At the ripe age of 31 I did my first ever long (longish) haul flight! It had been on my things to do when I hit my 30’s. And I have only bloody done it! Toronto, Canada. Hello!
Travelling more has been something that I have been trying to do for the past 2 years and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me feel. Whether it be a solo trip to East Sussex or a group trip to Canada it makes me feel ever so content. I am all about the spur of the moment trips too. The ones where you can’t plan anything, the ones where you forget suncream because that is the last thing you think you will need in your case when venturing somewhere a little chillier than home.
So before I knew it I had booked my ticket to the land of Maple Syrup, Avril Lavigne & Peameal.
The reason why I headed over to Toronto was to hit up Canadian Music Week with my band babes Cattle & Cane. It was a flight full of northerners and a trip I will never forget. Off we popped with the band themselves, their manager, my travel bud and plenty of plans to drink all the Canadian beer lagers.
We embarked on this adventure for ‘work’ purposes but we all knew it was just to have a bloody good time together, drink said beer lagers and inevitably get sunburnt.
Canadians welcomed us with open arms the moment we stepped off the plane. The most friendliest people on this planet I must say. Not only did they help us with directions with great enthusiasm as we stood looking extremely lost. The moment we got there we were directed to a brewery to get internet so we could connect with the Canadian world and book us an Uber. Off we tottled to gather Wifi, sink a few pints and work out where the devil we were heading too.
On first impressions this city was anything but a disappointment. Ross, my travel pal, and I had booked an Air BnB for the first few nights before joining the gang. There is something about bunking in with some locals that you just don’t get if you book a hotel and left to your own devices. Our Air BnB was the cutest thing ever so make sure you take a peek and book up with these guys if you are venturing to Toronto.
Destination – Toronto, Canada.
As everywhere cities are broken down into districts. As a girl coming from a tiny seaside town I still find this extremely difficult to comprehend as there was the ‘top end’ and ‘bottom end’ of Saltburn, so this girls eyes have been widely opened during adulthood. Downton Toronto was where we would spend most of our time, bar hopping, venue hopping and island hopping.
The Entertainment District was where we would particularly be mooching as this is where the venues were mainly situated and it was the area where most things appealed to us. Toronto is ever so walkable too. Not too big, not too small but just blooming perfect.
Kensington Market was so cool with many independent businesses, and foodie shacks that made for a really pleasant afternoon.
A lesuirely walk using the CN Tower as a guide brings you to the water and can overlook Toronto Islands. The CN Tower is pivitol if you don’t have a map and your data isn’t included in your phone network. It seems like everywhere other than Canada was included but it kept us offline and I sort of loved that.
Canadian Music Week
The real reason we were here. CMW is a festival that spans 6 whole days in May showcasing artists from all over the world. From Colin Response to The Used (life made), from Marsicans to 2 Chainz. I got to see some fantastic music that I would never have been introduced to while soaking up the most amazing city.
We played venues such as popular music bars, dive bars, sidewalks to what I can only explain as the cutest bar with a lady flayling her titties around while stood on the bar. There was that. There was most certainly boobs and beer in one particular bar.
The amount of breweries in this town was insane. Each and every place knew their shiz and it was so refreshing. What to drink with the biggest plate of poutine, boom, done. The service here was exceptional. It really is the place to hit up if you like your ales & lagers.
Make sure you check out Henderson Brewing Co. // Amsterdam Beer & my favourite little bar in West Toronto not only because it serves pizza is Get Well. These were just some of our favourites but there was plenty more. The breweries were like beer tardises. You walk inside and holy moles you have entered hop heaven with beer tanks as far as the eye can see.
These islands have it all. I mean imagine growing up and saying I went to school on an actual island? Yup, you heard me. There was an actual school here on Lake Ontario where the kiddos catch a bus and a boat to reach their education. Absolute school goals.
The beaches here are utterly beautiful, even including a nudey beach which we hopped on and off for to navigate a short cut around the island. You can jump on a boat and go to one of the three points Centre Island, Hanlan’s Point or Wards Island. If you are up for an adventure you can head to one point and walk whole darned thing then jump on another boat and head back to the mainland.
These islands are a must if you are venturing to Toronto.
You can’t not go to Canada without going to visit one of the wonders of the world can you? There I was, the most hungover girl on the planet boarding a 6.30am bus to Niagra. Was it worth it? Hell yeah!
We had been warned it could be a tourist trap so I expected the worst but I was pleasantly surprised. However maybe I did get suckered in and bought a Niagra Falls jumper. Who knows. You can decide that. Before you knew it we were on the Maid of the Mist absolutly dreneched under the Niagra mist with a boat full of strangers.
A class experience that I would definately do again if I ever had the chance to go back.
Not only did we bump into fellow UK band Marsicans at the Blue Jay’s game but the Blue Jay’s only freaking won. Eventually. We were told these games can go on and boy did it but we got to take in some baseball in an extremely high stadium that made my legs wobble and made me laugh so much I was scared I may pee myself.
We drank beer in our seats and cheered our team on with a bright blue foam hand while kited out in blue coloured apparel.
So there you have it. My little touch base post about my latest and favourite trip I have ever been on so far. Canada you did us proud. I can now admit I have a have a life long craving for Peameal sandwiches and I can’t stop thinking about that piggy goodness.