Life Lately: Weekend Trip to Toronto

Hey guys! This past weekend, Dan and I went to Toronto for a little weekend trip. I haven’t been to Toronto in years even though it’s only a two and a half hour drive from Buffalo and I have to say I’ve been missing out. While NY will always be my favorite city, it’s nice to visit somewhere new that’s also similar. Toronto’s much larger than Buffalo and much smaller than New York, making it the perfect size to experience a new city and neighborhoods without getting frustrated by the crowds of people. We ate a lot, drank a lot and fun was had by all.

So cheers to Canada, and their beautiful city, beaches, Prime Minister šŸ˜‰ and lower drinking age šŸ˜‰ . You’re doing great.

P.S. Photo creds to Dan for some of these photos, I lost my camera charger so all my pictures are #iphonephotography so any great ones are probably his shots

Dinner at The Good Son restaurant

Improv night at Comedy Bar

Friday night, we had dinner at The Good Son Restaurant, right near our Airbnb. We planned out some restaurants ahead of time we wanted to check out for dinner but also fully knowing that once we got there, we’re better off walking around until we see something that catches our eye. Very happy we stumbled upon this restaurant because we had an amazing seafood ceviche and prosciuttoĀ flatbread. Whenever I have really good food it always makes me wish I cooked more, because how hard can it be, but then I get home and I’m too lazy to even make a sandwich so we’ll see.

Also- this place takes gallery wall to the next level. I was surprised by how well decorated Toronto’s bars and restaurants are. Their walls are adorned floor to ceiling with different paintings, signs and knick knacks, which I love.

After dinner, we headed to Comedy Bar for improv night. Neither of us had ever seen improv before and it was so great. I thought it would be funny but I didn’t know it would be this funny. I’m a huge fan of stand-up and now I can’t wait to see another improv night. There were about 12 comedians to begin with, then they each get eliminated in an improv competition until one emerges victorious. The comedians come out to the bar after and mingle with people too, which was cool. I was so impressed with all of them because I am not even close to funny enough to do that, so major props, Comedy Bar.

Our Airbnb in Queen West

I’m never staying in a hotel again if I have the choice. We got an Airbnb right off Queen Street West, which is one of Toronto’s best neighborhoods. The Airbnb was in an adorable townhouse decorated beautifully (goals) even with a cute little dog. Our room was in the basement which was not only finished but adorable. We had our own bathroom, refrigeratorĀ and coffee bar. The hosts wereĀ very nice and gave us our privacy. Best part? It was super cheap. Highly recommend Airbnb, and if you book one, you can use this code to get $40 off your first booking.

A couple more bc I’m the biggest nerd you’ll ever see and this place was *magical*

A post shared by Francesca Bond (@chessabond) on

I’m a huge nerd and in case you didn’t know, I absolutely love Harry Potter. Been a fan since 4th grade and it just gets better and better. While my days of never putting the book down and casting spells with sticks in public are over (hey, I was young) I’ve matured into more of a “going to a Harry Potter bar” kind of fan.

We went to The Lockhart for brunch, and though I definitely recommend it, possibly go for dinner or drinks because we did get a bit day drunk which was very fun at the time but resulted in a 7 pm hangover. I got eggs benny with smoked salmon (delicious) and Dan got chicken and waffles which I immediately got food envy from because it was really great. If eggs benedict is on the menu, it’s very hard for me to order anything else.

We also got the befuddlement potionĀ (scroll over in Instagram video above) which they light on fire!! *maaagical* and is a cauldron full of alcohol. It is delicious. Name anything after Harry Potter and it’s instantly 100x more appealing to me but this was truly good.

Cheap drinks + large patio at The Rhino

While we were bar hopping around we stopped at a unique bar called Lipstick and Dynamite. Full of velvet paintings, and a backyard patio Dan described best as having an “abandonded amusement park” feeling

Best coffee I’ve ever had (they used coconut oil in it) at Film Cafe in Kensington Market

El Arepazo in Kensington Market

We stopped at the Kensington Market, since that seems to be one of the places you must visit in Toronto, and it was very cool. It was bustling with people and the street was filled with unique food, I wish I had the stomach and wallet capacity to try it all. We ended up trying a few different kinds of food including Mayan, which I’d never had. This mojito was probably my favorite part.

Mac and Cheese at Bobbie Sue’s // They played Leon Bridges the whole time we were here and I was loving it

Shrimp n’ Grits and Eggs Benedict on grilled corn bread with maple brisket (mouth watering yet?) at Southern Accent, a New Orleans style restaurant

The beautiful scenery above is the Scarborough Bluffs. Located about a half hour east of Toronto, the Bluffs were breathtaking. Though these views are beautiful, at the bottom of the bluffs there is a beach and the views from the water looking up at the cliffs were absolutely breathtaking. We didn’t bring our phones or camera because we planned on going in the water, but if you’re in Toronto you have to see it for yourself. We had most of the day to kill at this point, so we spent some time here and then decided we would go buy me a swimsuit so we could go swimming. Word to the wise- bring a swimsuit. We may have spent hours in this suburb looking for a women’s clothing store. There were home stores, grocery stores, men’s clothing stores and literally nowhere to buy a swimsuit. On the bright side, after a long and frustrating search where the only hope seemed to be an much too big Wal-mart tankini (shudder) I found a really cute two piece in a mall for 60% off.

Canadians, you may have Trudeau but at least we have Target.

When we finally did get to the beach, it was all worth it. The beach was pretty and not too crowded, the weather was perfect and the water felt great. This place is a must-see. šŸ™‚

Last but not least, we ended the trip with a sunset boat tour around Lake Ontario. This was the perfect way to end the trip as it was so relaxing and beautiful. The ship was an old style, kinda like a pirate ship (probably not but that’s what it reminded me of so going with it) and we spent most of it on the upper deck. This was one of the highlights of the weekend since the views of the Toronto skyline were too beautiful. The ship left at sunset and didn’t end until it was dark out so we got to see Toronto in its full glory and let me tell you, I really love Toronto.

Love, Francesca

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1 Comment

  1. August 7, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    Airbnb is indeed a great choice for staying somewhere and feel like home! And especially nowadays it has so many available houses for rent! Now how amazing is Toronto?? You caused me a huge desire to visit! Fantastic photos and inside tips!
    Thanks for sharing and happy Monday!
    xo
    Stella
    http://www.stellaasteria.com

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