3 Days in Toronto – The Woks of Lifestyles


This previous fall, we spent 3 days in Toronto to:

  1. Discover town for a trip submit
  2. Revel in some high quality Chinese language meals (this may even be a meals analysis commute!), and…
  3. Take reasonably of a breather proper earlier than the free up of our cookbook on Nov 1st. 

It was once in reality meant to coincide with Kaitlin’s birthday, however in a moderately unlucky accident, she were given ill within the few days earlier than we have been meant to depart.

We attempted to cancel, however our Airbnb coverage didn’t let us, so my mother, Justin, and I drove as much as Canada whilst my sister moved into the visitor cottage (i.e. the ill bay) and my dad stayed to deal with her. 

Facetiming Family
All folks Facetiming on Kaitlin’s birthday.

For The Woks of Lifestyles contingent that did make it as much as Toronto for three days, we loved some a laugh sightseeing and foods over the weekend.

When you’re making plans on spending an extended weekend in Toronto, this submit will information you thru one of the vital most sensible issues to do and spot, in addition to some insider recommendations on the place to devour!

We additionally know that we’ve got a ton of readers within the Toronto house, so when you have ideas or pointers for visiting your own home town, tell us within the feedback! 

Fall on Lake Ontario
A view of Lake Ontario from our Airbnb on an attractive fall night time!
A view of Toronto from Tower at Casa Loma
A view of Toronto from probably the most towers at Casa Loma.

Prepping for a Shuttle To Toronto

When you’re touring to Toronto from the U.S. by way of automotive, take into account to deliver your passport! We drove there from our area in NJ, and the wait on the border wasn’t dangerous in any respect.

There are not any strict border laws involving quarantine, vaccination, and so on. Alternatively, you do want your passport, and in all probability further documentation.

road signs for canada coming from New York

U.S. electorate getting into by way of air, land, or sea simply want a passport. When you’re from a visa-exempt nation and also you’re flying into Canada, you’ll want an Digital Trip Authorization (eTA). You don’t want one if getting into on a cruise send or by way of land (coming from the U.S. in a automotive or bus, as an example).

Some vacationers will want a visa to go into Canada along with their passport. Listed here are the complete main points on Canada’s access necessities by way of nation.

Items to Claim?

Take a look at the Canadian executive’s web page on what you’ll be able to deliver around the border, and which items you might wish to claim. This contains massive quantities of money, any items purchased at a duty-free store, and so on. Despite the fact that truthfully, the ideas are beautiful (possibly purposefully) imprecise. Consistent with the web page, “When you aren’t positive in the event you will have to claim one thing, all the time claim it.”

After we drove as much as the border, Justin was once within the motive force’s seat. The border patrol officer requested us, “are you bringing the rest into Canada these days?” Justin appeared across the inside of the auto, and, pondering of the half-eaten bag of semi-stale Tostito’s within the backseat, mentioned… “Some chips?”

The border patrol officer allow us to in, after which all of us proceeded to crack up giggling.

When you’re using in from the U.S., relying the place you might be, it may be just a little of an extended trek! It was once about 7 hours for us, so we ended up creating a forestall at the manner. About midway in the course of the pressure, we stopped at Watkins Glen State Park in New York.

It was once pretty to forestall alongside the pressure, stretch our legs, and stroll the fairly brief gorge path, with all of its waterfalls.

Some other forestall chances are you’ll imagine is Niagara Falls, which is best about 90 mins out of doors of Toronto!

Attractions & Actions

Casa Loma

The 3 folks would most likely agree that Casa Loma was once the good position we noticed in Toronto. It was once the previous house of Canadian financier Sir Henry Pellatt, who spent $3.5 million construction this fortress from 1911-1914. 

Sarah and Judy outside Casa Loma

Unfortunately, he needed to transfer out of the home in 1923, after auctioning off all of its contents, when he went bankrupt because of the federal government seizing and nationalizing the hydroelectric energy and aviation firms he’d invested in. Difficult ruin. 

That mentioned, he spared no expense on growing this fortress, which is so cool and loopy to stroll thru! The audio excursion was once tremendous attention-grabbing, and the “area” (fortress) and grounds have been truly gorgeous. 

St. Lawrence Marketplace 

St. Lawrence Marketplace is Toronto’s meals corridor and farmer’s marketplace construction. We discovered gorgeous recent produce right here, meats, native specialties, and all kinds of distinctiveness groceries. Discuss with to revel in a snappy lunch and store for pieces to take house as items, or in the event you’re staying in a location with a kitchen, get impressed with the entire recent elements on be offering!

Our good friend and Toronto local Genevieve Yam of Critical Eats recommends going at the weekend for the most productive variety from native farmers, and testing Kozlik’s Mustard

Side road parking right here may also be tough, so get there early for the most productive probability at a place!


Toronto’s Chinatown was once established in 1878, and it’s a great spot to have lunch or dinner, and to stroll round and discover.

We walked thru eating place provide shops, and stopped for bubble tea and soup dumplings for a fast afternoon pick-me-up! 

Extra on the place we ate in Chinatown within the meals segment of this submit!

Kensington Marketplace

Now not some distance from Chinatown, you’ll in finding Kensington Marketplace, a unusual community stuffed with colourful homes, a lot of which play host to antique stores and cafes. When you’re into thrifting, buying groceries consignment, or in search of antique treasures, that you must spend hours on this one community! 

Toronto Botanical Lawn

This was once a snappy forestall for us, however Toronto Botanical Lawn was once an attractive inexperienced area in the course of Toronto. You’ll in finding strolling paths thru 17 themed gardens, and a fairly quiet retreat from town. 

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

This was once any other some of the cited puts to look in Toronto, in keeping with our analysis. This aquarium had an air of commercialism about it, because it was once beautiful dear ($44 in keeping with grownup; see different price tag costs right here).

Alternatively, they did have some cool stuff, together with an open showcase on how the aquarium’s water is filtered and pumped to all of its massive tanks! 

Kaitlin loves aquariums, so we did a “journey alongside” by way of FaceTime whilst she was once again sniffling within the cottage at house!

Different Issues to Do In Toronto:

Listed here are every other issues that have been on our listing, however that we’ll must do subsequent time!

Royal Ontario Museum

That is the biggest museum in Canada, with a mixture of herbal historical past and artwork/cultural gadgets. Wish to see fossils and archeological reveals multi function position? That is your spot!

Artwork Gallery of Ontario

An eclectic mixture of art work, sculpture, and different artwork gadgets from around the globe. If you wish to get a dose of *tradition* head right here!

Textile Museum of Canada

That is possibly just a little area of interest, however in the event you’re the type of person who geeks out over hand-woven rugs, embroidery, and garments produced from not likely fabrics (a salmon pores and skin go well with from China, any person?), this seems like a a laugh discuss with!

CN Tower

That is a type of “move to town, in finding tallest factor, and move to the highest of mentioned tallest factor” sights. New York has the Empire State Construction, Seattle has its Area Needle, and Chicago has Willis (Sears) Tower. Toronto’s an identical is CN Tower, from  which you’ll be able to get a chicken’s eye view of town, if that’s your factor! 

CN Tower Toronto

Allan Gardens

Some other botanical lawn in your attention! Allan Gardens has a number of greenhouses that make up its massive indoor conservatory. Admission is loose!

Distillery District 

Toronto’s Distillery District is a classy pedestrian community relationship again to the early nineteenth Century, with brick-lined streets, eating places, galleries, and distinctive stores and boutiques. Window customers, this is your spot.

Toronto Island Park

Made up of a number of small islands, Toronto Island Park is a brief ferry journey from town. Discuss with a lighthouse, move chicken observing, or discuss with a seashore in hotter climate.

Scarborough Bluffs

This pretty herbal house is is set 45 mins to at least one hour clear of Downtown Toronto, nevertheless it’s price a discuss with for its dramatic cliffs and and perspectives of Lake Ontario. If you wish to have a seashore day in summer season, however would moderately now not take a ship to the islands, take a look at Bluffer’s Park Seaside.

Meals in Toronto

Listed here are one of the vital spots that we ate at in Toronto and the encircling house!

Schmaltz Appetizing

We had a hankering for a lox and cream cheese bagel on our first morning, and the only at Schmaltz Appetizing was once very good. It is a counter serve position, so we took our bagels to move. We at them within the automotive within the Casa Loma car parking zone!

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

We had a snappy small lunch at this ramen position. I wouldn’t get the Ramen Combo with the salmon over rice once more. The salmon was once dry and somewhat tasteless. Persist with the ramen. My mother attempted the kale noodles, which have been attention-grabbing!

Pearl Harbourfront Chinese language Delicacies

If you wish to revel in some dim sum or Cantonese vintage dishes overlooking Toronto’s internal harbor (harbour?), that is where for you! The standout for us at this position was once the Steamed Bean Curd Rolls with Beef & Shrimp. (We owe ya’ll a recipe for this one, so relaxation confident, we dissected that bean curd roll totally!) The dim sum this is ordered a l. a. carte by way of a paper menu that you simply mark with a pencil.

We have been in a position to be seated with out a reservation, however unquestionably make a reservation if you wish to have a bigger desk or a desk with a harbor view.

Juicy Dumpling Soup Dumplings

Speedy informal counter-serve soup dumplings and shengjian bao? We’re there! This was once a snappy and attractive snack that we loved between foods. (It was once RESEARCH.)

Juicy Dumpling soup dumplings and fried dumplings Toronto

Swatow Eating place

We had dinner at this little eating place within the center of Toronto’s Chinatown, which has been in trade for over 40 years. We particularly loved the Chiuchow vintage, lo shui duck, which is duck braised in a “grasp sauce” and one in every of my mother’s favourite dishes.

Fishman Lobster Clubhouse

After listening to we have been going to Toronto, a number of prolonged members of the family mentioned that we HAD to visit Fishman Lobster Clubhouse in Scarborough, ON. It was once about half-hour away, however what awaited us was once huge lobsters and king crab legs cooked for your selected taste—Hong-Kong-Taste, Steamed with Garlic, Ginger Scallion, Salt & Pepper, and so on.

We advise coming right here with no less than 4-5 other folks. It was once a battle for our birthday celebration of three to get thru the entire meals! The minimal measurement lobster they promote is set 4 kilos.

We were given the number one set menu for 2-3 other folks. It incorporated a soup, 4 lb lobster, candy and bitter red meat or red meat tenderloin with crispy garlic (we went for the meat), Cantonese Steamed Bass, Poached Snow Pea Pointers with Goji Berries, and a dessert, all in favour of $168 CAD or $128 USD. No surprise this position was once packed on a Tuesday evening.

The overall verdict? Whilst we expect that lobsters which are round 1 1/2 kilos in measurement are the most productive for consuming, it was once an excellent MOUNTAIN of lobster that got here out to our desk. The Hong-Kong-Taste lobster was once fried, with somewhat little bit of a candy/highly spiced sauce, french fries, and crispy garlic. The general public ordered it this manner. I we went again, we’d most likely make a choice to have it steamed with garlic and mung bean noodles, or with the ginger scallion.

We LOVED the soup, which was once a wealthy broth made with black silkie hen and red meat ribs. My mother additionally complimented the steamed bass, which she mentioned was once “remarkable.” The meat dish was once delicate and attractive, and the pea pointers rounded out the meal properly.

Dessert was once this lychee jelly factor which truthfully we slightly had room for on the finish! Come right here with a large crew if you’ll be able to.

Lychee Jelly Dessert at Fishman's Lobster Clubhouse

Congee Queen

Congee Queen is a sequence of eating places in Toronto and the encircling house. We loved our lunch right here on our remaining day. We particularly preferred the Fried Rice with Olive Vegetable and Inexperienced Bean and the Stir-fried Rice Noodle Rolls with Red meat. There was once additionally a robotic waiter shuttling tea pots!

Different tables gave the impression to be taking part in their fish noodle soup. The menu is massive and sundry, so we advise a technique of removing way.

Extra spots!

Adequate, so that you’ve most likely spotted that we most commonly ate at Chinese language eating places. This was once a analysis/recipe inspo commute, finally.

However don’t concern! We even have further suggestions from Genevieve Yam of Critical Eats, who generously indexed out her favourite spots from when she lived in Toronto. The textual content under is extracted from an enthusiastic insider electronic mail Genevieve despatched me simply hours once I emailed her inquiring for recs!

  • SoMA Chocolate: you’ll in finding chocolate bars, gorgeous desserts, cookies, scorching chocolate (together with mixes to take house), and gelato in the summer! They have got two places: one within the Distillery District and any other on King Side road.
  • Kitten and the Undergo: for terribly, superb scones + jam. To find them freshly baked, or frozen ones to bake at house, in addition to mixes, jams, and clotted cream. Genevieve: “The scones are so delicate and flaky—I nonetheless call to mind them at all times!”
  • Girl Marmalade: for brunch. It’s proper by way of Chicken Espresso Area, which has nice espresso and overlooks Riverdale Park East and has a pleasant view of the Toronto skyline.
  • Mildred’s Temple Kitchen: Some other brunch spot. Arduous to get a desk however the blueberry pancake stack is definitely worth the hype!
  • Maha’s: for Egyptian brunch. “I as soon as trekked right here at the coldest day of the 12 months (-30 Celsius!!!) for a meal, and I don’t feel sorry about it.”
  • Buk Chang Dong Quickly Tofu: “On chilly iciness nights, that is the place my sister and I opt for steaming scorching bowls of tofu stew!”
  • Hodo Kwaja: “Simply down the road from tofu spot. This position does those lovable little walnut-shaped truffles stuffed with purple bean paste. Very best when heat!”
  • Asian Legend: “A series, however a truly excellent one. Despite the fact that I haven’t been in years, so I will be able to’t talk as to if it’s nonetheless excellent!”
  • Fats Pasha: “My favourite spot to have dinner with a bunch of pals. The mezze and the entire roasted cauliflower (they have been doing it earlier than it was once hip!) are simply scrumptious.”
  • PAI Northern Thai Kitchen: “The entirety this is scrumptious, however I like the khao soi and the golf green coconut curry that’s served in a tender coconut.”

When you’re in search of culinary inspiration in e-book shape, Sort Books is go-to impartial book shop, and Just right Egg may be nice for cookbooks, meals writing, and culinary knickknacks.

Do you’ve got different spots or points of interest in Toronto to counsel? Tell us within the feedback!



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