This post today comes from my dear friend of many years. This woman is down to meet me anywhere in the world, an inspiring globe trotter and a friend I can always count on. As a Toronto-based event planning professional, she knows where to go for the best of whatever you’re looking for in her city. Please welcome Shannon as she opens up the city she calls home to you.
Itâ€™s a hot sunny Sunday morning in August. Itâ€™s 11:30 a.m. and already 25Â°C in downtown Toronto. Iâ€™m waiting in line with my girlfriends at Chinatownâ€™s most popular pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) restaurant, Pho Hung, a block away from Kensington market, a neighbourhood where the bohemian-chic in me loves to roam. It is not a surprise the restaurant is already packed to capacity. Pho always tastes better on Sunday mornings. The hot flavourful soothing broth always brings back memories of momâ€™s cooking.
Itâ€™s been four years since Iâ€™ve moved here to the big city. I am getting acquainted and proud to call Toronto home. It is also home to several sports teams including the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays and Toronto FC.
This city is filled with so much culture, entertainment, nightlife, sporting events, and shopping(!), it is impossible to be bored, especially in the summer.
Toronto lives up to its reputation filled with multiculturalism. There is always a reason to celebrate!
These are only a few festivals mentioned which are annually hosted in the city: CHIN festival, Salsa on St. Clair, Brazilfest, Caribana, Taste of the Danforth and Torontoâ€™s International Film Festival. Whether you feel like dancing salsa, samba or soca, or satisfying your taste buds with mouth watering food from around the world, or being the first to catch a renowned film, you will be delightfully entertained.
In addition to visiting the iconic CN Tower, the worldâ€™s tallest free-standing structure, other definite must-sees include the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Casa Loma, Ontario Science Centre, and the Toronto Zoo (if you plan on visiting all, check out purchasing a city pass which will admit you to all five attractions). Within walking distance from the ROM, you may want to stop off at the Art Gallery of Ontario which offers free admission Wednesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. I must warn you, it is easy to lose yourself in any of these attractions.
Once night time falls, the city is rejuvenated.
The nightlife entertainment is endless.Â Summer nights are best for maximizing patio space to have a drink and perhaps do a little people watching. The city has ample amount of patios, but the best patios Iâ€™ve experienced are in Little Italy on College Street. It consists of a relaxed, the-night-is-young kind of vibe. The city is also plentiful of nightclubs to suit all preferences.
Known as the â€œhubâ€ of downtown Toronto, this intersection is always filled with people even at midnight!
â€œExcuse me, where are you from?â€ Someone asks snapping me out of my trance. This question is commonly asked. He and his friend are waiting in line ahead of us. I respond, I am from Laos, my friend is Chinese and my other friend is Korean. As the conversation continues, I find out heâ€™s Chilean and his friend is American. We invite them to eat with us after being seated. Itâ€™s nice to be able to experience the world without even having to leave the city. Next stop after lunch, some beach volleyball at Ashbridges!
Want to reach Shannon? Leave a comment below or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.