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Planning trip to Toronto... advice welcome!


insanity_gallops

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Hey everyone. So I'm planning a trip to Toronto for our first anniversary next August. Obviously the centerpiece will be a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame (I've been once before, wife has not). When I went before, I was on a shoestring budget and stayed in some tiny Toronto hotel room. Hoping there are some Toronto dwellers or frequenters that could offer me some advice.

First, I'm looking for a decent hotel that's within walking distance to interesting stuff. I'd rather not go above $200USD/night, staying for two nights. I've looked at The Drake online as well as one of the Marriott's (Eaton Center?).

Second, I'll be honest - I have no clue what other interesting stuff there is to do in Toronto besides the HHoF. Last time I went, buddy and I hit the HHoF, went to a bar for dinner, and watched the Hall of Fame game on TV. I'd love to have insight as to what kind of stuff is around to do. We'd really only be there for a Friday evening and all day/night Saturday. Figure the HHoF takes up a chunk of time on Saturday during late morning, so I guess I'd be looking for stuff to do in the evening or at night.

Any and all help is appreciated. Sorry if I come off as clueless or ignorant; just trying to get a handle on stuff from people rather than relying on websites entirely.

Thanks all!

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I don't know much about Toronto, as the only time I've been there was when I was 11 or 12. But if you're a baseball fan, maybe you could catch a Blue Jays game from the Hard Rock Cafe at the Skydome or whatever the hell it's called now. Its very cool, they have tables along the glass that looks out over right field, if I remember correctly, and you basically hang there, eat food, and watch a ball game.

Of course, I was there in January, so it was a bunch of fat people playing in a softball tournament, but it gives you a good view of the field from a unique place.

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Isn't there that enormously tall building you can go eat dinner in? I'm almost positive I did that in Toronto and it was freaking awesome.

There's the CN Tower right next to/above the Rogers Centre/Skydome. I don't remember being able to eat there but maybe you can. The view from up there rules.

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Been to Toronto a couple times, always hit up Pacific Mall (they got good quality bootleg DVDs there haha) and a chinese restaurant called "CONGEE WONG". Congee is rice porridge, and it is by far the best I've ever had at this restaurant. They also have other dishes too, but they are obviously known for congee. =)

www.congeewong.com

CN tower is cool too, but make sure you get there before they close for the day.

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We stayed at the Westin Harbour Castle for a three day trip. Its about 2-3 blocks from the HOF and Air Canada Center.My wife got us ticket to a Devs Leafs game and in to the Hot Stove Club for diner before the game. We did some walking around but no too much since it was snowing a lot and windy as hell. Spent most of one day at the HOF.

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when I think of Toronto the word "burg" comes to mind :giggle:

There are lots of cool things around there in Summer though. How much driving do you just do - how far is a stupid drive for you - 1, 3, 5 hours?

Are you guys into camping? I think that we'd be taking that route and Toronto & the HoF would be more of a side trip. You can go to Peterborough and see the largest lift lock in the world! My dad is just SO into that stupid lift lock. it is pretty but it's like a kid thing for him - he's as in awe of it as he was when he was 8 :doh1::giggle:

So look at travel guides and ask about specific places here after you think about it. That's what I'd do. Torono itself -- well -- you're getting told about hotels and chickEN joints... so, you get an idea how it is and stuff.

Edited by Pepperkorn
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I went to Toronto with my girlfriend November of last year and again about a month and a half ago. Obviously the Hall of Fame is great, and my girlfriend had fun even though she's only marginally into hockey, but just allow some time to be spent there and you're fine.

In terms of hotels, I forget where I went this most recent time, Holiday Inn or something, but with my girlfriend we originally stayed in a hostel for one night but really didn't like it and switched over to the Hyatt, which was right downtown by a bunch of fun little restaurants and right near the CN Tower. It was about $150/night with a AAA discount. It did the job and was really convenient!

Okay, restaurants, I don't know too many, but you should go to Wayne Gretzky's if you don't think you'd be too hockeyed out. Its not as hockey dominant as you'd think but there's a bunch of memorabilia there and the food's not bad either. Always a hockey game on, but there pretty much is anywhere in Canada. One restaurant I'd ABSOLUTELY recommend is Torito Tapas Bar in Kensington Market. I'm not that much of a tapas guy but pretty much EVERYTHING they brought out was better than the thing before, even stuff I'm not super fond of. Great Spanish tortillas, great fish (we had some awesome flying fish), pomegranate quail (surprisingly good), and real authentic churros. Really awesome, and it was about $200 for 5 people, which was great considering the quality. So I definitely recommend that, for lunch or dinner. There are some fun little bar/restaurants on King Street right by the Hyatt that are well-priced and you have some great variation, but if you don't have many dinners it might not be worth gambling on one. A nice breakfast place is Eggspectations (also ate there in Montreal), where they do some awesome breakfasts that are a little off the beaten path.

Kensington Market is fun if you like sort of vintage stuff, you can spend a few hours Saturday morning (we went before the HHOF) and they have a bunch of vintage clothing stores (for the wife? maybe? also tons of vintage hockey jerseys in any of them) and some nice little restaurants and whatnot, but it's a little far removed from the other tourist destinations so it might not be worth a stop if you're not there for long.

The CN Tower is cool, but it's also kind of "meh" for $26/person. If it's not a nice day, it's probably not worth it. If you do the restaurant inside the ride up is included, so if you're into that it might make it okay, but it was a little too expensive for my taste.

Another cool area is the Distillery District, with some nice little bars and shops and historic buildings, and the key place to go is SOMA Chocolate Makers. It's a vintage chocolaterie where they have tons of fresh, delicious chocolate for sale, and really you can get just a few truffles or pieces for a few dollars and it's a great treat.

There's some other things like the Royal Ontario Museum (which I didn't go inside but I study architecture, and it's an interesting Daniel Liebskind building), the Art Gallery of Ontario (a Frank Gehry building), and the Sharp Centre for Design (another interesting building). We also happened to go during the Toronto International Film Festival, and caught a world premiere. So keep an eye open for stuff like that.

Let me know if you have any other questions, or questions about stuff I mentioned. I know the city decently well at this point. It's a great city and you can do it for pretty cheap, which helps when you're college age like me! Happy to help. :cheers:

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Sushi on Bloor for cheap but awesome sushi.

Check and see if there are any concerts going on when you're there. Massey Hall, Horseshoe Tavern, Opera House, theres many great venues up there.

I personally fvcking hate Toronto, but thats for personal reasons :D its a good city but I dont care if I ever step foot there again.

Dont even bother with the CN Tower unless you go to the restaurant up there. Check out a game at the Rogers Centre if you're there during baseball season.

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