What a big day here in Toronto! I woke up this morning, got ready, and went to read on the patio while I ate a small breakfast. I had some time to kill before meeting Janette and Paul at the St. Lawrence Market for lunch, so I walked down to Sugar Beach to read for a while. It was a beautiful and sunny day, so I made sure to grab a chair underneath one of the pink umbrellas on the beach. Once I got a message from Janette saying she and Paul were on their way, I made my walk up from the beach to the market.
St. Lawrence Market is a fabulous spot, a year-round farmers’ market right in the city. They have vendors for everything: meat, cheese, seafood, pasta, kitchenwares, gifts. Paul told me that peameal bacon is a signature dish of the market, so he and I grabbed peameal bacon sandwiches from Paddington’s Pump on the first floor. We met Janette out on the patio to enjoy our lunch. I had noticed flags around the market that I assumed were the Toronto city flags and asked Paul about them; he said that they were the city flags and explained to me that the design came from the city hall buildings. Paul had to head back to the office, but Janette and I were able to go for a spin around the market. I tried some really great red dragon cheddar at Alex Farm and saw so many really cute pieces at Anything Goes Accessories. If you ever visit Toronto, make sure to check the market out.
After the market, Janette took me on a quick walking tour of some downtown spots. We looked at the flat-iron building, went to Nathan Phillips Square to see the Toronto sign and city hall (I could totally see where the flag design came from once I saw it), saw the old courthouse, walked through the financial district, and made our way through the Eaton Centre and Dundas Square, which is like the Times Square of Toronto. Janette had a quick appointment, then she and I went for a little shopping spree at Roots. Both of us had lots of success, and I was pretty excited to build up some cute summery pieces (now that I can focus on what to wear in warm weather rather than being in Winterpeg survival mode for most of the year)!
Janette and I went back to the apartment and I freshened up quickly to go meet up with Shanu at the St. Lawrence Market for a night out on the town. She and I went walking up through some of the places I’d seen with Janette earlier, as well as some spots I’d missed earlier, like the St. James Cathedral and park, before making our way to Banh Mi Boys for Vietnamese pork belly sandwiches. With dinner in hand, we hopped on the subway to go out to High Park, stopping at a spot called Lunchbox just outside the park itself to grab a little banana bread for dessert.
While walking through High Park, Shanu and I got all caught up with each other on what has been happening in life since she came back to Toronto, as well as exchanging memories from last year when we worked together in Winnipeg. It was so great to get to talk to her about everything, all while overlooking a beautiful spot in High Park and enjoying our awesome picnic dinner.
It started to get a little chilly in the park, so we walked back to the subway to make our way towards an awesome spot she had in mind for a sweet treat to top off the evening. We jumped off briefly at the Museum Station stop to take pictures on the platform; they’ve decorated all the columns on the platform to look like statues from different cultures, so it was a great photo-op spot.
We got off at a station underneath Roy Thomson Hall, the symphony venue here in Toronto. Outside Roy Thomson Hall, I saw the Mirvish Walk of Fame inlaid in the sidewalk. I saw Jim Carrey’s star and thought that was as good as any to take a picture with. That little mission accomplished, Shanu and I walked towards our final destination, Sweet Jesus, passing the TIFF headquarters building and a lot of the theatre district along the way.
The line for Sweet Jesus was insane, almost around the block by the time we got there. The staff was great about it though, passing out menus to people in line and prepping orders so there was almost no wait time. I ordered their campfire s’mores ice cream — vanilla and chocolate soft serve twist with marshmallows, chocolate sauce, burnt marshmallow cream, and dipped in crushed graham crackers! Shanu and I took our ice cream outside to a great outdoor seating area they had. It was so great and I’m so glad she took me there.
It was pretty late by the time we finished our ice cream, so we made our way back to the station. Shanu gave me great directions so I would know how to get home and made sure to drill me on them before sending me on my way. Unfortunately, she sent me on my way on the subway train headed the wrong direction. Fortunately, her directions were so good that I knew I was on the wrong train pretty quickly and was able to hop off and get myself going the right way!
I made it back to the condo, well worn out from a great day here in Toronto! I’m so happy I got to see so many cool spots and that I got to meet up with Shanu, and I can’t wait for another big day tomorrow!