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caroml Toronto - A travel report by Carolyn
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Toronto,  Canada - flag Canada -  Ontario
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caroml's travel reports

Toronto the Grey

  9 votes

Toronto seems to be a place that you either love or you hate, and those feelings can change back and forth within a few hours. This place makes you feel like a manic-depressive. Toronto is a city of over 3 million people and has been recognised by the UN as the most diverse city in the world. Every culture is represented and has its own little quarter. Toronto is also a city of contrasts. There's plenty of people with nice cars and homes, and right at their feet are beggers trying to keep warm sleeping over the subway air vents in front of the head quarters of some major bank. One side of the street looks straight out of a nice movie and the other side will the the housing projects of the ghetto. Much like any place in the provinces of Ontario and Québec, Toronto weather is one of the most extreme in the world. In the winter, temperature can go down to minus 20 and somtimes minus 30 celsius and in the summer, it can go up to 30 or 40 degrees!

Favourite spots:
There are so many places to eat. I don't know how they all manage to stay open. But in this consumer culture, I'm not surprised. Here are some of my favourites places to eat: Salad King: a cafateria-style Thai food restaurant. You order at the counter and they give you a number. Then you sait and chat with friends until they yell out your number over the PA system. Awesome, tasty food at a good price (try the Pad Thai or the Golden Curry with chicken or Tofu). Vegetarian friendly. Watch out for nuts! Located on Gould St at Yonge.
7th West: a 24 hour café unlike any other. The food is good but a bit pricey. Good selection of beers and plenty of mix drinks. And of course coffee and desert. Chose to sit on any of the 3 floors and on the covered patio (very romantic).
Kensington Market: A place to find all you need: clothes (secondhand shops), food (various grocery stores, sheese shops, bakeries, fish and meat shops...), restaurants, and cheap luggage.

What's really great:
Kesington Market is a wonderful place, a microcosm of the world. Shops specialising oin products of their home land, nice, conscious and progrssive people. A place to find the very well hidden subculture of Toronto. But I have to say I am not a fan of this place and I can't wait to move away. I've been studying here and it's just too damn expensive for students. I have to work 3 jobs while studying full-time just to get by. The people are a bit cold and if you just start talking to them, they think you're crazy. That's the big city for ya. If you've got money, then you will have a good time.
Why Toronto the Grey? The sky is always grey! If it's sunny, there is a nice layer of smog! Wonderful, eh.

Of course, the CN Tower. Be ready tos pend 15$ bucks just to go up. Not worth it to me but it is the symbol of the city.

Royal Ontario Museum - at University and Bloor. Wonderful collections of artifacts from all over the world. Free after 4pm on Friday! Must see.

There are a few hostels I know of:
Hosteling International: Located at 76 Church St at King. I've stayed there and ended up having plenty of great late night conversations with people from all over in the common kitchen. Dishes at supplied and there is a stove and oven. You can get a discount if you have a HI membership. Tel: +1 416 971 4440

Global Village Backpackers: Located at 460 King St at Spadina Rd. You can get a discount with an International Student Identification card (ISIC). I have heard good comments about the place. Thay have a pool table in a common room. Kitchen? Unsure. Tel: +1 416 703 3887

Too many to name. I like some pretty expensive place so I never get to go.
Roxy Blu: Always great music (moslty house). Internationaly known DJ come frequently. Be ready to dish out 8-15$.

Una Mas: A nice bar and places to sit upstairs. Downstairs, it's all about the dancing, until 8:30am! Saturdays are the best. Located at 422 Adelaide West.

Plenty of pubs. During the university academic year, the cheapest drink is at the Ram in the Rye (Ryerson University Pub). Cheap food too, but if you order food, you'll be waiting a while. Lcoated at 63 Gould Church (Basement).

Growler's Pub/Conchy Joes/Louie's Brasserie. aL three restaurant/pubs are lcoated within the same building owned by the Denison's microbrewery. Growler's is the lower end option. Good food and the beer is great.

Juice For Life - 3 Locations
Some of the best vegetarian food, and very filling. You can order and meal and keep a half for the next day. The fresh juice they make is amazing and very filling as well. Juice concotions are expensive but you will find it well worth it after a taste.

King's Cafe - Located in Kensington Market (192 Augusta ave.)
Great vegan and vegetarian dishes. Lots of meat dishes turned veggie. Try the sushi and the huge soups.

Other recommendations:
High Park - Take the 506 College Street Streetcar West to the end of the line. A nice way to get away from the city. Pick up the free Now or Eye papers and find out about nature and historical walks.

Toronto Islands
The best palce to get a picture of the city from far away. And the bst palce to escape the city. People actually live here. There is a café/restaurant on one of the islands. Plenty of beaches but I would swim in the water.

Published on Monday April 7th, 2003

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Wed, Sep 08 2004 - 07:51 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report
why dont u put some pictures in it

Mon, May 24 2004 - 09:08 AM rating by lanina

Truely but not so helpful for visitors of the city... Compared to the actual convertion rate of the Euro and the prices in Germany, Toronto seems to be affordable to me. If I was vegetarian I would have been thankful for the restaurant advices...

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