When you leave your country it usually comes to you how much you haven’t explore it as much as you should/could. There is always a feeling that you could do it later because you think it will always be there and you will always be there but is not always the case (intentional repetition of word always).
I had that feeling quite a few times in my (short) life and I am sure I will still experience it in the future, although this time I decided to do something about it: road trip everywhere I can while I am still in beautiful Canada.
So off we went: Montreal to Toronto in 4 days. Mission was explore places in Toronto and surrounding areas that we have not yet visited, trying to be a local so to speak. Luckily I have great friends who helped me in this task not only offering suggestions but taking me and Boo to places, hosting us and discovering the city with us as well.
Toronto was a first nation village called Teiaiagon, later named York and later named Toronto. It is now the fourth biggest city in North America and reminds me very much Sao Paulo on a calm day (well, lets say that their public transportation is better than the one in Sao Paulo, and that the city centre is hundred thousand times cleaner than the former but still, it reminded me of Sao Paulo). First thing on my list was to have a good coffee and I headed to Kensington Market for a visit to Pamenar (a tip from my friend Alex who, just like me, loves a good coffee and a quirky atmosphere).
Coffee was great and place was pretty cool. The good thing about good coffee is that it usually takes you to nice places. No, I am not saying it as in a acid trip or something like that, but it takes a little bit of effort to find good coffee shops and they are usually not in mainstream areas. Hence you end up visiting parts of the city that are less “touristish”.
Getting into places was pretty easy because Toronto has a weekend transportation pass and if you are 2 or more, you pay for the “group” ticket which is much cheaper. Is great if you like walking and commuting, there is not better way to explore a city (well maybe biking is the best way but there were construction sites everywhere and I didn’t know well enough the bike roads and on the top of it I didn’t have that much time…).
We decided to visit wineries this time as well. And the Niagara falls. Although I didn’t really wanted to go to the falls I must say I enjoyed the little cities we saw on our way there.
If you love wine this is really the place to be! Amazing landscape, beautiful little towns and wow did I tell you that the Big Lakes are actually enormous?
Despite the fact that we are not that far from Toronto, Montreal is completely different from its neighbour. Not only the architecture and the language (well we do speak english too but we are french speakers mostly) but of course the weather, the rhythm of the city with its furious pace and lets not forget the amazing beaches Toronto has to offer ( Montreal is getting there!).
4 days in beautiful Toronto wasn’t enough for sure, but we do what we can with what we have and I had a great time. It reminded me how beautiful and diverse Canada is, and it gave me ideas for other road trips I want to do.
I got home and had 2 days to recompose myself only to get back on the road to a longer and more nature guided trip. But that is another story.