Toronto – Downtown

Part of what allows you to travel for an extended period is your capacity to travel via cost effective means, which may mean travelling on trains and buses, or worse…night buses. You keep moving so your time in the cities is maximised, and you save on accommodation.

Our travel between Montréal and Toronto was our first night bus of this trip, and unfortunately not the last.

The Greyhound bus left the Montréal bus station at 9pm and arrived in Ottawa at 11.30pm, where we had a 1hr 25min wait. We caught a new bus for our final leg, and reached Toronto just after 6am.

The night bus wasn’t very comfortable, which was to be expected, and it was bloody freezing with the AC pumping the whole night. When we arrived in Toronto we were pretty exhausted as we barely slept, but made our way to our B&B to drop our bags off as we knew it would be too early to check-in.

Our host was nice enough to offer us the sofa to nap on (our room wasn’t available until later that day). That extra 2-3hr nap was really needed, and we felt much better after!

Our B&B is a cool 3 level house with only 2 B&B bedrooms, shared bathroom and kitchen. The area isn’t the best (a few weirdos and homeless around), but it’s near downtown and the old distillery district, and very reasonably priced for the location ($120/night).

After a reinvigorating nap and a shower, we made our way to the St Lawrence market, where we decided to have lunch.

St Lawrence is a big indoor market with lots of meat, vegetables and cheese shops, and many small food stalls to choose from. We decided to finally have a bagel and chose St Urbain bagel bar to do so. It was such a good choice, our BLT bagels were just what we needed.

After our little stroll around the market, we walked towards downtown and up Yonge Street to reach the old city hall and the Nathan Phillips square, where we saw the Toronto sign.

We then walked up to Toronto Eaton Centre, the little ‘Times Square’ of Toronto, before making our way to Graffiti Alley.

To go to Graffiti Alley, you need to go through Queen Street West, the hipster side of the city. We really enjoyed walking down that street, with all of its hipster shops. We stopped by a shop called ODToronto, who were selling collector sneakers for anywhere between $1,000 and $8,000!

We then arrived in Graffiti Alley. As its name suggests, this kilometer long alley is covered in graffiti and it’s a pretty cool laneway to roam around.

We decided to walk to the CN tower to finish the day with a well earned drink with a view, but this was without checking that the restaurant was only for diners (no bar) and that the minimum spend per person was $65. As we didn’t want to spend this amount or the $38/pp to get to the observatory, we decided to retreat to our B&B as hunger and tiredness were getting the better of us; it was a long day on next to no sleep!

Now to a good night sleep before an early morning tomorrow.

#TheDexplorers

TIPS

  • St Lawrence market is a great place to head for lunch. It has many stalls to choose from, and tables and chairs dotted around to sit down to eat.
  • St Urbain bagel bar is meant to be one of the best place to eat bagels in Toronto and we weren’t disappointed.

FUN FACT

  • Yonge St divides the city, and is the longest street in the world according to most sources (although this has been disputed since 1999)

Distance walked: 19,526 – 13km

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