Toronto this weekend - what should I do?

I’ll be headed for a weekend jaunt to Toronto. I have Saturday afternoon free - from the morning till about 4pm, when I’ll have other obligations. I’m 21, and I’ll probably be alone for the afternoon.

What should I do? I enjoy food within a reasonable budget ($20US/plate) and I enjoy shopping - thought I prefer nicer consignment stores to actual high-end fashion (think J.Crew and Banana Republic as my wardrobe). And I prefer food to shopping. Food from a truck is just as delicious to me as an expensive filet. Sightseeing is fun, but time is obviously limited.

So distance/time can be accounted for when giving recommendations, I’ll be staying at the Marriott on Bloor Street, and I’ll have my car with me (should I need to drive to get around town).

Fire away! :stuck_out_tongue:

If you’re staying at the Marriott, there’s actually a fair bit to see and do within walking distance of your hotel.

First off, from a shopping perspective, you’re in a prime window-shopping area. The hotel is located in the Yorkville neighbourhood, which is where most of the high-end designer boutiques are located (think Gucci, Chanel, and the like) as well as the less fancy-schmancy stores (including Banana Republic). It’s always fun to pop into Holt Renfrew for a browse (it’s our equivalent to Sak’s).

There’s also a rather large Winner’s in the neighbourhood (our version of T J Maxx) which makes a point of carrying higher-end brands than most other locations - you have to enjoy browsing, though, as most of the items are one offs and the merchandising is pretty ummm… lacking.

If you’re in the mood for sightseeing, the Royal Ontario Museum is a short walk away at Bloor & Avenue Rd. You could break for lunch at the museum’s restaurant, C5, which has a lovely view and delicious food - it’s a little over your budget, unfortunately, but worth the splurge as far as I’m concerned.

If you’d prefer a budget option, there’s also a lovely little crepe cafe called Crepes a GoGo on Yonge St, practically around the corner from the hotel. It’s got wonderful ambiance, the crepes are delicious, and the staff all speak French if you want to pretend you’re in Paris for an hour or two.

For something a little more off-beat, continue further west on Bloor to St George and you’ll find the Bata Shoe Museum. It’s a lovely little museum with some very distinctive architecture (the shape is inspired by an archival shoebox), and a visit will only take up an hour or so of your time.

(ETA: apparently my word for the day is lovely… please substitute with wonderful, charming, great, fantastic or any other adjective you desire :slight_smile: )

I hope you’re planning on attending Nuit Blanche Saturday night.

Nuit Blanche

Bother. I’m helping someone move on Saturday… otherwise I’d try to meet you guys. TronnaDope! :slight_smile: That being said, if you want ‘interesting’, you might take a wander through the Kensington Market area.

The Mariott on Bloor is near Yorkville and that stretch of Bloor known as the Platinum Kilometre (or Mink Mile), where the Richistani shop and the rest of us gawk. Second-last time I was down there, there was a Lamborghini balanced on four teacups out front of the William Ashley china shop.

Yorkville also has Hazelton Lanes mall in behind, which has a Whole Foods Market, which is where the Richistani go to buy organic foods. :slight_smile: And there’s a very nice ice-cream shop that I occasionally visit, even if it does cost $5 a scoop. And check out the bilingual bookshop nearby.

For something different, the Toronto Reference Library is located on Yonge just north of Bloor, a short walk away.

If you’re going over to the Bata Shoe Museum, though, take the chance to walk down Philosopher’s Walk between the ROM and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Very pleasant. Then you can wander around the University of Toronto grounds and make your way back to St George and Bloor, where the shoe museum is.

That looks so cool.

Sunspace, call them and cancel! Come hang out with me :D. I’ll be alone for the morning and afternoon, since others will be sightseeing things I have no interest in, at a slower pace than I tend to go at.

Even if you still choose to blow me off, you and Mahna Mahna gave me some great ideas. I’ll definitely check out the area, especially the crepe place. I really had no idea the hotel was in such a great area, likely because I’m not paying for it.

Saturday evening from 4pm on will be the engagement, dinner, and dancing, so Nuit Blanche is out unfortunately.

Keep the ideas coming guys!

We’re excited about the installation inside Maple Leaf Gardens. Doesn’t matter what it is–just the chance to get inside again…

Well, Nuit Blanche will be on all Saturday night and Sunday morning with no interruption, so your opportunity to take some of it in is limited only by how late the dinner and dancing go, and your own ability to stay awake. I’m being a wimp this year because I have a gig on Sunday, but I’ve played them before and the object really is to keep going all night long. For various reasons, it brings out the wackiest and most far out of our artists - it’s great fun.

Major second on all that’s been mentioned before - way to go, Mahna Mahna KSO and Sunspace.

One of my great pleasures about Toronto is how nice it is to just wander and check out the different neighbourhoods. From the Marriott on Bloor, you’re very close to the Gay Ghetto which is centered on Church and Wellesley (I’ve no idea if that inherently appeals, but it’s a cool neighbourhood for anyone.), going straight north takes you through Rosedale with all its very expensive mansions. If you’ve read Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of A Lion, the bridge which features prominently in the first chapter of the book is about a 20 minute walk straight east. West along Bloor will take you past some cool shopping, University of Toronto, the ROM, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Bata Shoe Museum, you won’t be far from Queen’s Park, the Provincial Parliament buildings. Philosopher’s Walk is the site of the opening chapter of Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry. Yes, I do think it would be fun to put together a literary tour of Toronto.

Other cool neighbourhoods include the Distillery District (they’ll be setting up for Nuit Blanche, but there’s always some interesting stuff going on), Queen St. W., if the weather’s good the Toronto Islands are my favourite spot in the city because it doesn’t feel like you’re in a city anymore; there’s also the Beaches. This paragraph is all places you’ll need to take the TTC (and a ferry, for the Islands) to get to.

It’s a drag that so many of us are booked up already - is there any chance of a Saturday lunchtime dopefest?

Installation inside Maple Leaf Gardens? <interested look>

During Nuit Blanche, they’ll run the subway all night in the central city area, only stopping at 7am for a pause before regular Sunday service starts at 9am. How late does your party go? And congratulations on getting engaged! (That is what you meant, right?)

Paging Kythereia! Paging Cerowyn! Paging Kid_A! Enthusiastic visitor requests the services of a Native Guide!


Friday and Saturday are no-gos, for I have work. Sorry :frowning: I’m possibly available for whatever on Sunday afternoon, though!

Yes, heartily recommend staying up to the wee hours of the morn to catch some of the Nuit Blanche happenings, especially since several of the installations will be centered around the Royal Ontario Museum anyways. It’s only a short crawl back to your hotel once you decide to call it a night, and sleep is overrated when you’re visiting anyways. :slight_smile:

I’m still sorting out my plans for Nuit Blanche, but I’m happy to offer assistance in locating late night mischief-making. As a bonus, I know of an organic ice cream place that is a) near the Queen W hub, b) open til very late and c) has flavours that will Blow. Your. Mind. (like blueberry-lavender… and strawberry-pepper-fennel… and vanilla-cardamom… and and and… droooooools)

Sunspace Og no, I will not be getting engaged! shudder I’m just 21! I should have explained more - I’m attending my roommate’s (Indian) engagement. It’s quite the to-do - everything is paid for by his (my roommate’s) parents, from the hotels and transportation to the food and going to club Schmooze on Friday and garba/bhangra dancing on Saturday night. Indian engagements are fairly lavish.

Friday afternoon lunch would definitely work, and Friday night could be flexible (don’t have to be at Schmooze, since it’s not with the families.)

Should I be PMing Cerowyn and Kid_A?

Wow. That’s never happened before. I must be dong something right!

Ooohhhh mmmyyyyy…

I have to go there. I have no choice. I am a slave to ice cream. And since I started making it, I’ve been trying the sweet/spicy combination, like orange-pineapple-ginger. (You thought I was joking when I mention it in welcome threads?)

Strawberry-pepper-fennel?!!! I HAVE TO GO THERE! We’ll see how late the moving thing goes on Saturday. It’s in Scarborough, so I won’t be out of town or anything.

falls over

Er, what was I saying?

Alas, I’m busy Friday night as well–an Esperanto gathering–or I’d come down after work.

lindsaybluth, you’ve come to the right place for South Asian culture, that’s for sure. It sounds like quite a bash. :slight_smile:

Did I temporarily break Sunspace? Wooo hoo! Go me. :slight_smile:

Also, lindsay, it just occurred to me that I can get a guest into the Bata Shoe Museum for free (I occasionally volunteer there). If you’re interested, give me a shout and I can offer my services as tour guide… I’ve got the day off work tomorrow, as it happens, so I’m around on both Friday and Saturday during the days.

So, uh, Mahna Mahna? Um… where is this ice-cream place, exactly? I’m just asking out of… curiosity. Nothing urgent or anything…

Kensington Organic Ice Cream. The owner is an awesome dude… incredibly passionate about what he does, in a zen-like kind of way (not to mention I love the fact that he has a flaming ice cream scoop tattooed on his scooping hand). I have a not-so-secret foodie crush on him. :slight_smile:

But shhhhhhhhhh… let’s keep it our little secret, lest it be overrun with masses of people. It’s bad enough that I can never get a table at Terroni down the street. :mad:

So I’m proposing a Mini-Dopefest lunch on Saturday.

Our guest of honour has expressed some interest in the idea, and I believe Le Ministre mentioned a bit upthread that he may also be interested… let’s discuss over here.

Welcome! There are some great recommendations already in this thread. Your hotel is a great location. I was planning on spending the day lying on the couch preparing for Nuit Blanche but if you need a mini-tour around, I’d be glad to offer my services.

Off to the Dopefest thread…