A Weekend in Toronto
When you think of Toronto you may be thinking of Drake or the Raptors since their first NBA championship win this year but Toronto is also the 4th largest city in North America (Mexico City is number 1, read our blog post about Mexico City here). The thing is that Toronto doesn’t have that feeling of being a big city at all. Sure, downtown is full with the typical skyscrapers and during the week it’s filled with people in suits (did you know that the tv show ‘Suits’ was also filmed here?) but the rest of the city mainly consists of older and low rise buildings that give this city a peaceful and low key vibe.
During this trip, we stayed at The Annex Hotel, a brand new hotel in (believe it or not) The Annex neighbourhood. The check-in experience of this hotel is quite unique in that it is all digitally done. Instead of a front desk concierge, you will receive an email with your room number and door code that you can use to check-in. In the room, you’ll find an iPad with all the information you need about the hotel and the area. We were staying in the ‘Medium-Sized’ room which was already super spacious. Every room has a lot of natural light and our room even had a great view of the CN tower! The bed was so extremely comfortable (the website promises a world-class mattress and it sure is) but our favourite part of the room was definitely the personal record player.
The hotel is located on top of what is called ‘The Annex Commons’ where you can get a coffee, breakfast and lunch. This lounge area also doubles as a coworking space where many people also get food from Big Trouble Pizza and Seven Lives Tacos while working. The hotel is in the centre of a few residential areas with lots of beautiful historical houses and super conveniently located next to the Spadina and Bathurst subway stops. If you are looking to explore one of Toronto’s most unique neighbourhoods, Kensington Market is within walking distance and a 20-minute walk to the beautiful Trinity Bellwoods Park. At the end of the park, you’ll end up on popular Queen Street West where you will find a lot of nice stores and hip coffee spots like Early Bird Coffee, Sam James Coffee and White Squirrel Coffee. Close to the hotel, you can also find Bar Raval and a great taco place called La Carnita is next door. If you like hip interiors you should definitely go to Fika Cafe, Bar Reyna on King or Oretta.
Other places we definitely recommend if you are looking for some culture to check out the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum. One of our favourite things to do in the summer is to grab a bike and hop on the ferry to Toronto Island to enjoy the amazing Toronto skyline. If you want some great Instagram shots you can’t miss out on Sugar Beach, the Distillery Historic District with the famous ‘LOVE” sign.