So far, this blog has been focusing on the hidden gems, and lesser-known spots to visit across Canada. This post will stretch the limits a little, with suggestions about what to do in Toronto if you only have a little time before hopping on your train.
Union Station is currently under renovation, with construction causing the temporary closure of food and coffee shops. If you happen to be in the area, and want to happily while away some time before catching your train, here are a few choice spots to check out. The first few are within a 15-minute walk of the station, while the other options are a little farther out, for those who have more time to explore.
Less than 15 Minutes from Union Station
If you’re in the mood to enjoy a latté in a Pinterest-worthy setting, Maman (new to Toronto) is the ideal place. This café has roots in (you guessed it) France and is a fantastic spot to grab a coffee and run, or to savour one slowly while getting lost in a good book. Located in First Canadian Place, the large outdoor patio is a major highlight. Depending on what time of day you visit, you can also grab lunch or sip a cocktail during happy hour. And if you’re travelling with a crowd, the stylish coffee shop can be rented for private events.
Head to the Beach
Get that sand-between-your-toes feeling without leaving the city. Sugar Beach, adjacent to its namesake, the Redpath Sugar Refinery, is where locals come to trade their power suits for bathing suits and soak up some rays. Fully equipped with lounge chairs and pink umbrellas, this little slice of paradise will help take your mind off any stresses of the day, and jumpstart your travels.
Get Lost in the Market
Looking for some local delicacies or a snack to take on the train? Time to head to the St. Lawrence Market. With over a hundred merchants under one roof you can take your pick of delicious, local fare—seafood, fresh bread, meats, fruit and veggies, olives, cheeses, you name it. Once you’ve filled your basket, grab a spot indoors or at one of the many picnic tables outside (if you aren’t sunned out after the beach). A word to the wise though, the Market is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
More than 15 Minutes from Union Station
Soak in Some Culture at The Drake
One of the best features of The Drake, Toronto’s legendary boutique hotel and well-known hot-spot, is an incredible patio perfect for cocktail-sipping. Discover unexpected menu options in décor so hip it hurts. They have brazenly dubbed themselves a “hotbed for culture”, which only works because it’s true. The Drake is where Toronto’s cool kids gather, and where the vibe is always lively any time of day (or night).
Time to Shop: Oak + Fort
If you’re wondering where all those uber-hip people at the Drake get their threads, you might want to stop in at uber-hip clothing shop Oak + Fort. The Canadian retailer, founded in Vancouver in 2010, offers minimalist clothing with clean lines in neutral tones. Nothing fussy, just well-made, stylish pieces that will hold a place of pride in your closet for years to come.
With plenty of space between its borders (Queen street to the south and Dundas to the north) Trinity Bellwoods Park is the perfect place to take a nature break after a long day in the city. With many take-out food and drink options nearby, grab some sustenance and enjoy a picnic before hitting the road.
What are your things to see in Toronto? Tell us about them in the comments below!