I was finally able to visit Canada in August 2017, where I stayed with a friend and his family in Toronto. I was travelling from New York to Toronto overnight, having recently visited a friend who lives in Astoria, Queens. I travelled on the Greyhound on the evening of the 20th August at 7:30pm and arrived the following morning in Toronto at 6:00am. I do need to disclose that I literally slept for that whole day, because I found out that I do not sleep on public transport – even when it is overnight and is actually encouraged to do so. I think I just did not want to waste a whole day travelling, but I ended up doing it anyway through sleeping.
The friend I stayed with lives right in the centre of Toronto so if I wanted to go shopping or go out for food, I just had to walk about 15-20 minutes and then I was in the main district. It was so convenient and also meant that I did not have to spend much on public transport.
By staying with someone I knew, I got a lot of free personalised tours, and through walking around Toronto, I noticed the amount of street art, sculptures and unique architecture there was in the city and as I am currently studying for an Art degree I was so fascinated by it all. One place which is interesting to see is the Gooderham/Flatiron Building (pictured above – front and back).
One of the places we walked through which was full of different forms of art was Toronto’s distillery district. If you love industrial-style architecture then this is definitely one of the best places in Toronto for this. The district, as well as being great to just look around, also has various restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops. Furthermore, if you love shopping and culture, there is also a range of clothing and jewellery shops as well as a few art studios and theatres.
Other places in and around Toronto which are well worth a visit include the Casa Loma, an 18th century castle with tours and beautiful gardens, Nathan Phillips Square (pictured right at the top of this post), a public square in front of city hall which turns into an ice skating rink in the winter, the Rogers’ Centre (pictured below), home to the Toronto Blue Jays and the CN Tower (pictured below), a 553-metre landmark with beautiful panoramic views, but maybe rethink it if you don’t like heights!
The main thing I wanted to see whilst I was there was the beautiful Niagara Falls, which I managed to do with the family I was staying with on a lovely day out. A collection of three waterfalls on the Canada-US border, Niagara falls can either be seen in New York State or in Ontario, Canada. The three waterfalls are individually known as the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls and they are unbelievably breathtaking. Reaching more than 165ft with an average annual flow rate of 85,000 cubic feet per second, Niagara Falls is also a important source of hydroelectric power. I was lucky enough to be able to walk behind the waterfall through some tunnels, where it got incredibly loud and wet. My photos definitely do not do this marvel justice, and it is a bucket-list attraction which needs to be visited and seen to really be able to take in its power.
I was so so happy to be able to tick “Niagara Falls” off of my bucket list and it was everything I imagined it would be. I was also really lucky to have the loveliest family to show me around the beautiful city of Toronto and they have my eternal gratitude and thanks.