I arrived in Toronto mid-afternoon after a 5 hour train journey. After checking into my Airbnb I went for a walk first to the old distillery district, and then to the harbourfront. In the distillery district I tried some locally distilled vodka, gin, and whiskey. The vodka was particularly good, at least for a vodka.

The next morning I went to the St. Lawrence Market for breakfast. The market had only just opened, so wasn't very busy. Both the peameal bacon bun, and the carrot muffin were really good.


After breakfast, I went up the CN Tower. It was the tallest freestanding structure in the world until 2007. It is now 9th. From the ground it doesn't look that much taller than the skyscrapers, but from the top viewing platform, the skyscrapers look tiny. It was also very interesting watching the cars, trains, trams, and ferries make their way through the city.

CN Tower view

I took a ferry across the harbour to Ward's Island, and then walked along the boardwalk on the north of the island to get to Centre Island. From Toronto you can't see quite how big Lake Ontario is (unless you are up the CN Tower), as the islands get in the way; from the other side of the island, however, you still can't see how big it is, as it extends to the horizon. It is genuinely impressive. I have seen smaller seas.

Ward's Island is largely residential, but the houses are very quaint, so worth seeing. The islands are mostly a large wooded park, with yacht filled harbours dotting the coastline.


On returning to the city, I headed inland to have a look at the old city hall, and dipped into the Eaton Centre mall, mostly for the air conditioning, but as malls go it is quite impressive.

City hall

The next day I took the train to Niagara Falls. There is only one train that goes all the way to Niagara Falls each day, this is because the train ends up in New York, which apparently takes 13 hours.

In Niagara Falls, I went on the Hornblower Boat Cruise, went up the Skylon Tower, and went on the Journey Behind the Falls. The boat cruise was good, particularly as all the mist was a cooling break from the 30 degree weather. The Skylon Tower is much smaller than the CN Tower, but gives really good views of the falls. Apparently you can sometime see one tower from the other, but it was way too hazy for me to see it. The Journey Behind the Falls takes you to a viewing platform down in the gorge next to the falls, which again was very cooling. It also takes you through tunnels to holes behind the falls; these are less impressive as you can't really see anything but water. The noise was impressive, though.

Skylon view


On the way back to Toronto my train was delayed whilst it waiting for a drawbridge to close; a freighter was using the canal that runs between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Tomorrow I fly, sadly very early, to Vancouver to meet up with my parents.