Opening day weekend my husband and I made a quick weekend getaway to Toronto. Several of my friends asked why we selected Toronto, so even though this is delayed, I thought I’d give a quick recap of the highlights of this fun city.
We live in the Washington DC area, so Toronto is a short flight away. Spring is a great opportunity to take advantage of lower air fares and the US to Canadian dollar exchange is pretty much even. There are a ton of hotel options in the downtown #Toronto area but we stayed at the #Marriott Eaton Centre. Eaton Centre is a massive shopping complex that is also near several restaurants and every store you desire. The service at this Marriott was fantastic from the front desk to the restaurant staff, we were in customer service paradise.
We arrived pretty late on Friday night but our goal was to hit the club scene. Since the drinking age in Toronto is 19 I did some advanced research to make sure we selected a club that was of the appropriate age range. After reading several reviews it looked like Cinema would be the best location. Parts of the reviews were correct the bar staff were friendly and it was not filled with 19-year-olds. However they left out a few important details so let me fill you in. Cinema is not normally open on Fridays, but they opened up for this guest DJ. We kept waiting for the club to fill up but that never happened. It wasn’t empty but it was a half filled sausage festival. Let’s just say I wish I had several of my single girlfriends with me when I went to this club. The number one issue with the club is that the music comes in and out, the sound system is weak. I thought it may be the DJs equipment but the staff said it happens all the time. It’s too bad because it’s a nice size club in a cute neighborhood. At the end of the day the music was very good…when it was playing and it felt like our own private dance club.
The next morning we thought we should take advantage of opening day weekend and catch the Toronto Blue Jays vs the NY Yankees. We went to the concierge and asked if he could help us secure tickets to the baseball game. Opening day weekend is the only weekend in Toronto where the baseball game is sold out. So if you’re going another time of year, feel free to walk right up to the gate and get yourself a ticket. The upper decks normally run about $13. But for opening day weekend, with broker fees the ticket was only $30. We wanted to see the city so we got on the hop on hop off bus which also took us right to the stadium. We arrived a little early and discovered that all the locals visit Steam Whistle, a local Toronto brewery before each game. Steam Whistle is located right outside of the stadium. The line was long so we didn’t get to take the tour but we did get to sample the beverages, just like the locals. It’s a tasty beer, this opinion coming from a non-beer drinker, but Tim agreed so I highly recommend it if you visit.
The Blue Jays play at the Rogers Centre which has a retractable dome. It was the perfect place to watch a baseball game when it’s a little cool outside. There is a hotel connected to the Rogers Centre, so if you want a different perspective on the game, book a room at the Renaissance with the windows facing into the stadium.
Saturday night we had tickets to Second City in Toronto to watch their show Sixteen Scandals. The show was fantastic and there were only a few Canadian jokes that we didn’t quite understand. They even have an improv show late-night that people can watch for free.
There are many restaurants open late night on a Friday and Saturday in Toronto. After the show we walked over to Copper Creek steakhouse. In support of opening-day weekend they had a giant projection TV showing the game in the dining room. We opted for a more romantic style dinner in the bar area which was shockingly empty. We shared the salmon salad and filet, both were amazing.
After dinner we took a quick taxi ride over to the entertainment district on King Street. There are a large number of pubs and clubs that line the street. It’s a very active area with a great vibe and friendly people. We enjoyed our night out and all the people we met.
We were determined to have some Canadian oysters before we left town. So on Sunday before our flight we made our way over to the highly rated Starfish Oyster Bar for lunch. It was perfect. The restaurant is owned by an Irishman who also runs a nearby B&B. They had fresh oysters from Canada, Washington and Ireland available, in addition to some delicious lunch selections. We ordered a dozen of the mixed Canadian oysters paired with a Sav Blanc and a Cava. Then we ordered the grilled calamari salad and the shrimp po boy. Everything was delicious but the shrimp po boy, on a lobster roll type bun, grilled in butter, was out of this world. I wanted to order another one.
After this perfect lunch, the car picked us up and took us straight to the airport. It was a quick weekend getaway, but a fun escape. If we had another day we would have added on a day trip to Niagara Falls to catch a glimpse of the falls and to visit wineries like Peller Estates to sample the ice wines. But that will have to wait for our next trip. If you have a passport and are in search of a change of pace from the standard beach or American city getaway, take a hop up to the other part of North America.
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