Toronto, I Love You Blog

Toronto Waterfront, I Love You

Toronto's waterfront has a bad rap. It's talked about often in Toronto Council, and residents are often angry that it pales in comparison to the waterfronts of other great cities. It's separated from the city by the crumbling Gardiner Expressway, and doesn't have a lot of activities for tourists. 

That being said - I think it's just beautiful! I've always been attracted to water and I find it very calming so whenever I feel stressed out, the waterfront is my first stop!

Bay and Queen's Quay - look at that stunning view. March 2012

Bay and Queen's Quay - look at that stunning view. March 2012

One of the things I love about our waterfront is the view of the Toronto Island (you can read more about how much I love that place here). If you walk just 10 minutes south of the Financial District (which I did on many many lunch hours oh god I hate that area), you are presented with this beautiful view and can forget that you work a crappy desk job surrounded by nothing but concrete! 

Sunset by Ontario Place while biking home.

Sunset by Ontario Place while biking home.

I also am an avid cyclist (except right now cause it's cold and I'm a weiner). When I worked in the Financial District, I often wanted to unwind after work, and biking in Toronto is anything but relaxing UNLESS you can bike the Martin Goodman trail home. Luckily I live near High Park and this trail is perfect for me! During the spring months, this was often the sight I was greeted with on my way home. Sometimes I would even stop and sit on a bench for a bit to soak it all in! 

Humber Bay Arch Bridge - aka the Turtle Bridge. You have to go to see why.

Humber Bay Arch Bridge - aka the Turtle Bridge. You have to go to see why.

So you don't work in the Financial District (lucky you!) and you don't commute by bike but you like going on leisurely weekend jaunts! LUCKY YOU! The Martin Goodman Trail extends out to Etobicoke. From there you can take a path up the Humber River, or continue on out to the Humber Bay West Park (more on that in a moment). Either way you get to go over this great bridge. It's beautiful during the day, the view is beautiful by night, and there is a fun reason I call it the Turtle Bridge (I actually had to look up the real name because I've only called it Turtle Bridge).

Am I in Hamilton? Am I in Buffalo? NO! I'M IN TORONTO!

Am I in Hamilton? Am I in Buffalo? NO! I'M IN TORONTO!

If you chose to keep going west instead of going up the Humber River trail, you will see a lot of condos (bleh) but you will come across a park with a butterfly pond (COOL!!!) and a bridge leading you into Humber Bay West park. I really love exploring places so one day I decided to just bike into this park on my own and start taking the trails. There are several of them, but they lead out to the amazing view above! CHECK OUT THAT SEXY CITY! It's also got a little beach on it that you can hang out on (though I haven't spent any time there). There are a few benches facing the water so you can just relax, bring your sweetheart, and have a real romantic time, or just take some pictures to make everyone think you went on a trip without having to leave the city.

Here are where the above photos were taken, if you ever want to check them out!

Here are where the above photos were taken, if you ever want to check them out!

ALSO - TORONTO, I LOVE YOU OPENED YESTERDAY! Hooray! See you at Bad Dog!

T&T Night Market, I Love You

by Stephanie Malek

I love eating. I want to eat everything in the world, and I have a particular weakness for Asian cuisine. Luckily, among the million of food festivals this city has, we have the T&T Night Market

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T&T is a chain of Asian grocery stores, primarily located in the suburbs, except for their Cherry St. location, of which I am a frequent customer ($2 onigiri after 6? yes please). Every July they transform their parking lot into rows of kiosks, food trucks, games, and stages for three glorious days. 

I first went to this festival by myself, when I randomly found out about it and knew I had to bring my friend Carly. Carly and I became friends when we were teens due to a shared love of Sailor Moon, and Japanese culture. We've spent many collective hours in Chinatown and Pacific Mall, rummaging for cute toys and eating amazing food. There is no one else I could picture enjoying this as much as me.

I basically barfed rainbows myself when I saw this offer

Carly and I went and proceeded to stuff ourselves sick, buy ridiculous toys, and took pictures of the adorable signs. It's definitely more fun with a friend, especially a friend who will not judge you and the things you are eating.

Personal favourites include deep fried rice balls, takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls), and rice flour rolls with shrimp. Basically a lot of deep fried because you are at a food fest and your dietary choices don't count like they do in the real world! Personal to avoids include the natto (on god this smells like death and the smell will hit you periodically as you walk through - try not to be eating when it does), the tornado shrimp (pictured at the top - it's just the messiest and not worth the effort), and anything with crazy weird meats (unless you like that sort of thing). 

It's busy, it's noisy, it's insane, and it's incredible! Wear baggy pants or a roomy dress - your stomach will thank you!

Do you have any favourite food festivals? Tried anything amazing at the T&T Night Market? Comment below!