A Weekend Around Toronto

February 8, 2006 · 0 comments

in Travel

My sister came up to visit me in Guelph this weekend and we had an awesome time. We went to Toronto, saw a castle, toured a brewery, ate froma korean BBQ, and cooked an awesome meal. Here are the details with pictures:

Friday: She flew in on Friday night and after some standard United/Air Canada delays she made it in at about 9:45 PM. Weather was not so bad, and we got home and started to watch home renovation TV.

Saturday: We went to the Guelph Farmers Market and bought some fresh donuts, pot stickers, and some ingredients for out dinner later in the night. We then came back to my house to meet a mover who was going to estimate the costs of moving things…he never showed, but we got to watch some cooking shows. Well it started to snow like a mother, and we decided to go to Winners and the grocey store. In nice weather this trip would have taken 30 minutes, it took us about 2 hours. It was brutal outside. Well then we came home watched more TV and cooked dinner; broiled rainbow trout, fresh bread (really simple to make – recipe found here), roasted beets, carrots & potatoes, and swiss chard on the stove (I think). It was very good. Well then you guessed it, more TV.

Superbowl Sunday: We woke up pretty early and went to Pacific Mall, which is north americas largest indoor mall, it was insane! The place is huge, some sort of old airplane hanger and just goes on and on. Inside are smaller glass walled stores, there are over 500 inside. We had lunch here and sampled a bunch of different foods, bought a few vending machine toys and headed off to the hotel in Toronto. We got to Toronot via the 404 which was new for me and showed me a whole other side of the city, it was quite nice, much more hilly and full of trees. It was not as industrial as what i am used to coming from the south/west. I guess you could compare this as heading into Chicago from Evanston VS Gary Indiana.

Well we got to our hotel – Sheraton Centre Toronto – we scored the room for $60 via priceline! BOOYA

From here we went across the street and saw an ice bar that had some ice sculptures. It was made for american express. Here is are some photos:

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After this we went to the Toronto Eaton Center and saw some indoor acrobatics. From here we headed down Queen street and hit up a pub to watch some of the Superbowl and to get out of the cold. We had one beer, and ventured back outside. The goal was to have one beer per quarter at a different bar. Well we went outside and froze our asses off. So we decided to get food at a Korean Barbeque – Korean BBQ Grill House Toronto. Neither of us have ever been to one before and we were both quite happy with the experience. You sit at a table, and in the center is this pit, in the pit there is a grill. You get a bunch of raw meats and get to cook them to whatever “wellness” you prefer. It was pretty nice, there was massive heat generated from the grill which was nice, since we froze are ass off in the brutal cold, so that was good. The other plus was the fact that the food was awesome. I would totally check one of these places out if you get the option. A

Monday (we took the day off!): We woke up, went to Lush and another store where I bought a limited edition local artist calendar, ate some breakfast and checked out of the hotel. From here we went to Casa Loma – a big ass castle in the middle of Toronto.

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It was very strange being in this place, parts of it were never completed and it was large and poorly decorated. I guess the guy went broke building it. In addition to that there were weird hand made “medival” decorations to exploit the castle theme. You get to climb up to one of the towers, it is three flights of stairs uup from the second floor, then 2 more flights up a narrow spiral staircase, followed by one more flight of stairs…up there you will a pretty sweet view of Toronto:

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You will also find that some “hoods” tagged the shit out the entire area using whiteout and pens, some of the graffiti dates back years, I was almost upset that I did not bring a sharpie.

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After this we went to Steam Whistle Brewery and went on a tour. It was a pretty sweet brewery, rather small but very clean and friendly. I was allowed to pull one of their steam whistles in the factory, here is a picture of me pulling it:

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The beer on tap there was brilliant, and I could have stayed a few more hours and drank myself stupid, but we needed to get some grub and then head to the airport. I grabbed some SOY(fuckin’ good) krisps in the conference center as we went to the car:

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Then we went to the area around the airport and got some dinner. The weather kept getting worse, but her flight was not delayed, so I dropped her off at the airport, and headed home. The wind was brutal and kept getting worse the closer I got to Guelph. Her flight was supposed to leave at 7:15 and arrive in Chicago at 9:30(guelph time) it ended up boarding on time, and sitting on the runway for de-icing for a good hour or so, but she made it home safely.

So to summarize, this was an awesome weekend, it got my mind off of work and I got to see a few new things in the area! If anyone is coming to town for SES Toronto you should totally hit up the brewery, as it right across the street from the conference center, and the beer on tap is perfect.

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