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Three day weekend in Toronto for single gal

Three day weekend in Toronto for single gal

Jul 29th, 2003, 03:35 AM
  #1  
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Three day weekend in Toronto for single gal

I will be accompanying a friend of mine to Toronto August 7-10th. She will be busy at a convention most of the time, so I am looking for things to do by myself. I enjoy being outside and am fairly good at finding my way around. We will have a car and are staying at the Holiday Inn on King. Your suggestions are much appreciated.
Maggi is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 04:43 AM
  #2  
 
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First off, you might want to park the car and walk or use public transit - Toronto's traffic is among the worst in North America. You'll be downtown, a lively, clean and vibrant center day and night. There are great museums - The Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario come to mind. Toronto's also a great place to view modern architecture - it has some of the coolest-looking skyscrapers anywhere.
King Street is the heart of clubland - an entertainment district full of bars and clubs, and near Queen St. West - a funky shopping area (kinda like Haight Ashbury in San Fran) with bohemian stores and restaurants.
At the northern end of downtown there's Yorkville, an area of upscale boutiques,expensive chain stores and restaurants. In the middle of downtown, there's Eaton Centre - a huge indoor downtown mall with a soaring glass roof and 340 stores.
If you need a break from the bustle, take a ferry across to the Toronto Islands where there are beaches and lots of nature.
martytravels is offline  
Jul 29th, 2003, 05:49 AM
  #3  
BAK
 
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Toronto traffic isn't all that bad, most of the day, going most places, but anyway, Martytraveels is right that you don't need your car, unless...

You might find some big thing you want to buy, and would want to put it in the car. You can always go shopping on foot or subway, and then come back and pick uup your purchase.

If you want to go to the zoo, take your car, or go to some further-flung parts of town, like the distillery district, or the antique shops at Queen and Roncessevales.

The Holiday Inn on King is a gret starting location.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is a few blocks straight north, and has a great restaurant. The price of lunch includes admission to the gallery, and then it's a short walk to Chinatown and Kensington market.

From the hotel, if you walk a couple of blocks west to Spadina, you meet up with the Spadina streetcar, which will take you north to a funky part of Bloor Street West. From there, walk east to the Bata Shoe museum and then continue on to the Yorkville neighborhood. Top quality stores, plus an interesting outdoor part, excellent commercial art galleries, ....

If you walk south from the hotel (go one block east to John Strteet) you go to SkyDome, the CN Tower, past them to a brewery that offers tours, then keep going to Harborfront.

Walk west past Spadina and across from a Coffeetime donut store you'll find another small wilderness park in the heart of the city. I saw babyswans there two weeks ago.

Turn around, and walk east and you'll get to art galleries, theatres, shops, and more. There's always free entertainment at Harbourfront in the evenings.

The hotel is across the street from a dozen restaurants. I sent some people from Chicago and some people from Houston to Kit Kat a few weeks ago, and both thanked me for the suggestion.

On an angle north-west from the hotel (a couple of blocks up John Street from King) is Al Fresco, where some South Africans and I ate lunch a couple of weeks ago, and where they had dinner. Across from that is Chapters book store, with a Starbucks and a few comfortable chairs, wherre you can relax and plan the next part of your excursion.

BAK
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Jul 29th, 2003, 05:59 PM
  #4  
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Thanks so much for the detailed replies! Marty: I was thinking of doing the ferry thing. Is there somewhere on the other side I can rent a bicycle? BAK, you should write a travel guide...your comments are what I look for in a guide, i.e. what is great in the immediate area of my hotel. I like the idea of lunch at the Art Gallery (didn't know it included admission to the museum) and I definitely want to get to Kensington. I was thinking of doing a "foodies" walking tour of the area through "Taste of the Worlds" What do you think? The Kajama (a three masted schooner) sailing tour looks interesting, but I would probably feel awkward doing this alone, no? Grayline offers a hop-on, hop off city tour that might give me a good overview...
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Jul 29th, 2003, 06:05 PM
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I do believe there's a bike rental kiosk at the dock on the island when you get off the boat.
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Jul 29th, 2003, 06:49 PM
  #6  
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You won't be alone on the boat; lots of other people will be there.

More seriously, don't worry about it. Kids go (my son loved it last summer). single moms go, old folks go, etc. People wil make you feel welcome.

The boat was in tv tonight, in fact.

I do have, also, a travel guide. Go to www.BrianKilgore.com and you'll see a link at the top to info for tourists.

It's messy, but you'll find lots of info there. It was created originally for the delegates to an international convention, but I'm cleaning it up and broadening the interest. Genuine photos of genuine sandwiches that I later ate.

About your foodie tour. Good idea. There's lots of food nationalities right across the street from the hotel. Italian,. French, Indian, a good smoked meat deli...

A few blocks away, on Queen St. West, just east of Duncan Street, is Korea House, highly recommend by my friend Charles, who is on hugging terms with Emeril.

Across from CITY-TV on Queen West is a scruffy looking food court building, but it has Amato, providing great pizza, a choice of a couple of dozen flavors, by the piece. Walk and eat; there are no tables.

For a whole French bistro meal, on Queen (pretty much directly north of the hotel, is Le Select Bistro.

North on Spadina is Chinatown. I was there today buying fruit, but there lots of other food, too. Try Bright Pearl, on the west side north of Dundas at St. Andrew and Spadina, for Dim Sum. I took 30 people -- Americans, Canadians, South Africans, a New Zealander, two Brits, a couple of weeks ago. It worked out to 10 bucks each for lots and lots of food that people said was really good.

Thai -- Young Thailand on John Street (which is a block east of the hotel) just north of Queen Street.

Sushi -- lots of places, but the closest best, -- there was a great review in the Globe and Mail, which rarely gives great reviews, -- EDO, downstairs, south side of Adelaide Street West, near Duncan, between John and Duncan. 3 blocks, more or less, from the hotel.

Fune, two blocks east, still on Adelaide, at Simcoe, is more expensive and fancier, with boats of sushi travelling in little canals around a big table.

A foodie could be very happy eating here, there and everywhere, within five bloclks of the Holiday Inn on King.

The Greyline bus is a double decker -- ride on the open top level. I looked at the route map the other day, and think it's a good value.

Have fun.

If you want a cooking class, The Calphalon Cuulinary Center is a block from the hotel. There's a picture on the front page of my web site, and a little story about my visit.

I've got no business connection, but it looks like a good place.

www.CalphalonCulinaryCenter.com


BAK
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Jul 29th, 2003, 07:49 PM
  #7  
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BAK, previous to reading your most recent post, I had just finished printing out a map to Bright Pearl, recommended on another site! Thank you so much for all the help. I have actually asked my friend if she wanted to switch reservations to Hotel LeGermain, from the review on your website. It looks perfect to me. I really prefer "boutique" hotels to the huge ones. Suffice to say, I will print out all your advice. Thanks again!
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Jul 30th, 2003, 12:12 PM
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Half an hour ago I was talking to a couple (early 60's, I'd guess) staying at the Holiday Inn, and they liked it.

But to me, Le Germaine is a great place, and it's half a block away, so the convenience is the same.

BAK
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Jul 30th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Yes, after some more research, we did switch to Le Germaine. I have read some positively rave reviews about it. Can't wait til next weekend. I am still open to suggestions til then, though.
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Aug 1st, 2003, 05:25 AM
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I have been given another challenge: my friend asked if I could suggest a restaurant near the convention center for her to entertain a couple of clients at lunchtime. Should be within easy walking distance and not too expensive ($20-25 per person, not including drinks). I have suggested Le St. Tropez, which looks really nice from the website and seems to fill the above criteria. Any other suggestions are appreciated.
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Aug 1st, 2003, 10:31 AM
  #11  
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About the lunch....

Does she want to appear in full control, with reservations made, etc., or is she willing to walk up to a block with many restaurants, and pick one that looks nice?

And how big is the convention,and will thousands of delegates all be out at the same time trying to find a good lunch at a reasonable price, or willmost be eating in the banquet halls?

If so, she'll need reservations.

St. Torpez is one of a dozen restaurants in the same block.

How important is it that the tables be far apart and she and the clients can talk without being overheard? Most good Toronto restaurants in that price range have tables pretty close together.

But she could make a reservation at Kit Kat, and ask for a booth at the back. these have high backs, and are about as private as it gets along that block.

If she's willing to just walk and select, the Kit Kat -- St. Tropez block is the place to do this.

Leave the convention center's north side, (there are entrances on the north side and the south side, and they are a long way apart. Leave from the exit you want, because it is a long, long walk around the building to get to the other side.)

Walk west to the end of the block, at John Street.

Walk north (only way she can walk) two -threee blocks, to King Street, and turn left - west. Kit kat is about the forth restaurant she'll get to. St. Tropez (it's good, and I like it very much) is half a dozen restaurants further west.

The back of Kit Kat and the back of St. Tropez face the back of Le Germaine.

BAK

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Aug 1st, 2003, 12:30 PM
  #12  
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Again, thanks BAK! The convention is the APA, I don't know how large it will be. We want to have the location locked in and reservations made before we go. The lunch is intended to be casual, friendly and fun atmosphere. We're not interested in impressing anyone, just providing a delightful interlude for lunch. I believe St. Tropez will take reservations. I will check out Kit Kat too. We do like being outside if the weather is nice. Anything else along the same lines as St. Tropez?
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Aug 1st, 2003, 07:29 PM
  #13  
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I put a couple of photos into www.BrianKilgore.com

One shows Le Saint Tropez, the other shows itwith theKit Kat down the street. The whole block is restaurants, St. Tropez patio is bigger, food is French / medit., Kit Kat is Italian. I went inside the Kit Kat this evening and checked the booths, but if you want the patio, make a reservation, and then remind them the same morning. 416 977 4461. Don't know the number for Le Saint Tropez.

Without a reservaction, here's another choice.

Convention center to John Street. Then north on John past King Street, two / three more blocks, to just past Adelaide Street. Eat at Al Fresco, on John north of Adelaide. Gazpacho is excellent. Big patio,, lots of umbrellas. You can usually get a seat on the patio at lunch time.

BAK
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Aug 4th, 2003, 06:43 PM
  #14  
 
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Maggi,

Thanks for posting this question. I will also be at the convention this week/weekend. I'm taking my husband, but he will need to find things to do on his own while I'm occupied. All the suggestions were extremely helpful!
islandhopper is offline  
Aug 4th, 2003, 09:40 PM
  #15  
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How funny! Maybe your husband and I will bump into each other, wandering around on our own while perusing the sheet with the Fodor's suggestions!
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