Get your tissues ready for us, we’ve come to the end of our holiday (the first one) ;).
So here’s another combined day not for lack of content but because we got home at midnight last night and I was not in the headspace to string a sentence together.
We woke up on Thursday already thinking about lunch time since we had booked into Aloette at 3pm but we still had some hours to kill first. We decided to head east in the city since we had mostly been exploring the centre and west side. We picked up some coffees and a bagel to keep us going but not ruin our appetite for the afternoon.
We headed first towards St Lawrence Market as it was on our way to the next location. While not as impressive as Granville Market in Vancouver; there was still ample choices of fruit, veg, seafood, meats, cheese, wine, bread and pastries. We wished we had come earlier in the week and picked up some of the beautiful fruit for the fridge but alas we’ll remember for our next country.
After wandering through we set off towards the “Distillery District”. If you guessed that it’s where they used to distill whiskey in the late 1800’s – you’d be correct. Also depending on the area, some of the street signs are labelled with the district or suburb.
Fun fact: a way to quickly tell whether whisky is made in North America versus Scotland & Ireland is to look at whether it is spelled with an “e”. Whisky = Scottish and Whiskey = North American.
The district is heritage listed so many of the buildings are still exposed brick and the streets are cobbled. There’s a variety of things to see such as galleries, independently owned boutiques, jewellery stores and of course bars and restaurants.
We popped into Spirit of York Distillery because of the smell emanating from the building which turned out the be the bartender making their home made sugar syrup for one of their cocktails. Here they make gin, vodka, whiskey and aquavit. Mitch and I had discussed earlier how we were surprised to see that gin hadn’t really taken off in Canada like it has in the U.K. so it’s nice to see that it’s making its way over.
We decided to forgo the “flight of spirits” which was essentially a shot of each of their spirits which you sip on (no mixer, no chaser) and instead enjoyed a cocktail and in Mitch’s words “the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had”.
We had about an hour to get from the east side of Toronto to Aloette in the west; making a pitstop at Sephora so I could grab a new foundation. We walked 15,000 steps this day so you can imagine that this was a fair distance.
This time at Aloette, armed with our booking, we were sat in a cosy booth by the window and as a bonus it was happy hour! To give you an idea of how small this restaurant is it probably doesn’t seat more than 26 people, maybe 30 at max so this makes sense that their restaurant is always full and their books are filled weeks in advance.
Mack wasn’t lying when he said the food was amazing. We decided to just order mains after looking at our neighbours portion sizes and it was definitely the right decision.
I had fried chicken with marmalade wrapped in lettuce leaves and topped with hot sauce. Weird combination – yes, tasty – absolutely! Mitch went with the roast pork belly with salsa verde and white bean salad. We got convinced by the waitress to share the apple pie sundae (since we had all that extra room from not over ordering) and it didn’t disappoint. I mean I need to see my dentist urgently since my teeth might have dissolved from the caramel sauce but it was worth it.
From here we decided to have a rest until we met up with Mack and Kevin. These are our two friends we met on the Croatian boat trip we took in 2016. We saw Kevin last year for a few days while he was in Scotland with his family but haven’t seen Mack since the trip. He has the most amazing apartment; shared with his girlfriend Collette; in Downtown Toronto that faces the CN Tower. It’s spectacular!
We hung out in Mack’s for a few hours until the rain died down and Kevin appeared then headed to a nearby pub for a drink and catchup before finishing with an A&W burger. All in all, a great evening spent.
Our last day has come in quicker than expected. We’ve been in Canada for 4 weeks seen 6 different cities and walked 215km during our time here.
We finished packing and dropped our cases at Mack’s apartment since he lives and works in downtown. After this we headed to Porchetta a recommendation from my cousin Dave. Definitely a not-to-miss if you’re in Toronto.
We followed this up by walking 25 mins to Ossington Avenue to grab an ice cream sandwich from Bang Bang Ice Cream. We passed this place earlier in the week but were too full to get anything so we were excited to try it. They home make all their ice creams and cookies. It was sickly sweet so I would suggest doing the half sandwich since Mitch felt a bit sick after finishing his full one.
After our cookie and ice cream detour we set off towards Yorkville which is north Toronto. It was a nice (but long) walk helped by the beautiful weather we had.
For those of you without access to the internet; firstly how are you reading this? And secondly June is Pride month; happy pride to those who celebrate! Nearly everywhere we’ve been there’s been rainbow colours and flags galore. I thought it was a nice touch that many of the churches had gotten involved so snapped a pic of the entrance stairs.
Yorkville is a lovely suburb but definitely one for the affluent judging by the shops around.
We pretty much just wasted time the best way we know. Drinking and shopping! Mitch got another pair of swim shorts and we both enjoyed ice-cold ciders at a very friendly dive bar. Dinner was quick and consisted of steamed dumplings. Mothers dumplings is supposedly voted best Chinese for 5 years running. We weren’t blown away. So that wraps up our final meal in Toronto and the end of our Canadian trip. We picked up our bags from Mack’s and headed for the airport. As I type we’re in Reykjavik airport waiting to board our last flight home. We’ve enjoyed keeping everyone up to date with our goings on. The next time you hear from us we’ll have been to Glastonbury and we’ll be packing for Greece and Italy.
Hope you’ve enjoyed – Katy xxx