Oh, Canada! Part 1 – Toronto

We met Greg and Carol (and friends) in the Dominican Republic at John Prine’s All the Best Fest in 2019. It was fantastic! Little did we know this would be one of John’s last performances and two years of isolation were on the horizon. We learned that Greg had been on the board of a music festival in Canada that he thought we would like – and so the seed had been planted 🙂 Greg and Tim continued a virtual friendship, and once travel restrictions started to be lifted and it looked like live music and festivals were back on, Tim and I decided to head north to Canada.

Canada really isn’t that far for us in the Midwest – only an approximately seven hour drive, just across the bridge at Detroit. And we were going to need a car while we were in Canada. So, we drove to Windsor and spent the night at the Caesar’s Casino. It wasn’t exactly smooth sailing to cross the border, but it wasn’t terrible either. We were crossing on a holiday weekend for both the U.S. and Canada – our Independence Day on July 4 and their Canada Day on July 1. We had to wait in line on the bridge for approximately one and a half hours, but once we got up to the drive-up window it was very quick.

Caesar’s Casino at Windsor is a very nice casino/hotel. And of course I did a little gambling while I was there. We had a really nice view in our room of Detroit across the river.

We were headed to Toronto, and really didn’t know what to expect. I mean Canada is a foreign country after all, so there had to be some things different along the way. One thing we noticed right away was how nice their roadways were. Another nice thing is their rest areas have gas stations and multiple places to get something to eat. Just remember to gas up at the rest area while you are there – I missed the turn get into the rest area gas station, and just thought I would get off on the next exit to get gas. Well, the next exit is several miles (or kilometers), and the towns along the way are pretty small and much farther from the expressway than we are used to.

By the way, gas is super expensive in Canada, so quit your complaining! Just saying …

Toronto is a great big city on Lake Ontario, and in many ways reminds me of Chicago. We stayed downtown at Delta Hotels Toronto – really close to Rogers Stadium (home to the Toronto Blue Jays) and the CN Tower. This hotel was perfect for us!

Tim has alway wanted to go to a Canadian Football League game – don’t ask me why. I actually think it came from watching one of this favorite television shows, Corner Gas. In one of the episodes, the gang attended (or tried to attend) the Grey Cup (the CFL Championship Game). It’s a hoot – check it out!

We attended the Toronto Argonauts vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers CFL game. It’s like the NFL, but different – it’s kind of hard to explain. But it was fun! The game was held on July 4, and I felt really proud when they played the U.S. national anthem in honor of our Independence Day. The Argonauts lost 23-22 in a close game.

The next day we headed out to explore the area. First stop was the St. Lawrence Market. So much to see here! I was on a mission to try a peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery. Now I can say I’ve tried it LOL!

We explored the food stalls – this is a great place to grab a snack, lunch, or dinner. Outdoor seating is available, and even thought it was raining there were a couple of musicians entertaining us.

Next up was the Hockey Hall of Fame. Tim is fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, and since I knew virtually nothing about hockey before I met him, I am a fan of the Blackhawks (and I sometimes cheer for the Blues 🙂 ). It was raining a little, so this was a great place to spend a couple of hours.

Time for a beer! We headed to Steam Whistle Brewing, and got here right before they closed. Tasty beers close to Rogers Stadium – a perfect place for game day.

Since Steam Whistle was closing, we headed towards the lake and snagged a table at Amsterdam Brewhouse. The views are amazing here!

The next morning Tim and I ventured to the CN Tower. This is Toronto’s version of the Willis Tower (which I still refer to as the Sears Tower). The views are awesome!

Later that morning our friends Greg and Carol joined us in Toronto. We took a ferry to Toronto Island and had a lovely time at Toronto Island BBQ & Beer Co. catching up with them. It was a great afternoon!

That evening we met Greg and Carol at Touhenboku Ramen. This was my first time having ramen, and I loved it! This is something you can’t get in Springfield!

This was our last night in Toronto. There is so much to love about this city! I really enjoyed our time there, and am already thinking about the things I want to do on our next trip.

The next day we headed north to Orillia – stay tuned!

Published by dtyrrell12014

Recently retired amateur cook, aspiring wino, and novice world traveler.

2 thoughts on “Oh, Canada! Part 1 – Toronto

  1. Sorry about the rain ☔️ and Greg’s T-shirt 🙀😂🤡…the gas prices in Litres should have thrown you 3.89 liters to a US gallon …Canadians pay usually around 30% more for gas generally due to our wonderful taxes…and your dollar is worth 30% more …see it’s a wash🙀🤡
    Cheers 🥂🍻🍸😎

    Liked by 1 person

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