Toronto 🇨🇦 Trip May 2022
Please note that all the attractions we saw are at the bottom of this post.
So, the method to the madness of this post is to break it up by experiences, instead of chronically. (—However, the vlog IS chronological, simply because it made SENSE to do it THAT way, so if you want to see THAT, here’s the link: add link.) But by doing it THIS way will, hopefully, make it easier to follow and to maybe even help you set a travel itinerary yourself—should you be heading there during these NEARLY post-pandemic times. 🤷🏽♀️😊🙌🏾
A little context…
You know we’ve been to Toronto 3 other times, but somehow, I COULDN'T get my ass together to get a post up, documenting our experiences. 🙄🤷🏽♀️ I think I was overwhelmed by the similarities and differences, which made things feel like a bit of a fever dream. —Yes, they speak English, they have a similar lifestyle, and they have a diverse population, but their dogs don’t bark—no, LITERALLY!😳 —they don’t even bother looking your way, because they seem to be happy and content NOT to, which was great for us. 😬🤷🏽♀️🙌🏾
Nashville blog: https://bit.ly/prejippienashvilleblog
THIS was a constant nag…
Overarching issue for this trip is the lack of internet access. After a day and a half of struggling TERRIBLY to get and maintain Wi-Fi AND cell internet signal, we found out that our room—located at the corner of building—interferes with any AND all reception of ANY signals! 😳🙄🤷🏽♀️ In 2022, visiting a Metropolitan area, we found this “small detail that the hotel failed to mention,” MORE than a “minor” inconvenience. 🙄 In fact, I didn’t even REALIZE how MUCH I depend on internet—EVEN for journaling!😳—until this trip! Directions, business hours, comparison shopping, paying for parking, checking login passwords, texting folks, checking email, and checking weather. These were some of the things that ended up exerting undue stress on an otherwise lovely trip. In fact, I had ALREADY written off using social media, but it WASN'T NOT being able to use social media that was the problem—because I was PREPARED to take a “vacation” from that as well. BUT checking reviews or menu options for places that we were CONSIDERING traveling to was the straw that broke the camel’s back! After all, we like to plan out our day —and our journey out—BEFORE we leave our hotel room! 😳🙄🤷🏽♀️ So the hotel sucks for waiting until we complained about it to let us know about it and ONLY THEN, asking if we’d like another room. 😳🤷🏽♀️ But THAT was our BIG and bad.
The rest of the trip was BETTER, once we KNEW what was to blame for our LACK connectivity.
Things we like about Chicago: https://bit.ly/prejippienashvilleblog
The first day (5/26) was overcast, but did not rain, so we did MANY activities where we could take advantage of the weather, including walk to the Toronto sign (Nathan Philips Hall), walk to Kensington and shop, and walk to King Street and shop.
South By Southwest 2022 Travel Vlog: https://bit.ly/sxsw2022travelvlog
—- Okay, so a word about the “state of thrifting” as we see it. The thrill of thrifting, for us, is finding some previously overlooked item that’s stuffed into a bag in the shop—and that may NOT even have a tag on it yet!🤷🏽♀️— but going up to the proprietor and haggling for an insanely low rate. THAT is not the new way that folks are thrifting. Instead, the items are carefully curated based on the shop owners’ assumption toward which items are more likely to be of interest to his/her clientele, they are tagged, and have been put into neat, little categories for buyers to browse. So, it goes without saying that, if he/she put that kind of time and care into assembling this collection, the choices of items, as well as the markup will be infinitely more. 😳🙄🤷🏽♀️ THAT’S NOT what is enjoyable; going to 15 stores and seeing the same classic rock band 🎸 T-shirts and Jean jackets, but then costing MORE than if you bought them at a retail shop today is NOT our idea of a good time. 🤷🏽♀️ Plus, the fact that it’s ALL the same shit that we could find at the mall—but brand new at the mall!—is QUITE the turn off. We are looking to discover the potential of a piece that has been previously undervalued, so we don’t WANT what everyone else would want. 🤷🏽♀️🙄 BUT we realize that THE model of business that we had grown so used to in the last 4 decades is PROBABLY unsustainable….🤷🏽♀️ Plus, we know that thrifting has become cool now and that it’s THOSE “hipsters” who are WILLING to pay an extravagant price for very “normal-looking” clothes, so I am NOT mad at this new way of doing business; I just loony for finding a treasure that DOESN’T break the bank, but that is editorial and great for our D.I.Y. Rock Star photos and video shoots. 🤷🏽♀️😬 THAT is one of the MAIN reasons that we like thrifting. —The ONE bright light was a resale shop called “Wildlife” that we wandered upon as we were heading toward St. Lawrence Market and ultimately, to The Distillery District. It had interesting and reasonably-priced items and would be a place that we MIGHT frequent were this in our area, because of their selection and prices. —It MIGHT help that they were associated with a charity….🤷🏽♀️ Maybe THAT’S why they are able to afford such attainable prices and NOT to have to pander to size 2 hipsters. 😳🙄🤷🏽♀️😬 —Whatever it was, we APPRECIATED the variety and the affordable prices. 😊
Royal Blood Concert blog: https://bit.ly/royalbloodtdetroitblog
TRY something NEW….
—- We’re trying something new this trip—remember, this is trip #4 (we DON'T have any videos/blogs of Canada, but here are some of our OTHER trip videos)—and our plan is to try a dedicated breakfast restaurant 🥞 and to leave the downtown area to shop at a “thrift by the pound” store (see waaaay below). And last time, we took in a musical, Dear Evan Hansen, but this time, we’re planning on taking in a movie. It’s SUPPOSED to rain all day today, so we’re trying to make the BEST use of our time here. 🤷🏽♀️😬🙌🏾
GearFest 2019: http://bit.ly/gearfest2019youtube
Rainy day activities
—So, we’re on to Saturday. Yesterday was supposed to be the “rainy” day, so that’s why we planned to see a movie yesterday evening.
D.I.M.E. Open House Collage: https://bit.ly/DIMEopenhouse2017
Sunny day, so walking-friendly…
Today, we are going to the Distillery District. It’s a fun place to visit and, you KNOW us; we MIGHT just snag yet ANOTHER pair of John Fluevog shoes! 🙄🤷🏽♀️😬 —We’ve ONLY got 5 pairs now, so…. 🙄 🙃 (Side note: when we got back, I bagged up QUITE the selection of gorgeous shoes that no longer serve the season that I am in with my feet, including some floral Doc Martens that have NEVER been as comfortable as they are beautiful. 🙄🤷🏽♀️ )
Finally, we came, we saw….
Yes, we are happy to have had a lovely vacation with our newly-adult daughter before she starts her summer job and then her final year of college. We were happy that crossing the border only meant feeling in information that we’ve had our vaccinations and that the weather was MUCH better than was forecast. AND that, THIS time, I am able to share a portion of that experience with you all (which is a joy). —I am also going to pull up some of the notes from the prior trips to highlight some of the early things that were surprising to us, but some of which, we have grown accustomed to.
Let us know what is your favorite thing about visiting Canada. Or what was did you enjoy MOST —or LEAST—about this post.
Paris Surprises: http://bit.ly/2Q9ld94
List of attractions/Sections:
Wendy’s 💥😳 5/25: We haven't had fast food in years, but we knew we wouldn't hit a lunch stop on our car ride to Toronto, so we decided to stay on the path and stop at a place we already know.
Popeye’s Chicken 💥😳🙄🤷🏽♀️ 5/25: Again, it was our first night there and we went with a place right across the street from the hotel (which ended up trying a newly-opened, familiar fast food restaurant. Order wasn’t quite right, but we were so hungry, we would have eaten a shoe at that point. 👟
Burgernator (Kensington) 😊💥 5/26: We were DETERMINED to NOT eat from places that we could find readily in Michigan, so this time, we stopped while we were in Kensington and tried a unique local restaurant. The good was good, but the bathroom situation was creepy and in a dark, large basement. --If our daughter had NOT been with me, I would NOT have ventured down there, but it had been a few hours of walking about and we NEEDED to go.
Jz’s Pizza 💥 🍕: This place had been our fall-back anytime we have visited Toronto. In fact, sometimes, if we’ve forgotten to plan out our dinner time stop in advance, we end up grabbing up a pizza and heading back to the hotel room at the end of a long day. 😬🍕 —It was nice to realize that, not only did they survive the pandemic (they’re really tiny, so this was a big surprise), but also we noticed that they had OTHER items on the menu. That means that the last night we had them, we tried their pasta and lasagna, which was really good.
Jz’s Pizza 💥 🍕
The Burger Priest 🍔💥: This was a really odd one. On our way from Market by the Pound back toward Yorkdale Mall, we decided to try—again—something unique to the area, so we stopped at this burger joint. There were scriptures in the interior and priest-like imagery, but it was a burger joint. The food was tasty and quick; the dining room was bright and sunny; and the bathrooms were immaculate. 🤷🏽♀️ 🍔
Evviva 💥: We decided to try something different—again—by Googling breakfast places downtown. This place came up. It was a short walk and was crowded. Though we had to wait roughly half an hour, it was worth it for the ambiance alone (check out the chandeliers).
Moxie’s: On our last evening, we tried a new dinner place. The soccer game was on—Liverpool vs. Somebody??? 😬 —Anyway, the staff seemed just a little preoccupied with the folks guzzling down drinks for the game, but eventually got to us. We decided that we would just lean in and enjoy the excitement that was abuzz in the place before we headed back to pack. —Again, nice ambiance, great location, and service wasn’t too bad.
Starbucks ☕: As you MIGHT already know from our other travel adventures (https://bit.ly/prejippienashvilleblog), Starbucks is a travel favorite, since we generally know what to expect—a caffeinated pick me up followed by water and a bathroom break—so this trip was no different. What WAS different was the location that we USUALLY frequent is closed, which meant that I opted from the dreadful hotel coffee first thing and the morning, and we had to walk further for our hit. However, whenever we’ve been out walking about, we try to spot one to stop at for these purposes. —Also, when we see one that DOESN'T have bathrooms, nor seating areas, we know we’re in “the hood” and PROBABLY need to make haste anyway…😬
Yorkdale Mall 💥: This place is quite big and has a variety of generally high end shops. Since it was a pit stop to make it to Market by the Pound, it was an EASY stop to check off our Toronto list. We had NEVER been there before, but had seen it in a recent YouTube video, so it was fun to experience it in person.
The Shops at Aura 💥: Yep, this is another massive mall, but is located in Downtown Toronto. Many big name shops.
Market by the Pound (clothing by the pound thrift store) 55 Orfus Road 💥: Our daughter has been looking for a thrift by the pound place as long as I can remember, so when we were browsing YouTube thrifting videos for our trip, we put this one on our list. (See our daughter in our thrifting episode; add link) We decided to REALLY make it an adventure by taking the subway to get there (which is the FIRST time we’ve taken public transit in Canada). It is located in a boulevard of discount and retail shops—and across from a high school—which allowed us to REALLY veer off the beaten path and explore the neighborhoods. The place was filled with labeled bins with NOT terribly jaw dropping fashion. The minimum number of pounds you could purchase was 5, so you’re going to spend AT LEAST $35 and THAT encourages you to spend MORE time rummaging. She spent about 2 hours shopping while we spent our time scoping out the rest of the area. We came, we saw, and we are NOT likely to go again. 😬🤷🏽♀️
Kensington 💥 (5/26): This is our fourth time at Kensington, so we have a better handle on how to navigate the small streets, the narrow, crowded sidewalks, and how to make the best of the myriad of quaint little resale shops. We have enjoyed ourselves each time, but check out the “Kensington” section above to see what we thought of it as a true thrifting experience this time around.
St. Lawrence Market💥: Yes, we’ve been here each time, I think, but it’s SUCH a fun place to walk through, that, even though we KNEW we weren’t going to buy ANYTHING, we went through JUST to witness the buzz of activity and to smell the smells and to hear the sounds. (Check out the vlog for a sense of what you will find there; https://bit.ly/toronto2022vlog )
Wildlife thrift store 💥: If you check out our “Kensington” section above, you will see our thoughts on this cute, shop. We ARE likely to search this place again.
Eaton Centre Mall 💥: Here’s another pretty major mall located in the heart of Downtown Toronto. On the day we were visiting, there was some race car exhibition, so there was quite the crowd and streets were closed around it. (Check out the vlog to experience it for yourself; https://bit.ly/toronto2022vlog )
Tribal Rhythm 💥 5/26: Even though I didn’t buy anything this time, this is one of my favorite thrift shops in Toronto. They have quirky, memorable fashion and provide a lovely, organized shopping experience. As always, one of the drawbacks of this kind of curated experience is that it doesn’t offer many choices for ladies my size, which sucks, because they have dresses from nearly every era. Our daughter bought earrings and a dress.
Black Market 💥5/26: This is USUALLY one of our favorites. However, probably due to the pandemic, they moved to a smaller place, and seemed to have curated their stock, so much so that they have weeded away all the quirky bits that I liked so much. (Again, see the “Kensington” section above for more on my thoughts on the state of thrifting in 2022.) I ended up buying three plain tie-dyed shirts, with which I am going to make Bourgeoisie Paper Jam shirts from (using my Cricut; add link). Their tie-dye is unique and will make a good base from my design, but other than that, we left empty handed. 😳🤷🏽♀️😬
Sonic Boom Record Store: This is one of our favorite places to stop when we are on our way to or from Kensington. It’s large, clean, fun, and has lots of ways to do your own personal deep dive into music culture. Today’s finds includes a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, a Jimi Hendrix iron-on patch, and an album.
Kops Record Store: We wandered by this place that sold vinyl and our daughter was hooked. 😬 They also sold Japanese original art prints, so….
Art Gallery of Ontario 💥 5/26: As we left the Toronto sign band walked toward Kensington, we passed this place. The building design looked fun and the community around it was iconic, but we were on a mission, so we didn’t actually stop. (See the vlog for a sense of the area; https://bit.ly/toronto2022vlog )
Nathan Philips Hall (“Toronto” sign) 💥 5/26: We don’t even know how we could have come three times before and NEVER have searched this one out, but….😬 It’s a fun public space lined with food trucks and surrounded by municipal buildings.
Distillery District 💥: This is ALWAYS one of our favorite areas, not just for the old-time charm, for the quaint shops, for the buzz of activity, but ALSO because we’re hooked on John Fluevog shoes! —No, I PROMISE that this isn’t a sponsored post, but we now own 4 pairs of his shoes—the first of which were purchased on our last trip to his Distillery District store in 2019. The staff is always so nice, the place is like wonderland for folks who want shoes that NO ONE ELSE will be wearing, and the shoes are SO damn comfortable! 💥😳🤷🏽♀️🙌🏾 It goes without saying that we couldn’t WAIT to get back! And wouldn’t you know it, I found a pair of shoes that were calling my name, so we walked out with our 5th pair! 🥰
Movie 💥: On one of the rainy days, we decided to go to the movies to see “Everything Everywhere All At Once," which was fun.
The Path 💥: We tried to find breakfast here, but many of the restaurants and stores have limited business hours and/or have closed due to the pandemic, which is why we ended up at the breakfast place detailed above.
Public transportation 💥: We took public transportation to the Yorkdale Mall and it was cleaner than ANY public subway trains we have EVER been on!
Things we did NOT make it to:
Maybe next time....
Casa Loma Castle
Niagara Falls (1 hour day trip) —Go Train??
Ontario College of Art and Design
Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto Island Tours (a ferry ride away)
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