bed and lifted the blinds in the bathroom. I had soon jumped in the empty bath in my pyjamas, just to enjoy the view across the lake.



Spent a few minutes there, then FaceTimed home.

Our stomachs were starting to rumble so we raided the fridge for breakfast, sharing some fruit, a Danish and orange juice.







We then showered, got dressed and left the hotel at 9am, just in time for the CN Tower opening. It was a beautiful morning, so as the forecast for later in the week was rain, we decided today might be the best day for views.





We only queued for a few minutes for tickets, then looked at a few of the exhibits, before going up to the 1st level at around 10am. We perhaps should have gone straight up as it had started getting a bit hazy by now. We took a few photos, then descended the stairs one level to the glass floor.











That made me feel a bit lightheaded when I peered over the edge, but I did eventually step on it - I just didn't look down at the same time!

We walked outside, then round a corner and noticed it was rather windy!




We also noticed this sign although I don't know why anyone would climb on it!




We watched a plane take off from Torontos other airport. Dont fancy that much the runway is tiny!






We got the elevator up to the Skypod level next, which was another 33 floors up. It was a much better view from here, so well worth the extra $12.








We saw the retractable roof coming off the Rogers Centre and some people doing the Edgewalk Experience below us. We ending up standing for ages watching them walk around the roof of the 360 restaurant 31 floors beneath us, marvelling at their bravery.





We decided to go back down and had a mooch in the shop, buying the obligatory fridge magnet and a desk planner for Katie.I thought the prices were very reasonable in here I saw an item in the market later in our trip which was $13 there, but only $10 in the CN Tower shop. It makes a change not to be ripped off at tourist attractions. We declined the photo of us that was taken on the way in it was not in the slightest bit flattering for either of us!

Headed back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and Martin's jacket and my cardigan - don't think they'll be needed today. We grabbed some water from the fridge and went to catch the ferry to Toronto Islands.

We walked to the waterfront area and it was really warm there. We paused to apply some sun cream and thought it was a lovely spot for a photo - it was then we realised that Martin was no longer carrying the camera. I checked my bag but it wasn't there either. When we left the room, he had been carrying it, so we had a little panic that he'd left it somewhere. He mentioned going back to the hotel to check, but we decided to leave it and manage with our phones.





We continued walking along the waterfront until we got to the ferry terminal. The area was mobbed! There were lots of people with bikes, dogs, cool boxes etc. It was a lovely day to head over there, and everyone else obviously felt the same, especially as it was a Sunday.

We queued for about 10 minutes to buy our return tickets which were $7.25 each.

The ferry for Centre Island docked about 30 seconds later and within a couple of minutes we were on board.







As soon as we docked the other side, I felt hungry. It was only about 12 noon, but the early breakfast meant it was time to eat. The only place we could see was a pizza outlet. We had a slice of pizza each and shared a diet coke - bit of false economy really. No photos I'm afraid but you all know what a slice of pizza looks like! It filled a gap though and on we went.










Think this tree looks like it could make a great villain in Doctor Who!

We walked past Centreville amusement park and ended up at the beach. We then picked up the path adjacent to it, before we found the boardwalk towards Ward Island.






We had a lovely walk, and enjoyed looking at the houses that backed on to the boardwalk. Lots of them had made the most of the views and had elevated sitting areas outdoors.



We eventually came out on a path near the Island Cafe, before catching the ferry back.







One off the ferry, we walked back along the waterfront before spotting the Watermark Irish Bar. It had a lovely front patio, so we stopped for a drink. Martin had 2 pints of Kilkenny while I stuck to a diet coke. It was a real sun trap there and I could feel my back burning through my t-shirt.



We left and decided to check out where we were picking up our hire car tomorrow. Thank goodness we did as the Enterprise location had changed recently and it took us a while to find it. Despite going the long way round, we did find a quick way on the way back to the hotel, so that will definitely help in the morning.

We walked back into the hotel room, and thankfully found our camera sitting on the side where Martin had gone back into the room to get the door key. Grrrr!

We then just relaxed for half an hour or so, then at around 5pm I ran a bath. Oh, it was bliss. I'd put the blinds down, but I could see the CN Tower from the inch gap at the side of each blind.

We got ready for our meal tonight. We had reservations for Ruth's Chris, which we'd booked this morning. We'd tried to get into a French restaurant but there was no availability until Tuesday. We started looking at alternatives we'd identified, but Ruth's Chris was the only one we could book online.

It was about 7:00 pm before we left the hotel to walk to the restaurant, which was about a 15 minute walk away. We passed a lovely mishmash of buildings - some old within the new.



Arrived at the Hilton hotel and the Ruth's Chris entrance, taking the lift downstairs to the restaurant.

We were seated straightaway at a table for 4. All of the tables were spread out well, meaning we had plenty of room.

Martin ordered a Beau's beer, which came recommended from our waitress Kimberley. I chose a glass of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, and we were also brought some iced water.



We looked at the menu for a while and decided to forego appetisers. We both ordered the fillet and decided to share the sides of garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli.



While we were waiting, we did have a giggle. There was a Chinese family on a big, round table in the same section of us, who were quite animated at times, only ever speaking in Chinese. Then the server brought out a cake and they all proceeded to sing Happy Birthday in English, which we thought was strange. The best part though was when they said the mans name Happy Birthday dear Bernard. It was bizarre only Chinese spoken throughout the entire evening, yet his name was Bernard and they sang in English. Does Happy Birthday not translate to other languages?

When our food arrived, they came on a 500 degree Fahrenheit sizzling plate - how do they get them to that temperature? They recommend you hold your napkin in front of your clothes for a bit to protect them from any potential splashes.





What can I say about the food? It was simply delicious. That plate kept the food piping hot even until we'd finished. We added some broccoli to the plate first, and Martin burnt his tongue on the first bit of broccoli he ate.

We ordered a second round of drinks, and then the dessert menu arrived. I couldn't move after my meal, but Martin was considering one. The waitress showed us the desserts for another table as she passed, describing the cheesecake and the creme brle. The cheesecake was huge and he could not have managed it. He eventually chose the creme brle as it looked lighter, but asked for two spoons as he felt sure I would help him out.

It arrived, decorated with fresh berries including strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries - it was like my breakfast all over again! I ate all of the strawberries, as Martin doesn't like them, then we shared the rest of the fruit. I also had two spoons of the creme brle itself, which was also delicious.



We sat for a while, finishing our drinks, before asking for the bill. A sharp intake of breath at the $235 bill (we won't be eating at places like this every night of our trip), but we felt it was worth it for great night. Left a tip of about 18% and headed back to our hotel. We'd been slightly worried that we hadn't taken a jacket with us, but we didn't need it. The temperature showed at 22 degrees on one of those flashing boards that show the time and temperature, despite it being almost dark.









We arrived back at the hotel, temporarily getting stuck in the 'automatic' revolving door - don't think the sensor was working too well! Soon got out though and headed to our room for bed.
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Edited at 07:20 PM.
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Unread 3 Jun 15, 09:42 PM  
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Yay... Been hoping you would do a report
Wowsers CN Tower looks terrifyingly high but awesome views.

The islands look beautiful and your bath

Can't wait for the next instalment and thanks for sharing
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Unread 3 Jun 15, 10:16 PM  
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I have the same photo looking down from the CN Tower!

Sounds like you had a fab first day!
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Unread 4 Jun 15, 02:20 AM  
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brilliant day - that steak looks incredible, i'm definitely putting Ruth's Chris on my list of possible eating places for when we go in October
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Brings back happy memories, so glas we didnt visit that restaurant DH would have had a "little turn " at those prices LOL. It really is a lovely city to walk around. Look forward to the rest xx
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Unread 4 Jun 15, 05:31 PM  
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Great stuff!

Been looking forward to your report for a while now and just catching up with them.


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Wow,Toronto looks amazing and that's definitely a room with a view. We were considering Canada on our USA trip next year and I think you have just helped me decide on a few days in Toronto!
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Unread 4 Jun 15, 09:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by sameeel View Post
Yay... Been hoping you would do a report
Wowsers CN Tower looks terrifyingly high but awesome views.

The islands look beautiful and your bath

Can't wait for the next instalment and thanks for sharing
Thanks for reading. Hope the report is helpful to you, ready for your trip.

The CN Tower wasn't that bad - just that glass floor that did me.

Toronto Islands were beautiful and the bath was just lovely.

Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
I have the same photo looking down from the CN Tower!

Sounds like you had a fab first day!
We really enjoyed it Mel.

Originally Posted by beautybutterfly View Post
brilliant day - that steak looks incredible, i'm definitely putting Ruth's Chris on my list of possible eating places for when we go in October
The steak was fantastic! Would happily eat there again. Look forward to reading about your trip if you do a trippie.

Originally Posted by shirley View Post
Brings back happy memories, so glas we didnt visit that restaurant DH would have had a "little turn " at those prices LOL. It really is a lovely city to walk around. Look forward to the rest xx
I though my DH might react the same way, but happily not. All of our other meals were much cheaper though!

It really helped having lovely weather, which enabled us to explore the city on foot.

Originally Posted by BONZO View Post
Great stuff!

Been looking forward to your report for a while now and just catching up with them.
Glad to have you reading along. I think it helps to keep the memories of your own trip alive.

Your trippie was so helpful to us. I'm sure you get a mention most days.

Originally Posted by The Hulk View Post
Wow,Toronto looks amazing and that's definitely a room with a view. We were considering Canada on our USA trip next year and I think you have just helped me decide on a few days in Toronto!
Yes book it! I'm also considering adding another part of Canada onto a future US trip. Decisions, decisions as to where though!
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