travel diaries: Toronto

On May 3rd, 3 of some of my closest friends and I travelled to Toronto. The point of this trip was to just celebrate our accomplishments for the year and enjoy each other’s company. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this trip in all honesty. It seemed like God was yelling in our ear “Cancel it!” since March, but we stuck with it in spite of car troubles, lost debit cards and briefly losing the car keys for a few hours the day before we left. The planning was stressful, but I’m so glad we followed through.

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Day 1:

The first day was a travel day. We got on the road at 9:30 (30 minutes earlier than we had expected with CPT) and began our 7 hour journey to Canada. Personally, I love driving on the highway and home is 6.5 hours away for me, so the drive wasn’t too bad. Also, crossing the border took all of 5 minutes and wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I expected.

3PM: Niagara Falls – Since we passed the Falls on the way to Toronto, we decided to take a quick little pit stop. The only word I can come up with to describe Niagara Falls is absolutely breathtaking. I found myself just staring at the view wondering how it’s all possible. If I ever go back, I’d love to actually go into the water on a guided tour, but the weather was perfect, the view was beautiful and I have no complaints.

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Day 2: 

11AM: Aquarium – After the long ride here, today was the day I opted to sleep in a little. Once everyone was up and moving, we went to Ripley’s Aquarium and bought a CityPass (something I highly recommend if you’re touristy like us). With a CityPass, you get entry for 5 different attractions for almost half the price it’d cost you to get into all of them individually. Apparently, we should’ve went the day after tho because Teyana Taylor was at the aquarium with her daughter then.

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1PM: CN Tower – Next, we went to the infamous 1800 ft tower. When I agreed to go to the tower, I thought we’d just be admiring from afar, but my friends had something different in mind. Afraid of heights and all, I took the elevator up to the top and I do not regret it. From up above, you can see all of downtown Toronto and Lake Ontario. It was cold and a little foggy, but still beautiful nonetheless. One day, it’d be cool to go back and eat at the little Caucasian revolving restaurant.

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7PM: NAO Concert – This was one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip. If you don’t know who NAO is, she’s a neo-funk/R&B/electronic singer from East London. Last October, I fell in LOVE with her album For All We Know (check it out here on Soundcloud!) and it just so happened that she would be performing at the exact same time we’d be there. A few close friends told me how amazing of a performer NAO was, but I never expected what she delivered. 10/10.

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Day 3:

9AM: Casa Loma – Today, we bought metro passes and visited the castle formerly built for Sir Henry Pellatt in 1859. With 4 floors + 2 attics, it was a little spooky at times (especially the tunnels), but the architecture was gorgeous.

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12PM: Royal Ontario Museum – This was our next stop on the CityPass and it was a little overwhelming to be honest. There were so many different exhibits and galleries that it was really hard to keep up with. I really enjoyed the Egyptian, African and animal exhibits tho!

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7PM: Cavs vs. Raptors Playoff Game – This was the biggest “might as well” moment of the entire trip. It was Cinco de Mayo, the tickets weren’t that expensive and it was a Playoff game so we thought why not? The Raptors lost against the Cavs which was to be expected but the energy was so live. Bonus: We saw Drake.

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11PM: TORONTO Sign – We couldn’t leave without seeing the sign. (Hint: It’s so much prettier at night than it is in the daytime.)

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Day 4:

10AM: Ontario Science Centre – This was our last stop on the CityPass. It was definitely more geared towards children but I got to pet a snake and a turtle in the animal exhibit which was pretty cool.

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12PM: Graffiti Alley – I researched this area and decided it was somewhere I really wanted to see before leaving Toronto. Graffiti Alley is actually 5 or 6 different alleys all filled with art and different messages. The coolest part was being able to watch the artist live paint the piece below.

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1PM: OVO Store – Last on the list of touristy things to do was visit the OVO Store in the 6.

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Overall, I would deem this as a very successful trip. Very thankful for friends to share it with and the memories that’ll last forever that came with it.

– Bria

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