Toronto. My arrival in the “big city” marked a transition. All those past weeks, I have been travelling in Western Canada, essentially going from small town to small town (except Vancouver and perhaps Winnipeg). The transitions from one place to another have always been fairly slow given my #VIARail train journey across Canada, where I could spend a lot of time getting used to the gradual change of landscape as well as chatting with fellow passengers, an adventure I have talked about in more detail here.
To finally cut the immense distances of the second-largest country in the world at least a little short though, I had booked myself a flight right after, flying from Winnipeg to Toronto in what seemed to me “only the blink of an eye”. A two-hour-flight after more than two weeks of comparatively slow train-travelling, that is.
I was not prepared for Toronto when I first arrived. After (rural) Western Canada, everything here seemed too loud, too big, too much. But then, the city had a way of finding its way into my heart all the same …
… and as with everything, it just took a little time. And friendliness. And love. Such is the story of arriving at my hotel, the Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto … Oh but wait a minute. Isn’t the Chelsea Hotel Toronto the very hotel that has 1600 rooms, accommodating more than 3000 guests, and one of the – if not the largest – in the entire Commonwealth?
Well, yes. It is. And yet, the friendliness, personal attention & care of all members of staff has been truly genuine, heartfelt, and very well received. THANK YOU, everyone concerned, for making this transition so much easier for me. I can only recommend you to go there and see for yourself. Check this out.
Staying in downtown Toronto calls for a visit of the city’s iconic CN Tower, a long stroll along Toronto Waterfront as well as a cruise around Toronto Islands – if but to see the much acclaimed Toronto skyline.
There is always more than meets the eye. Even if you choose to follow in the footsteps of what most visitors do in Toronto (that is, visit the CN Tower as well as embarking on a harbour cruise from the Waterfront). You still find little gems worth noticing on the way. The odd Japanese restaurant, surprising you to its full-flavoured, extremely bountiful “Dinner for Two”. The trompe l’œuil larger-than-life-size Street Art Graffiti just around the corner from where you are. The unexpected peace over strolling around Toronto Waterfront, decelerating the speed of downtown Toronto and opening up your vistas towards the immense Lake Ontario, and Toronto Islands to the south. Yes, I can #SeeTorontoNow ..!
Did I mention that Austrian Airlines / Air Canada flies directly from Vienna to Toronto several times a week? That the city is one of the most multi-cultural, open-minded, and friendly in the whole wide world? (That’s for the general nature of the beautiful Canadian people, I would say – read more about it here). That Toronto easily, and fully, satisfies any international #foodlover’s tastes and palate?
That’s it. I can #SeeTorontoNow! And you? 🙂
More travel photos & recommendations on where to eat & travel your way around the city:
I have also produced a travel video that highlights some of my travel adventures in Western Canada, all the way from Vancouver to the vast open plains east of the Rocky Mountains. A fascinating, funky take on what has truly been a life-changing journey. Enjoy with sound & smile 🙂
Disclaimer: I have been supported on this trip to Toronto by Tourism Toronto as well as the Chelsea Hotel Toronto. All opinions are my own.