Best Places in Toronto
More often than not I feel as though most of my posts have a pretty serious tone, debt this, tuition that. So as a bit of a twist on things I’ve decided to cover something more…fun. I’ve been in Toronto since January and surprisingly enough I’ve lived in the city most of my life but haven’t really explored it much. I’ve been at school in Guelph for the most part during my legal drinking years so that could have been one of the reasons why I hadn’t really started discovering the city as much. But since January I’ve been trying my best to really get to know the city more, try out some great places and to be honest it’s been really great. I’ve barely even made a mark on what the city has to offer and my list of things to do before the summer is done is still quite long..I guess there’s always next May when I’m back from school…
Best Places in Toronto…So Far
See below for a snapshot of the places that I have been in Toronto so far over the last 8 months. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some but for the most part these are some great eats, patios, and sports/entertainment.
Amsterdam Brewhouse-Patio by the Lake
One of my favourite new finds in Toronto is the Amsterdam Brewhouse which has a beautiful patio right by the lake that seats about 300 apparently. The place was packed and we stayed from about 6:30 until the sun went down. The inside is really nice too and we waiting by the bar until being able to get seated outside (there was a line to get in and a wait time to get to the back patio) but it was totally worth it! The pic below is of one of the sampler offers of 4 that they have and gives you a chance to try out a variety of Amsterdam beers they have on tap. Tip: Call and make a reservation
The patio was great, and we were lucky enough to be there for Virgin Radio 99.9’s launch party for a brandy so we were able to try brandy out as well for free (which I’ve never tried). Overall really loved this place and was happy that the weather was actually summery, plus you can’t beat sitting on a patio right by the lake…in Toronto.
Another great place to check out a patio or check out an entire island is literally a ferry ride away from downtown Toronto. One of the more interesting and often overlooked features of Toronto is it’s islands and I have to say I haven’t been here enough myself. I was able to check out the islands because of a summer work party and realized that I should have been going here a bit more often. If you want to check out a great patio go to is at Shopsy’s (yes the hot dog people), it’s right near where the ferry pulls in. You can chill out on the nice patio and get a great view of the Toronto skyline.
Earlier on in the summer I was able to go to Bier Markt on the Esplanade which I am told is the best of them all. I knew they had a lot of beer available but I was not ready for the massive list of beers that they actually had on offer. Oh and I also happened to have the most amazing poutine there EVER..breakfast poutine check it out below. If you’re a fan of Shocktop or any other wheat beers make sure to try out Erdinger..it’s a lot better.
Blue Jays Game @ The Rogers Centre
When it comes to sports I’m a pretty big fan, but because of the $’s you have to shell out to see certain sports in Toronto (like the Maple Leafs for example) I haven’t really gone to many games. The Toronto Blue Jays are one team that you can go watch a game and see for about $15 if you want to sit in the 500 level. I’ve actually managed to go to a few games this season with some great friends and really enjoyed it..it’s just too bad that the beers are $10 a pop.
Canada vs. USA @ BMO Field
I’ve always been a huge fan of live soccer and attended my fair share of TFC games over the years but was also able to go to the Canada vs USA friendly at BMO field which was an amazing experience. After watching the Canadian team win a bronze at the last Olympics I was so excited to see them play the US and the tickets were relatively inexpensive. We managed front row seats for under $40! The place was packed and I have to say the crowd was quite a bit more enthusiastic than a TFC game as of late. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures from the TFC vs. Roma game, but I was also able to go and see Francesco Totti in the flesh! Pretty amazing to see, he’s probably one of the best soccer players to step food on BMO field so it was really cool to be there.
Brazen Head Pub
If you want to grab some food before the game head to Liberty Village make sure to check out the Brazen Head Irish Pub which is about a 5-10 minute walk from BMO field. It’s a great place to go before TFC games but it get’s packed since a lot of supporters go there before games.
Rounding off the last of the sporting events I’ve attended this year were 2 Raptors games that I went to. One of which I managed to sit in the 3rd row right behind the Miami Heat bench. I was looking at the pictures on my phone the other day and I have a good 20-30, I couldn’t stop trying to take pics of Lebron, Bosh and Wade, lets just say this was one of the coolest experiences ever.
Concert @ the Molson Amphitheatre
It’s pretty sad but I had never been to the Molson Amphitheatre before until this summer but I finally managed to go and went to see Train and Gavin Degraw which I have to say was an amazing concert. I’ve usually been pretty hesitant to go to concerts in general because to be honest I don’t have any artists that I’m a diehard fan for. BUT I am a huge fan of Gavin Degraw who brings me back to those One Tree Hill days, plus he is SO good live. Train was great as well and I realized how many songs I knew of their’s. Got these tickets through Groupon for $15..the concert was definitely worth a lot more.
I’ve written about a few of these before in previous posts and they are not only interesting and great places to go but they fit on a student budget. Click on the links below to read my previous posts on both of these places.
Okay maybe this one isn’t really hidden but this is one of the only places I’ve ever been where it’s actually been featured on a TV show. I was watching “You’ve Got to Eat Here” and they mentioned this place. Really interesting food including their steam bao sandwiches which are awesome, oh and try the kimchi fries.
Taste of the Danforth
I have been to Taste of the Danforth before and I am no stranger when it comes to Greek food but I still have to mention it on this list. Previous years I hadn’t really tried the food or hung out there very long but was able to do that this summer. It usually happens on the second weekend of August and is super busy on the Saturday during the day. We managed to try out a few things including Spanikopita (spinach pie), Greek Fries (circle cut fries with feta, oregano and sauce) and later on had a Gryro. We managed to find a nice patio to sit on for the rest of the night as well and enjoyed the great weather. I really recommend that people go to Taste of the Danforth especially if you don’t eat Greek food often.
Last Few Places in Toronto-Bucketlist for the end of Summer
Now that I’m close to the end of the summer there are a few things I want to do before it all ends and I head back to Guelph for the school year.
Go to the CNE & Watch a Free Concert
Apparently Walk of the Earth is going to be at the CNE on the Friday before the Labour Day weekend so I really want to go. I wanted to go to their concert at the beginning of the summer but it was already sold out. Plus I’ve only been to the CNE once before and I might just have to try out the donut burger…
Black Camel Sandwiches (I’ve been told they are AMAZING)
Shocking! Another item on my list has to do with food. As recommended by one of my friends Black Camel sandwiches apparently are amazing. Located near Rosedale station it’s relatively close to work and I’m definitely go to try and go within my last 2 weeks. Review to come!
Honestly I think it’s just pure shameful that I haven’t been to Kensington Market yet, but I’m hoping to go before the end of the summer. I’ve had a few recommendations of places to go including The Boat and a great pizza place as well. It’s a great place to find just about everything from thrift stores to restaurants, so it’s definitely something I want to check off the list.
I’m happy to have really explored and tried new things when it came to the city of Toronto over the last 8 months. There are thousands of other things to do but I’ve checked a few off the list already. Last few weeks of August here I come!
What are your favourite places to go in Toronto? And hidden gems?