Tag: CN Tower

Travel Swellness: 5 musts for the first-time Toronto visitor (and a discount for your next BOOKING.COM trip!)

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Traveling is a passion of mine but after a whirlwind couple of years in and out of town, I definitely need to balance it with quality time at home in Toronto. And even though I spend a lot of time escaping the city, there is definitely a lot to love about TO. If a friend who had never visited Toronto, what would I take them to go see in Toronto? Here’s my personal guide to some of my favourites in the 6 for those who’ve never been to T.O. (and if you’re planning on booking a trip, be sure to use this booking.com link to get a discount on your travel booking!).

Visit the CN Tower. Yes, it’s touristy (possibly the most touristy thing), but these attractions are popular for a reason. I’ve done the CN Tower Edgewalk, and it’s thrilling and fun if you’re not scared of heights, but even just going to get the view of the city on a clear day, it’s fantastic. I’m a sucker for that sort of thing, though; have been up the Empire State Building as a kid, and to Vancouver Lookout. the SkyDeck in Chicago, and Sky100 in Hong Kong. Nothing like the breathtaking views of the city below you to remind you that you are just a small speck in this big beautiful world of ours.

Tour Casa Loma. I think I became enamoured with Casa Loma as a teen reading a YA book and the characters went to Casa Loma on a date. And then I finally got the chance to visit it when I moved to Toronto. I have been back once or twice for events, and I just love that there’s this magical little castle in the middle of the city. I bet you’ll fantasize about being of royal descent and living there, just like I maybe (totally) have.

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Run along the Lake Shore. Or walk or bike. Not all of it the route pretty, but how can you not love the pretty pink beach umbrellas at Sugar Beach or the phenomenal view of the downtown skyline from the new Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail (which is just off of the Lake Shore trail)?

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Eat. Eat. Eat. One of the things I feel so fortunate about living here is the wealth of good food we have here. I don’t go to very many places regularly because there are so many options, but some spots off the top of my head that you should try: go for a burger and fries at the beautiful Café Cancan (it’s the pretty pastel nistro pictured above); go with an empty stomach to Bar Raval and eat as many tapas as you can (even better if you’re a bigger group so you can try as much as the menu as possible); have dim sum at Rol San in Chinatown; carb load at Buca downtown (their pizzas — especially the burrata pizza, oh my gosh, so good — and pastas are simply beyond; that’s their carbonara pictured below); do a little taco tour and hit up Grand Electric, La Carnita and Campechano; stop into Momofuku Noodle (it’s in the Shangri-La Hotel, which is one of my favourite hotels to stay in when I travel, their service is always top notch) for some pork belly bao and to slurp up a bowl of ramen.

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Hike in Rouge Valley National Park. The Rouge Valley Park is a new discovery for me. It’s outside of the core, but there’s now Parkbus that’ll get you there. I know when I travel to cities, it’s busy and noisy and sometimes I just need a half-day to decompress. Getting out into some nature and solitude is what works best for me, and the park is green and pretty.

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Not motivated to drive an hour to Rouge Valley? Stay central and pop over to Trinity Bellwoods Park or to High Park for a summer picnic.

Now, ready to book your next trip? Here’s how you can save some money:

Inspired to go travel, whether it’s to come here to Toronto, or anywhere in the world? Well, here’s a little gift for you: book through www.booking.com using this exclusive link (it’s my exclusive refer-a-friend link), and you’ll get a $40 discount from your reservation. That money you save could go towards a great meal, or tickets to a show, or whatever you choose to do on your adventures!

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And I’d love to hear about your travels! I’m always looking for wanderlust inspiration!

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4 Comments July 24, 2017

Travel Swellness: Living on the Edge with Ford Canada

Ford Edge

How can it be fall already? I’m still catching up on summer blog posts, oopsie. Like back in June (June!), I spent the afternoon with Ford Canada learning about the Ford Edge crossover vehicle and also doing a bit of “living on the edge” — more on that in a bit.

The Ford Edge has a number of cool features I discovered that day. I can’t talk to you about horsepower (and I doubt you expect me to!), but how about the nifty tiny jetwasher that keeps the camera clean? Whenever I’ve driven a Ford, having that rearview camera help me with parking, and now the view is not only kept clean with this jetwasher, but the camera technology is such that it allows you to see around corners (viewing things that you just seated in the driver’s seat can’t!). For example, way before you spot a pedestrian walking past behind your car, you’ll view them on the screen.

And parking has never been my forte (friends can attest to that…) and I’m a huge fan of active park assist. Now it’s been enhanced. Some features of enhanced park assist: There are now sensors that help you with perpendicular parking and as for parallel parking, the feature now helps you with parallel parking on either the left or right side of the road.

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And a feature I’m fond of (as is a friend of mine who also drove a Ford with me recently: blind-spot information system. There are radar modules on the vehicle and when a vehicle is in your blind spot area, a small light in the corresponding rearview mirror blinks on.

My fourth favourite feature: the lane-keeping system. A camera in the car monitors your driving compares to the lines on the road that define the lane. If the camera detects movement that indicates you may be drowsy, the car alerts you and recommends you take a break.

Having the experience of driving with these features in the  Ford Edge allowed me to drive and live on the edge, as they framed it, but all safely. And it’s all about safe driving now, isn’t it?

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To top off the day, we literally got to live on the edge by taking part in the CN Tower EdgeWalk. If you’re not familiar with it, it involves being harnessed basically at the top of the CN Tower, walking around the Tower, while also completing a number of poses. I don’t particularly have a fear of heights and based on photos I’d seen of the EdgeWalk, I’ve always thought the experience looked a bit lame.

LET ME TELL YOU I WAS OH SO WRONG.

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So the actual walk around the Tower is a bit boring as I’d expected, and I found  most of the poses quite easy to complete. Leaning at a 45-degree angle with the harness holding you securely? No problem; all I had to do was stare straight out towards the horizon. But one pose had me shaking with fear and I just barely completed it. This was when we were to step to the edge of the platform and have our toes extended over the edge of the platform. For me, the reason this had me shaking like an 8.0 magnitude earthquake is because having to extend your toes over the platform meant I was forced to look down…down alllllllllllll the way to the cement streets and sidewalks of downtown Toronto. I can feel my heart beating faster just typing about the experience. I failed on my first try (stepping back quickly) but the second try I forced myself to get the very tippy toes of my shoes over the edge for the quickest moment, before stepping back to stand solidly on the platform.

It was the exhilarating way to cap off the day (a day in which I even drove in rush-hour Toronto traffic, which in and o f itself is its own adventure, haha, through various neighbourhoods I don’t usually get to, so it was a bit like being a tourist in my own city). Thank you,  Ford Canada, for the adrenaline rush!

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Leave a Comment September 24, 2015


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