Last week we got back from 11 days in Toronto. We had an absolutely amazing time in a fantastic city. We flew with Air Canada from Heathrow and the flight was 7 hours 40 minutes but the in flight food and entertainment was great, Oscar watched a few Disney films and enjoyed the food too. The boys both behaved so well for the whole flight and Archie slept comfortably in his SkyBaby mattress which made a long flight much more comfortable for both of us. When we arrived we got a cab to our hotel which did work oujt quite expensive as there were traffic jams into the city. We checked in to our hotel which was The Trump which I got an amazing deal on booking.com a few months ago and they also kindly upgraded us when we arrived. Our friends moved over to Toronto in January so we had come to see them but I really wasn’t expecting the city to be as amazing as it was. I thought I would write a round up of the places we went so if you ever travel there with or without children you might find this helpful.
When Greg surprised me on my birthday in March that we were go to see our friends in Toronto I looked online to see what hotels there were in the city. On booking.com I got an amazing deal to stay at The Trump Hotel Toronto for the 10 nights and we then paid on arrival. The price was room only and we were upgraded when we arrived. When we were taken up to our suite I was blown away. It was the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in. Oscar had his double bed in the lounge area which had a huge TV, desk and fireplace in it and there is also a kitchen area which was perfect for me when making and sterilizing Archie’s bottles. Off the lounge there was also a separate toilet that is was great if Oscar needed the toilet during the night. In our main bedroom there was a huge bed and cot for Archie and the bathroom was enormous. For the boys there was Johnsons wash, shampoo and talc and a rubber duck for the bath, a Trump kids robe and slippers for Oscar and we were welcomed with a lovely hand made chocolate board. Oscar was in his element! Every night our rooms were turned down and a chocolate and bottle of water was left next to our beds, Oscar has brought loads home, they are delicious. Our bed was so comfy, I would love a bed that size at home. All four of us fitted in it with room to spare. Every morning when we went out and then returned the doormen and receptionists were so friendly and always said hello to Oscar and played with him. The staff were all so helpful and when Archie’s night time glowing seahorse ran out of batteries and I asked for a screwdriver to open up the battery compartment they said to leave it with them. We came back that evening to it fixed with brand new batteries and in Archie’s cot ready for him to go to sleep, as I said before the staff were absolutely amazing and so helpful! On the 31st floor was a gym, salon and pool as well as the restaurant. Oscar loved the pool and looking out of the windows over the city. On the last day as our flight was not until 8pm we were also allowed to use the showers to get the boys ready and changed before the long flight home. When we go back to see our friends again we wouldn’t stay anywhere other than here! Two nights we got room service, once as we had returned late from Niagara Falls and Oscar was hungry and the other when Daddy, Steve and Michael went on a boys trip to Detroit and we decided to eat in. The food was lovely and Oscar loved eating in the room.
If you are trying to get around the city walking or the subway is your best bet. You can get a tram which is $3 per person but with the traffic can take a while. We went on it once just for the experience and I couldn’t have done it on my own with the boys as there is 3 big steps up into the tram and with Oscar and Archie in the stroller it would of been a bit of a nightmare. We did get a few cabs but they work out expensive as you sit in so much traffic, unless you really need to get one I would walk as its such a lovely and easy city to get around and after a couple of days we knew our way around. We hired a car for two days to go to Niagara Falls and the African Lion Safari Park. We hired a SUV for 5 people through Budget (The Trump arranged it all for us) worked out £40 for the day plus £7.50 for a sat nav and £7.50 for Archie’s car seat. We took the Trunki Boostapak for Oscar to sit on which was his hand luggage bag. If you hire a car also check if there is a charge to park the car over night at your hotel, usually it is around $50 a night.
We ate at lots of different restaurants and most didn’t have children’s menus but were more than willing for us to choose anything and have a smaller portion made up for Oscar. We ate a couple of times at Joeys which is on Dundas St West and is right by the Eaton centre which is full of great shops. The menu has lot’s for children to eat too and I had the best burger there! Another thing that all the restaurants do is split the bill which makes it easier when eating out in a big group to make the bill fair. We also had breakfasts at the american diner at the Thompson Hotel where I had the most ginormous pancakes I have ever seen, they were delicious though! Other great places to go for for breakfast are Drakes One Fifty, The Fairmount Hotel, OverEasy (my favourite) and the sunset grill. Where we stayed was pretty central and we could walk to the restaurants easily as getting a cab around the city can take longer than walking! About a five minute walk away was the Hard Rock Cafe which Oscar loved and enjoyed his chicken and mash and ice cream sundae. A great Italian is Little Anthony’s where we had a mixed beef and veal Bolognese and it was delicious. We also took Oscar to Hooters 🙂 we he had a photo with two of the girls, he will love that for me when he is 18! Our hotel had a restaurant on the 31st floor called the America where we had desserts and Greg said it was the best apple crumble he had ever eaten! Eating out in the city is cheaper than eating here and worked out roughly $80-90 for the three of us, with desserts and drinks which works out about £40-50. There are also lots of supermarkets around the city if you want to grab rolls and ham like we did one of the days to make a little picnic. There are places to eat everywhere around the city so you won’t be short on places to go.
Places To Visit
We managed to fit in quite a lot over the 11 days we visited Niagara Falls which is beautiful, the town itself is full of arcades and is a bit like Blackpool and was fun to walk around. When then drove to Niagara On The Lake which is the most beautiful town I have ever seen, with lovely shops and restaurants and an amazing view of the lake. It was like going back in time.
We also went to the African Lion Safari Park which was near Cambridge and blows the Safari parks here in the UK out of the water. We saw loads of different animals and then watched the elephants swimming in the lake and them walking back to their enclosure following one another holding tails. It was like out of Jungle Book.
In the city itself Oscar and the men went to the Rogers Centre to watch some American football, we went to the Aquarium which is right next to it and then up to the top of the CN Tower which is also located there. There is also a light railway outside the Aquarium which we went on. The view from the CN Tower is amazing and we all lay across the glass floor. To go up the CN tower is $35 for adults and $25 for children aged 4-12 and adults over 65. The Ripleys Aquarium was really good and absolutely huge it took about 2 hours to go around. We got there early and there wasn’t any queues. I would recommend this as by the time we came out the queue was out of the doors. Tickets for the aquarium are $29.98 for adults and $9.98 for children aged 3-5 and $19.98 for children aged 6-13. Compared to the London Aquarium prices I thought it was really reasonable.
We got a water taxi over to Toronto Island which was $10 each and on the island is a fun fair with great rides and mini rollercoasters and a log flume, a farm, huge park areas and restaurants. The island is defiantly a must to do as it is a great day out and we were literally on the island all day long. You can get a ferry across which is cheaper but the water taxis are quicker and more convenient.
Around the city there are lot’s of quirky shops and boutiques and everything works out cheaper there against the pound at the moment. I brought the boys lots of clothes in H and M and myself some Nike trainers as they worked out nearly half price. We also took a trip to Toys R Us where Oscar got his Paw Patrol toys which a few weren’t available in the shops in the UK. Watch out though all the prices on the tags don’t include their 13% tax so always add that on before you get a shock at the till!
When walking around the city you will find all sorts of great places like graffiti alley where we took some great photos, the Distillery District which is a beautiful place to visit, Little Italy as great coffee shops, near city hall is a light up ‘Toronto’ which looks great at night and is great to take photos by. We visited the CNE (Canada National Exhibition) where there was a huge fun fair and exhibition inside where I brought some bark Christmas decorations and Greg and Oscar looked around some World War I planes. When we were there BuskFest was on too which was fun watching people perform.
We had an amazing holiday, stayed in a beautiful hotel and saw some amazing sites and ate LOTS of food. Would I go back again? In a heartbeat!