Doing our best in Toronto

Our 5 hour bus journey from Ottawa to Toronto was broken up at a quintessential truck stop in the middle of nowhere. It was just your average place to buy chocolate, supersized bags of crisps, apple pie and handguns! it certainly was an experience for 2 ladies from the UK.

truck stop

Our fabulous hotel, The Chelsea, was a short walk from the bus station and as soon as we settled in we wasted no time in making our way to the CN Tower. Due to our central location we were there within 15 minutes.

The Tower did not disappoint, after a high speed ride in the outside glass elevator we were on the Sky pod level at the very top enjoying the spectacular and breathtaking view. Next stop down to the lookout level and of course we had to trot across the glass walk and jump up and down like loonies. A lot of my friends said I was brave to do it but as it can take the weight of 14 fully grown hippos I figured I was safe! We survived that to take our place in the scrum to get the best video and photo of the beautiful sunset.

Day 2 started with a lovely substantial brunch in Fran’s Diner, a quirky retro delight serving very tasty food by attentive staff. Then we headed north to midtown in our quest to find the Casa Loma. It was a bit more of a trek than we anticipated especially when we thought we had arrived, only to discover we were looking at Toronto University! In our defence it did look kind of old, but we needed to do a few more thousand steps before we could reach our final destination.

We were rewarded by the first sights of the Casa Loma poking through the trees. This Edwardian mansion was designed by E J Lennox and built for Sir Henry Pellatt who made his fortune harnessing the power of Niagara Falls for electricity.

This castle is a delightful assembly of towers, turrets and tunnels. Anyone who knows me knows there is nothing I like more than exploring towers, turrets and tunnels and they were in abundance here.

What we didn’t know before we visited is that Lady Mary Pellatt, Henry’s wife, was the first Chief Commander of the girl guides of Canada. She dedicated most of her adult life to girl guiding and was awarded the Silver Fish Award, which is the highest award in guiding for her outstanding service. As we are both guiders in the UK it was a real treat to discover the exhibition in the castle dedicated to Lady Mary’s life and achievement in guiding.

After a very lovely and relaxing mooch around the castle and grounds we made our way downtown for a spot of dinner and to enjoy the light show on the CN tower.

CNN3

 

Due to being incarcerated in Ottawa Jail Hostel, we only had 2 nights in Toronto which was nowhere near enough. But it’s a good excuse to return, will definitely do the Edge walk at the CN tower when I go back, the queue was too long on this visit.

Next stop Niagara Falls………

edgewalk

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