Touchdown in Toronto


Painted floor mural on the corner of Richmond and Spadina, Toronto

I knew that our Toronto trip was going to be good when we stepped out of our Airbnb apartment building after we’d checked in onto a beautiful floor mural. I was so excited by this unexpected discovery that I stopped to snap a photo of my feet before I even realised that ten feet further up, it was not only colourful but glittery too!

It was a welcome sight after my first ever long(ish)-haul flight and a looong queue through passport control. But there was no time to waste once we were on the ground – we had some exploring to do!

And naturally, our first stop had to be one of the city’s most iconic sites.

Passing a few other icons on the way …

The Queen Mother restaurant, Toronto

… the Queen Mother Cafe (which is apparently a recommended Thai restaurant, should you be in town) …

Best coffee ever in Toronto

… and the best coffee ever. A bold claim we didn’t put to the test, because a little way up the street was Nathan Phillips Square.

Toronto sign in front of City Hall in Nathan Phillips Square

Home to Toronto City Hall and also the fabulously Instagrammable Toronto sign.

Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square

Originally installed temporarily for the 2015 Pan American Games, the sign proved so popular that the city decided it should stay permanently.

And if you go to Toronto and you don’t clamber on the sign for a photo op, were you even really there?

pinkschmink posing in the Toronto sign

pinkschmink posing in the Toronto sign

It’s important to get all the good angles.

pinkschmink in Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Toronto City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square

Nathan Phillips Square also happens to be a great spot from which to admire the mixture of old and new architecture that makes Toronto so fascinating to walk around.

Downtown Toronto at sunset

And while you’re admiring the architecture, it would be silly not to check out Toronto’s most famous landmark.

The CN Tower, Toronto

It’s visible from almost everywhere in the city, except where the vast towers of high rise condos obscure the view.

The CN Tower, Toronto

But it’s especially impressive when you get up close.

And we needed to get a good look at it because we were going to get very well acquainted with it the following morning.

Sunset light on the CN Tower

More on that little (big) adventure in the next post …

Meanwhile, we were getting seriously hungry. But we couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat, and we walked for what felt like hours, looking at menus and not finding quite what our rumbling tummies were after.

And just as darkness was falling and we were almost back at our apartment, we stumbled upon Weslodge.

Exterior of Weslodge, Toronto

Frankly we were lucky to get a table, since we walked in right in the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival, and this restaurant is supposedly the place to see and be seen in the city.

Weslodge describes itself as a ‘casually refined saloon’. But that description probably isn’t a fair reflection of how great it actually is.

Sure, the interior is all antlers and vintage-style fixtures and fittings.

Weslodge, Toronto

pinkschmink at Weslodge, Toronto

(I will one day teach Jenna to hold a camera still. Sometimes she does a super job though.)

And the menu is all about those North American classics. But they’re done spectacularly well.

Whatever else you order, get the fried chicken. But don’t make the same mistake we did of ordering a ‘whole’ fried chicken between two people.

It’s enough to feed a small army.

Fried chicken and mac'n'cheese at Weslodge, Toronto

But by god, it’s good. I’d pay good money to get my hands on their secret recipe. I would fly back to Toronto just for that. It was THAT GOOD. Not even kidding.

Mac'n'cheese at Weslodge, Toronto

Get the mac’n’cheese on the side as well. Because it’s amazing and why the hell wouldn’t you?

Jenna at Weslodge, Toronto

This is the face you make when fried chicken and mac’n’cheese happen at Weslodge. And by the way, the cocktails are excellent too.

But it turned out our eyes were bigger than our bellies, and so our very lovely waitress boxed up our leftover chicken (stop judging, this was life-changing chicken. Seriously, I nearly moved to Canada on that chicken alone). And we took the short walk back to our apartment and fell into the deepest of sleeps.

Just as well, because we were going to need the energy the next day – check back soon to find out about our next Canadian adventure!